Sunday, December 27, 2009

MY Christmas Story

The holidays are over and my pants don't want to fit. The state is under a good deal of snow which means my family gives me a daily schedule to drive them so they don't risk a wreck. Evidently the TV news warnings of DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE UNLESS OF AN EMERGENCY had a tag line that said "or if your Dad can take you." What is worse is Mrs. Cris keeps producing a new grocery/Wal-Mart list every day!

Yes Wal-Mart. The one store you want to avoid the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas. You DO know that all holiday decorations, paper, bows, bags, inflatables, lights, toys, gift sets, and overstocked items will go on sale the day AFTER that most holy of holidays... don't you? So every redneck within 50 miles charges to the store with Christmas cash to get new tree skirts, next year's greetings cards, and the best lights left over from yesterday.

Now I too have been known to rush to this sale. A few years ago I got not one but TWO new tree skirts. They were things of beauty. See, over the past three decades we have collected a vast assortment of Christmas do-dads and trinkets. If we wanted to set it all out we could land jet airliners in the driveway and the house would make even the gaudiest of shopping center malls claim we "over did it" a bit. In fact, we had so much that I had to have an outside storage building created just to hold the Christmas stuff. OK, to be fair there are like three boxes of Halloween and one Thanksgiving box of decorations. But still the building is about 80% Christmas decor and we do not have big outdoor decorations. Nope, it is all indoors baby!

So yeah I don't mind a bargain. So like I said, I bought a couple of great tree skits a couple of years ago. I came in and we all marveled at MY brilliance at finding something pretty that nobody else wanted in a timely manner. Then I gave this freshly found treasure to Jr to put away in a storage bin for to use next year and many years thereafter.

Next fall, when pulling out the Halloween Decorations I found those Wal-Mart sacks where they had been tossed inside the door. Not in storage containers. Not protected from field mice or pack rats or any other vermin that inhabits sheds that only get opened for three months out of a year. No I found the last vestiges of rat torn and chewed rags that untold litters of rodents had crapped and procreated upon.

Hell Yes I stood there in that dank smelling environment desperately wondering if I could find a corner of the round skirt I could turn to face the living room and salvage my once great find. Alas I had to admit defeat and we returned to the old rust stained skirt we had been using for the past 15 years.

BEGONE FOUL MEMORY! GET THEE BEHIND ME!! For today the little Mrs and I ventured unto Wal-Mart where I got a fiber optic tree angle and Mrs C got a new tree skirt. Soon we will take down the tree for another season. We will put away the decorations, both old and new for another year. Then, as tradition dictates I will tell Jr to put the storage bins back in the shed because I am too freakin tired and too freakin fat from all the overeating during the holidays. And then 9 months from now we will see the job he performed and most likely the cycle will continue to turn.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Year New Resolutions

Nope I am not going to resolve to blog more often. Some time ago I read a bloggers tip sheet that begged bloggers to not post every day unless they had something worthy of saying. Then I had internet access problems that seemed unfixable unless I move to a more internet friendly location... which I am not going to do right now... So I got to thinking "Just how important is it to blog on and on about nothing?

Sure it was fun, but it was like an obsessive type of need rather than a productive past time. In the past few months I switched my leisure activity to creating a bragging rights only football pool. I could put my humor and limited creativity into that and impact (harass) people closer to home. That experiment has turned out very good but football is coming to a close.

What to do, what to do?

A few things are certain: The internet service will not get better in the foreseeable future and I will not have more "extra time." So, while I will not close down the O blog right now, it is under consideration. AND somehow with Facebook and a Smartphone AND a couple of teenagers who are always occupying the computer... I have less of a need to be online.

Anyway I feel I need to reach a resolution about this blog. My friend Tina just decided one day she was over blogging and she hasn't posted since. Maybe I should have more than one desire about Christina! Anyhoo Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hawnykah, and that Kiwanis thing. God bless us everyone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Three Rules Of Life

As I enter the winter of my life... ok the winter of the year, I grow more introspective. What, I ask myself, what wisdoms would I have liked to share with my children if they had not run off and joined the carnival. (Ha! The joke was on them, it was a community Halloween carnival and not a traveling band of lovable freaks and pedophiles. LOSERS!!)

So thus in my deep and thoughtful introspection I have selected three of life's rules that everybody should live follow in life. These are rules I learned at the college of hard knocks and misdemeanor criminal records.

#3. After year's of separation it always feels good to hug Grandma. But no matter how good that hug feels, no matter how much you are feeling the love; DO NOT slap that ass!

#2. If you apply Deep Heating Rub on your sore back prior to getting undressed and climbing into bed to relax to Cinemax TV; WASH YOUR HANDS before you even get close to touching Mr. Happy!

#1 If you hire a Bagpiper to march in a local parade to promote your new project; INSIST he wear something under that kilt when marching in Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping up your legs!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Road Rage

Why Cris, old boy! What the devil are you doing up and on your blog at 5:30am?

Well Dead Reader, I have a Blackberry. And from time to time that Blackberry gets Email. And from time to time, while on the road I set the phone to alert me to incoming messages so I don't miss important work or family related news while traveling.

All reasonable, you think? Responsible family man on a business trip out of town wanting to be available to family and staff needs, right? So there am asleep in a smelly old Holiday Inn when my phone starts alerting me to incoming mail from Overstock.Com and some Holiday Card business and it is 4:30 in the freakin morning!!

Sure I get out of bed, go across the room to check the phone, both times. Of course I go back to bed, I mean it IS this middle of the freakin night... the only reason I am staying in a hotel is so I can sleep the extra couple of hours it would take me to drive here. I mean if I had driven home last night, in order to get back to the state capital I would have had to get out of my comfortable new Serta Perfect Sleeper with the downy soft memory foam topper at em... about 5:30am.

So I go back to bed and toss and turn and figit and finally get up and vent to you, my faithful friend and reader. Yes I used the singular because I pretty much know who actually reads this (thanks Mom) ANYhoooo... Maybe I can go back to sleep and grab another hours rest before it is time to return to the training. I will try because I am responsible that way.

Yes I turned my damn phone off! Yes I want to hunt down and flick rubber bands at the SOB who signed me up for alerts from Overstock.com... a site I have never visited. But I am too mature for thoughts of violent and well deserved retribution. I am a man of piece and love. So I think I watch some porn and try to go back to bed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Heat Is On!

Let it be known from this day forward Cris was cold and he turned on the heat for the winter. I know, I know this should not be blog worthy, but I live in Oklahoma dude! We are still mowing grass on weekends. We do not expect our first frost for another week or two. But it has been dipping down into the 40s at night, it is currently in the mid 50s and my big ass is COLD!

So let the other rednecks talk, scoff if they will. Cris turned on the heat on October 5, 2009. And... it feels good! By the way, I finally moved the TV back to where it belongs so we can access the fireplace. I have to admit the tile hearth and the new wood floor look pretty good together.


My son is in the final count down to the day he will sell his summer cow project for FAA. This is a heard project. He kept careful books on the feed and vet bills. These books he will turn into the teacher with the results of his sale, to show the profit margin on the project. This is NOT a true reflection of the experience. He is not paying pasture rent, he is not paying other family members to actually make sure the cows are fed and watered each day and most importantly he is not paying for water.

Yes Water! Our water bill has been on average about $100 a month more since we got the cows. Granted, a good portion of that is because when Mom or Dad go out to fill the water tank that the boy forgot to fill, they tend to get distracted and walk away in the 20 minutes it takes to fill, and they don't remember to turn off the water until the next morning when they see a flooded pasture on the way to work. If we have another heard project next year we will A. buy the calves earlier in the Spring. B. Mow down pasture weeds to enhance the grass and C. Buy the $20 valve you can put on a tank that turns the water on and off so doddering old relics like my son's Mom and Dad don't have to focus on a task for 20 full minutes at a time.

Today is my daughter's Half Birthday. She has been talking about it all week. She has exactly 6 months of childhood left from today. Fear has started to creep in as the excitement of possibilities has shifted to the reality of time. She is growing up. She will be an adult with adult responsibilities the rest of her life. There is no going back. I try to help ease the anxiety by reminding her that she will ALWAYS be Daddy's little girl.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fear and the Fear of Fear

There I said it all in the title. OK, its out there and lying like a cold dead fish on the counter top, waiting on us to chop it up, roll it around in our own special ideas of how to prepare and serve it. Some love it, others hate it and I think maybe the majority of us spend our lives trying to cope with it. Fear.

I will be the first to admit I am a collection of shivering, wide eyed awake in the middle of the night because I can't sleep fear. I fear the unknown, I fear the expected, I fear Y2K really happened and a huge Government cover-up is hiding the fact that we are now totally back in the stone age. I fear the death, harm, sickness, and possible future of my children. I fear loud thunderstorms, weak bladders, spiders, mean people, and Bigfoot.

I know that the majority of people that ride in cars (which is the majority of the majority of us all) will at some point in their lives be harmed in a major car crash, and that scares the crap out of me every time I pull out of my driveway! Statistically I know I am almost guaranteed to possibly die or be dismembered in a car wreck. And THAT fear doesn't even compare to the gut gnawing sick fear I feel every time my children leave in a car, and I don't care who is driving!

Yeah I gotta lot of fears. I fear poverty, health care, lack of health care and the Dentist. I fear I am not working enough, not getting enough done, not creating the security necessary to care for my family and for the time that will be here all too soon when I need more extensive health care.

But none of those fears even compare to my fear of Facebook.

Yeah that Social Networking thing scares the crap out of me because the walls I established between the real me and the Internet me is slowly getting torn down. So now the friends I gleefully spent years with in AOL Chat rooms where I encouraged Lesbian threesomes, are now making comments on the same page my pastor might visit on a regular basis. My kids go to my page as well as my co-workers, and all of the extended families of my co-workers. The Mayor of my hometown is a fellow graduating classmate of mine, and a Facebook friend.

"Not a big deal," you say? "Relax, Nobody cares about that stuff," you think? OK! OK! OK! Let me give you another example.

A few months ago I would have rushed to the computer to tell you of the verbal exchange between my wife and I. You know, one of those things where I am suggesting we have a bit of "Mom and Dad" time. So innuendo leads to suggestion leads to playful touching that leads to "the look."

Only now I am told, "That's not going to happen, for some reason my bottom hurts."

And while I fearlessly looked her straight in the eye with one arched eyebrow and suavely asked, "...you think it hurts now...?" followed by a bit of wagging of those arched eyebrows.

OK I am terrified to post that in a blog entry! Did I mention my wife and her friends read this thing? My mother reads this! My kids read this! And there is no way in the WORLD you can have a good entertaining blog if you allow yourself to be controlled by fear. Fear of castration with a dulled butter knife from the kitchen drawer... while sleeping.... in a house in the country... where nobody can hear me scream... that would report it... because they read the Blog too.... and they were probably the ones that suggested it.

FEAR!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

February to Today

So back in February I decided that it was time to upgrade our Internet Service Provider (ISP) from the on-again/off again wireless feed we have had for the past few years. I went high tech dude, $300 and a computer nerd later I had a high flying Norad satellite system on my brand new roof.

Sure it wasn't the same thing I had agreed to over the phone and it wasn't even technically hooked up and they didn't actually give me the new router (or any router) as promised in the ad. But I had lightening fast satellite internet dude! It worked great for 45 days, which was 15 days past the return date. Then it simply quit working.

We had exceeded our bandwidth limit, we were informed by the ISP. We should upgrade to the next highest package, our new ISP told us. Our son watched Youtube one Saturday Afternoon and ruined the internet for the rest of us... or so I told the others. So after a month went by without internet access we paid a little more and upgraded. Then another month went by and Still nothing. Not even able to access Email most of the time. "You're still exceeding the bandwidth limit" we were told. How in the hell we could exceed it without being logged onto the internet was never explained, but we were assured by the new ISP that if we upgrade to the very highest, most expensive package. And of course that never worked either. We were told neighbors were tapping into our feed and stealing the service, we were told many things and finally we were told that the ISP really "couldn't provide internet to everybody."

So we canceled and paid another $300 to buy out the contract we never used because of the service we never could access. For those of you keeping score... this means that while I paid for everything, I tried for months to get basic service, I kept upgrading to more and more expensive packages as advised until I was told THEY could not provide the service... IF you are keeping score... that translates into I BROKE THE DAMN CONTRACT?!!

SO the wife goes out and gets a 3G card from Verison. It's ok, not all that fast but it is OK. Then I get to looking at the contract she had and see it has... wait for it... w a i t for it........... a bandwidth limit! I refused to be trapped into the same situation as I was with the satellite, so after 30 of never being able to access our the website that shows usage, we canceled the service.

And I KNOW what you are thinking. "But Cris, if you canceled your ISP how are you able to post a blog entry two night in a row?"

Simple dear reader. For a mere $75 I called up my old on again/off again service and had it restored. The same service that I used for the nearly 18 months of uninterrupted nightly blog posts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Baby Girl

So I made this fire pit out by the barn. We moved all our old porch swings that are too old and ugly to keep by the house over by the barn, took over a few metal chairs and made a bench. It is a nice place to sit around an open fire and visit, cook hot dogs or toast marshmallows.

So tonight my little girl says some of her friends are coming over to the house. Now I am hungry, I ate at the office and didn't even finish. Mrs. Cris took off for some selfish reason like church choir practice and I even though I tried to leave the office around 4:00 pm. I never actually got away until about 6:30 p.m. I was really getting hungry and you know what is a fast meal..? Ball Park franks roasted on a big fork over an open fire, that's what is a quick meal!

So I tell the little girl I will make a fire and roast some Ball Park Franks, IF she and her friends want to sit outside around the fire. They all agree this sounds like a great idea since we are having unseasonably cool weather for the first part of September.

Now I tell you all this to set the stage. I am kicking up this outdoor fire and talking to my 17 year old high school senior "little girl" when I mention I stopped by a friend's house on the way home. I told her as I was there, some woman came over and seemed like she wanted to visit and I felt like eh....

OK my mind was desperately searching for an alternative phrase. "Don't say cock block!" my mind screamed at me. "For God's sake say anything but Cock Block!!"

Before my befuddled and confused mind could reroute a synaptic pathway that would allow me to select alternative verbiage, my sweet and unsoiled child looked at me with sudden comprehension and said, "Oh! You didn't want to block his cock!"

All pretense of friendly father, good time guy disappeared as I roared at her in my most commanding paternal rage, "I DO NOT EVER WANT TO HEAR THOSE WORDS COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH EVER AGAIN!! AND IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MUCH I WAS THINKING THE SAME TERM EITHER!!"

Now I can't be sure, but based on her burst of giggles I don't think she took me seriously. And then when she told her friends the story later they all laughed and kept asking me what was the phrase I didn't want my delicate little flower to use..? "Was it Cock? Or was it Block? It bothers you to hear COCK BLOCK?"

No wonder girl children have no value in China.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

UPDATES

So we rent out our old house in town. The renter that was living there moved out in August and I found the old building was in need of repair. Part of the roof had blown off, and had been leaking into the house when it rained. The ceilings were ruined in two and a half rooms and the floors in the bathroom, kitchen and the back utility porch needed to be replaced.

Let me tell you, with a more than full time job, doing major repair on a house you are not living in, is TOUGH! Oh yeah I also found many light fixtures were broken or missing, the yard was out of control and needed a major tree removal and I needed a new garage door. Yeah... maybe I should have sold it rather than rent... NAH.. it still makes great return on the initial investment, way more than I would get if the money was in a bank... and WAYYYY more than I got from Edward Jones last year when I gave them $8,000 and they told me I had $4,500 left. Woohooo!

Oh well, luckily I was told the other day I need to take more vacation time or face a stern talking to from somebody that can be really scary. So I took off Friday and next Monday and now I am ALMOST finished!! WOOT!! I have new floors in the kitchen and bathroom and will put a new floor on the back porch soon. The lights are fixed or replaced and we have a new garage door. I have cleaned up most of the yard, there is a little that needs to be done and I think I have the tree things figured out (I hope) so there is light at the end of the tunnel and the house should be back on the rental market next week. THAT is a load off my mind dude. $600 a month lost income PLUS all the repair bills have been a bit of a stressor.

OK If I were to start a service like Twitter, but only for perv thoughts and dirty talk; Could I call it Clitter?

OK now that I tried to impress you with my handy abilities on the house repair, let me tell you that after a full day of laying tile I am covered from head to tow in floor glue. It clings to my leg hair and will not let go! I have bald spots on places of my body that are not the top of my head! And lemme tell ya due, you squat on a floor covered in glue all day with tile and body parts end up getting glued to each other and how THAT happened I'll never know! Honest!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dallas Invasion



So here I am in my last day in Big D. Thos of you that follow me on Facebook have seen the pictures. We went out last night for a cutting edge night of adventure, that ended up as a shopping trip to Wal Mart and dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. In a mood of defiance I Texaned up and ordered a manly Mango frozen Margarita with the meal, and then another.

When we returned to the Gaylord Texan I wandered over to the Margarita bar with a couple of my people and had two more MANLY mango frozen margaritas. Sufficiently calmed down from my hideous shopping foray by booze and pre-season Cowboy football I went back to the room to be reminded of a fact I keep forgetting.

I DO NOT do tequila well.

Not well at all.

Hope the neighbors are forgiving.

Oh, on my way back to the room I walked past a stuffed longhorn cow I MIGHT have somehow become convinced MIGHT have been Bevo and I MIGHT have thought it would be a good idea to go cow tipping... but you know how memories get all fuzzy over time? Right?

Monday, August 10, 2009

OK So I Am Not Really Back

The truth is, I can't seem to get back into the groove. Maybe I am too busy being an adult. Maybe I am too busy with the new job or the family or any of the other things that take time. Maybe I am lazy. The fact is, I don't feel compelled to blog.

I know what you are thinking, "Oh great, yet another blog about not blogging! No wonder I quit reading this loser!" And I kind of agree with you.

The odd thing is there are many times in the day I think of things I really want to share with you. Last night I worked on replacing a floor in my rent house until late. Then I spent another hour peeling glue off my hairy ass. It was like a redneck wax job... Out of desperation I finally shaved bald spots on each knee because the glue was in patches of hair too thick to pull out.

But I didn't.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm BAAAAAACK!! ...mabe

OK OK OK in case you did not know I have been away because I spent over $1000 since February on a different ISP only to find out they were not a reputable company. Last Week Mrs. Cris got a 3G wireless (cell phone) card. Then we wondered of there were routers made for those things and KABAM! I am back.

Tonight the boy and I hooked up the new system and we are back in business. EXCEPT it turns out Verizon has a bandwidth limit like Wildblue. Soooooo I think I should go crazy and watch all the porn that I have been missing over the past few MONTHS and if Verizon can't keep up they can have their freakin card back.

If THAT happens we have to decide of we want to go back to the old system we had but were not happy with back at the first of the year.

OK enough bitching about the wilds of remotest Oklahoma. I can say I missed you. I did! But... not as much as I thought I might. I had a post in mind about Jr's Garden, our new kitten, the fire pit plans, my new hardwood floors and marble tile hearth, good friends, and a few other topics... which includes my potable of choice lately... a mixture I call my fruity gay drink.

OK OK OK you have drug it out of me. My fruity gay drink is a blender of ice, a packet of sugar free cherry limeade kool-aid, one cup of rum of vodka and water. No sugar, no carbs, no calories (except for the liquor) and one refreshing way to get "faced."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dropping In

So it's come to this... I used to take pride in the fact that I posted on this blog, and the blog before it, every single day. Even when staying with family in the hospital in another state, I was able to make regular blog posts. Today, while contacting our state's Attorney General as well as the BBB and FCC about the abusive business practice of Wild Blue (Direct TV) Satellite Internet, we added the total bill for the past five months of torture. To date we have spent nearly $1,000 for 45 days of reliable service. 15 days past the refund stage, Wild Blue decided we had exceeded out bandwidth and never returned reliable service, even with two service package increases (one unauthorized) and then they billed us an extra $340ish for the remainder of the contract THEY broke by not providing service.

OK I know I have said all of this before. I know I am a big whine bag cry baby, but I usually spend about $400 a year on internet service. I have now spent $1,000 in the past 5 months and got 45 days of service. The BBB and other consumer watchdogs are filled with thousands of complaints that list the same issues I had. Yet Wild Blue continues to do business and take advantage of rural America that is desperate for Internet service.

So no change. Wild Blue did agree to the BBB to refund $150. Pretty freakin big of them. We quickly alerted the BBB we were not satisfied. Did you know you can not stop payment on bills submitted to a credit card? So, when I called Discover to tell them I no longer want Wild Blue (Direct TV Satellite Internet) paid from my account, I was told by Discover, "Too fucking bad! We pay all claims and then handle them as a dispute." AND if I canceled my card they would continue to bill me as Discover would be the one holding the bag.

Now here is something we all should do, because THIS situation is not right. We need some type of consumer protection. This is a separate issue and not really related to the bad internet thing... although it never would have caught my attention without underhanded and unscrupulous business practices of Wild Blue (Direct TV Satellite)and the way they use your credit card company to enable them to swindle poor defenseless bloggers.

Consumer Protection! It is wrong, fundamentally wrong that YOU do not have the authority to deny payment for services never rendered or that were unacceptable in quality. You have that level of protection with a check, and you have that protection with cash. But in today's modern society our money is an electronic enigma that is represented as account numbers rather than crisp green bills covering a king sized bed that allows you to roll around naked and wallow in your riches... eh... or.. hold in your hand.. while dressed... in a business suit and looking sternly at rest of the world who probably didn't work as hard as you did to get what you have. You know?

SOooooo if I watch Home Shopping Network and end up buying this amazing diet tool that ensures rapid weight loss and receive in the mail a small baby teaspoon... I should have the right to deny payment my four easy payments of $39.99. If I hear a radio ad that foretells the new travel craze of the millennium and 6 weeks later I get a pair of in-soles for my flip flops, it is my GOD GIVEN RIGHT to deny payment, even if it was "no payment no interest" for a full year. Those misleading bastids!

My point is, regardless if you made a good decision or bad decision, YOU should have the right to refuse payment on a contract you feel was broken or was not carried out in good faith. The current system seems to say you have no rights. You can dispute a claim, but if they are a better disputer than you are (and they have professional disputers) you are screwed.

So in closing I would like to remind you that Wild Blue (Direct TV Satellite) company is not to be trusted, they promise a service they never intend to fulfill and they use current credit card policy to swindle thousands of people out of money. The Credit Card Companies simply look at a contract and say "Well... you signed it." regardless of the fact that the other party was the one who operated in bad faith and never provided goods or services, which leave us, the consumer, without protection. In essence: Don't do business with Wild Blue (Direct TV Satellite) Company and contact local legislators about giving you, the consumer, the right to suspend credit card payment to a scum sucking asshat business that is hell bent on raping you like a redneck inmate at Shawshank.

Hey I hardly called them any bad or undeserved names! Pretty good for me, huh?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Blogging from Work

Where the hell have you been dude?!! Well, I have been tilting at windmills great and small. I have been saving the world on a daily basis before bedtime and I have been without internet at the house. After a four month failed experiment with Wildblue (DirectTV) Satellite, I finally cancelled the service they had failed to provide. My bill had climbed from the initial $50 a month to $70 a month to the final bill of $90 a month (unauthorized increase) and still we had little, if any service. Thus, after months of no home service and hundreds of dollars wasted and tons of loss of work... I cancelled.

This is where Wildblue (DirectTV) Satellite tells me they will now charge me an additional $15 a month for the next two years ($280 total) for the unpaid balance on the service they never provided in the first place, AND they were sending me boxes to take down the dish and ship back to them or charge me several hundred dollars more, in spite of the $300 I paid up front for the equipment.

FUCK THAT!! I called my Discover card and told them to cease all payments on that service. I told them the situation and the suggested I contest all past bills and they certainly understood why I was so impassioned and used the F word a lot to a poor innocent girl who doesn't even work for Wildblue (DirectTV) Satellite company. BUT... Discover has a policy that they never deny payment to a card, they will only contest the charge after they pay... regardless what you tell them.

Soooooooo I think I will have to cancel my Discover card, even though they didn't screw me over. I hear they will continue to take charges and will continue to bill me even if I cancel the card. You know there is a chance this Wildblue (DirectTV) Satellite clusterfuck could end up costing me $1000 for 45 days of service.

So the wife (who seems to have way more time at work than I do) filed a report with the BBB. Turns out they have pages of complaints on this company. All of them exactly the same complaints we issued. She also found a couple of other consumer complaint sites that had a fuckton of Wildblue (DirectTV) Satellite issues. She filed a grievance with the State Attorney General's Office in the fraud investigation division. I feel these guys offer a service they never intend to provide and then take pray upon the desperate workaholics in rural areas. We will probably lodge a complaint with the FCC.

So what did you do this month?

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Great Equalizer

This could get dirty. I want to warn you up front, things will be said, subjects will be broached, images will be painted vividly in your mind's eye. If you are squeamish, prudish, or feel a need to share with my mother, wife or children... maybe you should stop reading now.

Still here? Cool! I was in the shower this morning, scrubbing away and thinking of weapons for some odd reason, when I recalled the old saying of the Sam Colt's revolving six shooter. It was called the great equalizer of men. No longer was it the biggest, meanest, toughest guy ruled. Now it was the fastest, most accurate, and sometimes... smallest target. The non traditional strong guy could now step forward into a leadership role. This trend continued to the point bigger, stronger, more capable men decided "right by might" sucked ass (something little guys had known for a LONGGGG time) and they decided it was high time for civilization, laws, rules, and codes of acceptable societal conduct that included "No Guns allowed" policy. Then much like political rezoning after a Republican majority victory, all the power went back to the big guys. The dudes allowed to walk among us acting like thugs were back in the driver's seat.

Once again they were powerful, beyond normal rules that apply to others. They were the exception because without the equalizer, might made right. ..... OK OK OK this is not a political rant nor a rant for against gun control. Nope, it is about AOL.

Yes the free CD people of AOL are still trying to do all they can to get customers to leave their browser and use the service for free. See, after losing the lead to free services like Google, Yahoo etc, AOL wants to revamp business in a follow the leader model. Since the others do well with free services, AOL tried to suck up their service so that paying customers will leave but come back to use the suckier service for free. I can't imagine why this strategy is not working.

But back in the day, AOL was the great equalizer only comparable to Sam Colt's deadly invention. On that service, short, fat, bald men were suddenly tall bronzed golden haired Andonis's. All men were 6 foot tall, slim wasted, full head of hair and packed an impressive wad in the pants. Men of all nerdy types were now surfing the MILF world of unrequited love. Amore bloomed all over this planet for a brief shining moment in time.

Then came web cams and the whole system got fucked back up.

I am just saying. You know?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BUSY BUSY BUSY

So with the job promotion came all new levels of work. Who freakin knew?!! I have not had any free time at my desk at work in months. Usually I can read over news, pass along information, keep up community contacts and get in a good game of Bookworm every now and again. NOT ANY MORE!!

Add to the normal Juggernaut of work load all new University policies and procedures and it is GRANT WRITING SEASON! So, the end result is I am not gone forever, but like the absent father that is common place in today's dysfunctional world, I am the absent blogger in your life. Yes, now when you are on food or alcohol binges, having unprotected sex with strangers and unwarranted shopping sprees with money you don't have, you can now lay all of your blame at my feet as a neglectful and absentee blogger. I have broad shoulders and evidently am willing to bear more responsibility than necessary. I can take it... til it kills me. Just don't expect any reader support checks from me!

On a sad note, I am mourning the passing of Flibbertigibbet. My old (I always intended to make you a drinking) buddy, Nina is dumping her blog in favor of Facebook. No, I am not happy about it. Yes, I can understand it. There just isn't enough of us to go around. So I understand her need to step back, but I will continue to keep my eye on her big, giving heart that is so full of love and promise. And really, I am looking at her heart and not her hooters, HONEST!! I AM NOT LYING!! Mostly.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Paint Worth the Price?

So here I am up and ready for the two hour commute to the State Capitol for a day of meetings. I get up a bit early to stretch out a nagging back problem that I am just positive will go away any day now, even though it has been nagging me for about a full year. I shuffle from room to room, giant coffee cup in hand and look for something of interest while I stretch. Stretching consists of sitting on the edge of an office chair and leaning forward, which lends itself to activities like reading or getting on the computer.

This morning I saw the newspaper. More importantly I saw the Farm and Ranch circular and the Sears tool book! OK, in case you were not aware I am a MAN! Grunt-Grunt! I have tools and I use them. I have responsibilities of caring for a household of helpless, defenseless people that need MAN skills to keep them from reverting back to the caveman times of living in holes in the ground and eating bugs for nourishment. I know, I know, it is an awesome responsibility for one as young as myself and I am sure it might even make me look WAYYYYY older than I should. It is a burden I gladly bear for my family because I love them.

ANYhow, I start thumbing through the SEARS Tool Book and I see a push lawnmower that costs about $100 more than one at Wal Mart. I see yard tools "On Sale" that still cost twice the price as everyday low prices at Wal Mart. And because I am a child of my time and state, I heard all the old wisdoms that were handed to me by MEN as I grew up. "Sure they cost more, (talking about John Deere Mowers) but that green paint is worth it!" or "Yeah a Craftsman tool cost about twice what others cost, but that red paint or name stamp makes it worth every cent."

So here I am looking at the paper while my stiffened muscles stretch out enough I can drive to Oklahoma City for a long day of meetings, and I am listening to the misty water colored memories of MAN talk. But then my current culture intercedes. I work with a bunch of women. Girly-Girl foo-foo gabbing chicks that don't understand or respect MAN world. When we end up near Tulsa they always have to stop at BRA WORLD or SOAP, OIL AND CANDLE FACTORY. But when I suggest we stop by Home Depot or just hang out at the flat tire changing garage, you would think I had just crashed landed from Mars and asked spoken in some cool alien language. Maybe with a ray gun in my hand and a light saber attached to my cool Martian utility belt... yeah SpaceMAN tools! Cool!!

...uh... I mean... NO WAY! They wont even consider MAN feelings! So my wife walks by me and I point out the price difference and say, "You know that painted-on Craftsman name is worth more," because I have been conditioned by birth to say such things. Then lacking the years of Operational Conditioning from MEN who looked down upon you and called you a pussy throughout your developmental years, my wife sniffed and asked, "Aren't they all made in China or Mexico nowadays anyway?"

She walked away, not really caring if I answered. To her it was a rhetorical question tossed out to feign interest in the hopes of not having another real discussion on tools and MAN responsibility. She did not have to concern herself with the awesome burden of mowing every week or two for nearly half a year, or replacing the roof every 25 years. Nope, she flittered around without a thought in her head doing her girly things like getting the kids up and fed and ready for school, checking homework and paying bills. Chick things that have no place or value in the real world. But I love her and will try to continue to provide the easy life she has, but never fully understands.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rockwellian Moment

SO there I was driving along the old Highway 75 between Okmulgee and Tulsa. I say the old Highway, because they built a brand new one in the 1960s that is about a mile to the east. It has four lanes and almost no stops. It has bumper to bumper cars running 75 mph or faster, and they would cut off their own grandmothers if it meant they could get home from the jobs they hate a half minute earlier.

I was driving the old highway. It's a narrow two lane road. You have several small, backwater towns you drive through. From time to time you get stuck behind a farm truck driving 30 mph and you have to slow down and watch the country side. I prefer this road. It links me to where and how I grew up. That back highway is safer, more stable, more dependable, and you know what? Even though I drive slower, I kind of think I get where I want to go just as fast and with a hell of a lot more enjoyment than the ball of acid stress I get every time I drive on that freakin four lane road!

So today I am rounding a curve outside of Beggs Oklahoma. I drive by a collection of country homes and double-wides. Then, just like that, all of a sudden I am seeing a live-action Norman Rockwell Painting right there on the side of the road! It was so freakin cool I couldn't believe it!

If you don't know, Norman Rockwell was a famous painter of early to mid 20th century Americana. When you saw one of his paintings it was like a special look into a slice of Anywhere USA. The typical American experience with the typical American family. Assuming all typical Americans were middle class white people who owned their own homes and could afford Boy Scouts, Health Care, and Holiday feasts.

So today I am on the classic back road trip in rural ass Oklahoma when I look to the left, and there is a family gathered in the middle of a gravel driveway. Mom is prancing around with her arms windmilling about as she loses her cool. The older sister is standing in the middle of the drive with her arms crossed and glaring angrily at little sister, who is sitting next to her spilled bicycle and gently crying as she holds her scuffed knees. Dad, of course, is looking sheepish and ashamed he had not been able to catch his little girl and protect her from all the dangers that come from falling and getting hurt.

It was perfect. I saw the whole thing in a flash at 70 mph and then I was around the curve and they were gone forever. Picturesque America?... no... Picturesque Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back a Little

So today, Mrs. Cris called Direct TV's Wild Blue. Hell was raised. Evidently she is way more scarier than I am. They "increased our bandwidth" and tonight I am on-line and running faster than ever. Of course I think they are now charging me for the next step up. So AM NOW PAYING $70 for a service that everybody else can enjoy with DSL or cable for $25-35.

WooHoooooo Life in the country is great. As soon as the boy is 16 years old we might just move back to town.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Your Heart Any Fonder?


OK here is the deal... Last Saturday afternoon it rained. My 14 year old son was stuck in the house and surfed the web and watched some streaming videos of Japanese cartoons. Monday our Internet pretty much quit working. My wife got an Email from Direct Satellite saying we had exceeded our bandwidth allowance with some massive downloads. .......?!!

It took us a bit of time to figure out what they were referring to and the anger I had built up already over the service not working since Monday has grown to a monumental burn. So I want to tell you about our experience with Direct Satellite's Wild Blue ISP and see if you agree with me, in the need to report these fuckers to our state Attorney General for "Bait and Switch" fraud.

We live in a rural part of our county in Oklahoma. Not a bad neighborhood, I mean there are two school board members across the street from me and the President of the local University is just down the road. The thing is, I am between two towns that have different phone systems. Neither wants to put in new equipment to provide DSL the extra half mile it will take to reach my house. In fact, phone service was so sporadic during wet weather, I finally decided to cancel a home phone and use only cellular phones.

With that decision I then needed to find a new Internet Service Provider (ISP). I decided to go with the local guy that offered wireless service. We had used his service at work years ago and it was not good. I had heard there had been improvements and at $35 a month it was only a bit more than DSL. The problem is, the service was not any better and on windy days, stormy days and sometimes sunny days the service disappeared. The ISP dude told me it was out computers so we actually bought two new ones. Still the problems continued. He said it was my kids, so we killed the kids and buried them in the back yard. Still the problems continued. He then said it was my web sites and that pissed me off so I canceled the Wireless and decided to give Direct TV's Wild Blue a shot.

There was an AD we found that said for $100 they would hook us up and give us a new wireless router. So they show up, the bill is $300 and they do not provide a router. I call and they tell me that the deal was only if we called a local Direct Network person and we had called the national number that had the local Direct Network guy come out. None of that seemed right to me, I mean a Direct Network representative that only used a Direct Network logo for identification seems to represent the same place... right?

OK MAYBE I made the mistake. MAYBE it was a fuck up on my part by calling a different number when I signed up. It didn't feel like it to me, but I let that go. The system is supposed to run at basic DSL speeds and it does have a bandwidth limit but the ads say it only applys to people that would make massive downloads, like loading a lot of movies. Not a problem for us, we mostly just have time for Email with maybe a little Facebook and my Google Blogoverse. I should be in good shape! Oh yeah and they charge $50 a month for the same serive DSL charges %25 - $30 and Wireless charged $35. That's ok, if I can do what I want to do, it is worth it... even if I do feel I was lied to about the hook up fees and installation of a router.

That was towards the end of February. Now in May we are pretty much without service for the past week because my son watched some streaming videos on a rainy Saturday. It couldn't have been much bandwidth because we can't access most videos due to the slower speed. SO I call Direct and the first words out of their mouth is trying to sell me the next more expensive package. If I go to $70 a month, I can REALLY get the same service everybody else gets for $25 - $30 or that Wireless provides at $35. It is not as good as the next tier of service that costs around $100 a month but it will be enough so I can check Email, look at Facebook, go on my Blogger reader and maybe on rainy weekends my kids can use it.

They told me I am "slowed" until the bandwidth returns to normal. That was most of a week ago. It took me four tries to get the post page on Blogger to load. This is not slow, it is not functional and I have no idea how long it is supposed to last because of some streaming videos. Every time I tried to explain we run three different businesses from home and need a service we can count on, they offered to upgrade up to the $70 package. And I am totally convinced that even if I did pay the $70 for the service every body else gets for $25 - $30 dollars and that Wireless provided at $35... they will say I exceeded the bandwidth and need the $100 a month package. It is insane!

Yes I am pissed. I am in a two year contract with a company that I honestly feel is corrupt. I really intend to send this same complaint to the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office Fraud Division, as well as complaints to the BBB and FCC.... except...

I CAN'T GET ON THE FUCKING INTERNET!!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

2 Blog Or Not 2 Blog

Ahhh That IS the question I have been asking myself for many months. See, I read a person's blog who said they use a reader and keep up with dozens of different blogs and begged people to PLEASEEEEEE not post everyday if they didn't REALLY have something to say. She said something along the line of, if you care at all about your readers, don't be the douche bag that posts every freakin day.

Mike over at Okiedoke told me the opposite. And he told it to me in person at one of his blogger awards things I never freakin win because he is just a big tease that never puts out! See, Mike said if you want to build a blog, you need to post every day and your writing will get better and you will build an audience. HA! Proved him wrong on BOTH counts, didn't I?!!

So from time to time I have a lull. I know, I know, you could never guess by the high volume of quality posts I make on a daily basis right? Sure I hit a peak when I was putting on a hard push to win me an Okie award* (See Mike fails to put out) but as all things in life have an ebb and flow, so does creativity, and well we are in grant writing season.

So I am faced with the question of "Do I blog or not blog?" I am rather proud of the fact that I have posted nearly everyday for the past year and a half. I am very pleased with the new readers. I am not too proud of the shiny new Okie Blogger Award that is NOT sitting on my sidebar... but you know... I am NOT one to hold grudges, even against a freakin tease like Mike.

So I sit here pondering and pondering about posting. The thing that keeps running through my mind was the last time I felt this way and shared it on my blog, kicked off about 8 months of uninterrupted posts. And face it, NONE of us wants to be the guy who throws a pity party and says I need a break, only to find I need an outlet WAYYYYYY more than I need down time.

In summation. Mike is a tease but I just can't stay away from him. I feel your need to not read crap and I am thinking about posting less, but no decisions have been made.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Summer 2009

OK So I was thinking about this summer. Like many in Oklahoma, I was holed up with the rain, flipping channels and wondering how I can spend so much freakin money on entertainment and never have anything to watch. All of that is about to change as we are reinvigorated with a new summer season of TV. As a result, I thought I would some of my personal favs.

1. The Great Outdoors: No matter if you love camping, fishing, swimming, or think you want to try sailing. You can't beat the great outside. OK now that I said the required bullshit everybody else says, here is the real entertainment.

2. Eureka : I can't help but love this show. It is smart, funny and nerdy all at the same time.

3. Monk: Yes the show is old and stale. But it has been a winner all these past years and I wont quit it now in its final season.

4. The Deadliest Catch: Yes it will almost be over by the time summer starts, but it is still edge of your seat tension and action. I never feel like I work so hard as I feel that hour sitting on my sofa watching a big TV in a climate controlled house. Life does NOT get any better than that!

5. Burn Notice: Michael Weston is bad ass fun as a spy working Earl Hickey's Karma theory.

6. Rock Solid: Yes it is a home improvement show... crawl off me dude! I like it! In 30 minutes I can feel like I hauled tons of stone and dirt and built a lasting thing of beauty... again, all while sitting on my sofa in a climate controlled house.

7. Psych: Probably better than Monk, definitely funnier than most shows on TV. Shawn and Gus are the USA Bromance to watch.

8. True Blood: Yes I read the Sookie Stackhouse series after Christmas, so that means the series dropped a bit in my evaluation. Other than that, still a kick ass series and a fun tale to follow.

9. Indoors Out: The boys who brought you Rock Solid also make this little show. It is a bit over the top for me... but what the hell, it is summer in Oklahoma. I can either watch this crap or go outside where it is 110 degrees. All things considered... I love these guys!

10. Hung: OK I don't know anything about this show except the guy turns his life around and makes a living off of the fact he has a big dick. Oh yeah, I can foresee many awkward and uncomfortable hours at the old Cris household as the kids horn in on my TV programs of choice.

And there you have it. The entire blueprint of my planed summer vacation while I wait inside, sipping ice cold drinks and awaiting the chilly weather of football season.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Overheard at the Office

They always said pigs would fly before we ever had a black man serve a full term as President of the United States of America.

And now, 100 days into office and it is all over the news. Swine Flue!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mythicles

Long ago in the ancient Highlands of Caledonia there ruled a mighty warlord named Maesie. This battle scared warrior ruled with an iron fist and demanded the young men venture out bring him loot for his clan. The noble men of Caledonia would return with salvaged herds of cattle, sheep and birds of all kinds.

Maesie saw his kingdom grow and he was pleased. All the men knew their life was secure as long as they pleased Maesie by pilfering the land of all that was valuable. But in time the powerful king had taken all of the available goods. His neighbor's neighbors were without flock or herd. The spoils of conquest grew thin and the grizzled old warrior became angry.

He placed demands that could not be met by his subjects. When they failed he had them flogged in public as a warning to all others that failure to the King bears a high price. In time, all backs carried the marks of the old King's wrath.

One day the men were discussing how it was impossible to please the King. They began to fear for their lives and their families. When a young man named Diarmid suggested they honor the King with a celebration. He suggested they bring in musicians and erect a tall pole covered in vines and flowers. From the top of the pole they should attach many bolts of bright beautiful cloth. Then the cunning Diarmid suggested they have old King Maesie stand against the pole as beautiful maidens dance around him with the streaming cloth. In time the King would he bound and trapped by the streamers and the villagers could kill him or overthrow his Kingdom.

The people of Caledonia agreed to the idea and suggested a Spring celebration to the King. Feeling honored, the aging warrior agreed and was greatly pleased, in fact he was reportedly laughing with joy as the beautiful maidens carefully bound him to the pole as they danced around. Once trapped the villagers descended upon the helpless Maesie and killed the old King.

To this day the May Pole is recognized as a symbol of rebirth, freedom and a chance to watch hot chicks dance with each other.

Oh and Diarmid....? While the villagers were killing the bat shit crazy King, he was stealing back all the livestock stolen from the Highlands of Argyle.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

If I were Miss California

If I were Miss America, I would use all of my powers to try to make the world a better place. I would go to the United Nations and use all of my influence with world leaders so that bleach can be made available to all of the brown and black skinned peoples of the world. Follow the example of St Michael. When he stopped making that colored music and focused all of his attention to becoming a white woman, he proved for all others that you too can be just as good as the rest of us.

If I was Miss America I would visit all the hospitals and infirmaries so I could sit and share my faith with the poor sick and crippled children of the world. I would take their feeble little hands and I would pray that God forgive them for their homosexual thoughts and deeds that led them to be cursed with sickness and ugliness rather than beauty like normal people. Because I believe that if we all raise our voices together God can make all things right and maybe he will reign down his wrath on Muslims and Jews and women who think they are the equal of men.

If I were Miss America...

OK OK OK I can't go on! I can't even pretend to be this stupid twat who thinks she is being persecuted for her faith rather than her bigotry. She is the worst kind of low life. The kind who push hate and intolerance and call it Christian faith.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Play Revisited

Yes this play was weeks ago. A buddy of mine has been writing his own murder mystery plays for a community fund raiser for several years now. Actually the first play was produced by my office for some cause or another. That program fell apart and my buddy took the idea and ran with it as his agency's fund raiser. Since he had agreed to be in one for my group I knew I had to be in one for his. Quid Pro Quo and all that rigmarole.

The thing is, this little bitty community theater kind of works like organized crime. Once you get in, it is impossible to get back out! No matter how bad an actor you are! Like Michael Corleone, every time I think I am out, they pull me back in again!

So a few weeks ago I put on an embroidered western shirt under a fringed jacket with a ten gallon hat and stumped around a room full of friends and neighbors as Filbert Fimpleman, King of the Cowboy Catsup. As part of my back story, I would mill around the audience as they ate dinner and try to shill the goods, which was the catsup bottles on their table. My pitch was that it was the traditional cowboy recipe where the tomatoes were roasted over an open prairie fire. And since we all know there is a terrible lack of trees on the prairie, the authentic cowboy roasting fire for authentic COWBOY Catsup had to be made of cow and buffalo chips. "Mmmm if you close your eyes and think about it, sometimes you can actually taste the cow chip flavoring."

Yeah, when I am in a murder mystery, people ALWAYS WANT me to be the guy who gets killed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Work Bitch and Lizard Spit

OK I know I said a year or so ago I did not want this blog to be a daily post about how busy my life becomes. I really don't want to be that guy. I also don't want this blog to be about "Oh poor me, I am so unappreciated at work." I really don't want to be that guy. Really!

But today, there I was working with the grant writing team trying to create needed programs for an area in great need while generating 4-6 jobs in an area that leads the nation in poverty. I mean the tension is high as we batter our way through the extended hoops and obstacles of the Federal Government while at the same time I am trying to maintain management of three other programs and 6 other employees working in 23 communities, when suddenly I am accused of NOT paying attention!

Me! The site manager! The programming director. The director of operations. The overlord of the West. ...ok the last title is honorary that I have been trying for years to give myself, but OSU administration wont allow it. Evidently it conflicts with job duties approved by HR. ...ANYdoodle... There I am accused of not paying attention in my own office by the very grant team-mates that are gathered around my computer!

Do they even stop to consider that at that moment I might be working on an important email that will ensure the survival of all current grant programs? Do they even ask if I am setting up yet another super powerful community coalition that will sweep in and save the day for all identified problems?! Do they even care I was on track to break my personal best at Brickbreaker on my Blackberry?

Oh HELL to the no! They simply did not care. But I am an adult. I can take that abuse and let it roll off me like water off a duck's back. ...as soon as I finish this game.

OK there is one other thing. See, my doctor put me on a new drug a couple of months ago. He gave me free samples. The samples lowered the blood sugar and then he gave me a full prescription. It cost over $100 even with Insurance. Still, if it keeps me alive.. I guess it is worth it, right? Only last weekend I saw the drug advertised on TV and NOT in a good way. Yeah, seems people are dropping like flies all over the country because it tends to ruin hearts. SO I stop taking it and had every intention to call my MD and discuss the medicines during the week. But I was busy and never got around to it.

So then there I was last Sunday talking to a friend following church. We both go to the same doctor and we both have type II diabetes. Our Doctor goes to the same church and he walks by, and really, I have always made it a point to NOT talk medicine with him in social functions, but the guy I am with mentions his meds. He is on a new medicine that not only lowers blood sugar but it decreases appetite. He mentions how much he likes the new meds. So, since the door was open, I decided to tell him I had seen my meds on the news.

Well, it looks the drugs I have been taking will be changed because some attorneys will force it off the market simply because it kills people. In spite of its effectiveness at lowering blood sugar! I suggest I might want to try the meds my friend is on, and my Doc agrees we might consider that move.



The next day my friend visits my office. Turns out the meds he is on are shots, not oral medication. I really do NOT want to have to inject myself, let alone twice a day. The other thing I found out is the meds are made from the saliva of Gila Monsters. Oh yeah, not only would I have to inject myself, but I would be injecting lizard spit! So then the moral dilemma occurs to me, would I rather have it injected into me.. or would I rather swallow it?!!

Which would YOU choose?

Monday, April 27, 2009

GM, Swine Flu, and Other Big Topics

WARNING: The following probably wont be very funny. But then again, Opprobrious Readers are used to that.

What's good for General Motors is good for America! That used to be the standard that this country followed for most of the past century. If it was good for GM to use unions, it was good for the country. If it was good to offer health insurance, retirement benefits, or flex spending plans, it was good for the entire nation. If it was good to focus on math and science and engineer a better mouse trap it was what was in the best interest of the United States of America.

Up until that time when it wasn't. People of Flint Michigan think they know about when that time came. A time where the corporation stopped thinking about serving their customers and only focuses on serving their board of directors. When GM hired Roger Smith and abandoned the Steel City area for the low wages of foreign work forces? Cost went down but prices stayed the same or continued to rise. Profits became the driving force behind the big three. "Damn the customer, full speed ahead." Profits, bottom lines, black ink all wrapped up in investment banker lingo of stock options, deferred payments and eh, well... you know... (b-a-i-l-o-u-t-s). What was never mentioned was service. Sure there was a lot of talk about product loyalty, but somewhere along the line GM and Corporate America forgot to be loyalty, responsible, and truthworthy. The end result was they could build a nice paper report but they knew nothing about running a business. A business is a partnership with the customer. And GM, like most of Corporate America, was not interested in partnerships.

Boy Scout traits like that have no place in American Business of the later 20th Century. When Japanese autos started threatening the big three, there was never talk about creating new and innovative machines that were dependable and reliable. What was produced were pale imitations and medicine show financing schemes. Corporate America took the legacy of Henry Ford, Frank Buick and General Bob Motors and ...(OK I made the last 2 names up) ...and moved away from the concept of service for a price. They believed America owed them loyalty because what was good for GM was good for the country.

Well GM is going belly up. Can the rest of the nation be far behind?

The news reports are full of the newest end of the world. Swine Flu pandemic is here! Swine Flu pandemic is here! There is no cure! There is no immunity nor vaccine nor medicine to treat it! The world is about to end in a coughing, sneezing explosion of vomit and diarrhea. The good news is: maybe you will part of the 50% that lives. The bad news: Not all the people you love will make it.

As for me: Until people start dropping off like a Stephen King novel, I am going to assume this is another Y2K scare.

Finally, we have heard a lot in the news lately about the Pirate situation along the African coast. Yes it is bad. Yes there are people losing their lives. No, I don't really know anything about it. But I do think I found a picture of one of these bastids.

WARNING: The picture you are about to see is a graphic representation







OK admit it... THAT was funny! Right? Hello?




EDITORS NOTE: The editorial staff discussed the above joke and came to the conclusion many Opprobrious Readers will not recognize a Somali (small E) Pirate if it sailed up and fired a cannon salvo in their ass!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Windy Tale

Man it is windy where I live! Did I ever tell you the worst tornado in the history of these parts came right over the lot where my house is sitting? Yeah, I heard THAT story several times right AFTER I bought the place.

SO the first year we are out here we get a strong wind and I look out in the back yard and the kid's trampoline is gone! I mean it is nowhere to be found. The next day we locate it a quarter of a mile away and smashed to pieces. After the second trampoline blew away I started driving steel T-Posts into the ground and wiring the frame to the post and the porch.

The first year I was out here the wind blew chunks off my roof. I quickly had to replace it with a much better quality roof. The wind blew apart some little pest repellent windmills. It blew so hard it wore out the ball bearing of the turbine within weeks!

But what bugs the hell out of me is when the wind blows stuff OUT of the ground. Last week we had a steady 60 mph wind for about 20 minutes. I am not kidding, it blew that hard for that long, non-stop. It blew chunks off my new high quality and damn expensive roof. It blew trellis poles out of my front flower garden, the down spout off the rain gutter and it blew so damn hard it blew my 3 year old butterfly bush right out of the ground!

Now blowing so hard it plants out of the ground... now THAT'S some wind!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fun Night

So here it is Friday night. Growing up Fridays were the nights for big time TV. And by big time TV, I am talking the three networks of ABC, CBS and NBC. Yes, this was long before Fox, UPN, CW, ESPN or even HBO. Friday was the night of the Brady Bunch (Shut up! Everybody actually watched that freakin show) The Partridge Family, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and other American staples. Friday night was TV fun night in America and it was all free.

So tonight was Friday night. A quick look at the $120 a month digital Satellite TV reception system that beams a choice of around 300 channels into my living room so that my family can enjoy the pristine entertainment on our 40 inch plasma screen HDTV; and it quickly becomes obvious there ain't a damn thing worth watching. Not to worry! Mrs. Cris comes home with a DVD!

Hey it had Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and some big yellow dog. It even had a cute name about a dead reggae singer. What could go wrong, right?

Now, two hours later, my entire family is snubbing like they just saw Bambi's mother get shot by hunters. My son is sadly playing with our two dogs and Mrs. Cris is curled into a tight introspective fetal position.

Wheeee!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Loser

OK I am a loser. I admit it. Sure, from time to time I try to hide it, only to have others in my life OH SO Publicly point out that no, I am, in fact, a loser. Sure, sometimes, when I am alone I can get all puffed up and think, "Not this time! I am a winner! I can be cool!"

But always there are those that know me. The kids that know I might have wet my pants back in Kindergarten... that's an example.. a hypothetical example... it might not be true! Honest! Maybe! There are those classmates sitting on the city council that might remember the day I freaked out when I spider crawled across my desk in 4th grade and some girl ran up and squished it. ... again... probably just a fictional account. There are way too many that remember the middle and high school exploits.

Who knew stepping on a corner of the Homecoming Football game field, when walking back to the band stands, would result in a penalty and the eventual loss of the game? Did the Varsity team even care a Freshman might not know all the rules of football? ...eh... Whew! Glad I wasn't THAT loser! heh heh.. I mean, that could cause a guy trouble for life. If he lived in his hometown. Where he was born and went to school and raises his own kids. Where his parents went to school. Where his Uncles went to school and where one of those Uncles taught school. Yeah... that would be bad. If it were real. And I am not saying it is, mostly.

But here is the thing. You know how from time to freakin time, I end up posting the occasional typo on this blog during the 20 minutes I spend nightly just before bed...? Well, sure it is embarrassing and sure I feel like a loser. But I have felt worse. You want to know when I felt worse than posting big stupid typos? The other day I did a Google search for Tagamilf. And this blog barely even showed up for a fictional product I created and continue to post on my Google blog!

Sheeesh! What a loser!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Work

I am disgusted. I just got in from work. We checked out nearly all beer vendors in my County. We did really good except in my home town where half of the convenience stores sold to a group of 17 year old girls.

HALF!

At Prom season!

Just before Graduation.

Half!

That means after nearly two years of hard work trying to establish compliance checks, we still have almost totally unfettered access to low point beer.

Houston we have a problem. Tomorrow we can form a community action plan to deal with the situation. Trust me, hell will be raised.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You Can Relax!

You can relax! The father of that little girl in Slumdog Millionaire now claims he was not trying to sell his little girl for $300,000. He also did not say what his current asking price is now that has received so much interest (advertisement) from the press. Evidently Slumdogs don't have Criagslist.

You can relax! While greedy communication conglomerates are trying to bill you every time you access the Internet, your calls and complaints to your elected officials have kept the World Wide Webosphere free for a moderately high monthly service charge. Actually that is an interesting article that describes how we pay for Internet services compared to other nations like Japan.

You can relax! I still hate to eat fishy flavored food! But I recently started making a breaded Tilapia made with a tossed together mix of soy flour, ground flax seed and old bay seasoning. I also toss in a few creole spices. I just set the fish (bought at Wal-Mart and sealed in individual packages) in warm water for a few minutes while I make my dry mix and beat an egg. Then I make like chicken fry. Let me tell you, I do NOT like fish. But I could eat that stuff all day long. One $4 pack of fish will feed four people. I steamed some veggies and served with cottage cheese.

You can relax! This is not going to turn into a cooking blog. It's just that I bough a bag of soy flour and a bag of flax meal nearly a year ago and I felt compelled to use it. Sooooo I tried it out on fish. That way if it was awful, it wouldn't bother me if I ruined it. Turns out... it is KICK ASS!

You can relax! Sure the TV season is winding down, children will be free to roam the streets unsupervised all hours of the day and night as school lets out and the only safe haven you can find is in the house where you face endless reruns. But hey, your old buddy the BLOGGERS keep making new posts every day. Just some of them about are about dinner. Fish dinner.

OK we're all screwed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tech Support

So a lot of my friends decided to open a secret Facebook group. They want it secret because we are a collection of professional nerds that went to High School together. Yes we were on the Debate team so you KNOW we were smothered in groupies, fans and hot chicks trying to get knocked up so we would be forced to marry them.

Actually, nailing nerds did become a popular theme for high school girls about 10 years AFTER I graduated. Fuckers! But at any rate, we have Doctors and Lawyers and business owners and such. Real Captains of Industry, but when we hang out we tend to revert back to the 10th grade and comments reflect that regression. "Fuck you, you fucking fuck!" is still met with glee and a fresh round of drinks. So, needless to say, what is said in that super secret Facebook Fortress of Nerd Solitude STAYS in the Facebook fortress.

So then I start getting questions on "How do i...?" Hell I don't know! I really only glance at the comments on my phone. I have no idea how to even get to other pages nor do I know who all can see whatever you write. So don't ask me, OK? Just start doing it, and when all the others tell you that you are a stupid asshole that is doing it wrong... then we will BOTH know how it is done.

And THAT'S how we learned on the great American High School Debate circuit.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Needing Your Help

OK OK OK so now I think I need some help here. See have I been sick since about Wednesday night. I stayed home and read up on some impending projects on Thursday and Friday. I started taking supplemental medicines on Saturday, so I have been asleep most all day.

Here's the problem, I still feel like crap and these freakin deadbeats around here are beginning to grouse about waiting on me hand and foot! SO I need new ideas to keep them engaged and nurturing, and I need them quick!

Should I lie and start acting like it is a much worse situation than a mere cold? It COULD be pneumonia (most defiantly is not)... but it COULD be!

Should I play up other injuries? When I eh... cough it really hurts my inflamed muscles on my injured back. Add that to the aching chest and it's too much pain... could you get me a Fresca?

Look when we move beyond those few old standards, I have used my entire bag of manipulative tricks! I need some new ideas and I need them NOW!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rant (Non-Political)


You know what really grinds my gears? What gets my goat? You got any idea at all what chaps my hide, burns my ass or gnashes my teeth? People! Yeah, freakin people! Oh and don't look all surprised them glance around the room, because you and I BOTH know that YOU'RE one of them!

People who don't care enough to recycle or try to save the planet. People too freakin lazy to put refuse from their car in a disposable and biodegradable refuse bag rather than tossing that Styrofoam cup out of the window and into my yard. I am not just talking about litter. Luckily we are having unprecedented grass fires around here, so most the litter is getting burned up. Besides, mowing season is about to start and that gets rid of a lot of it too.

Like I said I am not talking about the random litterer, although those fuckers that trash out my yard need to be strung up in a public square by their balls... which I would then set on fire. Maybe hang them by their burning balls and they can have one free hand... holding a meat tenderizer! Yeah! That's what ought to happen to those fuckers.

But really it is society. We all treat everything around us like it was disposable. We have disposable dishes, and cups and diapers.. but I don't want to rant on a topic that has already been ranted to death. No I want fresh material that will get you thinking and maybe talking and hopefully testing out some new ideas (like that hanging litterers up by their burning balls and giving them a meat tenderizer to put the flames out with.. that's a good one! Wright it down for later) So what really pisses me off today is my porch swing.

I know, I know, this seems way off topic from the green piece you started reading, but hear me out. Around two years ago for mother's day I got Mrs. Cris a brand spanking new porch swing for the back porch. We can go out on nice mornings and peacefully swing while enjoying coffee and the beautiful country side. In the summer evenings, we come in and watch the children swim or jump on the trampoline. Occasionally I will break out the old guitar and bust out an old Clapton or Eagles song in the peaceful tranquility. Til the dogs start howling so much I get mad and go back in the house.

But last year the canopy top of the swing started to tear and ended up in tatters. This year the cushions got a rip (from the little freakin dog that wont stay off) and now the cushions are shot. So I don't even know where to find a new canopy and closest I can come to replacement cushions cost the same as a new swing that looks exactly like the old one! So... I am really forced into considering the old swing disposable. I don't want to throw it away. I don't want to replace it with a new one when it can easily be returned to almost pristine condition. But I would be a fool to not recognize that for the same price I can have NEW rather than not new and no canopy top. And that pisses me off!

I would much rather go to Wal Mart, buy new cushions and a top for about half the price, then put the old ones in a plastic garbage bag and send it off to the land fill. ...what? Hey I don't make the freakin rules for trash pick up! That's how they roll, and you either play by their rules or you have to become your own trash service. Which, by the way would take WAY more time and end up costing way more money. And THAT'S what grinds my gears!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sick Daze

I didn't go to work today. I didn't feel all that bad, but I have been feeling really run down, and I know I am coming down with something. I also know it will get a lot worse before it gets better, but I have a lot of work back at the office and I had a hope I might make a rapid recovery. So I called in sick, I took it easy and sure enough I am feeling worse.

All kinds of sick bugs seem to be going around right now. I think it is the last Huzzah of the school year. The Government compulsory germ factory of every community. I think I was sick at this point last year too. And nothing has changed... I still freakin HATE feeling sick!!

Oh well, I will get worse, but my body will adapt to feeling like crap. Then about the time I feel I would rather die than keep living like this, I usually get over it. I have so far. I will assume I will again.

But tonight, but head is pounding, my lungs are burning, my bowels are... well they are making their presence known as well. I will weather the storm, I will suffer in dignity, I will be a man. A man with hot compresses on my feet, ice packs on my head and Mentholatum on every surface of my bedroom, bathroom, computer and TV room. A force to be reckoned with as I weakly ask the nearest family member for a fresh icy cold drink or a softer pillow. A man among men that leads by example for all in his home. Because THAT'S how I roll!

Now if you will excuse me, I need to see if I can score some ice cream ... for my burning throat. ......Oh Mrs. Cris..!!! Honey..?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Restaurant

So there we were. Six of us gathered for a professional lunch. Most of us had been to a two hour teleconference meeting of state programs. We had discussed a lot of topics, mostly while we were SUPPOSED to be listening to the meeting. When it was all said and done, we agreed to go to lunch.

We picked the local Mexican Restaurant we enjoy. Authentic Mexican American food. Not really Mexican, because nobody in Mexico eats that crap. But we had our Taco Salads, and Fajita Burritos and Pollo Loco. This place is great but it gets really crowded at lunch and that means it keeps getting louder and louder. We are having a good time when I get an email alert from Progress America that claims, "Conservatives are Tea Bagging Washington."

Now I follow the news. OK, I follow the news headlines on Google news reader. I mean, I might not know what the hell is going on in the world, but I know OF them. So I ask my co-worker who is at the far end of our table, "What is all this I keep reading about Washington and Tea Parties?"

Let me warn you here, THAT WAS A MISTAKE!

HER: "Oh it is a bunch of dumb ass Republicans claiming they are taxed without representation. SO they want to protest like the Boston Tea Party. They are Tea Baggers and they plan to TEA BAG Washington!"

ME: I get real uncomfortable, "uh... could you not shout that out please?"

HER: "Why? We are in a Democrat stronghold. Everybody around here agrees they are a bunch of TEA BAGGING Conservative assholes!"

ME: Cringing. "Keep it down! Sheeesh! You act like you don't know what that means?"

HER: Confused. "What...? Tea Bagging? TEA BAGGING has another meaning? I never heard of any other meaning for TEA BAGGING!"

The others at our table get up and go to the front (before we are asked to leave) so they can pay their bill and get out of town. The director of the visiting agency is trying to decide if she is amused or outraged. She leans over and pats my co-worker in an understanding manner, "It does have another meaning."

HER: "What else could you mean talking about Tea Bags?"

About this time the wait staff hurry her bill and promptly check her out. I turn to the new guy and ask, "Do you mind taking her outside and explaining what that term means?"

HER: (Still yelling in the restaurant) "He's going to take me outside and explain TEA BAGGING to me in the parking lot?"

She swears she had never heard the term. She swears she never saw the Emails of the passed out drunks that listed the expense of an evening on the town only to pass out and have some dude's room mates tea bag his open, snoring mouth. Priceless.

Yeah... I kind of feel the same way YOU feel right now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unsophisticated TV

My Aunt once told me the compulsion to line things up in a rank and file was a characteristic of siciopaths and mass murderers. Of course she is also the woman who told her three children to draw and color a tree. Her two sons drew and colored trees like you would see outside in the bleak winter. Bare shrunken trunks devoid of any fresh life. Looking old, gnarled and uninviting. Then her daughter, the youngest child drew a full bodied tree, so full of life it was too big to fit on the paper. It was full of abundent life and promises of fun times for the adventurous willing to climb or peaceful promises for those that want to lie back and enjoy the shade. My Aunt framed those pictures and kept them in her dining room. When the kids left the room she would say it was a representation of sex drive and she was concerned about her little girl.

ANYhooo tonight my son demands that I name the best show on TV. This is not a problem since I have been saying it for sometime. But maybe, just maybe I should put forth the final answer for best of TV viewing.

10. Supernatural
9. Bones
8. Hereos
7. House
6. Phych
5. Fringe
4. Burn Notice
3. Deadliest Catch
2. Reaper
1. Chuck

My system is simple. If I had to choose which show I could watch if I could only watch one, I would pick Chuck over all the others, then Reaper and so on and so on. The sad part is, Reaper is a damn good show that will never see another season. Oh and granted, if the bottom half fell off of TV I would hardly even care, which speaks as to how freakin bad TV shows have become in our lifetime.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Senior and the Freshman

She was three when he was born. Filled with excitement at the prospect of her very own baby brudder. From the moment we brought him home, he was all hers. She nurtured him, she pandered to him, she spoiled him as much or more than his own mother. He was HER baby brudder and he was all she ever wanted.

As he grew and struggled in school she was there for him every night. Patiently going over his homework. Explaining the intricacies of elementary school in a way that no adult could ever understand. In middle school she coached him in how to dance, how to talk to girls and she approved his "sexy walk."

In less than a month she will begin her final year of high school. In less than a month he will begin his first year of high school. Together again, the big sister and baby brudder that have never really been separated, despite the gap in ages, schools, or friends. They are each others best buddy and share a bond I will never know. I love them both and I know they love me, but they have a love, a concern, a closeness that I will never have, and I know they will share it forever.

So next year, when she assumes her traditional role of the Senior that initiates the incoming Freshman class, I know she will be gentle and loving as she oversees the swirlies, the tossing in trash cans and stuffing in lockers. She might walk among him and his little friends with the strut and confidence of a full grown upperclassman, but I have total confidence she will not try to intimidate her baby brudder whom she loves so much. That's the love between a big sister and a little brother.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lazy Easter Blog

A Meme stolen from Facebook


You are supposed to write a note with the ABC's of YOU. At the end, choose 26 people to be tagged. You have to tag me so really you just need 25 more people. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you - but not in a creepy stalker kind of way.

p.s. Cris is not tagging anybody, play if you think it is fun.


A - Age: 48

B - Bed size: flower (ok ok ok) King

C - Chore you hate: All of them! I am a guy.

D - Dog's name: Lucy and Argyle Barkley McFurry

E - Essential start your day item: strong coffee and internet news.

F - Favorite color: I can't answer this question. I have to have a purpose for color.

G - Gold or Silver: teeth filling? Gold is safer isn't it?

H - Height: 5'4" sadly

I - Instruments you play(ed): Guitar

J - Job title: Overlord of the West for a small branch of a grant funded program at a state university

K - Kid(s): 2 - Amanda and Colin

L - Living arrangements: 1 wife, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat named Kali for the Hindu six armed Goddess of Destruction

M - Mom's name: Pat

N - Nicknames: Dumbass, Asshole, rat bastard, butthead, and sweetie. Oddly only my wife uses those nick names.

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Around age 40 I had Gall bladder surgery and found out I was type II (fat ass) diabetic. It was a rough few weeks.

P - Pet Peeve: People who don't follow through

Q - Quote from a movie: "I found the ass end!" Kevin Beacon in Tremmors

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 1 sister. I am the baby of the family

T - Time you wake up: 7ish A.M.ish unless I have early obligations

U- Underwear: they start off clean

V - Vegetable you dislike: potatoes dislike me. Actually they dislike my pants. If I eat them, my pants wont fit.

W - Ways you run late: Pain. A lot of back pain in the past year

X - X-rays you've had: I expect pretty much the whole body, though oddly enough I have never broken a bone. I have dislocated, pulled, herniated, separated, banged and/or bruised every part of my body for fun and pleasure.

Y - Yummy food you make: I like nearly all the food I make. I have no idea if others would like it.

Z - Zoo favorite: free day pass

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter

So it is finally Easter. There is no talk of colored eggs, there is no talk of pretty dresses or little bunnies. It is Easter here and it marks one full year we have attended the new church. See, we are converted Baptists. Actually I am a converted Luthern who converted to Baptist but never liked the message and ended up converting to Presbyterian. I know, I know, BORING!! Not what you want to read and to tell you the truth, I would have clicked out of this post by now myself.

Except in the past year I have felt a sense of belonging I never suspected I would feel. And, well... a bit of vindication. The church I go to greets you with the words that you are loved beyond your ability to even realize. You are embraced in this warm glow of love and forgiveness of whatever you did, or will do, because face it, we're all a bunch of fuck ups.

Granted, right now, the evil part of me wants to start thinking of scenarios to test that thesis, but right now I am feeling reverent and will suppress those urges.

However, it might make a good contest and the best, most opprobrious suggestion wins a chocolate Easter Bunny.

OK, now where was I? So the thing is I went to that Seder with my kids. I have always wanted to go to a Seder, but could never get invited. I also suspected this would be a typical church diner that was simply called a Seder. But MAN was I wrong! It was the full Monty baby! I mean they had traditional Hebrew prayers, the roles of the family and traditional food... although how Jews wandering in the desert were able to make bar-B-Q brisket when they couldn't even make fluffy bread, is beyond me. I mean, sheeesh, even the Mexicans could make a tortilla... is THAT so hard?

ANYhooo, we had a great time and then last night was Good Friday. Now this is a small church. We are the youngest regularly attending family and we are in the early 50s age bracket. There might be about 25 people attending church on most Sundays. But for this night they hired a stringed orchestra to accompany the music director and the choir. Plus, some good singers came over from some near-by churches. It was really special.

Now I tell you this because all of my adult life I have felt we celebrate religious holidays backwards. Sure Christmas should be celebrated. It was a great gift to everybody. But Easter is the real day that needs to be acknowledged. Without the events of Easter weekend there would be no Christianity. And what I realized last night while being blown away by the service, was that unknown to me, that is exactly how my new church treats the holidays. And once again, things fit together like Forrest and Jenny, peas and carrots, and Jews and banking.

So I guess what I am saying is, May the peace of God be with you this Easter. I think, for maybe the first time ever, it is with me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Storm Troopers

So there I am driving home from a day of meetings in Oklahoma City. The new guy in the office is with me. He is a former cop, former storm chaser, former EMT (who resents it if you pronounce that as Empty). So there we are driving home and we get a few splatters of rain.

"Oh this is on north of us," said the experienced weather guy. "Its really going to make a rough storm about 60 miles north of here. Its that big of a system."

So I drive through the smattering of rain. I have an experienced storm chaser here with me! Hell, this is better than Dopler Radar dude! So I punch the car on up to about 80 MPH when I hear, "Yeah this is how one of our cops got killed. (pause) Hydroplaning." So I back it back off to about 65. He is, after all, the expert.

Then I see speckles around the large rain drops. "Uh-oh," I said while thinking about my poor 2007 Fleet Silver Chevy Malibu. "We are about to get some hail."

The new guy looks around confused, since there is no hail falling. "Nawwww, the hail is all north of us."

Immediately we are met with the pinging sound of semi-solid hail chunks ricocheting off the car body. Soon we hear the CRACK! WHACK! of larger, harder stones trying to crack through the windshield.

"I thought you said this was all north of us!" I demanded at the new guy. About then both of our cell phones buzz and we get an urgent storm warning from the local TV weather guy (costs about $7 per year for the service). We are in a severe thunderstorm, do not venture into it unless you are a total douche bag that doesn't care if his car is beat to hell.

"Look up ahead," the guy soon to be known as "Short timer" said to me. The sun is shining, so there is no hail there."

I speed up to hit the clear spot sooner.

"Hydroplaning kills people!"

I slow down and endure the click clack cracking of the hail stones on my car. Soon enough we are driving in sunshine. "See," said the former employee, "It all went to the North. We are free and clear now!"

OK two more hail storms later, each worse than the one before it, and we finally made it home. I hate driving in Oklahoma Spring weather.