April 1, 2015

crappy april first

and so I sit on one of my least favorite days of the year, April Fools. I already admitted yesterday that I have a bit of an addiction to tech news along with a side order of disjointed mental capacity. And that is why today is so painful. Most tech writers, publications, and companies for that matter make a run at an April Fools joke.

Companies announce fake products, writers propose nonsense, (yes, we get it... people have fun with the April 1st thing.. have been for a while now... move along) and then the "news" reports on it all day... much like I'm doing now.

The obvious ones are harmless and I blow right past. The subtle ones based on real life, like, say, someone's current frustration with their cell phone manufacturer and or provider (subtle as a brick and twice as smart) get me every time. I realize that I am complaining about being fooled so in essence I am bitching about my own lack of intelligence but that is not the point.

My normally efficient methods of reading the latest news are clogged with this detritus. Worse than that the forums that I read (no gutter minded non-technical real life friends I don't think that's still a thing) are filled with merry pranksters and they know how to flick me right in the nuts. I have followed no less than six solution threads reporting repairs to my various problems only to be april-fooled at the end.

This stopped being fun for me after my freshman year in college. Cling film stretched tight across the women's toilets in the dorm. Standing in the very front of the breakfast line, pulling out a single spoon and holding it up for the line to see, declaring it the Mystery Spoon, putting it in my mouth then returning it to the tray to be shuffled all around. Finish with an April Fools and the groans of displeasure turn into swear words.

Upon further review that wasn't even a proper joke just a dick move and that's how I feel about some of the things I'm reading. Karma is a bitch and she rides a flaming horse. (I realize that made little sense but I'm having a tough day here so go with it) I will return you now to your regular internet programming. Watch out for the super funny among us playing jokes because a calendar told them to.

March 31, 2015

technology love hate

Warning: This post is a red hot mess. I started writing it in an ultra-frustrated state due to my inability to solve a problem with my phone. I felt as if I were suffering from a mental stutter. I had so much on my mind but the thoughts would not or could not transfer to the page. So- effing- frustrating-. I type this now after walking away from the post for an hour. This one should have probably ended up in the bin but that goes against a basic rule of stupidtom.com. And for the record I still love my phone. This one is too cringe-worthy to reread so I'm just going to hit publish and walk away.

As the title suggests I have a love hate relationship with technology. I have always been a fan and really enjoy fiddling around with electronic toys. I watch shows about gadgets and most of my pleasure reading outside of books is centered on the subject. Most of the crap I read is done on the very devices I wish to learn more about. Tech sites, tech magazine sites, news aggregaters, (don't think that's a word, now I'm an aggrevater. also not a word.) you name it I probably glance at it at least once a week.

TV bores the crap out of me lately unless its those fascinating folks what live in the bush so I end up reading with the television as noise in the background. Probably two hours a night of reading watching and listening about technology in some form or another. I can't get enough and there in lies the problem. I like to know what's happening in the industry and with the things I own. Like my current Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I picked it up when my OnePlus One sh*t the bed and I couldn't get any support. Unwilling and unable to take a week long business trip without a phone I grabbed an updated version of a past phone I liked. (if you even thought the word phablet, lie down, put your legs up in the air like a baby waiting to be changed, and punch yourself in the perineum. I'll wait.)

It has been great. No regrets, Okay, few regrets, until now. I recently updated to the newest Android version and it is causing some wonky behavior. The GPS seems to constantly hunt for signal. That might be an exaggeration but where I really notice it is in the battery drain. Before the update I was getting almost two full days on a single charge with light use. Now the same usage only gives me a day and a half.  I know I'm whining but it is a step backwards and that's what's pissing's me's off's. (no idea why I just 's-d everything, probably because the two words in a row, poor word choice avalanche)

So I head to the internets to try and solve the problem and sure enough I am not the only one. It is officially a thing. But a fix that works for everyone me included is not yet a thing. This is where the wheels come off my mental cart just a bit. I think these industries are in such an insane production and improvement cycle that they end up shoving stuff out the door "mostly done." Then we, the consumers, end up finding all of the stuff they missed.

I blame this acceleration squarely on Apple and their desire to upgrade everyone and everything every six months. A genius business strategy as their size and profits prove out but the idiots like myself who pay big piles of shekels for the latest and greatest end up getting screwed. The Android community as it tries to keep up has a whole bunch of other stuff going against it. Not only are they trying to out Apple Apple but they are all fighting amongst themselves And Google is like some big goofy inbred monarch ringmaster trying to heard cats.

I should also note that most people don't even notice the changes brought on by updates or if they do they don't bother them to this degree. I just end up reading about the updates and the new features and the problems over and over as the different sites and news organizations put their own spins on them. The kill switch in my brain just went off as I realized this is quickly becoming some kind of manifesto. Ramblings like this are best saved for my full separation from human society and written in the comfort of my off grid tiny house. ALL STOP.

March 30, 2015

Yesterday evaporated

I looked up yesterday and it was way past my bedtime. This hasn't happened to me in a long time. I attribute much of this to my complete lack of control over my day. It started with an earlier than normal Sunday rise and trip to the lake. My wife has done a great job renting the place even during the winter months which I don't really understand as a vacation destination but it makes the place self sufficient. This means that I am free to worry about other leaks in our financial bucket and that is a good thing. I do like to go up every once in a while to check on the things that might escape her cleaning gaze.

Mechanical systems, exterior maintenance, the dead tree that threatens to crush the living room, the water softener salt levels, you get the idea. She is also brilliantly adding a 3rd bed to two of the rooms upstairs (why did typing a number then spelling one out feel so wrong. I probably broke some golden rule of grammar or something. oh well) by removing the nightstands and TVs. This is a negative only to my video gaming child but a bonus to my friends as comfortable sleeping has been increased by two soft surfaces.

I think I've written about this before but every year I host a group of friends at the lake for a weekend of floating, eating, and poker. Some of the appeal is sleeping. Sleeping with no agenda save your aging body clock, bladder, and blood alcohol levels. I will stop gushing about my beloved weekend with the fellas as I know it must bore nonparticipants. Some of the funniest things I can never write happen there and yesterday made me want it to be sooner rather than later.

And finally in other non related news... I've told you before about my smaller market news fetish and I spotted this last night on the YouTubes

March 28, 2015

that escalated quickly

I got in to a nice verbal dust up yesterday with a relatively new friend. Being a new buddy I try to keep the real me locked down for the most part as it is best revealed in small chunks. I love the look or even the words that say "where did that come from?"

So we are going back and forth about college basketball and I am catching a well deserved amount of flack for my beloved Cyclones tournament performance. It stayed pretty civil for the most part but somehow we strayed down a torture path. This led to enduring torture which moved into administering a single torture event to the other person. Before I go on you should know that I fully understand how bizarre this conversation might seem but this is the stuff I live for. My brain craves this type of twisted thinking.

Anyhow, parameters were set such as duration and overall damage. (I had a sneaking suspicion that he had done this before) We landed on a single instance lasting no more than ten minutes (not including prep time) with no resulting permanent major handicap other than mental damage and some maiming. I wanted clarification on the maim so we went with nothing that would result in death without immediate medical attention like sawing off a limb for example. Supplies must be listed in advance and the winner would be determined by the other persons overall discomfort with the concept. My opponent elected to go first which was a mistake.

He listed supplies as handcuffs, pliers, duct tape, and salt. Then he went on to talk me through my fingernail removal in great detail. It was impressive and I have to admit that I had just read about similar torture in a book so I had some vivid mental pictures in the hopper. The cuffs secured me to a table and the duct tape was for my mouth and body to a chair. Both nice touches and added to my growing inventory.

His description was pretty good and I could tell that when he finished he mentally dropped the microphone on the stage like a battle rapper declaring victory. maybe...

My supplies were a bit more mysterious. A board, a hammer, a nail, rubber gloves, a box of 40mm glass rods, a furniture dolly, a case of duct tape, and a workbench. The devil is in the details and also the secret to really getting under someones mental skin, so there is no way I'm going to give you the full workup I provided my opponent. I will sum up so you get the overall gist.

Duct taped naked to the furniture dolly with just his eyes nose and junk exposed he would be wheeled to the height adjustable workbench. Wearing the aforementioned rubber gloves I would stretch his unit on to the board driving the nail into a pinch of foreskin to hold it in place. I ordered a case of the glass rods because I'm not real confident in my dickhole insertion skills. I might have mentioned that the blood from failed attempts could ultimately aid my cause.

You get where I'm going, it ends with a series of delicate hammer blows to shard-up the glass. I was hit with silence for a couple seconds then his response was "you said dickhole and I got really uncomfortable." a longer than normal pause "you're sick, but I'm stealing that whole thing and using it with someone else" I declared myself the victor and got no argument.

My favorite phrase from our debrief of the game "Who uses the word dickhole?"

I need to tell you a little more background. He admitted that he thought he would gross me out with his description because he had played this particular game before and my admitted first attempt would be weak. So I told him that he lobbed one into my wheelhouse. I mentioned that there is so much constantly swirling around in my noggin that I try to write every day to blow off a little steam.

Promises were made about being allowed to read and never talking about it in mixed company (those who don't know about this site) I also asked for permission to write about this which he gave with the caveat that there be no way anyone could ever identify him in any way as a participant. And for the first time in my long history I sent someone my writing for pre-approval. He considered my description accurate but thought his effort deserved better press.

I reminded him about the victorious writing history and he acquiesced. I apologize for the lack of post yesterday but it was off at the editor and I had nothing else.

March 26, 2015

blog on blog consider yourself warned

It's been a weird week on the weblog front. Maybe because I started writing again or possibly my Bulgarian fan-base (sorry non daily readers. I was being haunted by a Bulgarian spam bot for reasons I still don't understand and when I look at my stats they still lead all other countries by a factor of six. and now back to our regularly scheduled boredom) is trying to get me writing on other platforms no matter what the reason I have been getting emails either from or suggesting I write on other platforms.

WordPress is my longest online relationship but we broke up because she was spoiled and kept asking for more money just to hang out. If you have sent me a note (by the way as always the stupidtom mailbag is located at stupidtom at G male dot com. If you can't figure out the email address from my clever bot deceiving description then you do not deserve to correspond with yours truly) asking me to join back up with WordPress or any other service I have read your request and I think about it all the time. Sadly spending money on this nonsense makes no sense to me and everything that WP charges for I get done for free on Blogger. Might not be as pretty but beggars choosers.

As for all of the other sites I HAVE to try... no I don't. I look at them sure. But I always find something that annoys. Medium is by far the most recommended. It is pretty and simple and gives you a built in audience and promotion system. If I were a writer trying to get noticed for a paying gig I might be on that thing. But a basic part of it bugs the crap out of me... They can use my stuff any way they want once I put it on their site. The language is cloudy as all good legalese should be but that rubs me the wrong way.

I am under no delusion that the things I plop out are worth anything but cranking out content for a company drives me a little crazy-er. That is one of my basic troubles with Facebook. People who type on that thing are working for Book Face for free. Yes I know that I am doing the same thing EXCEPT those little ads on the side of this blog are going to make me a hundredaire someday.

This thing is already longer than I wanted to spend on bloggery. I just wanted to say that I am not ignoring your Tumblr, Medium, WordPress, Svbtle, and other requests. This particular pile of words will remain on this site until the Google Gods decide that they don't like it any more. Blogger that is. And when that day comes I'll shop for a new home.

As a reward for anyone who toughed that awful post out I was looking through the notes on my phone this morning and found a t-shirt slogan I wrote down. "Going to McDonald's for a salad is like going to a hooker for a hug." the other note next to it read "giant dude wearing this made me smile"

March 25, 2015

sproing brake

Holy H.R. Puff N Stuff I am ready for this Spring Break to end. I keep forgetting that the boy is lurking about the house and he has no set pattern of any sort. So every single day this week I have taken a break from a call, exited the office area only to be startled by the presence of another large human body. No matter how many times it happens I never seem to learn. Add the fact that his grades have taken a turn for the worse and he is supposed to be working on some course correcting it makes for a wonderfully soothing environment.

The homework thing doesn't really bother me and I am trying to not climb up his hind end about it as his mother is so far up there that she can work him like a ventriloquists dummy. (see what I did there with the dummy entendre...) I think he might be paying a little price for her current employment state of flux. The program where she works is being shut down. Not due to a lack of funding because it is located in a very affluent area but more attributable to the great job that she and her coworkers did. The program is too popular and is being folded into the school district.

Why not just stay with it you might be thinking... and the answer is lack of Masters Degree. This makes me crazy on a bunch of levels not the least of which is my core belief that the people who teach kindergarten should just be able to tolerate that environment day in and day out. ( what in the hell does day in day out mean? I should have just typed day after day. Now I have myself all jammed up ready to head down a rabbit hole.) So she found out that another ACT might be required for a return trip to college and some of that spillover anxiety splashes upon the boy now and again.

Near constant video games does not help his cause but the pickup outdoor basketball tournament that was scheduled for this week has been called due to SNOW. This thing is not cheering me up like it usually does. I need to head out into the world tonight and experience some other people. If nothing else I will drift by WalMart for a little slice of humanity.

March 24, 2015

a quick mental drift

This is the view from my desk as I wait for another call to begin and I can't say that it makes me particularly happy. If you live somewhere that had seventy degree temperatures last week and you now find yourself staring at snow you can feel my pain. The sunshine might distract from the current nineteen degree outside temperature until you actually step out in it or just open the door for the dogs. Is it wrong that I can't wait for some full-on global warming to kick in?

Yes my desert dwelling friends are probably going to have to join us up here closer to a constant supply of fresh water and yes this might not be the best long term human race survival thinking but this snow has me inside of my own selfish space right now. The snakes in my head are restless and this weather is making it worse. Plus I made the mistake of glancing at Facebook last night and accidentally stumbled upon national take a picture of your toes on vacation day.

It took everything I had to not go on a comment scoring rampage. Example: 6.5 nice nail color but why bother painting that pinky toe as the flesh has overtaken most of the surface area. And by the way I didn't really know that toe shaving was a thing until I notices some obvious razor burns, scrapes, and band-aids. I'm not really a foot guy but I can't stop my brain from picking up on stuff that doesn't look right. I laughed out loud at a person who used a filter to blur out some obviously disturbing foot features. Here's an idea... DON'T POST THE PICTURE.

I would like to know more about the whole foot fetish deal. Our broken brains and what drives them is endlessly fascinating to me. I wonder if there is an evolutionary component to the foot thing. Something like my mate needs good feet to lug this tent across the tundra. Wikipedia has a bunch of BS listed under causes but it all seems like nonsense. I had a shot at talking to someone with a bad case of this but I didn't handle the situation well. One of our roommates in college was moving out and we came across his box of dirty foot porn magazines. I might have taken the teasing well past the recommended safe levels. Better than even odds that he still hates me to this day.

Oh well, can't please everyone. 

March 23, 2015


You know that motivational nonsense that a ton of Guru's drag around like they invented it... (wait, that really narrows things down Captain Precision. What in the hell are you talking about?) The one where they say "What would you do if you didn't have to worry about money?" This first thing I'd do is track down the idiot that first uttered those words and punch them square in the face. I'm theoretically rich therefor my theoretical lawyers would get me out slugging an obviously rich obviously obvious a**hole. That is a horseshit question but I will answer.

I would probably do the exact same thing I'm doing right now. I love the company and love the work. It is my passion because I have made it so. And yet money, or the lack there of, still haunts me. Now this is a weird time of year. Taxes are an unwelcome nut punch and tuition bills threaten my sanity but more than that its just the cost of existing. I have begun to try and puzzle out how I can work out another income stream and for some reason that stresses me the eff out.

It could be my mind churning like a washing-machine trying to solve this problem but I am stuck. You are the unfortunate witnesses to my meltdown as this is the only therapy that I'm interested in at the moment. (I reserve the right to have a full blown breakdown at my discretion where therapy will ultimately be a condition of my release from custody. If I'm going to go crazy it wont be some mamby-pamby self committal... Full On Bat Crap Lock Me Up For Everyone's Protection Style. but I digress...)

This will pass like a wave as soon as I come up with a modified fiscal plan. That and to finish watching my recorded Alaskan Bush People episodes. Ever need a little boost? This is highly recommended.  I will not ruin it for you in any way as it is best experienced ice cold but you will leave every episode with a ton of questions and wanting more. If you are my in person friend I am willing to talk like these folks at the drop of a hat. For those playing along at home the first word you need to master is bush.

March 21, 2015

I got little to nothing

I'm sitting here because I feel like I should be writing. Most of my chores are complete, basketball is on in the background, I might have snuck a few beers while pretending to do yard work, and I just finished paying the bills. I cant shake the feeling of impending doom. Probably a general malaise due to the strain I placed on my system over the last two days but annoying none the less.

It's like I am a character in a movie swimming on top of some deep water. The audience knows there is a monster heading my way. They can see it, they can hear the creepy music, I'm just getting some weird disturbances across my belly. No need to panic. I know some of whats headed my way here in the real world. My bride is headed back from cleaning the other house where a shop vac mishap more than doubled her normal time.

The boy has a bunch of friends across the street playing in some sort of basketball tournament that will probably be followed by a pile of stench landing at my house looking to get fed. And then there was talk of a video game tournament... I guess I'd rather have them in my sight because the day is quickly coming where I will need to go hunting if I want to see what's going on.

I think I just need a nap but that feels like walking toward a known minefield. Just going to keep walking around trying to maintain the illusion of productivity until my wife returns from her terrible road trip. There is a nice symmetry in matching exhausted and this will also allow me to eventually pass out to the sounds of teenagers not shutting up.

March 20, 2015

hangover hungover

You read that title right, my hangover is hungover. I drank what seemed to be a gallon of water this morning and yet my urine is dangerously close to that Magic Sand toy we had as kids. I don't want it to go away just yet as I am very close to finishing the mermaids castle. Man I'm glad I just have to be me not live with me. Okay on the makes-sense meter that one is registering little to none, lets move on.

First, day drinking is for college kids and professionals. I have been out of the game too long to even qualify for the senior tour so Thursday was a challenge. And after my beloved Cyclones were knocked out in the first round I might have spiraled into an angry pace for just a bit. This caused a shift to vodka and red-bull that I am still paying for this morning. The games keep coming and afternoon turns to evening in a blur very similar to a Vegas trip.

Staggering out of a bar at what seemed like two in the morning (8:15pm) we were hunting for a night cap and some suppressive grease. We found it in a little hole in the wall downtown filled with regulars and drunks just like I likes it. Our waiter was so happy to see new and potentially tipping faces that he provided excellent service. Even buying our beer which would have been half of the tab. This earned him a 100% tip as we walked out.

I should also mention Trivia Night was going on. This was not run by a member of Mensa. The dude running it was probably voted the smartest in the bar or is the only one with a reliable internet connection and access to a printer for the answer sheets. Holy cow was that entertaining. We would have won running away because I think we only missed one question and the winning team missed four. They won a round of shots for their team and a t-shirt. One t-shirt for the four of them. Classic.

What to do when one feels this bad? Repeat the previous days poor choices of course. The drunk bus will be picking me up soon for a trip to a greasy spoon to lay a base for the day. Then its off to the races again. At least my heart will only be broken a couple hundred times as the various TVs show Iowa States defeat to a satellite school in a burst of clips on a constant loop. Back to burping fire and sitting on the curb waiting for my friends...

March 18, 2015


Wow. I took a wrong turn on the internet last night end ended up neck deep in over the road trucker vlogs. No matter what I tried I could not look away. If it was a network show the title would be something like Spiral Into Insanity or Dancing on the Edge of Nuts. I know how I got there... YouTube *click* Tiny house *click* off grid living *click* motor home living *click* Super C RV reviews *click* Volvo Super C *click* life on the road. At some point during that mess I *clicked* on one of the side links and couldn't stop for more than an hour. Normally this is the spot where I would link to one of my favorites so you could watch the video here but no need to expose those hard working folks to my opinions on their chosen lifestyle.

Some of them talk to the camera as if it were a live studio audience and that is the purest form of the art. They say something that is supposed to be funny or draw a reaction then pause for said same. The best talk about themselves and their cameras as if they were a production crew. "We're back" gets said a ton and one of them even had me thinking that someone else was on the ride with them. I took three videos to figure out that her partner wasn't in the sleeper bunk and only because she started complaining about being alone on the road. And once I noticed I couldn't unsee the ones who were experiencing and audience reaction where none existed. If they ever make a two way GoPro Camera they should test sales in truck stops.

Now that I've marked my trail I can go back whenever I feel like and I'm not sure how I will use this new found treasure. Maybe as a pick me up if I'm ever feeling like I can't take it anymore... Or a reality check when I am wallowing in self pity and stop being thankful for what I have.. Like I said I'm not sure but it does have me reflecting on my ability to become a hermit. These folks are nothing but alone and you can tell it takes some of them to a place few humans go willingly. No judgement just genuine concern for the plight of our goods as they travel across the country and some of the batcrap crazy people who do that work.

And speaking of people speaking to a pretend audience... in related news... that Volvo truck based RV thing is bad ass.

March 17, 2015

using all the road

...and speaking of lack of sleep our middle child is still adjusting to college life 3/4 of the way through her freshman year. I went down and picked her up Friday night because she was way off her normal game. On the ride home a little parental research determined that she had slept around eleven hours in four days. She was telling me how art school was kicking her ass and I countered by explaining she was doing a great job all by herself. After a couple days at home over the weekend paying off most of her sleep debt I think she realizes the dangers of missing and importance of getting enough sleep. I do so love it when my children figure out new and interesting ways to scare me.

For some reason today I am eating like a pregnant homeless woman. (holy crap that was a terrible image and I regretted it the second I finished typing) Leftovers have forced me to create combinations that have me squirming with a belly full of live snakes. Is is ironic or just stupid that this comes on the heels of advising my child to take better care of herself? Probably stupid as I knew that pork was dangling near the edge of its eat by date. Oh well, the best cleaning usually follows a natural disaster. You can infer, imply, or take that in any direction you see fit.

In other news my recent financial anxiety caused me to check out my current earnings from the advertisements on this page. I am proud to report that I have currently earned a whopping $4.54 which means it should only take me a little over six years to reach the hundred dollar threshold where Google will write me a check. So I've got that going for me.

And finally one of the greatest times of the year is almost upon us so yours truly will be taking a day and a half off work to celebrate. No I am not talking about St. Patrick's day as we are dead nuts in the midst of it. I am referring to the first games of March Madness. I have a couple unavoidable and unrescheduleable (I know, not a word, SHUT IT, the squiggly red line says so but you understood me) appointments but I will be waiting for my Uber driver by 12:30 and then its wheels up. Posting forecast for later in the week is spotty at best.

March 16, 2015

Lack of sleep deep thoughts

I think our brains might be a designed kill switch and this came to me during some twilight sleep struggles last night. Okay to be more specific everyone and everything in the house conspired against me connecting more than 45 minutes of contiguous snooze but I am not going to complain about that now. Some payback is probably due as I have been known to snore like a hibernating bear but its almost like they all got together and agreed on last night. Anyhow, I was having the weirdest drifting in and out thoughts.

I came to the kill switch idea as I pondered why things taste the way they do. Water for instance, delicious when you are thirsty but nothing special. Same with vegetables, awesome when starving but nothing you're ever going to gorge yourself on. This led me to wondering why the things that were good for us didn't draw us in. You know, water that tastes like Hawaiian Punch or beer, kale that eats like a field of fresh fried potato chips, doughnut flavored broccoli, you get where I'm going.

Then it hit me that we are too smart for our own good. We figured out how to make good things taste effing incredible and we didn't stop with food. Mild hallucinogens that you had to work your ass of to enjoy are concentrated and cross bred or refined into stuff that a lot of the population just can't quit. Then I started down a whole plastic and fuel related line of thinking that bored my brain to into hitting the sleep reset button.

As I struggled to remember the concepts it hit me that whatever designed this massive complicated machine that we are a part of probably built in some safe guards and we are triggering them all over the place. Screwing up on multiple fronts is something that humans do pretty well and I think that might be by design. We tend as a species to take a "top of the food chain" and "if we can figure out how we should be able to do it" mentality if its smart or not. I was heading toward selfishness then steered down a dangerous road thinking about whats really wrong with religion is people... but passed out.

The only reason I remember most of this is I kept scribbling notes on my phone with that stupid built in stick they call a pen. Pretty entertaining and my half asleep in the dark on a screen handwriting is atrocious. I have no other real direction for this other that I was on a long stranger than normal trip last night and wanted to write about it.

March 15, 2015


Yesterday was party day which means that the house was at DEFCON 4 throughout the day. (for those keeping score at home that was 3 days in the same sentence) I mostly puttered around outside looking at the damage that winter had done to the castle's landscape. While I was cleaning up what I could I was hit with an idiotic flood of ideas regarding the former single car attached garage that I want to be my home office. We have to do something with it this year as right now it is a garage door with no driveway leading up to it. The project has had fits and starts with more than one contractor flaking out on me before the work even began.

The problem is that I don't want a complete remodel. A, because I can't afford it and 2, because I'm not really sure what I want to do just yet. I know I want the current thing gutted and hauled away. The drywall is crap and covering up the complete lack of insulation that the home builder failed to put in. So its basically taking away the drywall and other detritus down to the studs including the garage door itself and all of the hardware as well as framing out the opening where the door used to be and installing a couple windows and some siding.

Everyone I've talked to wants to do the complete thing or at the very least do the electric and drywall. The problem with that is I'm not sure where the outlets and lighting will go until I see what I'm working with and decide on a design. Also, I'm not sure I want to go with drywall either. I've seen some really cool alternative interior walls and I would like to take this thing on as a project this summer. Then I'm trying to figure out if there is a cost effective (cheap) way to do spray foam insulation as I would love to turn this thing into a cooler. This will be a great sound insulator which will help with my job as well as help keep it comfortable with minimal effort and expense.

All of this leads to me wanting to get this done in stages with as little cost as possible. (are you sensing a theme from the two kids in college guy?) Basically a professional's nightmare. And so here I sit sketching out the first stage. I need to do this because I have to pull permits for this work. Not only as it is in the front of the house for all to see but also if my dream of leaving this state ever comes true I don't want an unpermitted room that the city knows nothing about taking a chunk out of my future ass.

The city isn't real happy with my plans either. Things are much easier for them if the whole thing comes in drown completely out. I completely stumped the person on the phone when I said I have no idea what will be included in the final project. dead silence. like I was joking. Then he said "bring in what you've got and we will see if we can issue a permit." I love government. Anyhow, if this thing gets off the ground I will try and post my way through the project. I started to tell you that yesterday I had mentally planned a complete tiny house attached to the front of my just a little bigger one. This should be fun if nothing else.

March 13, 2015


I have a cousin who is borderline obsessed with genetically modified organisms and in her opinion the evil empire behind all of them (mentally insert Darth Vaders Theme here) Monsanto. I don't know a thing about either subject and really don't feel qualified to comment as one of my favorite things in the world is Diet Coke which I'm pretty sure is completely man made. If I were a betting man I'd give better than even odds that the water is somehow fake or "enhanced" in some way. So that will serve to show you just how poor these taste buds are that I'm working with.

I only know this because her Facebook stream or whatever its called is filled with anti-Monsanto stuff and good for her for caring about what goes in to her family's bodies. Personally I think that we already outlive our design specs so this doesn't even register on my list of things to think about. But due to her successful saturation campaign it did seep into my thoughts and my brain being what it is took things in an alternate direction.

Why don't the scientific geniuses at Monsanto take time away from fruit and vegetable manipulation and get along combining two of natures perfect foods. I am talking about the pig and the cow. It should be called the POW! (*trademarked as of this publication or at least I get one of the first ones for my own grilling pleasure) This thing should be a greatest hits of the two animals. I would be glad to consult on what to keep and or enhance from each individual animal.

Obviously the size of the bovine needs to be retained. Giant bacon should not just be a dream. The hams will probably look like the bolt-on enhancements that those Kardashians wear. Ribs should be thinner leaning toward pork in girth and cow in length. Look, I don't need this monstrosity to survive in the wild so I don't really care if it's skeletal structure can adequately protect its organs or not.

Ideally this thing should be raised in Japan by the gods who invented Kobe Beef. Warm, dry, confined space where your every need is catered to including but not limited to rub downs and an unlimited supply of beer. This thought is rolling down a hill fast but for some reason my mouth is watering...

Picture me on the Island of Doctor Moreau running around with a napkin tied around my neck fork in one hand knife in the other. Also picture earplugs as talking food just isn't right. And maybe not running... OK definitely not running. Driving a 4 wheeler. Possibly pulling a huge grill or smoker. ...time to stop now.

March 12, 2015

olde timey thoughts

Last night on the eve of my youngest's 15th birthday he was asking some questions about me at this age. I didn't answer very well because we got distracted by something else but I went to sleep thinking about it. I had my core group of friends and that got me thinking about the boys current crew. I love the kids he hands out with. The right mix of sports and dork for your freshman year of high school. There is no predicting what will come but I like the start.

Maybe he listens just a little bit. I am a huge fan of John Kuebler's quote "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future." because I think there is a lot of truth in those words. I do a lot of variation on a theme work with my child like "If you hang around with idiots don't be surprised when people think you're on too." Anyway, you are not one of my children and have no real need for my course correcting attempts...

For me this time was a whirlwind of discomfort. Freshman year sucked. Trying to figure out my place in a new world, my body betraying me by pumping hormones through my system at an alarming rate, voice cracking, bone stretching growth spurts, acne, pretty much the standard order. The evil genus who thought up High School and timed it with the hot mess of puberty should be repeatedly nut punched in purgatory.

Coming up on summer this was the one where everything really changed. Rather than a standing swimming pool meeting every day followed by night basketball, kick the can, or general hanging out there were sports camps and work and thoughts of driving not to mention the opposite sex. I was a steaming pile but no need to scare the boy just yet. First he needs to successfully complete his Freshman year.

I need to go now as my mind is racing about things like running toward a ringing phone that hung on the wall and finding out where all of your friends were by the pile of bikes in a front yard.

March 11, 2015

If you treat me poorly expect the same in return

I work with Customer Service Professionals every day. So when I encounter a customer servant who is just passing time holding down a job before the next phase of real life begins it already puts me on tilt. I never understood half-assing a job because you think you are above the work. If you truly are "better" than the work you are doing why aren't you doing something else? Great people figure out how to get awesome at whatever work they are currently being paid to do. Simple really if you think about it but we have this entitlement thing going on in our country WAIT... climbing down from soapbox now...

I had to call a utility company in another state about a bill problem we were having. Their system had us owing a huge amount of money that we did not. I was sitting with a years worth of bills and a bank statement showing cashed checks to the company so I was fully prepared for a brief problem correction call. I was actually in a great mood because I knew we were not at fault.

*Side note: When we were living in our first home my wife and I had a spot in the kitchen where all of the bills were stored after opening. One of us would pay the bills in the bin about once a week. Bills got paid, simple system, all was well. That is until we got a $6,000.00 plus bill from ComEd. I almost shat myself and went about the business of proving we paid but it turned out that in fact we had not. Our system made it very easy to think the other had written the check for the lights and they were on and running that entire time so no reason to question things.

Once I had them on the phone they adopted and eff-you-pay-me stance while I countered with questioning how long someone can go without payment before things get shut down. It took almost two weeks, a number of supervisors, and threats to go to the local media with a story about how the big bad corporation made a mistake and was trying to extort a young married couple with two young children and another on the way. We ended up paying just shy of $400 and from then on the bills showed up like clockwork.

**Side note to the side note: Had I known we were getting free juice every single thing in our home would have been electric and there would have been an octopus of extension cords running all over the neighborhood. I am not above sticking it to the man as long as the man is not me.

My representative decided that he was going to deal with me as he did with every other behind in their bills deadbeat he talked to every day. This decision came before he picked up the phone becasue when I started to explain what was going on he cut me off and asked how I was going to take care of the bill. I wont bore you with the exchange but it ended with me asking for his supervisor just after he told me his operator ID. I asked him to let the person know that the conversation was being recorded on my end as well. (Their hold message mentioned training purposes) He tried to get cranky about me not telling him that but I reminded him about the policy so all of his conversations were on the record.

Once I had the supervisor on things went well. She did get ten minutes on all of the reasons that she needed to get rid of the employee I was just talking with and a couple of tips on how she might train the rest of the room. I think I started with a point but I wore myself down to a dullard.

March 10, 2015

I read a quote today

And it started me thinking which is always a dangerous thing. The quote goes "if travel were free you'd never see me again." And in my case that would be partially true. I think I would have spent a good decade traveling historic sites all around the world. There's something about standing on the same ground where sh*t went down.

That is precisely why I drug the family to Gettysburg. I'm going on and on about the battles and how the poor farmers who owned the fields couldn't plant crops for years and everyone just stared at me like I was an alien. I'm talking about army encampments and blah blah blah. Crap, I'm beginning to bore myself.

Anyway, I'd visit the biggies, seven wonders, the famous museums, and my beloved battlefields but I think I would circle back at least once a year. Its weird once you head down that thought road because who knows if I'd have a family or what the hell would be going on with me.

Know it all nomad living in a diesel pusher RV  writing a grumpy travel column for anyone who will pay. Maybe picking up extra cash bar tending or working booths for hire at trade shows. Possibly the art thing could have reared its interesting head and never let the need for cash put it down? Who knows, the possibilities are endless.

I think the brain is his level of crazy right now as there are a lot of people who are in a state of flux all a round me. Folks who are pondering these very questions with the secret desire to make them come true. I'm lucky enough to be relatively happy and able to think about alternate life paths for fun.

I wish you could see my face right now. I'm pretending to be pissed because the boy has let his schoolwork slip. He asked what I was thumb typing and I told him it was apology letters to his teachers. I need to get back to a mindless game. Easier to maintain resting bitch face.

March 9, 2015

post 103

I missed the whole 100th post thing. The first time I did it the milestone was huge. Those were the days before formal web logging software and you had to type your stuff out and post it as a web page but I also counted every time I linked to a cool site I found because it was a pain in the ass and I was an early, real early, internet addict. I had to compose them in a word-processor then cut and paste on the line. The sad thing though, even with all of those steps, I never really took any more time or did any proofreading much like today.

Then the automated services showed up. I started over again on a thing called Radio Userland (I don't name 'em I just use 'em) http://radio-weblogs.com/0102368/2001/05/08.html I don't really understand why almost 14 year old nonsense still haunts the internet but its interesting. Too bad all of the links and pictures have been stripped out. I was still drawing some stuff for posting back then and my phone pictures sucked hard.

I'm not going to bore you with my posting and different service meanderings over the years. Let's just leave it at I should be a lot better after all this practice. Anyhow, I was kind of off work today but ended up sitting here anyway so tomorrow isn't so bad. Being gone and basically out of communication for a week is trouble. I am one of those mild to moderate OCD people who can't stand large unread count notifications so I needed to dig into the intimidating pile of email. Once I cleared most of the detritus things calmed down quite a bit. Tomorrow will most likely get bumpy but I cut the stack by a considerable amount.

I was playing the Apple keynote in the background because even though we broke up a while ago I still like to keep tabs on whats doing. Those things are very entertaining if you are not a complete locked in fanboy or girl. The clapping must be exhausting. I have trouble mustering applause for a single thing that I love let alone a couple hundred times during a show where people are selling me things.

I swear I heard that there will be a version that starts at $10,000. I actually feel bad for those rich idiots. Douche of the year must be a real thing. There is a part of me that thinks the solid gold 10K version started out as a joke. Something like "I'd bet if we made one out of gold someone would pay ten grand for it." And so they shall.

So if you've been here since this beginning thanks for staying around for more than a hundred of these things. Now get back to work.

March 8, 2015

still spent but a recommendation

If you aren't already watching for these videos then you're welcome. I am such a fan that I squealed on the plane when it showed up as posted yesterday. Enjoy the flow!

March 7, 2015

Winding down

It's easier for yours truly to calm down and relax without the pressure of the main stage. My presentation in the rear view mirror is a feeling of relief that's hard to replicate.
I didn't even mind that my roommates have sh*t scattered all over my normal travel bachelor oasis. I even had time to lay out all of my stuff so getting dressed in the dark wasn't such an asspain.
My Diet Coke supply is running dangerously low in a Pepsi locked down facility and that doesn't even bother me.
A side note, the first day here after an exhaustive search one of my work friends went off site and scored me a six pack of bottles. I gave one away to another brand fan coworker and while I was on the elevator heading for my mini fridge a woman offered me $20 for a single bottle.
I didn't need her money I wanted my pop but a fellow addict in trouble required my help so I gave her one. Down to 4 before they even got cold. My nerves helped me tear through the supply in record time but I had reinforcements show up yhe next day and they could tell it was a requirement.
I even had a little time to walk around the giant terrarium that is this resort. Live gators, snapping turtles and Koi as well as all live plants and waterfalls makes this feel like a biodome. Might have to put this on my potential post apocalyptic fortress list.
I have no idea if the pictures worked but if they did it's the view from the balcony. I'm a big fan of the roof leak redirecting tarps as art.