6/19/08

6/15/08

Happy Father's Day

To my Dad.

Growing up, Dad was always working. I don't have the fond memories of playing catch or going fishing or things like that, but that's not who my Dad is.

I remember going to Disney World. A few times.

I remember him calling me in to see Snake Plissken's introduction in 'Escape from New York' and watching Rambo crash through the police barricade in 'First Blood.'

I remember playing Frisbee in the back yard and riding around in the go-cart with him.

I remember him walking out to me in the back yard, still wearing his suit, to discipline me for throwing dirt clods over our back fence and into traffic.

I remember the respect everyone gave him that worked with him at the Food Shows.

I remember him reading Calvin & Hobbes to me.

I remember him bringing home my first Nintendo.

I remember him teaching me to ride my bike on an Easter Sunday.

I remember him giving me the keys to the Scorpio.

I remember going price checking with him.

I remember how tired he would be after working all day.

I remember watching countless hours of John Wayne movies with him.

I remember sitting and listening to Johnny Cash with him.

I remember the day I saw my Dad as a man and not a god.

I remember going shooting with him.

I remember talking to him the day he learned of his impending divorce, and how shaken he was.

I remember embracing him a few hours later after driving to Topeka to be with him.

I remember how eager he always is to talk to me when I call him.

Love you Dad.

Murphy's Law

I get out of work yesterday about twenty minutes late. No big deal, it happens. A little behind schedule for the evening, but again...I can manage. Indi's over @ Nikki and Brad's and asked me to go home, get steaks, and bring them over for grilling purposes. I make the thirty minute drive home and realize:

I have no house key and no garage door opener.

I think for a moment. I call my Mom, no answer. I call Indi's Mom, and success! They have a spare house key. I get it (they live four houses away) and come back. The steaks are leaking a bit, so I bag 'em and gather stuffs. Cokes, steaks, movies (Open Range and 3:10 to Yuma. I've been trying to watch Open Range with Brad for like a year and a half.), helmet, jacket, all is well. I leave the house, put all the stuff on my bike, and realize...

I do not have my bike key.

Or the spare house key.

Yup, door's locked.

Hmm.

I think again...and try to call Indi to apprise her of the situation. Call Failed. What? Try again. Call Failed. Curses. I power cycle my Blackberry, which takes twelve years. I suddenly remember that a bedroom window was open last night and, perhaps, it's unlocked. I walk around back and, indeed, it's unlocked. Using three quarters (Montana, Utah, and Indiana) and twenty minutes of time, I jimmy the screen off and open the window.

The cat stares at me as I pour myself into the bedroom. No matter. I close/lock the window, get the keys, and walk back out front. My phone is back on and it's ringing. Indi tells me not to bring the steaks, as something has come up.

Nobody's fault, it was the natural succession of the universe at that point.

6/13/08

Movie Review: First Blood

I sat down tonight and watched one of my old favorites: First Blood. Culture has taken the Rambo character and blown it into an stereotype of 80's exaggeration, but the first film is far from that iconic image.

First Blood is a movie about John Rambo, a Vietnam veteran that has turned into a drifter after discovering the last of his unit, the last of his friends, has passed away. He wanders into the town of Hope, OR and is hassled by the local law enforcement, led by Brian Dennehy's Korean War veteran sheriff. What starts out as a "we don't want your kind here" scuffle turns deadly as Rambo's treatment stirs up POW flashbacks and he escapes the local jail. The ensuing chase causes a deputy to get killed and it escalated in the wilderness until Rambo returns to town, armed with National Guard munitions and a heavy regression into his wartime service. His saving grace is his commanding officer, Colonel Trautman (played by the late Richard Crenna). At the end of the film, Trautman comes into the destroyed police station to convince Rambo that the fight is over, and that he will die if he continues. The final scene of the movie is a testament to Stallone's under-appreciated acting skill; he devolves into an emotional mess as he recounts a story of one of his buddies dying in Vietnam, and how he is nobody in the public sector and he can't hold a job. Trautman escorts Rambo out of the building and into custody.

First of all, this movie is based on a novel by David Morrell. In the novel, Rambo is shot and killed by Trautman at the end of the movie. Stallone felt that this was too much of a "downer" ending (...yeah) and that it sent the wrong message to Vietnam vets around the country; this was released in 1981. Many veterans at the time hailed this movie as being able to express emotion that they were unable to verbalize and that the representation of PTSD is a hallmark. I also have to give kudos to Jerry Goldsmith for the score. I own the CD and it is always on my iPod for a listen.

If you've never seen First Blood, it's not quite the action extravaganza that the later films turned into. In my book, this is a great character piece that serves as a reminder to the horrors of war and the delicate balance it disrupts in human nature.

Workplace Stuffs

So I'm waiting to start working, another day at the store.

The last few days I've worked have been REALLY slow. I started out the month @ the top of the list in our stack rankings, but I've since slid down a bit to fourth. I've had a really slow couple of days. The good news is that the first six months have a 'grace period' in which I cannot be disciplined for performance. The bad news is the fact that I don't WANT to have to use that grace period, I want to pull my own weight and do my job well. Many of the others are also not hitting goal, but that's not an excuse.

I see customers come in and either I'm not the first one to greet them or I'm with someone else, and all of these activations are going to others. It's very much a 'luck of the draw' kind of situation and my luck hasn't been great.

Eh...it's the first month. I'm used to being highly successful and I'm irritated that I didn't hit the ground running. All in good time, I suppose.

(This bit of pessimism brought to you by the fact that the last song on my iPod was from Radiohead...~)

College Fowl

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

6/10/08

Caulking the Wagon

Sunday was my fun day; we went rafting down the Illinois River!

Malinda was kind enough to drive Indi and I up to Talequah for the day. I got to use my AT&T Navigator (yay! I'm a dork!) to help provide directions but otherwise it was a pretty uneventful drive. Once we got to War Eagle (our boat rental place) we got ready. I bought special swim trunks just for the trip; they look like a Hawaiian shirt. Indi was not impressed.

On the bus trip up the river my lower back started to ache a bit. This has been an ongoing issue and I'm pretty sure it's my left kidney. As long as I drink plenty of water, it goes away. The fact that it's persisted for about two weeks is a little worrisome, but I don't have my insurance stuff yet, so, I just deal. We get the raft in the water (our raft was Indi, Malina, myself, and our cooler) and we're off.

It was a supremely pleasant day. Partly sunny, partly cloudy...temperature wasn't too hot, water wasn't TOO cold (boy it was a shock to get in though) and there was a breeze. About a mile down the river, though, my back was starting to REALLY hurt. I had been drinking a lot of water to try and counteract it but it wasn't working this time. I started to get scared. What if I had a serious infection or something and I'm out in the middle of the wilderness? I don't have a Jack Shepard to take care of me.

I relax in the boat for awhile but it's no use. By the time Indi suggests I eat some pineapple I would've done anything to get rid of the pain. I ate quite a bit of pineapple and cantaloupe and, thankfully, the pain started to subside about a half hour later. My wife is great, isn't she?

At some point, we pass these two guys floating down the river without a raft. They just have a log. With a cooler strapped to it. They looked at our raft and said, "Hey, if you had done it our way, you'd have that extra money...for more beer!" We called it their Beer Log. So I guess you could say they were Blogging down the riverl. epic lulz.

We floated in and around about 4 other parties pretty consistently throughout the day. Early on, we bumped a raft and knocked a guy off; every time we got close to them he made sure everyone knew what had happened and to be careful.

We stopped about halfway through for a break, using the restroom etc. Malinda bought some beers that didn't all make it (Busch beer seems to constantly try to return to the earth) and Indi got an ice cream. We started that morning at about 11 and wrapped up at, I'd say, 5:30? We all had a great time.

Can't wait to go again!

6/5/08

Hmm

You know, doing laundry and listening to Radiohead may be just about the most depressing thing ever.

But it's a beautiful depression...

6/1/08

Great Scott! :(

UNIVERSAL CITY, California -
A fire at Universal Studios on Sunday destroyed a set from "Back to the Future," the King Kong exhibit and a video vault containing more than 40,000 videos and reels.

Los Angeles County fire Captain Frank Reynoso says the blaze broke out just before dawn on a backlot stage at the 400-acre property. The fire has been contained.

Officials say the iconic courthouse square from "Back to the Future," has been destroyed, and the famous clocktower that enabled star Michael J. Fox's character to time travel has been damaged.

:(


**UPDATE** The Courthouse made it! But just barely: take a look at this!!