Category Archives: Personal

An Epic Battle; There Will Be Songs…

Some of you know that I have a major aversion to bugs. I don’t care whether you want to call them insects, arachnids, pests, or anything else I hate them. I don’t care that they pollinate flowers or that they feed other nasty flying things that do whatever with the ecology, they can all just leave and get away from me. At the very least they can stay out of the house or other places, which leads us to this epic tale I tell on this Easter Sunday. Not being the religious type, I thought I’d regale you with a tale of glory and honor; be amused.


by Liz Henry via Flickr

Last Monday I was driving home from an evening out. The sun was setting and all seemed beautiful in the car. That is, until I heard the unmistakable sound of a loud buzzing to my left. Since to my left was my closed window, I knew this couldn’t be good. I have great peripheral vision so I expanded my field of vision and saw something large by my shoulder.

In my past I’ve driven off the road whenever I’ve encountered something in my car, or even if it might be outside of the car. I don’t even like looking at bugs, so my response has always been to jerk away first and ask questions later. But I’ve worked on that over the last few years, realizing that the last thing I need is to have a heart attack because of some stupid bug and having people laugh at me while I’m laying in a hospital bed.

In my brief yet controlled panic I pushed the button on the car door to lower the window. It slid down and I braced the steering wheel just to make sure I stayed on the road. Once the window was down I noticed that Mr. Bug, and I knew it was some kind of wasp, seemed to be hanging onto the rubber at the bottom of the window. Eventually though, it blew away, and all was right with the world as I raised my window. I applauded my bravery, then wondered if it had actually gone outside the window. The back window of my car doesn’t lower, otherwise I’d have lowered both. However, I heard nothing, and when I got home & took a quick look I saw nothing; all was right with the world.

That is, until Wednesday, when I’m driving home from a lunch outing. I hear that same familiar buzzing in the back, and looking into my rearview mirror I spot the monster beast on the back window.

Now I’m panicked because the back window doesn’t go down, I’m on a regular street instead of a highway with no place to pull over because I’m in the wrong lane, and I’m wondering if it remembers how I tried to get it to leave a couple of nights earlier.

Eventually I find my way to a parking lot, stop the car and jump out. I now have to look and indeed, the ugly beast is there on the window near the top. My first thought seems brilliant; open the back door and it’ll just fly away. I open the back window; nothing. It’s not leaving; what the hey? I thought bugs liked being outdoors; not this one.

Now I figure I have to find a way to get it to go. I start knocking on the window with my hand, which, for me, is still fairly brave even if it’s on the other side of the glass because I always imagine these things somehow have the powers of The Flash and can vibrate through solids. My hand knocking does nothing except make my knuckles hurt.

Time to find something else to help me. I decide to go to the trunk for my snow brush, something anyone living in the north has, and I have an extra long red metal one. I come back around and start knocking on the window with the brush; nothing doing. I realize I’m going to have to knock the sucker off the window, so steeling myself to what I know will be an attack of retaliation, I start swatting at the thing with the brush side. What it does is crawls up further into the rubber where I can’t reach it; oh come on!

Time for more desperate measures. I need spray. I go to the trunk and start looking around, only to discover I have no spray of any kind. What happened to my window cleaner? What happened to the can of compressed air I always kept for emergencies (remembered later I used it a couple of years ago; guess I’d best replace that). I don’t even have any bottled water to try to throw at it; what am I going to do.

The genius in me finally hits. I have a small can of car smell spray that I bought at Bath & Bodywords. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s for the car, but it’s what I use it for, every once in a while, spraying the rugs in the car; I love scents.

But this was war. I also knew the range wasn’t that great, so I might have to get closer, and without gloves and with shaky hands, this was going to be risky. I get my little can, go into the cave of the horror, and start spraying. The first few hits get all over the window; the fourth one hits the monstrosity, and for the first time it leaves its lair. I hit it a few more times; it doesn’t like the spray. Then suddenly it launches itself, and as I duck I see its bulk heading off somewhere away from me.

I quickly close the back door, jump into the car, close my door and raise my window, take a quick look to make sure it’s not going to try to follow me, and take off. I’m winding the car around in the parking lot to confuse it, then I drive home; isn’t that how you’re supposed to shake a tail?

I get home, close the garage door, listen for the sound of buzzing, and realize that I, a mere mortal man, faced off against a dangerous foe and came out the victor as it beat a hasty retreat. I thought about it for a brief moment, then realized that I could state the famous Klingon battle cry, “There will be songs forever sung of this day.”

I’m just waiting to see who’s going to write the song for me. 🙂
 

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Santorum & Gabby Brothers?

Another short post, this time sort of political but actually more just irked by what I see as an apparent attempt by a presidential candidate NOT to utter a racial epithet in public against President Obama. Of course he says he wasn’t even thinking the word and his press secretary said he wouldn’t even dignify questions about it, saying it’s us who are misinterpreting it. But come on… well, you tell me what you think of the comparison of these two videos:

versus…

Well? I’m just saying…
 

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Can’t Fool Yourself When Not Taking Care Of Yourself

My wife is out of town again, since Thursday night. Not that she has a lot to do with how I try to take care of myself but if you’re like me, you kind of relish those times when you feel a bit more free to do things that maybe you wouldn’t do on a regular basis.

My thing is food. I don’t always have the best dietary habits in the world but I’m not bad. I don’t eat often enough, so I’ve been told by a counselor, but over the past few weeks I’ve been eating better food I have to admit. I’ve been eating many stir frys, with spinach and chicken the main ingredients in each. My wife taught me how to do this and it makes at least a couple of meals. I hate vegetables in general, but I’ve always had this fondness for spinach, thanks to Popeye. lol

But she’s gone, and thus, over the last couple of days I’ve pretty much thrown out good eating habits. I’m still not eating all that many meals, but what I’m eating… well, I’m kind of enjoying myself. Let’s see, what have I had…

* Burger King double whopper, McDonald’s big fries

* 8oz Filet Mignon (see picture above; not bad actually) with 2 baked potatoes (they messed up my order & gave me a free potato)

* 3 Kit Kat Bars

* 4 Nutty Bar’s (still have one left)

* 2 servings (different times) of quasi pasta primavera (I bought it elsewhere, it had mushrooms & other veggies I won’t eat so I took most of those out) that had oil in it that I couldn’t taste so I added my own alfredo sauce (yummy)

* 10oz steamed shrimp (love shrimp)

* a bag of chips with a tub of onion dip (2 sittings)

* 1/3rd of a cake (small) and a large scoop of ice cream

I feel great… and horrible! I should probably have said I felt great when eating this stuff and horrible a short time afterwards. I love hamburger and especially double beef whoppers, but shouldn’t have had the fries with it; way too much food the way I eat these days and it overloaded me. I should have brought home that second baked potato but it was nice and warm and they brought me lots of whipped butter, and that kicked my behind later on. The Kit Kats and Nutty Bar’s… yeah, I’m ashamed of that, but I loved it while I was eating it (I still think I’ve lost a Kit Kat somewhere around this room).

The pasta primavera was a bad move because I’m diabetic and greatly affected by certain carbs, one of which is pasta, and that both made me exhausted and drove my glucose up; not that the sweet stuff didn’t help. The chips I had were low salt, which used to be okay but since I started eating no salt potato chips it just seemed too salty for me, but I ate it anyway, drinking water; that still fills you up because salt makes you retain water. The ice cream and cake… I don’t usually buy ice cream to eat with my cake but in my mind cutting the cake into 3rds (I usually just cut it in half) justified in my mind that I was being good; oy!

The only thing I ate that a dietician would be happy about? That would be the shrimp, which I eat with ketchup, which she might not be as happy with. Man, I love boiled shrimp, but that stuff is expensive, too expensive to eat consistently. I also bought salmon along with it but that’s gone up drastically in price as well.

nutty bar

So here I am on a Sunday morning, glucose higher than it should be (seems I’ve also forgotten to take all my medication when I’m supposed to; ugh), thinking about going for a walk but also thinking about eating; that’s a shame since I haven’t eaten yet I’ve been up 3 hours.

Here’s the thing. We may think we’re getting away with something when we go off on our own and eat and do things that we know we probably shouldn’t do but we’re not. Our bodies talk to us and make us realize later on that we over-exceeded our limits. Yesterday it was St. Patrick’s Day, which means a lot of people lost their minds and drank way too much (I don’t drink). I was watching Twitter all day and some of the local people were tweeting, or at least trying to tweet; it was a mess. They had fun, but I wonder how many of them felt bad this morning, or even late last night.

I could have been a lot worse. I certainly had some major plans for what I was going to do that I talked myself out of. I know I’m going to have some Chinese food at least one of these days, but other than that, once I’ve finished off the cake and ice cream and remaining Nutty Bar… I’m going to be good.

Well, not counting the fudge that a friend of mine is bringing over; hey, it’s fudge! 😉
 

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10 Years Ago

Yes, another video post for you, but of course I get to do a brief setup for it.

I was watching a video by Lynn Terry of Clicknewz.com on her video channel which she titled What Would You Say. She was asked a question as to what advice she’d give her past self about 10 years ago. I thought that was an intriguing question, and I liked how she answered it so much that I decided to address it myself, and thought it would be neat doing it by video.

In the video, I give one personal tip and one business tip, which actually ends up being more than one business tip and that’s the reason you should watch it. One other thing that’s new in the video is that I’m wearing a white shirt that I didn’t even know I had. I don’t have a lot of white shirts. I have one dress white shirt for emergencies, a white t-shirt with a picture of my grandfather on my dad’s side of the family, and a Syracuse University white shirt that I don’t even think they put out anymore (I actually have two of these t-shirts), as I haven’t seen anyone locally supporting the team wearing white. That’s what happens when your team is called The Orange. lol

It’s a relatively short video of around 6 minutes, and this time I recorded it without so much density so it uploaded much faster, which didn’t depress me at all. It looks fine on this side; I hope it looks fine where you are as well. Here we go!

 

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Being A Model

A few days ago I got called to do a modeling shoot. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking because I thought the same thing; model… me?!?!? Well yes! It seems that most of us don’t think of ourselves as model material, but not everyone is looking for only the beautiful people, if you will. There are often calls for regular folks like us to fill a role, and this time I got the call, my first ever.

I was asked to show up at a location around 9AM that was about 30 minutes from where I live. I hadn’t been to this community in more than 30 years, which tells me I really do need to learn more about my surrounding area. The studio was located in a beautiful area that I can’t necessarily say was out in the country, although, since the photographer owned 37 acres, it almost has to be called that I guess. I was also asked to bring 2 suits, 2 shirts, and some colorful ties. Since I only have 3 suits I took them all, took 3 shirts, and took 10 ties, just to make sure I’d covered it all. By the way, have you ever had to carry 3 full suits at one time? Sucker’s heavy! lol

The studio was very large. It was a converted truck garage that the guy had totally painted white, with only one of those large heaters in the top back corner of the room; no, it couldn’t totally overcome the cold, as it was around 20° outside. And I wasn’t the only model for this shoot, as there was this lady who I thought was around my age but turned out to be 74 years old who I was going to be shooting with. Sorry, no details on what we were shooting, as that’s part of the agreement. But I can still talk about the process.

If anyone thinks modeling is easy, they’re wrong. It might seem glamorous when you see those model images and you’re saying “man, based on what I do that’s some easy work.” Nope, sorry kids. Sure, it’s not like shoveling holes, but it has its own bit of work and effort. For instance, the poor lady I was shooting with had to keep walking and “almost” sitting at one point for about 10 minutes as the photographer kept trying to capture just the right image. Imagine what “almost” sitting is like; that’s tough on both the back and the knees.

And you have to keep that smile up; at least she did. Sometimes I didn’t have to smile, other times I had to smile on demand, and even though there were a lot of shots of me from behind, I had to keep my eyes on her eyes to help guide her through her shots. We had a good working relationship, which is always nice no matter what you’re doing.

There were also some strange contortions both of us had to go through. What some big time photographers do is work from a storyboard and someone else has drawn up of what they want. Well, turns out some of those poses aren’t, well, realistic, but it’s what they want. At one point he needed me to twist my arm into a strange position acting like I was receiving something, but he needed to see my open hand in the picture. For another series of shots I had to lean way over onto this desk because that’s what was in the storyboard, but it meant I had to lean over about a foot and kick one of my legs out in order to get into the pose. I didn’t even know they made short desks except for little kids; ugh!

Of course there’s the obligatory standing around time as well. I got lucky in that my standing around time was early, when they were taking prep shots. My partner, whose name was Juanita, had to sit around waiting later on when it was time for just me alone in a picture.

Finally, it was time for my main shot, and I got to sit for this one. I was holding papers and a pen in one hand, and I had to alternate between looking serious, looking stern, looking content and smiling, both with and without teeth. They had to change the set because his assistant realized that they had the same pictures in the new shots that they had in the original shots when we were turned the other direction; that wouldn’t do. And I couldn’t look at the papers; I had to remember to look straight at the camera, and that’s another lesson. After all, you know how you always feel like you want to blink when you see a camera flash? Can’t do that with a photo shoot.

I was there just under 3 hours, and it’s a good thing photographers don’t use real film anymore. What a process; digital camera, computer hooked up so they can immediately see what’s going on and what they might have to photoshop out later on. The guy said I was perfect; I didn’t comment because what could one possibly say to that? It was fun I must admit, but I’m glad it was relatively short also because it turns out that Juanita will be modeling for up to a week; she has a really prominent role in the story, though it also seems they didn’t tell her just how prominent.

My takeaway? I get paid and I got the above picture of his puppy Lucy, who was just the cutest thing, and when I got to play with her she kept going for my tie, actually getting it once. What an interesting day, and an interesting lesson to learn. Tyra girl, you do some work! 🙂
 

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