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Friday, July 27, 2007

My Day

I’d like to dedicate today’s posting to my friends and former co-workers who are sitting at their desks or cubicles, typing e-mails and creating PowerPoint presentations, and of course attending conference calls. I just got back from enjoying the sun, and enjoying no children in the pool.

Next stop - off to barbeque and drink beer

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Doers and the Do-notters

There are some goods and bads that go along with living in a condo complex. The goods; I don’t have to maintain the lawn, external repairs are covered in the dues, and some utilities are covered. The bads; having neighbors right next to you, sharing the pool and hot tub, and having to pay dues.

Last year I volunteered to serve on the board and help out. I didn’t think it would really involve much work at the time. Since then, I have become the only male on the board. What this means is, I keep getting stuck doing the odd jobs. A door in the clubhouse breaks, I fix it. Light posts need replaced, I replace them. Sure we could hire someone to do the work, but that would take from the budget and potentially result in us needing to raise the dues.

I don’t have a problem volunteering except for the fact that, I pay the same in homeowners as the next person. In this case the next person, isn’t doing crap. They drive by me when I’m digging the light posts, but they don’t offer to help. They complain about other , but don’t bother coming to the meetings. And of course, they have no idea that my labor is saving them money.

Neighbors - a Starbucks card or something would be nice!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Redneck Breading

This last weekend I went to visit some family who live in Elk Washington. For those of you who don’t know, and I can imagine is most every reader, Elk is about 30 miles north of Spokane Washington. It’s not so much a town as it is a post office, VFW, and a bunch of farms.

The first night there, we went out to the local bar for a beer and a game of horseshoes. The beer choices consisted of; Natural Light, Coors Light, Miller Light, etc. For a Seattleite it’s hard to adjust from beers with flavor, to beers that taste like someone drank a lot then peed into a can, before chilling it in the fridge. Three local guys joined us at the bar, local friends of my brother and sister. All three guys looked exactly the same. Have you ever seen Larry the Cable Guy? If you have, you know what these guys looked like. They were all overweight. They had either shortly shaved beards or goatees. They had almost shaved heads, and a couple had baseball caps. They wore jeans and t-shirts. As the night went on, a couple more guys joined us, also looking exactly the same. Now back to Larry the Cable Guy. If you have seen his comedy, you know he is from the south and has a slow way of speaking. Well, these guys spoke the same! That’s right, it’s like they sat around and watched his comedy, and for some reason started to believe Elk Washington was part of the south. The difference being, their jokes weren’t funny.

As the night wore on, my sister suggested we go to The V. To me, this sounded like a hip bar in downtown Seattle. In Elk Washington, it’s the VFW. At the VFW, I almost got in a fight with one of the locals, my brother wanted to fight some guy with a guitar, and of course some of the locals were looking for a fight. Amazingly, no one actually fought, but you could tell it was how they usually spent the evenings. Everyone was drinking Natural Light, and some of the guys were peeing off the patio of "The V".

My family tends to ask me why I never really want to spend time visiting them, stories like this have a lot to do with it. I won’t even go into the rest of the weekend, were I almost got shot in the head with a 22 caliber rifle, and had to fight the urge to bust a bottle over my sister’s neighbors head.

Friday, July 20, 2007

First Time It’s Love, The Second Time It’s 20 Bucks

One of the great things about this country is free speech, and the fact that I, a blogger, can take time to comment on the hypocrisy of our elected government. One of the great things about being a liberal is the conservatives and republicans make it extremely easy, to point them out as hypocrites and ass fuckers. And by ass fuckers, I don’t mean it in the way, I say ass face, or ass hole, or even ass wipe. I mean it in the way that Florida Republican state congressman Robert Allen means it.

Allen was arrested for offering to perform oral sex on an undercover male officer for 20 bucks. Not receive, perform. Once again, a republican is arrested for offering or doing something homosexual. A republican, whose party wants to constitutionally ban same sex marriages, the party who spends more time and effort creating laws around pornographers than they do real criminals, and the man, who according to fox news sponsored a bill “that would have tightened the state's prohibition on public sex”, was caught attempting to engage in public sex. Oh, how I love America!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

“i’m” Not Surprised

For those of you with MSN messenger, you might have noticed the “i’m” tab in your messengers tab list. It’s some charity thing Microsoft is doing, “Every time you start a conversation using i’m, Microsoft shares a portion of the program's advertising revenue with some of the world's most effective organizations dedicated to social causes.” It’s not clear how the whole thing brakes down, but it’s easy to set up and doesn’t cost anything. And you have nine charities to select from.

On the Microsoft campus near the cafeteria they had some guy handing out flyers and barbequing in order to get employees signed up. They also have posters all over the halls in the offices.

I’ve been using instant messenger for years at different companies. As you can imagine I’ve got quite a few friends, former co-workers, and Microsoft co-workers on instant messenger. And if you haven’t guessed already by the tone in this post, not a single Microsoft person has set this up. Keep in mind it takes less than a minute. Multiple former co-workers and friends have set it up; but not a single, not one, not any Microsoft full time employees that I know, have set this up.

For fuck sake you self absorbed Microsoft pricks, there is a world outside of the Microsoft campus!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mustang Shelton

Sometimes when it comes to photography, I have a tendency to agree to a shoot before getting all the details, and it usually bites me in the ass. For example; a studio I occasionally work for, asked me if I wanted to assist, “photographing 400 Ford Mustangs in one shot... That's right.. Ron, the photographers uses a camera that was built in 1900 to capture it all in one photograph. It is truly amazing to see." Since I wasn’t working today, and it sounded fun, plus I could snap a few shots of my own, I agreed to do it. After agreeing to do the shoot, I found out it was at a drag strip near Sanderson Air Field in Shelton Washington. As you can see by the Google directions, it’s a two hour drive from my house.

I woke up nice and early allowing extra time for the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia traffic that I would need to go through. I followed the directions as provided by Google maps, only to end up down a dirt road surrounded by trees. That’s right, the directions as seen here provided by Google, do not take you to the airport, they take you to nowhere… literally! After turning around, and going to Shelton, I talk to a gas station attendant, who tells me the airport is right off hwy 101. In step four of goggles directions, it says to exit, instead of what it should say, “Continue to follow 101 until you hit the airport”.

Google, I would like to say, “fuck you very much for those wonderful directions.”

In case you are wondering; the shoot was fine, a few of the drivers were a little bitchy about it taking so long, and the drive home took twice as long, thanks to rush hour traffic. But I was able to snap a couple quick pictures while there. -Check them out-

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Just Drown Already

This morning I wake up with a pretty good day planned. I force myself out of bed by 9:00am, go run a few errands, and take care of some business. After that I come home, grab the dog and head to the beach. After a while at the beach letting the dog play in the water, I come home with a plan of spending the rest of the afternoon on this hot day, sitting by the pool. I drop the dog off, grab a towel, a magazine, and a drink. I walk towards the pool of my 40 unit condo complex, and see a bunch of kids in it. It’s still early in the afternoon, so instead I decide to wait. An hour goes by and I go back, there are still kids in the pool. This time I give up. I grab a chair, drop my stuff off, and dive in. The water feels great. I talk to one of the neighbor kids, and then sit down to read. The neighbor kid leaves, and I’m hoping the lady with the other two kids will leave so I can sit in quiet and relax. They don’t leave, and it’s obvious they aren’t planning on leaving anytime soon. The mother is so tanned, it looks like she had her skin removed and replaced with leather. Another hour and the woman will look like a giant piece of beef jerky. The two kids playing in the pool argue back and forth about toys. Except for one point when the boy goes to his mom and mentions that his skin is peeling. She doesn’t pull out a bottle of sunscreen for him, she doesn’t tell him to sit in the shade, instead she said, “Oh that’s not good.” Then the kid jumps back in the water. I was at the pool for about a half hour, and I’m pretty red skinned, so you can imagine how this family looked.

I realize as a species we feel the need to procreate and overpopulate the planet, but come on! Your arguing children are interfering with my day of relaxing in the sun, swimming, drinking, and reading. Damn leatherneck bitch!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

It's News to Them

I recently read this news article (Airline passengers dissatisfied with service) about how, “Bankruptcy can be a wake-up call for airlines” and that some of the cause might have something to do with the quality of service they provide. United and Delta rated the worst. They obviously didn’t call me for feedback, as I would have said, “yes United sucks, but American Airlines sucks even worse.” I can’t speak on Delta, I haven’t flown them in a long while. The thing that gets me cranky about this is that it’s nothing new! Come on, anyone who has flown in anything other than first class, over the past 10 years knows, the service sucks. And “this year” Delta is focusing on improving baggage handling. They are not, focusing on providing decent in flight movies and baggage handling. Not, they are focusing on improving flight attendants service skills and baggage handling. Not, they are focusing on providing enough people at the front counters to get customers through faster and baggage handling. They are just focusing on baggage handling! Well, whoop de do! I’ll get bumped, be delayed, get rude service, but hey at least my baggage will arrive at the destination.

On the plus side, my favorite airline to fly, Continental was rated as a top quality airline.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

In English This Time

Yesterday we celebrated our Independence Day here in America. I was hanging out with some friends on the night prior to the 4th, and at one point we were discussing vacations, and places we’ve been. I was asked about Thailand and the language barrier. For the most part, I was able to communicate fine. We talked about other countries, and overall found that most people spoke enough English for us to get by.

On my way to a 4th of July party last night, I passed a Dairy Queen. I decided to pull in and order a Butterfinger Blizzard. I went to the counter, placed my order and the lady said something back. I couldn’t tell what she said, due to her thick accent. “What?” I asked. She repeated her statement, “medum Buuer Figer Bizzaed.” Oh, I thought, she was repeating my order back to me.

Why is it, that I can go to another country, go into a restaurant and communicate better with the waitress, than I can in my own country? Look, if I were to move to another country, the first thing I would do, is learn the fucking language! And if I didn’t know the language, I sure as hell wouldn’t work at a job that involved communicating with others.

So on this 4th of July, let’s celebrate America, the only country in the world where, its language is not spoken by the majority of its population.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Dog Club

Having the summer off, I thought it might be a good idea to find things to do with the dog. I found a large dog club online. Having a decent sized dog, I thought it would be good to hang out with other big dog people, provide my dog the opportunity to work off some energy. The only other times my dog gets to work off serous energy, is when my friend Brad plays find the peanut butter (inside joke to the outside world). The first meeting, we met at a bar with outside seating, so people could bring pets. This would give everyone the chance to meet, then we could decide on doggy play days, hikes, or whatever from there. I left my dog at home, and so did everyone else, except for one person.

The guy who brought the dog, put no effort into controlling his dog. It crawled all over the place, it was shedding everywhere. Out of the entire evening, not once did he tell it to “lay down,” “sit,” or “get off that person.”

There was the girl who set the group up. She lives in a small apartment in downtown Seattle with two huskies. I’m sure the dogs just love that.

And, of course there was the girl with two pit bulls. Out of the group, she actually seemed the most normal. She actually spoke about the need to be the boss of the dogs. But then again, I guess you have to be in control, when you bring two pit bulls over from your village on Hawaii.

You would think, at some point in the evening, people would talk about something besides their animals. And we did, for brief moments. But for the most part, it was all dogs. It was like a bunch of soccer moms, getting together trying to top each other with how great their kids are. “Oh my dog has the most beautiful eyes. Want to see a picture?”

About the only thing I did like about the group, was our mutual hatred for little dogs; the dogs that bark, and yelp, and are completely worthless. We all agreed the only purpose for those dogs, is chew toys for big dogs.

On the plus side, the bar was pretty damn cool; good food, drinks, and outdoor seating.