Thursday, August 31, 2006

No such thing as a free coffee

Or an iced coffee for that matter. I actually received this coupon in email today (ok I'm not as popular as JamesF and others whose blogs are worth more).

Now... even if they hadn't intended it to be that broad of an offer, they should still either honor them, or put out some other kind of offer (maybe a half-priced tall something or other, valid through 9/8 or something). I wonder if you went in and complained enough if they'd just give you one anyway.

With the fancy Flavia machine at work, I've significantly reduced my trips to the brew master. In fact I managed to get an order in for "French Vanilla" with the woman that manages them, and she gave me a case of "Hazelnut" in the interim. I'll be happy as long as they leave it on "free vend"!

And now, as inspired by Scott, a haiku.

must have my java
ground beans make my sunrise bright
please pass the sugar

Feel free to analyze my haiku. ;-)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ch ch ch changes...

As promised here is a before/after (sort of) of the front flower (test) bed.

We are also working on regrowing the side yard in the back. Since most of the grass was removed by erosion and dog paws.

As we continue to work on the projects and refine the ones mostly completed more images will follow. I will also see if I can get a better angled set of before and after shots (tripod! You're the next contestant on...).

In other news...
We went to dinner at a new (to us) place in Centreville called Redrock Canyon Grill. I can tell you that the chicken pot pie is very good, and the (big pond) ahi (yellowfin tuna) is superb. I do think they should warn potential customers that the green blob on top of the ahi is wasabi. I can also vouch for the high quality (and price tag) of the key lime pie, it is possibly the best key lime pie I've had in the area. It is easily the largest slice as it was 1/4 of a pie (good thing they brought enough spoons for everyone to share). They do use a small bit too much pepper on their potatoes (both the red mashed, and those found in the pot pie), but their cooked carrots are sweet, not too soft, and very tasty. RJ said the ribs were good and the chicken was ok (though a little bland). A good restaurant, reminiscent of the Silverado/Sweet Water/Coastal Flats/etc type restaurants - good food, but not cheap. (That may rule it out for JamesF. I'm KIDDING James! The only thing you might want to watch is the nuts in the crust of the pie...)

Oh yeah, I also got my Murano (I still think it's Italian for idiot) back from the body shop. Brand new bumper looks very nice, and I had them install a scuff guard on the top edge (in case I slide something on the bumper while I'm loading and unloading things). Although with a lack of XM in the car today, I listened to my whole "Spite and Malice" CD. I really like it, although I'm not sure it's the best thing to listen to in Northern VA traffic....

How much did you say?

My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?

Man, I'm hitting the bottom of the heap. JamesF's is apparently worth quite a bit more than mine. I feel so... cheap?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Day late and a dollar short

I'll keep tonight brief since the last few posts have been mammoth. I finally got the pool video put together so that da wife could post about it. It's only like 2 weeks overdue... *looks around whistling*

The brownies went over well today (as did the garlic bread). In fact, they went over so well I was told I did not bring enough. One of the people in my group told me I needed to bring a MUCH larger order next time, so that she could have 3 or 4 throughout the day. SHEESH! They weren't even my caramel brownies. (And not as good as those made by JamesF's wife. Now those are some brownies.)

Ohhh, and da wife converted the Apricot pineapple Pork Chops Thai style leftovers into a very tasty stir fry dish with broccoli and onions. Very tasty. I believe it was the first time she's ever wok'd, color me impressed. (I think impressed is a cerulean blue.) We even had some leftover fortune cookies. Apparently I am " in line for a promotion at work." woo hoo! Although I have no idea where that would put me. I'll settle for a trip out to Colorado in October for a meeting.

I will try to get some pictures taken of the yardwork being done outside (maybe I can ask da wife to help out) and post them later.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Busy Weekend

So this weekend saw lots to do. Ok ok. Maybe not "lots", but a fair amount.

Saturday - Heavy lifting day:
We had two main projects we bought stone for on Saturday, the front flower beds, and the tree ring in the front. The beds will use a single row edging brick in tan (it's like the scallop edging, but is more like a fort front - high on either end with an arc in the middle. Ok. I'll try and get pictures.) The tree ring will use the common "castle" blocks, often found in retaining walls. The ring will also be tan (goes with the house better than the red or white).

So we went to the "Depot" and loaded up a flat bed, then hauled it up the parking lot to the car, and transferred it in, and then of course unloaded at the house down the side hill. I only go into that detail because it was a HALF TON of stone. I was tired at the end of each transfer, but mostly the one at home, probably due to the fact that I'd already moved them twice, and there was a longer way to walk, and let's not forget the hill...

(I know I don't do the dog posting, but Roxie had decided to play with the nail clippers and chew on them, so she got an "on the spot" nail cutting. I don't think she'll be biting the clippers anytime soon, and may not even complain about the dremel after that session either.) Oh! And the dogs also got a bath!

Saturday wasn't all chores... Da wife actually requested sushi for lunch, and she's so nice how could I say no? So we headed over to Arigato and had a most enjoyable lunch. Apparently on weekends they also provide for a cold noodle dish next to the miso, I did not partake this time, but will certainly sample it at the next opportunity. And I've always preferred the smaller selection but higher quality of sushi at Arigato vs. the massive selections but slightly lower quality of foods at Todai. (I will still go there, but think Arigato is just better.)

We also got 20% of our microwave purchase back from Sears (go Wifely unit!) because they put it on sale a week after we bought it. The old one we suspect succumbed to lightning. It took them 25 minutes to figure out the transaction, but Frank the sales guy took care of us (he's at the Fair Oaks Sears btw).

So that was most of Saturday.

Sunday: Project in motion

The first big project was one we'd already planned on doing, fixing the front flower (or lack thereof) beds. We decided to start with the smaller bed first. And by fixing I of course mean pulling all the old mulch (mostly dirt now), removing the barrier, putting in a new barrier and then finally a new coat of mulch. So after removing the green plastic $1 per 10' of edging, we began to rake and shovel through the old mulch (some bearing grasses and weeds). It was at this point, that I noticed a large portion of the ground "moving". Yep. Ants. Not the big friendly ants that JamesF keeps, but the small, annoying, "we like to live in mulch" ants.
After finishing with the old mulch and the ants (mostly), and leveling off the planting area, we began to excavate for the new stone edging. After a small change in plans for the starting point (I think it looks better where it is now) we managed to get them measured out and leveled (mostly) in. We spooled out enough weed block to cover the area and leave a little under the stone edgers and pegged down the back corners, and proceeded to place the stones in their final position. I must say that after we filled in the 3' X 4.5' square with two bags of pine mulch (about 3.5" depth), it looks so much better than the old weed infested, plastic bound hole near the house. I can't wait to see the main bed refurbed.

We also picked up some grass seed "shield" at the "Depot" to try and repair the side hill. (The dogs love to do racing games up and down the hill, and took one too many trips in the mud.) It's basically a wood fiber "matt" that lays on top of grass seed and fertilizer (which we put down first) and helps keep it moist and protected. We put down a strip about 39 inches wide by about 20 feet long. Hopefully that will bring back a nice luscious side lawn. Which in the future will be bordered by landscape timber edged mulch beds, which should make it look fantastic, as well as help with the erosion.

In other tasks I made brownies and homemade garlic bread for an internal group luncheon tomorrow (homemade lasagne, yum!). Then I took some of the yellow squash I had plucked from the garden and sliced that up, seasoned it up, and sauteed it up for a side dish to go along with the main course. Tonight's main course was yet another experimental culinary adventure - Pineapple Apricot Pork Chops Thai Style. So I used some of the old jams I have and combined it with some wine, salad dressing, a soup packet, garlic, and some chili paste to make a simmering sauce for a large pack of boneless pork chops. They were delicious without being too sweet or too spicy. The pork and squash were balanced out nicely with wife prepared sweet potatoes. Who needs Fat Punks when you've got dinner like this?

Did I mention the trip to the grocery store? Where I learned that my wife had never tried Cookie Crisp cereal? I just ~had~ to buy her a box. Ok, had to buy US a box, because if she thinks she's getting to eat it all she's crazy. I only ever got to have this stuff at my grandparents' house (probably because it's not too good for ya), but they're still pretty tasty. I think I may prefer the Vanilla Creme frosted mini-wheats, but I'm a vanilla fanatic so go figure.

Well that's about all my weekend entailed except for the horrifying admission that not only did I watch a few episodes of Design Star, but that I now want to go upstairs to see the next to the last episode, AND that I've programmed my TiVo to record the finale. How could I resist? It's a combination of HGTV, home improvement, decorating, and reality TV all rolled into one show! It's even got Vern Yip as a judge (he was the best designer on Trading Spaces a TLC show), and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, then just forget you even read the last paragraph.

Friday, August 25, 2006

50 posts?

Wow, I can't believe it's already been 50 posts. I blame JamesF personally. Since he's such a dedicated and (almost) obsessive poster, and is the one that got me started in the first place. Although I think it was the brick that really sold me. He's got such a solid reputation, he's a stand up citizen, and the foundation for a lot of posts (we're still talking about the brick, btw). How can someone so square be soooo cool? But after digging through my albums (ok ok, they're CDs I only own like 2 actual records anymore) to get the Barry White music for James and brick, I decided to finish up an old "honey-do" item. So DJ KennyG whipped out his... uh... discs and composed another mix cd. This one is titled "Spite & Malice". I'm still looking for cover art, I'm thinking a slightly worn work/combat boot crushing a soft and fuzzy pink bunny, but I'd settle for other submissions if anyone has something they'd like to share (the winning cover art gets their own signe limited edition DJ KennyG cd of "Spite & Malice") that fits the mood of the title.

For a feeling of the sounds, here's the tracks:
01. Awakening - The Damning Well 256
02. Rock Is Dead - Marilyn Manson 191
03. Bad Blood - Ministry 301
04. Leave You Far Behind - Lunatic Calm 194
05. Dragula (Remix) - Rob Zombie 277
06. Du Hast - Rammstein 235
07. Wake Up - Rage Against the Machine 364
08. Suffocate - Staind 197
09. Control - Puddle of Mudd 231
10. Last Resort - Papa Roach 200
11. Head Like A Hole - Nine Inch Nails 300
12. Enter Sandman - Metallica 332
13. Bodies (Vrenna xXx Mix) - Drowning Pool 202
14. Break Stuff - Limp Bizkit 167
15. It's On! - Korn 269
16. Down With The Sickness - Disturbed 279
17. Bartender - (Hed)P.E. 242
18. Bad Magick - Godsmack 258

And an image of the "temporary" cd label:

Next mix will most likely be '80s. I know. Big surprise.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Reader's Request

Today's subject is from a reader:
5 people I'd like to get even with

First of all if I don't know you how can I even begin to guess about who you'd like to get even with? Perhaps you're a disgruntled employee that wants retribution for an overlooked promotion? Maybe the geeky kid in school that has a list of the 5 people that you're going to "get" someday. Perhaps even a postal worker... but if you were I'm sure you're a very nice one and wouldn't want to harm anyone, especially someone that writes a blog...;-)

So I suppose that since we have no idea who you are (or who you want to get even with), we'll have to go with me. (not for you to get even with me, but 5 supposed people I'd want to get even with).

For those of you that know me, you may know that on occasion I have a penchant for the dramatic rant, and flights of vengeful fantasy. That I do not (usually) fulfill. Due mainly to the amount of havoc I caused as a youngster and my desire to set that right, which is why I usually try to use my powers only for good (well... at least not evil). In the big scheme of things most of the persons who have ever made to anything resembling my "black list" have already had so many other obstacles thrown at them in this life, that it would just be too mean for me to heap on more misfortune. Most often it's that through their own behavior they have alienated most of the other people they've met, and the few that do hang around them still do so for selfish reasons (power, fame, money, etc).

I can count on my hands the number of people I've come across that I have ever seriously wanted to exact my own form of revenge. Revenge. It sounds so dirty, so primal, so selfish. Truly an ugly way to look at one's reflection in a mirror. Usually we couch truths about ourselves in words that seem much better, even when we describe the exact same behavior that we just commented on or witnessed another enacting. We use words like justice, reparation, balance, compensation, fairness, and equity. Because those words are not personal. They are not small.
# Revenge - other people getting even for misperceived slights against their person.
# Justice - one triumphantly bringing balance to the universe where someone else has transgressed.)

So who are these people? There aren't any. Yes, there are still less than a handful that a part of me wishes the universe would hurry up and equalize, but that's not ~my~ job. MY job is me, and the things important to me (my pack). Because boiled down to its essence, revenge is simply wasting more time, energy, and hurt on someone or something that wasn't worth it in the first place. If they are mean or rude, deliberate or accidental, or even consciously malicious the WHO they are will ultimately have them reap what they sow. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe... not even this life.

I know it sounds all fantastic and enlightened and all, but that is merely my "goal", not necessarily my end product. As with all people some days I drive it down the fairway, others I find myself in the rough, and some days... I'm just plain out of bounds. I'm not always on par, but the holes-in-one sure do feel good.

Now that I've lost everyone's interest, I'll try to have a funnier post tomorrow.

Bob: Knock. Knock.
Ray: Who's there?
Bob: Interrupting cow.
Ray: Interrupting co...Bob:MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Heh... that's my favorite knock knock joke. It's better in person, btw.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Makin' Copies

So my group at work has not had a copier functional for 4 months. Last week they had a technician in, and despite it not being my gig, I escorted him. I bugged him with all kinds of questions about how the machine worked and how to fix different parts. (Yeah, don't put me somewhere with nothing else to focus my attention on, I can be almost as obnoxious as JamesF.) After he found the problem, it was stuck in the point of the tech saying "well I don't have the number, so I can't order the part", the helpdesk saying "well you'd have to talk to the sales rep", and the sales rep being otherwise unreachable. After a few hours of my time spent learning about the intricacies of photocopying... it was a rather choice voicemail I left for her. It was apparently the correct things to say, as the technician from the last visit called me directly when he showed to install the part that "no one could order". I'm just glad no one is asking me about the dang copier anymore. *grin*

I was upset to hear from JamesF that Google video upload was down. Since I had stayed up a bit past my bedtime to edit a video for the wife's blog. (It's a bit rough, since I was tired and didn't add transitions, but I still liked it. And no, I'm not telling you what it is, you'll have to wait and watch.) So hopefully by Friday or so, she'll have a post up. (assume about 24 hours or so after the Google gets the stuff processed.)

I am working on gathering a few more bits and pieces to make a couple more videos, but I'm afraid nothing will be as... unique... as JamesF's latest creation. Warning, discretion is advised for our younger viewers!

I have also realized in my quest for '80s songs (for movie soundtracks, keep up!), that I have a seemingly large and yet insufficient collection of tunes. Fortunately I have not yet come to the day that there is a song I want to use, and do not yet possess. I have, however, frequently arrived at the event of having a song, I NEVER intend to use. (Why oh why did I get that Tony! Toni! Tone! CD?)

**Update - Apparently the "E" with accent mark did not translate correctly. So it's not "tone" it's "tone-eeee". Thank you JamesF for the catch.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bring out yer dead

Not your REAL dead, just things that are no more. Like a favorite restaurant of mine, Fat Punks. Looks like they closed the day I started at the new place, maybe they were depressed. *grin* Ok not my ~favorite~ place to go, but they did have quite a few good items on the menu. My favorite item being the chicken fingers. They had a few options all of which were tasty. Plain with honey mustard or BBQ sauce, shaken in a spicy BBQ sauce, buffalo (hot and mild), and my favorite Thai Style (which they later renamed to sweet chili). Served with a side of their delicious fries, or better yet the sweet potato fries. Now you're talkin'!

Quick update on the Murano (I think that's Italian for idiot...). The rearendER's insurance called today and would like to take care of me and the car. So hopefully I can convince the wife to drive by the nearby body shop and have them fax an estimate in, and then if I can get the check back by Monday, they can start work next week. I may even have them get me a rent-a-car while the Murano is in the "hospital".

In other updates...
With my boss back in town, he and I finally sat down and he went over the project he wants me on. It's a good news/bad news deal. It's a high profile (read some attention of the senior VPs) project, so I do well and it's VERY good, I mess up and it's VERY NOT good. No pressure. It's something new, but nothing I can't handle. It will be nice to have something to do beyond proofing business cards (which were wrong a third time... *grin*).

Someone once asked me if I was crazy or just stupid. I replied that if I didn't understand what I was doing I would seem stupid, and that if he didn't understand what I was doing then I would just seem crazy. I'll take crazy over stupid any day, there's already an overabundance of stupid out there. ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dream the big dream

If I didn't have to work to earn a living, my dream job would be...
Well.. this is the proverbial "I won the Lotto" question. For this, I have an answer.

I would NOT have a job! I would however have a modest(sized) home built on a large ranch in the south (probably TX). I have in mind a canine play area that includes a wading pool, water toys (think fountains and sprays), a large aluminum awning covered arena for training purposes, a VERY large fenced area for running, perhaps some kenneling/dogruns for fostering, and perhaps even a cooling off cave. For myself outside, I would have a hot tub, a LARGE builtin gas grill, as well as a large wood smoker (with a continuous supply of mesquite for smoking various foods), maybe a quarter to half acre for gardening (with irrigation built in), and a big screened in porch. Inside... a technophiles dream. Fiber gigabit network throughout the house, T1 (or greater) to the premises, digital TV with PVR in any room that had a screen, a large movie viewing room with uber sound and leather recliners for all, a room for nothing but computing that's big enough for say 6, nice kitchen with all the trimmings/cabinets/counter space I can handle, fridge, stand up freezer (to keep all the smoked items), a workshop that could handle either electronics or carpentry, and a really really nice master suite.

My time would be spent on some non-profit work for canines (as I imagine my wife would do also). Halloween would be ~my~ biggest event of the year, and I would get to have a nifty project to work on every time. Christmas would be for the wife, and we would come close to the "Griswold Christmas Vacation" lighting (if she wanted). Somewhere in the plan I think there's a large RV with some camping/touring trips with the canines around the country (connected the entire time to update the blog of course). And I would hope time to read, write, and enjoy life.

Alas for now, I must continue the grind like many others, and hope that someday, I'll get to glimpse and live at least a small part of the grandiose dream.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Would you like to play a game?

Maybe not Global Thermonuclear War, but I did at least get to pretend I was a handy man today. The microwave we had put in close to when we bought our house did not survive the extreme storm we had a little over a week ago (maybe 2 weeks). Of course it had just passed the warranty timeline, so it was time for a new one. Having done this once before, it was much easier the second time. (Especially considering I didn't have to run a new outlet!) We went and picked up the newer model of the one we previously had, which was a good model except for the blowing out part. The new version has a speed control on the vent fan with 5 speeds, I like it. From unpacking the crate to packing up the old micro in the box, it was about an hour. (With 55 minutes of swearing, so says the wife. I don't think I swore ~that~ much, only when I couldn't get one of the screws in because it wasn't hanging on the back wall plate correctly....) With the clock set, and a test run of dinner for the furbabies warmed correctly, I call it a success.

I was pleasantly surprised today to find another one of the english cucumbers in the garden that was a bit young, but large enough to harvest. Though still lighter green, I was in the mood so I brought it in, sliced it up, and served it on a plate with a little salt and some dashes of basalmic vinegar. Delicious! They were a great accent to the spicy boneless pork(or as I frequently mistype prok) chops, which were grilled along with some onion slices and more bounty from the garden, 2 yellow squashes. The chops were a touch dry as I had pre-sliced them into strips, and neglected to take this into consideration sufficiently, but this was easily remedied with BBQ sauce (just a drizzle not a shower). I think the leftovers may turn into some curry later in the week, if I'm lucky.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Just a "friendly tap"

Well, maybe not sooo friendly.
So I'm driving down 28 on my way home, and the truck in front of me locks up the brakes, skidding a good 10 feet. (If you go now, you can see the skid marks on 28 south, just after Machen road in the 2nd from right hand lane.) I manage to stop without hitting them, but the woman behind me (who hadn't seen me starting to brake) nailed us. Certainly not a tremendous impact but as you can see below, it punctured my bumper at one spot.

The worst part about it all, is that it seems that ~I~ will have to pay for the repairs despite being rear-ended. The police didn't write any citations, basically gave us "exchange of information" forms, and then left because "No one was injured, and both vehicles were drivable". We'll see what the insurance people say when I call them BACK on Monday (I did call the main number, and have reported it, and have my claim number). I may wind up not submitting a claim to repair the car if the difference between my deductible (+ the raise in rates which I'm sure would happen ~completely unrelated~ to this incident) and the cost of the repair. I was trying to get the cost of a new rear bumper, but apparently it's some kind of highly prized information, because I couldn't seem to find website that would say "Murano 05 - rear bumper == $XXX".

Any accident you can walk away from... I'm happy that it's only a bumper and no one was hurt. Not like the "Dukes of Hazard" crash I had back in... 1998? I can't even remember the year now. It was a three car caravan, with us in the front. I was the front passenger in a Mercury Villager (minivan), headed south on 95 for a 2 week beach vacation. At some point the driver either lost consciousness or went into some kind of non-responsive state (it was about 8ish in the morning, and we had just had breakfast) and we started to drift off the road towards the median. Now, this is on 95 south where the median is a depression filled with trees. After shouting at the driver to wake up and trying to get his attention, I decided to turn the wheel to keep us from plowing into said trees at 70+ mph (foot still on pedal). I just wanted to get us parallel to the road, and to that end I succeeded. Unfortunately, I did not have anymore time for strategies at that point, as we ran straight into one of the state trooper access roads. These access roads are at the level of the highways on either side of the median, and so are raised up a bit from where we hit it. At this point in time, I and the other two people in the minivan are airborne. (I think we managed to clip the top of the speed limit sign on the other side of the access road as we were going over.) I had my split second of "Oh. So ~this~ is how I'm going to die.", before we hit the ground. The people behind us later told me they thought we had stuck the landing and we're gonna be ok. Until the flipping/rolling started. I think we made 2 complete revolutions or so, and ultimately landed back on our wheels somehow. At one point my entire arm was out the window (the guy behind me saw it) as the minivan started to roll that way, I must've pulled it in or something, because the guy behind us was sure I was gonna come up with no arm at all. Apparently my shoulder had been dragged a little due to the grass and mud stains on my shirt across the back. Got out of the van, to assess myself. All limbs moved, no major gashes or blood loss, tons of small cuts and/or embedded pieces of glass, could feel where I'd hit my head on the window/ground, and suspected my should was out of socket (it had been). Checking on the others I found the driver with a red nose from the airbag, and a sore right elbow, from where the cooler had hit him. The passenger in the back seat, not so lucky. She wound up having 3 broken ribs, and a suborbital fracture. They needed the jaws of life to cut the van open in order to extract her. A bumpy ambulance ride later (btw if they ever tell you to get on the back board for transport, just do it. Don't argue, don't make a fuss. Just get on the board.) we're at the hospital. Since I did not want to ride on the back board, I was put into the triage room (for 2.5+ hours) in a wheelchair, covered in dirt, grass, and blood much to the semi-horror of some of the other people waiting. Now for those that know me and my constant barrage of (usually weak) humor, a crisis situation is no different. In fact, left with nothing else to do it sort of drives me on. So here is this seemingly horrid crash victim making really bizarre jokes (normal for me) and finding the entire situation ridiculous and therefore amusing. I think someone finally got up and told them to take me in the back, but I'm not sure. They patched us up (mostly) and I spent most of my two-week vacation, on meds and locked in the beach house, at least the sangria was fresh.
That accident pretty much makes this incident look like the minor inconvenience it is.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Disturbing images

Well not like "Holy crap, I'll never sleep again!" images, but disturbing none the less. The first one is one I referenced in the post about my friend Clara's wedding (where I got to dance with JamesF). I had referenced that I was slightly tardy to the reception due to a truck fire on I-66. Well here's the pic from my phone. I was in a hurry and left the camera at home, D'oh! (SEE Clara and James!? There really ~was~ a fire!)

The other image is one I came across today in [BLANK]Mart (name with held in case some company gets upset). It's also from my phone, but I mean... who brings a camera to take pictures in a place like that?
All I can say is, "I'm glad I'm not a mole!"
Or maybe "Holey Moley"?
Whack-a-freakin-mole! (perhaps it's the Mafia version of whack-a-mole?)

I don't know why this bothered me. Mouse traps (of any kind) have little or no effect. Perhaps it was the ring of sharp spikes hanging above the mole like a sword of Damocles.... Maybe it was the name of the company - REVENGE, that somehow turns it into more than just vermin removal. (It's almost an ACME tool to give to the coyote.) It's like they've turned it into a personal grudge match. In my mind I see it as the gritty reality version of Caddyshack and Carl Spackler's personal fight with the gopher. I bet if Carl had some hardware from REVENGE, Inc. instead of that C4, he might have prevailed...

Most embarrassing moment (at the time)

This is the first of the "suggest a topic/title" test.

[Scooby Doo flashback music]
I was a weee lad of let's say 4ish (I think it might have actually been younger.. but specific age is mostly irrelevant). I was in the Skaggs Grocery store (they later became Albertson's, Jewel Osco, and I have no idea what they are now...) around the corner from my home in Fort Worth, TX. Just me and mother. It's a simple enough story, I wanted a piece of Super Bubble** bubble gum. This was back when each piece was still a penny (I can hear JamesF doing his curmudgeony old guy voice now, "In ~my~ day, gum was only a PENNY! Not that we had pennies.. *mumble* *murmur* zzzzzzz" ). I loved me some gum, lemme tell ya, I can even remember when they had 3 flavors out - regular, green apple, and grape. I never really have cared much for artificial grape flavored anything, but never mind that now.
So there I was wanting gum, and mother was busily shopping away, so I helped myself to a piece or two. Being so busy, she didn't notice me happily chewing away until we were out in the parking lot. Now, for those that know me, silence in my vicinity is rare and usually indicative of a problem or an evil plot. It's true now, and it was even more so then, why mother (if you're wondering why I call her that, it's what she wanted to be called, I always felt it sounded creepy. Far worse than "Mommie Dearest", although that's probably a more apt description...) didn't notice, I don't know. Well when she finally DID notice, you'd have thought I shot the Pope. I think this might have been the first time she swore directly at me. I was sure that the entire parking lot could hear (mainly because they ALL whipped heads around to see what the commotion was) and maybe even some people across the street. But the public redress was only the beginning. After securing the groceries (rapidly wilting in the hot TX summer sun) into the Volare (ours was white if I recall) she promptly began marching me inside. I'd say drag more than march really, hard to keep up when your elbow is above your head and being pulled at twice your normal pace in front of you. So mother blows in the doors, and proceeds directly to the service counter (keep in mind she's yelling all this time, punctuating her words with every other step or so). Instead of just having me apologize and give them the two pennies I've cheated them, she loudly insists on seeing the store manager, or the owner if they are around. After some scrambling about amid aisles and checkout lanes full of onlookers, we are ushered into the back room upstairs where the floor manager greets us. I offer my best apology and hold out the change mother has given me to pay for the gum. He accepts it and tells me not to ever do this again, and I heartily promise to never ever shoplift (in front of my mother) again. At this point he's done with me (although he was horrified at the whole process from the look on his face), and we are taken back out, where my mother makes me apologize to anyone and everyone there for disrupting them, and/or for stealing. The worst kicker, as we get back to the car... she makes me spit the gum out. Man, crime really doesn't pay.

Or as Aesop would say, "Even if you put your two cents in, you may not get what you want."

There are more stories regarding my utter mortification, and upon reflection they always seem to revolve around mother. What a surprise. I won't give you the nitty gritty details, but a little less than 10 years after the above "incident", she was driving me to middle school (past the same store) when she pulls in, shoves a $20 at me and tells me to go buy her some feminine products. (No. I have no problem with the words or concepts now, thanks to my repeated horrifications on the topic, but some of my male readers would click away at the mere typing of the "T" word.)
So I look at the $20, then back up at her and ask, "Really? Can't you go?".
She answers immediate with, "No, we don't have the time."
"Can I at least get something else too?", I plaintively asked.
"No. Just those. And hurry we're going to be late. RUN!"
Off I scoot into the store, and since she's dragged me along, and informed me waaaaaay too much about this stuff already, I know exactly where I'm going and which box to grab. Back at the register... there's always the look when a teenage boy come to checkout with only those... "Yes, I know what they're for, my mother is waiting in the car outside" *rolling eyes* *looking around*. Yeah... Like I was gonna use them to make Molotov cocktails or something. SHEESH. A little compassion people!!
So maybe not the worst, but man, that's still pretty rough for a just barely a teen.

I would go on, because... well... I have lots more stories of that nature. Let's not forget the argument in the middle of the night (ok it was an accusation for something I did NOT do), that had her drag me out of bed in my underwear (yes, tightie whities) only to stand at attention in the den until I confessed. When I started passing out without a confession, she sent me to bed, but grounded me anyway. At least there was no company that night!

None of this affected me, and I'm just as normal as any of you.

** Corrected my bad entry. I had previously posted that it was Bubble Yum bubble gum, when in fact, it was Super Bubble. The small pieces, this was before they went to the large pieces.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

And now for something completely different

In a never ending search for content, posting material, and/or drivel I've decided to try something out. I'll have people email me either a subject of something they'd like to know my thoughts on, orrrr they can simply email me the title of a post, and I'll supply the rest.

*Note: not all entries will be used. If your request is used, you will get credit for it, unless you request otherwise.

Tonight I will be grilling another batch of summer squash from the garden, and it looks to be as tasty as the last! MMMmmm grilled chicken and veggies, what could be better?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


So good news on two fronts of the war on wireless. The new AP is very nice and very fast (the old one was limited to B, now I have B&G so the lappy is happy). The TiVos can connect and get their programming info, so that side is great. And the laptop has internet again! Apparently the version of wireless controls I'm running now requires you to manually input the entire security string instead of the abbreviated one as before. Slightly annoying, but I'll take the hit for even a modicum of a security increase. Still not sure what James did (since the connection stopped working in the MIDDLE of a browsing session), but he's off the hook. Not off the hook as in "YO man! That party was OFF DA HOOK!" but no longer going to get the evil eye from me, and I'll put the voodoo doll away. (Hope your knee feels better James. It wasn't me.) This also means that I will finally be able to install the "guest" PC upstairs and hook it up with the mini-usb wireless adapter. As a geek I will be proud to finally have web-surfing available on every floor in the house! (My wife however, may not be as pleased. *grin*)

I am slightly unhappy by the news I came across as I was leaving work today... My boss' boss told us no jeans. (I had asked him about Aloha Friday.) He went on to say "no shorts either", to which I replied, "Well... I guess that rules out the 'no pants' option then too, huh?" He was not expecting that answer, but gave a hearty chuckle and assured me that pants were, in fact, required. I wonder what his feelings on kilts are...

And on an unrelated note...
If you're the kind of person that occasionally puts their foot in their mouth (*cough* James *cough*), now they have JUST the shoe for you!

This is a 100% edible shoe, made by my pastry-chef friend, Kim. I think it's actually like a size 19 or something, but she might be able to make you a pair in something closer to your own size. (And maybe even a more masculine color, not that there is anything wrong with pink shoes!)

Ok I have no other completely random segues, so... ciao.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Wireless, Finger pointing, and a sick lion

We'll start with the fun. (Yes, that's the finger pointing!)
James, who had recently stopped by and used my laptop, clicked something somewhere which caused the wireless connection on the laptop to cease functioning. (James is known by many to possess a technological "Touch of Death". Think Midas, but instead of gold it turns to crap, and it only activates when interacting with something electronic. Fortunately it's mostly only to his own gadgets, but occasionally it affects others.) To be fair, the wireless at my house has been a wee bit unsteady for a while, and I have suspected a failing or unhappy wireless router, and I'm also not happy about running a wireless high speed router (with the routing turned off) on top of a wired router. So maybe this was the perfect excuse to go out and pick up a regular Access Point. Too tired to install it tonight, especially if even something small goes wrong. (Besides the TiVos are downloading new channel content!) If this doesn't fix it, then I will beat James with the laptop and the old wireless router. (just kidding, James.)

And since that was possibly the least exciting thing I've posted (well.. except for the rice and beans blog, but we won't go there!) I'm making it another fable!
Today's Lesson is titled:

The Sick Lion

A Lion, unable from old age and infirmities to provide himself
with food by force, resolved to do so by artifice. He returned
to his den, and lying down there, pretended to be sick, taking
care that his sickness should be publicly known. The beasts
expressed their sorrow, and came one by one to his den, where the
Lion devoured them. After many of the beasts had thus
disappeared, the Fox discovered the trick and presenting himself
to the Lion, stood on the outside of the cave, at a respectful
distance, and asked him how he was. "I am very middling,"
replied the Lion, "but why do you stand without? Pray enter
within to talk with me." "No, thank you," said the Fox. "I
notice that there are many prints of feet entering your cave, but
I see no trace of any returning."

It is suggested that the original meaning was something akin to:
"He is wise who is warned by the misfortunes of others."

Best I could come up with was:
If you're going to be a serial killer and eat your victims, pay close attention to removing evidence!

If you're going to take everyone out... Take out the Fox (or most clever adversary) first.

I like that one better.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ho hum, Sunday

Well the weekend was (thankfully) slow. Nice to have some relaxation. On Saturday, we went to a friend's house where they made paninis. Apparently the singular of this word is panino. Who knew? Back to the reason I'm mentioning it... It was the first time we had used anything harvested from the self-admitted tiny garden we have growing in the back this year. Only a few items being grown this year: tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow (summer) squash, and pumpkins.
Now... the squash (the things we harvested and brought with us) we sliced and they were lightly sauteed before being unceremoniously shoved into some delicious rosemary and olive oil bread with some chicken, a variety of cheese, grilled onions, and some peppers. This monster sammich (that's how I spell it, leave me alone) was then put into a panini grill, and heated to a nice golden crispiness. Delicious. Granted, the squash we harvested was nothing like the ones from 2003 (shown here).

As a side note... do NOT let squash get this big. They become riddled with seeds, and though we scooped them out and made stuffed squash with them (it was very tasty), nothing beats the little ones. The pumpkins we are growing (or trying to anyway) are from seeds out of the biggest pumpkin I ever grew, a 95 lb. monster. (Displayed here in my version of Rodin's "The Thinker".)

No cucumbers have shown up, although their vines are everywhere! There are a few pumpkin "buds", but no real progress towards a big gourd. Hopefully those guys will fill out soon. The tomatoes have quite a few flowers/proto-tomatoes but only 1 of size, and it's still green. All in all fairly well underway for starting VERY late in the season. I can't wait till the next batch of squash is ready for grilling, and I can sink my teeth into a freshly plucked (and WASHED) cucumber! Perhaps next year we'll be able to get the "crops" in the ground sooner (vacation interfered this year, and then RL).

And now James wants me to try some demo of a thing called Titan Quest. I've downloaded the demo, but not had a chance to take it for a test drive. I really don't have time for anything other than my current online addiction (no James, not blogging) City of Heroes. Maybe some night this week.

Friday, August 11, 2006

If everyone else jumped off a bridge...

I wouldn't jump. But I might make a poster like Doberwoman and James.

Ok. Ok. So maaaaybe I'd make two.
If you're one of those pictured and reading this, remember it's in good fun!!!

Ok, I made three... what of it?!

I *promise* this is the last late addition...

I just couldn't help myself. Apparently I really like that site, and am very easily amused.

Freaky Friday

This may be the last of my "daily" posts, as I had originally intended to reduce my schedule. But we'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll become an addict like James.

Today while seemingly slow was actually productive. Got accounts on the "other" network. Saw the brand new machines that came in for me and my cow-orker. They are nice, and we should have them back to us configured by Tuesday. Managed to get the new "boss" to give us a memory download so that we could get stuff done next week while he's away. Not bad to take over after 4 days of being around the office. Is it bad if allll of the guards know your name by the first Friday?

The only really bad thing of the week happened today. As I was leaving (I was last out, so my turn to lock up) I went to set the alarms... but... they wouldn't clear for me. For someone who's dealt with these kinds of things for years (as one of the people you call to fix it!) it was difficult for me to have to track someone else down to "fix it". I don't like not being able to do it myself. I think I'll have my boss give me the low down on those systems when he gets back. *grin*

And as this week has been a "good news/bad news" week, I'll close tonight and the week out with a good news. I have finally figured out how to make the fancy single brew coffee machine to make a faux-cappuccino using two different packets, and if I tweak it, I can make it vanilla or hazelnut. YUMMY!
I know. I know. I'm far too easily amused.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thankful Thursday

YES! Today I have a phone. And much to my surprise... the ITS guy managed to scrounge a PC for me too. It's old, and slow, but it's on my desk! He also informed me that they had ordered the new GX 650s for my "real" PCs on the way. So that's pretty sweet too. (I'm sure this had NOTHING to do with the 8 pack of his favorite soda that ~magically~ appeared on his desk today. *GRIN* ((HEY! I'm not STUPID!)) )

I completed my timesheet training (Yes I got a perfect score on the test afterwards, tyvm), and managed to complete my sheet with only minimal questions from my supervisor. I got email setup and all the other registery thingies done, so I'm almost an employee now. Annnnd I ~finally~ have some real tasking. It's a medium sized project to complete, and I should be able to get a fair way through it next week while the boss is gone.

I also picked up a lot more of the internal politics of the place as they have determined me to be "safe"... HAHAHAHA little do they know...

So tomorrow is my boss' last day then he's off on vacation for a week, so hopefully we can pull all the important information out of his head before he goes, and MAYBE even get an account on the other system.

(And I found a really good Thai place near the office. Pad See Eew, spicy like I've never had. SOOOOO Good!)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Special Bonus post!

Tonight's extra evening post is inspired by yet another of Aesop's tales...

The Heifer and the Ox

A Heifer saw an Ox hard at work harnessed to a plow, and
tormented him with reflections on his unhappy fate in being
compelled to labor. Shortly afterwards, at the harvest festival,
the owner released the Ox from his yoke, but bound the Heifer
with cords and led him away to the altar to be slain in honor of
the occasion. The Ox saw what was being done, and said with a
smile to the Heifer: "For this you were allowed to live in
idleness, because you were presently to be sacrificed."

The usual moral: "He who laughs last, laughs best."

A slightly different take:
"If you aren't being given work to do, they might be keeping you around in case they need a sacrifice."

or for PhDs...
"Publish or perish"

Feel free to leave your own morals to these stories in comments.

Waitin' Wednesday

Waitin'. Waitin'. More Waitin'. That was a lot of my day. (There you go Scott, it's not your version of the title!) I (and my associate) did manage to track down an "Employee Profile Form" and even managed to track down the people that knew the right numbers to fill in. So we're officially in the system now to get - a phone. The bad news is... they apparently only install new phone service on Tuesdays. So... I'll be without a phone until the 13th. Joy.

Still waitin' on a PC (of any flavor) to show up. At this point I found out that they are ordering new hardware spec'd out just for us, that has more than the usual hardware. So that's cool... Now, I'm not talking some uber 10GB ultra-high end shuttle trajectory calculating super machine, but it will have good memory, good speed, and a bunch of whistles. Unfortunately... I also found out the spec isn't complete, so it hasn't even begun to be ordered yet.

Waitin' on furniture. ~Supposedly~ that comes in next week (MAYBE the week after), but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Did actually get a few things productive in today (aside from the form for the phone), met in a meeting and got some good low down on interior politics. I also sought out a former coworker and got even better "poop" about what's going on, what had recently happened to precipitate the changes that lead to my hire, and what was to come.

So we'll chalk today up as a positive.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tune in Tuesday

Good news... Bad news...

Good news/Bad news:
+ Some of my tickets are intact and I got a new badge on day 2!
- Others are still in process of transfer.

+ There's a cool individual coffee maker on my floor.
- Most of the items/flavors it makes are blah. (though the Fr. Vanilla is acceptable)

+ I have my own office.
- There was only a beat up old desk without even a chair.

+ I will have speakers on my main machine (I get 2 machines).
- I will have no internet on it.

+ I didn't have my phone ringing off the hook.
- Because I have no phone, yet.

+ I found out another person I know works in my building.
- I found out it's Greg S. (some of you know him. Ask Annemarie)

- Someone asked me if I knew another person that used to work there with my last name.
+ She no longer works there.

+ Parking was no problem.
- Because we're only at 1/4 the occupancy for the building, and they are in process of filling it up! (AND building another building next door that will share the lot!)

+ No one really came by to bother me with problems.
- No one came by with problems!

All in all... not a bad first day. I mean... the boss was moving his own stuff in, and they're still getting set up in the place, and with new furniture coming next week (ha ha, yeah right) I can overlook not having a PC, a phone, a chair, or a desk that had all its drawers functional (one fell apart as I was pulling it out of the desk). So I guess not wanting to quit on day 2 is a good thing. Did I mention my boss is going on vacation next week? Looks like it will be a CBT week for the old KennyG. (That's Computer Based Training by the way, you know... those "fun" videos'/programs that you watch/click through to learn stuff... I'm sure they are thrilling.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Friday fun fades to Monday mayhem

Well first... some images from last week (Friday).

I'm not sure if Jason was trying to bob for tortilla chips, or showing off his massive jaw strength, or possibly just practicing his "jazz fingers", but it amused me anyway.

Not sure who the guy behind him is. Perhaps he's the tortilla supervisor to ensure no chips were harmed in the making of the pic...

And while Jason seems to be reveling in my departure (I know you're not J, I'm just playin'.) here's someone that seems... well... less than pleased. And with good reason. My boss (ok ~former~ boss, fine JAMES!) Roy, certainly seems to be saying, "No. Really. You should stay. Stay. Please don't leave me to the godless hordes!" Ok maybe the last one was a little over the top, but if I thought there was a way to effect the changes needed any other way than leaving... then I would still be there. Hopefully Roy's 4.5 week (upcoming) vacation will be the rest he needs! I'm jealous, I'd love to truck across the country in a rolling hotel! Reno indeed!

and Friday rolls into Monday...

No pics to post from it, because they do not allow recording devices of the audio or visual kind in the building. Longest orientation ever. Even freshman year orientation gave you a break for lunch. Ours was spent waiting in line to submit half of the 61 page HR documents sent out earlier, then waiting in line to get badge pictures taken. (I REALLY should have gotten around to that haircut on Sunday...) Somewhere in between we were supposed to have grabbed a bag lunch off a table (I was lucky I got turkey, the chicken salad, and tuna salad ones didn't look so good to me, but others thought they were fine...) and somehow eat your lunch while filling out even more forms and surveys. I'm amazed I didn't get soda/mustard/sandwich crumbs all over the forms, but there's a first time for everything.

My friend Ken was there too (another Ken, yes I know), and someone with his same first and last name was there too... 42 people in orientation... 2 with the same name. Go figure. 4 Kens in the class. 4! 10% with same first name, I just found that odd... for ANY name.

Mostly I'm just tired now. This whole thing still feels surreal. Perhaps actually reporting to a new job tomorrow will drive it home. Perhaps I will continue to be lost in my own little fantasy (is)land. ("Boss! Boss! De plane! De plane!!") I'll show up tomorrow and Mr. Rourke will greet me with a tropical drink in a coconut, and tell me he's my host, and welcome. Or... maybe I'll show up and have another set of paperwork...
Odds on favorite for the paperwork.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


So despite needing to be up in...oh... 5 hours or so, I am wide awake. I don't have ~any~ idea why.... Unless... nah... it couldn't be starting a new job in the morning? Well not really work. Monday is all about orientation. Apparently I am dis-oriented, and need to fix that before I can do any work. It could be fun, I mean I always got good marks at orienteering in both military school (top honors in my grade), and in Boy Scouts (where I got my Eagle Scout - go me!). But somehow... I just don't see how using a compass and a map is going to help me with writing security docs.

Hopefully I'll be able to get by tomorrow on a single latte in the morning, and maybe even get out early so I can come home and destroy more brain cells playing City of Heroes! I actually played some PvP for the first time ever in the game. Apparently I unknowingly built one of the strongest builds (for survivability) in the game. All the bad little villains ran away or hid behind big robots. All in all, an amusing event.

Off to bed, TTFN!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

End of an Era

ERA? Oh wait... that was the LAST company...

So it's done, I'm gone, the badge is off, the door is closed. It's a very odd feeling. Mostly it's still surreal (especially considering I'm stopping by on Friday for yet another party!), but I imagine when I show up at the new place on Monday, it will certainly gain some reality. Hard to believe that after 12 years, I won't be going in to work in the morning.

12 years... it's simultaneously a short and long time. For me it's longest I've ever been in any one place. I've moved around most of my life (no, not a military brat), to include 3 different high schools, and around 2000 I had lived in 15 different addresses over the previous 10 years. Like I said... I got around. For the most part it's been a good ride. It had its ups, its downs, and all kinds of bumps, twists, turns, and surprise loop-de-loops all along. And considering there were only about 12 people that started at the current company before I did most of the 500 or so in the building now have only ever known the place with me as a part of it, seems odd to think that I'm not there.

Hopefully they will find people to take over my meager duties there, like: Form16 approving and filing, 2nd floor net accounts, COMSEC duties, Crypto loading, VTC admin, ASAC, phone switch programmer, backup badge admin, badge system programmer/configuration guy, ADT contact and line troubleshooter, voicemail technician, the "voice of Argon", sysadmin on various nets, CD transfer king, trusted download monkey, general security answer bunny, inspector, auditor, voice of reason, counselor, friend, comic relief, bad example, comic relief, bad cop, good cop, comic relief, virus tracker, investigator, editor, writer, script haX0r, comic relief, web manaintenance engineer and visitor db script monkey, comic relief, and lastly "I dunno, let's ask KennyG to do it! He'll do anything!". Yep... I always wanted to be Mikey. He got to eat the good cereal first, because everyone else was chicken! (Of course... he also ate the really crappy stuff first too, but they never aired those episodes! Like "What do bugs taste like?" and the classic "But the dog sure seemed to like it.")

In the end, I'm sad, excited, relieved, concerned, and... temporarily between worlds.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Yeah, but who gets the bananas?

While talking to a few (now former) coworkers today, I was reminded of a story. This has been around for quite some time. Mostly as email traffic, but it's possibly my favorite story with a lesson.

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana over a set of stairs. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result--the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when any monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace him with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To the monkey's surprise, all the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he'll be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace him with a new one. The new comer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous new comer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they weren't permitted to climb the stairs or why they're participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know, that's the way it's always been done around here.

This is how we form corporate policies...

Just a reminder that sometimes, at least once in a while, we need to challenge, we need to ask "Why?". Most of the time there probably is a good and valid reason for doing something. But sometimes... it's just because no one stopped to ask.

As zero hour approaches...

Color me flabbergasted (I think that's close to puce, maybe mauve) at the response to an invitation sent out on my behalf for a going away luncheon. Here I thought that assuming a position ("Hands on the wall, Sir!") in security would simply succeed in alienating my coworkers, as I have seen in other arenas. Today you could've knocked me over with a feather from the shock of hearing that the lunch filled up and people turned away due to space requirements. Truly, I am touched at the sentiment, especially since it was unexpected. My wish would be to make it so that anyone that wanted to see me off at the luncheon would be able to, of course... I also have a story about trying to please everyone...

And since I haven't posted in a while... I'll rewrite a story I've seen before. I didn't know it's actual source until now, since it felt wrong to post something I knew was not mine.

You Can't Please Everyone

From Aesop's Fables: The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey

A man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: "You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?"

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."

Well the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passersby began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor Donkey of yours? You and your hulking son?"

The man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the Donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the Donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together, he was drowned.

"That will teach you," said an old man who had followed them:

"Please all, and you will please none."

An excellent story! I have long been a fan of Aesop's Fables and the sometimes strikingly deep lessons they present in a simple manner. Of course... I read the moral of the story in a slightly differently... my take is:
"If you try to please everyone, you can kiss your ass goodbye."

Cheers until tomorrow (or so) when I post about... "The End of an Era".
(It's NOT about an empty bottle of laundry detergent!)