Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Media Weather Frenzy, Part II

They aren't calling this one "Winter Storm 2007" yet, but I'm sure that'll be the headline tomorrow, wether or not we get any snow or ice. Right now it's just being called a Winter Storm Watch. By the end of the day tomorrow, they'll be selling "I Survived Winter Storm 2007" T-shirts all around the Metropolitan Atlanta area!

Atlanta is bracing for a 12 hour long ice storm, predicted to hit around 3am tonight. I have to be at work by 5am, so if it does happen I'll be driving through the "eye of the storm".

I don't really understand how we could have an ice storm on a day when the low temp is 34 and the high is 38. Doesn't the temp have to be below freezing (32 degrees) to create ice or snow?

A Family Resemblence??

Saturday, January 27, 2007

In Just 7 Days, I Can Make You a Man!

When my father was a young man (probably late teens- early 20's), he ordered the Charles Atlas "Health & Strength" program. He was probably reading a comic book and saw the ad depicting a skinny kid having sand kicked on him by a muscle-bound guy. The kid in the ad ordered the program and came back as a muscle-bound stud and kicked the bullies ass! My Dad must've been inspired, so he ordered the Charles Atlas guide. Back then, if you decided to join Atlas's program, you paid a monthly payment. For each month that you made a payment you would receive an exercise guide. If you missed a payment, you missed out on that month's guide. My Dad was very determined and he made his payments each month, thus ending up with everything that Charles Atlas offered in his program.

Fast forward a few decades-- I was the 97 lb weakling being bullied at school. My father had saved the Charles Atlas guide and gave it to me, along with a barbell set. I lost the barbells years ago, but I still have the entire Charles Atlas set intact. I know it has some value and I've held onto it for all of these years for just that reason. Tonight I decided to check EBay and see if anyone else was selling the program. I found lots of people that had bits and pieces of it. Some were selling just the introduction letter, some had lessons 4-12. None of them had all of the lessons. I have everything-- all of the promotional letters, all of the ads, all of the exercise guides. I even have a couple of personal letters written from Charles Atlas to my father. All of these items date back to the 1940's.

If the "Antique Roadshow" ever comes to town, you can bet that I'll be standing in line with folder in hand. I'd love to get an appraisel on this collection.

Product Endorsement!

I cleaned my living room floors yesterday, using PB Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner, and PB Hardwood Floor Polish (available at Lowe's). It's a two step process-- first mopping the floor with the cleaner, and then mopping again with the polish. I can't believe how clean and shiny the floor turned out. The total cost was about $14, and the entire job took about 2 hours. I only used about half of the product, so I should be able to do my bedroom floor this weekend, too!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Stop the Madness!!!!!

Tuesday night, I went to the Waffle House on Washington Rd. This will probably be the last visit to this particular WH. Why, you may ask? There were 3 employees on duty at the time- 2 of them were talking on their cell phones nonstop throughout my visit. Even the cook was talking on his cell while preparing food, which I know is against health regulations (his phone was in his pocket along with his keys and money- then the phone was in his hand- in theory, everything in his pocket and on his pants came into contact with the porkchop that he picked up and slapped onto the grill with the same hand). The server rang up my order, placed the order, took my money- and never put her cell phone down. This kind of behavior is not just unsanitary, but rude. People that do this are sending a message that their customer doesn't matter. I came home and went straight to wafflehouse.com and logged a complaint.

Today I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work. It was like deja vous. The guy collecting buggies in the parking lot was on his phone. The employees stocking the shelves were on cells. Even the cashier that rang me up had a cell glued to her ear. What is so important that couldn't wait until after work? Why do Managers and business owners allow this? Am I just turning into an old cranky person? I don't think so. I want my business to be appreciated. I want to be thanked for shopping in your store, for dining in your restaurant. If I have a question or need assistance, I'd like to find an employee available to help me. There are so many restaurants and grocery stores out there- you should be flattered that I opted to do business with yours. You should treat me as if I matter; not look at me as if I am an inconvienance- an interruption to your private conversation.

I vow that whenever I am treated this way in the future, I will complain. I will talk to managers, I will fire off emails. I will not continue to give my money to businesses that don't care about customer service. I will make it clear that when I am in your place of business and I am spending my hard-earned money, I expect and deserve your full attention.

I know that it sounds rediculous. Idealistic even. Why am I so aggravated? I just find it very rude and I don't want to support people that treat me rudely.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My Betty!

I'd like to introduce you to Betty. Some of you have met her, some of you haven't. You may have seen her pictures here on my Blog in the past. But, I've never really talked about her much, so I figured that I would write a little about how Betty came into my life.

I first met Betty on November 11, 1993. I don't know what was going through my head that day as I drove to the Atlanta Humane Society. I was just going to look, I told myself. I had intentions of someday getting a small dog-- a very small dog. I was thinking of something like a Jack Russell or some other form of terrier. As soon as I walked into the "puppy room", I was immediately drawn to a holding area that contained 13 of the cutest little puppies I had ever seen. They were all brothers and sisters from the same litter. The boys all wore blue collars. The girls wore red collars. One of the puppies, the liveliest of the litter wasn't wearing a collar. I immediately identified with this dog. I liked the fact that this puppy didn't want to be "labeled". I scooped the puppy up in my arms and it licked my face. I figured out that the dog was a female. I had my heart set on a male, but this puppy had already worked it's magic on me. I didn't care that she was a doberman mix-- she was small at the time and I couldn't imagine that she would get much bigger. I filled out the paperwork and within the hour I was driving home with a 6 week old baby in my lap. I decided I needed to come up with a name for her. It was a very windy day, so I thought about calling her Wendy, or Gale. The radio was playing a Bette Midler song, so I thought of naming her Bette. I decided to play a CD- the soundtrack to "Sunset Blvd". I had just recently returned from a trip to Toronto, where I'd seen the premiere of the play, starring Diahann
Carroll. I was thinking of naming her Diahann. My mother's middle name is Diane, so it would be kind of a family name. As I was contemplating wether or not my mother would be offended if I named a dog after her, Norma Desmond was confronting her young "boyfriend" over a phone number she'd found in his pocket. "Who's Betty Schaefer?", she shreiked as she read the phone number. That confirmed it-- my new dogs name would have to be Betty. The name stuck and eventually fit her perfectly!

Monday, January 22, 2007

My House

In a feeble attempt to clear some pictures out of my files, I'll take you on a tour of my house! Some rooms will have to be included on a future tour. I apologize that some of the descriptions aren't lined up with the correct pictures. I have faith in you... you'll figure it out! Besides, this tour is free, so I won't be giving refunds to unsatisfied customers!

First up is my living room. I like the way that this room has turned out. It's a little cluttered, but it's full of lots of my favorite things.

This is a close up of my aquarium-- most of the fish seem to be hiding from the camera!

This is the bookshelf in my new office. It was formerly my junk storage room/ laundry room. Now it's an office/ laundry room. I have a computer and a TV in here, and a nice space heater that keeps it cozy. Plus there are windows overlooking my flower garden in the front yard. I'll appreciate this room a lot more once the flowers start blooming this Spring!

This is my guest room. As you can see, I'm not afraid to use bold colors. This room has been painted every color of the rainbow over the past 7 years. When I moved in, the walls were pink and there was yellow shag carpeting. I first used this room as an office- I painted the walls gray, removed the carpet and refinished the hardwood floors. Within a few months, I repainted the room blue. Later I put a white wash over the blue, then painted it red. I ended up having some leftover paint from the kitchen project and used it in the guest room. It's been yellow for a couple of years and will probably stay that way for a while. I like the way that the yellow makes it look brighter. It's a pretty dark room, with only 1 window.

When I first saw this room, I knew I wanted to buy this house. This is the sunroom. It's the biggest room in the house. During the Winter, it's also the coldest room in the house! Three of the four walls are filled with windows. Although I have storm windows, there is still a breeze blowing through this room. I swear every year that I'll invest in some weather-stripping for the door and windows. Maybe I'll take care of that this year!

This last picture is of my back yard, another big selling point for me 7 years ago. I loved the idea of having a huge yard for my dogs to play in. At the time that I bought the house, I looked forward to keeping up a big yard. I pictured lots of flower gardens, trees and shrubs. Maybe even a vegetable garden someday. I soon learned what a hassle it is to care for such a yard. I've learned that the next time I am looking for a house, I'll go for a smaller yard.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

WW 2007

The media is in a frenzy over the Winter weather that we are currently experiencing here in Atlanta. The first 30 minutes of this morning's news was dominated by stories of the weather: advice on how to drive to drive on ice, school closings, flight cancellations, etc. It's times like this that I'm embarrassed to be a Southerner. I'm sure the rest of the country is laughing at us. The fact that the temperature is above freezing and only expected to rise doesn't seem to come into the picture. The fact that we don't expect any ice, flurries or accumulation of any frozen parcipitation doesn't seem to calm the frenzy. After all, it's Winter Watch 2007!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Birth of a King

I can't believe that it's been 2 years since this picture was taken! King was probably about 3 hours old when this picture was taken. He was the strangest looking puppy I had ever laid eyes on-- his head was way too big for his little body. And that big pink nose! It was a face that only a mother (or father) could love.

I originally planned on naming him Clarence, after his mother (Clara). I thought it was a cute name. I still do. But, the little boy started growing bigger and bigger. He was the opposite of the runt of the litter. I figured that he needed a name that would represent his power and size. Since he was born on MLK day, I decided that I should name him after MLK. Martin didn't seem like a good name for a dog, and neither did Luther. But what about King? Hmmmm. King it was!

Here we are two years later-- I can no longer hold King in one hand I as did that first day. He weighs over 80 pounds now. I can't hold him in my hand, but he's found a place in my heart where he's held very tightly. Happy birthday, King!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Clara~ the Mighty Huntress!!!

Clara's main form of entertainment is slaying possums. Lucky for her, there seems to be an endless supply of possums in my yard. I don't know where they come from, or where they live. I've never seen a live possum in my yard. Usually I wake up to the sound of Clara's barking and look out the window to see that she's slayed again. I keep a shovel near the backdoor, so it's not a big chore to scoop up the corpse and toss it over the fence.

I would never tell Clara this, but she has never killed one possum. Every time that I've thrown a seemingly dead varmit over the fence, I've come back later and found that the critter had magically resurrected and disappeared. For all I know, it's the same possum creeping into my yard time and time again. Maybe it enjoys the game as much as Clara does.

More pics of Clara

Friday, January 12, 2007

Something I Can Get Excited About...

A Brand New Car!!!!!

I traded in the Eclipse for a new Chrysler Seabring tonight! It's a 2005 model, but it only has about 2500 miles on it, so it's basically brand new. The best part is that my monthly payment on this car is $20 less than it was on the Eclipse, and the insurance only went up $10 per month. I can't wait until the weather gets warm enough to drive around with the top down!

I'm going to miss the Eclipse, though. I actually teared up a little as I removed my belongings. I know this was a good move, but I felt so sad leaving the Eclipse behind as I drove out of the lot tonight. I hope they find her a good home! :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Goals, Dreams & Plans

I was watching Dr. Phil yesterday and he was talking about goals. He said that a goal is just a dream that has a timeline set and a plan to make it happen. I wondered if I had any goals. Do I even have a dream?

This morning, I was listening to the Bert Show on Q100 and they were asking the listeners to imagine that they were kids and to remember the excitement that they felt a few days before Christmas. They wanted the listeners to call in and tell them if they could still relate: what is coming up in the next week that they are that excited about? The phone lines were flooded with people calling in. They all had valid reasons to be excited: an upcoming bachelorette party, a new job, a new house, a wedding, the birth of a child, etc.....

Suddenly, I was depressed. I realized that I had no goals (no, Dr. Phil, not even a dream without a plan- much less a timeline). There's nothing in the near future that I am dreaming of. I looked at my calendar in hopes of finding something that I can look forward to. I became more depressed when I realized that I don't have a day off of work until sometime in May.

So here I am looking blankly into the future-- grasping at any small straw that I can call a goal or a dream. There's got to be something to be excited about, huh?

Britney's Beau?

Rumour has it that Britney Spears has moved on. Here's a picture of her with her new boyfriend. Britney's been busy the past 3 months- a new baby, a divorce, and now a new hot boyfriend.
I can't find much info on this new guy. All that I know is his name is Isaac Cohen, he's a model, and he's Jewish. His MySpace page name is Eyezik. I looked on MySpace, but I think his page has been deleted.
I'll keep looking and hopefully I'll find some more pics of the mystery man that I can share with you!

Monday, January 08, 2007


Saturday, January 06, 2007

You Give Me Fever...

I'm regretting that I didn't get a flu shot. I can foresee a few days in bed in the near future! I've had a fever for the past week and now I've got the running nose, the sniffles, the coughing and sneezing. It doesn't help that I wear my body down to the point of no return before I do anything about it. My new insurance kicks in on February 1st, and then I can concentrate on taking better care of myself in the future. Til then, you might not want to get too close to me!

Keisha Has Left the Building...

Well, at least part of Keisha is no longer with us. I borrowed a lot of clothes from a friend of mine the day that Keisha was created.

Thanks to Erin, Keisha received a large wardrobe full of gowns. These outfits have gotten us through a lot of shows. Well, yesterday Erin called and requested the clothes back. I returned them today. Now Keisha's extensive wardrobe has been reduced to this one red silk dress and a Nascar jumpsuit, and everyone's already seen these! I guess I'll have to go shopping again if Keisha decides to do the Possum show in June.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Lost in Translation...

These are the instructions that came with the remote control car that I received as a Christmas present. Does this make sense to anyone?
My favorite is #3 under the heading "Attention":
"Forbid to refresh towards can't refresh of common battery, slice to record!"
Whoever wrote this must've really meant it... they included an exclamation point in the intructions! It must be very important to "slice to record!".

Same Auld, same auld.....

Monday, January 01, 2007

Auld Ang Syne

Enjoy the song that's playing-- a collection of all time favorite moments from the past.

Happy New Year's!


Best of luck to you and your's in 2007!

Billy Bob & Keisha