New Year's Eve

MFF, Scope, Dolly Dutchass MFF, Scope, & Dolly Dutchass 2006-12-31

I'm not a New Year's Eve person. Rarely go out. Sometimes, but not every year. The last NYE that I did anything big for was 2 years ago. And this was a GOOD night.

The players:

MFF (My French Friend) who you've met
here and here.

Dolly Dutchass - her friend. Going thru a divorce also. Tall. Attractive. Southern accent smooth as butter. Sweet rump.

MFF and I had planned to get together on NYE. I was set to fly down south in the afternoon of the 31st, then we'd check in at one of the big hotels down town that was running a shuttle to the party, Dolly would swing by (first meeting), the girls would get ready, then off to a pre-party, and then go to the big charity thing downtown in the warehouse district.

The plans go off without a hitch*, we go to the party, and have a good time. But, since we are part of a larger group (and not a couple) MFF and I aren't joined at the hip, and we both wander around the various rooms, socializing and having many cocktails. About 11:50, MFF sends me out on the dance floor with a fairly drunk Dolly. We dance two songs (cue white man's over bite), but then hear "10...9...8...

No MFF. She's gone. But, I am holding a very sweet, very attractive woman in my arms, so ...

The kiss was, "invigorating". If you ever have the chance to be the first guy a drunk hottie kisses after filing for divorce, I highly recommend it. But it was just one kiss. And that is the peak of the evening, and it started heading downhill from there. On RAILS!

Long ass story short, omitting 100 boring details (none of which involve sex or the police): I spend the rest of the night playing "Babysitter" to an extremely drunk Dolly Duchass who apologizes profusely and spills her guts (literally and profusely) out on the sidewalk. (I hold her hair. I am a gentleman.) I also play "Cat Herder" for MFF who is having a legitimate good time, and doesn't want to leave the party.

All told, one of the better New Year's Eves of my adult life. Sad, but true.

Everyone have a wicked good time, spring for the cab ride (or some other D.D.), and see you back here tomorrow. ("See you next year" is like finger nails on the chalkboard to me.)

* Do you really want to hear the part about me leaving my reception after my step-grandfather's funeral and racing 150 miles across Illinois to just catch my flight? Didn't think so.



You'd think that if you hung out a sign that said, "FREE GROIN PULLS" that guys would be lined up around the block, anxiously waiting their turn. Hell fire, some guys might even be willing to pay cash money to cut to the front of the line.

Turns out, no so much. :-(

* It's one of those things that sounds better than it turns out to be. Like "
sweetbreads." These should under no circumstances be confused with "sticky rolls" or "HOT crossed buns."

Or, "Tit for tat." "Tat" being lace, I would gladly provide "tat" (say a lace undergarment from Vicky's) for tits if, in return, I got some of that other thing.

(Note: No groins were pulled in the writing of this post.)


SCOPE-TECH: 4 of 4

The Sabbatical And Since...

While I've somewhat covered this here, a bored computer programmer with a need for an outlet is a dangerous thing. Just glad I invested that time in my website instead of hacking the WOPR or something crazy like that. It was during this period that 'SCOPE-TECH', logo and all, was born. It started as an innocent part of a shell story about one of my favorite topics: Flying Monkeys. Obviously, one guy in a 1 BR apt. can't carry on a flying monkey research project, so I created a fake secret company to run it. It also was a frame for a "Board Meeting" of some friends I tried to set up in Vegas. Never got the Vegas trip pulled off, but SCOPE-TECH provided me a creative outlet when I needed it.

Once I started back to work, I just didn't have the time to keep the website up-to-date. It took about 4 times as long to do the admin work of uploading the content, getting all the links to work right, etc. than it did to create content. It became too overwhelming to keep up-to-date. In fact, after sitting in suspended animation for years, I just killed the site this summer.

And then I met Gwen, started reading her blog, started commenting on her blog, started commenting around, set up a blogger ID so I could be "Scope" again, and then, inevitably, set up SCOPE-TECH.

And now you know the rest of the story. Good DAY!


In the comments to part two, Ms Florida Transplant asked if anybody referred to me as "Scope" in real life. The answer is "sure, a surprising number." T-Bone and his wife, Ms. IVy do. As does T-Bone's mom, sister, best friend, best friend's wife, their kids, etc. With the folks from college; some people use "Scope", some people use "Eric", and some flip back and forth.

So if we were to meet in real life, what should you call me? Gwen asked a similar question at the "scabin", and that lead to pretty deep discussion. But the gist is, call me what feels natural at the time.

"Scope" isn't just a screen name. I've answered to "Scope" about as long as some of you have been alive.

It's in my personal email account.
It's on my car license plate.

It's who I am.


SCOPE-TECH: 3 of 4

Post grad

When I started my first job out of college, the company was just getting people used to this new thing called "email". (But I had only vaguely heard of an "internet"). I would email work friends little bits every morning. Scope was still alive. (And since I am "King Of No Napkins" today, whatever that means, I must tell you the email system was called "Wang Office" aka "Wang Orifice.")

But that dwindled and died and Scope pretty much stopped publishing for a decade. Oh sure, bits here and there, but more for my own amusement. Nothing really for public consumption.

Then came the Sabbatical.

To be concluded...


SCOPE-TECH: 2 of 4

MacMurray College

About 2 weeks into my freshmen year, I was with some friends in one of the dorm lounges (Rutledge basement). There were others there (Sandy, Melody, & Teresa) and when I went to introduce myself, the girls said, "We know who you are, you're 'Scope'*." Strange, I'd never been called that before, and I had never met any of these women before. None the less, 'Scope' was born.

I started writing as 'Scope' in my college newspaper near the end of my first semester freshman year. I wanted to be pseudo-anonymous, but didn't REALLY care if people found out who I was. By my senior year, I bet more people on campus could ID Scope vs. Eric. Through that time, if I only had 2 items a week in the paper, it was a slow week. Then I started creating the Monday paper. Which meant it was really up to me to create the whole thing over the weekend. I even did a couple of posters.

I did try experimenting with alterative "voices" but none rang true, so I settled on the bipolar Eric / Scope relationship that still somewhat exists today. (But Gwen, I'm working on it.)

* Eventually I found out that the name came from the fact that I got busted "scoping" out some schoolmates' butts. I believe it was a full pirouette to check out some passing co-ed's, observed by the afore mentioned trio who were perched on the Rutledge second floor sundeck that got me tagged. I think that "Scope" was probably the best possible nickname to come from those circumstances. "Bumlooker-Tech" and "Cheek Checker-Tech" just don't have the same ring to them.

To be continued...


SCOPE-TECH: 1 of 4

What is "Scope-Tech"? This is a story that it's about time I tell. I feel I need to place a little context out there. Provide my "frame story" as it were, so that certain things make sense, and I can use those as nodes to start new stories from. And what better time than now? The holidays should be slow out on the blogs, but you may need a bit of an escape from the real world. I've tried to keep things bite sized and I have the robots geared up to post, so here we go.

I've always had an active imagination, a curiosity, and liked to doodle. As a kid, while watching TV (yes, in COLOR, smartass) at night, I was multitasking by either drawing, building in my Legos, or reading the encyclopedia. (Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet and my pet saber-toothed tiger was named "Fang". Punk kids)

In high school I got my first computer, a Timex/Sinclair 1000 with the 16K memory expansion kit. Computing power today that can only be compared to those pocket LCD video poker games that sell for $1.99. I knew that this was my chosen field.

I was on the basketball team, the track team and the yearbook staff. While I wouldn't say I was "UNPOPULAR" I definitely didn't fit in. Probably more of you feel that way than not.

But then it became time to choose a college, and my path to Scope-Tech began.

To be continued...


A Moving Tale Of Trust For Christmas*

In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the
Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant looked at Mbembe as if could see straight into his soul.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

*An oldie but a goodie. I got this a couple years back and just ran across it while cleaning up some old email. In case you were wondering, Lincoln Park Zoo currently does not have any elephants, but if you're ever in Chicago, it is a cool place to visit in the winter, too. And it's FREE! (Parking will cost you $300,000, but admission is free.)

Here are some pix I've taken there in the winter time.

Tropical Daydreaming

Christmas Buffett

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas! Hope today in all you hoped for full of peace and love (or a piece of love.)

Just remember to take a few seconds out of your hectic day to join me in celebrating the birth of personal savior:
James William Buffett.

Maybe even hit
Radio Margaritaville (Windows Media Player).

Oh, and I hear a heat wave is supposed to hit Chicago today, because some HAWTT DAME is due back in town. Oh, CARP! Just think of that made me, well YOU KNOW!


Good-bye, Friend

We've been together for a year now, but I'm going to have to let you go. You knew this was coming. Even while you were still servicing me yesterday, I knew that I was going to be replacing you… With your younger cousin.

In the last year, you've been my world, and we've never been apart. You've been my taskmaster and my playmate. My window on the world, and my escape from it. You even loved the Cubs. Always saying, "Mark Prior Opened."

But your cousin is faster and brighter. Her back, more supple and less hard. And her face just glows. She let's me play the same games at night that you did, just she even let's me do ones that you wanted money to even try.

But fear not, my Curvy beauty, you may be old and slow, but I think I may be able to still make a few bucks selling your ass on the streets downtown.

As you may have guessed:

1) I replaced my Blackberry Curve with a Blackberry Bold for my birthday. Not an iPhone. I need a tool, not a toy. (Okay, that's a lie, but I'm not an Apple fan. Don't know why.) I didn't really get a deal on it, but now I can reasonably hope to keep up with you folks over my lunch hour.

2) I desperately need a girlfriend.

3) Go ND!

FYI - I will be out of town this weekend, but will be trying out the Bold and some other new tech, so come on back, there will be new content here at least daily thru the weekend. And no fruit cake. (And he lofts a softball, batter up!)


Since she's been under the weather recently, and is always doing so much for everyone else in her lifeofsass, I thought I'd do a little something for Sass today.

A New Job - Recently Sass has sounded a bit like she could use a little something going on outside the family. Just for her. And, since the job will be open soon, she lives just down the road a bit, and she loves the phrase, "Gubernatorial Taint," I hereby nominate Sass to be the next governor of Illinois. Then, someday, little Scope can ask his pop, "What was it like to have a sassy, saucy, sexy Governess, pa?" And I will answer, "It was a golden age, my son."

The Brown Line – So a week and a half ago or so, I casually mention that I take, "the Brown Line" to work. Well, little Ms. Sass E. Frass, possibly suffering from some "Goobernatorial Taint" from eating some bad peanuts, wouldn't let that go. Lines like, "it get's a bit hairy where the Brown Line exists the tunnel*" were being tossed around. Pre-vert! Anyway, thank you for your tax dollars. The
Brown Line Expansion Project has completed, so I should no longer experience the pains of lengthy Brown Line congestion and backups in the morning. Anyone interested in reading ACTUAL CTA line formerly known as "the Ravenswood" line can read HERE. And while it's called, the "L" my Rockwell stop is actually at street level.

* Not sure if she used the tunnel bit, and I'm not reading back thru Facebook to figure it out. Oh, and the Brown Line never actually goes thru a tunnel. Most of the time, it's a floater, up on the elevated tracks.


Happy Birthday, mjenks!

Important Events on December 22, according to Wiki

1809 - The Non-Intercourse Act passes the U.S. Congress, lifting the Embargo Act except for the United Kingdom and France. Scope – Not sure I like something called the "Non-Intercourse Act" being associated with my birthday. That's bad juju.

1849 - The execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky is called off at the last second. Scope – If they would have popped a cap in his ass, I wouldn't have had to (mostly) read "Crime and Punishment" which he wrote in 1866.

1944 - World War II: Battle of the Bulge - German troops demand the surrender of United States troops at Bastogne, Belgium, prompting the famous one word reply: "Nuts!" by General Anthony McAuliffe. Scope – And "Nuts" is a running theme through all these points!

1984 - Bernie Goetz becomes famous. Scope – At least someone's not afraid to pop some caps.

2012 – The start next cycle of the Mayan Calendar. Scope – Not sure I like a date that some folks predict will be the end of the world being associated with my birthday. That's worse juju.

But according to me, the most import thing to do today is to swing by the
iNDefatigable mjenks's blog and wish him a Happy Birthday. And I hope that on Christmas Eve, he gets a special present sent to him from Hawaii. Something that folks have been waiting for since, oh, the 1994 Cotton Bowl?


Tales from the Scabby Cabby

As many of you know, Gwen and I and some other folks (9 total) from college got together this weekend at one of the guy's (Nic's) house in Indiana. It was a really nice place, in a wooded lot, but not "in the woods" if that makes any sense, about 2 blocks off "The Lake." You could see the neighbors' houses, but you could also see deer moving through the trees.

I will not be overstating things if I say: "A good time was had by all."
Only a few tales will be told (by me) from the Scabby Cabby. Most fall under the: "You Had To Be There" umbrella anyway. But there are a few that can be shared.

Best Dressed – Gwen - Gwen's looked astonishing in her little black dress. It was an honor to have her on my arm. (She was only on my arm to keep from falling to her death as we climbed up and down from the cabin to the cars. But it was an honor none the less.)

Best "wait for it" line – Nic

Nic: "This spring that little bedroom is going to become a bathroom... I'm not gonna DO anything, I'm just gonna start shittin' in there."

The timing on his delivery was perfect. And it's astonishing that with the group of quick wits (and nitwits) that we are, one of didn't fuck it up by stepping on it with a wisecrack that would have been so less funny.

Best line said seriously – Laugh and Johnny B.

Laugh was telling a story about his first day working at the liquor store in college when a guy came in, bought a quart of gin, and guzzled it down BEFORE Laugh could finish ringing up the transaction. Johnny B. was stunned that the guy able to down a 5th like that. Not a 5th, we explained to Johnny B. a quart, one of the littler bottles.

Johnny B: "Oh, a pint."
Laugh: "No, 2 pints in a quart."
Johnny B: "Pint… Quart… I don't know metrics." He was dead serious, and a little confused for a second as the room howled. I shed a tear it was so funny.

Best "Big Chill" Reference – Laugh and Scope
Laugh: "They make movies about weekends like this."
Scope: "Yeah, and Kevin Costner's usually dead in them."

Okay, see, you had to be there for the last one. It was a good time. Oddly, while I had known ever single person at the Scabby Cabby except for Gwen for over 20 years, this is only the second or third time I'd been in this specific group. So, as a junior associate, it was fun to hang out with the Firm partners, and feel one with the group.


Serendipity Doo-Dah

Serendipity - The effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.

Serendipity Doo-Dah – A picture found on your cell phone that you did not take, and were unaware of for about 3 days.

When I saw it, I about peed myself. I rarely use the camera feature, but I wanted to take an ad hoc snow picture. I opened the camera app on the phone and BLAM*!

I know who this is. I know the joys of leaving your camera phone on the table when you go to the bathroom. I know the joys of a friend who enjoys "FLASH" photography.

* This is not MFF – And this gal is taken. Dating a good friend of mine. I was the matchmaker, sort of.


Trimming The Tree

When I was coming in from the Thanksgiving holiday at the 'rent's, I saw my neighbor trying to trim up the bottom of his Christmas tree with a small hacksaw with a metal cutting blade. If you don't know about saws, think of emptying a 5 gallon bucket of flour using a teaspoon. You can do it, but it's gonna take forever. Anyhow, I had a small collapsible blade wood saw in my tool kit, and loaned it to him. He finished up in a few minutes.

This story isn't about that.

This is about a Christmas memory from back around 8th grade. It was a bitter cold and snowy winter. Back when scientists were still talking about the pending new ice age that was coming. Out on the farm, the drifts were high, but the old farmhouse was snugly and warm.

Dad brought in the Christmas tree, but the bottom of the tree wasn't level so it didn't sit right in the base. He went to the garage to get "the saw" and we all went to the kitchen for some fresh baked cookies.

The "saw" turned out to be the two-stroke, gas/oil mix burning CHAIN SAW! Quicker that you can say "
Bruce Campbell" the tranquility was shattered by the roar of the saw and the smell of the cookies annihilated by the blue smoke rolling out of the little red beast's ass and the wood chips spewing from its maw.

And just like that, the warm farmhouse wasn't anymore, as we had to open all the windows and doors to air the place out.

How could he do something so stupid? Well, at the time, he was probably younger than I am now. And on Tuesday I made it to the train station with neither my train pass nor my wallet. So, I get it now.


That Blue Yak Crappy Gifts For Sick People Stockpile

To find out what the HELL I'm talking about, go read Dr. Zibb's post HERE. But who am I kidding. You already read his post, and are only coming over here to see what I did.

At first, I thought I was supposed to come up with a crappy gift for a STICK person. And I thought, "
Flammable lube." That would suck.

Then, I noticed it was SICK people. And I realized that I had to up my game. And nothing says "I wish you were dead" better than
Zamfir Gold (God I wish I made that up). For those of you too young to remember, Gheorghe Zamfir is "the Master of the Pan Flute." His ads were all over TV when I was in college. And to his credit, I know of no other Pan Flute player who is trying to take his crown. He is truly the master.

So, drop this number on the CD player across the room from the bedridden (Hey! I want to be "bed ridden" dirty cowgirl style), set it on "loop" and run like hell.

Click, I double dog dare ya'!

So what you do is:
1) Pick a crappy gift for the That Blue Yak Crappy Gifts For Sick People Stockpile and post it on your site.
2) Pick 5 bloggers that you think might want to open their hearts and pick a crappy gift.
3) Link back to this post.
4) And if you really want to get into heaven, write, "I POSTED A CRAPPY GIFT" in the comments section of this post so we can see the crappy gifts you picked.

And I tag:

Alex (Draw 4)
Poobomber (No forwarding your work inbox to them)
the iNDefatigable mjenks (The mind boggles.)
Candy (I'm sure the gift will be elegant and tasteful, but somehow crappy)
Robot Nine (Nine gifts for the price of one!)

The Ring Of Lies

And this one is for all you ladies out there:
In the post the other day, when I added the single guy's POV to SouthernBelle's and TishTash's thread, I got a little feedback asking about my relationship with MFF. (See, Sass, this is what I meant by "context".) I need to provide a little CONTEXT so that "it's complicated" makes sense. Because, really, at a certain point in your life, doesn't "it's complicated" cover every relationship that's been around for more than a week?

New Character: "My French Friend" - "MFF" is a former neighbor that I met in January '91. We've never dated, but our relationship is deeper than "just friends" would imply. Kind of "the family you make" vs. "the family you're born into" thing. She lives about a 12 hour drive from here, in the heart of Dixie. The flight takes a little less time.

In 2002, MFF had recently gotten married, moved from the heart of Dixie to rural Wisconsin, and had a baby. Her husband was relocating, again, for work and was out of town scouting housing in the Carolinas, and he suggested that I come up and stay with MFF and her baby while he was out of town. I lived about 2 hours south of there, in Chicago, so I did. It was a cold and snowy, like yesterday, which is why I'm thinking about it now.

Her husband, who in a bit of foreshadowing I will call "The Robber", had put a forward on their mail to be sent down to him in the Carolinas, but it hadn't kicked in yet. While she was still living there? Hmmm. "Yes." So while I was up there, we went to the post office and got the mail.

Cue "Duh-Duh-Duh - DUH" music.

It was there in the parking lot of the P.O. that she discovered a credit card she didn't know about.

- In her name.
- That The Robber took out BEFORE they were engaged. (Fraud? Anyone?)
- The credit card he used it to charge her engagement ring.

Let that sink in for a second.

Before they were married, The Robber got a credit card in her name, and charged her engagement ring.

It wasn't yet the beginning of the end, but it was the end of the beginning.

- He has since remarried.
- 61 days after their divorce was final.
- At the same chapel in the Caribbean where he married MFF.
And she's doing just fine without him.

Too bad you only see the really BIG RED FLAGS after the fact.


S.T.A.R. Awards II

After our brief intermission to build suspense (and to let Eric out of his cage and get a little air), on to our final round of winners for the SCOPE-TECH Annual Recognition Awards or S.T.A.R.s:

Bad Ass Mother Of The Year -
CandyCandy's daily Dandy: Candy was my first commenter (she took my "virginity" if you will), but don't let her looks fool ya, she's got skeletons in her closet. OK, maybe just skulls.

Key Lime (QT) Pie AwardMs. Florida TransplantJust A Girl… And Her Dogs: Sticking with the citrus theme, and way too good of a joke to pass up. And seriously, look at that profile picture. Not the blob attacking her head that I so desperately want to Photoshop that it makes me crazy, the rest of it. And she did her 5K in orange leggings just to represent her blog banner. That's HAWTT.

Common Tatter Of Year – Everyone who has left a comment on my blog who has never actual met me IRL. Thanks. Or as JSG (the Blonde) would put it: "What are you? NUTS?!? You're encouraging him!"

Common Tainter Of The Year
Sass thelifeofsass: The phrase "gubernatorial taint" just won't mean the same. Ever. No, no. EVER. And I know I owe you a story about "riding the Brown line" I just need to let it, digest, a bit more.

New Person Of The Year
Gwen Everything I Like Causes Cancer: Earlier in the year, it was a tossup between Gwen, and an IRL person named "Margo A. Gogo". That's her LEGAL name. But she's faded, and Gwen, who introduced me to all you folks, wins. Hands down. Hard to believe that I only met her this summer. And will be seeing her again in a few days.

Gnu Person Of The Year
Dr. ZibbsThat Blue Yak: His reputation precedes him like LIGHTNING precedes THUNDER. He's a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas. He uses Bizarro Zibbs as a luffa. He is quite possibly the most interesting Blue Yak in the world. He is Dr. Zibbs.

And if you didn't win an award, fret not, it's nothing that can't be solved with an envelope full of cash. And do not be confused by the word 'annual'. You might just earn a star when you're least expecting it. So, like Santa, we're watching you.

[Update: Winners can go HERE to collect their awards.]


On The Single Guy's Perspective

While not necessarily "invited" to this thread, I did RSVP before crashing. Sounds like a wedding I once went to. Yeah, my date caught the bouquet. We were LOVED! But that's a story for another day.

Please read
SouthernBelle's take on this issue HERE and TishTash's HERE first. But don't get too caught up in their blogs not to come back.

I'll also try to address specific issues these ladies posed.

Disclaimer: First a little background, incase you are gnu here: I'm 42.9999 years old, never married, straight bachelor, currently in a very deep, very meaningful, but very uncommitted relationship. (It's complicated.) Obviously, the opinions and beliefs here are my own, and may surprise you, but I grew up in the country, which in a lot of ways, is a bit like the South.

Dinner Dates: A dinner date on the first date is a fine idea, AS LONG AS THERE'S PLANNING. This is for my brothers out there: After your days of hooking up at raves high on X are over, you need to have a legitimate first date. Don't care if you've already done the deed after that night at Slugger's; That's not a date. On the real first date, she wants a few simple things from you: 1) Plan, but get input. You pick the place, but based on her likes and dislikes. 2) Pick a place where you BOTH will feel comfortable. Things are stressed enough, you don't need to be worrying about 18 bits of silverware on the table if you're not used to it. But, don't take her to the sports bar where everyone knows you. 3) This date is not about you. It's about her. TREAT IT THAT WAY. Cell phone and BlackBerry OFF. Not vibrate. Silent. Out of site. Don't care if you’re the chief thoracic surgeon in the city, OFF. 4) Eye's up HERE, sailor. 5) But get caught sneaking an approving glance. Lady likes to think you find her sexy. 6) You pay EVERYTHING on the first date. Cabs. Dinner. Drinks. Condoms and a new toothbrush. Doesn't matter. Can't afford it. Go someplace within your means. I understand equality. I understand that it does not apply here, either. 7) Simple manners. Doors. Chairs. Breathe while wolfing down your chow at least once. 8) If you can't tell if the good night kiss is going to work or not, it's probably not. 9) Call the next day, even if you want her to BURN IN HELL!! You still have to call.

Flowers and Gifts: I'm a flower giver. First serious girlfriend pounded that into my head. But also, don't get caught up in the fake anniversary flowers (really, you expect them on the 2 month anniversary of our first date.) But random, just because flowers are great. The grocery store sells nice roses for a couple of bucks. She's worth it. When you need to say, "I screwed up," say it with jewelry. If you need to say, "Sorry I slept with your friend," say it with your 7 day AA token. You need help or you want out of the relationship, but are too gutless to be the one to leave.

That said, know your lady, if she doesn't like flowers, there are places like Edible Arrangements that do some cool stuff with fruit.

Also, under no circumstances do you buy her shoes. You take HER to the shoe store, tell her that you are going to buy her a pair of shoes. BE interested, don't ACT interested, she can tell. Even if you have to imagine her naked wearing just those shoe. When she finally picks a pair, say, "You know, I like those, but I really like (second runner up), too. Why don't you get both?" Later that night, maybe you won't be just imagining her wearing nothing but the shoes.

Children: I love them. They taste like veal. Never really saw myself with them, and the prospects are pretty slim, unless I "Tony Randall" some chick. But I agree that the closer the family reflects the culture they are living in, the better. Doesn't mean it can't work.

Commitment: I don't commit easily, I admit it. But I do commit deeply. But, like I said. Never married. 42.99999 years old. Maybe not the best source. But have I ever been down on bended knee and asked a woman to marry me? Yes. In the last 6 months? Yes. I may propose again tonight over the phone. (Sometime over the course of a week, I suggest us getting hitched probably 3 times on average. She doesn't have to say "Yes" she just isn't allowed to say "No." Oh, and we're not dating. Have never dated. And I think I've known her for maybe 17 years now.)

Holidays: I like them. Go home to the 'rent's. Since I "travel light" (no baggage) it makes that real easy. Not to say that there aren't issues sometimes, but probably a lot less than most people have. I used to get the "why aren't you married" but from mom, until my brother did me a solid and married a woman who my mom HATES. Suddenly, me being single and available for family things didn't suck nearly so bad.

Victoria's Secret: From the women I've talked to they say that the reason they buy bras that are padded even if the girls do JUST FINE on their own is to hide the high beams. And maybe I'm stupid, but I agree. Whatever makes you feel pretty, I'm good with. Don't need to see industrial granny panties, though. And for God's sakes, if it's early in the relationship, and especially if you've planned our trip to second base in advance (and you have), wear something with a simple method of removal. Odds are, well be too excited to work something more complex than hooks or a clasp.

Conclusion: Yes, I'm straight. And thanks again for letting me play.

S.T.A.R. Awards

Just like with the run up to the Oscars, there are dozens of awards banquets thrown, from the Golden Globes to the Golden Razzies wanting to get their share of the spotlight. Well we at SCOPE-TECH feel that we have been remiss in the award giving department and feel it is time to make amends before the Drysdale Awards on Dec 29. (FYI – I totally plan on attending.)

The SCOPE-TECH Annual Recognition Awards or S.T.A.R.s are not based on votes of an academy, but are determined by SCOPE-TECH Director of Misinformation. Me.

As an award winner, you may, but are not required, display this award, certifying your S.T.A.R. status.

Comeback Blogger Of The Year - H - It's Always Darkest Before I Open My Eyes: While this award normally is awarded to the blogger who has overcome the most in their personal life that year, this year, H earns it for her comeback (full posting) to the on-line dater who called her fat to her face. "Well at least I can lose weight but I don't think you are getting that arm back any time soon". Monster comeback, girl. Doesn't matter is that happened yesterday, or in 1985, it still wins the Comeback of the year.

Blogger Brother Awardthe iNDefatigable mjenks - A Crown of Thistles: Same birthday? You dropping Buffett references in Belle's Spiteful Wishing Well? And your commenting on my second post? Blog Brother.

Brainwave Surfer Girl Award
Sass thelifeofsass: They say "Great minds think alike" and you and I have sure been on a wavelength recently. I feel so, so sorry for you. And that makes me smile. _ SHOCKER! (And you even like WNTW? You do rock!)

Lemons To Lemonade Award
Ms. Florida TransplantJust A Girl… And Her Dogs: Normally, you'd be the winner of the "Comeback Blogger Of The Year" but that had to go to H, sorry. But after the year you've had, you'd deserve an award for not just curling up in a ball and rocking back and forth, muttering to yourself. But you've taken the undeserved shots and are moving past them. In all seriousness, you are one of my heroes. I'm not sure I could do the same.

HAWTT Cup Of Coffee Award
MelOIt's Just Easier That Way: MelO, but never Mellow. You were going to win the "Unemployee Of The Year" but that's a little to mean of a joke (but I use it anyway, 'cuz I can be an ass sometimes). I dare anyone to read this and this without getting a little stirred up. This isn't the only reason you deserve an award, but it sure as heck doesn't hurt. And in your honor, I hope you recognize the color of the award.

We now pause for intermission, but more awards are to follow soon.


And in other news...

And in other NEWS...

Ladies, PLEASE, take every precaution that you can! I am literally BEGGING you.

The Pause That Refreshes

Just a quick post to remind you to take time next week to relax, and contemplate what is truly important:


Thoughts for the day:

If women say that all men want is sex and beer, how come they buy us ties and sweaters?

I got a sweater for Christmas last year. I'd rather she were a screamer or a moaner.


Santa's Coming And He's Going To Kick Your Ass

I got tagged with this over on the Facebook, but am carting it over here, because I'm too lazy to make a real post for today.

Okay, normally I'm not a "Pass It On" guy. Chain letters and meme's tend to stop dead with me. (But I did do the virus story, because, HELL, you say "No" to
MelO.) However, due to certain circumstances, this was just to good not to share.

You have not been tagged. Don't care if you pass it on, just laugh at some of the results. And here are the original rules:

1. Put your iPod (or media player) on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy this quiz as well as the person you got the note from. :-)

However, I know most of you have the attention span of a 4 year old hopped up on Pixie Stix and Mt. Dew, and also prefer to make up your own GOD DAMN RULES ANYWAY, so break 'em. Keep clicking next until you get one that fits of is funny. Troll your iTunes. Don't care.

Just have fun.

Last Man At The Party – Jethro Tull (I prefer the tag "Last Man Standing" but close.)

O Come All Ye Faithful – Artist Unknown (I hope so.)

Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow – Jethro Tull (Not sure what it means, but funny as hell!)

White Christmas – Dean Martin (Mmmm... I would chose "Only 364 More Shopping Days 'til Christmas")

Sticks and Horse Turds – Larry The Cable Guy (Has Larry been reading my blog?)

Happy XMAS (War is Over) – John Lennon (Not the worst choice. The battle will be over, but the war will go on.)

Baby It's Cold Outside – Dean Martin (Whatever.)


Jingle Bells - Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters (Should have been the Barking Dog version, which I used to use as my answering machine message.)

I Pissed My Pants – Larry the Cable Guy (I almost did when this popped up.)

Winter Wonderland – Dean Martin (Whatever)

Leroy The Red Necked Reindeer – Joe Diffy (Gwen - Is this like your hunting story?)

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Frank Sinatra (Whatever)

Blue Christmas - ELVIS (I laugh at your suffering!)

The Christmas Song – Chris Isaak

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

I Want A Boob Job For Christmas – Virginia Kegel (Not for myself, of course...)

WHAT IS 2+2?

The 12 Gifts Of Christmas – Allan Sherman (I thought I could do the mathes better than this)

Don't Serve Bean (on Christmas Eve) - Cletus T. Judd (So accurate is SCARES ME, right MB?)

Stephon, The Alternative Lifestyle Reindeer – Cletus T. Judd (Hey NOW! That's not a damn bit funny!)

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy (Not the whole life...)

My Favorite Things – Eddie Fisher

Guilt For Christmas – Ray Stevens (DING! DING! DING!)

Christmas In Hollis – Run DMC (Yeah, so, I grew up in the country.)

Santa Claus Is Watching You – Ray Stevens (And I'm so on the NAUGHTY LIST)

Christmas On TV – Chris Isaak (DING! DING! DING!)

Santa's Coming And He's Going TO Kick Your Ass – The Arrogant Worms

As you can see, I loaded my iPod with only Christmas music last week. (Oh, and I did cheat a little by not reusing duplicate songs be different artists. Blue Christmas would have been used 3 times, and Jingle Bells 4 times.)


Great Minds Think Alike

Recently, I've had a couple instances where I have surfed the same brain waves with MelO and Sass. (I'm not sure either has fully recovered from the horror.) With MelO it was over @ Southern Bell's Monkey Paw game (not what she calls it, but this is my blog.) With Sass, it yesterday over this.
Of course, that reminded me of one of my favorite cartoons of all time, which I've posted above.
I used to read about 40 online comics a morning, but as Gwen would say, "thanks to you monkeys" I've now got all y'all making me late for work in the morning, so I'm thinking about cutting back.
And when the hell did this turn into a posting about comic strips? Anyway, some of the ones just can't get culled from the herd. (That'd make a great blog name for misunderstood song lyrics / discussions: Culled from the Heard.) I've linked to them on the sidebar. They're usually worth the time.
Working Daze
Now I'm off for some hand to hand combat (Christmas shopping.)


That Virus Done Killed The Rabbit

"This one has done it all. Kidnapping, robbery, murder, and extortion. His name is Cyrus Grissom, A.K.A. Cyrus the Virus. Thirty-nine years old, twenty-five of them spent in our institutions. But he's bettered himself on the inside. Earned two degrees, including his juris octorate. He's also killed eleven fellow inmates, incited three riots, and escaped twice. Likes to brag he's killed more men than cancer. Cyrus is a poster child for the criminally insane. He's a true product of the system." - Vince Larkin - Con Air

I've been tagged by the Mel O the Red (not confused with Jell-O The Rainbow) to continue the story virus. (And this is the only virus I will admit to catching from Mel.) You can read the details here. No, the story virus details, not something else, ya perv!

Here's Mel's
story arc.

"Who!? Has!? My!? Marshmallows!?" he yells into the
megaphone as he begins tearing through the passengers' personal belongings. He
acts completely crazed as he grabs people out of their seats and rips through
their shopping bags and purses without a second thought. An older handicapped
woman is pushed to the ground and her glasses fall off her head and slide down
to where my feet are. As I bend over to pick them up, I notice the large, heavy
cardboard box again and peek through the crack in the top. All I could see were
several bags of marshmallows and a bulk package of Hershey's chocolate bars. I
panicked because the strange Elvis-looking man with the graham crackers was
headed straight for me...(
Mel O)

And the story continues:

Before I could toss the box at "Evil Elvis" and make my escape, one of the oddly dressed passengers, a large, oddly inflexible boy scout arose, and shouted "Exsisto paratus!" With that, he stabbed "Evil Elvis" in the heart with one of these. "Damn Elvii. With their Vegas shows shutting down, they've started roaming the countryside looking to make S'mores. And sing "There's No Room To Rumba in a Sportscar. They must be stopped. Be Prepared!" And with that, he grabbed the box and bounded out of the bus and into the bitter cold. But he left something behind, wrapped in his neckerchief.

And it was moving…
To Be Continued...

I'm going to do a two-fer. I'm going to tag and introducing a fellow who is new to blogging, paying back the favor Gwen paid me just about a month ago. (Can it be only a month?)

He's a friend of mine from college. He's done a lot, and now lives in Hawaii. But don't hate him for that. Hate him for getting ass-hatted in a game of UNO by my college roommate 510 – 1.

Please allow me to introduce the always opinionate, Alex Galvez.

Draw 4 buddy, I hope you carried a spare.

The "Big Fight"

If you haven't ready Candy's post from yesterday, please do so now. (And seriously, if you're not reading Candy, what's up with that?)

I have an older sister about the same age split as her kids. My sister is 23 months older (there's also a brother 4.5 years younger) and we got along fine, because we basically ignored each other.

Except once, and it is family lore. And also the last time my mother cut my hair.

I was probably in 6th or 7th grade, and I was in the kitchen getting a haircut. My sister was at the table eating the last bit of the dessert from the night before. It was a Jell-O salad with a pretzel crust then a strawberry Jell-O middle (with real strawberry slices cut up into), topped with Cool Whip. I forget the grade, but remember the food, SHOCKER _

At the conclusion of the haircut, I got a bit melodramatic about how awful the haircut was, and how I should just wear a bag over my head. That's when ol' lippy pipes up from the table, about ready to savor another bite of the Jell-O that I so wanted, (BITCH) "I've wanted to do that for years."

With the speed of a ninja, I sprang from the hair cuttin' stool and snatched the food off her plate with an overhand claw motion.

*** WARNING ***

*** DANGER ***

Despite my all consuming rage, something told me that grinding it into her face would be a VERY bad move. So I stood there, frozen for a second or two, then casually walked to the bathroom (old farm house, it was right off the kitchen) and in full view of everyone, I flung it down the toilet and flushed it.

"No" I didn't trouble. While I'm not sure if mom ever made that dessert again, she's gotten a lot of mileage out of the story.

[EDITOR'S NOTE - Forgot to name the post.]


SCOPE-TECH University

SCOPE-TECH the thinking person's think-tank is now offering its wisdom to the masses by opening SCOPE-TECH University. Our educational programs are geared for two different student bodies.

University Department for Educating New Thinkers - This is a school where prospective SCOPE-TECH faculty and staff develop and hone their critical thinking skills before they learn the secret handshake and are inaugurated into the hallowed halls that are SCOPE-TECH. If this sounds like you, maybe you belong @ SCOPE-TECH University Department for Educating New Thinkers, and are S.T.U.D.E.N.T. material.

SCOPE-TECH University Personal Instruction Department - This is the school for the masses. While there's little hope to graduate these people to be S.T.U.D.E.N.T.s, some of the S.T.U.P.I.D. can be educated about "hot water heaters" and payday / car title loans so they can become contributing members of society. And if not actual contributors, we can hopefully steer them away from being part of the problem by teaching them about how their answering email SPAM for "male enhancement therapies" only encourages the SPAMmers, and hurts us good folk. Since this class has an open enrollment of 90% of the world's population, it does prove Scope's First Law: "People are

SCOPE-TECH University Fulltime Faculty - And where would any school be without its teachers? Our crew of highly specialized, yet surprisingly well rounded instructors, not only teach in the classroom, they have been known to actually go out into the field and apply guerilla (or gorilla in the case of our flying monkey staff) training sessions, pro bono, for the general public. Verily, we at SCOPE-TECH University are proud of those who live and wear the "I know S.T.U.F.F." motto.


Getting Carded

And with that, the public stipper pole was closed for another season.

As I mentioned a while back, I have a bit of an OCD thing with my Christmas cards and my Christmas card list. Since I can't send you all individual cards, I thought I'd post the cards here for you to marvel at. The card above had a very stupid quote inside. "Hathy Holidayth." Please. I like mine better.

The Sugar Plummer Fairies perform the Butt-cracker - SWEET!

Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.

Santa Claus is watching you. In his underwear and pink fuzzy slippers. And he likes it when your naughty. And DVRs it when you're REALLY NAUGHTY.

And you think you have a SHIT job.

And here's some of the serious ones...

(This one has glitter in the tree, and is pretty cool in real life.)

(This one reminds me of old 70's wallpaper.)
[Resized cards so they would fit screen better - Love how "Preview" doesn't actually show you exactly how it will post!]


G-Rod In The (BIG) House!

I so fucking called THIS back in "Go To Hill Part II"

That makes 2 Govenors in a row for Illinois. Take that!

Sorry for the ugly visuals and political ugliness of this post, but this guy? I'm doing a HAPPY DANCE!

More when I get home, and am not posting from the BlackBerry.

FUCK'N A!!!!!

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

A few years back, back when Chicago had a PROFESSIONAL hockey team, I started getting a ton of alumni mail from Syracuse University.

Not having attended Syracuse, I found it odd, and I just tossed it into the, "Junk Mail To Throw Away Later" pile.

This had gone on for 6 months, and while the JM2TAL pile had been tossed, many times over like a "lettuce salad", there was always something from Syracuse in it.

It was the middle of summer, so the early rounds of the NHL playoffs were underway. The Blackhawks were playing the St. Lois Blues, and the local sports channel was doing a remote from Joe's, blocks from my old place. (I believe this was Chicago's last playoff game for a long ass time). I'm no fan of hockey. Didn't grow up in a hockey market, only saw it during the Olympics, but I decided to go.

Why? The local sportscaster who was doing the remote: Eric Collins. (Scope ISN'T on the birth certificate, ya know.)

During the break between the second and third halves ;-) I walk up to him, give him "the question" look and said, "Excuse me, but did you happen to go to Syracuse University?"

"Yes I did," he replied. "Did you?"

"No," I said, "but my name is 'Eric Collins', too, and they keep sending me your alumni mail." And with that, I handed him some solicitation or another and then suggested, "You may want to get them your correct address."

While it cracked him up, due to Chicago's loss in the game, and their exit from the playoffs, his producer wanted to stick with hockey in the post game wrap up, so I didn't make it on air.

Oh well, at least Syracuse didn't mistake me for a stripper, right Sass?

* Sorry for the utter lack of links. I've been searching for this fool's picture for a while, and I'm getting Squanto to show for it, and now too tired.


The Zibbs Effect

A couple of weeks back, I was stalking reading MelO's back story, and she had a post praising the impact of getting featured on THE GREATEST BLOG EVER! (Shut up. You know that sucking up to the wise and powerful Zibbs doesn't hurt.)

As the chart demonstrates, getting a shout out on That Blue Yak can have a positive impact on your numbers. This is now officially 'The Zibbs Effect', being the evil opposite of a '
Dead Cat Bounce'.


Random Thoughts On A Sunday:

Christmas Music III: Here's the best Canadian Christmas music that isn't Bob & Doug or Anne Murray.

Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass – By the Arrogant Worms

Robot Parade – Not to be confused with the
Robot Nine parade.

Now try to get THAT out of your head.

Random Act Of Kindness – For those of you who are wondering if there are any good people left in the world: A friend of mine and her boyfriend took a cab up to my place Saturday night, and she ended up leaving her wallet in the cab. Luckily, this is FAR from the first time she's done this, so her wallet contains the bare minimum: license, cash card, credit card, and some cash. Everything got canceled pretty easily, and the festivities resumed. @2:30 this afternoon, the cabbie called me (based on the change of address card she had in her wallet that she used to provide him my street address), and he's returning the wallet when he gets back on shift.


Christmas Music Part II

Part 1

Just a quick one today. Having some friends over tonight, and if I don't get off the internets soon and get working, I'm screwed. And not in a good way.

So here's a couple vidz for you who are slipping out of the Christmas spirit or into the Christmas "spirits".

Take 'er easy.

Ho Ho Fucking Ho

It's Christmas and I Wonder Where I Am