The (almost) Daily Comment

Thursday, 6/8/00 - My father died five years ago today. I'm sad that's he gone, but at the same time I feel fortunate that I knew him as long as I did... considering that others might know their fathers for much shorter times or not at all. My dad was a very talented man, a great artist in the advertising and graphics profession. I owe what talent and humor I may have to him. Here's a photo of him at work.


Wednesday, 6/7/00 - The weather here for the past couple of days has been unusually cool for this time of year. There's a groundhog that lives on the grounds where I work. He must have been confused about the weather, his shadow, or whatever, because yesterday I saw that he hung himself from a tree branch. There was a note attached to the tree, but nobody could read it because it was written in Groundhog.


Tuesday, 5/30/00 - I went back to work today after being off for five days. At home, I didn't touch my computer during that entire time. This morning, before work, I turned it on, got on the Internet and noticed that the Web counter at the bottom of the welcome page of my site had mysteriously reset itself. The last time I had looked, the counter was nearing 3,000 hits. This morning it read 28. The counter had enough zeros to handle 999,999 hits before starting over. There's no way on earth that could have happened. 3,000 hits since I started this site a while back is kind of pitiful, but 28 is insulting. So, I just deleted it. Come to think of it, Web counters had their day in the early days of the Internet and are kind of obsolete now. Better not to reveal to everyone how little your site is visited.

Speaking of going back to work, I donated blood at my workplace today. I walked upstairs to where the Medic people were set up. It must have been "train the new girl" day. I'm not discriminating against women, it just happened to be women involved in today's comment. I walked in and sat down at the first station where the girl prints out your information. She had someone standing over her guiding her on what to do. I thought "Oh, great. This rookie is going to screw up my computer records and I will be forever classified as a hemophiliac transvestite from Haiti and it will never be corrected." Fortunately, all goes well and I advance to the second station, where all the questions are asked and you get your finger poked and blood tested. This lady must go through this routine over a hundred times a day. She was rattling off the questions so fast, like a machine gun, that I could hardly understand what she was saying. At one question, I must have have misunderstood her and answered "yes." Suddenly, she stopped and stared at me, everyone else in the room whipped their heads around to look at me, the room went totally silent, even the sound of the air conditioning went silent, the only sound was a glass vial shattering on the floor, probably from someone dropping it as a result of shock. It was as if time stood still and all eyes were on me. After a few stunned moments, I muttered "uh, I guess I mean 'no'." Then, instantly, everything went back to normal as if nothing had happened. After I was done at this station, I went to a gurney and laid down, preparing to give of my fluid of life (my blood... gutter-mind). The female attendant had kind of a goth look to her with pale makeup and dyed jet-black hair. She tied off my arm with a rubber hose and swabbed the crook of my arm with alcohol. I turned my head to face her and saw her starting to lunge toward the now pulsing vein in my arm with her mouth open and teeth bared. Someone screamed out "NO, CHRISTY, NO!!!!" and tackled her just in time before she could sink her teeth into my arm. As they carried Christy out in a straightjacket, a seasoned professional blood-taker took over, apologizing profusely over and over. As soon as I was done, I got my free Coke and t-shirt and got the hell out of there. This has never happened before and I realize that this is just an isolated incident. You all just be careful if you give blood, OK?


Monday, 5/22/00 -

The Comb-Over Effect

I'm 40 years old and I'm gradually losing my hair. (I'm also getting some gray in my beard and mustache, but I think that's kind of cool looking). I've always had a high hairline and it has receded over the years, but recently I have noticed that the hair on the top part of the back of my head is starting to thin. This is a little saddening, but it's a part of aging that I can deal with. I'll never be one to wear a toupee or fool with Rogaine or any other treatment. What's going to happen is going to happen. I'll also never even entertain the thought of compensating for hair loss by utilizing the comb-over... voluntarily. I've been noticing lately that when I wake up in the morning, I have a comb-over. This leads me to think that my hair is starting to have a mind of its own and is rebelling against my non-combover wishes. While I sleep, my hair is plotting and scheming against me. Maybe the guys you currently see with comb-overs really didn't want or plan them but finally gave in to the overwhelming power of this force. I plan to keep fighting the good fight against this evil.

Pray for me.


Saturday, 5/20/00 - It happened again. I had another attack of Excessive Emotional Overload... EEO (see comment from 12/4/99). I was painting the ceiling of my den (covering up blood stains) when my daughter started playing an N'Sync CD. Once again, the sensual lyrics and heart-wrenching vocals took over my senses, and before I knew it, I had fallen from the ladder onto the couch, drenching a throw pillow with my gushing tears. From my previous experiences and lessons learned from my EEO support group meetings, I knew that there was only one thing I could do.... walk in the rain while crying out for answers and inspiration from the sky... you know, like they do in music videos. Trouble was, it wasn't raining at the time. So, I did the next best thing and had my daughter turn the garden hose on me. Turning the hose straight up in the air and letting the spray come down, simulating rain. I couldn't walk very far because of the limited length of the hose, so I guess it looked more like emotional pacing back and forth. It took about half an hour to relieve my suffering and pain and bring my emotional level (EL) back to normal. Still a bit weak and still quivering from all the love, I put on the soundtrack from Booty Call and got back to painting.


Friday, 5/19/00 - I think I'm gonna wang chung tonight.


Thursday, 5/18/00 - I'm pleased to announce that The Wonderful World of Longmire will soon be moving to a new home. Yep, I forked over some cash and got a dot com domain name ( I've been wanting to lose the unsightly "user" address for quite a while now. I'll also be taking this opportunity to redesign most of the site (if you have any suggestions, please let me know). After some confusion and technical glitches between the domain name people and my new web host, I finally got it together.

P.S. Hey, I won an award yesterday. I got an e-mail notifying me that I had won a Webmaster Award for my site. (OK, OK, I did submit it to them for their consideration) I'm not sure how important this award is, but at least it sounded impressive in the message...

Congratulations! You have been chosen as part of a select few to have won the prestigious Webmaster Award. After review of your website, our staff of judges has found your website to be in the TOP 2% of all the websites we've reviewed. Of the thousands of websites we review every month, our staff believes your web site to have exceptional graphics as well as unique & interesting content.

Go to this page and see what you think.


Wednesday, 5/17/00 - I'm thinking about taking tambourine lessons. I've even gone as far as insisting that my coworkers refer to me as "Mr. Tambourine Man." They stop me in the hallway and start singing "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for..." then I immediately have to stop them and remind them that that my tambourine career is still just in the planning stages. They walk away feeling disappointed and dejected.

I have always admired tambourine players, most notably Davy Jones of the Monkees and the little girl on The Partridge Family. The tambourine is an underrated instrument that has mistakenly been linked to band members who are not talented enough to play "real" instruments. This is simply not so.

The "tambo," as professional tambourine players refer to it, takes years of practice. It is a very important instrument and there are many playing styles such as:

  • shaking it with one hand
  • hitting it against your thigh
  • shaking it high above your head
  • holding it in one hand while hitting it with the other hand
  • and the very complicated shaking it in one hand and at the same time hitting it with your other hand while drinking a glass of cranberry juice

I'm really excited about this. I'll let you know how it goes.


Tuesday, 5/16/00 - After I left work today, I stopped by the bank for some moola and unexpectantly discovered that in a nearby mall parking lot there was a circus tent set up. Among other things, I noticed there was even an elephant giving rides. You may be asking "what's your point?" Well, think about it... when's the last time you saw an elephant by accident?


Friday, 5/12/00 - For most of today, I sat and wondered if I will ever amount to anything.


Wednesday, 5/10/00 - Lessons Learned: Never, NEVER, fry chicken when you're not wearing a shirt. Ouch.


Tuesday, 5/9/00 - This past weekend, I stopped by the hardware store. As I was looking for something down one aisle, a middle aged couple passed behind me. It wasn't hard to overhear what the wife was saying to her husband... she was performing for anyone in the vicinity to hear... really enjoying herself. It was something like "... you probably passed right by it. You never can find anything you're looking for..." blah, blah, blah, nag, nag, nag. She kept on and on at him, degrading him in public. The husband didn't say a word. I felt sorry for the poor guy but at the same time I felt that no man (or woman) should allow their spouse to abuse them in that way.


Today marks the ninth anniversary that my divorce became final. It was a long and bitter one. Don't get me wrong, because of my divorce I'm not against marriage or even women for that matter. I may get married again one day if I find the right person... but I'm in no hurry (obviously). Marriage is great if you don't become the couple at the hardware store. You know, it's odd... marriage usually starts out with love, a preacher, and a church. A lot of times it ends with attorneys, a courtroom, and property. Yes, divorces boil down to property. Got children involved? They're treated as property, too.

I think it would be a good idea if churches and preachers not only handled the start of marriages but also handled the divorces... instead of the lawyers and judges. I think feuding couples going through a church-supervised divorce would be less likely to be so cruel and heartless to each other. Most people are respectful toward religion because they don't want to get God mad. Well, anyway, that's my comment for today.


Monday, 5/8/00 - I went to a Taco Bell drive-thru this evening and noticed something new. Instead of the standard white gravel in the landscaping around the shrubs, they are now using the bones of little Chihuahua dogs. I thought that was pretty cool.


Saturday, 5/6/00 - Recently here in Tennessee, there has been news of a service to eliminate telemarketers from calling your home. You either call a toll-free number or visit a website to put your name on a "don't-call" list. However, I choose not to do this because I like telemarketers. Yes, that sounds insane, but sometimes I like to punish them for calling me, especially if they are pushy. You should try's great fun and is a challenge for your improv creativity.

Today, I got a telemarketing call from Mike at BMG Music Service. I was busy trying out some guitar instruction software that I recently purchased for my son when Mike called. Mike had a great deal for me (me being a former BMG customer)... get 5 CDs free and agree to buy one in the next year... or something like that. I wasn't really paying much attention. I told him that I wasn't interested. I'm very polite to telemarketers up to this point... until they choose to continue after being told no. This is where instead of saying "thank you" and ending the sales call, the pushy telemarketer initiates "Plan B."

Mike asked me why I wasn't interested.

Mike made a mistake.

In my opinion, when a telemarketer goes further than the "I'm not interested" stage, this opens the door for me, the "callee," to turn the tables and bring on the abuse. I wish I had recorded our conversation from that point on. From my recollection, here's how it went...

Mike: May I ask why you aren't interested, Mr. Longmire?

Me: Well, Mike, I honestly don't think I would be a good customer.

Mike: Why's that?

Me: As you're probably aware of, I was enrolled in BMG a few years ago. Times were a little hard for me back then and I got behind in paying you guys for some CDs...

Mike: Well, Mr. Longmire, we...

Me: Mike, I was still talking...

Mike: Uh, sorry...

Me: ended up sending my account to a collection agency. Do you remember that, Mike?

Mike: Well, no, I'm just...

Me: I wouldn't feel right taking advantage of your incredible offer knowing that I would probably just screw you over again. Actually, I'm surprised you called me, given my bad payment history...

Mike: OK... Mr. Longmire...let me tell you about the BMG...

Me: Hey Mike... do you like music?

Mike: Well, sure... but...

At this point, I calmly put the phone down on my desk and, referring to the guitar lesson I was currently on, started strumming and singing...

Me: Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you, Away, you rolling rivaaaahhhhh.
Oh, Shenandoah, just to be near you, Away, we're bound away, 'cross the wide Missouriiiieeeee.


Mike: Mr. Longmire?.....

Me: Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter, Away, you rolling rrrrrrrivahh.

Mike: MR. LONGMIRE!!!!!

Me: Oh, Shenandoah, just to be near you, Away, we're bound away, 'cross the wide Missouraaaaahhh.

Mike: The hell with this...(click).

Me: Mike?... Mike, are you there?... Mike?...Oh, well...

Wednesday, 5/3/00 - I've been seeing a series of commercials on TV for a while now that have got me curious. The commercials are for a chain of discount bargain stores called Big Lots. The ads feature comedian Jerry Van Dyke. The weird thing is that Jerry never goes into the store. He is always just outside the store, either hiding in bushes or peering into the front window. He gives people a $10 or $20 bill to go in and do his shopping for him and then is astounded at the great deals they come out with. What I'm wondering is: has Mr. Van Dyke previously committed some unspeakable, vile, and horrible act inside a Big Lots and is now legally restricted from entering any of the stores? On top of that, is he a Big Lots junkie?... he just can't stay away from the place and is running couriers in and out of the place so he can get his Big Lots "fix." Man, it must have been some pretty nasty stuff he did to be banned, of all places, from a Big Lots.


Monday, 5/1/00 - I took the day off from work today and ran some errands that I normally can't do during a workday. My son is interested in learning the guitar, so I planned on going out and getting some missing strings replaced on my old guitar. When I went out the door this morning, guitar case in hand, I noticed a female neighbor outside. She saw me loading the guitar case into my car and for a few moments, I fancied myself as a "rock and roll" star heading out to play a "gig." I also imagined this rather attractive female neighbor as one of my adoring fans... a "groupie"... and reasoned that she would soon fall in love with me in real life, regardless of the fact that she's married. Hey, the breakup of a marriage is the dues you gotta pay in the music business, baby. This whole fantasy-bubble burst when I realized that just where in the hell would a rock superstar be going with his guitar at 8:50 in the morning? To my horror, I also realized that my neighbor might think that I was on my way to perform sing-alongs for a kindergarten class or garden club.


Wednesday, 4/26/00 - There's a woman where I work that looks just like Regis Philbin and it's creeping me out, man. Speaking of Regis, if you ever happen to be a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, I've done a bit of research in case a certain question comes up. In the classic Styx song, the phrase "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto" is repeated 17 times. If you win some cash with this info, you can thank me after we discuss my cut.


Thursday, 3/30/00 - Last week, I and some coworkers were posed the following hypothetical question and our replies are to be published soon in the company newsletter...

You and your stereo wash up on a desert island. You remember from watching Gilligan's Island reruns that batteries can be recharged by wiring two coconuts together and filling them with salt water, so your days and nights can be filled with music. What ten CDs (cassettes, albums, whatever!) do you want with you?

And here is the list that I submitted:

1. Pretty Little FedEx Man - by Neil Sedaka
2. Slim Whitman Sings His Guts Out - by Slim Whitman
3. The Andy Griffith Theme and Other Whistling Hits - by the guy who whistled the Andy Griffith theme song
4. There's a Sailor in the Shanty - by Brian Hamby and the Hamtones
5. Mama Was a Truck-Drivin' Man - by Buck Owens and the Gap-Toothed Wonders
6. Here Come Da Lovewagon (Comin' Down Da Line) - by Master Z and Da Boyz
7. Me, You, and Midnight Lace...A Prelude to Delight (Phase 1) - by Celine Dion and Boxcar Willie
8. Your Breath Smells Like White-Out - by John Tesh
9. Meet Me at the Waffle House - by Marshall Andy and the Waffle House Five
10. Fan the Flames of Freedom/Battle Hymn of the Shriners - by the Shriner Philharmonic Orchestra

I know, it's pretty tame. After all, it was for a company newsletter.


Tuesday, 3/21/00 - I received an e-mail today (from a woman) with the following photo attachment and caption...

What Women Do With Duct Tape

Well, I guess that proves that women must like the feel of a man's urine on a toilet seat. While we're on the subject, whoever made up the rule that the man should put the seat down when he's done to have the toilet ready for a woman's use? Well, how about you women out there putting the seat up when you're done? Thanks, we'd appreciate it.


Monday, 3/20/00 - Where I work, we are cleaning out a workroom to make space for some coworkers to move to our building. During the cleanup, I fortunately acquired a mini-refrigerator which now is in my office, within armslength of my desk. It's still pretty empty, but I do have a few essentials as you can see in the photo below...

I like to keep momentos of former coworkers around...


Sunday, 3/19/00 - Went out to eat with my mom at the nearby Ruby Tuesday restaurant. Come to think of it, every Ruby Tuesday is nearby since you can't spit without hitting one around here. I think there are about 6,000 of them in Knoxville. If you've ever been to one, I'm sure you couldn't have helped but notice the enormous size of the menus. They are obnoxiously huge and awkward to maneuver at Ruby's tiny tables. During our dinner, I heard on the restaurant's loudspeaker, "Would the people at Table 5 please fold up your menus... you're blocking the fire exit. Thank you."


Friday, 3/17/00 - Whew! False alarm. The only thing that happened today was that I was bored to death at work. Hope you had or are having a happy St. Patrick's Day. To obtain good luck, please refer to my Good Luck Omens to Look for on St. Patrick's Day.


Thursday, 3/16/00 - Well, tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day and I'm a little nervous. I'll tell you why... A few days ago, I received a coupon packet in the mail. Among the coupons were a couple from different companies that happened to use the same leprechaun clip art. Coincidence? I think not...

Filthy Irish scum...

As you can see, the finger of the leprechaun on the left is touching the "4" and the other one is pointing to the "U." I interpreted the 4 and U to mean "for you." Curious, I had a friend at a photographic laboratory take one of the coupons, enlarge it, and put it through some infrared filtering. This is the chilling result...

"They always be after me Lucky Charms!"


Tuesday, 3/14/00 - My daughter's school is always having the kids sell something. If you're a parent, I'm sure you know about this stuff... the schools use the students as mini-salesmen to peddle overpriced crap in order for the school to get a cut of the sales. The kids are enticed to sell by being rewarded with prizes. The other day, my daughter brought home a catalog full of items to sell for Easter time. Most of the items in the catalog were innocent eggs and bunny stuff but I was rather surprised to see this...

Holy Milk Chocolate!

A cross made out of chocolate.

Doesn't anybody besides me think that this is a bit odd? I can't believe someone would be selling something like this. Evidently, you cannot have religion in the schools, but the schools can let the students sell edible religious icons. Go figure.


Monday, 3/13/00 - It's Census 2000 time!
I received my census form in the mail today and I'm stumped on the first question: "How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2000?" After a quick glance at a calendar, I discovered that APRIL 1, 2000 HASN'T OCCURRED YET! What am I do here, wait until April 2 to answer this? Wouldn't answering prior to April 1 be lying? Is this a trick? Just as confusing was the census mailing that I received back on March 6. I thought it was the census form at that time, only to find that it was a letter informing me that the census was on its way. That mailing also included a reply envelope for no reason. What was I supposed to do with this envelope?... send back a note with the word "OK" on it? I hated to waste a good postage-paid reply envelope, so I sent them a favorite chili recipe of my mom's along with a picture of me at the beach.


Thursday, 3/9/00 - Adventures in Computer Maintenance
Earlier this week, I ordered by phone some additional memory for my Mac from a computer supply catalog. The memory card came in yesterday, so last night I got to installing it. Carefully going by Apple's instructions, step by step, I proceeded to open up my computer. I got the external shell off and was unscrewing the first of two screws to take out the compartment that housed the memory when my son came into the room and started talking to me. I looked up to answer him and at the same time heard the loosened screw fall into the guts of the computer. I thought, well maybe I can get it out, if not, I can get by with just one screw. I then loosened the remaining screw and this time my daughter yelled for me to help her with something and... you guessed it... the second screw followed the same path as the first. At this point, I screamed and then locked the door so as to be undisturbed for the remainder of the installation session. OK, I calmed down a bit and slid the compartment out, found the memory area and popped off a little metal screen. I take the new memory card and prepare to insert it into the empty slot that is waiting for it. I pause. I pause again with my mouth hanging open. It's the wrong size. In fact, the memory card is twice as big as the slot in the computer. There is no way that this part is meant for this computer. Since this is the first time I have ever attempted to add memory to any computer, I had no notion what size it should have been before I opened the computer up. Well, this isn't going to work, so I start putting the computer back together. I hear a rattling at my locked door. I say, "Ashley (my daughter), are you trying to get in here? I told you I was busy." She replies "I'm taking the doorknob off." I say OK, fine, assuming she is kidding. I start back to my work and still hear the door rattling. I look up and find that Ashley actually IS taking the doorknob off. Geez, I said, of all times to be playing around, why are you doing this RIGHT NOW? She sees that I am frazzled and not to mess with me at this moment, so she fixes the doorknob back. OK, back to work. I pick up the computer that is the new home of two loose screws and miraculously shake both of them out. I reassemble the computer, put it back on my desk, and hook all the cables back up. I press a button to start it up and nothing happens. I try it again... nothing. I panic. Oh Lord, oh merciful god in heaven, what have I done? I have messed up my computer! I calm down and discover that I have not inserted the power cord far enough into the back of the computer. Whew! I turn it on and everything is fine.

This morning, I called up the supplier to report the wrong part and it turns out that they sent the right part that I ordered, but there was...and get this... a typo in the item number in the catalog. The wrong ID number listed in their catalog. Off by one digit. Their fault. So they figure out what the right part is and are sending it to me.

Man, sometimes it just ain't easy being me.


Wednesday, 3/8/00 - By now, you have undoubtedly heard about the Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire fiasco. What is the media's fascination with this? Marrying for money is hardly a new thing. This lousy two-bit novelty show is still in the news almost every day now. A couple of weeks ago, just after the "honeymoon," the newlywed bride, this Darva woman, is being interviewed on the Today show and states that she made a big mistake and that she is "not news"... she just wants to get past this and go home and "reclaim her life." Well, since she uttered those sincere words, it seems that she has appeared on every possible talk show imaginable and I just heard that she is considering posing nude in Penthouse magazine for three million dollars. I can hardly wait for that...


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