Friday, March 30, 2007

ASV may be DOA

Hey everyone, I don't have a whole lot to holler at you about today but I'm sure it'll all build up into some lengthy post anyway. Top concern of the day: Argyle Sweater Vest Friday.

ASV Friday's Not Looking Good

Today was the second installment of ASV Friday and we're already down to two participants. My ASV is already sub-par as far as argyle goes, and the other guy is complaining that it's too hot for a sweater even if it is only a vest. The third guy claims his is missing, but my theory is that someone snake-walked in through his dryer vent and snatched that prime article of clothing straight from his dryer. The winds of change have begun to blow.

DMR and I ran through all of the obvious choices for what to try next. We came up with bowling shirts, Hawaiian shirts, puffy pirate shirts, bow-ties, leopard print spandex pants, biker shorts - you know, the basics. These didn't seem to fit the basic idea behind the Friday dress code; we need something different.

I had the fleeting thought that we should get service guy shirts. You know the guys with the short sleeve shirts and the company badge on one chest and their name on the other. We checked out a few websites real quick and it became immediately apparent that Lab Coats would be much better.

I priced out a fully customized lab coat and I'll be honest, it wasn't cheap. We'd want the standard white coat with all the pockets, the embroidered name above the left breast pocket and an emblem of some sort over the right. The embroidery sample had the name "Eli Thompson" with his title "Medical Student" below (click for Eli's sample). Yup, that's the one I want. Next was the emblem, and it was immediately obvious that we needed the "Happy Tooth" emblem (click to see that happy tooth).

Of course, once we got pinched for the add-ons the price of the lab coats doubled. Perhaps we can eliminate the second line of text and just leave it at "Eli Thompson". There is still time to change the name but we're thinking that they should all be the same. OH MAN, I just had a thought...

The other guy who was helping me pick out the lab coats has the initials DR. So his name could be "The DR". I often go by the moniker "Original Recipe Todd" so "OR Todd" could be my name (OR is short of Operating Room in the hospital world). LMB could be "Len M.B.", and as for the rest of the people we'll have to come up with some ideas for them.

The point of having custom lab coats made up is so that not just anyone can copy us. If you're not in from the get-go you have to go out of your way to get in. Poseurs beware, we are the real deal.

Sometime Google Doesn't Find the Easiest Route

A friend of mine directed me to this set of directions from Chicago, IL to London, England. It looks like your basic set of driving directions, that is until you hit step 20. Take a look-see for yourself.

Well, that's all I got. Peace out home slices.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

To All the Baby's Mamas

Well Cooterinos, sensing that my life could use a boost in the woman department, a good chum of mine of "Corbett Report" fame passed along a little love quiz. This is no Woman's Day quiz or something out of an Oprah publication; this is the real deal. I answered the questions as honestly as I could (which was completely honestly) and hit the "Find Your Super Lover Now" button.

My Ideal Woman

This woman is a little older than I am, and at the moment I'm not sure whether she's divorced or widowed. She has two children and has lived a hard life. It's her ability to overcome adversity that I think makes us such a good match.

Her parents were both killed when she was younger, and she's had at least one miscarraige. Her marriage was often stressed by her childbearing difficulties, and at one point she totally lost it and went to the dark side. Since then, she's overcome great adversity and I can only assume is looking to settle down with a nice guy like me.

Did you see those butt dimples? That is one fine piece of ace! Her profile even mentions that she has clothing made of unstable particles so that she can easily turn them invisible. BO-NUS!

The Love Quiz also matched me up with Ms. Marvel, but her (ahem) 'womanly attributes' are a little too much for me. The third place runner up is a hot young vixen named Araña. I'm not sure she's old enough for me, but if things don't work out with Invisible Woman I might have to give Araña a jingle.

Big Ups again for MC, the master of ceremonies and bestselling author of "The Corbett Report" for bringing this quiz to my attention.

Editor's Note: 100% of printed copies of "The Corbett Report" sold within the first 15 minutes, they were literally still hot off the press. "The Corbett Report" is not printed by Old Coot Productions or any of its subsidiaries.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Warmer Weather and I Hibernate

This has been one of those lather-rinse-repeat weekends where I get caught up in a cycle that I just can't break.

Wake, Eat, Run, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

We had Friday off this week; thank you very much 9/80 schedule. I proceeded to try and sleep in, which was not allowed by the cats. It seems that they don't get the same satisfaction out of sleeping in and enjoying a late breakfast on the weekends that I do. In fact, they seem almost resistant to the very notion of postponing a meal whatsoever.

I've tried yelling, reasoning, bartering and ignoring all to the same end - utter annoyance. Best case scenario they just holler outside my door incessantly until I finally get up and feed them. Then they go back upstairs and holler some more. "Dude, I'm in the living room now!" They don't care, sometimes they just want to holler.

Thursday Night, Overdone

Anyway, I sort of overdid it on Thursday night at the Thursday Night Run. We met at Matt Reilly's Pub on Rte 7 in Lanesboro. Or is it in Pittsfield? Who knows. All I know is that I was late and had to chase the group down, only to be in the front group busting my hump up and down the monstrous hills surrounding Pontoosuc Lake. Have you ever driven up Hancock Rd.? Cars don't even like that hill, and my legs/butt like it even less. Bull Hill Rd? Oh, the worst of them all. I was talked into "charging up that hill" by Coach "Bad Influence" Dave.

Friday morning when I awoke to the serenading screams of my cats, I was remound of the previous night's efforts. "Ah, ahh, ahhhhh" I said as I hobbled toward the door. It wasn't so much that my muscles were sore, as it was my joints that didn't work.

I took Friday off from running and pretty much everything else. There was a lot of laying on the couch to be done, as well as some napping and the occasional errand. Oh, I also got most of the lawn shoveled off onto the driveway. It was melting really fast until the last batch, which is still out there two days later. My bad.

Saturday Morning, Overdone

Saturday morning I awoke to the same duet performing in the hallway, and rushed to get dressed because my ride was picking me up in 10 minutes for a run. I was told it would be about 10 miles by a known exaggerator, so I figured it would be more like 8 - a doable distance.

We met up with a guy named Ace who runs like he's having a seizure but could kick my ass any day of the week. He runs 70 miles a week and has a lifetime of achievements under his belt. His goal that day I think was to prove the his theory that you can overdress for a run. The guy who picked me up was wearing nylon warm-up pants and a windbreaker, with God only knows what underneath. Ace and I had on shorts and long sleeve t-shirts. The first guy was drenched by the end; Ace and I were quite comfortable.

Somewhere around mile 7 it became frighteningly apparent to me that my guess of 8 miles was way off. The funny thing about running is that if you plan on 8 miles that's as far as you're gonna go before your body starts begging for breakfast and a nap. Had I prepared for the real distance I would have been fine, but those last 5 miles (we totaled almost 12 that day) were pure suffering. Ace never missed a beat and told me story after story as we plodded up and down the hills of Lenox, MA.

After that, I went home and "rested". I didn't let myself nap, but I certainly didn't do any more than I had to.

Sunday Morning, Overdone

This morning I awoke to the unpleasant knowledge that I had scheduled to run the "Bi-Lake Figure-Eight 5K (Plus 10 Miles)" with Coach "Bad Influence" Dave. The plan was to meet at 7:00 AM at a school, run the 13.1 miles (plus about another 3/4 mile of leftovers), then head to the Lumberjack Breakfast at the Girls' Club. If it hadn't been for that Lumberjack Breakfast there is no way in hell I would have been able to finish.

It wasn't until I was cooled down and stretched out that I realized if I had just run another 0.8 miles I could have finished a marathon in less than 24 hours. Damn!

Lumberjacks Know What's Up

After the run I went home, changed, and hobbled my broken body over to the Girl's Club. I sat with an elderly couple who seemed to be very excited that I chose to sit with them. I don't know if the wife had a sty or just liked me, but she winked every time she spoke to me. Granny, if you were just 50 years younger I'd be all about it, but the Universe, well, she's a cruel matchmaker.

I managed to put down about 8-10 pancakes, a few scoops of eggs, a pair of sausages, ham, fried dough, potatoes and 3 cups of coffee before calling it quits. Coach "Bad Influence" Dave and his family sat with me when they arrived, and he was almost looking to make a challenge out of the "All You Can Eat" nature of the fundraiser. I knew better and limited myself to the aforementioned snack.

After breakfast was a nap. I dozed on and off for most of the afternoon. When I realized that the reason I couldn't get up was that the cats were smothering me, I tossed them to the floor and started in on a shopping list. The rest of my evening was much less fabulous, so I won't bore you with the details.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Little Goes a Long Way

Good day, friends. I received the first of 180 mortgage payment bills yesterday for my new mortgage. Upon opening it, I was taken aback.

A Little Here, A Lot There

As I have previously mentioned, my new mortgage will run me only slightly more than the old one, on a monthly basis. Heaven forbids me to pay the amount they demand for any loan; I always pay more for every loan I have. With the extra amount on top of the regular payment I'll be making some real headway.

A quick number crunch tells me that the new mortgage will cost me 7.69230% (repeating, of course) more per month, with a nearly 300% increase in the amount going to principle. Of course, by putting just a little more on top each month I'll get that 300% up even further in no time.

The moral of the story here is to skip right past the 30 year mortgage when you buy and go right for the 15 year jobber. And for God's sake, keep dumb broads off the paperwork!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

It wasn't until my new iPod shipped that the Check Engine Light came back on in my car. Wouldn't you know that it was about 3 minutes into an hour drive, with two hours of driving to be done later in the day. Killer. I'll get into why I think this is a conspiracy...


First, what TV show is the title of this chapter a quote from? Give up?

In Living Color

As you all know, whether you're paranoid or not, someone is out to get you. In my case, I am paranoid but it doesn't help any. A short while ago I was telling you how I was torn between buying a new iPod to replace my failing iPod Mini and getting an OBDII tester to be able to perform diagnostics on my car. The Check Engine light was becoming an issue and I thought I should have a look-see.

After cleaning the gas cap, I hadn't seen the light come back on in a few weeks so I figured that meant I was in the clear. I pulled the trigger on the new iPod and patiently sat back awaiting its arrival. Wouldn't you know that once it shipped the light would come back on and stay on? And then the next day wouldn't you know my Mini would go off the blink?

I won't bore you with the details other than to say that the light has been on for half a tank, and I was driving to Albany (not Windsor) when it made its appearance. They aren't even the same direction, in fact they're quite the opposite.

So now I have the unfortunate dilemma of having to buy the scanner (or find someone at work with one) AND having to have a sweet new toy. Jeebus, you just like to watch me struggle with decisions only to punch me in the balls after I settle on a choice!

Everywhere a TV

Not only do we have a TV in our cafeteria at work, but something wicked exciting was happening and I had to sit there not watching. Jeebus, I saw you through the window, don't think I don't know you were checking on me.

What you weren't expecting is that DA would stroll in right when everyone was saying "Oh wow, look at that!" and I was facing the complete other direction. I'm sure she thought I was staring at her, but I was really just not looking at the TV. I'd go explain myself to her but her henchman, CB, would probably get in my way. CB, she's not interested in you pal. Sorry.

It's Here!

Nope, not the House of Pain CD, but that has been shipped. The woman was wicked apologetic, and even used the word 'wicked' in her apology. Bonus points? I think so. No, actually the new 80 GB iPod was in my mailbox when I got home today. Cha-ching.

I just finished syncing it up with all 15 GB of music on my PC. I even ripped a chunk of a movie to put on there, plus I tossed in some pics. Let's see, that leaves 65 gig left. I better start keeping tabs on that mess before I fill it up :-)

Actually, I'm hooking up some chill background music as I type. I found some nice podcasts that I'll keep up-to-date, and I'll be a-chillin all the time. And all for free. Hey Oh!

That reminds me. If anyone out there in Readerland knows of any good podcasts (you should have an idea of what I like), holler at a player. Then holler at me.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Friday, March 16, 2007

House of Pain Update

I have news!

Sometimes You Gotta Kick Some Ass

Well Coot fans, I was supposed to have received my House of Pain CD as of Wednesday. As you know, when they tell you how long it'll take to ship something, it NEVER takes that long. So when I didn't receive my CD after 3 weeks I went to Amazon's site and sent a message to the person I bought it from.

I received no reply.

Today I sent another message and stated very simply that I want this CD, and I don't care if they forgot to send it just tell me. If I didn't hear back by the morning I was getting Amazon involved and getting my money back. It's like $7 with shipping, but it's really the principle of the matter.

Sho nuff I got a message back from the lady. It turns out that she sent accidentally sent it to the wrong person. Why I didn't get theirs I don't know but I'm going to accept her story. I gave her my address again and she's going to re-send it. Assuming all goes well, I should have it in my clutches next week, just in time to upload to my NEW IPOD!

A quick number crunch tells me that:



... repeating, of course.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Hoar Frost

Old Man Winter came to visit the Berkshires one last time (I hope) today and he brought with him an extra suitcase packed with snow. To put things into perspective for you, it was almost 70 degrees two days ago. I ran in shorts and a t-shirt and was HOT. It was in the 20s today and we're getting a serious wallop of snow.

By the Hairs of My Chinny Chin Chin

After work today I had to make a decision between going directly to bed or heading out into a blizzard to run. If you've been paying any attention for the last few years you'll know that I opted for the latter. Sure, I was wicked tired but who can resist running in a blizzard. Plus it wasn't really all that cold, upper 20s with only a little wind.

I decided to take it easy today since it was really supposed to be a rest day. By easy, I mean I went slowly and only ran for an hour through ankle busting trails in Canoe Meadows. Some time before the snow storm, some hikers went through and left hiker footprints. Now that they're covered up I found myself twisting my ankles with every third step. Oh, and my knees. But it was worth it.

At one point there was a stream that ran along the path. I stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the view of the slush chunks floating by in the spring-ripened waters. Like Cheerios, the clumps would slowly get closer and closer until they couldn't stand it anymore and they melded together. If it weren't for the blowing snow I could have stayed there for an hour just watching the water.

True to form, the run back provided a snap back to the reality I tend to forget when I crossed the road to run against traffic. There were cars coming toward me, but they were slow and I had plenty of time to get by. I was donning a bright yellow vest (you'll see it in the pictures) and knew I had no chance of being hit. I trotted across the street and headed for home.

About 20 seconds later the first car drove by (on the other side of the road) and the driver rolled his window down to yell "Ass wipe" at me. As I said, there's no way I cut him off, he was WAY down the road. The reality of it is that he's just a hater and he got what he deserved, a shitload of mother nature (she had my back) in his window. When you roll down your window in a blizzard the snow flies right in. Who's the asswipe now?

So anyway, I finish up the run and gave the driveway round 2 of many rounds of shoveling. I figured I should get a head start on it so it's not so bad in the morning. When I went inside I sort of lollygagged around the house, then went into the bathroom to take a shower. "HO LEE CRAP" I yelled when I saw what was hanging from my face. It was the biggest icicle I've ever seen on a person, so I bolted for the camera. Here's what I captured; click on the picture to see all three.

Well, that's that. Don't forget to wish JD a happy 30th (March 16th). Peace.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Update to the No Joke List

I have two additions to the List of Things that are Not a Joke today.


I can't get into great detail about this one because it won't take much to pretty much guarantee that I'll be fired. With that being said, I'll just mention that DA (a nickname given to a person) has, on several occasions, completely caused a three conversation pileup just by walking through the room. "Huh, wha? What were you saying?" are common phrases heard after a DA fly-by.

Thats all you get.

Fleet Phospho Soda

I bet I'm #1 for Google searches related to Dry Anal Heaving after this post. Apparently Fleet Phospho Soda is a very strong, over the counter saline based laxative one can take to guarantee results. Or, one can give to one of thine enemies Dumb and Dumber style for some serious retribution.

The Dry Anal Heaving came into play when we were discussing the effect of FPS. "You will shit your brains out" was the official description, which lead to the obvious dry heaves your system would experience when it's still trying to purge itself but there's nothing left to purge. If you haven't already done so, I'd like each of you to picture Dry Anal Heaving.


List appended.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Ain't No Half-Stepping

Apparently there was a little confusion regarding the term Jesus-Stepping so I'd like to clear that up while it's still fresh in everyone's mind.

Walking on Water

As we all know, Jesus could walk on water. That's a given. As the saying goes, "The shoes don't make the man" so his Air Jesus kicks are not the reason for his super powers. Nope, the guy was just talented.

My sister commented on my use of "Jesus-Stepping" and wondered if I was referring to that little half-step you sometimes use when you need to cross a puddle. It was Big Daddy Kane who put it best when he said:

Aw yeah
Im with this
Im just gonna sit here laid back to this nice mellow beat, you know
And drop some smooth lyrics
Cause its '88
Time to set it straight, knowwhatimsaying
And aint no half stepping

Ain't no half steppin' indeed.

The puddle across which I Jesus-Stepped was no ordinary puddle that would allow for the simple technique of half-steppin'. No, this was more of a road pond, 30' in diameter and deep enough to soak a shoe.

When I hit the puddle I was at full sprint. My watch clocked me at close to 20 MPH, but it's really a rolling average so it was probably more like 40 MPH. I am certain that when my feet passed over the puddle, not only did I not sink through to the pavement I didn't even disturb the water, just like Jesus does. Ya hurrrrd?!?

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

God on the Menu

Apparently my company has teamed up with the Devil. Or with God, I'm not sure how these things work.

Salad and a Side of Temptation

As I wandered through the cafeteria with my lunch, I passed the new plasma TV mounted to the wall. I haven't actually watched the TV yet since it's on CNN or C-Span or some other boring ass news channel. It dawned on me as I took my seat that, like that biblical character who God kept tempting (Job?), I am being tempted every day at lunch.

In case you haven't been keeping good notes, I gave up TV for Lent, which is almost exactly when they decided to install a TV in the caf.

Anyway, The Good Book tells us, in I Corinthians Chapter 10 Verse 13, and I quote,

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Whatever the hell that means.

I think I can decrypt it enough to understand that what it's saying is God isn't going to tempt you with temptations that no man can handle (stop being a whining bitch and deal), and there will always be a way for you avoid or escape the temptation (again, quit your bitching) and bear the consequences (you pansy).

As it turns out, the simple escape for me is to sit with my back to the TV. Problem solved. Thank you Jeebus for showing me that you care enough to tempt me, but you're not going to bust my balls about it.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Pay it Forward

I got some stories for ya today, which I hope to break up into a few posts to ensure you've always got the hot shit to read.

Thanks for the Break

Last night as I was dragging my sorry ass down Elm St at the end of my run, I had long given up on dodging puddles and just let them splash all over me. All of a sudden mine eyes met a puddle that was a foot deep if it was an inch. Trucks were throwing water halfway up onto the adjacent lawn; this puddle meant business.

Unfortunately for yours truly, the puddle stretched from the curb to almost the double-yellow lines so if there was any traffic I had to head for the lawn where I would surely be soaked. As luck would have it, there was a break in the traffic.

Seizing this moment to circumnavigate the puddle, I headed for the center of the street. Just then, my eyes met the headlights of an oncoming car and I could sense a challenge. I picked up the pace and from what I could tell, so did the driver of that car. As we closed the gap it became blatantly obvious that one of us was going to have to yield or I was going to be killed. Yield schmield, I kicked it up a notch.

Dropping the hammer, I accelerated to top speed and Jesus-stepped across the center of the puddle. If the driver was so inclined he still could have still caught the puddle and soaked the hell out of me, but he slowed as he approached the puddle letting me pass.

I appreciated that gesture and vowed to pay it forward.

Paid in Full

This morning as I drove to work in the early morning fog, I made a turn onto a road known (by me) for it's juicy puddles. I swerved this way and that to make sure to hit all of them and as I accelerated towards the plumpest puddle I was able to make out the figure of a man walking on the sidewalk. The devil on my shoulder was yelling at me to go for it, but my good nature won in the end and I quickly side-stepped the puddle sparing the guy a mud bath.

What I should have done is gone back and told him to pay it forward. I could have soaked him but didn't, and the next time he faces such temptation I'd like him to take the righteous route.

Now that my debt is paid in full, I dare someone to walk next to a road pond. No, I double-dare them!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

P.S. I'd like to thank LB for his contribution to this post. While I was leaning toward "Jesus-Stepped" I had a few other options and he stepped up to the challenge. It was LB's unbiased opinion that sealed the deal on that phrase.

Get the Whole Story Here...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Effin Aye

First I overslept a birthday run this morning, which are my favorite kind of run. First we run, then we eat breakfast, my favorite meal of the day. So favorite in fact, that today I ate breakfast while they ran, then met up for breakfast.

Don't Cry Over Spilt Coffee

As I was getting nestled into my recliner in the afterglow of two breakfasts, I reached across my end table for a tissue for my leaky nostril when my arm gently brushed a picture frame. The picture frame folded and tipped over onto a coffee cup. The coffee cup fell off the pedestal on which I had set it (so as not to leave a ring on my table) and dumped coffee all over everywhere, most importantly on my poor rug that's been nothing but abused.

Mere seconds after I started sopping up the coffee, polluting the air with f-bombs and the like, my (landline) phone rang. Assuming it was my folks/sister/someone important I hustled to answer it. The answering machine picks up after two rings, so you can imagine the fury of hustling I had to go through.

When I finally answered the phone, the machine chimed in causing me to holler at the person on the other end to hold on whilst I stopped the machine. With that settled, I resumed the phone call. It was a poor student from my alma mater undoubtedly asking me for a donation. It was not her fault that I had spilled my coffee all over creation but when she asked if now was a good time for... I cut her off with "I just spilled my coffee all over my effin living room!!!". She took the hint and offered to call back another time.

After that mishap I had to get out of the house. I cleaned the rug as best as I could, knowing I'd never get all of the coffee out and that I can't even use a steam cleaner because it's wool and will shrink. I needed to clear my head, so I took off for the Lee Outlets in what would be a fruitless search for an argyle sweater vest.

Now I'm just blogging to kill time while Episode 2 of Season 2 of The Office buffers. Even though I gave up TV for Lent, this doesn't count. I knew ahead of time that it would be alright to watch episodes online, it's the hours of sitting in front of the tube that I'm Lenting against.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

You have GOT to be Kidding Me

Today was another one of our free days off, for which we pay dearly. However, I used it to get some things done and go skiing.

Passport is in Process

Ab, you'll be happy to know that I stopped off at the Post Office today to apply for my United States Passport. In less than two months I should be able to leave the country and return whenever I want. Canada, here I come!


Today I was driving up to Notchview for some cross country skiing. Before that, I had been driving all over town running errands and applying for passports. I'd estimate I had done somewhere on the order of an hour of driving, with layovers at Target and the P.O. As I approached Windsor my God damned Check Engine Light came back on again. It seriously has been off ever since I last went to Windsor. I'm really starting to think that it is prejudiced against Hill Folk.

Knowing that I had to drive to Albany and back later in the evening I was a little worried about the Check Engine Light being on. As I drove around picking everyone up the car must have determined that I was headed away from Windsor, and the light turned off. I think I'm gonna have to get an OBD II tester to settle this once and for all. Damn this light!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Hitting the Town, Troy Style

Last night I went out to Albany with a few guys from the Hardware Crew at work, plus a guy who made the smart move to Boston in search of milk and honey. Our dining/pubbing expedition was not without incident.


Dinner started out at Red Robin, a hamburger joint in some town in the Albany area. There are a few and to be honest I have no idea where one town ends and another begins.

We had a brief wait, then were seated at a table to be served by an attractive young waitress named Shelby. That's three points in her favor from the get-go: attractive, young, cool name. She was friendly as waitresses tend to be outside of Berkshire County, and JO was all but certain she was dying to get to know me better. JO can sometimes be an unreliable source, as his main goal is to point out every girl in the place who isn't getting married at that minute and say "Dude, you should go hit on that girl."

Anyway, back to the story. At one point Shelby disappeared for a while, and when she returned told us that she had hurt her back and claimed to have been crying in the back. This of course prompted JO to tell me that I should offer to rub her back for her, which I'm sure was top on her list of things she wanted a customer to say to her. I declined. The rest of the night was dedicated to pointing out how I "so should have told her I was a masseuse", since she obviously made that up so I would hit on her. Right. This is what I get for hanging out with three guys in various states of non-singletude.

Pee Diddy

The next stop was a bar in Troy called Ryan's Wake, which had nothing to do with a funeral. I forget what the word 'wake' means in this situation, but the bar is pretty cool. The nice part about it is that it's people more my age, instead of being a college bar or a bar for grannies. The unfortunate part about that is that it's full of dudes who have been going there for 15 years.

One such customer, who we nicknamed PD for Piss Drunk then later changed to Pee Diddy, was not having a good evening. My first introduction to said fellow was when JO yelled to me to "watch out, that guy's going down". I stepped aside and turned around in time to see two guys fully supporting their extremely hammered friend. Not only was he stumbling, he was not even conscious that I could tell.

They decided to transport him to the front of the place and presumably arrange for transportation. As they dragged him away, toes dragging like a beaten prisoner, I mine nostrils detected a distinct aroma. At first I thought he was throwing up, but it wasn't that sort of smell. Nope, it was the smell of piss.

When they had passed me, I looked over and not only had this poor sap pissed himself, but he had somehow managed to piss his own ass. I mean this guy was soaked from the belt down on the back of his pants. Now that my friends, is drunk.

Finally they wrangled him out the door to the sidewalk where we hoped an ambulance would be picking him up. Minutes later we saw a firetruck drive away, which could only have been brought in to hose the wizz off of him before they brought in the ambulance. Sure enough, they carted him off to the hospital. Pee Diddy was wrecked. As I type this, I'm wondering how long it'll be before he wakes up and how long he'll have to wait for his hangover to kick in. My money's on Tuesday.

All By My-Sel el elllf

Then there was the guy who was at the bar all by himself. He was clearly alone, and clearly wearing a denim shirt. The denim shirt had clearly been in his closet long before the 2,000 beers settled in his gut, and the buttons were clearly earning their money. His head was covered by a backwards Mets hat that would be considered a throwback hat had it actually been made in the last few decades. In reality it was just wicked old. We watched him work the room with walrus-like precision. Not smooth, not classy.

So that's that. My Garmin navigator has been switched to the British girl's voice, and re-named Shelby in honor of our waitress. She performed flawlessly, guiding me to everyones house and then back to my own. Nicely done, Shelby.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

More Miles than Degrees

Last night I had the plan to do what's called in the industry "More Miles than Degrees". This is a running term, and as you may have guessed it involves running more miles than the temperature has degrees (F).

Damn it's Cold

I posted the run with my normal (regular, but abnormal) crew and it was ill received. They offered to run some of it, but I was on my own for basically the second half.

We met up at someone's house for an easy hour-fifteen. With bullshitting, shoe-tying, headlamp adjusting and post-run bullshitting this turned into about 5 miles and change. We stood around for a bit afterward discussing runs for the rest of the week while my body temp returned to frozen solid.

At this point everyone returned to their respective cars with their heated seats and climate controlled driving cockpits, and I affixed my (soon-to-be-defunct) iPod to my hip and headed for home. They all looked on in disbelief as I trotted down the frigid road happily singing along to some Dave Matthews Band.

As you might imagine, people don't expect to see Lycra-clad dudes wearing headlamps to be running down the street. Armed with that knowledge I had to pay extra attention to traffic, while also paying extra attention to the ice on the shoulder of the road. A few times I was forced off the road in what became a fun game of mountain-goating over snow piles.

The snowpiles had thawed last weekend and then frozen extra solid this week. This made for enjoyable mountaineering when I needed to get out of the road. I would simply run up and over ten-foot high snowpiles like they were piles of rock. I even got a "Good looks, son" from a thug, and a honk-and-holler from a car full of hood-rat chicks.

Big ups to me!

Oh, in case you were wondering I did run more miles than degrees. WHAT!

Well, I have to take off. The Thursday Night Run is in an hour and I have to feed the Hungry Hungry Kittens. Peace in the Northeast.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

On the Blink

Wouldn't you know that one of the few gadgets I've ever bought, and the one that brings me the most joy, is on the blink.

Up, Down but not Left, Right or Backwards in Time

As I climbed into the Lesbaru last night, I fired up the 4-banger and plugged in my iPod. The song playing was a good one and I wanted to start it over, so I pressed back on the wheel doohickey. It paused.

"Damn these gloves" I shouted, then I unpaused it and pressed the left button again.

It paused again. "Damn it" I again shouted at the piece of modern gadgetry, and I angrily removed my gloves, pressing the left button with that attitude you usually reserve for the Enter button on your keyboard. "There!"

It paused. "What the fuck!" I yelled, realizing that it wasn't the glove that was the problem, but the left button. The damn thing is screwed up. It doesn't have the same feel as the other buttons, and it certainly doesn't work. Being a hardware guy by trade, I'm normally quick to blame the software when anything goes wrong. This time it was clear that the hardware, AKA the iPod itself, was to blame.

Sensing that I might need to replace my beloved toy in the very near future, I checked out iPods online and decided I was going to need a game plan and a good exit strategy.

The Plan AKA Phase I

Here's my plan. I'm going to marinate on this plan for a few days before I start moving on it, as it's going to run me a couple of dollars. The first step will be to buy an 80Gb real iPod, color to be determined (but leaning toward black). With that, I'll be able to store all of my current music and have plenty of room for new music and/or videos. In fact, it'll have more storage than my laptop so for the time it will be impossible to fill it up.

Note that Dani California by The Red Hot Chili Peppers (Stadium Arcadium) is playing. I love that song.

The Exit Strategy AKA Phase II

The second phase of my grand strategery (thank you, Mr. Bush) is to be ready and waiting for my current iPod to fail completely, then run out and buy one of those little square Shuffles (color also to be determined, but leaning toward green). This would be used solely for running and other excercisical activities, sparing the good one of any unnecessary abuse. This plan seems pretty foolproof, and it lets me get the full life out of my current iPod before setting it in a box for posterity.

Note: I don't know what song is playing.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Global Warming or Global Rewarding?

The Postal Service

Just the other day, I started listening to this indie group called The Postal Service. They sound a lot like The Flaming Lips to me, but I guess maybe all Indie Rock (or whatever genre it is) sounds the same to me. I'm not an Indie Rock kind of dude, but sometimes the chill music sooths my relaxation nerves just the right way.

Anyway, as I was rolling in the A-ride I heard the following lyrics. They caught my attention for two reasons: the first being that they talked about global warming and the second that were clever as hell. As you may recall, I'm reading a book whose background theme is global warming. Normally I hate when I have to read song lyrics on someone's blog, but this is pretty short.

Again last night I had that strange dream
Where everything was exactly how it seemed
Where concerns about the world getting warmer
The people thought they were just being rewarded
For treating others as they'd like to be treated
For obeying stop signs and curing diseases
For mailing letters with the address of the sender
Now we can swim any day in November

My favorite is "for mailing letters with the address of the sender". That's all.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Warning, You're Going to Windsor

Okay, every time I drive to Windsor, my Check Engine light comes on. Maybe not every time, but that last three times this has happened.

Caution, Hillbillies Ahead

The Check Engine light doesn't come on at the same point of the trip or anything like that, that might clue me in to what it's telling me.

The first time I was on my way to pick someone up before heading up when it came on. I changed my plans that day. The second time I was going up by myself and it came on somewhere on East St, a mere mile from my house. Yesterday I picked up someone and was driving down Dalton Division Rd, still in Pittsfield (or maybe that side of the double-yellow line is Dalton), when I pointed it out to my passenger. "See, I told you the car knows" I explained.

Saturday night we agreed that in the morning we would not discuss Windsor, Notchview or anything that might clue the car in on the fact that we'd be driving up there. It was supposed to be a total surprise, but then Natasha (my Garmin navigator) spoke up and blew our spot, telling the car where we were going. The next thing I knew the Caution, Hillbillies Ahead light was on and my theory was once again supported.

A Quick Google Search

Later that day, the light had turned off again, leading me to believe that there's something none-too-serious wrong with the car. Typical causes of the aforementioned light coming on include loose gas cap, bad oxygen sensor and engine on fire. I guess the Grade A, #1, Top Choice cause is the loose (or bad) gas cap so I thought I'd see if that's my problem.

I always tighten the cap to the prescribed three clicks when I fill the tank, but I have also always wondered if the sludge build-up on the cap is affecting the output of my high-performance automobile. This morning I took some Simple Green to the cap and where the cap threads into. It was fun-ky!

The next step is to drive to Windsor to see if the light comes back on. If it does, I'll try a new cap and pray to God that the light isn't trying to tell me the engine is on fire.

You May Have Noticed

If you've been keeping up to date on my blogging, you might have noticed that I've already written three posts today, each one a small little morsel of bloggetry. I'm going to try it for a while and see what sort of feedback I get.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

The Skiing Nun

Yesterday morning I found myself skiing out at Notchview again. Before anyone asks, my Check Engine, AKA Warning, You're Going to Windsor light went on. It was pretty much business as usual until I came across something that almost made me pee my tights.

That's a Big God Damned Hat

Here I am, gracefully trekking through the woods in the freshly groomed, freshly powdered woods of Windsor, MA. I came down a little hill when what did mine eyes see but a woman in a big ass white knitted sombrero.

Now, I know women from Vail, New Jersey, Connecticut and even New York City wear some funky getups after skiing. They have their woolly mammoth boots, fur-lined everything, and so on and so forth, but I never thought I'd see a knitted sombrero WHILE skiing.

Unfortunately, as I got closer it turned out that she just had a white knitted hat (of standard proportions) with a big snowy branch behind her. Man, that would have been SWEET!

Over and Out,
Old Coot

Get the Whole Story Here...

Killer Google Hit

You guys know how I love good Google hits, and this one struck my fancy this morning, so I'm gonna share it all on its own.

simple green degreaser pregnancy

I'm willing to bet that this person was wondering if there's any risk to a pregnant woman and/or the baby if she uses Simple Green Degreaser (which coincidentally I used this morning to clean my gas cap... more on that later).

After a brief check of their website, it doesn't mention pregnancy specifically but it's a very mild degreaser, with the worst side-effect mentioned (and that I've experienced) is that your skin dries out. Hmm, it removes natural oils from your hands, imagine that.

If said googler comes back, I think it's safe to make the following, unfounded statement "Simple Green does not prevent pregnancy." While I would guess that you're more likely to end up with an effed up kid if you try to use is as a birth control technique.

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