Friday Facebook Rants

Everybody has been writing about Facebook. I'm a bandwagon jumper, so I'll bite.

RANT 1 - Facebook Cliques - What Facebook needs to make it better is what high school suck; Facebook needs cliques. You should be able to set up cliques in FB and the assign your contacts to one or more of them. Only people in a clique can see what the other clique members post, tag, etc about you. That way your mom doesn't get informed about the drunken video that Crazy Mike posted about the two of you last weekend.

RANT 2 - Facebook Diamonds - Imagine 4 people sitting around a table. Everyone knows the person to their left and right, but no one knows the person across from them. I've got 3 Facebook diamonds that I know of.
Sass is in one. MelO is in another. The third is two non-blogger friends. (Yes, I have non-blogger friends on FB, smart-ashes!) It just kind of messes with you when your worlds collide. I'm looking at the people Facebook thinks I may know (and it thinks I should know everyone that Gwen and H have in common which is like 300 people) and it says, you and "Cindy Seafoam" have two friends in common. So you look at your mutual friends, and one is Sass and one is a girl you know from college.



Car Wars Episode IV - A New Scope‏

That's probably the best blog post title I will EVER have. I regret that this post is NOT going to live up to it. But, since this is the bonus episode of the trilogy, I must say, "May the FOURTH be with you!"

The tan Taurus was the first car I bought on my own. (Technically, the Dasher was in my Mom's name). It was the best car I could get for $150 a month. It was only a couple of years old, and had been in a rental fleet. The car had plenty of interior room, a roomy trunk, and a sluggish 4 cylinder engine that made me scream at it every day for handling like a drunken hog. But it made up for its poor performance by having crappy gas mileage. Ah, Detroit steel.

But, it was the first car to have my SCOPE 65 plates.

My stint with the Taurus didn't last long, about 3 years before its life as a rental came back to haunt it. The transmission went to hell, and the national transmission repair shop wanted an arm and a leg to fix it. Not a chance. The owner said that he would fix it for a third the cost, but it would only have a 90 day warranty good at his shop only. My choice was him or Victory Auto Wreckers, so I spent the money to get the car fixed up enough to drive, and I drove it to my Accura dealer and traded it in on a NEW '91 Integra. (I had some extra cash laying around for the down payment. It was going to go toward an engagement ring, but my girlfriend decided to become my eX-GirlFriend, rendering that issue was moot). Yes, that car was supposed to be a modern take on the Dasher in my mind.

And it lasted 10 years, and I still miss it. The XGF? Not so much.


Car Wars Episode III - Death For The Dasher‏

It's now late spring 1988. The week before Memorial weekend. I'd graduated college with no job, but I had a second interview with Arthur Andersen. So the day before the interview, the Dasher and I headed off up the road the 180 miles to the big city of Chicago to stay with a good friend from college. That way, I could make it down town in the morning early for my interview.

I'm driving in on the Kennedy "Expressway" at the height of the morning rush. This is the second time I've ever driven, "in the city." This is when the exhaust system falls off my car. Being an idiot, I stop (not like I was moving that fast anyway), get out, grab the hot metal, and toss it in the hatch.

You would be shocked at how loud that little motor was with no exhaust. Echoing in the canyons of the city, echoing off the walls of the parking garage. The only reprieve was driving over the bridges, because they are like grates, and the sound went thru them. I was certain I was going to get a ticket (but I could prove the thing just fell off), but didn't. It gave me a great story to tell during my second interview (I got the job about a week + later) and now good blog material.

When I got home, it was $150 for a new muffler. If I would have known...

Nah, probably wouldn't have made a difference. We all kinda thought it was good money after bad. But sometimes you still throw the good money, because it's the lesser of two evils. And I couldn't afford a new car before starting my job, but I knew the Dasher wasn't going to survive a winter of driving in Chicago traffic, even if it was just to and from the train station.

But this was mid August. I'd just finished the 6 week of training classes, and they let us go at noon on Friday, but there was going to be a party downtown after work. I decided to go home, change and drive back down. The summer of '88 was brutally hot, and I wanted to get out of the suit and tie into jeans.

As I was driving back in, about a half mile from where it dropped the exhaust, the car started bucking, and I managed to get it to the shoulder before it stalled out. I had NO IDEA what was going on. It was like it was running out of gas, but there was plenty of gas in the tank, just over a quarter tank.

I got out of the car, and walked around to the gas tank. For some reason, I assumed the 'Johnny Bench' position, crouched down right in front of the gas cap. I slowly turn the cap, and there's a loud hiss of pressure coming out of the tank.
Vapor lock. Then, for some reason, I gave the gas cap a twist and yanked it off. Bad move. REALLY bad move.

I figure it was only about a half cup's worth of gas that shot out of the tank and splashed up my left arm and left leg. (Remember, this was a mid 70's vehicle that ran on regular gas. No little flappy nozzle that you stick your unleaded nozzle thru. Nope, just a pipe that runs to the tank.) Son-of-a-bitch!

What do I do now? If I turn around and go home, I'm not coming back. And now I could really use that beer. So, reeking of fumes, I reset the gas cap, but not so tight, and head down to the bar. I tried to wash up the best I could, but I still reeked of gas. I had a good time, except for when that one asshole started flipping his lighter on and off.

Then, Labor Day weekend, I tried driving home to my parent's, but it died 3 times on my before I got out of the metro area, so I turned around and went back to my apartment. That was the last straw. The weekend after that, I managed to limp home (I found the exact setting the gas cap needed to be set at) and traded it in and bought my tan Taurus. Sure, maybe all it needed was a new gas cap that vented pressure better, but I was done.

As much as I loved that little car, it's time was up.


Car Wars Episode II – The Tripod

I said the damn wheel came off, didn't I?
The story so far:

I'm 90 miles from home.

My car has no alternator, and only the juice in the battery to make it home.

My car currently only has 3 of the 4 wheels on it. This complicates the whole getting home thing a tad.

When I say, the wheel fell off, I mean, tire, wheel, lug nuts, assembly that lug nuts connect to... GONE! Bouncing off through a DAMN field!

Luckily, with front wheel drive, the car was surprisingly easy to control, and the increased friction of dragging on the break assembly rapidly took the "dash" out of the Dasher. I quickly and safely pulled off the road.

Now what? The nearby house had two huge barking dogs, and no one in sight to check to see what the dogs were barking at. Cell phone? Where you alive in 1987? Super rich folks in LA or Chicago may have had "car phones" but you were still 200 miles from the nearest tower. Time to hitch for the second time in my life, and the second time in a week. Once again, first truck gave me a lift to town, I called my parents on a pay phone, and they started the two hour trek to get me. I tried hitching back to the car. (Note: It is MUCH easier to flag down a ride when standing by a disabled vehicle than walking along the road.)

I get back to the car and search all over that damn bean field for the wheel, with no luck. When it chose to depart, I was a little too preoccupied to track its escape. Finally, I take a break, and flop on the hood of my car. 30 seconds later, my parents show up. And blow me shit for laying there and not finding the tire. (Yeah, and I'm not dead in a fireball, either!). And I think to just piss me off even more, my dad walks through the bean field, climbs a woven wire fence, and heads out to into this pasture 100 yards further than I had ventured, in a beeline to the damn wheel.

Dad inspected the spindle like read axle bit with the remnants of a bearing welded to it, we locked the car up, and headed home, taking the wheel with us.

Over night, my dad tracked down a guy who was making a dune buggy out of VW parts, and got a replacement bearing. So, bright and early on a sunny Sunday morning, we. load the two tone grey, Olds 98 diesel with a metal file and some tools to do the work, (like a better jack, etc.) and the three of us head back south for the 2 hour drive to the car.

About an hour into the trip my father utters a line that has also now entered family lore:

You do have the keys for this thing, right?

Hey, I wasn't in charge and figured he picked them up.

Mom advocated turning around. Dad just plunged ahead. As we passed thru the town closest to the car, dad pulled into the little general store on the south side of town and asked the guy in there if he knew anyone who might be able to hotwire a Volkswagen. The shopkeeper thought for a second, and figured he knew just the fellow. Turns out, folks who know how to hotwire things aren't exactly the "Sunday Going To Church" types, so he was home, and would meet us at the car.

One problem solved. We get to the car that is locked tight as a drum. Doors? Locked. Hatch? Locked? Little side vent windows that were popular in cars that didn't have air conditioning? Winner winner chicken dinner! So much for that drum. Sticking my arm thru the wing window and reaching the lock, PRESTO!, we're in.

Second issue down. Dad starts filing off the welded on bits of the old bearing, and we jack up the car and get the wheel assembly on. We are cooking with gas. No one thinks of saying, "Wow, this is going well." They would have been beaten.

Right about then, 'Mr. Hotwire' shows up. "Volkswagen are almost made to be hotwired" he tells my dad as he points to some metal tab on the side of something. He sparks the Dasher to life. He refuse the $20 my dad offered him, just glad to use his skills, and my dad takes off in the Dasher, with a bodged on wheel, and only the juice left in the battery. He's rolling along at about 20 mph and rounds the curve and is out of sight.

Mom and I say our 'thank-yous', scoop up the tools, toss them in the Olds, and give her a crank.


Laughing his ass off, Mr. Hotwire gives us a quick jump and we take off in pursuit of Dad. We catch up to him down the road about 10 miles, and he's sped up to 30 miles. Ever few miles, he'd get braver being that much closer to home, and would speed up a few more mph's.

We mad it home without incident, but there were some white knuckled as we crossed the high bridge over the Illinois River @ Havana. The Dasher went to a mechanic on Monday, and got it all fixed up.

The car put in another solid 9 months for me until...

To be continued...


Car Wars Episode I - The Dark Side

Actual car, not a pic from the net
In college, I drove a 1976's blue 2 door fastback VW Dasher. Front wheel drive, 4 on the floor, manual steering, power "assisted" brakes. This is the first of my hatchbacks (Integra and PT Cruiser to follow). Yeah, it was starting to rust a little, but I loved that car.

The summer of 1987 I was working at my college's "Gifted Kids" program. It was the last of the 4 sessions, and some night early in the last week, I had off, so I went to Springfield about (35 miles away via I-72*) on my first and only date with a classmate who lived there. On the way home, I kept hearing a grinding sound.

And my dash lights were dimming.

And my headlights were dimming.


Dead battery.
With a dead battery, my car rolls gently to a stop a couple hundred yards from the exit. In front of a sign that reads, "Correctional Facility: Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers."

So literally, the first car that came by stopped and gave me a lift. (Neither of us had jumper cables.). It was a good ol' boy with his two good ol' boy sons. They dropped me off the 4 miles or so to campus. The next day I called the local foreign car garage, lined up a ride with a guy (with jumper cables) to the car, but it started on it's own, and I limped it to the shop.

The alternator was shot. My dad said not to fix it, he'd get it done at home. So, after the last day of camp, I loaded up the car, with my stuff, and with a fully charged battery, and a set of jumper cables, I set out on the 100 mile trip home.

Now, this was before computerized this and that, I needed power to:
1) Run the starter, but I could push start it if need be.
2) Run the spark plugs.
3) Run the break lights.

I wasn't going to be using the radio or turn signals. The car didn't have air. And I had no plans on stopping along the 2 hour trip.

There I go, tooling down the road, senses hyperaware. (What IS that damn grinding sound?)

On the last little bit of flat land for a while, before heading through a twisty gully section of road, about half way between Jacksonville and Virginia, I figured out what that grinding sound must have been. The left rear wheel suddenly decided to depart my vehicle, and I was suddenly driving a tripod.

Run!  Be Free!
To be continued. **

* Yes, it was US-36 then, but I wanted people to think of the divided highway that it has always been, not some country road.

** I know this ruins the suspense, but I didn't die in a fire ball. In case you were worried.


Oogle Yourself

I know this is going around. The theory is that Google, as a vast repository of human knowledge, knows what you need. It's a little like an oracle reading the innards of a sacrificed goat, but a lot less bloody. And, it's not as practical as Google Cooking.

Here’s how it works: Google “[your first name] needs” and share the results. That's it: it is that simple. But be honest! (Yes, I've altered the number and removed the meme portion of it. For I am the maker of rules, dealing with fools. I will cheat you blind.)

My comments are [bracketed].

Eric needs:

01 - Eric needs a girlfriend [Duh!]

02 - Eric needs to update! [What? I've posted damn near every day for 4 months, how much more blood do you want?]

03 - Eric needs a hug [Solving #1 may deal with #3]

04 - Eric needs stitches [I will be wearing a helmet when I venture out today, just in case.]

05 - Eric needs to sell his stuff [I hope not, I just bought most of it.]

06 - Eric needs medication [Like that's news!]

07 - Eric needs LinkedIn [I already am, not that I use it.]

08 - Eric needs to know [Yes I do]

09 - Eric needs to keep up [At least it doesn't say "Eric needs to keep IT up"]

10 - Eric needs your help with childhood bladder and bowel problems. [Ahmm, let's move along here, nothing to see.]

11 - Eric needs to find a third roommate [Eric needs to find a first roommate first.]

12 - Eric has what Eric needs [And that's why I went to 12]

Now that resolves Eric, but what about Scope? He has needs, too.

Scope needs:

01 - Huge Scope needs new biz paradigm [Scope doesn't think of himself as "huge," but thanks.]

02 - Scope needs no power [Scope has no power]

03 - Scope needs better exhibitors [No, Scope thinks blogger works just fine.]

04 - Bureau of Justice Assistance... Scope needs assessment [Scope may need their assistance in administering justice.]

05 - Disease research needs wider Scope [No, Scope has no need to be any wider.]

06 - Help me fill these Scope needs [Scope is trying to imagine Cora's comment. :-) ]

07 - Contact us for your rifle and gun Scope needs [Scope needs no rifle or gun. He IS a deadly weapon.]

08 - Changes to the Scope need to be made through a formal change process. [Damn straight, Skippy]

09 - Aesthetics/function... need to reduce the Scope [Yes, for aesthetic and functional reasons, a reduction in Scope is in process.]

10 - In order to accomplish this vision and strategic actions S.C.O.P.E. needs to make internal changes to become more efficient and structured [Scope gets it, "To change the outside, you must first change the inside." Thanks Dr. Phil]

11 - Scope needs analysis [Scope's family and friends have thought so for years]

12 - Scope needs to be taken into account [Or else Scope will
drunk dial your kids!]

And I can't put a song in your head without giving you the video.


Weapons of Math Destruction

Mind your banners.
The following report was suppressed for years. It has only recently seen the light of day with the change in administrations. Be warned. The report contains horrific information, not suitable for small children.

Artist rendition, poorly rendered.KUT, IRAQ - It has been reported today by spokespersons for US military intelligence organizations and by members of several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) that Iraqi schools are filled with evidence of WMD's: Weapons of Math Destruction.

When asked if he could confirm finding evidence of weapons of math destruction, lieutenant Kurt Carlson, a reservist and high school math teacher fought back a lump in his throat. "Yes sir, I can confirm that. It was enough to make sick."

He went on, "At first we only saw the traces. The piles of shattered calculators. The broken abacuses (or is it "
abaci"?). The writing on the chalk boards claiming that pi = 3.15 and that e= 2.6"

"I got so ill that I raised my hand to be excused from the room. On my way In a jam.to the nurse's office I saw it. Next to the HomeEc room where they were sewing fashionable suicide vests, set the smoking guns. Well, technically it was a pile of hammers and mallets. You could still bits of LCD's and stuff on them. And behind the pile was a paper shredder jammed with flash cards. Ironically their poor math skills led them to put 7 items in the slot clearly marked for only 5."

When asked if he'd found any other atrocities in the school, the lieutenant pointed toward a pile dodge balls in the gym, mumbled something about the inhumanity of human target games, and staggered back to the war.


I saw the WHOLE thing!

The other day, Cora told a story of riding her bike down a set of stairs. (Read the full post HERE). It brought to mind one of my classic family stories. One that gets retold every Christmas when we're all around. One that doesn't need to be told, because the tag line "I saw the whole thing." Is short hand for the story.

One thing I want to be clear about:


The scene: We lived in an old farm house. Upstairs, I shared a room with my younger brother, who is 4.5 years younger than I am. The doorway to the room opened down a short hall. At end of the hall (4 steps from the doorway, then 90° left turn) was the 13 step stairway, that ended at a door. Not to code, but there was no code when this was built. Shallow steps and no midpoint landing, the last step was smack against the door, which had a knob and latch, which my parents would often shut when we were playing upstairs.

I'm 8-ish, and sitting at the desk, reading. Probably something like THIS, when I look to my right and see my little brother at the head of the stairs. Sitting on top of this plastic, injection molded tractor. He looked over, smiled at me, and then...


I heard a series of thuds and thumps and then a whack as he and then the tractor crashed into the door at the bottom stairs. This was followed by some serious squalling.

This is one of the funniest things I had ever seen, so naturally, I'm laughing my fool head off when I get to the top of the stairs and look down and the crumpled mass below.

And then my parents open the door, and he fell out at there feet. Crying. And I'm standing up at the top of the stairs. Laughing. Before they could ask, I blurted out:

"I saw the whole thing."

To their credit, I was not beaten half to death. My brother confirmed my version and "I saw the whole thing" became a family catch phrase.


A Visit With Gwen

Despite the fact that I joined the blog world we had actually only met 3 times in person before last weekend, and hadn't really spent much one-on-one time. Which is important when getting to know me. I tend to disappear in crowds (Exhibit A). After leaving Sass's on Friday, I rolled into Gwen's about 5:00.

Her, I'll call it an Arts & Crafts Bungalow even though I don't know what those words mean, was instantly home. Beautiful woodwork throughout, and great Frank Lloyd Wright-esque stained glass in the windows. I got a quick tour (the basement is still clean) and we headed out on our missions before the others arrived. At our first stop, "Eric the Engineer" showed up. I have a NEED to understand the process. I want to know why you made the decisions that you did. Not to judge, but to get closer to understanding the nature of the universe. Okay, not that deep, but that's how I am. I want to know. So when I asked Gwen why she chose this particular dry cleaners, she shot me a look. I apologized, but explained the above, and was confused as to why she would go somewhere that was not handy. (Coupon, near shops, etc.) And we were back on track. A little more shopping, a quick hit at the liquor store (where she alerted me to the fact that the thunder jug of Captain I grabbed didn't have any beads on it) and then back to her house, in her cute little 5 speed silver Spyder drop top. With the sunglasses she was sporting? Total-package-got-my-shit-together-modern-woman.

Into the kitchen we went, where I assisted in the making of the chocolate covered strawberries, the monkey bread, and the puppy chow. She was the sous chef. (More like the Seuss Chef, el gato in the sombrero). We wrapped everything up, sipping beverages and talking all the while. Not really about you all this time, sorry. Great fun getaway weekend. My one regret is that I didn't get to spend too much time with H. Just circulating in different pools of the crowd.

Next time.


I've Been Sassed

So, last Friday, I drove down to St. Louis to hit "Taste of Soulard" as a warm-up to the Mardi Gras festivities. It's a little over 300 miles from my place to Gwen's. She's really good people, and a fantastic hostess. But today isn't about Gwen. (Gwen, I'll rave on you later.)

On the way down, I stopped about 2/3 of the way there, and met up with someone else.
Sass. Yes. SASS!

I was running about 30 minutes late due to a slightly late start on my part. It was a beautiful day. Blue sky. Bright sun. More spring than winter. I pulled down a typical street in a typical Midwestern town. I pulled up to a typical house with a typical SUV in the drive.

Nothing was typical for the next 3 hours.

We talked. Told stories. Talked about blogging some. Talked about bloggers a lot. (If you think we might have talked about you, we probably did, but it was all good.) We ate
horseshoes. I didn't get a side of cheese fries to go with them. (Trying to cut back.) We had some frosty beverages. We talked about life.

She has depth and is an interesting woman, with a good soul, a quick smile, and an impish twinkle in her eye. I think maybe there was 30 seconds of silence between us. The conversation just flowed. And we were heading back to her house after lunch, the plates on the car in front of us had the word "SASS" on it. That doesn't just happen.

In a flash, our 3 hours had passed (I had only planned on stopping for an hour and a half) and I needed to get on the road, but didn't want to get on the road. When I pulled into that driveway, I was going to meet an "internet friend." When I left, I was leaving a "friend".

Thanks, Sass. And you were taller than I imagined, and "no" it wasn't the 3" heels.



Have you ever been way out of town visiting friends?

Have you ever spent all day out on the town, bar hopping, and getting loaded?

Have you ever come out of the bathroom line to discover that they had completely ditched your ass?

So when you are out in an unfamiliar town, and you find yourself ditched, what do you do?

a Search the bar? – You're not going to recognize anybody.
a Head outside and look up and down the street? - You won't see them.
a Dash like mad to where the cars are? - Cars 'Yes'. People 'No'.
a Head back to bar, search, return to vehicles. – As futile as the first time.
a Call them on their cell phone! - You don't have any of their cell phones programmed in, and forget (remember the drunk part) that you have one in an email.
a Try Facebook. Mr. Laugh has it on his iPhone! - Fail.

a Call Mr. Laugh's home, 350 miles away, get his high school aged son and say, "Yeah, I'm out with your mom and dad, and they totally ditched my ass…" – That one worked!

Turns out, the group was big enough, that everybody thought I was with them when they went to the next bar, about 4 blocks away. And then they thought I was outside in the courtyard.

But all is well that ends well, and it gave me blog material, so I can't complain. And they didn't shave my eyebrows when I fell asleep later back at Gwen's.


Letterman - Part 2

Faster than a rolling 'O'
Stronger than silent 'E'
Able to leap capital 'T' in a single bound!
It's a word, it’s a plan...it's Letterman!

You all know that there is the Letterman Meme going around, right? Candy, Sass, and Cora have done it at least. So, it works like this, you are assigned a letter of the alphabet to best illustrate 10 things you love beginning with that letter. Sass gave me 'Y'?

'Y' because we like you…

So, without further ado.
01 - You – I mean it, I love you. No, I don’t say that to all my readers. You're special to me. Trust me, baby. This is special for me, too.

02 – Yetis – Sasquatch, Big Foot, the Missing Link, or "
The WaWa MaMa" whatever you want to call them. There should always be monsters living just on the edge of the campfire's night.

03 – Yellow Submarine – I love, "All You Need Is Love". If you've done a little "smoky smoky" today, here's a trip to "Pepperland."

04 – Yorkshire Terriers – My MMF has a little one with about 100 names. Wynfrey. Wynfreyetta. Fretta. Minnie Wynnie. That dog is the cutest little 4 pound ball of fur you'll ever meat. And chill, not yippy. When I was down visiting, the dog chose to sleep with me on the sofa, rather than MFF like always. I have clearly passed the "Does my dog like him?" test.

05 – YouTube – When I moved into my condo, I shot some video and wanted to send it to my mom. I was seriously thinking about buying a thumbdrive and mailing it, when it dawned on me to load it up on YouTube. Plus, where else could you find

06 - Yttrium and Ytterbium – The fact that these are two different elements kills me. You'd think that the people in charge of this kind of stuff would make a correction, of rename one 'Fred' or something.

07 – Yeast – It makes the ALCOHOL! ALL HAIL KING YEAST!

08 –
Yuengling's – Speaking of the yeast doing their job, let's all raise a glass to America's oldest brewery. Who doesn't love a good beer? Yuengling's is from Pennsylvania, north west of West Chester, home of Dr. Zibbs, author of…

09 –
Yak, That Blue – I love this blog, I really do. 6 months ago, if I heard someone say, "that blew yak" I would think it sucked bad, but no, "that blue yak" so doesn't blow yak, it's astounding.

10 –
York – Not the one in Pennsylvania. That one sux. Not the 'New' one northeast of there. Ain't never been there, they tell me it's nice. No, I mean the one in England. Spent a day, walking the wall around the old city, exploring the ruins of the abbey the Henry the VIII burned. Simply lovely.

Okay, I cheated a little, but I'm tired and in a hurry, so whatever.


Happy Valetine's Day!

Let's be careful out there.


Papa's Got A Brand New Bag!

It's meme week here at SCOPE-TECH. I received this post tag from Sassy Britches, who got it from Alice, who got it from Bella, who got it from Nic. Sassy Britches somehow found out that I carried a man-purse ( IT'S EUROPEAN! ), probably because I mentioned it or something.

Here are the rules:

1 - Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying as of late. No, you can't go into your closet and pull out your favorite purse! We want to know what you carried today or the last time you left the house.

2 - List how much it cost. And this is not to judge. This is for entertainment purposes only. So spill it. And if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, we’d love to hear it.

3 - Tag some chicks--or dudes if you prefer. And link back to this post so people know why the heck you’re showing everyone your bag.


Here's a quick pic of Mach-3. It's the 3rd generation murse. The first one started off as a CD case, for a player, some CDs and batteries. But I did take it on vacations with me, as effectively a big pocket. Gen-2 was about the size of my current bag. I got it at a hiking store, and it was really handy, but I finally decided I needed to kick it up a notch and go leather.

It feels really nice to the touch, and I like the bold stitching, and the leather pulls.

And since you've had it in your head since you saw the title:


Letterman - Part 1

Faster than a rolling 'O'
Stronger than silent 'E'
Able to leap capital 'T' in a single bound!
It's a word, it’s a plan...it's Letterman!

You all know that there is the Letterman Meme going around, right? Candy, Sass, and Cora have done it at least. So, it works like this, you are assigned a letter of the alphabet to best illustrate 10 things you love beginning with that letter. Candy gave me 'S' for 'Scope' (Sass gave me a 'Y' but that's for another day.) So, without further ado.

01 - Spell Check – Oh how I love you. Not only did you provide a little bit of humor to my day, you make it so that that I don't look like a complete idiot when I write. Where were you in 4th grade when I mangled the sentence, "The bare had a tare in a pare of pants."? Granted, none of those words pop up in error in spell check, I'm just saying.

02 - Spunk – I'm naturally on the low key side, so I really love a woman with spunk. I was going to say "sass" but then "

Sass" and "Sassy Britches" might argue over who I was referring to, and then we would have had to break out the bikinis and the tub of banana pudding, and let them settle it like ladies. Wait a second…

03 - SASS – Ding ding!

04 - Sixburgh STEELERS Super Bowl Champs – I love me

my Steelers. Always have.

05 - Surfing the Internet – I blog therefore I surf. I tried 'serfing the internet' but the damn dirty peasants can smashing the laptops I got them and claiming that they were "the devil's machines." True, but I borrowed them, and he's gonna pissed when he sees what happened to them.

06 - Sleep – I love it, but like many things I love, I don't get enough of it.

07 - SQL – I love me some Structured Query Language. Most of the time I pronounce it "SEQUAL" there I times I say the letters, "S-Q-L". Regardless, I couldn't do my job without it.

08 - Sabbatical I seriously did enjoy my year of unemployment. I just wished I would have enjoyed it more.

09 - Snickers – Since this meme was from
CANDY, I thought I would throw in my love for the chocolate.

10 Spiders and Snakes – Actually this could have been "Silly Songs" or "Stafford & Stevens". I'm a fool for the novelty song.

And I suppose you thought this was over. No. because I also love 'SIPPING' so much, it deserved its own 10:

01 - Sam Adams - He was a Brewer and a Patriot. An original two sport man.

02 – Sangria – Because if I'm having sangria, then I'm having tapas, and if I'm having tapas, then I'm having that baked goat cheese in the tomato stuff.

03 – Seven & Sevens – For when daddy needs to get there, fast!

04 – Smoked Maibock – Goose Island made this once that I know of, smoked the crap out of the malt, and it was simply the best beer I've ever consumed.

05 – Sauvignon Blanc – A little patio pounder, lighter than a chardonnay.

06 – Shots – But real shots. Whiskey. Tequila. No 'Watermelons' or 'Suicides'

07 – Suds – I like beer. It makes me a jolly good fellow. I like beer, it helps me unwind and sometimes it makes me feel mellow. (But not "feel MelO" sadly enough.)

08 – Sunset Wheat – Leinenkugel's tasty, tasty beer with a hint of orange in the bottle.

09 – Stout, Guinness – Mmmmm, beer.

10 – Sliders – After all this drinking, who doesn't want a sack of these steamed little grease balls?


Scope's Giving Me An Art Attack

I'm not the world's biggest art snob. On my passing, I don't think my brass monkey collection is headed to any sort of museum. But probably like many of you, I have a few select pieces that I have picked up here and there that I find interesting. And I felt a bit like sharing. (It was either this, or do a meme about my purse!)

Both pieces are by the same artist, Marj Mowers. She's from my home area. I picked both up at separate times , maybe10-18 years ago, at our hometown summer festival. They were both in the $75 range I would imagine. My parents have a work or two of hers, also, and so does an aunt of mine. The paintings are acrylic on wood, and both hang where I can see them while working on my computer. To the best of my knowledge, neither has a name.

Until now.

Marm – Yes, this is an old school desktop with the inkwell hole. As you can imagine, it is a bit heavy. I was drawn to this painting by the flowers. I don't know what it was, but they just look so nice sitting there. I have a lot of teacher friends who have told me in no uncertain terms that they want this painting.

'dems da berries – These strawberries are served on a wooden tabletop. I really didn't have anything else really Asian inspired in my house at the time (I have since gotten a bamboo shoot as a housewarming present), so I'm not sure what did this for me. Maybe it was the ½ Korean girl that I'd dated? Maybe I needed a companion piece to 'Marm' so that I would then have a set? I honestly don't know. But, I did end up getting a spice box almost identical to the one in the pictures from my grandparent's house.

My decorating style incorporates a lot of darker, natural wood tones, and a lot of brass accents. These pieces really strike a good balance for me. They might be pictures of flowers and strawberries, but they are also manly enough that they could be used to render someone unconscious, without a great fear of damaging them.

And DAMN IT! I'm starting a meme. I'm sure it's not original. And I'm sure I don't care.

Here are the rules for Scope's Giving Me An Art Attack:

1. Post a picture of at least two pieces of art that you have in your house/ apartment/ room/ cardboard box, etc. and write a little bit about them.

2. Link back to the post you picked this got this from, and to my blog (http://scope-tech.blogspot.com/) so that I can see whose house/ apartment/ room/ cardboard box I want to loot next. :-)

3. Do not tag anyone. This meme is to be offered up free to the taking, with no obligations to be bestowed upon others.


Random Rants

I'm feel a little green
RANDON 1: Back in 1996 I was listening to 95.1 WIIL (it's on the WIsconsin / ILlinois border) when, between the ads for Able Pawn Shop and the Cheap Trick playing at the Brat Stop, I heard this song. I linked to it over at Cowguy's the other day, but not sure if people click on links in comments, so here ya go. And yes, I've had the MP3 of this for YEARS!

RANDOM 2: Back in the early 90's I was a COBOL programmer. You would often print copies of your code on big sheets of continuous feed "green bar" paper, that people were paid to deliver to your chair. Sometimes you would have an error, and you would need to print ('dump') the contents of the memory. And sometimes the program would simply ABEND (ABnormal END).

Well, one day, I came back to my desk and there was a 3 foot stack of green bar sitting in my chair, which I promptly tossed. (Green bar? Not so "green" in those days. Anyway, I go home that night, and was talking to my roommate, T-Bone about my day, and said, "And when I came back from lunch, someone had left a big unformatted dump in my chair..." If I remember correctly, there was a spit-take.

Random 3: Helpful hint, when sitting at the airport playing with Sass on Facebook mobile, sit FACING the gate so that you're not the "Last call for..." person on the overhead. I'm just saying...


Monday Meme

Recently, I've started reading Sassy Britches at Well okay, Sassy Britches! and she had a meme up for the taking. Well, I was just wrapping up my 100-4-100 and thought, "hey, if'n I do this meme, people might thunk I is smrt or somethun."

She got it from Eva at A Striped Armchair.

The rules are at the bottom:

Meme: What's on your bookshelf:

Tell about the book that's been on your shelf the longest:

That would have to be 100 Selected Poems by e e cummings - This is actually a school book from my Honor's Rhetoric class at my college. I really love to play with, take apart, and reassemble the English language and the written word. Always have. And that's why he resonates with me so well. This book is yellow paged, dog eared, and has notes scribbled in the margins. Like any good poetry book should be.

Favorite poem:
in Just - Pan is the Man!

Tell about a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, place, time, etc.):

My senior year of high school yearbook, the Tolo. I didn't love high school. I didn't hate high school. I enjoyed it well enough, but those weren't my "glory days" (that was college). Yet, this book marks the end of an era. Most of these kids I was with for most of my growing up. My class size was 47. Most I had been with since 2nd grade. Many since Kindergarten. And this was it for that part of the journey. My class of '84 is having its 25 reunion this summer. And the class of '83 and '85 are joining us for early and late ones as one merged year. I'm so looking forward to this, I can’t tell you.

Tell about a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used book store, prize, etc.):

This is a TOTAL cheat. The actual answer to this one is a book I'm using later, but no trip to my bookshelf would be complete without a graphic novel. I used to read an on-line cartoon called, "The Norm." The artist, Michael Jantze, is about my age, and grew up in Normal, IL (hence the name). I like the style and the humor enough that when he went out of syndication and tried to do a subscription based service, I did that for a few years. But, he hit some production issues and I just kind of let it lapse. But, when I signed up, I got this collection as my signing bonus.

And since I've a very linky guy, the kind you don't take home to MOTHER:
Jantze Studios & old Norm strips.

Tell about the most recent addition to your shelves:

I got Paul of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson from my brother for Christmas. I read the 6 original Dune books before Frank Herbert died leaving it at a cliff hanger. When his son and Kevin Anderson picked it up years later, my brother started getting me one of the new books for Christmas each year, and I enjoyed the trilogies, too. But then they went and wrapped up the cliff hanger, and I can't say I was impressed.

That left a sour enough taste in my mouth, that I haven't really gotten into Paul of Dune yet. Plus, I'm too busy writing and reading in the bloggy world!

Tell about the book that has been with you to the most places:

The More Than Complete Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams – I had read "The Hitchhiker's Trilogy" when they came out. And when the 4th book was added to the trilogy (yes, they still called it that) I even read that. Well, my at first professional job interview in Chicago, they paid me mileage, which worked out to about $40! Flush with cash and seeing that I knew I would never be back (they offered me the job a week later) I was looking through a gift shop in the Sears Tower, and I knew I had to have it. Soft leather cover. Gold edging. The fanciest book I own.

And then he published a 5th book in the trilogy (yup, still called that) and so it was no longer complete. I usually have it lying around. I carry it with me when I fly. I just pick it up and read a few pages at random, and spend time with my old friends. I can become engrossed for minutes or hours, and it's okay if I get interrupted.

Tell about a bonus book that doesn't fit any of the above categories:

I saw this book in the Crate & Barrel Outlet and had to buy it: How To Be A Villain by Neil Zawacki This is the book that helped my decide that my super villain name would be 'Baron Bloodhammer'. I have since kicked it up a notch with a 'von' and some umlauts to become 'Baron von Bloodhämmer'.

The Rules for this Meme:
1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!

2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair so that Eva can collect everyone’s answers. I heard that if you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme’s creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! From what I understand, she has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books from which you'll be able to choose, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.

3. Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about...all the way down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water! Make the meme more fun with visuals (covers of the specific edition you’re describing to us, photos of your bookshelves, etc.)!

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you'd like to participate, please let me know because I'd love to hear about your books!


With an hour left before I needed to go to the airport, they were tears of anger and hurt.

With a half hour left before I needed to go to the airport, they were tears of longing for what could be.

When the cab arrived to take me to the airport, they were tears of heartache and separation.

On the cab ride to the airport, they were tears of heartbreak and loss.

Now, they are just tears.

Like you said, "No labels."


Murder On The Dis-Orient-ed Non-Express

Code BROWN!* You know, I'm sorry you had a bad day/week/month/year/decade...whatever. I'm sorry that you're an Emo kid, and no one understands your pain. Keep it to yourself. Don't go stepping in front of trains, totally fucking up the rest of the day for everybody else. You're day is done. Think of the rest of us. You know, I had a 9:00 that I'm so totally going to miss. Couldn't you have just taken yourself out, someplace private, where you will only scar some hikers or cub scouts, or who ever it is that finds what's left after the squirrels get to you?

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

And don't get me started on you, "Mr./ Mrs. Medical Emergency". If you thought, "You know, odds seem pretty good that I will have a heart attack / give birth in the next hour," maybe you should NOT be commuting. Just saying. And don't feel abandoned when we ask if we can just dump your carcass off at the next stop. If we were going to help, we would have by now. Seriously. There no sense 600 of us waiting around for the guys from Squad-51 to show up. Dixie at Rampart General will talk them through it just fine. Do you really want 600 strangers gawking at you in you private moment of death/childbirth anyway? Didn't think so.

Anyway, how was your commute today? I got a seat yesterday, both ways, so mine totally kicked ass.

* No individuals were killed, maimed, stricken ill, or birthed in the making of this story. But I so did give that one bitch the stink eye.


All Hail Spell-Check

There are days when computers catch you off guard, and totally make your day. The other day, I was filling out an on line for to move some computer code (a SQL stored procedure for those that know what that is). Before submitting it, I executed spell-check.

And almost peed myself: SPARTACUS!!!!

That's the best one since it called my friend 'CarrieAnn', 'Carrion'. She didn't find that one DAMN bit funny.


100-4-100: 2

Okay, so I was going to write a mass comment on my 100-4-100 post, but I couldn't do it. It was going to be too much for that little box, so I figured I'd just make an entry out of the response.

Easier for you to read.

Easier for me to write.

Win / Win.

Wilwarin – Yes. In the who do I want to meet section, I declined the opportunity to meet you. In my mind, the question was like, fly/drive to where they live, hang out for the day, and then fly/drive home. That's a lot of flight time if I don't even have time to have a good koala stew. And you are correct, I have never been south of the equator but someday do hope to make. And when I do, I'll come a knock'n, okay?

Poobomber – Last time I was there, we had some Greek food at the Pembina Village Restaurant‎, staying at the Quality Inn right round there. Yeah, that's freakin' yo shite now, isn't it? And I don't know if you've ever noticed on my sidebar, the pictures in "Oh the places you'll go…" there should be one that looks a little familiar. I plan on a feature explaining where all those are, someday.

And I take the "long lost twin brother" as the compliment it was intended.

17. I got the plant from my grand father's funeral in the late 80's, just when I had moved out on my own. The thing simply won't die. About 10 years ago, I thought I was going to be a "plant guy" so I bought a Norfolk Island Pine, and some mini orange bush thing. They were dead in 3 weeks. I swear I heard my mocking laughter and saw a little "Cabbage Patch" (WARNING: This is NOT SAFE FOR WORK) dancing from my plant as I hauled their remains to the trash. Maybe it killed them while I wasn't looking.

21. I shouldn't get too much credit for the not GAYDAR thing. It's not that I'm so enlightened, I just can't muster the energy to CARE about a stranger's sex life. (Incorporating say,
Emily Deschanel into a fantasy or two is a different story.)

29. Yes, 7 different women, smarty-pants. :-) (Now I'm think of your pants…)

35. Now I'm thinking about something else! (o)(o)!!!

49. You visited when you could get a lot closer to the rocks than you can today. I enjoyed it, but the wind was blowing through the pasture.

92. "Shopping companion" – Aide. If you need a blocker to clear a path, if I need to "Find this is blue" I will, I will sit in the "idiot chair" holding the purse (and I won't hold it like it was a dead ferret, either) if need be. I am there for you, helping you satisfy your needs, so that maybe later…

Candy - Pere Lechaise Cemetary, Paris – Jim Morrison's grave saddened and depressed me due to the same crap you mentioned. I just used him as a touchstone for people. Moliere, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde. We had half a day left in Paris before catching a train, and it was a wonderful, peaceful experience. However, just because I agree with you does not mean that you are not crazy. Ask my friends.

I clearly stated that the CHOICE of meeting you would be expected from a guy, not that the actual meeting would be. Clearly. But in real life, I'd probably hit it off better with Candace. ;-)

Sass – I have a VERY close family (does anybody else hear banjos?) so you and Poobomber are good.

As I understand it, your train delay was due to freight traffic in the evening, and is fairly common. Same thing happened to me riding out of Kewanee after Hog Days.

Ms. Florida Transplant – Thank you very much. It wasn't funny to the poor sap behind me, but sometimes things can't be helped.

The PT Cruiser is a versatile hatchback with plenty of head room and seats that my parents can ride in. Plus, they were new and a little quirky, which I liked. And I must say, a 46" Samsung TV fits perfectly in the back, box and all.

Gwen – No, thank you for getting me out here. It has really been fun. And I am looking forward to seeing you soon, too.

Srg – The escalator was narrow as hell, with no room to pass (well, there was room to pass gas) <-- That's my foot sitting crossways on it.

Some Guy – Thanks. And it was good meeting you as part of this.

Cowguy - I think Richard Simmons would at least sit through the fight at the side of the lake when Dalton rips that dudes throat out.

Dr Zibbs – That's just Mel the Sasquatch after my
Kokanee. And thanks for not being grumpy that I'd prefer not to meet you. It a respect thing, honest.

iNDefatigable mjenks – Take the South Shore or the Indiana Tollroad. Either way gets ya here.

H – I'm looking forward to meeting/meating you, too. ;-)

Ellie Mae – The coat and the hat are in the guest room closet. The plaid Mac scarf I wore today.

Giggle Pixie – Thanks. Maybe you could hitch with the iNDdefatigable mjenks?

SkylersDad – Oh, I have no doubt that if you set your mind to it, you could do it. I started before Christmas. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.

Lisa – Who said we had to get "rich" to run off to Rome together? And I seriously thought I'd get more comments on "In Bruges". Man I loved that movie. To the point where I don't want to see it again, incase I don't love it as much the second time, and then it will feel, tarnished.

Candy & Cora – Thanks for the thought. I'll be setting my Blackberry on vibrate now…

mike – That's my cheap pimpin' goal, to get people to comment. I would say that the "Born In The USA" was a Super Bowl joke, but it's been in the list for a month.

Cabinet doors – Once, when he was passing through my area, after we were roommate, T-Bone knew where I hid the spare key, so he came in and opened EVERY SINGLE CABINET AND DRAWER AND DOOR IN THE WHOLE APARTMENT! I walk in and panic thinking I'd been robbed. But since the TV and the VCR were still there, I quickly knew what was going on. Roommate revenge. A dish best served cold.

Road House – Who doesn't love it? Damn communists who never got over their
Red Dawn ass whooping, that's who.

I cannot take credit for inventing writing it as "B(0)(0)Bs" but I will try to write it that way the rest of my life.

Altadel – I wore it AS my gown, what are you talking about? Gifted kids? Good form of birth control. And there is no town name lie like Good Water, Saskatchewan!


It's all about me
Okay, I've done it, I've reached the big 100th post. Below are 100 true things about me. Some are big. Some are small. Those that are marked with a '*' are ones that I fully intend to do follow ups on later. Not saying it will happen, but I currently intend on it.

And I want to thank everyone who reads this blog. From Gwen who encouraged me, to Candy, my first follower, to Dr. Zibbs and Vodka Mom for letting me know I was allowed to play with the big kids, to Sass, my psychic 'cousin', and to the newer folks who have come by, and I plan to get to know better. Even to you lurkers out there, who never say a word. SPEAK UP ONCE IN A WHILE, DAMN IT! :-)

Now, on with the show. Yes, I did try to categorize them.

001 - Started going gray at 16. Still more "pepper" than "salt"
002 - I'm about 6'4". Maybe a touch taller.
003 - Moles form a "dipper" on my chest. That's birthmarks, not trained animals.
004 - 285 lbs Current goal is 250.
005 - Size 13 shoe. (Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more.)
006 - Birthday 1965-12-22. Yes, that's how I write dates. So they sort correctly.
007 - Born in Galesburg, IL
008 - Born in the USA
009 - My toes are my worst feature.
010 - My legs are my best.

011 - Farm boy. Grew up 2.5 miles outside of a town of 250 people. Literally at the end of the power line, end of the phone line.
012 - I liked bailing hay. I hated cutting hogs and dehorning cows.
013 - I'm a classic middle child. Older sister. Younger brother.
014 - Life long resident of the Land of Lincoln
015 - One niece, two nephews.
016 - I have no children
017 - I'm a dog person who does not own a dog. No pets. But I've had the same plant for like, 20 years.
018 - Mostly German, Irish, English, but 1/32 black.

019 - I'm very brand loyal, but hate to be viewed as a "shill" for "the man". Back in my running days, if I was wearing a Nike shirt I would wear Champion shorts, just to not show favoritism.
020 - I believe in God. My God has a very interesting sense of humor. He displays it in my life. Often.
021 - I have no "GAYDAR". It's not that I'm so progressive that I don't see people in a sexual stereotype, it's that I'm too lazy to really care what any given person's sexual orientation is. If it's none of my business, then let' keep it that way. Or talk about "your partner" I don't really care. A person's sexual orientation is one of the least interesting aspects of a person's make-up, to me.
022 - I am open minded toward intelligent life in outer space, and bigfoot type things. Not that I believe. Not that I don't believe. I just think that certain things like giant squids, rogue waves, and the female orgasm have been dismissed as rumors until only recently being proven true. I want to keep an open mind.
023 - Scope's Law I - People are stupid. But not everybody is "people".
024 - Scope's Law II - Life tends to work out.
025 - *This year's resolution was almost to get a stack of $2 bills from the bank and a couple of rolls of the dollar coins every month, and use them in normal transactions. I think both are good ideas that are far too under utilized.
026 - I used to sort my change: Pennies in one container, nickels and dimes in a second, and quarters in a third. I stopped when I no longer needed to glean quarters out for laundry.
027 - I rarely shut doors and drawers on cabinets, dressers, etc. Don't have a good reason, but right now, about as many are opened as closed.
028 - I think
Ted Nugent's views are a little extreme. But not a lot extreme. I'm not into the whole hunting and kill your own meat thing. But I wholly support his right to do it. And with that said I not only can I tell you the best steak I've ever had, I can name the steer (Lazybones) and his mom (Sweetbones).

029 - My count is only 7
030 - #2 is happily married, but we still exchange Christmas cards. Her husband knows, and doesn't care. One of her daughters thinks it's "scandalous."
031 - I lost my virginity when I was a senior in college.
032 - Not a one night stand, but a one time event.
033 - The last two women I've slept with have both been married (but separated and eventually divorced) when it happened for the first time.
034 - I've never had a classic "one night stand."
035 - I'm a big boob man. Not necessarily a "BIG B(o) (o)B" man.
036 - The closest I came to getting married was when I was saving up for an engagement ring, but after she dumped me, turned that savings into the down payment on a brand new '91 Accura Integra. I miss that car some times.
037 - To answer
~E's question: "If someone gave you money to be intimate with a guy (of your choosing) (and I mean intimate like that sweaty samba you keep mentioning) how much money would you ask for? Notice I didn't give you a choice yes, or no. Just the bare minimum amount of moolah it would take?"I'm not homosexual, and not overly motivated by money, so it would need to be a game changing amount of money. Right now; $20,000,000 is a number I would toss out. Unless it's enough to radically alter the game, not worth it. Even if I'm the pitcher.

Arts & Entertainment
038 - I own an iPod mini, but rarely use it. It tends not to be loaded with the song / artist I want to hear right then. I won it in a drawing.
039 - My MP3 collection is 12,043 songs and 46.1GB. Doesn't fit well on a mini.
040 - If
Road House or Next of Kin are showing, I will have to watch them to conclusion. No exceptions.
041 - I have probably played well over 6,000 games of
Axis and Allies on my computer (remember, I was unemployed for a year). I think I lost the third game I ever played, and none since. When I need to zone and clear my mind, it's the ticket.
042 - I enjoy playing cards (Hand and Foot) with my parents and their friends.
043 - Once, while playing poker, I folded and went into another room, and farted. When I walked back into the room, the draft pulled with me an essence most foul. How foul? In the middle of a hand, 5 guys got up from the poker table and fled the apartment. They still speak of it with awe and reverence in their voices.
044 - I'm a doodler
045 - I rarely see movies. My favorite movies of 2008 were "
In Bruges", "Iron Man", and "The Dark Knight". In that order. "In Bruges" was brilliant and twisted and European, and I actually liked Colin Farrell in it. And if you are a Harry Potter fans, there are 3 folks in the cast for you. And a horny foul mouthed crack smoking midget. Yes, you read that right, "horny, foul mouthed, crack smoking midget." Or is he a dwarf? "Iron Man", at first I thought they were spending way too much time in the tunnel scenes, but man did they make that character development pay off. "The Dark Knight"? They filmed some of it in the train station below where I used to work (Bat-pod/blue floors with white lines) and another scene (Two Face Confronts Traitor Cop) at the bar in one of my favorite restaurants, Twin Anchors. Where Return To Me was also filmed. Otherwise, meh.
046 - I enjoy photography, but don't own a real camera. I have a 5.1 Sony digital. I'm afraid that if I bought a digital SLR it would either just collect dust, or become too much of a compulsion that it would compete with my blog for eating up all my free time.
047 - I used to collect comic books. Sold the whole mess (like 13 Rubbermaid tubs) to a dealer for $500 a couple years back. Don't regret collecting or selling. Don't regret money spent or money recouped. And the tubs are useful.
048 - I love Weird Al Yankovic

049 - I have been to Stonehenge. You can't get that close to the stones anymore, so 45 minutes standing in a wind blown pasture at the end of January was just enough time.
050 - We then went to Bath, England. 4 hours was not enough. I highly recommend it.
051 - When in Rome, I failed to throw 3 coins in the Trevi Fountain. So I'm screwed there.
052 - Pisa sucked. Pizza in Pisa sucked ass.
053 - Waterloo (as in "The Battle of") sucked. But the pub across the street? Drinking Chimay on a sunny 4th of July in the shade of a sycamore tree, gazing out at the rolling Belgian countryside? One of my best memories.
054 - Been to London twice. Still need to make it to the Royal Observatory and Abbey Road crosswalk.
055 - Wasn't fond of Paris, France (nor of Paris, IL or Paris Hilton for that matter), but did enjoy
Père Lachaise Cemetery where Jim Morrison is buried.
056 - Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the only Canadian provinces I've been to. However, when Newfoundland and Labrador annex St. Pierre and Malquan (oh to dream), I will be there. Seriously. France, out of North America. NOW!
057 - *Labor Day Weekend 2007 I did a 10 day road trip: Chicago to Birmingham, AL, to New Orleans, to Houston, then back to Chicago via Arkansas. 2,800 miles ALONE in a car.
058 - I want to go to the rock of Gibraltar. Yes, for the apes.
059 - I believe in travel karma. I always help tourist to Chicago if I can. If you're staring at a map, looking confused, I will politely ask if I can assist. When I'm visiting your city, I will try not to be the slow moving doofus during rush hour. There's nothing better than giving correct info to strangers in a strange place.
060 - Back in college, I had a yellow stop sign that I found in an alley.
061 - *My first Disney experience was EuroDisney. With the girl I had the ring fund for. After we broke up and she was living in Belgium with her new fiancé.
062 - While in London, I saw Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and her two daughters leave the London premier of
063 - My first commercial airplane flight was from Chicago to Brussels.
064 - I have never been to NYC, LA, Boston, or Seattle.
065 - The Grand Canyon was awesome. But I may have enjoyed the
Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff about as much on a time spent basis.

066 - I've written 3 different financial reporting and budgeting systems.
067 - I have worked for the same manager at 3 different companies, and one co-worker I've technically worked with 5 different times.
068 - I still miss Andersen and think we got totally scapegoated. Explaining to CPAs why the numbers on the financial and statistical report were correct was a blast.
069 - If I didn't work in IT I would probably be an architect or an engineer. I solve problems. And I like to think I do it with an eye for style.

070 - Out of shape now, but have run 2 marathons in my life.
071 - In high school I was the center on the basketball team.
072 - Reds, Steelers, ND football. Not a big pro hoops fan, but loved the Birds era Celtics.
073 - Went out for football my freshman year in high school. Broke my foot just before the season started, but played the first JV game. Was out until the freshman game at the end of the season. Recovered a fumble. That was the end of my football career.

074 - I once farted while riding up a crowded escalator, blowing noxious ass gas right in the face of the person behind me. I heard them gag and curse. At the top, I sprinted out of the train station like a felon. That's the last fart story in this post. Promise.
075 - I tend to eat my food serially off my plate (not cereal-ly). One bite of each item to check it out, then all of item A, then all of item B, etc.
076 - From
Ms. Florida Transplant – "What blogger would I most want to meet?" That's rough, so get ready for some serious name dropping. (And if I don't mention you, please don't feel slighted.) Bloggers I have met include Gwen, Grant Miller, Bacon Lady, Some Guy, and Alexander, so they are off the list. Shortly, I will be meeting Sass and H, so we won't count them. MelO? It's only a matter of time before we get together for lunch (seriously girl, pick a date). And, no offense intended, but I'd rather Dr. Zibbs remain the mythical man behind the curtain. Yourself, Candy, or Cora? Picking one of the hot chicks is just too, EXPECTED of a guy. I would even choose Wilwarin for a trip to Australia. Next time in I'm in Winnipeg (maybe 2 years from now) I'll stalk down Poobomber. And Mike, Randy, and Cowguy seem like interesting guys, but I think right now, the person I want to meet is the iNDefatigable mjenks (and he can bring the Buxom and Comely and Easily Terrified Boudicca, too!)
077 - I first grew my goatee (technically, a "Van Dyke", but everyone calls them "goatees") during
the Sabbatical, because a co-worker told me it would make me look younger. I keep it because it makes shaving quicker and easier in the morning. And I only have to shave every other day. I have taken it off a few times, but always grow it back.
078 - I'm normally an even keeled person, and I don't really have a "mildly irritated." When you see me start to be a little agitate, that means I'm ready to pop. Not get physical or anything, just turn into a ranting, raving, terrifyingly rational lunatic.
079 - *I have a hard time replacing technology that still works. I was very upset when my answering machine of 15 years died, because they don't make ones that use two full sized cassette tapes anymore. Other say I'm cheap.
080 - If I'm out DRINKING, I'll usually hang with my close personal friend, the Captain. My other "serious" drink is a 7 & 7. Beer is my "taking it easy" drink. I miss living a couple blocks from
Goose Island. I get back there once a month or so. I have my MBA (Master's of Beer Appreciation) card for completing the 40 beer circuit, so I get discounts or upsized to an imperial pint when I go.
081 - *I had a wheel fall off my car while I was driving down the road at 55 mph. "Do you mean…" No. I mean the whole damn wheel assembly, as a unit, departed the vehicle, at speed, and went bounding through a field and cow pasture leaving me to deal with the sudden "tripodiness" of my car.
082 - My favorite restaurant in Chicago is a little storefront pasta joint call
Pasta Palazzo. It was near my old place. They cook your sauce on stoves that are right behind the counter. Great food. Reasonable prices.
083 - A few years back, my mom and dad went on vacation, and they stayed at a "friends" house. I thought they were nuts. Mom had met this woman playing on-line bridge, but had never met her in real life until they showed up at her house. At the time I thought she was insane. How could you ever… Yeah, the irony is sinking in. I told you my God has a good sense of humor.
084 - *The single most painful event of my life was my root canal. I have no idea what #2 would be.
085 - While I usually write in black ink. I sometimes use green. Or red. Never blue. It seems, ordinary. 086 - I come from a Coca Cola family. My sister married into some kind of Pepsi cult, and we no longer trust her with family secrets.
087 - Speaking of which, my love of Diet Coke has been replaced with my love for Coke Zero and Cherry Coke Zero.
088 - My dad was so upset with John Kerry, that he banned Heinz Ketchup from his house.
089 - I was 35 before I cooked a frozen pizza in my apartment. Still have them only rarely. I live in Chicago. Good pizza can be delivered until 5:00 am.
090 - I like black licorice.
Goody & Plenty candy. Not every day, but as a special treat.
091 - My Senior Prom date is a fairly well known regional news personality down state.
092 - Ladies, I'm actually a pretty good shopping companion.
093 - I used to always take my college ring and watch off when I drove, and set them on the seat next to me. One time, after driving down to my parent's house out in the country, I scooped up all the trash from the car, and tossed it in the burning barrel. A few days later, and about 3 fires in the burning barrel later, I was looking all over for my ring and watch. With dread, I scooped about 6 inches of ash out of the barrel, and ran the hose over it. Found 'em! The watch was toast, but Jostens cleaned up my "Ring of Fire". (I have since lost the ring for good.)
094 - I was a camp counselor at a camp for gifted kids at college in the summer between my junior and senior years of college. I had one kid who took a shower with his clothes on because, he "forgot he was wearing them."
095 - I was on a panel at a tech conference once, on the first day. Felt like a rock star the rest of the conference with everyone asking my opinion.
096 - I wore a hat, and a green trench coat most of college.
097 - I don't have a fear if heights. I have a RESPECT for heights, and a fear of plunging to my death. Well, not so much the fall, but the sudden stop at the end.
098 - I am somewhat claustrophobic. And get the FUCK away from me with that snake.
099 - I dated a girl who had a bird. Mean little fucker. And the bird wasn't no prize either.
100 - I think that
this guy has some good ideas for the CTA in 2055 has, but I would run the Brown line at Kimbal to the Blue at Jefferson Park, not his Paulina to Belmont route. first. Regardless, they need to add a Pink line stop at Monroe for the United Center.

101 - I like "The Office", but I hate Steve Carroll's character. Too over the top. Breaks my suspension of disbelief.
102 - If you dislike Jar-Jar Binks like I do, you should find
THIS funny. This is OLD SCHOOL computer animation.
103 - St. Louis / Chicago high speed rail. A stop in Springfield or Bloomington Normal. Just do it. It's 300 miles. 5 hours by car. It's a 40 minute flight, but dicking around with the airports, the time is virtually a wash, due to the fact that you then have no car. Get the train to about 2.5 to 3 hours? And you can use your laptop and cell phone the whole way? No freaking airport security? You get what I'm saying here.
104 - I can juggle. Only 3 balls. Not clubs or flaming chainsaws or anything like that.
105 - One time, while getting into my car, my trench coat caught the turn signal level and snapped that sucker CLEAN OFF. Bet that never happened to Batman.
106 - From
Cora: "What is the most embarrassing song on your I-pod?" My iPod still has Christmas music on it.
107 - From
Cora: "What toys do you have?" Well, I have a couple stuffed animals (including a flying monkey, and an RCMP moose), a Marvin the Martian, Bugs Bunny, and Wily E. Coyote figures, a replica phaser and communicator, a hand full of hand held electronic games, and that's about it. While there are quirks in the details, my place is surprising adult.
108 - From
Cora: "What is your biggest regret?" I'm gonna flip this. What should you regret, but don't. Quite possibly, the best woman I know (smartest, gorgeous, great mom, great friend, great person) I met just before entering college. She gave me her address, but I never wrote her. Seeing how her life turned out, I cannot regret us not getting together.
109 - I have a friend who I've known for almost 25 years. Good friend. She's been married for what, 5 years now?, and I've never met or spoken to her husband.
110 - Yes, at work when they use phrases like "scope creep" and "scope control" I snicker.
111 - My 2001 PT Cruiser has JUST over 39,000 miles on it. I'm facing about a 700 total miles down to St. Louis and back in a week and a half. That means, I may hit 40,000 sometime in mid-March, early April. I'll keep you posted.

Yes, I went to 111. I like the looks of the number better than 100. And I really couldn't think of anything to cut.

So, did that answer questions, or raise questions?