Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

Update, 11/30/06: Don't let it be said I don't read the comments section.

Last night I grew weary of the beard I have been sporting for the last three months. So, I dug out the razor and the shaving cream, and quickly remedied that problem.

Then I stood there, looking in the mirror. I keep my hair pretty short anyway, and eventually I thought to myself, "what the hell." So I present to you the shiny new me:

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I have posted before about this GPS-Internet global scavenger hunt called Geocaching. You can track my progress in the sidebar, I am at 119 "finds" as of today.

This past weekend, I hunted caches with my friend Mike three days in a row. It occurs to me that some might be interested in what this game is about. So here is a sampling.

Many times, hunting a cache takes us to picturesque location. Part of the fun in hiding a cache is bringing people somewhere they wouldn't normally go. Today, we were in Suffolk, VA, and parked in front of this "cottage," a few hundred feet from the cache.

Later that afternoon, we hunted a cache at restored train station. The container was hidden under this car.

This is a typical "ammo can" cache, found under the railroad car. They are filled with trinkets, toys, and other fun items for trade. There is also a log book to sign and read. Some caches are much smaller, with only room for a small scroll of paper to sign.

This is another cache, a plastic screw top container. It has been covered in camo tape to make it harder to see, so it won't be stolen by somebody not playing the game.

Finally, the most important part. Sign the log. We do this at 99% of the caches we find. It's also fun to see who has been there before.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Back in my late teens and early twenties, I was a lifeguard at Graydon Pool in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and we had a tractor that was used to drag the beach and clean the sand. Occasionally, one of us would take it up to nearby Fischl's Bakery for hard rolls and coffee. When I read this story, I was taken back to those days:
Two employees have been fired from the city's ice skating rink after making a midnight fast-food run - in a pair of Zambonis.

The ice-groomer jockeys, both temporary city employees whose names and ages weren't released by Boise Parks and Recreation, had to negotiate at least one intersection with a traffic light on their late-night creep from Idaho Ice World.

An anonymous caller who alerted a telephone hot line set up by Boise Mayor Dave Bieter was gassing up his car at a nearby service station at about 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 10 when he saw the Zambonis roll through a Burger King drive-through, order food, and then return to the skating rink. The rubber-tired vehicles, whose top speed is about 5 mph, drove about 1 1/2 miles in all, said Parks Department Director Jim Hall.
They took the Zambonis through the freaking Burger King drive-thru! At midnight! Too much fun. I can't help but think that, given the chance, I'd have done the same thing. Too bad it cost them their job.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

  • My parents. Growing up, I never knew anybody with finer parents. I still don't.
  • Their legacy in my soul. Although they are gone, I carry their lessons with me always. They made me who I am.
  • The privelage of knowing Suzanne Alison Storms for 24 years.
  • Having 13 wonderful years togther as a couple.
  • Her legacy in my soul. Although she is gone, I am only able to go on because she taught me what it means to love and be loved. That is a gift that deserves to be honored.
  • The beautiful home we found together. Although I now have nobody to share it with, we loved being here together so much that I continue to draw strength from all the love and fun we shared here.
  • The tears that are flowing down my cheeks as I type. It is only because they were all such special, meaningful people that it hurts so to have lost them. I was so blessed to have had them as long as I did.
  • Saturday, November 18, 2006

    I am so proud of myself

    I hate to blow my own horn, but I am so happy and I have nobody else to tell. You are my family, so you get to listen.

    After I got through the fog of losing Suzy, I decided to get back to running, mostly because running has always helped through trying times.

    This morning, I figured I would see how much progress I have made, so I entered the Cape Henry 10-Mile Race in Virginia Beach. Well, I ran just under 70 minutes, finished 12th out of 199, and placed second in my age group. I won a nifty workout bag to boot.

    Then, this afternoon, I ran the Jingle Bell 5K in Norfolk, and finished 22nd out of 350, placing third in my age group with a medal.

    So, I guess my conclusion is that the house may be a wreck, but the legs are okay for now.

    Update: Race pictures are out:

    8 miles down and still feeling pretty good.
    Not feeling nearly so chipper at finish line.
    What was I thinking running two races. This is painful!
    Finally, I am done racing for the day.

    I walked to the end of the chute after the second race and looked back just in time a 20-something kid puke his guts out.

    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    This email arrived today. I thought it interesting food for thought:
    If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

    The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period.

    That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation , than you are in Iraq.

    My conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Guidelines for Platonic Friendship

    Here are some guidelines for remaining friends with a woman you are infatuated with. I got a kick out of them.

    1. No hugging for greetings or salutations. Hugging is only allowed for personal tragedies or blessed events when the emotional significance of the situation blocks out the knowledge that your boobies are pressing against me. We have hands; lets shake them.

    5. No judgment making on any girl that I see. Good or bad, it’s the guy friends' job to belittle and pick apart girlfriends, if a woman does this, it means she wants the guy for herself. So you think she is trashy and dumb? Well, you could have dated me but you just wanted to be friends.

    14. No dating any guy who treats you bad or neglects you in any way, that’s just a slap in my face. I fucking adore you.

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    At work, I park in the garage of a downtown Norfolk shopping mall. Tonight after work I wasn't ready to go home and resume staring at the walls, so I walked around the mall, window shopping. I don't need anything, and I have nobody for which to buy anything. 20-something girls at kiosks stopped me as I passed, trying to sell me handcream, makeup, and other products for my "wife or girlfriend." I politely declined, not wanting to tell them my wife is newly-dead and I have no "girlfriend."

    As I walked, I flashed back to a Christmas shopping season over 20 years, maybe 1983. Suzy was my brand-new, unbelievably beautiful girlfriend, and I was in the second year of my first career job, so I had a little bonus money in my pocket. I wandered similarly through Paramus Park mall, picking up little nothings for all the loved ones in my life: Suzy, her mom, sister, and auntie, and my Mom and Dad. I remember feeling so happy I had so many people to buy gifts for, and some money with which to buy them. I remember smiling as I walked, utterly content.

    What a road I have traveled between those two mall walks. I lost Suzy for 8 years, won her back, married her, lost her auntie, lost my dad, lost my mom, and lost Suzy forever. As I drove home tonight, tears were streaming down my face.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Guns Don't Kill People. Guns Save People.

    As a gun enthusiast and NRA member, I love to see stories like this. I just don't understand why I never see them in the New York Times.
    Lambert says the man pulled a .25-caliber handgun from his pocket, apparently to rob him. Lambert pulled his own .380 caliber and the two were pointing weapons at each other for a tense moment.

    The commissioner says he told the man to put down his gun and the man said he didn't want any trouble.

    The suspect fled on foot and police later arrested 19-year-old Kane Stackhouse on an attempted robbery charge.

    At the time of the robbery, Lambert was wearing a baseball cap that read, "Friends of the NRA." He says the would-be robber never asked for money or made demands -- but then, he didn't get much of a chance to.
    If Chuck Schumer and his ilk had their way, Commissioner Lambert would be the criminal in this exchange.

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Yesterday was a great day in my area, so a buddy and I went geocaching, which is a gps based scavanger hunt. Here I am with my handheld gps unit and a mint container I found on a guardrail outside of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    John Ray has posted an interesting quote. It doesn't say anything that shouldn't be obvious to anyone with eyes to see. The interesting thing is its date and author: 280 BC, by a Chinese philosopher named Han Fei:
    When the scholars of today discuss good government, many of them say, 'Give land to the poor and destitute so that those who have no means of livelihood may be provided for.' Now if men start out with equal opportunities and yet there are a few who, without help or unusually good harvetys or outside income, are able to keep themselves well supplied, it must be due to either hard work or to frugal living. If men start with equal opportunities and yet there are a few who, without having suffered from some calamity like famine or sickness, still sink into poverty and destitution, it must be due either to laziness or to extravagant living. The lazy and extravagant grow poor; the diligent and and frugal get rich. Now if the ruler levies money from the rich in order to give alms to the poor, he is robbing the diligent and frugal and indulging the lazy and extravagant. If he expects by such means to induce the people to work industriously and spend with caution, he will be disappointed.

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Dispatch From the Religion of Peace

    Here's a lovely update from the wonderful, peace loving, Muslim Palestinians.
    At least a dozen Palestinian gunmen eluded Israeli capture in the Gaza Strip on Friday, first by taking refuge in a mosque and then by calling on women and children to shield them so they could escape.

    Palestinians reported at least one women killed and a second was in critical condition after they were shot during the fray. The Israeli Army said its soldiers had fired only at armed gunmen, who were firing at them from within the crowd.
    Brings to mind an oldie but a goody, from back in August:

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Ya gotta love John Kerry, the horse's ass that keeps on giving. He tries to call Bush stupid and lazy, can't do it, and insults our military instead. And when Bush points out his mistakes, he blames Bush! Captain Ed has a nice summary in a post titled I'm Sorry You Didn't Understand My Genius:
    He can't have it both ways. He can't argue that Republicans are intellectually inferior and then blame them for not reading his mind. He can't admit he botched the joke and then get mad when his words get interpreted in some manner other than he intended. Kerry's insistence that the entire episode was nothing more than a Republican smear campaign ignores that no one paid much attention to him in this election cycle, and that a grand conspiracy against Democrats this year would have been pretty unlikely to target a Senator who isn't running for re-election for another two years.
    Meanwhile, some of troops in Iraq have placed their tongues firmly in their cheeks and weighed in with the following plea for help:

    I love these guys.