Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CG-Friday, Superbowl Sunday

This is your weekly reminder of our upcoming events. Assuming no lost power lines between now and Friday, we will be having our regular CG meeting this Friday at Ross and Rachel’s house. We will be watching the 2nd video on the series and going through the discussion questions. As before, please try to arrive by 8, so that we can start the video by 8:30. Friends are welcome, snacks are enjoyed!

Sunday, the Knowles will be hosting a Superbowl party on their ginormous TV, starting at 6. Kristin and Rachel are making two different kinds of soup. The rest of us can bring appetizers, snacks and drinks

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scott's fiasco

With Scott's permission, I am posting a shortened (HAHA) version of his recent life fiasco.

So, I wake up yesterday ( Saturday ) about 0830. The day was going to be a moderately momentous one, as I have moved into a foreclosed home from which the previous owners had taken upon themselves to abscond with the major home appliances ( dishwasher, refrigerator, and range ), and I therefore had scheduled to arrive: two of the three replacements, a range and a low priced dishwasher.

The phone rang at approximately 0900 to alert me that the deliverymen wished to move up delivery from 11:00 am to 0930. I was a bit surprised, but pleasantly so, as that would leave me the rest of the day, post-delivery and installation, to do some of the various and sundry things one must accomplish shortly after moving, like unpacking. At approximately 0910 I stepped out into the garage through my kitchen door, for the purpose of clearing a path for the deliverymen through the cardboard debris of the move, which had cluttered my garage.

As I stepped into the garage, the door closed behind me.


I had no key in my pocket. No cell phone. No car keys. No jacket. Just unshaven me, a sweat shirt, shoes, socks, black jeans and a baseball cap for my unshowered Saturday morning hairdo.

And much much sinking feeling.

I saw my ladder and thought that MAYBE I had left the back door unlocked that morning, since my back porch ( 2nd story ) has been serving as my freezer, while my garage has been serving as my refrigerator.

I quickly scurried around to the back of the house with the folding wooden ladder.

From the top step, I could BARELY grab the BOTTOM of the 2nd story porch.

I reach upwards and grab the bottom 2x4 of the porch. It flexes. A little.

I wondered from my days of thumbing through "Marks Handbook for Mechanical Engineers" as a young engineer, what the stress load capabilities are for a 2x4 wooden treated lumber board, nailed at both ends with standard zinc galvanized carpentry nails. And alas I come up a mental blank. Somewhere Sir Alec Guinness convincingly says, "Trust the engineers, Scott".

I see the limitations of my aging, declining vertical lift upper body strength are going to prevail in preventing me from magically hurling, Ninja-like, in double forward flip "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" fashion, up from the ladder and over the railing of the porch some 5 feet over my head, landing cat-like on my feet, Samurai sword drawn....

So, I start reaching up and ripping the 1x1 side support slats off the porch with my bare hands.

Prying off the two vertical slats ( and let me just say all that nonsense about shots of adrenaline coursing through your veins in time of urgency giving you superhuman abilities, is to my limited experience in this particular incident, just that - nonsense ), I leapt with both arms clinging to that magic 2x4. Precariously, I popped one leg through the widest gap I had just made by pulling off the cheap vertical slats ( which were bowed, held with rusty nails, and in a sun aged need of woodstain, let me add ).

As you probably have guessed, the instant I looked at the door knob after scrambling to my feet, I knew beyond a shadow of a predestined doubt, it was a foregone conclusion that the knob was locked, locked, locked, and the dead bolt was equally so, and I may as well have been trying to open the vault door at Fort Knox as to assume that I could get the door open with anything less than supernatural powers or high explosives. Regardless, my right hand and arm moved forward, with childlike against-all-odds naivete', to attempt to open that door. Which of course would not budge, neither for love nor money.

In this instant the sound of a heavy delivery trucks brakes could be heard in front of my house, the Best Buy Boys had arrived with my two expensive kitchen goodies.

What to do. I peered over the railing and saw the ladder, the top "NEVER STEP HERE" step of which was very very quite infinitely smallish and oh so far away, and in this lonely, silent cold winter day, a quiet, chill breeze blew....

I scrambled around to the front of the house, out of breath. The delivery guy looked a little suspicious ( I wonder whatever for ?). Me in my dirty black jeans and dark blue Webasto sweatshirt, matted hair poking out from under the hat, face with 5 o'clock shadow included, looking every bit the hotly pursued perp from the soundstage back lot 1-B of some TV cop show's central casting dept.

Gasping, no doubt red faced, I explained my situation. He gradually came to see that this was only moderately weird, and therefore had to be true, and he even tried to jimmy the door open with a plastic credit card.

Nothing doing.

He finally concluded the best thing to do was to help me get a locksmith to the place as quickly as possible. Long story here, but no help was going to come through this avenue.

Eventually I swallowed my pride and walked across the street, to introduce myself to my new neighbor..."Hi, I'm Scott. I'm a high maintenance incompetent boob with no common sense and obviously poor personal hygiene. I've locked myself out of my house. You'll be seeing a lot of me. Sorry about your misfortune for now being my neighbor." I then excused myself from his precious family quality time with the kids, gathered up the very miniscule amount of what was left of my dignity and self worth, and walked up to see my OTHER new neighbor, who had introduced himself the day I moved in. Let's spread the good cheer far and wide !

My other neighbor proved equally gracious and allowed me to use his phone, phone book, and sit for a few minutes watching an old western on TV. I got hold of my realtor. She called her husband to get the name of the locksmith. I waited. I heard back from her and took down the number. I called. The number had been disconnected. Great. Hope he's not some "fly by night", in jail for breaking and entering. Then again, if he IS the type to break and enter, I hope he IS in jail...

Finally, B&D Locksmiths show up, 45 minutes later.

The doors pop open after a bit of jiggling them. Okay, a LOT of jiggling them.

Happiness and joy, warmth and central air. Nice. Epecially for cold ears and fingers.

Relief, that greatest of all human emotion.

I pay the nice man $60 and he goes on his way.

And as I ponder this, alone, I decide to step out into the garage, to strategize how I will get my shiny new appliances into my home. Whilst pondering, I decide to walk out to my mailbox to check for mail.

Hmm. No mail.

Returning to my garage from the mailbox, I realize the LOCKED door has closed behind me.


I have no keys in my pocket, no cell phone, no wallet, no nothing.

Deja vu, all over again.

In frustration, yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!" to an unfair, coldly unfeeling universe, I pound on the door with the open palms of my hands, slapping the door. Once.

Gently, it swings open.

And if doors could talk, this one would say,

"Psych. Gotcha."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Can someone explain this?

While exiting our house last Saturday, this appeared:

I don't know if it grew there, landed there, or was placed there, but expect to see "My Old Kentucky Gnome" (Thanks Scott) in a front yard near you sometime soon!


Micro Monkeys and Chocolate Hills

Greetings Friends!  I'm in the Philippines missing my family, so I thought I put up a blog post to pass the time (and make good use of my $20 internet charge!).  I got here on Wednesday January 7th after the 34 hour travel experience which includes a quick night in Hong Kong.

Thursday evening I sought out this one-of-a-kind ride.  Along the top edge of a 38 story building, there is a track that overhangs the edge.  These two-person cars tilt forward 30+ degrees giving you a great view straight down the side of the building.  Considering this building is the tallest in Cebu, the experience is impressive.  The lack of any shoulder restraints heightens the experience, but there are no thrills otherwise, just an uncomfortable lap bar.  I did it but won;t be going back anytime soon.

On Saturday, I went to Bohol Island, home of the smallest monkeys in the world (Note that a smaller monkey reportedly does exist).  These cute Tarsiers fit in the palm of your hand.  Touching them has been largely outlawed, so we were only able to take photographs.  In Bohol, we also took a dinner cruise on a river that looked right out of a Disney Movie.  It was like a real Jungle Cruise!  No elephants however.  We saw a bee farm, some colonial churches, beaches, and other parts of the island.

The most striking part of Bohol were the Chocolate Mountains.  Thousands of these mounds dot the center of the island, rising above rice paddies below.  The airplane is not real!  I got two of them for Nick and Nate.  I wanted something to include in photos from famous and exotic locations around the world.  If you have heard of flat stanley, they are the same concept.  So if you are travelling somewhere other than Morehead or Richmond, please consider taking them along and including them in photo!

Pasta la Pizza, baby


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Random Pictures and Thoughts

I am doing this while watching the Biggest Loser so if there are typos I apologize! This is a picture of Riley the Helpful attempting to help me stamp. Riley thinks she can help do the laundry, empty the dishwasher and make beds. It is quite comical. Too bad she doesn't have opposable thumbs.

Cinnamon, on the other hand, could care less about helping anyone do anything other than share their carbohydrate foods (crackers, chips, cookies, pie crusts, etc.). She is basically a feline sloth. But very sweet. I'm informally doing this project where you take one picture every day. This was today's picture. It was too rainy and dark today to take anything good outside so Cinnamon had to be it.

I hope all my CG friends had a great Christmas and New Year's and I'm very much looking forward to our next meeting.