To Sass, with all my heart

Why Eric Isn't Allowed To Babysit I'm just sayin'.

No one asks me to watch their kids.  EVER!!!


~E gads! She's Asking Questions

My other buddy from Seattle, ~E from ~E Deconstructed posted The Guy Questionnaire on her blog yester day and said we could run the answers in our own blogs if we want.  I had nothing planned for today, so what the heck.

If you haven't, please head over and see what everyone else said after you are done here.  And just as Cora made it clear her answers are

My answers are in BLUE.  And why do I keep hearing '***WARNING*** DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!'?

1) All three of my ex boyfriends (and yes, I only count the three) loved to watch me put on makeup and get dressed and fix my hair. Some of them would literally perch themselves on the bed or the dresser or toilet depending on where I happen to be, and just watch fascinated while I "transform" myself for a special event. Now I don't want to hear any gay jokes because trust me on this, not a single one of them were... but I do want to hear what the big fascination is? I can understand for women why they like to watch my tutorials for tips but why the guys?

I think it is because it is so strange and so foreign to us.  After toweling drying my hair, it takes me 7 swipes with the comb (9 if I'm feeling fancy) and my hair is done.  Then maybe a dab of sunscreen for the nose.  But for me, honestly, it would depend on my mood.  There are days when I could watch, Mesmerized.  There are days when I would watch and ask a whole lot of process questions, trying to understand.  And there are days when I would be pacing back and forth, staring at my watch, sighing heavily until I was evicted from the room.

And I made it a few minutes through your first tutorial video.  When it became clear that you probably weren't going to talk, I stopped.

2) Be honest! And be anonymous if you want...but how much does a woman's attractiveness/ weight/ personality factor into how you feel towards her AS A FRIEND. And do these quantifiers change when you are considering a woman as a RELATIONSHIP PROSPECT. Do women really need to worry that much about how they look or should they worry more about how they act.

As a friend?  Attractiveness and weight matter very little.  As long as she isn't a total self-made freak, because that would probably indicate that we are going to have incompatible personalities.  When you're talking a relationship, looks matter.  You do need to be attracted to the person.  But it's still not the most important thing.  I couldn't date a person I wasn't attracted to, but I wouldn't date someone I was not compatible with on the personality side, either.  Luckily, Cora is a double shot of both.

3) What is the best way for a girl to breakup with a guy. And what is the best way for a guy to breakup with a girl from the guy's perspective. (trust me, I will correct you on this if you are far off the mark)

For a girl to break up with a guy:  In private.  Just lay out the facts.  And if you weren't friends before, don't necessarily try to stay friends after.  He may get confused signals.  But if you want to give him 'one for the road' before you actually break up with him, that would be really decent of you.

For a guy to break up with a girl:  In private.  Take all the blame for it not working, and unless you were friends before, don't try to stay friends.  And you are not allowed to break up right after sex.  (Yes different rules apply.)  And you are especially not allowed to break up with her the instant YOU finish having sex.

4) When a bunch of guys are at a crowded urinal... is it really the unwritten guy law that if you can help it, you do not take the urinal in between two other guys? If so, then what's the big deal? Are you afraid that the guy next to you will all of a sudden show you their bits and pieces or are you just scared that curiosity will overtake and you just have to take a peek-sy? What if you really really have to pee?

Despite it being oft repeated, this rule is FLUID and very situational.  If you are at the ballpark (snicker), there's probably a trough anyway, but throughput requires all stations be used to their maximum potential.  It's really a matter of respect.  Sometimes people get "stage freight" and having another guy next to you doesn't help.  If possible, give the man a touch (bad choice of words) of privacy to drain the lizard.  But if a queue starts to form, step up to the plate.

Honestly, the odds of seeing something are remote, unless you very deliberately look, or are very deliberately shown.

5) On that same note, why are men so weirded out by the prospect of seeing another dude's things at a urinal or at a locker room (or so I assume) but they're perfectly fine watching some guy's thing and marbles on a porno flick?

I assume there's a woman in the porn scene in question?  We don't want to see the dudes twig & berries flopping about for 5 minutes while he's scratching them and reading the newspaper, but if he's getting down to business with the college co-ed who is going door to door selling magazines subscriptions for her sorority fund raiser, well, that's different.

6) Raise your hand if you believe that women don't dress or put on makeup for men...they do it for other women.

Situational.  But mostly, for other women.

7) If you can ask a woman any one question and trust that you will get the completely honest, unbiased, so true it hurts answer...but just one question...what would you ask her?

What's the deal with all the shoes?  Seriously?

8) Do men really fantasize about a threesome? I mean, really? And is it just fantasy to remain as such or would you guys actually jump at the chance to participate in one? And while we're on the subject, what would you do if your wife or significant other asked you to do one...would you decide differently if you were the one to propose it?

Just a fantasy.  I'd decline, with no small amount of fear that it might lead to the BAD kind of threesome aka another dude. 

9) Raise your hand if you believe in the phrase "once a cheater always a cheater".


10) And this question is strictly for the guys: how important is your looks to you? We all know that most women tend to obsess about certain things like hair, weight, this little wrinkle there or that little sag there...but what about guys? What is the one thing about your body that you are most insecure about?

My looks are somewhat important.  And I really wish I could lose some weight.  But gray hair obviously doesn't bug me.

So, there you go.  My answers to ~E's questions.  :-)


Sweet Home Chicago – Part 1

I wasn't born here.  But I've lived here for 21 years, so it may not be my hometown, but it is my home.  I really love this city.  And over the course of the next few weeks (who am I kidding, months), I'm going to try to share my love of this city with you, in hopes that you will consider coming here for a visit sometime in the future.

Chicago Theater SignChicago is a big city and a city of neighborhoods.  It makes sense like few cities of it's size do.  The roads are a grid and the street numbers actually mean something.  We have two geographic features: The Lake and The River.  And the river is mostly ignored.

Mountains?  Not even in Mt. Prospect.  Hills?  Maybe in Hillside but not really.  Flat as a pancake.  Seriously, what other city would create a "nature park" on a man made peninsula called "Northerly Island" even when there aren't any other islands?  The same city that reversed the course of its river.

Spring is finally here.  We are entering the 6 months that explain why we live here.  It certainly isn't for the winters.

Millennium Park

So today at lunch, I walked over to one of our  newest attractions: Millennium Park.

What used to be some open space over some rail tracks (the train station is still there.  It's the blue floored place Batman road thru in The Dark Knight) and some unimpressive park space was turned into a beautiful new gem.

The Bean

Bean There

Officially known as 'Cloud Gate', but not by anyone who's not an official, this is a giant stainless steel bean.  I had a view of this new city symbol going together.  It's made out of a whole mess of sheets of steel (freakin' Google it yourself, you know that if I provide the link, you're not going to click it anyway) ground down to a seamless mirrored finish.  How shiny?  I circled myself taking the picture.  Yup, see that red spot just left of dead center?

Navel Gazing 
I then went under The Bean, and looked up the omphalos.  It does a really cool fun house effect.

Crown Fountain

Crown Fountain
Speaking of a fun house, this is one half of the very popular Crown Fountain.  There is an identical obelisk facing this one.  Yes, it's spitting.  In the summer, there will be a pack of kids out getting soaked by the periodic spray (it only fires off ever 15 minutes or so) or getting splashed by the water cascading over the edge.  Those are LCD video screens, so the faces are animated, blink, pucker, and change.

Red Head Lurking

Don't tell Cora, but I saw this other redhead hanging out in the park.  I hear that it is visiting from even further west than her.  Or is it east?

It's part of a contemporary Chinese sculpture exhibit going on at the park all summer.

There's lot's more to see and do at the park, but I didn't have enough time on my lunch break to shoot them all.  The Pritzker Pavilion and the BP Bridge designed by Frank Gehry, and the Lurie Gardens.

If you're interested, and I'm not available, there is a free audio tour podcast that you can down load for HERE if you want to know more.


Monday Madness

I'm having a little trouble concentrating today, so here's a little this and that for ya.

Miles To Go Before I Sleep - While I'm sure none of you remembers number 111 in my 100-4-100 post.  Well, back in early February my car had just over 39,000 miles on it.  That was before a 600 mile round trip to meet Gwen & Sass.  And a 160 mile trip down home for Easter.  And with all that, it STILL took me almost 2.5 months to make it to 40,000 miles.  But on my way back from Easter, at the end of the '6 Mile', the odometer tripped over.  Not shabby for my 2001 PT Cruiser.  But it's going to get some mileage in May.DSC00018-1AMY – A few weeks ago I broke the news about my friend Amy (formerly known as 'MFF' = 'My French Friend' = 'Amii') having breast cancer.  They are still running tests, but we are really hoping for some good news soon.  She meets her medical team at the university hospital this week, and they will formulate a plan of attack.  That's all I know, and all I will know for a week or so.  I have the impression though that once they decide to act, thing are going to happen quickly.

Her mom is a 26 year survivor.  And her mom and dad are able to help her out, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and logistically.  She's in the best hands, but I still worry about her.  Have for 18 years.  Not going to stop now.

The Joke's Getting Old – Imagine your name is 'Eric Hu'.  'Eric Who?'  'Call Who?'  'Who knows?'  Yeah, you've heard the jokes all your life.  When the same group of idiots makes the same lame jokes no less than 10 times a day, when does it get old?  Not just for you, but for them?  Seriously, I have been sitting in the next aisle from these dim bulbs for about 3 months now, and every day, the same damn stupid jokes.  I really hope he goes postal and just Ginsu's the whole damn lot of them.  And I'm sorry, if you wear over the ear clip on head phones around the office all day, even in meetings, do you REALLY have that much room to tease someone?


Back To The Future

Back-To-The-Future How did Cora and I meet?  Well, you can read her side of things HERE.

I'd seen here over at Dr. (Love) Zibb's place trying to be his best friend by mentioning showering with nurses.  That got my attention, and I read a little.  And I kept checking in off and on, but it wasn't until a month later, a week before Christmas, when in the POST that asked for Santa to deliver her a stripper pole for exercise purposes that I left the fateful comment:

Dear Santa;
Could you add "Nanny Cam" to my wish list, if you know what I mean?
Dude, you so owe me a solid after last year's "Mr. Microphone" incident.

And I waited in fear.  First comment.  Had I crossed a line?  Would she delete my comment?  She answered back.  She seemed to like it.  And she commented on my post the next day.

And that was it for the year, more or less.

By mid January, we were emailing each other fairly regularly, and the blog flirting went behind closed door.  But the flirting also laid the foundation for a wonderful friendship to start.

DSC00074By mid February, I "got digits," and with the blessing of unlimited long distance on my home phone, the calls started.  I love her sultry, sexy, smoky voice.  And the calls felt natural right off the bat.  No awkward silence.  (Isn't the word, 'awkward' messed up looking?)  And it wasn't long (VERY EARLY MARCH) when plans started to be made for our visit.  And in about a week, plane tickets and hotel rooms were booked and reservations for dinner atop the Space Needle were made.

And the waiting game began.  6 weeks of waiting.  6 very long weeks.  Torture.  But worth it.  It gave our relationship time to grow.

And I really want to thank all of you who have shared your stories about how you met your significant others on-line.  It helped me realize that what's happening here isn't DSC00076weird.  Isn't strange.  Isn't unheard of.  It wasn't the biggest factor.  But it was a factor in last weekend's not feeling weird or strange, but natural.  In a way, almost inevitable.

And it's only been a week since I climbed back on that airplane.

And I miss her terribly.

But I keep telling myself, "It's less than 4 weeks.  4 short weeks."


Earth Day? – Part II

So yesterday, I tossed out what I figured to be a short, throw-away post on Earth Day.  I'd planned it to be bigger, and more insightful and funnier, but I'd kinda spent myself earlier in the week telling ya'll how great Cora is and all, and I just kinda needed a rest.  (And she's still got the energy of a Super Ball hopped up on sugar and caffeine to keep going.)  :-)  Anyhow, I was going to do another snippets / details post today, but I've decided to follow up on yesterday's Earth Day discussion, instead, and will get back to the weekend's details over the weekend.

You all raised some interesting questions, and I thought that instead of replying in the comments section, I'd do it in a second post, where there's more than enough room to spread out.

Don't worry, I respect all of your opinions, and this isn't going to turn into some great "CFL's vs.. Incandescent" debate or fear mongering over mercury poisoning from a broken bulb.

mo.stoneskin said...
I read something a while ago about a new technique in manufacturing LCD which will bring their price right down within a few years. Of course, I can't remember what I read, when I read it, or what the technique was.

Comment by Scope:  I have hear the same / similar things.  That's why I think I'm going to hold off.  I mean, I have well over 20 recessed lights in my ceiling.  I'm not going to buy $120 bulbs for each.  That's nuts.

Cora said...
I'm a big fan of the canvas grocery bags... but as you saw
in Seattle, I don't carry them with me EVERYWHERE, I'm not perfect.

I try to recycle as much as possible to cut down on what gets thrown away, and, truth be told, our recycling can is twice as big as our trash can, so that motivates me.

I don't drive much.

I do the laundry in cold water.

I'm breaking the bottled water habit (sniffle) but it isn't easy.

What I REFUSE to do to save the planet though is switch to CFL's. Here's why:

They catch on fire/melt/scorch the ceiling when they burn out. It happened to my sister in her garage. And it happened in my daughter's bedroom.

Mm-hmm. Imagine racing down the hall with a chair and an oven mitt to pull a burning, melting light bulb out of your kid's ceiling and smelling everything scorching, and seeing waves of heat rolling across the ceiling as your kid is screaming.

That blackening, melting bulb burned my hand through the oven mitt and it burned my kid's ceiling.

Never again will I use them. I switched back to regular bulbs that very same day. Those things are scary. And house fires do NOTHING to save the planet. I'll be a good old fashioned light bulb girl until I die.

Comment by Scope:  I'm trying to get into the "REDUCE" segment of "REDUCE.  REUSE.  RECYCLE."  I don't dispose of a useful item just because it's old.  And I have used the Post Office's little plastic bags for recycling small electronics.  And Chicago even has a recycling center where my old PC went.  (The hard drive of said PC is in my closet.)

I've never heard that about CFL's and fire.  But I did read (I've spent most of the evening doing reading on light bulbs) that some of the early CFLs were not designed to be used upside down, especially in an enclosed space, because the heat could melt the plastic on the base.  I suppose that could lead to fire.  Regardless, I will work with you on safe lighting WHEN we get to that point.

Safety first.

And as you are well aware, you can't use a CFL in a purple Lava Lamp.  :-)

Sassy Britches said...
Eeeps! Cora! Maybe ya'll were using a too powerful wattage for the outlet? That's freaky! And dangerous--not just the fire but they're filled with mercury which it really bad if exposed outside the bulb!

Comment by Scope:  I will quibble here.  The things HAVE a small amount of mercury, but I wouldn't say FILLED.  They have less than 1% of the mercury than one of those old thermometers did.  [Source

And here's an interesting SNOOPS article on the topic of mercury exposure from the bulbs.  I hope it at least somewhat puts your mind at ease.

Cowguy said...
LOL I post an Earth Day post, look in my blog roll and there's Ol Scope with an Earth day past as well...

Great minds.

Comment by Scope:  Whenever I hear that phrase, I think of this cartoon.  It just slays me every time.


 sAm said...
One of the easiest (and cheapest) things you can do is just watch the packaging on "stuff" you buy - and try to reduce the amount of "stuff" you buy.
But that being said...I have to say you're better than I am at laundry...I use warm water and don't really give a shit if the load is full.

 Comment by Scope:  I wish there was more control over the wasteful packaging.  But I do buy pop in 2l bottles vs.. aluminum cans. Less packaging.

Shana said...
Scary about the light bulb thing!!

I try to be very earth friendly. I like the earth!

Comment by Scope:  I like the Earth too.  The thing is, and I'm stealing it I think from Denis Leary, is that the Earth is going to be just fine.  WE may be SCREWED, but the Earth is going to shake us off like a bad cold.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...
The other grand thing about the CFLs is that they're filled with mercury. Hope they don't break!

Comment by Scope:  I will bet cash money that you are routinely exposed to higher concentrations of harmful substances than you would get from a broken CFL.  It's around half the OSHA limit. [Source]

And that's just after 1 can of Hormel Chili.

SkylersDad said...
I have not been sold on the CFL's yet, I still use standard bulbs. But we do a really good job on the recycling!

Comment by Scope:  And I think that's really the point.  If more people made a little change that they were comfortable with, and not be made to feel like a schmuck for all the things they AREN'T doing, maybe more little things would get done.

Gwen said...
I think the best thing we can do is just be more aware of the things we are manufacturing and consuming that have half-lives of 2,000 years.

Comment by Scope:  True.  And if it's going to be around that long, make it cool stuff that people will want around in 2,000 years, like THIS!  (Showing you some linky love.)

Nikki said...
I recycle, clothes... Only when they don't stink... And only once! Or maybe it was twice but who's counting??

But really I do recycle everything and I won't let my dad buy anything in a plastic container that isn't recyclable because I care.

Comment by Scope:  I hate to sound like your dad, but your generation was indoctrinated  taught that at an early are.  Mine wasn't, so changing some of those synapses is harder for us.

And with a child, you have a vested interest in the future of the environment.  My carbon footprint ends with me.

J.J. in L.A. said...
We used to recycle but the city told us to stop...they'd sort it at the plant. That's one job I hope they don't do manually. lol!

Comment by Scope:  I'll bet you that it IS done mostly by hand.  Let's just hope that it is a well gloved hand.

Chaka said...
I have mixed feelings about how to best protect the environment. I can't stand seeing people litter or being wasteful, but I also hate being preached to by hypocritical celebrities and politicians. The whole carbon footprint thing reminds me of the selling of indulgences. I'm all for taking better care our our environment.

Comment by Scope:  And here's the comment that made me write this as a post, not just a comment.  I have said for YEARS that I wish I'd come up with the whole "carbon credit" scam idea.  You send me some cash, and I'll send you a certificate stating that I'm going to use that money to plant a tree to offset your emissions.

GENIUS!  And they probably print it on "recycled" paper.  Yeah, probably from a "recycled" giant redwood tree!


Earth Day?

So, yesterday was Earth Day. Thanks for the 4-1-1, Sassy B.  Despite my banner art, I'm not the "greenest" guy around. A few months ago, I heard that some people in the environmental movement wanted to change the environmentalism color from "green" to "blue" to distance themselves from their tree hugging hippie roots, and be more the color of clean skies and clean water. And with that, the rest of their arguments were lost on me for a few days.
I mean, I try, but I'm lazy.
I use public transportation to and from work every day.
I've started asking them not to use plastic bags at the grocery store.
I wash my laundry in cold water, and try to do only full loads.
But that's kind of all I've got.  I've tried the CFL's.  I used them at my apartment before I moved, but haven't replaced most of the old style bulbs in my recessed lighting.  I'm having some issues.  I don't mind the curly design, but the slow warm up time is bothering me more here than it did at the old place.  (Sassy, you saw how dark they made my front hallway)
As the current bulbs burn out, I will replace them with CFL's, but I think I'm going to wait for LCD bulbs to come down a little more in price before I start a  serious replacement regime.


I Gazed Across The Table And Said…


So, I'm atop the Space Needle, across the table from this gorgeous, sexy, smart, funny woman.  The view was spectacular.  And the scenery out the window wasn't bad, either.  The food was fabulous.  It was a simply a magical evening.  So, during a quiet moment, when we were both just soaking it in, I had to do it.  I'd been fighting it since I landed.  Heck I'd been fighting it for a month.  So, I took her hands in mine, looked her in the eyes, and said…


Wait, wait, wait, that's jumping to the end of the story.  I distinctly remember people asking for details.  Sorry about that.

I know Cora is doing a macro story(s) of the day, so I'm going to do the micro.  Provide you with a couple of details.


We were headed back to the car.  Exhausted from our morning of wandering around the city, and we thought a quick catnap would be refreshing.  (No, we did not go back for a "quickie" ya pervs)  Before getting to the car, we stopped in McDonald's to use the washrooms.  I ask you, what kind of animal takes a dump in the urinal?  Really?  And did they just bidet in the sink?  NASTY!  Someone obviously didn't have a Happy Meal!

I understand from Cora that the ladies room was just a besoiled.


The Sci-Fi Museum closed, and we had some time to kill before our dinner atop the Space Needle.  There was a little park nearby, so we walked down to it.  The park was nothing special, but what was that going on across the street?  What was that guy doing?  He kept fiddling with it.  Trying.  Desperate.  We had to stop and stare.  (We're like that.)  Struggle as he might, he couldn't get it up.  Bless his soul, but he tried.  Running it back and forth across the ground.  Back and forth.  He almost got it up, but it failed instantly.  Finally, dejected, and maybe ashamed by his inability to perform in front of an audience, he took his radio controlled airplane and went home.

DSC00063  What did you think I was talking about?


DSC00065 Just up the street from the park we found the Venik Lounge.  I had a couple of Trumer Pilsners, Cora, just had a glass of water, and we shared some warm roasted nuts.  (What the?)

But it wasn't just water. 

It was ENFUSED water.  With what?  Lemons?  Limes?  Melons?



And it was really, really, good.  You should try this at home.


Now where was I?  Oh yeah, so, I took her hands in mine, looked her in the eyes, and said… "I love you."

And she SO said it back.  :-)

And then we leaned across the table, and gently kissed.  It was truly a moment I will long cherish.


My Day Friday

Okay, so I gave you a bit of taste of last Friday HERE. And now a little more about last Friday. I know you probably read some of that over at Cora's place, and she's probably posting a little more today.

After the airport, we drove to Lake Washington, where Lucky Gwen met the most unluckiest of fates. On the way, we almost caused a traffic backup as we were Kiss Statuetoo busy making out like a couple of teenagers to notice the light had turned green. Luckily no one started honking. After a nice lunch at Ivar's, sitting out on a little pier on the lake, we went for a little walk in the rain. After all, it is Belgium Seattle. It rains.

From there, we went to Cora's house for a few minutes. Her house is cozy and inviting and filled with love. And Harry Potter. After hanging out for a while, we picked her daughter and went off in search of Jimi Hendrix's grave.


I had visions of when I searched thru Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris for Jim Morrison's

Yeah, not so much.

We pulled into the cemetery parking lot, and there it stood. Neat, tasteful, respected. Again, not like Jim Morrison. The lipstick on the etchings inside I found touching. Not that I would be putting my lips there, mind you, but it was a sweet touch.

While we were there, another guy said that he'd read that it was just the memorial, but that the true grave site was down in the cemetery further. With the help of a couple of BlackBerry's web surfing, we got in the right area and began hunting. Luckily, a worker came by and told us that it was bunk. The body had been there, but was moved to the memorial.

When then headed back to Cora's where her mom came home early to meet me. Or to catch us holding hands or something. She was a charming lady and told no embarrassing stories about her daughter (rats!) Soon, everyone dispersed. Us to check me in to the hotel (yes, I carried her over the threshold), and Gwen off to her father's for the weekend.

We met Callista and her husband Mad Dog at the Cheese Cake Factory. I guess my camera stayed in my pocket, for there are no photos from me, but the ladies will have posted some. The evening went well. I felt like we were two couples out having dinner together on a Friday night, not an interrogation subject. The pulled pork sandwich (insert joke here) was fabulous.

But, the long day, lack of sleep the night before, and the 2 hour time change all ganged up on my ass, and delivered a sever smack down on me and I crashed hard in the hotel room.

But Saturday would come, and Cora and I would spend our day finding the disgusting gum wall, an even more disgusting McDonald's, and one of the finest dining experiences of my life where certain phrase may have been uttered.

Stay tuned, and I'll let you know who said what first.

Oh, and a quick side questions: Any of you who had an pools or side bets on my weekend with Cora, please email me and we will let you know who won. (To ensure victory, please mail me what you think is a fair and reasonable cut. Who ever is the "most reasonable" will be declared the winner. All other contributions will be kept, and used towards Cora's ticket to visit here in May. It will help me, and teach you a valuable lesson about under-bribing the judge.)


Sunday? Boo!!!


Sunday?  Who allowed Sunday to happen?  My weekend's over.

As I peck this post out on my little netbook, I am roughly over Yellowstone National Park (won't post until after i get home and get a Wi-Fi connection, of course), flying back from visiting Cora.  You may have overheard us talking about it.

If you are interested, I'm sure we'll both be telling stories all week.  The things we won't do for post material.

For those of you wondering, my flight got in a few minutes early, so I cleared security, but Cora still had her nose in a book, and didn't see me approach until I was about 5 feet away.  She popped right up, we said a quick, "Hello", and we had our first kiss right there on the spot.  I doubt any of the people looking on had any idea that it was our first.  There would be a few more to follow over the weekend, but like Fred Savage in The Princess Bride, I'm sure you don't want to be bore with all the kissing stuff. 


The rest of the weekend had a weird time warpiness to it.  It was over way, way to fast.  But the individual moments lingered with a luxurious smoothness, similar to the chocolate mousse at the restaurant.  Saying "Goodbye" was tough.  So we tried "See you soon."  I'm trying to imagine it as just getting closer to the next time I see her, when she comes to visit over Memorial Day weekend in just over a month.  Oh?  You didn't think we'd already would have a follow up trip already discussed?  Seriously?  What kind of boyfriend would I be?  WHAT?!?!!  Did I just use the word, 'boyfriend'?

Yes, I did.

(Did I just hear Sassy Britches squeal all the way from here?)

But that's enough for now.  More snapshots (literal and figurative) will be posted in the days to come.

PS – The craziest part of the craziness of flying 2,000 miles for a first, second, and third date with Cora is how utterly normal and rational it felt.

PPS – We did sleep together on Saturday.  After a morning of exploring downtown Seattle, we were a little tired, so we took naps in the car for about 45 minutes, holding hands the whole time.  That's what you meant, right?


Blogging @ 38,000 ft

Okay, I honestly have no idea how high above sea level I am at the moment, and I won't be posting this until after we land, but I thought I would take advantage of a few of my Tech-Tuesday tools to do a little "in-flight blogging".  [And without Wi-Fi, no links, sorry.  :-(  ]

So far, it's just been traveling.  I left my house @ 6:00 am, the time I'm usually trying to ignore the semi-famous alarm clock waking me.  Funny, I guess I didn't realize that there was a different DJ shift working at that time.

After a peaceful walk to the Brown line, accompanied by the clickity-clack of the wheels of my carry-on going over the joints in the sidewalk, the train arrived promptly (filthy lyres claim there's a schedule.  Believe them at your peril.) and I secured a good seat for this short leg of the trip.  Started reading a story about Obama approving high-speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis.  I didn't realize "BAM" was a reader!  (Please refer to my 100-4-100 post where I call for this MONTHS AGO).  Hey, Barry!  If you need any more ideas, swing by the next time you're in town.

Soon enough, "Belmont.  Change here for Purple and Red Line trains at Belmont."  Switch to an awaiting Red, and score a seat AGAIN!  What a difference 2 hours make in the ease of my commute.  I should go into work this early all the time.  Or maybe not.  At Roosevelt, I had to dash up the last escalator as the Orange line train nearly shut it's doors on me  (or "Rachel Barton'd me" in the lingo.)  Note to self:  You are so going to have to go back and get linky with that one.

Blam!  3 train lines later but with seamless connections that couldn't have worked any nicer, I arrived at Midway Airport.  Named after "The Battle of" because the place isn't "midway" to anything.  I breezed through security, and unlike my last flight, I wasn't so busy Facebooking with Sass that I almost missed my flight.

On the flight, well, even with a "B" ticket, I got emergency exit row seating with about 5 feet of leg room in front of me, no one beside me, and no one behind me.  So I can stretch out, spread out, lean back, relax, and enjoy my flight.  Oh, there are "light winds in the jet stream" so we should arrive early into Seattle.  I think the fates may be smiling on me today.

Or totally setting my ass up for something.  My God has that kind of sense of humor, so poultry will not be enumerated until they successfully completed their gestation period.

And so far, the Acer has been aces.  The size makes it easy to balance on one leg and use the other as a mouse pad.  It would easily fit on the tray table in front of me, but since that's 5 feet away, typing would be a bitch.  We'll see how the battery goes, but it's showing good usage at the moment.

The gal sharing my row is an Amtrak car attendant on the Empire Builder that runs between Chicago and Seattle.  With the flooding, they aren't able to make complete trips, so she and some of her crewmates are deadheading it back via Southwest.  Nice lady.  Can tell she's used to being an attendant.  Works well with the flight crew on trash cleanup and steals commando naps when she can.  Nice flying with ya, Reggie.

Got about 3 hours, going to pop a little Buffett on the iPod and play a little Free Cell.  I will be back before we land, and wrap this up before I land.  (Still flatland below me.)


So I napped instead.  A couple of quick catnaps and I'm refreshed for the moment.  I better get my rest in now, because I've heard you "Sleep Less In Seattle."  (Don't boo!  You knew that there's going to me a bad joke somewhere in here, and you didn't get the Rachael Barton joke sans Google, so I had to toss one out there.)

But it's funny, listening to Buffett, how some of the songs seem to fit today:

Strange BirdHe's gonna circle high above her runway of love until she gives him her permission to land.

This Hotel RoomPut in a quarter, turn out the lights, MagicFingers makes you feel alright.  Feel alright.  Feel alright.  MagicFingers makes you feel alright.

Happily Ever After (Every Now and Then)Take it from me 'cus I've found, if you leave it then somebody else is bound to find that treasure, that moment of pleasure, when yours it could have been.  Some people never find it.  Some people only pretend, but me?  I just want to live happily ever after, every now and then…

I Wish Lunch Could Last ForeverWill begin with a kiss, such a warm place to start.  Let me into your life, let me into your heart.

Smart Woman (In A Real Short Skirt)I'm looking for a smart woman in a real short skirt.  A smart woman who knows how to flirt.  A smart woman with a mind of her own.  Smart woman who will take me home.

At least I didn't go with, My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love Jesus or Love In Decline or Why Don't We Get Drunk (and Screw).  Yes, Jimmy does have a number of interestingly named songs, and I only have about 350 (okay, 348) loaded into the iPod and computer to pick from.

Well, the flight is nearing a conclusion, and I need to put the Acer away.  By the time you read this, Cora and I will have met, and in all likelihood had our first kiss.

I might mention those later, if ya'll would be interested in how that kind of stuff went.


It's Saturday…

And Dr. Zibbs, thanks for the advice.  I always carry Altoids when I fly.  I have found that Altoids really help my ears clear.

That's what you were talking about, right?


Oh, The Places You'll Go - The Other Washington

I know I said that this was 'Cora Week' the other day. I really didn't mean my blog was going to focus exclusively on her. There will be plenty of that this weekend. :-)

So I though I'd return to the series that highlights the photos in my sidebar. I cheated, because that's the kind of guy I am, and recently added a whole bunch of pictures over there, just so I could feature them over here.

These pictures are from about a two and a half years ago. I was on a road trip with my parents out to visit my brother, who lives in the Shenandoah Valley. We took a day trip on a bus tour up to Washington, D.C. I hadn't been there since the Carter administration, so a lot had changed.

Washington Monument from Arlington National Cemetery. I could have probably spent all day in Arlington. We were at the Iwo Jima Memorial, when some Secret Service agents showed up, and the tour guide hustled us onto the bus. She explained that if we didn't get moving then, we'd get caught up in security, and lose about an hour.

Looking up the Spiral Staircase @ U.S. Supreme Court building. Looks like one of those conch shells.

This little grotto like structure called "The Summer House" was a neat little quiet space on the Capital Building grounds.

And speaking of the Capital Building, out in front is the U.S. Grant Memorial. Classis Washington statues with the soldiers and horses, but a sense of chaos and energy that most can't muster.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is one of the newer ones but also one of my favorites. The rocks and water are supposed to represent the turmoil of his 4 terms.

The Memorial was the last one went to that day, but the crowd had thinned out, and it was so peaceful and tranquil with the water features.

The Memorial is filled with great quotes like this one, that make you realize how far we've wandered from this path: "We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, and hatred is a wedge designed to attack our civilization." Even is we never lived up to those ideals, those are good words to read every one in a while.

These were amazing life sized bronzes of men waiting in a food line.

I've been fold that I rarely put recent pix of myself in the blog, so I thought I would include this one. (I think I was tagged to post a recent picture of me by someone. There ya' go.)

This is an important reminder from the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Most people are more familiar with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, but this statue of three servicemen is also part of the scene.

We are now back to a much more classical style with the
National World War II Memorial. I don't know the guy, and I have been tempted to Photoshop him out more than once.

And we wrap up out tour with another shot of the Washington Monument. This one is across the Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Monument.

I hope you enjoyed the little trip. While I included a couple of the familiar sights, I hope that you also saw something new and interesting, too.


Tech Tuesday – Windows Live Writer

When bloggers get together, one of the most popular topics is other bloggers, of course. (Bunch of gossips.) The other is the meta-blogging topic of what tools do you do to do your blog. As I have mentioned a couple times, okay, basically daily for the last week, I will be be heading out to Seattle this weekend. In order for there to be more time for the discussion of all-ya'll, I thought I would get the discussion of blogging tools out of the way now. [And "blogging tools" sounds oddly dirty to me. ;-) ]

Two weeks ago, I got an email from Microsoft, congratulating me on my 10 years with Hotmail. I also got a lot of pop-ups asking me to upgrade my version of Windows Messenger.


But as part of the install, I noticed it was going to download a lot of other "Windows Live" stuff. Usually, I "Just say NO" to tool bars, but the pitch for something call "Windows Live Writer" sounded interesting, so I bit.

Damn lucky I did.

I've been blogging now for about 6 months and 160 posts. And very early on, I realized that I was going to spend about as much time fighting with the tech as I was composing the posts. Write the post in Word so it gets spell checked. Then paste in Blogger in HTML. Then add links. Then add pictures. Then hope that the pictures aren't too wide for your margins. Then go into the HTML editor view to add hover text if you remember. Then publish and pray that it respected your spacing, and didn't add 8 blank lines where you didn't want them.

Sound familiar?

So, for the past week, I've been using Windows Live Writer. This is a truely truly awesome tool. (The real time spell checker caught that, and strikethrough is one of the font commands. AWESOME!) If you are not using this for blog composing, THEN YOU ARE THOUCHED IN THE HEAD! Or you have found something even better, and in the words of Achmed the Dead Terrorist, SILENCE! I KILL YOU! for not sharing!

- True WYSIWYG editing! In your format! See.

It's Like Infinity!
- Cool picture effects. Note the drop shadow ^ there, the rounded corners yesterday, the old style white border around the bunny on Friday? Just click on the picture effect. No stumbling with the HTML to add ALT text to your pictures. Can't decide if you want the picture inline, left, right , or center? Bring it in and try it. Select the picture, choose the option, and see if you like it. Then drop down and choose another if you want.

- You compose off-line and then upload when you're done, pictures and all. So, it's a install on your computer, but this means that you can also compose on your laptop in places you might not have the most rock solid wireless connection, if any.

- Hyperlinks that automatically open in new tabs, instead of hijacking the current tab.

While it has been a true boon to the ease of use and consistency of my blog, I do have a few quibbles:

- Auto double spacing between paragraphs. Sometimes I only want a single space. So, I have to use <shift+enter> to get a carriage return. It would be nice if that were a style choice.

- Double check your fonts. Early on, I had a font issue that was not apparent until I did a preview in Blogger. Haven't seen it since, so I was probably being an idiot, but still, double check.

And that's about it. While normally not a shill for "the man" this FREE Microsoft product really does make blogging easier, and has probably shaved 20 minutes off the time it takes me to do a typical post. And that's 20 minutes that I can spend on more important things, like YOUR blog. (You thought I was going to say "cleaning"? Are you MAD? SILENCE! I KILL YOU!)

* But it appears I had an issue with this video getting included!


I Didn't Want To! They Made Me!

Blame Gwen! [Here]  Showing off her red beaver like that.

Blame Sassy Britches [Not Even Her Own House]  Showing French Beaver and talking of stuffed beavers.

Ya'll know how I am.  But NOOOOOOOOOOO!  All this beaver talk.  I tried.  I really did.  But in the end, we all gnu that I would crack under the pressure, like the flood waters behind the beaver dam.

Did you say "STUFFED BEAVER"?

Did someone say "Stuffed Beaver"?

 "That Doesn't Taste Like Chicken," said Mr. Moose.

Mr. Moose enjoys eating suffed beaver every now and then.And you are totally gonna let those two off the hook and totally blame this on me, right?

Not Meme Monday – Picture This

So Cora did a post the other day about the 7th picture in 7th folder on your computer meme.  She didn’t tag anyone, per say, but I decided to it as a prelude to "Cora Week" here at Scope-Tech.  For those of you who don't know, I will be flying out to Seattle this weekend to meet her.

But more of that later in the week.  Back to the picture meme.


It's call "Game Day Tickets" an art photograph by artist Brian Gregory.  You can see addition works of his HERE.  I saw Brian's work at a craft show in Des Plaines a few years ago.

If any of you are so inclined to take up this meme, feel free.


So, I Lied

I said I wasn't going to post over the weekend, and then I just remembered a classic childhood story.  Thought I would share it with you as you were sitting down to Easter Sunday dinner.

I was probably in middle school.  Probably 5th grade.  My grandmother was still alive, and my dad was working for the strip club mine, doing railroad track repair.  While working on the railroad, all the live long day, the guys would use sections of drain pipes as animal traps.  One guy would then prepare the animals, and everyone else got some fresh meat to to take home.

So, while you are still savoring your honey glazed Easter ham, think of little 5th grader Scope, sitting down for an Easter dinner, and getting server rabbit.

Yup, Dad supplied it, and Grandma cooked the EASTER BUNNY! 


I was torn with going with this instead:

Hope ya'll had a Happy Easter.


Have A Good Friday

Ah, far from original, but since my cousin sent this to me years and years ago, I have busted this out every Easter.


Regrettably, The Egg Hunt's Canceled This Year

I will be downstate visiting my parents, so, like many of you, I won't be posting over the weekend.  And I want to wish you all a Happy Easter before I hop down the bunny trail.

And the countdown to Cora is now 7 days!