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COME ONE, COME ALL [Sep. 10th, 2007|02:05 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |work]
[music |MC Frontalot - Indier than Thou]


See blackmarlin eat AN ENORMOUS FUCKING STEAK! The task set before him is incredible: devour thirty-two (or possibly MORE) monstrous ounces of USDA Awesome Steer! WITNESS the thrills and chills as the steak, sides, and beer are all consumed and destroyed with vim and vigor! BE THERE when the moment is immortalized for the education of future generations! SEE IT as blackmarlin is berobed in the ceremonial tee shirt! As he completes the first of many quarter-centuries of life on this world and others, blackmarlin will celebrate his life, his legacy, and all that is man at TEXAS ROADHOUSE, AT A QUARTER OF NINE, TONIGHT!


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best. theme song. EVER. [Jul. 31st, 2007|11:18 am]

It's straight-up fact.

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(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2007|01:26 am]
So after thinking I finally had the Bad Old Days of work behind me, I put in about 160 hours over the past ten days trying to get the refresh done. Tonight, I crossed the finish line. Kelly and I went and scored Harry Potter 7. En route, we hit up Oade's Big Ten and I scored myself an impressive load:

1) Lion Stout. The big bottle of the Sri Lankan monster.
2) Sapporo, the fluted oilcan of it. Sapporo is no more than a "nice" lager. However, the can it comes in, and the awe-inspiring first time I ever saw one opened, has always had a special place in my heart.
3) Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. A RateBeer 98 stout, brewed in K'zoo? I was morally obligated.
4) Arrogant Bastard Ale--a RateBeer 100. Had to try it.
5) Grolsch Amber Ale. Grolsch is as pale and bright as they come; I HAD to try their take on an amber.
6) Warsteiner Premium Dunkel--see above. An excellent premium Kraut light biermaker's take on a dark ale.
7) Anchor Steam Ale--because it's a crime that I've been to San Fransico, but I've never had one.

The kids are asleep, Kelly's taking first licks with Deathly Hallows, and I'm going to do a whole bunch of worthless internetting. I've cracked the Lion. I've got my laptop. I'm going to hold onto my butts like Samuel L. Jackson.

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(no subject) [Jul. 18th, 2007|01:52 am]
So a female coworker says, "I know you're into politics. You might like this."

I think my favorite part is Kucinich Girl.

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old meme, but . . . [Jul. 5th, 2007|10:40 am]
I realize I'm a little behind the times on this one, but I present to you:

The Lost Dave Bisson ESPN Audition Tape

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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2007|09:23 am]
Last night, after a long walk to the library, my wife starfish12 and I put the kids to bed. We watched a little Top Chef, relaxed with brains off, and then she went to bed. Meanwhile I went out to the garage to put in some time on my car.

By the way, if you haven't been reading my buildup journal, the_black_ship, now is a great time to start . . .

During my time in the garage, I really worked my ass off. I got dirty, grimy, greasey, oily, even covered in penetrative lubricant. Wrenching, grinding, pulling, breaking free bolts and breaking tools. Cutting, bleeding, pouring sweat. When it was over, I reached for my bottle of pumice soap, and thought of my Grandpa Schalter.

Joe Schalter was a man honed to an edge--no bullshit, no compromises. Yoda would have loved this man--there was only do or do not, there was no try. He did everything the right way, and had nothing but contempt for those who didn't. He owned his own glass shop, sold gas out of the two pumps in the driveway, and with his wife ran a motel. A self-made man, a bit of a black sheep, and owner of a mind like steel trap, right up until the end. A decorated veteran (infantryman in Germany), member of the Order of the Purple Heart, and a professional musician. What? Yes, my grandpa was a gigging pianist, organist, and keyboardist for jazz and polka groups for most of his life.

Unfortunately, he was not exactly a natural father. He was exacting and unrelenting. He was not loving, and certainly not demostratively so. My father says he only saw him kiss his wife once in his entire life. My mom says they "babyproofed" the house by following my toddler-aged dad around and slapping his hand whenever he touched anything he shouldn't touch.

But all that was long in the past when I knew him. He didn't exactly soften with age, but he was always kind and friendly to me, and I was constantly in awe of a man who could seemingly do anything. One of my strongest memories of the old house (slash-glass-shop-slash-gas-station-slash-motel) was the half bathroom by the garage. It was a dirty, grimy mess . . . but it had pumice soap. I remember it was usually "Lava" brand soap, presumably a shout-out to pumice's igneous origins. But like most pumice soap, it was a bizarre off-white/off-blue color, reeked of orange citrus, and was grimy and nasty. It existed specifically for cutting through the oil and grease that builds up on your hands whenever you work on a vehicle or machine, though I didn't know that when I was 3/4/5/6/etc. I just remember scrubbing my hands with that stuff, feeling the little particles sandblast my skin, and then rinsing it off. The end result wasn't "clean" like Softsoap--I wouldn't be up for eating finger-lickin' BBQ ribs after a pumice-soap scouring--but it was a different kind of clean. Like your hands have been stripped bare and can breathe again, even though there were still little gritty bits between your fingers where the towel couldn't reach. And of course, the lingering smell of concentrated citrus juice, the acid that works hand in hand with the pumice to cut the grease and grime, like a half a grove's worth of oranges just sluiced out of the ceiling and trapped you in the bathroom.

After I'd scrubbed with pumice soap and wiped dry with a shop rag (I've since learned you don't use the stuff with water), I went into the house and checked on my sleeping family and the clock. Wife asleep, son asleep, daughter is asleep (but in our bed, not hers, must have had a bad dream), and the clock--ouch, 12:48, later than I meant to stay up. I went to the kitchen and got a glass of water. Afterwards, I heard my daughter fuss. As I went into the bedroom as she was saying:

"I . . . I . . . I need my Daddy!"

Of course, I immediately picked her up and cradled her in my arms. She fought to cuddle up to me as quickly as possible, and as I walked her out into the living room she rooted against my arm. I started walking laps with her like that, thinking about grinding it out in the garage by myself, in a world of sweat and blood and isolation, and then loving my family in the living room, swimming in love and tenderness and attachment. I again felt, as strongly as ever, that there is no contradiction between manliness and fatherhood. There is no emasculation in child-rearing. As my sweet little pre-pre-school, cherubic little daughter found comfort in my sweaty, bloody, dirty arms, I felt more satisfied as a man than I ever could have before I had a family. Just as she nodded off to sleep, my daughter whispered:

Daddy, I . . . I need an orange . . .

. . . and I cried.

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Uhhhh [May. 29th, 2007|08:22 am]
[music |ESPN radio]

I took the OK Cupid test thingy:

The Loverboy
Random Gentle Love Master (RGLM)

Well-liked. Well-established. You are The Loverboy. Loverboys thrive in committed, steady relationships--as opposed to, say, Playboys, who want sex without too much attachment.

I'm still the Loverboy. Unfortunately, the test spit out all the "CUT AND PASTE ME!" code for The Peach, which is the female equivalent of RGLM. Nice code there, OK Cupid dudes-n-chix.

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Thanks fellas [May. 22nd, 2007|11:46 pm]
Tonight my beloved Wings scored three goals in the third period in a furious rally to save their season, but it wasn't quite enough. The Anaheim Ducks move on to the finals, and a tip o' the hat to them.

For most of the "new" Wings--Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Lilja, Fillpula, Samulelsson, etc.--this experience will simply fuel their fire. However, my hockey hero and idol, Dominik Hasek, will probably end his professional career. A second Cup and a Conn Smythe award would probably have greatly bolstered his "best ever" resume . . . but as it is, he'll get the chance to go out on an incredible season no one thought he was still capable of . . . including some on my f-list reading this. *COUGH* chowmeyow *COUGH*

If not the best, then certainly the most gifted goaltender in hockey, the man didn't even get the chance to start until he was in his thirties . . . mostly because of a nasty anti-European bias that most young hockey fans couldn't concieve of. Well, that and the fact that he was backing up Ed Belfour in his prime. Nevertheless, I think Hasek's third stint with the Wings was an unqualified success, and I can only hope he returns for one more year. On a filial note, my daughter watches hockey only in terms of him--she constanly watches to see where "Dommickhashik" is on the ice, and even recognizes him in street clothes! There's nothing quite like watching Hasek stone somebody and have your two-and-a-half-year-old daughter shout, "NICE SAVE, DOMMICKHAHSIK!"

Those of you who've seen me in person lately have probably noticed that I've worn my Hasek sweater on the day of nearly every game, and grown out a trimmed-up form of "playoff beard"--as if by doing so, I can singlehandedly lift my Wings to the Cup and help reignite the passion this state once had for the sport. While my constant support wasn't enough to Karmically get it done, I can take some small solace in the L.A.-based Ducks getting to the Finals. If ten percent of the L.A. area bothers to tune in to watch the Ducks punch out the Senators, ratings for the Cup Finals will probably quintuple over last year . . . and then maybe ESPN will show some actual hockey highlights next year. I can only pray that this is for the ultimate good of the game.

Meanwhile, Dominik Hasek, I can only hope your homeboys in Pardubice have a couple of cold ones waiting for you. Bless you and your family . . . and, uhm, maybe just one more year?

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Attrition [May. 5th, 2007|02:57 am]
[music |Audioslave - I Am the Highway]


This is a clip from the Best. Show. Ever., Top Gear. This particular clip centers around the Bugatti Veyron, a 1000+ hp luxury/GT supercar. One of the show's hosts takes it up to its top speed of 253 miles per hour. It's a fantastic video, very well done, and worth every minute. Bonus points awarded for liberal application of Star Wars music.

As the car abosolutely ROCKETS down the straight at speeds Formula One cars can't reach, the driver shouts "The tires will wear out in fifteen minutes . . . but that's okay, because the fuel will run out in twelve!"

That's what working this late is like. That's what sacrificing everything for your job is like. It's a war of attrition between your personal mental and phsyical limits, your family's emotional limits, and the task at hand. All there is to do is put the pedal to the metal and hope you get there before it all disintegrates.

And what will be the payoff? What will be the reward? Karma, if you're listening, I think we can agree that a Bugatti Veyron would be a great place to start.

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The Long Kiss Goodnight . . . for the Sunfire [Feb. 20th, 2007|11:31 pm]
[music |Avenged Sevenfold - The Beast and The Harlot]


My 2004 Pontiac Sunfire, which for those of you who have been paying attention to this 'blog and my real life rants, was both an incredible gift from my father/stepmother, and the fucking bane of my existence. Kath and Dad paid for it in full, in my name, on Christmas Eve Day of 2003. Since that day, it has been slowly falling apart. The list of things that went wrong is too long to re-type now, but ranged from the comical (driver's side door falling off . . . twice) to the horrific (total brake system failure, no cause ever found). Ultimately though, the thing's failure was its complete uselessness as a family car. starfish12 and I had decided to trade it in while someone would still give us something for it, and we could buy a new family car for her, and I'll commute in her old Olds.

Now, most recently I posted about how the SUnfire's window went down and then failed to come back up. Well, today I took the pile down to the dealership (in Flint--yes, nigh-on an hour of freeway driving with the window down). While it was in service getting checked out, I asked my salesperson to run figures for a Pontiac Vibe.

The Vibe, you see, is really a Toyota Matrix. GM literally buys Matrixes (Matrices?) from Toyota and puts a Pontiac skin on them. So, it's got a Toyota engine, frame, etc.; in fact it's pretty much all Toyota. However, I qualify for GM Friends and Family discount through my Stepmom's mother, so the GM version was looking attractive. Well, the salesperson ran the numbers, and including about $1000 worth of incentives that expired TODAY (President's Day Sale, you know), I could get this Vibe they had on the lot for $3500 under sticker price. Wow. It was equipped exactly as we wanted--manual transmission, power windows and doors, CD, air, cruise and NOTHING ELSE. No premium packages, no lame accessories, just the raw car with appropriate amenities. She asked me if I wanted to test drive it while they valuated my car for trade-in and got the estimate done on the window. I said sure. Now, I'd driven an automatic Vibe before, but the manual was much more impressive. Steering feel is tight, steady, and communicative (though not necessarily quick), the clutch was quick and sensitive, and the shifter throws were shortish and solid. Certainly no speed demon, but enough power to pass and take on ramps with a bit of vigor. On top of it all, the thing is rated at 30 mpg city/36 highway That's REALLY impressive for a five-door crossover vehicle. Well, just as I was pulling it back onto the lot, my cell rang. It was the service guy, telling me it would be $501.00 to make the damn Sunfire window go up and down again.

Oh HELL no.

Pretty much at that point, I felt a very strong desire to never drive that damned car ever again. Before I got too hot and bothered, though, I called Kelly and got her opinion on the subject. We knew we liked the Matrix/Vibe, and Kelly was just as eager to ditch the Sunfucker as I was. Though she was a little leery of the whole situation, she gave me the greenlight to go forward, for the time being.

(insert all kinds of drama and histrionics here, including, but not limited to: them kinda dicking me on the value of my trade-in, being on the phone with Kelly every ten minutes trying to coordinate everything for HER new car while SHE was an hour away, buying new insurance, cleaning out my trashed car, trying to get my father or stepmother on the phone, applying for financing . . . )

So miraculously, with my terrible credit, no money down, and less trade than I thought I'd have . . . they approved my application. Through GMAC. At a decent rate. HOLY SHIT! This kind of a loan is going to do wonders for my heinous credit, and really be a great stepping stone towards us getting a house. Major props to the finance lady who pulled some strings to get it done, especially on a time crunch. Oh, I did mention I had to be back in Lansing by 6:30 for Dominic's appointment, right?

Fast forward to 5:30ish, I'm cleaning out my car, signing paperwork, draining my phone battery talking to everyone on the planet, and Kelly's trying to get the kids ready for Dominic's doctor's appointment--total hysteria. Finally, I get the keys, I get the temp plates, I pat the Sunfire goodbye, I load up my stuff, and off I go. Oh look, a voicemail from my dad.

"Hey, Ty, this is Dad. Go fuck yourself, and I'll see you in hell."

Okay, not quite, but that was the gist. He said he wasn't going to let me use the discount, for no particular reason other than we're not as tight as we could be. This is a bit of a pisser because I am fucking rolling down the road in a car I just bought assuming that shit was all cool. I called the salesperson, and she assured me that we'd get it worked out, especially since we may be able to qualify for the discount through Kelly's mom's side of the family. Nice to know one of our sets of parents doesn't hate us. Is patricide still a crime? It's a good thing I had some Rage Against the Machine albums with me.

So anyway, after it's all said and done, the ride is in the driveway, and the ink on all the details will be dry in the morning. I leave you with these:

the ride at midnightCollapse )
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