Don't Let It Get Me

Last Thursday, Beckeye over @ The Pop Eye ran THIS POST featuring Sparks.  That jogged my memory to think of the only other Sparks song that I knew:

'Eaten By The Monster Of Love' from the 'Valley Girl' soundtrack.

And while I have the MP3 on my computer, I went out to see if there was ever a video for it.  While on YouTube, I did find the movie scene that it was in [LINK] , but even better, I found this bit of homemade awesomeness.

What kills me, is that the production values here aren't that far off from early MTV.

And the 'Monster of Love' haunts the bathroom.  YES!

Love is in the air around here.  As you can see, the countdown timer that at one time was over 100 is now saying something about 5 days and 9 hours.  (FYI – It's counting down to 4:00 Saturday, July 3 (wedding start time) based on your LOCAL time, not Pacific Daylight Time.  Please adjust your math accordingly.)  I fly out on Tuesday night for the celebrations, so don't expect to see me floating around blog world too much for the next few weeks.  I'm certain that I will do a photo-post or two while my (by then WIFE) Cora is doing her hair in the morning, but I will catch up and catch you up when I return from the honeymoon.

Also, 'No', I won't be one of those jackasses who altar alters their Facebook status.

Have a great week, hombres.  I know I will.



I know what you're thinking, "Scope, the blog looks great. What are you talking about, 'EPIC FAIL'?"

Well, let me tell you a story.

I've been thinking about redoing the blog layout / template for a while. The biggest issue I had with it is that the main body of the blog was too small. At only about 400 pixels wide, I felt that I was having to shrink a lot of pictures down a little more than I wanted to make them fit. And coming up VERY soon, I will be posting a 'shit-tonne' of pictures. (It's a technical term. A 'shit-tonne' is a metric unit equal to 1000 kiloshits. It is roughly 10% greater than a standard U.S. 'shit-ton'. SCOPE-TECH – 10% bonus shit!) And, I wanted to get rid of the rounded box behind my header graphic, because I was always overlapping the stupid thing and it was pissing me off.

Also, enter a new phase in my life, why not throw a new coat of paint on the old site while I'm at it, right?

So, Friday night, I take the blog private, and redo the template with some snazzy ones Blogger is offering now. But, being smarter than the average bear (but within one standard deviation of the mean, I ain't not URSA GENIUS or anything) I took a back up of my current template, just in case things went 'tits-up' (it's a technical term).

Things went tits-up.

Things went Dolly Parton-esque TITS-UP!

Everything is looking good, Saturday, I decide to do the final step, and download my new design into Windows Live Writer (WLW) so that I can do the WYSIWYG (it's a technical term) editing that I have grown fond of. As I'm sure you've noticed, I tend to have a lot of graphics, and layout is somewhat important to me. So, I click to "Refresh Theme" button and…


I fought and struggled and struggled and fought for about an hour and a half. No luck.

So, in shame, I restored the old template from the backup, re-installed WLW, and went to download my original template BACK into WLW.

Oh sweet biscuits, it did so NOT just do this to me. Now I've lost all my changes, because I forgot the backup this time! :-(, and WLW was still making me type in the "no template" state. My degree of "Anti-Happy" is astonishing. Well, since WLW is as fucked as a 'football bat' (it's a technical term), might as well redo all the changes, so that at least the blog looks nice for you people. And then I found on a support blog site that I am not the only person in this boat. WLW may be on the case. We'll see. Hopefully they don't pull some, "You need to upgrade to Windows 7" line of 'mumbo jumbo' (it's a technical term).

So, the blog is back up, but I feel like I'm publishing a little blind here, so forgive me if things look a little off while I sort through this mess.

Now, off to clean the bathroom. I can't see what could possibly go wrong with that.


Closed For Remodeling: Will Return Monday

Hey folks, taking the blog private while I work on the layout a little. It will be back at least by Monday.



My "Bachelor Party"

I hinted the other day that I went to my bachelor party on Sunday. Well, that's not exactly right. It was a BBQ at a friend's house. And it was in no way about my bachelorhood. But it's the closest I'm gonna get, and I'm okay with that.

So, Sunday I went over to to a cook out at my buddies, Howard & KC's place. KC's childhood friend, Kelly & her husband, Chuck. (Howard and I used to work together, and now have basically the same job at different companies. KC is the ex-roommate of an ex-co-worker. They met @ my housewarming party.) I've known everybody here for 5 or 6 years.

After a couple strong rum and 7up's the pork burgers hit the grill.

The happy couple

We hung out on the back deck for a while, talking, laughing, and having a good time. And 'Yes', that's a Cabbage Patch doll.


Then, it became time to make for S'mores. They had the largest marshmallows I had ever seen. They were the size of a Kelly's fist!

Getting toasted.

And not all the marshmallows made it into the S'mores.

Open wide and say, "Ahhhh"After calming down from the sugar rush, we broke out the game of 'Encore'. The basic gist of the game is that you split into teams (girls vs. guys) and then you roll a die and move around a board. Based on the color you land on, you draw a card and get a word off it. Then, the teams take turns going back and forth singing a song with the word in it until one team is stumped.

Eventually, I needed to go home, so we did a "lightening round" and the gals won.

Hanging out with good friends, good laughs, good times. Isn't that what a bachelor party is supposed to be?

Note: Over the weekend, I will probably be taking SCOPE-TECH private for a day or so. DON'T PANIC! While I am busy getting my physical house ready for my new life, I'm going to take some breaks and redesign the blog, too.

Nothing too radical, but while I'm moving things around, I'd rather not have people see it all messy.

Gotta get the place looking nice for all those wedding pictures I'll be posting soon.


They Must Count Differently In Africa..

I was walking to my "Bachelor Party" Sunday afternoon, and I saw this truck parked on the side of the road.

Grace-African-01Upon closer inspection, it was for Grace African, Chicago's only Five Star African Restaurant.

Grace-African-02 They must count differently in Africa. I only see one star.


Summer's Here

Summer-Time-Animated Summer time: 97% more fun than "Hammer time."

[Note 1: Sorry I haven't posted a lot with any real meat recently. That's probably why the followers are dropping like flies around here. There may not be a whole lot of meat in the run up to the wedding, either. It's not a content issue, it's a time issue*. But I promise we won't leave you hanging when it comes to the wedding.

Now get outside and enjoy! It's summer, my beaches!]

[Note 2: Special thanks to Lisa for the graphic font used in the GIF.]

* You ask - "If you're short on time, why did you spend so much of it making that animated GIF up there?" I respond - "Hush!" ;-)


Lego My Ego

As I'm sure you all know, or at least suspected, I loved Lego as a kid. I would sit and rattle those plastic bits around in a giant tub looking for the right one to make whatever object I was attempting to fashion. I even had some of the early motor and geared sets.

But even then, this was beyond my imagination.
And today, it is still beyond my comprehension.

This is cooler than a monkey sword fight.

Watching this, I would love to see them animate a monkey sword fight in Lego.

From my friends @ GIZMODO. They do more than piss off Apple.


Wednesday Morning Latin Lesson

I figure since I'm modeling my whole life after the Great Mr. Jenks (same birthday, marrying a hot red-head, did a post on blowing stuff up, etc.) I might as well continue my S.W.F. string, and give all ya'll a little Latin lesson, too.

The other day at work, I was trying determine the proper physical office to assign people, based on where they lived. I know, terribly exciting, but part of my job is cleaning up other people's garbage. In doing so, I ran across the country abbreviation 'CHE'. "Wow! That's a big honor for that guy from all those T-Shirts, " I thought.

Then I did what we always do when we have a question: Ask the Google gods.


Turns out, 'CHE' is the ISO country code for Switzerland. I know, go figure. And 'no' it doesn't stand for 'CHEese', either. Turns out, their official country name is the Swiss Confederation or Confœderatio Helvetica in Latin. Hence 'CHE'.

And I thought, "Damn, those people are PASSIONATE about their fonts."

Yeah, I'm special that way.

The type font of this blog post is NOT Helvetica. It is 'Arial', Helvetica's slutty sister. Normally I use 'Trebuchet MS', although in my personal life, I have started using 'Century Gothic' a lot more, because in theory it saves about 30% on ink.

Hey, the blog is called 'SCOPE-TECH' after all.


This Doesn't Look Good

I know I'm not the best proof reader in the world.

I know my blog posts are often rife with typos, and poor grammar.

But then, I'm not getting paid for this. I don't have a copy editor. This isn't my job. There's no money on the line.

Unlike these jokers:

Worlds-Money-Exchange I saw this sign on the L as I was heading to the airport to see Cora last time. And it seriously pissed me off. Sorry it's so grainy. I had to use my CrapBerry camera, so I have reproduced the text below.

Foreign Currency, Foreign Checks,
Foreign Money Orders, Foreign
Travelers Checks, Foreign
Wire Transfers, etc.

Okay, I get that you want to have the words form a triangle, but Lord Almighty, word wrap properly. Without reordering the lines, or playing with font sizes or letter spacing, you can do this:

Foreign Currency, Foreign Checks,
Foreign Money Orders,
Foreign Travelers Checks,
Foreign Wire Transfers, etc.

I think that is a bit cleaner and clearer.

Euros, Canadian Dollars, Swiss Francs,
England Pounds, Japanese Yen, Australian
Dollars, Mexican Pesos, Denmark, Norway, &
Swedish Kroners, Hong Kong Dollars,
Chinese Yuan, South Africa Rand & Many More

This one gave me HIVES! Seriously? I'm not going to get into the fact that in Sweden, they are 'kronor' not 'kroner', but we use something close to the proper names, with the country ADVERB in the name? And 'England Pounds'

Euros, Canadian Dollars, Swiss Francs,
British Pounds, Japanese Yen, Australian
Dollars, Mexican Pesos, Danish, Norwegian, &
Swedish Kroners, Hong Kong Dollars,
Chinese Yuan, South African Rand & Many More

Listen people, when you take your sign to the printers, please have someone with a passing knowledge of the English language proofread your text.



My LAST Visit With My Fiancée

"Last" = Most recent.
"Last" = Final.
While not my "last visit to Seattle" nor the "last time my fiancée will pick me up from the airport", this is the last time I will be visiting Cora out in Seattle as "my fiancée."  My next flight out there will not me a visit.  At 2.5 weeks away, it will be for our wedding.
So we had to get some important things done while I was out there. Iron-Horse-01Very near Cora's house, this guy has a little pasture right in the middle of the suburbs.  In the pasture is a mule, a goat, and a horse.  You'll notice that there are no front supports.  That  dude must have a lot of junk in it's trunk.  I've driven by that thing a couple of times EVERY SINGLE TRIP, but this is the first time I've gotten around to stopping for pictures.
Cora and I then did a little shopping…
No, not at the 40 cent store, silly.  Next to it a Vince's Italian Restaurant.
Vince's Our "rehearsal dinner" is going to more of a "pre-reception" where everyone attending the wedding is welcome to show up at the breakfast room in the hotel.  And we tried a couple of different pizza places.  Vince's won hands down.  Their "Vince's Special" – Pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms & black olives baked in a brick oven.  Yummy.  Kicked the heck out of my childhood pizza joint, that has a store in the area, SHAKEY's.
Later in the weekend, we went over to my future mother-in-law's new place to check it out.Moving
Gwen & Cora tested out the new reclining loveseat.  I helped solve the riddle of the fan, figured out the dishwasher, figured out the gate on the trash can enclosure (and then realized that there was a 4 foot wide opening in the side of the enclosure to just walk thru) and got the sliding closet door back on the track.
Listen-Buster-2 Ooops!  Looks like I'm in trouble.  I'm getting "the finger".  No, honestly, Cora & Gwen where tons of help, too.  They just tuckered themselves out, and needed a bit of a site.I was just kidding.  Honest.
And we did manage to play a couple of games of Harry Potter Clue (we each won one) and Mille Bournes (they'd never played before, so it wasn't really fair, but they did start getting the hang of it.)
And then, **POOF**, the next thing I know, I'm back in my condo, talking to Cora on the phone.
I'm going to love being a family.


I Can Hear Fireworks All Around!


Here come the 'hawks, the mighty, Blackhawks…


Let's Burn One & Make It MEMORIAL!

Okay, so I've been a little MIA recently. Been busy living the dream, so I would have something to add to this great internet conversation.

So, before I can get into my last weekend out with Cora, I feel I should catch you up a little on what else is going on.

So, for the Memorial Day weekend, I figured I hadn't done nearly enough traveling, so I got in my car, and headed out on a 300 mile drive to southern Indiana for my cousins' kids' high school graduation. I figure if they are going to travel all the way to Seattle for my wedding, I can drive down for their graduation. Unlike my sister-in-law who doesn't feel like coming to my wedding, I understand the concept of "family obligations". (Just a little hostile 'bout that at the moment.)

I reconfigured my normal route so that I would pass through the home town of one "Ms. Sassy Britches".

I only remember her smile.  The rest is a little fuzzy.Even though she had just gotten home from her own vacation, she donned the pretty little sundress you ever did see and a hot pink sweater, and met me at the local steak house. We talked about the wedding, her trip, her job, her pending trip to Japan, and just life in general. After we overstayed our welcome at the steak joint, we walked over to the bar where she occasionally bartends. Let me tell you, I've been in a number of bars in small towns in Illinois, but this was hands down the nicest.

At the bar, I made sure to tell one of the local barflies that we were talking to that I was just passing thru, and that I was getting married in a few weeks, hoping to help nip questions in the bud later.


We sat around in the bar and talked for another good long while, but the clock kept ticking, and I had a long way left to go before I got to where I was going, so Sassy B. & I walked back to our cars and said our goodbyes. I headed off to Princeton, IN, and she went back to the bar. And as I understand it, got some questioning from her future sister-in-law's sister.

Saturday was the day of the graduation ceremony. It was inside, in the old, un-air conditioned gym. It was hot, and steamy. Good thing I thought to bring a couple of bottles of water. I was real popular.

After the ceremony, there was a reception before the big party. I fielded a ton of questions about the wedding plans, and got everyone's travel plans. Which I promptly forgot.


I love Gregory Lee's expression in that picture as his wife, Tiffany gives his dad a shoulder massage. (You may remember GL & Tiff's wedding from the INCIDENT AT THE BOUQUET TOSS.) Afterwards, we all went back to Mike's, for the REAL party.

Memorial-Day-03It was there that my cousin, Greg, introduced us to his new girlfriend, Felicia. His wife left him about a year and a half ago, and ran off with another guy. As two tall guys dating short hotties later in life, we were talking, and he said, "People come up to me and ask, 'Don't you just want to punch **soon-to-be-ex-wife's-boyfriend** in the mouth?' Hell, I tell 'em I'd like to buy him a present."

Sunday was a whole lot of hanging out with the family, napping, watching the Indy 500, more napping, more hanging. It ended up with me watching / explaining the plot of Avatar to a bunch of drunk college students.

Monday, after taking a shoe of Mike & Ginger, I got on the road.

This time leg of the journey took me thru Olney, IL. Home of the white squirrels.


You would think that with a $70 fine for running over one of the pale, demon squirrels (Fargin Beastages have the right of way), that the place would be overrun. Not so much. In fact, just like my on childhood visit there: not a one to be seen.

I'm starting to suspect that it's all just a marketing scam, myself.

All in all, a good weekend with the old family, setting me up nicely for a weekend with the new family the following weekend. But more on that, later.


When "BP" Stands For "Big Problems"

From: Neil Chapman
Office: BP Press office, Houston

To: All BP Employees

Colleagues. As you may have heard by now, BP has had a slight incident in the Gulf of Mexico with one of our wells. The American media has attempted to paint this miscue with such terms as 'disaster', 'crisis', 'catastrophe', or 'OIL-MAGEDDON 2010!'. We think these terms a a tad harsh and unfair.

Admittedly, we didn't have a plan when it started, but the unsung heroes in our marketing department have worked tireless to come up with cool sounding buzz words like "top hat" & "top kill". Unfortunately, our engineers have not been as successful in employing these methods to actually shut off the undersea oil trickle.

So far, despite the EPIC FAIL of our engineers, and the endless waiting for the Obama administration to get off the side lines bail us out, our governing body has decided to finally take swift and decisive action.

We are reorganizing and renaming the company.

"BP" will remain with only the assets of the Deepwater Horizon well, and all the associated liability and bad PR. Everything else will be folded into a new, better company. Taking a queue from "ValueJet", who changed their name to "AirTran Airways" after they had a little bad press, we have come up with a new name:

American Energy Company – AMECO

AMECO_2 Gone are any references to 'British' or 'Petroleum'. It also taps into the goodwill and name recognition of 'AMOCO', but changing the middle 'O' to an 'e' signifies our shift from being an 'oil company' to being an 'energy company'. Also, the use of lower case will make us appear hip and modern. Finally, the green flame is symbolizes our environmental steward ship. (Don't think too hard about that bit, and if anybody asks, make a "lighting farts" joke, and run.)

So, in summary:

  • Go marketing!
  • Our engineers suck!


Neil Chapman

PS – Since Edmonton finish with the fewest points in the NHL:


It's All Relative – Please Do Not Be Eating

For those of you who think that your old buddy Scope may be a little odd, and that his family shakes their collective heads at some of the things he does, let me introduce you to my cousin Mike.

And his friend, Ginger.

Mike-01 To answer your questions:

  1. Yes. That's a real goat's head.
  2. Yes. It's hanging from a tree outside his house. It has been there since last fall.
  3. Eventually, once it is defleshed, it will decorate one of his flowerbeds.
  4. He's married, and has reproduced.

Comparatively, I'm damn near normal.