Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MRE....Just Like Mom Use To Make

Well....not really....but not too far off the mark.

Meals ready to eat. The newest thing in military field rations and on every survivalists wish list. I ran across them a few days ago and, being interested in convenient ways to eat, decided to pick up one just for kicks. I got a beef enchilada thing and you just plop it in a bag, pour some salt water that's provided inside, seal it up, and wait for the little catalyst warmers to steam heat them for about 10 minutes. Rip open the pouch and gobble down the chow. I expected it to taste, at best, like nothing at all.

It was surprisingly good!

I mean...lip smacking good!

Light years better than any microwave dinner that I've ever had. I may start buying these things. The drawback is that they are rather high in calories, but I guess that's to be expected since they are designed to feed a combat soldier and not some flabby old couch potato. They are a damn sight tastier than the canned rations they gave us when I was in the military.




Of course...with enough hot sauce...you could manage to choke most of it down.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Gotta Be Rock N Roll Music

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Just about the only place where I ever listen to the radio anymore is in my truck. Even then, it's only when I am driving alone these days because I have a tendency to turn up the volume...primarily because I'm old and deaf, but also because I like to rock out with good music. Sing along. Play air guitar and drums with the steering wheel. Things that make people believe I am having a seizure at stop lights and embarrass the hell out of my daughter when I drove her to school in the mornings.

It's getting harder to do that these days out here in Kansas. Spinning through the dial on the raid-ee-oh is increasingly becoming an exercise in annoying frustration. Country music dominates most of the selections and, while some of it is okay, I find most of the stuff sounds pretty much the same and get bored with it very quickly. Then there are the religious stations. They are actually kind of interesting, especially when they are preaching about the apocalypse and all that good stuff; but it's not what I need to put my groove on driving to work. There is one Spanish station that is kind of cool but I spend all my thoughts trying to translate the words to the songs rather than just enjoying the music, which sounds all the same to my ear anyway...kinda like rap. Oh, and then there is the classical music station...okay, but Mozart doesn't lend itself much to air drumming.

My one consistent oasis has been a rock station....a hard rock station. None of that namby pamby hip hop, or bee bop, pop, disco, or boy-band sludge. They played stuff that would get your adrenaline going and realize where the term 'heavy metal' came from.

No more.

That station switched its format to "alternative rock"....which, as near as I can figure out is a completely accurate label because it is definitely an alternative to anything I would call rock music.

Sigh. I use my Ipod now. It's just not the same. The damn earphone buds keep popping out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Athletic Supporter?


Fitness would be a lot easier for me if I had developed the habits of an athlete in my youth. Things like working out in a gym, running, sweating, being sore....would all be things that I am use to and probably even enjoy.

The problem is, I never got into the whole jock lifestyle. I sucked at sports. Even in Little League, I was stuck way out in right field with the hopes from my teammates and myself that a fly-ball would never be hit to me. P.E. in school was nothing more than an hour every day being humiliated in front of my peers by a fat sadistic coach. I had no interest at all in high school sports, preferring to play in the band as an escape from an activity of which I had no natural ability in favor of one I had a modicum of talent.

So I didn't like jocks. I didn't like exercise. I was an "in-too-lectual" and looked with contempt toward those who trained their bodies. I considered them vain and shallow. I even thought of those who enjoyed watching sports on television as fairly brain dead ex-jocks trying to live vicariously through steroid enhanced actors in fantasy contests. To me, watching athletes perform was akin to watching porn...I couldn't understand the attraction of other people playing while you sat passively and observed.

And here I am, after all this time, trying to become an athlete. I go to a gym. I talk about reps and sets and refer to parts of my body by muscle groups. Unless I'm drenched with sweat and have a bit of pain, I don't feel as if I have accomplished anything during the day. Still, it's a chore. To push every day when it would be oh so easy just to let things slide. I'm trying to make the transition from exercise being an unpleasant task, to a habitual one, to being a fun activity that I look forward to each morning.

Athletes are made... not born. I'm a work in progress.
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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Tempus Fuggit

Daylight savings time really messes with my head. That's because my head takes a few days to get use to the concept that it is dark longer in the morning and lighter longer in the evening. It takes a while to train my brain to ignore visual cues and convince my body that...no...it is not being forced to wake up an hour earlier than usual. Then there is also the problem of going to bed at my usual time (according to the clock) when I'm not sleepy.

Plus, it is going to take about a month before I get around to setting all my clocks and watches up one hour.

Except for the one in my pickup. I never can remember how to set the time on that so screw it, I'll just wait for November and it will be showing the right time once again.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Time for a New Computer


I really didn't start out wanting to get a whole new computer. Originally, my thoughts were to get a nicer monitor...maybe spend a couple of hundred bucks at the most. So off I mosey to Best Buy after I eyeballed their ad both on paper and online.

I walk in to the store that was blasting out some crappy music through their speakers and I'm asked by an annoying blue shirt every couple of minutes if "I need any help".

No...I'm just looking and comparing a few monitors right now so I send them away, but they just stand right there beside me making me nervous, like they expect me to slip a monitor in my pants and walk out the store or something. Eventually, they do go off to pester some other customer and I have time to think and decide what I wish to buy. After a while, I come to a decision.

Nobody in sight. I wave my credit card in the air in the hopes of attracting the attention of somebody who wishes to take my money. Nothing. There is even a lull of silence while somebody is switching out one CD of incomprehensible rap crap for another.

I break up a gang of clerks trying to hit on some young girl and point to what I've decided to purchase.

"Oh...we're out of that"

"It was in your ad that came out today."

"Yeah, but we don't have anymore of them."

"Hookay how about this one", I said, pointing to what was my second choice...a bit more in price but one I was willing to settle for.

"Uhhhhh.....no more of those either."

I kind of rolled my eyes and said "just which of all these monitors you have displayed here do you actually have for sale?".

He then proceeded to show me a fine selection of 3 crappy monitors that I had no interest in buying. He did offer to sell me the display models....no discount....no warranty. No thanks.

Long story short; I went elsewhere to look for a monitor. I discovered that I could just get a whole new computer for not much more than I would pay for a high quality monitor. I started considering that my old computer was beginning to show signs of breaking down and decided to just take the plunge.

I wouldn't go back to Best Buy if they were giving out cookies and back rubs. I have a nice new computer to play with and didn't have to wade through all the bullshit to get it.

Though....I am stuck with Vista now.