My 1st Thanksgiving From Home / Scope-Teach

Ah, my first Thanksgiving away from home.

But this isn't it.

This is actually the second Thanksgiving I'm not spending with my Mom & Dad.  The first one was back in the early 90's, whenever the whole William Kennedy Smith and Clarence Thomas things were going on.  I was working as a COBOL programmer for Arthur Andersen at the time (yes, THAT Arthur Andersen) and for political reasons, my World Headquarters office found it necessary to supply an instructor to teach at the 3 week introductory class that all new employees of our consulting division (later to become Accenture) had to take.  I was selected to go.  I got a little bit of overtime out of it.  The training class was held at the corporate campus out in St. Charles, IL on the shores of the Fox River.  About 40 minutes from my apartment.501px-Arthur_Andersen_logo_svg

Oh, did mention that the class ran from the Monday after Thanksgiving to the Friday that was about a week before Christmas.

The way the class was set up, instructors arrived on Tuesday night, and then Wednesday thru Sunday, we did the "teach the teacher" thing, and then the class ran for the next three weeks (including the two weekends in there).  Of the 12 teachers, I was:

  • The only "local".  About 50% of the teachers were European.
  • The person who had been with the firm longest.
  • The person who had the most COBOL experience and used the same tools that we used in class as part of my day-to-day job.
  • Had never (and still haven't) logged a chargeable hour.  Remember, I was dealing with consultants where the belief was that your chargeable percent determined your raise, your next project, and your whole career.  No one wanted to be "on the bench" and my job, to many, was viewed that way.

Like I said, this was back in the early 90's, and we were still in full business dress.  Suit and tie.  Our 12 instructors (plus our lead instructor) were the only people 13 people in this facility that was designed to house 1,200.  Plus the kitchen staff who cooked our meals.  We petitioned to wear casual clothes on Thursday (Thanksgiving).

And were denied.

Apparently, a partner or client, MIGHT show up, and be so shocked to see people in jeans that they would die of a heart attack.

This didn't really bother the Italians, since they and brought more suits with them than casual wear, but for us Americans, it sucked.

The Thanksgiving meal was pretty good, except that is wasn't a whole turkey that they cooked.  It was one of those canned, pressed turkey loafs.  It was good and juicy and all, and went perfectly with the canned cranberry sauce.

After lunch, during every break in CICS (pronounced "kicks") training, I would sneak down the hall to where a couple of TV's were on, and caught a few glimpses of football.

Supper was leftovers and sandwiches that the cooks set out.  If I remember right, we worked until about 10:00 that night.

Something tells me that I will have a lot more fun missing this Thanksgiving at home.

Oh, don't get me wrong, there were memorable moment from the class:

  • The anchovy, roasted garlic, and green olive pizza that the Dutch guy had me try at My Pi.  I had him try the sausage.  He was shocked at how good it tasted.  I can honestly say the anchovy, garlic, and black olive pizza was shocking to the taste buds, but not so much in a good way.
  • One of my students, who if memory serves, was from Seattle, who wrapped up class and flew back on Friday and got married on Saturday.  Ladies, imagine working out of town, pre-cell phones or email, so pretty much out of touch, putting in 12 hour weekdays, (8's and 6's on Sat/Sun) for the 3 weeks leading up to your wedding.  Like I said, they took this shit SERIOUSLY.  (Based on her scores, the computer gave her a "Meets Requirements")
  • I was accused of sexual harrassment by an Australian gal from Brisbane who thought she was far too good to be in the class, and bitched about everything.  I was cleared.  The head instructor, a woman, talked to her, and said basically, "Yeah, she's an evil bitch who just wants to go home and is lashing out at everything."
  • I learned my way around the complex, short cuts, paths less traveled, etc., which I would end up putting to use sooner that anyone thought.  (Foreshadowing for a future post.)
  • Having to defend my grading of a "Meets Requirements" to a Portuguese guy who's friends all got "Exceeds Requirements" that other teachers were giving out like candy.  What can I say?  Even tweaking the scores a little didn't more the bar enough to matter.

    And you cried to my supervisor instead of asking me? 
    Oh HELL NO!

And that is the story of my one teaching experience.

And yes, I gamed the system and gave the bride-to-be from Seattle an "Exceeds".  Anybody who can handle that level of stress and not completely crack deserves it.


Things I'm Thankful For Thursday

Sass-Button-NEW-TIWT-5My good friend Sass over at Are You Sassified? host a weekly "Things I Want Thursday" (TWIT).  I have played along many times, and sometimes have on a time or two, put my own little spin on it.  And I am going to do that again today.  Being that it is Thanksgiving, here's a quick list of things I'm thankful for this year.

  1. I am thankful for Cora entering my life this year.  Yeah, that has to be listed first, because, seriously, she's completely rocked my world.  A year ago?  I pretty much had given up on ever getting married.
  2. I am thankful for all the people in the uniformed services who put their lives on the line to make sure that the people back home are safe.  (And yes, Shana, that includes Marissa's Sea Cadets.)
  3. I am thankful that in this economy that I still have a job.
  4. I am thankful for each and every follower, reader, lurker, commenter who visit my site.  I know I say that often, but I really mean it.  Many of you aren't just vague entities out there in cyberspace, but true friends.
  5. I am thankful for the pile of portable electronics that have entered my life since last Thanksgiving: My BlackBerry Bold, my Sony DSC-W290 digital point-n-shoot camera, and my Acer netbook.
  6. I am thankful for the time I will be spending in the airplanes and airports this weekend which will allow me to work on my Christmas cards.

What are you thankful for besides your family?


Getting In The Mood For Tomorrow

I know I posted this video last year.

I know everyone will be posting this video.

Don't care.  This is one of my favorite TV episodes of all time.

The entire episode is available on HULU.

Please, take the weekend to enjoy this time with family and friends.  I'll be off visiting Cora and her family in Seattle.  I won't be in blog world much, but I will have the robots post a couple little things if you need an excuse to get away for a minute or two.

Bizarro - Turkey Club


I Might Have A.D.D. But I Don't Have ADS

The following are my personal beliefs.  They apply only to me.  You may feel differently, and that's okay.  This is a topic where we may agree to disagree.

The other day, I got an unsolicited email in my GMAIL account asking me to put an add on my blog.  While I respect the approach taken, I will not be doing so.  Here is a redacted copy of the email (altered content in blue:
I was curious what it would take to get a text link on your blog saying something like “Tungsten Wedding Bands” or “Tungsten Wedding Rings” with a hyperlink to our site (www.X#X#X.com).  We are a relatively new company and we are currently trying to improve our page ranking on Google.  We operate on a small budget, and we would be more than willing to give you a tungsten ring from our site in exchange for a link.  Let me know if this would be something that you would be interested in.  Thanks for any help you can give us.
Thank You
Mr. X
Mr. X's
Wedding Rings

Who so ever holds the hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of BAN! As you can see, that is a perfectly fine request.  Not like the spammers who put \/|@8r@ (lordy, I hope that spelling hides that word from the Googles) ads in your comment thread.  [Man I want to unleash the power of the BAN HAMMER on their asses.  But, I have turned on comment moderation on all posts over 14 days, so I catch a lot of that before it makes it out.]  Any way…

I don't advertise.  I HATE wearing logoed clothing.  When I was running, if I wore a Nike shirt, I would be wearing Champion shorts, Reebok compression shorts, and New Balance shoes, just so I didn't look like a shill for the man.  (The occasional bit of "team apparel" is the exception to the rule.)

There are no ads over on my side bar.  There won't be.  I view it as an odd trust thing with you, my readers.  If you read a review of a product or service on this blog, you will know full well that:

  1. It is a product or service that I use / have used, and have a knowledgeable opinion about.
  2. I am in no way being compensated for the review.

I know, like my opinion matters in the great scheme of life or something, I know.  But I have always felt this way.

So, while I could score a wedding ring and save myself $70 - $90 bucks or so, it won't be happening.  While the rings on the site look nice, I cannot endorse a product that I have not used, nor can I take one for free and then endorse it.  It fails BOTH tests above.

That's just not how I roll. (It's not that I can't be bought, it's that my price is a bit higher than that.  If BMW wants an ad on my sidebar and would give me a new X6, I'd change my tune.  FAST!)

So, do I have a stick up my ass and need to get over myself?  How do you feel about ads on blogs?  Paid endorsement?  How much money would it take for you to change your mind? 


A Scope-Tech Christmas – Part 1

Christmas-Chimp With the economy the way it is, everyone can use a little help.  Even ol' St. Nick isn't immune tot he falling value of his investment portfolio.

After laying off the elves and selling off his reindeer for sausage (lordy I hop it wasn't the other way around), the not-so-jolly old elf turned to Scope-Tech for help.  Never one to turn down a magical being in distress, we were glad to assist.  And our squadrons of flying monkeys* could pull double duty in the toy factory and in pulling the sleigh.

While Santa and I hammered out the details, Scope-Tech's legions of flying monkeys (we mixed in a little Japanese Macaque DNA into the mix to help with the arctic adaptation) took over Santa's workshop to begin hammering out the toys.

Maybe we should have supervised them a little more carefully.  The monkeys have a "skewed" sense of humor (it's called "monkey business" for a reason) and put their own spin on some Christmas toys.

Here's a small sampling of what they started to make:

Original Item: Tickle Me Elmo
New Item:  Tackle Me Elmo
Notes: ala Cato from the "Pink Panther" movies, Tackle Me Elmo waits in ambush to waylay your unsuspecting child.

Original Item: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing CD-ROM
New Item:  Bill Clinton Teaches Congress – Sexual Congress
Notes: Besides learning why he is called "Slick Willie" there is a companion pop-up book with a special scratch-n-sniff section about blue dresses.

Original Item: My Little Pony
New Item:  My Little Ponzi
Notes: This is your parents $100,000 Pyramid, contestants plan and implement their own get rich quick confidence games.  Tension rises as the pot grows.  Will you bail out in time before your pyramid crumbles under it's own weight, or the feds shut you down?  It's "Make-off" or "Madoff" time.

Original Item: Transformers
New Item:  Trans-gender-formers
Notes: "More than meets the eye" in deed! These robots do not fall into the societal norms of "male / female", "good / evil", or "Flower Power VW microbus / unstoppable killing machine".  They can be used to teach your children acceptance and tolerance of all people, or to help explain why "Uncle Gene" is now "Aunt Jean".

As I run out of blogging ideas time permits, Scope-Tech will continue to bring you a sneak peek at what you may find under your Christmas tree, or in you stocking.

* Oh, if the whole "Flying Monkey" bit has you thrown off, either roll with it, or go back about a year to these posts: Flying Monkeys – Part Flying Monkeys – Part I, Flying Monkeys – Part II, Flying Monkeys – Part III, Flying Monkeys – Part IV, Flying Monkeys – Part V


TIWT – An Early Jump On Next Week

ThingsIWant Today is Thursday.  Next Thursday is Thanksgiving.  Next week, it's time to list what you're thankful for.  This week it's still okay to list what you you.  And as always, Sass is the hostess with the mostest (actually 15 lbs less of most, go girl!) Things I Want Thursday (TIWT).  So, what do I want this week?

1 – I want roasted turkey.


2- I want fresh cranberry sauce,


3 – I want stuffing / dressing.


4 – I want mashed potatoes and gravy.


5 – I want pumpkin pie.pumpkin_pie


And to be honest, I would trade it all for 2 things…

1 – I would take a cold turkey sandwich.


2 – I need my hot tomato.



Women Are The Root Of All EVIL

This is very old.  But I'm tired and I've got nothing to say, so I am dipping into the old Scope-Tech archives for the first time in forever to post this little mathematical proof that women (except my beautiful, smart, sweet, and charming fiancée, of course) are EVIL.

1)  Women require the expenditure of money over time.

 Women-WomanWomen-Equal Women-MoneyWomen-MultiplyWomen-Time

2)  It is a given that "time is money."


- Therefore:




3)  It is also a given that "money is the root of all EVIL."


- Therefore:


4)  Q.E.D. Women are EVIL.

Women-DevilWomen-Equal  Women-Evil


And the answer is…

I'm gonna go all Pon Farr on your ass, bitch. An ASCII picture of Spock!  Remember back when you could go to the county fair and get this or your face printed on a T-Shirt all done in ASCII characters?


Stupid young punks.

Anyway, THIS LINK will take you to the picture I used.

Live long and prosper.  Bitches.




Oh, those crazy kids...


Here's a puzzle…

ConfusedNo, my computer did not get hacked.  What appears below is exactly how I want it.

What is it?

You tell me.

First one to correctly answer will win a "No Prize."

Answer tomorrow.

Happy Friday.


""-"- ''''''''''''''''.;-/*O@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@8X";'::::::'';"/???/"--;-- '''::''''''':':':;/I@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@O=-;::':''';;-;---;;;;-- '''''''''''''''''O@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#I?''''''';;-";;;;;;;; ''''''''''''''-/N@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@8O";;;;;;;;;;;;;;;-- :'''''''''''"I@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@8+";;;;;;;;;----- '''''''''''"O@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@O*";;';;;;;----- ''''''''''-O@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#O?";;----"""" ''''''''-=@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@S/"-//??/""" ;'''''''$@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@S=/????/"-- ;'''''-I@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@NX+???/""-- '''''-X@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#X=??//""" '''''?N@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@UI??/"""" ''''/S@@@@@$*IIO8#ON@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@$N@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@S?"----- ''''/$@@@@#S*I$$88OON@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@NON@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@$="----- ::::/#@@NOZ@@@@@@$N8SOSN#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@##N@@@@@NN@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@**";-- ::::"$@@S*#@@@@@@@@@8OOSSN$@@@###@@@@##@$O$NNN@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@*";-- ::::/#@@OS@@@@@@@@@@@@@8OO=IOON$$8N@N$#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@S?''; ::::=@@@8$@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@N$8$S###$8@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@NI;'' ::::O@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@*;'' :::-N@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@O-'' ::'+@@@@@@#O/=8@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@8/;' ::'*@@@@@@NO/;-*?O=="OX@#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@N+;; :::S@@@@@@NO"'...::..:::.:.../;==8I$I=/OINO@*X=N8@N@####N#####@@@@@@@@@@@@@@S?" ::"O@@@@@@N*-'..........:....:.:.;'''::'';'"";;-""+/OXNN#N#####@@@@@@@@@@@@@8?- :-8@@@@@@@8?:;ISI':.....:...............'..'';-"-;""/=O8N@@@@##@@@@@@@@@@@@@X"; :-$@##@@@@S-:'"S$*I;;:'.........:.:...':::';;-';--/?*X$#@@@@@#N@@@@@@@@@@@@@O=- ::O@N$@@@#?..'-"-OO@N$NSS?/......'...::':'':--=IO$@@@@@@@@@#$###@@@@@@@@@@@@@@O ::I@@N@@@$-:;---""==$@@@$8O//;"....''.::'':=**NN@@@@@@@@@@##8N##@@@@@@@@@@@@@@$ ::'IN##@@X:.;?+?/++OSN#@@@@@@@S-:..'..-?OSNN@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@NO$##@@@@@@@@@@@@@N ;'..."S@N?.:;-?SN@@@@@@@@@@SS.... ..:-O@@#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#NS8#@@@@@@@@@@@@@#* I@$"..';+#@@O+@@@@@@@S" .... . "8@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#8S$@@@@@@@@@@@@@$? :::/S@#@#I..-/=+I$$@@@@@@@@@@$=.....''?ON##@@@@@@@@@@@@@#@@@#8O##@@@@@@@@@@@@@$ -+/ -'?N8; .:;+;::?==XX*+;; .... ..:"$@@@@@@@@@O?I@8ON@@@@#N$OX$@@@@@@@@@@@$- :;"+="/8X ..''...''";/'""; "O@@@@@@@S*?IOOOON@@@@@#NS*O@@@@@@@@@@#I.. ..;;'?I$? ...... ..'; -- .......'/O@@@@@@@?';-"/=**SO$SS8##$OX$@@@@@@@#"::' ..';::?N+ ..... ..'';-; ........::+$@@@@@@@I:'-"/=**SO$SS8##$OX$@@@@@@@#"::' ..'-'+$* . . ..';"-; ...... :/S######@@@='.'-"-"?+IIO8N#8OO8@@@@NN8=;::'' ..'-';-*S . . ';-' .... '+8#NN####@@O".:--"/??IIS$N#8OO$@@@@8$O?-''' ..';::-'I?... .....''' .... :?8@##NNNN@@NX-;;;;;-+*OO8NN@@@@@@@N8S+/"-'' .;;:"I;++::: ....'.:: .... :"S@@#N$N#@@#S/;''';"+*S8$N$@@@@@@@@#NO"?/-; .'; '"-'";''' :...... ...... .-O#@@NN8N@@@8+;;-'/X8888$N$@@@@@@@@#O?;;''' .'' .:;.';'.'':...... ..... .;XN@@@#N#@@@$I"--"*888$8$N$@@@@@@@@#O-::':: .:' . ::'':::'...... ... /='. .:=8@####N@@@@@8*?++*XO$N$N$$@@@@@@@@N*: .:.. .::'...;:'':::'...... ... *@@=;'?"S#@@@#N@@@@@@#O*I*S8$NNNNNN@@@@@@@@N?...:::.. :;'...;-':::.......... . .-/?;*#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@N$8#NN@#NNNN@@@@@@@@I..:::::.. :'-.:+S=':::....... .. . .::':'/@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@$N#N#N#NNN@@@@@@@X; .::::: :'+';-;'':... .. ..:-=O@@@@@#N#@@@#N$$$$8$8$$$$$ON##O" ...... ';'::..... :;: ...:'"/+SO@@@##N#@@NN$$$$888$$N$8S8$N? .. ./X8 '::......': . .::::';--;?XOO*OONNN#@#$$$88888$$N$8"/. .+NN# ;'::......:. :..:::::';;-+XOOOXXS8$N@#N$$8$$$88$$$$O' .*8##8 .. :;'::......:....:. . ... :"IOSOO88N$NNN$$$$$$$N$$$$* :X8NN@@@ ..... .';'::::...:..::. . ;'/.. .'*IOSSO$$NNNN#8$$$N$$$$N$$= .. '=$###@@@ ... ';':::...:-/X+SO@#@@@##$@@@@@8$88NNNNN#N$$$$$N$$$$8? 'O$O8$$#@@ . :;':::. .'/II*"O"+-?SX@N@@@@@@@#$NN#NN#N$$$$$$$N$88? -SOS8NN@@@ . '::::::'--::''''...:'''/?OO$$@@@@@@@@$$$$$$$$$8$$? "ISOO8#@@@@ . ':::''-;:::;/+X?*/+-??**O8NN#N#@@@@$$$$$$$88NN$? :S88S8N@@@@@.. ... . ;':::';;;;;-/?IOO#N@@@@@@@@#####@@8$N$N$$$8N##$= +@@#$#@@@@@@........... ...;-''''''';;"/??+*IX+XX$#@@@@#@##@@@$$NNNN$$N#@@NI. *@@@#@@@@@@@ ::::'''::::::::';--;';;;';;;;;;--//??*X8N@@@@@@@@@@@##NNN#@@@@#O; $#S=N@@@@@@@ :::::''''::::::';---;;';'''';':':;;-;"/**O8@N@#@@@@@##NN#@@@@@@8":=#$=;I#@@@@@@ . .. ......... ..;----;'::::::::';;';"/+II=+//O8NNN$@@@@@@@@@$**NSX". .++@@@@@ ................';;;"";':::'''';;--;;/??IX**IXON##N##@@@@@@@@#NXI#NS". ./@@@@@ . . ...........'-;---/+""-""/"////?+***XOOSON#N@@@@@@@@@@@@@#N8S@@@? .;8@N#N .............. ..';;;;;"?++/++I===I=XXOXXXSO$$#NN@@@@@@@@@@@@@##@#@@@8" .:I@$OO .. '?;''''''+8N8#$#N#N@N#$NN###N#@@@@@@@@@###@@@@@@@@@@@@O=''+XOO . . . -O/'::':';+S@@@@@@@@@@@@@###@@@@@@@@@@#N#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#O*-+OX ...?#S".:''';-?/8#8@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@$IIO . .. "N@S;.:'';-"=++/*8@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@OXO . .....-O@@#8/':'-""";;-"*O@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@N8$N$ . .. ..."8@@@@O*;;-"?"---?=O#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@N$N## .. . . ....=@@@@@@@@N@N@#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#@ . .. . ....=#@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@#@ ""//?/""I$@#+-""//?O@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ++??+?/+N@@O/"/????*N@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ....:.:::';-O$I-Z/8@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ :.::'';;--=O@O";-/O@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ++??+?/+N@@O/"/????*N@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


Who Am I?

ConfusedLike I was saying earlier in the week, I enjoy hearing from you all.  And as I wrap up this week long woolgathering session, I want to provide a quick little recap for newer followers, and maybe a little reminder to long-timers, too about who I am.

What's the deal with "Scope"? – That's a question that has puzzled the best doctors for years and years!  Seriously though, it's a nickname that I got in college, and have been using it as a pen name ever since.  See this POST for details.

Do people call you "Scope" in real life? – Many college people do, yes.  In real life, Cora calls me "Eric".

Cora recap?  I ran across Cora on Dr. Zibbs's blog when she mentioned telling a story about showering with nurses last December.  I went to her blog and left a flirty comment.  And then in January, we started flirting more.  February, it was email then phone calls.  March, the trip was planned for April.  In April we met.  May, June, July, August visits.  By July I was sure she was the one.  In August I planned the proposal (and it went exactly as planned).  September we went ring shopping.  October we got engaged.  The wedding will be next summer.  Oh, we talk for about an hour or so most nights on the phone, and I am not shy about telling her, "I love you."

My story?  I'm a 43 year old, engaged (never married / no kids) guy living on the north side of Chicago.I work in I.T. downtown. I never write about work, and you're lucky about that. I grew up on a farm 2.5 miles outside of a town of 250 people. A few years back, I spent 53 weeks unemployed. I have high blood: sugar, pressure, cholesterol.  All controlled by oral meds. I have run 2 marathons in my life, but right now, a 1/2 mile would cripple me. I apologize to anyone who was offended by the word "cripple" back there, but I think that I should be able to use that word as a verb.

For more info, please see the following posts:

Favorite posts?  That's like picking your favorite child.  Oh, parents have them, they just don't like to admit it out loud.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little recap, and if you are bored at work, or over the weekend, I encourage you to maybe check out some of those old posts.  If it's the first time you've read it, then it's new to you, right?


What A Difference A Year Makes


The modern "First Anniversary" gift is clocks.  Very appropriate.  On my one year anniversary of blogging, it's a good chance to look back and see what a difference a year makes:




Morning routine Read 2 or 3 blogs.
Read 52 cartoons on computer.
Read 4 or 5 blogs.
Play on Facebook.
No cartoons.
"Online people" Teased my mother about visiting people she's met while playing Yahoo bridge. I hopped on an airplane to meet face-to-face someone I met online.  And now she's my fiancée!
Trips to Midway airport in the prior year 1 to pick up MFF on her 4th of July visit. 8 total.
1 to visit MFF
3 to fly to Seattle
4 to pick up Cora
Thoughts on the future. Had reconciled with the fact that I probably was going to be single the rest of my life, and had made my peace with it. Infinite possibilities as I enjoy my new life with Cora.  (Enjoyed dated.  Enjoying being engaged.  Will enjoy the marriage daily.)
Use for Coke caps. Gave to co-worker that I DON'T really like. Mailed to Jan @ Struck by Serendipity, who I DO like.
People I know with Dec. 22 birthdays.



Teammates at work who know what they're doing



Connection to Washington College recruitment brochures from the University of Puget Sound.  "How Does Puget Sound?" Will be getting married there.

A year ago, I had dipped my toe into blog world and after about 2 months, decided to jump in with this blog.  Little did I know the surprises that were in store for me.

The memories I would relive.

The friends I would make.  Not "blog friends" just "friends".


Happy Blogiversary!

Today is the first year anniversary of Scope-Tech out here in the blog-o-sphere.  So, all week I will be celebrating the year that was on the blog and in my life.  For those of you who have been around since the start (Candy & Gwen commented on my first post, the iNDefatigable mjenks came in on my second post) this may be a trip down memory lane.  For those of you fairly new, like my most recent followers (Savvy, Tami G, and JenJen) or to people stopping by for the first time, this week may provide a little insight into the ways of Scope.

Raise-A-Toast So, let's raise a glass and toast Scope-Tech's 1 year anniversary, and remember 2 important rules of blogging:

1) If you need to pad out a post, give 'em a video.

2) Weekends are dead in the blog world, so unless it's a Super Bowl Sunday post, don't post your good stuff on the weekend.

See you tomorrow for more anniversary celebrations.


Visiting My Uncle's Place

UJ-SIGNA couple of weeks back, I stopped by my uncle's place.  Uncle Julio's Hacienda.  I needed to go back to the old neighborhood to swing by Victoria's Secret to pick up Sass's gift card.  As I was walking by on my way back to the "L", the smell of this restaurant pulled me in.  It was the smell of steak fajitas.  I think they pump it into the air to get you.UJ-FrontWhile a chain, Uncle Julio's isn't that wide spread, so it has the feeling of a upscale local joint, rather than Chi-Chi's.  As you can see, there's plenty of color and neon both inside and out.UJ-Inside But the decor is not the start of the show.  The food and drink are.


The first item to come out was my margarita.  It's called a "swirl" because it's layers of regular frozen and frozen strawberry margaritas.  It is their signature drink.

For a reason.

Man is it good.

While it goes down smoooooth, I stuck to only one.  But man, a second one would have been awesome.

UJ-ChipsThe chips and salsa come out next.

The salsa is nice and spicy, but I wish it was a little thicker.

But the chips?  Oh, my, the chips.  They are the thinnest little wafers of corn and grease and salt that you have ever had the pleasure of tasting.  They are simply divine. UJ-FOODThen comes the fajitas.   Sizzling seasoned steak, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, and grilled onions.  Yummy.  But what's hiding under that napkin?  Fresh made, soft, flour tortillas.  They are made on "The Machine", which, if you ask any kid under 14 or man over 30, is the best thing in the joint.UJ-MACHINE An automated tortilla maker.  It's like a Rube Goldberg device. Except not.  It isn't over engineer and overly complicated.  In fact, it is simple in it's complexity.  Elegant in it's cogs and wheels, and spinning bits.

Lumps of dough goes in, gets flattened, cooked, flipped, cooked, flipped, and then conveyed into a basket.  And if you ask nice, they may give you a wad of dough to play with.

Uncle Julio, has never done me wrong yet.