::Words of Wisdom...

Friday, December 09, 2005

:: The Lullaby - a start?

Sam had never really been afraid of the dark before. She distinctly remembers tackling that fear at an early age. With a father like hers it was out of necessity as it was her only savior from the drunken evil that stumbled outside her door. She slipped out of her window and welcomed the solitude the night provided. Out here, he wouldn't find her and when he was finally passed out from his nightly intoxication she returned. She embraced the darkness like a friend so why is it she finds herself so terrified in the company of her old friend? Sam pulled the covers up around her, "What the fuck? This is crazy, I'm a grown woman after all." It was the nightmares, the shadowed face she continued to see night after night looking in on her in her dreams. "I need to stop staying up so late." She pulled herself together enough to get out of bed and pad across the bedroom to fetch herself a glass of water. She flipped the light switch on in the bathroom but the sudden flicker of light still startled her. "Get a grip, Sam, it's just a dream" The tap water in her neighborhood was horrible but the coolness of it was refreshing. She filled the sink and washed her face. The bags under her eyes were clear indications that the week long repetition of the dreams were taking their toll on her. "Maybe I should go see a shrink?" She splash her face again. "Yeah, let's go down that road again, Sam. Remember the last time you spilled your soul to a quack?" She quickly dismissed the memory and padded back to bed. She rolled over to check the time. "Five o'clock in the morning, UGH, why can't it interrupt my sleep earlier in the night?" She lay there motionless for several minutes pondering whether to just get up or shoot for those couple extra hours of sleep and hope them to be free of any more visions of shadowy men.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

:: Cowboy Fan - Born And Raised

You wouldn't guess it looking at me now (mostly because I'm hidden behind the anonymity of the internet) but I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan. I'm not even a fan of football but deep down I have instinctual link to the boys in Silver and Blue. I don't watch football except on Thanksgiving to watch the Cowboys play. And if I happen across a game... no matter who's playing I'm rooting for the Cowboys.

For the longest time I couldn't understand why... then I came across these pictures. As you can see at an early age I was indoctrinated into the life of a cowboy fan and even now the memories slowly make themselves whole in the fog of obscurity. Thanksgiving games mostly, just after the parade at my grandparents house. The occassional weekend stay at the cousins. Even though my house was not very into sports, my extended family was.. and they were Cowboy fans. Even now, as I said before.. not much of a football fan, give me REAL football (soccer to us Americans) anyday but American football just doesn't do it for me. But even when a friend of mine "suckered" me into a fantasy football league, I filled with Dallas Defense (THey ROCK!!) and a mix of packers and oakland. Dallas has yet to let me down as I'm currently in third (not bad for a non football fan)... is it all due to the BOys? In Reality? Maybe not.. To me though, its all about the Boys from Dallas.

Friday, October 21, 2005

:: The American Dream

What is it exactly?

Wife, kids, house with the white picket fence?

For some its easier to experience than most. Some are born with a silver spoon, ten of us are lucky enough to have NOT used the numbers from LOST and woke up with 34 million dollars waiting for them. For most of us, we have to work for it, HARD.

Take Terry for instance. While on our way across this great nation of ours, I found Terry. He's the hardest working man in America. He works SO hard that one state cannot contain him. In Nevada, just past Reno, he runs "Terry's Rent-a-Toilet" a fine establishment with a very worthy cause... Fulfilling our nature's call when we need it most... after a case of Pabst's and watching "Grave Digger" mash up a few cars. A quick laugh and Terry was quickly forgotten. That is until he resurfaced in Wyoming as "Terry's Towing". Again serving the public, man this Terry is helpful and gets around. Just a coincidence I said and had another quick laugh. That is until we stopped in Nebraska for lunch... and was served lunch by... you guessed it, Terry. How does he do it? He so helpful and has a hold on at least two of man's daily needs, Food and the Call of Nature. He's got to be rollin' in bank.

Here's to you Terry the toilet man, Terry the tow truck operator, Terry the food server... The Hardest Working Man in America, you are definitely deserving of the American Dream.

Friday, October 14, 2005

:: And with a wince he put on the shackles...

of Corporate life. The new job will probably get better once I'm doing something other than reading docs and slowly testing my limits on what I can install on my laptop and what I can browse via the internet. The good and bad of corporate life is that its so big you can probably skirt by without getting noticed or on the other hand they can come down on you with the wrath of nanotech and ban you from Homestar Runner forever... so I bide my time and wait for the projects with which to bury myself in and slowly stretch my wings to see what gives.

I miss the Cali weather already... its been nothing but miserable weather-wise. But I'm definitely liking the space we have with the new home... definitely liking the idea that even though we live in an expensive part of Virginia.. its pennies comparatively to California. Sad isn't it? I'm NOT liking the fact that the only HSI I can get is Adelphia and they are blocking port 80!! How the bleeding hell am I suppose to run my own server if they block port 80? Sure I can port map but its just not the same. Anyone got some rackspace for a cobalt RAQ4 and a WINTEL server?
Sigh.. A friend of mine told me that if I can get 10 neighbors to call Verizon and request Fiber to the Home (FOTH) that they'll expedite the area on their "to do" list. I'm thinking that might be a good idea.

This post is mostly me rambling but its late and its friday and my work week felt like two... so deal with it, I am.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

:: Missing Cali but only because its dark

Monday was crazy for everyone. And I missed getting a post out so here is one from the road. Gotta love wifi internet from the hotel.

We left as soon as I got home from work.. a grand send off topped with a few parting gifts from the team. One of which included my first cubicle toy.. a dancing hula homer. He sings "tiny bubbles" and is the best thing EVER!
We managed to avoid the afternoon rush and made good time through Sacramento. We passed through the Sierra Nevada and near freezing tempatures in the middle of the dark. The one thing we love about California and we missed it due to lack of solar lighting. *Sigh*

We stopped off in Reno and had a wonderful DelTaco breakfast before starting off again... we have several stories to share and we are only a little more than half way through our adventure. Stay tuned, there much more to come.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

:: Saying Goodbye

Super Bug!!This is Super Bug.

ScorpionThis is Scorpion.

Bitter rivals from the day they were conceived. And I'm sure they are at each other's thoraxes when the lights go out. With scorpion's biddy evil red eyes and Superbug's enormous head, I'm sure those battles are epic in porportion.

But by day's break they put away their enmity and begin their vigil watch over my desk.

Fragile Alliance while patrolling sector 3

Inherited from their creator nearly 2.5 years ago, they have watched over and protected my desk with only an occasional squabble or two. (Which usually resolves with me putting Superbug's fragile hands back together. You'd think that big head was his soft spot but no.. his achille's heel is his hands.) Their service to me is near its end and soon another desk will be in much needed help of securing its borders against such enemies as (to name a couple):

  • The Office Collector - This villian pops his head up once and a while stealing money from the locals to pay for its festive rituals and forces us to sign away our souls on pieces of decorative paper
  • MIS - The law of the oppressed. They enforce the totalitarian view against outside IM and the seeking of data via the collective BitTorrent.

They will have their work cut out for them as we move into a more open arena. They will have to be ever vigilant. I wish them well and pray they can keep their pincers off of one another. The safety of the team depends on their paper thin friendship.

May God Have Mercy On Us!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

:: Crap and suck!! I've been tagged


This whole thing with tagging bloggers is right up there with those darn questionaire emails that usually end up in my inbox only because my wife likes to torture me. I hate chain letters. I think its mainly that I'm someone who likes to keep personal things close to the vest. It keeps me safe. So why have a blog in the first place? Hmm.. check my archives, I'm sure I've answered that one already.

To sate my wife and because I was tagged from the most unexpected of places, here are my: (drum roll please)

Seven Answers to Seven Questions

Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die

  • Retire to Scotland (A most beautiful place unlike any other)
  • Create a legacy for my children (enough that they will never want but not enough to spoil them)
  • Publish something (A novel, short story, SOMETHING.. I want my name in the library of congress ;) )
  • Build my own home (and if possible a place nestled in the hills on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond)
  • Refurbish the coffee table and end table for the Mrs. (she put this one on her's but we all know who's going to end up doing it :P)
  • Watch the FIFA World Cup Finals LIVE and in person.
  • Find the question to 42.

Seven Things I Can Do

  • Script in PHP
  • Be a ToysRuS kid
  • Make an awesome banana milkshake
  • Do my own handyman work
  • Be a diplomat (even when I don't agree with the situation)
  • Make my wife laugh
  • Make fun of myself

Seven Things I Cannot Do

  • Tolerate ignorance
  • Play the guitar (though I'd like to)
  • Find my faith
  • Change the Past (can only make up for it, and I do everyday)
  • Accept failure in myself
  • Find enough time in the day to do all I want
  • Dance to save my life

Seven Things That Attract Me To Another Person

  • Intelligence
  • Confidence
  • Nice Smile
  • Not afraid to laugh (even at one's self)
  • Hints of a devious side
  • Comfortable in their own skin (not hung up on what other's think about them)
  • Loyalty

Seven Things I Say Most Often

  • Shite
  • Whatever
  • Cheers
  • Great googly moogly
  • Crap and Suck (inherited from my wife who inherited from Reagan)
  • But uh... Like I said (one for the Ethan Bebo crowd!)
  • Bollocks

Seven Celebrity Crushes

  • Christian Bale (not a crush but you gotta love a guy who can save the Batman Franchise and starve himself for a role)
  • William Shatner (again not really a crush but a deep admiration)
  • Angelina Jolie (a temptress)
  • Amy Wynn Pastor (Trading Spaces Carpenter, just something about a girl who can handle wood)
  • Scarlet Johansson (She's got classical beauty)
  • Evangeline Lilly (Kate from LOST, I love freckles and LOST... a perfect pairing)
  • Amy Lee (Evanescence front, my semi gothic love... and I seem to have a thing for Amy's)

Seven Bloggers I Tag

Ok, call me a party pooper but this is where I draw the line.. I've played along and answered the questions.. but I cannot bring myself to pass this along and tag other people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

:: The Death Blow Has Been Dealt

Today, I announced my resignation to my team. They took it as well as I thought they would. They are a great group of engineers and they expressed their sorrow and then went back to work. I'm sure its all being internalized and I hope it doesn't lead to further fall out within the group.
So I begin the countdown to the exit date and attempt to keep the boat afloat until the changing of the guard.
Meanwhile, I wait for realtors to give us the go ahead on our new address. As I watch the boxes of STUFF collect in the garage and den, its hitting me.. I'm moving to VIRGINIA.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

:: Been a crazy few weeks

Sorry for being away. Its been a very hairy few weeks. I've taken a job on the other side of the country and I'm having to tell my friends/team/co-workers that I'm leaving.
I don't know if this happens often but it happens often enough to me that I get to work with such great people that over time they become almost family. Its almost heartbreaking to separate from these people. The company itself has nothing to do with it. Its corporate, so its easier to leave; but the team is more than that. They are people... people I've had to share ups and downs with. I will miss them terribly.

Then comes "we can't lose you" speech from management. How can I make them understand that they basically uprooted me in the most dissmal period in the job market and moved me to the most astronomically unreachable standard of living in the US, all for chump change. It was bound to happen some time. Hell, I'm surprised we lasted as long as we did. All I can say is that we've been blessed. I'm thankful for it. But now its time to move on... with or without my current company, though I would be pleased if I could work something out. I just don't think its likely.

I just want to be out of California with as few ripples in my life as possible, is that too much to ask?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

:: She Whispered (Alternate #1)

She whispered softly into his ear. The smell of his aftershave flooded her with memories of her few memorable moments with her father. He would lather up and coat his five o'clock shadow with soap which always brought out a giggle from her even when she was trying desperately to stay hidden for fear of being discovered. Her father ritual of shaving was a deep fascination for her. "You look like an old man, daddy" she would say. He invited her into the bathroom with a grin. "Want to give it a try?" he said lathering up again for her first faux shave. Eagerly she climb upon the counter and tilted her head back, ready to receive her own white soapy beard. Together they shaved, he with his razor, her with her imaginary razor played by her index finger. She loved this time with her father, it was one of the rare moments that she had him to herself. He worked long hours at the mill and was usually too tired afterwards to give her the attention she needed. What she loved best was his big finish, the facial bathing of old spice. The smell wasn't all that pleasing to her but it was his signature smell.. that smell was her dad.
Eventually as she started getting older their time together became shorter and shorter. He took on more responsibilities at work in hopes of making more opportunities for his family. She knew he did it all for her and her mother but a part of her hated her father for not being there. The school dances, the first boyfriend, recitals... all the things that little girls want to share with their fathers.
Years flew by and his little girl became a woman with her own life. Her mother confided to her that her father's heart broke the night she left. She tried hard to believe that but it just seemed unheard of for her father to have any emotions. He was a hard man and hard men had hearts of stone, invulnerable to life's heart aches.
A nurse enters the room bringing her back to the present. The sheet covering his now frail body is stained with her mascara-tinted tears. "Are you ready?" the nurse states very matter-of-factly. She nods as the nurse places a bowl, safety razor and lathering soap at his side. She fills the bowl with warm water and begins to lather. She wipes a stray tear on the arm of her blouse not caring about the streak she leaves behind. She proceeds to coat his five o'clock shadow. He sees her daddy again for a brief moment as she gently shaves his thin fragile neck and face.
After putting the finishing touches to his stubble, she puts away the bowl and opens a small container of aftershave. With the ritual complete, she leans over and plants a kiss on his forehead. "Good bye, Daddy... See you tomorrow." Only the slowly but steady beat of the heart monitor is his reply.

Friday, August 19, 2005

:: She Whispered Lightly

She whispered lightly into his ear. The soft brushing of her thin pale lips sent the cackles of his neck to attention. Who he was didn't hold much importance to her, it rarely did. Her only drive was what she could get from him; the quicker the better.
"Please tell me again in full detail. I want the when's, who's, and where's. The less fabrication, the better..." She played gingerly with the remaining fingers of his left hand as a reminder of the price he paid for his previous transgressions. "I'm only thinking of you."
She hated this part of her work. She despised the way she so easily fell into the role of "Femme Fatale", the pain giver. Why couldn't they just cooperate for once the first time around? She knew it was a pointless question. Its human nature to try to preserve one's health. Little do they realize that in the one question she poses they hold that very preservation in the balance. She wondered if her small frame, the fragility of her appearance was an unfair hazard. A trap that was always sprung when she would corner her next lead. Requiring her to don the mask of the maiden of pain.
She was always impressed at how long they maintained their obfuscations, at how well trained they were at keeping his secrets. But eventually they all cracked, giving up the smallest of details which she fed back to her benefactor.
Another part of her work that she regretted. Trapped in a warped Pavlovian game of cat and mouse. Salivating for her prize whether she was successful with the retrieval or not as she rarely failed at attaining what her benefactor bid her for. All so she could get what she wanted, her prize. It was something so small and insignificant that most people take it for granted, but to her it was her life's blood. Silence is all she ever wanted. Silence from the faceless victims that had suffered at her hands much like the man that sat before her.
A mad paradox, she would jest, to be driven so deeply by the promise of silence that to achieve it she had to partake in the very act that was the source of the need of it.
The faint rasp of his voice brought her back to focus. The bloodied spittle hanging from his split lip, the glazed look in his eyes, the near fingerless maw strapped to the chair. This one is about ready she thinks.

:: Will Return After The Dust Settles

I'm finding myself with very little time to write or enjoy the writings of others these days. Sometimes I can only manage a quick read or two and that's it.

So if anyone has a Time Extrapolator handy, I would gladly pay you tuesday for a timeshare of it today.

Will be back soon...

Friday, August 12, 2005

:: The Surge (or My Wife and Her Short Stint With The X-Men)

Its not easy being married to a crime fighting superhero. Living in the shadow of someone with supernatural powers can be quiet humbling. No longer are you the top of the food chain so to speak. Sure I'm the bread winner with my thankless 9-5 gig but she's the one who secretly gets all the glory. "Look at me, I'm a crime fighter... oh la la!"

No, stop, we talked about this in marriage counsel. "She is not the enemy. It is not her fault she has abilities unexplained by science. Must be supportive of her differences. Her anchor." I think our shrink is on Mr. Xavier's payroll.

All this talk of being supportive and setting up sessions at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters to help her control her abilities. Isn't she a little old to be going to a school for kids? Have to admit the light bulbs have been popping less often since she started. And I can finally set the VCR clock.

But the idea of her fighting crime? What's a school have to do with that? Its like they are some secret department like the CIA setting up a fake college setup to recruit new spies. I mean really, what is it they expect her to do? Short out the villian's Lazer Beam? Besides, she's not the fighting type. And I can just imagine the drama that comes from them trying to tell her she has to wear those skin tight outfits. Not that she couldn't but she her self-conciousness will simply not allow it. No, I just don't see that working out at all. Must be supportive.

She's been on "patrols" for about a week now and... Ok, I think I hear her coming in now.

"Hi, dear... how was your day of fighting crime?"
"What do you mean they fired you?" "Cerebro? What's that?"
"Well shouldn't they have something like that shielded.. I mean if its THAT important. And what about tape backups?"
"Oh, well, I don't see how you could held responsible for their lack of forethought. Really... What did they expect from someone who's uncanny ability is to short out any and every electronic device in your proximity. I mean, really.. Amateurs."
"Come, come... its not that bad... you are a GREAT superhero. There are other supergroups out there.. here, I found this ad in the paper while looking for a cheap refrigerator to replace the one you.. uh, nevermind.. here look..."

"Got superpowers? Want to fight evil? Then JOIN US and let's PARTY HEARTY! Beer! Burgers! Babes!"

"This looks promising... right?"

Monday, August 08, 2005

:: Geekapollooza

Every Wednesday night (and the occassional Sunday) I entertain a small group of friends to a night of storytelling. Each have a part in telling the story. Its not much different from the online forums where you read the first leg of the story and the next person continues it. There is a plotline to adhere to but the path to it can take any number of creative twists and turns. Its only limitations are those of the persons involved. The stories are set in a world far removed from our own where magic is the core of all that exists and wealth is found typically in the clutches of greedy dragons. The story is mine, the game its based on is Dungeons and Dragons. The flagship of the RolePlaying geekdom. Some of you may scoff and judge.. that's your prerogative. My wife was very much like those people, until she tried it. Some say its a form of devil worship, to that I say "fiddlesticks". Or that its just a form of escapism, which to that I say, "you are correct. But its no more worse than watching TV to escape, or reading a book, or any other pasttime that takes your mind off of everyday things". The stigma that comes from this genre is from the stories of those that abuse it. The troubled kids who run around killing their parents because they believe they are vampires. Or explore a sewer line and whack off an arm because in their game his character lost an arm. Yes, these stories are true. But are rare nuggets of fanaticism that comes with life. These games didn't create the mental stability, it was already there and unfortunately was used as an outlet. A movie that really captured the slow mental unravelling and how it can be attached to RP is "Mazes and Monsters" starring a young Tom Hanks.
I grew up with a very active imagination. My brother, two years my younger, and I would re-enact great wars with our action figures. The dirt mounds my dad would have brought in to level out the back "40" were staging areas for the evil geniuses. Even when the idea of GI Joe faded that didn't stop us. With a bit of paint, cloth, glue and imagination we had our version of the Justice League or X-Men (whoever was cooler to us at the time). I started into the "world" of table roleplaying when I was around 13 when my parents bought me the "Basic Edition" version of Dungeons & Dragons. This intrigued me a bit but with no one in the neighborhood really into sitting at a table for a couple hours when they could be exploring the wilderness that was our backyard, I shelved the game. A few years later when I could drive and took my brother to the local comic store, a whole new world opened to me and courted the angst in me.. I found "Vampire: The Masquerade" and a group of fellow imaginists.
We would meet every Saturday night at this guy's house and delve into the gothic punk world of darkess. This was action figures in first person perspective and I loved it. We never believed we were real vampires, never really drank blood.. it was an innocent way to tap into that primal spirit and be something else for one night. To be fair, I have met with gamers that probably should have been institutionalized a long time ago. The ones who live and breathe the game, day and night. The ones who come to the games dressed as their character and transform their entire persona to match their character for that night (or even permanently). The ones that become filled with REAL anguish at the demise of their character. "Dude, its just a game.. lighten up." I continued with this group for a while until the storyteller up and left his wife. That was rough as he always painted her as a bitch and she's really a pretty wonderful person. She's been a good friend ever since that day. A few of us in the group didn't want to break ties so we took root elsewhere and moved to "Star Wars" by West End Games (Now owned by WoTC). Being one of the fortunate to have grown up with Star Wars this was a wonderful way to continue the story after Luke, Han and Leia. This continued on for many years off and on in between the many spurts of real life butting in. Eventually I got a job away from home and had to say goodbye to my Roleplaying buddies.
We stay in touch and trade stories.
While in TX, I found a group that was into Impromptu Theatre or Live Action Role Play based on Vampire: The Masquerade and while the group as a whole was on the freakish side even for me, there was a small splinter group that was pretty decent. Now this experience was even better... it took the action figure first person perspective and gave an almost real (or 3D) twist to it. I was (am) also very interested in acting and directing which made it all that more appealing. Eventually this group split and formed its out Troupe and it was here that I found a great group of Storytellers. But real life again reared its evil head and I was forced to pack up my family and move to CA.
Moving into a new area always means having to look for a new group which can be pretty scary and tedious. You have to weed through the weirdos and fanatics and yet find someone who can share in the creative work of storytelling. I've been lucky enough to find great sets of people both here in CA and in TX. I still trade stories with the group in TX and occasionally will collaborate on stories together.
Anyway, Good times and friends were had.. and many fond memories and not one of us ate the heads of bats, murdered our parents, or mutilated our bodies (except for the occassional non-game piercings). If you've interested or not, I would like to invite you all to participate in your local World Game Day and join in on the Geekapollooza!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

:: Nature's Revenge

I can't really blame Mother Nature. I mean if someone tried to kill someone close to me I think I would want to exact some form of revenge on them too.
But I would at least attempt to ensure only the person involved was getting theirs, so to speak. Mother Nature isn't so precise or nice about it I guess.

Its not that my wife went out of her way to kill the tree and technically its not dead (yet). She, in her need for cleanliness and to make that is black or green white again, decided to bleach the front walk way. This involved pure bleach to be pour along the walk away, a little scrubbing and hosing the bleach away. The innocent bystander in this drama is the poor mulberry (at least I think its a mulberry, I'm no arborist) who not really knowing the difference in rain water and chlorine rich water drank it up like a Jimmy Jones follower with koolaid. Little did he know he was drinking himself to death. When signs began to show of the tree's demise, paramedics were called in to attempt to resuscitate via two week treatment of thorough watering and feeding of plant food. Its current state is still in question as its still deathly brown but there are shoots of new growth appearing.

Regardless of its condition, the reason for the condition soon fell upon the ears of Mother Nature herself. She examined the circumstances and enacted her justice in the form of the most annoying flock of birds to ever to perch on a branch. Not only are they loud and obnoxious but they are loud and obnoxious at NIGHT! These birds have been charged to sleep all day and wake up and chatter as long and loudly as possible from dusk to dawn. I'm just glad it was one tree as I can only imagine what we would have received for a forest.

I've thought about putting a hose to the birds to chase them off but they are obviously smarter than that... recently they have been holding off on their blaring chattering until the Mrs. and I are snuggled in our bed and drifting to sleep. There has to be some sort of appeals process I can protest to in order to lessen the sentence. She planted flowers out back and though she nearly killed them too, she's been working very hard on keeping them both healthy. That's got to count for something, right? If not for her sake, do it for me, Mother Nature... I'm the one who has to get up at dawn to get ready for work. Sure it makes Mrs. T crabby but she can nap if the kids are allowing.

Guess the only thing I can say is to stay on the good side of Mother Nature, otherwise she's a spiteful bitch.

Monday, August 01, 2005

:: Ode to Bruiser

We each got our pick of the small litter, one pup to call our own. My brother picked and named his pup and like any boy/dog relationship, they were inseparable. It hard to tell if he was really going to be a big dog or not, especially when we were not sure who the "father" was. The only clues we had were the fact that he was the biggest of the litter, showed the most lab features and was a steam roller when it came to feeding time. He was the third and last survivor of a litter of nine due to the severe weather we had been having in our small town of SW Louisiana. His brother and sister were given away after they were weened from their mother mostly because financial reasons and because one of them took a snip at passerby (which I am positive was antagonizing the dogs on a regular basis but had no proof).

The boy grew to a young man and the pup seemed to have grown into his namesake, at least physically, filling out to be a very large golden lab mix. Beautiful dog as far as mutts go. And his mannerism was anything but having the most gentle disposition of the three. He was probably the dumbest, but he was as lovable as a dog can get. The boy and hisdog's relationship only grew and so did everyone else who crossed paths with this dog.

I was working for my dad doing onsite tech support for his Computer Systems firm and was pretty good at it. Good enough in fact that he felt he could go on a week holiday and leave me in charge. This thrill my eighteen year old self to great extent. The week went on pretty well, had all the clients taken care of and all was looking good for the weekend. The friday before our parents' return, a storm blew in... a bad one. The dogs were uncannily frightened of bad weather. It think it was mostly due to their past experiences with them. The mother and pup had both almost drown while giving birth so whenever it thundered they went hiding. You would usually find them under the dog house we created for them and usually hide together. I was running late for my only appointment on that Saturday and luckily the rain let up a little. I rushed outside did a quick check for the dogs and saw momma dog under her house as usual and assumed Bruiser to be with her. I started my car and quickly backed out of the carport only to hear the yelp of a dog. I quickly opened my door to see what had happened and saw Bruiser attempting to get out from under my car... terrified, I jumped out to help only to have the car roll by itself as I had forgot to put it in park. Further yelps and cries... I was mortified at what I had done, I quickly turn off the car. At this point it hits me that the crunching noise in my head was not me or the dog but my car door as it had rammed into the carport post. Further mortification sets in... but I focused on the life or death situation at hand.

Bruiser managed to get himself out but was dragging his backside.. not a good sign. I try to help him but in his state of mind he's not having it and snips at me. I know that I have to get him to the vet but have no way of putting him in the car. I comtemplate my options... "This is going to kill my brother..." I phone the vet only to be told they don't do house calls nor can they do surgery. Damn this backwater town. You'd figure with the number of farms and the like in the area they would have such a place.. I'm left one a last option.. one that I continue to live with this day. We only had one gun in the house and it was locked away to be used only in defense of the home. I ran inside and nearly ran into my brother. "What's going on?" he asked. As I swallowed back tears, I explained to him what happened. "I'm sorry, but I backed over Bruiser... I'm so very sorry." I think he knew one of the dogs were injured when he asked but to hear it was HIS dog.. I might as well have punched in the gut. "That's not the worst part, bro" I sadly thought to myself. "Let's call the vet," he scurried for a phone. "I already did.. there's nothing they can do for him. He's in a lot of pain. You know what we have to do." He just hung his head, "I know" "Do you want to do it?" I asked. "No, you do.. I don't think I could." And he walked back into his room silently sobbing.

I loaded the gun forcing back the river of tears trying to escape. Outside, Bruiser just laid there whimpering and yelling. He had inched his way out of the gravel driveway near the house. I stood before him and cocked a shell into the chamber of the 12 gauge, the rain has started again. Looking at him there forced a flood of tears and memories to hit me with such intensity I wasn't sure I could do it myself. The despair in his face and the yelps of pain help me resolve myself. I wiped the mixture of tears and rain, took aim and released him from his pain. I looked away from the mess to find my brother standing at the doorway watching the whole thing. I knew then that neither of us would be the same.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

:: This Feels Brown

I was laying next to Mrs T last night in the dark caressing her hair and had the sudden thought..
"This feels brown."
Suddenly my logical half, we'll call him Mr. Right, springs to action.
"What do you mean this 'feels brown'," he asked, "how could you possibly feel a color?"
"Just what I said, it feels brown. I'm laying here in the dark and everything is black but feeling her hair I can see it being brown."
Mr. Right scoffed. "Perposterous, her hair could be any color and it would feel the same." He was determined to set me straight.
"I don't know, I think if it were blonde or even black it would feel different. Have a different texture. I've even tried to imagine her hair blonde to see if I could fool myself even before making the statement Mr. Right and the result was the same... brown."
He fumed, "You are simply taking what you know to be true and applying it to a sense."
"Yeah, that may be true, but it still feels brown."
Flabbergasted, Mr. Right bid me good night and mumbled something about not letting me stay up so late anymore.

Monday, July 25, 2005

:: Killer Banana Milk Shakes

Not that I want to give away my trade secrets or anything... but considering I'm not in the professional Milkshake Making business.. I can make an exception here.

I've been told by my fans (primarily my wife and two kids) that my Banana milkshake is "totally awesome". And while I would certainly like to pride myself on this culinary delight, I can't really take the credit for it. I got the recipe from my wife's grandmother by way of my 8 year old son. You see, he asked me to make him and his sister a banana milkshake "like gramma makes them" on one decidely hot CA day. A day where it actually hit 105 in the partial shade. I thought it was a splendid idea but had no idea how to make them like "gramma" so I asked him, "Just how does Gramma make them?" Which he replied with a seriously perplexed look on his face, "With bananas, duh!" How stupid of me.. of COURSE... BANANAS go in banana milkshakes.. it amazes me at how simple the universe can be at times. We preceded to discuss how to properly make this milkshake to Gramma's specifications and decided on the following procedures:

  • 1 banana per person (minus the peel)
  • 2 scoops per person of Breyer's Natural Vanilla (the vanilla beans are essential!!)
  • 1/2 cup milk per person (more or less depending on how thick you want it)

Blend to your heart's content but I have to warn you. It MUST be Breyer's Natural vanilla. I accidentally used normal vanilla and was meet with great disdain for changing the recipe. And remember if its not Breyer's is not ice cream.*

*This is not a paid advertisement for Breyers, in fact you don't have to use Breyers but Gramma does and Gramma's typically know their shit about food. Just make sure its Natural Vanilla with the vanilla bean specks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

:: Dawn of the Weird

Ok, first let me start off with some history.

  • Finally watched the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Very creepy, seems this type of horror is the only thing that can get my skin crawling... End of the world, hopeless, killer viruses, zombie movies (28 days later freaked me out, no joke).
  • There is a weapon testing lab just east of where I live (approx 10-20 miles).
  • There was a grass fire moving dangerously close to said lab.
  • I don't typically remember my dreams when I wake so remembering them is freaking in its own right
  • Don't remember eating anything unsettling before bed time.

    Ok, now to my story.

    I'm on a con call with a customer (several employees of customer actually) and a few guys from development and support discussing the current hot issue with customer. I am half way listening as its boring and my engineers are dropping in for quick questions about this and that. The conversation perks my interest when they start speaking about Zombies. Why? I guess because zombies don't usually come up in topics and because of point one above and the dream I had last night. In their context they were speaking about processes being zombied, which is where a process will appear to be running but its really just sitting there (maybe waiting for another process to come by so it can eat the innocent passerby). In my mind, I immediately replay the spotted memory of the dream I had last night (or this morning which would explain why I actually can remember most of it).

    The fire spreads uncontrollably, greedily gobbling up the grassy fields of the country side.. over the hill stands the Weapons Testing Lab of Neverwhere. People scramble to fight the fire but its hopeless, in a matter of minutes the lab and last remains of the non-evacuated employees are consumed. Like all good horror flicks the supposedly impossible becomes possible. The frantic employee in charge of securing the lab's secret bioweapon facility forgets to lock down subject X43123 (Z virus). The heat and destruction releases the virus from its containment and is released. Luckily its localized to the lab. Unluckily, there is a survivor who is found and rushed to the local medical facility. Virus is then unleashed savagely upon the unaware public in a matter of hours.. meanwhile, the T family are resting cozily in their beds. For some reason I'm not there, or at least not in scene. I'm aware of it all but from a "director's" point of view. Oddly enough the kids are older, by 5-6 years. Maybe its the future and I'm dead? Anyway. Zombies flood the nearby neighborhood creating chaos... a few attack the house, immediately waking the kids and Mrs. T There are few close calls and when all seems lost, zombies breaking through the barricaded front door... a skylight appears in the ceiling and is broken through by a man dressed in a black hardshell suit.. darn it if it doesn't look like batman only not as buff.. and his mask if off showing off a head of fro-like curls.
    Ok this is going from horrific to just plain weird. The stranger does a few ninja like moves and pulls out a set of nunchukas and then turns... its Napoleon Dynamite dress like batman saving my family (where I seem to be absent) from a horde of zombies.
    Why I dreamed this I do not know. Any analysis would be welcome.. I can only guess that I've had a lot on my mind and these few items were on the fore front due to their proximity in my timeline of recent events. Either way, I found it very odd to not only have dreamed this but to have remembered it as well.
  • Monday, July 18, 2005

    :: Womanese, a brief translation

    As I continue to explore the finer points of intercommunication, I have stumbled across what might be the biggest discovery since ebonics. There is a hidden language being used by the female gender of H. Sapiens. A language so secret that their male counterparts for centuries have yet to completely understand it. I, for the sake of this article, have dubbed it... womanese.

    Here are few snippets from my journal that I have been able to translate:

    • "Honey, can you help me with this?"
      "Honey, Can you do this for me as I'm too busy and important to belittle myself with this task."
    • "Are you going to the kitchen?"
      "Go to the kitchen and bring me some water."
    • "Honey, I'm out of ideas for dinner. What would you like?"
      "Take me out to dinner as the 101 things in the pantry that I could make are not doing it for me."

    As you might have noticed that some speakers of womanese give hints to their secret language by prepending words of endearment to the secret message. I can only guess that this is used as a subliminal signal to the male's brain to activate the "Of Course, Dear" portion of the male's brain.

    Some speakers of womanese use a different indirect approach:

    • "Daddy's going to give you a bath"
      Give her a bath and no complaints as it was your idea
    • "Do you want to take her upstairs?"
      Take her upstairs and make sure she rides on your back like a pony.

    Here there are no markers so the listener has to be very careful to listen out for them. Typically they present themselves as suggestions on your behalf that spawn the thought: I am? Wow, she's psychic. I hadn't even had that thought yet but there she is telling it to the world. I should take her to Vegas.

    I have uncovered but only the tip of this volumous discovery but by understanding even a small portion of womanese, the male gender of this species puts himself in a precarious position. He is safe if he keeps this knowledge of the language secret but runs the risk of being labeled as "understanding" his female counterpart if he uses it to his advantage. When this does occur a form of punishment is used by the female gender of this species for discovery of this knowledge. Not only is this punishment a form of torture but also serves as a method of producing memory loss. The female takes the males to a large establishment and forces the male to endure hours of walking and sitting as the female exhibits every article of merchandise in these establishments. The mind numbing effect causes a small amount of brain damage which in some cases causes memory loss of said knowledge and in most cases a pavlov effect in the male that deters him from using this knowledge to his advantage again.

    With that said, please use this information with great caution and respect. The female species can be cunning, clever and ruthless if provoked. Approach with care.

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    :: Got a new laptop, doing a happy dance

    It always amazes me that for an IT company and that my department is actually revenue generating, that we always seem to get the latest hardware updates about 2-3 years too late. We get are treated like rejects even though we are the only department that meet our quarterly numbers EVERY quarter. I only got this laptop because the harddrive in my previous laptop took a dive this morning. (Right before an important conference call, to make matters worse)

    So it takes me all day even after logging a critical ticket with our internal MIS first thing this morning to get this "not-quite-latest-technology-but-as-good-as-we-are-ging-to-get" laptop, but its not bad.

    At least know I can sit and make a depression to match Mrs. T's on the other side of the couch.

    Just thought I'd share.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    :: It's a Very Brady Life

    Last week I talked about the GenX generation being the "outsiders" and "rejects" because of the awkward era we grew up in. Well, GenX'rs are taking another stab at the younger crowd. First we charged them top dollar for our old back-o'-the-closet clothing we wore when we were younger. Now we have devised the ultimate "See what we had to live with"/"Let's humiliate the young" revenge. This revenge manifests itself in a game show where a group of TRL wannabes are asked to come to a 70's styled house complete with State of the Art HiFi Record player/8 track and wall to wall shag carpet. Premise? To life in this Brady's styled home and live the life of a teenager in the 70's Sounds easy enough right? Ha! Not only is EVERY aspect of this house 70s (right down to the entertainment console that only plays PONG! JOY!;) ) you have to live, breath, TALK and DRESS 70's This is the "see what we had to live with" portion. The clincher on this show is that they take these newly made 70's cats into the world of tomorrow (actually today) and they have to keep up the 70's mindset and dress. HAHAHAHA, obviously this is the humilation part and I'm loving every moment of it. Its a must see! Finally a MTV show worth watching (outside of Viva La Bam, of course)! Tuesdays 10:30pm ET/PT Its Mondo-cool!

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    :: Mind the Gap

    I thought about doing a post on the tragedy that rocked London's Underground, then realized everyone was doing it. I think I'd rather have a moment of silence to remember the victims of the London bombing and also the victims of all the past terrorist attacks: WTC (9/11), Spain's Train blasts, Insurgent kidnappings and bombings in Iraq to name a few.

    So if you will all gather 'round and join me in a moment of silence....

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    :: Too old and yet not old enough

    I always thought the early teens were the most awkward years of my life. The pimples, the unruly hair growth in places that didn't have hair just a couple of years earlier, the high-low of the pubescent voice, getting that funny feeling around girls. Yeah, they may be awkward but they have nothing on the mid-20's to mid-30's. The awkward years of being too old to be cool and hip and yet too young to hang out with anyone outside of this age group. Maybe its just my generation... we are the in-betweeners, the genX, baby busters. Can't relate to the baby boomers as we are the younger generation and the younger generation is like ANY younger generation, they react to us and anyone else older than 21.. "You're over 20.. you're OLD!!" So what are we GenX'rs supposed to do when in mixed crowds? We huddle. We huddle for survival. The youngsters ignore us with their arrogance that comes with youth and the baby boomers call us elitist. We can't win. Though some of us try to mix with the baby boomers and become prematurely old. Sitting in on the weekends and complaining about the noise from the neighbors. Going to the grocer and complaining about the high prices as we buy our starbucks frappaccinos and Ben and Jerry's ice cream. These are sad people... a lost people. What happened to the vibrance and energy that was associated with the GenXer's We were supposed to change the world. We saw the end of the Vietnam War, the WALL fall in Berlin, the crumble of the Soviet Union, birth of the Internet and the modern dysfunctional family. Nevermind, I think I see where our energy went.. maybe we did change the world and now we're tired. We're slackers for a reason damn it! Take that baby boomers and take heed you snot nosed kids... what we threw out as trash is what you kids call retro. We've been there, done that... and you're wearing our T-Shirt.

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    :: Jealousy, Camping, and the bug magnet

    So my wife's friend is going camping. I have to say I'm green with envy. Which is funny because she's *snicker* a gardener and gardeners have thumbs *snicker* that are... oh nevermind. I'm jealous. Why you ask? No really ask why? "Why would you be jealous" the collective asked. Well, I'll tell you and thanks for asking. Its not like I'm a serious camper, not even a once a year camper, heck, I can only remember camping one time in my life in an actual tent and it as miserable. Sure I'd been "camping" before.. but when you are a stone's throw from civilization and your tent is a 1000 sq foot cottage that's not camping. Camping is roughing it. Getting back to nature and the neanderthal workings of hunting for your food (fishing mostly), taking it back to your cave (tent) and cooking it over this new thing we discovered (fire). To go hiking and exploring... to survive on your instincts and most importantly to leave the world behind for a short time. No more people, work and the leashes we bear. Ah to be camping... Ok, now you're probably wondering, "If you like it so much why don't you just go already?!" A good question.

    Enter the bug magnet, otherwise known as my wife. She is the only person I know that can douse herself in the strongest pesticides known to man and STILL get a bug bite. The two of us could be standing side by side, me clean of any sprays, oils, etc and she doused as usual... SHE will be target of the bloodsucking tyrants of the forest. And of course to top it off, she's just a tad bit allergic. Go figure.
    So needless to say the extent of our camping experiences are in the single digits and involve lodges that are a short car ride to the nearest Piggly Wiggly. Now don't get me wrong, there are some hidden advantages to this... I get to do all the gardening (like to garden) and yard work (which may be machoismo of me but I think is a man's job anyway.) So I do get my nature fix but that's about the extent of it.
    To her credit, she's been sporting the idea of actually going camping.. real camping but I think its more for my sake than her actual enjoyment of it. But I have yet to get any equipment out of fear that it will sit in the garage with the other artifacts of outdoor enjoyment. *Sigh* So now you can see why I would be envious of the Garden knitter. She is doing what I can only dream of doing. But I'm ok with that. I can live vicariously through her simply because my bug magnet is actually willing to put herself at the mercy of the "let's eat Mrs. T for dinner" bug club for the sake of allowing me one night/weekend of enjoyment. You can't look at that and not say, "Wow, that's great."

    Maybe I'll take her up on her willingness one day, when the weather's right and she's recovered from her upcoming tonsilectomy. Who knows maybe she'll enjoy it despite the bugs and will want to make it a regular holiday for us. Right, and on that same day, I'll find the golden ticket to Will Wonka's chocolate factory. Wheeee!!

    Thursday, June 30, 2005

    :: English Mother Fucker... Do You SPEAK It?

    Do you ever get the feeling that even though the words coming out of your mouth are english but are reaching the person your talking to in some other language. Sometimes I wonder. I thought that maybe I had a lisp or stammer or perhaps the words sounded English to me on the inside but were really coming out gibberish (there have been documented cases of such things, really) but I've heard my recorded voice... and to boot I get the same response from email/IM replies. The dumb look on their faces like a perplexed puppy... the actions that couldn't possibly come from someone that truly understood the concepts I was trying to relay. I sit and ponder it sometimes and all I can come up with is ... WTF?? It can only be one of two things... Either I'm a poor speaker or I speak above my audience. I spend a good portion of my life on the phone with customers. They seem to understand me ok but its highly technical and straight forward. So still could be either one.. my audience at work is on my level but there is very little room for deviation. Outside of work is where the confusion sets in. I talk, people listen, then I either get the puppy dog look/erratic behavior or I get a proper response and all is right in the world. Hmm.. looking a little more like its the audience at this point, but I could be biased.

    Maybe it is a matter of intelligence level.. or rather the assumptions I make on people. I assume they understand English. I assume based on their appearance/age whether or not they can understand simple to complex concepts like time, weather, space, value of a warm beer, and arithmetic. I assume that based on their level of relation to me they will understand certain aspects/quirks about me and my life. I know they are not mind readers but when the sun rises to east and sets in the west every friggin' day for the past millions of years, you are safe to bet its going to do the same tomorrow. So with that I engage in conversation with these assumptions. And sure enough, there is a break down. I'm not direct enough, I am misunderstood, I am given the puppy dog look and I am astonished by it. Where is fault here?
    At what point does my words turn to gibberish? Maybe someone already has told me why... and maybe all I did was cock my head to one side and gasp, "HUH?"

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    :: This So Called Life

    Back in the early 90's (seems so far now) I attended college with the best of intentions to change the world for the better. No mountain moving, just doing my part. Had big ideas with motivation to back them up, or so I thought. Fate has a way of changing the course of your life much like a drop of water will careen down a window pane. Even when it seems set on its course, it never ends up where you expect it. A friend of mine once said "Life isn't a bowl of cherries, its a jar of ripe jalepeno peppers... what you do now could burn your ass later." Looking back on my life with this quip of wisdom in mind, I can certainly see where that is true. But you know, no matter how much that pepper may hurt, I'll be the first to eat another as soon as the swelling subsides.

    :: What to say in a blog or the new psychotherapy for the masses

    Ever wonder how this blog craze got started anyhow? This mix of "getting it off one's chest" and voyeurism as a means of entertainment and possibly even therapy for the soul. To air one's deepest thoughts or random quip for all or none to see. Yeah, me neither.

    :: Free Guiness Tomorrow

    Probably one of the best adverts I've seen on the side of a pub in a while. The promise of a warm Guiness all for the easy going price of the excercise to drag your happy arse up to the bar. Alas today is not tomorrow and we soon find out Tomorrow never comes because yesterday's tomorrow is today. Oh the vicious cycle of time. Oh Annie makes a good show of it by making it all seem like the best thing since plasma screen televisions with the sun coming out and all... but you can't escape the fact that thinking about tomorrow only makes today drag like molasses. Damned if a free guiness sure doesn't sound like heaven, right? Well, since you're there you might as well have a pint anyhow yeah? We'll try for that piece of heaven again "tomorrow". That'll be £3 please.