Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Fish moving, Nice dinner, and book failure

Well I have a couple of topics to talk about tonight. I was able to move the majority of my fish yesterday with only a minor amount of me getting soaked. The fish love to throw the water in my face, although they probably think I am dork for moving them from their home. Will probably move the clown loaches on Thursday, but I have to be more careful with them as to their barbels.

I ate a nice dinner with some of coworkers/friends. It was a good time. We sat and talked for a quite a while. Need to have more of those. I ate horribly though. I had seared mahi mahi in rasberry sauce and pumpkin cheese cake for dinner.

My book for nanowrimo has bombed. I completed 17,000 words out of the 50,000 I needed. But I am pleased with what I did accomplish. Will try again next year.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Another one bites the dust

Well I lost another Fish. Another tragic loss from the Botia Modesta. I mean, look at all the other pets you can have. You don't have to tell a dog to not eat its roommates. Jeez. So moving the fish may take a higher priority so that I isolate the evil fish until I can talk to the fish store and return those that cannot get along.

Sounds like I hate my fish, but when you have 70 fish, I have to think of the greater good of my mini community. Well off to do more work.....

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Well, I did some cleaning of my fish tanks today. I noticed yesterday that two of my rainbowfish had been attacked in one of my 55 gallon tanks. So I went down to get my net and remove them to safety. I came back up to remove them and low and behold, I am one less fish. So I remove what is left of Boesemani Rainbowfish and flush it. I retrieve the Australian Rainbowfish and move it to one of my ten gallon tanks. I also medicated the tank. But alas, she didn't make it either.

So I am two fish down. But I think I know who the culprit is. Or culprits. I believe it is the 3 blue botia's that I have. They took down ten of my wife's neon tetras and I moved them over to my tank. I believe they took out my corydoras catfish and my bristlenose pleco. So next week, they are going back to the store, for it was the final straw. I am now down to 2 Rainbowfish, one Australian male and a Boesemani.

I am probably going to redo that tank to support African cichlids and move some of the ones from my basement up. The survivors from the 55 will get moved to my bedroom 55 with my Angel fish. Eventually the basement African cichlid tank will become a South American cichlid tank. I toyed with the idea of making it salt water, but I think that it may be too much work. I have heard many people like the SA cichlids so I will try them, plus the tank is big enough for them at 110 gallon. But let the slow process begin with a quick. Out, out botia's.

The Incredibles and more

Really vegged out yesterday. Took it easy as I was completely worn out for some reason. Might be getting sick. Probably just not enough sleep. So I played some video games. I went to the movies. Went to Chinese buffet. Came home and watched some TV and some more video games. The most useless, I want my time back, part of yesterday was TV. Watched G.I. Joe. The new movie. It was horrible.

The Incredibles. Awesome. It was a blast to see, there were many human moments that made the statement in the movie that no matter how super you are in your abilities, you are definitely still going to have human moments. Never saw the bad guy coming either. Crazy. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. A definite family treat.

As for video games, I am mildly dissatisfied with Sega's ESPN NFL 2k5. I finished my second season where I set the rushing record and the sack record. Won the superbowl too. Pretty darn awesome. The problem is that both my record holders' player ratings went down. That is the stupidest player progression I have ever heard of. Completely ridiculous.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Oh yeah, almost forgot.

I was so busy playing games, I forgot to mention that my redhat install went fine on my old computer. I took out all my differential scsi and left in my single ended dvd and cd-rw drives. Then I found an old 40 gig that was empty and put that in. Of course I couldn't boot off of scsi, so I had to hijack one of my ide cd drives. All said and done it is completed. Now I can sell all my old scsi drives all though I should wipe them clean first. That should be a blast. Lots of time wasted. If I would have been smart I would have wiped them clean when the drives were in it. Oh well. I plan on using the box to play around with. Nothing serious. Mostly just leave it off unless I feel like using linux.

Speaking of linux. I would use linux all the time, if it weren't for the games I play are on Windows. On top of it, the windows applications I use to record tv are pretty darn nice. So overall, I like linux and it's efficiency. I miss windows for it's games and media options (with ease)

More Halo 2

Being that it is Thansgiving weekend we didn't have a whole heck of a lot of people online. Jammer 69, Overhandaxe, BlackDogJake and friend, and KillerStew. Jot3 was online but playing football. Bastard. So we played some king of the hill and some capture the flag. Mucho fun. I did ok. Brought my ranking up a tad. Just have to keep working on it. But now I am worn out.

Recipe for Stuffing

This is a recipe for stuffing that I got from my father-in-law. Tastes great. I have to make this or else my wife will kill me as this is one of her favorite dishes. The only modifications that I can remember making to it (I have forgottent the original recipe) is that I use 1 lb of spicy sausage and 1 lb of pork sausage instead of 2 lb of ground beef. I also use less poultry seasoning. Click here for the recipe. Sure to a hit.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Turkey day done

It was fun. What can I say. Of course I ate too much and didn't have enough fluids. Mmmm dessert. Now heading for food coma.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

First Snow

Well, we have our first snow of the year. We have about 5 inches down on the ground. Enough to make things miserable to JimKat, who is driving in to Jam. He should have gotten here about 2 hours in good weather. Now he is stuck somewhere on the road in a traffic jam. It really isn't bad to drive in snow, but for some odd reason, some people just don't know how to do it.

At the same time, I hope that Matches is having a good drive down to Indy. That is a much longer drive that could be just as nasty.

I, for one, hate snow. I am ok with the cold, but that shovelling thing is not really up my alley. Something about backbreaking labor that makes me unhappy. I much prefer what I did later this afternoon. Played some video game football and got BF: Vietnam working again. However I broke the TV input on my computer so there is something else I am going to have to work on and fix. Always fun fun fun.

Tomorrow for Thanksgiving I will be making Stuffing. U.P. Stuffing that is. Way better than any other stuff out there. Lots of meat and yummy goodness. But that means that I have to get up at a fairly early time to get cranking on cutting and stuff. So a late night tonight, which I am sure is coming, is going to kill me. C'est la vie. I will put up the U.P. Stuffing recipe later after I make it. I am sure I should ask my wife's family for the right recipe instead of winging it. But I think I am going to wing it.

Cleaning break

I wouldn't say it is time to do fall cleaning. I just clean when it needs it. Or more, I can't deal with the mess anymore. And I reached that point. Of course, I am pretty exhausted now. I have only partial cleaned two rooms. That sucks. On the bright side, I have only thrown out two bags of trash and I think that they may be the VAST majority of the trash.

Somehow, my wife needs to figure out what to do with her books. Her bookshelf is completely full, with a bag of books besides and box of books too, and I thought that I read a lot. Of course the cookbooks are on her side, so I may move those over to my side.

Right now, just sitting back on the couch, listening to some old Tom Waits. There is really something to be said for Tom Waits as an artist. What I really like about his music is the vivid images he paints with his lyrics and the absurd that makes sense at another point of view. The current song is Late Night Evening Prostitute.

I think that I own about 5 Tom Waits cds. I ended up getting my brother hooked and he has a different set of Tom Waits albums than I do. Speaking of my brother, I really need to find him something for Christmas. Just about everyone else is taken care of. Christmas is a fun time of year, but unfortunately a lot of people don't have the time to be courteous. And once you have one foul mood, it transfer so quickly. I kinda wish that a smile moved as quickly and easily.

I typically hide from stores during the Christmas time period. I much prefer the busiest server to the busiest store. It might be partly cause I am a computer nut. I figured that I would spend Friday doing my linux install in my old computer. Of course I need to format all the drives. The bad part is now I am going to have to figure out how to boot off of scsi and from ide so that I can add linux to it than to make boot disks. I hate boot disks. I was thinking that may be my test bed for some of my installation ideas like stuff for my friend Matches house. He is doing a fully automated house. Just taking time and he needs some form of centralization....

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

On Line Suckage

The best laid plans of mice and men.....

I get the best laid coax of green county cable. But it isn't green county this time. Well other than they are really slow. It seems I have run into other pains. Can't play Halo 2 tonight online. Tried failed. So I switched over to Battlefield: Vietnam on the PC. I had downloaded and installed the patch months ago, but it did not work. Plus there was something else screwy so I am redownloading the patch and I am going to reinstall from scratch. I couldn't even get into single player. Just bizarre.

Got a call from my cousin. Looking to have me check out one of his PCs. Seems I am somewhat of an expert. I have a feeling that one of my 7 current PCs gets me close to that name. It should just be closer to crazy. I took the day off of work tomorrow, so I am going to do a little house cleaning as it could really use it and then start the installation of Linux on one of my old machines. Plus I plan on selling all the scsi stuff inside of it. I have run scsi for a while and really truly love it, but it is just not cutting it in terms of space available. Of course it doesn't help that I have differential scsi which is even more difficult to find.

So what is the difference between singled ended scsi and differential. Well Differential has a basic difference that in normal signal lines, 0 tends to be no voltage across the line. This is more prone to errors so they created differential where you have two defined voltage settings for zero and one.

What that gets you is not a speed enhancement as much as a distance enhancement. I got into it cause you could get the drives online for pretty cheap versus normal scsi. And we all know that scsi is better. Now it is time to get rid of this stuff. I will someday go back to scsi, but it will be the ordinary stuff.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Update: Uploaded pictures

Well, I have uploaded the pictures that I took from the Moose woodworking project that I made as a gift. It turned out pretty good and makes a great tissue box holder. Ah the wonders of a lot of time.

As associated with this I am dropping out of nanowrimo. I am unable to finish in time. That does not preclude me from finishing what I started, but not in the time frame that they have chosen. I may end up adapting it as a screen play or ordinary play. One endeavor may be a musical. Although I seriously doubt that. Only slightly more likely than me doing a rock opera.

Christmas concluded

Well, it seems that the large portion of the family christmas is complete. And before Thanksgiving. We did the gift handout. We ate some lasagna. We laughed. We watched the Lions. It was fun. I got a gift card and my wife got a blanket. Both recepients of our gifts liked what we got them. Altogether successful.

On the way home, I stoped at the fish store to see about getting a BN Pleco. To which they didn't have any, but they said they can get them in. One of my 55 Gallon tanks is pretty thick with Algae. so time to get a fish to remove it. Can't see the fish.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Ah, my first suffered lapse

Ok. I took some time off of my book to do a christmas project. I will put pictures up next week after I have given it as a gift. The person does not know about the blog, but this is the internet and I would rather not take a chance.

At work this week, we are playing with the idea of blogs at work as a means of status updates. This offers a bunch of challenges that we can't have them be public because we have data that is confidential. Now in my search for freeware blog tools I went through a number of them. I was pleasantly surprised at the ease to which most of them could be installed. However I came across one blog server software that stood out amongst the rest with the amount of features that are built in. B2Evolution. Simply amazing. Granular rights. Self registration. Multiple blog and bloggers. Darn sexy plugin and skins. Awesome. The only draw back for the ordinary bloke out there is that they would need their own linux server to install on.

On a second note, we had our second round of clan matches last night. We still sucked. We tied 2 matches and lost the rest. So we are getting better, but we need more practice at operating as a team. Which comes to my new followup to last weeks post. We need to run a few more simulated clan matches. So we run a 5 on 5 match using similar rules that others are using and attempt slow down and try some different strategies. Got to get better some how.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

non-book > First clan match Halo 2

Well, we got out buts completely stomped. But we were still learning the rules of the game. I think we now have it figured out. Although I am not saying that we will win.

The first problem we really ran into wasn't the rules of the game, but the rules of clan matches. It turns out the major matches had a cap of 8 players. We had 10 clan members in last night. I think it may pay off to split into two clans.

What I am thinking is that we do Psyk clan and either Psyk Premiere or Psyk Junior. And whichever one is the "top" team, we have weekly tryouts for. Let's say that, every friday we have decided is our primary match night. We all get online between 8 and 9pm. Our "seeding" match happens at 9pm sharp till 10pm we hold the try out. The top half of our guys get invited to the "A" team, the remaining sit in the "B" team. The "A" team stays until next friday when we do this all again. Maybe every two weeks. This should give us our strongest for the clan matches and it still allows those that are still learning to learn some more. This isn't to say that clan B doesn't get to do clan matches. they get to do this as well.

The problem with this plan is that I don't know how much work it would be to handle the clan switching and all that jazz.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Chapter 8: Dearest Love

So we drop our cups, plate and forks into the empty bin next to the counter that contained a label for dirty dishe and make our way out through the jumble of chairs and tables to the front of the shop. The guy behind the counter wishes us a good night and we close the door and head up the street. Angie again puts her arm in mine and we set off and a brisk pace.

We make it back to where Angie parked pretty quickly and start off on the road. As we are driving out of the parking area, I turn to Angie and say, “Is there a dvd that you would like to pick up from the video store?”

“It sounds like you have a decent taste in videos so if you have a video collection, let's just go with that.”

“I have a few movies. Maybe about 200 dvds.”

“Good lord. How do you have so many?”

“Ummmm. One word. Single.”

“Well, I have one word for me. College.”

“College does drain the funds, but once you are done, it seems to get a bit easier.”

“So are you renting?”

“No, I bought the house.”

“Wow, rich.”

“I might have been, but house payments can really drag down your bank account.”

With that, I start giving her directions to my place. It takes about 15 minutes to get to my place which is actually pretty fast compared to when I drive. Maybe I drive too slow. Or maybe it's because it's late and traffic is fairly light.

When we pull into the driveway, Angie pops the trunk. I grab the leftovers and hand them to her and head back to get the illustrious bowling ball from her trunk. After shutting it, I walk to the door and unlock it and let Angie go in first.

I walk into the living room, set down the bowlng ball and turn on the lights. I guess it is time to start the tour. So I turn to Angie and say, “Well would you like to start with a tour?”

“That's a good idea. But let's stop at the bathroom last.”


So I lead her though the house, through the living room and kitchen slash dining room. I point to the door to the basement and walk her around to the front room and point to the stairs that lead up to the bedrooms and upstairs bath. At last I lead her back to the bathroom which is between the living room and the dining room.

After Angie enters, I walk over to the living room couch and lay down. As I stare at the ceiling, I can see patterns in the paint job that was down. It looks like little mini sunsets all over the top of the room with the half-moon circles that overlap. It also reminds me of the overlapping scales of a reptile.

I am sitting near my campfire outside of the jungle. I look to my right as I hear a rustle. Suddenly out of the brush explodes a gecko as it races toward a tree a little ways a way. Nothing like an exploding gecko to get the heart racing.

I reach into my pack and pull out the letter from my love.

Dearest love,

I know what you are doing is important, but I miss you so. The time that I have spent with you these last couple weeks have brought a new meaning of joy to my life that I never thought possible. My life was like the rose that has not bloomed, bundled up against the cold night, afraid to look out. You were my sunshine, who's warmth let me show my true feelings and colors to their brightest.

I am afraid. The sickness is so painful. I fear that I will not live to see you again. I cannot decide which is worse, having to die but having you near, or hoping and dreaming that you will arrive back with the cure, but dealing with you not by my side.

Never forget that I do love you. I am praying for you right now. I know I am and I am not just praying for my own life's sake but for yours as well, for I have heard of the treacherous trails that you now have to pick through.

Till when I see you next again,

Lady Angie

I will not fail you, Love. I will bring back the cure. I will do whatever it takes to arrive soon. Bless her heart for this letter. It gives me the strengthto continue on, when so much trials have I defeated already and it has began to wear at my soul.

I carefully tuck the letter into my pouch and sling my pack upon my back. Let me not delay any longer. There is a bloom out there that I need to save my flower. I will make it and spare the life of my heart's truest love. I will see to . . .


Oh, yeah. I shake my head to clear away the cobwebs. I wonder what type of movie she is in the mood for. I was never very good at picking out movies that everyone will like. I will ask her, but I should have a back up plan. I can't go wrong with Princess Bride as a back up plan. What could be more perfect than True Love. And that darn hilarious preacher.

I hear the door open and Angie comes out.

“I'm in the living room, Angie.”

“Pete, I really love your house. It's just such a big house.”

“Thanks. I really like it myself. Say, which movie would you to watch?”

“I don't really care what we watch.”

“Well, how about the Princess Bride?”

“I love that movie, that sounds great. But where is your TV?”

“It's down in the basement. Better viewing in a darker room.”

So we head down to the basement and I grab the dvd from the shelf on the way down the stairs.

“Wow, you have a ton of dvd's.”

“It's less of a collection and just a . . . well collection.”

I reach over above the couch and turn on the projector.

“You have your own projector.”

“Yeah. It was more of a financial decision than anything else. Price per square inch of surface.”

“Do all nerds talk like this? Square inch and price?”

“No. But it is less nerd as really cool to have your own projector.”

“So your job is in engineering?”

“Yeah, but you can make money is almost any field.”

We sit down on the couch and I turn on the projector, sound system and the dvd player. Angie sits down a little bit away from me. I hope I don't smell. Or maybe it is because I am squirming getting everything started up.

After everything is setup, I lean with my back against the couch. At that point Angie cuddles up against me. It is so easy just to wrap her up in my arms. There is something so relaxing and comforting to feel another human being breath and to feel their warmth against your chest. Who cares what movie we are watching, this is the definition of bliss.

I don't think any movie starts with such a romantic undertone as the Princess Bride. It is amazing the feeling of love that is portrayed in the simple words that were spoken. As you wish. So simple. So many meanings depending on the tone. But there is love there. Another amazing thing is the slow realization of Buttercup that she loves Wesley.

As we watch the movie, I feel Angie to start to kiss my neck.

Am I falling in love? Not again...

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Chapter 7: Viva la Nerdalution

Angie sits back in the chair and looks at me in a curious manner. After about a second, she says, “Well, this might surprise you but, I hate bowling.”

“I don't know if I should be surprised or not.”

“Do you like bowling?”

“Well today was the first time I'd been bowling in a very long time. I guess I used to like bowling until I got to a certain point. All of a sudden, it wasn't fun because I could never bowl up to my expectations. Was that how it was for you?”

“I don't think I ever liked it as a sport. Rolling a ball at some pins and pray that you knock them down. I think the only reason I went for a while was because my friends went and I just wanted to spend time with them.”

“Well do you have any hobbies that you don't hate?”

Angie again sinks back into her seat and looks at me. After a moment, she says, “I don't know if I have any hobbies.”

“Sure you do. What do like to do or what do you normally do?”

“I like to read.”

“Any particular genre?”

“I like the mysteries. Sometimes I like a good adventure novel.”

“I like to read, but I am definitely into the fantasy genre.”

“So you're the dorky type?”

“I think you could say that, but I prefer nerd. It has a slightly better connotation. Dork to me sounds like someone who does something nerdy but has not the knowledge to do it right. A nerd has passion and knowledge in the nerdy things. Big difference.”

“So you are in it for Nerd Rights.”

“Sure. Long live the nerds. Viva la nerdalution.”

“Yep, you're a nerd.”

“I don't know. I like reading fantasy because it is about events that have never or probably won't ever happen. The characters have these fantastic adventures and exotic lands and their lives are . . . well, romantic.”

“So you want to be in them?”

“Nah. I just want to be more important. Feel like even if the world doesn't revolve around me, I should play a part.”

“Well, at least you don't believe that the world revolve around you. But you can be someone of importance. It is talk like that, that can make your less than what you could be.”

“Very true. And I try to make an impact if only in a small way. But most of the reason why I enjoy is for about 12 hours of total reading time, I'm someone else with problems that are much bigger than my own. I suppose I could read regular fiction, but I feel to close to someone that lives in a world that is our own. Makes it almost as stressful as having to live it here.”

“So what else do you do?”

“Besides work?”


“I like to work on my house and I like to play music.”

“Really. What do you play?”


“Really. Don't hear of many people playing the mandolin.”

“It's why I picked it. So what else do you like to do?

“I like volleyball and swimming.”

“Same here, but I also like tennis too.”

“I never had the hand-eye coordination to play that sport.”

“I don't know, I think that volleyball takes quick a bit.”

“But you aren't swinging a racket. That's the hard part. The ball tended to hit my hand rather than hit the racket head.”

“So what else do you like?”

“No, no. I started the last one. You start this one.”

“I'm not really a movie buff, but I love to watch Hong Kong action flicks. There is just something about them.”

“So which one's your favorite?”

“Once Upon a Time in China, the first one.”

“I really prefer 'The Ultimate Trickster'.”

“I've never heard of that one.”

“It was made in the early 90's.”

“So you like Hong Kong action flicks too?”

“Uh, yeah. Most of the time I don't want to think I watch one. Sometimes I want a deep, thoughtful movie, and I watch one.”

“Yeah, they are pretty versatile.”

“So let me guess. Your favorite movie of all time is The Matrix.”

“Yeah. Something about it. Did help, the directors ruined the next two.”

“You felt that way too.”

“Probably everybody did,” I say as I sit forward in my chair. “If you look at the first one, there is a tremendous story there with some phenomenal special effects. And then we move on to the second one, where the story continues on but doesn't go too far astray till the end. And then things start seeming weird. Everything up to that point was semi-plausible in sci-fi. Then the third hits. And everything seems to be about the effects and not about this rich beautiful storyline that was created in the first one.”

“Yeah, it seems like they thought that people came cause of the effects not the story.”


“I sometimes wish they would go back and remake them right. It just seems like the third alien movie where they kill off two awesome characters from the second one between the movies.”

“So what is your favorite movie?”

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”

“Nice, that's a fun one. Ok so it's your turn to start again, but this time I'm changing the question. What is the thing that you would like to do next?”

“Is this an interview?”

“I guess in a way it is.”

“Am I going to get the position?”

“I can't answer that now, but I have to say you're the best candidate I've ever met.”

“Well, thank you. I suppose I can answer your question. I would really like to go sky diving. I've always been afraid of heights and I think that it might help me.”

“Wow, that's a hard one. I'm afraid of heights too. I don't know if I could do that.”

“Ok, so you get to answer the next one. Same question.”

“I would like to visit Australia and go scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef.”

“You like fish?”

“I find fish amazing to watch. They're beautiful and relaxing.”

“Do you own any?”

“Nah, just Panthro.”

“I'm glad we went out for coffee. I still would have liked to see a movie.”

“We can still head to the theatre if you want.”

“Can we watch one at your place? Plus I want to meet Panthro and get the tour.”


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Chapter 6: 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine; 1,3,7-trimethyl- 2,6-dioxopurine

With everything paid for, we sit back and let the food digest a bit. Angie then asks, “So which movie would you like to see?”

“Well, would you like to change the old routine?”

“What do you have in mind?”

“I was thinking about bowling.”

“Uh . . .”

“Just kidding. Actually I was thinking about going to a coffee shop and chatting over a cup of joe.”

Angie makes the disgusted face and says in a apologetic way, “Sorry, but I don't really drink coffee.”

“Well do you like Italian sodas? Or maybe hot chocolate?”

“You said the 'c' word. Actually that sounds really good.”

“Excellent. Do you have a cafe that you have mind to go to?”

“You're choice again.”

“Ok. I know a perfect one and it's only a couple of blocks away. I'll direct us there.”

With that, Angie and I get up and leave the restaurant. As we walk down the street, Angie puts her arm in the crook of mine. I can't believe things are going so well. Where is some wood to knock on or a four leaf clover to kiss? Plus I am having a great time.

It wasn't too long after I had arrived here that I had completely given up on the female gender. I figured that I was a complete human and did not need a 'better' half. I was the perfect whole. Ok, maybe perfect is going a bit too far. I had my hobbies and my routines, and I was getting to the point where I would be afraid to change them.

Being here with Angie right now, just walking on the sidewalk next to her, I was seriously having to re-evaluate my prior statements and convictions. At the same point, was she at the state that I am? Is she emotionally stable and personally set? Is she too set in her ways? Am I just being paranoid?

Wow, and I am totally not made uncomfortable by the silence. I figured there might be butterflies, but it seems that all the pollution and smog is killing them off. I can live with being calm about it. And if it doesn't work out, what have I really lost? I might as well spend some time revelling in the lust that is working it's way through my system. Trust will come with time, if it is given time to bloom.

I look over at Angie and she is looking down the street watching the various people on the sidewalk. As if she feels that I am looking at her, she turns to me and smiles. She starts to ask me something and then pauses and then continues on, “Penny for your thoughts.”

“Just thinking of all the things that I want to know about you but probably won't be able to find out in a single evening.”

“Like what?”

“To single anything out would do it injustice and more injustice to all that I haven't selected. I feel like I am just seeing a flower garden from a block away. I know that it is pretty but I don't know what makes it up. But then again understanding others takes a lifetime and then you still never understand all.”

Angie continues to walk down the street with me dangling on her arm although any other person passing by would see just the opposite. She faces forward for a bit before turning back to me and saying, “I'd gladly give you more time to learn if you'd give me the same opportunity. As long as what you are saying does not mean that you're asking me to marry you.”

I stop and Angie stops to as I start laughing. It was one of the mixed laughs although this time it is not for sadness or fear mixed with joy. I can't help be feel happy that she is having a good time and amused and crazy humor she has. After I regain my control, I look at her and say causually, “Are you proposing to me?”

Angie slugs me in the arm and laugs, “No, and I take it you are just checking to see if I'm even considering you second date material.”


Angie grabs me by my ears and pulls my lips to hers and holds me there for all of a second before pushing me back.

“Well Pete, you should take that as a yes.”

“Uhhh . . . I will.”

“So how much further?”

“It is right there on the corner.”

“Whoa, not a Starbucks.”

“They aren't my favorite. I like the ma and pop shops.”

As we enter the shop, the smell of coffee permeates the air. It is almost like taking a bath in coffee with some expresso beans shoved up your nose for good measure. We make our way through the maze of chairs till we get near enough to the counter to make out the tiny lettering on the board announcing what they have available at their establishment. As I look down the list of coffee solutions, I chuckle at the names that have been chosen. Cup of Latte Heaven. Mocha Good Stuff for the Soul. Pontificino. Hellasciously Hot Cocoa. Eye Talon Sew Da. After staring at the menu for a little bit of time, I finally come to my weapon of choice. Mocha for the Soul. Why? Because you can't go wrong with a mocha.

I turn to Angie and ask her if she has made up her mind. Angie looks back and me and asks what I am going to get.

“I was thinking about the Mocha.”

“The mocha?”

“Yeah, the Mocha for the Soul. So are you going to get the soda or the cocoa?”

“I was thinking about just copying you.”

“Really? I thought you didn't like coffee.”

“Mocha has coffee?”

“Yeah, it's chocolate and coffee.”

“Well, I 'll get it anyway.”

“Ok, do you want to order?”


I watch as Angie goes up to the guy working behind the counter and she orders a mocha grande and I come up and order the same. Angie then leans with her back against the counter and looks at me seriously almost like she were trying to dissect my mind with her eyes. Slowly she starts peeling through my fears and loves and blahs.

“You like coffee?”

“Not really.”

“But you got a coffee drink.”

“So did you.”

“I ordered one because you did and you are avoiding my question.”

“Coffee drinks are ok. I don't like straight coffee very much. Latte's have too much milk in there. Mocha's are just right.”

“Chocolate can cure everything.”

“I've heard it releases chemicals in your brain that are the same as some euphoric events. Also shrinks testicles.”

“Well, I don't have to worry about the latter. Aren't you worried?”

“From what I read, I would have to consume the entire world supply of chocolate to even make a dent, and then I would have other problems.”

“Yeah, I would have to kick your ass.”

Just then, the clerk brings over the two cups of mocha. While he is there I have him bring over a piece of chocolate mousse cheesecake and two forks. Angie chuckles and says, “You evidently know the soft spot to my heart.”

“Just making sure you are having fun and chocolate seems to help.”

“Why, yes. I have noticed the same thing.”

We make our way to the back of the shop and find a table in the corner. After setting the cheesecake in the middle, I go over to the table where they keep the coffee additives and grab the cinnamon. I come back put just a dash in mine and look at Angie. Angie gives a nod and I put a dash into her cup.

After putting the cinnamon back, I take a seat at our table and take a sip of the mocha. The best thing about a mocha, which makes it superior to all other coffee like drinks is that the chocolate helps smooth out the bitterness of the coffee but leaves the velvety taste of it behind. Plus the coffee balances out the sweetness of the chocolate to leave you with a wonderful complex drink that I make a tad more complex with a spicy dash of cinnamon.

“So Angie, what do you think?”

“I like it. A bit too much of a coffee taste for me, but not overly sweet. And the cheesecake is my slice of heaven.”

“Cool. So what are you hobbies? What do you like to do?”

Monday, November 08, 2004

Chapter 5 > Death by . . .

We arrive at the restaurant without much trouble. Traffic wasn't bad and a lot of people were leaving the restaurants so it was easy to find a parking spot within a block of the place. It turns out that she had never been here and has also never had Thai food. I am always glad that I provide an excuse to try something that they have never tried before. We got to talk about why she went into Biomed and why I went Industrial. Turns out that she originally went into Chemistry but switched when she enjoyed some of her other science classes more.

I find out that she is one of two with a younger sister. And we talk some about her family and about mine. She mentions she is amazed that between me and my younger brother that we are still alive. She didn't seem to have the level of adventures that invited themselves so easily into the world of my brother and me.

We walk into the restaurant. There are about 12 tables in the place with high backs to the booths. About half the tables are full in the place. We get a booth in the corner of the restaurant near the front window.

“I would offer to pull out your chair but it's not that easy with a booth.”

“A gentleman?”

“Well, call it an overinflated sense of honor. Plus I'm really happy that you came out tonight. You must be exhausted after work and studying I am guessing.”

“I'm pretty sure this will be relaxing. You're not going to make me think to hard are you?”

“I wasn't planning on it.”

“So what do you recommend?”

“Well I haven't been to this one, but at other ones, I have liked spicy boat and pad thai. It really depends if you like seafood or not. Rice noodles or rice. Spicy or creamy. Both if you want it.”

“I like seafood but I don't like to have it that often, so I think I will go with your second recommendation.”

“I was thinking of doing the same thing. Well maybe I could get . . . “

“No don't change what you were getting on my account.”

“That's true, there's nothing wrong with getting the same thing. I was just thinking if we get something different then you can also try what I get so you get to try two thai dishes while only ordering one.”

“Well that's nice of you.”

“Do you want to get an appetizer?”

“I don't know. Don't you think we will be too full then?”

“We can always take home leftovers.”

“Ok. Pick which ever one you want. I would have no idea what to get.”

So Angie ordered the Pad Thai and I ordered the Kai Tom Kha. I also order Mee Krob as an appetizer. As I handed the menus back the waiter, I could not help but smile at Angie.

“What is it?”

“I'm sorry. Just thinking how glad I am that you agreed to come out.”

“I can't say, I don't normally do that. I have never done that.”

“Really. Wow. I'm honored.”

“You should be.”

“So do you have many friends in the area?”

“I have a couple that I have made at school. But most of my friends from high school didn't go on to college. What about you?”

“I have a couple coworkers that are pretty nice, but in terms of close friends, there is Jack who was bowling with me. We went to high school together but went to different colleges. Then one day I ran into him where I work, and it's been great since.”

“So do you hang out with Jack a lot?”

“Not that often. About every other weekend we hang out and we go to lunch during the week. He's a professional dater on the weekends.”

“Popular huh?”

“Evidentally. He only calls when he is date free for the evening which isn't that frequent.”

“So I ruined your date with him?”

“No. Absolutely not. This is way better, but I can always hang out with him later.”

“Are you sure?” Angie says with a smile.

“You can quote me on it.”

“So are you a cat person or a dog person?”

“Cat. I have a cat named Panthro.”


“He looks like a panther. Probably weighs as much as one too.”

“I can't wait to meet him.”

“What about you?”

“If the apartment allowed it, I would have a cat. Never really got into dogs.”

“I like the self-sufficient nature of the cat. Mostly the leave me alone unless I need some food or attention. That tends to work for me.”

“Same here. Plus they always seem to know when you need attention.”


The waiter comes up with our appetizer and sets it before us. He removes the cover and asks if we need anything else before departing back to the back of the restaurant.

“So what is this?”

“The menu said that it is sweet fried rice noodle with tofu on top.”

Angie holds her fingers up to her nose and says, “It smells kinda funny.”

“Do you want me to try it first?”


I move it over to my plate and take a bite. It has this amazing combination of flavor and textures. I could not help myself from making the yummy sound.

“That good?”

“Well it's crunch and sweet like toffee but not that sweet. The tofu is pretty good too. Pretty firm.”

“So it's good?”


“Would you eat more?”

“Here I'll gladly have another bite.”

So I eat some more of the Mee Krob making sure to savor all the essense of the dish. With that Angie pops some into her mouth. I can only guess that she likes from sound she makes.

Angie finishes chewing and says, “This is awesome. I don't know why I ordered Pad Thai, this is good enough for me.”

“But the Pad Thai should be excellent, “ I remind her.

“I love food. There's so much enjoyment that can be had through a well prepared meal. Look at crème brule. Difficult to make but eating it can bring about a religious experience.”

“Or just chocolate.”

“Yes plain chocolate is good. But what about when you cover a pretzel with it or if you have ice cream with chocolate chunks in it.”

“So when is there going to be a religion around chocolate?”

“Looking for a chocolate Jesus?”

Angie thinks for a second and says, “Well, maybe not. I don't think I want to take my chocolate obsession that far.”

We both have a good laugh at that. We continue to talk about favorite foods for a while as we finish the appetizer. Luckily it wasn't too big of an appetizer. I might have feared that we wouldn't be hungry when the main course is here. Before we know it, the main dishes have arrived. The waiter again takes the lid off the top of the dish and presents it before us. Before leaving he asks if we need anything else.

Angie tries the dish without the questioning and curiousity she had before.

“Pete, this was a great suggestion. This dish is awesome.”

“Thanks. I'm glad that you like it.”

“So how is yours?”

“It's great. I'd never tried this one before but it is great. I think Pad Thai is still my favorite, but I can easily see myself ordering this again. Would you like to try some?”

“I thought you would never ask.”

I take a scoop of food and present it up to Angie who talks a bite of it. After several moments of chewing, Angie says, “Oh that's good too. I don't know if I would be able to pick between them. I think you're right, that Pad Thai is excellent.”

We both continue to eat and talk. I am always amazed at the amount of time any two people can talk about food. I think that there would be a lot less war if we would spend more time talking about food. There are a lot of cultures where people really won't talk about anything until they have dined together. Food and eating really tell a lot about people and adds a new level of trust.

I am pleasant surprised to find that Angie has other favorite foods other than chocolate. My personal favorite dish would have to be lasagna, while Angie's is Boston Creme pie. Again with the chocolate. She also mentioned grilled portobellas. Wow. Great looking and superb taste in food.

I reach a point that I cannot eat anymore. They provided so much food, but I don't think that the appetizer helped me finish my plate either. Angie ends of having the same problem as me.

“We can always take this home.”

Angie asks, “Does it reheat well?”

“It reheats pretty good. At least, it does for me.”

When the waiter comes back, we ask for carryout containers. The waiter brings back some styrofoam containers and boxes of the leftovers in them. The waiter asks if we would like to have anything else to which we decline.

The waiter brings over the bill and sets it before me. Angie looks at me and asks, “Are you sure you are going to pay for this?”

“Yeah, it's no problem.”

With a laugh, Angie says, “You know this won't make me put out.”

“No, no. This is my treat for the ride home and the company of a beautiful lady.”

“So a taxi and escort service?”

“You are just trying to get me into trouble.”

“Maybe,” she says with a devious look in her eye.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Michigan Tech vs. GVSU

Well I am going to add a non-book post. I went to Bash at the Big House with JClem this weekend. Also did the Youth Engineering and Science expo as well to help out. Got a lot of interest from the kids into what we do and also what you can do in engineering and sciences. That was a lot of fun. The football game however was painful. MTU decided it wasn't going to play football till the last 3 minutes and still couldn't do any sort of clock management. But the real goal was accomplished. I ran in to Ish, Mike and Becky. And that was terribly cool. Plus we went to some Irish pub in A-squared and drank good stout and ate some pretty good food. At least from my stand point.

As for my website modilabs, I added some pictures up there from a halloween party I went to. I also loaded one more song up. I am not all that happy with it right now, I think there is too much twang on the guitar and also the rythm doesn't exist and tempo keeps changing.

Well see if I can get a bit more of the book done.

Getting to Know You

I look up at the clock. Almost 8:30 and perfect time to call it quits.

Jack looks at me shaking his head, and says, “I don't think you have ever bowled that horrible and that good.”

“I know. You were consistent, but I wasn't even close.”

“Yeah, a 132 and a 257. I will stick with my 172 and 177.”

“I don't know. Those explosive games are fun.”

“Thanks for coming along Pete, it was fun.”

“Hey Jack, don't take off yet. I want to make sure I still have this date thing.”

“Sure, no problem.”

So I work my way back up to the counter. Angie is there.

“Hey Pete, I'll be done in just a bit so just have a seat over there.”


I signal Jack over and say, “Go ahead. I will talk to you later.”

Jack waves to me as he walks out the door. I scan the room to find something, anything, just to keep m mind from wandering and shattering my brittle confidence. I mean, I don't know anything about her. She could seventeen for all I know. She could be seeing other people.

Ok. Just calm down. Look at that fat guy on lane 4. Ok. Wow, he has seven strikes strung in a row. Not bad. He is stepping up on the alley for his eighth and . . . oh no. He got a gutter. Ok, this is not helping. Maybe there is a TV in the bar. Of course, Angie said to sit here. Maybe she is taking pictures for some vast internet joke. Maybe she is running a background check on me.

Enough imagination, she doesn't have my last name and so what if she wants to make a fool of me. I want to have fun. I want to try and see if I can get something to work. You have been on dates before. You know what not to do. Do some reconnaissance. Shoot you have gotten so far.

Angie walks out and comes over to me and says, “I let the next shift know who's still bowling, but I need to stop at home to change. Is there anything you need to stop and do before dinner?”

“If you don't mind a bowling ball in your trunk until after the movie, I think I am fine.”

“Not a problem. But I'm going to ask you to wear a blindfold. I really don't need any stalkers.”

“Ummm. Ok.”

“I'm kidding. If I had that concern I wouldn't have went out. Shoot I don't normally go out with people that I have met while I have been working.”

We start for the door. So what should it be? Light conversation or should I start probing for information?

“So do you like working for a bowling alley?”

“Just there to give me a little extra pocket change. College really drains the funds.”

“Wow. So what's your major in?”

“Biomed. So what do you do?”

“I'm a engineer for one of the firms in town. I studied Industrial Engineering in college. So what year are you?”

We find her car just around the corner of the building. As we are getting in, I remember what another one of my friends had told me about cars and people. The car and the state of the car will reflect the owner completely. He said a lot of it would break out their psychological profile plus some of their needs. So as I get in I start doing the look around. Everything seems to be fairly clean but no spotless. There were some leaves on the floormat and on the backseat was a jacket. Oh and there was no hint of smoke in the air.

“I'm a senior. So when did you graduate?”

“Two years ago. And not a minute too soon.”

“You didn't like college?”

“No, I loved college, but I'd reached the end of my funds. Each year it kept getting closer to what I had left in savings and every summer I would boost it up the best I could doing any internship I could find.”

“So are you originally from around here?”

“No, I used to live about 500 miles south of here.”

“Don't you miss the warm weather?

“Sometimes. But also went to school in Minnesota. Now that's a frigid state. So are you from around here?”

“Basically. I have lived within this general area of the country for quite a while now.”

So as we drive to her place we talk about some of our favorite things in college. Turns out that she has taken a lot of history classes on top of her normal classes. She also listed some of the professors and their quirks that had helped her through various classes. And there was the big surprise that she didn't want to work at a bowling alley forever, but , she didn't really know what was in her future. So we get to her place, which is a fairly large apartment complex.

“Wow, you live a long way from work.”

“It's closer to campus. I prefer to walk to class and drive to work. Cheaper parking. If you want to come in you can. I don't expect you to wait outside.”

“Ok. So not living in the dorms?”

“No, I decided to move off campus with my college roommate. Seemed cheaper at the time.”

“It's not?”

“Well it is, just there was a high initial setup type expense hat I didn't expect.”

As we walk in the apartment, Angie says, “Make yourself comfortable, I will just be a minute.”

I walk over the couch and sit down. Things are going really great. I don't feel nervous anymore. I feel comfortable. I don't know how this forbodes. This may be bad. Look Pete. Don't think about the future. Just have a good time and let the future take of itself. Of course that is easier said than done.

She seems to have a pretty nice apartment. It has all the usual attributes of a college apartment. The kitchen is the size of a closet. The living room is decent sized but there is no dining area. It looks like there is a hall leading back to what I guess would be the bedrooms and bathroom. So what about the zest? I look behind me at the wall and there is a Magritte print in a frame. Ok. That is something at least. Of course with two people can you really personalize in the 9 months that you are in an apartment for school.

Angie comes out from the hallway looking stunning. Of course, she looked stunning at the bowling alley too. She is wearing a well cut grey shirt and jeans. But her smile just adds so much more to it.

“Ah it is so much better to get out of the work clothes. I really hate the hawaiian shirt we have to wear and the tight black pants. Just not comfortable.”

“Wait till you have other work dress codes. They're all different. So do you live here year round.”

“No, I have been going home every summer. When you do that it doesn't make any sense to decorate the place.”

“Oh, I was just going to ask if that Magritte is yours or your roommates.”

“Yeah it's hers. One of her favorite artists. I'm more preferential to some of van Gogh and many other painters that do landscapes.”

“Same here. It is so much nicer to look at a crowded street, a lake with sea gulls near it, or even a solitairy haystack in the middle of a field at dusk than to look at a bowl of fruit or case of Miller Lite on a table. I'm not really into portaits of people I don't know either.”

Angie laughs and asks, “Have you seen a painting of a case of Miller Lite?”

“Uh no. But maybe I should do one?”

“You're a painter?”

“No, I wish I was. My talents don't range into skilled arts, just into arts that I can wing it through with as little pure talent as can be.”

“Well are you ready to go?”


“Any place in mind?”

“Do you have any thing that you can't eat?”

“Not that I know of.”

“Ok, how about Thai restaurant downtown?”

“No, that sounds horrible.”

“Uh well how about . . . “

“I'm kidding. That sounds great.”

“You had me there.”

“Let's get going but you're going to have to help with directions. Don't go downtown very often.”

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Perfect Strike

I grab my ball and head out the door, remembering to lock it up. Make my way down to the car. Jack pops the trunk as I get near and I toss the bag in the back. As I get to the passenger side of the car, Jack opens the door from the inside.

“Well thanks Jack for being such a gentleman. I bet even your lady friends don't get that kind of service.”

“Actually, they do.”


“Well, door broke two days ago and now no one can enter the car from the outside.”

As we start to drive away, I turn to Jack and say, “Isn't it time to get a new car?”

“Pete, do I look like I am made of money?”

“Driving this car, no.”

“You see that is the plan. Drive this piece of crap until it dies and then buy another. That way no one will car jack me or rob me or ask me for money.”

“What about impressing you dates?”

“It is only what's under the hood that counts.”

“Huh, that's usually not the case.”

“We could take your car. Oh no wait, it's in the shop.”

“So I take it we aren't planning on impressing any of the ladies?”

“Dude, we are going to a bowling alley. Either we won't find any chicks, or they won't care about what a piece of crap car I have.”

“You said that you have the new Blumpkins CD, let's listen to that... Geez, someone stole your radio.”

“Yeah. Only thing of value in the pile of steel.”

“Well evidently they didn't break in through this door.”

“Very funny, butt munch.”

“So how was your date last night?”

“It was ok. I don't know if I am her type.”

“Hey isn't that backwards.”

“Well kinda, but I think she is looking for a more image conscious person.”

“Then how did you hook up in the first place, Jack? I mean, the torn jeans and faded hoodie that you wear usually attacts those high-powered business women.”

“Well I met her at my brothers wedding and she just happened to be in town this weekend. So she only saw me in the suit.”

I burst out in laughter, “Oh that is rich. So is she hot?”

“Well, yeah, I went out with her.”

“Uh huh. How about smart? Funny?”

“She had an ok sense of humor. I think. She laughed when I picked her up.”

“Did she keep on laughing?”

“No. When she realized this is my normal car and this is my normal garb, the laughter stopped.”

“So, would you change to keep her?”

“Me change? Heck no, Pete.”

“Finally here.”

Jack pulls into the nearest parking space. We both grab our bowling balls and head into the alley. As we head in, I notice the exceptionally hot little lady behind the desk.

“Pete, stop staring the girl behind the counter!”

Oh man, Jack can be such a jerk. I quickly turn away. I just know that my face is like the side of a fire truck. Jack grabs my shoulder and pushes me up to the counter.

“You go ahead Pete and get us a lane.”

“Gee thanks. Um, can we get a lane?

The girl behind the counter smiles and asks, “Do you need shoes?”

Jack turns to her and says, “Nah Pete doesn't need shoes. He had to order his special since he has such big feet.”

Now it was the both the girl at the counter and my turn to get red in the face. I look down at my feet and say, “No thank you, we are good.”

I look up to see her smiling. She says, “You are on lane 7. If you need anything, just ring up.” And she slides the score sheet over to us. Wow an old-fashioned manual scoring place still exists.

I grab the sheet and accidentally touch her hand. We both smile at each other. I feel so much like I am still in high school. Alright Pete. It is time to break out of this crap and be the full fledged adult that you are. Or at least I should continue to call myself that. So I hand the sheet to Jack.

“Hey Jack can you go down to the alley and get setup. I'll get us something to drink.”

“Sure, as long as you're paying.” Pete says as he walks away.

So I turn to the girl behind the counter and say, “Hi, my name is Pete.” Geez what horrible start, what am I going to do. I know that I am going to screw this up. She is going to blow me off and laugh with all her friends about this.

“My name is Angie.”

“Well Angie, can I get a pitcher of beer and your phone number?”

“Uh sure. Come on over to the bar.”

So as we walk to the bar, I am shaking slightly. I can't believe that used a pick up line. I don't even care if she shuts me down right now. Maybe I am not so much of a wuss after all.

We near the bar and she slides around to the other side and grabs an empty pitcher.

“What do you want?”

“Uh, do you have Killians?”


Angie walks over to pour the beer. I know I blew it. I wish I knew what was going on in her head. Did I say everything right? Or should I have been smoother? Why do I even try? Even if we did hook up, she would think I am such a dork.

She comes back over and sets the pitcher down with two glasses. She looks up and says, “I am finished working at 8:30 tonight, if you want to go out.”

“That would be great, but my car is in the shop this weekend.”

“That's alright. I can drive. I don't mind.”

“You want to do the old-fashioned dinner and a movie thing? My treat.”

“That sounds like fun, but I get to pick the movie.”


I look down at my watch. 6:20 PM. Perfect again. This is working out too well.

“Well Angie, I will be here when you are done.”


So I pay up for the beer, leaving a nice healthy tip. I know that I am already going to be dishing out for this lady, I might as well get a head start. I grab the pitcher and glasses and head down to the lane. I set the glasses and the pitcher down on the table nearest our lane.

Jack turns to me and says, “Took you long enough. While you are up there, why don't you pour us some beer.”

So I start pouring the beer out making sure his had a little extra foam head on the top. Making me pour when I haven't even had a chance to get my shoes on. I finish pouring, pop off my shoes and head down to the alley with my bowling shoes in tow.

“So did you get her number?”


“Really, with as hard as you were trying, I would expect that. No girl likes a stalker.”

“Well, I don't need a ride home tonight, I have a date with her.”

“No way dude. That is so cool.”

“So we can drop it and just bowl.”

“Ok. But I figured you would be happy and want to talk about it.”

“I am happy. But I don't want to get nervous. Well, more nervous than I already am.”

“Ok. Ok. Well, I put you up first so roll down those pins big boy.”

I walk up to the alley and grab my ball. I turn towards Jack, “You know, I shouldn't ever tell you anything.”

“What do you mean?” says Jack, feigning innocence.

I start my approach, swinging the ball back and gliding out toward the lane. There is a slight pop and the ball releases from my thumb and glides effortlessly out over the boards. It lands and the ball starts spinning counter clockwise and bounces across my mark. It keeps sliding down the lane and gets within a couple of boards of the gutter before it starts to hook back as it dives toward the pocket. As the ball connects with the pins, there is a loud crash and pins explode across the alley. A strike.

I turn around to walk off the lane shaking my head.

Jack says to me, “What are you shaking your head about? Afraid you are running out your luck?”

“Nah, it's just been about 4 months since I last bowled and that ball looked damn good.”

Lazy or Busy

Well I did not get a chance to write more yesterday. Too much going on. Plus I did not get anything done musically either. Again, too much going on. Plus this weekend isn't getting any better for productivity, but I should have fun. I am heading to the Michigan TechNOLOGICal University "Bash at the Big House". The good thing isn't going to a game, but getting to see some of my college friends. Although I was convinced, cajoled, coerced to help my employer before the game get kids into engineering.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Day two complete

Well the good news is that my novel writing is moving along and I have almost caught up with my laziness yesterday, 2945. The bad news is that I am going to fall behind as I have bowling tomorrow night. I hate to bowl not cause I don't have fun, but because at some point in every night I do it, I become overly competitive. With myself. I don't like being competitive. I am never comfortable when I am.
I could complete more of the novel tonight in order to get closer to making up for tomorrow night but I also have 3 songs that Jimbo and recorded this weekend that I need to finish mixing and also I could probably stand to do some practicing as well. My bass sucks on these songs as I haven't really been able to practice them. However, now that I have them on my computer I will be able to practice them. Then at some point re-record the bass and repost it. But I will pop them up to the server for fun.
And my only voting notes of the evening. If you didn't vote this evening and you are American and eligible. Shame on you. Civic duty. We aren't asking you to lay your life on line for your country, the least you could do is put a little thought into helping shape the direction of this country. Of course no matter who we get this time, we are probably in trouble. I knew I should have voted in the primaries. Teaches me a lesson.

Chapter 2: Squirrel Commandos

After providing Panthro some food, I returned to my thinking chair for some more great thinking. Somehow, the little red squirrel had managed to find its way onto the feeder. There was some point after I had installed the feeder that I was annoyed at the squirrels that would climb and eat all the food. I spent the next 3 months fighting what I thought were evil creatures of destruction and consumption.

First I tried greasing the pole. That worked for all of two minutes. One of squirrels made the attempt twice and then spent another minute looking around to find that they could easily climb one of the many nearby trees to jump on it.

Next I tried feeding them seeds that had been soaked in hot sauce. The hot sauce that melts the paint off your car and makes you hallucinate. Somewhere I had heard that squirrels have taste buds and that birds didn't so that is how it worked. So I did this for a month and it was working well. Unfortunately, it was getting to be a pain to soak all the seed first before I put it out. On top of it, by soaking the seeds some actually started to rot or sprout before I could get them for the birds.

Not it was at this time that I got to experience the joy of Blue Jays. This has got to be one of the most annoying birds to attract. First it chased all other birds away before it starts its horrific shrieking it thinks is a song. Not to mention it would knock all the seeds that it did not like to ground, making a terrible mess.

So enter the next phase of my war with the squirrels' ally, the Blue Jay. I start doing research as to combat methods against the SAF (Squirrel Air Force). Most pointed out that if you get one bird, you can get all birds and that being selective hasn't really worked. But it did point out that I can modify the bird feeder to select birds based on their weight. I quickly discarded that idea. How can I say that all large birds are out.

It was at this point I decided I was fighting another Vietnam. On one hand, it was a costly battle to decide who could partake in the worldly gifts that I was offering. On the other hand I could just put it out there and let the animals decide who gets to eat from the pile. As it worked out, I lost. I had the SAF landing when the carrier deck was squirrel free. I had the larger heavy tank squirrels taking the food when they wanted to. I also had the light infantry red squirrels that would clean up the ground mess from the Blue Jays and moving up when it was free. There wouldn't be a single chickadee in sight.

I finish my cup of cider and lean back in my chair. My eyes just won't stay open. The next thing I know, I am standing at the entrance to long cave. Out pouring from the cave is the smell of rancid flesh. Suddenly I hear a horrific shriek come from the cave.

It's the cave of a Blue Jragon. The Blue Jragon is one of the most feared beasts in the land of Thera. They have a huge wing span with colors of blue, silver, white and black and three times as high as a man. Many a valiant warrior has fallen to its sharp, deadly beak or it razor like talons.

I run back to Chip and grab the lance from his back and run back to the entrance. I knew it was foolhardy to attack the Jragon in its cave. Although come to think of it, attacking any wild beast in its home is an act of sheer stupidity. What kind of idiot would do that?

“Come forth foul spawn of Grotagth. I would have your beak as a trophy to Princess Dee. You suck.”

What terrible insults I hurled at the foul beast as it shriek again and came hauling butt out of its cave. I leap to the side to avoided his pointed charge. Bringing up my Jragon-hide shield, I start to circle round the Jragon. I need to lure the monster into making another charge so that I can strike it as it passes. I start to beat my lance against the shield, moving quickly forward then back as I continued to circle.

Instead of leaping forward, the animal jumped up and soared into the air. Crap. Now I am in trouble. I had once seen a warrior get skewered while he hid behind his shield and the Jragon made its pass. This was evidently not as stupid an animal as I had thought, but I must rid it from the Princess' country side.

The Jragon made its first pass and I leap neatly out of its way, swinging my lance around. As I roll back to my feet, I notice that I have made a scratch against the side of this fearsome monster. Suddenly I have an idea, but it is going to take some time to setup.

The Blue Jragon starts circling again in the air looking for the opportune time to strike. Rather than wear myself out, I stay centered focusing my attention on the Jragon, prepared to throw myself away from its deadly strike. The creature makes a feint and I start to crouch, but it rolls over and returns to circling.

Now was the time to act. I fling my shield away from me. The Jragon tucks it's wings close into its body and starts its decent. I jam my lance butt first into the ground with all my strength and dive to the side. As I slam into the dirt, I hear a horrific shriek as the Jragon tries to pull up but is to late, slamming breast first into the lance.

As I slowly stand up and brush the dust from my armor, I see the last light of malevolence die it the Blue Jragon's eye. Somewhere down deep, it saddens me that I have killed something so amazing, but I had a duty to do. Does everyone think that the warrior takes death lightly of any beast or man? Life is not something taken lightly but sometimes it is kill or be killed, and sometimes it is responsibility that is placed on your shoulders which puts you in harm's way.

I make my way over to the Jragon, with my axe out to remove it's beak. This Jragon horn will decorate the Princess' palace. I bring my axe crashing down . . .


The axe vibrates so badly that I drop it to the ground.


Something's not right. What is going on?


Oh crap, it is the phone. I leap up off the chair and race to kitchen to get it before it goes to the machine.



“Hey Pete, why are you breathing so hard?”

“Oh hey Jack. I was just taking a little nap and barely made it to the phone before the answering machine got it. So what's up?”

“I was thinking about bowling a game or two and was wondering if you wanted to?”

“Sure. Can't really do anything outside and it should be fun.”

“So I am not really interrupting anything.”

“I can always nap some other time. Say can you pick me up? My car is in the shop again till Monday afternoon.”

“Sure, no problem. I'll see you in a few.”

I hang up the phone. This should be fun. Jack was one of the guys from my home town that I used to hang out with in high school. We both went our separate ways when we went to college. I went to an in-state college and he went away. After college, by some miracle, we not only made it into the same town as we ended up working for the same company. And it isn't even our home town. Just kind of surreal, how life can be.

I walk over to my “sport closet”, or my jacket closet near the door. I start rummaging through the bottom of the closet. A tennis racket, a baseball mitt. A can of racket balls. And then when I finally reach the bottom of the pile, is my glorious bowling ball. Well, maybe not so glorious. More scratched and gouged. There was a time that I could bowl a 225 with this ball. But now I am lucky to get a 150.

I pull the bag out of the closet and start unpacking to make sure everything is there. Well for starters the towel in there is completely filthy. So I grab it and chuck it in the bedroom. I head over to the linen closet. Hopefully there is a rag I can bring with. Luckily I find one and bring it back to my bowling bag. Everything else looks to be in order, so I set the bag near my front door and plop down on the couch in my front room.

As I sit waiting, I hope that he didn't have to get his bag ready too after he called. Surely he had it ready before calling me. Jack is one of the those perpetually late people. He is really nice, but just doesn't know what it means to be on time or early. The problem is now that I didn't set a time for him to be over, so I can't add in the normal 15 minutes extra to estimate. For all I know, he could be sitting on his toilet which can be a half and hour endeavor if he has had mexican recently. All his friends know to fear the power of the enchiladas.

Deciding that it might be a while, I run upstairs to get my book. I can only hope that I can squeeze in a chapter before he arrives. I honestly think that it won't be a problem. I find myself back on the couch with a book in hand ready for any delay that Jack throws my way. I am at a part in the book where, the hero and heroine are being chased by a boulder that is rolling down a hill. All I can picture is a giant bowling ball follow this poor two.

As I turn the page for the seventeenth time, since sitting down, I hear a car honk letting me know that my ride is here for my evening of fun and adventure. As they say the limo awaits. Althought it would be more accurate to say, the rusty pile of junk that will probably need to be pushed at some point this evening awaits.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Happy Ish?

Well I started my endeavor. Well more like Ish's / Princess's endeavor that I am sucker for. I think that I am a horrible writer and am apologizing right here and now. But for a first day, I weighed in at 1129 words. But now it is time to watch an episode of Farscape with my wife so good enough.

Chapter 1: A Rainy Saturday

I am in my room on this fine rainy Saturday afternoon curled up on the bed with one of my favorite books. It isn't a real fancy book. It is just one of the turn the brain off and relax books. The plot isn't going to win it any prizes for literature, but it is fun all the same and I like it.

It was a book about a young man on a quest. This young man has a huge adventure and gets the girl. He does magic and swings a sword. He meets fantastic creatures. Pete wished that these things were his. Why couldn't I swing the sword or cast the spell or get the girl?

Probably cause I am reading this type of book. But either way, I would really like to have the opportunity to do this. But it is fantasy.

I polish off the chapter I am reading and I head down the kitchen to make a cup of hot apple cider. Hot apple cider has to be one of the best things to chase away cold feet. That and wool socks. As cup of cider turns slowly around in the microwave, I stare out the window watching the rain fall on the ground and picnic table. As it hits the table, the water sprays and splashes into puddles and trickles off the edge.

There I see myself standing in this field of tall grass. The water is falling, hitting my plate mail. The water bounces off. The water beads up and trickles off my elbow. I shift my weight slightly to free up my arm so that I get my axe ready. The sound of thunder is off in the distance. But it isn't thunder. It's the sound seven horses galloping toward me. The ride out not to greet me as a friend but to destroy me for what I could be. In my mind, I pull of my favorite spell and prepare to . . .


It never fails. Get to the good part in any day dream and something snaps you out of it. Who knows, maybe I will get to finish this some other time. I open the microwave door and take out my cup of cider. I reach over the spice rack and grab the bottle of cinnamon and add it to my cup.

With cup in hand, I walk over to the thinking chair. The thinking chair was an idea of one of my ex-roommates from college. Although with him, I would have called it the stinking chair as he had a farting problem. But the idea is to place a chair in the most conducive area not to think. In this case, my thinking chair was placed near the window that has a view of the squirrels that would fight at the bird feeder. I guess the idea is that as your mind wanders you can get some good thinking done.

I sit down in the chair slowly as not to spill any of my cider. As I lean back in the chair I watch a small red squirrel try to oust a large black squirrel who has taken up a guarding position at the bottom rung of the bird feeder. Actually it was less of a fight than that. The red squirrel would just sit on the ground and chitter at the black squirrel that would just ignore the red. And to make matters worse, the red squirrel was getting soaked as the black sat under the small porch of the bird feeder.

As the approaching horses get closer, I grab the reins of my nearby steed, Chip. However this is no ordinary steed. It is called a storral. It looks similar to a squirrel only standing seventeen hands to the shoulder. I sling myself up onto its broad back and slowly stroke it's red fur to reassure it of the upcoming fight.

I have always found the storral to be much more useful than horses in a fight. They tend to be more fearless and better fighters. They could use their chisel like teeth to take a hunk of flesh out of their opponents if need be. But they are hard to capture and even harder to train, but they bond for life with the one that has trained it.

As a boy, I was lucky to have a father who loved this animal and to take it upon himself to work toward the raising of young storral. He gladly taught me his trade for I was to take over for him when he was done. He should be retired now if it weren't for the bandits. I suppose, I should thank them however for they awoken in me things I did not dream could have existed. A natural skill and talent at things that I had not been taught at home but only on my road to revenge. A road, I hope would soon end.

As the horses draw nearer, I grab my shield from Chip's side and slide my axe from it's loop on my back. I flex and hear the creaking of the leather and steel of my armor. I can see the enemy reaching for their weapons as well. It is a good day to die. It is a better day to kill any responsible for my father's death. I give Chip a kick to start . . .


I shake myself to start as I look down to see Panthro staring up at me with the, “you need to give me some food look.” So I get up and walk over to the location of said ThunderCat food dish. Panthro got his name from the look of him which is definitely panther like. Of course, now that he is a little older the name is even more appropriate as he has the ability to make the ground shake everytime he decides to run or jump down from something.

I have tried putting him on a diet, but the meowing only intensified and I value my sanity more than the weight of my cat. He does keep me company but doesn't really like it when I pick up a book. For some odd reason, the flipping of pages annoy him. Or maybe it is the lack of attention that he gets when I am reading.

I guess that I never really thought about how much cats are attention whores but turn into teases whenever you put down your book to pet them. It is so annoying that without fail, when I put my book down to pet Panthro, he runs just outside hands reach and meows at me. It is like cat torture for being taller than him or for having opposable thumbs.