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The Journal of the real Scotty G
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Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in scotty__g's LiveJournal:

Monday, May 29th, 2006
10:48 pm
Gardening is fun. Being a cop must be pretty good too, sometimes.
Tonight after work I went to visit Joel for a bit in the hopes I could mooch a tomato plant. It turns out that the garden place I was at on Sunday has the tomatoes I want, so I'll just go there. He said it was fine if I nabbed one, but then I told him I needed to get a bag of shit and some basil seeds anyway.

He thought it was sort of an unusual thing to say. Normally "bag of shit" comes up in a context like, "My car is turning into a bag of shit, because the brakes are bad again and it's starting to rust out." or "I don't care if that congresscritter from Louisiana is a Democrat or Republican; if he's as corrupt as it looks, he's a real bag of shit anyway."

What I meant was manure. I actually want some composted manure...raspberries like it. Plus, it's fun to say.

On the way back from delivering some raspberry plants to a friend from work, I was coming into De Pere off WI-32. It slows from 55 to 25 in relatively short order as you approach town; I was coasting down but not braking (knowing full well I was exceeding the speed limit). A car passed me on the right (while *I* was 10 over) and I figured he'd cover me from any cops...then I saw a cop pull up along side me and accelerate. I slowed a little but then realized that I was the third-fastest car here, and should have nothing to worry about...then I realized that the first car was a cop, the guy next to me was a cop, and the car behind was also a cop. So there were three cops of different (non-De Pere) jurisdictions speeding through town...how can *I* join the "blatant disregard for the law" club?

Tonight's laundry earplug count: 1 load of shirts, 3 soggy earplugs.

Current Mood: getting up at 5 am sucks
Thursday, March 9th, 2006
10:16 pm
Meet me on the killing floor, or, Scotty waxes philosophical about his job
There have been some organizational changes at work. Ever since the company was sold off things have been unsettled, but there weren't many changes that affected us little people. However, there was an announcement a couple weeks ago that we're being merged with another company. Finally, the new HR policy was mailed out stating that as of March 1, the severance packages were changing (and not for the better if you've been around for a long time).

If one assumed that a company is willing to break a few eggs to make an omelet, these signs would be pretty ominous. Last week, though (just after the 1st), there was nothing. Maybe, we thought, that HR mailing was just to update everyone. The new management must know what they're doing; we're making money, the contract was just settled with fairly little hubbub, and everyone's uneasy but pretty happy. Still, it would be nice if we knew what the Secret Agenda was...

This week, in 4 days they've whacked 4 people. If it were me, I'd have ripped one per day just to make it nice and even--but this may be why I have no future in HR. Of course, these were folks for whom the new changes to the severance package severely limited their payouts (they lost as much as 50%, I suspect).

I've been through a few rounds of departures since I've been at the place; some were mass-exoduses promoted by buyout deals (here's 150% of your normal severance package. Now go away!) and some were sackings. The place always keeps going, which is a good lesson for us young pups to learn. No one is irreplacable--and don't you forget it.

Sometimes you find out you're better off after a round of sackings. It certainly keeps the rest of the survivors quiet and busy...although it doesn't really motivate anyone to stick around any longer than they have to. We lost two other guys in our department (on their own terms) in the last 7 days. It will be interesting to see if the vacancies get filled...although I won't hold my breath.

The loss of co-workers aside, I can't help but worry about if I got the boot. In general I've done a good job, although I have pissed some people off pretty righteously. Unfortunately, me being me tends to do this at times. Part of the problem is that certain behaviors are acceptable and encouraged in some company, but are verboten in other company. Sometimes I have a big problem keeping my cake hole shut, so when in a situation where it's "speak only when spoken to" I get very, very annoyed. This kind of treatment makes me feel about 6" tall and/or like an idiot (which I should be used to by now, but haven't gotten the hang of). Disobeying this principle tends to lead to beatings, so I purposefully get real quiet...and I don't know how well other people like that. I know it pisses *me* off.

All angst aside, I don't think I have to worry too much about my job because I make a point of being as critical as possible--and making sure I can demonstrate more value to the company than my salary costs goes a long way, too. Still, I've never lost a job. But what must it be like? I mean, I feel bad when I lose a five dollar bill--but a job? Holy balls, that's a *bad* day. Some of the people who got a box and 15 minutes must have known it was in the works. I could see myself getting prepared to be fired; if it looked inevitable, part of me would want to just take up space until I got walked. If things really got bad, I could handle it right now--I live pretty reasonably, the car's paid off, and I got a couple bucks set aside for emergencies like extended unplanned vacations. But if you had a family, what do you say? Show up at home at noon, crack a cold one, and wait for mom and the kids to get home...then slur, "Daddy's home early!"?

I guess in a situation like getting fired, you have two choices: roll up your sleeves and take advantage of the opportunity, or stay bitter and pissed off. I know guys who have lost their jobs and later on say, "Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me." I also have relatives who were run out of their jobs one way or another and still hold a grudge. I'd like to think I could jump at a chance to get a different job--a four-month vacation would suit me fine (I didn't get shafted in the new severance deal--I would just hit the cap this year), and sometimes I think about getting a job in a completely different field--screw this engineering business for a year, I want to go work as a welder, or teach, or learn to be a chef.

The thing is, I wonder how much of any dissatisfaction I have with my current job is my fault (probably one; I shouldn't ever let the job make it may fault!), how much (if any) is the job's fault, and how much is just a result of having to work in the first place. A wise friend of mine once said, "I have come to the conclusion that work is always going to be a pain in the ass no matter what." This line, more than anything, is why I'm still at the same job.

Current Mood: vacation tomorrow!
Saturday, March 4th, 2006
11:56 pm
Favorite swag from con
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that my very favorite swag item was the mix CD from Paula and Alli. I got one last year from The Jason (despite not meeting them because I attended the Bad Bar experience that they were on Injured Reserve for) and was hoping they'd meet such a high expectation. Yes, they did. Despite not having heard over half of the songs (which means that they probably aren't shining examples of my current tastes), it still clicked with me. If only my work PC's CD drive wasn't broken, I could have listened to it before today.
11:37 pm
WeetaPieCon 2006, Saturday/Sunday update
WeetaPieCon 2006 report—later Saturday night

Statistics that shape my world:
Loads of laundry I did today: 3
Earplugs I found in the washer: 0
Mentions of butts (including this one): 10
Mentions of breasts (including this one): 4

After the most excellent dinner at the Titletown (and having complied with the $10 rule), the group departed for the Bad Bar. I was a little surprised to see how slowly people trickled in, but no matter. The place was mostly empty when we got there, although it *was* pretty early (8:30, I think). Normally Harry’s closely resembles a morgue with beer taps until about 10 pm.

The few of us that were there got our first round of beverages and had staked out some territory (the entire Wall of Support and the bar facing the stage). Since there was not a lot going on, and the current patrons were chatting quietly to themselves, I decided it would be a good time to sneak off to the photobooth. I had unfortunately tipped my hand earlier during the weekend, and had to go *back* to the bar to get help press the button (thanks, Jason! Sorry to traumatize you. (I think Jason faced the street and reached around the side of the machine, frantically started slapping buttons, and asked, "Is it done yet? Is it done yet?"). This ruined the surprise, but I came back with stickers of my backside. As I had hoped, the first rung of the barstools provided enough additional elevation to frame the shot nicely—it’s all about composition, after all.

My master plan to only trade moon pictures for boob pictures didn’t encourage as many flashing pictures as I had hoped; perhaps folks took the slightly updated décor to heart. I forget who it was to first mention that almost all the naked boobie pictures were gone (although someone from the group still had her picture where she left it last year). Seriously, how dare they try to class up the Bad Bar? I suppose that’s what happens when new owners come in…that and they raise the price of a Tanqueray and tonic a buck. I guess I can’t complain, though, because it’s still less than I paid in either Madison or Philadelphia the last couple times I drank gin out of town.

Anyhow, looking back on it I’m not sure if I should be proud of handing out pictures of my backside. I mean, it’s kind of funny but it wasn’t as funny as I thought it was going to be. I’m not particularly shy about it or embarrassed, because it’s a 1x2 cm picture of someone’s ass; you couldn’t identify it as mine with a microscope even if you tried. And I have no intention of running for office (although I’d just say I was young and needed the money). Still, if it got a laugh and no one thought I was trying to use the lamest pickup line ever ("Hey, check out my ass on this sticker. You wanna check out the rest of it later, baby?" Hm, maybe that might work after all...), then it’s all good as long as I haven’t managed to objectify myself completely. If people come to WeetaPieCon ’07 and say, "Hey, aren’t you that bare-assed guy?", I’ll be a little disappointed.

Is this how porn stars feel? Or does the money (or cocaine) make the pain go away? And do I need to apologize for making you think about me as a porn star?

One last note about the butt stickers: some bride came through doing the bachelorette party thing, harassing people for dollars so they could suck a candy penis or some other thing off her shirt. This shameless begging always bugs the hell out of me, BTW. But she said she needed a souvenir of Harry’s, and wanted something from some other dude. What she failed to realize (until later, I hope) was that I slapped one of the butt stickers on her veil. This, to me, is the best kind of practical joke because she won’t know where it came from or whose ass it is, and hopefully has to explain it to someone else. </evil_scott>

I can’t think of any one thing that was extra noteworthy about our trip to Harry’s. It was a blast, for sure—there was liquor poured into people’s open mouths (like alcoholic baby chicks being fed by their mother / fine bartender), a lot of Boone’s, glowsticks (which are a nice touch and helped identify members of the party), much dancing on the windowsill (even some by me!), the rumored flash of breasts to passersby, and no puking yet. No one from our party got thrown out of the joint, which was good and expected, but no one else from the bar got tossed either (which was kind of a bummer). Really, words can’t describe a trip to the Bad Bar, but there are a few hundred pictures out there that will capture the event better than my feeble commentary.

Playing on streaming radio right now is a DDR version of "Smoke on the Water". This is relevant because I spoke of DDR before, and sang that song. I will say now that just like coffee and beer, DDR and this Deep Purple are two things that I enjoy individually but go together *horribly*.

After the Bad Bar, about half of the con attendees made it to the Blackstone for Pantscakes. I’ve never been in there, but it was quite full for 1:30 am. Apparently we were not the only ones two consider breakfast good bartime food. Myself, I think the best bartime food I’ve ever had was a gyro from the Parthenon in Madison, even after it got sold (so you’d hear guys swearing in Spanish behind the counter instead of Greek). However, the heartburn from pancakes has *got* to be less than the gyro...ugh. I was fortunate enough to taxi people from the bar to the restaurant and didn’t lose anyone (although one rider was absent for a considerable while—I thought we had lost them, but they were just losing their cookies).

We (Trance Jen, Mare, Amy, Fredlet, Jake, and myself) had a conversation about different crappy jobs that we’d all had, and now that I think about it, I was comparing my *current* job with jobs people had turned their backs on long ago. Either I’m an idiot for staying, I’m a masochist and enjoy the pain, or I just have a lot higher tolerance. Or maybe the freedom to use language at work too foul for this con report is too good to lose. I guess I do sort of enjoy telling someone in a totally serious voice, "If this bastard goes tits up tonight, call in maintenance. Otherwise, we’ll get it in the morning."

We also chatted about children, particularly the young ones that seem so in vogue these days (amongst tablemates and my circle of friends). The idea of kids is still really, really foreign to me…as a bachelor, this is not surprising. And a subject for another time. But I know that I am on pretty much everyone’s “Do not leave child with unsupervised” list mostly because they’re afraid of what Uncle Scott may teach their impressionable child. I can thank my dad (and pyromania) for that.

I missed out on the Sunday fun for a couple reasons. First, I figured I better make it to church to give thanks for surviving (and meeting such an awesome bunch of people). Second, I had to get to the Dorkathlon and be prepared to lead the parade. Lastly, I am pretty bad at goodbyes—I get all uncomfortable and try to think of the right thing to say, but come up empty or end up feeling like a total ass (and this isn’t a situation where it’s easy to ignore the feeling). I mean, what do I tell someone I’ve hung out with for 36 hours but may never see again? Or I may see again, but not for 363 days? Still, avoiding the issue isn’t a good answer either.

So I leave you with this: It was a hell of a time, and I’m counting the days till next year. I’ll see you not soon enough.
Thursday, March 2nd, 2006
11:18 pm
WeetaPieCon 2006, Saturday mini-update
Saturday was a five-part gig, mostly revolving around food and only somewhat around beverages. First up was the trip to Joe Rouer's, which I remember from last year as the first place I met everyone. This time, I wasn't a complete stranger, which was cool. I wanted to go for the chatting, not the food...because (while this may be blasphemy) the most noteworthy feature of the burger is the grease. Heading up the Door makes for a nice trip, what with the Daystar out and all, but the food at Kroll's (either East or West) is better. I will say this, though--those fried cheese curds, which I don't eat often, were damn good. The waitress (who got her best tip of the weekend right there, guaranteed!) got 'em out while they were still hot, and the white cheddar was a nice touch.

I elected not to go cheese shopping, despite the fact that I actually wanted to find some sharp provolone (which I had for the only time in Philadelphia--mmm!). I hadn't been able to find it in Green Bay, and the one place in Lena that carries it sometimes was out the last trip I took through there. Tonight, somehow, I noticed that the grocery store 2 miles from my house--you know, the one I visit 3x/week?--has sharp provolone. Hi, I'm an idiot!)

After we got back to to Green Bay, we moved stuff out of my car into the swag room (including leftover brownies). It appeared that everyone had vanished for either some fun destination (who went to Fleet Farm this year?) or a well-deserved nap. I wanted to catch a catnap myself, but I had been informed the night before that Esteban was in the hospital. He wanted to keep it quiet, but I figured that since he's the guy who always lets everyone know if someone/someone's folks are in the hospital, etc., that it was time someone did a nice thing for him. I don't really care for hospitals, since I never go unless there's something bad happening (other than to visit a few newborns), but it's kind of like a funeral--you don't go for the dead guy. Wait, that's not right. Never mind. Oh yeah, I was going to say that I can't think of a better excuse to keep one's self in shape...I don't do well with being bored *at home*, so I can't imagine what a week in a hospital bed would be like.

It was good to chat with Esteban, although it was kind of a shock relative to the rest of the weekend. And it's pretty sobering when you consider your friends are starting to end up in hospital. He seemed pretty pleased that everyone was enjoying themselves, and really did regret the fact that he couldn't make it. However, given the amount of medical stuff involved he did need to take a pass. And a couple times when the nurse came in, I had to turn my head because of too much needleplay. This is why I'll never be a heroin junkie.

After visiting for a couple hours (which pretty much made sure I was unprepared for Dorkathlon stuff on Sunday), I did catch a short nap. Then it was back to the Con.

Part 3--The Titletown (not to be referred by it's other, more inappropriate name since this account is supposed to be PG)

The food at the Titletown is sometimes awesome, and sometimes very fair. This time it was more to the awesome side, and they did a really nice job with the service. I'm sure that we'll hit there next year. This was also one of the first times I've stolen food off of someone's plate without knowing what name to address them by at the time (Hi, Fredlet!).

The dining room was also quite entertaining outside of the food. The presentation of the beer sampler (on the train) was cute. The fact that the beers Thumper and Biensoul liked the most were from the Hinterland is encouraging...I've had some of the Hinterland beer a few times and thought it was very good. I need to make a run there some time. Unfortunately you can't get their beer in bottles anymore--or maybe I need a kegerator and a quarter-barrel. Sounds like a summer project that would come in really handy on skiing night.

I thought that the presentation of lighters as swag was very clever. Whoever gave me the one in the glass of water (Eric?) really outdid themselves. Had I not said anything about being a pyromaniac, I could have been setting fires all night, but apparently I couldn't shut up last weekend. Thankfully Weetabix asked me to regale the group with a tale of alcohol, large fires (way bigger than swag lighters) and shoes...that kept me occupied for a whole two or three minutes. Someday before I get old and senile I should write down that story, but I think it would lose something without the visuals and sound effects.

After this Mo handed out spiffy ribbons and the most stylish sunglasses I've ever gotten to wear. I had to wear 'em like slip-on safety glasses (over my regular glasses). When I took my less-blue but more-good-for-seeing glasses off, I then earned the "I can dress myself" ribbon by trying to ram the smaller glasses through the lenses of the sunglasses.

After dinner was the trip to the infamous Bad Bar, the raison d'etre for the weekend. Unfortunately, it is also time for me to hit the hay. I don't think I'll get the rest of the weekend (parts 4 and 5; Bad Bar and Pantscakes) written up tomorrow because I have a Minor League Dorkathlon event. I should be able to fire out a thousand words or so on Saturday if I don't get called in to work...I'm on call, which means I'm as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs when my phone rings.

Until then, remember that the lingering cool you feel from the weekend was from the fun, not the weather. (sorry, bad pun)

PS: I know you thought I was uncivilized until I used raison d'etre. You probably didn't think I even knew what an italic was! I guess I showed you!

Current Mood: mmm, pasta stuff
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
10:27 pm
No Saturday post yet
I just got home from skiing behind a snowmobile (I survived, although I scraped my knee on the snow which I didn't think was possible) and hauling snowblowers. Work is going to seem even earlier tomorrow.

More Weetacon reports on Thursday, maybe.
Monday, February 27th, 2006
10:30 pm
WeetaPieCon 2006, Friday night fun
Ah. WeetaPieCon, clearly Green Bay’s social event of the year, has come and gone, so ‘tis the season for con reports.

Last year I attended about half of the con events and was pleasantly surprised how damn much fun it was. I knew about 4 attendees out of however many hundreds Weetabix was having in town, and was a little intimidated…but it ended up being way more enjoyable than I thought. Despite being a complete stranger, you all made me feel welcome (plus I had a car). So I put in for vacation Friday of the con weekend and was looking forward to it in all its glory.

I got to the hotel just in time to catch the sleigh ride bus because I forget how long it takes to cross town when it’s not the dead of night and I was busy tying bottles of liquor to tags with the fuzziest yarn I’ve ever owned. Now, it wasn’t *that* fuzzy, but considering I had to go into the craft store (not feeling too tough despite my steel-toed work boots) and ask, “So, where’s your yarn section?” like I was trying to find the pipe fittings at a hardware store.

(BTW, I know where every major hardware store in town keeps their pipe fittings but that’s got nothing to do with making “improvised firearms”. I swear, Officer, it’s true!)

Needless to say, after threading 35 bits of yarn through the tags I had a little bit of a furball going. My crocheting grandmother would have been proud, but not because I bought 35 miniature bottles of liquor at the grocery store (Dude at counter: I hope that’s not all for tonight. Me: *grin*), mind you.

Anyway, I dove onto the bus with my cold-weather gear and sack of liquor just as the driver was pulling away from the hotel. This was my first clue it was gonna be an action-hero kind of weekend. Once on the bus, I was happy to see we were well-stocked with antifreeze and happier to recognize a lot of people. I found the bus ride out to Greenleaf very informative (our tour guide Mo has apparently picked up quite a bit of local history in her few months here—even things that I’ve not heard after 25 years in town). I was sort of surprised to hear someone say “you have a lot of sky here!”, but I suppose it’s true. During my limited time in “real” cities (Philly and the Chicago suburbs), I know I got kind of tired of buildings all the time.

By my recollection we must have killed off close to two bottles of Dr. M’s before the sleigh ride. After showing off my mad Swiss Army knife skillz on the bus, I was responsible for combining the two wounded soldiers into one dead one and one bottle less than half full. This one didn’t make it back alive, either, I’m happy to report.

I’m honestly a little surprised that no one batted an eye when I got all geared up in my snowblowing outfit, what with the insulated overalls and everything, but apparently some of you think we must dress like this all the time. Or you figure maybe *I* dress like that all the time. This kind of reaction is what makes the attention whore in me do things like moon photobooths. So you pretty much brought it on yourselves.

Oh yeah, dressing up for the cold. It’s a good thing I was all geared up, because during the game of Telephone on our sleigh, I had to stand up and walk over to Kari to hear her. I didn’t realize that apparently the message was, “Boy, it would be a shame if you fell off this sleigh.” Typing is pretty lousy for conveying context, so just imagine if she said that just after telling me, “Nice sleigh we’ve got here.” Anyhow, the last thing I was expecting was to have her goons give me a healthy shove; pretty quick I was rolling along in the snow with the horses speeding away in the distance. I could have sworn I heard some maniacal laughter too, but maybe that was the liquor talking. At any rate, I was somehow able to catch up to the sleigh again at a brisk walk, and we finished the game of Telephone (real message: Weetabix is a sexy bitch! Or something like that; it should have been the message if it wasn’t.)

If I may interject, the Internet is truly a wonderful thing. It’s amazing that I can listen to streaming radio of a Korean pop star who made it big in Japan by singing songs in English, but it’s even better that I can hang out with cool people from across the country (and international, too—thanks for representing, Mare!).

Back to the sleigh ride. I was a little disappointed that they sent a couple amateurs to build the fire, but it was still nice to get out and mingle. And talk about saber-toothed house cats, of which my dad apparently *doesn’t* have the only one (the Sciences had one too). This was also the only time I burned anything all weekend, for those of you who assume I have no control when around fire.

The rest of the sleigh ride was enjoyable; I didn’t think I’d end up chatting about Dance Dance Revolution with Jen, but surprises never cease. I still recommend playing after a couple beers, but when you add a welding helmet then that’s just over the top.

Back at the ranch (which I can actually say in context for once) we had a pretty good feed set out for us. Esteban’s parents outdid themselves again; I haven’t had booyah that good in a long time (ever?), and the pineapple fluff really *was* as promised. If I knew the recipe was put down on paper, as opposed to burned into June’s memory so she’d take it to the grave, I’d have to break into her place to steal it under cover of darkness, maybe with some ninja-style smoke grenades. Or knock and ask her for it.

Esteban’s folks are actually wonderful people. The first time I ever met them, I puked a bunch of Weetabix’s world-renowned wop into their landscaping and June was nice enough to drive me home. And Esteban’s dad (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to address him by his real name or use his code name) was kind enough to explain how you can use maggots to clean out a shrapnel wound.

On the way back, I was a little bummed that apparently no one thought I was capable of outrunning the Illinois fuzz. I mean, you’re right (if you’d seen the piece of junk I drove while I lived in Illinois, you’d know why) but I was a little hurt all the same. Desperate to prove myself, I saw no choice but to risk life and death (or 4.5 minutes of embarrassment in front of a bunch of relative strangers) and sing.

Anyway, once I was able to guide the bus driver between the hotel and the bar (at no less than 50 mph, of course) I headed over to face my demise. You see, I once had a pretty good singing voice. I was accepted into the select chorus of my high school, I had great range, and I could follow a tune like nothing. Unfortunately, when my voice changed I was left with plenty of volume but crummy range and an extra hour in my schedule that fall.

Anyway, Mikey’s was a lot of fun and I thought I might have a chance to avoid my fate. The karaoke book said the DJ didn’t want tips (so don’t slip him a $20), but apparently he was willing to take flat-out bribes (which must start at $50) because Amber and her other friend and that Bon Jovi wanna-be dude (look, man, if I wanna hear crappy hair rock from the 80’s, there are at least three radio stations in town that play it!) sang about four times each. I was also getting pretty intimidated, because for every uninspired performance by Bob (the guy in the cowboy hat who was on two-second tape delay), there were three other people who pretty much rocked the mike. I forget what everyone sang, other than the karaoke-off and Biensoul’s East Coast version of the West Coast flava. I am really, really sorry about this…I was just kidding before when I said you were too easy on me!

Other highlights included standing in a line next to Sarah, Allison, and Rachel. Eric was so kind to point out that our initials spelled out the scourge of the Far East two years ago: SARS. How sweet! At least I was able to remember their names. Speaking of names, I am pretty happy that I think I had almost everyone figured out by the end of the weekend…although I never did catch what Fredlet’s actual name was. I’m always a little bit afraid of mis-addressing someone to their face, so if I referred to you as, “Hey, you!” or something it’s because I probably wasn’t sure. *shame*

I guess in the grand scheme it’s not important if I know someone’s real name or have to resort to their diary name; I’m not sure if Mo is actually Mo either. If I was supposed to know her real name, she’d have told me. Hm, maybe she’s a secret agent or something…

I also met X-plicity, the person I was once accused of Internet stalking and didn’t get slapped or handed a restraining order, which was cool.

Anyway, my name eventually got called and I went up and sang. I’ve never really been afraid of speaking in public or drawing a lot of attention, but normally I don’t seek out such opportunities. That, coupled with my aforementioned not-awesome singing skills, means I don’t normally do karaoke. The last few times I tried singing a couple Rush tunes (because I know them pretty well and am a fan) but that went lousy because Geddy Lee squeals like a girl, and I can’t anymore. Weetabix seemed pleasantly surprised that I had chosen not to go that route (which made two of us). However, not being up on all the karaoke standards (see above comment about all classic rock in this town, all the time), I picked another 70’s guitar piece. I always forget how damn long those guitar solos are. Anyway, I either sang it well (or well enough considering it was midnight) or was at least amusing, so I was able to return to the crowd with my dignity mostly intact.

Eventually the night wound down and people started trickling out of the bar. Mo tallied up all the stickers that we had accumulated during our mingling and somehow I won. Apparently the competitive spirit I have provided the impetus to bug everyone in the joint. I mean, not slip a listening device onto, although that could have been interesting in a really creepy big-brother kind of way. Little did I realize that I would get such a fabulous prize the next evening…

Speaking of competitive spirit, I will finish the Saturday portion of the con report tomorrow evening if I survive my “water” skiing event at Joel’s. I was edged out for the last water ski run of the year by about 15 minutes last fall, but assuming there’s enough snow in the field next to his house I’ll be pulled behind a snowmobile wearing a swimsuit and a stocking hat (and probably mittens so my hands don’t get cold). It’s stupid as hell, but I’ll be the first one out for 2006!

I’ve also got to be in for work at 6 am and surprise! I’m tired after this weekend. Lastly, I know I’ll drone on about this much for Saturday and that will take another hour. It’s a good thing I don’t have an editor or I’d get an ass-whupping. I apologize if this report is too Scotty-centric, but I’m a lot more familiar with my own thoughts than anyone else’s (my ESP wasn’t at it’s prime this weekend). Not having written many (meaning hardly any) blog entries, I do not have the balance between writing a story, telling a narrative, and just flat-out stroking my ego down. I will try to include some hyperlinks to other relevant blogs if I can figure it out; I’m writing in the Word Processor Of Choice (no hyperlinks) so I have a local copy…I got scared when I heard tales of other blog hosts exploding. If I can make a tiny, tiny (blatant) plug, my friend Jason (not The Jason) has a hosting site and he’s happy to have bloggers/web diarists…plus he’s got backup software, and he knows how to use it.

All the best!
Scotty G

Current Mood: must work in 7 hrs...
Sunday, February 26th, 2006
1:00 pm
I do my own stunts!
WeetaPiecon '06 is pretty much over at this point, and I'd have to say I enjoyed the heck out of it. I'm a bit tied up right now with Dorkathalon stuff today, but I'll splatter the internet with an update in the next couple days. I hope everyone is feeling well this morning, and I'm curious to know how the Chaser stuff worked. I know the quart of gatorade seemed to do the trick for me.

Have a safe trip home / I hope your trip home was pleasantly uneventful.

PS: I was totally pushed off the sleigh ride.

Current Mood: dorkathalon in 1 hour!
Thursday, December 8th, 2005
10:07 pm
Last weekend I had to work, which is sort of unusual and not all that much fun. After 12 or so hours on Saturday I was falling asleep and decided I had enough, so I headed home. I stopped at the grocery store and noticed that things were turning a delightful shade of slippery thanks to the inch of snow we got. I was thinking, "Sweet, they just opened up the one intersection that makes it easier to get home, plus I can try to slide all the way around the roundabout. It's gonna be AWESOME!"

As I approached the one intersection I thought, "I'll go visit Joe for a bit, maybe catch a beer. First, I gotta hit the ATM."

As an aside, all this stuff (groceries, opened intersections, ATM, and Joe's) are all within about 1/2 mile. Sometimes I like living in my suburb.

The bank parking lot was snowy, had no tracks, and oh, so inviting. I figured I'd be able to bust the tires loose, whip the back end around, and line myself up nicely to head into the ATM. I almost had it right...except the back end never whipped and I slid right into a curb and stopped with a thump.

I knew I was in trouble when the antilock brakes started hammering away. I shut the car off and got out to see if I had blown the tire or what (because that I can handle). The good news was, the tire was fine. The bad news was, the whole wheel was pretty much laying sideways. At this point, I knew I was screwed.

I walked over to the ATM, sort of in shock, and got my cash. In a surreal bit of practicality, I figured that nothing in my life had changed. One part of my brain was like, "You stupid bastard! You should have gone home!" The other part of my brain (apparently the cheap-ass part) was saying, "You better enjoy that hamburger helper, because that's all you're eating now--this is gonna cost a fortune!"

The tightwad part won out for a bit, I had visions of bulk ramen purchases dancing through my mind. Then I figured that since I'd been handling crises all day at work, and this wasn't gonna cost anyone $50k or anything, it was no big deal. I know at work I get all hacked off when we waste money, and maybe it's a good thing to spend the company's cash like your own (good for work, that's for sure). I'm pretty sure it's *not* good when I think to myself, "Bah, that's only gonna run a couple grand to fix."

Now that the internal drama was all finished (mostly by being reminded of the freedom in being totally screwed--it can hardly get worse!), I walked over to Joe's and saw him and Robin messing with a snowmobile. Robin and I checked out the carnage (his verdict--"Yup, it looks pretty f**ked. We're not moving that!") and then played vehicle swap so I could drive his full-size truck for a while.

Once home, I was wondering what to do. The bank wasn't going to care for a couple days, but the cops might...I called up and told them, "My car is disabled at Bank Mutual. Please don't tow it; I'll move it ASAP." Thankfully they didn't give me any static like, "Report back to the scene of the accident immediately!" or "Have you been drinking? An officer will be by shortly to administer a breathalyzer!" or "Too late, sucker, it's already gone! Muhahaha!"

That settled, I tried to find a tow service (very few do 24 hour work) and located one. But I didn't know where to drag it...I knew a couple garages, but I wasn't sure if they could all do the work. I wanted to bring it somewhere I *knew* it could get fixed, but the service tends to be sort of glacial. Anyway, garages aren't open at midnight on Saturdays (I live all around the clock, so why doesn't everyone?) but they do have cranky answering services. One place said they'd call the on-call dude to ask him if he was able to do the work...but the lady never called me back.

The next night I called the same place and may have gotten the same lady. Except this time, she was PISSED. I explained in brief what had happened, and she opened up with, "Well, if you had called sooner maybe we could have done something for you!" Except she was more bitchy than this. I almost hung up on her sorry rude ass, but that wasn't going to help my case. Plus, this garage really was the most convenient place (across from the grocery store).

The next morning, I called at 6:45 am and got their answering service *again*. I guess no one goes in to work early. I, however, needed to be in at 6 am and was *already* late, stressed, and that was before the Monday morning second-guess fest I was facing from all my weekend decisions at work. But at 7:02, I got their shop. The dude said that yeah, this was no problem; they called a wrecker for me (the guys I was going to use anyhow), and at 7:15 I was headed to work after giving them my keys.

That afternoon I got the bad news--$1k of damage, depending on exactly what they find. Great. Still, there was nothing to do now. I had my peril-proof sunglasses firmly on and was only thinking about having my car back, not the cash. Denial is really convenient sometimes.

Tuesday morning they called up saying the car was done, and it was quite a bit less than their guess. It turns out they found another junked-out car and got parts from that one. When I arrived to pick it up I asked if I could get some of the parts. The guy wondered why, when I replied, "If I'm paying $670 for having done something this stupid, I at least want something I can hang on the wall!" So I went in the shop and met Bob, who did the work. I knew he was a real mechanic (or at least my kind of guy) when he said he got lucky when one of his salvage yards had a car "that got totaled out in the ass end".

I was able to diagnose most of the breakage from the parts (even though I'm not sure what all of 'em are called), and got some choice souvenirs. And, in retrospect, I got a sort of funny story out of it.

Current Mood: pleased
Tuesday, June 7th, 2005
11:19 pm
Pimp my Ride, suburbia-style
I hurried home after not hurrying home tonight so I could mow the lawn before it rained (which it's now doing; not too hard but with plenty of lightning). After Jason helped me by trimming all the tricky parts with the push mower, we enjoyed a Frosty Beverage on the driveway. I mentioned that the light on the tractor was pretty nice, but I should really put on some high-intensity LED lights (for power consumption reasons). Jason said his dad sells big ass truck lights, and if the alternator could handle one of those it would be perfect (which it would).

The conversation quickly degenerated into discussing chrome rims, hydraulic lifts, and dual exhausts on a lawn tractor. This reminded of when Josh and I chatted about putting a little bling on snowblowers and stuff...it may actually be considered "cool", but probably only in Wisconsin and the UP. Sometimes I love living here.

Current Mood: lightning-fied!
Saturday, June 4th, 2005
1:01 pm
>tap, tap, tap< Is this thing on?
Ah yes, first post. Nothing like being able to say I had the very most first post in something. Since this is *my* journal, though, I should expect nothing less. Still, find enjoyment where you can find it, I always say.

My cousin has a graduation party today. She's getting out of high school and will be attending Marquette University in the fall (home of the nicknameless Somebodies). I feel particularly proud of some of the advice I gave her. Her mother assumed that since I'm sort of grown up and kind of responsible, etc., that I would be the perfect voice of reason regarding a spring break trip this year. She asked me, "So, Scott, tell your cousin that she should not go on a service trip to the Dominican Republic over spring break, and should instead stay home and work so she has college money."

Sometimes, I feel like young people are punks. Sometimes, though, I feel like parents are sticks in the mud.

I replied, "Of *course* she should go. How many chances will she ever get to go to the Dominican once she starts working. Besides, the bank's got all kinds of money to loan her for school. And if she needs money for the trip, I can loan her some."

Because really, how much cash do you make in a week at $7/hr? That's like 2 weeks of tuition, maybe. Big deal.

My aunt was not amused. But my cousin did end up going to the Dominican for her spring break trip and loved every minute of it. And I felt like the Coolest Cousin Ever.

Current Mood: more coffee will fix that
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