Thursday, June 28, 2007

Countrywide LUVS me again!!

Sorry for the posting delay lately. I'm just now exiting the shock-like state I entered after reading about some peoples' visit to 119.

The a-holes at Countrywide Mortgage called me a couple of nights ago to tell me that they reviewed my file, that I'm a great customer, and that they think they can save me some money on my home mortgage.

SIDE NOTE: If a company that you're already doing business with calls you and tells you that they can save you money on the product or service that you're already buying from them, they're jerking you around. If the price you're paying for the service is higher than the price they're currently providing the service to other people, why would they call you? I made that mistake with CenturyTel - our phone company - I knew the monthly bill would end up costing more than my current plan. Why did I switch plans?

After she said she could save me money, I asked her if she really reviewed my file. If she really reviewed the file, she would have seen the ceritified letter that Countrywide sent to me 5 months ago telling me that I was in default and that they could enter the house to inspect its condition, demand payment in full of the loan, and/or foreclose on the property. She was silent - no doubt looking for that little response in her scenerio playbook. I thanked her for calling and hung-up.

Last night, CenturyTel called to say that they could save me money on my internet bill. I told the caller that the last time they told me that they could save me money, my phone bill actually increased $5 a month. His response, "Well, uh, that was your phone bill, right? Uhh, I'm calling about our internet service."

OHHHH, well, I'm sure that y'all won't screw me on for your internet package like you did for the phone package.

What else? Oh, can anyone explain to me what's happening on Teletubbies? Jack loves that show, but it's kind of weird to me. Even more so than the Doodlebops.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One More Twist & Shout Request

"Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners. They'd have had to put a new roof on the joint.

I've meant to add that to my list for about a month. Now on to other matters.

For really the first time in almost two weeks, PawPaw opened his eyes yesterday. He has, so I'm told, opened them once or twice when other people went back to see him. Yesterday, though, he had his eyes open just about all day. He was nodding his head to answer questions, and he was smiling. That was good to see. Should I ever find myself in intensive care with six broken ribs, a punctured lung, a right arm that was almost amputated, compromised kidneys, a broken nose, and 212 stitches in my scalp, I hope that I can smile. It makes everybody feel better. Y'all know it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.

Leah's in Memphis this week. I think that Jack-Jack likes it when Daddy keeps him. He gets to watch Little Einsteins while he eats breakfast - which consists of yogurt, Fruit Loops, and 'Nilla Wafers. I also let him play in the dirt and the water and I let him pull the neighborhood cat's tail. He learns life lessons when he's with me.

Are they really going to sentence The Gubner to life in prison for accepting a motorcycle? Really? I mean really? Just because the US prosecutor couldn't convict Coach Scrushy in the HealthSouth trial?

What else is happening? Rick and Bubba are on this "Mexican children are allowed in school without having the immunizations that all the other kids are required to have" kick. If all the other kids have the immunizations, then what's the big deal with letting the Mexican kids in school? I mean, if I have my circle-circle-dot-dot cootie shot, then I can't get cooties. The only ones susceptible to catching cooties are the other illegals that don't have cootie shots, and if I understand correctly, they start them on the shot program straight away.

I'm not saying that the illegals should be draining the public school resources, I get that they're here illegally and are given passing grades even though they don't speak English and blah, blah, blah, but I just need a little better reason to keep them out than they don't have an MMR. Honestly, I got mine in 1996.


Monday, June 18, 2007

What a difference a week makes

Last Monday, I didn't have the energy or desire to recap the trip to see the shuttle launch. Today I wish that I had taken a videographer to record the whole weekend...even the parts where we got snubbed at IHOP and got the finger from the local at Melbourne Beach.

Long story short, for those that don't know, my PawPaw was in an automobile wreck last Thursday - four days after we got back from our trip. He was thrown from the vehicle and suffered massive internal injuries. He had some significant cuts on his scalp, but suffered no blunt force trauma to the head. He is in the TBICU, however, with injuries to just about every internal organ. He has not regained consciousness, but he does respond to commands to wiggle his toes and squeeze hands. He plays favorites, though, and only squeezes the hands of his daughters and my cousin Donna.

My family, while very concerned, will only be serious when the time is right. We'll laugh as much as we can through the pain. It's not just us "older kids" either. The younger generation knows how to laugh also - or at least how to make us laugh with their honesty. My cousin's 8 year old daughter made PawPaw card using a ball point pen and a piece of notebook paper.

On the outside, she wrote "Dear Great PawPaw, I (heart) U".

On the inside she wrote, "Are you o.k.? I am so sorry that you almost broke every bone in your body."

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, even from those of you that aren't quite sure what to say. I've been there, too. I'll try to keep you updated.

One last thought...girls are much better nurturers than boys. My mom and her sisters haven't gone 100 yards from PawPaw since he's been here. My female cousins, Donna and Teresa, have stayed night after night, lending moral support and medical interpretations (they're both nurses). It just makes me wonder who would take care of me if I were in PawPaw's place.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cruising (or not)

I said, "Jack, hands at 10 and 2." He stepped on my sunglasses instead.

Thoughts and a few cringes go out to a friend today as the doctor puts a scalpel in a place that scalpels really shouldn't be placed. There has got to be a better way. All that pain and it's not even 100% effective? I hear tell that, after the procedure, there are still shells in the shotgun. We can send a man to the moon, but we can't come up a better system? Where's the outrage, Oprah?

We watched one episode of The Office from the BBC last night. Almost word for word, it was exactly the same as the NBC version. Even the plot lines were the same. Dwight K. Shrute is better than their Assistant to the Regional Manager (they used that line, or we stole it from them, whatever). Overall, it was kind of a let-down given all the extra work you have to put in to understanding what they're saying. The British accents are a little heavy.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Midweek tidbits

Other items from our trip to Orlando/Kennedy Space Center:

I was flipping channels on the television Sunday morning and I heard a voice that I sort of recognized. I waited for a few seconds and then, right there on my TV screen, the face of Elizabeth (Liz, as the hipsters call her) Artz appeared. She’s, apparently, a weekend anchor at the ABC affiliate in Orlando. There was no co-anchor. She looked the same because, well, people don’t change a whole lot in 6 months. She was wearing those black rimmed librarian glasses that all the cool kids have.

I told you guys my Cracker Barrel idea a few months ago and, as I sat in traffic for 2 –1/2 hours trying to go 35 miles after the shuttle launch last Friday night, I came up with another one. How about a counter feature on Mapquest that gives the number of times people have requested directions to/from a specific place in the last 7 days or 30 days or whatever. It would say something like, “198,654 people have requested directions to or from your requested location in the last 7 days.” That would be good information to know. Maybe it could then strongly suggest that you try an alternate route. Just an idea.

I got some sad news today. As you may remember, Mr. Wizard was a guest blogger once on the old More or Less site. Mr. Wizard passed away yesterday. So long, friend.

The car that we rented had XM Radio. I don't really have much to say about it, except that it was pretty cool. Every baseball game was broadcast. There were stations galore on every topic imaginable. I think I'll look in to getting the XM.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Some of you have met my granddad. If you’re not sure if you’ve met him or not, then you haven’t met him. You’d remember it.

Paw Paw’s a fair man. He’s kind and, for the most part, gentle. He doesn’t want to beat your ass, but if he has to, he will. He’s worked hard his entire life and he’s never asked for, or expected, anything more than what he deserved. What he expects from you is nothing less than what he gives until you give him a reason to stop; respect.

So we’re at the Wal-Mart in Melbourne, Florida because no trip is complete unless you’ve seen that annoying roll back smiley face. My granddad found a bounty of electric razor blade attachments, batteries, electronic solitaire, and fruit that he wanted to buy and we made our way to the 20 items or less line.

SIDENOTE: If you’re in a hurry, never get behind me in a lane of traffic or check-out aisle. I have this innate, irreversible, ability to always end up in the slowest moving queue.

We waited, somewhat patiently, while the cashier tried in vain to scan a panty hose egg and four packs of pork stomachs that the people in front of us were going to use as stink bait at Lake Okeechobee. (What else can you do with pork stomachs? I guess you could make your own violin bow, or your own pork rinds, but I digress.)

Finally, after 12 people had gone through the check-out lane we were in before my bright idea to switch lanes, the cashier began scanning Paw Paw’s purchase across the pork stomach juice laced scanner.

Cashier: That will be $49.20, sir.

Paw Paw: Can you break a hundred?

Cashier: Sure, that’s fine.

My granddad, trying to relieve the soreness in his artificial hips by placing his hands on the check-out counter and leaning on them, handed the cashier a $100 bill.

Now, we all know what happened next, but we’ve become desensitized to the slight because that’s our generation. The cashier took the $100 bill and, with some type of marker, scribbled on Paw Paw’s $100 bill. Satisfied that the bill was legal tender, the cashier placed the bill under his tray.

Paw Paw: What’d you do that for?

Cashier: What?

Paw Paw: Scribble on my money.

Cashier: To make sure you didn’t give me counterfeit money.

Paw Paw: Oh.

My granddad is 80+ years old. He was a very, very young soldier during WWII. He’s a member of the greatest generation. In my mind, he’s one of the greatest members of the greatest generation. To say the least, he is not desensitized to the routine, if arguably necessary, slights of today.

Cashier: Can I give you a fifty back, or do you want smaller bills?

Paw Paw: A fifty will be fine with me.

The cashier handed my granddad a $50 and some coins as his change. Paw Paw, in a move that involved enough aggression that I was taken aback and a little uncomfortable, snatched the marker from the cashier and scribbled with fervor on the $50 bill. I'm not even sure if Paw Paw knew what to look for in a counterfeit bill, but he told the cashier – who was standing in shock - "You scribbled on mine, I'm scribbling on yours. I don't want any fake money either!"

If ‘bitch’ was any thing more than a female dog to my granddad, I’d like to think that he would have added it on to the end of his statement. Nonetheless, his point was made. The older lady behind us, in her distinctly Northern transplant accent said, “That’s right! We don’t want no funny money either!”

Oh, I can’t wait to get old.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Wow. That was a lot. I don't even care to recap it. I'm not as good as Katie, and I only had a camera phone, but here are some pics:

This is smoke at the launch pad a couple of minutes after launch. Looks like it's close by, right? It's 6 miles away. See the little bump across the river (right above the left ear of the guy in the hat)? That's the launch pad.

This is the smoke trail left by the shuttle. The solid rocket boosters came off about where the smoke trail ends.

After the launch, we went back to Kennedy Space Center. Winds had taken the shuttle's smoke trail and created this formation in the sky. Pretty neat, no?

The picture that impressed Jack the most.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Twist and Shout Regrets

I'm going to let Karly detail the evening, but I had to make one comment about our visit to Twist & Shout. You really need to have a game plan before you go in there. Next time I'll know.

Saturday night I couldn’t think of anything, but the ideas are coming fast and furious now. Some of the tunes would have been funny and the piano players could have had fun with, others I would have just liked to hear played on the piano. Songs I wish that I had requested, in no particular order:

Alcohol (Brad Paisley)
That Don’t Impress Me Much (Shania Twain)
Straight to Hell (Drivin N Cryin)
Islands in the Stream (Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers)
Drivin My Life Away (Eddie Rabbit, alternate – I Love a Rainy Night)
Scenes From an Italian Restaurant (Billy Joel)
Cantaloop, Flip Fantasia (US3)
Gangsta’s Paradise (Coolio)
Complicated (Avril Lavigne)
Hand in My Pocket (Alanis Morissette)
I Go Blind (Hootie & the Blowfish, alternate - Time)
Low (Cracker)
Italian Leather Sofa (Cake)
Allison Road (Gin Blossoms, alternate - Cheatin’)
U Can Look (Jump, Little Children, alternate – Dancing Virginia)

That would have been enough for them to tell me to sit down next to Dead Girl (a/k/a White Snake) and leave them alone.