Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mist of Souls

Mist of Souls Looked kinda neat. This guy is writing a novella of sorts on his blog... I wanted to post it here to remember to keep an eye on it. Check it out if you like. I love to write, but sadly do not possess the literary "sticktoitiveness" necessary to be an author. Maybe he will.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Photos.. finally

Ok.. do you have any idea how bad it is when Burke, of all people, starts harrassing me about "where are the photos?".  I wanted to take the time to make a few blog posts with nice descriptions for all the photos, but adding 631 photos to the blog would kill most of your computers, or else you'd suffer from boredom and die first. So, in the event of time-management, I have uploaded the photos to the web-album.  First, yes I am aware there are over 5 thousand photos on there... I can't help that you're all so photogenic. However, I WILL save you the time of having to try to determine what albums are new and what ones are old. I have a list here of the ones I updated tonight, so you can just click on the link to see the new photos.

 

In case you're not aware, some of you have more photos than others, and use the site pretty often, so for those of you who have a lot of photos I have made your own section of photos under the "Friends" category. In addition to being listed in the Special Events section under the appropriate event, you will also be listed under your name. So, without further ado, here are the albums that I updated tonight.

 

People Who Have Updates In The People Category:

New Events Added to Special Events Category:

 

I had to update over 600 photos, so if I accidentally put some up there that are of you and you would like to have it removed, just email me and let me know. I didnt have the time to scrutinize each and every photo this time like I usually do.

As always, I hope you enjoy them and PLEASE leave comments if you have the time.

Talk to you all again soon.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

weddding pics

ok, now i'm really pissed that my wedding pics STILL haven't made the blog...EH HEM...BRIGDGET!!! Congrats Tim & Claire!! Welcome to the dark side!! j/k...i LOVE being married!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Testing screen capture and "Add Event" features.

I have no idea what this post is going to looks like.. I'm testing a new feature that I want to play with a little...

 

Thursday, October 26, 2006
7:00 PM
Bill Stovall - Elvis Show!
I wanted to test this new "event" feature in the Windows Live Writer (Beta) program. I downloaded the plugin which ties directly into to API at eventful.com and allows you to enter event information. ...
Elvis Show
Agricultural Center
Snow Hill, NC   USA

 

 

Something I REALLY do like is this: If Iwant to write a "how-to" guide, or show you something from my screen, I can use the print screen function. Basically you press ALT+PRT SC on your keyboard and then you right-click in the blog program and press paste. It pulls the graphic from memory and pastes it right into the blog... very nicefunctionality that I haven't seen in any of the other editors I've tried (And I've used them all.. RocketPost, Crysanth WebStory, Ecto2, Hello, etc.)

 

Ok. Enough for now.

Morning All

Well, it's 9 AM and I've got a few minutes to kill before I start cranking hard on today's tasks. I've been quiet as of late on here but that's mainly due to the fact that we are working on getting ready for our next trip to Libya. It seems to take almost two years to get these projects ready for bids, but once the companies decide to open the bidding, they only give contractors about three weeks to generate the bidding material and deliver it to them. For reference, in America, it would usually be two months and they would offer you 100% of the information you needed to get the job quoted. However, in my world it never works that way. I've got a few good guys who have the skills to lay these projects out in their minds and I work them to death generating quotes, contacting vendors, checking and re-checking specifications for implementation, etc. It's a nightmare sometimes, but we love what we do.

On the local home front, I have a few updates for you. I'll cover them as I think of 'em.

Ok.. first, Tim and Claire are married. After a LONG and exhausting week of bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, drinking, and outright embarrassment, he went through with it anyway... lol. Yes, there are pictures. No I haven't had time to add them all to the blog because there are HUNDREDS of them and I think I'm gonna create a new photo blog for them. They might want their families to see them and I don't want their families to have to come on here to do it. So, when I get the time, I'll update with a photo gallery and post the link for all of you to see.

As you can see here, we were having a good time at the reception. You can click on the photo to see it larger. The Cast is, from left to right; Shane Miller, Me, Tim Pendergrass, Joseph Pendergrass, Chris Comeau, and Matthew Pendergrass. (lots of "ass"es in there.) 

Yes, that's the Mob.

 

Second new issue:

I have a new cat. No, I don't WANT a new cat. In fact ANY  man with three cats has to seriously sit down and spend some time evaluating his sexuality. The truth is, this is a cat that started hanging around our office in Kenansville. Honestly, she's a kitten, but she's so danged big that I forget she's not full grown. My secretary, Bobbie, started feeding her because she was horrible skinny. Well, now she's a regular at the office. 

Now, between the cold weather coming, the other wild cats around town, and just plain and simple bad luck, SOMETHING was going to happen to this kitten and I didn't want it on my conscience. So there... now I have a third cat. However, the reason I'm posting this because SOMEONE besides me needs to give her a good home. She's absolutely great and I love her to death. I'm trying NOT to get too attached to an animal that I plan to give away, but it's hard with her. She climbs up my chair arm, walks around the back of my chair and lays across my neck with her arms around my neck in a perpetual hug. She's completely loving and doesn't know a stranger.

So... if you think you can help, let me know.

I added a few pics of her so you could see her.

See? When you're not using her, she makes a great piece of life-like artwork.  This is her curled up in my bookcase last night while we were working in the office.

 

And for the FINAL news of the day: Daddy got a brand new big screen! Woohoo! I'm almost 30 years old and I've been wanting a big screen for most of my adult life. I searched all over town and finally got a deal I couldn't refuse. I love Samsung technology, so that's a plus because that's what I ended up getting. I liked the phillips models too, but I got the one that best fit my house and my floorplan, so I'm really happy. It looks SO much better in that spot beside the fireplace than my old entertainment center did. Best of all, I got it work with all my component systems AND it has a laptop VGA input.. so YES.. Daddy can play his games on his laptop and watch them on a 50 inch flat screen with Dolby Digital Fiber-Optic 5.1 Surround Sound. uuuuuuhhhhhhh....

Anyway, that's a picture of my new toy. April's loving it too. She's the WORST person to shop for technology with because she enjoys it as much as I do. What I NEED is someone who says "now Darling, don't you think we should save that money for fill-in-the-blank-stupid-thing-here?

 

 

Well, I've spent more time on here than I intended this morning. I'm going to have to get started on work and make up some lost time. I miss you all.... I'll write again soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I've made some changes....

I've made some changes to the blog, for those of you that notice. If you know why I did it, then good for you, if not, then it's none of your business. Do not fight with me on this, it's best for everyone.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Might as well fess up now...

Well, before the story breaks any other way and my fishing tales get any more poorly exaggerated, I'll show you my catch...

Yup.. that's it. Although I think I DO have the larger of the two fish caught today. I think I beat Raymond by at least a half a gram.

Carolina On My Mind...

I stopped to take this picture on the highway a few days ago. I don't really know why, but this is the most perfect symbom of "home" to me that I've seen. I was raised in Carolina, the tobacco capital of the world. You can drive for hours here in some places and see nothing but the dividing lines between fields as you fly past the scents of corn, cotton, soybean, tobacco, strawberry patches, and the hundreds of other farmscapes that dot this great state. It's so very good to be home.

 

  I went to the beach earlier this weekend to see my family and get some R&R time, get back to my roots, and just enjoy where I came from. This was taken at Orgeon Inlet as we sat and enjoyed some fishing. Now to be honest about it, I said "fishing." To go "catching" is an entirely different adventure. "Catching" requires bait, a bucket, knives to clean the fish with, coolers and ice to store them until you get home. "Fishing" however is so much simpler. All that's required is a pole, a chair, and some sand. See (below) for proof. See how easy that little fish is to deal with? That's SO much better than all that work involved in actually planning to catch fish!

 

It was a great day for all of us. I got to spend some time with my daughter, Hanhah, my mother, my brother, and of course April, my prettier half. She spent the day soaking up the sun reading a book while I whittled away the hours re-spooling reels, playing at catching fish, and enjoying the Carolina sunshine and the sound of the waves pounding the surf. I just spent three solid months on the Mediterannean Sea and never once heard the thunder of waves. It's good to be home.

Hannah thinks it's cold.

 

And yes, I have to post this photo, just for the sake of public humor. Mom and Hannah were in the store when we were buying the gear and getting the trucks ready. This is what my family does when you're not supervising their every action...

 

I have absolutely nothing else to say on that matter!

This is my favorite picture (below). I think it's one of the favorites I've ever seen of my daughter.

 

You see how hard we're all working here?

 

 

 

Later that evening before heading home, I stayed to spend a little time at the bonfire in the backyard with my brother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's where I got THIS great picture... of me and all my favorite ladies.

All in all, I'd call this a good day. It's great to be home!

"Scooby" Doos

The Tim Pendergrass National Zoo has had yet another exhibit brought in from far off lands. Now showing in a town near you: Two Cats, a lot of fish, snails (yes, snails), and a dog! Today, we bring you the newest addition to the show.. the canine.

Fear not, this lady is a trained professional. Do NOT attempt this in your homes. Severe tickling of the chin may occur if you do not know what you are doing.

See here, the green eyed devil?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Photos, as promised

I got the chance to snap a few photos at the party the other night, so I thought I'd post them for whomever wants to see. We haven't had many recent shots of the newest addition to the Scrappys (the second generation on Scoobies) so I thought I'd put these up. And here you go:

These two wonderful ladies prepared most of the food for the evening, and I must contratulate them on a job well done!

(Click for larger picture)

 

People wonder why we have obesity in this country. Every time I see this baby, someone's shoving food in his poor little mouth.. lol.

 

See? What did I tell you... April can't bear to watch any more!

 

Maybe I was wrong.. maybe she wants some too? Not sure. Inquiring minds wanna know!

 

Don't even LOOK at me in that tone of voice.

My baby!

Damn.. all my wit is exhausted. They’re too cute.. I can't think of anything smart-allicky to say.

So many comments come to mind.. so little time. We could say it's a King sized air mattress.. or a wind tunnel.. or.. nah.. I'll stop now before I get into even more trouble.

Ok. I'll say it again. This is one UGLY dog!

Well, that's about it for the posts from that night. More photos to come as I have been out to see others this weekend too.. more baby pics in a moment.

First Glimpses

Some of you aren't aware of the newest addition to the group, so here she is. Rehana Yasmeen Whaley, born September 28th, weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces. This is Todd and Sameena's first baby girl. I hope you like.

This was a good shot.. of both of them. Sameena makes a beautiful mother.

 

Now of course we all know what happens the moment a man picks up a baby....

Testing Live Writer Beta

Marion's Ugly DogOk.. now I'm reall tired. All I have been trying to do these last two days is post the pictures that I've taken recently, without having to resort to "Hello" to do it. Anyway, this is a test using Microsoft's new Live Writer Beta, so we'll see how it goes.

 

To start, we're gonna add a picture:

 What you SHOULD be seeing is Marion's horrible ugly dog. If this worked, you're all graced with her snout right now.. lol

I'm gonna post this and see how it goes.

Now I'm testing Block Quotes.

After being ultimately disappointed with my new favorite blog editor, it is back to the drawing board for me and my attempts to locate a solid program for offline blogging with photo support. This will be my first post from "Perfect Journal", made by Extend Labs, so hopefully you'll see this and everything will work ok.

After being ultimately disappointed with my new favorite blog editor, it is back to the drawing board for me and my attempts to locate a solid program for offline blogging with photo support. This will be my first post from "Perfect Journal", made by Extend Labs, so hopefully you'll see this and everything will work ok.

 

Friday, October 13, 2006

sorry about last night

hey guys....sorry about last night. I had originally thought it was wednesday, and thank goodness it wasnt cause my diamond fell out of my ring and that turned into a huge fiasco. I had to drive to the Kinston mall where at that time they couldnt do anything for me, the manager wasn't working. Thursday was a day full of unexpected surprises to say the least. I intended on setting out to Kinston after my dr appt at about 11, but at about 4 i was finally on my way. my diamond situation was resolved as i got a new engagement ring (and, i'm sorry, but getting my diamond resolved was VERY important. I was going to Kinston, I didn't care what time it was), but by the time i got home from kinston, had an angry 5 year old, picked up my Rx, cooked dinner and fed an angry 5 yr old. chris was working late and it just slipped my mind. when he got home he was like, "aren't you supposed to be at Marions?" I have also misplaced my cell phone. and, it's dead, so calling it from my home phone won't help. Since I couldn't find it, i couldnt call anyone from my home phone as I know no phone #'s by heart. So anyways, I hope you dont hold too big of a grude against me, but for those who will, hey, I almost expect it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Out Of Africa" Official ReScoobification Celebration

Just a quick reminder that the party is tonight at 6:30 at LilBit's place. Hope to see you all there. I just finally got my camera that I ordered last month, so I'm sure I'll be picture happy. Photos to follow later this evening or tomorrow morning. See you there! Dusbah Al-Kheir (see you tomorrow)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Photos from Doc!

Hey all. I just wanted to take a moment to share some pics I got from Doc. He's doing well and told me to say Hi to everyone. Ok... here's the pics he sent.

Yeah.. what a cute way to start...

Elvis Glasses: A gift from some of his guys.

This is a man who names his gun trucks "Lisa Marie" and "Priscilla."

This is the second one he sent.. lol.. it was titled "Hunka Hunka".. but I'll let you make of that whatever you will.

Hunka Hunka Burning Love (that’s a quote.. not my opinion!)

This is the hole left by one of their rocket’s I’m guessing.

And you know Doc.. never one to miss a chance to play with stuff... he had to get a close up.

I’m guessing he put down his rifle to take this one.

We're home!

Yes, we got into Greenville (finally....) Tues. afternoon, and I cannot tell you how excited I was to be home! It felt so weird coming home to the condo, but WOW was it nice to crawl into my comfy bed last night!!!! Our creature comforts at home are definitely nicer than Libya. ;) If anyone has tried calling me lately and someone else answered the phone, it's cause my number was given away while I was gone. Tommy had suspended my account so we wouldn't have to pay a bill while I was gone, but evidently a payment was missed and they closed my account all together. They said they held it for a while, but gave it away before I made it home. I have gotten a new number, and will give it to anyone that want's it, just ask. That's it for me, I think I'm going to log in to my computer game...... Nope, I totally forgot....... Tommy got me an IPOD!!!! :D So now I'm going to play with it and set it up...... then I might play my game.... :) XOXOXO

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Home.. safe and sound

Hi all. It's 12:45 am Tuesday morning and we're back safe and sound. I'm not going to write long because we're both tired, but I just wanted to chekin with everyone and let them know we're ok. We're getting picked up by Gidget tomorrow morning when our plane lands in RDU, so we'll see most all of you sometime after that. I'll write more when time permits. Love you all!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Africa: Day91 (My Last Communication from Africa)

Ma-salama-alakiem. Ramadan Kareem, my friends. Shul akbar and Keef al hal?

(Peace be upon you all. Happy Ramadan my friends. What's up and how are you?)

Greetings to all of you. This will be my last communication from Libya for quite awhile. Most of you already know, but for those who do not, April and I will be flying home on Monday afternoon (monday morning your time) and will have brought an end to our first trip together to Africa. I will say that is has been an experience, but I will be so very happy to be back home and out of this God-forsaken third world. No, things haven't been all bad. In fact, this has been an amazing trip. As much as we get on each other's nerves sometimes, being stuck in a country for three months with friends and co-workers FORCES you to bond in ways you would never even consider in America. There are things we share over here with each other that NO one ever wants to think about again, but there are also a great many laughs. Just tonight, we were sitting on the patio at the apartment listening to the sounds of the city while smoking Shisha and waiting for the city to open up for the night so we could do some last minute shopping.

Having exhausted my personal desire to walk any more two thousand year old cobble-stone streets and haggle for better silver prices, I have elected to have a final rendevous with the Corinthia Cafe, where I can sit here and write to you all in hopes of publishing this in the morning when I get to work. My apologies for the scant communications from me lately, both in the blogverse and via email, but as we close down almost 18 months worth of work in preparation to return home, the tasks keep mounting and the people available and qualified to do them are dwindling in proportion.

Truthfully, it's mainly because I've been a complete asshole for the last three weeks I'd imagine.. lol. Things are starting to get "political" with regards to our project and politics in a third world country means they threaten, brow-beat, and put obstacles in your way so you can't complete your job without doing it "their way." I'm afraid they have learned to their detriment that I don't work that way. I'm here to do a job and if I don't do that job perfectly, then I look bad. Most of you know how vain I am on a personal level, so you can just imagine how much worse it can be when you try to make my WORK look bad. I don't do shoddy work and woe be to the individual(s) who thought they could lay blame on me or my team. So, with all that running through my mind, plus the fact that I've been working from 9 AM until 4 AM the following morning for about eight days straight, I just haven't been in the mood to blog about the wonders of Africa these past two weeks. I'm frustrated. My team is frustrated.

Generally speaking, I think I'm going to set a rule that from now on, my team doesn't travel for more than one month at a time. Once you cross that line into two and three months, the despair of dealing with daily life over here is just too overwhelming to make it worth while. Traveling is all well and good, but I'm not interested in MOVING to Africa.. believe me... it's NOT where you want to be.

(End of tirade.. back to the good stuff.)

Well, it's 10:28 PM here and I'm sitting at the cafe. I figured I'd blog until my battery died and then I'll listen to my audiobook while I enjoy the only decent cup of coffee this country has to offer. The Corinthia has a chicken-club sandwich that's to die for.

I have been told by Bridget that the "gang" is planning a get-together at my house on Thursday night for us. At least I think it's at my house. I'm not sure I'm ever going to want to leave my house again! lol. I think the plan is to smother us with home-cooked food, to which I gladly raise my glass and say "hooyah!"

Yes, we come bearing gifts, as all good travelers should do. We found a few places here where small things could be purchased that aren't readily available in the United States, or are so ungodly expensive over there that no one would ever buy them. It's nothing major, because we're fully expecting to be detained by Homeland Security the moment I step off a plane, but it's unique nonetheless.

Homeland Security? Yes.. relax. It's ok. For whatever reason, I get stopped by immigration everytime I touch down in the USA... as if they can't tell within 10 seconds of hearing me talk that I'm a native southerner?!?!?!? Anyway, somebody called someone ( I won't say who) and told them that we were buying stuff on the european black market, which would be REALLY funny if it didn't mean the optional rectal cavity search at JFK. Most of those questions have been successfully handled now and we "should" be ok entering, but I suspect they'll still stop me for some pretense or another, just to see if we're stupid enough to have tried to sneak american military crypto gear in with our luggage.

The only thing I'm really NOT looking forward to is the wait in JFK. Basically, we're going to arrive too late Monday night to catch a plane to RDU so we have to wait until the morning. Well, April packed everything, including the kitchen sink, and I have my bags too so I'm not going to try to leave JFK with all 9 bags at midnight, find a hotel, cart all that crap upstairs, and then be back in the airport by 5:30 just so I can have the rinse-and-repeat cavity search performed again. So, we're going to land and then once we clear customs we're gonna head down to terminal 1 on the tram and sleep there on the floor for the night. It's one of the few terminals that's not closed down completely at night and they have free internet from what I'm told, so I'll be able to log on and say hi to everyone if I'm not too jet lagged. I'll be calling people too, just cause I can. (Oh yeah, if you want to reach April and can't, call her on my phone. Her phone has to be reactivated when we hit the states and it might not be active again by tomorrow night.) If you need the number, it's 252-258-0435.

Something about preparing to go "home" made me realize the funny fact that I have a true "home" here too now. I'll have to return to the USA and think about who's taking care of my house in Africa instead of vice versa.. lol. When I return to the states, there will be utensils in my kitchen here, clothes hanging in my closet here, toiletries in the pantry for when I return, Eurpoean powered clocks and cell phones to use, most of the stuff that we Americans clutter our homes in the US with will already be here. The only GOOD part of all that is it means I have to take less and less each time I travel. It's funny, the clothes I have in the US are Wrangler and Dockers. The clothes I have in Libya are Italian and French.. lol. there's no american shops here and I don't want to walk around wearing "diesel" brand t-shirts all the time. Once I convince my CEO to increase our per-diem to something above slave wages here, then we'll all be able to provide ourselves with the full compliment of things we need here to make travel much simpler. All we'll need to do is get on the plane with our laptops and we're set.

I'm still not sure how I'm going to get the things done that need to be handled in the US when I return. There's the matter of my Mom's late birthday cookout to organize, my daughter to spend time with, my Dad that I'd like to see, my sister I'd like to visit, my friend I want to go out partying with and just spend time with. I miss my Scoobs a lot. I know you guys might not feel it with me gone, but I certainly feel the difference here without you all. I miss those nights sitting at the bar just talking about the week and who's mad at who for whatever reason. I miss Marion sitting on my lap and weighing absoltely nothing and clapping her hands all over the place as she describes the latest drama she's heard about. I miss Gidget asking my opinion on something important and then telling me that I'm an idiot and then providing me with the RIGHT opinion that I should have had in the first place. (lol... she really does do that!.. lol.. but I can't wait to experience it again.) I miss Culligan's deep thoughts.. lol.. she can think deep enough sometimes that you need to bring scuba gear to be able to converse. Then she pops back into light-hearted banter again like the flip of a switch. I miss my daily phone rituals with Sassenach, that she has a LOT of catching up to do on by the way.. ( I have to give her a hard time here in public to shame her into remembering to call me.. watch.. it'll work I guarantee!)

I really can't wait to go shopping. Actually I hate the shopping part, but I felt like it would be too much to call someone and say PLEASE go buy me one gallon of milk, two boxes of Oreos, 1 carton of Marlboro lights, 1 bag of pizza rolls, two pepsis, 1 can of maxwell house coffee, 5 pounds of sugar, 1 dozen eggs, and 2 pounds of bacon... not that I've given thought to what I plan to eat when I get home or anything... heheh. I'm going to spend the first two days naked in my house, sleeping in, eating junk food, smoking like a chimney, playing computer games until 3 in the morning, ONLY getting dressed to go to the bar, and basically detoxing my personality so I can be a well-adjusted American again. I'm serious when I say that most of you wouldn't even recognize me now.. I've been so fed up with being here for so long that I'm an irate, grumpy, irritable, mal-adjusted, bad-muslim, screaming, cursing (not that they know what I'm saying thankfully), pain in the ass for most of the past month. lol.. ask April, Gregg, Chris, and Mike.. they'll tell you! I'm usually a "regular" guy who attempts cordiality at all times and tries to be the "nice" guy.. but it's going to take a few days for that to seep back into my pores.

What's the plus side of all this? Well, I can greet and give taxi directions in fluent Arabic.. that's about it.. lol I've learned to navigate with three words (Yahssar, Alatoog, Yimeen) which mean Left, Straight, Right.. no Right.. NO RIGHT you idiot! lol. I have a Muslim guy that works for me, Mohamed Torshi, who speaks fluent english and he's refused to teach me how to curse in arabic. Personally, that's not fair since I'm quite sure I've expanded HIS english vocabulary to surprising limits since I got here 10 months ago! That reminds me.. hehehe.. he asked me a few days ago who I wanted to curse at in Arabic. When I told him who it was (I can't say here) he told me "ok. mush-mushkal!" (No Problem). He said he'd teach me a few if I promised to use them only to that person and to do it when he could hear me... lol. I didnt take him up on the offer because I'm sure I'd be too tempted to try it and I'm not too sure they'd mean what he said they'd mean. I'd feel pretty stupid cursing this guy out only to find out later that I actually asked him if he'd like me to wear my underwear on my head to make him like me more.. lol.

Yes, I'm rambling. But that's what a blog is for isn't it? Oh that reminds me. I thought of the idea of starting a journal while I was here. A journal seems such a classical relaxation tool and yet it preserves the moment forever in writing, so the idea is great. However, as much as I like the idea of relaxing with a pen in hand and jotting down my life's adventures and questions, I'm pretty sure I'd lose the motivation after a short while. In fact, the idea occurred to me over a week ago and I meant to go buy a journal that next day... it's now a week later and I still haven't started one, so obviously the idea would be a bad one.

Technically, this blog really is the best kind of journal I could ask for. I've been writing here since February of 2005 and I have the added advantage of having the thoughts of other people on here too, which is something that you can't get in a journal. I'd like to be that guy who writes his memoirs by age 40 and publishes them, but I'm fairly certain no one would buy the book and then I'd have to give it as a Christmas gift to people, who would put it in a bottom drawer and forego throwing it away only because they'll pull it out when I come over so as not to make me feel bad for the gift. lol. Yes I'm a goof.. who cares?

What was there before "lol"? Though I don't do it in normal correspondence, it seems a visual method of informing the reader that you just laughed, or at least "harrumphed," at your own wit. Isn't that a little conceited? I mean who cares if you're laughing at your OWN comment. That only puts unnecessary burden on the reader to laugh back, which they really probably don't want to do, but it would seem rude not to laugh when the person telling it laughs, so we laugh anyway.. you know.. that little fake laugh we all have that we reserve for John the vice president at company christmas parties who we all know is a conceited prick who has his job because he's the CEO's nephew? The one you do while in your mind saying to youself "this really isn't funny?"

So why do we do it? Not the laughing at people's jokes when you don't want to.. we all know why we do that. I mean why do we do it in the blogverse and in the chat world? It's like a polite "uh-huh" nod that we do in conversation when we want to be seen paying attention only because we're really not. So, if that's the case, then you can replace "lol" with "reader nods approvingly" or something more savvy like "RNA"...

I have gotten to the point in my writing where I go back and strip the "lol" out of the conversation.. but then it seems like I'm not comfortable with my own witticism, so I press the "CTRL+Z" button fifteen times until they're all back in they're appropriate places.

See, NOW finally I have reached a point where this post has a point. It's a competitive challenge to you, the reader, (RNA) to come up with something more challenging. My friend Desmond used to write "laugh" or "nods" when we were chatting, which seemed a more honest response to the conversation. Take, for example, my conversation with Culligan last week. She was telling me about something that was important to her and she wanted to get it off her chest. At some point, I responded with "lol" because what I really thought was "hmm.. ok.. I'm here.. keep going." Instead, she cut off what she was saying and asked why I laughed at her comment. "I didn't laugh" I responded. Well, now this little colloquialism has caused me trouble. Now the simple polite courtesy that used to be LOL turned into insult, which of course it wasn't intended to be, which required explanation, which ruined the flow of the conversation. Now, look what "lol" did to me! It's a ruinous little word... and yes I'm overly caffienated! It's now 11:24 PM and April is on her way here to meet with me to have Green Tea before we head home and call it a night. What ya wanna bet she bought more than she intended to? Not that I can complain. She' spent hardly anything here on herself. I purchased myself a newer cell phone, but that's about all I've purchased here too. Well, that's not true. I bought a very nice Swatch watch... no you goof, not the cheap american thing kids wear.. the nice Swiss executive watch.. it's gorgeous! The only other thing I bought was a Versace men's ring. I've wanted a good ring that looked right on me ever since I lost the one Allison gave me at the Fairfield Inn at an Electrolux convention in September of 2003. I'm still pissed about that! That was the first gold ring I'd ever been given.. actually I think it was the first piece of jewelry that anyone ever purchased for me.. and I think it got left in the hotel bathroom on the counter. Personally, that's what they get for giving a guy like me a suite that was competely mirrored on three walls... I couldn't help but have other things on my mind at the time, but that's another story that will NOT make it on to the blog.

Oh yeah, speaking of Allison, I heard back from her the other day. I emailed her in a fit of desperation the other week. I've wanted her Granny Faye's recipe for Pineapple casserole for years and she finally emailed it back to me and asked me to say Hi to Hannah and Mom... so.. umm.."Hi Hannah!" and "Hi Mom" (from Alli-Cat). She's doing well as far she she told me and she says she knows she should call.... so that's the news from that front.

What other news do I have? Not much. Oh yeah. Shak and Ding (no this isn't news.. stop anticipating something important. Can't you tell from the tone of this blog that there is NO important information here.. why are you still reading this anyway? Don't you have ANYTHING better to be doing?) Anyway, Shak and Ding! I hope you two are ready for some SERIOUS CoH time when I get back. I have some major catching up to do I'm sure. I've been gone for 91 days so I'm sure you guys are WAY past me and April in the game, however I hold you responsible to play with us losers when we get back! If that means you have to Exemplar down, then we'll just level faster with your vast amounts of experience! lol! We've really missed you guys a ton. I actually logged on once a few weeks back to play for an hour but I was experiencing major Ding-Lag and couldn't stay on. I was flying around Perigrine Island and then Boom.. I have 40K debt and I'm dead on the ground. That happened twice before I gave up on the experience and decided to make up my lost time when I return home. Shak, good work on the SG base by the way.. it looks freakin' awesome. There's transporters everywhere.. work tables everywhere.. nice work. I'll come contribute accordingly upon my return. Hell, at this point, I'm going to have to ask YOU how to use the crap in my own base.. lol. You do know that the four of us are the only ones who have any idea what I'm talking about, right? I bet at this point, at least one viewer has gone back up a paragraph and started over to see where they missed something. (Shak and Ding are two of our Gaming buddies and we team with them on a computer game we all play online in the states... yes it's a geeky thing to do.. shuuuutt uuuuppp! I'm entitled to a LITTLE geeking out now and again to offset my rugged good looks and wily charms!)

Well, I'm down to 11% battery life on the laptop.. I wonder how long that last 11% will last? I need to remember to charge this thing fully so I'll have something to keep me occupied in JFK for half the night when we land. Let me see think about it in terms of Eastern Standard Time. We'll be getting up on Monday at 3AM EST, arriving at the airport at 5AM EST, boarding the plane to London at 9AM, landing in London at 11AM..no.. hold on.. we lose an hour in london.. so I'll only be 5 hours ahead of you at that point.. so I'll be flying for two hours, but it'll only be 1 hour on the clock.. so I'll be in london at 10AM. Then, we will depart for JFK at 3PM, landing in JFK at 10:30 PM. Ok.. that means we'll be up for 19.5 hours when we land in JFK. We PROBABLY won't be able to sleep, so let's assume that we conk out around 1 or 2 AM, wake up in the floor of the airport by 5 AM, get on the plane and come home. Basically we will have been up for 30 hours when we see Gidget at the airport. We'll look like hell, smell funny, and our digestive systems will be in complete shock from the combination of crappy arabic breakfast, crappy airplane food, and whatever we'll be able to scarf from the snack machines at the airport in JFK... not to mention that horrible snack they'll serve on the commuter flight from JFK to RDU. God... I'm gonna be in a world of hurt by the time I get back.. RNA!

Well, the batter warning just kicked in.. see you all soon! Love you and miss you all!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

gas prices

hey tommy... yeah, gas did drop to below $2/ gal...THANK GOODNESS for SHEETZ!! wait until you come home and eat a MTO sub (made to order) or a shmagel or shmuffin or even a shmonster....OMG i can't even explain! I even had galliker's tea today! thank goodness for SHEETZ!! the BEST convienent store on the face of the planet...they even have milkshake machines...ya'll just dont understand...i grew up on sheets! it's a peice of home! but, all good things have to come to an end....gas is back up to $2.16...sheetz could only offer cheap gas for the first 10 days...but, $2.16 sure as hell beats $3!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Haven't Posted In A While

Hey yall. Sorry I haven't posted in a while I have been very busy at work. So I had a great weekend. I got off early on Friday, I went and picked my girls up to spend the weekend at my house. McKenzi is a doll, she is so smart and is learning alot in school. I can't get anything past her anymore. Kayleigh is not walking she is running and talking. We can't keep the girls mouth from moving. She is so cute. Saturday I kept Kayleigh, McKenzi, and Logan. The kids played great together. After Logan left the girls got a nap and Mark, Ms. Kathy, Mr. William and I took the girls to the park to play and then we went to Sonic for Ice Cream. Sunday I cooked a Ham, Collards, String Beans, Boiled potatoes, Corn, Yams, and Biscuits for Mark, Mama, Daddy, Mommie-Nette (my grandma), Kayleigh, McKenzi and myself. It was great to have the family together. After everyone left including the girls Mark and I went to Halloween Express and got costumes. He is gonna be Speed Racer and I am gonna be a LadyBug. After Halloween Express we went to the movies to see JackAss. It was a good movie there were some parts I had to cover my eyes on...I thought I was gonna throw up. But all in all it was good. So what has everyone else been up to? Tommy I need to talk to you about somethings I was thinking a Sunday drive would be a good idea. Bridgett are we still working out together tomorrow night? Let me know. April I love ya girl. Talk to all of you later. Love Lots. Little Bit

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Trauma Sunday rant

So, I have to rant. Tonight at work REALLY sucks. It's just trauma after trauma. There were at least 10 traumas within 2 hours at PCMH alone, and I mean BAD traumas. The kind where everyone has a spinal fracture and internal bleeding. They had to call in more trauma surgeons and all of the residents. I knew it was going to be a bad night from the second my shoe hit the parking lot pavement, 'cause when it did, one EastCare helicopter was leaving and one was coming in. Oh, and none of that includes the outside traumas, and there were quite a few of those. It is Sunday!!!! This is a Friday or Saturday night thing... not Sunday between 5 and7pm! Some of them were things like: Trauma-jumped out of moving car, intoxicated. Come on people, go to church or something. Don't drink and jump out of moving vehicles! I mean oh my damn! Freakin' idiots!