Thursday, June 19, 2008

06-19-05-13-32-08 51

4 Out of 5 Good Days - Day One

Again, I've let a few days pile up I wanted to tell you about. I believe last time we talked on the phone I told you of the upcoming graduation party for Jamie. Well that was back on May 31st. The day actually started after I dropped the boys off at their mothers work. I went into the mall to look around and eventually found my way into the book-store. I picked up a writing magazine and a YA book of a similar genre of what I'm writing. I then headed over to the park where Jamie's party was. I brought along my magazine to read just in case there were times when I would be by myself as I seriously predicted. As it turned out, I had someone sitting at the same table with me for just about the entire night. I talked with Little Dan and Nathan to some great lengths. Craig also came over for awhile. Instead of taking off fairly early as I thought, I stayed till the very end and helped pack up a bit. Craig then invited all that were left over to his house. I played darts with Allen, Jade and Craig but Craig was the real competition. Just as it looked like he was going to win, I came from behind to win the game. After that we played Trivial Pursuit. I was on the same team with Craig and Ellen. We battled Allen, Jade, Jamie, Blaine and Greg. It was getting late so we didn't quite finish the game, but we were ahead and won a final piece to win the game. It was a great day overall.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mental Illness

R.a.n.t. of week 06/15/08
It's probable I may continue a part of this rant in a letter to Tegan. Mostly because things have been weighing on my mind and I really need to get it all out. This weekend was much like some of the weekends I had before I was married and hanging out with buddies Chris, Travis and Ernie. Back then, my depression would hit me hard at times and it was very hard to fight. It's like being trapped inside your own body without being able to control it. You don't want to speak, laugh, or be engaged in conversation. Watching others have fun while being trapped like that certainly doesn't help either. I'm so upset because I've fought this off for so long, and now it came back. I'm hoping it's not something that will continue to make an appearance. I will continue to monitor it and perhaps watch my associations and hang with those who may be aware/concerned about my condition. Okay, perhaps it's difficult to understand and doesn't make much sense. But if it made sense it wouldn't be an illness would it?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Elephantitis of the Mouth

Picture Review

Today's picture was sent in by Doctor Whonagrott of Lexington KY. It seems a virus in the local water supply has been affecting the residents and horribly disfiguring them. The first reported case was noted about three months ago but dismissed as a fluke. Another month later and five more cases were recorded. As of today, there has been 48 cases recorded.

Attempts to hide the disfigurement have failed, as the reported number of cases continues to increase. Below can be seen a few pictures of the Elephantitus on a few of Whonagrott's own patients. An appeal for a greater recognition of this malady has been requested, as of yet, no help has been offered. If you can help, Doctor Whonagrott urgently requests you get in touch with him.

As for me, all I can say is Lexington, a great place to visit - just don't drink the water.\\

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Too Much Good Food

R.a.n.t. of week 06/01/08
I have done so well in my weight loss so far, but as I'm getting closer to my goal weight, the harder it's becoming. There was a time during this process where various foods were not a temptation for me. Now, I seem to be hungry for snacks all the time. That may not be as much of a problem as the fact that it's been getting harder and harder for me to get inspired to go work out at the gym. I know where this can lead, and I certainly don't want it to lead to that end. I really need to stay away from cookies, brownies, muffins and cinnamon rolls. It's just at times I seriously get an uncontrollable urge for them. I get a chocolate attack, a box of cereal starts calling out to me, or I start craving chips. Ignoring the fact if I worked out I'd be less prone to eating this junk, I need to recall all the good (healthy) food there is to eat that I do like; yoghurt, steamed brussel sprouts, oatmeal, fresh fruit, lean meat, or other various foods which end up filling me up and satisfying. Who needs that bag of sugar coated bag of dried fruit and nuts when there is just too much good food.

Friday, May 30, 2008

05-30-06-16-30-08 50

Memorial Day Weekend

It's been so busy lately, and June is only going to get busier. So before I start running out of more time, and the past week gets buried in other things that have taken place, I'll relate this past weekend.

Saturday morning the boys and I were up early, heading out for morning service before our study. We went out early morning with Little Dan, Jake and Jeff. The group was kind of full so Tristan opted to work with Tony and his group. After we were done with service and study, we packed the car and headed to Fort Atkinson. We got a chance to visit with Melissa and Pat for the evening. We were planning on going to the drive-in but only one movie really looked good, so we amended plans for just going to see Iron Man. As the night drew on though, I asked the kids what they would rather do, go to the movie or swim. They wanted to go swimming so we headed back to the hotel so they could swim for awhile.

In the morning, we made meeting and took Pat and John out for lunch. I didn't want to stick around too much because I was getting tired and we had plans to go over to my sisters for a cook-out. We lounged about at home for a bit (once we got home) but left for Chris' as 4:30 rolled around. It was a real good evening, and we got a chance to talk about Ed. Last I heard he was in prison for not paying a judgment and skipping out on visiting his parole officer. Will he ever learn? I wish. Despite being very tired, I stayed longer than most everyone else.

On Monday I didn't go to work as it was memorial day. For the most part, I was going to lounge about but was seriously getting tired of the disgusting shades in the living room. Two didn't work, and the big one was really getting shoddy. So I went and picked up some blinds, and started to install them. I was having problems, but when Brandon and Rachael came home, they stopped in for a visit and Brandon helped me put the rest up. It looks much nicer in there now and I'll probably go out and buy some decent looking curtains to hang as well. I like to have it dark for movies and such.

That's pretty much everything that's been going on, but I did finally take my boys to see Iron Man on Wednesday. We all loved it, one of the best Super Hero movies I've ever seen. it was really that good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Introduction to Bond via eScala

Music Review - Bond

eScala Electric String Quartet

As some of you may know, I've been seriously supporting eScala in Britain's Got Talent. As much as I thought they were fairly original it was pointed out to me they are much like Bond. Oddly enough, I've never heard of Bond; not sure if it's predominately a European group or I've just had my head in the sand. At any rate, I was checking out a CD store this weekend (looking for a Blondie double disk with music and dvd's on it) when I accidentally stumbled upon a CD from Bond. If that weren't odd enough, the CD was a double disk, having both music and dvd's of choice songs. Long story short, I bought the CD and have listened to it, I have to admit I love it! A nice twist on instrumental music. Is eScala perhaps too similar? Not entirely sure, but as I like this music, my props for eScala are now doubled. Anyone else think Bond is brilliant?

Bond Website
eScala Website

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Really Getting Flighty

R.a.n.t. of week 05/25/08
I'm not quite sure what's going on but lately I've been really bad at little simple stuff. Forgetting things I should remember, correctly assessing a situation and responding accordingly, co-ordination and other stuff that I'm probably forgetting.

In the first situation, I had a big problem this weekend with forgetting small but essential bits needed for trying to get set up on my laptop. I wanted to do some writing this weekend and was updating windows with a new XP OS. However I forgot to bring along the code needed for registering it. But the fun didn't end there. I tried to input the files I brought along, saved on my phones backup flash drive. I put the card in but it didn't read. So I was upset again, and couldn't figure out why it didn't work. So I gave up on it. In the morning I realized I didn't put the save disk from my phone into the drive and thus was the reason it didn't work. I was really worked up about that.

In the second situation, I was having coffee at Highland Park when one of the staff trips and falls while coming up the steps. I just sat there and kept telling myself to get up and help, do something, anything. I didn't and felt stupid myself for doing nothing.

As for my co-ordination, I keep playing dominoes with everything. I'll brush up against something on a table or my desk and as I go to catch it, something else will get in the way and I'll knock that over and then something else. It really gets frustrating at times. I thought I was past that awkward stage in my life. Next thing you know, I'll be popping pimples again.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Metro Market

My places - Lunchtime spots

One of the many places I like to visit during lunchtime at work. The produce is really great and the varieties are diverse. The only place I've ever found Dragon Fruit. The deli is well suited for anyone voracious with it's many selections of meats, cheeses and bakery items. It's essentially a Pick 'N' Save so I get to use my saver card there, and that adds to the appeal. The layout of the interior is unique and during lunchtime many attractive woman are also shopping.

Okay, I'm sure you must be thinking 'how droll to review a supermarket'. You may be right, but then again welcome to my 'adventurous' life.

Metro Market

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

05-21-04-23-57-08 49

Just the guys

Hope things have been going well for you Tegan. Not much going on around here but tonight was kind of interesting so I figured I'd send a letter along to you and describe it. As always, your last letter to me was just as entertaining as always, looking forward to hearing more from you.

Tonight, those of us involved in little Dan's wedding got together for some dinner, beer and coffee to go over a few things. Everyone included was Josh, Andy, Mikael, Jake and Big Dan. The first three are in the actual wedding party, Jake and I are ushers and Dan is going to be the director of the feast (whatever that might be). Dan's mother prepared dinner for us and consisted of chicken friend steak, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls and even strawberry shortcake for dessert. We pretty much ate, talked and drank beer outside. Mikael left first, followed about a half an hour later by Dan and Josh. For a short while we stayed outside till it got cold, then little Dan, Jake, Andy and I went downstairs to chat a bit more where it was warmer. Overall it was a very fun evening. Don't take offense Tegan, but sometimes it's great to just get together with the guys.

I ran into Terry at Highland Park Pies and Cafe yesterday morning. I've been going there early in the morning to reread all my old Writers Block stories in the hopes of rewriting them, either to get published or at the very least to get them onto the computer. Just about all of them are on hard copies and at times can be difficult to read. I'd like to get them into the computer so it will be easier to work on them. Not sure where that is going, but it's something I'd like to finish. While talking with Terry I ended up mentioning how there is so much I have not done that I've always wanted to do. Never got published, never learned a musical instrument, never traveled, I'm sure I could think of more if I thought hard enough. I was really starting to get depressed and upset about it, then remembered there is something I have been able to do. I put my mind to loosing weight two years ago, and I'm less than five pounds away from my goal. That is something I have done, and I should be proud of it. However, I have to admit. I'd love to do a bit more traveling, get something published, learn a new language or a musical instrument. I guess the biggest thing I've always wanted is to get published, so I'm going to try and do as much as I possibly can to get something published. An article, a book, something, anything. As for travel, perhaps I should work on getting my passport so I can make serious plans to visit places outside the U.S. Yes Tegan, there is every possibility I may come to visit you some day. I guess I have to take all this one step at a time.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Order Now, Operators Are Standing By

Commercials – TV Review

This may catch you off guard, but today I don’t plan on reviewing a TV show. Rather my focus is on the commercials in-between a recent show I watched. In an ongoing debate with my friend Brandon, we have been going over the pros and cons of television commercials. Whereas Brandon is in favour of commercials, I take another approach. Though I understand the need for commercials, and will admit there are a few I find funny, for the most part, I will not watch a commercial. Most of the TV I watch, is usually something I’ve recorded on my DVR (Digital Video Recorder), which means I’ve got the option to fast forward the commercials. While watching shows with Brandon, this discussion has come up time and time again. So, as is custom when I try to understand someone’s differing viewpoint than my own, I have tried to see things from his point of view. I shall attempt to judge for myself what I’ve been missing and share my findings with you. This is a random block of commercials, and may or may not be typical to what I normally bypass on the DVR. I’ll judge each commercial according to three standards, each with a rating of up to five; one being poor, five being great. Information, Entertainment Factor and General Interest are the three sections, and will be totalled together.

First up we have a car commercial. Elizabeth Baron is an employee of Ford and works in the virtual area. Putting people in cars which do not yet exist. Interesting concept, a job I never would have known about hadn’t I seen the commercial. A quick joke is made in regards to the gender of the virtual experience.
Information-3 Entertainment Factor-2 General Interest-2

Moving on to a more common item I shop for, we have an ad for Glad garbage bags. A pair of movers are attempting to raise a harnessed piano up to a second floor story. Unfortunately the rope snaps and the quick movers grab a Glad trash bag and hold it open as the piano drops, but not onto the outstretched bag, but rather to the side. Demonstrating the toughness of the piano, they begin to shove the shattered bits of the piano into the bag. Once finished, the movers are upstairs knocking on the tenant’s door. Once opened, they hold the overfilled (but held) bag of piano parts and ask where she wants the piano.
Information-1 Entertainment Factor-4 General Interest-3

Third commercial is for Home Depot, advertising outdoor furniture. It seems if you shop at Home Depot for outdoor furniture you can potentially have the coolest house on the block.
Information-1 Entertainment Factor-0 General Interest-2

In the market to purchase a new house? Then this commercial may be for you. A couple is looking for places to live and standing on the porch of one location, the Eiffel Tower can be seen in the distance. The wife tells her husband the house must be within driving distance of her mother. He doesn’t look to happy about it, but next scene they are standing outside once more, only this time the Seattle Space Needle is in the distance. Panning to a shot of the ground, an older woman is parked and waving up to the couple.
Information-2 Entertainment Factor-3 General Interest-2

I’m not a smoker, but if I were and wanted to quit I now know Nicoret Gum comes in 3 flavours. It sure does taste good to quit.
Information-1 Entertainment Factor-1 General Interest-0

If you have not eaten yet, I know a place open for business you can try. Outback Steakhouse has a catchy theme and sure does try to make you feel as though you are in for a real Outback experience. But what exactly is an Outback experience? And can I truly catch it at a local restaurant? FYI, I ate there once and was not impressed, but you don’t have take my word for it.
Information-2 Entertainment Factor-1 General Interest-3

Music may calm the savage beast, perhaps depending on the type of music one is enjoying. In a commercial for Ipod and Itunes, funky music is playing as dancers in shadow can be seen strutting their stuff amid vivid colour patters in the background. Get down tonight.
Information-2 Entertainment Factor-2 General Interest-3

The next two commercials were ads for shows on the network I was watching. To keep this review unbiased, I have decided against reviewing them. In total there were nine commercials during this random block, totalling roughly four minutes.

Final results:
Information-12/35 Entertainment Factor-13/35 General Interest-15/35
For the most part, I expect any show I watch to have at least an Entertainment Factor and General Interest of 30/35.

Conclusion: Commercials are substandard forms of entertainment and may not be as entertaining as the show you are watching. Unless the Information aspect is raised, and thusly the Entertainment and General Interest, I will have to hold to my original viewpoint and continue to fast forward commercials the next time I watch my DVR. Brandon, may I have my four minutes back?

Give Me Something To Eat

R.a.n.t. of week 05/18/08
Ever have a craving for something but don't know what? You know you want something, you know you are hungry, but for the life of you, you can't think what it might be. It can hit you any time of the day; breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack time. If you have never experienced this, it's probably hard to understand. You go to the fridge looking for something to eat, nothing looks good so you check the cupboard, nope nothing there either. Maybe you should go out and get something. But what, and where, and can you get anyone to go with you, or do you want them to? Pick something up, or dine in? Mexican, Chinese, fast food, grocery store? Where do you want to go, and what do you want to eat? You finally decide it's too much trouble and sit back down to resume whatever you were doing till five minutes later the craving hits again. Now what? Let me get back to you on that, I need to go to the fridge and see if there's anything good to eat.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Highland Park Pies & Cafe

My Places* - Restaurant Review

Looking for a great place for coffee in the morning? Highland Park is a beautiful place I discovered last year. It has a bed & breakfast type atmosphere and you are welcomed as you walk in the door. Sarah and crew really make you feel at home. I've found it to be a great way to start the day with a little coffee, breakfast pizza, or whatever freshly baked goody may interest you. Located about 41st and Highland; stop in and tell them Jeff sent you. They'll have no idea who I am, but feel free to do so anyway. ;)

*Not sure ultimately where I'm going with this feature. Initially I was thinking of doing a review of various coffee places, then thought why limit myself to that? How about expanding it to include any place I truly like to visit, shop or eat?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

05-15-05-23-21-08 48

Writing again.

Yes, I've mentioned a time or two since I began writing you again that I really want to get back into writing. I love writing, so much so that I do it even without an audience. So that brings me to an important question. What really is a writer? Can I call myself a writer just because I like to write? Or is that a title I can only hold once I get paid for writing? If not, am I a writer as long as I have many fans? How about the fact that most likely I'm just writing for my own enjoyment. Not because of not wanting to share what I write, but because I have not found that audience. If I were to pick up a pile of bricks and began laying them out in the yard to build a grill, does that make me a mason? If I tell a joke, does that make me a comedian? Once I get an answer to my question I shall share it with you, feel free to share your thoughts with me.

Well, it's getting late, and I've spent far to many nights up into the wee hours. I really need to head to bed, so I'll leave you with this short note for the evening. Yes, I know for you it's almost morning (what with the six hour time difference and all), but chances are you are not reading this at the same time as I'm writing it. So just in case it's not morning when you read this; good day, good night and good evening.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

05-14-04-14-52-08 47

Tuesday's with Dori

Sort of a joke with the title of this letter, which I'll explain in just a bit. First I wanted to say hi Tegan. It's been so long since I've written you that I.... what? Oh yea, it was just yesterday. Well, you know what that means don't you? Last time I wrote I said I'd probably check back in if there was a weight loss from last night. That sort of brings us to the title of this letter. It all started before I headed out for Weight Watchers, I was reviewing my blog and checking out other random blogs when I came to one with that very name. If I haven't mentioned it to you before, Dori is the name of my team leader at Weight Watcher's, and we do indeed meet on Tuesday's. So it was kind of odd to find that. Now the really weird bit was it was on food and cooking. Sort of a reverse of what Dori talks about, considering there were several baking recipe's on Dorie's blog. On top of that, the name was slightly different and considering my Dori has mentioned several times she's not very computer savvy, Dorie became known as Dori's evil twin. Or so I joked with Chris. So how did it all go? I lost 1.4 and Chris (after her week long vacation to Cancun) lost two pounds. She was sure she was going to gain around ten. Now for the totals, I'm only 1.4 pounds away from my next 5 lb marker and just 2.4 from reaching goal. I'm so close, I really need to watch what I eat. Perhaps I shouldn't mention that after WW we went to a local Italian restaurant and got some Veal Parmesan for a treat. Of course, neither of us ate the whole meal. I think we both took home about half, so that's the good bit I guess. Time was, I'd have eaten everything and still looked for dessert.

As you can probably tell, I'm really trying to get back into writing. I really want to be serious. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Writer's Block, but I've been reviewing it. More and more I'm seeing bits I want to change and improve. It's still amazing I really don't have any copies saved on computer. All of the episodes, save one, are printed out; typed on a typewriter many years before I ever got a computer. I'd like to finally get all of them saved and backed up on computer. This morning I visited Highland Park Pies & Cafe around 6:30 to do some reading of the episodes. Once I'm done reviewing them, I'm going to start typing them in.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Beer Store

Picture Review

Everyone does reviews on music, TV, films, books, but not many picture reviews. Here is my contribution.

Today's entry comes from Mr. O'Brien of New Guinness. Troubled with thoughts of selling his liquor store, he decided to take one final look before heading to the local Realtor's office. You can imagine his surprise when this was the view that greeted him. Quickly taking a picture and sending it in, we see he almost made the biggest mistake of his life. Mr. O'Brien has decided not to sell. Great decision O'Brien, and close call!

05-13-03-13-54-08 46

I had an interesting past week. With my sister on holiday in Cancun, I was asked to house/child sit while her and Tony were gone. Starting on Sunday I spent the week making sure Jordan was in at a reasonable hour and Victoria going to bed at a reasonable hour. Thursday evening Jordan and I were able to watch Lost together. That show is really getting interesting, how can a show ask more questions than answer? It seems to find a way.

This past Saturday they got back and oddly enough it was Survivor finale. Survivor final always seems to come before I even realize it. I would do a write up about it, but was just disappointed in Parvati winning. I thought Amanda had the game. Up till that point, I figured out exactly what the pecking order was going to be. So the kids and I stopped over by Chris' briefly to pick up some t-shirts they picked up for us in Cancun then stayed for the first part of Survivor. I still have the reunion part to watch. I hope I don't forget and delete Survivor from my DVR.

I'm still working out at Bally's. The best days for me are Monday's after work and weekends when I don't have the kids. I was able to make it there last night and feel good because I'd really like to have a loss this week when I weigh in at Weight Watchers. I'm so close to goal, I'd like to make it as soon as possible. At the gym last night it tracked a pound off, but that scale is always different from the scale at WW just one day later. Perhaps I'll write back tomorrow to let you know how I did. Wait, let me rephrase that. If I have a remarkable weigh-in tonight I'll write back, otherwise don't expect a report.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Armadillo Walkers

R.a.n.t. of week 05/11/08
I seem to have a number of rants involving myself in a car and other drivers. Today's rant is directed outside the car, towards armadillo walkers. What is an armadillo walker you may ask? I'm glad you asked. You see an armadillo has a reputation for jumping in front of cars, ending up as road-kill. An armadillo walker is what I call a pedestrian that, despite seeing you, continues to walk into the road. Timing it so they pass the intersection just a second after a driver has passed. I call them armadillo walkers because of the frequency this seems to happen, not to mention if they were armadillo's they'd likely jump in front of the car, thus ending up as road-kill. Is it really that hard to wait for a car to pass before you begin crossing the street? Is someone in that much of a hurry they can't spare the extra second or two? If these people want to do that, fine, that's up to them. I'm just worried for their sanity at times. What if I were distracted and swerved my car, or just veered slightly more than they might expect. Realistically, it would be my fault for inattentive driving, but I can proudly say I have never hit an armadillo walker as yet. But the gumption of these people is unnerving to no end, why do they do it? I guess the age old joke should be reformatted. Why did the armadillo cross the road? Because it was impatient? Feel free to let me know if you ever get an answer to that one, because I'm still searching.

*Slightly revised 09/20/12

Friday, May 9, 2008

05-09-06-15-50-08 45

It's been a while since I've written you an actual letter. I know it's not like we haven't been in contact with each other, there has been texts, emails, gmail chat and notes. I guess I just wanted to get back to a written 'hard-copy' sort of way to stay in touch. The reasoning I got away from that for a while was the sameness of everything. It seemed like every letter was almost describing the same 'ol stuff. So perhaps I'll try and think of new ways to spice up our relationship. Also, I'd like to try and include more of my personal writings to you to see what you think. Feel free to respond to my letters in the response, or in your own blog.

Odd how the last time I wrote to you was before Brandon and Rachael moved in upstairs; before the literal birth of Zoe in that very apartment. It's been nice because Brandon and I have become good friends as you well know. Our enthusiasm for all things nerdy, Lost, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and other geeky things I use to have a problem admitting to liking. I suppose I'm just getting too old to care about what others think about me anymore.

Another thing I had wanted to track (though I still do have the notes) was my progress on Weight Watchers. Last time I physically wrote you I lost about 20 pounds. Well, here it is almost two years later and I'm under 200 pounds with a total loss so far of over 110. I'm feeling much better, looking much better, and feeling better about myself than I have in a long time. I've probably taken about 10 years off. Or added 10 years to my life, depending on how you want to look at it.

So, that's it for this letter. Can't really think what else to include that we seriously haven't gone into many times before in our other conversations.