Sunday, December 30, 2007

Discovering Treasure

This weekend while putting away all of the Christmas decorations Jill decided that it would be a good time to clean out the garage. While doing so she uncovered something that I though was long gone.

Some 18 years ago a good friend of mine, John Gates, decided to stay on with the military as a medic and went on to the 5028th Special Operations Support Battalion. Shortly upon joining the unit he found himself supporting operations for the various Special Forces groups and for department Delta. On one of his exercises he found himself returning to Panama for a second time, not to train but to help with capturing Manuel Noriega. Unfortunately Manny got away and found himself stuck in the embassy of the Vatican listening to Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” some several thousand times. Meanwhile, Delta Force, the Navy SEALS and my friend John were ransacking all 7 of his homes throughout the country. John managed to acquire some of the booty, eventually a couple of the pieces made their way to me.

As part of the spoils I ended up with a candid snapshot of Noriega and several pieces of his stationery. Now…If I could somehow get to the Federal Penitentiary in Florida to get him to sign it.

I also found a complete compilation of Harlan Ellison’s works. When I cracked the cover I discovered that it was signed by him and addressed to me.

Along with the file that contained the Noriega stationery was a series of original hand painted animation cells from the Saturday morning children’s shows The Archies and The Lone Ranger.

I use to hate the Antiques Roadshow. I saw all of those people and thought out of all that junk I had in the garage amounted to nothing more than a pile of dust bunnies. Now, I think that I actually might have something. Not bad for a day’s find.

Apology Accepted, 19 Years Later

The Internet has a strange way of getting people back together. A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Don Morris. After having left the army we all went our separate ways and on with our lives. Unfortunately we all lost touch with each other, we all wanted to get away from the experience of the military but at the same time we lost the most important thing that we had, our friendships. Don over the years would use Google to search for friends, eventually he found the blog and it led to me. I got his email and immediately called him.

It was one of those conversations you have with an old friend where you pick up just where you left off just as if no time had passed. It was good to talk to and catch up with an old friend.

I’m just glad that he forgave me for kicking him in the head.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Someone Made Me Hitler (Schickelgrubered)

As part of a performance incentive program at work I had set up a competition based off of Fight Club. Individual agents would use their daily and weekly stats to "fight" each other to find out who was the winner of the daily and weekly match ups.

As part of the whole program I had several posters made up from the movie Fight Club. I had the artist replace my face with Edward Norton's and Ross William's face replaced Brad Pitt's.

It turns out that someone in the center decided to do some further modifications to the image.

As you can see the moustache is trimmed quite small and with the hair parted so gives me the image of the F├╝hrer und Reichskanzler himself.

The gut reaction was anger for a half-second, then I realized the ridiculousness of it and went on with my life. I don't usually find humor in anything to do with the Third Reich but on a rare occasion something comes along that makes you laugh.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stealing My Mojo

The image is moderately famous. It's my 15kb of fame. A glorious posting on the Internet that will live forevermore. A picture that was taken of me long ago during the music video years of my life. The picture was scanned by a coworker for me as a favor. The next day it ended up on every screen saver and desktop background at EarthLink. A year after that it was anonymously submitted to and was selected as "mullet of the week." I never thought that the photo would end up being the mullet seen 'round the world. Turns out that I am not the only person that thinks the photo is iconic in its flowing power. A couple other sites have used the image to further their own ends.

The newspaper at the University of Arizona did a review for various mullet websites and lo and behold they used my photo, with the obligatory censoring of the eyes seeing as they did not seek my permission to use the image. If they just would have asked I would have gladly obliged.

In the next image you can see that I have been totally defiled.

As part of the wave anti-Arab humor that occurred post 9/11 they have taken my hair and placed someone else's face, calling the photo "Osama bin Longhair."
A total ripoff. You can see that those are my ears, my hair, my shirt. The least they could have done was keep my face there and slapped on a mustache. As P.T Barnum put it, "I don't care what you say about me as long as you spell the name right." In my case it is more like, I don't care what you do with the photo as long as you don't change it. Leave it in its original glory.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dispatches from the Wonka School of Management

(The Gene Wilder version, not the Michael Jackson and the Chocolate Factory version)

Be Creative

Care for and respect your people

Lead with integrity and expect integrity from others

Search the world over high and low for inspiration, the right product and the right people

Be passionate about your product and about what you do

Innovate your product constantly and aspire to create the Everlasting Gopstopper

Find and train open-minded talent to replace you

Find the fun in everything you do

Phase Deux

Almost there. The carpenter came over and installed the surround and the media cabinet. As you can see, beautymus. This week I'll install a second HDMI cable that will run to a HDMI switcher. Just in time for Santa to bring the XBox. Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Scared of Santa

You'd think that the man that bought you toys on Christmas day would hold a special place in your life as child. Apparently this is not always so as witnessed by the website Scared of Santa. Since 2004 The Sun-Sentinel out of South Florida has been gathering pictures of little ones getting the piss scared out of them by Father Christmas. Initially the site started out with a dozen or so classic pictures of children trying to escape surly or drunk looking Santa's by either running away or executing a category 5 scream back at the reasonable facsimile of old Saint Nick. Whether it be self defense mechanism of fight or flight, separation anxiety or otherwise, it's amazing to see how many parents will drop their kids into the laps of total strangers knowing that there is a fair chance of a total meltdown. The site is a scream, literally.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas.