Bryan's Little Corner

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Laser Tag aka Kill Barman

You didn’t have to tell me twice. I was out of the office on Friday moments after quitting time. I had a trek to go to try and make the Detroit area by 7:00 PM last Friday. You never know what rush hours will be like in Detroit.

It all payed off as I made my nieces basketball game she was cheering at. The boys looked good but where just out classed but not the cheerleaders. With no stunting it was still job well done. Of course my eyes tried to wander a little as the pom pom dance squad was sitting with us. Well that was until I told myself they were in HIGH SCHOOL.

We went home, watched a movie and called it a night to get charged up for Saturday. As is usual the day started out on fire. Another game to cheer, home for a quick bite to eat and do some homework (hers, not mine), and off to a basketball game which they killed them won. No baskets for my niece but she still did well.

Off to the highlight of the night, laser tag. I should have known better. Anyone that watched the original Star Trek knows that it was always the crew that wore the red shirt that would be killed off, never the blue or the gold shirts. Well I wore a dark red shirt. What was I thinking? I should have known that the night was not going to go well.

We showed up at the place to play the games and found something very interesting. The place was the same place that I mentioned below where we played Whirlyball. I guess Whirlyball was out and laser tag was in. Some things never change however. The Whirlyball court did not work very well so it took a lot of the fun out of the night. Well guess what, the laser tag had it’s problems too. My first game my equipment was working well I guess but the second game my gun only worked a little over half the time. Anyway lets get started, shall we?

We were lead into this area where we were handed our life jacket vest. It went on easy enough and had our laser gun clipped to it. During the whole time this was happening our eyes were being allowed to adjust to the dark. They then activated our vest and off we went into the area for our 15 minute game. It was not long before I saw just how bad the night was going to go. I felt my vest vibrate away.

Now vibrating may sound like a good thing but I was hit over 50 times in that 15 minutes. It seemed like my vest never stopped vibrating. I have no idea how I was getting shot half the time. I did find out after the first game that there were some targets that, if they were hit, they act like grenades and kill off everyone on the first floor or second floor depending on which targets you hit. I guess that explains how I kept getting hit when I was least expecting it.

So round and round we went in the rat maze arena. There were ramps to the second floor, grids that allowed you to look up, or down, at the other people passing by and shoot at them, dead ends, lots and lots of glowie things that were lit up with black lights, very, very dim lights, more dead ends, more ramps and lots of open space to take long range shots at the other people. My niece and my cousins were dead meet. I shot ... wait a minute, I shot how few people? Oh man, I suck! I did so bad that when we were given the tally at the end of the game I had a score of zero. For every hit on another played I had, four people hit me. Not good, not good at all.

Between games we had some pizza, something to drink and played some arcade games. There were not a ton of games but it was not to bad. I focused on getting as many tickets as I could so my niece could buy some over priced trinkets. So did most everyone else. I found this one game that if I timed it right I would hit the jackpot which was sitting at 150 tickets. I kept hitting it to soon until this one time ... bingo, JACKPOT. No sirens, bells or lights, DARN.

It was time to hand off the tickets to my niece and I had a plan. I took the other tickets I won and handed them to her but hid the jackpot from here. She spent a while getting the tickets all tucked away in the cup she had and she was happy to receive them. They I said “oh, and I hit this thing called JACKPOT” and haded her those tickets only to see her eye go all wide. In the end she bought some cheep trinkets and a stuffed turtle who immediately was names Sherman. Just what she needs is another stuffed animal.

Back in for another round of laser tag. This time my gun did not work well at all so not only was I bad, my gun sucked too. Oh well, red shirt proved to much to overcome. Try as I might I could not get any of the grenade like things to work. And my vest was again vibrating like crazy. So much so that when I took the vest off I felt like something was vibrating for the next several hours. I managed to shoot my cousins daughter many times (I know, tough guy), and several others and I was hit a few less times but I still managed to get a score of 0 (see below top row third column), zip, nodda, nothing, goose eggs, big fat zero. I blame the equipment but you know, I think it is just not my game.

Well that is my experience with laser tag. Would I do it again? You bet but just not at that place. Would I be in dead last again (or at least do very poorly) most likely. But that is OK, that way everyone else feels good about how they did. I can handle that. Just once I would like to score a few points.

Sunday was some more basketball and off I was back home. The only bad part of the weekend??? I managed to catch a cold or something. Rats.

P.S. Sorry about the picture. Between my camera phone not taking the pest picture, the fact that it can not take low light pictures (no flash), and me trying my best to spiff up the pictures with photoshop ... that is the best I could do.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

I bring the camera up to my eye
Quickly I frame the picture
snap a few shots.

I was hired to take pictures.
These will be some of my best ever.

I move in for a closer picture.
Perfect they are facing my way.
There will be no doubt
he’s cheating on his wife.

I have spent the evening talking to a couple of people on the phone and then looking at flicker pictures. Somehow I could not get photography out of my mind so I thought I would take the 55 in that direction. I love taking pictures but I am not sure I would ever want a job like this one.

If you would like to participate in 55 Flash Fictions Friday then click on the badge on my sidebar for more information. It really is a lot of fun. Tomorrow is Laser Tag Day ... Whoo Hoo!


Thursday, January 24, 2008


Ages and ages ago I played a game called Whirlyball and I played again about 10 years ago. For those who do not know what it is, I found this brief description.

The game is a combination of basketball and Jai-Alai, playedfrom an electric bumper car.

Basically you ride in bumper cars. You have a scoop that is designed to catch and toss a whiffleball. There are two teams. Each team is trying to go to the opponent's end of the court and toss the ball through a whole in the backboard. You move around by driving the bumper car and keeping from getting hit or trapped by someone else in their own bumper car. You pass the ball back and forth with your teammates using your scoop. Of course the opposing team is trying to take the ball away from you and score in the whole in your backboard. Let me include a couple of pictures I found of the game. One if from a place in Chicago, the other is from Washington.

It is an odd game. It is a lot of fun and excitement but it can be frustrating too. You can not just drive where you want to go as someone is bound to hit you and keep you from going in that direction. Sometimes you can see the ball on the floor because someone missed it and just before you scoop it up you opponent smashes into you and gets the ball instead. If you are not the most coordinated (sounds like me at least some of the time) then just catching the ball can be a chore or trying to throw it threw the whole can be near impossible. At time you get trapped in a corner somewhere with several other cars and none of you can get going because you are more or less jammed in by everyone else. It is amazing how quickly a game can go by and how fast the 1 or 2 hours you have the court flies by.

I just thought I would bring it up since I do not do a lot of things but some of them are interesting. If you have never played I thought you might enjoy hearing about it. If you ever have the chance to go… go for it. You may get banged around a little but you will have a fun time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Next weekend I am going to play laser tag. That will be my first time and it should be interesting. Of course I thought that about paint ball too. In the end I ended up with welts and some paint in places I had no idea paint could go. They had to be cheating, no doubt about it. At least with laser tag there will be no welts. That and my Lasik surgery could use a touch up by now.

I wonder if I could be Lacutus of Borg when I am playing. That would be cool (sorry, science fiction geek). That way I could shoot people just by looking at them. Oh wait, I know I would shoot more than one team member just by looking at them by accident. That and if we happen to be playing with anyone that is cute... yep, I could get myself into big trouble too. Of course I would imagine this is heavily a guy thing so I should not have to worry about that.

Oh I know what I am going to do. I am going to get a laser spreader or splitter. Look at how cool that is. Just by shooting once I could clear the entire room. Then again I would be shooting my team mates. Still I wonder if Laser-R-Us could rush prder me a spreader just the same. Of course I probably will end up being shot by my own team to keep me from shooting them. I will spend my entire time regenerating after being shot... take one step and shot again.

Hey wait a minute here. I just found something that could come in handy. It is a cat laser toy. You set it up and turn it on and it randomly puts out a laser light for the cat to chase. If I plant a couple of these babies out on the floor ... oh yea, another trick I could bring with me. I am going to be so prepared.

It should be interesting just the same. You know the funny thing is I am going to drive almost 100 miles to play this game and I have a arena within walking distance (probably crawling distance if I crawl fast) of my home. Oh well, it is where most everyone is located at.

If you should see an unexpected laser beam when you are blogging over the next several days, it’s just me practicing.

Friday, January 18, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

I am so glad my parents went out of town.
This is going to be the best party ever.
There are snacks and Travis is bringing beer.
Amanda said she will come
and where she goes all the hot chicks follow.
This party will rock.

What a great idea
putting the directions on the Internet.

First thanks for visiting my 55. Please join us sometime. Look for the badge on the side for details. It really is a fun thing to do.

Did you hear the news story I heard a few days ago? It turns out that a kid in Australia did just this. He waited for his parents to go out of town and threw a party. He placed information about the party on the Internet and over 500 people showed up. 500 PEOPLE?

At one point the police showed up and they had to retreat and get backup before shutting the party down. I do not know much more details but I would have been so dead if I ever pulled something like that when I was growing up.

Oh if you want to see the details here is a story the day after the party and here is what the police decided to do to go after him.

Wait a minute, I better check the details. That was Australia, right? I just wanted to make sure it was not Wisconsin and a bunch of cheeseheads partying for their Packers for this Sundays game. Their fans are just that crazy.

Good luck to both teams on Sunday. I bet it is going to be some game. I can’t wait.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00.

With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1000.00. With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.

If you had purchased $1000 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49.00 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling, you would have had $214.00.

So, based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

It's called the 401-Keg Plan.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Romney, McCain woo Michigan

That was the headline on the front page of the Detroit News, one of two major news papers in Michigan. Now I do not normally talk about politics or religion as I know it can invoke some strong feelings but I just could not pass this up.

Is it just me or does that headline conjure up any images. For some reason I see the gentleman wandering around Michigan, lurking around corners, sneaking up on you at corners, trapping you at your local watering hole and just yelling out WOO!!!! I know it is silly but I just can not help it and it is bringing a smile to my face. I almost am chuckling a little.

The darn extended political season is pickling my brain. HELP ME.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Help the Squirrels are Attacking

This morning when I sat down to peek in on peoples blogs and catch up I had an audience. Now it was not right away. It was not until I opened my container of cashews pieces that I bought yesterday. It has been a while so I thought I would indulge myself. No sooner did I open the container then I had an audience.

Now it is not uncommon to see squirrels where I live. But so far this winter they have been playing in the trees but not visiting my deck or my window very often.

When I first saw him I said “don’t you think you are getting any of my nuts” and he ran off. I think it was a him. How can you tell? Do I have to ask him to spread his legs? Will I get in trouble if it is an underage squirrel?

Anyway it was not long and I saw him again even more determined than before. I swear I am going to horde my nuts so he can not have any. I am sorry, working near a peanut shop downtown I know what squirrels are like. They pretend like they are after one nut but no, their goal is to separate you from your bag of nuts as quickly as they can. And you ladies watch out. I have seen more than one squirrel climb pantyhose or nylons to get what they were after.

If you do not hear from me after a few days could you please send someone looking for me. I bet the squirrels did me in and probably have me stashed somewhere for the winter.

Oh by the way, in the process of putting this post together I found this cute little site. If you have a few moments to kill for something silly, how about visiting this page.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

It has been some ride.

You have never been
on one quit like this.

It is a white knuckle ride for sure.

If you can just survive
you promise to never do it again, EVER.

With a sharp turn and a sudden jerk
it is finally all over.

Never again will you teach drivers education.

Most you you probably have kids and no doubt have went through training your kids to drive. Now I know you need to go through a class or some sort of other training but, it least when I grew up, I think parents took their children out driving first just to get things started.

Now can you imagine what it must be like to be the drivers training guy? I mean with only a little bit of book work they are then trapped in the passenger side of the car with your child.

I can not imagine. I know I was nerves big time when it was my turn. They pulled up in my drive and I popped in. Sue continued the drive. The drivers trainer pulled a fast one however. He got her started in a conversation and ... SHE RAN A STOP SIGN. Man did he give her a talking to. Well here I am in the car with three students, one of which is driving. Of course the drivers trainer was there too. He had her drive to a park a little ways away and then turned it over to me. I got to drive a very little bit in the park than I jumped right into a fairly busy road. That was scary. Another fun trip was up the expressway with trucks (yikes). Also driving around in Detroit (yes big old scary Detroit with all its bad drivers) with no electricity so the lights were not working. Somehow I managed to make it out in one piece and so did the instructor. I sure hope he got hazard pay.

Well there you have it, my 55Flash fiction Friday. If you are new to this or just have not done one before think about clicking on the side bar that says 55 Flash Fiction Friday. It will take you to a post about what it takes to do a 55. They are pretty easy as long as you come up with something to write about. Once you have done one that is 55 words long (and yes we will forgive you if it is not exactly 55 words but do shoot for it) and posted it than come visit either our temporary host Galen or usual hostess with the mostess Susie (she is on vacation now) and leave them a message that you posted. They will send the posse over to come see your 55 and welcome you in. I hope you join as it is actually pretty fun.


Something Lite

From an email I received today...

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers totake any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, orchanging one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year'swinners. Read them carefully. Each is an artificial word with only oneletter altered to form a real word. Some are terrifically innovative:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria felt by politician passing a tax cut withoutany idea what programs to cut to offset it .

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people, that stopsbright ideas from penetrating. The Bozone layer, unfortunately, showslittle sign of breaking down in the near future. (Pronounced Bozo ohn)

4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders thesubject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the personwho doesn't get it.

7. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.

10. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all thesereally bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth e xplodes and it'slike, a serious bummer.

11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the dayconsuming only things that are good for you.

12. Glibido: All talk and no action.

13. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter whenthey come at you rapidly.

14. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just afteryou've accidentally walked through a spider web.

15. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into yourbedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

16. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm inthe fruit you're eating.

17. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Am Going to Miss Her

Yesterday we had a nice little gathering for the retirement of the boss who I will call P. Well actually she is my bosses boss. Now people do not always say good things about their boss. The person that was our boss before was not a very nice person. I was SO happy to see her leave. You can tell others were happy too. People were quitting 1 or 2 a month for the last little bit. As soon as she left that stopped and one person even came back.

P asked that no one get her any gifts and there not be a big deal made of her leaving. I am sorry, everyone loved her and she has been with us in one form or another for 26 years. Can you imagine. Some people I know that blog were not even alive when she started working with us. There were a couple of people that said some real nice things about her and you know, for once it was all true and not just blowing smoke like people usually do at times like this. And her little speech she made was wonderful. At least some of us contributed and she received a very nice gift to a local jewelry shop. What girl does not love diamonds or gold?

P is one of the persons that can be your friend. She can even admit she makes mistakes herself but, if need be, she will step up to the plate and do the tough thing. Not many but a few people have been fired under her watch. But for the most part things never get there. P was not afraid to get down and dirty. She was always welcome to stop for a beer anytime with the pee-ons which she did on occasion. Normally most people would dread having their boss come out drinking. I found out something today I did not know about P. She was a yooper. A what you may ask?

Well Michigan has two unique peninsula. A lower peninsula where the majority of the people live and an upper peninsula. The peninsulas are joined by a five mile suspension bridge. Anyway the people in the lower peninsula are affectionately known as trolls. You know, because we live below the bridge. The people from the upper peninsula are known as yoopers. Yoopers are known for a lot of things including a laid back attitude, a more or less Canadian accent, probably being closer aligned to Canada or Wisconsin rather than the rest of Michigan, and of course drinking. Hey you have to do something in those long winters up there. Personally I love to cross country ski up there too but that is a different story. Anyway if you have ever seen or heard Bob and Doug McKenzie (brothers and comedians from Canada) than you know just what a yooper is like. I think that explains a lot about P.

Anyway I will really miss P. I can only hope that who ever replaces her will be half the person she is.

So anyone out there up to stopping for a drink ... I am buying! Cheers.

Don't Have a Cow

I was listening to my radio yesterday morning and heard something of interest I thought I would post about. Have you ever thought about something one sided and never tried to see it from the other side?

What this was about is how more and more when you place a help call to a manufacture like a computer company or maybe a telephone company or many others you are being connected with someone from another country such as India? Obviously this makes things a lot more difficult as the person on the other end just does not understand English and we can not understand them either. So we take an attitude with this individual and in the end we may or may not get any help. Please do not stop reading yet based on what was just said.

Over the many years I have worked in the computer field we have had two temporary programmers work with us that were from India. One had been here for a little while. The other person was here for at least several years. It was very interesting watching the culture clash. Both gentleman were very pleasant. One was a little more difficult to understand. His accent was certainly part of it but if you really worked at it and over time you could understand him. The other individual, the one that had been here in the United States longer, was much easier to understand. But here is where the culture clash came in.

It is not bad enough that you have to understand English which is a second or third language for them but they also need to understand how it is we use it. First off we are far from perfect in our own use of the language. But add to that the fact that we throw in from mighty interesting phrases and use words in such unusual ways.

To you and I we probably understand what someone is saying “I am so hungry I can eat a horse.” That is a strange little saying but it kind of gets a point across. This is mild colloquialism, there are things much worse than that. Sometime I want you to try something. Spend a day or even a part of a day listening to what you say and what others around you say. In particular pay attention to those off phrases where you know exactly what it said but, if your were new to this language you might not understand. Another example, there is more than one way to skin a cat. To you and I you may understand this to mean there is more than one way to solve something. To someone else what on earth did that person just say?

It is no wonder someone from India (or anywhere) might have a hard time understanding the way we use English. I know with Anesh (the programmer that had been in the US much longer than the other gentleman) we were always telling him what he really meant to say to help him out a little. It was at least a daily thing where he would come up with something that he obviously did not understand the way it was used. It is interesting however since it really helped me to be much more conscious about what I say and it helped me to recognize what I may have said that through someone off.

Anyway what this all started off with is think about the person on the other side of the phone when you reach someone from another country. While we are frustrated think of how it is for them. Call after call you have someone who is real rude on the other end of the line. Just as we have a hard time with their accent, think how it is for them. Just look at the difference in our own accents and colloquialisms between someone from the mid west (of course we do not have an accent), out east, down south, California (yes California is kind of unique in itself), etc. It is hard enough understanding someone else here in the United States let alone having someone from the outside understand us. Also the problems communicating is not fun for them either. You are talking people that are normally very polite having to deal with some very rude people. It has lead to a lot of depression amongst these people that provide the support. And just get over the fact that companies should be providing us help from people here in the United States. It is a changing world and it is not happening. Businesses are only interested in the bottom dollar and labor is just cheaper outside of the states.

OK, I have rambled on to much as it is. If you managed to read this I hope you take away at least one thing. I hope it will help make you just a little more conscious of the next person. I for one am very impressed that people function as well as they do in another culture especially here. We expect everyone to be just like us regardless of the fact that the majority of the world is not “like us.” If we could only get over our self there is so much more we can learn and we would be that much more richer for having experienced other cultures.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I Have Been Bad

That is right, instead of doing my 55 or even just a post I have been busy. It even distracted me at work a little although I was already distracted as two coworkers are having a fight. Not fun. Anyway I was in preparation for my first new phone in, well at least 4 to 6 years. Oh and this one is all shiny and everything. And I love the camera built into it.

Here, let me share one of the pictures it took. I pointed the camera at me and just snapped the picture.

Wow, what a camera phone. I had no idea the new Chocolate phones had such a GREAT CAMERA. Do I see any of you out there thinking about upgrading your phone now?

It has been interesting. Thank goodness I am not like, well probably like most of you. I have some phone numbers but not hundreds or thousands. I am a little disappointed however. Unlike my sister who has 1,000 or more friends, I only have a nice handful of friends. In putting them into my phone it told me "Sorry, you have to many friends. Crabby can not be your friend." Since when is the phone my social director? Who is it to say who is a friend or not? I ask you what gives it the right? I THINK I AM GOING TO SEND THIS DARN PHONE BACK!

Oh wait, I think I know what it does not like. I have both Crabby and her husband listed on the phone as separate contacts. For each of them I have their cell number but I also have their home phone number. I bet it is being pissy with me about having the same number listed more than once under contacts. After all what if Crabby called me using her home phone? It would not know if it should claim to be Crabby calling or is it really her husband. OK, I will keep my phone for now but you have been warned.

Now I need to get some music and ring tones (if I had Jillies number I think the ring tone would have to be Clumsy by Fergie, just saying). I did manage to capture Galen's work phone number once upon a time. I found the perfect thing and reworked it into an acceptable length but alas I do not think I can have two ringtones for one person. I thought I would let you hear what I picked for his work number. It would be the first half of the song in this link. Note if the link does not work you can find the song about 6 down on this page. The song is Chevrolet.WAV. It is cute and lasts just short of a minute so give it a listen.

OK, maybe text messages next ... look out, no one is safe! I am still a virgin but I learn fast. And yes, I am so behind the times. My last phone was... well was just a phone. Gasp!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Google Me, Oogle Me

Borrowed from Lime who stolen from the brilliant Jocelyn.

typing my answers to the following prompts into Google Image and then choosing a photo off the first page that pops up.

1. Age at My Next Birthday: 51. I was hating the idea of turning 50 this year but then I had the best time for a week straight as I celebrated my birthday from Kentucky, to Ohio, and many different places in Michigan. It was all good. It was also the first time I meet Crabby who is a stitch. This picture is of Area 51. You know that top secret base in the United States that everyone knows exists. They have armed people to stop you from trespassing, sensors, and signs everywhere telling you to keep out. This picture is what you get if you bring up google earth and type "Area 51" in the fly too field. It even tells you what building is what.

2. Place I'd Like to Travel: There are a lot of places I would love to travel too including Australia and New Zealand but I did not like the pictures that came up. One place I have always wanted to go to was Alaska. I thought the picture that came up here was much better so Alaska it is.

3. Place I've Been: Lake Louise/Banff. I spent a week in Calgary, Alberta, Canada once. There was so much I loved about the area. It was my first Hard Rock Cafe I ever went to. I got to see a Grand Pre Jumper event (I love these but never saw one in person). They have the best YMCA in the entire world, and so much more. But by far my favorite was visiting Banff and even more specific ... Lake Louise. The view was spectacular but what really got me was the color green the water was. This picture really does not do it justice. It really is unique.

4. My Favorite Food: Prime Rib. I know it looks gross to some of you. Others do not eat red meat or even meet. But ever since I learned what Prime Rib was I have really, REALLY loved it.

5. Place where I was born: Wyandotte General. Ah the place that can not make up it's mind what it's name is. I think it is on it's third name since I was born there.

6. Place where I live: Under a Rock. Sometimes I really feel like this is true especially since I do not watch a lot of news anymore. I do tend to listen to the news in the morning on my morning radio program I wake up to. I also do hit certain shows on Sunday morning to keep up on what the insanity that is better know as politicians. But still I can be so clueless at times and even more clueless about goings on outside the USA.

7. Name of Past Pet: Tiger. What can I say, I typed in Tiger and this is one of the better pictures that came up. Tiger was our pet cat. He got a little crazy on my Dad's legs one to many times and next thing I knew he had a new home in the country on a farm. Do you think my parents lied to me. Should I have called PETA?

8. Best Friend's Nickname: Jimbo. My two best friends name are Paul or Lori but I do not know any nicknames they have ever had. Instead I went with Jim who I used to work with and with whom I am friends. How could I pass up this great picture of Jimbo.

9. My First Name: Bryan. I thought I was going to have to use a middle name or worse for this one but you know what ... I kind of like the mask that it brought up.

10. My First Job: PaperBoy. Yep a paperboy. After that I was a stock boy in a Party Store. It was there that I learned how to freeze a Mountain Dew just the right amount to where it was very could but not frozen. Then when you popped the top it turned to an awesome slushy. It was the best especially when it was hot out. Oh this picture has special meaning as I once was not looking what I was doing on a bike and ran into a parked car. Not while I was delivering papers but still, it so fits.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I got an anvil for Christmas. I must have been bad. Let me start from the beginning.

There is only 8 of us involved in the gift exchange. One of those people is my niece so you get something simple from the Christmas store they set up at school. I got a thing with flashy lights, a whistle and ... well I need to see the other functions but I think the lights was the important part of it.

We limit the amount we spend to a small amount and then off we go getting gifts for each other. One of the gifts I asked for was a vice. I have never had one of those and it could come in handy so many times. Well what I ended up with was a combination vice/anvil. That is cool, I could use something I could hit with a hammer and not damage it. Just think, if I am having a real bad day I could even take it out on the anvil.

Another gift I got was something I was planning on getting my parents before plans changed. See I put together this list and not a very good list at that. Certainly nothing Manny worthy. But the list was never intended to be my wish list for Christmas. I had placed items I wanted to get others on there too including the gift for my parents. I intended to separate the list but my Sister intercepted the list before I could make a real wish list and ... well that is how my parents bought me a gift for them.

The dinner was nice but boy did we make to much. We were eating leftovers for 5 days. Yikes. Anyway before I knew it Christmas was over.

Besides visiting and helping out with computer I ended up attending most a basketball tournament. The team my niece plays on finished second. They could have won but they have their favorite first string that starts every game. Usually the first and second strings all play about the same amount of time but they tend to not play any of the second string players much if they are playing against a good team as there is a big difference in ability between the two strings. If they would only work with everyone and mix up the strings a little they would be in much better shape. Instead they ended up with one very tired first string that just ran out of steam. It did not help that they went into overtime too. Oh well, second place is pretty good.

I finally came home on New Years Eve or was that Old Years Night. I need to remember that term, I like it. Anyway I had 4 inches of snow to shovel which did not go to bad but ... but what I was worried about was what was on it’s way. They were predicting a storm that could produce between 11 and 18 inches of snow. So far we have got about 8 or 9 inches or so but I shoveled the snow at 2:00 am which made it a lot easier to do the remainder in the morning. I got out the snow blower to tackle the disaster that was in the street at the foot of my drive. There was 12 inches of snow and slush that I was not sure if I could drive through. So with the snow blower and a bit of muscle I got all that up from my double drive.

I figured it was time to play so when I got a call from someone I work with that they were at a local bar watching the bowl games I decided to join them. Several beers later, many wings and a bit of water I was on my way back home having seen several bowl games including University of Michigan winning the Cotton Bowl, an equestrian jumper event, an outdoor NHL hockey game, basketball, Tyra Banks ... you name it, there was almost everything on. As a matter of fact I think I saw a brief glimpse of someone shooting J.R. from Dalas, a show from the 70s but I could be mistaken.

So there you have it, a long, boring and little late account of the past few days. The good news, for me at least, is the snow was only about 8 to 9 inches and it was all light. We might see 1 to 3 inches more but that is nothing. Yea, I survived the storm. I almost can not wait to go back to work so I can get a break and take it easy once again. Well you know what I mean.

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed,
the All Aboard Children's School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with -- some will be delighted to hear --

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School,
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and -- clap your hands -- the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

–Billy Collins - Snow Day

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Sorry I have been gone so long but I have been trying to soak in the family time. I had a wonderful Christmas and will write a little about it once I get all this SNOW caught up. Time to get myself off to bed so I can dig into this mess in the morning.

I hope this new year has started heading in the right direction for you and wish you nothing but the best. Let me toss on a few parting pictures and I will add to this later.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.