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Archive for November, 2007

VAMPBAT?

I spend a considerable amount of time questioning my decision to work somewhere that I can no longer (easily) take the bus to and from on a daily basis.  Granted, I can’t really complain, as I’m always going against the heavy flow of traffic both in the morning and the afternoon… but sitting back and letting someone else do the driving while I read a book or listened to the radio was a nice thing, and most days I miss it.  Every now and then a day comes along that makes me happy that I’m behind the wheel of the Volvo wagon, cruising along I-794, over the bridge, and west on I-94.  This morning was one of those days… as I passed the Hawley Road exit, a little black Saturn merged into the right lane in front of me, and the first thing I noticed (aside from the smoke and fumes belching out of the exhaust) was the vanity plate – VAMPBAT.  “Oh no, this one’s going to be a nutter”, I mumbled to myself.  Sure enough, as I pulled along side, I look over and see this character that looks like Penn (or maybe it’s Teller, not sure which is which… anyway, the big one) – all decked out in black, with these 80’s-style gloves (you know, with the strategically placed slits and holes in them).  Where is my camera when I need it???

I frequently listen to a couple of clowns named “Cramp and Adler”, who have a morning radio show on 102.1, on the way into work in the morning.  They’ve caught onto a section of Craig’s List called “missed connections”, and read what they consider to be the funniest postings, embellished with quite a bit of their own humor.  This particular morning, they read this one, entitled “Hey Sugarbutt – m4w – 27” …  “You: Beautiful girl with erotic cheek bones and a perfect smile, driving a red Acura Integra with a failing muffler and squeaky brakes down highway 16.  Me: Skinny-fat nerd with chronic sinus congestion problems and a career in IT driving a black Mazda 3 with a screaming toddler in the backseat throwing his shoes at me. I see you on the highway sometimes and you are perfect in every way. Let me paint you a picture: a game of Scrabble at my place over a six dollar bottle of Shiraz and some tacos. Then I want to take you bowling. After that, we’ll go back to my place and see what happens. I hope you don’t think just because a guy played some D&D back in college he doesn’t know how to rock you like a hurricane.”  They didn’t have to add much to this one… just a little razzing of the guy for the Scorpions reference, as if the rest of the content wasn’t bad enough.  Now, I could picture a plethora of current and former co-workers that might have placed that ad, which made it all the funnier… Wow.

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Starbucks

Four days off, four trips to coffee paradise at around 10am each morning.  This is nuts!  I think it’s an illness, seriously.  I would love to get an espresso machine of my very own to make these five-buck-a-pop beverages at home and save some money.  With a house like ours, with a tiny kitchen, we just don’t have the room.  Ugh.

Dinner Friday night was fabulous.  I took Eli to Lake Park Bistro, the French-themed restaurant of the Bartolotta’s family http://www.lakeparkbistro.com/ for her birthday, and as usual, it was absolutely amazing.  I got the best steak I’ve ever had in my life… seriously… and Eli tried the Menu du Chef (my usual staple), which consisted that evening of a pumpkin puree appetizer, an entree consisting of a healthy chunk of monkfish atop a bed of cabbage and squash, a cheese course with quince paste, and this artistic dessert featuring slivered honeycrisp apples on caramel glazed wafers and sorbet.  Just fantastic!  We’ve never been disappointed with either the food or the service, and that’s what keeps us going back for more.  It is a bit pricey, so it’s reserved for special treat occasions.

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Fast paced week

Wow, so much has happened in less than a weeks time.  Last Sunday, my buddy Jeremy invited me along to the Green Bay Packers game against the Carolina Panthers.  I think I suprised him with the camera…

packergame1.jpg

The people were absolutely nutty and it’s a very spirited atmosphere.  We got there about two hours before the game and wandered around the bar and tailgating areas for a while before entering the stadium.  One sportsbar featured a mechanical bull outside that you could ride for $5.  If I hadn’t already downed a beer and a great bowl of chili, I would have gotten on it and had Jeremy take a picture.  I figured the guy didn’t want me to get sick all over the place, so I’d better save the bull riding experience for another time.

Packer tickets are apparently impossible to come by, so this was quite a treat.  I got into the action, as well.  The Pack ended up winning, 31-17.  Brett Favre is my hero.

 packergame2.jpg

The short week at work was wonderful.  I’m geeking out on the Unix systems right now, and starting to pick apart the Perl code that makes the Oracle maintenance scripts do their thing.  I’ll have it mastered in no time.

Yesterday was devoted to cooking and eating and just being generally lazy.  We had the usual Thanksgiving fare… turkey, stuffing, taters, gravy, green beens, cranberry sauce and some rolls.  We also made a chocolate cake, then immediately decided that the Perfect Chocolate cake we get at the Outpost just can’t be beat.  Oh yes, we got our first snow of the winter – it started snowing overnight, and we woke up to a nice dusting in the morning.  More than a dusting, really… in some places it was a little over an inch.  Xena just loved getting out and running around in it.  Ran into a group of people in the field on the other side of Seminary Woods who gather daily and let their dogs run and frolic.  Great fun!

snow1.jpg

Today is dedicated to Eli, as it is her birthday!  We just took the little troll, err, I mean Xena, for a walk through the woods and for an off-leash run in the field, and when it came time to leash-up for the walk home, she just wouldn’t listen to us.  It took a good 1o minutes to get her to settle down and stop running around.  We were not too happy with this, and the fact that she pulled like mad almost the whole way home helped us decide that there will be some more obedience classes in her near future.  We’ll be going out for dinner soon, so I’d better close this entry.

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I just took a little time to scroll through some random blogs hosted on this site, and some were quite impressive.  A few others were mediocre, but one thing I can say right now that I will not be doing is filling my content with a bunch of links to stupid YouTube videos.  Ugh, what a waste of time.  I’m not sure how that constitutes contributing something meaningful to … to anything!  Not for me.  I was amazed at how many people candidly post pictures and information about their own personal lives out there.  Guess they’re not too concerned about privacy.

OK, I think I’m ready to unleash this puppy on the world.

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Here we go again…  same artist, same content, just a slightly different medium.  I got so fed up with the formatting anomalies on Blogger that I quit blogging for a time.  Yes, I claimed it had to do with running out of ideas and a serious lack of general creativity, but the simple truth is – there is always something to blog about.  With all the weird, wacky individuals I cross paths with in a given day, I could probably spend most of my free time writing about it.

So, with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, I embark here (on WordPress) – hoping for better results this time around.  As on FantasticFlautulence, I will attempt to convey all the random goings-on that occur for Eli, Xena and myself… plus post a few pictures.

As we used to say back on the farm – see you on the flip-side!

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