Tuesday, July 25, 2006

iPOD Karaoke

Okay, so my beloved cousin, author of maggie's red thread, has turned Amanda and I on to the thought of iPOD Karaoke. I thought I would return the favor in kind. I challenge anyone to find a love song, any love song, by anyone, be it Barry White, Michael Bolton, or Jimmy Buffett. Find me a song that CANNOT be easily made into a Christian pop song. I think it would be awesome if the compilation of popular love songs was made into Christian music by simply changing some words around.

baby (or any other tender reference to a sig. other) = God
make love = give love
kiss = pray
touch = save
etc etc etc

This was brought on when I was appraising a minivan today and on the radio was, what I thought, was a love song. Talked about loving, caring, sharing, all of those things we want in a relationship. I was grooving along, then all of a sudden, the last line of the song simply said "thank you God." Now I love me some God, and I think that any artist who can be a successful Christian artist should be (God knows it isn't easy writing a careers worth of songs about the exact same thing while still not sounding repetitive could not be easy). But if you are just taking a love song you wrote for your high school girlfriend and changing some word, you are no artist, unless you consider yourself a con-artist.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Well, freking B!+(# tagged me on her blog, so here I have to discuss the following prompt using 5-paragraph essay, minus the essay, form.

"List/discuss the various obsessions that you have had over your lifetime."

I will try to put these in chronological order.

Matchbox cars were my first love, obsession, and best friends. I have likely had thousands of them. We would go out every pay day with mom and go to K-mart (now Ashley Home Furnishings on Independece Blvd.) and Andy and I would get some kind of toy. We would then go eat at McDonalds (now South 21 in front of AHF). Then we would go to the $1 movie (now the Aldi / Cookout on Albemarle Road). I had this plastic bin full of matchbox cars. Each car was a person in a community, I would have a Mayor, an ambulance, hospital, I would build garages and all kinds of things. I would lay on the sidewalk for hours and on the side have roads and trails, build buildings out of sticks, and have long running story lines.

I think my next obsession, and likely the most odd, would be rental moving trucks. I learned everything I could about rental trucks. Keep in mind this is before the internet, I would learn what brand rented out what kind of trucks, how much they cost, how old thier fleets would be... etc. I remember there was Ryder trucks, they are light yellow, they are now owned by Budget Rent-A-Truck. Then there was Hertz-Penske which was my favorite because they maintained their trucks better, had the youngest fleet, and they rented only Chevy's. U-haul was my least favorite, the ran their trucks into the ground and then sold them. You still see old U-haul trucks when people are too lazy to have them painted. I would always point them out to my mom, I am sure she was wondering "I wonder if he will be a mover one day, damn, I thought he would go somewhere."

Sticking to themes, I then started my NASCAR collection. I would buy the racing champions cars and leave them in their package. At first I would open them, but then I realized their value so I would buy two, keep one mint and play with the rest. I once took a 4'x4' peice of plywood and made a mini race track with them . Made walls, pits, and even tried to make the corners banked. I was the master of popcicle sticks and wood glue. I looked up my collection when I was in college and it was worth about $3,500, I guess today it might be worth a little more.

My first musical obsession started in 1988 when Jimmy Buffett released Hot Water, still one of his better albums with cameo's by James Taylor, the Neville Brothers, and Kenny G. I loved Buffett, I had posters, t-shirts, and all the tapes you could get your hands on. Aunt Annie and my mom got me hooked, I still am though in some moderation. I remember constantly standing on my bed with the floor lamp (a rocking mic stand) and putting on a whole concert. I think I would still bring the house down today. (My other music from that era: Def Leppard, Billy Joel, Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Ghetto Boys, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Toad the Wet Sproket, Van Haggar(I missed the DLR era), Aerosmith, and Wilson Phillips.)

The Girl Years

As far as crushes went, I had ginormous crushes on Jewel and Claire Danes. Jewel was my snaggle tooth'd love, I thought she was SOOOOO sensitive and deep, her strong lyrics, blah blah. Claire Danes was so-cool in My So Called Life and then when she was Juliet, she was MY Juliet. I thought she was the most beautiful person ever because she wasn't fake.

My other obsession in the girl years were girls themselves, and notably I picked up the love of the 3-way phone call. This awesome invention by the phone company kept Dhara, Kelli, Ryan, and Laura up to date on everything that was happening. We lived a few miles away, but when you have no car, that is a long way. I think it was the summer between 7th and 8th grade Dhara and I got on the phone right after dinner, lets say 7ish. We included Kelli at 8ish, and Ryan and Laura got on the gossip conference call around 9. Laura and Kelli both got off sometime after midnight, I think Ryan finally fell asleep on the phone at 4 am. Dhara and I hung up at 7:30 when her mom got up and picked up the phone. Dhara got in trouble I think, but I don't know why. Even though some of the things we said were not that innocent, at least no one was having real sex. Man, I loved the phone, hell, I STILL DO!!!!

Now, maybe forever

I will start with music, I love almost any kind, and I am starting a new obsession with Sirius Sat Radio. But I am a BNL fanatic. I have been to 8 concerts, I have driven hours to see a show, I have every thing they have ever released, I have their new E.P. because my cousin David rules! I have some t-shirts, I belong to the fan club. I cannot explain why I love them so much, their songs make me laugh, their music is pleasing to my ears, and their deeper songs strike big chords on my heart strings. I guess my favorite story is of the day before we started college, my high school friends and I went to the BNL show at Verizon. We had camped out all night and landed 2nd row tickets center. We were so close, right after "I live with it everyday" Stephen Paige looked in the crowd at my horridly colored blonde hair and glasses and introduced me to the crowd as his little brother who flew down from Canada to see the show, I was treated so well by those around me.

I will finish where I started, Cars. If you take the Beastie Boys song "girls" and change it to cars, you would have me. "Cars, in the morning its Cars, and in the evening its Cars, that's all I really want are Cars, two at a time I want Cars, Cars, Cars Cars." I love them, I work with them on a daily basis, I have appraised nearly 8,000 cars over the last 3 years. I have owned more cars than ride in President Bush's motorcade, only none of mine were bullet proof, I wish none of his were either. I counted somewhere earlier in my blog, so you look it up, but it has been a lot of cars. I love all kinds, I like the status symbols, I love the performance, I love the practical, I love the impractical, I love the off road, I love the on road, I love most cars. With my obsession with cars comes a heavy price, I can find something I hate on every car, every freaking car has something I cannot stand, no matter what. My biggest car obsession comes with interior ergonomics. The layout of a cars interior is much more important than anything else, here's why. If you drive to Pittsburgh, you spend about 7 hours inside the car and about 15 minutes outside pumping gas, I see the inside more, therefore it is more important. I think that Japanese car makers are the best at laying out dashboards. The buttons make sense, they are logical, they are not too numerous (like German cars) and the materials they use feel good to the touch (unlike American cars). The japs do not understand armrest at all, they are generally too low, rough materialed, and never soft enough. The Americans generally get spacing right, they should, they live here, they know we are a fat country. Germans understand the deadpedal, you know that think you put your left foot on in an automatic transmission car or where you rest when not using the clutch, yeah, well like me, Germans have big feet. They know where to put your foot. I will flat out refuse to buy a car if it does not have a sufficient dead pedal. See, obsessed, who gives a shit about dead pedals but me?

I hope you enjoyed this, I would tag someone, but no one reads this damn thing, except Amanda, please e-mail me your obesessions and I will post them for you on my blogtastic place on the world wide web.

Exciting Stuff

A list of things I am excited about.

I got new Rainbow Flip Flops from Amanda. I came home from work today and Amanda said she had a suprise for me, she had gotten me a card, about made me cry with some seriously kind words, and wrapped up carefully in an Off-Broadway Shoe Warehouse bag were the Rainbow flops I have been wanting. I know they are pricey flops, but they are cool and comfy.

I got a new cell phone, same number, but finally something without a green screen. I have no idea how to use it yet, but I know that I have a bluetooth headset, I have a camera phone, I can download songs, and I have Vcast which will stream in the current news, sports scores, and all kinds of other crap. I do have a feeling that KMX will not allow me to send pics, stream in the news, or download music, just like Carmax, give you the most potential but then not let you use it.

Miami. Manders and I both cannot wait to take a RELAXING vacation. We are driving with Tim, Sara, and Chance (the 55lb lab) to Miami Friday, we will then be going to Key West Monday. While we are down there I think we will be drinking, diving, drinking, swimming, drinking, tanning, drinking, clubing, drinking, dancing, and making sweet sweet........ debt! Oh what fun this trip is going to be!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Vacation Part Three

We then struck out to the oregon coast, the pacific coastline is neat because instead of having long beaches that run for miles, they have little coves that are surrounded by cliffs, hundreds of feet tall. This was taken from a lighthouse that overlooks Tillamook.

The following day we went to Mt. Saint Helens. It was the only day that was cloudy and chilly. We couldn't get any good pics of the mountain itself but below you will see the lava flows from the 1983 eruption. Experts predict it will blow again in the next 10-20 years.

The last part of the trip was the wedding of Amanda's cousin Mike to Rachael. We had a great time, and once again the weather was perfect.

Vacation Part Two

We were lucky to spend the 4th of July, USA's Independence Day, at Mount Rainier. It was a rare clear day and you one of a few that you could see the top of Rainier.

We enjoyed a snowball fight on Mount Rainier, below you will see Amanda posing for the camera right before the war of snow balls broke out. I wish all inernational disputes could be solved in this manner.

We hiked up a cool trail from about 10,000 feet. We were stopped one the trails got a little two icy for our tennis shoes to traverse.

Vacation Part One

Well, I will give you the abridged, picture book version of our vacation. I met Amanda, her Dad and Step-Mom, and her brother Brent and his girlfriend Tanna in Seattle. Most of the vacation was spent in our rental Chrysler Town & Country, here are brent and Tanna enjoying the back seat.

On the first day, we went to downtown Seattle, Amanda realized her dream of seeing the first Sur La Table in the United States.

We then took our butts to the Sheritan Tacoma where we would begin our excursions.....

Monday, July 03, 2006

Out of the Office

I will be out of the city, in Seattle, til Sunday!!!