Archive for the ‘Oddities’ Category

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

April 19, 2011

Although the weather today is no proof of it, spring has come to Wisconsin. As such, I have decided to pick up where I left off last fall on my new outdoor activity. As you may recall, late last summer, I purchased a pair of inline skates and I started the process of getting a little more exercise by hurtling down the sidewalk at high speeds. Things actually turned out fairly well. I skated a couple times a week until the weather got too cold and managed to not fall once. Of course, there were many times where I could be seen flailing my arms like a windmill. Surprisingly, I felt like I had made some progress in muscle tone.

On Thursday last, I pulled the skates out of the basement, rotated the wheels, geared up, and hit the road once more. Oh. My. God. I didn’t realize how much tone I had lost over the winter. About a half mile in, my body was screaming in protest. I ended up completing a little over a mile before collapsed in a heap back at the house.

Not to be beaten, I went back out on Sunday afternoon determined to find some enjoyment on 8 wheels. Things went much, much better. I’m still had some balance issues as my muscles began to tire at the end but I put in two miles and actually had fun for most of it. It is my goal, weather permitting, to get out a couple evenings a week throughout the summer. At some point, I might actually achieve enough balance to not look like I’m walking on an ice pond.

If you are looking for a good laugh, watch for me on the sidewalk on Pilgrim Rd between Silver Spring and Lisbon. It should be quite a sight to see.

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Conspiracy Theories, Signs From Above, and Peanut Butter M&Ms

March 9, 2011

Today, a little bit after lunch, I decided to grab a handful of Peanut Butter M&Ms from the break room at work. I ate a couple on my way back to my desk and carelessly tossed remainder on the desk to be eaten later. After working for a few minutes, I looked over at my snack and was amazed. Okay, “amazed” is a bit too strong but the unusual site was a little astonishing. As you can see by the picture that I snapped with my phone, the remaining six M&Ms were arranged in a near-perfect equilateral triangle with one point aimed directly at me. On top of that, all six M&Ms were of a different color. What a crazy, random happenstance!

Of course, part of me wondered if this truly was random. Could otherworldly forces be at work? Like the crop circles found in farm fields across the world, were aliens trying to send me sign? Does the triangle point the way to some mystical nirvana? Also, I couldn’t help but to remember that today is Ash Wednesday. It is possible that God was reminding to keep my faith in the Holy Trinity today (it WAS a triangle, after all). And the colors. Let’s not forget those. No two M&Ms were the same color. Was this a sign to treat all men and women of varying races, colors, and creeds equally?

I started to think that I should rope off the area and call the National Enquirer. I’m sure that this is as unusual as those people that see the face of Jesus on the front of their Frigidaire sitting outside their mobile home in Alabama. People from miles around could come to see the “sacred triangle.” Maybe I could charge admission. I might even get my own TV show. Too far???? Yeah, you’re right. In the end, I got hungry so I ate them.

Dork On Wheels

July 30, 2010

Lately, I’ve realized that I need to find something to help me get into better shape. Well, I guess pear-shaped is technically a shape but not the one I want to be in. So, I decided to try inline skating again. Again??? Lemme splain… There is too much, lemme sum up!

About 16 or 17 years ago, when we lived in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Kristi and I took an inline skating class from the local parks and rec department. To say it was an utter disaster would be somewhat of an understatement. Class consisted of us skating around a parking lot for about a half hour learning how to fall, use the skate break, and make wide turns. This was followed quickly by a long trip on the road to a local park and back. If you recall from earlier, this was in Rochester “Hills”. A half hour practice is not nearly enough time for a true beginner to be ready for HILLS. We fell down so many times that our “road rash” had “road rash”.

So, after a long drought, I decided to give this another shot. Over the last couple of weeks, I have purchased skates, pads, and a helmet. I have also read up on skate technique, specifically around braking. Finally, last night I took my stuff over to local elementary school parking lot to give this a shot. Okay… it wasn’t pretty but it was a start. I spent a half hour getting comfortable with my balance, working on breaking, and doing several laps around the “very flat” parking lot. As with everything, I’m sure it is going to take a great deal of practice to become good at this. Hopefully, it will help me get into shape as well.

And, for the record, I don’t think I was “flailing around” as badly as A.J. imagined I would.

A Fresh Start

April 3, 2010

I’ve been thinking lately that I need to get back to posting to this blog. I have had lots of other distractions recently like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, among others. Those are all wonderful tools for social networking but I miss journaling about the great things that happen in my life and with my family. Even if no one else reads this blog but me, it is something that I want to do.

One thing that should help in this endeavor is that there is now a WordPress application for the Blackberry which should make it is easier post new stuff. I am actually trying it out with this post. I have to admit typing a long entry with just you thumbs on this not the easiest thing to do. But it may be a good way to start entries that I can finish and clean up when I get to a computer.

Stay tuned for more… and thanks for reading.

Hula Hoop Demo

September 9, 2009

Sometimes I see the strangest things when I look out the window while at work. Today, I was talking with one of my co-workers and he happened to be standing so that I could see the “Sunburst” statue behind him. Some activity around the statue caught my eye. A group of people were hula hooping and dancing around. Another co-worker, Scott Smith, has a Flip Mino camcorder that he keeps with him for occasions like this one. I notified him about what was going on and came over to investigate. Scott recorded the following video of the event.

Apparently, the group was part of a Hula Hoop exercise program. It seems that they were demonstrating to raise awareness of their program and recruit new members.

Cloud Nine

September 9, 2009

clock

09:09:09 09/09/09
It happens once every one hundred years and it is unlikely that I will be around for the next one so I decided to mark the occasion with a post. I hope you are all “dressed to the nines” while on “cloud nine” today.

*** Updated with obligatory Sesame Street reference ***
This post has been brought to you by the number “9” and the letters “K” and “M”

More Bad Driving Habits

September 20, 2008

The other day, I was driving home from work towards the end of rush hour. A Silver BMW pulled onto I-94 just in front of me and proceeded to weave back and forth in his lane and drive really, really close to the car in front of him. It didn’t seem possible to me that he was driving drunk at 6pm. As he was in the center lane and I was in the right lane, I decided to pass him so that I was out of his way in case he caused an accident with his erratic driving. As I was passing, I looked over and discovered why he was driving that way. He was holding an iPhone at dashboard level next to the steering wheel. I could tell by the motion of his thumb on the screen that he was scrolling down. It appears to me that he was either surfing the net or reading his email… at 65 mph on a fairly busy freeway.

Texting and Driving Don’t Mix

September 16, 2008

Webster defines multitasking as:

the performance of multiple tasks at one time

In business, multitasking is considered to be a positive attribute. It allows you to work on many projects at the same and minimizes slack time between tasks. When driving a commuter train, however, multitasking is not a good thing. You should be focused only at the task at hand. This article, indicates that it is likely that the engineer of the commuter train that crashed in California was texting with a couple of teenagers that had befriended him. The article says that the train company, Metrolink, has banned its engineers from using cell phones on the job but there is no federal law against it.

Does there really need to be a federal law against texting while driving any vehicle? Common sense should take over in these cases. Come on, people. Driving any vehicle requires your undivided attention. When you are in control of tons of steel being hurled at extreme speeds near other similar objects, it is you obligation to be focused on that one task. Laws aren’t going to fix this. Unfortunately, many people ignore certain laws all the time. Parents, teach your kids some common sense when it comes to cell phones.

Halloween Express

September 11, 2008

… and now a pause for these commercial messages.

As I was driving into work this morning, I noticed that the Halloween Express building had been put up in the State Fair parking lot already. For those outside the Milwaukee metro area, this is a giant orange tent/building that looks like the top half of a jack-o-lantern. Inside they sell all things required for Halloween.

Looking at the calendar, I can see that there are 50 days until Halloween. Are there really people out there thinking “I better get my Halloween costume today, I only have a month and a half left”?

Supergirl

April 19, 2008

They were doing some construction on I-794 in downtown Milwaukee this morning. It was closed it to traffic so I decided to take city streets to get home. On 20th and State, I saw a guy walking down the sidewalk, talking on his cellphone, wearing a sparkly Supergirl costume complete with the cheerleader-type skirt. It took me six blocks to stop laughing.