To Full To Move

All this schooling is making my head hurt and all this eating is making my belly hurt. After training today we just headed back to the hotel to rest up for dinner. Instead of driving back to Concord to overeat at Razzoo’s we decided to just walk across the hotel parking lot to Applebee’s and stuff ourselves. Quite a let down from last night. The highlight of the meal was we got to make fun of our waitress.

She came over and took our drink order first. Being as we weren’t driving, alcohol was called for in this sort of situation. Mark ordered a bottle of Coors Light and I asked what kind of dark beer they had. It should have been our first clue when she named off a couple and then asked us if Michelob was a dark beer. I opted for a Killian’s Red (which is brewed by Coors, by the way.) Off she went.

After what seemed a long time later she came back and asked if we were ready to order. Mark and I looked at each other, then back at her and nearly simultaneously asked, “Where’s our beer?” To which she replied, “I’m not old enough to serve you, someone from the bar was supposed to bring you your drinks.” She smiled sheepishly and went away, to return a minute or so later with another person carrying beers. When the helper left I told her we would be polite and not drink any until she left. We both ordered the riblets. After she left Mark said, “I should have asked her if she was old enough to serve ribs.”

When she did bring our meals Mark told me (loud enough so that she would hear), “See, I told you she was old enough to serve ribs.” She smiled slightly. She checked on us a couple times during the meal and when we got about 3/4 way through eating and she showed up I told her to see if she could get one of her assistants to bring us another round.

We got in one more when it came time to pay, Mark asked if she was old enough to take cash. After she left both Mark and I commented that we didn’t think she was waitress material, because if she was she would have taken the ribbing with a little more humor. I think waitressing is a lost art and in the 5 meals we have eaten out so far on this trip we have had one real waitress and one who has potential, the other 3 are just going through the motions because they need the money.

I’d tell you all about the good and the great if I wasn’t so full I’m in a stupor. I think I’ll just turn on the Weather Channel and let the dulcet tones of meteorologists lull me to sleep.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 32


Something changed with my web host. All of a sudden the fancy post titles stopped working. When I try and go to the configuration page for the plugin I get this evil looking message:

FATAL: Your PHP installation does not support some key functions that this plugin requires. Talk to your hosting administrator about upgrading your PHP installation with GD and FreeType support.

I checked what the web host was running through cPanel and it seems like both those items are already running. I guess I should complain, but I just don’t have the motivation to try.

Is it just me or the reason Ford Motor Company is in trouble is because the head honcho, the guy in the commercials and on the cover of Newsweek, Bill Ford looks a lot like Al Gore.

Bill Ford Al Gore

As regular readers know, my wife and I are recent inductees in the cult that is “Lost” and while searching for an episode guide to see where last night’s ABC rerun fit into the scheme of things I found ABC’s official merchandise store for the show. Why, oh why, do they insist on putting the show’s logo on every item they sell (well that is a somewhat rethorical question) when it would be so much cooler if they just let the item stand by itself. Those in the know would immediately get it and those that didn’t and asked would get an impassioned sales pitch from an insider. And it they didn’t ask, they just aren’t hip enough to matter. I know that I would buy the Oceanic Bag as my laptop carry bag in a minute if it didn’t have the show’s logo on the front.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 32

Non Conforming Material Report

Donna and I work in a manufacturing plant and our Quality Assurance department uses what they call an NCMR to flag parts that are bad. NCMR stands for Non Conforming Material Report which is the politically correct term for crap parts. Like the parts that aren’t up to spec would have it’s feelings hurt if we called them scrap or something.

Today at work the Activities Committee had a bake sale to raise money for projects they do during the year (and perhaps to help defray the cost of psychiatric help for the fragile egos of non conforming parts.) Donna volunteered to bake some of her renown chocolate chip cookies for them to sell. Last night we made around 10 dozen cookies. As always there are a few that get baked a little too long or crack and break when they are removed from the cookie sheet. Wanting to put only her best cookies on sale we took a paper plate full of the rejects to work to give away on my side of the plant.

To be cute I placed a little sign over the cookies that read:
Non Conforming Cookie Report.
Failed inspection for the following reasons:
1) Heat treated to long
2) Rough edges
3) General workmanship

Within a half an hour the cookies were all gone, but some one had placed a sign over the top of mine:
Second sample of 24 required to make final determination. Submit to Engineering Department. Day shift only.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 32

Two For Tuesday

Tonight Donna and I went out for a scoop of ice cream. We went to a place on the south side of town, J. Flanagan’s, that used to be somebody’s home, but has been converted into a business like 90% of the places along this former residential street that has become a byway between two major commercial roads.

I got a cup of my usual, some sort of coffee flavored treat while Donna picked something slightly different than her normal. While waiting to be served I was magically transported back to high school by the music playing in the background. Tuned to one of the several local “classic rock” stations, the radio was playing the stoner national anthem, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven.”

When we got our ice cream and sat down I heard “Stairway To Heaven” end and “Misty Morning Hop” start. I usually don’t pay attention to which day of the week I’m on at any given moment (except for Friday afternoon), but right away I knew it was Tuesday.

Started up, stil up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 35

So Long Sawbuck

A couple weeks ago I bought a mouse for the laptop. A touchpad is OK, but if you canget a spot to run a mouse it is much easier all around. I did a bunch of research on the internet, my criteria were small, cordless, USB and have a scroll wheel.

I finally settled on buying a Logitech Cordless Mini Optical Mouse from Logitech must have over estimated the demand for this mouse in blue because they were offering a $10 rebate on that color. I probably would have bought the black or silver, but I could live with mis-matched colors for that ten bucks back.

I ordered the mouse. I printed out the rebate form. I filled out the form. I printed an envelope with the mailto and return addresses on it. I put the stuff right next to the desktop’s monitor awaiting the arrival of the mouse with the last piece of the puzzle, the UPC code.

Last night while tidying up on the compter table I came across the rebate stuff that had been missing from my conciousness since minutes after I placed another piece of paper over it, probably less than 2 days after filling out the form. Trouble is that while the rebate paperwork was out of sight and consequently out of mind, the mouse arrived. So you know what happened. That’s right, the mouse worked, so I tossed the package it came in out into the trash.

Too bad too, because that sawbuck would have covered the cost of the little ear bud headphones I bought tonight so that when I using the laptop in the living room I can listen to internet radio without disturbing Donna’s TV sound…

Started up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 35

I’m Sorry

Yesterday I accused Netflix of throttling me because my latest movie was going to take three days to get to me. The movie arrived today and now I realize the delay was my fault. By picking such an obscure movie it had to come from Netflix’s mountain vault in Reno, NV.

I rented “Written in the Wind” at the suggestion of my soon to be retired manager who said he saw it in college. He couldn’t exactly remember what the movie was about, but he thought is was pretty good. What he did remember vividly was the opening sequence where Robert Stark is bombing around the deserted street of a western town in a flashy two seat Allard J2.

It was a little over the top, which apparently all the critics love, but we hated, so we turned it off after about 10 minutes…

Started up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 35

Harbinger Of Spring

For the first time in a week and a half the top on the Miata went down. Today it was in the low 60s, tomorrow the upper 60s and Thursday & Friday will be mid 70s. There was a hint of pine pollen, like yellow fingerprint powder, outlining where our greasy hands were when closing the trunk the past couple of times…

Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 36


“Lost” starts in about 20 minutes and I’m going to try and watch it. I’m afraid though that I’m not going to like it, that I really should wait for the DVDs. I think the commercials are going to give me time ponder and…

…Donna said it best last week after she did what I did, went back and read the synopsis of the first 12 episodes of season two, “Reading these makes me wonder why we are even watching this crap.”

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 38


That is the name on the store where I get my usual reading matter, they have thousands of books on the shelves from new hardcovers to used paperbacks. I buy used paperbacks at roughly 1/4 the cost of the sicker price (half off because they are used and then half off of that because I have traded in tons of old books there.)

It is getting harder and harder to find something to read there though. I normally read mystery/action/thriller type books and lately the jacket blurbs are all starting to sound alike — “Katherine Tomillia, a beautiful and brilliant lawyer with a troubled past is being stalked by a perverted serial killer and her only hope of bringing him to justice is to be re-teamed with her ex-husband, a gritty streetwise former police officer turned private eye, Drake Wingo. Follow Drake and Katherine into the high stakes world of high finance, global politics and quilt making…”

I did manage to find 4 possibles, including Mesmerized. “After a heart transplant saves brilliant Washington attorney Beth Convey, she inexplicably aquires new tastes and abilities, and finds herself having strange dreams — or are they memories?”

Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 53

Papa’s Got A New Pair Of Shoes

They are Timberland Pro Titan Oxford 40045 and look a lot like these, but are lighter in color, more tan than brown. Mama got some new shoes too. Donna spends quite a bit of time on the shop floor, so she wears steel toed shoes as well. She will be styling and profiling in a pair of Lehigh High Heel Slip-on #483.

We drove all the way to Columbia to the shoe store to get a good selection, boy do we lead an exciting life.

Started up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 53

Web Design for Dummies

Got a Gmail account? Want your own web page, but don’t know HTML from SHIT? Google has just the thing – Don’t have a gmail account? Ask me, I’ve got a 100 to give away.

Here is my attempt – Brian’s Googlious Web Page.

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 58