Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm Resorting to Intimidation...


Friday, May 30, 2008


Ok, I know I ranted about them. I said they were torturous. But now, I miss the rush. I miss the anticipation.


Sure, I got my toys. They're great. I'm excited to play with them. But there's a void in my life now. The anticipation of clicking the "track" button and seeing what progress may have been made in the past two hours. I miss it. I want it back.

I think I'm just going to start grabbing random items off my desk and from my house and sending them around to people via priority ground service.

When will the get there?

Ooh, they arrived. Will I get a response?

What, no resonpse? They didn't like the 3/4 dried out highlighter I sent?

I think I'm on to something.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hooray, MacBook

Wow.  Looks nicer than my Dell.  Feels nicer than my Dell.

And the screen.....

Wow.  Incredible.  So crystal clear and sharp.  Not even in the same ballpark.  

I think I'm really going to enjoy this computer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Little Old School Gambool

So my buddy Brad from Tampa has been in town for work the past few days. He works for Wingstop, which doesn't have any stores directly in my area, but he centers his stays here and then disperses to the locations he needs to hit while in the state.

Had a nice dinner each of the past two nights and caught up some. Of course, both being degenerates, we have to find a way to gamble a bit while he's in town, which typically turns into finding a poker game of some sort.

This time, after dinner, we chose just to head to his room and split a buy-in online. I warmed us up a bit with the $200 I had remaining online by taking a "shot" at some 3/6 NL. Get AK in the SB. Under the gun who has been playing pretty recklessly makes it 12, so I pop to 48 and he calls. The pot is just shy of 100 for a K9x flop. I push my remaining 125 or so and of course get instacalled. The turn K looks oh so pretty, but after the river 4, I find that I was drawing slim to the magical 99. GG us.

We then load up for 600, hang tight for a bit playing 10/20 SH LHE, and then make an nice little run to cash out for 1555, or net +377 each.

Always sleep a little better booking a nice win.

Sweet dreams, all.

Be well.

Tracking Numbers

Whoever came up with instantaneous package tracking on the Internet I'm sure solved a lot of problems for people who shipped something, and then received a complaint that it didn't arrive. It allows them to then tell the recipient when it will arrive, or maybe even that it already has and someone else may have misplaced it.

But as the soon to be recipient of new gadgetry that I want to play with, I've decided instantaneous tracking sucks.

Sure, I could have paid for the expedited shipping and it would already be here. I didn't need it that quickly, and still don't. I knew from the beginning it likely wouldn't be here until the end of this week. Amazon tells me it should ship in 3-5 days, and then 3-5 days transit. Fine.

So what does Amazon do? Amazon Immediately ships it out the day I purchase.

Sweet! How Great! I'm totally excited!

Then Lee Corso chimes in "NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!"

Now I'm left to sit and track the package....watching it sit still on the Internet all Memorial Day weekend long.....with no actual data uploaded yet. Just the e-mail telling me it shipped.

At which point, Tuesday morning, BAM, it's in Greensboro, NC. A mere 45 minutes from delivery at my workplace. There's no way it won't be here Wednesday afternoon, right?

Of course not, because each time I diligently track it on Tuesday, as it moved? Nope.

Wednesday morning? Nothing. Scanned again into Greensboro. It's almost as if they know it's not technically supposed to be here for a few more days, so they're just going to let it marinate, or more to the point, let me stew a bit longer before they'll let me play with my toy.

Oh, and have I mentioned where the package originated from? Greensboro, NC. I could have picked the darn thing up same day. So, in 5 days, the box 45 minutes away from me is likely now 40 minutes away. And the second box that shipped yesterday, well it made it from Farmingdale, NY to somewhere in Pennsylvania this morning, and it's now estimating delivery for June 4, or one week from today.

I'm convinced that UPS must have a team training for the Tour de France and they're using bike messenger for this one.

No, I didn't need it quickly, and no, I didn't pay for it to be expedited.... but really, I think I'd be happier if I didn't know where it was, and couldn't track it every hour to see if it moved closer. Sheer torture.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remarkable.... the word that continually comes to mind to describe Lefty Kreh, who I had the privilege to see on Saturday at the Fly Fishing Clinic for the Bristol Public Library, held just outside of Bristol, Tennessee.

The event was coordinated by Bob Brien, whom I met this past January while fishing the Islamorada Sailfly Championship. He and my friend Craig have fished together a number of times in Bermuda and other locales.

The other presenters were Flip Pallot and Doug Hannon. It's always fun to see Flip in action, and this time, he gave a presentation on fighting fish properly, and explained away a number of misconceptions about techniques that most people grow up learning on the water. It was very informative as usual, and I picked up a couple of tips on fighting big fish that I hope will prove valuable down the line. I even got half a laugh out of Flip when during the presentation a member of the audience asked "What do you do when you're fighting a fish and it jumps?" and I shouted, "Hope the other person in your boat has a camera."

Speaking of cameras, I had mine with me. If we were speaking of camera batteries, I couldn't say the same.

Anyhow, the third presenter, Doug Hannon, who turned out to be ESPN's Bass Professor (I don't watch much bass fishing on TV), was someone I was not familiar with going into the event. But I quickly learned that title is very apropos. The research and information that Doug has done, and would share with us about fish, their behavior, and their environment, was incredible.

When Lefty Kreh and Flip Pallot sit front row and ask more questions than anyone else in the audience, I think that speaks volumes to the level of respect and the quality of information that Doug shares.

At one point, Mr. Brien sat down next to me during Doug's presentation, and I remarked that I thought it was incredible. He responded, "This is akin to watching Bill Gates and Steve Jobs sit and swap stories and information about computers." It was the perfect analogy. When Bob later signaled to Doug that he'd need to begin wrapping up, I don't think there was anyone more disappointed under the tent than Flip.

But for me, the real highlight was what came next; Lefty Kreh's fly-casting clinic.

And I can't restate it enough. Remarkable. 84 years old, hobbled by a bad hip from what I understand to be a recent fall, he maneuvers on his crutches to a chair in an open field, where he sits and proceeds to make casting look completely magical and effortless.

Distance? He can effortlessly shoot the entire line from his chair.

Accuracy? He'll tell you who in the crowd he'll hit, or drop the line in front of, or who he'll curve it around and where it will land after that.

And all of his lessons are simple and clear to understand.

But what struck me most about Lefty was his passion for the sport, and his willingness to nurture whatever similar passion lay within each and every person he came in contact with. He autographed anything anyone put in front of him, and he signed every book with a personal note, and careful penmanship. I bought a book that he wrote on knot tying that he inscribed: "To Jeffrey, I hope some of these knots help you land some great fish. All the best, Lefty Kreh", and also his memoir, that Flip actually penned, called "All the best" as Lefty signs all of his correspondence, which he autographed. "To Jeffrey, I hope you have as much fun out of life as I do. All the best, Lefty Kreh."

When I was 10, I had the chance to be a Bat Boy for the Chicago White Sox. I got to go to the lockerroom pre-game, spend the game in the dugout, and take bats off the field during the bottom halves of each inning. But despite the "experience of a lifetime" for a 10 year old little leaguer, it was always tarnished for me because the one autograph I wanted, and the one player that I really wanted to meet basically did everything in his power to avoid coming in contact with any fan or reporter.

Not Lefty. He was quick witted and had a joke or a laugh for everyone he came in contact with. If someone came up to him with a fly box, he'd take the time to look at every pattern shown to him and offer a kind word, or soft suggestions as to how the could be improved. He never pushed anyone away, be he never left anyone waiting too long before they received some of his attention, either.

In essence, Lefty's manner makes whomever he was talking to feel like the most important person in the room. It was truly something special to see and had the greatest impact on me of anything I saw during that day.

I know that I often will be come disinterested when someone is talking to me. I'll lose concentration, or start working on something else. Maybe I was barely there at the start of the conversation and did anything I could to end it as quickly as possible.

I realize now that the only thing I gained in that moment was alleviating what I perceived to be a small personal annoyance. But how have I disrespected the person who was speaking to me? How will that affect their willingness to interact with others? What might I have missed out on by not taking to time to listen to what was being said to me, and have I eroded that person's willingness to talk with me in the future? What might I miss going forward?

However, If I directed my full attention, even for a few moments, to the person in front of me, all of those questions could be answered positively. In addition, we'll both gain more in the long run. A great return on a minimal investment.

So while I'm glad I made the trek up to the clinic, and I know I left casting a bit better than when I arrived, I think the true reward was what I learned by watching Lefty, and hopefully I left that field a better person as well.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The weekend....

...past probably needs a wrap before I can get to the Labor Day weekend.
The house consumed most of my thoughts early this past week, and the cleaning and prep dominated most of the weekend prior, but I was also very lucky to have Kari visit from Saturday night to Monday night. We had a very nice time, including spending Sunday at the Greek Festival with Ann and Jaime (those Greeks sure like their fried doughs), and then dinner Sunday night at our local favorite, Full Moon Oyster Bar.
Kari and Jaime at the Festival

**Side note: Ace reporter Craig did send Kari a text that Armadillos were committing suicide in vast numbers on Oklahoma roads this past weekend. No turds reported at the scene, however.
**Side note 2: Craig was in Idaho last weekend and went out and walked some of the streams. Said the water levels are great, and Sid's very excited. A great chance for some of the bigger fish to get down into the small streams this year. The potential for an even greater summer builds.
Of course I miss Kari already. I know that means that while in Idaho, the additional distance and time apart won't make things any easier for us, but I also know that missing Kari tells me that I know how much I want to be with her when I get back, and that's a priority for me.
It was especially nice to see her after Friday at work, which marked the final day of the sixty day notices I'd provided for four employees with a combined 87 yrs experience with QST, including an individual with 40 years alone. Even though you know it's coming, it's still never easy, and it hasn't gotten any easier to lay an employee off from the first one to the last ones who will walk out of the building likely for the last time the same day I leave.
Anyhow, I've been shopping on the Internet this week for a couple of toys. A new Garmin 660 and a dual Computer/Digital SLR Backpack are on their way from Amazon, and I'll likely be getting a new MacBook next week. I don't think I've owned my own computer for at least 10 yrs now. It's exciting.

I've also gotten wind of a birthday present that's still on the way, and it's pretty slick as well.
Not much action on the house since the first day, and by not much, I mean zero. Hopefully it's just a bit of a lull before the holiday weekend. Even though the market seems to have been decent in my area, there's of course no sure things. Fortunately, of the past few days, I've become much more comfortable with the waiting aspect involved. Just get up, make the bed, tidy, and head to work. Almost routine now.
I get to play a little live poker tonight which is always fun, and then tomorrow I'm getting up early to go to a Fly Fishing Clinic in Bristol, TN. Should be interesting as it's being taught by a couple of the true legends in the sport. I'll report when I get back.
Have a safe Memorial Day, everyone.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yesterday; Almond Joy.....Today, Mounds....

That's to say, I'm not as nutty today as I was yesterday. At least, the feeling that I want to vomit has somewhat subsided. I never expected to feel as much anxiety as I felt yesterday with my house going on the market and the first showings.

I mean, as soon as I heard about the first showings, I was pumped. "Wow, this is great!" And then.....

Did I leave my underwear on the floor of the bathroom?

Did I put the McDonald's bag in the garbage?

Shit, there's still some flies in the house from when the carpet layers left the door open.

I took my morning dump. Is there a streak in the bowl?

One of the globes on the vanity fixture cracked when I tried to adjust it. Will they notice?

Why did I put my underwear backwards this morning? (ok, not house related, but perplexing none the less)

Why did the seam in the carpet seem more noticeable this morning?

Why isn't it showing up on my agent's website yet?

Why does the only listing site I can find it on only show a single exterior picture of the house?

Why didn't I get the mud/laundry room cleaned last night. Its the only thing not done.

Will that turn them off?

I need to clean out one of the exterior light fixtures that has dead bugs in it. Will they notice?

Are they there yet?

Did they leave yet?

Are the next people there yet?

Did they like it?

Did they not like it?

Why didn't they like it?

But today, I'm a new man. I realize that I can't control all those things. If someone doesn't like it, I can't go and change everything because the next person that comes in may not like the changes and would have preferred it how it was originally.

So now, I'm just telling myself that when the right buyer walks through the door, it will sell. I tell myself that I've done what I can to put it into the position to sell, and obsessing over what people are thinking, or how many people are walking through.

Then, I click the website again every 15 minutes to see if a new appointment might have been set up. And apparently I'm talking to myself. Who am I kidding? I'm a regular Mr. Goodbar.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good Luck House! Knock 'em Dead!

Officially listed yesterday. First showing at 10am this morning. I've barely been able to find it on the Internet, and it's not even on my own agency's website yet, but I did find a listing HERE.

Hopefully, it'll get up on a few more websites with more pictures soon.

Long hectic last few days, but hopefully I'll have a chance to update more in the next day or so.

Be well.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fun E-mail Exchange Today

From: Salesperson X
To: Jeffrey Dickman; CFO; Credit and Collections Mgr; Product Mgr x3 ; Customer Service x3

Beginning immediately Customer Y will be issuing a $100. charge back when a delivery is made before a packing list is sent to them. Attached is the first.

Please forward this to whoever needs to be informed of this new policy.


From: Jeffrey Dickman
To: Salesperson; CFO; Collections Mgr; Product Mgr x3

Effective Immediately, I’m initiating a charge back policy for failing to give proper notification of new policies ahead of time for $100, and a $50 charge back for unsolicited e-mail.

You can use this e-mail as notification of charge back, totaling $150.

You can remit payment to me in Mocksville. $10s and $20s are fine.



From: Salesperson
To: Jeffrey Dickman

Cash or Charge?

From: Jeffrey Dickman
To: Salesperson

Please add an additional $50 charge back for not reading the instructions.

Tens and Twenties are fine.

Missing Logic

So I hit Lowe's for a few bathroom fixtures that I needed to replace. The knobs on the cabinets are all a tacky gold, and since I needed new vanity lights, towel bars and toilet paper holders, and I was advised that "Antiqued Bronze" is the new "Brushed Nickel", which I didn't realize was no longer en vogue, I went with those.

That said, it was an extremely frustrating encounter. The towel bars and toilet paper holders are in the bathroom area. The vanities themselves are there, too, but the vanity lighting....nope. Not there. You need to go to lighting for that.

But, once you get to lighting, none of the light fixtures are made by any of the people who make the other bathroom fixtures, so hopefully I found a finish that is similar enough that the minor difference isn't noticed. Of course, you need to change the knobs on the cabinets to match, which could be in the same aisle to match the fixtures.....nope.

Those are over in the kitchen cabinet area.....or are they? Only the special order models are over there. The rest of the knobs are actually 3/4 of the way across the store in the "Hardware" section. And of course, none are made in the same finish or by the same companies as anything else.

The lighting in those aisles are not great either, with the fully stocked racks from floor to ceiling, so when I got up to the register in better light, I tried comparing them again. The nice older lady at the register noticed my attempt to compare, and did correctly remind me that they don't need to match, since they'll all be spread out, but understood that I was trying to make sure they were at least in the same family.

I remarked to her that I hard a time with the light, and couldn't figure out why most of those things weren't in the same places, or by the same manufacturers. I said, "Don't people buy most of this stuff as a set to keep everything in their bathrooms looking coordinated? It would have been easier to find all in one spot."

She smirked, and responded, "No, that would make it too easy on the customers."

I liked her.

Don't Jinx It....Don't Jinx It....

Had a very positive meeting with my realtor last night. Needless to say, I'm trying not to let my hopes get too high, but comps in the area and selling times were much better than I'd expected, and my house is really shaping up nicely, so I'm feeling pretty optimistic.

I'm actually hoping for a rainout tonight for the coed softball game, since a little extra work on the house tonight would ease my timeline. That said, I was hoping it would be ready Friday night to hit the market Saturday, but I found that it can't actually be listed in the computer on a Saturday, so I'll do some work Saturday morning, and then Saturday afternoon the sign will go up and have some pictures taken so that it can be officially listed on Monday. I'll link it when it becomes available.

Cross your fingers for me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And Just Because I Can....

Based on recent photographic evidence by my crack photographer Kari, there are baby armadillos at their nursery in Florida.

Thus, one can only infer that there must be a family about, and the likelihood that it was indeed armadillo turd that Craig and I so deftly avoided stepping in a few weeks back has increased to 78%.

Stay tuned for up to the minute poop scoop as details become available.

Like a Whole New House...

Carpet's in. Looks fantastic. If I didn't know better, I'd want to live here. Only I'd have put in hardwood. But it looks great.

It looks so good, actually, that I'm really sad that Whiskey and Snoopy won't get to see it. In fact, it looks so different, if they came in, they'd probably wouldn't know where they were and want to mark their territory all over again. On the other hand, likely the reason they'll never see it.

It was actually remarkable to me how different the house sounded with the carpet and furniture moved out, even just for a few moments. I've heard the echos before in other similar circumstances, but it really is incredible how much noise carpet and plush furniture collects.

That said, the installers** did a great job. The seams flow together beautifully. The new carpet smell mixed with the old dog couch smell is so....well....yeah, I'm opening a keg of Fabreze tomorrow.

**Do you tip carpet installers? I was really torn on this. I contracted a job, but it was through a large department store, and these gentlemen worked for a contracted installer, and the installation was a special deal. Therefore, since it wasn't a direct contract, it seemed like they were providing a service, which often means a tip. They also did a very nice job, and I know it took longer than they expected. That said, when they told me how long they planned for the job to take, I was a bit surprised, and didn't think they could possibly be right. They weren't. I Googled "Gratuity Guidelines" on the Internet while they were here, and read a lot of different mixed opinions on whether tipping or not was appropriate. In the end, a few things stuck with me:

1. A comment I read... "If you can't afford a tip, then you can't afford the service."
2. If I hadn't felt like tipping might be correct, then I probably wouldn't have even considered it in the first place.
3. The guys were very conscientious, and worked diligently the entire time they were here to make sure everything looked good. Unfortunately, I've come to expect people to work to get a job done while doing it well is secondary, and these fellas weren't' that way at all.

Thus, I went ahead and tipped each of the three guys who were here. I was really pleased with the work, and despite the fact that I'm trying to save money right now, figured they could probably use it more than me. That said, they seemed surprised when I did tip, so I don't know what to take from that. Either way, if people wanted to comment, I'd be interested to hear feedback. I know my Canadian friends will think I'm an idiot, but they think all Americans tip too often as it is.

Anyway, at this point, I've only got to give the bathrooms and kitchen a good final cleansing, have the gate on the fence fixed, and do the final paint touch ups on the baseboards and a few other spots, and I should be good to go.

I picked up an information sheet on a comp down the street that was priced on the high end of what I expected, so hopefully I can undercut them a bit, garner some interest, and still come out from selling the house reasonably well in the down market. I'm crossing any fingers, toes, and other flexible appendages that this will move quickly.

Not many body parts are crossed, however after three softball games in the past two nights. We had a 7:30 game scheduled for Monday night. When 7 pm rolled around we were advised that we'd also have to play a 9:30 make up game that night, as well as an 8:30 game Tuesday night.

We won two of three (this is men's league) with the one loss being a nail biter in extra innings. I've finally started hitting the ball a bit harder, but it's been pretty difficulty for me to get my timing down playing slow pitch so infrequently. It's been a lot of fun, though, and a we're playing at a pretty good level compared to the 1-4 coed Thursday night team. At least it's some exercise, fun, and the weather has been very pleasant when I've been in town to play.

I think that's about all I've got. If not, well, I'll post again later just because I can.

Be well.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Dreaded Cancelled Flight really a blessing in disguise....

I've already had a nice trip, and get to spend extra time with my Mom on Mother's Day, so it's win/win all around, except for missing work in the morning, which, well, yeah..... win/win, like I said.

Anyhow, got to see both of my grandmothers for brunch today, which included Walker Bros' Apple Pancakes, as well as lox, corned beef and bagels.

Yesterday, we had lunch at Bob Chinn's Crabhouse with the Reagors.  Easily the best Snow Crab I've ever had.  Biggest meatiest legs that I've ever seen, and I have Snow Crab fairly frequently at my local Oyster Bar.  Such a significant difference.  Really the best around if you like seafood.

Chinese food for dinner last night, and now my extra night affords me a Lou Malnatti's Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza.  A good Chicago Style hot dog and a nice cold Beer in the Bleacher's at Wrigley and I would have really hit the mother load.  Essentially, my own little taste of Chicago.

Even stopped at the Trout and Grouse fly shop yesterday to "gear up" a bit for my summer adventure.  They just recently moved to a new shop, which they really did a fantastic job with.  Was nice to see Curt and Peter, who took good care of Craig and I as usual.

So, I've ended this great week with a bang, and I'm getting ready for a busy upcoming week... a few softball games, carpeting being installed on Tuesday, hopefully have my house on the market by the end of the week, which will be culminated by a visit from Kari, which I'm really looking forward to.

Anyhow, hope all had a Happy Mother's Day.

Be Well

P.S.  To all of my Guitar Hero playing friends.  No, I'm not apologizing for calling you losers.  You're still losers.  Apparently, I'm just more loser than I thought.  Damn addicting piece of crap.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Parent's New Toy

So I've never been much of a video game player.  Always played a little in college to pass some time, and when I was younger, but was never overly into it.  So, I was a bit surprised to arrive home to find that  my parents are now Wii addicts.  Watching my dad rock out to Guitar Hero III wasn't what I was expecting for my weekend.  

It's actually great for my mom, who can now play some of the sports games and that gives her some "chair exercise" when she gets home from work and is waiting for my dad to get home for dinner.

I've been in the vicinity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band in the past, but I'd always avoided actually touching the guitar.  I think it's mostly a fear that I've never felt like I'd be good at the guitar.  Never felt like my fat fingers were all that coordinated.  However......I got sucked in.  Man it's frustratingly addictive.

I even just found myself strumming and moving my fingers to the chords I imagined were being played in a commercial.

I'm always a bit sad that I don't get to see my parents more often, but this is an addiction I don't need.  I'll be happy to leave it behind...... well, at least until I get back from Idaho.  Damn these games are addictive.

And yes, I'm trying the Wii fishing before I leave.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Was going to be the cheer for one of the two 0-4 coed softball teams that faced each other tonight. And with a thrilling 5 run rally in the bottom of the 7th, my team prevailed with a dramatic 14-13 victory.

On that incredibly high note, I'm heading home for Mother's Day this weekend. Not sure if I'll spend Friday night in the city with my sister, or in the burbs with my parents.

Bob Chinn's will follow Saturday for lunch, and then I'll likely stop in to see my friends at Trout and Grouse at their new location to start preparing for the trip to Idaho this summer.

Celebrate with Mom and Grandmas on Sunday morning, and then head back to NC to get my house ready to hit the market.

Be even more thoughtful of your mothers this weekend than normal.

Be well.

"You've Got to be Kidding Me!" the subject line of an e-mail I received from one of our highest end suit customers this morning.

Apparently, a while back, we'd sent a product to them that we deemed acceptable quality, but it didn't meet their more stringent standards. So, we swapped it out and put it back into our inventory with a note on it.

Well, apparently this box arrived back to our customer Hickey Freeman this week:

Obviously, the lack of definition in the 'F' and the lack of the 'r' probably caused some confusion in the warehouse regarding which customer not to ship the box.

Top Notch, I say! Top Notch!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Random Question....

When you update your profile, will ask you a random question if you'd like. I clicked just to see what it was, and I don't think there could have been a more appropriate question after the last few days of posting. Check it out if you get a wild hair.

Oh, and before I get called out for copyright infringement on the new Profile photo, yes, it's a Craig Reagor photo, but that's me on the casting deck, so I don't want to hear any guff. It's also used on the website, one of our favorite guides in the Bahamas.

I'll Drink Microbrews This Summer for Safety....

"Thank you"


I hate e-mails that just say "thanks." Sure. I'm guilty. I send them too. Sometimes it seems like the polite thing to do. But at least if there are 10 people on copy, I just reply to the person I'm thanking. Why do 9 other people need to see me say "thanks?"

Apparently, however, most people feel the need to show they're being courteous to their neighbor. I'd almost bet that some of these people add additional people on reply just to say, "look at me, I say 'Thank you'."

Now don't go thinking that I lack all manners or courtesy. I'll say thank you to a waitress twice when she re-fills my water. Once when she picks it up. Once when she puts it down re-filled. I'll shoot-out out a "please" after listening to my boss bark orders at people in our factory. Sure, I come off as a smart ass, but just because you have power, doesn't give you the right to eschew courtesy.

Speaking of being a smart ass, I want to coin the phrase "Insightful turds." Is there a better way to describe the drivel spewing from a Smart Ass? Maybe I could change my blog name "Insightful Turds; Thoughts and Discourse of a Smart Ass." (Besides, judging from the comments, nothing brings in readers like poop)

Anyhow, despite courtesy, "thanks" e-mails, after a chain of 15 e-mails, only 3 of which likely had anything worthwhile to say, just seem to be the epitome of inefficiency. Then again, most all e-mail seems to get more and more inefficient by the day, as we copy more and more people, and then ask specific questions to specific people, while adding more and more people to make ourselves appear as though we're accomplishing. Or, sometimes you know that people would even provide you a response if they don't feel like others are watching.

But we can't fix all the ills of e-mail or the human psyche in a day. We can however, stop doing the little things that annoy me, so that I'm more relaxed. I'm selfish like that.

So, in advance of you all not copying me on e-mails thanking someone else for actually doing their job, which you likely shouldn't have been following up to begin with, let me just say, "Thanks."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Clean-up on Aisle 5

I guess with all the poop being flung about I should do some housekeeping.

I did have a very nice weekend with Kari. Saturday night we ate at Koi, a Japanese Steakhouse where they cook in front of you. We had a lot of fun with Kari's friends Danielle, Byron, Kristy and Andy. Our waitress bordered on horrible, but fortunately, the chef was very personable and enjoyed doing his show, and catered it to us as opposed to running the standard play book so to speak. He really made it worthwhile.

After that, we went Cosmic Bowling. If you don't like glow in the dark bowling in tune with crappy music, then I doubt you know what fun is.

Sunday we just ran a couple of errands and took it easy. Kari's three brothers stopped through on their way home from a wedding, so we ate a nice spaghetti dinner with them, and then we both were ready to hit the sack pretty early.

We finished the weekend with a nice walk on the beach and then breakfast Monday morning before I hit the road back north. Little did I know that those fateful deceased armadillos would spawn.

Oh, and while I'm back on the ride home, is South Carolina the Mary Kay Cosmetics capitol of the South. Two straight trips down to Florida I've seen a pink Cadillac on the road. Anyhow, I know the first one was a Mary Kay car. If this last one wasn't, well, just why?

Back on track....of course, I'm always thankful for the hospitality that Craig and Wendy show me while I'm in PVB as well.

Switching gears, I haven't been very good about responding to comments, but I'd like to thank all those who dropped well wishes.

No, I don't have my instrument rating yet, but flying is definitely on the list of things I'd like to become proficient at again. I successfully dodged all six numbers on two Powerball tickets this weekend, which means I must be due for a huge turnaround next week, and then a plane of course when I win.

As for anything else, I'm a bit tired and my brain is failing me at the moment. I'm looking forward to heading back to Chicago this weekend though for Mother's Day.

Be well, all.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Armadillos Aren't Just in Texas

When I saw two distinctly deceased armadillos on the side of the road just north of the Georgia border passing into South Carolina, I text Kari to ask if they had them in Florida, too. She of course responded "yes."

I knew that response was coming since after I sent the text, I'd remembered Craig making a remark a couple of days earlier about the alligator turd, or maybe it could be opossum or armadillo turd, that we passed as we walked around the pond, since clearly it wasn't left by either of the two dogs or horses that reside on the property.

Myself, I was wondering why it might be alligator turd, since I'd think it would be more comfortable for the resident alligator to pinch it off while in the pond. Apparently I'm not really attuned with alligator defecation.

Hunters always seem to have a knack for spotting turds as they're walking around. One would think it's because it's probably not pleasant to sit in the woods for hours with boots that reek of fresh dung all day. More practically, it's because if you can identify said dung and its "freshness," you'll get a better idea of what's happening around you, and if the species you're after has passed through.

But I digress. I guess I always just associated armadillos with Texas, since in the movie Necessary Roughness, the fictional university football team was the Texas State Fighting Armadillos.

Obviously, though, I should know better than to form a generalization based on a single crappy movie association. It'd be just like generalizing that Kathy Ireland was just an incredibly hot chick with no acting ability based on her performance in that movie.

Oh, wait.....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hello, Mr. Dipladenia,

Nice to meet you, Mr. Dipladenia.

Look forward to seeing you again, Mr. Dipladenia.

There are those who can seemingly meet all sorts of people, talk to them for a bit, and then the next day recall every person's face and name. I've never been one of those people. Most of the time, I'll be able to recognize the face as familiar, but I have difficulty putting a name with that face.

Well, since Kari's father Keith re-opened his Bent Oak Nursery in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, I've had a chance to spend some time there on the weekends that I've been down to visit. Often, some of the different flowers and bushes will grab my attention, and I'll ask what they're called.

I'll listen to the exotic names, sometimes even read the tags as well, and without fail, a few hours later "Hey, what did you say the name of that was again?"

I've thought about trying to come up with some word associations to keep them stored in my head, like I did for the "Sister Ride Your Bike" bushes that now grace my front yard. Somenoe who knows might call them Loropetalum (or "Laura pedal 'em" as they're now ingrained in my head). But I'm not sure how all those Latin genus names will work with that approach.

So I've decided I'm going to have to turn to the old standby that I read in an article about meeting business contacts a few years ago. Repeat the person's name to them as you're shaking their hand, looking them right in the eye. Then, make sure to call them by name as you're speaking to them at least twice more in the conversation. At that point, you should be able to commit the face and name to memory.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. That's what I'll do. And hopefully no one will wonder who the nut job shaking the plants is.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Once...A Fluke. Twice.....

I guess means confirmation.

Pearl Jam is "classic rock?" Really?

I remember my dad saying the same things driving around when I was 7 or 8 about The Beatles, Rolling Stones and the like.

Now, the music of my high school years is turning up as "classic rock." I'm a bit at a loss.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fighting through....

....the rather uninspiring day. Just not much to report.

Rec league softball game. We lost. Again. I think we're perfect in that respect through 4 games. We're just not very good. C'est la vie.

I'm heading to Ponte Vedra Beach after work tomorrow night, and going to take Monday off so that I can spend a bit extra time there. Hopefully some productive work will be completed on my house while I'm gone.

Robin at Deep Creek Kennel is going to take Whiskey and Snoopy for some shots over the weekend for me. "I'll take them....they're so well behaved." I told my carpet, baseboards and door frames what Robin said and they chuckled at me mockingly.

Speaking of Robins, the bird in my tree was working hard again today to feed her youngins when I stopped home after work.. I actually just got back home, grabbed a flashlight to go take a look, and she's dutifully guarding her nest and keeping her babies warm.

I think I've stretched this out as long as I can. Just tryin' to stay in the groove.

Hopefully those who are reading find this a little interesting. And hey, if you know anyone else who might find it enjoyable reading, I hope you pass it on. Hell, if you don't like it, pass it on to someone you don't like as punishment.

Any reader is a good reader. Let's parlay this into a job doing reviews and photos for a fishing magazine or something one day, where they force me to go to exotic places and write about them. Yeah, that's the ticket.

A boy's gotta dream.