Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Hai!

Well hello there, my dear friend.

'Tis indeed been a while since I've stopped by for a visit.

Days and weeks have passed, and also has time and memories come and gone.

Thanksgiving was sweet and hearty; full of smiles and laughs and the warmth of family.
Weekends were spent divulging in reckless dancing and drinking and enjoying the company of friends.

Tedious nights spent working, along with enlightening hours of conversation; all spent in the same room on the same days.

The same miles covered by train rides with the comforting sounds of music to relax me to sleep, and, to provide daily doses of forced reflections upon an always optimistic yet melancholy soul.

Giant trees carried and decorated for Christmas, twinkling lights hung, and candles dispersed and lit to create the perfect holiday sanctuary in the comfort of my own home.

Heartfelt conversations.

Fits of secret jealousy.

Days of pity as friends lost their jobs.

Minor milestones along with minor disappointments.

In all, a decent yet comparably minute span of life.

And yet, life, still it is.

Good night.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere....

I'm a Pisces, so I should naturally love water.......and for the most part, I do.

But the past two weeks have me realizing how annoying and yet necessary water can be.
The most recent event was the giant water main that broke and caused me to have no water for a day.

Just my luck that I'd try to take a shower and have the water completely stop half way through.


Oh well...

So here's the first and big story that got me feeling all this aqua annoyance......

Last weekend, I was putting in new molding in the spare room.
I'm renovating it to make it an office/guest room.

So Sunday I finish the last piece of the main baseboard and started - but didn't finish - the quarter-round.

Monday & Tuesday pass with no problem........

Wednesday morning my neighbor from downstairs comes ringing my doorbell asking if I have a leak or something in my place because he has water coming down through his ceiling!
I'm a little perplexed because I'm pretty sure I would've known if I had any leaks, but I check anyway and sure enough, all my sinks and toilets, etc. are dry. So I tell him to call the Home Owner's Association because maybe a sprinkler pipe burst or something.

SO I try to go back to sleep but I hear them downstairs making noise and cutting into the ceiling, etc., and the 30 mins later the HOA guy and a contractor come ringing my doorbell asking to check my place out. They look around a little and the guys asks, "Is this baseboard new?"

"Yeah, I was just putting it in this past weekend."

He goes into the spare room and looks at a sprinkler head up near the ceiling and follows it down to the floor and sure enough -- right in line with it is a nail I had used to put the baseboard in.

"Look. Yup. That's gotta be it. Your neighbor downstairs has a leak, so it's gotta be that nail. Why don't you come downstairs with us so you can see."

So I go down with them and sure enough, you can see the bottom part of that sprinkler pipe with a slow trickle of water coming down it. But what was worse was that the nail not only punctured the pipe but sealed the hole at the same time - resulting in a very slow leak that took 2 days for anyone to notice. This is actually worse because now the water has soaked into the beams and base flooring on my level and through the guy downstair's ceiling.

In my head I'm like "MOTHERFUCKER! You gotta be kidding me!!"

I admit that my first reaction is one of slight perplexity and annoyance, but also a few gripes.

GRIPE #1
I hadn't done anything wrong!
I was using standard nails of standard length AND it wasn't like I was blindly nailing into the wall, I was using a stud-finder and it beeped over the damn pipe - which is why I nailed there!!

GRIPE #2
The damn pipe is PVC!!

Now, this isn't just a pipe for your sink or toilet, this is a FIRE SAFETY system!!
It would seem common sense for a vital system who's sole purpose is SAFETY, to be made of something more durable than PVC plastic.

I asked the contractor if that's normal and he said it was common because PVC can expand slightly if the water inside freezes.
Makes sense, I suppose.........but C'MON!!!! REALLY??!!??
ALL the buildings I've ever been in that have sprinklers have metal pipes!
Most stores, office buildings, dorms........... my work office that I'm in right now has metal pipes!!

GRIPE #3
There is NO space between the drywall and the pipe.
Anyone even putting up a painting with a 1-inch nail could've hit that pipe.
Again - doesn't something about that seem idiotic?

So continue my story......
The guy tells me that they will be contacting the Fire Safety company to come out and repair the pipe. At this time, I get a call from my boss that I need to come into work ASAP because of some serious "stuff" going down right now...........(that is a whole 'nother post)......

Fast forward about 2 hours and the guys are there to repair the pipe.
They shut off and drain the sprinkler pipes from the ENTIRE building.
BTW - law requires them to have a Fire & Rescue truck on standby in the parking lot since now the sprinklers are turned off. (doesn't THAT reflect the vital importance of a fire safety system???)

So they bust a hole in my wall and cut and replace the pipe and the whole process takes about 3 hours since they have to put on this sealant/epoxy-type stuff and wait an hour for it to dry.

By the next day, I'm dealing with my neighbor who is actually pretty cool about it.
He knows it was a pure accident and not really due to any mistakes or negligence on my part.
Unfortunately, he couldn't stay at his place for two nights while giant fans dried everything out.

A day after that, and my insurance company sends a guy over to assess the damages.
He's really cool and says stuff like this happens all the time and to just let insurance deal with it.
But, when I ask him about building codes and some other stuff, he does say that there is a minimum distance of 5/8inch that the hole for the pipe is supposed to be from the edge of the base stud. This one was obviously less - around 1/4inch.
This gives me a good starting point and some pertinent info should I need to contest this whole debacle later....

So skip a few days and it turns out that minus my $500 deductible, my insurance comp is cutting me a check for $445.
NICE!
Also, I find out that my neighbor's claim is covered by my liability, which has $100k coverage, so at this point I'm thinking everything is good. I can do the repair work on my place myself and end up MAKING a few hundred bucks after all is said and done.........

.......NOT SO FAST............

Yesterday I have a note stuck in my door from the HOA.
Basically, they're stating the damage to the sprinkler pipes - being caused by MY renovation work - is MY responsibility to pay.
The attached invoice = $811.

FUCK!!

I should've known this wouldn't go away so easily.

I'm starting to really hate community housing..................


TBD

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let It Burn

This past Thursday and Friday were Teacher Convention days, so I took the days off and Day and I decided to go up to the new MGM Grand Hotel & Casino at Foxwoods in Connecticut.

We've been to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods a few times and I love to gamble so why not.

Wednesday night, I'm checking out the line-up of shows they have there and amidst the lame acts of Seinfeld, Wynonna and Manheim Steamroller (who is kinda somewhat cool in a lame way....) I was surprised to see that USHER was performing there Friday night!

So after much giddy excitement on Day's side, I reserved two tix for us which only cost a meager arm and leg. But, what the hell. I love his songs and I'm sure it'll be worth it.....

NOTE - Connecticut drivers SUCK ass!!!
If I had to diagnose the problem, I would have to say that:
#1 - they get scared driving in the rain
and
#2 - they don't know how to fucking drive!!

There was literally an accident almost every 10 miles and it ended up taking us over 5 hours to get there. Granted, it was raining heavily at times, but that shit happens all the time in Jersey and we don't go crashing all over the damn place.

Anyway, we get there and the place is pretty damn cool.
It is definitely smaller than most hotels and casinos, but its stylishly hip and well layed out and the rooms are very sleek and clean. The bar in the middle of the casino floor has a live DJ who was spinning really good music and everyone was friendly and it wasn't crowded.

So if you know me, you know I like to play blackjack.
.........and furthermore, I'm pretty good at it.
I may be jinxing myself here, but I tend to win more often than I lose.
For anyone considering going to a casino - blackjack really, truly has the best odds in the house.
Its the only game where your own decisions can greatly increase your odds of winning.
Anyway, long story short, I ended up winning over $400 which covered my half of the room and my concert ticket.
SWEET!!

Fast-forward to Friday night and after leaving the table where the insecure Chinese guy almost got into a fight with the old-but-trying-to-act-young guido from Jersey, we head over to the concert........................and the show is HOT.
We sat about 70 feet away or so and it was a really, really good show.
He is such a great performer and a true R&B legend in the making.

So after the show we grabbed something to eat and then decide to hit up the blackjack tables again. We're playing for a while and then I glance over to my left and here walks in Usher with his bodyguard! He stands there about five feet away from me for a few minutes scanning the area and then decides to sit at the table next to us to play some blackjack.
(for those who are wondering, it was a $25 table. Yeah I was surprised he wasn't doing it up baller style in the high rollers area too)

Anyway, you're not supposed to take picts in casinos but we managed to snap one anyway.

"Whats that? A soft 17? HIT ME!!!"
Usher @ MGM Grand in CT


Yeah so that was pretty cool seeing him there.
His bodyguard was keeping people away and we didn't want to be those annoying fans so we just let him be............


Now for some very sad news...........

The world's ugliest dog has died of cancer.

AAHAHAHHAH!!!

So very sad, indeed............


LOL!!




(I know, I'm going to hell. I'll save you a seat because I know you laughed also!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloweener

I usually take pride in having an admirable costume whenever I go out for Halloween.

A few years ago I was Wolverine:




I custom-made those claws from Plexiglas from Home Depot and ordered the EXACT same Canadian military dog tag that Wolverine wore. It even took me a few weeks to grow enough facial hair for respectable sideburns.

The year before that, I was a British Rock star -- drunken accent and everything!
(pic to follow later)
I won a prize at a party and everyone was impressed with how well I got into character. Well........actually being drunk kinda helped.....


ANYway.................a last minute decision this year to go to a friend of a friend's party left me with NO time to plan. So, at the risk of my Halloween costume reputation, I was left with no choice but to SETTLE for something.

So what did I decide?

To be a fisherman.

Yes - a fisherman.

Lame, but true.

BUUUUUUUT..................after speaking with my incredibly brilliant acquaintance online, she suggested getting a beard and saying I'm .............................(drum roll)..................
HEMINGWAY
!!

Still somewhat lame, but way LESS lame than just a fisherman. Especially with a cigar.

Plus, the party is in SoHo, so I'm banking on most of the attendees being Citiots who've never ventured into the real outdoors and haven't seen waders or a fishing vest or lures before.

We shall see how the evening goes.......



Well, I leave with a video I came across that I found very heart-warming.
Not something you see everyday, and not something that is even smart, but nevertheless, its nice to see. Oh.................it also gets humor points for the gay choice of music and the gayer look of the two Euro dudes.
ENJOY!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Donnie Darko

Autumn is a bittersweet time of the year.
The comfortable warmth of the Summer seems to quickly give way to chilly winds and dying trees. Sure, the foliage is beautiful and there's something cozy about wearing sweaters, and maybe football is an enjoyable distraction, but the melancholy is unavoidable for me.
The sunlight dwindles as the darkness grows, and along with it some instinctive desire inside of me to embrace a pen and paper and try to create beautiful things with words.......
So yes, I've been writing more lately........

ANYway........ in an attempt to segue into my next topic by using the notion of creativity...............


I recently saw the movie Donnie Darko for the first time.

To quote someone else who I think said it best: "Donnie Darko was a masterpiece of indie film before everyone was making them"


I enjoy the beautiful chaos that is found in a lost mind.
By trying to play on a sci-fi theme and touch on basic principles of time travel, it's actually a sweet and sorrowful story of a young man's complex mind.
If you could go back in your life and take all those hours of pain and darkness away, would you do it????

Its a mad world.............a very mad world.

"..and the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Road

I've tried to read more in the past few years.

I can't say I'm as well-versed in literature as I used to be, but I'm trying to change that. Hey, that's what real live does to you after college. In school, you're in a "collegiate" state of mind where you read and learn and focus on education...............(as well as drinking and partying)....... BUT - I've tried to read a new book every few months or so and have managed to be pretty consistent.

Just last week I finished The Road by Cormac Mccarthy.



Its a gritty story of survival for a young boy and his father in a post-apocalyptic world.
Mccarthy's style of writing is brash, to say the least. No punctuation, incomplete sentences............but that's what makes the story so much more real and full of impact.
He cajoles your imagination to envision yourself right beside the characters struggling along with them. I really enjoyed it.

I also just found out it was made into a movie last year starring Viggo Mortensen!
How did I miss that?
I guess I didn't really care since I hadn't heard of it, but I'm glad I read the book first.




My new book:
Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Death Cab For Cutie

This past Sunday night -- House of Blues -- Atlantic City...........

I went with Day to see Death Cab For Cutie.......LIVE


I've become a bigger fan of theirs in recent months and was pretty impressed with their live show.

The lead singer, Ben Gibbard, doesn't disappoint or leave anything behind.
Its easy to think that such eloquently beautiful vocals are somewhat digitally enhanced when you hear him sing on your MP3 player, but truth be told, he was just as good live - which was impressive and refreshing.

What a great show....

Here's a few of my favorite tunes from them:







Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Like it Better When it's Wet

Sexual innuendos................... gotta love 'em.


SO - quick rundown of the weekend:

Saturday was fun.

Day got us hooked up with invites to the Rutgers New Recruit tailgate with free food, etc.
Then - we got sideline passes to the game versus Morgan State.



Yeah, RU won 38-0, which is nice.
.....and don't get me wrong, I'm a die hard RU fan and have season tix that weren't cheap, but this was an OBVIOUS gimme. But even saying that, we still looked bad out there.
Teel still managed to throw an interception and our defense wasn't as dominant as it should've been against a IAA school. Which means that this weekend against West Virginia - AT West Virginia - will probably mean yet another flashback to about 8 years ago when it was normal to get trounced by 30+ points on a weekly basis.
Ugh............those memories make me cringe........

But what DIDN'T make me cringe was hanging in front of the Morgan State Marching Band! They are incredible.

(quick backstory - I went to Passaic high school and was in the marching band there and we had a rep for putting on GOOD shows which always included a "band dance." We literally all put down our instruments for a good 64 counts or so and did a dance. YES! FOR REAL!! This is unheard of in 99% of all high schools, but we were just too ghetto and proud that we showed it off with pride. The tootsie roll, salsa, whatever, the entire band of 150+ would be doing it on the field for our show, and we always rocked the house and left the fans cheering.)

Anyway, that wasn't a quick backstory, but at least an explanation of why I loved the MSU band so much. Oh......and I was in the Rutgers Marching Band also.........but lets be honest -- the music is LAME. A lot of it is the same crap we played when I was in there from 1998-2002. While MSU is playing Pussy Cat Dolls and Plies!
YEAH!!!!


SooOoOoOoOooo anywayz.......

Sunday was the wet fun!!

I went kayaking with some friends down the Delaware River.

"But B, it was pouring all day on Sunday! You went in the rain?!"

Hellz yeah we did!!

...and it was SO beautiful.
I loved it.

I highly recommend going kayaking in the rain if you get the chance.
Sure, we got soaked to the bone, but I wasn't really cold (thanks, Under Armour) and if you could only see the way rain dances delightfully on the surface of the river when its coming down, or how the birds abound flying over the water and doing dives right by us.
The cranes at the edge of the water watching us as they stalk some fish...........
ahh..........it was so relaxing and enchanting.
Sure, going on a sunny day might be nice, but going in the pouring rain is just so magical.
I'd love to go again sometime.















video

video

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Little Too Big For Fishsticks

Last month I went with some family and others on a party boat off of Montauk in Long Island.
(party boat = fishing for a group of people. Not quite the 'celebration' party........)

I won't go into the debacle we experienced the night before and why we ended up sleeping in our cars in a diner parking lot, but it was well worth it for the day of fishing we had.
A little backstory -- the first mate is a coworker and friend of my sister's, so we got a nice hookup.
HAH!!
get it?
oh nevermind..........



If you don't know the Montauk bay area, its chock full of stripers (Striped Bass) and bluefish.
Bluefish are fun to catch also and don't taste bad, but striper meat is really GOOD fish meat if you've never had it. Its nice, clean, non-oily white meat and is just.......MMMMM.

So we met up with the Cap'n and first mate at the dock and set out by 6am.
The boat is the November Rain and Steve & Jill were top-notch as fisherman go, and pretty cool people too. So guys - consider this free promotion!!

Anyway, we set out, caught some bait, tried a few spots unsuccessfully, then started nailing stripers out of NOwhere! I caught the first "big" one which was a little over 30 pounds, but we caught 9 stripers and 5 blues in total, with the biggest being just over 32 pounds. If you like to fish, this was a perfect day, without a doubt.

Enough words. Here's some picts:


Beautiful weather



Oh yeah, I'm happy


With my Dad and li'l brother



My sister fighting for her dinner



Victorious!!



Dad - happy with his catch



Best fishing trip EVER


Lots o fish in that cart!!



Happy buncha fisherman!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Daydreamer

Small moments of pause
throughout the day,
a few seconds
found amidst the chaotic hours,
a paralysis of body,
a stimulation of mind,
I find myself staring aimlessly
into space, from time to time
with thoughts and images dancing
around in my mind,
mixed with secretive wonders sublime,
then ending suddenly,
thrown back into reality,
finding myself sitting here in this class,
but not without a slight little grin,
knowing soon, I will see you again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Break You Off A Li'l Somethin.........

So a coworker and I just happened to be pretty bored at the same time today so we somehow got into a rap battle over IM.

If it doesn't all make sense..................too bad!
Some of it is based off of inside jokes, so you probably won't get it..........
But still, my skillz are mad, undeniably.



CK: i think hes going to do very well in the ATL
ME: oh snap that rhymed
CK: lolol
CK: they call me the great white hipe, cuz all those other rappers are like toilet paper..WIPE!
ME: yo I'm keepin it hot and throwin out sparks, cuz you just old and crusty like brown streak marks
CK: nice
CK: dont be mad when i do a drive by on your family, sprayin clips, the blood goes drip, make you turn white like mircle whip
ME: oh why you breakin out the mayo? your rhymes are just weak though, thats why ur girl sees me on the street and she's all like "hey yo!!"
CK: OMG OLOL!
CK: that was funny
ME: haha
CK: Don't be scare if you feel a little rumble , in your tiny 1 bedroom, thats just me blowin up your condo, leavin u trapped in the rubble, fuckin with me is just trouble
ME: you only blowin up in fantasy and I don't mean football, cuz with Brady done your team aint won and Crazy Ducks got NO balls
CK: that didnt rhyme
ME: haha it does if you spit it right
CK: OMG
CK: the only thing you spittin is teetheses when I knock them out with dem braceses, rockin the diamond studded grill, so ill, when there's a blackout they ask me to smile
ME: see now I know you frontin cuz your wallet full of nothin, I know you can't cop ice cuz you can't pay, cuz no lie everyone knows you work at T-Play
ME: and now your flow has died and like KFC -- you fried, and whats left is only one, and thats me - the champion
ME: what
ME: what
CK: i was AFK cuz your girl was just givin me a fabulous lay, she likes to drive my ferrari , but everytime i get her in bed she keeps on screamin "ARE"...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's Your Outlet??

I don't care who you are or what you do, everyone needs a distraction.

Something they like to do when they're not doing what they have to do.

Personally, I'm at work 45 hrs a week, and spend another 15 hrs commuting, plus on-call 24/7 every other week, which means I spend a lot of my time doing something related to work.

You know the saying.............

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.."

So what's your play??

I like sports.
I like playing, watching, and fantasy-playing baseball and football.
[insert joke about fantasy football here]


I like working out.
I hit the gym at least 4 times a week.
Not only is it great for releasing pent-up tension and relieving stress, but it keeps you healthy.

I like writing. (although I don't do it nearly as often as I'd like)
Usually poetry or anything creative that comes to me.



So..............what's your outlet?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boring Updates

They're updates.........

.....but they're boring.

So yes, that's what they are.

Hey!! This is a BLOG, ok?!??? Aren't I supposed to act like people actually read it and care even a slight little bit about what I'm up to????

(yeah..........you're probably right, but oh well.....)


Where to begin with the boredom????



Congrats to P for getting engaged! (A is a pretty cool chick!)

Good luck to TriniCandy for starting her own blog finally.
(She needed SOME kind of outlet to vent her frustrations besides writing morbid stories and trying to come up with ideas for new sex toys.............)

Day is starting school again on Tuesday and is NOT looking forward to her Summer ending.
But I have no sympathy for teachers. Nobody with Summers off should be complaining!!!

The Rutgers football season officially opens on Monday with their first game against Fresno State! I dished out enough moolah for 2 season tix, so you KNOW I will be there.
What should I bring to the tailgate?? Hmm.....I'm thinking maybe a shrimp ring and some 40's will suffice.......

Week #2 of my boss being gone on vacation and me having to run the whole Ops department.
Its nice to have the whole office to myself, but my workload is noticeably increased.
Though, I'm still rarely very busy.

I'm in the midst of two fantasy football drafts tonight.

I'm taking my Mom to a jazz and wine festival this weekend.
She loves jazz, and wine-tastings are always nice, so it should be fun.

So this guy who wrote "100 Things To Do Before You Die" .............died.
What humor in the irony.........

Why would a 9-yr old kid get kicked out of a Little League??
Because he's too good!
DUH!



OK......so on a more personal and introspective note, I've recently developed the urge to start writing again.

I'm not sure why, exactly.
Perhaps its the melancholy of Summer coming to an end,
or maybe its the creativity I've kept dormant for the past few years.

Whatever it is, I've decided to dust off the old works and open up my treasured leather-bound journal to explore my mind again.

I wonder what will come out....................

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Drops of Black

Tonight,
here,
in the dark,
is where I sit,
with my eyes wide open,
seeing more
than I would in the light......
The ray of black
shining bright in my mind,
soaking with thoughts,
the painful kind,
appearing so clearly now
as it washes my eyes,
the shadowy clouds
glaringly disguised
by an evil light
that the darkness now
banishes,
revealing the insight
and burning flashes,
that perhaps a mind,
thought full of nothing,
is brimming with something
beneath the ashes.
Though not a light
it lets me see
a previously hidden reality,
cloaked in sunshine,
but wearing a suit of black,
never witnessed
until I brought the
darkness back.
Splashed all over me,
an evil rain
falling
from an evil sky
no stars to hide
and full of sights
previously unseen.
But now the dark
reflection,
reveals my true
complexion,
dripping drops
of evil spots
soaking my soul,
with something dark
that inside me grows,
cleansing my body,
nurturing the seed,
while no one knows
what grows inside of me . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lobstering in Miami

For the 2nd year now, I've gone down to Miami to spend some quality time with family as well as go lobster-hunting for the mini-season.

Mi tia, tio y abuela viven en Miami.
My Dad was also down there visiting for a month.

For those who haven't been following along, I'm half Cuban and that side of the family is definitely more energetic and lively, to say the least.
(my aunt is more like the Energizer bunny when it comes to dancing....just ask anyone)

So aside from obviously sharing stories and events with family I don't see that often, we have two days when private citizens can go catch lobster before the commercial companies go out and clean them all out.

A quick lesson in lobstering:
Most people don't use traps like they do with crabs.
Instead, you actually have to swim down to the ocean floor and poke them out of their hiding spots under rocks and coral heads. To do this, you use a metal rod called a "tickle stick." (Oh yes...........I know your mind is in the gutter right now.......)

Then, once you've gotten them to slooooowly walk out into the open, you ease a net over them from behind to snare them. Now here's the funny thing about lobsters...... they walk forward really, really slow. But when they feel threatened, they use their powerful tail to whip them backwards REALLY fast.
So once they're in the net, they start whipping around like crazy, trying to get away. That's when you have to grab them through the net with your gloves.

Why gloves????

Here's why:
The lobster in Miami aren't like the lobster in Maine.
These guys don't have front claws. Actually, they are called Spiny lobsters because they have really sharp spikes all over their body!

So anyway, once you can manage them out of the net, you give them a quick measure to make sure they're of legal size and then stuff them in your catch bag. (Basically a sack that has a one-way flap on it so they can't get out)

Also, for anyone wondering, we were in about 30 feet of water.
.....and no, we didn't use scuba equipment. Instead, we had an air compressor that sits in an inner tube on the top of the water with 80 ft of hose that leads to a mouthpiece that we breath out of.

So aside from catching some "bugs", you also get to see some beautiful reefs and tropical fish. I saw sea cucumbers, sea spiders and under one coral head was a 5-ft nurse shark! (she seemed a little annoyed at us pokin around her home so we decided to leave her alone.)

Ok enough words...........the rest of the story is in pictures and vids....


Sunrise over the bay as we're motoring out to our spots.






Another shot of the sunrise...........gorgeous





Speeding along








Alex and Dad gettin the gear ready






We're here! Let's go!






Rockin the dive suit.






Mi tio y Yo showing off our livewell full to the top!






Overflowin with bugs!! 48 total for the three of us.






Back at the marina, we cruised past this 9-foot alligator that just snagged a dolphin carcass from the docks.






Idiot at the marina who fucked up his truck. Even funnier?? He's going to get fined by the EPA for polluting the water! HAH! DOUCHEBAG!!






Little lizard chillin on the surface of the water in the pool.


Here, check him out in action









Mmmmmm..........it always tastes better when you know you caught it







Well.........I have some more picts and vids of dinner time in a Cuban kitchen, and if you don't know about that, then you're missing out on drinking, dancing, drum-playing, guira-scraping good times. I'll spare all the gyrating and salsaing and leave it up to your imagination........

Can't wait to go back!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Last Lecture -- RIP Randy Pausch

If you kept up with the news and current events, you surely remember Professor Randy Pausch from a few months back.

I blogged about him here.

Randy passed away this morning after a being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost 2 years ago. He was originally only given 3-6 months to live but surpassed those odds and turned his own tragedy into a lecture and book that still tops the best-seller lists today.

He was a source of powerful inspiration to millions of people who had the opportunity to see and hear his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University.



RIP Professor Pausch


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My New Addiction

I have a lot of downtime at work most days.

While its nice to not be running around trying to fix things all the time, it's also sometimes really boring and the day just dragggggs on like a 100 yr old lady's boobs. Oh wait......no, that's saggggs.........

Anyway, I decided a while back that everyday, I'd try to do something productive during my downtime. Sometimes I research places I want to go, sometimes I proactively look for problems or ways to improve things at work, check out Mens Health and other fitness sites, look for blueprints for a deathray, etc.

Then, a few weeks ago I discovered Yahoo!Answers.

The premise is simple -- its a forum where people can ask questions about virtually any topic, and then anyone can answer them. You get points by answering questions, and even MORE points if the asker picks your answer as the BEST.

It may sound a little silly...........but I'm addicted!

Some people really have genuine problems and concerns and I like helping them.
I've already become a 'Top Contributor' in the Diet & Fitness category for answering so many questions and having my answers picked as the BEST so many times.

But its not just about helping people........
Some of the questions people ask are just HILARIOUS.

"I'm 11 yrs old and my penis is only 3 inches. Is this normal?"

"I'm 5'2" and 205 pounds. Do you think I'm fat?"

"Is there something wrong with me because I have the urge to strangle and kill every women I'm ever around?"

"I'm 12 have no boobs and used to be anorexic. Help!"


HAH!!


Either way, I end up answering my daily limit of questions everyday and so far I've answered over 600 questions. Eventually, I'll reach level 5 where I can answer *unlimited* questions a day!

Lame???!!!????

Perhaps...............

but.............I DON'T CARE!!!
:-P


OH - and if you decide to try and find me on there, you'll have to figure out my profile name.
I'm not giving it away, but look under Diet & Fitness and remember the fact that I'm half Cuban........ ;-)




Now some funny, courtesy of Candice

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bringing the Passion Back to America's Pastime

If you've followed my blogs at all or know me personally, you know I love the game of baseball.

This week is All-Star week.
Tonight is the All-Star game and last night was the Home Run Derby.

For the little boy in all of us men, the All-Star game and Home Run Derby are like sitting down to a meal where they only serve dessert. Its an opportunity to feel that child-like excitement of watching players that seem larger-than-life, and the Home Run Derby last night didn't disappoint.

Josh Hamilton.



Remember the name.
If you haven't already heard it - you will soon.

I've been lucky enough to have him on my fantasy baseball team this season and I couldn't be more excited.
Well, actually I can.
And I was - last night when I got to watch him bat last in the first round.

To give you a quick summary of the home run derby - 8 of the All Stars basically get to the plate and have to hit as many home runs as possible. Its that simple. Its all about showing off your power and hitting ability to entertain the fans.

Seven of the players had already hit and Lance Berkman was leading the pack with 8 home runs.
What happened next was an astonishing showcase of raw desire and talent that was powered by an incredible story of human spirit and determination.

Josh proceeded to smash ball after ball after ball into the upper decks and bleachers of Yankee Stadium. Eventually, the crowd was chanting his name, which just powered him to keep hitting more.

He finished with a record 28 home runs in the first round of the derby -- more than 3 times any of the other competitors.

The rest of the rounds don't even matter ......(or make sense, since he ended up losing the derby) because those few minutes of excitement turned him into that iconic baseball hero that legends are made of. He was Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson. He was larger than life, and so is the story of how he got there.

After getting drafted in 1999, he started down a slippery slope of addiction to drugs and gambling that eventually got him suspended and took him out of baseball. From 2002 to 2006 he didn't play baseball at all. With the help of some family and close friends, he managed to make the most of his natural talent and fight off the demons that held him back. He eventually managed to get drafted again in 2006 and skyrocketed back into the majors in 2007. Then, this season, he has proven himself to be the rare superstar that he is by putting on a clinic of hitting and defensive power that no player before him has ever done. His first half of the season culminated last night with a performance that will forever be embedded in every baseball fan's memory for a long time to come.

Thanks, Josh!







What????

Of course I didn't forget the funny!!

I think he Can Dance

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Let's Talk Logic - The Monty Hall Problem

I've been spending the past two days involved in a healthy yet heated debate with some friends of mine. Its been mostly me against them...............................me against the world!!!!!!!!!!!

I've never been on any debate team or anything like that, but I do know my logic. I nearly majored in Philosophy in college and aced all my classes, so I'm aware of what makes a solid argument and how to use math and reasoning to make logical conclusions.

This problem, however, really did kick my butt and still continues to do so.

I was so absolutely, positively sure I was right.
.........and even now after reading through wikipedia and seeing that I'm proven wrong, I'm STILL not readily accepting that I am. Its just so damn counter intuitive that I can't accept it!!
...because I'm so intuitive!!

ARG!!

So the puzzle is called The Monty Hall problem.

It goes like this:

Suppose you're on a game show, and you're given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what's behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, "Do you want to pick door No. 2?" Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?

Take a minute to ponder this and then continue reading.............
..........

......................


....................................

.................................................

...........................................................


Done?
Good.

So what's your answer?

Uh huh...........ok......................

Well here's mine, which I think is pretty straightforward:
Its a given that when you make your initial choice, your odds of picking the car are one out of 3 (1:3). Then, once the third door with the goat is opened, door #3 is no longer a viable option, and since you then have another opportunity to choose between staying or picking door #2, you have a choice of 2 options, which translates to odds of 1:2. Therefore, odds of 1:2 (or 50/50) mean that the likeliness of either door having the car are equal, so there's no benefit to picking door #2. Essentially, once the third door is eliminated, it becomes a new problem with new odds. You're now picking between 1 of 2 which is 1:2 odds.

I was uber-confident this was correct and still am trying to convince myself otherwise, but yes, apparently its wrong.

The supposed correct answer is that by switching to door #2, you give yourself 2:3 odds of getting the car, whereas sticking to door#1 keep your odds at 1:3.

I will not even attempt to explain it to you since I'm still torn and trying to disprove it myself, but if you're still curious, read the wikipedia link above and have fun trying to wrap your brain around this one.

Or, take a break and enjoy crunk Yogi:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

About My Shoulder .........(Part Deux)

I FINALLY got my MRI and arthrogram done today.

For those of you at home who haven't been following along, I've been dealing with shoulder problems for over 2 years now stemming from playing baseball.

Read this for the background story.

I first went to the orthopedic surgeon back in May. X-rays were taken and negative, and the MRI/arthrogram was the next step. I went ahead and scheduled one and showed up only to find they didn't do arthrograms there. Another month later and 2 more extremely annoying miscommunications and unexpected work commitments, and I was finally able to schedule the correct procedure at a place that did it on a day I didn't have to be on-call.

It started at 8am.
After some paperwork and stripping myself of anything metallic, I get taken into the X-ray room by a seemingly anorexic x-ray technician. (she was very nice and had a cute face, but looked like she weighed 90 pounds!)
Anyway, two initial exposures were taken while lying down and my shoulder in different positions. Once those looked good, the radiologist came in and introduced himself.
I gave him a brief history of why I was here and he gave me a rundown of what he was about to do. He also made me sign another waiver that if there was anything that went wrong, they weren't liable. Scared yet?? Nahhh......

So then I lay back down on the x-ray table and the tech puts this big wedge under me so I'm almost leaning on my right shoulder. They position my arm across my chest and then align the overhead imager over my shoulder. From this vantage point, I can see my reflection in the glass panel above, but more interestingly, if I look up behind me, I can see the monitor that the radiologist is looking at. I'm not sure of the technical term for it, but it looks essentially like a "live x-ray."

What he does next is a testament to the incredible medical advancements society has made in the new millenium...............
He tapes a paperclip to my shoulder.

Yes - a regular paperclip.
For a second, I'm a little puzzled, but when I glance up at the monitor it makes sense.

On the screen I can see the paperclip over the bones of my shoulder.
He adjusts it once more and I can see that the one end of the paperclip is perfectly aligned over a section of the space between my shoulder and the socket. He then uses a sharpie to mark that point so he knows where to inject.

He then swabs me with some iodine, etc. and gives me three shots of a numbing agent that I believe he said was primarily lidocaine. The shots didn't hurt that much - just like any other shot - an initial sharp prick then a slight burning sensation that only lasted a few seconds.

Next, he inserted what seemed like a very small cylinder about two inches or so in. He then attached one end of a clear tube to this cylinder and attached the other end of the tube to a big syringe filled with the contrast which was a barium sulfate solution. He then slowly injected about 10 ccs of the dye into the joint. It was during this point that I started to feel a little pressure in my shoulder, but after a few seconds, he pulled out the cynlinder and the arthrogram was complete.

After being led over to the MRI area and only waiting a few minutes, I was brought into the MRI room and once again checked for anything metallic on me. After assuring the nurse for the 10th time that I didn't have a pacemaker or work in a metal shop or have any shrapnel in me, she led me over to the machine. I had to lay down and shimmy up to get my shoulder into this support device that was supposed to keep it stable. She shoved some extra padding in the sides and top to help keep me from moving it at all. She also gave me a pillow, ear plugs and a wedge under my knees to take pressure off my back. Then, it was go time!

I'm not claustrophobic at all, but for anyone who is or may even think they might be, this next part might freak you out a bit.

The platform I was on slowly pulled me into the giant MRI cylinder headfirst. It was kind of like being loaded into a torpedo tube. The hole is only slightly larger than I am and both my sides were pressed up against the inside walls of the machine while the top was less than a foot in front of my face. At this point, I'm in up to my knees when I hear the girl start talking to me via speakers inside the tube. The rest of the procedure lasted about 25 minutes or so and was just me trying to stay perfectly still while all these bangs and buzzes and taps are going on around me. It went by relatively quickly and at one point I think I dozed off. I think I actually just fell asleep when she woke me up because it was finished. How rude!

So after changing, I asked the girl how I could get a copy of the films since my orthopedic doctor said I should. To my surprise, she told to wait a few minutes and they'd burn me a CD of the images. SWEET!!

Of course, I then went to work and popped it in and examined all these neat shots of the internal workings of my shoulder. Now, I'm definitely no expert in radiological diagnosis, but I do know that the bright white spots are the contrast dye, and if you see it anywhere else but in the space in the joint between the actual bones, then its gone into a void where there should be tendons or ligaments -- indicating that something has torn away.

When I started looking through the images, I started to get a little concerned.
I saw some noticeable white spots covering a larger area than I anticipated. Does this mean I tore my rotator cuff? Did I really do that much damage to myself over these years??

Instead of of speculating, I decided to ignore the shots with huge scary white patches and just picked the shots that showed the smaller, more likely areas of tears.
(If it turns out that the damage is more extensive than I originally thought, I'll post those images so you can see the extent of the tears)

Here's the first one:
The spot in red seems to stand out to me at not only a possible tear, but maybe bone degradation? I can't say for sure, but it does look abnormal.

This spot seems a little more prominent and likely to be a tear. You can see how it sticks out from the normal, round edge of the joint.

This is a top-down shot from above. Just like the previous one, the bright spot here just stands out as looking abnormal around the rounded edge of the joint.

So for any radiologists or orthopedic specialists who happen to stumble on my blog and see this, if you know how to read these, please drop me a comment with your input. I'd love to hear it.

For anyone else -- comments always welcomed!!

Otherwise, the next chapter to this story will hopefully come next week after my ortho doc gets to peep out these films. Then we'll know for sure.........

Monday, June 23, 2008

Irony & Sarcasm

A lot of humor these days.................well, good humor at least................ has a lot of irony and sarcasm embedded in it.

Like rain on your wedding day,
Like a free ride when you've already paid,
Like good advice that you just didn't take,
.....................and 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.........

............and like sublimely quoting a very popular song that probably no one will actually know.....

Either way, intelligent humor takes more than a mediocre mind to be worthwhile.
Its a fact -- stupid people don't like smart humor.
Why??

Because they don't understand it!! DUH!!

Besides, research shows that sarcasm is indeed widely believed to be an evolutionary survival skill. It takes intelligence to understand sarcasm and dumb people just don't get sarcastic humor.

Anywayz - today we mourn the passing of one of the great comedic geniuses of our time -
George Carlin.


While he was capable of incredibly versatile acting, he was known for his outrageous comedy.
Anyone who knows anything about comedians knows his famous routine, "7 Words"
It was all about the 7 words that are taboo to say on public radio/TV :
shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits

Genius!!

This was before Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy - both legends as well.

Oh well............either way, RIP George Carlin.

But, here's a story that even George would find beautiful irony in:

A convicted sex offender won a $57 million lottery!!!


What!??!!

YEAH!!!!!

Not only is this guy a registered sex offender, but he was also guilty of breaking and entering.

How's THAT for irony, eh?????


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kudos To Honda

I drive a Honda Civic.

Not exactly a chick-magnet or something that will turn heads when I rev the gas at a stop light, but, I'm a fan of Hondas.

This is my 2nd Civic and a lot of my family and friends drive Hondas as well.
They're safe, they're reliable and resale value is fantastic.

Those reasons alone had gotten me to have a lot of respect for the company, but now I have another huge one:

Honda just rolled out their new zero-emission hydrogen car.
It runs on hydrogen and electricity and emits nothing but pure, clean H2O.

Now it seems like you always hear about car companies with hydrogen-powered cars, but Honda has officially put them into production -- with a few dozen given to people in California to test drive for a while.

I'm not trying to sound like a commercial for the company, but I'm once again very impressed by their initiative and it just makes me a bigger fan since I'm kinda into saving the environment.

I personally recycle all the paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminum that I can.
I even recycle my plastic bags, and I've already replaced several of my standard lightbulbs with CFLs. I keep my AC temp a little higher, and my heat temp a little lower. I shut off lights and appliances when they're not being used, and I take mass transportation.

OK OK I know I've made my point.....................I'm no hippie, but c'mon -- we only have 1 world and we've been fucking it up for so long now that we have to start changing our ways, and thanks to Honda, there's now a realistic way to make driving a lot less of a pollutant than it currently is.

Good job, Mr. Honda!!


.....and now.........some humor....



Monday, June 9, 2008

Men's Health Urbanathlon

For those wondering what my little poll is on the right...............

I'm contemplating entering the 2008 Men's Health Urbanathlon.

Its pretty much a run/obstacle course in NYC in September that is designed to really test your fitness.

The total length of the course is 8.1 miles, BUT that includes
52 stories of stairs!!

Thats right -- part of the race includes running up and then back down 52 floors worth of stairs.

Then there's also Marine hurdles, Jersey barricades, Culvert Crawls, The Wall, and hurdling over New York City taxis.

Sound like fun or what!??!?

So.......................take my little poll on the right and tell me what you think.
Its totally anonymous, so I can't see who selected what, or even who voted at all.


So do you think I should do it????????????????????

Monday, June 2, 2008

Nothing Like a Good Book

Contrary to what some may think of me, I actually do try to read every once in a while.

Now when I say read, I'm excluding magazines and websites, which I'm ALWAYS reading.......

No, instead, when I say read, I mean a real solid BOOK.
YES - like one with actual paper pages.

Just this weekend, I finished reading this book:


Its one of the first books in a long time that I felt compelled to finish because of how endearing I found it to be. Its somewhat of a memoir about four men that met through their love of baseball and how the friendships they formed with each other transcended their brief careers in the sport. Ted Williams -- a legend to anyone who knows anything about baseball -- is one of the four and a centerpiece to their relationships with each other.

Yes, of course, there's a lot of baseball speak, but that just forms the basis of describing the strong bond that these guys formed and how all their vastly different personalities melded together into a beautifully touching life-story.

Anyway..........I loved it.
Thanks, Day!!


So, next on my list.......................

I've had this one lying around for a while now and never really touched it, but I seem to have found a new desire to read more, so I'm trying to make it last as long as I can.
Truman Capote supposedly went crazy after he wrote this book.
.....not surprising since its a true-to-life account of a gruesome shotgun murder of a family of 4 as told by the men who did it.
We'll see how good it really is..............................


Anyway, I figure I'd leave with something that amazed me.
You may have heard of flying fish.
They call them flying fish because they can jump out the water for long distances...
but THIS sucker is the realest flying fish I've ever seen!!
This, to me, is either a crazy fluke of evolution or a leap forward for it.
Either way, I've never seen anything like it, so enjoy!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The All-Sport Special!!

Today you are fortunate (or bored) enough to get to read my SPORTS blog!!

YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!

First, let us discuss this story about secret, underground women's basketball leagues in Saudi Arabia.

This is GREAT!
I love a heart-warming story about oppressed people rising up to go after the freedoms they know they deserve. OK.................well they don't exactly have freedom to play, but they do anyway!!......and thats AWESOME!!

Right??
Right!!

But there's not only CRaZy stuff goin on in Saudi Arabia, but also in Canada!
Did you know that they play FOOTBALL in Canada???
No!
SERIOUSLY!!!
They do!!

And I don't mean "football" like the incredibly-dumb-and-non-American way of referring to Soccer like 95% of the rest of the free world does, but I mean AMERICAN FOOTBALL....
......and by "American" I mean US Football....(cuz Canada is part of North America, but Canada isn't American................got it??)

Who woulda thunk its warm enough to raise pigs to get their skin and make footballs up in Canada, eh?? Certainly not I!




HAH!
I love Get Fuzzy.
Its one of the best comic strips out there, no doubt.

So to end this pseudo-comedic sports blog, lets scramble on over to MMA.
.....and no, I'm not stuttering while trying to talk about my Mom, I mean MMA as in Mixed Martial Arts.

Its a great sport........soon to take over boxing.
Fighters just don't box, they also wrestle and grapple as well as kick-box.
Its sooo much more exciting than boxing alone........

........ESPECIALLY when you get the rare chance to see a DOUBLE KNOCKOUT!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fitness

If you know me, you know I try to lead a pretty healthy lifestyle.

I'm always conscious of what I eat and try to eat as healthy as reasonably possible.

I take off the skin, I blot my pizza, I trim the fat.
I don't add butter, or salt, I never eat french fries, I rarely eat sweets or candy, I almost never drink soda or even most juices and I drink about a gallon of water and/or tea a day.
I always eat my veggies and try to eat a lot of quality protein while also limiting my simple carbs and trying to eat more complex carbs and fiber.

I also try to work out no less than 4 times a week, if possible.

I take a variety of weight-lifting supplements, but always include a quality multi-vitamin and some Omega-3 fish oil as well as green tea.

I think I've made my point................



Anyway, I'm an avid reader of MensHealth.com and love the wealth of information and advice they have on their website. I'm always finding a new exercise to try in the gym or a recipe to try in the kitchen.

Today, I'm sharing with you a great interview with Matthew McConuaghy.
He's the relatively well-known actor who is also greatly into fitness.
His outlook towards life and being happy and healthy reveal a great amount of positive enthusiasm that I think a lot of people could learn from. His life lessons are full of great advice that can be applied to not only working out, but also to work and almost any other task you come up against, so check it out.


And of course, in my original style, I gotta finish with the funny.
Well.............at least I think its funny.........



Cats On A Treadmill

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Round of F-You's.........With a Few OMG!! Srsly!??s

Well its been a while since I've posted a quality round of F-You's.

I consider that a good thing because it would probably mean I have some issues if I'm always pissed at people enough to post F-You's on a regular basis.

But, alas.....................the past 2 days have provided me with more than enough ammo......
...and because I like to be detailed, you can be sure this will be a lengthy entry.

Yesterday, shortly after getting on my train to work, we stop at the next stop - Rahway - continue about 5 minutes only to come to a complete stop. Then comes the first of many repetitive announcements:

Due to police activity ahead, all trains are being held up. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Well, thats not unusual. I figured we'd probably be on our way in 5 minutes or so.

Ten minutes later, and after seeing other trains stopped on the tracks beside ours, comes another announcement stating the obvious along with info we already knew:

Attention passengers: due to police activity ahead, all trains are being held up.

So another 20 minutes later, the driver comes out (I was in the first car) and tells us that he heard from a friend that the cops were searching for some fugitive in Newark that someone had reported seeing on the train.................and because of that, the entire NorthEast Corridor line had been shut down. Turns out the story was true, and there was a manhunt in Newark around the airport for an escaped fugitive who shot and killed a Philly cop.

Anyway, before we get to the meat of this blog, I have a few OMG!! Srsly?!?s for 2 people on the train with me.
The first is to the douchebag who went up to the conductor, looking at his watch, and asked in a frustrated tone how long we'd be held up because he had a class to get to.

HEY!!
IDIOT!!
We're in the first car and can see right through the window about 7 trains waiting in front of us!!! What the fuck do you want the conductor to do? FLY you over all the trains in front of us?????

The 2nd OMG!! Srsly?!? goes to the lady sitting right behind me who was obviously a New Yorker of Italian decent. Not to stereotype..................but.............she was a stereotypical New Yorker of Italian decent.........what can I say??? Her first round of calls to the entire family came when the train was stopped and she didn't know what was going on. Apparently, 5 minutes without talking is too long.

Her 2nd round of calls to the entire family came after she heard the news about what was really going on.

"Marie!! Oh my gawd, I just found out what happened!! Quick turn on the news! Some guy killed a cop in Philly and they saw him on the train!! Is Pauly there?!?? I'm gonna call him. Is it on the news?? Try another channel. Someone said EyeWitness news. There's like helicopters flyin around, too! You find it yet??? Go ask Petey to bring it up on his computer or something. Are they showing it??? I can't believe he's on the train. Oh my gawd I'm freakin out over here!"

Of course, all this vital information was repeated again each time she called her mom, sister, the infamous Pauly and 3 or 4 other people who needed to know all the action she was having.

OMG!! Srsly!??

Anyway.............we finally got moving and I got into work only about an hour late.

But, in typical fashion, I fool-heartedly forgot to assume that when it rains, it would pour.
So, that night after work on my ride home, 3 teenagers got on my train in Newark and went straight into the bathroom. Not quite so slick..........

Of course, 10 minutes later when the conductor came around checking tickets, he knocked on the door and got no answer. After a few knocks and still no answer, the lady sitting in front of it told him 3 kids were inside.

"Oh hell no. " he said as he whipped out keys and opened the door.

"C'mon get out. Get the hell out of of there. Lets go. Get out.
You guys got tickets??"

Now, I've seen this conductor before, and he seems like an OK guy.
But when the kids started laughing at him and ignoring him, I could see his frustration.

"Where you goin? Hey - I'm talking to you. Where you goin?"

....no answer as they continued to just look around, make noises and laugh disrespectfully.

"What the hell is wrong with yas? How you gonna sneak on the train and hide in the bathroom like a buncha low-lives???"

So, apparently now all the sudden they were listening because they took offense to him calling them names and got in his face.

"Thats it. I'm callin the cops"

So the arguing went on another minute or 2 and I think someone pushed someone and he made an announcement to hold the doors at the next stop.

So here we are pulling up to Rahway where we have to wait about 20 minutes until the cops can come and escort the kids off.



Raining hard enough yet?????
Of course not!!!!



This morning, I leave my house to go to a doctor's appointment and in the slow-motion split second I'm closing the door behind me, I realize that I don't have my keys......


...click


FUCK!!!

What to do now...........

Can't climb in the balcony - I'm on the third floor.
Everybody else who has a key is at work.
My car keys are with my house keys, so I can't even drive anywhere.
Kick the door in?? Nah, thats stupid.

Alrighty........I guess I'll call a locksmith.
So I whip out the Treo and find a locksmith right in my town.
I call them up and she says she'll dispatch someone over to my place.

"Any idea how much this is going to cost?"

"Well its $40 to have them come out, and $15 or more depending on how difficult it is to get it open"

Ok........$55............sucks, but I'll eat it up since I'm dumb enough to get myself in this situation.

Did I mention that the locksmith office was located in my town???
Yeah..........so I was just a tad perturbed that it took the damn guy an HOUR to finally come.
He did call saying he was stuck in traffic, but the office is in the same town!! C'mon!!!

Anyway, he gets there, walks up the stairs, looks at the lock and says,


"Its going to be $149 to get this open"



"Are you serious?? The girl on the phone said $40???"



"Thats just for the visit. The rest is because this is a pretty tough lock"


(For a second I take that as a compliment that I know how to pick quality locks)


"Plus, if I can't pick it, I'm gonna have to drill it"


Since I didn't really think I had too many options at that point, I gave him the go-ahead.

So he fiddles with his little kit of picks and whatnot, jabbing different things in the keyhole for a few minutes and then turns to me.

"I'm gonna have to drill it"



"Are you serious??!"



"Yup"

So of course he comes up with the drill, drills a hole, and then opens the door with a screw driver.

I go in, get my wallet and keys and pay him.

I couldn't help but just stop for a minute to think about what had just happened.

Then I realize.........

The best option would've been to just kick the damn door in myself!!!

I just paid some crook $150 to basically destroy my quality lock.

If I would've just kicked the damn door in, I still would've had my lock and would've just had to repair a wooden doorframe which would've run me only maybe $40!!

GAHHHH!!

For THAT - I give myself an
OMG!! Srsly!??

BUT........

To the fugitive who killed the cop.........
To the 3 punkass teens on the train...........
and
To the ripoff locksmith..............

I give a hearty and well-deserved


F-You!!!!




So I can't end on a sour note, so here's some humor for Star Wars or James Earl Jones fans: