Bryan's Little Corner

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Game Boards

Edit: Queenie asked "what is cornhole?" so I thought I would edit this post and add a couple of links from prior posts. Look here for the post that explains the game and here for a little more information.

Here are my cornhole boards I promised to post about. One of them needs much more work on the painting so I am not showing it. Another needs a little more work on the painting so I left it taped up. Lets start with that. This board will eventually be my Detroit Red Wing board. It does not look like much with the protective tape on.

Next we have the Ohio State board. We start out the tape on. Since I am not the neatest painter and since I wanted as crisp lines as I could get I elected to tape the board and then paint overlapping the tape. For the most part it turned out not to bad. Oh and stare if you like at my book shelves in the next few pictures. For the most part I have a bunch of shelf space full of a lot of technical mumbo jumbo (technical terms, don't try to use it unless you are a professional... LOL). The only even remotely interesting book is a Womans health book. First I am curious and when that happens I usually read about it somewhere. Second I had a friend wanting to talk about a few things. Why me I will never know but to be able to talk a little more intelligently... I now own a Womans health book. Oh boy! I would go on about a few other interesting books I have but that would be off topic and we can't have that.

This next shot shows the rounded corners. I am rather proud of that. I did not see plans mention doing that anywhere. I think it gives a nice touch to it. That and it is my first time using a router other than something to hook up a computer network.

Oh and before I go further a simple disclaimer. I am not a woodworker. I am so so with working with my hands. I do not put in the effort to make things perfect. These boards have flaws and anyone looking at them will notice it but it is not real super embarrassing. In saying that however I believe this is build fairly strong and should hold up well. They should be good for many years of playing. Shall we continue...

This shows the fold up legs under the OSU game board.

And finally lets strip that tape off and show a view of the board with two of the cornhole bags on the board. Also you see a paper mock up of what the logo will look like only there will not be all that white around it and it will be in the proper Scarlet, Gray, Black and White Buckeye colors. As a matter of fact this will probably be a vinyl decal that I will need to apply to the board much like how SignGurl does her work day in and day out. I know I will be asking for tips or help, I hope you do not mind.

And finally the Green and White MSU board and the board with two of the bags. Missing is the University of Michigan board that I will continue working on now that the others are more or less done for now.

There you have it. My cornhole game boards. They were more expensive than I would have liked but it is hard to find places that sell boards like this in Michigan. Now in Ohio you have to be careful or you may just trip over a board from all the places that make them. Why that is important is these boards are heavy. They are not the cheapest thing in the world to ship. Anyway I am still happy I made them as I have a sense of accomplishment and they will be the way I wanted them to be. I like to be just a little different and these fill that bill.

Meet Tim

OK, I have talked about them to much but let me do this one more time. Last Thursday as it turned out Tim Hortons, a Canadian coffee house/doughnuts/sandwiches and more chain came to the Lansing area. Two of the six Lansing are (and one in Jackson I believe) opened Thursday with the remaining stores opening before the end of the year. I think the store nearest me will open before Thanksgiving. They have big plans for the area with doubling within a year and possibly expanding to 30 or 40 stores being a possibility.

Well I have been twice since they opened and will go a few more times before I settle down. Are they super wonderful or something? Well I have always had good service there, the coffee is more the type coffee I drink rather than Starbucks. The food I have had has been great. Anyway moving on...

Here is a picture that is long over due. Back for my birthday G-Man gave me a short and some Tim Hortons coffee. Thank you so much Galen. Here you see the shirt and coffee picture with me and I tossed in an Ice Cappuccino container which was the first thing I purchased from one of the Lansing stores. Disclaimer here, the Ice Cap is a fake. I just put one of their bags in the cup so the writing on the cup might show up.

Now that I see the picture I so need to get a better picture of the tshirt. It is a Harley tshirt from who else but the G-Man. I would not expect anything else. Thanks again G-Man.

So there you have it, my Hortons addiction. I think what this will turn into a some point is me just getting coffee from them on a semi regular basis. It sure is nice to have a new choice.

Let me leave you with one little thing. Do you know what happened 69 years ago today? The original radio show airing of Orson Wells War of the World. You know, the won were Martians have landed and are taking over the world. The problem, people took at way to serious and were panicking all over the place. I just found out that it was not near as bad as Urban Legend had made it out to be. I heard that a town lost all it’s power just as the Martians were attacking on the radio show. Sounds like that is all just Urban Legend. Darn, I rather liked that story. Anyway, Happy Halloween everyone.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Going My Way?

This Saturday I thought I would test out my GPS. What better way to test it than a road trip.

I started out very early in the morning on Saturday (about 5 am) so naturally I needed to get me some coffee. First task, have the GPS find me a Tim Hortons.

Now to be fair, the GPS maps and Points of Interest only gets update about every 12 to 24 months. So it has no idea there our new Tim Hortons in my area. It does, however, know the address. I entered in the address and off I went.

I arrived safe and sound at the Tim Hortons and carried on the nicest conversation with a voice on the other end of the intercom system. It turns out the person was a manager from one of the Tim Hortons out in G-Mans neck of the woods. I wonder if he knows G-Man? I should have asked. Anyway that was wonderful. I found out a few things including the facts that the store opened on Thursday, not Friday and also that Friday the store did $5,000 worth of business. Something they have never seen before for an opening. I guess there was a pent up demand.

Well I walked (drove) away from Hortons with a Hot Pumpkin Spice Smoothie, a breakfast sandwich and a donut. I had not planned on the donut. I had thought about the sandwich but had decided against it. Silly me. Talk to the friendly voice on an intercom and look what I did.

Well I punched in the destination, Find me Crabby (aka Crabcake), and off I went. A little less than 4 hours and I was there.

We had a wonderful day (well I did at least, I hope they enjoyed the day) and I must say I was disappointed to have to leave. I would have loved to watch the football game (OSU vs Pen) but at least I got to listen to most of it on the way home. There was, however a problem.

During the day we went out for a nice little walk. I just happened to have my GPS in my pocket so I popped it out just being curios. I made a slight adjustment and told it I was walking. Dog gone if I did not forget I made that change. When I went to head home I pressed the nice little green band at the top of my unit that said “GO HOME.”

Calculating...calculating 10%...20%...40%...80%...
Calculating...calculating 10%...12%...32%...86%...
Calculating...calculating 15%...29%...68%...88%...

NO, I DID NOT BRING A MAP WITH ME. How can it be failing me so bad. I started moving in the general direction I needed to go and hoped it would work for me. Well finally it found a route and off I went in earnest.

But wait, something seemed strange. It had me on an unusual street. And then it had me make a right and a left and took me on another unusual street. I say unusual in that it was more like a neighborhood street. You know houses on both sides. I thought by now it should have me on a much more major road, but no.

So I pulled over and had a thought. Sure enough, it was set wrong. I should have know as earlier I saw the GPS saw walking on a street. WALKING? I thought I found a bug. Yep, I WAS THE BUG. Once I made another change it was able to easily plot me out a route. This time it was not taking me on side roads, 25 to 35 miles and hour. Now it had me on REAL ROADS. I wonder what was going through the GPS when it thought I was walking 40 miles an hour. I have walked 6 miles and hour but 40, never.

Oh I had one other fun thing on the way back. At one point it told me to turn left. I had no idea where it wanted me to turn so I turned to soon. I hear CALCULATING... and it is directing me through a neighborhood. Right, right, right... you moron. It did not say that last part but I think it really wanted to. You see that was about my third wrong turn all in the same area. Anyway this time I finally figured out what it wanted me to do and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

Well I guess the GPS works. Time to put it in the drawer and take it out when needed. Maybe next time I will know a little better what I am doing.

Anyway have an address for me to try my GPS on? LOL

Oh by the way, I actually was very impressed with the unit. Other than it seeming to want me to break the speed limit to get there when it predicted, it actually did very well. I shall have to remember to thank her next time I get her out (it speaks in a female British voice).

Friday, October 26, 2007

55Flash Fiction Friday

The day finally is here, guests are arriving
Everyone is cleverly dressed

The decorations up,
the snack bowls full,
the keg tapped
Tonight will be fun.

She worked hard to come up with a his and her costume
She stepped into her postage stamp costume, he into his tongue outfit

Lick me baby, Lick me.

Click on the 55 badge in my side bar for information about joining us and participating in the 55FlashFiction Friday . It is a lot of fun and gets easier every week you participate. Come join us...

What can I say, it is Halloween time of the year. I have been to several Halloween parties but have never thrown one. I thought it might be fun to explore that. I hope those of you that do celebrate Halloween have a wonderful weekend either this weekend or the next, whenever you choose to participate. Also enjoy the little tricker treaters on the day when they show up to your door.

Myself, my lights will be off, door closed, and I may not even be home. Where I am kids just never visit. I am by apartments that never seem to do Halloween and there just are not enough homes in a row where I am to be worth coming down my area. I think the most kids I have ever seen on Halloween is six and I have had several years where no one showed up. It just is not worth the hassle.

In a little bit I will upload a few, as of yet, un-taken pictures of my game boards. Two are more or less done minus the logos. I need to take the tape off and take the pictures. One I am going to paint a little more so the tape stays one. The fourth will start to be worked on again next week.

Today is the grand opening of Tim Hortons in my area. I have toyed with the idea of going to one of the two stores that open today but it will be so busy. We will see, it may still be in my cards.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Who Are You

I thought this song fit in pretty well with what I decided to post about. I always did like the song and most of what The Who did.

Who am I? Who are you? Who is anyone that you meet online? This week we saw a meltdown in blogland as someone accused a fellow blogger of being fake and they fought back. In the end one has to wonder why it was so important to prove they was not who they appeared to be? But to be fair one has to also wonder they did what they did too. I know, way to vague but... Well, maybe it is just because we all do that online.

What is that? Well, you just never know who is on the other end online. I mean take me for example. I am pretty much who I say I am but my name is not BARMAN. Although I do believe I have shared my name in the profile, well at least first name. I also pick and choose what to share. I mean do you really think I would share that I snore when I sleep outdoors and maybe even other times? Oh wait, I think I just did. But my point is there are a few things I have not shared about me. Nothing major like "hey everybody, I am an ax murderer." Just trivial think like I am not the neatest person in the world, stuff like that.

I have also modified a picture I posted of me twice. Once I played with this one feature called thinify. Another time I made some nice little edits to hide some blemishes. But other than that, the pictures I have posted of me are the real me.

But I guess what I am saying even though I have fairly straight forward, I still have not laid it all on the line. Close but not complete. The good news, I have been fortunate enough to meet about 10 bloggers and so far I can say that have been pretty much exactly what they say they are and none have been significantly different. Amazing. But still you need to be careful.

I think people that blog are a lot like people that use these online dating services. Haven't you heard some of the horror stories about people going on a blind date with someone from one of those dating services? Well I also know one person that eventually married and now lives in Germany with her online sweety.

My policy is to always trust someone until they prove to me I should not trust them. I am to trusting but you know what, I would rather go through life that way then the other way around. But still I am always cautious regardless. You just never know. People post pictures of someone else. They pretend they are someone else that they are not. And I am sure it going on even more than I realize.

Now sometimes this can be fun. I have known people to pretend they were someone else just for fun. They are not mean. They are just funny and sometimes even do really nice things for people too. But I have also known other people to that totally fooled everyone, even me. Now I did not see them do mean things but it sometimes just makes you wonder where it could be heading.

I guess where I was heading with this is do yourself a favor. Be careful with your online friends. There are a lot of cool people out there, heck I have a list "this long" *shows fake scroll* of people I would love to meet someday. But there are others that deceive and still others that are just mean. I guess that makes sense because don't you run into that in real life too?

Anyway I am making progress on my game boards. By Friday I should have three of them painted and ready except for the logos. The fourth one, University of Michigan, is giving me some troubles. Darn "Maze" color is just not covering much at all. It is showing my mistakes and we can't have that. I will see if I can not post pictures for Friday or Saturday.

Now everyone get along, remember to include a few bloggers in you thoughts and prayers. Right at the moment GAB is still waiting to have further testing further I believe. Of course we have Jillie and her family and friends and all those in Southern California who have that terrible wildfire constantly threatening. We have Cay, Jillies friend who I believe is battling cancer. Crabby and Manny with medical issues... gee, just everyone send happy thoughts to each other. It would be simpler that way. Happy HUMP day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

55Flash Fiction Friday

Sometimes people love me
Other times they despise me
Mostly people just ignore me
Last night people hung on my every word

I was center stage and all eyes were focused
Some were curious, others were in panic
Still others were ready to run and hide
For you see I am the local Weather person

Not my best 55 Flash Fiction Friday but I was inspired. Yesterday afternoon we were under a tornado watch (which I am a little pissed about) and we continued to have a very active evening in Mid Michigan. Super cells were coming up out of the South East all evening. Just when we could come off of a tornado watch we would come under another tornado warning that slipped back into a watch. I had my computer running tracking active radar and the storms in the area. I had the TV on to the local weather forecaster seeing what they were saying.

Luckily for me all we had was some rain, some thunder and a bit of wind. When I finally did decide to go to bed I noticed that the power did go out for a little while but it was not for all that long I do not think. Others were not so lucky. There were tornados spotted, several of them at least. With the light of day we will see what actually happened last night but the radar was seeing the classic hook you see when a tornado is forming. A local town, Williamston, was particularly hard hit. Trees are down and so are power lines. A gas line was ruptured. A semi-truck was blown off the Interstate. Schools are closed as the high school is being used as an emergency shelter and the Red Cross has set up a command post there.

I sure hope you had a much quieter night last night.

The above was a Flash Fiction 55. A group of us do them on Fridays. Won’t you join us. It really is fun. Click on the badge in my side bar to learn more. If you do post be sure to let Susie or G-man know so others can come and visit.

Oh by the way, up above I said I was a little pissed. You see I am part of the monitor network for the building I work in. Maybe I am a little weird but I really think when there is potential danger they should be alerting the monitors to the possible problems. I take my job seriously. I want to make sure people stay as safe as possible and a little warning really does go a long ways.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.


Thursday, October 18, 2007


I thought we could use a joke ... well at least I know I can. So here is something I received today.

As Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there
is freedom, in Water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have
demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the
year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli,(E. coli) -
bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer or
(tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go
through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health

Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to
drink Water and be full of shit.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information :
it is my duty as a public service advocate and also because of my deep
concern for your health.

"The difference between Genius and Stupidity is that there is a limit to Genius"
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"
"Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity"

Traffic Circles and GPS and Movies, oh my

OK, can I just say that Michigan is CRAZY? Today they opened a traffic circle they have been working on for about 2 months I believe. To bad, if it had opened one day sooner we could have had Lime come up and see it and drive on it (see here recap of her trip to texas here which included traffic circles). See a few nice pictures from the local new paper here.

Anyway here is the thing. They had this hour to hour and a half event planned. There were nice teams of horses pulling buckboards behind them with people piled in. There were a bunch of dignitaries everywhere. There were a bunch of people standing on the side of the road watching the "event". For heaven sakes people, this is a TRAFFIC CIRCLE. I mean I know traffic circles are not all that common in Michigan but for heaven sakes there is another one or two traffic circles on Michigan States campus not more than 15 to 20 minutes away. Now it looks nice but I think I would rather have seen the money and the effort concentrated elsewhere. Oh well. Hey Lime, if you are ever in mid Michigan some time do I have a traffic circle for you.

Today it arrived. I ordered a simple GPS. To be specific it is a Garmin Nuvi 250. Now I realized these things existed but they were kind of expensive and I did not think that were suppose to be all that good. Well things have changed. You can get a simple GPS for a bit over $100 and a not to bad simple unit (Nuvi 200) for about $250. Mine was a little more because it has not only maps of the contiguous 48 United States but it also includes all of North America. It has been a while since I have been to Canada but I would like to plan for that possibility.
I turned on the unit and almost immediately it ran out of power, figures. So I thought what can I do. I know, go see a movie and use the GPS unit to get me there. So I got to the car, mounted the unit and, without reading the manual, I was off. The first thing I did was ignore the unit. It said turn right in half a mile. Turn in 500 feet. Turn. I just kept driving on. Within about 3 or 4 seconds it had discovered I was being a jerk and ignored it so if said FINE, BE THAT WAY. It recalculated a new route and that one I did follow.

It was kind of fun watching the street names fly by. I had no idea what some of the streets were called until today. What it did not tell me is watch out for traffic. Don't speed past that police officer. Watch out for those kids. Stop for the red light. Yep, for something so smart it is pretty stupid.

So I "arrived" at the theater way ahead of time. I played with the unit a little bit then tucked it into a little cubbie hole and let it charge. To kill time I called my parents to let them know I stole their tape measure (oops), got the GPS unit, and a few other things. Then I walked into the theater. I went to see Mr Woodcock. Now I had no idea what I was going to see but this theater is fairly reasonably priced so I went anyway. It turns out the Billy Bob Thornton was in it. I like him. The movie was OK, possibly a 6 or a 7 out of 10, maybe a little more if anyone would like to bribe me.

Heading home I decided to be a real pain to the GPS unit. I decided instead of taking the semi highway, I would head down the back roads that more of less followed the river. It said turn right in 2 tenths of a mile, turn right, you moron, you were suppose to turn right. I turned left instead. A few seconds later it said OK jerk, be that way and turn left. Now go 3 1/2 miles and then turn right. Well guess what? The road was CLOSED TO THROUGH TRAFFIC. I can not catch a break.

Well in approaching the signs that said road closed, I saw another good size road I have never been on and decided to hang a right. A quick recalculate and the unit said proceed 1 mile and turn left. This time I listed to it. Then I got up to the road that I live somewhat near and ignored the unit once more. As far as I am concerned it made more sense to proceed a half mile and turn right. Recalculate and it said yep, go to the street a half mile ahead and turn right which I did. Then it said go forward a half mile and turn left then you have arrived.

When I got home I marked a favorite called Home that is where my house is located. I did some more playing with the unit and added a mark for Crabby's house and SignGurl's house and Top Cat's house. I had G-man's address somewhere but I have misplaced it. Oh and I looked up a few places to like Cheese Burger in Paradise (yummy) and a nice steak house and ... well I think I am going to love this thing.

Anyway for the $300 I paid (and no monthly fees), as long as it lasts for a while I will be happy with it. It sure is easy to use, it seems to be accurate and I think it will be useful once I get in a situation where I really need it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I really should post something

so let's see …

No one is safe. You heard me, no one is safe. Well at least no one in North America. I am in the process of purchasing a GPS unit. Now I am pretty good with directions but there are times when it would be nice to have help. Since a lot of my trips are solo that usually means ahead of time I have to become familiar with a map and a route ahead of time and hope nothing changes. Then I have to hope I can read the map which can be tricky when you are driving especially when you get in a busy area. I had this very thing happen this year, I was heading down to Kentucky, a place I know pretty good, but I was going to a motel and to a church that I was not sure where I was going. I was coming in last minute so I could not afford to make a mistake. Luckily my friend contacted me and more or less guided me in to where I needed to go. On that return trip I was heading a different route so I could visit Crabby and Mr Crabby. I had planned it out and was not too bad. I got a couple of hints from Bob and found my way. But leaving and heading for home I was on roads I have never been on and it was dark and impossible to see the map. Well I need to make another trip that the GPS will come in handy for once again so I finally broke down and purchased one. I should see it on Wednesday. Wow how the prices have come down. I think in the long run I am really going to like this doohickey.

My Dad's birthday was nice, kind of low key but nice. Cake and ice cream and pizza. My Sister and her family were not there but they had visited Friday. They were missed. After the birthday thing I roped my brother into helping me mark the game boards (yes I brought them with me to work on them). We got that done and enjoyed the rest of the day. After they left I dragged my Dad into working on the game boards too. We taped up the boards and I painted the boarders of the boards. Might I say I was shocked about the paint? I had to paint white, yellow and scarlet. Now the yellow covered pretty good. The white was so so but with a second coat should be OK. The red, the one that I thought would do so great; it was like I have used nail polish. I could really see what was under the red. This was a problem as I had pencil marks as a guide around the hold I cut in the board and I had been sloppy and got some white paint on the board I was trying to cover. When it dried I say a decent scarlet color everywhere but when it was over the top of the white it was like the red was on FIRE. So I have since sanded that down and put down a primer coat over that area. This is so much fun.

Oh and one more thing. My Dad ran over the game boards. Well actually he ran over one of them. He has Alzheimer's and can forget easy and sometimes not make a wise choice. The 4 game boards were on the floor in the garage and caused him to park in a slightly different spot. The next morning when he went to pull out, he turned his wheel and backed into the U of M game board. Now that was not to bad because all it did was run some paint off but when I yelled stop he only paused and kept going. He pushed the game out of the way and made his way out. I was not happy. If he would have just listened and stopped I would have been OK but no. Oh well, no permanent damage that a little paint and TLC can not repair but my poor board!!!

I just found out I had a possibility to meet up with the wonderful Lime. Shucks, I missed out. I am sure it would have been wonderful. Oh well, maybe there will be a next time. I sure hope so.

Editors note: Opps, forgot one more thing you may actually find interesting. When I was painting my game boards my cell phone fell out of my pocket. My Dad grabbed it and cleaned off the paint for me. But then he decided to put it on top of his car so it would not be forgotten. I juts knew it was a bad idea. My Sister lost a cell phone that way before. Anyway fast forward to Sunday. We went out to the garage and he promptly ran over my one board (you knew that from above) but here is the rest of the story. My phone was still on the car. We hopped into the card and headed off to see a movie, the game plan. 2 hours later the movie was over (which I really liked except for the tear jurk effect) and we were out front of the theature talking. Something was said and I knew right away that my cell phone was on the car and probably had been lost or even broken. We went over to the car and there it was tucked neatly in the gutter of the roof. So not only did it not fall off in the 2 to 3 mile drive to get to the theature but it was not stolen sitting on top of the car for 2 hours. AMAZING. I got lucky for sure.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cornhole Progress

Since I planned to have these cornhole games done for Labor Day (first week of September) and since I failed miserably with all that I have been up to lately, I thought I would share where they are now.

Yesterday was an insane day. I came home for lunch and drilled recess holes for the carriage blots that will eventually hold the legs on. You can see one of those holes in the first picture. As with everything it seemed easy on the surface but there were complications until I came up with an idea and yea, got it done and back into work.

Then after work as soon as I got home I dressed up for the task at hand and started cleaning the garage to allow me access room to work. Then set up the saw horses and boards to lay out the work. After that I primed and primed and primed. I primed the bottom of the boards. I primed the legs, I primed the top of the boards. I primed it all again. I did a little sanding where I saw rough spots. I even primed the carriage bolt holes. In the end I took a couple of small breaks and 5 hours later I was DONE with the priming.

So am I doing a perfect job. You would think so with how long it has been taking. I think I am doing pretty good but you know what... I am doing pretty good but I know I am not a wood working genius. Take for instance this 6 inch hole. It took tons to get it done and I made it a whole lot better than when I first cut it. You will notice, however, there still are flaws.

Here are the legs with the first coat of white. There will be one or two more coats before I am done with it. How do you like the rack for drying the legs. Kinda looks like a garage door track. That might be because it is.

Well I know that was not exciting but at least I am making progress again. Since I will be out this weekend celebrating my Dad's birthday I will need to finish these boards up next week. Well except for the logos that I will add over the winter. I think I have figured out how to do 3 of the 4 logos. Ohio State however is much more complicated. I need an artist so bad!

I hope to have an update toward the end of next week. Now you know how boring my life really is.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Desktop

I was tagged by Roxi (as were several others). This tag was to show your desktop. Now I am going to accept that challenge only with a little modification. It turns out Little Wing did this same thing a little while ago and one of her people commented (who is much smarter than me) it was a security risk to show your desktop.

Instead what I am going to do is show you the picture I am currently using as my desktop.

This picture comes from Jillie (hope you do not mind). It is so Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota ish in the fall. I love the fall and I love the way my state (and the others I mentioned) look although I believe this must be Wisconsin, that state that Jillie hailed from. It is in my blood. The only problem with this picture is it is to strong for the backdrop so I am thinking of making it somewhat see through with white underneath to lighten it.

Oh and a bonus, if I do not put up a Halloween background (I have this crude black cat) then this is what my next backdrop will be. That or a real nice rainbow a friend from Minnesota sent me (Top Cat, remember Sweetness)

The above picture is possibly my only picture I have from the Michigan blogger get together last year. That is Roxi front and center with Jon (from Colorado) on the left and most likely me on the right. Wow, I had no idea I was in the picture. All eyes were on Roxi. Can you blame me for missing who else was in the picture?

Now the description. My computer is set to 1024 x 768. With the space that affords me I have about a bajillion icons on my desktop. They are for the most part all around the edges so I can see my desktop picture. There are icons to launch programs. There are folders with pictures and more pictures in them. There are pictures on my desktop. There are programs that I really should move somewhere else on my desktop. Yep, I work with a lot of clutter but for the most part I know where things are. Well that is my desktop.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Happy Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone that might happen by from Canada. I always forget until well after this holiday is over that you celebrate this holiday over a month sooner than we do here in the states.

I looked around a little and found a nice picture and a little bit about the holiday. Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks at the conclusion of the harvest season. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday, except in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. A day of general thanks for one's blessings.

This is from Wikipedia

Traditional celebration

In Canada, Thanksgiving is a three-day weekend (although some provinces observe a four day weekend, Friday–Monday). Traditional Thanksgiving meals prominently feature turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, though Canada's multicultural heritage has seen many families infuse this traditional meal with elements of their traditional ethnic foods.

As a liturgical festival, the Canadian Thanksgiving corresponds to the European harvest festival, during which churches are adorned with cornucopias, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves and other harvest bounty. English and other European harvest hymns are customarily sung on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, along with scriptural lections derived from biblical stories relating to the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot.

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday occurs on a Monday, Canadian families might eat their Thanksgiving meal on any day of the three day weekend. The holiday can also be a time for weekend getaways for couples to observe the autumn leaves, spend one last weekend at their summer homes, or participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and hunting.

History of Thanksgiving in Canada

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been futilely attempting to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did, however, establish a settlement in Canada. In the year 1578, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This event is widely considered to be the first Canadian Thanksgiving, and the first official Thanksgiving to occur in North America. More settlers arrived and continued the ceremonial tradition initiated by Frobisher, who was eventually knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him — Frobisher Bay now known as Iqaluit.

It should be noted that the 1578 ceremony was not the first Thanksgiving as defined by First Nations tradition. Long before the time of Martin Frobisher, it was traditional in many First Nations cultures to offer an official giving of thanks during autumnal gatherings. In Haudenosaunee culture, Thanksgiving is a prayer recited to honor "the three sisters" (i.e., beans, corn, and squash) during the fall harvest.



Starting in 1971 the United States celebrates Columbus Day on the same day that Canada celebrates Thanksgiving. The actual day is October 12, this coming Friday but it was officially changed to be observed as the second Monday in October. I have a hard time forgetting that day as it also happens to be my Dad’s birthday. No the picture above is not my Dad, it is Christopher Columbus.

Columbus Day is suppose to be a celebration of Columbus discovering the Americas although others from the east had already been here. There is a lot of controversy over Columbus Day. The following was lifted from wikipedia

Opposition to Columbus Day

Opposition to the holiday cites the fact that Columbus and many of the conquistador followers treated the American Indians with great cruelty. Columbus directly brought about the demise of many Taino (Arawak) Indians on the island of Hispaniola, and the arrival of the Europeans indirectly slew many indigenous peoples by bringing diseases previously unknown in the New World. An estimated 85% of the Native American population was wiped out within 150 years of Columbus's arrival in America, due largely to diseases such as smallpox, which were both accidentally and deliberately spread among Native American populations. Additionally, war and the seizing of land and material wealth by European colonists also contributed to the decline of the indigenous populations in American.

Columbus Day is not celebrated in the state of Minnesota. However, some city offices in Minneapolis were closed in 2006, as well as libraries across the Twin Cities. In the state of South Dakota, the day is officially a state holiday known as "Native American Day", not Columbus Day. Columbus Day is not a legal holiday in Nevada, but it is a day of observance. Schools and state, city and county government offices are open for business on Columbus Day.

In the summer of 1990, 350 Native Americans, representatives from all over the hemisphere, met in Quito, Ecuador, at the first intercontinental gathering of indigenous people in the Americas, to mobilize against the quincentennial celebration of Columbus Day. The following summer, in Davis, California, over a hundred Native Americans gathered for a follow-up meeting to the Quito conference. They declared October 12th, 1992, International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People.

The largest ecumenical body in the United States, the National Council of Churches, called on Christians to refrain from celebrating the Columbus quincentennial, saying, "What represented newness of freedom, hope, and opportunity for some was the occasion for oppression, degradation and genocide for others."


Isn’t this fun. I actually learned a little gathering this all up. Well happy celebrations to any out there that are celebrating. Gee, I was born less than a mile away from Canada on Canada Day. That should mean I am entitled to celebrate Thanksgiving too, shouldn’t it? I best start cooking! Actually maybe I will get a small turkey and toss it in my crock pot. They turn out so good when you let them cook all day.

Editors Note: I forgot, Monday is also Manny's Birthday. Happy Birthday Manny. Glad you are still with us to celebrate another year of living. Now lets light up those candles and get this party started! I found this birthday cake out there. Not your traditional cake but it goes well with the Canadian Thanksgiving, don't you think?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

55Flash Fiction Friday

Gotta pee
Gotta pee

Time to get my owner up
so I can PEE and then get fed

Make a little noise
nudge him while he sleeps
nothing works
He is dead to the world.

Ah there is my break
I see skin on his back
Wet cold nose to his back
He’s finally up

Ah the life of a dog. It starts in the morning when they have to fend for themselves to get outside to go relieve themselves. Then of course it is time to eat. Then time to kick the owner out of bed so I can spend all day sleeping. Then at night time for more food (I hope) water and of course going outside at least 10 times. Chase the cat, chew the bone, go see the owner and let them know we love them with a little gas. Yep, it is a very tough life.

Can we go for a walk or maybe a ride in the car?

If you would like to try a flash 55 they are real easy. Try and keep it to 55 words or close to that. Typically it should be fiction but I have bent that a few times. Once you have posted you 55 then slip on over and let Susie know so she can gather the sang so every one can come visit. The badge on my side bar that says 55Flash Fiction Friday will link you to a prior post of Susie about the 55. Also on my side bar is the like to her site. I believe it is Susies is the Boss. Look for the carrot next to her name. That is it. Enjoy and take the time to visit some others that are doing the 55. There are some really great writers out there. Go on, give it a try.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Junk Mail

As a novelty of
journalism school
the student's he's seen
expanding their circle
about the way they
and it is a ray of hope.

Say what? The above are some of the junk mail subject lines that I have received over the last few days. I generally just pitch them out when I receive them but I thought I would share. Does anyone really expect people to read that email? I mean they could do like some of the other emails I get do. About the request; Here is the information you ask for; etc.

I think I will continue to play with me email titles and maybe I can put together a rather off 55Flash sometime. That would be fun. Oh man, this could be hard. The about is only 24 words. Maybe I can include the one offering me to by Adobe Photoshop Creative sweet for like $100 or something. That subject has lots of words but they are not as much fun. Oh well, I am going to have to save up subject lines.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Help Me

The other day I was minding my own business and totally did not realize what was happening. It actually started many, many month ago. I remember it well.

I thought it would be nice to be able to make some salsa and other things. That meant I would have to chop up a bunch of ingredients. I had been thinking about getting a small easy to clean electric chopper to do such chores. I did some research which I normally do and decided to get a 3 cup Kitchen-Aid chopper.

You will notice I opted for the red version of the small appliance. I love red. If you check my wardrobe you will see a ton of red things. As a matter of fact I stopped buying things in red because, by now, I probably would have nothing but red clothing… well except for underwear.

So that was OK, no problems yet. But it was what happened over the weekend that concerned me. I was working some marathon hours at work and I thought it would be nice to bring something in for the other people that were working as many or even more hours than I was. Day one I brought in some junk food and a cake as it was the boss's birthday. Now day two I thought it would be nice to bring something in that was a little healthier. I got together several vegetables and made a veggie tray complete with dip. One of the vegetables was several cucumbers. Now I needed to peal these cucumbers and I have been tired of the old peeler I bought probably almost 19 years ago so I thought a newer, nicer one was in order.

I made a trip out and looked around. What I saw was a Kitchen-Aid peeler. Why do I need a name brand peeler for heaven sakes? In the end I did go with the peeler and, of course it is red too.

That is when it hit me. I am slowly, ever so slowly, being snuck up on by a hoard of red Kitchen-Aid tools. What is next? A Whisk, an Ice Cream Scoop, a Can Opener, an Electric Can Opener, a Coffee Grinder, a Toaster, a Blender or maybe the ultimate, a Kitchen-Aid® Professional 600™ Series 6-Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixer, all red of course. Help, I am being over run by Kitchen-Aid. Help Me. Of course if that is the worst of my worried than I am doing A-OK.