Day 12 of 30 Days of Recognition – Monster Energy Drink

I frequently do not get adequate rest.  In the past week we’ve had our sleep interrupted several times by children vomiting, coughing, or our needing reassurance after a nightmare.  The other night I had to go to Walgreens at 12:30AM to grab a vaporizer and some cough syrup because Winston was coughing so much he couldn’t sleep. 

When I travel, I often leave around 4AM to catch 7AM flights and to cut a day off my trip time I try to come home late at night instead of flying back a day later. 

Needless to say, I often do not get enough sleep. 

I do not drink coffee, I don’t like hot drinks.  I enjoy soda, but it doesn’t really perk me up.  Red Bull is fantastic, but way too expensive.  Monster Energy Drink (MED), has become a dependable option.  Sometimes Wawa offers two 16 ounce cans for $3 and that can really get your motor going.  I remember drinking two cans a couple weeks ago and immediately starting singing “Surfin Bird” by the Trashmen:

A-well-a, everybody’s heard about the bird
Bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, well, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, well, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, well, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, don’t you know about the bird
Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a

A-well-a, everybody’s heard about the bird
Bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, don’t you know about the bird
Well, everybody’s talking about the bird
A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a, bird

Surfin’ bird
Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb, aaah

Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa
Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ooma-mow-mow
Papa-ooma-mow-mow

If you’re singing Surfin Bird at 6:30AM, you got yourself one heck of an energy drink.

Day 11 of 30 Days of Recognition – The Plumber’s Camera

Our house suffered a water back up the other day, Jaclyn concluded that flushing a toilet while doing laundry was the culprit.  While an inconvenience, we vowed to not flush the toilet while someone is doing the laundry moving forward.  Unfortunately, another backup happened while the laundry was running and no toilet flush was involved.  Jaclyn was upset, I was annoyed, and the kids thought it was pretty exciting to have water downstairs, like an indoor pool. 

The amount we’ve spent on the house so far has exceeded what we anticipated, so we were not excited about the prospects of calling a plumber to spend more money, but ultimately, it beats cleaning water overflows from the toilet every week for the next 30 years.  The plumber arrived and he is the Cliff Clavin of plumbers, well educated, loves his job, and gives you way more information than you really need.  He explained that he could try to ram a snake down the drain and try to loosen things up, but the way to really fix the problem is to send a camera down the pipe and examine the problem so he could provide the appropriate remedy, he related it to an endoscopy, a gastroenterologist doesn’t just give you heartburn medicine, he runs an endoscopy to examine the root cause of the discomfort, maybe it is Barrett’s Esophagus or a polyp.     He sold us, run the camera down the toilet through the pipes to figure out what is going on.  The plumber wheels in a little TV with a thick 300 foot cord connected to it that is coiled up on a nice stand, at the end of the cord there’s a tiny camera. 

My family gathers around the tiny smelly TV and watches the cord spelunk into the toilet.  As we leaned close to observe the grainy images on a tiny TV, watching the camera travel deeper through the bowels of my home, I couldn’t help think we looked exactly like families in 1969 watching the first lunar landing.  

The plumber provides a running commentary, “Watch what happens when I turn the water on”, “Oh boy, that is a beautiful cast iron pipe”, “Everything looks good so far”, then our exploration into the vile frontier encounters a dire situation, I think to myself, “Houston, we have a problem!”  The camera reveals a bulbous alien like form, brown and slimy, the enemy we feared, tree roots.  

The plumber rams the camera into the wooden blockage and the screen goes fuzzy, turns to black.  He winds back the cord a couple inches, the camera starts coming back into focus, the blockage still exists.  The plumber explains that this is a significant issue where he can provide a little temporary relief with a snake, but the “root” cause of the blockage will ultimately remain.  To fix the problem he will need to excavate the pipe and replace it with a new one.  

We were thinking about getting a chimney sweeper so we can get our fireplace in working order, but we’ve found enough problems to last us for awhile already.  Good lord, home ownership isn’t easy!  I will say though, once we work through these problems, I love the home, the kids love the house, and it definitely feels like home already.     

Day 10 of 30 Days of Recognition – Fees To Make Payments

I called Verizon today to make a payment over the phone since I was having trouble logging into their web site.  The rat bastards were trying to collect an additional $3 for the convenience of making a payment over the phone through their automated system!  I hung up the phone, called again and pushed zero and pound about 1,000 times until an actual person picked up the phone.  I said you’re website isn’t working and now your phone system is trying to charge me $3, I refuse to pay it.  I will cancel my subscription immediately if you make me pay that $3 fee to pay my bill. 

The customer service agent was polite, she said I needed to download software onto my computer before I could access the online billing.  Unfortunately, I do not have the capability to download it to any of the devices using the internet in my house, so this isn’t an option.  She finally agreed to download all my stuff onto her computer at work and now I have access to online bill payment.  I thanked her for her help.

What really annoys me is that Verizon would charge me $3 for the “convenience” of entering in about 100 different codes, birthdates, social security numbers, account numbers, and never actually talking to a person, just to pay them!  Think about it, they want me to pay them for the privilege of paying them!  Bastards.

That’s kind of how I feel about accountants, it totally sucks to have to pay someone to figure out how much you have to pay the government, I guess they are great if they can keep you out of jail or get you extra money back, but I wish the tax code was simplified so an average citizen could pay their taxes without the need of hired help.

Day 9 of 30 Days of Recognition – Vigilante Canadian Geese Killers

http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/science-updates/nj-geese-killing-reward-offered-for-information-that-leads-to-arrest

http://www.strausnews.com/articles/2009/07/03/warwick_advertiser/news/10.txt

I consider myself very fond of animals, but I hate Canadian Geese.  When I get to work, my parking lot is littered with geese poop.  We used to take my kids for a walk around a pond that was inhabited by many geese, if the kids brought bread, they would surround us and hiss at us until we surrendered all of our bread.  The difference between geese and any other wild animal is that they are not scared of human beings and that arrogance drives me bonkers.  I do not like an animal feeling so comfortable that it can poop on my work’s door step, I do not like animals that go right up to my kids and hiss at them, I do not animals that walk right in front of my car and expect it to stop.  These geese are too empowered, I think it is time America sponsored, “Kill A Canadian Goose Day”.  Everyone could get a ticket that entitled them to kill one goose, I’d collect my familiy’s 4 tickets and give them to my brother who’d be happy to eradicate several on our behalf.  I think this country is ready to kill some of these varmin, but the problem is, very few people want to be the one who’s advocating the killing of helpless animals and many people are willing to stand up in defense of helpless animals, I may be wrong, but I think there’s a lot of you who really would like to see fewer Canadian Geese.  Who’s with me on this, let’s start a movement!  If we don’t do this the right way, we’ll continue to have acts of vigilante justice as noted in the above links.

Day 8 of 30 Days of Recognition – Bratwurst

The RKDeem family hosted a beer and brats cookout at our new home yesterday.  The main course was bratwurst that had been simmering in beer for about 20 minutes and then finished off on the grill to get them crispie.  The German theme was complimented with German beers which I consumed from a boot.  This was my first time that I can remember eating bratwurst and while I enjoyed them, I’d rather have a Hebrew National hotdog anyday.  This is not a jab at bratwurst, I did consume two of them, but a compliment to the revered hot dog.  Hot dogs do not require significant prep time either, although, waiting nearly a half hour watching brats cook does whip up an appetite.

Jacalope did an excellent job as usual with putting together an awesome shindig.  Thanks to all of you who attended and helped make our house a home, we’re really starting to settle in and enjoy the place.  

Favorite hot dogs:
4.  Ball Park
3.  Nathan’s
2.  Hebrew National
1.  Natual casing hot dogs from None Such Farms (I don’t want to think about the natural casing, but it is the greatest tasting hot dog around 

Day 7 of 30 Days of Recognition

Wow, I have really missed my goal of recognizing 30 things in 30 days.  Things really went haywire last week with all the travel, by the way, what does “haywire” mean?  Well, I looked it up and it is an old throw back to the actual wire used to hold together bales of hay and people started using this wire for all kinds of things, instead of fixing something properly.  Duct tape is the modern day haywire, but no one ever says, “Your fix is going duct tape”, I guess duct tape works a lot better. 

Day 7 of 30 days of recognition – Class Issues
I got into trouble on a US Airways flight coming home from Denver.  My ticket said I was in Zone 1, zones are important because they determine when you board.  I believe zone 1 people are typically in window seats because it makes sense for them to get in their seat before an aisle person.  I fly a lot, but I still don’t have any real status because I haven’t been too loyal to US Airways.  I think I have to fly to KC later this month, I should have status once I complete my return flight from there.  If not, I’ll definitely get preferred status when I go to Phoenix in November. 

But for the time being, I am a lame, run in the mill citizen flying with US Airways and they called up First Class for boarding.  Since my ticket said Zone 1, I thought that maybe it meant I could board with the First Class citizens.  I walked up to the ticket guy and he looked at me and said, “You’re not First Class, you can’t board now.”  Honestly, I felt like Rosa Parks trying to sit in the front of the bus.  I said, “It says Zone 1 on my ticket.”  He said, “Zone 1 isn’t first class, we call zone 1 next.” 

I waited for two well dressed business people to pass me by and then he announced zone 1. 

On one hand, I think it is cool that airlines offer big expensive seats for people willing to shell out big bucks.  In addition, I think if you endure 30 flights in a year, you’ve endured enough crappy seats to get a turn in the nice seat for a change.  The whole thing seems strange though, the idea of separate classes, curtains segregating them, and even separate bathrooms!  Racism is dead, money separates us now!