Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Florida Fun


We had an increasingly rare opportunity to get together as a family for a summer vacation this year.  As the kids have their own commitments and agendas and Linda has her vacation days dictated to her from her employer the lining up of stars and calendar become difficult.

This year, we knew in advance that we all wanted to go to Leanne’s wedding, so our planning had a head start. By the way, there was another party involved.  In my previous message I failed to mention the groom and his family.  Sorry MIKE GORMAN and family!

Map picture
We decided to go a little early for a little R&R on the Emerald Coast (that’s the Florida panhandle for you Yankees).  We rented a condo in Miramar Beach which is right next to Destin.  We sunned, swimmed, shopped and fished.  It was great.  Here are some pics for your vicarious viewing pleasure.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Big Happenings

This past weekend my niece Leanne got married! It was quite the production and I think it came off great. They had it in Gator country (Gainesville FL) but don't hold that against them. We just got back from our 15 hour drive so I am not at my creative best, but I wanted to upload some of the pics. Don't worry, there was a real photographer there to get the good pictures.

You can get to our Picasa online albums HERE, or you can use the window below

Friday, June 19, 2009


Some people just have to ruin it for everyone


There you are, getting comfortable dealing with your customer service person who doesn’t understand the meeting of either of the words in their title.  Or maybe your filling out a form for your doctor for the 11th time . . . yes my name is still Bob . . . yes my birthday is still . . . .  or you are at your local retailer and you ask “what’s the difference between that $197 model and that $49.97 model” and they say “jeez, I don’t know, let me get my laptop but it’s like, like, more than $100”.

You have lowered your standards to the point where you can just roll your eyes and move on.  You are able to suppress your anger and astonishment until you are in the shower or just about to fall asleep.

An then it happens.  This is a true story. 

You spy some brown spots in your driveway and you are pretty sure they came from your daughters car.  Not good, but not being Mr. Goodwrench, you really don’t know what’s going on.  You must take it to a mechanic.  On a whim you decide to do it right now.  You drive right to the garage and ask them if they fix leaky brown spot makers.  They say “I don’t know, let us take a look at it”  WHAT?  Truth and cooperation in one easy sentence?  I’m staggered but I pretend it’s the medication.  Then the lady tears off a piece of paper and says “name?”  “Phone number?”  “what year is the car” – then, get this, she says “thanks, we will call you”  Are you kidding me?  No, tag number, drivers license, mothers maiden name, sign here, initial there, turn and cough?  Yeah, too good to be true, they are just saving it up for one big sucker punch, right?

42 min after I had the audacity to ask them if they fixed the leaky brown spot makers, they called me.  We looked at the caller ID, we knew it was them, we were afraid.  Neither my wife or I would pick up the phone, then the pressure became to great and I caved and picked it up.  Hello?  I said trying to fain naïveté.  “ this is Kevin at the garage, is this Bob?”  There was no turning back.  “Yes”   “Bob, you rear differential pinion gasket is leaking, the other two axel gaskets look fine, to fix this gasket you need some specialized tools which we don’t have but I can recommend a place if you like.  Another option is just keep driving it and make sure the fluid doesn’t get too low, any lube shop can top it off for you.  by the way, did you know you have a nail in your right rear tire?”                     “no”              “Well I will top off the fluid for you and you can pick it up in about 5 min, the charge will be $12”                                  “ok”

When I got there, the car was still on the lift and he showed me what a (leaky) rear differential pinion gasket looked like, told me, he would probably just keep driving it and checking it once in a while to make sure it didn’t get worse.  he told me where I could get it repaired.  He showed me the nail in the tire which he had marked with a circle and arrow with some kind of yellow marker and asked if I wanted him to fix it.  I said no – they will fix it where we bought the tires.  He took it down off the lift, rolled the windows down, put the air conditioner on high (it was hot) and drove it to the front of the garage where we were standing.  Then he walked behind the cash register and said “that will be $12”

I know what you are thinking  “nuhh uhh”      True story.    Next time I am trying to explain to the drive through attendant “no, no, that’s a small fry and at LARGE drink . . .”  how am i going to hold it together knowing that something better is possible?   Some people!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


New program from HP

I don't know how good it is. You might save a dollar to 2 on a shinny new notebook, or you may click on the link and a door to door mattress salesman might be looking in your window and banging on your screen door in a matter of minutes. Do you feel lucky? Well do ya reader?

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Grasshopper – snatch this cliché from by blog


Yes, Kwai Chang Caine has moved on to the next spiritual level (once they got him down from his hotel room closet).  David Carradine star of the TV series Kung Fu which spawned a million living room martial arts demonstrations on little, and not so little, brothers and sisters, is dead at 72.

I have to confess – I loved that show, that guy could live on dirt, go on acid trips at will and move his hands faster than a speeding bullet (remember the one with the plow?).  Man, he was tough.  He never got the girl, not because they didn’t want him but because he was above that sort of thing. Just him and his flute.

When you are a kid or spend more time watching TV than sleeping, you think the people are really like they are on TV, then you see one of those pseudo-documentaries about them and your illusions are crushed forever or at least until the next True Hollywood Story.

They way I figure it, he has probably paid for most of his bad choices.  Why?  How many times do you think some mental midget has come up to him with a stone in his hand and challenged him to . . . .

Monday, June 01, 2009


Vacation Time


It’s officially summer, the season for air conditioners, sun burn and vacations.  Tired of the same old Grand Canyon, Disney World and various water activities?  While doing research for my theses on “cheeseburgers as an alternate source of energy” I came across this destination.  image

Thanks right, it’s the Cumberland Pencil Museum.  Talk about your exotic destinations!  I would wager that out of all the 6 or 7 people that read this blog, not one person even knows someone who has been to the Cumberland Pencil Museum.

One of the highlights is the worlds largest colored pencil.  For $7.50 I will show it to you.  OK here it is.  image Here is the pitch:  “Join us in celebrating 175 years of pencil making here in Keswick in the heart of the Lake District. Enter the museum through a replica of the Seathwaite Mine, where graphite was first discovered, journey through the history of pencil making, marvel at the world's longest pencil and finally relax in our coffee shop while the kids follow the quiz trail and express their creativity in the Drawing Zone. “

So there you have it.  Put this one on your bucket list. 

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