Bryan's Little Corner

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Friday, April 25, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

Oh boy, a rebate check from the government
What ever shall I do with it?
Could it be used to pay for the exploding cost of fuel?
How about the crazy increases in the cost of food?
Or how about other goods
that are going up because of shipping?

I ain't fun being John Q Public
Not much time today but this just came flooding out of me today when I saw a headline on Yahoo that said Bush hopes that the tax rebates will shore up the economy. Who is he kidding. With our dependancy on foreign oil and how outragous the costs are going up, the economy is sunk until Congress and the President find a way to aleviate that. That is if they can. I think, if it was not election year, we should just thow all the bumbs out and give someone else a try.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Think Green

We are never so greened up so soon but this year, this year we are having unseasonably warm weather the last little bit. We have been in the 70's for a little while. I have watched trees sprout leaves in one day. It is just amazing. Of course there is a down side, now I need to go mow the lawn... again!

Off to enjoy the wonderful temperatures, sun, and fantastic glimpse of what is coming. We are just about to slip back down to where we belong and even lower. I think I heard we are about to see the 40's ... for a high again and near freezing for the lows. Shiver. My mini trip to Kentucky can not come soon enough.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Isn’t it funny how things work?

I started my diet on Monday and ever since then I have had a headache. Now I am not saying it is the diet but it could be. I know I get sinus problems and with the changing weather and with EVERYTHING turning green all at once, it could be the weather change. But regardless, I had the headache most of Monday and into Tuesday. It was not real bad. It was a semi dull ache and but what was killer is it was always there and would not go away.

Now I tried to ignore the headache but then it stepped things up and my eyes hurt (possibly sinus) and it felt better to be with the eyes closed or in the dark (mini migraine - I have no idea what those are like other then devastating). Anyway a coworker offered me something to take and I turned her down at first. Ad the day wore on however I wore down. The headache was getting under my skin. I was wore down and finding it hard to think, not good when you are trying to write computer programs.

I took my coworker up on her offer and took two Excedrin, not my normal weapon of choice. Well some time when by and I was busy working away trying to get a computer set up for testing and that is when it happened. I had not noticed but it was gone. The headache was gone. *does mini happy dance despite not being able to dance* It had just quietly slipped away and I never saw it leaving. Silly me, I should have taken something on Monday. Well hopefully my day goes better today. Here is wishing the same for you too.

Oh by the way, the diet was not to good on Monday and doing better on Tuesday. Hopefully I get this new fangled thing figured out soon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just Dashing Through

Over the last few days I have been working on starting a diet. Actually once I get this sucker started it will be much more like a life change. We will see how things go.

I have Yahoo as my home page and last week and article came up. Now I really do not have a lot of respect for the articles that Yahoo has. If they actually are an article they usually do not have a lot of information to them. Anyway this article came up about lowering your blood pressure and it talked about the Dash diet. I know I had an uncle try this before too. Now my blood pressure is under control but I am taking medication for it and, well I would like to get off of one of those meds someday if possible so I decided to make a go of it.

I am fumbling my way through things now. I think I really under ate yesterday. I will try and do better today and see if I can get the knack of this thing. I did not get as much exercise yesterday as I needed to either but hope to do better today. It is funny, this thing seems to just focus on the pyramid (which I thought at least some studies had either modified or said we need to do something else) yet it seems so hard. I guess part of that is I am not used to eating so many fruits and vegetables. For that matter I am not used to tracking so many things. In the end, however, it has to be more healthy. If I can only get the hang of things.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ice Show - Glow Baby Glow

Let’s add one more set. This one is rather unique. They switched off all the lights on the rink and switched on a bunch of black lights. My camera freaked as there was no way it could focus under those conditions so I turned off auto focus and manually focused the camera. Still it was not enough light so I cranked a couple of settings and here you have the results.

These three pictures (I actually had about 12 pictures but...) show something neat they did. They started with all their hands above their head. Then the first person slowly moved their hands to where they were at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions and the person behind them started to move their hands. And so on, and do on, and on. I really made a nice affect. With how dark the pictures are I am not sure if you will be able to see this on your computer screen. Perhaps if you click to enlarge the pictures.

They actually did a little bit of a routine too but the bad part was you never really got to see them. All you saw was their glowie bodies. They all exited the ice before the lights were switched back on. I think if I were a parent I might have been disappointed that they could not see Ciera or Sarah or Kira or (insert child’s name here) actually perform. I mean what do you do, there she is, the third glowie thing from the back on the right side. No not that glowie thing... the other glowie thing.

Well I hope you were able to see those. It actually is a fun routine to see in person. It just was difficult at best for the camera to capture it.


Ice Show - Day and Life/One Dance Routine

Over last weekend I went to a an ice show that my niece was in. She had two appearances. I know that I am bias but she did very good. She was so graceful on ice and you would never guess any of it was hard at all. We have been working on her to have her smile, smile, smile and most of the time she was smiling. So wonderful ice show all around.

I later found out not only is my niece getting private lessons but she is also pushing to where she can do a solo and no doubt take on a class at some part. This is exciting as it is something she really loves to do. Now don’t go thinking Olympics or anything. I somehow do not see her getting up at 5:30 in the morning and skating than coming back after school and skating some more until she needs to go home and do homework. I just have never seen her quit that dedicated to anything but you never know. Then again she does love her sleep.

Anyway I attended the Saturday afternoon and evening shows. I took around 2,500 pictures between both show. I picked the evening show and started going through the 1,200 or so pictures trying to come up with a handful of great pictures. It should not be that hard. I do not know if you have ever cooked a sauce but if you take and boil out some moister and actually reduce it what you end up with is something that tastes incredible. Well when you start with 1,200 pictures and reduce it down to 20 or 30 pictures...

Anyway of the 1,200 pictures, I only had less than 1 percent that did not turn out (real bad blur, bad crop, people walk in front of me, etc.). I had still more that were fairly soft focus or just plain boring. It is all of those I am weeding out now. But I thought I would post something. This is a series of photos of one persons act. What I like about it is I captured her doing several different moves. I thought it made a nice series. All the rest of the pictures I am focusing more on one or two exceptional photo.

Before we get started let me say that I did sharpen I think it was three of these images. Other than that all I did was reduce the size of the picture so I could post them. One last thing, no this is not my niece. So lets get started then...

Besides the lack of light, the movement, and the way they used the spot lights (lighting their feet and torso only) it was not the easiest to get these pictures. Don't let anyone ever tell you different, a good lens is everything.

I kind of hated to include this picture. I mean I know she has a body suit on but somehow it just felt like not the best picture. Still it did show her spinning and clearly showed her legs and the nifty fog in the background so I kept it in.

They did not use fog on ever act but apparently on this one they used it a fair amount. The funny thing is the fog with the cold temperature. It tended to not move very much and just hang low and not move a lot. It took some time to disperse.

I usually like a front view of the skaters but I really love how the fog is showing up in this picture. I get the feeling at any moment she is going to disappear into the fog. I wonder if she came from the town of Brigadoon? (sorry, I love musicals)

And of course the final pose. Nicely done. There you have it, the first few pictures. I hope to get things boiled down to 20 or 30 more pictures for tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Coming Soon

I have been just a touch preoccupied over the past couple of days. Also I am flipping though 1200 pictures to come up with a couple to share. For now I will just post a couple of teasers...

The weekend was a little wacky. As I was making my little trek on Saturday I managed to come up with 3 traffic slow downs and one terrible accident. I figured for sure it was a fatality accident. It looked like a semi clipped a minibus type of vehicle. The semi ended up going into the median and luckily staying in control His right side of his cab was devastated. The minibus was lying on its side and was nothing but a shell as it had burnt completely. There were 20 emergency vehicles on the scene with more arriving. They had not been there very long as the traffic backup was not to bad. On Sunday I found out there were 6 people in the minibus. All went to hospital however two of them were airlifted to hospital. I am surprised anyone survived.

On the way home I came across a couple of cute things. There was this bright lime vehicle that really caught your attention all by itself. Add to it a custom license plate. The vehicle was a Scion Xb. If you have ever seen one, it looks like the Gilligan's island car they had, very square shaped. As a matter of fact many have called it a toaster. Anyway, the custom license read BOXENVY. Very appropriate and cute.

The other item with this sticker that went all the way across the top of the back window of a jeep. The sticker was upside down and it read "If you can read this flip me over". I got a big chuckle out of that although I think I have seen it before somewhere.

UPDATE: Oops, I so forgot to mention something. When I was in the Detroit area I heard advertising for this one food place. The advertised Famous Philly CHEESESTEAKS. Now that caught me ear so when I was heading out of town back home I decided to find this place. It was basically a carry out/delivery type of place. I told them what I was after and they said you probably want this. Oh and you could add mushrooms and peppers too. I decided why mess with the sandwich, at least not yet so I ordered one with sautaed onions and that was all the extras. Next question was what kind of cheese?

OK, now I have a question that maybe someone can answer. What kind of cheese would a "true" cheesesteak have on it? Two of the choices were American or Provolone. That sounds OK. Now here is where I thought it got strange and I started to question this proprieters reputation. The third cheese was Cheese Whiz. That seems highly unlikely.

Anyway I ordered mine with Provolone and I must say that in the end I was not all that impressed. Either a Philly CHEESESTEAK is not all that great of a sandwhich or this place does not make very good ones. I will say, however, that the roll this was made on was heavenly. They claim to be made with what made the CHEESESTEAK famous, Amoroso's. I will say that I would never believed it but I would give that place a try again, not so much for the sammy but much more for that roll. Yummy.

Update 2: I am down to 600 386 pictures and sorting...

Friday, April 11, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

On goes the leather chaps
The helmet too
Of course riding gloves and
your protective leather jacket
to complete your outfit

You mount your beast
You kick start it to life
You rev the engine a few times
It is music to your ears

Becoming a motorcycle cop
was the best job you could imagine

I am afraid I am not a motorcycle person. I have only been on one a few time in my entire life. But I must say the sound of a Harley idling and being put through it's paces is simply infections. I have a funny feeling if I should ever have the opportunity to ride one myself ... I might just fall in love. Anyway after reading Jillies post and seeing as G-Man is the head honcho for the 55's now I thought I would put this together. Oh and I have included a nice little YouTube video I found that not only captured the sounds of a Harley but you also get to go for a nice ride at the same time.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I received this tag from BTExpress. I had already more or less done this in the comment section for Lime but I thought I needed to redo it. So here is the new and improved Tag.

The Rules:

1) Write your own six-word memoir about yourself.

2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you'd like.

3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible, so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4) Tag five more blogs with links.

5) And don't forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Here's mine: Curious, happy, helpful, easygoing teddy bear.

My one cousin once called me a teddy bear because of the way I hugged. I kind of liked the idea of that so that seemed like an appropriate end to the six word tag. Now this does not flow well like Tony's did and his was perfect but you know, I think this kind of fits me.

I have only tagged people a few times and just never really liked it so unless you want me to tag you, I will let you borrow this if you like it.


The Biggest Loser

Call me skeptical but I think I have found the biggest loser. Let me tell you why and see if you agree.

I rarely watch reality shows. I watched the final episode of Celebrity Apprentice which made I think the second episode of that show I watched. That is almost all I watched of reality shows. I just wish they would die out and the networks would bring us real programming. Well there is this one reality show I like and I have caught many of their episodes. It is The Biggest Loser, a reality show on NBC that they work with the people to help them lose a significant amount of weight.

Last night was the penultimate show, the show before the final show. It is amazing that they do not kill someone on that show. The man who lost the most weight came in at about 144 pounds I believe. The woman that lost the most weight came in at 99 pounds. All this weight loss in 15 weeks. Of course they toss in a lot of exercise and also training on exercise and eating and motivation and I am sure they are closely monitored. I find it so hard to believe that what they are doing can be healthy. I man the man lost on average 9 1/2 to 10 pounds a week. The woman lost on average 7 pounds a week if I have my math right. The amazing part, the two women that were in the final show had more relative weight loss than the two guys although both the guys lost over 10 pounds which is not to shabby. So now one of the men will be eliminated but they threw in a twist. They are allowing the viewers to vote on which if the two men stay in the contest for next week. You go to the NBC web site and vote. Now here is what this post is all about.

NBC asks several things of you to allow you to vote. Your name, OK. You eMail address, OK I can give them a spam address. Your zip code, I am OK with that. Your cell phone number but I think that one is optional unless you want them to send you SMS messages. Here is the killer and what makes me skeptical of them. They require that you enter a valid phone number. Now I could give them the local NBC affiliate phone number and probably be OK but I will not give them my phone number and here is where my paranoid tendencies come out. If I give NBC my phone number they can call me for anything they would like. I mean I did business with them when I voted. Why do I care?

I signed up for the National Do Not Call list back 5 years ago (time to update your registration if you have not already done so by the way). I enjoy the fact that I rarely get any phone calls with someone trying to sell me something. Now here is the problem. NBC would have permission to call me anytime since they did business with me. And, should some telemarketing firm also want to call me, all they would need to do is become a partner with NBC and they no longer need to worry about the Do Not Call list. Would NBC do that to me? You bet they would as I am sure each phone number would be worth a lot to these "affiliate" firms. So am I seeing conspiracy where there is none? I think if they do not take advantage of this now then they will take advantage of it sooner or later. All they have to do is add to their FAQ they have and say what they are using the phone number for and state that your information will be help in confidence. In the mean time I think I will simply place NBC on my Biggest Loser list unless they prove me wrong.

I have been trying to get ready for my coworker to leave. Yesterday morning that meant marathon cooking as I made three crock pot things for a pot luck for the person leaving. I also stopped and got some donuts to add to the kitty. Between that and all the learning I have been doing I have been real out of it. Hopefully after today I will be back to posting more regular and to visiting. Oh by the way, everyone was seeing them but not me. Seeing what? Robins! I finally saw some over the weekend at my Sisters and then I saw about a half dozen of them at my house yesterday. Yes it is true, spring is here. But why do we have possible snow coming over the weekend? Sigh!

Friday, April 04, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

Heat the ovens

Start with fresh dough
Knead it, roll it, or toss it

Add a little olive oil
to pans and dough

Pizza sauce with oregano

Italian Sausage
Grilled Chicken
Green Peppers
White Onions
Black Olives
Mozzarella, Munster,
Parmesan, Provolone…

Were not opening a pizzeria,
just feeding the extended hoard

This weekend we will be celebrating my Sisters birthday which was in February her daughters birthday. We are pulling together both sides of the family which is rather surprisingly small and will be making pizza. It was the request of the birthday girl to have Mama R pizza.

It looks like we will be making at least 4 pizzas. I bought cheese for 6 just in case however. We go crazy with the cheese as we put a pound on every pizza (about 12 good sized oblong pieces to give you an idea of the size). Talk about a heavy pizza.

I will also be tossing an antipasto salad together. It is a little bit of work but everyone lives it. When all is said and done I think we will have a decent time and everyone will have to let their belt out a notch. Add to this a wonderful weekend weather wise… life is good.

I hope you have yourself a wonderful weekend. If you want I will save you a slice or two of pizza. Never made a vegetarian before but I am sure we could try if you life…

UPDATE: Popping out for the weekend. See you on Monday. Sending out good vibes for anyone that needs it as things are doing well for me right now.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I have a question... how do you do it, especially you ladies?

Yesterday was a most interesting day. I had to go outside several times for work. Now I am a big guy but I could not believe what happened. I felt like a kite yesterday. No, not high like a kite. I was being blown around like a kite. I heard here in Michigan we had winds in excess of 51 miles an hour but still, I was actually being tossed around a little. I am not really sure how it is SignGurl did not get blown away to Chicago or something. At one point there was even sting sleet, stinging because of how hard it was blowing.

Something funny about yesterday however... I drive a soccer Mom mobile (without the soccer Mom, sigh) and I do not recall being to tossed around in the minivan. That is most unusual as they are a fairly big profile vehicle, nothing like a full size van but still.

I got buzzed yesterday and no it was not at work although that might have helped. Hummmm. Anyway I went in for a hair cut so I would look presentable at the viewing of my Friends Mom today. When I walked in I almost walked right out. The place was more crowded than I have ever seen it but the lady said I was third in line and it would not be long. Then I looked around

There were at least 6 nice looking you ladies there, all very nicely tan. No doubt they were there for the tanning beds. My I would not have minded helping them apply some tanning oil. No sir. Of course I am a terrible judge of age so I best never mind.

The haircut turned out great and I should feel like I am showing my respect today and not just being a circus clown. Speaking of clown, I do have a big red nose I could put on but no big floppy... shoes to go with it. Oh well, just as well. I would get in trouble.

Growing up I ended up moving a couple of friends up to college after graduating high school. We had some fin times the first few years of college, to bad I did not go there but it was probably for the best. Anyway it was at Eastern Michigan University that I met my two bets friends. I met L first and we really got along great. I ended up making more than a few trips to Flint to visit over the summer and got to know her family very well. I had a thing for her Sister but that never went anywhere but oh well. Anyway I do miss those days. I have not visited her folks for many years as her Mom has had late stages Alzheimer and I know the family was not real comfortable with visitors. Well that and her Mom did not even recognize her own younger daughter most of the time and her daughter had devoted a large part of her life to caring for her Mom.

Later in that freshman year I also met my other best friend, P. We had a lot in common, photography and computers. It was not uncommon to go to the computer lab and spend an entire night in that lab. I unofficially learned a lot during that time and got exposed to some things I would not have been exposed to otherwise. I know, can you day GEEK? Still we definitely bonded.

Later in the year something interesting happened. My one best friend started to hang around my other best friend, you know as part of the group at first but then secretly after a while. Things were a little strange once that happened at least for a while. They even got worse when, in August of 1980 they were married. I kind of stayed away for a year but in the end I am happy how things turned out. I have two great friends that I feel equally comfortable with either of them separately and just as wonderful with them as a couple. I am all but family which makes this viewing I am going to even more sad for me. Well that and Ps parents are not in the best of health either. Between that and my parents this could be a very bad few years coming up.

Well I best go see if I can not spiff myself up a little for the viewing tonight and give my boss a good scare. At the moment they are allowing us to dress casually and here I am going to come into work all dressed up. That to me smells of an interview. After losing one developer that would be devastating to lose the other developer that can do what we do, at least I think it would be. Maybe I should play with this one... Then again he probably figures I am harmless and not going anywhere and he would be right, at least for now.

Wow it looks like a lovely day out there. The sun is out full, the winds have died down, and I can hear the birds a calling. I best go check out what they want. I think we have enough nice weather in store today, if any of you would need any nice weather I am sure I can box you up a little. It will not be real warm but it will be nice just the same.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm Old

I had something totally unexpected happen today. Jay Leno was on TV (unusual as I generally do not watch him) and he had one of his segments on where people send in the strangest photos and articles. Here is one of the things he had on...

Say it isn't so. I used to love Foreigner in my teens/early 20s. If you look closely, their latest tour is sponsored by AARP. Now I was sent an application for AARP last year and it did not bother me but to see one of the groups I loved while I was growing up sponsored by the American Association of Retired People... I'm Old.