the real thing

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gary Police

I sure test the Gary police.. I really dont think they pull people over for moving violations. I dont think they should, quite honestly, and not just because I would be the one they pulled over everyday. Well mostly because it would be me. But also, I think there are lots of more awful things going on in Gary then some poor father of two racing to catch his train to take him to work. This morning i was going about 60 in a 45 and there was a cop at the intersection and the light turned yellow.. and I really needed to make that light. So I did. I'm pretty sure the light was still yellow when I entered the intersection, who knows. But I really wasnt' worried that I would get pulled over. I would never ever try that trick anywhere but Gary. So maybe Gary does have an upside.

So I got a "new" car. The cavalier is no more. I got $100 dollars for it. Actually I haven't gotten anything for it, my neice's father still owes me. I'm not going to worry about the fact that I had just bought 4 brand new tires ($250) - replaced the timing chain ($500) - replaced the head ($500) in the past year. That really doesnt' matter. The good thing is that the car is gone and I now have some pretty reliable transportation and it doesn't hurt that its about 80 times faster then the cavalier (may she rest in peace). I think this car will tide me over until I get my dream car, a Lotus Elise. I have a few hoops to jump through before I get this car, and I will post them here some time soon. (soon is a relative term, you know)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Po Po ..

I swear there are no routes for me to speed to/from work anymore .. since i've been pulled over twice on US 20 in past 2 months , I thought I'd try US12 instead, well on the way home tonight, I got a flippin escort the whole way home. I saw him sittin in the median and he pulls out behind me and proceeds to follow me for 6 miles until i get to a stop light where he proceeds to make an illegal u-turn in the intersection (during a red light no less) to return to his little strip of US 12 that he patrols so vigorously.

So we did a fundraiser for on Saturday at the world famous Popcorn festival in Valpo. The whole thing went so much smoother then I could have even imagined. the first 10 hours of the day flew by as well.. it was those last 3 that got a little rough. As with any festival, atleast in IN; there is no shortage of interesting people to look at. Here are some of the Tshirts I remember..

- I put the laughter in Slaughter ..
-So... what is ur sister doing later ?
-Ya, I smoke, so f**k off (it wasn't bleeped on the shirt and it was worn by probalby a 15 yr old girl)
-Let me drop everything and work on your problem.
-Got Dork ?

There were better ones but of course i can't remember.. all in all it was a good day - we signed up some walkers and sold some bears and some bracelets and gave out lots of balloons !!

So I got something from the County Prosecutor's office today. Like Illinois, Indiana has a cute little way to "get out" of your moving voliations, all you have to do is pay them $242. $242 dollars ???!! In IL its like $85 and you have to sit through 3 hrs of online traffic school. If I actually had any money, maybe I would appreciative of the idea that there is no traffic school.. but i don't .. so I"m not. Since I haven't had any tickets in Indiana in about 5 yrs, I'm not to worried about what it will do to my insurance and points on my license. I was only going 62 in a 45... hopefully the fine will be much less then $242.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sometimes.. I swear..

I started my new job and things are going well -- I had a close call of almost missing my train on Tuesday , which would have resulted in me being late for my first day as I can not drive into work with my car because one of the front tires is completely bald. It turned out the train was 5 minutes late that day so it all worked out. The next day, I was driving to the train not in a huge rush, but somehow managed to get pulled over for doing 62 in a 45 -- the officer wasn't as respectful of my "clean driving record" and gave me a stinking ticket. However, I still made the train.. (it was running late , again). I always seem to get pulled over when I'm not paying attention. I have never been "consciously" speeding and actually gotten pulled over.. Its those times that I am driving and my mind is elsewhere that I always seem to get caught.

The job is good -- its taking some getting used to getting back into a regular work environment, you know, the kind where people actually talk to each other. But otherwise things are good and I 'm learning all sorts of new stuff so I can't ask for much else after 4 days.

Monday, September 04, 2006

FFF Part 2

Wow 2 days in a row.

Back in May I complained about the furnace filters I installed in January.. Well the furnace filter I installed in May was actually a very cheap one that is supposed to last like 2 weeks or a month. Well I haven't changed it since May. Pretty smart I know. I am goind to change it now. BRB. Ok I'm back. That was disgusting - I went to pull the filter out of the slot and .. it was gone. No wait - it wasn't gone, it was just blown in or sucked in I guess. Once I was able to pry the mess out of the furnace I noticed it was soaking wet. I dont think that is good. At any rate I put a fresh clean filter in there and I am going to setup a Google Calendar event to send me an email to remind me to replace it. BRB. Back - all set. Thanks to my sister for reminding me about the Google's Calendar !

Speaking of past posts, back in the day I replaced the sensor for my lampost in the front. So it would shutoff during the day and stay on at night. It was like $15 and came with a 12 yr warranty. Wow that is a long time. However, it broke in July. Of course it broke right after I cleaned the garage and found the packaging with the warranty info. I said to myself, well if they warranty something for 12 yrs there is no way its going to break anytime soon - so i will go ahead and throw it out. I am pretty sure that the sensor stopped working about 3 days later, after the trash had been hauled off. I was so irritated that I attempted my car fixing technique of "give it some time, it will fix itself." After about a month of waiting with no results, I actually went out there and opened up the lamppost. Thanks to my previous blog, I knew that the breaker was #15 so I didnt' have to spend any time figuring that out. I tightened all the wires and sure enough, nothing happened. So we went out and bought a new one - a different brand but it has a 12 yr warranty too. ( I guess that is standard in the lamppost-solar-sensor industry). Its working now, but I have no idea where the receipt for the thing is... but I'm not worried since it has a 12 yr warranty there is no way it is going to break anytime soon...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

So this is a blog...

Its been so long since I've posted that I forgot what exactly to do. I think I am supposed to type stuff about me.. Well - I suppose the big news is that I got a new job. I know no one wants to read about computer sort of things ( i have a whole different blog that I dont update for that). So the details are like this: at my old job I was responsible for everything. At my new job, I'm only responsible for a teenie tiny part of things and I'm part of of a team that is responsible for that same teenie tiny thing. So things should be a little easier and maybe I'll have more time to blog :)

People have asked me often why I am leaving my current job since I seem to do pretty much whatever I want, whenever I want. Thats a really good question -- I think I could have done that job for the rest of my career and not gotten too bored. Working from home, making my own hours, choosing what projects to work on.. I was the IT manager and reported to the CFO - who is non-technical, so pretty much anything I said was taken as the law. Those are freedoms that I just wont be able to find anywhere else. I felt like I needed to give them up in order to have the opportunity to advance my career. The sad fact is that the company I was at is shrinking, in fact it is almost half the size now as it was when I started back in the beginning of '03. They have chosen not to replace me or another guy that is leaving and they will divide our duties up amongst a few people. Basically as far as IT infrastructure goes, there was absolutely no where else for me to move to in the company, so I had to leave if I wanted to move up in the world. My new position is not exactly a lateral move, but I am confident (perhaps i'm just naive) that I will be able to stand out and take advantage of new opportunities inside the company. Not to mention the fact that the new job is located in the building attached to my train station ! So no more 15 minute walk each way to the office !

Thanks Tracy, btw for the well-wishes.

So now that I have that off my chest back to important things... I was thinking about things to blog about in future posts so I will list them now and I can refer back when I'm stumped as to what to say.

-- talk about how with this new job, I'm turning over a new leaf.. more exercising and blogging and less eating and spending.. ;)
-- have the first annual "Kids TV that adults end up watching" awards show ..
-- Divulge my master plan to buy myself a sports car
-- Talk about the pick-up truck I saw towing a U-haul trailer that pulled into the Adult book store parking lot
-- Talk about how not only is my car's glove box exposed to the world, but the insides of the one tires is as well.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Been a Long time Since I Rock n Rolled...

I've neglected the blog.

But thanks to some prodding from Beth and some chic named Sara, here I am again. I should thank Sara for being so great to Beth these past couple of 'troubling' weeks. So thanks Sara, you've been really great ! I really am trying to get Cubs tickets too..

Yesterday I went to millennium Park for lunch and finally saw THE BEAN up close and personal. While linking this page, I found out its actually called "Cloud Gate " and not the bean. But anyway, the whole experience was rather humbling as I led a group of people on a bit of a goose-chase searching for Mecca.. aka the sub shop that also sells french fries. After we gave up, I was trying to lead them to the bean , err Cloud Gate and somehow we managed to walk right past it. I have no idea how you miss a 12 ft tall silver bean.. but I did. But lunch was really nice on the lawn of the amphitheatre. There was some sort of symphony orchestra with a huge choir singing, which was actually kind of loud, but not terrible. We found cloud gate after lunch and it was actually much cooler then I gave it credit for.

Maybe getting old isn't as bad as I thought. I got pulled over on the way to work the other day. Since I wasn't running late for the train I was only going about 55 in a 45. I really didn't consider that speeding because I usually go 60-65. However the po-po disagreed, but he didn't give me a ticket, he said "you have a really clean driving record, and I'm not going to ruin that for you today." That was probably the funniest thing a policeman has ever said to me because I've always considered myself "mr. ticket". But actually I haven't gotten a ticket since in '02 (in Indiana anyway) so I guess that constitutes a clean record. Maybe it wasn't my driving record... maybe the cop was feeling sorry for me because despite the fact I have duct tape all over my glove box door, it is still open.

Speaking of my car - I was at the bank making a deposit on Thursday when the teller asked me if I was part of the Fletcher-Jones car dealership family. I said .. "Umm, no - I drive a Cavalier and there is 53 cents in my checking account". He thought I was pretty funny.

I think thats it for now. I always think of good things to blog about when I'm driving home from work but can never seem to remember them when I get home. Kinda like when I hide a Barney Video a week before a birthday party so the kids won't see it, then I forget where I hid it when the time comes for the party. Or when I move all our important documents (marriage license, birth certificates, etc..) from the place where I normally keep important stuff to a "better place" .. and can't recall that place when it comes time for a cruise and we actually need those docs. But I can remember that that Rock n Roll is a song from Led Zeppelin IV, which happened to be the first (and only ) Led Zeppelin CD I bought (from BMG music club of course) in 10th grade... so maybe Everything's Not Lost.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Freakin Furnace Filters - what is that ? alliteration ? ya..

I bought a fancy furnace filter (there it is again) back in January with the promise of it reminding me when I needed to replace it with a handy dandy email. I even blogged about it. Well guess what ? I didn't get no stinkin' email .. And per usual I completely forgot about it. Until last night when we noticed that the Air had been running all day and it wasn't any cooler in the house. I did a quick search on the old blog and saw that it had been over 4 months since we changed the filter. I replaced the filter and well.. things really didn't get any cooler. We made some adjustments to the ceiling vents and thats seems to make a difference so hopefully nothing is broken. But I'm still pretty ticked about the lack of notification from those fools..

Friday, May 12, 2006

Better blog

"Better blog" as in "you'd better blog tonight"

I went to work yesterday (Thursday) for a half day as our household is still rather sick. It was raining and I brought my umbrella. Rain in downtown Chicago is an interesting thing because it is mixed with the wind. It has to be raining pretty hard to warrant actually using an umbrella because the wind makes it near impossible to keep control of it. About 75% of umbrellas are flipped inside out on any given rainy day in Chicago. Knowing this I kept my umbrella closed during the short walk from the car to the office. A few hours later I remembered I needed to go to the bank and I consciously did not take my umbrella. I got outside and it wasn't too bad but the further I walked, the harder it rained. By the time I made it back to the office it was pouring out and I was drenched and there was no wind at all, seriously.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Out of the club

Well I tried but I just can't hack it as a redneck. My duct tape solution doesn't work. The glove box door is too heavy and after a few hours it just opens. Oh well - i think i will shove the registration in the visor and clean out the box and just leave it open.... doesn't much matter to me. As long as the radio still works.

My home "theater" speaker count

1998 - 2
1999 - 8
2003 - 6
2005 - 4
2006 - 0

Its been a sad, steady decline in the number of external speakers in my setup. The final straw happened this past weekend when our tv died and we had to get a new one. With the cruise coming up and my parents being here with the kids, I decided that I would drop the whole receiver unit and speakers. All in the name of KISS'ing it (Keep it simple, stupid). The main issue with the old setup was that when you wanted to go from watching Thomas the Tank Engine on TiVo to watching a Baby Einstein movie on DVD, you had to tell both the TV and the receiver to switch sources.

We bought a universal remote and programmed the macros so that it would be a two button operation, but the trick is that you have to hold the controller just right so that all the components receive the signals or else you will end up in a state where nothing works. So now we have a simple setup where you can actually change everything without a remote at all and the volume on the tv is actually the right place to raise and lower the volume.

However, I am always looking towards the future and I am seeing 8 speakers again with an HDMI audio output on the TV running to the receiver and hearing the DD+ sound coming from the Blu-ray DVD no wait .. HD-DVD...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

You might be a Redneck...

You might be a redneck, if you use duct tape to hold your car together..

This isn't one of Jeff Foxworthy's quotes.. but it could be. And today I joined the club. Since I was storing a roll of single's in my glove box, ( to eventually pay back the over generous toll booth lady) I had been opening and shutting the glove box often. Until I broke the latch. It won't stay shut at all, not even close. So now I have about 6 pieces of duct tape keeping the glove box shut. I may look for a more elegant solution or I might not. I'm not sure yet. It might elicit some sympathy from a police officer if i get pulled over and I need to get my registration out of my duct tape -shut glove box.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Transportation Tales

I drove into work today and there were many notable occurrences..
Firstly, with my new eyes, I like to see how far back I can read bumper stickers and whatnot on the cars ahead of me. (I'm still trying to convince myself that I can see better now then I could before the surgery.) So I spot a a purple bumper sticker on a Taurus .. I pull closer and read something the effect of "porn name" .. That sparked my interest of course so I get a little closer .. And read "Porn name : Do What Ye Will " They used some old-times font for the name. Why would someone put that on their car ? I mean it doesn't really make sense because I think everyone knows anyway that your porn name is supposed to be your middle name or your first pet and then the name of the street you grew up on... "Do what ye will" does not even fit within the rules. My porn name would be something along the lines of "Barney Verma" , but I dont think i will be putting that on a bumper sticker anytime soon. Oh to top it all off - the sticker wasn't even on the bumper it was on the trunk right next to the "Taurus" label.

Nextly - I was driving down a highway and came up upon a motorcycle.. I hate riding behind motorcycles... because you have to stay so far away but they can move so erratically and stop so quickly. After about a minute behind the guy I realized it was a state policeman.. just like on CHIPs (Ponch was my favorite). That was the first ever Indiana state policeman on a motorcycle I've ever seen or atleast can recall seeing. We were in the turning lane and I was bummed out because I thought the moto-cop was going to get on the interstate with me and severely lengthen my commute time. All of a sudden a big suburban flies across 3 lanes of traffic and cuts the policeman off. The light was red so the cop pulls up along side the truck and starts chatting with him, from my angle I could see the cop was smiling... they spoke for a few minutes and the light turned green but they did not move.. I was just about to start getting irritated but then the cop's smile turned to a grunt and he flipped his lights on directed the truck to pull over. Score !! I do wonder what the guy said.. but I'm glad he said it as I was able to get on the interstate and not have to worry about mr. motorcycle.

Lastly - This happened on Friday night when I was coming home around 10:30 after a late night rendeverous with the as/400 and I was jamming to my favorite Fall Out Boy Song, not realizing i had it soo very very loud. I pull up to the $2.50 toll with my loud music still on and hand the lady a $20, she immediately dropped 50 cents in my hand and turned back into the both to get the rest of the change. After what seemed to be a really long time, she hands me a huge wad of ones and says something, but I can't hear her over the music. At that point I realized how loud it was and put it on pause. She said .. "you must really like that song." and i responded " oh i love it, thanks" and unpaused the music and sped away. After I got home I looked at the wad of ones and it turns out there were 24 of them. Not 17. She gave me 7 extra dollars and now I feel terrible like my loud music threw her off or something.. I put the 7 dollars in my glove box in case I happen across the same toll booth lady, i remember her because she had her hair those really tight braids that seem to be popular nowadays, the receptionist at work said that her daughter wants to get them and it would cost 200 dollars and take about 6 hrs with 2 people working on her head, so anytime I see someone with them I think about how long it must have took.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

While reading the only interesting thing in today's paper, the Best Buy ad -- I noticed that the name of my new blog is the same as the new album from Bo Bice. Pure coincidence. While I do admit that American Idol is a spring time ritual, I typically do not like the music that the artists come up with after Idol. The lone exception is Kelly Clarkson. I didn't even do that on purpose, I just found myself singing "Since U Been Gone" along with the radio one day and was enlightened when they said it was Kelly Clarkson of AI fame.

Speaking of American Idol, I am glad that Ace is gone - it was really difficult for me to watch him sing on the show, I felt like he was trying to flirt with me and that just isn't cool.

Friday, April 21, 2006

so i bought a $16 rake today. I broke my martha stewart rake last week and we still have a ton of leaves to dig up out of the backyard. The other rakes at Lowe's were like $4. I was lured by the sticker on the rake.. its said "less work.. more week" and its pretty fancy.. aluminum handle and a wide, "non clogging" tines. Its made by Fiskars. I didn't know they made rakes. I tried the rake this afternoon and was.. disappointed. I'm not sure if the rake wasn't meant to be used to dig out trampled down leaves from within grass or what - but it didn't do a very good job. I think i will try borrowing the neighbors "normal" rake and see if it does better. At this point i think Fiskars should stick to scissors...