Something New
Tuesday, February 22, 2005 ~ 08:03 p.m.
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Tonight I attended my very first Pilates class. It was a small class, only five of us, and most of them were beginners, like me.

I didn't want to try Yoga. I'm all about stretching and control, but I'm not big on the New Age crap. Pilates, though, is great. I enjoyed it enough that I went ahead and paid for the five class pass. The class is actually two nights a week, but because of Movie Night, I can only make Tuesdays.

I was also toying with idea of going back to the Huntsville Community Ballet and taking their adult ballet classes again. I actually wanted modern dance, but they don't offer it for adults. Sadly, all the adult ballet classes are in the morning (while I'm working) or at 6:30 on Thursday night. I guess that means I have to look around at some of the other dance studios in town.

Anyway, it was a good end to the day. I'm looking forward to next Tuesday.

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Dealing with Mississippi One Call
Tuesday, February 22, 2005 ~ 03:39 p.m.
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"I need utilities marked at this address."

"What's the distance from the intersection?"

"...I just gave you the address."

"I need to know what the distance from the intersection is."

"I'm sorry, but I don't have an accurate map with a scale on it. Go to that address."

"Well, if you can't give us a distance, we'll have to put this in a holding file until you can."

".......You mean to tell me that unless I give you a distance that may or may not be right, you can't go to the ADDRESS I gave you?"

"Yep."

".....You know, if you people would stop inbreeding, it would make my job a lot easier."

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I've never made this, but it sounds like Heaven.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005 ~ 10:17 a.m.
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I am bored. And I'm craving chocolate (I know, how very stereotypical). Therefore, I want to go home and make this:

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Preheat the oven to 350.

Put the following ingredients into a large mixing bowl:

1 box Devils Food Cake mix (no pudding in the mix)
1 box chocolate pudding, instant
4 eggs
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. oil
1 c. sour cream (or you can use plain yogurt--not nonfat)

Using an electric mixer, beat the above until smooth and a little fluffy.

Add:
12 oz. chocolate chips

Grease a bundt cake pan. Even if you use a nonstick pan, butter it well. Pour the batter evenly into the pan. Bake for 50-60 min. Let cool on a rack. Carefully slide a knife around the sides and remove the cake by tipping it over onto a plate. Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar just before serving.

For the record, I have no memory of where I got this recipe. It was just lurking on my hard drive.

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Dark Spud of the Sith
Monday, February 21, 2005 ~ 01:24 p.m.
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I would never have known this exists, had my sister not called to tell me. I present to you:

Darth Tater

You too can own the Vegetable Menace for the low low price of $8.99. Buy it for your friendly Star Wars geek today!

And you know it has to be said:

"I find your lack of pants disturbing."

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Pictures and boredom
Friday, February 18, 2005 ~ 02:01 p.m.
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I finally uploaded a few more pictures to Flickr. I don't have many up there yet, because I'm only adding the photos I'll admit to having taken.

If you're bored, I highly recommend browsing around Flickr. Some photos aren't so good, but some are pretty awesome. You never know what you'll find. Go ahead, waste some time!

And while you're at it, check this guy out, too.

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And soon it will be lunchtime
Friday, February 18, 2005 ~ 10:10 a.m.
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Today's Get Fuzzy cracked me up. :-D

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Last night's confined space training was actually really interesting. A large part of it focused on the paperwork, but we also learned all the various ways you can hurt or kill yourself in these things. Turns out 56% of casualties in confined spaces are from people suffocating - something I didn't know. But usally that's in tanks and the like. In caissons, the only real threats are water and carbon monoxide. Honestly, my only worry when I'm in a caisson is that someone above will be looking into the hole and drop their damn hardhat on me.

The other interesting factoid we learned was that you hardly ever find only one victim in a confined space accident. Usually, you find the first person, and then you find his (or her) buddies who tried to help. Not that we have to worry about that at QORE:

"Hey, Shane's in trouble down there."
"Aw hell. Well, just pour the concrete."

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This morning, one of the dogs whizzed in the middle of the kitchen floor in amounts I didn't know an elephant could store. Why is it that every day this week seems to have begun with cleaning up some form of pet mess? I think they miss Todd.

You know, I miss him too, but I'm not vomiting on the carpet or whizzing in the corner. That's just not how I express myself.

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Funny Quote Time:

"I used to think that "Trading Spaces" on TLC was the worst show on television. Giving the neighbors $1,000 to impose their bad taste upon your home is just hideous. Then I saw "Clean Sweep," where they throw out all your stuff, and I thought it could get no worse. Now I've seen "It Takes a Thief," in which people let real burglars break into their houses and steal their stuff. Can it get any worse?

If you say "It Takes a Rapist," you are going straight to hell."

- lex icon

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Today, for the first time, I...
Thursday, February 17, 2005 ~ 02:53 p.m.
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...listened to the song "Cows With Guns." Thank you, Marcus.

...broke into investigated an old, creepy hotel in Decatur. For work.

...played in sampled asbestos and other interesting things.

...climbed up on top of an abandoned building and helped punch holes in the roof. For work.

...ate at The Brick.

...will be attending a confined space training session. I've already done the work, I just wasn't "trained." So, retroactive training for me from 5-9 tonight. At least they're giving me pizza.

I would like to take this moment to point out that my job is actually pretty cool, despite the stupid after-work training session.

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Random Links
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 ~ 05:01 p.m.
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- I love Brian Sack. He always cracks me up. Take, for instance, his latest post about the Viking Incursion of a WalMart in 848 AD.

- One of my pet peeves is women who go around proclaiming how "hot" they are. It makes me want to smack them. Or tell them that they look fat in those pants. I also hate Christian nutters. And if this is for real* (and not some offshoot of Landover Baptist), then this woman is epitome of all that I hate about both categories: Date To Save - "Calling all Hot Women of the LORD!!!" *gag*

*There is absolutely nothing on the webpage to suggest that Date to Save is not real, except for its utter absurdity. You be the judge.

- I love the South. I do. But I really think we could do without a large portion of our population. Especially the part that ignores the separation of church and state to pass petty laws enshrining hatred and prejudice. You know, instead of doing something worthwhile.

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whine
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 ~ 09:35 a.m.
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Reasons why today is not shaping up to be the greatest day ever:

- Cat vomit
- Cat vomit on the DESK
- Continuing clumsiness and the resulting bruises and burns
- Work
- Stumbling across stuff I'd rather not read about
- Todd left this morning for 10 days in North Carolina
- Work
- The house is a mess
- My hair is about 18 inches too long, about 10 times too frizzy, and needs to be chopped off
- I'm too much of a coward to chop off my hair
- Too much stuff to worry about
- People are dumb
- Work

/whine

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Public Service Announcement, Part II
Thursday, February 10, 2005 ~ 02:56 p.m.
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Do, however, try the Staggs Chili. It's the perfect size for office lunches, comes in a little box that's easy to store in your desk or cabinet, and is surprisingly tasty. In fact, the Country Style variety tastes suspiciously like homemade.

This useless post brought to you by the letter M.

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Public Service Announcement
Wednesday, February 9, 2005 ~ 11:32 a.m.
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Do NOT, under any circumstances, buy the Target off-brand (Archer Farms) lowfat yogurt. It tastes like plastic and is actually quite vile.

Thank you for your time and attention.

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You don't see the Croc Hunter wrassling cats...
Tuesday, February 8, 2005 ~ 11:59 a.m.
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Just another night at the Watts-Yeldell Zoo.

Stitch the Fatass is a disgusting little cat. At risk of too much information, I'll just say that she's gotten too fat to properly wash her butt and leave it at that. Lately, her..uhm...state has become intolerable. It was obvious that we were going to have to bathe the cat.

But there's a catch. You see, Stitch is a bit too high-strung for me to place in an open tub of water. For all her fatness, she's surprisingly nimble when it comes to clawing open major arteries. Also, I'm fairly certain that throwing the cat into the dishwasher with a dab of shampoo could be considered animal abuse. The last thing I need is to end up on national television in an episode of Animal Cops.

So, last night, in lieu of actual water, I attempted to wash the cat using these new-fangled "pet wipes" Todd and I found at PetsMart. I said to myself, "They're soft, barely damp, and deodorizing. The cat can just lay there while I gently wipe her down and no one has to lose any blood. Perfect." Oh, was I wrong.

The moment that clammy damp cloth touched her tender stinking ass, Stitch was in full Cuisenart mode. Sixteen claws sank into my lightly-clothed leg and both of us let out a bloodcurdling howl. What followed was not pretty.

Several scratches, curses, and tackles later (after a short period where we were both crouched under the coffee table with teeth bared, glaring and growling our mutual hatred) it ended with Stitch rolled into a towel like some bizarre, blue, cat-sized burrito. With most of the pointy bits contained, I gingerly proceeded to finish what I had started while Todd held her down.

For revenge, she ate my plant. Bitch.

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Satan's Bridal
Monday, February 7, 2005 ~ 02:47 p.m.
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I love my sister.

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I'm not sure the address of my David's Bridal, but if you just write

David's Bridal
c/o Satan
2nd Circle of Hell

I think it'll get there just fine...

- E


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Let's just say that we've recently discovered that the level of incompetence of the David's Bridal staff is depressingly consistent nationwide.

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Over the river and through the woods
Monday, February 7, 2005 ~ 10:06 a.m.
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Weekends are never long enough, are they?

Todd and I left Huntsville Friday night and headed up to Boone, North Carolina to visit his dad and Melissa. It's not a terribly long drive up to their place, but it's long enough to make you wish you were staying for more than a day and a half.

We didn't really do much the whole weekend - mostly we were just lazy. Saturday we braved the icy roads and drove out to the Genesis Wildlife Sanctuary. It's a pretty awesome place, although their facilities are in desperate need of someone who actually knows how to build. The rest of the afternoon, we just wandered aimlessly around Beech Mountain. Sunday, we just lazed around before going for a short hike around the river. Looking back, I think most of our time was spent eating. ;-)

Not a bad weekend at all...

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Happy Groundhog Day
Wednesday, February 2, 2005 ~ 09:36 a.m.
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It's February. Cue the gray skies and cold rain.

February and I have a history of not getting along. I'll admit that a lot of our mutual dislike was probably due to the Concrete Canoe, but it was never a very kind month. Now, with things going so well in life and the marked absence of any concrete boats, I think February and I have established a truce for 2005.

Greg and I helped Jessica move boxes to her new apartment last Friday. Now I wish I'd moved into Paddock Club instead of Flagstone. Between the fireplace, the screened-in porch, and the gigantic bathtub, her apartment is pretty awesome. It's not new by any means, but it's not in bad shape. And it's a hundred times improved from where she was living before.

I took a couple pictures of her place, which hopefully she'll post sometime soon. *nudge* I also took a pretty good (albeit slightly blurred) picture of Jessica, which she will never post. So here it is.

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2004 slyflame