Friday, March 31, 2006

Does the Mach 3 Turbo Belong Below the Neck?

It's Friday, you ain't got no job, you ain't got shit to do. I'm gonna get you...

Okay, so maybe not. But it is Friday, and I love that movie (Friday)!!

Here's a story I'm sure you will all care about. We went out to The 99 (I'm not sure why 'The' is in the name, but that's what people call it) for lunch yesterday as JD's going away lunch. I felt compelled to eat a roast beef and cheddar dip, because the waitress HIGHLY recommended it. It was pretty good, but it will not receive a glowing recommendation from yours truly.

Afterwards, one guy had to have dessert. The next thing you know the other 9 of us are ordering. I knew the sandwich was going to catch up with me sooner or later, so I opted for the slice of apple pie over any hot fudge laden treats. This freaking pie shows up and it's literally A PIE. It was about 6" in diameter, covered in caramel sauce and ice cream. I ate it, but I knew I was in for a world of hurting. And what a world that was!

Hours later I met up with The Crazy Group for our Thursday run. As I laced up my kicks in the driveway, I could feel the roast beef and pie battling for position. The desired position? On the driveway next to my feet. I held it down, but knew this was going to be an unpleasant run. I'm a trooper, but I warned the ladies (yup, yesterday it was me and the ladies!!!) that they might have to come pick me up on their way back down the mountain if an all out Battle Royal broke out.

Have you ever found yourself in the unpleasant position to have to suck in your gut after a meal of Thanksgiving proportions? Well, try doing that for 75 minutes while running through the woods; jumping over streams, rocks, branches, logs, etc. Fortunately, the ladies I was running with were all seasoned nurses and mothers, and were not bothered by bodily functions. Not that there were any to speak of, but I'm sure they could hear the sloshing noises my roast beef/ice cream/water encumbered belly was making.

Question of the Day:

As the ladies were discussing their pale legs and the fact that they had to remember to shave just for this run, they mentioned that I should shave my legs. I'm not one to be shaving anything below the neck unless there's a good reason, but they felt it would really help emphasize my calves. I'm not sure if this was a compliment or they were saying I could use any help I could get in the calf department. I certainly wouldn't be doing it for speed because there are other things I could do to improve speed that wouldn't give me chick legs.

So ladies, what are your thoughts? Guys, I already know what you're thinking. I'm not seriously considering this, it's more of a curiosity.

And while I have the razor out, would it be too much to shave a 6-pack into my stomach? It's not like I look like Steve Carrell in 40 Year Old Virgin, but I'm no bare chested wuss. There's material to work with.

Well, I await your feedback on these topics. For now, I'm back to documentation. And today's a beautiful day; good thing I'm working until 4 :(

Over and out,
Old Coot

P.S. It's JD's last day here at work, the lucky bastard! Good luck, player.

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Victory was Mine

This is going to be a brief, Early Morning Edition. I was tested this morning and I have to say I passed and even got the extra credit. Here's how it went down...

I got out of bed around 5:50 according to my alarm clock. That means it was really only about 5:43. I fed the Hungry Hungry Kitties, hopped in the shower, shaved, dressed (in a springtime short-sleeve shirt!), grabbed the kitchen garbage and was out the door. The sun was glistening on the frosted dew covering the lawn and car. No need to scrape, a few passes of the wipers and I was in business. So far, so good.

When I arrived in the parking lot, I got a clutch spot since it was before the 7:00 rush. I decided to finally take the coffee cups out of my car, and empty my travel mug. As I climbed out of the car, wouldn't you know I spilled ALL of the coffee on my pants.

I kept my cool minus one toss of the keys and a non-expletive yell. YES, way to watch your mouth!

I reached into my glove box where I knew I would have a bevy of napkins and started sopping up the coffee. I kid you not, it just came right off. God Bless You, Old Navy Stain Defender Khakis. God Bless You.

So, I kept my cool, everything worked out, and I said what's up to everyone I passed in the How's-the-Day-Gonna-Go office. Oh, I shant be defeated in this: The Summer of Todd. I shant be defeated.

My arch nemesis, the Bizarro Summer of Todd (boo, hiss) failed to lure me out of my 100% positive summer mood.

Note: The Bizarro Summer of Todd is not to be confused with the Summer of Bizarro Todd. BT - as I call him for short - is my successor should I die or otherwise become unable to fulfill my Toddly duties.

And with that, I will work,
Old Coot

P.S. Go ahead and laugh, I said duties.

Get the Whole Story Here...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I brought my AK, but I didn't have to use it

Folks, while yesterday I carried my AK, it turns out that I didn't need it; it was a good day. If you don't get this reference stop reading immediately and buy every Ice Cube album you can find. This blog will still be here when you get back.

When I stepped out the door yesterday I decided that it was going to be a good day. I can usually tell how it's going to go by the time I get to my desk. One of the offices I walk through en route to my desk is a 100% accurate indicator of how well the day will go. Everyone there was smiling and friendly. Sometimes I can feel like a celebrity walking down the hall; "What's up Bill? Cheryl, how's it going? Betty, looking good! Hey (Guy I don't know), what's the good word?" and so on. And people were smiling when they saw me coming. Yup, it was going to be a good day.

I started in on what I was planning on doing, and it seemed to be going well. I got distracted for a few hours looking for a thermal pad (glorified foam) that does not exist in this time zone. Back to work, got distracted again (you know who you are), back to work again, got to assemble some hardware. NOTE: It's almost always a good day when you get to touch some real hardware. It really makes you feel like an engineer to get your hands on something that you designed in PowerPoint! And when it all fits together, oh how sweet it is.

My late afternoon was filled with my original task, which I basically finished around 7:00. Man, that's two long days in a row. But the way the sky looked behind the big cooling towers and the PCB pile made the late night seem alright.

Eff that, it's nice today so I'm leaving early (hopefully). I have a lawn that needs a good spring raking!

So last night, I left work around 7, as I mentioned before. My car told me it was 46 degrees out. Not too hot, not too cold. I went home, ate dinner and decided to go for a run circa 8:00. I assumed it was still in the 40s when I headed out, but it really felt cold. After the first leg of my run, I made the decision that I was going to bag the run early. I could feel the cold in my lungs, something was awry. When I got home, I checked the thermometer and it read 35 degrees. That means it dropped over 10 degrees in an hour. Damn, no wonder I was so cold.

After that, I took a shower, curled up with a cat and did some good olde fashioned internet surfing. And by olde fashioned I mean on a laptop via a wireless connection to my DSL router. I also lost another $200+ in computer solitaire. The total is up around $2700+. Good thing it's not real dough, but I am accepting donations if you want to express your pity of me.

Well, the sun is shining, my team lead is growling and I want to go home. Hmm, where to put my priorities?

Maybe I will use my AK just a little,
Old Coot

P.S. No, I won't. Please don't send security. My AK is safely disassembled in my desk drawer.

Get the Whole Story Here...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Will Waddle for Pie

Sup y'all. Not much to post here today but for consistency sake I'm tossing something up there.

Yesterday morning I awoke to my usual radio jabbering. I half listened while I made excuses for staying in bed "just ten more minutes". By 7:00 I was ready to get up, and I thought to myself "Shit! Yesterday I was supposed to set my clock forward! It's really 8:00!" I ran through some early morning logic and concluded that The Simpsons had been on at 8:00 My Time, so maybe I was okay. Had the clocks been changed it would have been on at 7:00.

At that point there was nothing I could do but lay in bed even longer waiting for them to give the time (and perhaps the weather). I heard neither and just checked the ole Sprint Standard Time on my mobile. "Phew, it's only 7:20." Which means I wasted 20 more minutes trying to decide how late I really was.

I got to work around 7:45, did some promised e-mailing that I had not been able to accomplish over the weekend, then set to work. I managed to keep myself so busy that I forgot to eat my 2nd breakfast until it was almost lunch time. Convenient, because I didn't have a real lunch and I wanted to work through it anyways. In the end, I accidentally worked until 6:45. That's a long day by my reckoning.

NEWS ALERT: I saw HECOW waddling around last night. He was even wearing a shirt that read "Will Waddle for Pie", and had 3rd degree blueberry burns on his face. HECOW, if you want your identity kept secret, and your little secret kept secret, I require $1 per day, paid monthly and in advance.

Speaking of pie, I love pie. I made the second of two Little Caesers blueberry pie kit pies last night and it was oh so delicious. And their secret ingredient (I have very sensitive taste buds) - DA DA DA DAAAA - deliciousness! But seriously, this pie contained the following ingredients: Bluberries, sugar, cornstarch, flour, shortening, and a dash of vanilla. Nothing more, nothing less, so you can imagine it was freaking good.

Well, I have more Qualification Test Plan writing to finish, so I must bid you adieu.

Peace in the Northeast,
Old Coot

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Monday, March 27, 2006

I *heart* (only) Upstate NY

Ahh, Monday morning. Folks, let me regale you in the splendidness of my weekend. Actually, there's nothing to tell, because splendid it was not.

So I was chilling at lunch with The Lunch Crew, discussing everyday life and how HECOW is so decrepit. A) He's crutching around like a wuss and B) He made a pregnant woman carry his lunch to the table for him. Weak.

All of a sudden, my mobile rings and it's my mother pleading for my assistance in packing up my sister. I had planned on straight up chilling all weekend, but family comes first and I agreed to make the dreaded trip to Spring Valley, NY one last time. I wanted to try out a more better route, so I consulted every map possible to guarantee I didn't get lost. My first hour or so went swimmingly, even the new section that I've never before tried. Then...

I got lost. A sign at my sister's exit had an arrow pointing to the RIGHT with the word "Airmont" next to it. I was in fact looking for Airmont Rd (or whatever type of thoroughfare it was) so I followed said road. It wasn't until I reached New Jersey that I realized I wasn't going to be finding my turnoff. As it turns out, the sign must have been pointing me to a city or town, not a road. That added the hour back onto my drive and increased my blood pressure to above average proportions.

The next day (Saturday) we packed up my sister and headed out in my car to the airport. That was another ordeal, which I won't discuss. I just hate the kind of traffic they have around there, and I was sleep deprived to boot. And hungry, and I needed coffee.

When we reached the terminal, my parents went in with my sister to see her off. I asked that they don't dawdle in case I couldn't just sit at the unloading area. They did not, and I had to drive all over the airport to get back. This was the perfect time for my mother to have her mobile on vibrate.

3 hours later we arrived back at my sister's house ready to pack up her stuff and get on the road. I ended up with more in my car than planned, but the van was PACKED to the brim. Eh, no biggie.

Then, we got lost on the way back to the NYS Thruway. I warned my parents that I should not lead, but they did not heed my warning and we went the wrong way. Eventually, I navigated by braille and got us to 87N, just in time to get stuck at an accident.

While I enjoy most of NYS, I feel I should have a t-shirt that specifically refers to that section of the state I like. I propose the following (yes, I made this myself)...

After that, it was smooth sailing. I got home around 5:30, 6:00. I had some dinner, put on a movie (that skipped) and went to bed. I slept until 11:00 Sunday morning.

Yesterday was much less eventful. I went for a nice long run and got snowed on. It was in the mid 40's, but it still managed to snow on me. At least it wasn't rain; thank you Jesus.

Lessons Learned:

  • Never drive to Spring Valley, NYC, NJ, or JFK Airport ever again

  • Just because you have 3 maps and written directions doesn't mean the navigational gods aren't still working against you

  • My ass doesn't like riding in cars anymore

  • Clean sheets make getting out of bed even harder (you didn't get the story, but it's self-explanatory)

  • I need to buy a navigation unit for my car

  • Let the dryer do its job. Your sheets won't dry on the bed, no matter how tired you are.

So there, that was my Monday rant. Everyone wish my sister good luck in Japan. She arrived yesterday in Tokyo and that's all I know.

P.S. Ab, I stopped over at Snicky's apt to drop off the cat stuff. Patti was out and about and letting us pet her (sans hissing). She even rolled around on the floor for me. The Rickster was fast asleep in the bedroom, I let him be.

I'm ghost,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Someone lend me $350

GOOD MORNING PITTSFIELD, MASS (said like Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam)!!!

If anyone was so inclined to read last night's entry, you'll know I was up late Hard Blogging last night. I also lost another $350 to my laptop in a post-blog Solitaire binge. I think I need help.

As I lay in my bed this morning listening to the radio personalities on PYX106 talking about whatever they were talking about, I started to hear the sound of a truck backing up. The beeping got progressively louder and I assumed the truck is getting closer. After about half an hour, I started to get annoyed with this a$$hole who probably left his truck in reverse while he went home to eat breakfast. Then, during a brief moment of silence on the radio it occured to me that it wasn't a truck backing up, it was my roommate's alarm clock. Now, he's in Arizona on a house-hunting trip so it's not like he's being lazy this morning, he's not even there to shut the damn thing off. So despite my best intentions to not go into his room when he's not there (or really any time for that matter), I had to venture in to shut that freaking thing off.

Here's where things got complicated...

I sauntered up to the alarm clock ready to push the switch over to not only stop the current beeping, but also to prevent it from waking me up at the a$$ crack of dawn all weekend. But this was no ordinary alarm clock; turning off the alarm needing a series of button presses, passwords, a decoder ring, wi-fi access, two forms of government ID and a valid credit card (for authentication purposes only). Fear not, I was able to turn that mother out.

And if you're reading this JD, my tone is hilarity not annoyance. It made a good story, I'm not complaining.

And speaking of ineptitude, let me e-bust on HECOW a little. I told him yesterday that I had been thinking about it, and now's the time. This guy is not only not a weekend warrior, but he's more of a March-Madness-Basketball-Tourney-at-Work Warrior. And he's now recovering from his annual sprained ankle. To watch him crutch his ass around, you'd think both legs and an arm had been amputated. And to make it even better, the best recovery solution he's come up with is to sit around in his own filth. And to kick all of us healthy people in the nuts, the bastard gets in-plant parking (for people here at work, we know how coveted an in-plant parking pass is), which I can only assume will be milked for all it's worth.

Well, that's it. Apparently I had a lot to say since my midnight blogging binge last night.

P.S. To my e-stalker, I found yarn fibers near my e-mailbox. You're so busted.

Yours truly,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Late night, great night

Good evening (said it like Count Chocula). It's 11:16 in the PM on Thursday night. I accidentally ate some gooey brownies (no, not that kind) and washed them down with coffee circa 10:00PM, so I'm wide awake now. This gives me some time to work on my blogging when my brain is in a different mode from my usual blog-time.

Before you read on, I want to warn you that if you are having a bad day or had a bad day yesterday, or just plain don't like to hear about other people having good days, you should abandon this blog and come back tomorrow, for today was a good day.

For some reason, it hadn't dawned on me until almost 6:00 tonight as I was pounding the pavement on Williams St that my spirits were through the roof. Due to some self-protective mechanism, I find that I've been on a very even keel mentally for the last year or so - no highs, no lows. It's a nice break from my previous bout with depression (I believe the rest of you called it 2004), but it affords me no highs, I just am.

Today was not like that, and it took running down the street in uncooperative shorts (but shorts in March nonetheless) for Jay-Z to point it out to me. Actually, it was Jadakiss who said "Gangstas don't die, they get chubby and move to Miami". I'm not sure why that made my day since I'm not a gangsta, I don't aspire to get chubby and I couldn't care less about Miami (I'm a Bills fan, eff the Dolphins). But at that point something clicked and I knew today was a good day.

Plus, let me tell you something else I don't think you'll care about. I had been reading on my running forum about how you're really supposed to run if you don't want to beat your knees to a pulp. It turns out that the old heel-to-toe technique is no good. You should be on the balls of your feet, moving at 180 steps/minute. So I tried that and OH MY ASS was it good. I'm sure my calves will be screaming at me tomorrow, but it worked great. Somehow I even shaved something like 6 minutes off my 10K time. That's unreal, I was down to 7.5 min mile as opposed to an 8.5 minute mile. Anyone who runs on the regular knows that taking a minute off your mile is HARD, and somehow I did it in one day. I give credit to this new technique and Mother Nature for her inspirational weather.

I'm not really a stickler for time when I run, usually it's more like I just want to finish up before it's time for dinner. I'm really more into running for the mental clearing aspect of it (plus I like to be able to eat dessert everyday and not worry about gaining weight). But today I strapped on the watch and kept tabs.

Well, I'll leave you all be now. I have a serious debt to Windows Solitaire that I think I'm going to try to win back now. As of last night, I owe my laptop $1995. Blast me and my addictions.

Over and out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Target is letting me down

I'm working on my blog motivation these days, trying to keep this puppy alive and well. Yesterday, I received my first comment from someone I don't know personally. It was great, and it tells me that I'm worthy of being e-stalked, plus it adds to my blogivation. Any more lurkers out there?

Well, nothing more has changed since yesterday so I'm going to use this entry as a soapbox from which I will voice my complaints with the new Target store that finally opened. Yes, we have a Target, and yes it seems to be pretty nice. I was afraid it would be ghetto like every other store we get (ahem, Home Depot). However, I've been there twice this week in a fruitless search for a pair of bedside tables. I found one I liked, but they only had one. I found another that I liked, again they only had one. The real kick in the balls is that the first one (that I liked the most) was on sale and included a $20 gift card if you buy two. Of course, they cover their ass on that one by only having one in stock. DAMN!

So I left the store empty-handed. I was also going to buy a cat grooming set to cut my cats' nails, but I didn't like it that much and I was pissed about the table situation. They didn't sell just the scissors either, you had to buy the set. Here's my beef on the grooming set: who the hell needs a whole set to cut their cat's nails? It came with a chintsy cutter and a file, as if cats enjoy getting their nails did and would sit still while you file them. The price was right, but I didn't get it out of principle.

Well, it's one day closer to the weekend so I'm trying to get my spirits lifted. I have my Oat Bran concoction here, a hot coffe and some drawings to review. Life doesn't get much better than this. I'm finally going to get back out with the running crew tonight, so that's a bonus. I may even try running with The Fast Group if The Crazy Group isn't going out. The Fast Group is, as their name implies, fast. They also run roads, of which I'm not uber fond these days. But they're also fun and their run begins and ends at a restaurant where I think everyone has dinner. How fun!

So that's all I have to say about that. Drop me a comment if you're so inclined, perhaps a name suggestion for the Silver Soob (my car, if you don't already know). So far, Tinsel Wagon is the front runner but it's a little fruity if you know what I mean.

Over and out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I got an earful for ya

Fellow Countrymen (and countrywomen) and Othercountrymen (and othercountrywomen), lend me your ears.

Heh heh, that was from some speech by some important guy from a long time ago. I think it was Caeser, but I can't swear to it. What I do remember is in Global Studies (history) - freshman year of highschool - our teacher was reciting that speech and someone (cough, cough, Rick K.) whizzed a rubber ear at her. I didn't like to laugh at Rick's antics, because I found his sense of humor to be too cheap sometimes. He always got the laugh, but it was often the "stupid humor" Since we were two of the 4 new people to the school that year, I felt I was in direct competition for everyone's attention and acceptance, and he was winning it cheaply. But, I stuck to my guns and look at me now - I have my own blog read by upwards of 10 people every week! However, my hat was off to him with that stunt, Rick. It may have been set up, but I'll assume it wasn't and congratulate you.

Wow, that's not where I was planning on going with my blog today. My real story is about my sister (older sister to be exact) who is finalizing her preparations to leave for Japan. She stayed by my house last night to drop her kitties off at Snicky's house (sounds complicated, it isn't) and rest up for the drive to Buffalo.

She had brought the cats into the house and dropped them in the kitchen while she brought the rest of her stuff in. Patti was moaning and hissing and I attempted to calm her while I waited at the door for my sister. I knew the cat wouldn't take travel well, and she's a little rough around the edges when you first meet her, but the hissing was a little much. I turned around to see my two cats peering into her cage. Ooops, my bad.

Enough about cats again.

Well damn, I don't have much else to talk about. I'm currently living vicariously through everyone else's major life changes. My sister's moving to Japan, my roommate Jack Bland is moving to AZ, and everyone else I know is getting married and/or having babies. Where does this leave your humble narrator, you might ask? Free to enjoy the blossoming Summer of Todd. Surrisly, I'm bout to wild out! And below you'll see how...

How I'm fittin' to wild out:

  • Buy a road bike and ride it often (no, not that wild)

  • Regularly cook/bake wearing nothing but an apron (I'll pause while you picture it mentally)

  • Build a front porch (anyone who knows me, knows this is extreme)

  • Build a side porch (the one I have is just so ghetto)

  • Perhaps go skydiving

  • Plant flowers all over the place

  • Get some grass going on the hill next to the driveway

  • Wrap up the rest of my home improvement plans.

Huh, that doesn't sound so wild. Sure, the apron idea is a little wild. I'd try it with barbecueing, but the neighbors might not appreciate it.

Or would they?

Well readers, I'm running out of e-steam here. I'll let you get on with your day.

Over and out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Yes, I'm navigationally challenged

Hi all, I have a post all ready to put up here about some of my escapades over the weekend. It's sitting on my desktop on my PC at home, so I'll be sure to get it up here ASAP.

Other than what you'll be getting in a later posting, here are some things that went down over the weekend. I made it from my house to my sister's school without getting lost even once. It was a MIRACLE! Thank you Jesus! I did get lost later on that night in crazy traffic (you'll read about that later) and then for a short while on my drive back to the good ole Berkshires. The last one I blame entirely on Google maps and the State of New York. Apparently, there are no rules about naming multiple streets the same thing or putting the route number on the sign as opposed to the name of the street. A few extra turns and curses got me back on track. Bastards!

Of course as I was driving around lost, my contacts were fuzzing up something fierce so it was impossible to focus on either the road signs or my map/directions. I was heated.

The rest of the drive went well. I was transporting an entertainment center in the Soob (I still need a name for my car, and no, "Mom-mobile" is not acceptable), and found that it outperformed the truck in its transporting duties. Yes, the truck would have been easier to get the entertainment center into and out of, but I would have had to strap it down, cover it, pull over every 30 minutes to reattach the tarp, etc. So far I have only needed the truck for one thing that the Soob couldn't do, and that was helping someone move, so I'm grateful for that inadequacy. The only complaint about the drive was that the knobs kept vibrating loose on the doors/drawers of the entertainment center. Twice I had to look for one that had come all the way off, rolled around for a while and fallen off somewhere in the back. Oh, and once I had four bottles of hot sauce and three cans of tuna fall out of the door at a rest stop. Nothing broke, but I yelled a lot (this was shortly after I got back on track after being lost for 1/2 hour, so I was still a little tense).

Last night was fairly boring. I unpacked the groceries I got from my sister and made a nice pile of things that are up-for-grabs. I'm going to give Snicky the first cut at the leftovers since she has been nice enough to volunteer to house my sister's cats for the next few months.

Which brings me to my next point... I felt really bad calling her to ask about sitting for the cats. I had been badmouthing the cats for some time now, but when I actually got out there and spent some time with those kitties, I realized they're actually good cats. Sure, the female (Patti) hisses at me from time to time, she's still a sweetheart. She kept forgetting that she didn't like me and would snuggle up on the couch with me (until she remembered that I'm a bad person, and she'd hop down). And Ricky, the male is eggstra cute. He's a lot like my Vinny- chill and malleable - but also much less needy (Vin is SOOOO needy).

Enough about cats.

While I was out at my sister's abode, I put myself to work. The bathroom faucet was missing the cold handle. Since she couldn't find the replacement handles, she had bought a whole new faucet. I figured instead of assing out and only swapping the new handles I'd replace the whole faucet - "It should be pretty easy". Of course it wasn't as easy as I would have liked, but it didn't require additional trips to Home Depot so I consider it a complete success. Plus, the new faucet works/looks so much better that the old one. Score one for the good guys. Oh, and she has some nice photos of me working under the sink, complete with plumber's crack. I'll try to get the PC pic up sometime once she has it available to share.

My next project was to replace the smoke detectors. She has the fancy hard-wired kind that is hooked into the power panel. Oooh lah laaahh. Apparently during The Great Broiling Fiasco of Ought-Five the smoke detectors met their final demise. In the months following the Fiasco, they remained in service, emitting a low cricket-like sound, but offered no protection whatsoever. A quick repacement by yours truly and she is free to burn any and all pork chops she chooses, with all the bells and whistles. No Plumber's Crack during this project, just Electrician's Glute (and no photos).

So I'm back at work today and I'd much rather be home doing anything else. It's not terrible, I just have other things I'd rather be doing. Plus, since JD gave his notice everyone thinks I've got one foot out the door. If this screws me out of a raise this year, I'll be pissed!

P.S. I got my tax refund from Uncle Sam, so if anyone sees Steve "The Home" Depot, let him know that the money is on its way.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

P.S. I found some pictures of Old Coot related paraphernalia. Blogspot isn't cooperating, so I'll have to try and post them another time.

Get the Whole Story Here...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Trip to Sis's Part I

Good morning all y’all readers out there in Readerland. For those of you who don’t know, I’m vacationing it up in sunny New York State. We’re expecting a sweltering 40 degree (F) today, so I’m pretty psyched. I made the grand journey down to my sister’s house for the weekend, to cram in as much sibling-time as possible before she heads off to sunny Japan for the next year(s). And by sibling-time, I mean I’m sitting on the fold-out couch with the cats, filling all of my readers in on the excitement that is my life, and she’s doing laundry. Ahh, the life of a grownup.

Yesterday I showed up at her school to hang with her 7th and 8th period classes. It’s safe to assume they’d heard of me, and I felt like somewhat of a celebrity. Not that anyone asked me any questions or for my autograph, but you know what I’m saying. Since it was her last day of work there, they had a little surprise party after school for her, and it was really neat to see that not only will the other teachers miss her, but the room was jam packed with students who genuinely cared. They had brought her presents, made scrap books for her and so on; it was really neat to see that she was the “cool teacher”. We all had one in highschool, and my sister was that one for a great many students (tear).

After school, we hit up Houlihan’s for some food and drink. I ordered my usual water with lemon and coffee. The waiter looked at me like there was something wrong with me. I guess I was ordering water and coffee on St. Patty’s Day, but the real confusion was the way I ordered it. It came across as water with lemon and coffee, as in one glass of water, flavored with lemon and coffee. I straightened that out with the promptness and all was good.

Dinner was fun, plus we had an upstairs table with a hot bird’s-eye view of the drunken fools at the bar. Suh-weet! I won’t bore you with all the details, but there was one guy in particular who needs mentioning. First of all, the only way to describe his shirt is by saying he stores it in a thimble and unfolds it immediately before going out. This thing had wrinkles on other wrinkles, and he didn’t seem to even care. I watched him talking to the shot girls (with those test tubes full of KoolAid), and without really knowing what they were saying I was able to deduce that he was trying to only buy one if they’d do one with him. They would respond (with cute pouty face) that they were not allowed to, and he would send them packing. Finally he bummed $2 off his buddy and bought one for himself. Lahoo-zaherr!

After din-din, I had to follow my sister back to her place. She gave me the basic rundown of how to get there, but I was just going to follow. [Enter Crazy New Jersey Driving, Stage Left] We were IMMEDIATELY separated, I dialed her up on the phone and we came up with a meeting place, but I could NOT manage to get there. The sign I was trying to find was standard road sign green, with a thin outline of whatever the symbol was, and the symbol itself was green. Then to make matters worse, they put it at about 6’ off the ground. Combine that with the madness that was the traffic (I have never driven in traffic like that in my life) and I was fit to be tied.

Finally we were able to meet up and I just kept repeating to myself “Just gotta make it to her house. Just gotta make it to her house…” And I did. We bullshat for a few hours then we were both passing the eff out around 9:30. Yup, I was in bed by 10:00 on St. Patty’s Day of all days. I am old! I am a loser! Check.

Well, it’s still early today. We’ve had breakfast and laundry is in the works. A trip to Target is in order; after that who knows what we’ll do.

I hope your day includes a trip to Target,
Old Coot

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Report from the Front Lines

Readers, I had a bit of an oversight in my last posting. Instead of adding it, I thought I would just get a new entry started to give this the attention it deserves.

Yesterday morning, I received a call from one of my field agents who was out assignment at Bob's Country Kitchen. You may recall such a restaurant from the Full of Swine portion of a previous post. To recap, Bad Jim and I ordered Farmer's Omelets which ended up being huge! Below is a paraphrased paraphasing of a conversation overheard by HECOW, on assignment. It all started out as a gentleman ordered an omelet (I will assume it was large).

Gentleman: I'll take a big ass omelet.
Waitress #1: Okay, what kind of toast would you like with that?
Gentleman: White, please.
Waitress #2: You wouldn't believe what this guy ordered last weekend. He ordered a Farmer's Omelet with everything in it.
Gentlman and Waitress #1: Everything?!?
Waitress #2: Yes, all the meats, all the vegetables. He even wanted cheese. The thing was enormous!
Gentlman and Waitress #1 (in unison): Fucking shit!
Waitress #2: He was strong as an ox, and as tall a giraffe's eye if he was an inch, I tell you. And handsome as the day is long. A finer specimen I've never seen.

At this point, two 21-year-old swimsuit models swooned to their respective deaths.

Waitress #2: And he almost finished it! Simply amazing.

Just then, another woman nearly swooned to death, but was saved by HECOW when he thrust his lap beneath the woman's head. Nice work, HECOW! I'll put you in for a commondation.

Now, I wasn't the only one to eat such an omelet, but from Waitress #2's description she was certainly talking about yours truly. And since this story is a paraphrased paraphrasing of the actual situation, some of the details may not be 100% true. But what is certain is that there was a conversation between two waitresses and a patron about my omelet.

That is all,
Old Coot

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Outrunning, outcast and outlets

Good morning loyal listeners! I have a few things on my agenda this morning and I hope to address them all before getting sidetracked. Damn, already sidetracked once. Stupid work and it's e-mail and meetings.

Okay, first of all I would like to talk about some of the things I learned this weekend. Friday night I went out with some local chums to a popular dining establishment The Olde Forge (AKA The Forge, AKA Olde Forge). Actually, The Forge is so popular there's a term associated with traveling to said establishment and dining - Forging It. Anyways, we had reservations for 7:30 so obviously I had to run some quick errands on the way, causing us to be a few minutes late. No biggie, they're usually swamped anyways.

When we arrived, it quickly became apparent that there wasn't going to be any parking available. Being the chivalrous one that I am, I dropped my passengers off at the door and drove down to the auxiliary lot up the road. I parked the A-ride, locked'er up tight and started a slow jog towards The Forge. Wouldn't you know that as soon as my feet hit pavement I hear the deep barking of an angry/hungry/venomous dog. I looked around for someone to push down (as bait), and when I found I was alone I shifted from slow jog to all-out sprint. I never did see the dog, but if you see a rabid dog with burnt whiskers, it's him. The burnt whiskers are from getting too close to my afterburners. What what! Moral of the story - ALWAYS travel with people you can outrun.

CELEBRITY SIGHTING: Len from work was there. He even shook my hand and later gave me the 1,2,3 fist pound (like the Rasta Mons do).

Saturday morning I joined the Crazy Group at Balance Rock Park for a run in the woods. I knew it was supposed to be warm Saturday, so I dressed lightly. Eeerrrooonnnggg, it was 36 degrees and windy. I figured once the sun came up it would be fine, and it was.

In the meantime, one of the women lent me her mittens. They were lavender in color and I voiced my concern that they would make me run like a girl (the lender of the aforementioned gloves has a funny "tweetybird" run where her arms stick out like little chick wings). Committed to the joke, I ran tweetybird-style for about 30 minutes until I could no longer take it. I returned the mittens and just dealt with the cold.

The neat thing about the Crazy Group is that they go on these runs and I have no idea where we're going. At one point, one of the women told me we'd end up at Jiminy Peak (a local ski resort). I figured we'd come running across some field and end up in their parking lot, but at one point I looked over and saw skiers. It turns out we were running up the back side of the mountain. As we arrived at the top, we decided to visit Hendricks Lodge for some water and a warmup. Plus the view from the top is AWESOME! We ate some bagels and drank some water, then returned to the trails.

On our way out of the lodge, we looked both ways and scampered across the trail. A family had just unboarded the lift and the youngest one commented "What are those people, daddy?" Yes, we looked like "The Others" from the popular TV show "Lost".

Later on, a snowball fight broke out and I was once again shown how smaller people are to be used as human shields. Bad Jim used one of the women as a shield, or more appropriately a baseball mitt, blocking each and every snowball whether it would have hit him or not. Mind you, this is the same woman we ditched that time the dogs chased us. I figured this was another one of Bad Jim's teachings, related to my story about being caught without slow people at the Forge.

Yesterday's run was less eventful. There was a great deal of mud and rocks, but the cool part was the plethora of zombie holes. You see, occasionally someone will slip on ice or mud and holler out to the people behind "ICE" or "MUD". But when you step on what appears to be solid ground and your foot goes through (and you can almost feel the cold hand of the undead on your foot), the only logical explanation is Zombies. I dubbed such hazards "Zombie Holes", which caught on rather quickly. It's pretty funny to hear grown people running through the woods yelling "ZOMBIE HOLES!" every time a foot breaks through the ground.

The last thing I want to discuss is my outlet situation. After borrowing an outlet tester from Len (see above), I found that about half of my outlets were wired backwards. Since we use alternating current (AC) in the good ole USA (and everywhere else in the world) this is not always a problem. There are however, situations where a simple short could cause a rather unpleasant death. So I decided it would be easy enough to just swap the hot and neutral wires on the outlets and all would be fine.

After about 30 trips up and down the stairs to the basement (to turn power on and off to the house), I got all but 3 working. Those three seem to be simply ungrounded, which isn't a major problem, but I'd like to fix it. It may require rewiring those outlets, in which case I will not fix it. The last thing I want is some home inspector ratting me out to a potential buyer, causing a problem when I try and sell the house.

Well, there you have it folks. I hope this wasn't too much to read in one sitting. I have some pictures of my unfinished kitchen at flickr, or you can wait until later when I post a little photo documentary illustrating the job from old cabinets to new ones (and completed paint job). Let me tell you, it looks fabulous!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Help is on its way

Oooookaaaay. I’ve been trying for a few days now to get a posting up there for all y’all to read. The first time, it barfed on the save and I lost my post. Then it straight up told me that I couldn’t do anything. I’m trying my damndest to get the info out there that you need to live a full life.

I’ve also had complaints that the font is too big. We have our top engineer working on the problem right now. Actually, since this blog is manned by only me - who happens to be an engineer – you are in good hands. I may not be a software engineer, computer scientist or even a data entry specialist, but I have heart. So I’ll be bummed out day in and day out until this problem is alleviated. It appears that it only happens to readers using Firefox, which I understand is becoming a popular web browser. We here at Old Coot Enterprises™ don’t wish to alienate any of our readers regardless of race, creed, income, web browser preferences, or favorite ice cream topping.

And that’s all I have for today. Hold tight, help is on its way.

Over and out,Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Another Video Blog

Sorry to bombard you with video blogs, but this one is worth posting. As an avid The Simpsons fan since it's creating back in the mid 90's, I feel I should share this with my regular readers. Enjoy

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Primed, Retied and Full of Swine

Weekend Update!!!

Well, I got the kitchen all primed up and ready to go. You'll all be happy to know that I opted for a warm green (tough to explain) color, inspired by the packaging on an old bottle of imported gin I had laying around. It also seems to be the same color as my small plates, oops. I forgot I signed up to give blood tonight, so I'm not sure whether I'll get to painting tonight or not. I had planned on leaving work early to do that but A) I have to give blood and B) I got into work late. Tee hee.

I'm sure anyone who's been around me in the last month has heard me bitch about my foot being sore (as hell). I read an illustrated article about shoe tying/lacing techniques that people use to alleviate problems they may be having. Lo and behold, one of them seems to have solved mine. I was thinking surgery, orthotics, complaining, etc was the route to go, but a simple adjustment in my lacing technique and I'm back on top. Two long weekend trail runs with ZERO problems.


Hmm, what else is new? Oh, interesting stories about running this weekend. You may all find these droll, but they were funny to me at the time so you have to listen.


One of the main dudes in the group in which I run - named 'Bad Jim' - is the leader in that he always leads the runs. He knows every trail backwards and forwards, which is mind boggling to me. Yesterday I was up in the front of the pack running with BJ and he started to veer over towards a trail. I pulled the old "follow from the front" maneuver, where I'm not really leading, I'm just in the front. Someone comments "Oh, Todd's leading us today?" to which I responded "Nope, just in the front. As soon as I don't hear voices I'll know I should have turned."


We get to a fork in the path and I stop to wait for directions. BJ starts grilling me "Where do we go? Go ahead (in a condescending BJ way), pick a direction." Don't get me wrong, he was busting my balls, not being as ass. I reinforced my position as follower and he offered to "take over from here". At which point, we turned around and headed back from whence we came. The entire time I was in front, I was going the wrong way. Most everyone knew it but they let me lead for the sole purpose of being able to bust on me about it afterwards. Jerks!


Sunday was the birthday of one of the women in the group. In celebration we took her out to breakfast at Bob's Country Kitchen (mmm MMMM, bitch). After receiving her cards and gifts, she hit the bricks. Those who remained dined on the finest country cooking this side of the Housatonic. Following BJ's lead, I opted for the Farmer's Omelet. To those of you unfamiliar with such an omelet, it's also called a Garbage Omelet, and consists of whatever the cook feels like putting in it. After explaining to the waitress that we've ordered this before, she seemed content and left.

Minutes later, the cook came over to ask about the FO. Here's how the conversation went...

Cook: Did you order the Farmer's Omelet?
BJ: Yeah.
Cook: What's in that? I've never heard of it.
BJ: I think you guys call it the garbage omelet. It's whatever you feel like putting in it.
Cook (not grasping that it's the cook's choice): OK. So what do you want in it?
BJ: Whatever you'd like to put in it.
Cook (seemingly confused): You want bacon, ham, sausage?
BJ: Sure, whatever you want to add.
Cook (still confused): Does it have veggies?
BJ: Okay. Anything you like.
Cook: Meat and veggies, just meat or just veggies?
BJ: Yes.
Cook: Cheese?
BJ: It could, sure. Whatever you want to put in it.

The cook leaves and seems to understand. When the waitress comes over with our orders, the omelets are ENORMOUS. The cook put a lot of everything in them, so much that the eggs didn't wrap all the way around the fillings. Hasidic Jews and the Nation of Islam were outside protesting the gross quantity of swine in these omelets, on the Sabbath no less!!

Neither of us could finish the meals, but Oh My God did it taste good. Note to self, just get the pancakes next time.

Well sweet readers, I'm done. There's surely more to tell but this should hold you until next time.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I'm cleanin out my closet

Dear readers, let me tell you that you've been doing a hell of a job lately. [Pat on back] Hell of a job! [/Pat on back]

Yesterday on the way home from work, I took the long cut. I left work early to prime the kitchen, but it was such a nice day I drove around a little. As I passed the little plaza on Williams St., I thought to myself "Self, one day you need to go into that credit union and close out your accounts". I have at least one joint account from when the ex g/f worked there and we were saving for a vacation. Since then, I haven't touched it and all it does is serve as an unwelcome reminder via monthly statements. It's bad enough that the mortgage is still half in her name, but this is something I can easily remedy. So I whipped the car around and went in.

After closing the account withdrawing the remaining $39.46 (which I am not going to share with her), the woman had to ask if we were still together. I shut her up with a quick "No", answering her question and sending the message that I didn't wish to continue with that conversation.

Once I got home, I got to work taking down items from the kitchen walls. I pulled the appliances away from the wall and wiped any food materials from the walls and ceiling. Really, how the hell do you get splatters on the ceiling? This painting project is another part of my "cleaning out my closet" program, since the aformentioned ex picked the color and painted it. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I'm bitter, I just want to make the place "mine".

While moving things, I came across a few items tucked here and there that don't belong to me. I know they are of sentimental value to their true owner, and since I had also just recently come across said person's Birth Certificate while scouring the place for my own (which I did not find). I felt I should do the right thing and at least make an attempt to return these items. So when I ran to The Home Despot for more primer, I swung by her folk's house to drop the stuff off. You'd think after a couple of years I'd have gotten rid of all this stuff, but I hadn't, and the constant reminders were seriously messing up my chi. How can the SUMMER OF TODD reach its full potential with all the negative chi laying around my estate? I could have junked it all, but A) that's bad kharma, B) I'm too nice of a guy and C) I get along well with her parents and they love when I stop over (is that wrong?).

In short, I feel like I did some real "closet cleaning" last night. I closed out some open action items, primed the kitchen (afirst step towards purging my kitchen of that bad chi), then capped the night with a viewing of "8 Mile" starring my favorite rapper Eminem. Nobody else likes that movie, so when I'm alone I kick back and crank the fucker up.

Then after showering, I walked through the house naked just because I could. It felt very liberating, I think I might do more of it. I apologize now to any neighbors who might have a view of any of my many uncovered windows.

Throwing everything to the wind,
Old Coot

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Sup mangs (and wo-mangs). Today is another fine day in the life of yours truly. The sun is shining, the thermometer has broken back into double digits and I have a piping hot bowl of oat bran in front of me. So piping in fact, that it melted the first spoon I used. But that is neither here nor there.

Last night I made a delicious chocolate cake with delicious chocolate frosting. Both were homemade of course, and I enjoyed a nice fat slice of it aroun 8:00 in the PM (and again around 11:00). Of course, my stomach was unhappy this morning but I'll get by.

But the topic of today's discussion isn't cake and it isn't oat bran. I'm writing to announce that this summer, the summer of '06 is going to be THE SUMMER OF TODD! Yes, Old Coot is a psuedonym; my real name is Todd. I declared back in '01 that that was going to be THE SUMMER OF TODD, and it was in fact a glorious summer. I couldn't have asked for a better summer back then. Since then, the summers have been less than ideal, and I don't like to think that my life peaked at age 22.

Now, after a couple of years of hard work reformatting my life I am ready to start anew. I've put in some real hours redefining myself in all aspects, and I'm going to reap the benefits this summer! Some of the wheels have already been put in motion, and things are starting to fall into place so be prepared. I can't get into the finer details at the moment due to my varied readership, but rest assured good things are coming my way. Even my horoscope has hinted at some very promising developments.

P.S. Nobody tell ECOW or HECOW about the cake. That is on the DL.

Over and out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...
"Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him.' and I just took off." -Pre