Wednesday, November 28, 2007
3WW LXII


Welcome to Three Word Wednesday. Each week, I will post three (or more) words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:
Afford
Cigarette
Dim


There has perhaps been no more tragic figure in the United States in the past thirty years than the cigarette.

Once a rite of passage, a sign of maturity, and nervousness, there was a time when the cigarette was the ultimate in cool. Think James Dean with a pack of smokes rolled up in his sleeve. Or Cary Grant offering Audrey Hepburn a light.

But today, it's future is dim. Yes, there are still a few who voluntarily ingest this once proud carcinogen, but they are now forced to do so in dark alleyways and other secret out of the way places, mostly hidden from the rest of the world.

By and large, the nicotine filled, buzz inducing, cylindrical apparatus has become a symbol of the addicted and those banished by society. And what is it all for? Oh sure, we may gain in life expectancy, but what have we lost?

I'll tell you what I've lost: a cheap and easy way to hit on girls. A light costs next to nothing. A drink, that's like six bucks. Converted to bacheloronomics, that's eighteen frozen burritos. And who among us can afford that?

But they never consider the poor bachelor when making these decisions. Next thing you know, they'll take away the whole astrological chart. Then I'll really be out of lines.

I just remembered, I once kissed a girl who had been smoking...

Yeah, I think they made the right call.

"I believe the world is burning to the ground. Oh well, I guess we're gonna find out. Let's see how far we've come..."

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Is there a dishwalla in the house?
One day while going thru the mail, right between a Limited Too catalog and a letter from the Scooter Store, I found an advertisement for a satellite television service. Basically, they offered twice as many channels for the same price I was paying for cable. It all seemed simple enough.

I was tired of being bamboozled by the cable company and watching my favorite channels--SoapNet, Game Show Network, etc.--slowly be taken away one by one. So I called. An appointment was made for someone to come out Friday morning between 8 AM and 12 Noon.

Ah yes, the four hour window. That always slightly irks me. How did we get to this point in society where we place the satellite, and cable guy on such a pedestal that we'll wait hours for them? Even a doctor can usually get you in within two hours of your appointment. But because these people hold the keys to Stephen Colbert, Dancing With The Stars, and Steve Wilkos, we'll wait all day.

Anyway, the lady at the satellite place said I would need a letter from my landlord giving them permission to install a dish. Well, that didn't sound like such a big deal, until I got the letter. Among other things, it stated that the dish couldn't be mounted on the building or the fence. But... that's all there is.

I actually considered mounting it to my car. I thought, if I just park in the exact same spot every day... I mean, I was gonna put tape down where my tires were supposed to go.

The letter went on to state that the dish must be mounted either on a tripod or on a pole in a five gallon bucket. Uh, does that seem odd to anyone but me?

However, after doing a bit of online research, I found other people had actually done these pole-and-bucket installations. Well, giddy up then! Welcome to Redneck Satellite Installation 101. I was fairly certain there was going to be some duct tape involved in this at some point.

So off to Lowe's I went. Allow me to say here that I love going to Lowe's. There's something about walking thru aisles of laminate flooring, two-by-tens, and high performance toilets. It's akin to opening the hood of a car. I feel like I'm really accomplishing something, even when I have no clue what I'm doing.

I procured a couple of bags of Quikrete and a six foot iron pole and was on my way. The pole was a joy to fit into my mid-sized American sedan. I'm sure some of you are wondering, what about the bucket Bone? Nice to see you're paying attention. Actually, I found someone who said they would give me a bucket. When you start asking people if they have a five gallon bucket, you might be surprised at how many actually do.

I poured the concrete and put up the pole on Thanksgiving. I'm sure the neighbors probably thought it was just another one of my strange holiday observances, as they already know I celebrate Festivus. Then I took the day off work Friday, woke up at 7:45 AM, and waited. And waited. And... waited.

That's right, the four hour window wasn't quite enough for Satellite Joe. He finally came rolling in around 1:45 PM. Nice. I handed him the letter. After looking it over for between sixty and ninety seconds, he said, and I quote, "We can't do this."

Apparently, the company is not allowed to mount a dish to a pole in a bucket. Have you ever heard such nonsense! So basically, my landlord has placed so many restrictions on how and where a dish can be installed that it's next to impossible to do within the rules. It's kinda like giving a kid a car and saying you can't use keys to start it, you can't put gas in it, and the tires can't touch the ground.

After a few minutes of discussing and explaining, Satellite Joe departed, despite my protests of "I saw them do it on the internet!" Now I have a bucket and a pole on my patio for no apparent reason. And no way to watch the Dallas/Green Bay game Thursday night.

So if anyone out there has NFL Network, I'm not above inviting myself over. I'll be there between 2 PM and 6 PM.

"He's got thirteen channels of wrestling comin' in strong from a satellite send. A two hundred function remote control. Big screen TV with stereo..."

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I wasn't always this way
Dear C,
You had me head over heels. I'll never forget those summer nights on your parents' front porch. We learned so much. Sometimes I can almost taste your lips. I miss that innocence. I know we were young. Maybe if we had been a little older. You broke my heart. I'm sorry I held on for so long. I didn't know what else to do. I'll always smile whenever I think of you.

Dear C2,
I think your Mom liked me more than you did. That's usually not a great sign. Thanks for introducing me to Skyline, the local lookout point. It was all very Wally Cleaver-ish, until the police showed up. Once you went off to college, I just never quite fit into your world, with the sorority thing and all.

Dear J,
You were messed up. I thought I could fix you. I liked the idea that I could rescue you. I tried. I couldn't. There were a lot of lessons learned the hard way. Lessons I didn't plan to learn again. But any regrets I have are on me, because of things I let happen.

Dear L,
What more can I say? I've poured out my heart and written pages and pages about you. Part of me still refuses to admit you weren't my one. I know it's pathetic and I'm not proud of it. I became an arrogant jerk towards the end, not realizing it was you who had given me my confidence. My heart will always ache for losing you, but more than that, for hurting you. You will always have a friend here. Thank you for the best days of my life.

Dear M,
We had chemistry, huh? It was good to be in love again. You were never anything but wonderful. Thank you for sharing two years of your life with me. Whatever happened between us was only my fault. It was the start of a disturbing trend where I would get to a certain point and couldn't go any further. I'm sorry for that. The distance wasn't easy. You proved you would do anything for love, and I'm so glad you found it. I don't know what was wrong with me.

Dear J2,
There was always something comfortable about us, about being at your place. Baseball will always remind me of you. The fact is, I could never let myself completely go and I'm sorry. Anything else I could say wouldn't really matter. By the time you came along, I had taught myself to turn my heart off like a switch. But sometimes I think you could, too. You breaking a date by text message was just my excuse, my way out.

"Could you sympathize with my needs? I know you think I need a lot. Started out clean, but I'm jaded. Just phonin' it in..."

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Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Great American Coke-Out
I was listening to another provocative edition of the John Tesh radio show recently. Yes, I know I said Wikipedia had surpassed Tesh as my #1 source of information, but it's not easy to Wiki while driving. You get lots of honks and odd gestures. Which reminds me, my Mom used to have a "Honk If You Love Willie Nelson" bumper sticker on her car. And sometimes people honked! But I digress.

One particular statement from the disseminator of useful information caught my ear. Tesh said drinking just one sweetened soda per day increases your chance of developing diabetes by 75 percent.

Gulp.

My first thought was, I drink like five a day. And that's the conservative estimate.

Like a Mexican TV dinner, Tesh's words stuck with me for a couple of days. When I mentioned my five-a-day habit to a co-worker, she looked at me as if she were surprised my head hadn't yet exploded from the massive consumption of delicious high fructose corn syrup. In other words, blog friends, I'm basically a walking miracle.

I did some checking and found that the 12 ounce Sun Drop, my usual drink of choice, has 49 grams of sugar in it. Which means I was getting 245 grams per day. That's over half a pound of sugar from soft drinks alone! I might as well just spoon feed it to myself straight out of the bag.

I had a problem and I decided something must be done. Therefore, I proclaimed last Wednesday the start of Bone's Great American Coke-Out. That's coke, lower-case, which as we all know refers to any variety of soft drink. Kinda like q-tip, band aid, or K-Y.

The first day went well. I was coke free. Kinda like Lindsay Lohan. Well, kinda like Lindsay Lohan once in awhile anyway. Then Thursday morning, I woke up with a splitting headache. After conferring with some members of my inner circle--which pretty much consists of family, co-workers, and the cute checkout girl at Kroger--it was determined that I was going thru caffeine withdrawals.

I rushed home, drank a Sun Drop, took two Advil, and my headache was gone within twenty minutes. After only 36 hours of the Great American Coke-Out, I was already off the wagon. (Will the Lohan similarities never end?)

Figuring it would be better to wean myself off the caffeine, I decided to have just one coke per day. Surprisingly, it hasn't been that difficult. The headaches haven't returned. And I've stocked up on water, skim milk, fruit juice, and Crystal Light on the go packets.

I'm not sure what's next. Perhaps it's time to analyze my intimate relationship with Little Debbie. Zebra Cakes, Fudge Brownies, Swiss Rolls. And those are just the varieties that are in my kitchen right now.

Geez, I hope Tesh never decides frozen burritos are bad for me.

"I'm hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet, yeah..."

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007
3WW LXI
Hey guys. 3WW will be taking off November 21st for Thanksgiving, and will return November 28th. If you'd like, feel free to go back and grab three words from a previous week. Remember if you didn't participate that week, then they're new to you :)

I might encourage you also to take this opportunity to visit some of the 3WW participants and read some of their other blog entries. That's what I plan on doing.

Thank you all for participating and helping to make 3WW a pretty cool thing. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.



Welcome to Three Word Wednesday. Each week, I will post three (or more) words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:
Icy
Pause
Train


"Will Dean be home soon?"

The frail voice startled Donna. She had been on the verge of dozing off to the sound of mindless television droning on in the background.

"Yes, Momma," she said softly.

"I'm worried. The roads are getting icy."

It hadn't snowed there in ten years. Donna didn't know if her mother even comprehended a single word she was saying. But just in case, she thought it better to try and ease her mind.

"Don't worry, Momma. He'll be fine. He'll be here real soon."

Day after day her mother just laid there, staring blankly at the ceiling, or sleeping. But once in awhile, she would say something out of the blue. Mostly they were things that didn't make sense, but sometimes she would speak of something or someone far in her past.

It always broke Donna's heart, but it was especially hard when her mother spoke of Dean, Donna's older brother. He had gone to Vietnam and never came home. Even now as Donna thought of him, she could still see his goofy smile as he boarded a train and waved goodbye that crisp April morning.

"The snow is beautiful, isn't it Dee Dee?" It made Donna glad and broke her heart a little more that her mother still called her Dee Dee. It seemed almost cruel that she still had certain memories, but not much else.

"Yes, Momma. It's perfect."

The mention of snow gave Donna pause. She thought of a particular Christmas when she was seven and Dean was still at home. It had snowed then. Dean had pushed her on a trash can lid "sled" down the hillside. It used to snow a lot. Now the winters were warmer, but somehow left her feeling much colder inside.

Donna pulled a blanket tighter around her, barely noticing that tears had started to trickle down her face. She remembered another snow. The memory was fuzzy, but it seemed like Dean was gone. He had been out. No, on a trip. And the roads had been bad, and her mother had been so worried. That must be-

"Dean! You're home!"

Her mother's voice once again startled Donna back to the present. A haunting chill instantly covered her entire body. She turned quickly to see her mother lying completely still, eyes closed.

"Momma?"

Donna jumped to her feet and ran to the bed.

"Momma!"

Her mother was lying completely still, eyes closed. She was no longer breathing. Just smiling.

"Where've you been? I've looked for you forever and a day. Where've you been? I'm just not myself when you're away..."

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007
That 70's Fish
I welcomed a new member to the household Saturday. At the wedding reception, there were Bettas on some of the tables, and I brought one home.

I didn't know if I'd ever get another fish after Pablo, and I sure wasn't in any hurry to get one. But when I came home from work Monday afternoon and he was swimming around his bowl, I realized I had kinda missed that.

So without further adieu, I now present to you, for his first time ever on the internet, GabeKaplan:


(Photo courtesy of my Crackberry Curve.)

I know, I know, the first question many of you will have is going to be, "Fish at a reception?" And the answer is... apparently.

And I'm sure some of you are also wondering, "Why Gabe Kaplan?" First of all, Welcome Back Kotter is one of my all-time favorite shows. What other show dealt so candidly and humorously with issues facing inner city youth and had a sign in its credits that said, "Welcome to Brooklyn: The 4th Largest City In America?" I'll tell you what other show. None!

Gabe Kaplan, the man not the fish, is an accomplished actor and comedian, as well as a world-renowned poker player and investment strategist. Not to mention he won the 2006 TVLand Award for Best Teacher. Now hopefully, little GabeKaplan can help bring to light some of big Gabe Kaplan's accomplishments.

Also, I kind of like the thought of hanging out with GabeKaplan, watching the game with GabeKaplan, napping with GabeKaplan, and yes, eventually, dancing for GabeKaplan.

And sure, if Gabe Kaplan, the man, finds out I named my fish after him and is so honored that he decides he wants to meet me, send me every episode of Kotter on DVD, or stake me in the 2008 World Series Of Poker, well then, who am I to object.

Who knows, me and GabeKaplan might even wind up being BFF's.

Wonder if he knows whatever happened to Epstein.

"Who'd have thought they'd lead ya, back here where we need ya? Yeah, we tease him a lot cos we've got him on the spot. Welcome back..."

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Monday, November 12, 2007
Tragedy, technology, & tying knots
The dull edge became a little sharper last Thursday as I received my Blackberry Curve. It immediately becomes the most cutting edge piece of technology I own, followed by my iPod, and then next would be my... um... Remington PG-250 electric shaver, I guess.

Those in the know tell me that I should refer to it as a Crackberry. I can't wait to find out what that's all about. And the girls at the cell phone place had a nice laugh over my old phone, the discontinued Samsung P107 with the 0.1 megapixel camera, which left all my camera phone pictures looking like abstract impressionist paintings.

My excitement was short-lived, however, as tragedy struck my world Friday afternoon. Shortly before 3 PM, someone I have known for roughly twenty-five years suffered a massive heart attack.

That someone is Luke Spencer.

He was found on the floor of Windermere by Scott Baldwin's long lost son, Logan Hayes. As of today, Luke is still alive, but it is unlikely they'll be able to get him to a hospital because of the storm, so please keep him in your thoughts. More importantly, please keep me in your thoughts, because if Luke goes, I... well, I'd rather not think about it.

Remarkably, I was able to press on despite that weighing heavily on my heart. As a few of you may know, I was in a wedding Saturday. My longtime friend Kyle said goodbye to the ranks of singledom and hello to a brave new world. (I was going to say "My BFF Kyle" but guys don't really have BFF's. We just have buddies, or homeboys, or longtime confidants. Wonder why that is?)

During rehearsal, the wedding director repeatedly called me and the girl I escorted "professionals." I'm not sure I want to be known as a professional groomsman. Then again, why the heck not? Maybe I could make some extra cash on weekends, legally for a change.

It was great to see several friends that I had not seen in quite awhile. And hopefully, no footage of me "dancing" will turn up on YouTube. No, trust me, you think you want it, but you don't.

As the weekend was quite busy, I haven't had a lot of time to play with my Crackberry yet. Though I did finally figure out last night how to change the ring tone. That only took four days.

Technology rulz!

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get thru this thing called life. Electric word life. It means forever and that's a mighty long time. But I'm here to tell you, there's something else..."

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007
3WW #60


Welcome to Three Word Wednesday. Each week, I will post three (or more) words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:
Compensate
Modern
Radio


(I have no idea where this came from. Maybe it's my audition for The Colbert Report. Yeah, let's go with that...)

Ever find it odd that more people vote for the American Idol than the American President?

Ever feel like your votes over the years for candidates such as Dennis Kucinich, Pat Buchanan, and Walter Mondale don't really matter?

Well those days are over!

America's premiere television network is proud to present the first ever reality show that will elect the next President of the United States: Are You Smarter Than George Bush?

Follow the candidates of both major parties as they live together Big Brother style. As in, the reality show Big Brother. Not "the government is monitoring innocent Americans' telephone conversations" big brother.

The show is the brainchild of Bone, a rogue blogger who describes himself as Simon Cowell with looser fitting clothing. He created the show to help compensate for what he perceived to be injustices in modern campaign financing. Are You Smarter Than George Bush will provide almost equal exposure for all candidates in an aggressive campaign of print, television, radio, and internet ads.

Republicans will inhabit a red house and Democrats a blue house, all vying for the chance to wind up in the White House. Watch as candidates interact with one another from day to day and also compete in a rigorous series of quizzes and physical challenges.

Will Fred be able to handle Rudy and Ron gossiping behind his back? How will Barack react if Bill wins the first Head of House? What will Mitt do when he is given the chore of vacuuming? What are Dennis and Joe discussing in the jacuzzi? And why is Chris so angry?

Tune in and watch the fun ensue. Each week, America will vote off one candidate from each party, until only the final two remain.

The three-hour season finale will be held on Election Day 2008, featuring the Republican and Democratic winners, plus a surprise third-party candidate to be chosen by a poll conducted on the Internets.

The next President of the United States will be introduced the following morning by Ryan Seacrest.

Are You Smarter Than George Bush, premiering Summer 2008 with live performances by Aerosmith and Enya, and special guest appearances by Martin Sheen, Erik Estrada, and Dog The Bounty Hunter.

"Oh beautiful for spacious skies, but now those skies are threatening. They're beating plowshares into swords, for this tired old man that we elected king..."

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Won't you be my neighbor?
I'm thinking about doing the Second Annual 80's Week here on IYROOBTY. I was looking back to last year, and 80's Week was the second week of November. We had an 80's themed 3WW, The Time I Almost Met John Stamos, and Where Are They Now: New Kids On The Block. Please let me know if there are any 80's topics you would like to see covered.

Hemingway had a Three Day Blow. I have a six day hiatus. I think this may officially be the longest period of time I have ever gone without blogging. Perhaps one of you who have my blog committed to memory can either confirm or deny that.

It just seems like the same old, same old here. Football and golf, football and golf. Sometimes I feel like my life is a Kibbles 'N Bits commercial, without the cute puppies.

I took a day off work Friday and played golf. (See? There's just no shock value there.) Little Joe and I teed off--that's golf lingo for "began a round"--shortly after Noon. My goal for the day was to play with no mulligans, which I accomplished. I also only lost one ball. But perhaps the outing can best be summed up by the following quote:

"I think I left my pitching wedge beside the sixth green."

Friday night was the bachelor party of the century, which I somehow managed to miss. It was held at Red Lobster.

Yes, that Red Lobster.

Because what better way to say adios to your single days than with a plateful of endless shrimp and a couple of cheesy biscuits. From their slogan, "Share The Love," to the tankful of naked lobsters located inside the restaurant, this place just screams party.

Unfortunately, by the time I got back in town, the screams had died down and the party had broken up. You know, because it was already 10:00 PM.

Saturday was a neighborly day in this beauty wood. I awakened to the sweet sounds of footsteps on stairs and objects banging into walls. Ah, yes. The new neighbors were moving in... at 6:30 in the morning!

The banging finally subsided a little after 8:00, but I never managed to get back to sleep. At some point during the weekend, the guy stopped by to introduce himself. His name is Rocky. I'm not joking.

On the bright side--and keep in mind this is all relative--they did put out a little decorative porch ornament thingy: a white plastic dog with a small lantern hanging from its mouth.

It really adds a touch of something to the entire complex. It's sort of that whole plastic flamingo vibe that has been missing here for so long. I just hope I don't accidentally step on it, or set it ablaze.

Finally, as I was leaving Saturday to go to the Bama game, I noticed an Auburn tag on the back of Rocky's car.

Sigh. There goes the neighborhood.

"I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you..."

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