2010-03-31

It's Like A Sign Or Something…

I guess the Universe thought "Corascope" was too long of a name or something.

SCOPA

Friday was a great day.

We dropped Gwen off at school and then hung out for a while before heading down to Ivar's on Lake Washington.  As we pulled in, I saw this railroad sign and knew I had to get a picture of it.

A few more errands, and it was time to get Gwen from school.  We headed to Best Buy to try to register for our wedding.  Did you know that Best Buy doesn't HAVE a wedding registry?  Nope.  You can make a "Wish List" on line, which would be kind of the same, except you can only put one name on it.  Therefore, it's not really the same at all.  I mean, seriously.  This is 2010, right?  You would think a national retail chain that sells information technology would have a little bit of a clue.

Anyway, after getting ideas for our my "Wish List", the family & I went to Cold Stone.  That's right, we were the good parents, feeding our kid ice cream BEFORE dinner.  But sometimes the wrong thing is the right thing, and the right thing is the wrong thing.

2010-03-30

Thursday's Air-Rage

Anger I woke up Thursday in a grumpy mood.

And the day didn't really try to make things better.  I should have been happy.  I was flying out to see my fiancĂ©e Cora.  It had been a while since I'd see her.  So I should have been in a GOOD MOOD, if you know what I mean.

I wasn't.

  • I was running late.
  • As I was locking the door, I had to run back in and turn off some lights that I missed.
  • I got half way to the train station when I realized that I didn't have my BlackBerry.  Not good when you are on call AND heading out of town.
  • I was on the train into the office when I realized that I'd forgotten my future daughter's Easter basket.
  • Work was work.
  • On the way to the airport, I didn't get the trains right, so I go to the airport at 5:45 for my 6:45 flight.
  • All the moving walkways heading my way were broken.
  • I go to the gate at 6:20, so needed to go somewhere quick to get a bite for dinner.  Went to Miller's Pub for a quick sandwich, but the lady in front of me was ordering for an army, and was asking questions about every menu item.  After 2 minutes, I bolt.
  • Thank GOD for McDonald's somewhat speedy service.

Finally, they boarded the plane.  We were a little late, but I was off to see my lady love.  Eventually.  So, if any of you were checking out my Facebook status on Thursday, you would have read the following:

facebook-iconMarch 25 at 7:19 pm - Stuck on the plane waiting for the final 3 passengers to show up and make their connection. This is not helping!

March 25 at 7:44 pm - Still effin' sitting here an hour after we were supposed to depart.

March 25 at 8:05 pm - I don't give a damn about their luggage. If it takes you 40 minutes to move it from one aircraft to another, just assume it's lost and get it to them in the morning. It will be FREAINING MORNING ANYWAY by the time you roll us on to the runway.

March 25 at 8:20 pm - Has decided "cleared for takeoff" means something different to SW than it does to me.

March 26 at 12:27 am - And the beat goes on. We've landed, but no gate, so we are sitting out on the runway. It's "The Flight that Wouldn't END!". :-)

March 26 at 12:37 am - Now I'm expecting my checked bag to have gone to Orlando.


I was sitting on the plane, and had just ranted about "the flight that wouldn't end" when the phone rang.  It was Cora.  I think she was wondering if I got lost.  Nope, just being held hostage.

But the funny thing was this.  The instant I set eyes on her, standing just beyond the security gate?

It was all worth it. 

And then some.

2010-03-26

Say WHAT?

The other day, I went into Elephant & Castle, a  chain of faux English pubs.  Instead of waiting for a table, I chose to sit at the bar.

The server behind the bar brought me my diet Coke and the prepared to take my order.

"I'll have a barbeque burger and a side Confusedof French onion soup.  And can I swap onion rings for the fries?*"

"Sure," said the waitress, "how do you want that burger cooked?"

"Medium well, but hold the onions.  I don't like onions."

It took her brain a good 3 seconds to start leaking out of her ear.


* I gave up fries for Lent.

2010-03-24

I've Been Itching To Tell You..

Eucerin


If you have a "dry skin" issue, please try Eucerin's Calming Creme.

That shit's the BALM!  :-)

Oh, sure, boo the bad pun.

And every time I hear the word,
"balm", I can't help but think of one of my favorite Who songs; Athena!




2010-03-22

Look What I Bought!

A litte cock sucker

It's a little cock sucker!

2010-03-19

Poissoning Myself

I'm not much of a cook, really. I know. ||_|

But, I'm Catholic, it's Lent, and I've given up eating dinner alone in restaurants for Lent, so I've got to figure out a way to do fish.

  • I've had my tuna salad sandwiches.
  • I've had my fish sticks.
  • I've had my smoked salmon that I just needed to heat up.

Face facts: it's time to cook.

I'd picked up some individually vacuum packed tilapia fillets at Dominick's (Safeway) the other day, so this morning (Friday), I moved two of those buggers up to the fridge to thaw.

Over my lunch hour, I Googled a recipe, and came up with THIS ONE on RecipeZaar: Tangy Pan Fried Tilapia.

It had every thing I was looking for:

  • Easy – I don't cook much. Baby steps here.
  • Easy – Don't give me 300 ingredients all from obscure 3 world countries that I cannot find locally.
  • Easy – I don't want to dirty every utensil I own making the damn thing.

Tilapia-01
Tangy Pan Fried Tilapia

(modified slightly from the original)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tilapia fillets
  • 1 cup Progresso Italian Style Bread Crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons Inglehoffer's Traditional Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

    Tools

  • Large non-stick frying pan.
  • Kitchen tongs.
  • Large flat bowl for bread crumbs
  • Plate to hold fillets before cooking
  • Fork to spread mustard on fillets
  • 1 cup dry measure
  • 1 cup liquid measure

    Directions

    1. Remove fillets from plastic
    2. Coat tilapia fillets in Dijon mustard.
    3. Dip in bread crumbs to coat.
    4. Heat oil in skillet on med / high
    5. Pan fry fillets about 2 – 3 minutes per side. Flip only once
    6. Remove from pan
    7. Salt & Pepper to taste.

    Review

    Not bad. A solid B. I wouldn't know tilapia from orange roughy* if it bit me on the ass, but for my first stab at it, I certainly didn't poisson** myself. I matched it with a little green salad and a glass of rosé, and had a nice meal.

    Tilapia-02

    As a mustard lover, I was surprised that I could only detect the slightest hint of mustard. Maybe I should have gone with a zestier mustard? Next time I will probably add some cayanne pepper in with the bread crumbs and a dash or two of Frank Red Hot afterwards to spice it up.

    And since I'm a blogger, and this is what we do, here's a video without creepy animated people…
  • * "Orange Roughy" always makes me think of the description of a painful and shocking poop. Like you see someone come walking out of the bathroom all ginger like, and they say, "Orange Roughy" as way of explanation. And now you will have that association in your head for the rest of your natural life, too!

    ** It's a French joke!
    MJenks isn't the only one who can make language jokes! "Poisson" = "Fish" and "Poison" = "Something deadly you ingest."

    2010-03-18

    Followers – The Movie!

    It's time for a little blog-keeping here at Scope-Tech.  And that mean thanking my newest followers.  Which I have to do in movie form, since I'm freakin' ADDICTED to making these damn things.*

    I can't get text overlays or links into the video, so here they are again, in printed form.

    Stylez Stylez
    @ Living The Dream Blog
    Tara WrightTara Wright
    @ Bite The Bed Bugs
    Kathryn Kathryn NoPictureDark65

    CubsLDoit

    ChakkaChaka
    Chaka's World
    NoPictureDark65

    Jaime Kunzer

    Once again, this blog would be nothing without you; the eyes that read the drivel I write, that sometimes watch the videos I make, and occasionally even comment.

    * And "No" I don't plan on stopping any time soon.  Slowing down?  Yes.  Stopping?  No.

    2010-03-16

    Tech-Tuesday – Busting and Breaking Bricks

    I've been in the brick busting and breaking business for a very long time.  Roughly 30 years.

    microvisionI started out on my Milton Bradley Microvision and the Block Buster cartridge that came with it.  (I would eventually have Bowling, Connect Four, and Sea Duel, too.)  I played this came CONSTANTLY.  I learned how it played.  I got better, and I was finally able to wrap the score over 999 (it was 1979 or 1980 – computing power was limited) on a single life.  And with that, my block busting career came mostly to an end.  For a while.

    Then I got my first BlackBerry, and found Brick Breaker.  Hell yes, the King is Back.  For those of you who have never played, the goal is to use a paddle to bounce a ball off of of bricks, clearing the wall and then moving to the next level.  Some levels are easy, some diabolical.  Some offer a ton of power-ups (free lives, lasers, guns, etc.).  Some offer none.

    Thru 3 different models, the game got better.  My game got better, too.  Recently I got to 33,950 and ALMOST cleared the round of 34 levels for the second time.  The second round is rough, because right off the bat, the ball starts off at high speed, and the bricks start advancing toward you every time you hit the ball.

    BlackBerryYesterday, I blasted thru the second round, and got to the third round and something odd happened.  While the bricks started advancing toward you, the ball doesn't speed up.  How could the third round be EASIER than the second?  And same thing with the 4th round (shown above as "3x").  I have since rolled past 77,000 and am still going strong.  I've read on-line that that's it.  The rounds don't get more difficult, and the levels just repeat over and over again.

    I think I'll roll it up to 100,000 and then just waste my lives, lock in that as the high score, and go into semi retirement.

    And start playing Word Mole again.  ;-)

    2010-03-15

    Excitement @ Menard's

    Yesterday, I had the need to go into Menards.  (Like 'Home Depot' but 2/3 the size).  As a condo owning CITY GUY, my need for tools and skill / knowledge of their use is somewhat limited.  As a GUY, I love when I get the chance to go in there.

    I had a nail head in my hardwood floors that had come up, so I needed a nail set to help me drive the sucker back down down.  Per usual, I bought one that was better than what I needed.  1 for $3.00 when I could have gotten a set of 3 for $2.00. But it's Stanley, the others were some unknown brand.

    And since you can't just buy the thing you went in for, I also bought a small level to help me hang pictures when Cora & Gwen move in, and a pair of kevlar gloves with foam nitrile coated palms for picking up trash outside the condo building.  (See LINK for picture.)

    I must have been pretty excited, because in the checkout line, I even got a Lil Chub…

    Lil'-ChubOh, thank you, Jack Link's, for not only messing with Sasquatch, but for naming one of your processed smoked meat products "Lil' Chub".

    2010-03-13

    And Now, A Word About Daylight Saving Time…

    And that's all I have to say about that.

    2010-03-12

    Friday Quickie – Going Dutch

    Was scanning Yahoo! News – Oddly Enough - Reuters when I ran across THIS story.  Since I know you aren't going to click the link:


    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A union representing Dutch nurses will launch a national campaign Friday against demands for sexual services by patients who claim it should be part of their standard care.

    The union, NU'91, is calling the campaign "I Draw The Line Here," with an advert that features a young woman covering her face with crossed hands.

    The union said in a statement Thursday that the campaign follows a complaint it had received in the last week from a 24-year-old woman who said a 42-year-old disabled man asked her to provide sexual services as part of his care at home.

    The young woman witnessed some of the man's other nurses offering him sexual gratification, the union said. When she refused to do the same, he tried to dismiss her on the grounds that she was unfit to provide care.

    "This type of action is not part of the job responsibilities of carers and nurses," NU'91 said.

    The case has been reported to police, the union added.


    Oh, the mind boggles!

    • I thought "going Dutch" meant you WEREN'T going to get laid!
    • I guess she wasn't the "head nurse"
    • Hey Obama!  Is this in OUR healthcare bill!
    • Come on, Nursie.  I want to see your "Netherlands"!
    • How 'bout we warm up that old "thermometer" first?
    • What's the co-pay on a "handsie"?

    2010-03-11

    I'm cummings! I'm cummings! I'm CUMMINGS!

    The weather has started to turn, and that puts me to thinking about one of my favorite e e cummings poems.

    Here are three takes on the poem: in Just-

    Firstly: In text form


    in Just-

    spring       when the world is mud-
    luscious the little
    lame balloonman

    whistles       far       and wee

    and eddieandbill come
    running from marbles and
    piracies and it's
    spring

    when the world is puddle-wonderful

    the queer
    old balloonman whistles
    far       and       wee
    and bettyandisbel come dancing

    from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

    it's
    spring
    and
         the

                 goat-footed

    balloonMan       whistles
    far
    and
    wee
     


    Secondly: A dramatic reading by the poet himself


    Thirdly: A little nugget from the mind of Scope.  You've been warned, but you're gonna click click it, you know you are.

    2010-03-09

    Tech Tuesday: Who's On First

    Ladies and gentlemen, you are such a wonderful crowd, we'd like to play a little bit for you. It's one of my personal favorites and I'd like to dedicate it to a young woman who doesn't think she's seen anything good today - Gwen, this one's for you.

    Game on!

    2010-03-08

    Lost and Found….

    Or why I don't carry my train pass in my wallet.

    [A while back, I mentioned that I don't carry my train pass in my wallet, and that I keep a spare $20 in with the train pass.  This is why.]

    It was the summer of '88.  End of July.  A hot time in the old town.  I was freshly graduate from college and had just moved up to "The Big City".  I was only a couple weeks into my first job.  I hadn't even gotten my first paycheck.  So I was broke.

    Back in those days, "Business Casual" didn't exist.  I was still in training at my job, wearing "summer wool" suits and sweating buckets in the blistering sun as old men in three piece suits, smoking cigars, strode past me, cool as the underside of the pillow.

    I rode Metra to work every day.  Real trains.  Real conductors.  You have to have your ticket out and on display for the whole ride.  I was using a "10 ride".  A slip of hard paper about the size of a credit card that had to be physically punched by the conductor each time, and it easily fit into the credit card slot in my wallet.

    I woke up one morning and couldn't find my wallet.  Gone!  It wasn't in the suit I wore the night before.  Or the pants I wore that previous night.  It wasn't in my briefcase.  It was nowhere.

    No wallet.  No cash.  No ID.  No train pass.  No hope.

    Luckily, the Metra ticket agent My wallet looked a little like the blue onetook my check without ID for buying a replacement 10 ride.  But I knew no one would cash my check without ID downtown.

    Being too embarrassed to ask any of my fellow trainees for some money for lunch, I hatched a plan.  I knew one person who worked downtown, over at the Lyric Opera.  I didn't know Ron well, but we had some mutual college friends, and everyone at Mac Knew everyone.  I would bum $5 from Ron.

    Oh, those glorious pre-911 days when you could walk into an office building, stumble around, find a office, and have someone track down the guy you were looking for.  And Ron lent me the $5 without batting an eye.

    I'm not sure anymore where I came up with the $20 to live on and repay Ron with that next day.  I know my brother-in-law, Doug, wired me $50 into my bank account up here.  On day 2 without the wallet, I stopped in at Metra's lost and found.  Nothing.  So, I called and canceled the charge cards (Sears' & Penny's, I think) and got a replacement driver's license.  On the way home, still no luck at lost and found.  Or on the morning of day 3, either.

    Giving it up for lost, I was surprised when the floor receptionist handed me a note that morning (pre-voice mail): My wallet had been found and was at lost and found!

    As best as I can figure, I must have put my train pass in my wallet, and then when I went to put my wallet in my suit coat's inner pocket, I missed and it fell to the floor.

    And that, dear friends, is why I never carry my train pass in my wallet.  And to Ron, we may never have been "good friends" but you were a "great friend" when I needed one.

    So, if you're wondering if people remember that act of kindness from forever ago?  In this case, the answer is, "yes."

    2010-03-05

    Skills? This Man Laughs At Your Skills!

    I stole this from my friends at Gizmodo.

    The action really gets going around the 2:30 mark.

    And remember his video next time you feel pride in assembling that coffee table from IKEA. This man's shadow blankets you in the cold darkness of shame.

    Enjoy the video and have a great weekend!

    2010-03-03

    I Am (not) The Stig

    Stig-Tshirt

    A apology. If you're not a fan of the BBC automotive series "Top Gear", this post may not mean a whole lot to you.

    But please read it anyway.

    The Stig is the show's tame racing driver.  The Stig does not speak.  The Stig never appears out of uniform.  The Stig just drives.  Fast.  And sometimes participates in the challenges as the 'Ace' that sets the mark for the other hosts to beat.

    And I am (not) the Stig.  And I will prove it.

          The Scope

    vs.

         The Stig

    Scope-Helmet   Stig

    The Stig – Wears a helmet to protect his head while racing cars.

    The Scope – Wears a helmet because he is sometimes a danger to himself and to others.


    The Stig – Wears a white Nomex racing suit to protect him from a fiery crash.

    The Scope – Wear protection around a "fire crotch".


    The Stig – Once raced across London vs. men in a car, on a bike, and on a boat.  He used public transportation and finished 3rd.  (Series 10, Episode 05)

    The Scope – Once raced down the Thames embankment looking for a pay toilet.  He won that race.


    The Stig – Has a fat American cousin.

    The Scope – Is a fat American.


    The Stig – Drives fancy, exotic cars all over the world ever week.

    The Scope – Drives a PT Cruiser around Chicago on weekends.


    The Stig – Some say he was the inspiration for the design of the Stormtroopers in Star Wars.

    The Scope – Has never been accused of inspiring any sort of fashion statement.


    The Stig – Next winter, the Stig will be kept warm at night, snuggling up to a engine block heater in England.

    The Scope – Next winter will be kept warm by his own British Thermal Unit.


    As you can tell, I am (not) the Stig.  Yeah, I can live with that.

    2010-03-02

    2010 Winter Olympics – Part 2

    Olympic_Rings I seriously thought I would be blogging about the Olympics a lot more than I did.  I watched a good bit of it, but Cora's visit in the middle of them, umm, distracted me a little.

    So, before they fade from memory, I thought I would wrap up some final thoughts.


    Short Track Speed Skating:  Every time I heard the name of two time silver medalist Lee Ho-Suk of South Korea's name, I thought:  Warren Zevon  - Werewolves of London.

    I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand


    Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain.
    He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's
    Going to get himself a big dish of beef chow mein.


    Bobsled:  Steven Holcomb's bobsled "Night Train" ended a 62 year drought in US medals in the sport.  But I couldn't help but think that Steve looked like a good ol' boy who had probably enjoyed a little "Night Train" in his life.

    Olympics-Night-Train


    Two Man Luge:  You'd think the guy on the bottom would be
    "the driver."  Seriously.

    Olympics-Two-Man-Luge


    Closing Ceremonies:  Catriona Le May Doan, who got JOBBED at the opening ceremony, lit the cauldron, solo.  Class move.

    AND SHATNER!


    Hockey: I become interested in hockey every 4 years.  I remember watching the "Miracle on Ice" game as one of my earliest hockey memories.  While I would have loved to see the US win gold, as a "Canadian-American", I can live with the results.


    Johnny Weir: Lord all-mighty!  Going with Rockin The Tassel"Johnny Weird" would be too easy.  While I didn't watch a whole lot of figure skating, I did hear him utter the phrase "rock the tassel".  Seriously?  "Rock the tassel"?

    I don't care what his or anyone's sexual orientation is (except Cora's), there's something seriously wrong with going out of your way to take an old tired stereotype of the effeminate male figure skater, and saying, "Screw 11, I cranking it to 17!"

    I mean, I hear after his short program, Adam Lambert called him up and said, "Dude, butch it up a little."

    2010-03-01

    A Close Shave

    Wedding pictures.

    Everyone wants to look good in their wedding photos. While in person, my hair is fairly thick, and the van Dyke was pretty full, the way flash photography plays with the grey hairs make me look a bit "follically challenged".

    See. Scruffy.

    Shave-01

    So I decided it was time to take it off. To take it all off…

    Shave-02 And as a blogger, I had to video it, right?

    * Note: I have since done the math, and I've had the van Dyke since November 2007, not October 2008. I wouldn't want to mislead you in the video by spreading falsehoods.