Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hollywood Does It Again

I'm not sure if I should call this a movie review or a public service announcement. Either way, here goes:

The weather outside today was dreadful at best. It was mostly crappy with periods of icky followed by down right nasty. Figuring getting out into the yard would have to wait for another day and feeling like I needed an escape from reality for a couple of hours I headed to the theater.

My brother Gene recently poo pooed "Knowing" recently so I decided it was out. It has Nicolas Cage in it, need I say more? Well, after a brief peruse of the shows playing I decided on "12 Rounds". The synopsis from Fandango was as follows:

When New Orleans cop Danny Fisher (John Cena) prevents a brilliant thief from successfully carrying out his latest heist, the thief's girlfriend is accidentally killed. Hungry for revenge, the criminal mastermind breaks out of prison and kidnaps Danny's fiancee. To save her, Danny must successfully navigate his way through an elaborate series of tasks and puzzles, or else watch the love of his life die.

I'm generally not big on the shoot 'em up over the top action flicks, but for some reason, this sounded like it might just fit the bill for today. Wrong-O!

This ended up being one hour and forty-eight minutes of nothing more than one ridiculously impossible action sequence after another. Explosions, Fire trucks smashing into cars, Helicopter blowing up in mid air, so on and so forth.

If there was a plot to it, they did one heck of a job concealing it.

All the way through it I kept wondering who the leading actor was. I knew I'd seen his face before, but could not for the life of me place where from. When the credits rolled, (yeah I actually stayed that long) I saw the name John Cena. He's a "Big time" wresting guy I recognized from the TV commercials. Funny thing is, he wasn't all that horrible as an actor. Given the right roll, he might actually be decent. Unfortunately, this was not such a roll.

I would have to give this movie two thumbs and all of my fingers way way down.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Back in the Saddle

As heard coming from my eight year old last night at dinner time: "Mom, You might want to sleep in the spare room tonight. . . Dad's having lots of beans!" Ha, my reputation precedes me.

Alright, it's time for me to come out of hiding once again.

It was interesting taking a week off from the blog. Funny how long that can seem. Maybe it's like dog years or something.

This next part you can file away under "Dirty-rotten, cheap-bastard".

About a week and a half ago we got a call from a potential client for one of our decorative concrete coatings. Actually that's not entirely true. The client himself was too damned important to call, so he had his assistant contact us. Not too unusual when the project is for a company, but this was for his personal residence.

After a few phone calls and a couple of emails back and forth, my brother Mark was able to set a meeting with Mr Important to go over color selection. He looked at the various samples and was waffling between two different ones. He asked if he could keep them and show his wife so they could compare notes and come up with a final selection. "No problem" Mark told him.

BTW- At this point in the process a bid proposal with our pricing had already been submitted and approved by Mr Important.

Two days later, the secretary of Mr Important called Mark and asked for the address where she could send the color samples back to. She also said her boss had just got a cheaper bid for the work so he would not need our services after all.

Now for the good part. A day later I received a phone call from a contractor asking about one of our colors. He first wanted to know where we bought our color chips for the floors. I gave him the name of the manufacturer and told him they would sell the chips to him. He then wanted to know if he could buy seventy-five pounds of our "London Fog" color chip. I told him we weren't distributors so I didn't have any type of pricing for just the chips. I said I would look into it and get back to him.

As soon as I hung up the phone I started thinking, "hmmm, I'll bet you this is the guy who undercut our bid and is going to do the job for Mr Important.

The next day I called him back and asked, "Are you by any chance, using this chip for the Total Mechanical job?"

With a bit of hesitation, he replied, "Uh, as a matter of fact I am."

I then informed him that I was the contractor that was originally supposed to do that job and I had no interest in supplying my competitor with my own proprietary color blend so he could do the job I had already been awarded previously.

Talk about balls of steel!

Mr Important wanted his floor done for rock bottom price, but liked our color samples so he had the new contractor call and try to get our color blend. He also must have thought by having the guy call me instead of Mark I wouldn't put two and two together. Guess what? He was WRONG.

Now he's going to get a cheap floor and won't be getting the color he wants.

What an ass!

I'll be getting by to catch up with you all soon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Break Time

A Word in Edgewise is officially on Spring Break.

Figured, why should school kids be the only ones to get time off this time of year?

Be back when the mood strikes me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Runway Humor

We all need a good laugh from time to time. These two guys certainly understand that.

Have you laughed like that lately?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Have a Story?

Calling all writers. Just wanted to give you a reminder that this month's Portrait of Words writing challenge is set for posting at the beginning of next week Mar 16-18. It's not too late to put a story together and join the fun. I say it's not too late as much for my benefit as for yours, because as of today (Thurs) I haven't started mine either.

If you'd like to see what the writing prompts are for this month just click here.


I actually did have a whole grumbling / whining post all prepared to go, but I decided no one needed to hear it, so this is all there is for this evening. Boy O Boy, aren't you glad you clicked over here now?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Music To My Ears

Anyone who has a child of school age years has probably at some point, seen one of these masterpieces of plastic in his or her backpack on its journey home from music class. It's usually accompanied by your precious little one saying something like, "Hey mom and dad, look what I'm learning how to play!"

Additionally, anyone who has heard these words uttered, knows full well of the treat that awaits the ear drums.

Now if you're really fortunate like Lisa and I are, you'll have two children demonstrating their musical prowess for you simultaneously with versions of "Hot Cross Buns", "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and other timeless classics echoing from various rooms in the house. Yes this has been our world for the past several weeks now, and all of this has been leading up to what we got to enjoy this evening. Yes sports fans, tonight was the musical extravaganza at the boy's school, and the instrument being highlighted was the recorder. (that plastic flute like doodad in the picture).

If you've enjoyed one of these evenings before, you're probably smiling right now, if not, let me give you an idea of what you've missed. Imagine approximately a hundred and fifty children with the musical experience of a box of Cheerios all blowing into these high pitched noise makers at the same time. It sort of resembled what I can only describe as what you might hear if you were to take a dozen or so screech owls, put them in a blender and hit frappé!

Okay, the whole performance was only about forty-five minutes long, but because we are incredibly lucky, we got to be entertained through two back to back performances. Why was this? Because our boys are a couple of grades apart, and the school had separate time slots for the two groups. Yeppee Skippee. Yep, this meant we got twice the listening time for the same low low price.

Anthony's group was paired with the sixth graders who are in the first year of band. What did this mean? It meant that not only were there about eighty or so recorders tooting along in all their glory, but there were also trumpets, trombones, flutes, drums and a handful of other instruments all playing the same song at relatively the same time; That is give a note or two of varience. As an added bonus, the choir joined in on some of the songs too. I had no idea ther were that many different octaves in the musical scale.

Alright, I know I've poked a lot of fun at the kids expense, but all in all it was a great night. We smiled a lot, laughed a bunch and got to be there for the boys. My ears may never be the same, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Give Me a Sign

This combination of signs on the restroom door at my local Home Depot gave me a chuckle. Anyone want to guess why?

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Followers Follow-up

I really enjoyed reading all of your comments on the previous post about the followers widget and live feed / stat trackers. Thank you for your well thought out and open responses.

So what did I glean from what you had to say? As I see it, the following:

1. This one should come as no big surprise. We are all individuals and as such, the reasons for having or not having these little gadgets vary widely from one person to the next. From "I think they are too highschoolish" to "I like the way they look on my sidebar", what one person might find as fun, another might view as ridiculous. So is one of these views more correct than another? Of course not. They are, just as we all are, different. Thank the good Lord for that too I say. Can you imagine how boring it would be if we all liked exactly the same things? Ugh.

2. There is no perfect formula for what my or any other blog should look like and trying to find it will only make a person crazy. If you like using a particular widget or doodad on your blog then go for it. It's your little piece of the Internet to do with as you see fit. We all have the ability to continue tuning in or to go elsewhere if what we see doesn't please us.

3. Three out of four commenters surveyed declare that I am in fact a macho stud muffin! Okay, so a couple of you said this, but come on, you had to know I'd be milking that one for all it was worth.

4. A couple of gadgets on a sidebar are probably not going to make someone stop reading your site. We are visited by the content of our blog, not because of what we have it decorated with. While we're on the subject, may I interject the following? Whether you post with humor, political commentary, beautiful photographs, stories, etc. keep doing what comes natural to you. When you start trying to change your individual style to conform to what you think others expect, then you'll be doing nothing but fighting an uphill battle.

5. Music. I'm glad someone brought this one up. Our musical styles do seem to be quite a personal thing don't they? We like what we like and would rather not be bothered with what we don't. I generally don't have my speakers on while I'm surfing around, so the music players don't make a difference to me. I suppose if I had them on, then these would be an annoyance to me, but again, to each his or her own. I do like the player bars that some use though. This gives me a choice as to whether or not I want to hit play.


So what am I going to do about my own followers list? I think I'm going to keep it. I'll probably keep it at the top of the side bar for a while and when I feel like a change, I'll drop it down lower or even to the bottom of the page.

Site feed? I had the Cluster Map thingy before and kind of liked that one. Always thought it was fun to look at the world map and see where people were visiting from. No hidden agenda to it at all, just cool to know that people thousands of miles away would read my ramblings.

The blog list. That I'm definitely keeping. I love being able to see when you've posted something new, and this does a great job of that. There are a couple of exceptions to this "works great" part. For some reason there are still two blogs listed there that don't get updated or linked properly. Blogger gremlins perhaps, I really don't know why.

There, that about covers it for today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just Wondering

I decided to put the followers widget up on my sidebar. I've lovingly referred to those listed as "My Stalkers". Hope you don't mind. I did notice that all thirteen are women, and I'd like to think that's because I'm some sort of macho stud, but . . . Wait, this is my own little fantasy world, and I'm going to go with just that!- A macho stud!

I'm a legend in my own mind.

So what do you think of the followers list here or elsewhere. Like it - Hate it? Why?


Here's another one for ya. What about the live feed doodads I see on some sites? Personally I don't like them and here's my reason why. When I visit a site with one of those goodies in its sidebar, the city where I'm currently at appears along with the blog I'm coming from. That in itself doesn't really bother me, but what does, is that if I decide to pop back over a few minutes later to see if the person has responded to my comment (or for any other reason) there I am again at the top of the list of visitors. Why does this bother me you ask? You did ask didn't you? Cause now I feel like a damn stalker. Sometimes I'll go back to a site several times in a day to read other comments or to look at another post or whatnot. I just hate that I keep showing up on the stat watcher.

Okay, so that probably sounds paranoid, but that's why they bug me. What's your two cents? Some of you have these on your sites and I wonder what you look at from them. I could be totally off with my own perception of them. So now's your time to set the record straight. Are they just interesting to look at? Do they give you useful information of some sort? or ???

The comment box awaits you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pot Roast

As winter winds its way down, soon will be the time of longer days and BBQ's. For now though, with the temperature struggling to make it above the mid fifties, comfort food like the all in one pan "Pot Roast" is still tasting mighty fine.

I honestly can't remember ever cooking a pot roast before tonight. If I ever did it was so long ago that it's slipped my mind. (insert old age jokes here)

Oh well, here is my very first? second? one:

About a three pound chuck roast studded with garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. Put a little oil in the pan and sear it on both sides on the stove top.

Put it in the oven at 320 F with a lid on for about two and a quarter hours. Put in some potatoes, carrots and onions. Back in the oven (covered) for another hour or so. Make a little gravy out of the drippings if you like. (cause the roast isn't nearly bad enough on your arteries by itself)

Fix a plate. Listen to the kids say, "Ewww we don't like onions". Tell them to, "Be quiet and eat 'em anyway cause they'll put hair on your chest!" (BTW- this only works with boys) and then enjoy some darned tasty eats. That's a roll at the top of the plate if you're wondering.

Thanks to my mom for the cooking instructions, and no I didn't use your top secrete method of preparing it. Bwahahahahaha (sorry everyone, inside joke.)