Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sans DDP - Day 2 Part II

It did not occur to my while writing yesterday's post that the headache I was fighting was caused by my body craving caffeine. That realization did not occur until my drive home, so I finished the day sans DDP. If you've never had a caffeine headache, it is something like a mini-migraine or mini-hangover. The pain isn't intense, but it is sharp. My eyes are usually sensitive to bright light, but the caffeine headache makes it worse, especially with the 105 degree sunlight reflecting from every shiny surface. I just wanted darkness and the removal of the need to concentrate on anything.

I stopped at my favorite trendy grocery store in my 4th or 5th favorite affluent neighborhood. I dashed through grabbing coffee (chocolate and almond-flavored caffeine for the weekend, sir), milk (Moo Monday), bread and tortillas. Standing in the express line, I noticed a very sharply dressed man sporting a meticulously manicured hair of gel-darkened hair and a very bitter scowl. He skillfully managed to complete his transaction without lowering himself to speak to the checker.

Through the purple tint of my extremely cool sunglasses, my line attention darted back and forth between the two open check-out stands. They were both paying and bagging. Who would rise as the victorious winner of this race? The checkout stands had cards displayed which allowed shoppers to pick between donating $1, $3 or $5 to the local food bank. There is, of course, also the option of pretending to not notice the cards.

When my chance finally came, I pushed my groceries onto the counter and very loudly and cheerfully greeted the checker. In my usual style, I positioned myself in the most inconvenient position for handing the cashier the donation card I picked. Because of my position, I had reach way over the register and announce just as loudly and cheerfully, "Please add one of these!" I looked back at the line of customers to make sure my little drama had not gone unnoticed.

Yes, I did it so that the other customers could not pretend to not notice the card. I won't lie and say that is how I am. That is how I'm trying to be. Two very interesting things happened. First, the checker's mood seemed to perk up. He smiled and wished me a good day with what seemed to me genuine sincerity. Thinking my mission was accomplished, I loudly and cheerfully, although in retrospect, perhaps not as sincerely, wished him a good day and headed for a quick exit.

When I got into my car and began to back out of my parking space, I noticed my headache was gone. Addition by subtraction: There was one less grumpy checker and one less headache in the world. I am continuously amazed at the unexpected extra benefits and byproducts of Giving, even just five dollars and a friendly "Hello." I encourage you to experiment with spreading a little smiles, jokes and gifts. Go try to make someone laugh and get rid of some headaches.

Sans DDP - Day 2

It's almost 3:00. If I can make it through 3:00 on a work day with no Diet Dr. Pepper, I can make the it the rest of the day. This is good.
I was kinda forced Saturday. The water at the restaurant we tried didn't really taste like dirt. Had it tasted like dirt, I could have forced it down. I assumed they used the same water to make their tea. I reluctantly turned to DDP, which welcomed me with open arms. Delicious, cold, fizzy arms.
Lunch is the most difficult time. I need the caffiene by then. My Sheppard's Pie cries for carbonation. The dark chocolate misses her old mate. One can't enjoy cookies without milk, nor dark chocolate without DDP. We three suffered together and will clock out with a victory.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sometime Between Noon and the End of the World

So who hasn't been through this?

Our A/C starts sounding like it has a train in it. A train that is about to explode. We couldn't hear Hell's Kitchen over roar and clamor, so we had to turn off the unit. Not even Gordon Ramsay could out-din it.

So we call on Friday and get an appointment for Monday. You know how it works. They said they'll be out Monday between Noon and 4 pm. I worked from home that day, so it didn't really matter when they came out. However, just for fun, the service technician arrived around 4:45. We knew what to expect. We were prepared, so it was no big deal.

Day 1: Forty-five minutes late.

The tech says our blower wheel coming apart. He doesn't have a part. He'll have to order a part. It should arrive Wednesday or Thursday, and we should try not to run the unit until he repairs it.

The A/C company called Wednesday, said the part had arrived, and we scheduled an appointment for Thursday after 4 pm. So I wait. I stayed in and watched movies to make sure I'd be home. The service tech finally calls at 7:50 pm and says he is on the way. Granted, he did replace the blower wheel pretty quickly after arriving around 8:30. I've done this a few times now, so I knew what to expect.

Day 1: Forty-five minutes late.

Day 2: Just late.

I think I see a pattern forming here.

Our A/C still didn't seem to be running correctly. Now it sounded like the train wasn't about to explode. It was just running full speed. We call them again Friday, saying that it is very loud and asked them to come check it again. They tell us the tech will come out Monday between noon and 4 pm. We were all off for Memorial Day, so we decided to do some shopping. You can't not barbecue on Memorial Day! We head out about 11:30am with three stores on our list. Keeping in mind the current pattern of the service technician's late arrivals, we assume we're safe to shop. His pattern would have him arriving half-way through burgers cooking and my second beer.

Day 1: Forty-five minutes late.
Day 2: Just late.
Day 3: 30 minutes early.

He calls at 11:30 am to tell us he is on the way. But aren't you usually really late? We're shopping. The first call was easy and didn't require much labor, so he's on the way. I drop my wife off and run to the grocery store, hoping to make it there and back by the time the technician arrives. I get home, and he had already been there and gone. The A/C was fine, and there was nothing he could do to make it run quieter.

I think I see another pattern forming.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Princess 1: My Dog Princess

(I’m going to make up a story about my dog Princess that I don’t really have. This will serve as proof I have reached the deepest, darkest bowels of Nothing.

Hmmmm..it doesn’t sound so bad when I phrase it like that..)

My dog Princess is a giant poodle that I named Princess. I named him Princess, because I think every poodle should be named Princess, even if the poodle is a giant. If you make fun of Princess, he will eat you. One leg at a time. Starting with yours.

Princess has short, curly white hair and steel teeth. I think he likes sardines, because he always has one in his mouth. I don’t know where he finds the sardines, and I don’t ask. He wouldn’t answer. He would just eat me.

Princess is not known for his patience with small talk.

(Author’s note: In the interest of not having much, this will conclude today’s post. I’ve got to save something for later. Love me!)

See Princess 2!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Arguments and Omelets

Arguing makes me tense. I don't do it. I don't want my parents to argue. I don't want the neighbors to argue. I don't want the people in other cubes to argue. I don't want my wife and kids to argue. I hate it. It makes me want to hide somewhere, but every time I hide it causes a big argument, which makes me even more tense.

And I hate tension. It makes me argumentative.

So I run into Costco to pick up pizza and potatoes. Don't ask. Walking in to Costco is also bad for me. Our best television is like 10 years old and I think it's only about a 20" screen. Costco has cell phones with bigger screens. To get to the potatoes, I have to pass through massive walls of big-screen, High-Definition digital magnificence....at really good prices, temptation for which I must resist. I have talk walk directly to the potatoes.

Tonight as I was just nearing the darkness at the end of Great Wall of LCD, I was greeted by the cold embrace of tension. It is strange, but I felt the tension before I actually heard the voices. There they were by a stack of computer boxes, a lovely couple in an obvious argument over whether or not to buy the computer.

I hate yelling. It makes me tense. I guess it reminds me of arguing. I have demanded few rules in my house. My number one rule is No Yelling. No Shouting for ANY reason. If you need to talk to someone upstairs, don't yell up the stairs. No yelling down the stairs. Walk up the stairs, find me, and speak in a soft, slow, but pleasant voice. If you are upstairs and you are thirsty. Come down and get your own water. Or call me. We've got 7 phones. Call, IM, fax, fly down a paper airplane. Just please don't yell. Why do I feel like I sound a little too much like David Sedaris?

The seven-or-so-year-old little boy, who was apparently their son, kinda meandered around unaffected. I hate it when the little snots are tougher than me. Here I am, the thirty-years-old, just passing by, and I'm worried about their loud, angry voices. We're in a Costco, for Pete's sake. What must everyone in the store think about their yelling? Embarrassment and shame gnawed away at what was left of the wonder created by the televisions. I wonder what wonder tastes like.

I rushed right past the replica Texas Ranger jerseys without even the slightest brush to see if the cotton was nice. My glance didn't stray to either side through the DVD isles. I did have to call my wife to ask if she wanted 20 pounds of russet or 15 pounds of golden. That might mean Tortilla de Patatas this weekend! And I know she and I would agree on the computer, the television, the Texas Ranger jerseys and the DVDs.


It's a new word we learned a couple months ago. I'll tell you about that later.

Everybody's got somthing to hide...

If you love monkeys as much as I do, then click the Ad to the right that says Monkeys ClipArt -Pictures Monkeys Bing.com.

If it isn't there, refresh the screen until it comes up.

Now don't say I never gave you or you monkey anything.

Out of Nowhere

I totally have no idea what to write about today, but I can't not write anything. None of my old tricks for ideas worked. Actually any one of them might work, but I feel too pressured to try any of them. I've got to write something now.

So I'm trying a new trick. I just asked my little girl what I should write about. She said, "bad guys." She's been watching a Disney movie in which the bad guys have a "Bad Guys" song.

Right after she said, "bad guys," she said, "I'm done." That means she finished eating dinner. Weetabix. So now I am done.

Now go in Peace.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What to Write About When You Don't Know What to Write About

I've covered this topic several times now. It seems like every time I write about it, I write about something else. Nothing is a terrible topic for Adsense. Nothing is a great topic for writer's block. Now if I can just combine the two into some sort of vehicle that generates cash by my just being great, then I'll get somewhere. Something.

So if you search "Nothing" in the cool Google search box I added to this site just below the AdSense adds, Blog Archive and my incomplete profile, you'll get a list of all my posts on Nothing. You'll notice I commit a significant amount of time and resources to Nothing. So far Nothing has got me nowhere. Click on the links to my posts regarding Nothing and check out my AdSense Ads. They are pretty much links to nothing, unless you need to pimp your blog. Do blogs really need more pimping? Pimping is for blogs that don't have Nothing. This blog has Nothing to spare! And if you only have links to nothing, then when you click those links you buy nothing. That doesn't do you much good. We need to stimulate the economy for America. Do it for the children.

Writer's Block is often caused by not knowing what to write about. If the author can just come up with a topic, he or she, or in this case, I can usually force the initial words. That almost always opens the floodgates. Unfortunately, it is not working yet today. For me, having nothing to write about is great, because my favorite thing to write about is Nothing! I just start writing about having nothing to write about, and the floodgates open! I tried it again. Still not working.

What I need to do is write about Nothing in such a way that AdSense generates some useful Ads for you to click and buy something. That will create a Win-Win situation. You win by having cool things to buy. The seller wins by having nice people to sell cool things to.

I ask for Nothing in return but the honor of entertaining you with my blog. If writing is its own reward, then I'm getting rewarded with one of my favorite things!


Monday, June 01, 2009

Low Rise. Take It Easy.

Riding around The Trails Sunday, I noticed something. I saw several girls walking The Trails who had folded down the waistline of their shorts. I didn't think much about the first two, but after seeing a few more I became suspicious. Very suspicious.

You can't be too careful these days.

I knew that they probably were not revealing an extra inch or so of midriff solely for my benefit. Or were they? One can't be too cautious, you know. I thought maybe they were trying to get a little more tan or a little less tan line. It was a spectacularly sunny day. Maybe they were just being coquettish. You know? Flirty. Who am I to judge?

I was almost killed by a squirrel. Forgetting about the waistlines, I go home, mow the lawn, whipper-snip the edges, and battle the hornets. A typical Sunday afternoon. BTW, Man vs. Hornet (bee, yellow jacket, etc.) may be one of the funnier battles in the animal kingdom. That sounds like a post for another day. How about Wednesday? Write that down, so I don't forget.

So I finish all my yard work and take a shower. BTW, it may have been a little too warm and humid for cycling and yard work on the same day. I finished my shower and dressed. I picked a pair of shorts I had not worn since last summer and a t-shirt I've worn three times since acquiring it a few weeks earlier.

Something was not right.

Something wasn't just not right, something was terribly wrong. Something was so terribly wrong in fact, that I could not seem to move. My shorts were extremely uncomfortable. Unbearable.


I adjusted them to where they looked right, but they were too low. I pulled them up to where the fit correctly, but they were too high. I called to my wife for help. No answer. I called again, louder. No response. Louder. No help.

I was alone. Panic began to squeeze at my throat like a box of anthrax, whatever that means. My life flashed before my eyes. It was just about to conclude with the day's lovely ride when one of the girls from The Trails passed through the frame of my final movie. The extra bit of midriff. The little puppy trying to chase my wheels. Another extra midriff with olive shorts. The row of kayaks being pulled out of the back of an RV by the river. Another extra midriff with the blue shorts and white tank top. Note to self: take camera to The Trails..

That's it. I folded down the waistline of my shorts and Presto! They fit perfectly. That is what all those girls at the trail were up to. They were adjusting their shorts, because they were uncomfortable. Or uncoquettish. You know? Unflirty. Who am I to judge? We are being robbed of comfort by fashion. Low rise jeans and shorts are last year's fashion. Or is it year before last? either way, we need our low rise pants back.

Throw fashion to the wind, my pets! Fashion will conform to us this time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sexy Monkeys

Sexy Monkeys

I'm not sure who came up with the concept of Sexy Monkeys. I am sure that the person--or monkey-- who did is a genIus!

With a capital I!

(Am I back?)

Maybe it was Laurie Hogin.

(Who would have thought someone would beat me to Sexy Monkeys?)

Back to the monkeys. I really thought this Sexy Monkeys thing would be a blogging fertile crescent. Once again, Nothing is better than monkeys. Nothing is better than anything. Nothing must be magic!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Year's Revolution

I read that you should write down your New Year's Resolutions. Writing down your goals seems to solidify the intent, and since resolutions are goals... Paul Harvey? Rest of story please!

I wonder if typing them counts.

I read that your resolutions should be specific. I have many character weaknesses. Specifically, specificity is one of them. In general, vagueness might be considered a trait. Ambiguity is one thing humans can do! I would work more on my ambivalence if I weren't so apathetic.

I read that you should share your resolutions. If others know your resolutions, then you're more likely to be held accountable. Thus, you are more encouraged to work on your resolutions. I wonder if you let your loved ones in on your resolutions, if you might get help with accomplishing your goals.

My guess is Yes! Is my Yes Guess correct? If you guessed Yes, that my Yes Guess is a correct guess, then I guess your Yes Guess proves my Yes Guess correct, I guess. Yes?

I followed none of those suggestions for 2008. My Resolution, about which I told no one, was basically just hoping 2008 would be better than 2007. 2007 was rough. I told no one. I didn't write it down, and it was not exactly specific.

I figured out that for 2008 to be better, I was going to have to start with myself. I was going to have to be more positive. With my family's help, I think I did that. I significantly decreased my gloomy economic news. The media has taken those reigns from me. Sorry about that. The four of us are much more positive now. Even though we are worse off financially, we are much happier. [Please send cash.]

But we're not talking about 2008, are we. We're talking about 2009. Here are my 2009 Resolutions, to which I hope you hold me accountable, and with which I hope you help. Maybe I can help you with yours.

1. Outlaw Rest Stop - [Blanca?] This means I have train for a Century Ride. It means I have to improve my pace to keep up with the faster MBBCers, or at least Blanca. It means I have to regain my alcohol tolerance, if I want to make the last two miles. It means I'll have to do some strength training. It means I'll have to slim down a little more. It is starting to look like it means I'll be hot! It means I have to drive to Wichita Falls. That's the hardest part. I've never liked 287.

2. Fresh Air - I want to get back in the woods, back on the mountains, back in the water. I want to take my family camping, hiking, fishing and climbing. Anyone have a big tent I can borrow? Hopefully the bike training will make my hiking easier.

3. Music - I'd like to play, write, perform, record, help record [Glenn!], even Deejay. Did I mention write? I don't even want to get paid. [Telling the truth is not one of this year's resolutions.]

4. Give More - Giving more in 2008 helped with my positivity. My Wife is very giving and caring, so giving more should be easy. We increased our monthly contribution to St. Jude's. We helped with a couple fund raisers. [Do bike rallies count? They are always for charities.] The hard part here is having something to give. I used to say that you can't give what you don't have, but I know longer believe that is true. Darren has proved this for a couple years. He's gathered literally tons of food to help feed local hungry folks. My wife I did try to organize a Trike-a-Thon for next year. We did not get the help we expected from the day care, so we'll have to formulate a Plan B. I will need to make gradual changes to increase my means to give. That means I'll need extra sources of income and time, which both mean I'll need to do something about my current place of employment. I love the consistency here though. Less time commuting and working for Da Man, will not only allow more time for giving, it will also give me more time for Training, fresh air and music.

5. Fifth Resolution - I only have 4 resolutions, but I feel strongly that 5 would be a complete list. Thus, my fifth New Year's Resolution will be to determine a Fifth New Year's Resolution. This one seems very forgettable, possibly the most forgettable resolution in the history of Resolutions. I'll have to try really hard to remember it. It is unfortunate that I completely ignored 1989's New Year's Resolution #5, which was to remember each and every resolution from then on. Ironically, I can not remember 1989's Resolutions 1 through 4 or 1992's Resolution number 3. It is possible there was not Resolution number 3 in 1992. It's possible there was no 1992. I made no resolutions in 1989, 1997, 1999 through 2002. At least none that I remember. This could also be the most important Resolution of 2009. Otherwise, I would not have saved it for last. I'm going to count on each and every one of you to hold me accountable for this one.

In conclusion, it is January 7, and I haven't posted my first annual New Year's Revolution post yet. I stop now. I post now.