Monday, October 31, 2005

Blockbuster and people suck...

Okay, the title of this post was supposed to be Blockbuster sucks, but then I listened to the messages on the machine here at work and I revised it. You'll see why.

Friday night on my way home I thought I'd pick up some movies for the wife and I to watch. Blockbuster wasn't crowded and is on the way home so I stopped in. I found two movies the wife and I wanted to see (because honestly 200 DVD's on the shelf at home just aren't enough to choose from right?) so I picked them up and carried them to the counter. I was annoyed at all the signs they have about the end of extended viewing fees, and how much easier it is to rent from Blockbuster. Not just because they're stupid and annoying, but because now they have whiney signs. They have signs on the return bins both inside and out that say "Returned on time? You're too kind!" Okay, don't bitch about when people bring movies back if you're going to give us the freedom to keep them as long as we want. Don't tell me at the counter that you'd really appreciate it if I returned them on time. If there is no due date, they'll be back when we're done with them. Typically I just copy them and return them anyway but you probably already knew that. I was standing in line with my two movies. The people ahead of me seemed to be making a habit about keeping movies instead of returning them. The guy told them they owed some astronomical sum for the movies they kept and these people were fighting with him tooth and nail, then said they didn't have $60 in their checking account to pay for the movies. They did promise to bring them back when they were done though. Seriously, if you don't have $60 in your account renting movies should be way off your scope. That's a different blog at a different time though. Anyway. I stood there for a few minutes with these people in front of me trying to figure out how they were going to pay for these movies and the one checkout guy started checking out other people while they argued. When he started in on them about the due dates, I dropped my movies on the floor and left. Honestly, the guy told these people "Okay, technically these are due back in two days, but technically we have no due dates so you can bring them back whenever you want. However, if you're a considerate person you'll bring them back on the due dates because that's what we prefer. Someone could be looking for those movies and not be able to rent them because you haven't returned them like you were supposed to okay?" The lady just nodded and walked out. I dropped my movies and he said "Can I help you sir?" I said "No, technically you've just inspired me to not rent movies here." I left with the people behind me still arguing about when they'd return the movies they'd had for a year. I really like watching movies, but honestly. If we're ever at a point where we don't have $60 in our checking account, I can do without a movie if it means we'll get to eat or pay bills. You know? So Blockbuster officially sucks. I hate them. I hate renting from them and I'm out of free Netflix trials.

Now, on to people in general. No offense to any blog readers. I'm sure none of you have done this. Our number here at the store is one number different than the hospital, and apparently someone has been giving it to Blockbuster. Over the weekend I had eight messages. Not one of them was for me or the store. The best of them are as follows.

"Hello, this message is for Johnathan. This is Amy at Blockbuster. We're calling to inform you that since you've not returned the Bare Wench Project we're putting $19.95 on your account. Thank you for choosing Blockbuster." I checked in to that one, it's a real movie. What appears to be a soft porn movie. I'm assuming it's not hard core since you can rent it at Blockbuster. I thought they said Blair Witch project so I reviewed the message again, and they didn't. No wonder Johnathan didn't give them his home number. Next one...

"Leave a message??? Who the hell do you think you are??? LEAVE A MESSAGE??? I'm not leaving a message at a damn hospital do you hear me???!!?? Y'all ain't right! Y'all ain't right at all! I ain't leavin a damn message, ya hear?!?" Nice. Please call back. Honestly I'll be nice enough to explain to you that we're not the hospital. Not the best, but certainly the last for now...

"Hi, this uh...message is for room 215...uh...Get well soon? Thanks." Wow, that's sincere huh? Really, I'm not the hospital. People argue this with me all the time. Our answering machine says who we are, and we identify the place when we answer the phone. There is no reason that we should get these messages (other than they make for good blogging) but we do. People just amaze me.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I really need to start working out again...

Mike forwarded this to me, and since I've got little else to post this is good. It's inspiration from none other than Henry Rollins...

The IRON, from Details Magazine
By Henry Rollins

I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. Completely.

When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me "garbage can" and telling me I'd be mowing lawns for a living. And
the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn't run home crying, wondering why. I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me
wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.

I hated myself all the time. As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn't going to get pounded in the hallway between classes. Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you'll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends,school sucked. Teachers gave me hard time. I didn't think much of them either.

Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class.Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the blackboard. Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn't even drag them to my mom's car. Anattendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.'s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn't looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing. In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn't want to blow it. I went home that night andstarted right in.

Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn't know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. Icould sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and noone could ever take it away. You couldn't say shit to me.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn't want to come off the mat, it's the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn't teach you anything. That's the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always workagainst you.

It wasn't until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can't be as bad as thatworkout.

I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn't ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you're not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson inrestraint and self-control.

I have never met a truly strong person who didn't have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone's shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people andMr.Pepperman.

Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical andemotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the mostwhen the pain from a workout was racing through my body.

Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn't see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealingwith the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

I prefer to work out alone. It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you're made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live. Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it's some kind of miracle if you're not insane. People have become separatedfrom their bodies. They are no longer whole.

I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in athick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened totheir true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you're a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

Preach on Henry, Preach on...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Underworld Evolution Trailer online

Sweet! The Underworld Evolution Trailer is now online at Yahoo! Movies. If you haven't seen it, you should watch it. It looks probably as good as the first one, but now I'll have to watch the first one a couple of times for a refresher course before January 15th. With the new stereo system dialed in properly, the neighbors should know what the war between the Vampires and the Likens sounds like first hand.

The air show is this weekend so my grandparents will be in town. They're coming through today to see the store and take me to lunch. Nice. Free food is always good.

The Jeep is back up and running so I'm a happy camper. The near gears and lockers make it more stout than ever before. Now I guess I need to get it off road to see how capable it's new equipment is.

Outside of that, not much else happening. Gearing up for the spring semester. Much work to be done so I'd better get back to it. Nothing really interesting or noteworthy happening here. Glad to see the Sox won their first championship in 80 years, now if only the cubs can get it done we'll be in good shape. Personally, I'm a Yankees fan...always have been. It'd be nice to see them win since they're probably the most overpaid team in baseball but that's just me ranting.

So tell me if I'm in the wrong here. When I first bought this store, I had a lady come in with some terrible hard luck story about how she needed money, was broke, couldn't feed her babies, and didn't have the gas money to get there. This lady was probably old enough to be my mother, so the idea of her having babies was pretty far fetched to me. The book she had to sell was still a pretty widely used book. Typically if the buyback on it is a third of the list price, it's a good one to have. That's what this one was and she went ballistic. She seemed to think since she paid $200 for it and didn't use it much, she should get at least $190 for it. Sorry, it doesn't work that just can't. Then she tells me her sob story again. I could tell she needed the money, but the sign does say we're a bookstore, not check in to cash. So I told her what I could give her for the book, let her look at the buyback screen so she could see I wasn't ripping her off. Then she tells me she wants the wholesale list price for it, not what I'm giving her. That was again $200. If I can buy it from a wholesaler for just slightly more than what I'm paying you for it...sorry. I don't have to have it that bad. Anyway, so she agrees to the $40 or $50 or whatever it was. Then she says "Well, I'm gonna need that book back here in about two weeks. What do you reckon you'll sell it for then?" I told her if she was really in such a bad way, I'd help her out and she could have it back at the price I bought it from her for in two weeks. Well, this was July. She came in yesterday - in October - wanting to know where her book was. I told her I sold it back to a wholesaler because she never showed back up. She said "well I needed that book and I had to have to money to feed my babies and had to have gas to get home to them." Absurd that this woman is still keeping with this story, but at least she's consistently absurd. So I told her I'd have to order one because I just didn't have it. Then we get a few more minutes of sob story about how hard her life is and that I don't understand. Really, I was trying to be sympathetic to a degree. So I told her I'd order the book and call her when it got here and we'd work out a fair price. Then she wanted me to guarantee that I'd sell it to her for less than what she sold it to me for because it was my fault that she didn't have it. Now she'd crossed the line. I told her she could stand there and be a victim without a book, or she could take her bogus sob story somewhere else and order it because I wasn't losing money on a book for anyone over something that wasn't my fault. I was resisting, but I did throw in that I was not book pawn or check in to cash and didn't hold books for money. I buy and sell them because that's what bookstores do. Seriously, am I in the wrong here? I don't think so. I held that book for three months before I sold it back and I only sold it because there was a new edition pending and I was about to be stuck with a $40 paper weight. I'm ordering her a book, but I'm hoping she buys it somewhere else.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Dialing in...

So the Jeep is fixed. Now I just need a new speedometer gear so the speedometer doesn't read 20 mph off. I have a feeling that's a vital piece to dialing it in so I'm not going 20 mph too slow or too fast. Either way, it's nice to have it back so we're not out a car anymore. Sadly the Jeep is just at that stage where it's going to cost me money to keep it running. I don't like thinking about it, but it is the Jeep and I'm sure after this round of problems I'll go another 140,000 miles without a single hiccup.

This weekend I spent some time with our new DVD player. It's got the fiber optic audio output on it which is supposed to be better. To me it was just quieter so I had to get out all the car movies and movies with aliens and explosions to make sure I got it right. I put in X-men 2, Gone in 60 Seconds, and it just didn't sound right. Wasn't enough bass yet. Turns out the listening mode was set to Music. That's great if we're watching a live Dave Matthews or Harry Connick DVD, but for people that like hearing massive things blow up, it's just not enough. I got the setting switched and turned the sub up about twice what it was before just for good measure. The neighbor said he heard me listening to the Bad Boys 2 chase scene yesterday morning so I guess I've got it dialed in. Personally I like that when Orks are walking across the screen it sounds like they're in the kitchen, or when Eleanor fires up it sounds like it just pulled in to the garage. The wife doesn't think so, but it's pretty damn cool to me.

Mike got a new Harley this weekend and took his girlfriend for a ride on it. Preliminary reports say that she whined and bitched the entire time. Knowing that Mike very rarely exaggerates in this area, I'll take his word for it. I might have to get him to e-mail me a picture of it because he doesn't have his own damn blog to post the pictures of it on. The story is pretty funny so he might have to post that here too. Mike, if you'll e-mail me that conversation with Bob the accessorizer, I'll post it here for you.

Outside of that the weekend was uneventful. Played some DVD trivial pursuit with the in-laws this weekend which was fun. It sucked because I lost my first game to my wife since we've owned it, but I'll blame it on her brothers. I think they were sabotaging the game. I hope everyone else had a good weekend.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Finally Friday...

It has been a long week. The good news is my brother-in-law is home for the week and he took some time off to finish the flower beds in front of the house. I came home the other day and they were done. It's nice to not have to mess with anything when I get home...really nice.

So, the Jeep got towed off this morning to get fixed. The guy said maybe we'd have it back today, but I'm not holding my breath. If this guy can rebuild a front and rear differential on a Jeep in one day, he's not advertising himself well enough. I'm hoping for Tuesday so that should be good.

I just went over to Habib's here to get some Combo's and a Coke. His wife (Mrs. Habib?) was on the phone as she always is. The only time I see her without that phone to her ear is when she's walking across the street to their apartment, but sometimes you can see her on a cell phone. Today she was aruging with someone in Habib-speak like nobody's business. I think if I were to talk to someone like that in English, it would likely mean we were going to fight. In Habib-speak, it seems that language involves a lot of spitting and hacking. This is strange. Never in my life have I heard people hacking and spitting at each other through the phone. She's ringing me up while yelling in Habib-speak then calmly looks at me and says "Two dolla." So I hand her the two dollars and she goes back to hacking and spitting. Weird I tell you.

So before I opened my Combo's I noticed that it has a notice on it that reads "Made with REAL CHEESE." Well, anything that is advertised as cheese flavored should be made with real cheese. I'm curious. Do products that are made with cheese flavoring, or fake cheese say "Made with REAL FAKE CHEESE" or "Made with something that is supposed to taste similar to REAL CHEESE?" Or, do they just say "If you're drunk enough, this will resemble chesse." I guess if you look at food labels, we have a lot of food like that. Take "I can't believe it's not butter!" What is it then? If none of us can believe it's not butter, couldn't they just change the label to "THIS VAT OF YELLOW SPOOGE RESEMBLES THE TASTE OF BUTTER!!" It could really be anything, and we're instantly all made to believe it's not butter. Maybe I'm just crazy but I think sometimes the labels throw us for a loop. Have a good weekend everybody.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A broken Jeep and a remodeled flower bed...

So, Friday night my wife and I are headed home from dinner out with the in-laws. My in-laws aren't as bad as your typical in-laws so dinner out with them is never too bad. The Jeep kept driving really funny all the way home and then it happened. The rear end broke. Imagine driving your car and every few seconds you hear a loud pop and a feeling like someone just hit you in the rear end...hard. That's what it feels like when a rear end comes apart. So I limped it home and didn't have time to look it over. I thought I could limp it to work the next morning, but it was done. It wouldn't pull itself out of the driveway. So it's parked and Dad and I disassembled it this weekend. The parts should be here today so hopefully it will be done by the end of the week, but I doubt it.

The good news is, my brother-in-law is back in town for the week and he was nice enough to help us re-vamp the very lame flower beds we had in front of the house. So most of the day Saturday was quality time with the in-laws and yard work. For most people that would be two things that really suck, but it wasn't bad. The front of the house looks much better so next on the agenda is blowing up our sidewalk and ripping down that sad excuse for a deck.

In other news, McDonalds sent me a cookie cutter letter and two free breakfast sandwich coupons. Neither of them included hash browns so I'm going to send them back. Not much else happening today. Yesterday was a day off work (fall break) so I managed to get a little bit accomplished. Nothing else exciting happening except that we're finally gearing up for the spring semester. Hope everyone else is doing well.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

McDonalds and Ethnic Slurs

Well, it appears that the Senior Drive-Thru manager at McDonalds does not appreciate ethnic slurs. I know this, because I found out the hard way. I made the mistake of forgetting breakfast this morning and thought to myself that McDonalds would be alright because it's right near the store. The wait wasn't that long and when I got to the pick-up window the guy handed me two sausage biscuits and two hash browns...not what I ordered. So I politely (honestly, I was polite at this point) said "Sorry man, I ordered a number eight with an orange juice. This must be the next guy's order." Now, here stands Jose. No real grasp on the English language. No real grasp on how many fake gold teeth and gold chains are too many, and no real idea what I'm saying. So I hand him the bag back. He gets in to a discussion with the girl next to him, all while pointing at me. He leans back through the window and says (in his insanely thick spanish accent) "Hokay Ese, lemme yust get this rrrrrright. Ju have thrrree ashbrrrowns orrr yust two?" Now I've been sitting here for a few minutes and I really just wanted breakfast and orange juice so I could get to work. Simple right? Not with Captain Teeth at the helm. So I said "Seriously man, I just ordered a number eight with an orange juice. It's sitting right there on your counter." He had already poured the orange juice and never once considered that maybe they handed him the orders, out of order. Maybe the Senior Drive-Thru manager was a new position for him and he's watching costs. Obviously if they let someone get away with six ounces of crappy orange juice, they'd be out five or six cents, and I was clearly in his mind trying to get away with theiving orange juice. If you think about this, 1,000 people that steal orange juice from McDonalds could put them out $50. So, he smiles really big, perhaps trying to blind me with his gold teeth and says "No ese, ju yust dident orrder de orane yuice." Then he closed the window and started arguing with the girl next to him again. Not sure what this was about, but I was getting pissed. My short fuse was burning quickly. Then he took the time to set my order aside, continue to point at me while arguing to this girl next to him, and now he was pointing at the order that wasn't mine. So, I leaned out and knocked on the drive-thru window. Shocked he turned around and opened it. "Wassup ese?" I said "Just give me my damn order so I can get to work." He takes a second to adjust one of his gold chains and says "Okaiy main...but ju dident get de orane yuice. Yust de bizket and de ashbrrowns, si?" He had the bag in his hands so I reached out for it and said "Just give me the food you stupid f*ckin mexican. Stop f*ckin with your goofy ass gold chains, get your greasy head out of your greasy ass and give me the damn food. I don't care whose it is at this point, just give me something that resembles a damn biscuit Paco." So I grab my food, I'm sure in my anger threw out a few more ethnic slurs, and drove to work. I got here a few minutes late because of El Capitan, and found what I ordered in the bag. With a receipt that said "Number eight combo, with hash brown and 12 oz orange juice." I was so mad I think if I'd gone back to get my orange juice, Jose would have been picking the gold teeth out of his nose. Really, I don't have anger management issues. I took my seminar, and I passed. It's amazing how much physical violence you have to threaten an anger management seminar guy with before he'll sign your papers saying you passed.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Weekend and movies in review...

Well, another weekend came and went. Friday night was fun. We went to see Here Come the Mummies at Cajun Fest and took Mike since he'd never seen them. They're really good live, but the Cajun Fest was a huge disappointment. The Cajun food was minimal and the beer was limited to Budweiser products. Mike and I drank a lot of beer at cajun fest, and then a lot of Jack at a very 70's bar called Lamar's. The version of Jack and Coke they serve could best be described as two and a half shots of Jack, with another shot of Jack and a hint of Coke. Yeah...needless to say I can't hold my liquor like Mike can but that's another story for another time. Hopefully one that won't be told.

Saturday was lounging around the house and hanging with the in-laws. Spent part of the day buring DVD's for my brother-in-law because he's coming home from Canada this week so it will be good to see him before he moves to Texas. The in-laws came over Saturday night so we could hang out. My in-laws aren't that bad so it was pretty fun. Turns out we needed the rest for Sunday. One of our friends is a Chili's Manager and he took us down to Maggiano's in Atlanta for some pretty good Italian food and a movie. Chili's and Maggiano's are both owned by Brinker International so we got a discount on the dinner. It was good. On the way home we stopped off and saw Proof at an AMC theater. The movie was good, but not what I thought it would be from the previews. In short, Gwyeneth Paltrow plays the daughter of Genius Mathematician Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins character went crazy and died but while Paltrow was caring for him she wrote an amazing mathematical proof. The rest of the movie is about her problems with her sister, and love interest Jake Gyllenhaal, and of course proving who wrote the proof. Everybody is really good in the movie and its probably a better story than I'm making it out to be. There aren't really any special effects or anything that make it a must see in the theaters but it's a good movie. There were some really good previews attached to it as well like DeRailed, and Matador which I'm very much looking forward to see. Haven't decided if I'll add them to the countdowns, but it's under consideration.

This week looks to be pretty busy too, but we should get to see Serenity and Waiting before the week is up. Next weekend, I'm staying home and sleeping in. Really...

Friday, October 07, 2005

Misadventures of Me and Mike.

So my efforts to get Mike blogging are unsuccessful thus far. I think maybe he just needs another vintage Pat and Mike story to get him going. One of my old cars was a 1990 Plymouth Laser. For those that don't know, it's the same car as the Mitsubishi Eclipse. Mike had RX7's at the time and we usually raced through traffic and insane speeds. I went one Sunday afternoon to get a set of tires put on my car because I'd burned them off. Did I mention Mike and I put a water box in front of my parents house one afternoon and just did a bunch of burnouts? Yeah. That was fun. Well, anyway. I'd burned a set of tires to where they were blistered and pretty much done with. I went to the NTB to get a set of Goodyears that I'd heard were really good tires. Side Note: For anyone buying tires, e-mail me your questions. I know more about tires than probably any 10 jackasses at tire stores that are trying to sell you tires you don't want or need. So, I went down, purchased the Goodyears. They said it would be an hour wait. Fine, I walked over to Long John Silvers for lunch and came back. When I got back I looked at the car and saw four tires I'd never heard of. So I went inside and very politely said "You retards just put the wrong tires on my car. Who has ever heard of Falkens? Are you insane?" The guy said "Oh yeah, the bad news is we were out of Falkens, the good news is these are $50 more a piece per tire but we sold them to you for the same price. It's a lot better tire than that Goodyear. That little car there won't even spin those tires." So, I accepted this...for the time being. After all I did have a 30 day test drive so I had planned to absolutely burn them off in 30 days. I pulled out of their lot and left two really long, really dark blackmarks about 50 feet in length. little car wouldn't spin those tires. On the way home from school I usually went through the S-curves (another favorite place for me and Mike to race each other, or just drive insanely fast through it). Well, before I get there one of these tires blew up. I opted not to purchase the road hazzard so I thought "Great, I'm screwed." I called Mike to come down in dad's truck with a jack and a lug wrench. I had no spare tire. Back to NTB Mike and I went. Noticing that one of their preciouss Falken ZX radials had just come back in, they pretended not to see us. After being ignored for a minute I took the wheel and tire assembly and threw it on their counter. We were greated with a "You boys been helped yet?" Mike replied with his friendly "What do you think?" They tested the tire and as it turns out it was defective. So I said "You know what, put the Goodyears on that I asked for yesterday. I'll take this one, get the car back down here and you can put three more on." Oh how they didn't like that logic. "These tires are way better than them Goodyear tires. Blah blah blah, I'm a stupid moron who works on commission." Okay, he didn't say that but you get the idea. The Goodyears were one of the top rated tires on the market at that time and on this list, the Falkens were no where to be found. Wonder why? Anyway, the guy continues his spill on how dangerous it is to have one tire that won't hold, and three that will. Mike speaks up again.

Mike "Oh yeah, these lame ass Falkens are so much better than Goodyear. Isn't that why that guy you hate...what's his name? That Nascar driver you hate so much?"
Patrick "Jeff Gordon?"
Mike "Yeah, that asshole. Isn't that why he wins because he drives on Falkens an no one else does?"
Counter Guy "No, I believe they all use Goodyears."
Mike "Exactly! Put the fuckin' Goodyears on the car and stick these lame ass Falkens in your lame ass! Got it?"
Patrick "I couldn't agree with what he said more."
Counter Jackass "well, now. when you boys drive this car back here. It's gone have one good tire and one bad tire. You really should just tow it in here. It's not safe to drive with that Falken up front that will hold and that Goodyear that won't."
Mike "Shut up dickhead. Put the new tire on so we can get back here with the car before midnight."

Turns out, they had one Goodyear in stock. Then he gave us a spill on how hard the car would be to drive and it'd just be easier if we'd leave with another Falken. So we finally get a tire...a Goodyear tire. And we head back to get the car. Mike decides he wants to drive my car through the S curves with the new tires (yeah, I never let people drive my car but somehow Mike always circumvents that rule) and see how they do. Mike lost me because who knows how fast he was going, but he did lay down a lot of rubber. Magically, when we returned to the tire store they had three more Goodyears there they didn't have the day before. The guy came again to talk us out of the right tires.

Counter Guy "Yeah. I can't believe you're takin off that good set of tires. Them things are so good, I can't even spin 'em on my car in the rain. I've tried, they hold. Them Goodyears ain't gonna hold at all."
Mike "Yeah, but I bet your idea of a sports car is a V6 Mustang isn't it asshole?"

He didn't respond, but somehow we got the four tires we'd gone after and a refund. It was closing time when they got done and the counter guy was leaving...having still not said another word to us. We got outside and sure enough, this moron drove a beat up V6 Mustang. Most people would let this go. Mike and I walked over to his car. He had four Goodyears just like I'd bought on the car. Mike stopped him...

Mike "Hey man, you sure it's safe to drive home?
Counter Bonehead "Yeah, I think they fixed you up okay didn't they? You got the tires you wanted, right?"
Mike "Well yeah, but you're sporting the same tires he just bought. Are you sure it's safe to drive home on these since they won't hold on your 'sports car'?"
Counter guy rolls up his window...
Mike "Try not to give that thing too much wouldn't want those awful tires breaking loose on you now would you? What with your sports car having all that power you know? Jackass!"

Somehow I think that tire guy went home and cried himself to sleep. Mike drove my car home like it was a rental. The tires held just fine.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Q&A With Mike

Upon Mike's reading these lists that are floating around, he decided that all of our lists sucked so he came up with one of his own. Since Mike won't get his own damn blog, I decided to ask him his own list and post here on my blog. The conversation went something like this -

Patrick - So, Mike. You think these lists suck huh?
Mike - Yeah, who writes these lame ass things?
Patrick - I don't know man. Mind if the blogger people of the world ask you a few questions?
Mike - Not so much. Even though I wrote most of those questions. I kept that ones that were worth keeping of your dumb ass list. There were four.
Patrick - This is true, but you're too much of a little bitch to get your own blog.
Mike - uh huh.
1. Patrick - Okay, let's get started then. Have you ever had sex on your bosses desk/ in his office?
Mike - In the office yes, the desk was too small.
2. Q - Have you ever ridden a motorcycle, or at least been on one?
A - Of course I have. I've even rolled one at 80 mph and survived.
3. Q - Have you ever bench-pressed your own body weight?
A - Yes. Multiple Times even.
4. Q - Have you ever done a girl you were datings best-friend, roommate or sister?
A - Yes.
Patrick - On all three counts?
Mike - No, just best friends and roommates. Too bad though, the sister would be a nice one.
5. Q - Have you ever run a 6 minute mile?
A - I have once, but I couldn't now.
6. Q - Have you survived a wreck that you shouldn't have?
A - Yes, read question two again.
7. Q - Ever been in a fight?
A - Yes. It's been a while.
Patrick - And did you win?
Mike - Yes I did. Bitch tried to steal my firecrackers so I had to kick his ass.
8. Q - Have you ever made an incompetent teacher cry and run to the principles office?
A - Yes. It's not my fault she was an incompetent bitch is it?
Patrick - Of course not Mike. I'm sure you did what was right.
Mike - Damn straight I did.
9. Q - Have you intentionally spent the entire day at work doing nothing?
A - Haven't we all? We call those weekdays don't we?
10. Q - Ever successfully picked up the bartender?
A - Yes.
11. Q - Ever finished a fifth by yourself?
A - Absolutely. It's an endeavor that one must embark upon with the utmost care.
12. Q - Ever insulted an activist? You get bonus points for this one if you inspired them to violence.
A - Oh yeah. When I was in Knoxville hippies used to surround my building. Never could get one of those candy asses to get violent though.
13. Q - Ever done a co-worker while on lunch/break?
A - Lindsey and Angel...So yes.
14. Q -
Ever been to a science-fiction convention?
A - Sadly, I have to say yes. I worked Security at the last geekfest here in town.
Patrick - Bonus question, did you beat up any geeks?
Mike - Sadly, no. I really wanted to, but I didn't.
15. Q - Ever had the pleasure of making a Klingon cry like a little bitch?
A - Ha! Yeah, I've done that!
16. Q - Can you do 10 pull-ups?
A - Yes I can. I can do lots of pull-ups. Can you do 10 pull-ups?
Patrick - Yes Mike. I can do 10 pull-ups.
17. Q - Have you ever built a car?
A - Yes. It was a great bonding experience with your dad wasn't it? For those curious, it was my 1971 Dodge Challenger. Then it was a 440 Six Pack car, but it's getting a Hemi.
18. Q - Have you ever pimpslamped one of your ho's 'cause she didn't have your "ends" on time?
A- Heh...No...But that sounds really funny doesn't it?
19. Q - Ever shot a gun?
A - Yep. I even shot my mom's glock.
20. Q - Ever given a Eulogy?
A - Yes. Every time I kill a cockroach. All little bugs that get in my way get a talking to, and then a Eulogy.
21. Q - Ever spent the night in jail?
A - No, but probably should have.
22. Q Have you enjoyed the pleasure of drinking in a shithole bar in a dirty town in the middle of nowhere in Mexico?
A - Yes. Several times in fact. I love Mexico.
23. Q - Have you ever had a one night stand?
A - Yes.
24. Q - Have you ever done a cheerleader?
A - Yes.
25. Q - While in her uniform?
A - Yes.
26. Q - And made her cheer for you?
A - Yes. Made her cheer "Go Mike."
27. Q - Can you change your own oil?
A - Yes, and any guy that answers no to this question please let me know how best to get a hold of you.
28. Q - Ever been skinny dipping?
A - Yes. In our old neighborhood pool. We hopped the fence in the middle of the night.
29. Q - Do you watch Saturday Night Live Celebrity Jeopardy at work?
A - I wish I could. This not safe for work stuff pisses me off. Mainly because I know you can look at anything that says that and not get fired...Bitch.
30. Q - Are you a member of the mile high club?
A - Sadly no.
31. Q - Ever traveled in something other than a plane at over 100 MPH?
A - Yes, two motorcycles and at least two cars because I'm a bad ass.
32. Q - Ever worked in the food service industry?
A - Yes, I was a meat carver at Old Country Buffett and a cook at Durty Nelly's. I hate the food service industry.
33. Q - Ever worn an ascot or sweatervest?
A - Hell no. Any person that answers yes to this, please tell me again how to best get a good hold of you.
34. Q - Do you own at least one pair of excessively cool boots?
A - Yes, I drive an Aprilia. Excessively cool boots are a must.
35. Q - Have you ever actually uttered the phrase, "I think I've had enough to drink?"
A - Fuck no I haven't. HAVE YOU???
Patrick - Not that I can remember.
Mike - Whatever...I bet you have.
36. Q - Ever been kicked out of a club or bar?
A - Yes..a couple times in fact. But never through my own fault.
37. Q - Have you ever, mistakenly or not, hit on a crossdresser?
A - Not that I know of.
Patrick -
I haven't, but I remember the first time I saw one thinking "Damn, that girl has better arms than I do."
38. Q - Have you ever sold a small, and really hard to catch child in to slavery for seriously WAY more money than you ever thought you'd get?
A - Yeah, but I had to get out of that industry what with taxes and outsourcing. No, not really, but it sounds funny right?
Patrick - well, I was starting to worry when I read that question.
Mike - I thought that was a good one.
39. Q - Been to Vegas?
A - Yep.
40. Q - Were you one of those assholes running around giving each other high-fives and yelling "what plays in Vegas stays in Vegas" all while not actually getting any in Vegas?
A - Oh...You know me better than that. No.
41. Q - Ever make a pilgrimage to New Orleans?
A - New Orleans....My Elysium. Yes...I have...
Patrick - Jen and I spent part of our honeymoon there. Somehow I have a feeling we had completely different New Orleans experiences.
Mike - Yeah...You could probably say that.
42. Q - Have you enjoyed Patricks sausage?
A - Yes. As dirty as that question sounds you do seem to always invite me over for Sausage night.
Patrick - Yeah, and the last one kinda sucked. Emeril's chicken sausage is much better than the Fresh Market stuff.
Mike - That and you overcooked the hell out of the Fresh Market stuff.
Patrick - I don't see you complaining about free food and free tequila bitch.
43. Q - Ever kill another homie for frontin in your crib?
A - No, but it sounds funny.
44. Q - Use your nine?
A - Sadly I don't even own a nine.
45. Q - Ever compare yourself to those silly ho's on Sex and the City?
A - I'm totally a Samantha.
46. Q - Ever blow anything up?
A - Oh yeah. I blew some shit up real good.
47. Q - Did you talk about fight club?
A - You're not supposed to talk about Fight Club. DID YOU TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB????
Patrick - No. Nobody talks about Fight Club.
Mike - Das right bitch.
48. Q - Do you know what a combinatorial algorithm is?
A - Yes, do you?
Patrick - No. I can't say as I do but I'm sure it has something to do with your job.
49. Q - Ever gotten up, walked out, left everything behind and just decided to start over?
A - Not yet.
50. Q - Ever watched all 3 Matrix movies back to back?
A - I have. Have you?
Patrick - Not yet, but I hope to.
51. Q - Have you enjoyed the Members Boobie/Booty thread?
A - On a daily basis. You?
Patrick - Since you turned me on to it...Yeah...
Mike - Das right bitch.
52. Q - Ever watched the Family Guy and wondered if they can fucking hear Stewey or not?
A - CAN THEY? Seriously? What the fuck is up with that?
53. Q - Ever been to Manhattan?
A - Yes, couple times in fact.
54. Q - Ever visited Ground Zero?
A - Yeah, and the picture vendors really piss me off.
55. Q - Ever drag raced someone?
A - Yes...I've even raced you before.
Patrick - Yeah...But I can say I've drag raced someone in a muscle car on a major drag strip. Can you?
Mike - Not yet.
Patrick - Candy ass.
56. Q - Have you ever made someone take a purity test just to ensure they were a big enough ho?
A - Yeah, that's about the only thing those dumb ass tests are good for.
57. Q - Ever sustained physical injury attempting to pick someone up?
A - Yes I have...Cigarette burns.
58. Q - Ever been one of those losers on a reality show?
A - Fuck no.
59. Q - Ever laughed with glee at the thought of Martha Stewart getting buttraped in prison with a wisk?
A - Ha ha ha ha! Yeah...I have.
60. Q -
Do you wear a little cell phone ear piece that makes it look like you're talking to yourself?
A - Hell no. Also, should anyone answer yes to this question, please let me know how best to find you...
61. Q - Do you pray towards Mecca?
A - No. Again, if you answer yes please forward me your contact info and a good time to get a hold of you.
62. Q - Have you ever let someone eat something really hot just to laugh at them afterwards?
A - Yeah. It was really funny too.
Patrick - Yeah, I've done that to two people. Both times it was insanely funny.
63. Q - Do you think Arnold is actually a pretty good politician and that most Californians are just fucking retarded?
A - Yes, I think Arnold is a good governor.
Patrick - but not all Californians are retarded.
64. Q - Does the word sodomy make you fidget in your seat?
A - Nope, not me.
65. Q - What constitutes a fidget?
A - Damned if I know.

Patrick - Well that was enlightening.
Mike - It's certainly better than your dumb ass lists. Who writes that shit anyway?
Patrick - I don't know. But hey, here's an idea for you.
Mike - Sure.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Habib has been robbed...

So I get to work this morning and the lights are off at the convenience store next door. I thought this was odd because he's open all day long but I didn't see anything wrong so I didn't pay much attention. I open up and sit down at the computer to start pretending to work and Habib, the neighbor, comes in screaming and flailing his arms like he's on fire. I have no idea what is going on or what he's saying. All I got was that he needed to use the phone so I handed it to him. Then he starts asking me his native tongue. I can usually pick up spanish, but arab or hindi, or whatever this was is way beyond my scope. I finally had to say "Damnit Habib! Ask me a question in English if you want an answer! What the hell is wrong with you?!??" Then he tells me his store was robbed (I really hate that I can't do my impression of this conversation for you. I assure you it would be comical), and his neighbors store was robbed. Fortunately, we were not touched. So I asked him what he needed and he wanted to know how to get in touch with his neighbor. I don't know his neighbor hardly at all so I can't imagine why he'd think I have a number for him. He tells me that he tried both his cell phone and his home phone and didn't get an answer so he thought I'd have a different phone number besides his home or cell number. Maybe it's because he was in a panic but that sounded like a dumb question to me. I let that one slide. Normally that's not like me, but he did get robbed. So, he leaves to tend to the cops that have now shown up and found creative ways to use their barricade tape on his door. They won't let anyone in the building until they've conducted their investigation. To them, this is no big deal. To Habib, it's an hour that he's not in business, to the cops it's no big deal, to me it's another hour of Habib running in here screaming something in his native tongue. In case you were wondering I didn't pick it up then either. They're "Investigating" his store and he comes over again to use the phone and the fax. Normally I wouldn't mind, but he's still screaming and flailing his arms and I can't understand a word he said. I grabbed him by the shirt and said "Habib! What the hell do you need??!? If you need something you have to tell me in a language that I can understand!! How the hell can you be a US citizen with no better grasp than this on the English Language?!?!" Amazingly that calmed him down, he made his calls (I'm sure all the while mocking me to his friends in his own language) and about that time 200 more Habibs showed up in the parking lot so he left. Eventually his neighbor showed up and said he didn't answer his phone because he was on the golf course and didn't want to be bothered. He played Habib's cell phone message and it was all in Habib-speak. He just shook his head and said "This is what I heard on the golf course. I thought Habib was on fire." Amazingly for Habib, they only took a couple hundred dollars and no product. He should recover from that just fine. When I got back from lunch he was installing his new security system and playing with all of the sounds it can make. I thought it was going to brake the glass in this building it was so loud. Then he came over and asked if I could hear it. I just kept saying "Huh? What?" until he decided he wasn't speaking English and left. That's todays excitement.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Things I've done...

I stole this from Jenn, who stole it from Anya. I think my hot wife has a list of these that is like 200 long, but here are the 85 on a slow Monday.

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Climbed a mountain (everyone in East Tennessee has)
3. Said 'I love you' and meant it
4. Hugged a tree
5. Bungee jumped
6. Sang the national anthem in public
7. Lost a best friend - and it was your fault
8. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sun rise
9. Gone to a huge sports game
10. Slept under the stars
11. Watched a meteor showe
12. Gotten drunk on champagne (champagne sucks)
13. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
14. Had a food fight

15. Ice-skated in Central Park
16. Kissed someone on a trampoline
17. Swam in the ocean
18. Totaled your car (totalled three cars, one I've totalled twice and I still drive it)
19. Had amazing friends
20. Taken a road-trip

21. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love (seriously - who comes up with this shit?)
22. Bench-pressed your own weight (20 times if you wanted to know, and I can say I've benched double my body weight at one point...Mike we have to start working out again)
23. Milked a cow
24. Alphabetized your records cds/mp3's.
25. Sung karaoke

26. Been sued
27. Lounged around in bed all day
28. Kissed in the rain
29. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
30. Played in the mud
31. Ridden a roller coaster
32. Hit a home run

33. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Visited all 50 states
37. Played in the rain
38. Gone to a drive-in theater
39. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it
40. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
41. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
42. Had a snowball fight
43. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
44. Played a varsity sport in high school
45. Loved your job for all accounts

46. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
47. Called or written your Congress person (Had to...damn democrats and their clunker laws must be stopped)
48. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
49. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
50. Ridden a motorcycle (Thank you Mike)
51. Voted in a Presidential Election
52. Met someone famous
53. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
54. Crashed a party
55. Loved someone you shouldn't have

56. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
57. Got flowers sent to you
58. Got so drunk you don't remember anything
59. Performed on stage
60. Been to Las Vegas
61. Recorded music - yes, and this can be used against you later in life so be careful who has the tape once it's recorded
62. Spoken more than one language fluently
63. Read - and understood - your credit report
64. Saw the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in person
65. Wished upon a star
66. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
67. Wrote your own book
68. Graduated from college
69. Found out something significant that your ancestors did

70. Had a black eye
71. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph (Damn straight...145mph in a Dodge Ram SRT-10. I only stoppped there because they made me..candy asses...don't ask me to show you what it will do if you're going to chicken out)
72. Ridden a horse
73. Had major surgery
74. Moved more than 500 miles from home
75. Eaten sushi
76. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime

77. Gone back to school (Planning on this one)
78. Selected one 'important' author who you missed in school, and read
79. Taught yourself an art from scratch (Restoring Muscle Cars - yes it's an art)
80. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
81. Skipped all your school reunions
82. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
83. Dyed your hair
84. Bought something from a street vendor

85. Traveled abroad

Some of those I hope to do one day...the rest of them are so dumb I can't imagine who would think them up.

Weekend in review...

Well, our DVD player finally died. I won't say it died, I'll just say it played DVD's selectively to the point that it was voted out and replaced. The new one we have is a Panasonic and it rules. We can now record TV shows to DVD. I know...that's exciting.

The rest of the weekend was spend areating my yard so I can plant grass seed. Our yard is mostly rock so it's really a pain in the ass to do anything with. Most of my day saturday and sunday was spent wrestling the bull of this thing through the yard. Hopefully it will pay off and we'll have grass this spring. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because of course my neighbors have the million dollar yard and we bought a yard that the previous owners hadn't hardly cut but a few times. Needless to say we have a lot of yardwork ahead of us, with much more to do next weekend. I know you're all jealous but seriously, leave this to us. No matter how much you want to come to the scenic city to do yard work, you just can't.

Saturday night we grilled out for some old friends of ours that we hadn't seen in a while. I tried a new kind of charcoal for the chicken we did that everyone said was just fantastic and easier to light than regular charcoal. If I could go back to the store where we bought this stuff and kick that guy in the teeth, I surely would. He said "All you need is one sheet of wadded up newspaper and you're in good shape. That stuff will light up no problem. Just don't use any lighter fluid. That stuff absorbs so much of the flavor and you don't want to ruin it." I thought, this had to be easy. I'm an Eagle Scout and I can start a fire in at least 20 different ways, a lot of which don't involve matches or lighters. It took me and the other guy two newspapers and at least an hour to get these things where we could cook on them. Then, once they got to an acceptable cooking temperature for the chicken to be slow roasted (read the frustration in that slow cooking) we started cooking. After dinner I went out to check the grille and it had gotten up to almost 400 degrees. The coals had finally gotten hot...nice. Sunday morning after church, they were still at almost 200 degrees. It's good to know that if I want to barbeque for 12 hours I can do that. The flavor of the hardwood charcoal is better than regular charcoal, I can promise that. It's ease of use is a pain in the ass. I'm seriously considering busting that guy in the nuts next time I see him.

The good side of all this is that, the chicken was great, and we hung out with friends we hadn't seen in a long time. We even called one of our old professors that we despise to hear his voice mail because he does his "thought for the day." This weekends thought for the day was "there is no traffic jam on the expressway to the extra mile. I'll go the extra mile and call you back." Well, Dr. Presentation Thief, here is your thought for the day "There is no need for you. You've had your turn to annoy us, now go away. We all hate you."