Friday, January 30, 2004

Friday Five

Here's this week's Friday Five! I think it's going to be a good one.

You have just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?
Assuming my wife is with me at the time and already knows, I think I'd probably call my brother so he can help me figure out a fun way to tell our parents.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
In terms of buying something new, it'd be a new car. The one I drive now is 12 years old...works fine and all, but I'm ready for a new car. The equally important question is what kind of new car.

It might be this Mercedes.

Or the new Nissan 350ZX Convertible.

I'm sure there are others, but those jump to mind.

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?

Boy...this question really helped me out because I was about to change my answer to question number two. But now that this is here, I can say that I'd buy a new house for my wife (and me, but for purposes of this question, it's for her). One with at least five bedrooms, a 3-car garage, a finished basement that's big enough for a play area for the kids and a pool table for me.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?

Absolutely, I would. With a million, I couldn't give away as much as I'd like, but I'd probably give $25k-$50k to each of our siblings to do with what they wish.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?

Without question...I'd like to invest at least 1/3, if not 1/2, of the money to ensure that we have enough to pay for our kids' college education. I was fortunate enough to have my parents pay for mine and I'd love to do the same for my kids.

In terms of how, I'd find someone else to make that decision since I don't know jack about investments.

That's it for now!

Until Next Time...

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Off To A Good Start

I'm not sure why, but I'm in a REALLY good mood today. Maybe it's because it's Friday. Maybe it's because I didn't drag my ass out of bed until 7:45 this morning. Maybe it's because I brought in Lamar's doughnuts to work for the team. Whatever the reason is, I'm going to enjoy it, because lately...especially at work...good moods have been tough to come by.

So let's see...last night was fun too...my oldest daughter, K, had a music/PE performance at her school. She obviously had a GREAT time and it was fun watching her.

The only negative right now is how freaking cold it is!!! They've been talking, on the local news, about how we could get the worst snow storm in a decade over the course of the next week. GR-EAAA-T. Can you tell how excited I am about that one?

In other good news, though, I found a guy who's going to make copies of two of Jackopierce's more recent live shows and one of them was with Vertical Horizon...VERY COOL!

Well...I guess I should actually get to work now (with the occasional blog-surfing in between, of course!).

Until Next Time...

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Thursday, January 29, 2004

IOU

Thanks to Don for pointing out that I never actuallly got around to explaining why he and I are above average pool players.

For me, I was ok at pool during junior high and high school. But it wasn't until I got to college when my game really took off.

Why is that, you might ask.

Quite simply I had what I think is the greatest job in college...and by great, I mean easy.

I worked at the Jaybowl...the bowling alley in the Student Union. This job was awesome...essentially I got paid for doing my homework, watching TV, bowling, playing video games and playing pool. And, oh yeah, we had free sodas too.

Sure, I had to do the whole spraying the shoes thing and had to fix the pinsetters whenever they jammed up, but it was all worth it. Probably the worst part of the job was picking up "spit cups" from the tobacco chewers. That and dragging the lanes at the end of the night.

All in all though, Don and I both played a LOT of pool. And we still have a good time whenever we meet up for lunch.

Anyway...that's it for now.

Until Next Time...

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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Not Too Shabby

My day, that is.

I mean...it couldn't be all that great considering I had to go to work and all, but even that was bearable today.

Today I went to lunch with my friend Don at a local bar & grill that has free pool during the lunch hour. It's pretty much where we go every time we get together for lunch and, sadly, Don was the victor today by a couple of games.

I'd say both of us are above average pool players and I think I can explain why...but I'll do that in a minute.

Anyway, after work I had to go to our local laundromat to pick up our laundry. You see...every so often when the laundry just gets out of control, my wife and I decide to spoil ourselves and take advantage of their drop off service. You bring in the clothes and they'll wash, dry and fold them for you...it's awesome!!! Expensive yes...but still awesome. So we don't do it all that often, but when we do, it's great.

Once we got the kids to bed, I actually went to the gym! (It's ok...really...try not to slip into a state of shock.) I thought I was going to die after only 10 minutes of my planned 20-minute bout with the elliptical trainer, but once I got to 10, I knew I could get to 15 and then it was like 20 was right around the corner. It also helped that there was a college basketball game on the TV.

Not just ANY basketball game mind you, but Kansas at Kansas State. Now, I have to say that as much as it sucks to be a KU football fan when these schools play each other, it is the polar opposite during basketball season. Tonight, KU extended a remarkable winning streak.

You see...the last time that Kansas State won a home game against the Jayhawks...well...K-State's starting freshman point guard this year was two years away from being born!!! Yep...that's right, KU hasn't lost in Manhattan since 1981! I love KU basketball!

And, what could I do to top off such a great day? Why, updating Play By Play of course! So there you have it...another stellar (cough, cough) entry from your ol' pal Joe.

Until Next Time...

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Funny Wedding Announcements

You've seen them on that little show that Leno does and perhaps you've seen some in your own local paper, but have been too lazy to clip it out and send it in.

Here's your chance. Over the past few years, I've found three couples that I felt had a chance to make "the big show" but never sent them in (for the exact reasons listed above).

I'll go ahead and archive this link to the left so it's easy for people to come back and add the ones they've seen. Of course, I have no way to verify the veracity of these posts, so we will rely on the honor system.

So here are the ones I've seen.

The Ball-Park wedding...this one was about two or three years ago.

The Long-Johnson wedding...about two months ago.

The Boring-Bland wedding...this weekend.

So there you go...I'll try to get the link up on my template, but go ahead and comment away here for now.

Until Next Time...

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Monday, January 26, 2004

Bloggin' Time

And I mean that literally.

After reading some random blogs, I got to wondering...how much time, on average, do you spend on each entry?

For me? Each one probably only takes me 10-15 minutes to write. My longest one probably only took about 20 minutes.

Take Charlie for example. I'll be real curious to see how long he takes for each entry...that's BLOG entry Charlie!!! I'm guessing around 45 minutes to an hour for some of those bad boys.

Bill Simmons posted earlier today in his Super Bowl blog that he'll give himself 120-150 minutes PER ENTRY!!!

Just earlier today, I was wishing that someone would pay me to blog and freaking Bill Simmons gets my dream job!

So back to the question...how much time do you spend blogging? And let's break it down like this...how much time per entry, per day and per week?

Here are my best estimates for Play By Play.

Entry: 15-20 minutes
Day: 45-60 minutes
Week: 5ish hours

These are only rough estimates and I can't be held accountable for errors in my judgment.

I'm looking forward to your posts.

Until Next Time...

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Rite of Passage

Last night, I celebrated a great moment in my relationship with my oldest daughter, K.

Sunday, January 25th, 2004, marked the first time we've ever played the real Monopoly board game together. We've played Monopoly Jr. before, but that doesn't really count.

I'll admit that we didn't play the "long version" of the game, but we did play the short version where you deal out all of the properties before the game starts.

I played fair with her and suggested some fair trades. I started out with one monopoly (the oranges) and she started out with all four railroads. I decided to not build any houses on her first trip around the board and once she was past New York Ave. (the last of the orange properties) we started making trades.

And my daughter did me proud...she kicked my ass!!!

In case I haven't mentioned it before, Monopoly is my all-time, without a doubt, favorite board game. I absolutely loved playing the game as a kid. (I started playing against my mom at age 5 and was beating her by age 7.) I've never played in a tournament, but would love to do so at some point in my life.

I have several different Monopoly sets including the Millennium Edition, which I opened for the first time last night to play with my daughter. It's actually pretty cool. It's no Franklin Mint edition which I will someday get for myself, but it's still fun.

So anyway, last night was fantastic and I look forward to playing it again...maybe we'll play the long version when we have more time.

Blogging Frequency
I've found myself wanting to read other blogs and post more often during the day, but that's probably not the best idea. I figure it's possible that someone in IT is reviewing users' Web surfing habits. My question though, is do they actually do that?

Any IT people care to share their companies' stance on this? (Without naming names of course!)

Until Next Time...


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Sunday, January 25, 2004

Bored Blogging

OK...this idea comes courtesy of Adelle.

Bold=I've been there
Italics=I've lived there (keep your eyes open...there's only one in italics.)

1) Alabama
2) Alaska
3) Arizona
4) Arkansas
5) California
6) Colorado
7) Connecticut
8) Delaware
9) Florida
10) Georgia

11) Hawaii
12) Idaho
13) Illinois
14) Indiana
15) Iowa
16) Kansas
17) Kentucky

18) Louisiana
19) Maine
20) Maryland
21) Massachusetts
22) Michigan
23) Minnesota

24) Mississippi
25) Missouri
26) Montana
27) Nebraska
28) Nevada

29) New Hampshire
30) New Jersey
31) New Mexico
32) New York
33) North Carolina

34) North Dakota
35) Ohio
36) Oklahoma
37) Oregon
38) Pennsylvania
39) Rhode Island

40) South Carolina
41) South Dakota
42) Tennessee
43) Texas
44) Utah

45) Vermont
46) Virginia
47) Washington
48) West Virginia
49) Wisconsin
50) Wyoming
51) DC


So what about you?

Until Next Time...

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Ice, Ice, Baby

Hi all...not much going on here in Kansas today.

We've had a bit of an ice storm, but I've been out driving twice today and it's not that bad where I live.

Other than that, today's been busy cleaning things up and getting them organized. Primarily, it's been all of our (read: my) CDs plus all of the software we have lying around.

Looks like I have about 130-150 CDs, so we need to get a new CD rack to keep them all in. I'm also in the middle of burning a lot of the CDs on to my laptop so I can listen to them at work.

Currently burning: 10,000 Maniacs - Our Time in Eden

Let's see...oh yeah, I'm also watching KU finally play a decent game. They're kicking the crap out of Colorado.

Until Next Time...

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Friday, January 23, 2004

Try To Survive...

Without me this afternoon...cuz I'm taking the afternoon off!

WOOHOO!!!

It's going to be 58 degrees here this afternoon. Yay!

Have a good weekend everyone and I'll probably post later today or over the weekend.

By the way, if you do the Friday Five, post them in my comments or send me a link to your responses.

Until Next Time...

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Friday Five

Without further ado (not Freddy Adu...he's the 14-year-old soccer player), here's today's Friday Five.

At this moment, what is your favorite...

1. ...song?
"American Girls" by Counting Crows

2. ...food?
A slice of Papa Keno's pizza with chicken and black olive and pesto sauce

3. ...tv show?
I know this probably won't be a popular answer, but I do love Friends.

4. ...scent?
Hmmm...the scent of a woman...my wife to be specific.

5. ...quote?
I'm not sure if a TV ad can be a quote, but I've always been partial to the old MTV ad: "Blah, blah, blah....wubba, wubba, wubba."

If I can't have that one, then I'll say, "I'll have plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead."

These came courtesy of Friday Five...go over there to check out the rules.

Until Next Time...

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Thursday, January 22, 2004

Crap!

The Richmond fucking Spiders??? At Allen Fieldhouse??? Are you fucking kidding me?!

I was all prepared to make a post about how much I've enjoyed watching North Carolina struggle and tonight was awesome in that regard. They had a 24-point lead!!! And LOST!

Don't get me wrong, I'd take Roy Williams back in a second...ESPECIALLY after watching Bill Self's Jayhawks lose tonight.

And, in case you weren't aware, here is who KU's lost to so far this year.

Stanford (I can live with that)
Nevada (???)
Richmond (FUCK!)

On the positive side, we've beaten teams like Oregon and Michigan State.

I just hate seeing my team lose to no-name schools. (No offense to those at Nevada and Richmond...I'm sure they are both fine educational institutions...they just shouldn't be beating nationally-ranked teams like the Jayhawks. I guess that's why they play the games, though, huh?)

Until Next Time...

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Baby Steps

It's all about baby steps.

I didn't quite hit my goal of getting to bed by 11 last night, but I have a good excuse. (Not THAT kind of excuse you perverts.)

Anyway, yesterday was my twins' 4th birthday! (I know, I know...shame on me for not acknowledging the event yesterday in my blog.) So now I have a 7-year-old daughter (K) and twin 4-year-olds (J (boy) and L (girl)).

The deal in our family has always been that the birthday kid gets to pick where we have dinner that night. With twins, that gets to be a trickier situation. Fortunately, L is pretty agreeable about these things. So, J's top two choices were McD's or Taco Bell. Either one would've been great with me because hey...it's quick and it costs less than $20 for the whole family!

By the time I got home from work (and I'm using that term loosely), we were going to the Rainforest Cafe. Now, I've been to the rainforest-themed (I'm sure you'd figured that out, but wanted to be safe) restaurant once before and was not overly impressed. It was, in my opinion, high priced and average to low quality food...not only that, but it takes longer to get through a meal.

Add to that, the fact that there was some guy walking around in a crocodile/alligator (I still don't know how to tell them apart) costume didn't help because my boy, J, gets absolutely freaked out by those things...Chuck E. Cheese, Disney characters...if it's a big fuzzy thing walking around he hates it.

All in all though, the kids had fun, especially checking out the fish and looking for Nemo. (Guess what! They found him too!)

As an added bonus, as we were getting ready to order, I noticed a flyer on the table that said Wednesdays are Family Nights and kids eat for 99 cents!!! Hip-hip-hoo-fucking-ray! That's a huge improvement over the normal $5.99 for a fucking kids meal! So I ended up getting out of there for less than $50, so I was alright with all of that.

Wow, this post is getting long...what was my original point???

Oh yeah...so the kids opened their presents, we attempted to open and assemble most of them so they could play with them for a few minutes before bedtime, but 9:00 rolled around and we finally had to give up on getting the Rescue Heroes Command Center assembled before J went to bed.

Bottom line, the kids weren't asleep until 10 and I really needed some unwinding/veg time. I did, however, get to bed before midnight though, which is somewhat of an accomplishment for me. And I even set my alarm for 6:00.

Guess what, though. I didn't need it. That's because J was up at 5:30!!!!

Neither my wife or I were very happy with this as he kept coming into our room every 10 minutes to ask if he could go downstairs. (The rule in our house is, you play quietly in your room until 7...works great if the kids can tell time. Sadly, this is not the case for J.)

Anyway, to make a long story even longer, I'd have felt guilty leaving the house at 6 and leaving my wife to deal with J on her own. (I'm not sure who's less of a morning person, her or me...probably her.)

So I hung around until 7 and finally left the house at 7:30 and STILL went to the gym. (Yay for me!) I only did the elliptical for 15 minutes instead of my usual 20, but I did increase the incline two levels from what I normally do.

All of that and I was at work by 8:30. I figure if I can start getting out of the house by 6:30, I'll be getting my workouts AND getting to work earlier.

Wow...that's a lot for 9:00 in the morning.

Until Next Time...

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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

New Year's Resolution Update

Can you tell I really don't feel like working today?

Anyway, I've not been doing real good with the working out thing. I've only been getting to the gym about twice per week and it needs to be about double that.

I've been trying to go after the kids go to bed, but other things keep coming up (read: I'm lazy). So in the past few days, I've told myself that I'll get up early and go before work.

The problem is that it's hard to get up early when you're an idiot who stays up 'til 1 or 2 in the morning watching TV or farting around on the computer.

So, with that, I'm going to try a new experiment tonight. I'm going to hit the sack at 11 and set the alarm for 6...that's 7 good hours of sleep...more than I usually get, that's for sure. I'm going to try this for the next several work days. (Weekends are just bad for the workout routine and trying to get to the gym.)

I'd really like to be one of those guys who gets up at 6:00, full of energy, has time to have breakfast, watch the news/read a newspaper, then go workout before heading to the office ready for a full day of work. Really! I do! When I was a kid, my career aspirations were to be either a milkman or a newspaper delivery guy just so I could get up early every day!

Unfortunately, I am currently the guy who gets up at 7:30 (on a good day), rushes my oldest around to get her dressed and fed before she catches the bus at 8:03 and still has to get himself cleaned up and dressed. The end result being I can't remember the last time I was at work by 8:00.

So anyway, that's my updated goal.

Don't forget to check out the 5 Questions below. (I need to add more links to the side for the audience participation-type posts.)

Until Next Time...

Unfortunately,

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5 Questions

I don't feel like getting sued by Craig Kilborn, so I should've changed the title to 5 Interview Questions, but hey, I'm feeling like taking risks today.

So I heard about this through Natalie's site with the following rules:

THE RULES!
1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five
answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be
interviewed.

I in turn saw the answers that Charlie posted and as usual he was quite funny and decided I'd take my chances with what questions he might ask me. So...without further ado...here we go.

1) Would you rather lose the ability to taste food, or all interest in playing and watching sports?

I'm pretty sure I'd rather lose the ability to taste food and this is primarily for health reasons. If food didn't taste so damned good, I wouldn't eat as much and, in turn, would lose weight. Not to mention the fact that if I gave up playing sports, I'd be giving up the one form of exercise I enjoy that I'd need to lose the weight from the food I could still taste.

2) You can slip a short note back through time and space to one person. You've got room for six words -- who do you send the message to, and what's it say?

Wow...tough question. There are a couple of different options here...do something that benefits me or something for the greater good. I think I'd have to opt for the greater good and I'd probably send a note to Osama bin Laden's father right when he's thinking about sleeping with bin Laden's mother for the first time that says, "Don't do it. She's a he."

3) You gain the ability to see ten minutes into the future, but you're not allowed to make money (e.g., by betting, or playing the stock market) for yourself or others with your new talent. So what _do_ you use it for?

What's the point if you can't make money??? I'd probably try to use it to prevent accidents/deaths/murders, etc...much like they did on the show Early Edition.

4) If you could bring one fictional character to life to live with you full-time, who would it be? And how would your wife and kids feel about this?

Man...another great question. There are SOO many great characters out there. I'm going to go ahead and reserve my right to change my mind later, but right now, I think I'm going to go with Mary Poppins. Teaches the kids good lessons, can take care of the house, probably cooks too. Sounds good to me! And I think the wife and kids would be all for it.

5) What do you want your last, dying sight to be?

Hmmm...I have to admit that I don't like this question. I don't like death. I know that sounds stupid, but I mean, I REALLY don't like it. As in, the whole thing really does freak me out. I don't deal well with the thought that someday I won't be on this earth living anymore. It just gives me this aching pain in my gut. However, since I have to answer the question, there's no question that it would be my wife and kids, but ONLY if they have come to terms with what is happening and know that I am going to a better place. I wouldn't want to see them sad...I'd want to see their happy faces.

If you'd like me to ask you five questions, go ahead and leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail.

Until Next Time...

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Bummer Dude

I just found out that I did not get the job I was REALLY wanting and, actually, semi-expecting to get. Turns out they went with an internal candidate. I can't really blame them for that, but I'm still very disappointed.

So...the job search continues...wish me luck.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Page 3 Review

So I've checked out the first day's worth of content out on ESPN's new Page 3 and have deemed it worthy enough to add to my links on the left of my blog. As you can see, I don't have many links over there, so this is not an honor to be bestowed lightly.

In the debut issue, there are a couple of 10 Burning Questions...one with Tony Soprano and the other with the recently discussed Ashton Kutcher (both here and over at Buzz's place).

The Simpson's Top 100 Sports Moments promises to be good and may be enough to get me to start watching Simpson re-runs. (I watched it religiously in college for the first year or two it was on, but then just stopped watching. Who knew it would still be going 10 years later???)

I am going to remain cautiously optimistic about the future of Page 3. I hope they can add some columnists that match up with the caliber that's been assembled for Page 2.

On another note, I have to give a big kudos to the people over at ESPN.com. These guys know what works. The main site has always been my primary source for sports news. From there, they added Page 2 which is easily my favorite overall sports site, primarily for Bill Simmons' articles. They also have an entire section devoted to Sports Business and a newer section on video games called ESPN Gamer.

On top of all that, ESPN.com debuted ESPNMotion several months ago. When it came out, it was easily the highest-quality video service on the Web. Since then, sister company ABC News is using the same technology for video on its site. Quite simply, it puts the quality at other sites such as MSNBC.com to shame. Now, I'll be the first to admit that the video ads at ESPN.com are more than a little annoying, but it's a small price to pay for high-quality video with virtually no download time.

Until Next Time...

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More Fun From ESPN

Bill Simmons...your chance to run ESPN6 may be closer than you think.

In a move I didn't expect to see, ESPN.com launched Page 3 today as an offshoot to it's already popular Page 2 site...home of the aforementioned Bill Simmons. (To read his latest column, click here.)

Anyway...I've only flipped through the initial photo segment (I like the transitions), and it appears to be their site dedicated to all things entertainment. Lots of "10 Burning Questions" with celebs and the like.

I'll try to check out the rest of the site tonight and will make my comments known to the world shortly thereafter.

Just wanted to let everyone know about the new site!

Until Next Time...

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Wow...That's Humbling

So it's almost 5:00 here in Kansas and I decided to check the site that tracks my blog traffic. I know I'm not supposed to care about how many hits or comments I get, but let's be realistic...everyone does it.

I may not be so eager to do that anymore. Total hits for the day as of 4:54 PM CT...

0...Zip...Zero...Zilch...Bubkus...you get the idea.

I'm more than a little disappointed to be honest. I actually thought my Steve Buscemi post was one of my better ideas yet and should have drawn a few comments/visits.

Apparently not.

The urge to blog is dimming quickly, I must say. But I'll try to stick with it a little bit longer.

Until Next Time...(if there really is a next time)

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Monday, January 19, 2004

Did You Know...

That British funnyman (to be debated) Benny Hill was in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

If he'd have made that movie later in his career, I think we all know that the obvious title would have been Titty Titty Bang Bang.

Until Next Time...

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Modern Movie Marvels

Now that all my colleagues are sitting at the airport preparing for their trip to tropical Minnesota, I find myself with the freedom to post away. I should probably be doing this from the wireless network, but what the hell...I'm feeling like taking risks today.

So a couple of weeks ago we were sitting around the lunchroom here at the office and talking about movies and someone couldn't remember the actor who played Carl Showalter in Fargo (one of the brothers from the woodchopper scene), but couldn't remember the character's name at the time either. Finally, the guy who asked the original question realized it was Steve Buscemi.

Now, we all knew he'd been in a bunch of movies, but I didn't realize exactly how many until I checked out my favorite movie Web site...IMDB.com.

I figured he'd done 25-35 movies or so. Man was I wrong!

Steve Buscemi has been in 82 movies!!! And, not only has he been in 82 movies...but he's been in 82 movies since 1984!!! That's almost 4 movies per year.

I challenge anyone to find a modern-day actor who has appeared in more films in that same span of time.

My first thought was other character actors...guys like Ed Harris. Sorry Ed...you're not even close. Ed's only been in 53 movies since 1977. He started seven years earlier than good ol' Steve and he's almost 30 movies shy of the guy!

So head on out to IMDB.com and see if you can do better than my buddy and pal, Steve Buscemi. (OK...I don't really know Steve, but that would be cool.)

Until Next Time...(which is a subject for another upcoming post)

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Tough Week

I've been really not looking forward to this week for quite some time. My company's national sales meeting starts today and I'm not going. Just another reminder of the fact that I failed...in their eyes anyway. (And when it comes down to it, their eyes are the only ones that matter.)

So I'll be manning the fort this week and doing everyone else's work while they're freezing their butts off in Minnesota.

It's not all bad though...if I were still on the sales force, I'd have had to miss all three of my kids' birthdays this year and that would've really sucked. So I'm definitely counting my blessings on that end.

Speaking of kids' birthdays, the twin's party at McD's went great yesterday. One of their friends couldn't make it, but we had fun with the kids and parents that did come.

Let's see...what else?

Last night, the wife and I watched Just Married on HBO and it was funnier than I expected. I'm not a big Ashton Kutcher or Brittany Murphy (aka Bugeyes) fan...but they both did a pretty good job.

After talking to my mom this weekend, we need to decide if we're going to go on the annual extended family vacation to the beach this summer. They need to know now so they can decide which house they're going to rent. We've never gone before, but it sounds like they always have a great time and I think my kids would have a blast at the beach. As usual, though, the tricky thing is money. Now that I'm not going to have commission checks coming in anymore, this is going to be a bit of a stretch, financially. The thing is, though, I really want to go. I know we don't have a ton of money, but I did just get a good commission check and we should get a hefty chunk back from the IRS. So, while now isn't ideal...I don't think there's a better opportunity in the foreseeable future. The other piece of the trip debate is whether to fly or drive. It's about 1200 miles...and airfare is $176, and we'd still need a rental car.

What do you think?

Until Next Time...

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Saturday, January 17, 2004

Long Time, No See

Wow...I didn't realize that it's been since Wednesday night that I'd posted anything! I think this has been my longest absence since I started this thing. So my apologies for the lack of anything new to read.

It's been a busy couple of days for me at work. In fact, one of the big reasons I haven't had any daytime postings recently is because they have me taking more inbound sales calls now and I have to be at my desk more. This puts me right in the view of just about everyone and also takes away my opportunity to sneak away to an enclave for an hour or two. I haven't even been able to read everyone else's blogs as much as I'd like.

I'll probably be posting a lot more next week though because the entire sales team (which now, doesn't include me) is off to the national sales meeting and I'll be manning the fort so to speak.

Let's see...what else?

Oh yeah...on Thursday I was checking one of my 18 Yahoo! e-mail accounts...specifically, the one I use for all my job hunting activity. Anyway, one of the e-mails I get is a regular Sales News e-mail from Monster. In these newsletters, they have a section called "Heard On The Boards"...so I was checking this newsletter at work and see MY post as the highlighted message. I'd written it looking for advice on how to handle a certain question during the interview process. My heart jumped when I first saw my Monster ID in big bold letters in the newsletter, but after I got over the shock, I had the chance to read the numerous new responses that my post had received after being put in the newsletter. Let me just say that, overall, people on the Web CAN be among the nicest people you'd want to meet. Everyone was full of great suggestions and positived feedback and "Hang in there"-type messages. I've been thrilled with the support I've received. (No sympathy job offers yet, but I'm still hoping!)

On the homefront...

It's been real busy at home as well. We're constantly in the middle of cleaning up after three kids (and me, too, I suppose). This weekend, my oldest daughter K had her first indoor soccer game. She had a great game and scored 3 of her teams 5 goals. Unfortunately, they lost, but for their first time out, I thought they did great!

Tonight, she's off at a slumber/birthday party, so we took the other two out for a nice dinner at Carrabba's...I love that place! I had the Spiedino di Mare (shrimp and scallops with spiedini sauce)...man it was good!

Tomorrow, we're having the twins' 4th birthday party at McD's. For those parents of toddlers out there, I highly recommend this strategy. The kids have a blast running around the Play Place, McD's provides plates and a cake if you want, PLUS you get the added bonus of not worrying about whether your house is spotless before the party and they take care of cleanup afterwards! (Needless to say, I'm quite pleased with the decision to have the party there tomorrow.)

Hmmm...what else?

I've been watching a fair amount of sports over the last few nights...especially the Sony Open in Hawaii. I've especially enjoyed watching Michelle Wie play. That girl is good and she's only freaking 14 years old!!! I really wish she could've cut one more stroke off her score and made the cut for the weekend.

Earlier today, I watched most of the KU/Texas A&M game and am happy to report that KU escaped with a victory. Unfortunately, Missouri and North Carolina both won too, so that kinda sucked.

Last night, the wife and I watched S.W.A.T. with Samuel L. Jackson, Collin Farrell and LL Cool J. It was a fun movie and, as is the case with most action flicks, the plot was a bit of a stretch, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

Tonight, we're supposed to try to watch X-Men 2, but who knows if we'll actually get around to it or not. (I'm quite happy watching golf right now and wishing I was in Hawaii myself.)

I hope this has made up for my lack of posts over the past few days, and I'll try to find something more entertaining to post about for next time.

Any suggestions from the peanut gallery???

Until Next Time...

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Missed Movies

Yesterday, my friend Dan posted "The Top 10 Movies That I’ve Never Seen That According To Everyone I Know I Really Need To And Should Be Embarrassed To Have Not Seen"

It turns out that Dan and I share many of the same movies that we haven't seen and really should have by now. I thought it would be a good idea (or a good way for an easy blog post) to come up with the 10 movies that would've made a similar mist for me. Those with an asterisk are ones that were also on Dan's list.

1. Raising Arizona*

2. Blade Runner*

3. Alien*

4. Saving Private Ryan

5. Schindler's List

6. Animal House (the DVD is currently in my possession, however, and I plan to have it watched by this weekend)

7. Breakfast at Tiffany's (I'm putting this here at my wife's suggestion...not sure if it would've made my list on its own, but I'm trusting her here.)

8. The Godfather (Parts II and III)

9. Casablanca

10. The Graduate

How about you?

Until Next Time...

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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Commence Commenting!

Well I've moved over to HaloScan with the comments. I figure if they're good enough for Charlie, then they're good enough for me.

Although...for the record, I still liked the old comments better.

Anyway...

So I'm "working" from home this afternoon. Really! I am! Well...except for right this very second.

I have kid duty while my wife is off teaching Brownies how to make musical instruments out of tin cans. Now if she could teach the tin cans how to make brownies...then we'd be on to something!

Yesterday afternoon we had our semi-annual company meeting...what a complete waste. There is nothing that was communicated there that couldn't have been said in an e-mail. And, to make it even more fun, I ended up sitting next to my old boss that pulled me out of my sales position. Man that sucks.

Overall, though, yesterday was an active day on the job hunt front. I got e-mails from the two companies I'm most interested in working for telling me that things are moving more slowly than they'd like, but I am still being considered, so yea for me!

I also heard back from two companies via Monster applications that I submitted and I completed a four-part screening test online last night for one of them. (The other one had an AOL address for me to send my resume to. I don't know about you, but I'm only going to send my resume to a corporate e-mail address.)

So please keep your fingers crossed for me on the job search.

No big plans for the rest of the day...I did go work out yesterday at lunch and would like to go to the gym again tonight. Competing for that time will be the 2-hour finale of Celebrity Poker Showdown. I'll probably miss most of it while putting the kids to bed, so I'll have to catch a re-run later.

Oh yeah...I also kinda promised my daughter, K, that we'd play Clue tonight after dinner. I gotta say that is a fun game and even a 7-year-old can play.

I've rambled on long enough.

Until Next Time...

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Monday, January 12, 2004

Quick Note Re: Comments

OK...you may have noticed the comments are gone...that's because BlogSpeak, the host of my comments, has had his server account suspended.

That's not good!

SOOOO....I think I've probably lost all of my comments so now I'm going to try a new service.

Please check out the new comments once they appear and send me a note so I know it works.

Thanks!

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Blog It Forward

This is my first foray into "blogging it forward" and I'll just take Buzz's word for it that this is a real thing. All the general guidelines are over there, but the gist of it is you pick a blog off of your blogroll that you like and give them a little pub (that's hip lingo for "publicity"). Did you know hips had their own "lingo"? Neither did I.

Anyway...for my part, I'm announcing Charlie over at Where The Hell Was I as my Blog It Forward Choice O' The Day.

The guy is just damn funny. The post that hooked me was the Blue's Clues one. If you have kids and/or have ever watched the show, you'll be rolling. (If you DON'T have kids and HAVE watched the show...why?)

As my bonus BIF, I'm throwing out my good friend Dan's blog...because he's the one that got me started doing this in the first place.

Anyway...that's my first ever Blog It Forward.

Until Next Time...

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Sunday, January 11, 2004

Moving On

OK...It's been about six hours and I've watched my two favorite teams left in the playoffs lose and I'm over it already.

As you can tell from my multiple (and admittedly overdone) posts earlier today, I tend to get a bit worked up while watching sports on TV. Today was no exception.

So now I'm left with KU basketball and spring training starting in five weeks knowing I have my ticket secured for Royals' Opening Day.

Until Next Time...

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WTF?!

Who the hell throws it in the middle of the freaking field with no timeouts left and 8 seconds on the clock?

SIGH...another offseason begins for Chiefs fans.

Goddammit.

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We're Dead

That's all I have to say on the subject. (No, I'm not pessimistic or anything.)

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Kicked Away

No onsides kick...they're relying on the defense.

How scary is that???

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It's All About Me

You do realize that the Chiefs are keeping this close solely for the purpose of tormenting me, right?

Just as long as everyone understands that.

Chiefs are down by 7 with 4 minutes to go and have to decide whether to try an onsides kick or not.

Someone get me some Tums.

Until Next Time...

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I GIVE UP!

Remember the Fire Grady Little movement after the Red Sox lost in the playoffs? If it hasn't been started already, I'm starting a Fire Greg Robinson movement.

This defense is ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE!!!

We have some decent players and they should NOT be getting their asses kicked this badly.

The Chiefs are now down by 2 TDs with 13ish minutes left in the game.

Bottom line?

We need a TON of luck right now.

Until Next Time...

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Ugh!

They finally stop them on 3rd down and get called for 12 men on the field. (Maybe that's WHY they were able to stop them on 3rd down.

Of course, they converted on 3rd & 3.

Here we go into the 4th Quarter...Chiefs down 7.

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GOD BLESS DANTE HALL!!!!

Dante Hall just had a kickoff return for a touchdown!!!!

Woohoo!!!!

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Guess so

Another TD for Manning...DAMN that guy is good.

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SIGH

Could our pass defense be any softer???

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COME ON DEFENSE!!!

We're within a touchdown. GO CHIEFS!!!

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That Makes Sense

They can't stop them on 3rd & 9, but 3rd & 1? They stop them for a 5 yard loss. Go figure. (And of course THEIR kicker can easily hit a 46 yard FG.)

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A Less Than Stellar Start

Priest fumbles and then the Chiefs D fails for the THIRD TIME to stop the Colts on 3rd down and more than 7 to go.

GRRRRRR!!!!

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Goddamned Defense

OK...it's halftime of the Chiefs/Colts game and we've determined not only that the Chiefs defense sucks (which we really already knew), but that our kicker should have retired last year.

Now...Morten Andersen has had a great career, but it's time to hang it up. He's missed four out of his last five field goals. (Even I can do that!)

And the Colts have scored on every possession (except the end of the first half). The Chiefs get the ball first in the second half and can cut the lead to 4 with a TD. We'll see.

Back to the game.

Until Next Time...

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Friday, January 09, 2004

Thing One Done

Well...work ended for the week. (Thank God!) And I've even started the laundry. (Only 17 loads to go!)

AND...I even went to the gym tonight! It's a good thing I did too, because I've gained 2 pounds since the last time I was there.

Oh yeah...I also sent in my resume for three positions through Monster.com.

That's pretty much it for tonight!

Until Next Time...

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Friday Five

I've seen these on other blogs, but could never figure out the source...here it is.

What one thing are you most looking forward to . . .

1. ...today?
Being done with work for the week!

2. ...over the next week?
Getting caught up on all the laundry. (I'm not looking forward to the actual task itself...just having it done...but doing the work is a necessary evil.) That, and watching the Chiefs' playoff game on Sunday.

3. ...this year?
Finding and starting a new job.

4. ...over the next five years?
Enjoying watching my kids grow.

5. ...for the rest of your life?
Retiring so I can spend more time with my wife and my then grown kids (unless I win the lottery next week and I'll retire right away!).

What about you? Copy and paste and enter your responses in the comments!

Until Next Time...

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Thursday, January 08, 2004

That Didn't Last Long

After being thoroughly disgusted with my weight and fitness level lately, I decided to give the Atkins diet another shot. I did it once before in 2003 and lasted about 3 weeks and lost about 15 pounds.

This time? I lasted about 28 hours...not too good.

Don't get me wrong...I believe in Atkins, but it's just not meant for people with families and especially small kids. I want my kids to eat healthily and, more importantly, eat the food that they're provided...no special requests. It's hard to enforce that when you have to eat something different than everyone else. Besides that, I don't want my kids to worry about things like dieting at such a young age.

So, this leaves me with figuring out other methods to lose weight and get in shape. Part one is definitely start going to the gym more. When I first started, I'd go at 9:00 at night after the kids had gone to bed and did real well with that until I started travelling for work and got out of the habit.

Now I either need to get back on that schedule or go early in the morning before work or over the lunch hour. Which would you choose?

From a diet perspective, I'm just going to try using common sense (GASP!) and get smaller portions, not get seconds, drink more water and less pop (soda for those of you in the east), and just reduce the amount of carbs AND fat that I consume.

The main reason for me posting this here is to motivate myself to actually do something and hopefully I'll see results by spring break.

Let me know if there are other more family-friendly diets that you've had success with along with any exercise regimens that have worked for you.

Until Next Time...

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Just Another Day

There's not really that much going on in my world today, so I'll just see if I can come up with some stuff that doesn't stink.

I was reading over on Random Thinks about the success of Apple's iTunes service. I've not been there, but I think it costs about $1 per song to download.

So yesterday, Apple whiz Steve Jobs announced their biggest single spender at iTunes spent...go ahead guess.

OK...time's up!

$29,500!!!

What the fuck?! There are people without food and shelter this winter and some idiot is spending $29,500 on music downloads? Guess he missed out on the whole free Napster thing. Is it just me or is that insane???

In other news, I actually started doing some of the work that I'll be doing in my new position and let me just say that it officially sucks.

Fortunately (I hope), I had a phone interview today for the job I really want and they'll be getting back to me shortly if we need to schedule an in-person interview. Keep your fingers crossed kiddies!

Didn't do much of anything last night after going to dinner with my mom, my sister and her boyfriend. Played with the kids and their Play-Doh for a while and finally got them in bed around 9:30. Then watched Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was funny, but not the best episode I've seen.

After that, I tried to play poker, but for some reason the play money tournaments weren't working, so I actually went to sleep before midnight! First time that's happened in probably two months.

I still haven't gotten (I hate that word) around to doing the blogrolling crawl that I mentioned yesterday, but hopefully I can kill some time during the day tomorrow doing that.

Have a good day everyone!

Until Next Time...

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

North or South Carolina On My Mind?

We all know which one Roy Williams had on his mind, but can anyone tell me what James Taylor was talking about?

I'm listening to "Carolina On My Mind" on my Windows Media Player right now and the question struck me, so now I'm asking my dear readers to help me. Sure, I could probably go find the answer somewhere, but why not let you do all the work?!

So...

Just got back from picking up my car and it was less than $200...thank you thank you thank you! I still need to figure out where and why it's leaking oil, but that will be another bill for another day.

Saw a good idea at Cornelia's blog and I plan on doing this one of these days...if you have a blog and Blogrolling, pick one of the sites you've blogrolled, and click on one of their blogrolled sites, sending comments and adding them to your blogroll as you go, until you add another 10-15 sites. She does a much better job of describing it than I am right now, so go check it out. (Not that I couldn't do a better job, I'm just lazy.)

While I've acknowledged that I am a sports fan, I've chosen not to go into great detail about the whole Pete Rose thing. (For the record, I think he should be allowed into the Hall of Fame based on his on-the-field performance. The rest of it, I'm not so sure about.) I'd much rather talk about the Chiefs chances in the playoffs and off-season baseball moves and what the Royals and Orioles are doing to make their teams better.

Also...did you know that today is the 10-year anniversary of the Tonya Harding-ordered attack on Nancy Kerrigan? That blows my mind that it's been that long.

That's about enough for now...I think I'll go play some poker for a little bit before I head home.

Until Next Time...

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Bowlin', Bowlin', Bowlin'

Yep...that's what I did last night for the first time in many, many months. I subbed on my friend Don's team with Don, Dan and Jim. I bowled alright, but should have done better. I also had to intentionally not strike in the 10th frame of the last game so that we'd be sure to win the first game with enough handicap. (I know...you're thinking that I would have been enough of a handicap for any team.)

After that, I went home showered to get the cigarette smoke stench off of me and watched the end of the KU basketball game.

Things are slowly starting to pick up for me here at work as I have a few projects to work on. And one final note on my "old job"...I re-looked at the numbers again and I am within 40K of the next two highest reps. Goddamn, that's annoying.

To make things even better, some idiot moved our sales meeting from 9:30 this morning and thought it would be better to have it from 11:30-12:30. Gee...that makes a lot of fucking sense!!!

I also heard from the main company that I want to work for and we've scheduled a 30-minute call for tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for me! And, in other news, another friend and former client of mine has forwarded my resume to the sales director of the KC office. Man, I have great friends!

But wait...it gets better!

Just got a call from the garage and it's something relatively minor and is only going to be about $200! Considering that it was the engine light that came on, I was fearing a much higher bill.

And tonight, I get a free dinner courtesy of my mom who's coming into town.

Right now...all things considered...life is good.

I'm off to my meeting now.

Until Next Time...

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Monday, January 05, 2004

Day 1

Well...today's the day that I start the new job.

Before I completely let go of my "old" job, let me re-state my frustration with the situation. After all is said and done with 2003, I ended the year just 50K behind the 4th rep and 30K behind the 5th rep and about 200K ahead of the last-place rep. That's just over 4K per month difference...in other words NOTHING!!!!

But I'm moving on and have kept a pretty positive attitude so far today...offered to take on new projects while they figure out what the hell they want me to do here. In the meantime, I'm anxiously awaiting a phone call from the company I really want to work for. The guy is supposed to call me today to set up an interview.

I also want to say a public thank you to all of my friends and colleagues who have been so supportive. Admittedly, many of them don't know about this blog, but they've been great. Last night, I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a former co-worker who saw the light a year ago and got the hell out of Dodge and she's going to get me the names of several recruiters and introduce me to some new people. God bless people like her.

Right now, I'm on the "neighbor's" wireless network posting this blog. (Why take unnecessary chances, right?) I'll probably do the same thing this afternoon from the comfy confines of a conference room where I can actively search for jobs this afternoon. I have one meeting and that's about it for work stuff today.

Well...I'm off to take my car to get checked out at a friend of a friend's garage for the first time. Hopefully, I've finally found someone I trust to fix my car without screwing me.

And, by the way, I'd just like to encourage you to go visit some of the other blogs on my Blogroll...I need to add some more, but those are a good start!

Until Next Time...

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Sunday, January 04, 2004

Catching Up

Happy Sunday everyone. I'm a little depressed that today is my last day off before starting in my new position at work. I'm still pissed off about it, but the good news is they don't know what the hell they want me to actually do yet, so I'll probably just go in and surf some more from the neighboring company's wireless network.

Man, I'm such a geek. I can't believe that gives me any solace, whatsoever.

Anyway...

So this weekend has been a pleasant blend of kid time, adult time, getting things done and just kicking back and relaxing.

Friday was unseasonably warm for Kansas in January, so I convinced my dad to take the afternoon off and drive up here to play golf with my daughter and I. That was a total blast! I hit the ball alright, but the best part was watching my little girl.

She's 7 and has only played once or twice before. My wife was worried she wouldn't get any exercise since we had a golf cart...she didn't need to. There were more than a few holes where K hit the ball off the tee and ran and swung her club all the way to the green. And not just the 150-yard par 3s either...I'm talking about the 420-yard par 4s. She had a ball and it was her first time riding in a golf cart too.

After we finished golfing, she wanted to putt on the practice green, so my dad and I sat back with my sister (who works in the bar at the golf course) and chatted for an hour or so before coming home and flipping between KU's basketball victory over Villanova and K-State's loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Saturday was spent doing laundry and cleaning up the house before my wife and I went out for dinner and a movie. Saw Something's Gotta Give and it was a good date movie. They took a little too long to end it...I mean, it's a romantic comedy...it's no big secret about how it's going to end. But it was still a good flick.

A good chunk of the movie was set in a beach house in the Hamptons. Man, I could get used to a setup like that. Someday, if I ever get my fat ass in gear, I'm going to write a book. And, while I'd love for it to get published, I'd be happy just to write the damned thing. Then, if it does get published and is wildly successful, THEN I can get that house in the Hamptons.

Today has been a completely lazy-ass day for all of us. In fact, my youngest daughter is still in her nightgown from this morning (and it is now almost dinnertime) and I'm back in my PJs as well after venturing out for donuts and bagels this morning and then to get my haircut this afternoon. I've played a little poker (lost badly), done a little laundry and watched a lot of football. (Speaking of which, the Broncos are getting their ASSES kicked by the Colts, 38-3, in the 3rd quarter. It ain't a pretty sight for Broncos fans.

This means that the Chiefs will play the Colts at Arrowhead next weekend. This is a big re-match of the playoff game back in '97(?) when the Chiefs also went 13-3 and lost to the Colts for a chance to advance to the AFC title game. Back then our kicker, Lin Elliott, missed three field goals and cost us the game. (No, we're not still bitter.)

I can only hope that Peyton Manning has used up all of his TD passes today against the Broncos.

Well...it's time to make breakfast for dinner (seems oddly appropriate since half of us are in our PJs).

Until Next Time...

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Friday, January 02, 2004

May I Take Your Order Please?

Sure! And while you're at it, let's see if you can actually get it right for a change!

I've had more than my fair share of experiences of opening up a bag of food from a fast food chain only to find out that the order is either wrong or incomplete. Of course, every time I actually stop to check the bag before I pull away from the drive-thru window, it's right.

Well, count last night as another one of those times as McD's was about the only place open after 10 on New Year's night. I get home open it up and they managed to put everything on my burger that I didn't want and nothing that I did. (For the record, what I want is a quarter pounder with cheese with ketchup and mustard only.)

So, I go back to the car and drive back up to McD's to go back through the drive-thru to get what I hope to be the right sandwich.

On the way there, I had an epiphany. Now, as my friends will tell you, I'm usually a real nice guy...sometimes polite to a fault. So, in the many times past, I would go through the drive-thru, get to the speaker and explain the situation and pull around and get my food.

This time, though, I decided to just order the correct sandwich and they replied with, "Your total is $2.66, please pull around." And this is exactly what I did.

When I got to the window, the guy tells me it's $2.66 and I cheerily reply, "Actually, I just need to get the right burger instead of the wrong one you gave me when I drove through 20 minutes ago."

He brilliantly comes back with, "So what do you want me to do? You didn't say anything before." And then he closed the window, visibly pissed off and got his 22-year-old manager to take care of it.

I really wanted to tell the first guy (but didn't), now you have a small sense of how I felt after I drove all the fucking way home to open the wrong sandwich. If you don't want to be pissed off by someone bringing back the wrong sandwich, here's an idea...GIVE THEM THE RIGHT FUCKING SANDWICH IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

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So anyway, I highly recommend this approach of just ordering the correct version of what they screwed up and wait until you get to the window to tell them they fucked up. Maybe it will make you feel slightly vindicated...I know I did.

Until Next Time...

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