Bryan's Little Corner

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Curling Revisited

I know I brought this up before but it so makes a nice segway into today's blog.

In my two years of attempting to Curl, besides having a blast (I highly recommend it), I also learned a lot about how they prepared the ice.

When you see people running, or more accurately, sliding up and down the ice you may wonder how it is they can do that without falling. You don't? Well just give me a break and pretend you do.

Well it turns out the ice is very carefully prepared. If the rink has it, they can use a zamboni to clear the ice. They can also use a machine to shave the ice. The trick is to make the ice very smooth. You do not want the ice to influence the rock (what you throw to the other end). I don't know about you but I would kill myself on ice like that. Because of this, and probably more importantly, to give the rock something to grip to, they pebble the ice.

Basically when pebbling, they take water in a tank with a sprinkling wand on the end and walk around the ice shaking the wand. More or less it looks like they are blessing the ice. What happens is the water then freezes into these uniform little droplets of ice on top of the smooth ice. This is what your shoes can actually grip to and what helps the rocks. It provides some friction that, when the rock is moving fast or the sweepers are sweeping hard (often accompanied by the skip loudly yelling SWEEP! or HURRY!), it goes straight, but when it is moving slower, the rock actually grips the pebbles of ice and curls to the left or the right depending on how the rock was spun on release by the curler and many other things like inperfections in the ice.

I know it does not sound like it but it really is a fun sport. I truly love it. So what does this all have to do with today's blog? Well this morning when I went out to my car to head into work I found that my windshield had been pebbled with ice. After clearing the rest of the windows with a brush, I had to scrape the windshield. Boy did that windshield bring back memories. On the short dive into work I was also reminded of curling as I slipped a bit on my way into work. Of course for me I was such a klutz on the ice that, while never falling down, it was often a struggle to keep up with the rock and also be able to sweep. I had my other problems with curling and you would have thought I would have hated it but no. I will always remember my 2 years curling as a great time. So if you should ever come across curling give it a chance before moving on. Oh and I think I forgot the most import part. In curling, at least at the Detroit Curling Club where I was a member, it was tradition for the winner to buy the drinks. Maybe that is the real reason I love curling so.

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away
Simon & Garfunkel; Slip Sliding Away

Monday, November 28, 2005

I've Been Tagged....your'e next!

Rules are as follows: Remove the blog at #1 from thefollowing list and bump everyone up one place; add your blog to the #5 spot.
Life's Not Fair/At a Loss for Words
Redneck Eskimo
Top Cat

Next: Select 5 new friends to piss off
OldHippie Rambles
The Hot Girl
The Life and Times of Twatwaffle Jones
Travels with Pooh
You are kidding, right?

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Forming a good friendship with someone from Calgary. Also I was very much addicted to Usenet News back then. Dial up and text messages only. We have come a long ways in 10 years.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Repairing my car. It was the year of the car and I spent way more than I should have. I had been such a good car with no signs of problems that I just couldn’t give up on it.

5 snacks you enjoy:
Potato chips; Salt and vinegar
Chips and french onion dip
Peanut M&Ms
Mint chocolate chip ice cream

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
Saturday, in the park...Chicago
25 or 6 to 4...Chicago
Look Sharp...Joe Jackson
All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side)...Peter Frampton
Rock and Roll Band...Boston
Hot Buttered Popcorn...Apex (joke, there were no lyrics)

Five things you'd do as a millionaire
Save enough to be set for life
Pay off house, buy car and
Take care of family and close friends as much as I can
Donate to local charities including my time
Travel - Alaska, Australia, and New Zealand would be high on list

Five bad habits
Over eat
Not active enough
Swear too much
Being late to things

Five things you like doing
Listen/watch music
Exploring the world and people, especially through the Internet
Helping people out where I can
Taking pictures/photography
Theater - viewing but someday involved in production

Five things you will never wear again
Tank top
Short, short, shorts
Very long hair
Thongs (once, never again)
High heeled shoes

Five favorite toys
Camera equipment
Keyboard (I love putzing with music)
Remote Controls apparently (Ask Lara)
Stunt Kite

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Breakfast Club or the Afterglow's Afterglow

I got back to my sisters home and caught up on a couple of things on the Internet before calling it a night. Two and a half hours later I ended back up. Even though the house has a lot of soundproofing, the bedrooms are upstairs, and I am in the furthest one away I always seem to be able to hear breakfast being prepared. I awoke to the sound of an potatos being chopped.

Something I learned at Thanksgiving really makes sense now. My brother-in-law always likes to make breakfast. Eggs, either scrambled or more often dipper with potatoes, bacon and toast. Always a great breakfast. What I learned is his Dad always did the same thing. Never any other meal and never something different but this was his thing. I say was as his Dad died quit a few years ago. It is a shame, I really liked Tex.

Anyway after breakfast I did some catching up on the Internet, helped move some furniture around and helped set up the Christmas trees. Next thing you know it was time to go. They learned that a friends Mom had died the day before Thanksgiving and they were heading out to the viewing.

I took the opportunity to head over to my parents. It turns out the turn back thermostat was not adjusted for regular time. It was still on daylight savings time. As a result the temperatures where changing at all the wrong time. A few minutes of playing with the thermostat and I have verified things were set correctly and fixed the weekend setting. Then I set the time. I think I need to buy them a thermostat for them that has a simple switch for the daylight savings change. After a quick visit I was on may way home and catching up on everything and get ready for the week. Next I need to deal with being tagged...I am not sure I even know 5 people that have not been tagged already.

I hope everyone had a great long holiday weekend. Back to the grind. Cheers to anyone reading.

Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...and an athlete...and a basket case...a princess...and a criminal... Does that answer your question?... Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club. -- The Breakfast Club

Saturday, November 26, 2005


While I wish I could say it was my 30th birthday that would not be the truth. Today is the Schafer High School Class of 1975 High School Reunion. It has been just over 30 years ago that we all gathered for the last time before heading off in our own direction. Sure we have had reunions before but it is never the same and you never have everyone there.

Alma Mater

Here’s to our dear ol’ Schafer.
Here’s to our high school days.
Sing out the good ol’ song boys;
Sing out the good old yeas.
Here’s to our comrades all, boys.
Loyal we’ll be always.
Here’s to our dear ol’ Schafer.
Here’s to our high school days.

I had a lot of things to try and get done. Everything was not perfect but I managed to pull everything together. I stopped by my friends house for a while and then we headed in to the reunion together just a little late.

Upon arrival it was at a nice place. We were greeted by Sue. She took my friend and his leader dog over to get checked in, get a picture taken be all ready to go take a seat. I worked my way through, got squared away with the money, half listened to the instructions, checked the coat, took the picture and decided to spring for the book they were building and joined my friend to go get a seat. All the while we were bumping into people and, oh my, yet another fun memory as you recognize yet another person.

You know it is funny. We all changed a fair amount, it just happens. People have put on a little weight, lost a little hair, have a few more wrinkles ... they are all beautiful and have not changed one bit. They were everything I remember only most now have a spouse, children and in some case, even grand children. There are the most interesting jobs and so much more.

We took our seats. There was a quick into by one of the hosts and table by table we were called up to partake in a nice buffet style dinner. My luck, we were about the last table to be called up. Taking just a little bit of each item the plate was more than over flowing and then there was the salad. The food was delicious and the desert was a nice finish.

The bar was open the whole time. The flavor for the night was RUM, at least for me. I had a few drinks through out the evening but never to much. First drinking and driving, not good but also I was not only responsible for me but also my friend. The funny thing is he only drank pop. To bad we could not have made him the designated driver but the state seems to frown on people that can not see, driving.

They had a few fun things. We started things with singing the fight song.

Schafer Fight Song

Viking men are fighting.
In black and gold they fight for Schafer.
Viking Men are bold.
They fight for glory and for honor.
So stand up and cheer
Stand up and cheer for Schafer High.
Go, Vikings, Go...
Go, Black and Gold ...
And let us raise out colors high.

I remembered most of the words. What a fun feeling inside. We moved on to the game. We each had a puzzle piece that was half a one of the teachers. It turns out mine was Mr Krapco, the drama teacher. I never had him so I was a little slow coming up with who he was.

Next they called up the homecoming queen and the Sadie Hawkens king to start out the dancing. Although people had fun on the dance floor it came and went in spurts. For the most part, however, there was not a lot of dancing going on. Everyone was to busy catching up.

It was fun, the jocks were hanging out by the open bar and it was interesting seeing them all turn back into the people there were back in high school. They were jumping on each other, high fiving, getting load and having a great time reliving high school. Some old clicks were revived, plenty of imbibing going on too. It was amazing how fast the evening went.

They kept breaking in with various different little things. They brought the people voted best dancers up for a dance. They had prize drawings. They had a large card to be filled out for a class mate who could not attend. It is a shame. When I heard she might come I was so excited, now it was just sad she was not there. She was always a fragile girl and after graduation her kidneys, which were being attacked by a hereditary disease, eventually both ended up being removed and she went through a transplant. There were problems and she rejected it. She was on dialysis for some time. That was a trying time and she almost died many times over. Eventually she had another transplant and it took. I lost touch with her other than she now lives in New Mexico I believe. Well her kidney started to fail as transplants only last so long. Usually a kidney only lasts 10 years but she had gone 15 years. Luckily she found a donor and had another transplant but once again she has been in and out of hospitals over a few month period and there is just no way she could come. I will be writing her and sharing what I can about the reunion. I sure hope all goes well for her. She is one of the true “good ones.”

Well I never took the dance floor but I did take the opportunity to take some fun pictures. Once again I recognized the high schooler in all coming out and that was so fun.

I had talks with a bunch of old friends and caught up with things. I must admit this was every bit as much fun as I wanted it to be. It was more fun than the first one where I pretty much didn’t do a whole lot of wandering about and just talked a fair amount with who I came with.

The one thing, however that made it all worth while... My one friend I had hoped to find at the first reunion was there. We met up and I found out he was hoping I would be there also. I really enjoyed him a lot in high school. Neither one of us really were part of any of the “in crowds” and the friendship was great. The one thing I learned that made my day is why he wanted to meet me.
It turns out I helped him in math and he was very appreciative and he never forgot about it. I was blown away. This is something I really had dismissed. I will do something for people anytime. I love to do that. It is no big deal other than the good feeling it gives me inside. So here we have it, proof. Proof that the smallest things you do for someone are sometimes really big to them. You just never know how you touch other peoples lives. This one moment made my entire evening.

I also met up with another person that had not been to the first reunion. The person I had a crush on in 10 grade and ended up getting shot down in flames. She was every bit as fantastic as she was back then. She is a professor in Colorado and is doing well. She travels and, well you name it, she has had a fun life. It was exciting to talk with her and catch up.

I caught up with three friends that used to live on the same block as I did. Each were doing super in their own way. A little later I was approached by my friend. We had lost touch but had just caught up as he was one of my close friends from my block that I grew up with. He invited me to an afterglow. Later I found out it was a much larger event than I thought it was but I still felt good that he would invite me.

Well this has been way to long but lets bring it to a close. The last dance was at 12:00 and the doors were closing at 12:30. I took my friend home as he was did not want to go to the afterglow. He is not much into a party. I then headed back to the afterglow at my friends condo. When I pulled up I realized how large it was. The condo was filled with people, some of which we never hung around with. It was nice. My friend saw me and ended up making a drink for me called a hummingbird keeping the RUM theme going. I got to talk a lot more with people including several of the spouses and I had an even better night than before. Emails addresses were exchanged and at 0430 hours in the morning it was time to call it a day.

For a day I kind of dreaded coming, it is one I will not soon forget. I will be staying in touch many people from that night. With email there is no excuse not to.

“Goooooooood morning Vietnam! It's 0600 hours. What does the "O" stand for? O my God, it's early!” - Good Morning Vietnam

Isn't she Amazing

A little breather before my fun night. Being down for the holidays was great. I love the ability to visit family for more than just a day or two. One of the things that happened was I was able to see my niece participate in a basketball tournament. Now she is not all that athletic but she has participated in a lot of different sports. She has lots of other interests also. Anyway it is always fun to see her do something. Well I was able to see her play a game on Friday. She was great. While she did not make a basket, she was great. I could not believe how much better she was doing than I ever remember. She was making plays, screening, passing, being aggressive, working as a team. In general I was so proud of her and how she was doing. I sure wish I lived closer.

They won their Friday game 9 to 8. Which sent them into their final game in the later time slot on Saturday. The Saturday game was interesting. The team they were playing were giants in comparison. Surely they would be slaughtered. Of course I reminded everyone that came to see her that they lost 1 or 2 games to get to where they were to begin with.

The game was interesting. Our team had a player, number 11, that was every were, all the time. She would chase down the opponent and just take the ball away. She would then break away and in the basket. The first quarter saw this happen many times. She was out the second quarter and in on and off in the third and fourth. She actually was passing the ball to a team mate on occasion which I have to believe kills someone like that.

My niece was more aggressive then the first game and not allowing herself to get trapped with the ball like the first game. Again no baskets but I was still very proud. She has come such a long ways. I am very excited for her. Way to go! I was so into the game and the funny thing is I don’t even like basketball. Of course I love my niece. Oh, I forgot to mention. We won.

“When we step on the floor every second that clock is ticking we are pedal to the metal, we run the ball we pressure the ball and most importantly we control the tempo of the game, we make them play Richmond Oiler ball.” - - Coach Carter

Friday, November 25, 2005

Reunion eve

Here it is, just a little over a day away from my high school class reunion. Of course there are complications. With me there are always complications.

A few days ago I realized I had not sent in my information and money and RSVP I was attending. I delayed dealing with it for a few days I guess just hoping it would go away. You see I had high hopes for this. I would lose some weight and look much more better and feel better about seeing everyone again. Well that never did surface. The other thing about this reunion thing, probably everyone is married, has kids, has a life. When asked about my life I probably have 30 seconds or so worth of stuff to share and then nothing. Not that I am complaining as life has treated me well and I have much to be thankful for.

Well on Thanksgiving morning I contacted the group responsible for the reunion and I thought I had registered but I see I have not. I asked if it was still possible to go. Much to my surprise I heard back from two of the three members that day and the other member this morning all saying come on and you are more than welcome.

OH NO!!!

I was so sure that I was not going that I did not bring anything to wear and I just was not ready at all. Time for some shopping. Even though this would probably be somewhat dressy, I thought I would just go with something nice. I took my pants to the cleaners to get cleaned and pressed since I knew they would do a better job pressing than I would. I bought a couple of nice new soft warm sweaters. You see I love my sweaters and the ones I do have are getting kind of old. I needed to pick up a razor as I had forgot to bring one and I decided the bum look was out. I made a quick trip to get my hairs cut and make me beautiful, well as much as anyone can. In short I managed to pull it together.

I also started the batteries charging, cleaned off the memory cards so there would be plenty of room for old familiar smiling faces. One can always use a few happy memories and why not preserve them forever.

The anticipation is almost to much. There is only one day to go. Hopefully all will go well.

Marshall: What kinda clothes do you got now?
Joe Banks: Well, I got the kinda clothes I'm wearing.
Marshall: So you got no clothes. -- Joe versus the Volcano

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The day

Thanksgiving finally was here. Before heading off to my sisters it was time to finish the baking. A Macy’s parade later, a possible disaster averted and things cleaned up it was time to rush out the door and see if I could not make in just in time for dinner.

Turns out I was wrong about when I needed to be there so I was not only on time but also early. It was the beginning of some good luck. One can always use that.

For the most part dinner went real well and everyone had their fill. The families got along OK and the only casualty at dinner was the turkey. Poor Mr. Turkey, may he rest in piece.

We retired to the great room not really sure what to do. The TV was on and the channel selector was in the hands of my niece. If she had her way it would have been the Disney channel all the day. Well that was not to be. After a search I get the feeling a large roulette table was spun. Place your bets everyone. The wheel spun round and round, where it stops no one knows and as it came to a rest it stopped on ... red ... oh, my mean the Animal Planet. I knew this channel existed but I really had not watched it before. What was on but a beauty pageant for Miss dog?

Despite how stupid this was (mostly dumb talent, a silly evening wear competition, etc.) I guess most had fun. Some comments were made about how the outcome would end up based on how the typical beauty pageant goes. Our home dog was in the competition but she was not a shoe in by any means. The ugliest, oldest dog was doing pretty well pulling in the sympathy vote.

At least it was time to pick the final 5 and push on. The blonde dog made it. The black dog made it. Miss Michigan, the home dog, did not make it. The dog people must have felt sorry for made it.

A few more things including another talent competition and it was coming to a conclusion. I made a comment about if the winner was unable to fulfill her obligation the runner up ... yada, yada ... and sure enough, that was added. In the end an unsuspected on won. The sympathy vote came in runner up I believe.

Despite everything I guess most had fun. I do not like beauty pageants but I guess it was fun watching it be more or less made fun of.

Back to the kitchen for some desert, some talk, some coffee and the evening was over. Other than my brother and his wife not being able to be there because they were up north with her folks, the evening was a success. Now granted this is boring compared to most of what else I read out there but ... when you have holidays involved, boring can be a good thing.

"We thank God for our homes and our food and our safety in a new land. We thank God for the opportunity to create a new world for freedom and justice." -- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

I have a love/hate relationship with snow. If I have nothing I have to do then I love it. There is cross country and downhill skiing, sledding, tobogganing, snow ball fights, snow forts, ice castles and the list goes on. Also as a kid you can look forward to snow days, for that matter so can some adults with where they work. There are snow men to make; snow angles can be real fun too. Try catching a snow flake on you tongue. Everything looks fantastic with a nice pure white layer of undisturbed snow. But then ...

Then you have the treacherous roads, the cars in the ditch and in accidents, the terrible accidents where someone loses life, cars that will not start, frostbite, shoveling snow, heart attacks from doing same, slipping on the snow and ice, pipes that freeze, furnaces that will not start so you shiver while the temperature is 43 in your house.

As I get older I have less and less of a love affair with snow. I suppose I should I should stair out the window or even head off to the park and watch the kids play (if I do not get hauled off because someone thinks I am a dirty old man). That surely would recharge my SNOW batteries.
For now though I will just say, as I get ready to head to the folks for Thanksgiving ... why, oh why did the snow have to some so early? Luckily it looks like it has let up and there is actually sun. We will have a surprise appearance of 50s for the high on Monday. Maybe this little quick peek the mid west got of snow will be OK after all. I am just not ready for SNOW yet.

Happy Turkey day to everyone and stay warm!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Barman, the Sequel

One more installment about me before I move on.

I graduated from High School in 1975. Wasn’t I cute? Maybe yes, maybe no but I went down hill from there. I started college. I was going to be an Electrical Engineer. Part way through my first year I discovered I was going to need to take a computer class. I had always been fascinated with computers but really had not done much with them. One more or less trade school I was thinking of going to instead of college had a fascinating project they were doing. Take this huge room size computer filled with lots of tubes and convert it to this much smaller computer based on transistors and other circuits. That sounded like a dream but instead I ended up at a four year college.

The class was Fortran. I bought the book early and by the time I had the class in my second year I was about 150 pages into the book. I was so far ahead of the class it was crazy. We (there was someone else that seemed to be in the same boat in that class) must have drove the instructor crazy. On one occasion he just said “let’s walk before we run” because we had asked a question that was way beyond where we were at in the class. It was kind of tough being in the class because some of what was being taught was so wrong from what was coming. At one point the teacher had his revenge on me and my then friend. The test said to write a program to count from 1 to 10. Piece of cake and we both did it in our own way. We were marked wrong. When we approached the teacher separately he said we did not print out our results (1, 2, 3...). We both said he did not ask us to do that. It stood as being wrong. If I needed the points from that question I would have went over his head but it was not worth it and it did not make a difference. None the less, the teacher was wrong.

Well I was hooked and changed my major. I hung around the computer labs a lot and got to know the staff. Eventually that led to my first job in computers for an outside firm. Funny thing is, indirectly, that led me to meet one of my two best friends. I had already met my one best friend, L, (although I did not know it at the time) in freshman year at a different college. Two High School friends went there so I was visiting a lot. Well I got to know her real well and, luckily, developed a crush on her room mate. I say luckily only because it made things so much easier. Well I met my other best friend P, toward the end of the freshman year and mainly in the second year at various parties I went to and just hanging out. We also hung out a lot together in the computer labs on campus. It turns out P liked L and in the end we all became good friends but I did not really realize where this all was going. P and L got married in 1980 and still are doing very well 25 years and 3 kids later. It was awkward for me for a little while but it has been nice. I feel comfortable with them individually or together. I don’t see that ever changing.

Wow, I was talking about computers. Well I never did end up with a degree but I learned a lot about computers and various languages that has really helped me in my field. I am doing OK now, no complaints.

A quick note since I included the then and now pictures. I was near sighted for about as long as I could remember. I wore some really geeky glasses especially this one pair I remember from when I was 9. The ones above at least I really liked. Anyway, several years ago I has LASIK performed and now one eye sees almost 20/20 and the other is a little blurry but not to bad. I am, however, fighting wearing reading glasses but I do need them. Where was I ...

Well it was the 70s and I listened to a lot of music from that era and still do. Those were very happy times. I was not a fan of disco but I did end up dancing on a lighted dance floor. Well if you can call what I do dancing. I have always felt so awkward when I try to dance. I got to go to a few shows including Joe Jackson in a fairly small theater before he became big. I also listened to several Festival of Prayer and Hymn at EMU which between that and church I strengthened my voice. Let me apologize now should I ever be beside you and I decide to cut lose. I thought I did OK as several have said I did but my one friend who did sing for a living once told me I could not sing when we were at a karaoke. Well maybe he is more of an acquaintance. LOL

I have always been interested in science and science fiction. My poor sister had to put up with countless Star Trek TOG reruns. I have had a lot of other things that were interesting like the Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, H R Puff and Stuff, Davy and Goliath, Sherman and the Way Back Machine, The Time Tunnel, B rated sci-fi on Saturday afternoons and much more. Through it all however my love of science fiction remains very strong. And yes, if asked, I do believe in UFOs although I have not had any experiences but a friend did.

Well let me end this installment of TMI with my experience I mentioned in High School. I had a crush on someone, T. She was awesome. She was very cute, great personality, very smart, involved in a bunch of the same things I was. In short, what more could I want. Well I really did not know how to approach T. as I would get all, borrowing from Frosty the Snow Man, wishy washy inside. I finally decided what I should do is write her a letter. No groaning from the peanut gallery! I did and it was a masterpiece. Many pages hand written front and back in ink. I told her everything but somehow I just could not put the words together right. I put a stamp on it and mailed it off. Well things changed a little although I was not completely sure they had. We (along with the entire band) went to a roller skate party and I decided I was going to make my move. When they had a couples skate song I was going to ask her to skate.

The song came and T. was off to the bathroom and her friends told me she did not want to skate with me. Not only that they also said T. was going with someone else. I sure wish she would have handled it differently. Needlessly to say I was crushed. But instead of getting up and shaking it off I sat and said to myself how he had everything and I had nothing. I did a superb job of beating myself up I might add. Why is it then that I found something I was good at? I have really let that affect me ever since. For the longest time I did not realize it but it is true. Again I am doing better about it but ouch. I have since been told by several people that I smother people. The last person I tried to see that certainly was true. It was a long distance relationship and it probably is for the best but she just disappeared all together after I came on strong. A while later I finally heard from her and she was married. Now she is doing well and has two kids. She is still a super person, I just wish I had handled things a little differently. Who knows where things may have went?

Enough embarasing myself. Until I blog again, Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

There was love all around, but I never heard it singing. No I never heard it at all, Till There Was You.” -- Music Man

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Look who’s getting married

Before I begin let me say I have a few blogs I want to post about me. I am really not a me person and this is actually a bit of a challenge for me to do this. I tend not to be this open. I thought it would be nice to do if someone ever was interested in finding out a little something about me in the future.

Last week was a fun week. A friend I have been corresponding with became engaged. I am so happy for them and I have been ever since I figured it out.

We have gotten to know each other fairly well. In a lot of ways we are very much alike. In other ways we are totally different. One thing we do have in common is we tend to read between the lines. We tend to over think things. We see things coming that a lot of others may not see. Well she decided to have some fun with that. After being gone for an unusually long period of time she wrote a message. She ended it in a funny comment saying she had did something she did not think she would ever do. Her hint was it can give you cold feet. What was that all about? I made some wise ass comments back to her and hit send. At that very moment I knew what it was. Well almost knew.

A while back I had asked if she thought she would marry her bf. They had been going together for a while. The problem is she had a not so fun experience in the past. She said a lot of her friends bugged her about that. Well I closed that aspect of things because I was determined I was not going to be one of those people. I had just asked her not all that long ago either and that is what threw me off.

Well I decided she had gotten married. I could not believe it. I was so happy for her. I was about to type yet another reply when I received a message. It talked about how they were over families house and how her bf had a lot to talk to her sisters about. That was it. As far as I was concerned it was confirmed. I received one more email.

It had a fun little quiz. At the end of the quiz it confirmed it only it was a date, more or less, and an engagement in the form of questions of course. So I was off a little but OMG. I was bouncing off the walls when I sent the next email entitle “I am going to burst...”. Unfortunately I did not hear back from her that night. It was not for almost a full day before I had it confirmed with “BINGO”. Eventually I calmed down and I found out a little bit more about the details but now I am so happy for them. Of course now her fiancé must think I am an absolute loon. I am sure. Well I did send a couple of cute pictures including one he enjoyed so maybe he doesn’t think I am completely insane. Either way, a very good friend is getting married. I am so happy for them. Good people deserve good things to happen to them. It is great to see that actually happens.

Now you know my high point of my last week.

“And now you know ... the rest of the story. Good Day."” -- Paul Harvey

Monday, November 21, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving ... A Little Early

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States. Canada celebrates something very simular only they celebrate on the second Monday in October. Note note everyone agrees with this description of what happened. Please just take this blog in the spirit it was inended. Here is a short description of Thanksgiving in the USA:


Thanksgiving is a holiday in the USA, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Normally, the Americans eat turkey on this day.

The First Thanksgiving

The pilgrims invited their two key Indian helpers, Squanto, Samoset, plus Chief Massasoit, to share in their Thanksgiving since they had been so instrumental in the pilgrims´ successes that summer. The Indians brought their families, numbering over 90 people. The pilgrims were overwhelmed, and didn´t have enough food, so the Indians brought along their own supplies for the feast. The Wampanoags brought turkey, deer, berries, squash, cornbread, and beans - things that they'd farmed and that they'd shown the Pilgrims how to care for.

Now on Thanksgiving, people eat Turkey still, and the football game is another thing people like.

Note there are those that would dissagree about the true origins of Thanksgiving and what actually occured on the day in question. I realise that but I am hoping we can just enjoy this for what it is worth.


In an effort to try and make this blog a little more fun I am enclosing two popular deserts. Everyone I have ever made these for just love them. Ejoy ...


Source: Eileen Gioia
Categories: Desert
WW Points:

• 1 quart blueberries
• large can crushed pineapples
• 1 box yellow cake mix
• 2 sticks butter
In a 9x13 glass pan layer: quart of berries, Large can crushed pineapple (drain a little), 1 box yellow cake mix (just the dry mix outta the box), two sticks melted butter.
Bake on 350 for 45 minutes. Best served warm with ice cream or cool whip. For a change use cherries in place of blueberries.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Source: Detroit News - Sunday Magazine - 11/12/2000
Categories: Bread
Servings: 72
WW Points: 2

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
15 ounces Libby's Pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup orange juice
1 cup cranberries -- Sweetened, dried, fresh or frozen

1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
2. COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil and orange juice in a large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.
3. BAKE for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
5. PREPARE as above. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes.
7. PREPARE as above. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
Per serving: 85 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (35% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 10mg Cholesterol; 83mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

I used fresh cranberries and 8 x 4-inch pans. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook. Make sure you check with the pick.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Who is Barman

I am not even completely sure who I am so this might be interesting. I will try and stay away from the boring parts and see where this goes.

First the name. My initials are BAR and on a prior job a coworker first branded me with BAR and then eventually BARMAN. It must have stuck as that was almost 20 years ago and I am called Barman more than I am called Bryan except around the family.

Born, raised and always lived in Michigan. I don't get around that much. I have only been in 19 of the 50 states, some only to drive through like Mississippi. Well technically I parked in a parking lot over night and drove through Mississippi but the net result is the same. I have, however, been to Canada on many occasions and to Europe as a teen with the High School band. We toured Switzerland, Germany, Amsterdam primarily with a side trip into France. I have to go back some day. My Germany experience was not pretty and I know Germany is much better than that. Besides I have an Online friend that says I need to visit them.

I was born within 1 mile of Canada and spent more than half my life nearby. I hold a special place for Canada and Hockey and Curling and ... I did manage to Curl for two years if you want to call what I did Curling. I still carry my membership card to The Detroit Curling Club with me for some reason. There really is a lot more to the sport than you think and yes it is a sport. While we are at it with sports, I also love volleyball, racquetball, and walleyball. I am afraid I am no sports jock but I do enjoy my sports none the less.

I started band part way through Eighth grade and was stuck with the French Horn. I played all the way through High School. I was 4th chair so I was stuck with a lot of off beats and very little melody but I still learned a great love of music during that time. Even though I did not enjoy carrying the French Horn, I now have a deep love for the instrument. It is amazing what can be done with it. I had many fun times in band, at band camp, at Band-A-Rama, concerts, marching in parades, football half time showes and more. Some things I could have done without like all the senior guys getting kicked out of band camp and also the dreaded solo exams. My directory, James Skurra, has since retired and now directs the Downriver Community Band among other things.

I am single or as I put it "terminally single." I had an incident happen in High School that has marred me and I guess infuenced me. I should just get over it. I have been in relationships but none of them have been all that serious and, about 10 years ago, I stopped looking. Well I think it is more than time to jump in and see what is out there once again. I think my worst problem is a lack of self esteem. I am doing better in that category. How can I expect someone to love me if I don't love me? I am also shy although you might not know it by reading what things I have written. I am learning to be a little bit more outgoing but there will always be the shy part of me there. I am more of a home body than an adventurer although I do enjoy a good adventure. I love to try most things once, given the opportunity but I do not always make the opportunity to begin with. I have always had a problem with my weight and at the moment am very heavy but I am starting a diet and exercise program to do something about it.

I am a very easy going guy. I tend to go along with most things but on occasion will stand up and fight for what is important to me. I have a very strong moral system when it comes to me and how I judge myself. I make most things very black and white even though that is possible all the time. I believe in marriage, should I ever get there, as being forever. I believe in being kind and caring and honest with people. I try to look out for other peoples feelings. If possible I like to be the peace maker, the one that smooths things over, calms things down. I am a behind the scenes type of person rather then someone that has to be in the spotlight. I am that person in the background no one ever sees. I like to do for others rather than have done for me. I have been told I hug like a bear. I don't have a ton of friends but the ones I do are very dear to me although I do have a bunch of acquaintances. I would do just about anything for a friend. I have a devious side that no one suspects until it is to late and even then some people do not believe it. I analyze things deeply and get more out of things than most people. Sometimes that leads me heading off on a wrong tangent. I am very loyal to people and rarely say anything bad about anyone. I like to look for the good in everything. I guess in a lot of ways I am like a puppy dog.

I work in the computer field developing software systems although I did spend three and a half years working at a galvanizing plant. I have been earning a living with computers for 27 years now. For a while I was three and a half years and out on jobs, then I managed to go over 6 years on the same job and now I have been at the same place for 17 years. I was fired twice in my carrer. Once was as a stock boy at a party store. They were new owners and I was hired by the previous owners. I was doing a job I always did in the past with the old owners which meant I did not have the beer coolers as stocked as they should have been. They hired me back but still that was crushing. I also was fired from a computer job for I believe no good reasons. That was a big blow but with the help of friends I made it through it and am a stronger person for it.

Well this is getting way to long and I think it is a good start. Maybe I will come back and add some more in a future blog.

Oh, there is one more thing you should know about me. I am terrible when it comes to spelling and grammar. I will try and do what I can to watch that but if that sort of thing really annoys you, you may want to bail out now.

"A capitol T and the rymes with P and that stands for Pool" -- The Music Man

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A new begining

Blogs, what an interesting thing. I am a late comer to this and IM and much more I am afraid. Not that I am not computer savvy but I guess I am just behind the times. I have been earning a living with computer for going on 30 years. Trying to keep up with the latest but somehow I have let this just slip me by. So time to jump in and see what happens.

It has been wild seeing all that people are willing to share. Will that be me too? Will anyone even care? I think I will kind of treat this as my own little journal for me. If nothing else, maybe I can keep myself amused.

This past week I had my first full and fun experience with IM outside of what we use at work. It went much smoother than the first experience. When I lost my IM cherry I was so clumsy. She sent me a message asking to join me. What should I do? I fumbled around trying how to even talk. This should not be that hard to do. I finally managed to welcome her only to quickly close my IM program and not be sure how to get her back.

What a nerd. How could I be so clumsy? I felt like I knew absolutely nothing and could do nothing right. And now how did this look to the person who had popped my IM cherry? I eventually sent her and email explaining what had happened, said a few other things and wished her well. We did connect up in IM at one point later on and exchange a few pleasant comments but they almost seemed awkward. Things would never be the same again.

This past week was much more interesting. I have made a new online friend. That has been fun when my ISP lets me come play. It is killing me how terrible my access has been but that is a different story. Anyway I think I am going to like this new online world.

One last thing, why am I doing this in the first place. At first it was because of Myssa. She is a very interesting person and when I found out she had a blog I figured I have very little idea what that was but why not give it a chance. So I quickly signed up with every intention of starting a blog. That was 2 months ago.

In my time here I have had fun finding several very interesting people here by way of their blogs. I already knew Top Cat. I really should visit him more as he is a very interesting person that I thought I knew somewhat and I keep finding out so much more about. There is Lara, what a great Lady. I get the feeling she is someone I could be friends with in real life but I would never be able to keep up with. What a fun and witty person. That eventually got me heading in the direction of Buddha Girl and Hot Chick, two teachers that are teaching me there is so much more to being a teacher than I ever realized. My thoughts of what a teacher is come from my High School days so many years back. I have learned, like everyone else, teaching is not who they are but what they do.

I have bumped into several other blogs that I need to start reading and sharing more often but the last one is perhaps the most interesting one. oldHippiChick. First her blog is a trip and I was not even sure I wanted to post at first. I finally got past that and that is where things changed. She looked up my blog and found out there was nothing to be found. Well this attempt at a blog by me is what I promised I would do HippiChick. Will anyone ever come visit? If they should stumble on here will they stay? At this point, I guess it does not matter. I guess we will just take this thing one story at a time and see what we see.

Well that is a start. I have a couple of other ideas of what I would like to write about. Maybe once my favorite football game is over, University of Michigan vs Ohio State, I can put together my next story, who is this person known as Barman?

I leave you with this from the Life of Brian. "Always look on the bright, side of life."

Friday, November 18, 2005

About meme

For now this page is under construction.

I thought it might be nice to gather up all the posts about me, including all the meme's into one neat little list. I will try and keep this list up to date.

First I posted a few things about me. Here they are:

Footloose (October 20, 2006)
This One Time ... At Band Camp (October 3, 2006)
Crisis in the Making (September 26, 2006)
I Remember (September 11, 2006)
A Day in the Life of a Starving Programmer (August 30, 2006)
Fear (August 20, 2006)
The WABAC Machine (August 15, 2006)
Music in My Life (August 2, 2006)
Bryan's Bad Vinyl (July 31, 2006)
Honorary Canadian (July 1, 2006)
Favorite Color or is that Colour? (June 30, 2006)
What I Did on My Summer Vacation (June 25, 2006)
Weather Central here... (June 21, 2006)
How Much Have You Traveled? (June 13, 2006)
Terminaly Single (May 25, 2006)
Mid Life Crisis? Doubtfull... (April 21, 2006)
These are a Few of My Favorite Things (April 19, 2006)
Oh the Horor of it (April 8, 2006)
One of My Passions (March 7, 2006)

I have also done several meme posts. Here they are:

More Meme (October 18, 2006)
Long meme (October 18, 2006)
Your 2005 Song Is (April 16, 2006)
Only Answer Yes or No (April 16, 2006)
Chinese Symbol (March 1, 2006)

My Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt entries:

Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Safe .... (October 28, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Dreaming .... (October 21, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Lost .... (October 14, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Sleep .... (October 7, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Comfy .... (September 30, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Eyes .... (September 23, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Looking Up .... (September 16, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Food .... (September 9, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Blue .... (August 26, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Youth .... (August 19, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Funny .... (August 12, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Money .... (August 5, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Pets .... (July 29, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Action .... (July 22, 2006)
Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Doors .... (July 15, 2006)