Thursday, March 29, 2007


Quick post today, as I'm busy at work --

I watched Borat last night. Funny, funny shit! I'm still laughing today about scenes from it.

Its nearly incomprehensible to me that there were only four actors in this movie and the rest of the people were reacting to what they thought were real situations (albeit in front of a camera). Its my understanding that Pamela Anderson was in on the joke too which I was wondering about as I watched it.

Anyway, Sacha Baron Cohen is an absolute genius in how quickly he is able to react to the people he has "set up". I could have done without the nude wrestling, but his interactions with "high society" and the etiquette teacher had me howling.

I rate this: MUST SEE!

Ok, I admit...I have a prepubescent sense of humor at times.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Boss Quirky McStrangemeister

My boss is funny. He must submit between 3 and 8 handwritten notes to me daily. Notes on files, things to do, FYI -- that sort of stuff -- usually on a Post-It or an invoice or the like. And he signs his name to every one of them. As if working for him for 16+ years hasn't tuned me into his handwriting by now and the fact that NOBODY else gives me handwritten instruction isn't sufficient enough to clue me in as to who the note is from.

Dunno --- Struck me as odd today. LOL.

Oh, he slurps his drinks too. He's apparently too impatient to allow the fluid to flow past his lips, he feels need to literally suck the liquid out of the can or cup. **SLURP** Kind of annoying, but if that's my only complaint, I have it good, eh?

Also, just today gave me permission to shop for a new PC. Cool! New flat screen panel here I come! And good-bye slow as shit old PC.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Magician Pirates in Apartment Pools?

I saw three movies over the weekend:

Pirates of the Carribean: Johnny Depp, along with good special effects, helped save this movie a bit for me. He's very good and the movie is kind of funny and fun to watch. My complaint is it leaves off as a cliffhanger. We all must now tune into May's release of the next installment to find out how it ends?

I hate that! Its not fair to the viewer. I know II and III were shot at the same time, but movies should never anticipate the viewer "loved" it so much they'll shell out more money to find out how it all ends. I'm not exactly dying to see this next installment and I just might not out of spite. Futhermore, it appears movies inspired by amusement park rides have a shelf life of one and one half installments. My official rating is "eh".

Lady in the Water: I'm thinking that M. Night Shyamalan may have expired his shelf life too. VERY disappointing! I love most of his other stuff and I find how he manipulates the viewer compelling. I even liked The Village which was somewhat panned. This movie, however, lacked all of the cleverness and slight of hand he normally employs. It wasn't even suspenseful! There were 10 million characters who were all kind of thrown together hodge-podge and we're supposed to believe they all give a shit whether Opie's daughter finds her way back home. Even Paul Giamatti, as the main character, couldn't save this one and I have to question why he took this role. Oh, maybe a big check? M. Night....come back to us. You've lost your way! Amaze us. Trick us. Anything. Just please, no more of this crap. I rate this "boooooo".

The Illusionist: I went into this with high hopes since I'm a big Edward Norton fan. He is excellent in almost everything he does and in The Illusionist he doesn't disappoint. Its a quiet and subtle movie also starring Paul Giamatti as a Police Chief Inspector. Shot in a sort of "gauzed" effect with flickers and all to better throw the viewer into the turn of the century time period in which it takes place.

Norton is a master magician who was torn away from his upper-class teenage love interest only to be reunited with her 15 or so years later when she is set to marry the Crown Prince of Austria. Needless to say, they renew their affair, which, of course, complicates things and results in a murder. There's suspense and mystery and fine acting to compel one to the end as the viewer is left to wonder how it will all play out. I rate this "see it".

Friday, March 23, 2007

Charlatans and Scammers

On the one hand, I understand people's desire for answers or comfort no matter how devious the source, but on the other I just can't find it in me not to anger more than slightly over those spending good money on Psychics, Mediums, Paranormalists or what have you.

In Vegas, I recently saw Penn & Teller's act at the Rio. From an otherwise ordinary show (Teller's shadow puppets were phenomenal though) I found Penn debunking Mediums riveting since I hate all things "Pyschic".

One thing he did was have a box of books brought out to the audience. In the box were numerous joke books. A supposedly random patron chose one book from maybe a dozen. Then he was asked to pass the book at random; forward, sideways, backwards. Then again, then again, etc. After a time, he had the person with the book find a joke that was personal to themself. One they've told before or related to in some way. Next he asked the patron a series of questions starting generally like "its not a joke about animals". Of course, he asked in that "fishing" way that the Psychics use. Then...Penn told a joke and asked the patron if it was the one that had been chosen. It was! From the outside it seemed like he could read that person's mind.

To his credit though, Penn was showing us how these thieves work their "magic". One point he made was that this person was standing in front of 3000 or so people with a spotlight on them. No doubt this person was nervous and merely wanted to get the bit over with. So when Penn asked questions that were close to the joke he was seeking, this person gave off clues that Penn was close or not close before he even answered yes or no. In this way, Penn was able to alter the question mid-sentence to get more on topic. He did it again with another patron in another way but the result was the same. I loved it.

Morning radio, Montel Williams, other talk television and even primetime tv are full of this bullshit. As far as I'm concerned you can throw in Televangelists and Faith-Healers too. Its all crap yet people buy into it big-time. Buying in with their own money too! Hell, there's even cruises with these people. Guess you'd be safe "knowing" the ship wouldn't sink, eh?

In High School we studied Uri Geller (check this crap out) and his "spoon-bending" in social studies. The book believed it and the school taught it. What kind of shit is that? Of course, he's since be debunked (I might also add that if he had the true ability to bend stuff telepathically, then why would he ever need to touch it in the first place?). But an impressionable 13 - 18 year old mind shouldn't be subject to anything that can't be proven and I remember thinking there must be some trick behind it. There was!

Regarding other "Psychics" I've always believed they worked either by planting people or reading body language. Its all in good fun when people read horoscopes (ANY of them can describe your day if you want them to) or play around with a Ouija board (especially if it involves a drinking game), but when there's significant money exchanging hands it elicits two things from me: 1. Pity for the one paying money for bullshit and 2. Anger at those taking advantage of the one I pity.

My sister-in-law lost her father tragically to an accident years ago. It was no doubt traumatic and she and her sister have been to Mediums (or whatever they are) in a concert-type setting to contact the man. Of course, this is where the Medium fishes information in the "you know a Joe, or a John..." and "you lost a loved-one to illness or accident" and the victim is like "Yeah, yeah! I do!! Amazing!". Well, who the fuck doesn't know a Joe or a John? Who hasn't had a relative get sick and die or die from accident? Its all crap. Drives me nuts.

I think deep down, based on my conversations with her, my sister-in-law understands that its probably crap but still is willing to spend the money for the "comfort" of knowing. "Your dad is at piece. He loves you very much." That kind of stuff. Everything is positive and reassuring so it feeds itself.

Not in this case, but what if - just what if - a Medium said "You know....your Dad really didn't like you. You were a whiny shit and he liked your brother much, much more. He was sorry he had you"? Or "Your dad was embezzling from the company he worked for and paid for prostitutes". People wouldn't be so quick to go back to hear the negative, would they? If they did, or had real concrete answers, it would certainly hold more weight with me. But, the Medium's circular-reasoning would be "It doesn't work that way".

Sort of along the lines of religion saying "You have to have faith" when they can't justify anything concrete. Sorry, that was the Agnostic in me. I'll leave that can of worms closed for now.

Anyway, I remember asking her one time that when she went again (she went back a few times) to wear a very plain outfit. Blue jeans and white tee shirt. No jewelry. Little makeup. Give off as little "vibe" as possible and when the questioning begins, not to nod her head affirmatively or negatively or to shift her weight, etc. In essence, give off NO signs whatsoever and see how many direct hits there are. I bet there wouldn't be many. I never heard back a report from her.

But you know what? She and the others WANT what they're getting. There's peace in that just as people find peace in religion. Even if its bullshit, for some reason in their minds its better than nothing. Its something to hold onto.

I just can't buy into it and I DEFINITELY wouldn't pay into it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lord of the Ring

I've been married nearly 10 and a half years to the lovely Mrs. Blogger. Our wedding followed a 22 month engagement which followed about a six and a half year courtship. You could say I don't rush into things.

We had recently moved into our first home together, a little two bedroom condominium we bought together. The payments were tight at first but we were doing ok. At the same time, I was saving and saving to purchase an engagement ring for her for Christmas. Yet, I still had to borrow $1500 from my brother so I didn't have to finance any of it (which I paid back promptly).

Mrs. Blogger and I had already discussed marriage and since she had a custom ring in mind - a solitary special cut diamond with two smaller jade stones on each side - this was not a huge surprise for her. But she was excited nonetheless. I didn't spend a fortune. It only seemed like it at the time.

We had difficulties with the stone not being the quality/cut promised and went back twice to get it right - once because the cut was wrong and another time because carbon was visible inside. "Art" the salesman and I had a number of discussions before they finally got it right. It was all kind of upsetting to Mrs. B. (for obvious reasons) but eventually everything was fine. Christmas eve morning came and I proudly gave her the ring. All was good in our world!

Shortly after Christmas, Mrs. B either took the ring off to put lotion on her hands or it came off as she lotioned (perhaps I'll remember to ask her). Somehow, it tumbled across our newly purchased kitchen floor to places unknown. We looked and looked and couldn't find it. Mrs. B. became upset and I became pissed. Not pissed at her, just pissed we couldn't find it. Plus, we were late to be somewhere. After about thirty expletives fired out of my mouth, Mrs. B. (then Miss B I should say, huh?) said, "why don't we just go and we can look for it later?"

Ummm....that wasn't an option. My reply was, "If we lost thousands of dollars and were looking for it, we wouldn't be leaving for dinner with friends, would we?" She saw my point.

After employing every flashlight we could get our hands on and messing up our "going out" clothes crawling around the floor, we decided it must have gone under the refrigerator. We had a cat too. Not a pretty site under there as you cat owners can attest, I'm sure.

We couldn't see much through the "dust" and dark, so as I gingerly rolled the fridge out so she could try to better spot it with the flashlight. Surely the jade would at least show up in the light.

No such luck. Rolled it a bit further. Nothing. A bit further. Still nothing. A bit furth......"CRUNCH!!". And a jade, sans mount, shot across the floor. "Fuck, fuck, fuckety, fucking fucker fuck! What the fuck are the odds?!?!?!" I'm pretty sure that's the exact quote. And you should have heard what I said! LOL -- just kidding.

The back wheels of the fridge mangled the mount and spit out one of the two jades and the diamond. Now, the diamond is going to be fine, right? Hardest substance and all that stuff. I wasn't too worried as long as we could find it. Which we did. But the jade is very, very soft. We got lucky. We found both jade stones as well and they were in good shape.

About $200 and one week later the jewelers had it all newly mounted (original band) and looking pretty. Mrs. B. still wears it to this day and it really is a pretty, if not modest, ring (btw...jade is nearly as expensive as diamond).

And her hands are still baby soft. I don't know how she does it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tidbits Part Deux

Tonight I have kindergarten orientation for The Little One. Nearly impossible to believe we're already at that stage. Every step is new and exciting and surely I don't miss midnight feedings and diaper changes, but its amazing how fast she's growing up and I can't seem to slow it down.

We just had The Little One tested for stuttering. Most of the time one doesn't notice it, but she gets more and more stuttery when nervous or tired. At one point a doctor told us its that she's so smart her brain works faster than her mouth can. Apparently, he was off. While its rare for a girl to stutter, apparently she qualifies and we'll be looking into getting her the appropriate services. Nearly anything can be overcome, especially if its caught early, and Mrs. B. and I will do everything possible put her in position to overcome this.

Speaking of Mrs. Blogger, she is on spring break this week yet she has not once gone on a bender or flashed in a Girls Gone Wild mode. Funny how different college is for graduate students in their mid-thirties. Damn maturity!

And if you'll look to the left, you'll notice I've updated my book and movie links. Haven't had much time for movies since the Great Flood of '07, but Mrs. B. bought me the Bruce Edwards story written by John Feinstein. I haven't delved into it yet, but, Edwards (a local boy to me) was a caddy for professional golfer Tom Watson. He was afflicted with and eventually died from ALS which just may be one of the most horrible diseases. Anyway, regarding Feinstein, I LOVE his subject matter and the research he does about his topics but I really don't care for his writing style or his opinions most of the time. I'll read it and be fascinated by it, but I'm sure I'll be raising my eyebrows a few times.

Regarding the Great Flood, we're pretty much back to normal now. I have a bunch of crap to throw away but my trash container only holds so much stuff, so it will be a while before its all disposed.

Today is the first full day of Spring but I woke up to a temperature of 18 degrees out. Its supposed to moderate later this week. Damn I'm getting anxious!

I've noticed that comments are down. Either I'm boring or bloggers are busy this time of year. I hope its the latter.

The other night Mrs. Blogger and I were watching American Idol Rewind at like 1am (I know, how lame is that?) and it was Season 1 (remember Brian Dunkelman?). Anyway, the singers were ALL pretty bad that year. We both noticed a remarkable difference in quality when compared to this year.

Speaking of this year's American Idol, Howard Stern, among others, is soliciting votes for Sanjaya to win. I wonder if AI likes the extra publicity or hates that fact that less talented performers are advancing as a joke. I would think that can only hurt the show.

I haven't been to the gym in nearly two weeks and I'm getting a cold too. Rat-farts!!

Finally, I fought through a snowstorm Friday afternoon/evening to drive to Maine to visit my parents. The normal 3 hour 50 minute trip took 6:50. It was important to go because my weekend visit opportunities are limited and my mother has terminal cancer. She's doing very well lately so it was wonderful to see them and to see her spry and vivacious. We're trying to visit as often as possible and cherish each and every one of them as we never know when it will end. She is not the type that complains much or seeks any pity either. And my father has been wonderful in every respect. I'm very proud to be his son as he takes on more and more (if not most) of the household responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning in addition to his normal "manly" duties of home repair, yardwork, snow removal etc. Throw in the frequent visits to the doctors as far as 90 minutes away plus patience and coddling of my mom and his days are certainly full. Yet, not one complaint. I even noticed the bickering between them absent this weekend. Once can sense he's doing it all out of love and "wanting" to do it, not as an obligation.

Here's to you Pop - a real man!

(now I'm misty-eyed, lol)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Could You Hurry Up Please?


Yeah, hi. Its me Nouveau.

Fine thanks.

I need a favor. If you could just go ahead and, ah, hurry up and get here already, that'd be greaaaayt (impression of Lundberg from movie Office Space).

Today, I've payed my $1245 Golf Club fees for 2007 (notice I didn't say "country club" -- we have no pool or tennis courts). I've suffered, and driven through (all the way to Maine!), Winter's annual idea of a joke in the form of a March snowstorm last Friday. Ten inches! Good one! Real funny. Now its your turn Spring. Come take control, ok?

Simply put, we have too much snow on the ground and the temperatures are WAY below normal. What's up with that? Please, work with me here. Maybe a little overtime is in order.

Vegas has significantly "Jonesed" up my desire for nice weather. What with its 90 degree highs and decadent pools and beautifully green golf courses. My appetite is wetted - make that soaked - to chase that little white Titleist from tee to pond to woods to pond to bunker to grass to green and, hopefully in under three putts, to hole. Yeah, I know, but for some reason I enjoy that. Best not to question it.

Ok, if not for golf, then how about the orphaned sticks and branches all over my snowy, muddy yard that need tending to? Or the outdoor furniture that aches to sit in the sun on my deck or patio? Or my grill that must feel so neglected? Surely, there are dormant flowers abound just awaiting to liven up our party. 4 quarters vacuums at Mr. Sparkle becon to suck up the 3 inches of sand in the carpet of my grimy car. My windows and sunroof long to be open as I cruise the highways and byways singing Maroon 5 so that, unfortunately, others can hear me. Ok, then, perhaps you'll come sooner if I promise not to sing?

Yeah, yeah, I know you have an appointment to show up tomorrow. But that's a formality. That date is merely a figurehead and your presence isn't necessarily indicative of impending fine weather. Therefore, I respectfully request some outdoor warmth soon. Together let's get rid of that nasty snow cover and be gone with those piles of gray pressed up against the edges of every parking lot. Let us in unison cheer the arrival of sweeper-trucks to suck up the sand, gravel, cigarette butts, plastic bags and salt so that a clean car STAYS clean for more than a day. Let us rejoice in the sounds of Morning Doves and lawn mowers and sprinkers and outdoor voices.

And, of course, perhaps, soon, we can pretty up those golf course greens with some colorful tee markers and flags. Blue and red and green beacons of utopia in the form of eagles and birdies and pars.

So, if you could just go ahead and work a bit harder to arrive a little sooner, that'd be greaaaaayyt!

Thanks Spring. I know you won't let me down.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lazy, Lazy

Are we really that lazy?

Are we really so lazy that we hit the handicapped access door button when entering a public building? Is that door so heavy that we can't open it on our own? Even to push it? I thought it was for those in wheelchairs not the 25 year old guy just in from a run.

Are we really so lazy that we can't walk up one flight of stairs? We're content, instead, to wait 5 minutes to take the elevator? And we can't find the energy to go down one or two flights? Wow.

Are we really so lazy that we need an electric cart to shop? Is it me or are there ever increasing amounts of people in department or grocery stores riding those little carts designed for people with an actual infirmity? For some reason, it seems to me that some of these people could get around pretty well without the cart. And certainly would benefit if they tried.

Are we really so lazy that on a beautiful spring day we have to sit in our car for 10 minutes waiting for another to load their car because its only 5 spaces from the store? Yet there are plenty of spaces only 20 or so cars away? Is it THAT MUCH effort to walk the equivalent of 240 feet? While I'm at it......DON'T follow me down the lane as I walk to my car please! I hate that!!!! I MAY just be returning for something I forgot too.

Are we really so lazy that we will use handicapped parking passes when we don't really need them but the car we're driving has them - perhaps its for the benefit of a family member? I see plenty of people get out of such cars and walk just fine near as I could tell.

Lazy, lazy, lazy.

And perhaps, just perhaps, some who consistently ride a cart, park ever closer or abuse parking privileges wouldn't feel the need to if they DID in fact walk or excercise periodically.

I know I sound insensitive. For some reason drives me crazy to see reasonalby able-bodied people being so lazy.

Ok, enough ranting. I need to go sit on my couch and watch 9 hours of TV now.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Ah! There you are! Welcome to the land of decadence and excess. Las Vegas. Where bigger IS not only better its the only way we know. The American way. You'll find that everything is big in Vegas. Gaudy too. And expensive - unless its free. You see, there's no in-between here. Its either comped, or its expensive. Unless you prefer to go off the strip for a steak and shrimp for $7.95. Hmmmm.....I'd pass. Anyway, need a cab? No! You need a limo. Its the only way to travel. We highly recommend it and we'll get you to your hotel in a jiffy. Comped by your hotel of course.

Excuse me? Oh, you're hungry after traveling? But of course. Six peanuts and a Coke didn't fill you up in your five hour flight. Well, no problem. We have so much to choose from. And, of course a regular portion will simply not do and even if it did, we would have nothing of it. Bacon and turkey club? Here you go! Take it apart if you must.....there's physically no other way to eat it unless you can disengage your jaw like a snake. How was it? Good. $18.95 please. We'll comp it later off your hotel bill if you gamble enough.

Speaking of hotel bill, of course you require lodging. How about a 3,000 room monstrosity with 40 or so stores and restaurants in the lobby. A theater? We have two. Bars? Oh, about 10. Surely, you'll be impressed as we all try to outdo the others with our architecture, shows, size, features, originality or just plain outlandishness. Actually, that word doesn't exist here. To be outlandish you would need something to compare it too. Can something be outlandish or garish if everything is? No more than one could be tall in a world where everyone is the same height. But then, we're archaic having been built about 14 years ago. Probably implode the thing in a few years and start fresh. Until then, enjoy! And yes, we have a mini bar in the room. With sensors! Only touch what you plan on eating.

Shopping? Hell yeah, we have that! More than you could ever dream of. You'll lose yourself on the Vegas strip where there apparently are NO planning and zoning ordinances. Were you can build space needles with roller coasters on top or go on a singing guided gondola ride down the canal inside the mall inside the hotel that houses the casino. Were you looking for deals? Hmmmm....afraid we come up just a bit short on that. Sure, you can find stuff in kiosks and the like for a bargain. Oh wait! We may have a pair of sunglasses on sale for $295. Over the Rolex store.

Thirsty while shopping? We have enclaves adjacent to bars where you may purchase something to your taste. Pina Colada. Good choice. $12.95 please. And, of course you can walk around with it from store to store. Or even take it outside on your excursion to visit other garish hotels.

Speaking of hotels, want one that looks like a jet black pyramid complete with laser shooting out the top that can be seen from space? We have it! How about one replicating New York City complete with "taxi-cab" roller coaster throughout? Not a problem. Its down near the one with the 24/7 circus happening inside. No, not the Harley Davidson, Playboy or Hooters themed one. The other one. Over there. Take a right at the full sized pirate ship. Shows every 30 minutes by the way.

Tired from all that shopping? Wish to relax? Please, then, visit the hotel pool. Of course its huge...we know no other way....with a waterfall....and an adjacent porpoise exhibit....near the white tiger display. Yeah, that tiger. The one that tried to eat Roy. Keep your hands clear.

Gets hot in the sun. Its dry too. We are in the desert afterall. You must be thirsty again from soaking up our gorgeous sunshine. Perhaps you'd like a strawberry margarita. No ordinary margarita will do my friend. You require a margarita of epic proportions. A belly bloating cross-eyed inducing concoction. And yes, you can take with you if you don't finish by the pool.

Gambling? Golf? Shows? We have that too. World class of course! Well....maybe Celine Dion is. Not sure Donny Osmond or the Amazing Jonathan qualify as world class.

Anyway, you must be tired from an endless diet of gluttony only interrupted by negligible amounts of sleep. Oh, you got three hours last night? Ah, you're fine then. And yes, the bar is open at 6am if that's your thing.

We're certainly glad you stayed with us. We're VERY glad you kept going back to the craps table even though they were beating you up. Blackjack wasn't enough even though you were winning. You just had to throw them bones! Good for you! Least you earned a few dinners on us from you comp points.

Thanks. Have a nice trip home to normalcy. Please, please, come again. We'll have the limo waiting.

Friday, March 9, 2007

NouveauBlogger - OUT!!!!!

Ok, sorry for that Ryan Seacrest impression.


Because I am headed off to......

And when I'm not hanging out in 85+ degree temps here.....

I will be chasing the little white ball here....

Or here.....

With copious amounts of....


Plus a night out with....

Please set my wakeup call for Thursday, so that I'm not late calling out from work.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

So far.....

The insurance guy came out to the house yesterday to basically show us the passage on our insurance policy that says "you're fucked if water comes in from outside". Funny, I missed that the first time I read it and you'd think the F word would have stood out more.

In any event, he really didn't have to come out as I was pretty sure and prepared they would deny the claim, but I guess that is The Traveler's idea of "customer service". Oh brother. Nice guy at least, according to Mrs. Blogger.

Anyway, after I told the repair guy to hold off on the repairs of my damaged TV, I talked to my brother-in-law about the new ones since he has been researching them for a while. Plus, I know he'd be very thorough. He gave me a top 10 list but Best Buy and other places had them for about $1799 and up. I really, really didn't want to spend so much.

So I went off to Wal*Mart with the intention of comparison shopping vs. Best Buy and Circuit City on other models. They had a few nice TVs but I didn't want to just buy one without reading reviews and such. As I was leaving the electronics section I spotted a cart with some plasmas on it. Two of them were the number 4 TV on the list and the price was way lower! I couldn't believe my eyes. I LOVE Wal*Mart at times....if only there were never any Wal*Mart-type shoppers there. Anyway, the guy that assisted me said the TVs were sent to his store by mistake and were only supposed to be available online. It wasn't even on display! So I bought it impulsive guy that I am.

You know? Everything just seemed to fall into place about it and the timing was right, so I went for it. Had to charge it, so that sucks. Afterwards, I read all about the TV online (if I read shit about it, I'd simply return it). Review after review raved about it.

After I got it home and set it all up I saw that it really does have a great picture. I love it and thoroughly enjoyed it last night. I even found information online as to how to set the tint, contrast, etc for optimal picture which worked like a charm.

Mrs. Blogger likes the TV but thinks I should have held off on the purchase. She's not a slave to technology like I am. Of course, she's right but I do tend to lose my mind when it comes to that stuff so I'll just have to tighten up the belt (or get real lucky in Las Vegas) and pay it off as soon as possible. Our joke was the weekend "dining out" will now be more Wendy's than Ninety-Nine. Little One doesn't care anyway and we all love us some Frosty's!

Then later, to properly break her in I watched You, Me and Dupree (sans surround sound, but I'll live for now). I had heard really good things about it, but found it to be just an ordinary little comedy. A few chuckles, but nothing great.

I rate it an "eh".

Oh, the TV sits up on a stand which is up on a console I built. Gonna take a HELL of a lot more water to get this one!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


As a follow-up to my earlier post the TV doc called --

Now I'm in a dilemma, a conundrum, between a rock and a hard place, a bit of a pickle, in deep water (ha ha! shut up, not funny), a predicament, a quagmire, a bind (ok, enough synonyms).

The cost to repair the TV will be a bit over $500. Plus, I'm already into the repair company for almost $100 for the pickup. cost about $1300 new, but now would cost about $800. I told the repairman to hold off. It will be as long at 3 weeks to get it fixed too and I'm already having withdrawals.

Is it worth it to fix it? Or spend the cash (perhaps $1200) on some new technology and get a new one? I really don't have the money at this point since the whole flood thing looks to kick my ass unless the insurance company can come through. What to do, what to do ---

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Tag from Katie

Katie from Guilt in Black Panties threw out this, so I thought I'd bite:

Three things you must know about me:

  1. I get excited about holidays and vacations like a little kid - I LOVE to have something to look forward to;
  2. When I get into something new, I try to learn as much about it as possible and will seek to practice it often if it takes a new skill (which now happens to be No Limit Texas Hold'em);
  3. I am interested in Mrs. Blogger's lingerie each day and usually ask what she's wearing (drives her crazy, I suspect, but she puts up with me for some reason).

Three things that scare me:

  1. Sickness or death of a loved one;
  2. Paralysis;
  3. Disfigurement (I've too vain).

Three people who make me laugh:

  1. My brother "B";
  2. My brother-in-law "T";
  3. My Little One (particularly her new "Look at my buuu-utt" dance).

Three things I love;

  1. ANY time with Mrs. B and the Little One;
  2. The beach;
  3. Good seats at Fenway Park.

Three things I hate;

  1. Forced participation/fun (think work or school seminars and such);
  2. Being too early or too late (I will sit in the parking lot if I'm early until its suitable to enter);
  3. The Yankees;

Three things I don't understand;

  1. Depression (I have compassion for it, but since I don't have it I don't grasp it well);
  2. Why obese people or smokers can't or won't take better control of their lives and health;
  3. How ANYONE can think that George W. Bush is a good president (and I know smart, smart people who's opinions I respect that love GWB -- I cannot understand that on any level, lol).

Three things on my desk:

  1. Dunkin' Donuts vat of coffee;
  2. Batman coffee mug;
  3. Creepy looking alien kitty thing.

*see my earlier post *

Three things I'm doing right now (besides thinking of answers for this):

  1. Thinking about my impending Las Vegas Trip (I leave Sunday a.m.);
  2. Listening to ESPN Radio;
  3. Looking at a list of checks I need to cut.

Three things I want to do before I die

  1. Live to a healthy 100 years old (but not to outlive Mrs. B or The Little One);
  2. Go to Hawaii;
  3. Retire VERY healthy so I can enjoy it to the fullest.

Three things I can do

  1. Play guitar;
  2. Ski very well;
  3. Hit a ball (I've always had a natural talent for hitting a ball with a bat -- ever since I was a little kid people told me they couldn't believe such a little kid could hit a ball so far, lol -- and I still hear it).

Three things you should never listen to:

  1. Non-supportive people (particularly family);
  2. Nails on a chalkboard;
  3. People who disrespect anything popular: as in music, movies or books. To me it comes across as elitism and it turns me off to them.

Three things I'd like to learn:

  1. More patience;
  2. To ALWAYS know what Mrs. Blogger wants/needs/means (it didn't say it had to be attainable did it? lol)
  3. To enjoy and engage in small talk.

Favorite foods:

  1. A good steak;
  2. Shellfish;
  3. Mrs. B's pasta with meat sauce.

Beverages I drink regularly (besides water which is or should be a staple):

  1. Coffee;
  2. Milk;
  3. Bud Lite (I know, I know....I like other beers as well...but I tend to resort to Bud Lite time and again).

TV shows and books I enjoyed as a kid:

  1. Tom and Jerry Grape Ape Show;
  2. ALL the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mysteries;
  3. Scooby Do

Monday, March 5, 2007

Noah and the Big Screen

I imagine they loaded up in pairs. The arc necessarily less than a cubit long. (I'm not sure how long a cubit even is, but since this is my tale it was shorter than a cubit - is it about a yard?)

Anyway, all the miniature versions of earth's animals with their tiny little suitcases paired up accordingly. Little giraffes and lions and dogs and hippopotamuseseseses (that's the correct plural, right?) and bees (eeek!) and mosquitoes (we need those?) and the amoebas (how the hell do you pair those?) and the penguins (not sure how transcontinental pairings occur, but there you go) and the panda bears, etc, etc. Each no doubt packed appropriately for a 40 days plus journey. Each agreeing to not eat each other, lest we're left with two big-ass lions and nothing else. Of course, the hull of the ship is loaded with a plethora of flora and fauna for food and ...... wait! Animals for food? Crap! He must need more than just pairs then, huh? Better grab a few extra mosquitoes for the bats to eat.

In any regard, preparations were completed and the mini passengers anxiously awaited their mini journey. I'm not sure how 40 days and 40 nights of rain is possible since matter isn't created nor destroyed. Perhaps we've gained significant amounts of water from the polar ice caps. Well, who knows where it came from? I sure don't but I've suspended my disbelief.

The journey, as Noah was no doubt instructed is across my finished basement atop a rippling 8 to 10 inches of water!

I got flooded!

Oh boy did I ever!

We've had a few sleet storms. When sleet melts a bit and refreezes it is hard as, well, ice! My entire yard was a less than flat ice skating rink. That in and of itself creates very little excitement. For excitement one needs, oh......3 inches of rain in 3 hours? Sure! Apparently, all that water sat on top of the ice and flowed over my foundation. I've never a water problem before and I've been in my house for nearly 6 years.

Until Friday. Problem. Big f-ing problem!

As I walked in the front door of my front-to-back split level I could smell electricity and hear my fuse box growling downstairs. It sounded like an alarm. Looking down the open six steps that lead to my basement I couldn't believe my eyes as I was looking at deep, deep water almost to the top of the first step. Without thinking to remove my dress shoes, socks or pants I dashed in to see if it went the length of the entire house. In my heart I knew it did, I just had to see it for myself. While I wouldn't qualify it anywhere near devastating, I almost cried. I understand its just "stuff" but on first view it was quite overwhelming. I can only imagine how the Katrina victims (the ones that didn't screw the government out of millions that is) must have felt with 6, 8, 10 feet plus of water.

Witness recently cleaned laundry baskets of clothes and DVDs floating about. Some dirty clothes from the laundry room floor floating by my back door. A tissue box, twice its normal size, bobbed about in the pantry. A surge protector for the computer under water (I killed the power to it once I got down there, of course). No longer able to show the red light that says, "All is well. Don't worry." All was certainly not well. My electric guitar sat defiantly on its stand even as water enveloped the lower eight inches of its body. A steamer trunk full of blankets was now full of water and wetter than wet blankets (I know you can't be wetter than wet...but these were really, really wet, trust me). The guitar amplifier and surround sound woofer sopping up the liquid. My washing machine which so bravely worked through Saturday and most of Sunday....rewashing recently washed clothes could go no further and quit. TV....*sniff* *sniff*

Fifty-five inches of high definition companionship. My friend during many insomniatic (is that a word? well, it is now!) nights. She warms me on cold days with high definition football. She accompanies me as my family sleeps with re-runs of Cheers at 3 a.m. She flickers cheerfully when I am tired, grumpy or sick. But alas, now she is sick. Very sick. The doctor will be coming tonight at 5:30. I'll know her fate at that point. I'm told all is not necessarily lost. We'll soon see. But if I have to put her down....if its the right as to alieve her suffering any further, then I'll do it. But it will be with a heavy heart.

The little one feared for her toys and our fish (THEY were in the least danger I should think). Her toys fared well. They were in a big plastic bucket that rose above the water line. The fish are elevated plenty high enough. If only my TV was.

I immediately went out and bought a pump. No ordinary pump for me. A kick-ass pump! While shopping, I didn't compare by price but by gallons per hour. This one pumps something like 4380 per hour. Tim the Toolman Taylor would have been proud. I don't dick around. As a result, I got the water down to 1 inch in about 20 minutes. Then I had to go play a poker tournament (4th of 30 tyvm!). Mrs. Blogger stayed behind and swept water towards the pump. She's cool like that.

Of course when I got back from poker at about 1 am I couldn't sleep. I fretted about costs and loss of electronics, etc. First thing Saturday morning I was at Home Depot to rent a jack hammer. I had to get the pump below grade. Plus, the plan was to install the pump after the mess was cleaned up to avoid this problem in the future. Hopefully.

Well, that jack hammer kicked ass too! With me semi-ably at the helm it went through the concrete slab in my utility room in short order and I was back to pumping and sweeping the water in no time. Then I followed up with the wet vac and finally a fully bleached out mop. By around 4 pm I had pretty much everything back in order. Mrs. Blogger was a HUGE help and even The Little One sat with the vac sucking up water.

Yesterday, I finalized installation of the sump pump and now we just await repair and/or replacement of our electronics that were affected. Luckily, my couch and chairs sat above the water line and the sheetrock didn't bulge or pucker much. Hopefully, with all the bleach and a dehumidifier on overtime we can mitigate any mold problems.

We notified insurance and are supposed to hear back today, but I think they'll deny the claim. I understand if the water is from "outside" and you don't have flood insurance, you won't be covered. I'll try anyway. Probably fight a bit with them.

Oh, Noah and the animals? They're safe and sound but really bored without a TV. I should have that problem resolved in no time.

Friday, March 2, 2007


Two flies land on a piece of crap.

One lifts his leg and farts.

The other one says, "Awww! Come ON! I'm eating here!"

Thursday, March 1, 2007


Bees! Bees! They're everywhere! Your weapons are useless against them! Run for your lives! -- Chris Farley's character Tommy Callahan in Tommy Boy*

The first time I was ever stung by a bee I was about twenty years old. I thought I had been stung when I was younger but I then realized I had probably just stepped on something sharp. I remember thinking then, "What's the big deal? It not that bad!". Well, its pretty bad.

That first time occurred when I was home for summer break from college. I was bringing the garbage out to the dumpster at my parents recently purchased condominium and as I slid open the metal door and tossed the bag in I was met with a searing pain in the back of my neck and my right hand. I slapped myself silly as I ran away.

"Fuckers!" I yelled as I stormed back into the condo. My younger brother saw my anger and hurried manner and asked what was up.

"Revenge" I said. "Watch and learn".

He followed me into the bathroom and as I grabbed some of my mother's hairspray and a grill lighter. He chased me outside and across the parking lot as I proceeded to incinerate the entire hive which was hidden away in the forklift hole.

"Fuck with me you bastards? Take that! Huh? You like that? Then do it again, fuckers!"

The end result was hundreds upon hundreds of charred bees and hive material piled up on the ground as the metal began to glow red. I stopped only when hairspray ran out. Good times!

My brother was laughing the whole time. Probably at my lunacy. The pain lasted a little while but was still not too big a deal.

This past September there was a big deal.

I hooked my drive left on the third hole of a golf tournament I was playing on Cape Cod. My partner hit his straight so I dropped him off in the fairway and took the cart into the sparse wooded area. I had a clear shot out and as I addressed the ball I was stung on my right arm. Right in the fleshy top part at the crook of the elbow. Damn it hurt.

I walked around a bit shaking my arm and swearing. No big deal. I stepped up and addressed the ball again expecting to hit it out quickly and get out of Dodge.

Well, I hit it out quickly and that's when it happened: sting after sting after sting after sting (you get the point). Above my right eye, on my right cheek, on my right eye's crow's feet area, and multiple times on my neck, my arms, my back (through my shirt) and my hand - all told 15 stings at least. I jumped into the cart smacking myself and riding through the woods as fast as that thing could go. I didn't care if there were logs, rocks or whatever I was going to Duke-Boy over any obstacle. My Titleist-laden General Lee did just fine. When I reached the fairway I jumped out of the still moving cart and took my shirt off. Since they were stinging me through it I thought they must be inside it and for all I know they might have been. My counter-attack left at least half dozen dead bees on the seat and the floor of the cart. In the meantime, the rest of my foursome had no idea what was going on. "Fucking bees!" I yelled.

After I was sure I wasn't getting stung anymore things calmed down and the game resumed. I even parred the hole. I hurt but was otherwise ok. Then the swelling started. In less than 30 minutes I could barely see out of my right eye and my cheeks and forehead were swelling too. My right arm looked like someone had inflated a surgical glove and the sharp pain was replaced by more dull pressure pain, as in swelling, and itching. I had some Advil in the bag and popped those which definitely helped.

Furthermore, I finished the round of 24 more holes. I felt ok for the most part and was glad I didn't feel sick. As far as I was concerned I didn't see need to go to a doctor or do anything different. I think my swing was affected a bit due to my arm/hand but I wasn't about to give up the match and go back to the hotel and sit around.

In the parking lot afterward we gather for a few beers and jokes and chat about our rounds. Well, needless to say, I was the talk of the town. There were a lot of nice guys, showing concern and asking how I felt and the like. To me, that was only marginally better than the stings. I HATE that kind of attention. I hate having any injury or cast or bandage and having others ask what happened. I don't know why, but I hate pity like that. I just want to go back to normal as soon as possible and be invisible until I say something funny/stupid.

Anyway, as its was getting dark and many of us were making dinner plans and such the next day's pairings were being discussed. Dennis learns he's riding with me. Wiseass says, "Ummm....can I have another cart?". Har-dee-har-har!

*not sure the exact quote, but its something like that