Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tuesday Morning Raw Thoughts

Tuesday Morning Raw Thoughts

I caught a little bit of Monday Night Raw last night, for the first time in several weeks.

One thought, because it's later in the morning that I'd thought:

The Matt Hardy/Edge Street Fight was quite enjoyable, once they got started. I didn't see the Summerslam match, but I'd think that this one was better, if only because it went longer. Done correctly, this is a feud you can drag out for months. You don't get that nowadays.

Katrina Thoughts

Katrina Thoughts

Big Stupid Tommy, actually, is your hurricane headquarters. You know that, right? CNN ain't nothing but a bunch of hobag wannabes.

My Hurricane Katrina Top 5:

5. The oil rig coming loose from its shipyard moorings and smashing into the bridge in Alabama. That's different.

4. The woman drinking beer out of the plastic cup looking up and down the street in the French Quarter after the storm's blown through, and the "back to business" attitude she had about doing it.

3. The 812 times they showed the 3 foot section of roof blown off the hotel in which the CNN Correspondent was staying, in Biloxi, Mississippi. If I'd have been drinking yesterday, that would have been what I've drank to.

2. The guy arguing with the Parish Police over whether he had to evacuate his trailer or not. You get these guys every storm. They've watched a Texas size storm approach with 175 mph winds, but they think some cardboard over the windows is all they need to protect their Beanie Baby Collection in their trailer. Natural Selection should have run its course.

1. The guy who decided to run his car down a flooded street in New Orleans. If you've watched, you've seen the video. The guy with a windbreaker and jeans runs out into the water, and does the thing where you run fine until it gets to knee depth. The best part is the completely bewildered look on the face of the guy who drove into the water, after he gets pulled out of the window of his car.

Monday, August 29, 2005



A few random thoughts, this morning:

Your old pal Tommy is off of work today. Which is a good thing. Owing to his being so tired. He feels like he's been working like mad, lately. This is mostly because he's been working like mad, lately.

I am off today. I have resolved to head south (or maybe north) to find something to do. Perhaps a movie. I've not seen a movie in a theater for a long time. Six weeks, maybe. I haven't seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yet. And one person whose opinion I trust liked the 40-year-old Virgin. And I see that the Bill Murray/Jim Jarmusch Broken Flowers movie's playing up in Knoxville.


Is there anything ironic about CNN's Anderson Cooper, who's been standing out in the winds of Hurricane Katrina in Baton Rouge for the past several hours, commenting on the idiocy of somebody else coming out to play in the wind?


I haven't been reading as much this summer as I usually do. Don't know why. Other things on my mind, I guess.

I just finished Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. I liked it quite a bit. I'll try to put more thoughts on that later.


Have I mentioned that I hate the Cubs? I dunno. I think it's seeing all the games where you can't muster more than a run for a complete game loss by Greg Maddux, but the next day you run around like ragamuffins pumping your fists and high fiving after putting 14 on the board.

It's one thing to come out of the gates like that against mediocre pitching.

A winning team knows how to wear a pitcher like Dontrelle Willis down, manufacturing a run or two in the process.

Rob had a call a week or so ago. Give up the ghost, put the Matt Murtons and Felix Pie's in, let them see what Major League pitchers look like for a month. If we're not going to let them play for us, let them audition for other teams to use as trade bait.

I will say that I think getting rid of Matt Lawton is a nice start.


Well. I'm getting out of the house. You guys have a good one.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday Hurricane Thoughts

Friday Hurricane Thoughts

I started this post at 8:26 AM on 8/26. Nothing more to it, and it has very little to do with the rest of this post. I just like little numbering coincidences like that.

I didn't realize just how little attention I'd been paying to the news. I woke this morning to find out that there's a hurricane in Florida. I know I've been out of it, but man! You'd think I'd have caught something having to do with it, on the radio or the interweb.

I feel somehow deprived of seeing Jim Cantore's machismo in action.

It's just one of those little things I've learned from the teevee. If you see Jim Cantore heading for your town, you need to get out of Dodge, captain. I'm not entirely convinced he isn't somehow conjuring hurricanes, using some form of shaman's magic. Perhaps out of anger over his baldness.

And let me just say that Katrina is a fine, fine name.

But I'd much rather have see "Khan" rolling across Florida. I mean, The Weather Channel could have used all that great footage of William Shatner from Star Trek II. How cool would the hurricane coverage be if the commercial bumpers were this....

Other great K names for a hurricane:

King Kong
Klingon Battlecruiser

I think all of those would be suitable names for hurricanes, if only for their value to instill fear. I mean, this storm was a category 1 storm, right? I'd say Floridians have probably been desensitized, especially after the last couple of years. So, a category 1 storm with a little sweet girly name like "Katrina" isn't likely to inspire the fear necessary to get people to run for the hills.

Me? I know if I hear that Hurricane Kowalski is heading for my town, I'm going to run. But then, I live 400 miles inland, so if a hurricane's gonna hit me, it's a heckuva storm.

Other less-fear inspiring names:


Here's a K name that I'm not sure is scary or not: Kris Kringle. I mean, Santa scares some people. But is he going to scare enough people into leaving? Or is that going to warp too many kids, if category 5 storm Kris Kringle destroys a major metropolitan area like Miami or New Orleans?

Anyway, it doesn't seem like there's a huge amount of damage, which is good for the people of Florida. Looks like some flooding, and some minor wind damage.

But you just know that there's some guy in charge of marketing at the Weather Channel who's been destroying his office since yesterday since this storm didn't strengthen to a category 2 or 3 storm. You know the Weather Channel's ratings have to skyrocket whenever a storm like this wanders by.

Hell, it's the only time I watch the Weather Channel.

I make light. I know the storms are dangerous. But I would prefer a hurricane to some of the weather we get here. I mean, all we get is tornadoes, and you don't get Jim Cantore running to your town to stand in a tornado's path. I think Cantore would if he could, but there's just no way of predicting a tornado a couple of days in advance. Hurricanes, you can watch as they form off the coast of Africa, sometimes. So you've got days and days to prepare for hurricanes, even if you aren't sure which way the bugger's going to turn.

Tornadoes just pop out of the sky on the heels of a thunderstorm. We had a golden retriever named Molly who witnessed a tornado going across the ridge next to ours in 1993. For the rest of her life, she was absolutely terrified by thunderstorms. She was scared shitless. Literally. If she heard a sudden clap of thunder, she would crap wherever she was, and hightail it for cover.

Where was Jim Cantore then? Why couldn't he have saved my dog from such embarrassing and humorous defecations? Why, Jim? Why?

I'm just going to link to that Khan thing once more, because I have no way out of this post, and because it amuses me so much.

Ya'll have a good one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005



It pleases me very much to know that this site is your #1 source on the internet for all your Stegosaurus Bad Ass information needs.

Little Bitty Eyes

Little Bitty Eyes

A Conversation I had a long time ago. Immediately after somebody we'd both just met leaves:

Larry: That guy told us his name, didn't he?

Me: Yeah. What was it?

Larry (thinking): That's why I asked. I don't remember.

Me: Me either. I think was distracted by his little bitty eyes.

Larry: He did have little bitty eyes, didn't he?

Me: I was wondering how he saw out of eyes that small.

Larry: Maybe he doesn't. Maybe he moves around like a bat.

Me: With Sonar?

Larry: Yep.

Me: It would explain why he drives a convertible.

Thirty to Forty-five minutes later

Larry: They were tiny, weren't they? Like doll eyes.

Me: The way I remember it, he was all forehead from nose to hairline with little plastic googly eyes glued on.

Larry: I was thinking something like those glass teddy bear eyes.

Me: How long have you been thinking about the little bitty eyes?

Larry: Since you brought it up.

Me: Yeah. Me too.

Sunday, August 21, 2005



My all-time top ten Summerslam Matches

10. the Hart Foundation vs. the Brainbusters, 1989
9. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, Ladder Match, 1995
8. Paul Bearer's Undertaker vs. Ted Dibiase's Undertaker, 1994
7. Hardy Boyz, Dudleys and Edge/Christian--Tables, Ladders & Chairs, 2000
6. Triple H. vs. Mankind, Steel Cage, 1997
5. Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam, 2001
4. Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig, 1991
3. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, Steel Cage, 1994
2. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit, 2 out of 3 falls, 2000
1. Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith, 1992

Interesting coincidence? Bret Hart's in three of my top four matches. All his opponents? They're now dead.

(Special Props to the Owen Hart/Steve Austin match, which was somewhat bungled by the WWF, in my mind. Owen botched a move in their Intercontinental Title match, and injured Stone Cold's neck. They could have and should have parlayed that into making Owen Hart the world's biggest heel. They turned it into a good thing, but mostly for Austin. I think they could have made a wave for Owen to ride for the rest of his career, though I admit I wouldn't want a slip-up to be the basis of my career, either.)

Saturday, August 20, 2005



Random thoughts.

It is hot. Like, crazy-making hot. Today's activity was standing outside and watching the droplets of sweat bead up on my arms. I don't know what I've done to make Jesus angry, but I sure would like to do what I can to make it right. The Lord has made it hot, and I fear it's got something to do with those snitched watermelons.


I turn on the teevee to see the Cubs losing 2 to zilch and I watch Michael Barrett lead off their half the second with a double. In my mind, there is no reason why a man on second base with no outs should not score. Call it small ball, if you must. But I believe you can manufacture runs, even in the Mile High City.

Unless a cog in your machine is named Corey "First Pitches are Pretty" Patterson.

How crazy did I go when the ever-loving pitcher Glendon Rusch, who just threw 34 pitches in his half of the inning, went and swung at the first pitch? (Answer: Ooga Booga Crazy).


My new least favorite thing of the day? Wasp in the truck. I left the windows cracked, and a wasp (or, Wasper, if you're from Clearwater) had found its way into the cab. You know, negotiating the back roads is a whole lot less fun when you're having to keep an eye on the beast that looks like it flew in out of a Giger painting.


As I got ready for work this morning, I was happy to see Matt Kennedy Gould, of Joe Schmo fame, competing on Bravo's Battle of the Network Reality Stars.

Let me ask you this. Didn't Bravo used to have good stuff on? Now, it's all reality shows and West Wing re-runs. And don't get me wrong. I like West Wing re-runs.

At least they could be a little less pretentious. A new catchphrase. Something like "Less Artsy, More Fartsy."

Or is that too close to calling your stuff shitty?

Friday, August 19, 2005

A small thought....

A small thought....

Breaking the hiatus for a question I posed to myself, half asleep, whilst I used the toilet in the middle of the night, last night.

The question: How much Toilet Paper could I eat?

Say your life, or the life of a loved one, depended on that one small thing.

How much toilet paper could you eat if some madman was holding a gun to that person's head, and the only way you could save them was to eat as much toilet paper as possible? How much? One roll? Two?

It would be clean toilet paper. Not used. Fresh off the roll.

A decent quality kind, but nothing overly fluffy like Cottonelle. Nothing perfumed, or with lotion in it.

Just a good, quality white toilet paper. For sake of conversation, let's say Scott brand Toilet paper.

How much?

Because if you don't start eating, that madman's gonna kill you. Or your loved ones.

What if you weren't allowed to wash it down with anything? How much then? I figure that would be worse than trying to eat crackers without water.

How much could you eat?

Do you think Dan Aykroyd would fare better than the rest of us, due to his experience as a Conehead?

Just wondering.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Rerun Marathon

Rerun Marathon

Or is it Marathon Rerun? A couple of people had nice things to say about this post, from April of 2003:

I skipped work today to go run in the Country Music Marathon. Alas, I didn't win, though I did have my own personal best time: 3:13:19. This beats my best time in the Country Music Marathon. Three years ago, I ran a 4:00:04, and two years ago, a 3:29:39. Last year, I was lucky enough to run in the Boston Marathon, but while I stretched, I pulled my hamstring, and was only about to go a couple of miles before the pain was too much.

Now, when I say marathon, it's not an actual 26.2 miles. It's more like 26, because I don't like to pay little things like entry fees. They want me to pay to run? Screw that. Actually, it's kind of funny. I have a little number sheet that I tape to my unitard, and it says "Screw That!"

So, I jump in about a quarter of a mile in or so, after they've stopped watching the lines so closely. I get in the pack and just run.

Let me talk for a second about my running style. I call it "Guerilla Tactics," not only for the way I enter the race, but also for the psychological edge is gives me over the other runners. It's divided into five phases.

The first phase is called "Small Talk."

After I jump the rail, I make my way into the middle of the pack, keeping pace, which is at that point in the marathon a quick jog.

Usually, I'll start weeding out a few people. Run along side them for a little while. Make small talk. Ask if they want to run and grab a burger after the race. Ask if jamming marshmellows up my butt counts as "carbo-loading." Challenge them to races, and in general make a nuisance of myself.

That's phase one. It's called Small Talk.

Phase two begins at around the three mile mark. It's called "Police Chase."

At this point, a lot of the runners are starting to hit "the zone."

You have no idea how much "the zone" pisses me off. Because they aren't actually ignoring you just to ignore you. They're ignoring you because they're so intent on what it is they're doing and what they're trying to do, that they enter "the zone" and the rest of the world becomes a distant blur. I have absolutely no tolerance for that kind of arrogance.

As we hit the three mile mark, I announce that I'll take the point, and that "I'll see you losers later."

A lot of things happen at once. First, I hyperventilate. Then, I start screaming at the top of my lungs. Then, I'll break into a full sprint, and run madly to the front of the crowd, as if being chased, arms pinwheeling wildly, screaming the whole while.

Then comes phase 3. It's called "Taser."

In phase three, after I've run full bore for about two miles, I've jumped out to the lead of the marathon, passing all those Kenyans and Russians.

I hit roughly the 5 mile mark, where I stop on the side of the road, throw up and pass out due to exertion.

Then comes phase four. "Serious Runner."

Sometimes I manage to wipe off the vomit. Actually, that's a lie. Usually, I wake up after about fifteen minutes, and I re-join the race. This phase is the longest, as it goes from mile 5 to mile 25. During this phase, I cry.

I cry about a lot of things. The state of the world today. The shambles that is my social life. The price of petrol. But mostly I cry about the tremendous pain and exertion.

Quick Big Stupid Tommy Fact: I lose more water due to tears and mucus than I do actually sweating.

Then comes phase 5: "Robocop."

For the final mile or so, I imagine that I'm a robot, except that I was once a cop, and that I'm chasing the man (Clarence Boddicker) who killed me once. My murder led to my turning into the robot. And I'll catch him if only I keep running one more mile. And when I catch him, I'll arrest him. And regain a little bit of my humanity. Plus, I pretend that I have a gun that comes out of a holster on my hip.

I really need to work on phase 5. Perhaps I could hire Kurtwood Smith to be at the finish line for me. But so deep am I in my delusions that I'd probably do something really horrible and not just arrest him. However, as things stand now, I'm usually pretty despondant, because there's nobody there for me to arrest.

Thus I do not regain my humanity.

Usually, I'm carted to a local hospital for rehydration afterward. Usually the "doctors" give me "advice" like "don't run any more marathons" and "you're foolish."

Then, I eat like 8 bags of potato chips. And get ready for next year.

One day, I'll be Kenyan.

Another Rerun

Another Rerun

I like this one, too.

From May, 2003:

I put it to you, the reader, that there is no more defining moment in human artistic achievement than the scene of the Andy Griffith Show, when Barney buys the car, and Gomer, Opie, Aunt Bea and Andy have to push the car back. None. Ever.

Here's how the ranking goes:

1. Andy Griffith Show--everybody pushes Barney's car.
2. The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
3. Handel's Messiah
4. William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury
5. the Mona Lisa
6. Hanson's MmmBop
7. Michelangelo's David
8. Cap'n Crunch
9. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
10. The art on the can of Lysol "Spring Waterfall" scent.

But that Andy Griffith thing really blows them all out of the water.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005



I'm going to take a couple or four days off posting new stuff. I'm finding that I just don't have a whole lot to say, lately. But I'll dig a couple of things up that I've posted before, that I think are goofy or funny or just worth reading again.

Keep in mind that any time I've attempted an announced hiatus, I've been back the very next day with something else to say. So, who knows? Maybe I'll wander back early.

But my current plan is to hold off until the weekend, or next week.

Until then....

This one came from January 20, 2003, and is held by a buddy as the high mark on this site. Which is sad to me when you consider I've had 30 months worth of posting since then.

Anyway. On a sad, sad day in that winter of 2003, I wrote this:

My alarm clock....has died.

My friend these last 15 years, faithful and dependable, asking only a plug from which to suckle his life's milk of electricity, is no more.

Let me say a few words: Pal...you've been with me through thick and thin. At the house in the subdivision, and then the house in the woods. In the dorm at Gracy Hall. In the apartment. There've been good times. Remember 1989, when the Cubs made the playoffs? There've been bad times...remember our fight when I thought you ate my egg sandwich? We didn't talk for days, but we worked through it. Like friends do.

I hope up in alarm clock heaven he will forgive me.

Forgive me? Whatever could Big Stupid Tommy have done?

I hope he forgives me for dropping him last night when I was setting his alarm to wake me this morning. He fell from my hands, hit the corner of the night stand. He looked okay, except for the dent on his clock radio's speaker. When I asked, "Plastic Man (for that was his name), are you alright?" he answered with his customary, stoic silence. I smiled, but when I awoke in the middle of the last night, my bladder full to the brim, it was, according to my friend, 14:81. Since we have no hours here on Earth in excess of 81 minutes, and I didn't live on military time (that I'm aware of), I knew that his brain had been hopelessly scrambled.

I woke up with the sun this morning. I stared at my clock. I looked at my watch, knew that Plastic Man was to raise the alarum using the Bob and Tom Radio Network at 6:35. Alas, 18:88 passed without incident, as did the next 18:88. 18:89 came, and there was the briefest burst of static, but just that. And nothing more.

I said a few words this morning, wondering all the while if alarm clocks have souls. The lens fell out of the right socket of my eyeglasses. I take that as a sign from the Lord: Yes, alarm clocks have souls, now go to work!

Or maybe it was the Ghost of my Alarm Clock! Maybe it was Plastic Man who unscrewed the right lens!

If it was, don't do it again. Do you understand the ironic, vicious circle that is not being able to see to fix the thing that helps you see?

That makes me happy, that his spirit is with me. That means that my grandmother, our Pomeranian Mitsy and my Alarm Clock Plastic Man are with me at all times. It is also a little troubling, because Mitsy never liked me and was always trying to bite my little fingers and face.

Visitation will be held at my apartment next to the trash can in my bedroom, for as long as that particular bag stays in that particular trashcan. A Memorial service will be held at the opening of baseball season. In lieu of flowers, send money to Big Stupid Tommy, so that he might memorialize Plastic Man at Wrigley Field.

It's what Plastic Man would have wanted.

Thanks, Buddy. And God Bless.

Plastic Man, the Alarm Clock

Monday, August 15, 2005

Because I am little more than a big girl....

Because I am little more than a big girl....

Didja ever have one of those weeks that just flew by? Well, that was last week. Worked a bunch. Had a couple of chores that took up other bits of my spare time. I'd wanted to post a couple more pictures from my sister's wedding.

I like pictures.

Plus, Afton, who "works" with me, asked to see them.

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Here's the cabin where we slept. Nice place. We ended up sleeping eight there, I think, counting me in a sleeping bag on the screened in porch. Nice, quiet, back in the woods. We had the whole wedding barbecue eating ceremony here.

What? Doesn't your family have a wedding barbecue eating ceremony?

Sounds like you're missing out.

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This is what I did most of the weekend. I toted stuff. Coolers. Luggage. Tables. Pieces of plywood covered with astroturf used so that people with difficulty walking and those who used strollers could cross the ditch up onto the meadow. It's nice to know that a strong back and an easy-going nature take you to such high places in life.

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This is the best picture I have of the little meadow where April and Jeff got married. I hope a couple of others will show up. Everybody and their brother had a digital camera at the wedding.

Anyway, you can see me talking to my cousin Andy and my uncle Charles. I don't know what's just been said, but I am apparently galled by it.

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This is a picture of me and my brother-in-law. Only, in the picture, he's not my brother-in-law. He's just my sister's fiance. This blog is a time machine. Wow.

Also? This picture should shows why you should never tell me to smile.

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This is April exchanging her vows. I tried to convince her to start reciting the Gettysburg Address, or singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. She got a little tongue tied. The preacher was saying too much for her to remember to repeat (we Acuffs have tremendously short attention spans). She got a little tongue tied trying to remember it all.

She laughed. We all laughed. The she turned on us and shouted "My Day! This is My Day! You fools shut the hell up!"

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My favorite pictures are the pictures that are taken while everybody is waiting for a picture to be taken. I don't know what my brother-in-law is doing in this picture. I think he's convincing somebody to come get into the picture. I think he looks a bit like he's taken a shot to the groin.

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This is the little creek that ran next to the meadow where they got married. Really nice spot. They picked a good one. This is my sister, my cousin Michelle, her boyfriend John and my aunt Pat wading in the creek (or as those South Jersey people say it...in the wooder).

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My Dad's the youngest of 8 kids. All except his brother (my uncle) Johnny came to the wedding, and are pictured here, along with various spouses.

Pictured, from left to right: My Dad, my Mom, my Uncle Charles, my Aunt Sharon, yours, truly, my sister April, Jeff, my Aunt Annette, Walt (who's pretty much a member of the family by default, now), my Aunt Jan, my Uncle James, my Aunt Betty Earl, my Uncle Ray, my Aunt Charlotte and my Aunt Brenda.

All crazy. But none of them are truly dangerous.

Not in a lethal kind of way.

Waffle House

Waffle House

Image hosted by Photobucket.comJust a little reading today on Waffle House.

Waffle House is a big thing in this neck of the woods. Some places, you can't sling a dead cat without hitting a Waffle House. Sometimes you marvel at their ubiquitous nature. I can remember a trip from Florida where I made a small game out of counting just how many Waffle Houses I passed from Florida to Tennessee (I don't remember how many Waffle Houses there were, or even how one won such a game counting them, but rest assured: I kicked ass).

How serious are we about Waffle House? Out in Murfreesboro, at two the interstate exits, you could find a Waffle House on either side of the interstate.

This is only barely here or there, but once upon a time, my buddy Joe spent a summer in Nashville. I don't remember if it was in his directions, or simply it became a landmark I would use when heading that way, but the directions to his house included: Turn right when you see the Waffle House.

I've eaten at a goodly number of Waffle House locations. During the daytime, it's not generally my first choice. But if you work odd hours, or are a slacker and/or vampire who's just up at 3 in the morning, Waffle House is a wonderful, white trashy haven.

I'm a big fan of the coffee. Waffle House coffee is terribly underrated. They do good work on the coffee. Also, I have a suspicion that their coffee somehow has more caffiene than some other blends. That, or they're just mixing speed in with the brew.

As for the food? Well, it's edible. I'm not going to blow smoke up anybody's rear end to say it's the food of the gods. But it's tasty at 3 AM, especially after a good drunk.

It also helps that I'm a big fan of the burger for breakfast. You can get a burger at any time of the day there.

Last bit of personal trivia: I like my hash browns scattered, smothered and diced.

Found this article on Fark this morning, written on the event of the chain's fiftieth birthday.

What caught my eye? That little stat that 2% of all eggs produced in this country being consumed at the Waffle House.

Jeebus! Do you know how many eggs are produced in this country?

Seriously? Do you know?

Me neither.

Let's say, A bajillion!

A bajillion eggs.

I don't know what 2% of a bajillion is, however. But I'm sure it's very impressive. Very impressive.

Other facts about Waffle House that aren't included in the article:

Jimmy Carter proposed to Rosalyn at a Waffle House in Marietta, Georgia.

Everybody knows the different variations of the hash browns (scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, topped and diced), right? There are a couple of variations not on the menu...but both are simply variations on an intense beating (one with brass knuckles, one with a pipe wrench), so I don't recommend either of them.

All Waffle Houses are grown from seeds developed by botanists and food technologists from Georgia Tech, with a healthy dose of magic.

The Waffle in Waffle House does not mean you can change your mind over and over concerning your menu choice. The Wait staff is allowed to brain you if you change your mind too much.

The most durable substance known to man is the material Waffle House uses to make their counters. If you should be caught in a nuclear blast, you can protect yourself with armor fashioned out of Waffle House counters. You will probably gain superpowers from the exposure.

The Tennessee Titans football team have a Waffle House right on grounds at their team training facility. Coach Jeff Fisher says, "It's the only place I feel welcome to eat, what with my tendency toward mullets."

Didn't know that, huh?

It's getting late, and my stories are coming on the teevee.

I'll close with this, something my buddy Bill did concerning his experience with Waffle House. It still makes me laugh...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sad News

Sad News

Three or four months ago, I added Popping Culture to the list of blogs I read on a regular basis. Good writing. Made me laugh. Made me think. A good blog.

I didn't have much direct conversation with Daniel, who wrote the blog. Just an occasional comment on his blog. Big Dan would visit my blog occasionally, and a few times, he'd have something funny or well-thought to say.

I was saddened to learn that Big Dan lost his battle with cancer this week, and has passed away.
Like I said, I didn't know him well. But he always struck me as one of the good people in this world.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A brief thought

A brief thought

A very brief thought.

I thought I was tired of Stephen A. Smith a couple of months ago. I'd been tired of his act for a while. I figured he was indicative of all that's been wrong with ESPN for a couple of years, a guy who's little more than wind and sanctimony, who's more interested in making a star of himself than talking about the sports that I'm watching the channel for.

But then he got his new show on ESPN. I gotta tell you, Quite Frankly, I've had completely an ass full of this guy. It's bad enough that I can't watch anything on ESPN without the spot for this guy's show coming on. It's bleeding over onto the other channels I watch. I'm trying to watch The Daily Show, and we get that spot where he sings the praises of the New England Patriots.

The bad part is how mystifying that spot is, and how my anger makes me stop and watch it, every time it comes on. It's like a bad song that gets stuck in my head. I know all the words to the commercial.

That's Right. 40.

I don't have anything really of substance to say, here. Just that I've got little use for this guy, and I'd like him very much off my TV.

Truly We Live in an Age of Wonders

Truly We Live in an Age of Wonders

I just wanted to point to this article, which talks of hearing aids not just for the hearing impaired, which is an idea interesting enough in and of itself.

The couple of things that caught my attention:

In all seriousness, I could use the thingamajig that filters out background noise. If I get into a noisy type place, you might as well not try to have any conversation with me, since my primary contribution in said conversation would generally involve the word "Huh?"

But I liked this:

One of the exhibits, called surround-sound eyewear, uses four microphones built into a pair of glasses to amplify sound depending on which direction the wearer is facing.

"The result is a type of three-dimensional superhuman hearing similar to that found in certain animals such as coyotes," said designer Sam Hecht of London's Industrial Facility. The company harnessed a theory known as "superdirectivity beamforming" to build the specs, projected for release in 2007.
Anybody ever get in one of those 3-D sound demonstration booths that show up at some amusement type parks and electronics shows? One of my more undistiguished moments in life came in one of those, when I very nearly lost my shit when the sound of a dog growling came right behind my ear.

That's probably neither here nor there.

Still, I don't know that I want to hear everything that's going on around me. As I've said, I generally want something to block everything out.

This would be handy, kinda like a Tivo for your brain:

Another concept, the Goldfish, named for its short-term memory, is a set of earphones that would repeat the previous 10 seconds of conversation in case the wearer missed a snippet.
I can't count the number of times I've needed something like this.

I'll get introduced to someone, and halfway through that initial conversation my brain will say "Christ! I don't even have the first clue what this bozo's name is...."

But what I wanted to point out was this. It seems my prayers have been answered:

Very soon, we'll have the technology that would allow us to block out specific sounds we find annoying. Hell yes. Finally an alternative.

See, earplugs? They block everything out.

And it's inconsiderate, expensive and, ultimately, time consuming to simply silence those things that annoy me.

There just aren't enough hours in the day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Cutting the Cake

Cutting the Cake

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Little busy this morning. Just wanted to share this picture from the wedding this past weekend, in which my sister sings an aria (I don't know what about, because I don't speak Italian) while my brother-in-law reenacts the Ice Chopping Scene from Karate Kid 2.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Top 5: the Wedding Edition

Top 5: the Wedding Edition

Well, we wandered up into the mountains to get my sister married off. The top 5 things I enjoyed:

5. Three words: Bar. Be. Cue.

I had to eat three sandwiches, and another half a plateful just to make sure that I was right the first three times about how wonderful the barbecue was.

It was good. I might even say "Hellagood."

I'd imagine the barbecue we ate for dinner last night is similar to what God eats up in heaven.

Best part? There's much left over.

4. The cabin we stayed in was a treat. Out in the woods in Townsend. Even more forestbound than where I live. Nice. Quiet. It'd be a great place to spend a bit of time bothered by no one, getting a bit of writing done.

I slept out on the screened-in porch last night, listening to the katydids and, later in the night, the rain. Been running myself ragged here lately. I can't think of a better night's sleep I've gotten than the one I got last night, out in the fresh air.

Also? Ping Pong Table.

I whipped ass.

It was a fluke.

Sad to think it might have been the one time in my life, and it was simply friendly games of ping pong.

3. Talking books with my Aunts Pat and Annette, Walt and my cousin Michelle. Going to send Pat something by Joe Lansdale, and my cousin Michelle something by Ferrols Sams.

Walt recommends Cormac McCarthy, and my Aunt Annette really wants me to read Major Barbara.

Also, let me say that it was an experience having relatives from different sides of the family there. Living in different parts of the country will do that. My aunt Pat is my Mom's sister, and Annette is my Dad's sister.

Part of the fun seemed to be trading embarrassing Tommy stories as they relate to each side of the family.

From Dad's side...the time my Aunt Brenda told the baby/toddler me not to eat a Philodendron leaf, and I cried for hours. Literally. Or so I hear.

From Mom's side...the time the toddler me had a commentary at the beach on the ugliness of a mole on my Uncle Joe's back.

2. Actually seeing my relatives from up North. It'd been at least six years since I've seen my Uncle Joe and Aunt Pat. I can't remember the last time I saw my cousin Michelle, but she figures it's somewhere around 13 years. And there's really no excuse for that, since she's down in Georgia studying to be a veterinarian.

You know how you get a mental imprint of what somebody looks like? My mental imprint of Michelle, as you might expect, was at least a decade out of date. My first reaction when I saw my cousin? Jeebus! She's freakin' tall!

The filter in my brain not working correctly, it's also the first thing that pops out of my mouth when I go to say hello is something along the lines of "Gee! You're tall."

(They call me Big Stupid Tommy for a reason.)

Of course, I hear tell that her brother and my cousin Jeff is something like 6'5" nowadays. Eatin' healthy up there, I guess.

1. The weather and the ceremony itself. It rained Friday Night. It rained Saturday night, and this morning. But all morning Saturday, the weather was cool and sunny.

My sister April got married in Cades Cove, in the Smoky Mountains. She'd picked a spot next to a stream. A nice, shady spot.

Very, very nice day. Lots of family and friends there. It was like all things came into alignment for the wedding. A few deer wandered by. There was no need to flop myself down on the ground as bait to distract any bears wandering into the scene.

The wedding itself. Short. Sweet. Then we went wading in the creek.

Because that's what we do.

Eh. I'm overtired. Can't even think straight. Just want to say congrats to my sister and new brother-in-law. They'll go good together.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Summer Reading

Summer Reading

Sheila had a link that I enjoyed. Summer reading for the stars.

Before I head out for the weekend, a little bit of my own summer reading....

Haven't read much this summer. Probably as little as I've read in years. I just haven't had the attention span, for some reason.

I did just finish the Harry Potter book. I liked it pretty well. Probably the best of the Potter books since the third one.

I'm picking my way through Wade Davis's The Serpent and the Rainbow, which tells of his travels in Haiti and his experiences with the vodoun culture. It's interesting, and normally it's something I'd eat up in a couple or three days. I'm taking longer, but because I can't sit and read like I want to. I'll finish it in the next couple of days.

I was given a copy of Geek Love by Katherine Dunn by a friend. She recommended it. I've seen and heard it recommended by several people. I may try it next.

So. We've seen what the celebrities are reading. You've seen what I'm reading.

While I'm gone, tell me what you're reading....

A couple of random thoughts

A couple of random thoughts

My sister's getting hitched this weekend. Up in the Smoky Mountains. Getting ready to go to that. Going to drop a couple of thoughts on you before I head out to see my sister get made into an honest woman.


Went to the Delano Community Market yesterday. It's a collective of Amish produce sellers in Polk County. Got some cantelope preserves and a jar of sorghum. The cantelope preserves are perhaps the most awesome thing I've eaten in weeks. Wheat toast, butter and cantelope preserves? I would officially push my mother down to get at that.

I was going to do some sorghum and biscuits this morning, but that would have involved me getting up and cooking biscuits. Kinda puts the kibosh on the whole thing, me having to work to prepare food to eat first thing in the morning. If doesn't involve coffee going into a cup, or cereal going into a bowl, don't bet on it happening within ten minutes of my getting up.

And I had to run before I had time to contemplate the whole fixing the biscuits deal.

But that sorghum and biscuits thing will get done sooner rather than later.


A conversation, related to the previous:

My Dad: I read an article yesterday about the top ten ways you can destroy the Earth.

Me: What, yourself?

My Dad (after some consideration): Maybe. It'd take a lot of stuff. Do you know how to make anti-matter?

Me: I can't even bring myself to make biscuits.


It hit me too late to order the One With Nature T-Shirt to give to my sister and her husband for the wedding. Matching Pee on the Tree T-Shirts. But like I said, I'm not the brightest crayon in the box, so I didn't think of it in time.

Christmas is coming, and it'll be here before they know it.

Did you buy a t-shirt?

Why not?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A post from 1:42

A post from 1:42

One of my sister's students told her this one:

What do you get when your feet fall asleep?

Coma Toes.

G'night, guys. Tommy needum sleep.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A Quiz, and my Thoughts on Harry Potter

A Quiz, and my Thoughts on Harry Potter

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

I realized midway through the third book that I liked Snape quite a bit. That I was even rooting for him. I simply chalked it up to the same thing in my makeup that made me cheer for the bad guy in pro wrasslin' all my life.

I liked Snape because he didn't buy into that whole Harry Potter rigamarole.

It wasn't until the fourth that I realized that Harry Potter is a bit of a git. Don't like the boy. For someone who's a reluctant hero, he sure buys into that whole "Chosen One" in an awful hurry. And he manages to find enemies in people who just think differently than him.

It doesn't help that Snape, Malfoy and the Slytherins are all jerks on the outside. I mean, you have these four houses, right? Griffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, all of which seem to be filled with average, everyday people, and then you have Slytherin, whose students seem to all come from the same mold as most Scooby Doo villains.

Just finished the Half Blood Prince today. I enjoyed this one, once I got going. It took me forever to be able to sit and read more than a few pages at a time. That's my fault, not the books. I've had the attention span of a crack baby here lately. I think it may be some form of penance for my rant against ADD and ritalin a while back.

But I digress.

I don't think Half Blood Prince is as good as Prisoner of Azkaban, which was my favorite. But I liked this one fairly well. Better than Order of the Phoenix, which saw Rowling really falling in love with the sound of her own voice.

I don't want to spoil anything, with my next statement, so you might wanna stop reading. It has a lot to do with Snape, who I've always rooted for as ultimately helping the good without fawning and falling all over this kid with the scar on his head.

I was a little irked that Snape stayed more in the periphery again this book. Can't complain about his role in the end, however. It's left me probably more curious for the next book in the series than any of the other Potter books. My hope is that he was ultimately serving Dumbledore's wishes, and doesn't turn out to be the one-dimensional bad guy he's kinda been painted as, especially ever since Prisoner of Azkaban.

Now, I sleep....

Quiz seen at Inn of the Last Home.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

3 Questions: Matt, Afton and Leann

3 Questions: Matt, Afton and Leann

Three people to think up three questions. You guys didn't strain anything, did you?

1. What are your favorite smells?

1. Bacon Frying.
2. Coffee.
3. Popcorn.
4. That earthy smell you get when you've been storing vegetables someplace for a while.
5. That leathery smell of a fairly new baseball

2. What are your least favorite smells?

1. Marshmallows. The past few years, I have come to really hate the smell of Marshmallows. Turns my stomach.

2. Cat Piss. I don't mind cats. But I really hate a spraying tom. One of the worst smells over.

3. That acrid smell that comes when somebody's brakes have gotten overheated.

4. There's one of the body sprays, Axe or Tag or something like it, that has a really repugnant smell, if sprayed heavily, like some dude did at the drugstore the other day. I was there buying a couple of things, deodorant among them, and walked down the aisle just in time to see the dude spray one of those body sprays all over himself, drenching himself. It was awful.


3. What are some scents you've never smelled but would like to?

This is actually a terribly interesting question. One that appeals to the obsessive compulsive in me. Offhand, I guess a couple of things I'd say:

The ivy at Wrigley Field. That's one. I mean, it probably smells just like the ivy growing up the trellis at my folks' house. But for some reason, I'd like to get a whiff.

The country of New Zealand. For some reason, I figure New Zealand would smell fairly nice.

And you know Scarlett Johannsen, the actress? I'd [censored][censored][censored][censored] and then [censored][censored]. And since you're so close [censored][censored][censored]. If it wasn't, I'd have to [censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored]. And I don't think she'd be happy unless [censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored] different kinds of fruit, and [censored][censored][censored] and wear it like a hat.

Katydid, or Tommy's Mind Gets Maudlin' at 2:15 AM

Katydid, or Tommy's Mind Gets Maudlin' at 2:15 AM

A little meditation, katydid style

I sat out on the tailgate of my truck this evening after getting home from work. Sat on the tailgate, and just listened to the night. The weather's agreeable. It's been muggy as hell, even in the middle of the night, lately. Tonight it's cool, with a light breeze. Perfect night to commune with the katydids.

How many of you get katydids? Let me tell you that we've got them by the thousands up here on the hill. I've heard them for years, but every now and then their volume, the sheer intensity of the wall of noise they create, will give me a bit of pause.

I can remember an uncle, when visiting the folks, commenting on the noise, saying he'd learned to sleep in cities with car horns and sirens. He'd learned how to sleep with the El in Chicago. He even learned how sleep through a neighbor who insisted on working on motorcycles in the wee hours of the morning. But the noise the katydids made had kept him up for the duration of his visit with us.

And that's with the windows closed and a log wall between him and the bugs.

I sat out there and listened. There's a pattern. It's almost a symphony. There's a lead, and there's a counterpoint. There's a definite rhythm. Sometimes the tempo changes, sometimes a different section will take a lead. Sometimes you hear it: Katy Did. Katy Didn't. I'm glad wikipedia noted that. I've had people respond snidely when I told them I thought that's why they were called "Katydids." It always comes back to that pattern.

Sat on the tailgate. Wrapped myself in the noise. Let it climb on top of me. Envelope me. Let it smooth out whatever junk I've had running through my head, lately. A little bit of katydid meditation.

We should find a way to bottle this mess.

Take two tai chi tablets, and down it with a bottle of katydid meditation.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Monday Morning Best Of....

Monday Morning Best Of....

A couple of people asked what the hell this Stegosaurus mess is.

Here you go, from May of this year....

Stegosaurus = Badass.