Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mea Culpa

OK, I think I owe everyone a bit of an explanation. I’ve been away from the blog lately because:

  1. We threw a cocktail party on Friday evening. I spent almost all day Friday getting ready for it and was up until 2:00am or so.
  2. I spent all day Saturday at the mountain bike race, AKA “The 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth”. The first seven hours were spent wandering around with Joshua and Elle taking a huge number of photos of the racers. The next seven or so hours were spent doing the scorekeeping on the second shift (Jay N. set up the software and hardware and took the first shift).
  3. I spent almost all day on Sunday going through about 200 or so photos that I took on Saturday and also setting up my storefront website.
  4. On Monday, I found out that somebody had already found my storefront (even though I wasn’t ready with it yet), so I felt compelled to go through the rest of my photos (around another 150) and get them up there.
  5. Tonight I’ve been filling the few orders that have already come in (the official site announcement was made today) and,
  6. I will start packing at any minute now to go on a trip out of the country tomorrow. Yes, that’s right. I’m going out of the country. Where? Bermuda. I’ll come back on Sunday.

Now, before you start hating me, I’m going to Bermuda with Mrs. Guy since she is going for work. It’s a rare opportunity to go spend several days on a sub-tropical island with a camera in hand. And because it’s a business trip for her, we only have to pay my airfare and food, saving us the $250/night hotel bill. Just admit it, you’d do it too.

What this means is that I may or may not have web access over the next five days. I don’t know what the situation is in Bermuda, or if I’ll actually have an internet-connected computer anywhere near me. Trivia may or may not happen this week. If not, I’ll try to make it up to you.

So, I’ll see you when I see you, ‘kay? (Hopefully soon. Tomorrow evening, if I’m lucky.)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oops, I Did It Again...

Sorry about telling you what I would post today, but it isn't going to happen. I spent most of the day yesterday taking pictures and then doing scorekeeping at a mountain bike race. I spent most of today PhotoShop'ing a lot of those photos and setting up the website to put them all on. It's been a long day.

I did at least get out on the bike briefly to run to the post office and the grocery store, but that was hardly long enough on such a beautiful day.

I can't promise about tomorrow either. I only got to about 300 of those photos, and I still have about 150 more to get to after work tomorrow. Add to that the ride I want to do with Wally and possibly Joshua, and then I still have around 120 of Joshua's photos to go through.

It's gonna be a full day.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Time? What Time Do You Think We Have?

Not much, apparently.

I meant to post yesterday to answer last week's trivia questions if nothing else, but time slipped away. We hosted a party last night, and I spent more of the day getting ready for it than I thought I'd have to. C'est la vie.

I also don't have time for a proper post today. I'm heading out in a little while to help work the 12-Hour race, and I likely won't get back until after midnight.

So check back tomorrow. I may even have a few pictures (if the rain holds off). And I will also answer trivia.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Teknikul Difikultees

I know there wasn’t a post last night, but I tried. I sat down at the desktop with a rough notion of a post subject in mind, but it didn’t matter.

This was my approximate experience last night. Imagine this text accompanied by an interpretive dance. Imagine the dance as performed by Heidi Klum or Napoleon Dynamite, per your own personal preference.

“OK, here’s my post for tonig …………. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by ........................................ Are we back on? Great, just let me ..................................... HTTP 404 Error: Server Not Found ……………………………. And then when I – huh? Oh, we’re back again? Are you sur ………………. Please forgive any delay. We are aware of the problem and are working on [click] nobody else was ready either. Oh, it’s working? OK, let me try to …………………………………………… skg ………………….. sfoih4h/%hri …………………… so we went – ah, it’s ba ………………….. HTTP 500 Internal Server Error …………….. 404 Error: Server Not Found ……………….. HTTP 404 Error: Server Not Found ………………………………too bad, since I was – oh wait, it’s back up. No, I don’t know for how long, but maybe this time it will ……………………………. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by ………………………….. Ah, back again, eh? Well, you aren’t fooling me this time. I’m going to bed.”

So I ended up giving my muse a much needed night off.


OK, I know I haven't updated the points in a few weeks, but I will try to do it tomorrow if I can. Remeber to follow the Rules and to send your answers to bgoab at mindspring dot com. You have until the next set of questions come out to answer these.

1. NAUI and PADI are governing bodies for what sport?

2. Most people likely know who Ichabod Crane is of "Sleepy Hollow" fame, but do you remember the name of the woman he was in love with?

3. Who is the real Slim Shady?

4. Who wrote the classic "Brave New World"?

5. Name at least three major characters from Matt Groening's Futurama.

Bonus Non-Scoring Question: What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Loco Motive

Well, I'm officially trained now. In what, you might ask? Well, in the scoring system to be used during this weekend's 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth mountain bike race. I'l have several volunteer duties on Saturday, and one of them will be to run the scoring system on the computer after dark.

My first duty will come early. I told John B., who is putting on the race, that I'd come and help with registration before the race starts at 11:00 am. Just before the start I'll be heading out on the course with Daniel, Josh, and Elle, or any combination of the above, or possibly by myself, in order to take pictures of the race as it unfolds. That will last until the light starts to fail. Sure, I could continue to take pictures after that, but I think that most of the racers wouldn't appreciate having a flash go off in their eyes as they try to negotiate a technical section of trail. I know I wouldn't.

So anyway, come dusk I will head back in to the scoring area and take over for Jay, who will have manned the system up until then. His plan is to take off to a checkpoint with Tom for a late marshalling shift. I hope to have Elle or Josh or Daniel with me too, so I can have one of them downloading all of the photos so we can see haw we did capturing the daylight hours of the race.

The scoring setup is way too cool. We'll be using barcode readers to automate the process. We'll also have a local wireless hub set up so anyone in the camp area can check the scores in near-real time. And the kicker is, we'll also be posting the results to the web at the same time. Last year I heard we had someone from as far away as Asia checking the scores once in a while.

So I guess I'll be busy, eh? Don't expect a post from me on Saturday. I doubt I'll get back home until well after midnight anyway.

I guess I better remember to take lunch and supper with me, huh? Maybe next year we'll open up concessions...

After my training session with Jay I went over to the Tomato Head to get a sandwich to go for dinner. I had to wait a few minutes for it, so I went back outside to enjoy the evening air. While out there, I watched a couple - probably in their late twenties - walking by. The guy put his hand on a rail at one point and apparently there was something gooey or slimy on the rail, which was of course now on his hand. The girl hadn't noticed this, so he slid around and - I kid you not - dragged his hand through her hair. She would have thought he was just playing with her hair, but he was actually wiping his hand off.

I was in an odd mood all afternoon, and something in me at this point just couldn't let that go. So I walked up to them of course.

Me: Excuse me, but I just have to ask, why exactly did you do that just now? I mean, what were you actually thinking?
Him: (sounding unsure) Huh? Uh, what are you talking about?
Me: That thing you just did with her hair. You know, wiping whatever you just got on your hand off in her hair?
Him: Uh...
Her: What?!? (feels the back of her head) What the...? You [string of expletives]!!! What the [additional expletive] do you think you were you doing?!?
Me: Not to meddle, but that's what I wanted to know.
Him: (directed at me) Hey, [expletive] you!
Me: No thanks, I'm straight.
Her: (to him) Hey! Answer me!
Him: (to her) Hey baby, it's not like that. I didn't do anything.
Her: [Reference to bovine scatology]! There's stuff in my hair!
Him: Hey, I don't know how that got there...
Me: ...and chivalry breathes its last...
Him: (to me) [Same expletive] you!
Me: Again, I'm straight. Perhaps you should develop some better bon mots and witty repartee to spice up your conversational lexicon.*
Him: [Expletive] this! I'm outta here! (Exit, angrily but quickly, stage right)
(Pause as he leaves)
Me: Sorry about all that, Kate, but I figured you should know.
Kate: Well, I'd been thinking about dumping him anyway. I guess this makes it easy, if somewhat abrupt. Thanks, Big Guy. I didn't even see you there, but I'm glad you were around. What is this gunk in my hair, anyway?
Me: Dunno. Looks like it could be some grease or something. So, do you need a ride somewhere?
Kate: No. The silver lining is that I'm the one that drove, so now he has to figure out how to get back to his place across town. (Laughs) I hope he has to walk the whole way in the cold.
Me: That's the spirit. Well, I'm just glad I didn't get shot or something.
Kate: Not to worry. (Shows me the inside of her purse) I got my Concealed Carry Permit last year.
Me: Just what a knight in shining armor needs. A damsel with a sidearm to protect him.
(Close curtain to sound of good natured laughter)

* Man, I really loved saying that.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Who's Counting, Anyway?

What’s all the fuss about? I mean really?

OK, I guess I should mention what I’m referring to. It seems that there has been an intellectual-like battle going on over the use of the term “The Sixth Estate”. I’ve been watching a discussion on an other website to remain nameless here ( I refuse to give them the web-traffic) that started out as a disagreement and rather quickly devolved into a flame war. The word "vitriole" springs to mind. Over what? The Sixth Estate.

For those of you who don’t know what this is all about, let me offer the following summary. In medieval Europe, the first, second and third estates referred to the estates of the realm. The First Estate was made up by the clergy and the King. The Second Estate included the nobles, or royals, other than the King (see First Estate). The Third Estate was everybody else not included in the First or Second Estates.

At some point in history, the Fourth Estate was given over to the Press, or print media. Why? I don’t know, but there you are. Bob’s your uncle and all that. A bit later, the title of the Fifth Estate was taken over by the electronic media (not to mention that both a Canadian TV newsmagazine and an American anarchist newspaper used the name). Why? Again, I don’t know. Bob’s wife is your aunt, I guess.

So, what about the next number in line? What shall become the fully expected and natural progression of things as the Sixth Estate? Well, here is where I wish that there was actually somebody in charge of assigning these numbers, instead of leaving things to the loudest and most persuasive (or pernicious, as the case may be) voice. Some say it should be this. Some say it should be that. I’ve heard a number of suggestions as to what “this” and “that” should be. It seems a lot of people have an opinion. And sure enough, eventually when certain people have opposing opinions that they’ve invested their time and energy espousing, all Hades* will break loose.

And what are the options for argument? Well, if I weed it down to eliminate the silly ones, at least in my opinion (uh-oh, I’ve got an opinion…flames and name-calling will surely follow [sigh]), it comes down to just two.

1. Bureaucracy, or at least a certain bureaucratic mentality as it relates to trying to counter Estates Four and Five. Well, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. If you’re interested, you can read up on the concept here (this link is the basis of a lot of the argument for this option).

2. The Blogosphere

Hmm. The Blogosphere is definitely more fun. Seeing as how I’m a willing participant out here on the fringe, I think I prefer that one.

Aw, forget it. Who cares? It's all arbitrary. I think I’d really prefer to just go ride my bike.

* This is a relatively PG-rated blog, you know.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Weekend Update (Sorry, No Chevy Chase)

I’d mentioned going to the Boulevard to ride on Saturday. Well, I never made it down there. Why not? Well, first off, I slept way too late in the morning. By the time I got up, I didn’t have time before having to run an errand for Mrs. Guy before noon. I got that done and just went to the vet clinic where she was filling in for the day, hoping we could go get lunch.

That didn’t work out either. She had so many records to complete that she wasn’t sure when she’d be done. I went on home to wait so I could get other stuff done. She finally got home at 1:30 pm or so, and we had lunch of leftovers. I thought about heading out with the bike then, but she announced that she wanted to go do some shopping and that I needed to go with her. Why? She just wanted me to drive so she could work on a PowerPoint presentation in between stores. Makes a guy feel wanted, eh? “Alright Ms. Daisy. I be drivin’.”

I eventually got home close to 5:00 pm, and knew there was no time to go to the Boulevard before dark. That’s why I decided to do a ride from the house, heading east until I felt tired or saw the light failing or had gone “far enough”.

I ended up riding only about 15 miles before I figured that the sun was getting a bit low. Besides, I didn’t want the sun in people’s eyes as they came driving up behind me. It was a decent ride, and I felt less sore (and feel less sore today) than I’d feared.

We’ll call that a successful first post-injury outing.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Eccentric Explosion

No, I'm not titling this post after more spam. Rather, this is a two word phrase uttered by my orthopedic surgeon today when discussing with Mrs. Guy whether she and I could restart our semi-weekly racquetball matches. I think that ultimately the answer was "probably should wait a bit longer," so I think we're looking at December. Before this I could always start back playing with the uninjured arm, but I don't have one this time.

"Eccentric Explosion." That doesn't sound very good, does it?

All in all, I think he was happy with my progress. I can start running again, and do some light cycling (mostly slow laps down on the Boulevard, I think). Mrs. Guy wants to start back on the tandem soon as well.

And no more PT!!! It seems that I have graduated.

I may have to head for the Boulevard tomorrow morning...

10/12 Trivia Answers

1. Each branch of the US military has it's own band, and some have more than one. Which branch has a bluegrass band? That would be the Navy. Mrs. Guy called me up one day last week to let me know that they were doing a bluegrass rendition of The Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" on XM Radio.

2. Where did Chris Columbus land on this day in 1492 (be as specific as you can)? San Salvador in the Bahamas.

3. Portnoy and Hodge Podge were characters in what comic strip that started in the 1980s? I miss Bloom County. I know we still get to see Opus and a few other characters these days in the Sunday paper, but I miss Milo and Cutter John and Binkley and his dad and especially Portnoy and Hodge Podge.

4. What is the distinguishing feature of a Manx cat? A Manx cat has no tail. I don't know why not, but they don't. Mrs. Guy had one when I first started dating her way back when. The Manx originated on the Isle of Man, hence the name.

5. What color is the number 5 billiard ball? The five-ball is orange.

Bonus question: What were Portnoy and Hodge Podge? Portnoy was a hedgehog or groundhog. Hodge Podge was a rabbit and played a mean set of drums.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Final PT, Take Two

OK, last Thursday I went to Physical Therapy thinking that I was going to my last session, and I was, as reported then, entirely wrong. In the interest of trying not to be wrong again, I will simply say that tonight was my last PT session...of this round. I go see my orthopaedic guy tomorrow, and I realize that there is a possibility, no matter how remote it may seem, that he may tell me to keep going for some reason or another (though the therapist admit that I have met all of my long-term goals in just the last four weeks).

I hope that the doc will tell me to go get back on the bike again after tomorrow. Just as well I coulnd ride today, or any of the last several days, because it's been raining. I hope that Mom Nature is just getting it over with now so She'll have sunny skies ready for me when I do get back in the saddle again. Which is a nice segue to...

...a card I got in the mail yesterday. It was one of those musical cards that played, yes, "Back in the Saddle Again" when opened. So my heart-felt thanks go out to Wally, Holly, Jordan and Taylor for the very thoughtful and very welcome message. I really did appreciate it.

On to the weekly Trivia!!!

I spent some time coming up with today's questions. I haven't done a theme in a while, but once I came up with the first two, the rest just fell into place. Please remember to follow the Rules of the game, and please send your answers to bgoab at mindspring dot com.

Here we go. Some of these are quite hard according to Mrs. Guy.

1. What two fictional characters' "real" names were Scoobert and Norville Rogers?

2. What two fictional characters' "real" first names were Jonas and Willy?

3. On Tuesday I told a story using some names of other fictional people. If I were their uncle, what would my name be?

4. Louis Cristillo and William Abbott (their real names) were famous for talking about a baseball team. Name as many players (and their respective positions) as you can. [For this question I will award one-half point for each correct answer and will round down to the nearest whole number. Get one and you get one-half point which ends up being zero. Two or three correct equals one, four or five equals two, et cetera.]

5. These men, listed here by their birth names (or as much of their birth names as I could find), were all at one time or another associated with what well-known comedic group?
  • Harry Moses Horwitz
  • Samuel Horwitz
  • Jerome Lester Horwitz
  • Louis Fienberg
  • Jerome Besserer
  • Joseph Wardell
  • Emil Sitka*

* Emil, though officially made a member, never actually performed with the group.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fe E

I was driving to work this morning and listening in to NPR (local radio news has been too ‘dumbed down’ or is too pedantic for my tastes), when I heard the following interesting clip about a new DVD that the Vatican is hoping to get out by Christmas. The DVD is about 30 minutes long, and features four animated characters to tell the story of the life of Pope John Paul II.

That is a worthy thing to do, especially if you are Catholic I suppose. It sounds like a good way to get kids to watch a lesson on one of Catholicism’s most important people from the latter part of the Twentieth Century and part-way into the Twenty-First. The characters that tell the story in this film are a pen, a diary, and two snow-white birds, all of whom can talk.

Did you get that? Two inanimate objects and two animals. That can talk.

The animators of the film said that the aim of the DVD is to present the “human side of John Paul II.”

Present the “human” side…with two inanimate objects and two animals…that can talk. “We thought animated characters could do it best,” they said.

I didn’t need any vitamins this morning when I got to work. I already had my 'One-A-Day with Irony.'

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Vociferous Effigy

Once, long ago it seems, I titled a post after the subject line of an email I'd received (it was "Unreliable Coffee", and it was back on the old site (somewhere in the archives). Tonight I'm doing it again, in part because it's a really funny subject line (sometimes spam at least makes you laugh), but also because I just happened to have occasion today to use both of those words, though not together. I rarely use either, so it's just a case of "Spam imitates Life" ... or something like that ... maybe.

On to the story I promised last night. There is a small group of us at work who tend to try to outdo each other (just for fun) with our stories on occasion. The main rule is that they all have to be true. They've all given up on trying to one-up me on the injury/surgery/scars categories, so it's often more mundane minutiae. Yesterday it was about office moves at work. I am currently in the process of moving from one building to another, and may be doing so again in the next few months as my group moves closer to the field work. I actually started working in my new building last week, but I sat at another guy's desk near mine to use his computer while he was on vacation. This week, however, he's back and my computer access is almost nil.

[ASIDE] It's strange to think back to 16 years ago when I started working for this company, that in my department of 20 people, we had maybe three computers - and they were rarely used. We worked by hand. Even our drafting department only had one CAD machine, and most of the drafters didn't like using it. Nowadays, you can't get much at all done without a computer. [/ASIDE ]

So, we were sitting at lunch and I mentioned that even though I'd put in a move order way back early last week, that my computer and my boxes were still over in my old office. Thus it began:
[NOTE: All names have been changed because I wanted to.]
Hugh: Aw that's nothing. When I moved out to the J area trailers it took them two weeks to move my computer and phone. I had to stay over each evening for an hour just to check email and do my daily reports.
Dewayne: Did you remember to put the new coversheets on those TPS reports?
Big Guy: Yeah, didn't you get the memo?
Hugh: Shut up.
Dewayne: When I moved from up on the hill to my new office, it took two weeks to get a phone, three to get my computer, and my boxes arrived at various times over a two week period.
Lewis: Ha! Lightweights [not the actual word he used, but you get the idea]. I moved from one office into an office in the next building, a move of all of 150 feet, and it took them a month to get my computer, another week to get the phone, and I eventually had to go to the central warehouse to point out which boxes were mine so they could spend another 3 days getting them to me. I don't think any of you pansies [again, not the actual word uttered] can beat me on that.
Big Guy: Um, well...
Lewis (with suspicious look): Okay, you'd better make this a good one.
Big Guy: I came out here in April of 2001 from the downtown office. They called me out here because they needed somebody quick, and I was just coming off of the Huntsville job. What they failed to consider was that I'd need a place to sit. There weren't any offices available, and most existing offices were already doubled up. I ended up sitting in a manager's office at a typing table that was all of 24" wide by 18" deep and already had a bunch of stuff piled on it that I couldn't move out of the way - giving me about the size of two pieces of paper to work in. There was no phone I could use - I didn't even have a cell phone at the time. I had no computer access except at a secretary's desk down the hall for about 10 minutes each day while she was getting her lunch. I had a bunch of boxes, but they stayed in my car and I compiled what I really needed into a small banker's box that I carried in and out each day, with a trip to the car if I needed something that wasn't in that box. I worked like that for three, count them, T-H-R-E-E months until they moved me down the hall into a small office with another guy, with limited storage room for either of our stuff, and we had to share a phone and computer for another five, yes, F-I-V-E months until I moved down to the trailer by the back site gate.
Hugh: I think I'm going to have to call bull**** on that one.
Big Guy: Dewayne...?
Dewayne: No, that's all true. I worked in that building back then. No BS. Well played, Big Guy.
Lewis: You make it sound like a game...
Big Guy: Oh, everybody plays the "one-upmanship game" ... [dramatic pause] ... I'm just better at it than you. [flashes devilish grin]

Monday, October 16, 2006


My body is trying to tell me to take a break today. I've just woken up from falling asleep in the chair in front of my computer for the third time tonight. My left hand is numb because of the way my arm was hanging down over the arm of the chair. I need sleep or I think .... I think ... zzz.


Tomorrow: My post on office one-up-manship.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Banner Day

I won't have much time today to do a proper post. Since we got home from church/lunch, I've been working on the new banner/logo for the new business venture. The logo itself is rather simple (for putting of business cards, t-shirts, et cetera), but I spent a little more time on the banner. I'm trying to resist going back and tweaking either one right now. As Alton Brown would say, I need to "walk away, just walk away...".

And now it's time to go work on laundry, my wood project for Lisa, ironing shirts, finishing up addressing invitations, going over to feed Kelly & Kevin's cats, ... and I still need to watch "Hidalgo" before it's due back at the video store. Plus, Mrs. Guy just stuck her head in the office door and said "Let's run to Target".

I might get to bed by midnight ... tomorrow.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday, Floyd. My birthday wish for you is a quick and fair resolution to your case before USADA. I've read the documentation that you posted through your site, and I must agree that it seems very suspicious against the people performing the testing.

I've been pulling for you for some time, ever since I met you at the 2003 Tour de Georgia (you may not remember, but I have your autograph on a hat to prove it). Now I'm pulling for you again in this new test.

Good luck to you, Floyd. Oh, and I hope the hip is healing well.
And a quick Happy Birthday nod to my friend Philippe, the crazy Belgian who also happens to be the current president of my cycling club. Many happy returns.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Takin' Care of Business

A busy day, but a good one. Hard to get started, though. I guess I was up to late last night.

Mrs. Guy and I rented movies last night and decided to watch one late in the evening. She wanted to see “Failure to Launch”, which she’d picked out. I wanted to watch “Hidalgo”, since I knew she’d be asleep before the end anyway. “Oh, no I won’t.” Oh, yes she was. Still, it was a pretty good movie (I loved the mountain biking bit).

So I was dragging a bit this AM. I finally got going at 9:00 or so, but it was tough. I worked on some Halloween Cocktail Party invitations (doing them all myself since I couldn't find any I liked at any of the stores). It’s a lot of work since I had to get 18” x 24” stock to get the right thickness, and I have to cut them down to 8” x 9” to get them through my printer and then cut them to 4” x 9” to mail them out (printing two per sheet). Still, it’s a lot cheaper than buying preprinted invitations, and I have complete creative control.

I was going to go out and get a lot accomplished this morning, but it became apparent that I wouldn’t even make it to the shower before noon. Since my buddy Todd was going to come borrow some camping gear between 12:30 and 1:00, I figured I’d just go after that. He arrived just in time to get the first invitation delivered by hand (the rest will be mailed – stamps are cheaper than the gas it would take).

I hit the road at about 1:15 and did a couple of errands for Mrs. Guy first. Then I was free to go to the Bike Zoo to leave a jersey that Wally J. wanted to borrow for a cyclocross race. That might have taken all of 2 minutes to do, but I ended up staying down there for over an hour. There were too many friends down there to talk to, and I even set up a photographic training session for Elle to be conducted by Daniel and me during the upcoming 12 Hour Race.

And then I did the one thing I really wanted to get done today. I headed downtown to the County Clerk’s building. After wandering around the building searching for the right office, I finally found the Business Tax office. And now, $20 later, I am the owner of D&G Crawford Photo/Graphics, which will be in the photography and graphic arts business. Too bad I can’t retire from my main job to do this full time.

The first “job” I’ll do will be at the 12-Hour Race. Should be fun. I’ll be sure to give a full report.

Answers for October 5 Trivia

1. What's the name of the cartoon character and his "pet" stuffed tiger that graced the comics pages for several years. Man, I used to love Calvin and Hobbes in the daily paper. And the fact that his dad was an avid cyclist was a real bonus. For a current comic featuring a cyclist, check out "Frazz".

2. Which author owned the house where six-toed cats enjoy sanctuary to this day? One of the great things about my trip to Key West was the tour of the Hemingway House. Ernest had a whole posse of them back in his day, and I thing most of their progeny are still there.

3. What is the capital of Australia (negative points if you answer "A")? Canberra. I've never been there, but I'm told that Sydney and Melbourne are more interesting anyway. When I make it to Oz I will still have to go, though (just to see for myself).

4. Which actor lent his voice to help make "Shrek" come alive on the silver screen? Shrek, the only ogre I know of with a Scottish accent, was voiced by Mike Meyers (of "Wayne's World" and "Austin Powers" fame).

5. Name the female characters featured in the game "Clue"? I am extremely disappointed that nobody got this one, especially since they even made a movie based on the game. The ladies are, in no particular order, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, and Miss Scarlett (which is the one Mrs. Guy usually picks - I usually end up as Professor Plum).

(This one was Mrs. Guy's.)Bonus Question: Who drew the characters mentioned in Question One? Bill Watterson. Why did he ever have to quit? It makes me really appreciate the longevity of Charles Schultz.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Oh, #%&@!!!

Well, I thought when I went to physical therapy tonight that it would be my last session. I was wrong. Dina even pulled out the original paperwork to prove to me that it said four weeks instead of just three. I was so looking forward to not going any more. Oh, well. C'est la vie, they say (at least the ones who speak French).

Let's delve right into trivia on that note, okay?
Mrs. Guy is becoming even more involved in picking out the weekly questions. She is a leat in part responsible for most of this week's questions. Remember to follow the stated Rules, and to send your answers to bgoab at mindspring dot com. Let's begin...

1. Each branch of the US military has it's own band, and some have more than one. Which branch has a bluegrass band?

2. Where did Chris Columbus land on this day in 1492 (be as specific as you can)?

3. Portnoy and Hodge Podge were characters in what comic strip that started in the 1980s?

4. What is the distinguishing feature of a Manx cat?

5. What color is the number 5 billiard ball?

Bonus question: What were Portnoy and Hodge Podge?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Good Evening

I finally have something bike-related to talk about again! Hurray!

I went down to the Bike Zoo this evening. My bike has been mended and is ready for riding. Too bad I’m still not allowed to yet. But the bike will wait on me.

I met Franklin in the parking lot (he just beat me to a close parking space, but waited for me to walk in). I got inside and Wally and Caroline were also there hanging around. Caroline said they were just talking about me. She has a plate on one of her collarbones from last year and is contemplating having it taken out over the Thanksgiving holidays. I guess you can’t say “plate” and “collarbone” down at the Bike Zoo without working me into the conversation somewhere.

Jay and Ron showed up a little later, as did Jon C. and Kent and a few other people I know by sight but not by name. It was a very popular night. Wally invited me to head over to dinner with him, Ron and Jay. They were going to Wok Hay to talk about their team for the 12-hour race coming up at the end of the month. It’s the same team I would have been on both this year and last except for my misfortunes with frangible clavicles.

Did you have to look up “frangible”? It’s OK if you did, you know. Here, I’ll even make it easy for you with this link.

They have a fourth member for their team, but he couldn’t make it tonight, so I filled his seat at the dinner table. I know they were intending to talk about the race, but that took about 2 minutes of conversation time. The rest of the hour or so that we were there was spent talking about a wide array of stuff, including where the best positions my be for me to get pictures at the race. Other stuff discussed included chopstick usage, cell phones (merits, features, et cetera), iPix technology, sniper rifles, … you know, the usual stuff.

So anyway, I was happy to get my bike back, and I was happy to hang out with my cycling buddies at the bike shop and at dinner. I now don’t have time to hit the trainer, but I guess I’ll just have to make an extra effort to get over my disappointment somehow. Maybe I’ll just listen to my Eisenhowers CD. Yeah, that might do it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


PT more painful than normal. No long post tonight. Should be OK tomorrow (?).

Monday, October 09, 2006

OK, Let's Try This Again, This Time With Feeling...

I lost five pounds last month. Hurray for me, I guess, except that I realize that a good bit of that was the appetite suppression effects of the painkillers I was taking for about three weeks. The rest was probably muscle atrophy. Regardless, I was happy to see the pounds gone when I stepped on the scale.

Except that Friday morning I noticed that one of those pounds had crept back. I didn’t panic. I was going away for the weekend, so there wasn’t any use in it. Mrs. Guy and I tend to eat well when we’re vacationing. Still, I got a good bit of exercise, what with all the walking around that we did on Saturday and Sunday. But this morning there was another half of a pound that found its way onto the bathroom scale with me. . .

I got home from work today and thought briefly about going for a walk, but I knew it wouldn’t be fair to the dogs to go for a walk without them (and I certainly can't handle all three at a time right now). I went to the basement and walked the two younger dogs outside to … do what they needed to do … and when I walked back in I spotted my trainer out of the corner of my eye. It still has a bike set up on it from way back in the Spring. Hrmm. I hate the trainer. It’s so mind-numbingly boring. I went ahead and fed the dogs and walked back upstairs.

Mrs. Guy and I got a new TV a week ago. She got a nice bonus from work, so we decided to do something fun with it. Well, she decided we’d do something fun with it, but I jumped right in to help. We ended up getting a new 42” plasma screen TV and a new DVD player (progressive-scan) to go with it. It’s very nice, and She-mom enjoyed watching it while she was down this weekend dog-sitting (she’s watched it more than I have yet). Please don’t think that I’m bragging, though. I only tell you that in order to tell you this next part.

The TV that had been in our main room went upstairs to the bedroom. The TV that had been in the bedroom went to the basement, along with the old DVD player from the main room (there was already a little one in the bedroom). I took it down there so I could watch TV or DVDs while I’m down working on projects in my shop.

But as I sat at my desk upstairs, a nagging argument started to creep its way into the back of my brain. “You’re getting fat again. You can’t run yet. You can’t ride yet. You certainly can’t lift weights. But there IS the trainer.”

“NOOOO!”, the other part of my brain screamed in response, “Not the trainer!!!”

“Oh, yes, Precious. You could do it. All you need is a distraction. And there is the TV…”

“But it’s not hooked up to cable yet…and there’s nothing on worth watching on Mondays!”

“There’s the DVD player…”

“But I don’t have time to get into a movie!”

“No, but you do have that concert DVD…”

Eureka!!! Pure brilliance! Mrs. Guy bought me Rush’s 30th Anniversary concert DVD for Christmas. I could watch for as long as I could stand to ride, and the tempo would help me keep my cadence high. So I changed into cycling shorts and a CoolMax T-shirt, grabbed the DVD set, and headed downstairs. I started the DVD and pumped up the bike’s tires while the introduction was playing. I hopped on right as the music was starting and rode for 45 minutes until my butt started to loudly protest my lack of recent saddle time. That’s not a bad length of time for a first time back, and I still have over half of the concert footage remaining.

Perhaps I’ll try again on Wednesday, just to make sure this new acceptability wasn’t a one-time fluke.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Light Twist of the Knife

Mrs. Guy and I are here in Blowing Rock, NC once again for the last of the yearly “Art in the Park” series. They hold this event six times, once each during the warmer months, and this the final one for the year. It’s always interesting to see the wide array of artistry here, from painting to photography to pottery to glass (stained and blown) to woodcarving/woodworking to … well, you get the idea. Mrs. Guy and I woke up early this morning and went for breakfast at Knight’s on Main (made famous in books by Jan Karon), and then went for a walk up into the high-priced neighborhoods up the ridge from downtown. It’s a beautiful area. I’d be tempted to move here except that property values are about four to six times what the are for comparable properties at home. So instead I’ll wait until we win that lottery.

I know that I’d mentioned writing about some “twist the knife deeper why don’t you” stories today, but I’m in a little too good of a mood to actually do that now, so I’ll just relate one that I find a little amusing.

When I started blogging back a little over a year ago, I really didn’t have any grand plans for fame or fortune (certainly not fortune) as a result of it. I really started doing it just as a creative outlet for myself. I began with a plan to update three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and either Friday or Saturday), but I almost immediately abandoned that for a mostly seven day a week schedule. Sometimes you have to give your muse a nudge.

Still, I didn’t want to necessarily call great amounts of attention to myself by self-promoting. I only told a few friends what I was up to (usually when checking facts or stuff like that). I figured I’d just see what came about naturally. My readership was boosted first by a link on the Fat Cyclist website (in fact, Elden’s blog was part of the reason I started mine with a bit of a cycling bias – I’d been reading his for several months). Other links followed, many with reciprocating links back to them from my site, and I got a fairly steady readership based on the hit data.

Now I started over on the MSN Spaces site, and I stayed there for about nine months or so, but I finally got tired of all of the indiscriminant changes they kept making. My URL changed at least four times during that period of time, and each time they did an overhaul some stuff just didn’t work right for a while if it worked at all. There were no warnings that I was ever aware of either, which really ticked me off. The final straw came in July, and I switched to Blogspot full-time.

But there was one interesting feature over at MSN Spaces that I liked. Each week they would feature four different bloggers in a thing they called “What’s My Story?”. Sometimes there was a general theme (e.g., all single mothers or something), but often there wasn’t. I picked up on quite a few of the blogs I still read by checking that feature every week. I know from their comments that their hit counts went up dramatically during their featured week (because of me and hundreds, if not thousands, like me). Fat Cyclist was featured three different times that I know of.

I recommended a few other bloggers to be featured, but I never asked to be featured myself, nor did I ask someone else to nominate me (as I know a couple of others who did). Thus, it never really surprised me that I wasn’t featured (besides, bike-blogs are a bit of a niche market). Still, it would have been nice, I guess, if only to see what different comments I might get during that week.

So, fast forward to September now that I’ve laid out all of the background. Just after I went on hiatus due to the wreck, I got an email from some lady at Spaces Live (which is what MSN Spaces has become, I suppose). She said that she was thinking about including me in the next version of “What’s My Story”. She went on to say that she had just looked in on my site and it appeared that I had moved my blog (yeah, I had). The email rambled around for a few more sentences and then concluded with something like “Well, if you were still on Spaces we’d feature you, but since you’re not, nevermind.”

Now, what I want to know is, what possessed her to actually hit the send button? I mean, really – what was the point? That’s sort of like Random House sending me a rejection letter for a book manuscript that I hadn’t even sent in to them. I just found myself shaking my head as I hit “Delete”.

In reflection, is it any wonder I left?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Trivia Answers

My plan today was to write a post of a recent "Thanks, why don't you twist the knife again" experience, but Mrs. Guy and I spent the day travelling, spending time with her grandparents, and are now in Blowing Rock, NC after a full meal and a couple of glasses of wine. I'm too tired to relate the whole thing now (maybe tomorrow), so instead I will just post answers to last weeks trivia questions.

1. What is the largest (known, and not underwater) cave system in the world (hint, it's here in the United States)? That would be the Mammoth Cave sytem in Kentucky, whic is still not classified as fully explored. It's big. It's huge. It's ... Mammoth.

2. What city hosted the last "World's Fair" (or more properly, "World's Exposition") that was held in the United States? I posted this one a little bit as a trap for my friends who live in Knoxville, since the 1982 version was held there. However, the last one held in the US was held in New Orleans two years later in 1984.

3. What did the "J. R. R." stand for in J. R. R. Tolkien's name? John Ronald Ruell Tolkien was his full name. Most of his friends apparently called him "John Ronald".

4. If you were to spend 18 minutes and 20 seconds listening to a folk singer's song about "The Draft", what song would you be listening to? Arlo Guthrie spent an awfully long time talking about Alice's Restaurant and his subsequent experience at the Draft Board in his nost well-known song's recorded verision (the seminal "Alice's Restaurant"). I've heard that in his live performances he sometimes stretched out the tale to over 45 minutes.

5. Who was the famous (perhaps infamous) American businessman who went to Northern Ireland to start his own ill-fated automobile manufacturing company? John DeLorean had a lovely idea with his DMC-12 automobile, but it just didn't catch on like he'd wished (I'm sure the cocaine-related legal charges didn't help any). The DMC-12 always caught my imagination, but the only person I've ever known that owned one died related to injuries sustained in it during a traffic accident a few years ago. A sad tale, to be certain (and I won't saddle you with it here).

Bonus question: Name the fathers of any three of Tolkein's characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy (and Isildur doesn't count). So many to choose from. Many I can't remember off the top of my head, but I'd have looked them up if I'd needed to based on your answers (I didn't need to though - most answers were ones I already knew). Some examples? Gimli was son of Gloin, Aragorn was son of Arathorn, Legolas was son of Thranduil, Arwen was daughter of Elrond, Frodo was son of Drogo, Eomer son of Eomund, Samwise son of Hamfast (or "The Gaffer"), Boromir and Faramir sons of Denethor, et cetera, et cetera.

Points will likely update tomorrow. Thank you, and good night.


Sorry for running a bit late tonight. Mrs. Guy and I took some food over to a friend's who's father died this last week, and then we got caught up watching the latest X-men DVD on our new TV. I did try to come up with trivia earlier, but I just couldn't come up with a fifth question. Mrs. Guy just gave me one though, so we'll go with that. Remember to follow the Rules and to send your answers to bgoab at mindspring dot com.

1. What's the name of the cartoon character and his "pet" stuffed tiger that graced the comics pages for several years.

2. Which author owned the house where six-toed cats enjoy sanctuary to this day?

3. What is the capital of Australia (negative points if you answer "A")?

4. Which actor lent his voice to help make "Shrek" come alive on the silver screen?

5. Name the female characters featured in the game "Clue"? (This one was Mrs. Guy's.)

Bonus Question: Who drew the characters mentioned in Question One?

Mrs. Guy and I are headed off tomorrow (Friday, which at this point is actually today) for a long weekend in Blowing Rock, NC. I hope to make regular posts, but I don't promise anything.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oh, Theft Most Base

Mrs. Guy and I have been having a lot of landscaping work done over the last couple of years. We got started with Coleman doing work for us in between his classes in Landscape Architecture here at UT in town. Then he just kept working for us after graduation when his big job offer fell through. Instead, he’s struck out on his own for now, with help from another of his classmates, until he goes back for a Masters Degree in a year or so.

It was because of Mrs. Guy’s work travel that we first got in contact with him. His father is one of the managers at the hotel where she stays when she’s in Nashville, and he’d mentioned his son once when he heard where she lived. We feel lucky to have him here working for us. He does great work, and he hasn’t balked at taking on more and more complex work scope. He’s a great guy.

Yesterday when I got home from work I noticed that they had taken my little utility trailer, which they often use, to dump all of the brush that had collected up during recent trimming work by them and Mrs. Guy, including the weeds I’d pulled over the last week and added to the pile. In place of the brush and weeds was a full load of mulch. “Ah,” I thought, “They must be going to plant the new trees in the back tomorrow.”

But today, when they came back, the mulch was gone. Along with my trailer.

I was leaving for lunch today with some friends when I got a call on my cell. It was Coleman. “Hey Big Guy, did you move your trailer last night, maybe take it somewhere else?”

“Um, no. I take it that it isn’t there now, huh?”

“No. I was really hoping you had it.” I could tell he felt bad about it since he was the one who’d used it last and left it on the side of the house, but that’s exactly where I always left it myself.

When did it happen? The only thing I can tell you is that it was between midnight and 10:00 am this morning. I didn’t even think to look over there for it this morning when I left. I wouldn’t think someone would come get it after I left the house at 5:30 am, since that’s about when the slow work-ward exodus begins in my neighborhood. I asked the neighbors I saw outside when I got home today if they’d seen anything, but not surprisingly no one had.

I guess I’m out a trailer, but I think Mrs. Guy was more upset that they waited until it had fresh mulch on it instead of getting it with the brush on it. All I can say is that at least they’re going to have a flat tire on the left side within a day or so (it has a slow leak in the left side tire, and Coleman had just pumped it up on Saturday). Small comfort, perhaps, but that little catharsis is the only silver lining I can think of.

Except that perhaps now I can finally argue for an old beater pickup truck without Mrs. Guy saying “You don’t need a truck – you have a trailer.” Well, not anymore I don’t. Anybody got a beater truck in good mechanical shape that they’d let go for $1,000 or less?
Tonight's title is from the works of William Shakespeare, specifically from Act II, Scene II of Troilus and Cressida

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho ...

Today was my first day back at work. It was a little weird, and not really because I’ve been out for a month. No, it’s more about what has happened on my project while I’ve been away. Specifically, it’s that my project went away. Yeah, seriously.

I work for a company that has several government contracts. Most of the work done in my division is for the Department of Energy. That said, my project was a little unusual because though it was run through the DoE, our funding source came from the Department of Defense. Strange, I’ll admit, but that’s the government for you. Actually, considering the work we do, it really made sense on a basic level that it was done that way, which some might find really surprising (gasp…the Government did something that made sense!?!...[swoon, clunk]).

Okay, so I was out of work starting on September 5th. On the 7th, they announced that our funding for the next fiscal year (which in the government world begins on October 1st) was being pulled back. I don’t know why. I never heard. Maybe it has something to do with the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan? Like I said, I don’t know.

Most people I know would freak out if they learned their job was going away while they were out, but when you work for a contractor you have to take the mentality that you are always trying to work yourself out of a job, and then move on to the next job. Besides, I think I do good enough work that I wouldn’t have a problem finding something else locally in my division.

I got to work this morning a little before Medical opened (technically I have to go through them before reporting back to work). I spent the time walking over to my functional manager’s office and saying “Hi, I’m back as soon as I clear Medical. Got anything for me to work on?” “Yeah,” he said, “Go see Don H. after you’re done.”

“Hmm.”, I said to myself, “This might go better than I thought. It doesn’t sound like I’ll have to beat the bushes today scare up some work today.”

I ran into Don out in the parking lot as I left the building. We talked for a few moments and he told me to stop by after I got done at Medical. I wandered on down and ran into Rick B. in the waiting room, who is someone I’ve worked for before.

“Hey Rick, how’s it going?”

“Hey Big Guy. I heard you were coming back today. Did anyone tell you that you were going to be working on my project again?”

“Um, no. But I only just ran into Don a few minutes ago. I didn’t really have time to get too much out of him yet. I’m going to see him after this.”

“Great. Good to have you back on board. Stop by my office sometime when you get time.

“Sure thing, Rick”

Things were looking up. I wondered to myself how long this string of luck was going to hold. I guessed it would be too much to hope that I’d be put back working with Glenn or Doug, whom I had worked with back about a year ago on other stuff. I got to Don’s office and he started to show me around to introduce me to people in the office. “Um, Don? I know all these guys. I worked in this department about a year-and-a-half ago.”

“Ah, well, I’ll just take you straight over to Mike then. You’ll be working in his group.”

We got over to Mike’s building, but he wasn’t in. Don had to get back, so I just left Mike a note to call me and was going to head back over to my own office when I ran into both Doug and Glenn. We started talking about, well … the accident … when Mike came walking up. “Hey Big Guy, I guess you already know Glenn, huh? That’s great since you’ll be working directly with him.”

And that was when I woke up.

No, seriously, the morning went better than I’d even thought possible. I’ll miss working with some of the folks from the old project (all of whom have also gotten re-assigned, so nobody got laid off). I’ll especially miss working with “other George”, but at least I found out where his new office is and I will see him at least once a week in a functional meeting we’ll both be attending for our respective new projects.

Oh, and in the next few weeks Glenn and I and some other guy who’s coming in will be moving into a new office space over closer to the job site, and away from all of the distractions of the cubicle farms.

I have several small bruises on my arm from pinching myself all day.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Tonight I present to you a couple of recent one-liners that Mrs. Guy has had to suffer through. I'm not proud, necesarily, ... well, yeah, maybe I am, ... but I feel that I need to report them anyway. I do not attest to the quality of said one-liners, but I do promise that they are original.

Number One. The setting - a Super-Target store. Background - Mrs. Guy has been going slightly nuts this year buying up Halloween decorations. Bats, spiders, et cetera. Anything in theme, it seems. And not necesarily the cheap stuff either. Here's how it went down.

[scene opens, Mrs. Guy brings yet another two pieces of Halloween decoration for the Big Guy to decide between.]
Mrs. Guy: OK, which of these to "Welcome" signs do you prefer - the one with pumpkins that says "Eeek", or the on with bats that says "Booo"?
Big Guy: Honestly? I like the one by our door now that says "Welcome".
MG: Yeah, but that isn't Halloweeny.
BG: And your point would be...?
MG: You just aren't in the Halloween spirit.
BG: Boo, humbug.

Number Two. The setting - Wal-mart. Background - Mrs. Guy and I have come to buy some different kind of cat litter suggested by a veterinary specialist (long story). I had dropped Mrs. Guy at the door and parked, then met her in the Pets section. I ended up having to go back to the car to get the piece of paper that had the information written on it. We bought the litter and were leaving. Here's how this one played out.

[scene opens, Mrs. Guy walks out of her way to go through the "Entrance" door while the Big Guy leaves via the "Exit" door.]
Big Guy: Why did you walk over to the "Entrance" to leave? The "Exit" door was closer.
Mrs. Guy: Oh, I don't know. I went in through the "Exit" door, so I guess maybe I was just evening things out.
BG: Ahh, OK. Well actually, I used the "Exit" side all four times I went through a door here.
MG: Why did you do that?
BG: That's just my "Exit Strategy".

And yes, folks, she has stayed married to me for lo these last 15.75 years. Let's hear it for Mrs. Guy, eh?

(So Sis, which parent did I get my sense of humor from?)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Return of Trivia Answers

Wow, it's been harder than I thought it would be to get back into the blogging swing of things. Mrs. Guy and I got so busy around the house today (cleaning, ironing, laundry, replacing the kitchen faucet ... and that's just some of the stuff I was doing) that I almost let it slip my mind to do a post at all. So here I sit, listening to iTunes playing Beck on the desktop, and trying to come up with something to write, and I'm drawing a blank (except ideas which would take too long to get out right now). With that in mind, here are the answers to the trivia questions posted way back on August 31.

1. What is the most visited national park in the US? It's practically right out my back door, being less than an hour to the nearest entrance. It's the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and second place isn't even close.

2. What British general's surrender at the Siege of Yorktown effectively signaled the beginning of the end of the American Revolutionary War? General Charles Cornwallis got that dubious distinction, though it was far from the end of his military/political career. He spent time afterwards in both Ireland and India in various governance roles, and is buried near the Ganges River, where there is still a memorial to him maintained by the Government of India.

3. What was the common nickname used by pirate Edward Teach? Arrr, he be Blackbeard. Pirates didn't last all that long in those days, and by many accounts his own reign as pirate captain lasted less than two years before his violent end.

4. There are three Orders of classical architecture. They are Doric, Ionic, and _______? Corinthian. What, you thought it would rhyme with the other two?

5. In Roman mythology, who was the goddess of the hunt? This was Diana, who was also the goddess of the Moon (supplanting Luna at some point or another) and of chastity (she was also known as the "Virgin Goddess").

Bonus Question: Who was her Greek mythology counterpart? Artemis was also the virgin goddess of the hunt and the Moon, but somehow was also put in charge of childbirth, which I find strange for a "virgin" (couldn't they get someone with more experience in that area?).