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Showing posts from September, 2009

Lets Get Ourselves Prepared

Is it too early to start thinking about National Novel Writing Month? November feels far off, but it's only 36-days away. A length of time that could easily slip past without notice with the ramp up to Halloween and the onset of winter. And yet it is plenty of time to come up with a story idea and some sort of framework to hang that story on; a bit of prep time if you jump on it now and take advantage of it. I called Doug earlier today and mentioned to him that I was thinking that this could be the push I need to get started and the deadline I need to get me working steadily. He agreed. I asked if he was up for it this year. He seemed to think that maybe he was. So I've added the NaNoWriMo progress bar to the sidebar and we're going to restart the weekly writing call in an attempt to get the creative juices flowing again. I'm feeling good about this. I really think this will be the event that'll get me back on the writing wagon. A wagon that I really want to be on.

Let's Go Shooting

Tonight was our class at Silver Bullet Firearms , First Steps Pistol Orientation. We walked in and they said, what do you want to shoot, and handed us a couple guns. Normally, when I go places the first thing they do isn't hand me an assortment of firearms. Tasha chose a Beretta Neo 22LR. I took the counter girls advice and took a Ruger MK III 22LR. We grabbed some eye and ear protection and headed for the class room. We learned about firearm safety, range safety, the basic workings of a pistol and revolver, proper stance, how to choose the correct ammo, and assorted other bits of knowledge about pistols and revolvers. Then we  headed for the firing range. They gave us a paper bag full of bullets. Eye wear on. Ear muffs on. And through the doors we went. Time to shoot us some targets. They only ran the targets out about five yards. I'm not sure if that was to make us think we're better than we actually are or simply a good starting distance. Whatever, we were shooting guns,

Football, Football, Football

It's official, Denis is in the PS3 Madden 10 Franchise. We played a practice game tonight. I didn't do so well. I completed 3 passes for 38 yards and ran for another 18. I had 3 balls intercepted and another 3 knocked out of the air. Fortunately, he didn't play that much better or it could have been a real blowout. It was not a good game. Final score was, 14 Vikings @ Packers 3. Ah well, we're calling it preseason. And anyway, I'll whoop up on his purple ass in the regular season when it counts. Which leaves only Jay to test myself against, and that seems odd; odd only because his Chicago Bears are my first game of the season, so if we played a preseason match we'd only be turning around and playing an official match right after. I had intended for him to be my first game, but things didn't work out that way. I guess I'll leave it up to him. Yesterdays Corn whipped up all over me in the fantasy league, beating me by better than 30-points. Everything I sa

A New Kind of Football Game

Finally the magic combination of a QuickHit Football code and a working website have come together to allow me to try out the game. I like it. It's almost a football RPG. You're the coach, you pick the plays and the players do their thing, you play games and earn points, after enough points you 'level' up and get different points that you use to improve your players. Which kinda pulls you along because you don't want your players to suck. A word of advice, don't pack all your points on one player, because you'll end up with a QB that's 3x as good as everybody else and if you're throwing to a guy who can't run a route or catch a ball it really doesn't matter if you're a superstar. And there's no way I can see to reallocate your points once you've left the training screen. I'm just saying. There is a download, so it's not a completely online game. And there is a bit of lag, but not bad. The quarters are 3-minutes long and i

Zen and the Art of Auto Maintenance

Took the car in to Midas this morning. I've been meaning to take it somewhere for a while, and now that we have Tasha's car here, this morning seemed as good a time as any. The thing has over 86,000 miles on it now and my list of things that need attention was long; mushy brakes, squealing belt, front tires and alignment, tune-up, and oil change. So I was hoping to get out of there for $600, but expecting it to be more like $1000. This is what happens when you wait too long for these repairs. So I was expecting to pay some cash. Which I was okay with. I took it to Midas because, well, they just seemed like they were equipped to do everything I wanted done. They gave my car the thorough once over and brought back a slightly expanded list of things that needed attention. I pretty much expected that there were things I hadn't noticed yet, so no surprise there. In the end, the oil was changed, the other fluids were topped off and the car given a tune up, the fuel injectors  cle

The Machines of Da Vinci

We went to the Grand Rapids Public Museum tonight after dinner at Mojo's. The museum is having a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit called, Machines in Motion. It's a bunch of machines built from the drawings and designs of Leonardo  Da Vinci; the tank, the helicopter, the glider, etc... I think there were about fourty of them in total, not all of them to full scale. It was very interesting. Especially when you think that this wall all done around the late 1400's. My favorite was the wooden bicycle, but the one I was most impressed with was the ingenuous ratcheting machine with the wheels that went in opposite directions. I'm sure it has a name, but it escapes me at this moment. It's amazing what he did with wood, rope, glue, and just a touch of metal. The rest of the museum was kinda hit or miss for me. I enjoyed the 6-foot globe, though the spinning mechanism was broken and I couldn't really see much of North America and none of Australia. There was a 20-foot high bias

Just Another Day In The Life

I may have to take back what I was saying about Quick Hit Football. I signed up a few weeks ago and they let me register and make a team. Last night when I tried to log in, they told me I had no account. I have the email. I have an account. To make matters worse. I've applied for a new account but have yet to see a code in my email. They're not making me a fan. I'd like to try it, but apparently they don't want me too. Still nobody in my PS3 Madden Franchise but me. No excuse for Kevin and Jay. Denis, well, he won't even pick his copy up until Sunday, so I'll give him a little slack. But not much. I see that NHL 10 is out now and getting good reviews, I bet the guys are all over that, and if they are... I may make them wait. Bwah ha ha ha... Our washing machine stopped working last night. Actually it's been acting up for a couple days. The repair man says he'll have a new one for us tomorrow. I'm down to my last uniform, good thing I don't need t

Let's Talk Pigskin

Video game football is back. The 1st and Ten league has been reborn on the PS3. Jay, Kevin, Denis, and myself are taking up the Online Franchise mode in Madden NFL 10. In order to decrease the number of games against CPU Opponents we've taken teams in the NFC North. Jay will be heading the Chicago Bears, Kevin the Detroit Lions, Denis has picked the Minnesota Vikings, and that left me (last pick, last choice) with the Green Bay Packers. It'd be great to get more into this thing, so if you have a PS3 and Madden NFL 10 we'd love to have you join us. Provided of course that you're not a dick. I don't want to play games with a dick. Sorry. But at least I'm honest. Now if I could just get these other guys to sign up online so I can get started with the trades and what not. In my fantasy football league I'm happy to report that Rampant (my team) beat RUNT (my brother's team) in the season opener. Final score was Rampant 119.2, RUNT 111.0. I told him I was goi

The Big Day, Raffle Saturday

See that picture. A beautiful blue, 2009 Chevrolet Corvette. That's the corvette I didn't win in the 28th Annual Grand Valley Corvette Association Inc. Raffle. The drawing was today. I also did not win the money for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place. But what I did have was 2-months of fantasies about winning. I bought 3 tickets and gave me a 1 in 1500 or better chance of walking away with the car. Not great odds, but way better than winning the lottery. I guess I'm stuck saving my pennies and buying my own.... but then again, there's always next year's raffle. Today, Tasha and I went to the other side of the state to pick up the cavalier and have a little cook out with the family. There was a little stress involved in getting there; a missed turn, a series of plan changes in route, the usual chaos that ensues when we go to that side of the state. In the end we grabbed the car and then split and tried to get everything done as quickly as possible. Tasha took my car and picked

Mark and Dawn and Pete

We were supposed to be at a birthday party tonight, but we forgot until we were nearly in Grand Haven. Oops. Our pals, Mark and Dawn, rented a RV and have been trying out the RVing lifestyle. Tonight they're in Grand Haven at the campground so we went and saw them. Walk on the beach. Have some  drinks. Actually interact with people on this side of the state. We got there and were a little annoyed that we had to pay the park toll booth to visit our friends, but I guess it's the way things are. But the RV campground was crazy... basically a parking lot on the beach full of giant RV's and lots of wandering people. Even stranger was the way everything went dark and quiet at 10:00 pm on a Friday night. Maybe there's a rule. I don't know, I was just there to visit. We were visiting with our friends when there was a knock on the door. Just a 'neighbor' stopping by to check out the RV and say hi. Mark invited him in for a beer and he came in with the second invite.

An Update

All I'll say is that the pills have taken effect. The pain is lessening. I've had to make frequent stops today. And I don't want to eat anything. Thank god for modern medicine.

Ouch Ouch Ouch

Well, it was bound to happen. Between the weight gain and the beer and the crap diet the fucking gout has acted up again. I've got enough pills to take care of it, assuming these things still work, the expiration date was 07/2007. But it's late and I've got to do something. At this hour the doctor isn't an option. It's been over 2-years since the last time this acted up. I didn't miss it at all. Now I remember why I started losing weight. Damn health issues. Started this morning as a dull ache and I was hopeful that it wouldn't get any worse. By the time I was driving home from Muskegon it was a screaming pain. So it's take two pills and then one every two hours until you're shitting sewer water. I've got 2 pills left and no stomach cramps yet. Here's hoping something takes over night. I don't hate my body. But I do hate the way that I've treated it. Got to get back on the horse and make some changes.

Happy Labor Day

[caption id="attachment_602" align="alignleft" width="453" caption="Happy Labor Day"] [/caption] Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated in Canada out of labor disputes ("Nine-Hour Movement") first in Hamilton, then in Toronto, Canada in the 1870s, which resulted in a Trade Union Act which legalized and protected union activity in 1872 in Canada. The parades held in support of the Nine-Hour Movement and the printers' strike led to an annual celebration in Canada. In 1882, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire witnessed one of these labor festivals in Toronto. Inspired from Canadian events in Toronto, he returned to New York and organized the first American "labor day" on September 5 of the same year. The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5 , 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers

A Beach Bar Getaway

Today we jumped on the bike and headed out on the highway, looking for adventure or whatever came our way. We ended up in Muskegon, actually that was the plan from the start, but it didn't sound right with that first sentence.  We went to the pier, and ignoring the warning signs telling us we would die, walked out by the signal tower and sat on the rocks. It was a little cool for swimming, but I wanted to eat at Captain Jack's before they closed for the winter, so we had lunch there. It's a very nice little beach pavillion style bar; think food, drink, volleyball, fun in the sun, and live music. It's a little far from the water which is kind of hidden by the tall beach grass. There was a boy girl duo playing fiddle and guitar playing beach music on the deck. The food was pretty good and not too expensive. But damn is that a long ride on the bike. I really need to get a windscreen and maybe a bigger seat for the lady passenger stuck on the back. I think this was the firs

Labor Day Weekend Kickoff

We were planning on going to the other side of the state this weekend to pick up a kid, a car, and probably do a bit of visiting. But the kid doesn't want to come home yet. The car isn't done or the folks who have it won't be around (not sure which is the real story). So we're not going to do that. Really we have no plans for the weekend. Maybe the beach. Probably dinner out. We've really got to make some friends around here. The work week felt long even with the sick day thrown in. I need a vacation. In fact, didn't realize just how badly I wanted a week or two off until they put the kabash on PTO. Now I've got to wait until November and taking time off is all that's on my mind. Hopefully this 3-day weekend will help ease that need. Here's hoping that you too get a long weekend. Enjoy. Later.

A Day Off, More Tired Than Sick

I'm getting everyone up to speed because I'm a slacker. I could put all this in one post, but that defeats the purpose of using this to keep track of my life... Soooo.... the next few posts are backdated. You've been warned Took the day off work. A sick day, personal day, comp. day, whatever you want to call it. I was a little worried about getting paid for the day, what with the whole freeze on unapplied time through the first of November. But sometimes you gotta take a chance. I slept. Later.

Expanding the Arohen Brand

Tasha and I had dinner and a nice visit with my folks on Sunday.  We met at the Champp's in Lansing and it had to be the worst experience either of us have had at a Champp's restaurant. The food wasn't very good and it seemed like everything anybody wanted to drink they were out of, that's an exaggeration, but the waitress did come back to the table three or four times to tell us something wasn't available. Not the experience that I was hoping for. But my folks didn't say anything about it, so maybe they didn't notice. The visit was nice, but short, we met at four and were on our way home by six. Seems like a shame that we don't spend more time with them, but that's the joy of living on the other side of the state. Yesterday, I went on a shopping spree. I picked up a television stand; two drawers, two shelves for AV equipment, and while the color isn't perfect (it's black and everything else is dark brown) the style matches nicely with the ta