Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New TAR Summary Posted

Read it here, or here if that link doesn't work. It's Season 11 (All-Stars), Episode 2. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Unscheduled Peep Meet

Ladycub and I decided to goto Mass tonight with the threat of sleet, ice, and freezing rain tomorrow. Afterward, we stopped at the Giant Iggle because we needed some cooking oil and some Luden's sugar-free cough drops for my mom (this is just about the only place in the state that carries them!).

As we left, LC said, "Is that Silvergirl?" Turns out it was; she was loading bags into her van. We got in the way of other vehicles in the parking lot talked for about 15 minutes. She hadn't ventured out of the house much recently because she'd been sick. Good to see her.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Things You Will Not See In My Blog

  • Profanity. I cannot believe how many people, especially in blogs, cannot make a point without the colorful metaphors. The left appears to be far more guilty of this than the right (proof), but I know some right-wing blogs do so too.
  • Much of anything anymore about Hollywood starlets that can't keep their skirts down, hair on, necklines up, etc. (Much about Hollywood, period.)
  • Blasphemy against my religion.
  • Tales of our sex life, except for this.
  • Plans to secretly kick my cats.
  • Every embarrassing thing that happened to me as a child (I think I'll quit at half of them :-)).
  • Groveling before Seana or Sharnina. (oops, too late . . . :-))
Anything else you think I should not have in my blog?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I made the news again

From last year's feature on XM Traffic and Weather, they grabbed some footage of me and my co-worker Meiyee . . . and neither of us work there anymore! This was for a story on the XM-Sirius merger. Watch it here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Potty Emergency

It was three years ago this weekend that the following story happened.

On my blog you see a link about volksmarching; it goes to the site of the American Volkssporting Association. Volksmarching is a hobby I hope to return to when both my physical and fiscal states improve.

On a Saturday afternoon, I decided to make the best of the mid-February doldrums and do a year-round (can do anytime the start point is open during daylight) 10K (6.2 mile) volksmarch in Montgomery Village to the south. I started at the Upper County YMCA.

The route wound through neighborhoods until it reached Lakeforest Mall. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon, so I decided to get a hamburger for lunch at Red Robin inside.

After lunch, I set back on my way. I passed a lake that was still partly frozen. One of Montgomery County's finest asked me if I'd seen kids playing on the ice because she had gotten a complaint from a citizen hearing kids on the ice. There were plenty of geese; I think that's what the citizen heard.

After I left the officer, I discovered I had to go to the bathroom. This lake had no restrooms, so I decided to keep going, certain I would find someplace to relieve myself. And no, it wasn't #1.

To my chagrin, the route took me up into a well-to-do neighborhood. I was getting desperate. I started thinking of how I could politely ask someone whether I could use their house's facilities, as if I'd ever want some stranger mucking up my salle de bain!

I staggered uphill toward a community center. Closed.

I was starting to lose the battle. At least a mile had gone by, and the route entered another park. No bathrooms there. My eyes were popping out, and my stride had become a combination of desperate lunging and some weird form of Pilates! And things were starting to chafe.

Then as I rounded a baseball field, I saw it. About a quarter mile away. Near where a road was being widened.

A porta-potty! First (and likely last) time I've ever been grateful to find one of those.

I raced through a muddy field, scrambled up snow and rocks, and entered. TP? Check. Cleanliness? It'll have to do.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Sort of.

I finished the walk, still chafing. Ow. Then I washed my hands, went home and took a nice long soaking bath.

Now here's the funny part.

When I was passing that lake, the path went beside but below the main road so that I couldn't see what was across it. It would have been off the trail, but there was a county visitor center and a shopping center as well across the road.

Nowadays, I wait until after my walks to eat.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not Another Health Update

My left hand, wrist, and forearm are now in a cast. That's to allow a fracture in my wrist to heal.

My right wrist is bruised. Physical therapy should take care of that.

My right elbow will require arthroscopic surgery to remove bone fragments and clear out some arthritis that's been there for years. Mercifully, recovery time from that should be short.

Now to take a bath with a plastic bag . . .

Oh, BTW. A woman was having a hissyfit because she'd been sitting in one of the patient rooms for 40 minutes, and there was no one in the waiting room when she arrived. Considering that the place didn't even open until after lunch because of the weather, that's not all that bad. We waited about half an hour.

Today, I saw the employees' point of view; they did ME a favor my not making me reschedule, but allowing me to still come in that afternoon. I can totally see myself as that lady, however. But in a famous prayer, I am exhorted to understand rather than to be understood. Not easy, I know. But I'm learning, little by little. Not everything is a personal affront.

Neighborly Snow

If it's one thing that has brought people in a neighborhood together over the years that I've seen, it's snow. Today was no exception. We had about 6 inches of snow with a lovely layer of ice on top.

Despite my bad elbow and wrist, I went out to dig out my car and finish the work LC had started on hers. As I did, my neighbor up the street was trying to get his van back into his parking space over the obligatory mound of snow and ice left by the plows. A few of us pitched in and helped push him. Instead of my hands, I used my forearms to push. Then another neighbor helped me dig the Cygmobile out. I, however, had the brilliant idea of using the ice chopper to get rid of the ice and snow on the roof. Now, the Cygmobile has some lovely scratches on the roof.

I then finished up our driveway.

When I was a kid, we had many snowstorms and a couple blizzards. Our Northeast Baltimore street rarely, if ever, got plowed; our tax dollars at work! Maybe it was because the street was so narrow.

After one blizzard, a few of the older ladies across the street started breaking up the snow and ice in front of their place. My mom saw this and yelled at us to go help them. I guess everyone else's parents did the same thing, because within an hour the whole neighborhood was out clearing the street, lest traffic skid into our parked vehicles.

It's a shame that's the only time I see my neighbors in winter, but it's better than nothing.

P.S. I have a job interview tomorrow! Prayers and good thoughts welcome.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Manly Barbering

It's mostly ladies who visit my blog, and hey, I don't mind that; nobody loves ladies more than I do (just ask Ladycub!). But being a man, every once in a while I need some manly bonding. Not only did I get to see and chat with my friend Marty at Mass today, I also got to do one of those hallowed male rites of passage: get my hair cut.

I prefer a barber to a stylist because I just want my hair cut; I don't WANT it styled! Shorter is better with my hair anyway, and (most) barbers aren't afraid to cut it short. I've found that the ones who don't cut it short rationalize, "He'll come back sooner." Little do they know that, if they don't cut it short enough, I won't come back -- at all!

For a while, I didn't trust a woman barber with my hair because she would be more interested in styling it than just cutting it. But I have found a couple women who have done well with my hair recently. And there was one Japanese woman barber who gave me a temple and neck massage . . . #sigh#.

Today, I went to my favorite barber shop which is located in Thurmont. The barber I see is a retired Marine and remembers his customers -- even me! And he now knows how to cut my hair so well that he got it right the first time, and I didn't have to ask him to shorten it!

But the best thing about the barber shop is just shooting the breeze with all present. Sports, weather, politics, whatever. And when I was done, it felt good to say, "See you fellas," and have everyone respond. Nice to feel like part of the gang, if only for a few minutes.

I need a good boys' night sometime. Cards would be cool, possibly with cigars.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Pleasant Surprise

One of my friends gave me a couple tickets to the Washington Capitals - New York Rangers hockey game tonight (bless you, sir). So I overcame my resentment toward the NHL for telling its fans to go jump in a frozen lake a couple years ago, and Ladycub and I went. Nice seats, behind the benches near center ice. Unfortunately, the Capitals lost 5-2, delighting the Ranger faithful in attendance. Every Caps attack was one and done; they seemed listless. The Rangers played better defense and made the most of their opportunities.

I thought I saw DebCapsFan in the next section over, but if it was her, she didn't respond. It may well not have been her because this lady was dressed in gray and didn't have a Caps jersey on. Also, I think she was taller than Deb. I would have called her, but I discarded her phone number recently, thinking I wouldn't need it again. D'oh! (Deb and I met previously a couple years back when we dined with Puffy.)

Half of humanity crammed into the first Metro train heading to Shady Grove. We waited three minutes more and had the next train just about all to ourselves.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Crazy Things I've Done

(Hat tip: Deb.)

For the Really Shtoopit Thing I've Tried, I was just out of college when our University Christian Outreach group was having a pool party and cookout at this one guy's parents' place. He happened to have an ATV. If you recall, ATVs back in the day were mostly three-wheeled, and even now the four-wheeled variety remain dangerous. I reported on an ATV collision one July 4th weekend a few years back where two kids died and a third was injured.

Anyway, at this cookout I rode a three-wheeled ATV for the first time.
Barefoot.
With no helmet or protective equipment what. so. ever.
At speeds over 30 mph.
On asphalt, on which no ATV is designed to be ridden.

I'm lucky I lived to tell about it!


For a Really Unique Thing I've Tried, my old roommate came to me the year after we'd lived together. He was a tenor in the Bach Choral Society, which was having a multi-course holiday feast interspersed with music.

The Society was having music students from local high schools serve the feast. But since they were not of age, it needed a Wine Steward to take care of the libations. My roommate told me I'd have to wear tights and a tunic.

I replied, "That's the craziest thing I've ever heard of. I'll do it!" So I went to the ladies' department and bought me some tights.

It actually turned out to be fun. There were a couple folks in the crowd who recognized me. Nowadays, having been in theater, dressing up like that is no big deal. Back then, it was more of a novelty.

What things have you tried, unique, shtoopit, or otherwise?

Have Gas, Will Travel

A friend of mine who just got out of a halfway house called me this morning. Told me he ran out of gas on I-81 north of Hagerstown. I can empathize; I once ran out of gas heading from Frederick to York, PA between radio jobs.

So I grabbed my jerry can, filled it, and headed up to I-81 with the Cygmobile's windows partly rolled down in order to air out the fumes. At first when I arrived at his car, I was getting more gasoline on the ground than in his tank because the spout wasn't secure. We rectified that and got his car started, then found the first exit marked with a gas station symbol.

Or so we thought. We drove at least a few miles into town with no gas station in sight. Finally, I spotted one on a cross street.

I parked and waited for him to fill up. Instead, he came to my car and said:

"Did I mention I don't have any money?"

The Cygmobile is now airing out again from the fumes. As are my hands.

Latest from the 60-day injured list

Had my MRIs this morning. They loaded me between the pancakes (this is supposedly the "Wide Open MRI") and played Mozart for me whilst loud noises examined my wrists. Ladycub tells me this is nothing. :-)

Everything still hurts. I'm having trouble keeping my hand/wrist splints on because the straps are getting threadbare.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pot Pourri

(well, that's how Rowan and Martin pronounced it)

A few different topics today:


Non- Music

The worst thing about going to my physical therapist is having to put up with the dreck called Adult Contemporary music on the radio. You probably hear it called "soft rock." It's really music for women . . . and doctor's offices.

I think I'd rather hear rap or hip-hop. At least there, I might be surprised by what I hear. The local AC station, Key 103, prides itself on "no-repeat workdays." Trouble is, they play the same. artists. at about the same. time. every. day. I can only hear "Hero," "Wind Beneath My Wings," "I Can Dream About You," and "This One's For The Girls" so many times.

Furthermore, this? Is what I call non-music. It's music that is intended to be heard, but not listened to (Muzak actually follows that principle). But there's a part of me I can't control that WANTS to listen, that's getting sucked into the piano hooks for "Walking in Memphis" or that insipid tune they played for one of the jewelry stores this past Christmas, I don't know the name. And I don't care.

To be fair, classic rock is just about as bad, and there's nearly half a dozen of those stations to not choose from. You don't have to; they sound alike, except for the one station that thinks Harry Chapin is "classic rock."

How about smooth jazz, hm? You can listen to that or not.

Thank God for talk radio, which you HAVE to listen to.


Get Back

Today, I saw about 296 Pittsburgh Squealer fans out and about here in central Maryland.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. But there were definitely more of them than Ravens or Deadskins fans.

To you Squealer fans, I ask the question: What the heck are you doing here?!

Get. Out. Now. Pennsyltucky will be happy to have you. I'll hold the door open.


Weird Dream

The other night, I dreamed I was in the Amazing Race and was about to finish a leg. I feared the Hometown Jinx because this was northeast of Baltimore. Similar to Season 1 in Alaska, I had to be flung into the air on a blanket and look for a clue on the ground in the distance. I decided I had spotted it, then jumped in my car and headed in what I knew was the wrong direction. Never mind that I had no idea what the RIGHT direction was! It felt like I was driving along a suburb on a mountain overlooking this populous valley (the Baltimore suburbs aren't quite like that). I drove around with no idea where I was headed . . . just before I woke up.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Another Health Update

I should know soon whether I'll require surgery for my injuries. Had a C T scan today, and I'm having MRIs on my wrists on Friday. I could very well end up in a cast or two.

This is putting the kibosh on much of my job search. I can't take a physical job at all since I wouldn't be able to lift much until my arm or wrists gave out.

Fortunately, the orthopedist I saw says he can also help with my nagging neck and shoulder problems, but . . . one thing at at time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A city that doesn't want my money much

About eight years ago, we had breakfast in Santa Cruz, California. But if we're ever in the Golden State again, we won't bother stopping in Santa Cruz. Why the heck did the city council pass a resolution on killing babies abortion?

Hat tip: Sub Voce, who points out all the animals -- including rodents -- the city council has chosen to protect. But innocent babies . . . naaah, they're just so icky and get in the way.

And people wonder why Cali is so weird.

Sorry

I can't allow anonymous comments anymore. Gotten too many useless ones.

But at least you won't have to do the word verification thingy.