serendipitous reflections

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Cleanest disposal

We have what has to be the cleanest garbage disposal in town. I was washing my hands and a nearly full bar of soap slipped from and hands and went straight into the disposal. My retrieval methods failed, in part because of the wet bar of soap, and in part because of the lobster-trap design of the drain, so I decided just to grind it up.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Weekend visitors

Jeni's dad and our friend Chris are coming in this weekend. Chris will be here in the morning in time for the UT/South Carolina game. I'm excited about going to the game. It's been a while since I've been able to go to a major football game. We're in themidst of all the "getting ready for visitors" stuff: new shower curtain liner, clean sheets, hide bills/receipts, put clutter out of sight, vacuum up cat hair... It helps every now and then to have guests to motivate you to attack some of those piles.

Exploding blogs

I put our blogs on Blog Explosion.

Jasper's blog

Since obviously this whole blog thing has yet to catch on and no one has enough to read, we've started a blog for Jasper, our cat. Believe it or not, he has a lot going on for an indoor cat, and he has a lot he feels he needs to write about. Hope you enjoy it!

Health Fair

I'm participating in a health fair at a local industrial business. They work three shifts, so the health fair is split in two. It goes from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. to get the end of third shift and the beginning of first. Then from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to get the end of first and the beginning of second. That means I was up at 4:30 a.m. to get showered and dressed and ready so I can be out there in time to set up. Our normal Friday work day is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., so I had to make sure that my boss understood that 6-8 and 2-4, plus setup, equals my normal five hours.

Halloween candy

Jeni's favorite Halloween candy is Dots. She just loves them. I'm more of a Tootsie Roll guy. Maybe all those commercials as a kid made a mark on me, but there's just something simplistically perfect about a Tootsie Roll. So when we buy candy to give out, we always go for our favorites in case we don't get many trick-or-treaters. On the other hand, Jeni's least favorite is those orange and black-wrapped toffee candies you can only get at Halloween. What's your favorite? What are you giving out this year?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Bad drivers

I have seen so many bad drivers lately that it frustrates me. We seem to have police patrolling or monitoring at the wrong times. I pass about three school zones on my way to work. One day a few weeks ago, there was a police officer monitoring traffic. I have been very conscious to go 25 where the normal speed is 40, but as I go 25, I am passed on the right in the merge lane (twice this week) and cars zip past me all the time. My issue is that if this is worth patrolling one day, isn't it worth patrolling every day? This is a school zone and our children's safety should always be a priority, not a random check. I also saw two cars make U-turns in the middle of intersections, one almost causing a three car collision (him, the car in front of me, and me, if the latter two had not been paying attention) and yet you know these people are oblivious to the danger they pose.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Profile picture

I added Jasper's picture as our profile picture. Isn't he the cutest cat?

Monday, October 25, 2004


Jeni made gumbo for dinner and boy was it good! I remember when we first moved out to Iowa she made a big batch of gumbo for all of our neighbors and had a big dinner, and we had to have two batches, one normal (spicy) and the other mild for their blander palates.

The other day she made tuna noodle casserole. Try saying that fast.

LOST episodes

A patient brought the first two episodes of LOST to me on tape, so we're going to catch up on what we've missed.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

e-mail pet peeve

I don't mind when people forward things on to me. Yeah, we all have that friend who forwards everything they get to every name in their address book, including to the person who sent it. What really gets me, though, is when they don't forward from the original message and you have to open about 12 e-mail windows to get to the actual desired message. Does this not annoy everyone else? And if so, why do people continue to do it?


Stop the presses! I actually exercised like I said I wanted to. I did a 20 minute program on the treadmill and followed it with push ups and crunches and a little low back work. Now I just have to make sure this isn't just a Sunday thing. I'm currently reading the Body For Life book trying to get a plan. It's not that I don't like my weight so much as I don't like where it is on me.

Movie review

We watched Taking Lives last night with Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke and Kiefer Sutherland. It had some intense moments (enough to startle Jeni, which in turn made me jump and knock my glasses off ... that was an unexpected laugh during a thriller) to make it worth watching. Plus there were enough twists and turns as you went to make you guess, then second-guess yourself. Definitely worth the rental.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

10 steps

I heard on the radio the other day an interview with Dr. Ann, a doctor with a focus on nutrition. She is the national spokesman for Ruby Tuesday's. Well, during the interview she made reference to her 10 steps to lifelong wellness and vitality. I really liked her 10 steps, because they were sensible, including balanced eating (not eliminating all carbs, but cutting back on simple carbohydrates and focusing on complex carbohydrates) and walking just 30 minutes a day. She even said walking 10 minutes, three times a day, was sufficient. It's nice to heard someone out there echoing my sentiments.

Taste of Fall

Jeni made pumpkin bread yesterday. The whole apartment smelled like Fall. I love carbs!

FYI: Cat's don't like blow dryers

Jasper is tolerant of baths. I don't put him in the tub, and we only put him under the water when he first came home as a kitten. But he'll let me put cat shampoo on a wet washcloth and he will walk around the bathroom as I bathe him. Well, yesterday, I got him good and wet cleaning him up. And he let me towel dry him some, but he was wetter than usual, so I decided to try out the hair dryer. Needless to say, it didn't go too well. Something about air hitting you that you can't see, I can understand. He jumped around, spilled his water bowl, and managed to knock over anything that could be knocked over. At that point, I was as wet as he was so I decided that he was dry enough.

Playstation 2 controller

Well ... my original Playstation 2 controller is starting to bug out on me. We have three generic controllers, all of which are tweaky. I guess it's time to break down and buy a new one. Either that, or admit that I'm 32 and ... nah, that's crazy talk!


Wow.. I just checked Cathy's statistics and saw that she gets 2000+ hits a month! That just blows me away. I'm pretty happy when I get close to 200.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Short day

I did a partial day at work today. We only do half days on Fridays, but since I've been staying late to do workshops six nights in the last three weeks, I thought I could take a few extra hours and recharge. A patient brought me the first two episodes of Lost, which I promptly left at the office and refused to go back for. Nothing that can't wait until Monday, I guess.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I was behind this truck with a big sticker that read "Bad Ass Boys Drive Bad Ass Toys" and was extremely tickled when I could see into his side rear-view mirror and notice his vintage Billy Ray Cyrus mullet in all it's glory. I had to pass him to take it in ... shaved tight on the side (brown) and blonde on top, long all the way from the front back. Not quite the Billy Ray flat top, long back, but entertaining all the same.


So when did "uh-huh" become the appropriate response when someone says "thank you" or "have a nice day"?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Lost and found

Good time waster: FOUND Magazine. A collection of pictures and notes that people have found are published in this collection. It's so interesting to see a caption of someone's life and wonder what came before and after.

How stuff works

Curious about how something works? Go to this very fittingly named web site: How Stuff Works.

Laughing at the cat's expense

We have a soft cooler that we keep in the car in case we go to the grocery store and it's hot outside and we buy frozen stuff. It's nice to have something that will help our cool stuff keep if we have to make a stop. But it came inside after our last shopping trip and Jasper has been hanging out in it. He fills it perfectly. Well, the other night he came tearing into the kitchen and dove into the cooler and it flipped over on top of him and he wandered into the dining room with this cooler upside down on top of him and he was zig-zagging like the tiny droid in Star Wars that Chewbacca roars at. I laughed for a second, then felt bad for him because I knew he was scared and confused. But I do wish I had it on tape!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Movie review

Jersey Girl was out so we got Twisted with out free rental. It was ok as suspense thrillers go, but we had it figured out way early. Lots of foreshadowing. Take away the great cast, and this is a mediocre movie.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Homeward bound

Our friend Chris is on his way back from doing his Reservist duty in Iraq. We couldn't be happier for him to be out of that place. He e-mailed and said he got delayed in Spain on his way back. They had to make a stop, and since he didn't have travel papers, he had to stay in the hotel for a few days until the next flight. But I've managed to get tickets to the UT/South Carolina game and he should be able to make it back in time for that so we are very excited!

Friday, October 15, 2004

SC State Fair

We went to the state fair today. Didn't ride any rides, just ate, ate, ate (corn dogs, funnel cake, big lemonade, cooton cady, candy apple ... yum!). Time to enter a sugar coma and fall asleep watching Jersey Girl (which I plan on renting in about 10 minutes).

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I Heart Huckabees

I saw the trailer for I Heart Huckabees (now playing in select cities ... not here). This just looks too good. It appears to have a bit of a Punch Drunk Love/Rushmore off-beatness to it. You must check it out!

Cool picture of the sky after Mount St. Helens' eruption in 1980. This picture is from The Seattle Times. This is clouds of dust over Richland, Wa. after the eruption. As a kid, I had a Ziploc of ash from Mount St. Helens, but I don't think it survived the move from New Orleans to New Jersey. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Swing voter?

I heard this interesting article on NPR's Morning Edition on my way in to work Tuesday morning about Swing Voters (Swing Voter: Online Testing to Help Decide) and an online survey you can take to tell you who you should vote for. The web site is Select Smart and it is supposed to ask you a series of questions to determine where you stand on the issues and tell you which candidate that is still in the running you lean toward. This actually goes beyond Bush and Kerry to touch on the Socialist party and others.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Vols rule, Dawgs drool

Tennessee beat Georgia 19-14 last Saturday to take the lead in the SEC East! Gerald Riggs Jr. runs through the Georgia defense in this picture from The Tennessean. Posted by Hello

Not updating?

My blog has turned blank? I'm trying to republish without much success... hmm?

Aaron Peirsol

Aaron Peirsol at the Short Course Swimming Worlds in Indianapolis. This picture is from my Excite page. Jeni is a big swimming fan. Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Not getting attacked

Bill O'Reilly was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday and during the interview Jon Stewart asked him to name something domestic that George W. Bush had been successful with. His answers: the economy (because it followed Sept. 11 and it could have been much much worse), and the fact that we haven't been attacked again (and if they could, they would).

So following the logic than NOT being attacked is a success of the president, we can say that, first of all, GETTING attacked also sits on the president's shoulders, so for scoring purposes, I'll give Bush a -1 for 1991, and a +3 for the other three years we weren't attacked under his watch. So that gives him a collective +2. So following the logic laid down by Bill O'Reilly, Bill Clinton did pretty well. I'll give him a -1 for the bombing at Olympic Park in Atlanta and a +7 for the other seven years ... +6. Bush the first, +4 ... no attacks on American soil ... Reagan, +7 (after all, someone tried to kill him), Carter +4.

OK ... this is all hyperbole to show that IT MAKES NO SENSE! September 11, 1991 was a fluke. A total breakdown in numerous systems. We have to stop defining everything based on one moment in our history.

The American system functions much like the human system. When the human body is under diress and stress, you will not grow or develop. Studies on mice have shown that a mouse under constant stress is much smaller than a mousethat is encouraged and in a thriving social environment. Look at the Middle East ... it's the same thing. Keep it under stress and diress, and it will NEVER thrive. If we continue to live in fear of what might happen, we will never heal and move forward. Mourn, remember, but move forward by focusing on the positive that remains.

Solitaire Showdown

So lately Jeni and I have been playing Solitairre Showdown on MSN Messenger on my lunch break. It's a load of fun, and I suggest you check it out. But we were lamenting the fact that we have the one computer at home and couldn't play when it occurred to us ... we have two decks of cards! So yes, like in the dark ages before talking paperclips and broadband connections and popup ads, we played solitaire with cards.

Funny comics

Check out these funny comics...
Good health
23 pounds
Fruits and vegetables
Alternative medicine
My favorite kind of patient

These all came from the Randy Glasbergen comics archives of fitness comics.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Learn from others

How can a drug conviction (plea) turn a professional athlete into a role model? Look at Jamal Lewis, who plead guilty to drug conspiracy charges and will spend four months in federal prison and two months in a halfway house this spring. The former Tennessee Volunteer said he hopes others will benefit from his mistake, which occurred before he played his first NFL game. "Watch your friends and who you have around you," he said. "That's the big picture of this whole thing." If more young athletes will see what happened to him, maybe this can have a long-term impact in creating better and more role model athletes down the road. (Better than Ricky Williams who, after failing a third drug test, quit on his team and went on a world tour.)

Bush event crowds filtered

If you missed Campaign Security Screening Crowds for Doubters on NPR, it's a good one. It talks about how the Bush camp has controlled access to Bush's speaking events, refusing entry to events if you are showing anything that is contrary to Bush, including a Keyy sticker on your wallet, a pro-choice t-shirt, and much more. Some are even arrested!

Crazy Cat Man

I could easily become Crazy Cat Man if I let myself. We have a lot of stray cats in our apartment complex, and I just saw the two cutest kittens. They were so small, with heads about the size of racquet balls, brown with black stripes, and one had the whitest underbelly. So I'm resisting the urge to take some cat food out to the curb for them.

Dumb politician

Local Republican Jim DeMint, who I believe is running for State Senate, commented this week that he didn't believe that "gays" should be teaching our children in public schools. He followed that statement, saying he also didn't think unwed pregnant mothers should be teachers either. He later apologized for the unwed pregnant mothers comment, saying "sometimes my heart disconnects from my brain." What's next, minorities shouldn't be teaching the white children? How can we ever expect children to grow to understand diversity if they live in a filtered world?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

What-er mess

After my shower this morning, I walked into the kitchen and noticed two small puddles of water between the pantry and the range. I dried them up, shrugging them off as maybe Jasper knocking something over, even though there was no evidence (ice cubes, maybe). But then a minute later, I happen to look in front of the fridge and there was a sizeable puddle, stretching about three feet across from the front of the fridge to the laundry room where the water heater is. At first, my thought was that the water heater had leaked during my shower. But then I listened and heard a washing machine running. So after drying up my water, and sloshing across my wet carpet (yes, it had seeped to about five feet of carpet), I walked to my next-door neighbor's to let them know. Well, both adults are hearing-impaired, which affects nothing in my story except that he relayed that they have no washer and that their carpet is wet too, all through pantomime. So then I went upstairs and found my culprit. There was also water along the breezeway outside the apartment, and my upstairs neighbor commented that his wife had said, "I wonder where all this water is coming from?"

So maintenance came and they have a blower drying out the carpet and did a good job cleaning up, but what a way to start your day!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bremer mess

So former Iraq administrator Paul Bremer said that the United States had "paid a big price" for insufficient troop levels after overthrowing Saddam at a speech made to an insurance group in WVa yesterday. The spin doctor comes on and saud that "he didn't realize his comments would be made public."

So I ask, is it supposed to give me more peace of mind knowing that the former Iraq administrator thinks we screwed up, but is keeping it from the American public?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Kevin Bacon Game

By now, I'm sure everyone is well aware of the Kevin Bacon Game (Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, or whatever you choose to call it...) When I was in college, I had a job working the front desk of the dorm and my friend Chris introduced me to the game, and while he worked one desk, I worked the other, and we'd call back and forth with connections. I personally am three degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon, with which details I will spare you for a variety of reasons, primarily being that I don't want you to know how psycho I really am. But I stumbled across The Oracle of Kevin Bacon from the University of Virginia that connects movie actors to Kevin Bacon using a database and imdb. Pretty cool, even though it does take some of the fun out of the game.

Current favorite commercial

I just enjoy watching that new HP commercial with the guy with the picture frames that keep capturing the image of his face. I just think it's so visually stimulating that it's fun to watch.

Sour milk

When does milk go bad? There's not an exact moment when you can say, "right now it's ok to drink, but in an hour ... watch out!" I had cereal this morning, with milk, and it didn't taste quite right, but I disregarded it for two reasons: I knew it wasn't due to spoil until Oct. 9, and I had recently brushed my teeth, so I allowed for some Crest after-effect. So this evening I decided to do a followup on the milk, and sure enough -- BAD! Not just bad, spoil your appetite for dinner bad. And to think I had some this morning. Which leads me back to my original question: When does milk go bad?


Following my unintentional movie theme here ... I have a few lists of movies:

My top five "honest" movies: (movies where everything isn't always neat at the end, but says something real, or is a real reflection of life/thoughts)
High Fidelity (which got me on the top five kick ... I started with three)
Beautiful Girls
Chasing Amy
St. Elmo's Fire (ok ... this one does wrap up pretty neatly, but overall it fits)
Breakfast Club (ok ... another neat ending, but come on, it's John Hughes)

Top five movies that are always on tv, but I still have to stop and watch:
10 Things I Hate About You
Groundhog's Day
Usual Suspects
Tie - True Lies/Silence of the Lambs (for Jeni)

Top five movies in my video collection I couldn't part with:
Empire Records
The Rock
Con Air
Silence of the Lambs
(The last three are among Jeni's favorites to watch on a lazy afternoon ... you may notice the absence of the Star Wars Trilogy and the High School Reunion Collection: Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and Breakfast Club ... I also have a small collection of John Cusack movies and other John Hughes greats ... these transcend lists of this nature and are therefore excluded as they would devalue the making of a list)

Of course, there are always others that I could add, and I'm sure on tomorrow's drive to work, I'll think of movies I forgot, much like I thought of these today on my way to work. But that's the beauty; I can always type another list.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Who? What?

I said to Jeni, "That heater thing at Sam's was $200."
She heard, "That heaping tray of sandwiches was $200."
Her response, "Who? What?"

Dumb funny

Dumbest movie that was so funny I had to watch it over and over again: Zoolander (with Night at the Roxbury a close second, I believe ... of course, I'll wake up tomorrow and think of another). So what's yours?