Thursday, April 28, 2016
I have never understood this game or how it is played.
Tonight Bunco was to be hosted at Casa De La Bryan.
I observed closely and I think I have figured out the rules.
First, the host borrows tables and chairs from family and friends and sets them up in the house.
Now I believe this is a diversionary tactic as they did not appear to ever actually be used for anything.
As another diversion Dad (Me) is ordered to read with the kids and get them cleaned up and in bed. This is the tricky part because I think a lot happens during this process but I missed most of it.
Now I come out to observe this "game" and it seems now the ladies (about 10 of them) gather in a circle standing around the kitchen. They circle several hors d'oeuvres moving from one to the next.
Now each of the women brings their own game piece. These game pieces all take the form of wine bottles; some red some white.
They seem to open the bottles in a sequence and pour the wine out into glasses.
I think this is how you earn points.
When one bottle is empty, the first lady to jump in with another bottle and get it opened shares it with the other ladies.
I was riveted. I watched as one of the more advanced players threw them all for a loop by quickly dashing to the fridge and grabbing a beer and opening it.
So for her turn, she drinks the beer and then has to say a secret phrase.
Her phrase was "Do y'all recycle?"
I think this is to distract the other players and put pressure in the host who has to quickly come up with the proper response which tonight was "Yes, but just set it aside and I will handle it"
This went on for several rounds and then like a flash the rules changed.
Suddenly plates of brownies, muffins, cookies, and some praline looking things were strewn about replacing the area previously populated with cheese sticks, quiche, and spinach artichoke dip.
Now the cadence in the discussion dissolved into a rumble of discussions about the affect of aging on breasts, who is using what procedures to prevent more children, and how we should all sell our houses and move into the same neighborhood.
I get the feeling that the game pieces were working when I heard that.
The last phase of the game involved wrapping up partial left-overs and critical thinking in the form of deciding which bottles of wine should remain and which would go back home with their original owners.
From what I gather, almost all unopened game pieces go back home.
Any game piece that it less than 2/3 full stays at the house with the host.
Then at 9:30 the final move was for all of the players to exit the house quickly amid discussions about how tomorrow is a work day and I promised my husband I would be home by 9:45.
I have processed this several times and have been unable to determine who won or what the actual point total was but I have this sneaking suspicion that bunko is not a real game at all.
I think they are actually playing a game I'm going to call Wine-o
At any rate, I need to hit the sack.
I have a long game of Beerko tomorrow night with the guys.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
"Good Morning ladies and gentleman.
Let's not beat around the bush. Let's get right to the matter at hand. Iraq is facing serious political turmoil and the citizens are being murdered daily and it needs to stop.
Now, I said No boots on the ground and I stand by that statement.
So here's what we are gonna do...
What we have done... is designed....
...A special shoe.
Now I have met with my cabinet and we have all discussed this.
None of us believe this is qualifies as a boot.
It may look like a boot and have a lot of the same characteristics but you can see the heal is... slightly
elongated giving it more of a high heel feel.
It's an open toe which means it cannot possibly be a boot.
This... is what troops will be wearing on the ground
Now, In the planes, ships, helicopters, they will definitely be wearing ah..
more traditional. um... boots.
But not on the ground.
Now I know what you're thinking
This is just some kind of political word play.
Let me be clear. That is not what this is.
This was the plan back when I said "no boots on the ground".
I meant it then just as much as I meant it now.
I have been working closely with shoe manufacturers for months.
Notice I said shoe manufacturers. We're not talkin about boots here people.
The way I see it...
The only way there will be boots on the ground is if one of our guys wearing boots in a helicopter falls out of that helicopter.
But we have been working on that as well.
Now stay with me folks.
Just this morning I reached across party lines and made a call to W for advice on keeping all AND I MEAN all boots off the ground.
I explained the issue with the boots to him and he rode his bike over and we discussed it.
I explained the shoe problem and he came up with a solution almost immediately.
Moving forward, all actual boots will be tethered to the vehicles.
Not only will it reconfirm my commitment to having no boots on the ground but also it does 2 other things.
First... It provides an added layer of safety for that young man perched on the edge of a helicopter facing combat.
Let's say he falls out.
Now there is a good chance he will remain tethered to the helicopter.
That meant better chance of survival for him...
More importantly it means less fuel burned trying to go back and pick him up which saves the American taxpayer money.
Now... let's say he falls out and dies.
One word people... "Free Boots"
Normally when a soldier dies in battle we have to replace him with another soldier. Guess what we have to provide that new soldier.
That's right... boots.
Boots cost money. Well... Not any more.
Now we will be able to save the taxpayers even more money by letting the new soldiers fill the shoes of soldiers that have gone before them.
Now I know what you are thinking. But that is not a metaphor. I am talking about giving real soldiers. Real boots and saving the American people real dollars.
Oh and also we will be going in and taking out the new Iraqi government because they didn't put a good one in place when we took out the last one.
Now Thank you and God Bless."
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I can say: "I think the focus should be on the business as a whole. Look there are lots of projects and historically many of them have been completed. I think we can both agree there will be more projects in the future as well. We really need to focus on the big picture."
To which he will respond: "Yes, but this project.. What is the status? Is it done?"
My response will be a very political: "I think what you are overlooking is the status of our customers and the service we are providing to them. I don't think spending all of our time looking at individual projects is the best use of the customer's time that is why I propose we do what is in their best interest and focus outside the box. You know, the box? hmm?"
This will naturally progress to him tactfully asking "IS THE DAMN PROJECT COMPLETE???"
I will of course explain that: "Complete is a subjective term."
Then I will continue: "Just yesterday, I was talking to Deborah Williams in the Dallas office and she was telling me that she has been having trouble getting one of her billing projects started. The project I am on is a great example of how to get a project started and we need to use this as an example so all of the Deborah's out there will have a model for getting their projects started more quickly and efficiently."
He will be so impressed with my PC answer that he will naturally want to know: "LOOK! You said it would be done yesterday, the customers are asking if it is ready. What is going on? Is it done? Yes or No?"
Then naturally we will have this exchange:
Me: "Great hopefully they will be bigger than last quarter."
Me: "So what were we discussing? You were going to take the family on a trip this fall or something?"
Officer: "Do you know how fast you were going?"
Officer: "Just a few moments ago!"
Officer: "I clocked you doing 118"
Officer: "My Radar, My radar shows you were driving 118 miles per hour. Why were you going 118 miles per hour?"
Me: "Whoa, is that a stun gun? Have you ever tased anyone"
Wife: "How was your day?"
Wife: "Did you have a good day?"
Me: "Look trash is subjective. Everything starts out as not trash and then eventually becomes trash over time. Who am I to try and determine what phase of the 'becoming trash process' everything in this house is currently in? Also and let me be very clear here. there are a lot of things in this house that would make me very upset if they were in the trash can. I can 't emphasize this enough. It is in everyone's best interest to ensure that the trash is only being used for items that are due to be discarded. Just last week I was talking to Bill Patterson. He lives out in Denton. Well his wife thought she lost a pair of earrings but she had actually vacuumed them up. Bill dug through the trash and found them. When she emptied the vacuum bag she accidentally tossed them in the garbage. We need to take a moment and think of all of the Bill Patterson's out there that put their own interests aside and sacrifice so much to ensure earrings are... Hey, are those new earrings?"
Her: "No, these are the ones you got me last year. Remember we had gone to the store and you were looking at snow shoes and we stopped at the jewelry stand..."
Her: "I am making myself a snack. Can I get you a beer?"
Her: "What kind?"
Me: "Yeah um so the trash man came before I could get to it."
Me: "OK. Hey, craziest thing happened today. I met this police officer. you are so going to laugh when you hear this. so I was driving..."
Monday, March 19, 2012
Well Neil Sperry's Crepe Myrtles are not blocking my satellite dish.
I don't think these are his anyway. If so, I would like him to come get them out of my yard. That is pretty bold of him to go putting his trees in everyone else's yard. I hate that guy.
Where was I? Oh yes, I knew I would fall today.
"Why?" you askI am not thorough in what is called "The planning phase" of most all endeavors.
As soon as I selected the "ladder" I would be using, I knew with 100% certainty that this would be the day I fall off a "Ladder"
Why is ladder in Quotes?
This is the ladder I selected to cut my trees that are around 15 ft high.
Why did I know I was going to fall?
See that bar on the top that is in no way a step?
As I unfolded this thing I said to myself "That is the "step" from which I will be falling shortly"
I went and got the best tool I could think of for trimming these branches.
The black & Decker Electric Scorpion saw. Unfortunately It only had the metal hack saw blade which would not cut through the branches at all.
Back to my garage for good old fashioned handsaw. I knew this was a bad idea because of the amount of movement I would be creating while standing on the "not a step" portion of the "ladder" from which I was destined to fall.
I have created the photo realistic graphic below to illustrate the situation
So you know how you will stand on the top of a ladder sawing something high and there is that one part that is just out of reach so you strain to access it?
That is where I found myself just as the karma nudged the top of the ladder.
This is when the falling process began. I call it a process because it was slow and complex getting from where I was down to what astronomers refer to as "the ground"
My initial reaction was to grab on to a branch in hopes of not falling as much. But, the branch I grabbed was the one I had just cut and I had no way to re attach it to the tree mid fall.
My next reaction was of course "How can I make this look cool" It was midday on a Sunday and people were out and about so I thought Can I play it off some how?
Just then, it hit me.
Another branch hit me right right in the halfway mark. for a brief moment, I was actually balanced face down on a branch that was below me and that is when I sort of bent around the branch and started to roll around it.
Inevitably, I ran out of body and was back in the air face down still thinking only about who might see this. I recall explicitly looking around for spectators as I fell.
I could see the ground rushing up to me and just as I reached terminal velocity, I caught a break. Actually it was a brick. I found myself with legs bent / supported by the ladder and hands against the brick of the house.
Below is another graphic (Try not to get too caught up in the photo quality. I have a really good camera. Get over it and just focus on the facts)
right away my hands started to slide and the ladder began to fold up into its intended storage configuration. I had hoped I could stop there but when you have that much speed, there is really not a lot you can do.
I was soon swallowed by the bushes below, face down in the dirt with a metal garden rail bisecting me and a sprinkler head completely embedded in my eye.
I couldn't quit thinking about how I was going to explain this to anyone that might have seen it.
I laid there long enough to ascertain that there were no people watching or they were laughing so hard they we would be unable to walk over and help.
After a few minutes I got back up, grabbed my saw, and my ladder and began an awkward limp over to the other crepe myrtle. It was about to rain and I wanted to get this done before it started coming down and I didn't want to risk climbing a slippery wet ladder.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Okay, I know what you are all thinking... "Nasal Abscess, That's hot!"
Sure, there are obvious benefits and I am not going to lie, I am pimpin this thing for everything it is worth. However, in addition to the bleeding, strange odors, swelling, and facial discoloration, there are actually some drawbacks.
Don't get me wrong, I am not here to cast a shadow on an otherwise awesome experience. That is not my style I am not blind to the obvious blessing bestowed upon the center of my face.
I get it; I get all the good that is going to come with this.
I know for the first time in my life women want me and Men want to be me.
But before you go you go stabbing at the inside of your nose with a rusty nail in hopes of getting a staph infection, let me caution you that there are aspects of this condition that take away from the instant rock star lifestyle that will no doubt be thrust upon you.
Number One Drawback: Name Calling.
Sure, people are going to be jealous so they call you names that highlight your "issue"
I heard names like:
Rudolph, Pinoccio, Bozo, and Dumbass.
Random strangers would shout things like "hey light up the way w/ your nose" and "Quit texting and drive your Effing car A hole!" Are you prepared for this sort of torment?
I will wait for your answer.
So you are thinking "Sure name calling sucks but I get the cool drainage and all that bleeding; think of the bleeding!" calm down I know. Lots of perks but some of the perks are bad too.
"What do you mean?" I'm glad you asked.
The amount of attention that comes with this is paradoxically complicated. You get the attention of so many ladies that you have to fight them off with a stick.
But unfortunately you'll realize there are more women than you can shake a stick at.
I guess what I am saying is you are going to need to get yourself at least 2 sticks.
Then there is the whole W.C Fields conundrum. Sure, he was funny, and people liked him but he’s dead (yes, still)
People don't like dead people. Guess what now you look like a funny dead guy. Suddenly it's weekend at Bernie’s, and you don't even have a cool mustache.
Well, I 'm rockin a goatee but that's me. You are not me.
I'm sorry. That was out of line. I shouldn't have made fun of your mustache. I didn't know about the cleft lip thing. I understand surgery, scarring, etc. I really didn't mean to mock you. It’s a great mustache. You can barely see the gap. Well, I can see it but that's only because you brought it up. It’s really not that bad. Most people will think you don't know how to shave right.
So let’s move on to the drainage because let's be honest, that is the best part of this whole deal. Well, that and the excruciating pain.
So the drainage thing is not as cool as you would expect. Sounds cool on paper but here's what they don't tell you at the culinary academy. You don't decide when it drains. No, it has its own schedule that doesn't involve you. It is not like you can call all your friends over and put on some sort of cool show. Maybe you will be lucky and be at a dinner party when it happens but most likely your abscess will be having its parties at night while you are asleep.
Sure, you can have a Doctor manually drain it for you but are all your friends really going to sit in that waiting room with you at care now for 2 hours. A dedicated few might but most Probably won't. And once the doc does drain it, it's all over. Back to your boring old face and unexciting life. I almost took the Doctor route but I decided against it. Even though she had compelling arguments for it like:
"Well we would split it w/ a scalpel"
"There will be a scar"
And "We won't be able to numb it before cutting"
These were all Very tempting but I fought the urge to go that route and am happy with my choice.
It was a good decision because I was gradually eased out of my lifestyle.
Slowly the flock of ladies turned into just a few, the fancy houses and cars slowly faded away. The paparazzi have started to dwindle and I don't feel like the fame, and fortune that came with this "condition" was ripped away from me all at once.
I hope when you are faced with this decision, you will do the same thing. Sure I miss the lime light, I kind of enjoyed the stalkers but I am glad to be back to my normal life and be just like you except with more symmetrical facial hair.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I threw caution to the wind, said money is no object, the sky is the limit, and finally hit the road to go get the most high tech top of the line camera I could possibly find.
I went back and fourth between Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, etc and after very thorough research, and convincing myself I would not have buyer's remorse because I need high quality photos of the kids growing up, I finally settled on the nicest Canon camera that money can buy.
That's right, I got the 110 ED. 36 more payments, and this baby is all mine:
I know what you are saying "That is to much camera" and you are probably right but you know what? My kids are worth it so keep your crappy opinion to yourself.
So I might have one a bit over board but I couldn't stop with just the camera, I made sure I got the deluxe model that comes with a state of the art "Flash" For you common folk, this is like a bright light bulb that "Flashes" or comes on and then goes off real quick.
I am sure you are thinking "Why would I want this flash?" well this camera can take pictures in the dark.
I am sure you are thinking "Why would I want to take pictures in the dark"
These are all good questions and if you wait til the end, we can get to all your questions. In the meantime, let me go over some of the advanced features that put this camera leaps and bounds above the rest.
These days, people are interested in getting their photos onto their computers and are always concerned about different memory chips and megabytes.
Well, this baby has the most advanced memory system available. Pictured below is the latest and greatest in camera memory. It stores the pictures right on the memory device and although I haven't located t yet, I think it has a USB plug on it somewhere for uploading pictures. Acutally, I bet it has Wi Fi because I am not seeing any sort of attachment on it for a cable. It says 24 pictures, but I am sure that means 24 thousand. or maybe million.
How many times have you been out and about and suddenly, your camera is no longer charged. Never happens with this model. This camera runs totally off the power of the very common "N size" batteries that can be found in a lot of mom and pop type convenience stores throughout the midwest:
I know, these batteries can get expensive, but life is too short to save your hard earned money for things like food and rent. Sometimes you have to splurge and for me, that time is now.
That is a cat jumping through number nine by the way which as we all know is the universal sign for long battery.. um it means they are like cats. these batteries are like 9 batteries each and they
So where was I? Oh yes the more advanced features. So let me ask you this: Do you know how much time the average person spends in their life zooming in and out before taking a photo? I have looked it up, and the answer is an astonishing 34 1/2 years. That is a lifetime to someone like me who is 34 1/2 years old. For some of you it is just a drop in the bucket and you don't care. To you I say "keep zooming" I am getting my life back. I have found the fountain of youth in this camera.
What I am getting at here is simply that this camera has eliminated the need for a zoom.
How has it done this? Well, the camera makers at Canon have decided if you want to see something close up, walk up to it. Canon wants you to experience life not watch it from afar.
The last thing I will mention about this camera because you are all thinking it. Ths is too nice, how do we keep common thieves from stealing it. Well, that is where the special camera case comes in.
Canon has created a camera case that is disguised as a 1950s style shaving kit.
Why would they do that? Think about it. Criminals since the beginning of time have all had facial hair. It is a proven fact. Many Many studies have been done at universities around the U.S. on this very subject. There is no arguing about this. Check this link for proof. This is a link of infamous criminals that would not think twice about killing you to get to your new canon camera: Bad Guys
So a criminal sees your "Shaving Kit" (I added the quotes there because remember, it is really a camera) See.....
Anyway, the criminals see this and they don't want to shave so they move on. Its fool proof.
So, now lets see the quality output from this piece of machinery. Below are some photos that this baby took. I am not sure about the mega pixels on this, but it has to be a lot.
First I want to say, none of these images has been airbrushed or photoshopped. Obviously, I can't prove that to you but It is a fact. This is Hi Def at its finest.
Here we have a shot of the white house. I took this when I was there visiting my friend George Glass (3 of you will get that reference but I am proud of it)
You can see how this camera brings out the depth and richness and symbolism that was popular during that city.
If you look close, you can see the president in the window there waving. He was very excited to be the first sitting president captured on the canon 110 ED
Next we have (like I have to tell you) this is obviously the statue of liberty. Now this is the perfect example of using the flash. A normal camera would not have been able to capture her in all her majesty but because of this camera's ability to turn night into day, we have this crisp picture of her guarding our country from riff raff that we don't want here.
This picture makes me proud to be an American. She has stood there since 1981 scaring anyone that comes here into thinking we are all giants w/ torches. A lot of you don't know this but before we surrounded the country with status portraying us as giants, we had all sorts of issues with people who are not from here, coming here and trying to be like us.
You know what this is. It is the Great wall of China.
Interesting fact: this is the only man made land mark where you can look up at night and see space.
Well, I am done showing off, so I will leave you with this serene and peaceful view of the Atlantic ocean.
Okay, I will take your questions now.
Monday, March 7, 2011
The more I thought about those balloons, the lighter the camera seemed to feel in my hand. This was never a part of my plan, but I had momentum now. I had other plans for this new camera but the stupidity had set in and sometimes, that’s all it takes.
I got the first balloon. For the remainder of the story it will be known as "Balloon One" I attached it to the camera. It wasn't enough.
I got a second balloon. We will call this one "Balloon One" also because there is no real need to differentiate. Stop getting hung up on the small stuff.
After attaching the 2nd balloon one, I knew this could totally work. although I had not yet defined what "work" would be.
I got the third balloon to which we will not refer again because it is this one that is the reason I now own several weapons, some sporting goods equipment, and about 50 feet of 3 quarter inch, class 200 PVC pipe which by the way is all for sale if anyone is interested.
So here is what we have.
1. Smallest video camera I could find.
It is disguised as a keyless remote
(no seriously, look into my keys and say that)
2. The lighter than air vehicle to carry it.
All I needed was an anchor of some sort because we want to be smart about this. Well fortunately, we had some special tangle resistant kite string that I could.... wait... what was that?? Tangle resistant? Yes, it has a special coating on the string that makes it difficult to tangle or knot. It would have been smart for me to think about that feature of the string but this was no time for thinking.
So, I tied the string to the camera, and headed off to my backyard for the official launch. It was cold and quite gusty out but I decided to throw caution to the wind. And by "caution" I mean my camera.
The whole thing rose higher and higher until it went above my roof and the wind began to push it. The string tightened and I fought with the thing for a good 3 seconds before the kite string's defense system kicked in and set itself to "detangle mode" It was at that point that I realized how unfortunate it was that I had put my Cell phone's memory card in the camera without first backing it up. Off it went my contacts, texts, some documents, emails, pictures, and of course my new camera.
My first reaction was to grab the kids, get in the car, and follow those balloons until they landed gently and easily retrievable in a field somewhere where I would simply pick them up, and head home.
My second reaction was "Oh shit, my balloon is going to get stuck in the top of that tree"
So there was my sophisticated surveillance system precariously stuck on a branch of a tree threatening with each gust of wind to detach and fly away delivering my camera and memory card to some lucky person downwind from Lewisville.
I did what anyone would do. I gathered up the kids and went to Wal-Mart to buy a BB gun. This is probably a good time to point out that the camera cost $18.00 on eBay.
There I was at Wal-Mart with my babies in tow on the BB gun isle looking through the various air rifles. I found the perfect one, some air cartridges, and some BBs. I was about to head out but then decided in order to get on the “people of Wal-Mart” website I needed to add to the equation.
In all seriousness, in the checkout line, people were staring at me like crazy. I don't know why.
That night after everyone was asleep, I grabbed a beer and the gun and headed to the greenbelt which is a fairly common practice in Lewisville.
I walked out to the tree, and I could see the shadow of what was either my balloon up there or possibly a bald Eagle. It was hard to tell because it was dark. I started shooting wildly at the shadow, and accomplished nothing. I might have missed. This is when I decided if I put 10 BBs in the barrel and fired it I would likely... well I don't know what it would do. It would do something and the one at a time method wasn't working.
I filled the barrel with Ammo, fired once, and it destroyed the Eagle (Oh yeah, at some point I renamed the aircraft to "The Eagle").
So, my first success. I managed to pop the balloons so they could not fly away. They were deflated now but still stuck up there mocking me from above.
The next day I got up and spent a good hour shooting at the wad of Mylar and ribbon in the top of the tree hoping to somehow dislodge the thing and retrieve my camera. I also secretly hoped it was somehow still filming my efforts.
After a bit of time, I noticed a helicopter circling the greenbelt and thought "here I am in the green belt firing a gun up in the air" I quickly went to the house and checked the news to make sure there were no reports of a lone gunman shooting up the greenbelt. It was just a car wreck.
I decided that wasn't going to work so it was back to Wal-Mart; this time for less conventional weaponry.
The thought was to tie (A damn good knot this time) the string to the tennis ball, and launch the tennis ball into the tree with the slingshot. I did a few practice shots with some free range tennis balls to see if I could even hit it.
You can't launch a tennis ball with a slingshot. It doesn't work.
I began throwing the tennis balls at the branch and was getting close to it so once I felt I had my aim down, I launched the one with the string attached.
So now my tennis ball was stuck in the tree next to the balloons.
I went home dejected.
I explained the situation to Jack, and he came up with the best solution yet.
A few days had gone by and I had come up with several other ideas
1. Crossbow w/ String for a mini harpoon type device
2. Ladder + Chainsaw
3. Screw large bolts half way into the tree creating steps. Add a new one as I go till I reach it
4. RC Helicopter that shoots model rockets (I will probably do this anyway. I have already designed the remote launching mechanism. It needs to be done.)
It was off to Home depot.
This is the point every man struggles with in life. It is dumb to spend this much money and effort on an $18 camera but I had already spent too much of both to just give up. I know I know... It makes sense to me though. Shut up.
I began gathering all the items I needed to make the ultimate "camera Balloon caught in a Tall Tree retriever"
I came home all excited to use the new tool and retrieve what the wind and trees had taken from me and I'll be damned if the balloon and camera weren't just sitting on the ground next to the tree. I could see Elmo on the balloon staring up at me and laughing his fuzzy red ass off. The only satisfaction here was that Elmo was riddled with BB holes
Incidentally, Here is some of the footage I got from the camera after I got it back:
At any rate, I got my camera back. I also got a kite. I think I will see if I can get some good aerial footage of those new power lines behind my house.