I am a Guardian

So I have to do this personality test for school. And lo and behold, I have a personality. I guess I passed.

Your Temperament is Guardian (SJ)

Guardians are the cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services--from supervision to maintenance and supply--and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses.

Guardians can have a lot of fun with their friends, but they are quite serious about their duties and responsibilities. Guardians take pride in being dependable and trustworthy; if there's a job to be done, they can be counted on to put their shoulder to the wheel. Guardians also believe in law and order, and sometimes worry that respect for authority, even a fundamental sense of right and wrong, is being lost. Perhaps this is why Guardians honor customs and traditions so strongly--they are familiar patterns that help bring stability to our modern, fast-paced world.

Practical and down-to-earth, Guardians believe in following the rules and cooperating with others. They are not very comfortable winging it or blazing new trails; working steadily within the system is the Guardian way, for in the long run loyalty, discipline, and teamwork get the job done right. Guardians are meticulous about schedules and have a sharp eye for proper procedures. They are cautious about change, even though they know that change can be healthy for an institution. Better to go slowly, they say, and look before you leap.

Guardians make up as much as 40 to 45 percent of the population.

The Four types of Guardians are:

Supervisors (ESTJ) | Protectors (ISFJ) | Inspectors (ISTJ) | Providers (ESFJ)

And for a mere $14.95 I can hear more bullshit about what all that means. At this point in my life ... I'm whatever I have to be to get my degree. That's my focus.

Now back to my post. Guardian post, that is. I am the gatekeeper. Are you the keymaster?


Watershed rocks Cleveland

So not being content with having seen Wilco from the front fucking row in Sayreville, New Jersey, on Friday, and having driven there and back with stops along the way in Hershey for chocolate and Pittsburgh for Canadian women, we took Icy Blue up I-71 with Donnette in the backseat for Watershed.

Yep, another roadtrip concert for a band you've probably not heard.

And I have the photographs to prove how hard they rocked the Beachland Ballroom.

And I"ll tell the rest of the tale tomorrow.

I'm tired.

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Colin and Joe
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Hammel on Trial was the headliner. He's interesting. A one-man punk acoustic show. He'll be in Columbus on May 5, 2006, at Little Brothers, but all the cool people will be at Flannigan's in Dublin for Cinco De Mayo with Watershed.

Because they rock.


No, I don't have a big head.

Just a big brain.

See, not only am I a geek,
I'm a certified geek.

That's right ... with my looming job loss (when? Who really knows. Could be the end of May now, could be the end of June, could be the end of the year, but I'm not gonna wait and wonder, because I'm a proactive mofo) I decided to put my education and experience on paper in the form of IT Certifications, because there isn't a job listing out there that doesn't want them and those damn OCR resume scanners that everyone uses these days just scan what's on a resume and look for keywords, not analyze the resume for experience, of which I have a lot.
So in the past three weeks I've passed three tests and am in training this week for a fourth. Training paid for by the company I work for now ... again, for who knows how long in the future, but hey, they're paying for the training, so I'm taking it! And through my own work prior to this week's training, the month of April has been berry berry good to me:

I'm now
A-Plus Certified on hardware and operating systems.

I'm now
Network-Plus Certified (Network Support and Administration).
By the end of the week I'll be Server Plus Certified ... Server technology and hardware. After that, I turn to the wonderful world that is Microsoft and maybe onto Cisco as well, because as I'm learning, you can never have too many certifications.

So far I've learned that ExamCram2 books SUCK and aren't worth the cash, even used; and Michael Meyers is a genius, and the Passport and All-In-One books are worth the money.
Annnnnnnnnnnnd ... I start back to school tonight and I WILL finish my Bachelor's Degree. Really.

So it's not my head that's getting bigger. It's just my brain.


Why we're fucked as a nation

I can name this tune in four keystrokes.

Really. Four keystrokes.

1. Control key.

2. A to select all

3. C to copy

4. V to paste

So I'm writing a paper for school on plagiarism. Well, we'll use "writing" loosely. I'm copying it. From the internet. Because it's easy. Copy. Paste. See, done.

No, seriously, anyone who is reading this knows I have NOT A BIT of trouble writing. Really. In fact, I've had several people tell me when my stuff gets too long they lose interest. And one of those people wanted to date me. Yeah. She lost points there. (Oh, he's keeping score. That's not nice).

Anyway ... as I'm looking up the proper way to format something in APA style (shut it. University requirement. No, not MLA. No, not WTFE (that's what the fuck ever format, my usual writing style) but APA. Because IT people are so psychological. Or psycho. I forget.) and I find this.

This is what's wrong with America. In four keystrokes.

This is totally stolen from an APA Crib Sheet posted on the College of Wooster's website, who took it from some guy from Georgia Southern University who based it on something written by someone at the College of Wooster. (And people tell me plagiarism is bad?)

Avoiding Biased and Pejorative Language
In general, avoid anything that causes offense. The style manual makes the following suggestions:

ethnic labels (for example, Hispanic)geographical labels (Mexican American)
"men" referring to all adults "men and women"
"homosexuals" "gay men and lesbians"
"depressives" "people with depression"

Correct use of the terms "gender" and "sex"
The term "gender" refers to culture and should be used when referring to men and women as social groups, as in this example from the Publication Manual: "sexual orientation rather than gender accounted for most of the variance in the results; most gay men and lesbians were for it, most heterosexual men and women were against it" (APA, 2001, p. 63).

The term "sex" refers to biology and should be used when biological distinctions are emphasized, for example, "sex differences in hormone production."

Avoid gender stereotypes. For example, the manual suggests replacing "An American boy's infatuation with football" with "An American child's infatuation with football" (see APA, 2001, p. 66).

Sensitivity to labels
Be sensitive to labels. A person in a clinical study should be called a "patient," not a "case." Avoid equating people with their conditions, for example, do not say "schizophrenics," say "people diagnosed with schizophrenia." Use the term "sexual orientation," not "sexual preference." The phrase "gay men and lesbians" is currently preferred to the term "homosexuals." To refer to all people who are not heterosexual, the manual suggests "lesbians, gay men, and bisexual women and men" (APA, 2001, p. 67).

In racial references, the manual simply recommends that we respect current usage. Currently both the terms "Black" and "African American" are widely accepted, while "Negro" and "Afro-American" are not. These things change, so use common sense.

Capitalize Black and White when the words are used as proper nouns to refer to social groups. Do not use color words for other ethnic groups. The manual specifies that hyphens should not be used in multiword names such as Asian American or African American.

Labels can be tricky, and the manual has a lot to say about them. For example, "American Indian" and "Native American" are both acceptable usages, but the manual notes that there are nearly 450 Native American groups, including Hawaiians and Samoans, so specific group names are far more informative.

The terms Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano are preferred by different groups. The safest procedure is use geographical references. Just say "Cuban American" if referring to people from Cuba.

The term Asian American is preferable to Oriental, and again the manual recommends being specific about country of origin, when this is known (for example, Chinese or Vietnamese). People from northern Canada, Alaska, eastern Siberia, and Greenland often (but not always!) prefer Inuk (singular) and Inuit (plural) to "Eskimo." But some Alaska natives are non-Inuit people who prefer to be called Eskimo. This type of difficulty is avoided by using geographical references. For example, in place of "Eskimo" or "Inuit" one could use "people from northern Canada, Alaska, eastern Siberia, and Greenland."

In general, call people what they want to be called, and do not contrast one group of people with another group called "normal" people. Write "we compared people with autism to people without autism" not "we contrasted autistics to normals." Do not use pejorative terms like "stroke victim" or "stroke sufferers." Use a more neutral terminology such as "people who have had a stroke." Avoid the terms "challenged" and "special" unless the population referred to prefers this terminology (for example, Special Olympics). As a rule, use the phrase "people with _______" (for example, "people with AIDS," not "AIDS sufferers").

In referring to age, be specific about age ranges; avoid open-ended definitions like "under 16" or "over 65." Avoid the term elderly. Older person is preferred. Boy and Girl are acceptable referring to high school and and younger. For persons 18 and older use men and women.


A weekend full of C's

Curry. Cripples. Cline. Congestion. Cheerleaders. Chocolate. Cherry Pie.

Now that's some alliteration.

And that's how you spend a great weekend.

We'll start at about 8:30 a.m. Friday when we got rolling.

Icey Blue (that's my car's name, given by Cammi, another C but not part of this weekend) was fueled up, packed up and on the way to New Jersey. It was a totally uneventful journey east. Couple of minor construction delays, but nothing earthshaking.

We found the hotel with one minor wrong turn that was a two-block diversion. That's when the alliteration started.

As we walked into the hotel, we saw a lot of Indians (dot, not feather) and a lot of people in wheelchairs.

That's the curry and cripples.

Then came two hours of Cline.

Nels Cline.

Guitar God Nels Cline.

Currently playing with Wilco.

Currently playing with Wilco at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey.

Where we stood.

Four feet away from guitar God Nels Cline.

I was very impressed. And pissed that I left my camera in the car, leaving me to shoot with my crappy camera phone

Saturday brought rain, which brought congestion.

Saturday also brought a Snapple sale at PathMark, because only in New Jersey have I found my Snapple brand in serious quantities.

And Saturday also brought a trip to Hershey, PA. Where we walked into the middle of a chocolate kingdom packed with cheerleaders.

All buying chocolate.

As I told Kara, looks like a lot of chocolate will be thrown up tonight.

Saturday night found us in Pittsburgh at the Club Cafe for Canadians.

Kathleen Edwards.

With Kate York opening.

Two great Canadian singer-songwriters.

And I had my camera for this show. But we were standing about 15 feet away and off to the side. But I did get two good shots of Kathleen.

And, in typical Eric fashion, ran into someone I know: a guy I worked with at Calgon Carbon, and his wife, so we talked with them, enjoyed the show, and when it was over, headed to Eat 'n' Park for some food.

Kara ordered a sandwich and soup combo, I got the liver and onions. Yes, I like liver. Yes, Eat 'n' Park has great liver.

And apathetic waitresses.

There's nothing quite as nice as seeing red food on your knife when you didn't order anything red.

I ordered liver and onions and mashed potatoes and cottage cheese. None of which are red.

And when I pointed this out to the waitress, and told her it looked like my knife had some cherry pie remnants on it, she replied with the following:

"Maybe it's strawberry pie."

Not "I'm really sorry."

Not "Can I get you a new one."

Nope, just "Maybe it's strawberry pie."


So we headed home. Stopping only at Kroger at Bridgeville, Ohio, for a dose of sinus medicine to clear the congestion so we could breathe; and some gas and coffee at a Pilot station.

Home at 3 a.m. Sunday.

That, my friends, is a full weekend.

Alliteration and all.


Censorship SUCKS

There's nothing ...

and I mean nothing ...

worse than watching The Breakfast Club edited for TV.

You stupid, worthless, no-good, goddamn freeloading son-of-a-bitch, retarded, big-mouth, know-it-all asshole jerk

just doesn't have the same impact as

you stupid, worthless, no-good, gosh-darn, freeloading, big-mouth, know-it-all jerk

And the Bender/Clarie exchange about virginity ... totally discounted without the vocabulary deemed too intense for broadcast.


I can't catch a break

So this being day 10 since my snipping, and my second pain-free day in a row, I'm starting to believe that I'm over and healing, if not healed, and therefore, able to do what I want to do.

And I know better.

My doctor said no lifting of anything over five pounds for 10 days.

Now if you know me, you know I'm the impatient one whenever I'm told I can't do something ...

But after a good week of a lot of pain, I told myself I was going to be good. Besides, I got plans this weekend and upcoming week that are too important to mess up by trying to be a hero.

And I will admit today was very testing of that. I really really really wanted to get my bicycle out and ride.

But I didn't.

I walked to get my mail. And it was a nice, slow, peaceful walk.

And when I got into my apartment, my bicycle called to me.

But I wasn't going to move things around and get my bicycle out for the first ride of the year.

Because I'd have to move things.

Boxes that weigh more than five pounds.

My elliptical trainer that weighs more than five pounds.

And I'd have to take my bike to the gas station to get some air before I could ride it.

That means I'd have to get my bike rack out of the closet.

Which means moving MORE boxes that weigh more than five pounds.

And the bike rack weighs more than five pounds.

And the bike itself weighs more than five pounds.

And then there's the whole act of lifting the bike onto and off of the bike rack for transport purposes.

So I wasn't going to do any of it. I was being good. I was going to read my book on Network for my test. And watch some DVD's. And organize some DVDs to get rid of some of the spindles of discs I have.

And that was what I was doing when the night decided to suck. Well, it sucked a bit before that, but that was just minor suckage compared to what was to come.

I was moving a small stack of DVD's from the couch to the DVD case when the slippery plastic cases decided to slide.

As they tend to do.

And I went to catch it.

As I tend to do.

And I turned to catch it.

And smashed my face into the handle of my folded up elliptical trainer.

Which didn't move.

Because it's wedged up against the wall.

I hit the handle with my mouth.

More specifically, with one of my teeth.

Which didn't move.

It broke.

And it hurts.

And that, my friends, is why my night sucks.

Two days without pain in my nuts is replaced by pain in my mouth.


UPDATE: Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.

It's fixed. American Dental Centers on Dublin-Granville Road fixed me all up. Called at 1:45, was in the chair by 2:15 and done at 3:10 and home at 3:30 (they even drove me home because I'm a bit loopy from the gas.

Me and Novocaine = enemies.

So I get the gas.

Yeah, I know my face is gonna hurt.

And yeah, I know, it's killing you.

But I'm gonna nap it off before dinner with Kara and the required South Park/Mencia/Daily Show/Colbert Report TV-fest tonight. Peace out / Nap on.


We don't have enough words

The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to their yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

The winners:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained

3. Abdicate (v), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightgown

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp

8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are this year's winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

9. Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The colour you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.


Random Thoughts #5

Drivers of Ohio - please re-read your Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws ... and while we're at it, the Responsible Driver Handbook and try to understand the whole "Assured Clear Distance" section that basically says you're required to keep a safe distance between you and objects in front of you.

When I can't see your bumper in my rear-view miror, and we're going about 70 miles an hour, you're waaaaaaaay too fucking close.

And I quote Section 12603 of the State of Ohio General Code:

"Sec. 4511.21. (A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar at a speed greater or less than is reasonable or proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions, and no person shall drive any motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar in and upon any street or highway at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead."

In other words, if you are driving behind a car or a truck, you must be able to stop if that car or truck stops.

Good rule of thumb here ... if you can read the licence plate of the car in front of you, you're too close. Back the fuck up.
I love Panera. I eat there many times a week because their salads are good, their bread is good, their coffee is good. But they're smart, too. Peanut butter & jelly on the menu for kids who won't eat anything else. Genius.

Like my 8-year-old who hated the Pizza Hut express pizza because "it tasted funny" and wasn't going to eat it.

I'm getting used to the haircut. Still not all that happy with it, but it works.
My ex-wife is getting remarried. People think my happiness for her us unnatural. Then again, the fact that we get along well, and never devolved into the stupidity that a lot of divorcing/divorced people get into I'm sure has a lot to do with it. I'm happy for her. The guy she's marrying is exactly what she wanted and I wasn't. That's not a knock on me at all ... just an honest look at things.

What's even better is when I tell people our entire divorce cost about $350. We talked to a lawyer, he said he could only represent one of us. We told him what we wanted, he drew up the paperwork, we signed, he filed, case closed.

I wish them nothing but the best. If people can't understand that, they need to take a look at their relationships and analyze, not mine.

Busy week coming up ... studying for another certification test, then Kara and I are taking off on another adventure: We start on Thursday night in Columbus with Drew Hastings (the best comic, ever) ... with the lovely and probably still hung-over Lauren.

Friday morning Kara and I take off in Icey for our first out-of-state adventure in the new car as we drive across Pennsylvania to Sayreville, New Jersey to see Wilco on Friday.

We then wake up Saturday morning and head back into Pennsylvania, back across the state to Pittsburgh to see the lovely and talented and red-haired Kathleen Edwards, a Canadian singer-songwriter, in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Sunday we're resting. Really. She's off on Monday, I start training on Monday in Dublin (Ohio) for some server hardware stuff that I wanted to get done.

And I start school on Tuesday. And Wednesday Kara & I are heading up to Cleveland to see Watershed.

And Saturday (now we're into the 28th) I have to work, but Saturday night is the CD Release Party for The Receiver at Skully's. Come on out and support Casey & Jesse and the other bands that are playing.

No, we don't sleep much. Really.

And speaking of good bands you should see when they're in town, you know I love me some Swig Tooth and X-Rated Cowboys and Rockhouse ... well, Mark Nye, the bassist on all three and vocalist for Rockhouse is heading east to Brooklyn. So get out to see him before he goes. Check his calendar or mine for dates, times and places. Because you will miss him when he's gone.


Great Minds Think Alike

"I have a surprise for you. Well, for us," she said into the phone.

"Cool." I replied.

Of course, I was feeling the effects of a Vicodin, so my response may have been a bit muted.

"But I'm not gonna tell you what it is. I'll tell you I have a surprise for you, but that's all," she concluded.

"Okay," I said.

And the conversation went other directions.

"Hey," I then said, giving rise to another topic in the game we call "Subject Whiplash."

"Since we're not going to Baltimore to the Aquarium and DC on our way back from Wilco, if we leave New Jersey by noon we could be in Pittsburgh in time to see Kathleen Edwards on Saturday night," I said.

Her deadpan reply:

"That was my surprise. I bought us tickets already."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

That (as well as I can remember it) was my phone conversation with Kara last night.

Great minds *do* think alike.

Scary, eh?


I know when the world ends

Because I read it on the internet.

At 01:02 and 03 seconds in the morning on April 5, 2006, a little thing happened that has set the stage for the end of the world.

Some expanded digital clocks read:

01:02:03, 04/05/06

Big deal, right?

Well, maybe.

Here's where the goofy shit starts:

Apparently, according to someone on the internet, and we all know the internet is the single location on the planet for all truths to be told, those numbers lining up in a row were the start of a very eerie and strange thing "that was first predicted over five thousand years ago by the Mayan calendar,"

And we all know that the Mayan Calendar is what we base our time on.

And we all know that the Mayan Calendar ends on December 21, 2012.

And we all know that the world ends on December 21, 2012.

And here's why:

Now before we get into the heart of the argument here, I have already answered the most obvious question: How do we know that it was 2006 they were referring to, not 1906, or 1806, or 1706, hell, even 6 A.D. since the Mayans go back 5,000 years?

Answer: We have digital clocks.

They didn't exist in 1906, or any other 06 before that ... so it has to be 2006. Right? (Just agree and move on. Thank you.)

So let's continue, shall we?

According to the internet poster, Egyptian scholars, Greek prophets, Asian monks and seers of almost every other culture in the past has stated that on some day, all the planets will align and a chain reaction will be set in motion that starts the end downfall of our civilization and the end of our world on

Say it with me:

December 21, 2012.

And the countdown to extinction has begun.


Say it with me:

April 5, 2006; at 1:02:03 a.m. (I'm guessing GMT, because that's the true and real time, your mileage may vary based on your geographic location and associated time zone).

But let's look towards the future a bit:

At 11:11 pm on 12/12/12, all nine planets, the sun and every moon and every planet will be 7.85 inches off of being in a perfect line, which they will hold for three minutes and 36 seconds.

(How can this be proven? Well, NASA for one, look it up!)

Now if you add the number of seconds in 3:36 you get 216 seconds.

(How can this be proven? Well, math, for..216.)

And our seer went on to tell us that 216 is the perfect number in Jewish mysticism and in original Christianity.

(Original as opposed to the sequel? Methodists? Hmmm ... I wonder about that one.)

And that it is known as nature's number because all things natural can in one way or another be brought to 216.

(Yet he has no proof on the whole "nature's number" thing. Bastard.)

So what does it mean?

Well, in the Jewish calendar, our year of AD 2012 is their year 5773.

And .... for all you numbers geeks, you're well aware that if you

multiply 5 by 7 = 35.

multiply 35 by 7 = 245

multiply 245 by 3 = 735.


you divide 5,773 by 735

You're left with 7.85 and some change.

And 7.85 (and some change) is the distance that every celestial object will away from a perfect line.


Say it with me:

11:11 on December 12, 2012.

And the line lasts 216 seconds.

Modern scientists have openly stated that on 12/12/2012 there could be the start of some sort of unimaginable natural disaster. Probably from the planets aligning and the gravitational force of all those aligned planets fucking up our solar system.

Some of those wacky scientists think that gathering may change the rotation of some planets and moons. It might put planets or moons on new orbits, which would change the climates rapidly all over the world.

Of course, some people still believe the earth is flat, too.

And there are those who believe God created existence in six days and rested on the seventh.

But the length of the day is up to debate.

But the seer ended his rant with this:

Starting on 01:02:03 on 04/05/06, we will have six years, seven days, 8 months, 9 minutes, 10 seconds and 11 hours until 12:12:12 on 12/12/12.

And if you divide 12 by 2 you get six. And that contains the numbers 1, 2, and 6; which make up the number 216.

And 12:12:12 on December 21, 2012, when the Mayan calendar ends, is exactly 216 hours from when the planets are aligned and the gravitational forces start to break apart our solar system.

So when shit starts falling out of the sky, and plagues of locust arrive, the seven seals are broken, the four horseman of the apocalypse arrive and all the rest of the Book of Revelations comes to fruition, remember where you read it first:


Odds are I'll be sitting at home in front of my computer jerking off to porn. Might as well go out with a smile, eh?


Motrin Mostly Mocks Me

Well, Friday night was good.

Saturday morning was good. Walked up to Dunkin Donuts to get coffee and my mail. Kara came over and we went book shopping.

That's when I hit the wall

Saturday afternoon = lots of pain and lots of discomfort.

Kara took me home. I took a pill and laid down to watch some Pride Fighting on DVD. I think I fell asleep about 6. Woke up about 10:45. Watched the first half of Wrestlemania 22 on DVD. Fell back to sleep about 2 a.m. Woke up about 10 a.m. Laid around the house. Did nothing. Went to work for three hours to backup a server that had to be done on a weekend. Went home.

Was back in bed by 5:30. Watched the second half of Wrestlemania 22. Watched some other Pride Fighting Championship shows. Fell asleep about 1:30. Slept badly. Very badly.

I'm at work today. Not by choice.

So if anyone has some pain reliever that will do the job and allow me to work, or a time machine ... lemme know. Motrin laughed at me.


Party like a Rock Star

I may not have had guilt, cigarettes and heavy metal music, as Aaron of Swig Tooth sings so nicely in "Dirty Numbers," but I was close.

And quite a surprise to a few people, me included.

But let me back up and give you, as Paul Harvey says, the rest of the story:

Friday afternoon I had a vasectomy. Started at 1 p.m., and I don't remember when it finished because I had a pain pill before the procedure, some IV sedation to relax me and some local stuff in the work zone to numb the pain. And it was all good, until a brief vagal episode in the doctors waiting room after the procedure where I passed out for about, oh 15-20 seconds and don't remember the doctor waking me up, and was kinda out of things but awake for about 10 minutes and sweating profusely, all of which freaked Kara the hell out, and understandably so.

And about an hour later, after my blood pressure stabilized (was like 88 over 62 right after I came back from the brief passing-out episode) I was home, resting, in bed.

With my old friend Vicodin.

And hoping to be feeling good enough to make it out to see the X-Rated Cowboys at the Short North Tavern.

Much to the surprise of quite a few people, me included.

Because the stage at the Short North Tavern holds, oh, about three people.

The full band was in effect Friday night: that's six X-Rated Cowboys: Quinn Fallon on vocals and acoustic guitar; Mark Nye on bass; Chris Skrobot on lead guitar; Bob Hite on the keys (but not the accordion, bummer); C. Douglas Wells on drums; and the sometimes-we-don't-know if-he's-still-in-the-band-or-not-anymore Andy Harrison on the assistant lead guitar.

So the stage was crowded.

And the Short North Tavern was crowded.

And the music was loud.

And the beer was flowing.

And I was gingerly walking, sitting and doing my best not to aggravate my injured areas.

But the Vicodin was in full effect.

And the three Budweiser drafts I had helped.

Yep, Eric was altered.

And had a blast.

Yep, I had Vicodin, Budweiser and X-Rated Cowboys music.

But I wasn't by my lonesome, I had Kara in control, and she had the keys.

And the Cowboys rocked.

And we finally got to meet Chad, who enjoyed the show, especially the not-too-often-played "Amazing Grace."

And saw another attention whore take a dive. I believe Kara called her a lollypop head because she had a stick-like body. I'm guessing she was a stripper (wait, I'm sorry, dancer) based on the way she was using the speaker pole and a support beam, and pseudo-lezzing out with her other dancer friend.

And as she was attempting to use the speaker pole to dance she kept turning the speaker.

Which totally pissed off Quinn.

And Kelly, the lovely wife of Mark Nye, who's also Brooklyn bound.

And Barry. (Hi Barry. Didn't say hi was too busy talking to Ron, Elliot and all the other people I seemingly run into everywhere I go like Fritz, like Jesse, who's band The Receiver is having their CD Release Party at Skully's on April 28th. Be there. And everyone else I forgot to mention, who I'm forgetting because my friend Vicodin is taking over my brain to deal with the pain.)

So I'm out.

To do, as Mark & Ron both said to me, "Dude, take care of your balls."


It's All About Reach

As we learned in "Cool Hand Luke" ... there are some people you just can't reach.

As we learned from AT&T every so often it's good to reach out and touch someone.

As we learned from Michael Jackson, just make sure whoever you reach for is old enough, or you've slipped them enough Jesus Juice.

And as we learned from the good Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, there are some people that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the god damned common courtesy to give him a reach around.

I believe Michael is in that group.

And I believe I'm in the group that's getting everything but the reach around, so to speak.

That's the love I'm feeling this week.

And, oddly enough, it's not job related.

And, oddly enough, it's not love related. (Hi love-related! Hope you're sleeping well as I type another venomous spewage.)

Yesterday, for no other reason I can fathom than a case of the Mondays after the time change fucked me up, every single person I had to deal with outside of work or love yesterday had their way with me, Oz-style.

And I won't get into the damn Columbus drivers who think six feet between cars on I-270 at 70 miles an hour is assured clear stopping distance.

Or the morons who think cutting across five lanes of said highway at 70 MPH is standard operating procedure.

I'll just site the two most obvious:

After work, I went to get a haircut because it's, oh, a week or two later than I normally like to go between haircuts. So I sit down and Mary starts talking about what I want. I tell her just like it is now, but shorter. She asks scissors or clippers? I say clippers, with a three on the sides and scissors on the top.

She tells me that she thinks a one on the sides and back would be better make it shorter and give me a bit of a sleeker summer look.

Summer, mind you, the season that teased us on Sunday with 70 degree temperatures and left me with frosted windows this morning.

See, even Mother Nature was sticking it to me from behind this week. Gosh.

But back to Mary.Okay, whatever, you're the professional. I'm just the guy paying for your service. If it were me, I'd do what the guy with the money wanted.

But I'm not a hair stylist.

Or a barber.

(Does anyone else remember the classic Saturday Night Live sketch that's a great play on "what if the words we know today meant something different in the past." Steve Martin plays Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber, who is doing his best "barbering" (or, as we call it today, doctoring) for a variety of peasant ailments. When someone questions the wisdom of one of his "cures," Martin looks at them shakes his head and says "Who's the barber here?" At another point Martin's character pats himself on the back for the vast strides his profession had taken from years past. To a woman concerned about her daughter's illness he states, "In the past we would have thought that your daughter's condition meant she was possessed by demons. [laughs] But, now we know her condition is caused by a tiny dwarf living in her stomach."

So, with that story in mind, I ask the following question:

Who's the barber?

Not Mary.

As my haircut shows.

See, as Mary's running the clippers over the back of my head, she's looking to the chair next to her where she's carrying on an Ebonics-laced tirade about some problem her kid is having at school. I used to believe I was fluent in Ebonics, however, my skills be slippin' because I only figured out about half of what she was saying.

So I just kind of closed my eyes and stopped listening, going to my happy place in my head and trying to mentally recharge myself for a long night of studying Operating Systems technologies for a certification exam I'm taking on Wednesday.

That all changed when she ran the clippers up over the top of my head.

With the one blade on.

Ebonics came to a screeching halt mid-ebon.

The happy place in my head blinked out like a simulation on Star Trek's holodeck.

I look into the mirror.

She's looking back with the world's best poker face and says "You want it that short on top, too?"

I look back at her and say, without flinching, "Well, do I have much of a choice now?" in my best kinda sarcastic, kinda resigned to it voice, because there's not much worse than a reverse Mohawk.

It looked good when Mike Score did it in 1983 (he was the singer for A Flock of Seagulls).

But on me?

In 2006?


And Mary realized that, shaking her head and saying, "Well, no, not really."

And then proceeded to return to the Ebonics and take care of the rest of the hair on my head, making it all as short as the top and sides.

And didn't apologize.

Or offer me a discount.

How short is it?

My arm hairs are longer.

How short is it?

Sinead O'Connor called me out for stealing her hairstyle.

Then she tore up a picture of me.

Hey, it's hair. It'll grow back. And it does kind of look good. The last time I had hair this short I had guys like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman yelling at me, and the rest of the people in my basic training outfit calling me Eddie after Eddie Munster because of my massive widow's peak. But hey, it's hair. It grows back.

Also yesterday, the legal music download place I get most of my indie music from screwed me, too. (I loves me some eMusic. No fancy special formats. They're DRM-free MP3's ... so you can do with them what you want. And they cost about 40 cents a song, not the 99 cents iTunes rapes you for. And they have "The Smile and the Nod" by Autumn Under Echoes. So get that give Mark, Aaron, Chris and John Q. Drummer some love.)

Anyway, I was downloading a comedy album and got an error message.

And the download never started.

So I followed the steps suggested and then tried to download it again.

And was charged twice.

Since it was 22 download credits, I was a bit concerned. So I follow the help steps, read through the FAQ, it doesn't tell me anything related to my situation, so I click to email support and send them the following:
> --Original Message--
> From: eric_broz@yahoo.com
> Date: 04/03/06
> To: service@emusic.com
> Subject: Downloading[#2434003]
> Ticket ID:
> First Name: Eric
> Last Name: Broz
> Email Address: eric_broz@yahoo.com
> Operating System: Windows XP
> Drop Down: Other
> MP3 Player: (Windows Media Player, iTunes, Winamp, etc.): iTunes
> Internet Speed (T1, Cable, DSL, dial-up, etc.): Cable
> ----------------------------------------------
> Contents:
> I tried to download Richard Jeni's Greatest Hits and received an error
> message saying the temp internet files was full and to delete them and try
> again.
> When I did that, the songs were downloaded twice.
> That's 22 credits I lost.
> Can you help me out? I like Richard Jeni, but don't need two copies!
> -E
And receive the following response today:
--- service@emusic.com wrote:
> Hello,
> Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.
> Once you have selected a track from eMusic, you are allowed to re-download it
> as many times as you like without losing download credits provided that the
> album is still available through eMusic and your account is active.
> In order to re-download tracks in the future, please follow these steps:
> 1. Log in to your eMusic account
> 2. Click on the Your Profile tab on the homepage
> 3. Click on the Downloads button
> 4. Select the Artists, Albums and Tracks you wish to download from the list
> provided
> 5. Click on the album you wish to download tracks from.
> 6. Click the blue arrow located next to the track name you are interested in.
> If you wish to download an entire album, you may do so by clicking each arrow
> next to the tracks.
> If you are still experiencing difficulty (or your records show that you lost
> double credits), please reply with further details including any error
> messages you are seeing or any other observations that will help us solve
> your issue.
> Regards,
> Erick
> eMusic Customer Support Team
Which prompted my response:

Thank you for your response.

I understand how your service works. Check my account. I've downloaded a TON of stuff since I found you, so the download primer from the FAQ really doesn't answer my question or address my issue.

Since you asked for more information, I'll give you the same information I gave you before, only this time I hope you read it:

> I tried to download Richard Jeni's Greatest Hits and received an error
> message saying the temp internet files was full and to delete them and try
> again.
> When I did that, the songs were downloaded twice.
> That's 22 credits I lost.
> Can you help me out? I like Richard Jeni, but don't need two copies!

Since that may not be clear:

I downloaded Richard Jeni's Greatest Hits twice on the same computer in the same session. Which, according to your FAQ-based response, I should be able to do, and only be charged for the initial 22 credits for the download.

Yet I was charged a total of 44 credits (that's 22 credits times two downloads).

I would like credit for my 22 downloads.

Thank you.
Just in case, I'm getting the lube ready myself. It's been that kind of week.

And it's only Tuesday.