Friday, 6/1/01 - Last night I posted the latest installment (part 5) of my Planet of the Apes parody. I think it's purty durn good... hope you do too. Take a look.

It's a labor of love.


Tuesday, 5/29/01 - I was at a Walgreen's store today and saw a product displayed on a shelf at the checkout counter that made me laugh and shake my head in disbelief. It was a box labeled "Zim's CRACK Creme." Interpret that however you want. I guess this would go well with another product Walgreen's sells called "Nad's."

In case you don't believe me...

Zim's CRACK Creme

Of course, they have a website.


Monday, 5/28/01 - As I'm working on part 5 of my Planet of the Apes parody. I came across this disturbing (unaltered) frame from the film. If you didn't know what was actually happening in the film at this moment, it would be easy to misinterpret this image...


I think the most disturbing part of this photo is the look on Charlton Heston's face... he seems to be really enjoying himself.

On that note... Happy Memorial Day!


Sunday, 5/27/01 - Thursday evening, I was reviewing all the hangup calls on my answering machine and discovered that I actually had a message... from none other than his Lordship, Victor Ashe, the Mayor of Knoxville. It was a automated pre-recorded message inviting me to a "Mayor's Night Out" to be held at the recreation center in my neighborhood. It was rather lengthy and ended with such an incredible amount of garbled static noise and feedback that I wondered if City Hall had been hit by an atomic blast at the moment the Mayor finished his message.


Friday, 5/25/01 - In the wee hours last night, I was visited by the Angel of Death. I identified him by the "Hello, my name is the Angel of Death" name badge he was wearing on his cloak. Arms outreached in a dramatic fashion, he started to speak, but was interrupted by an incoming call on his cell phone. He propped his scythe against my bed as he pulled out a slip of paper and began writing, as he mumbled to himself, "bread, milk, cereal, toilet paper, tampons, Yoo Hoos..." Obviously, this was Mrs. Angel of Death calling for him to pick up a few things at the market on his way home.

Ending the call, he apologized and resumed his ritual. A projected image in midair appeared, and the events of my life were displayed before my eyes. Needless to say, I immediately fell back asleep, only to be awakened by the spectre jostling me. He proclaimed "Charles Mark Longmire, it is your time. You have been chosen."

I gasped as he opened up his cloak. Fearing what may be inside, I was surprised and somewhat relieved to see a selection of Amway products fastened to the inside. I told him thanks, but no, I wasn't interested. He handed me a catalog and his card and told me to think about it for a while and then give him a call. I fell back asleep and when I awoke, I found a very nice "Thank You" note at the foot of my bed, along with a free sample of carpet stain remover.


Wednesday, 5/23/01 - Created a tongue-in-cheek graphic for Christopher Shields' Icarus (Planet of the Apes spacecraft) website. Here it is. It probably won't make a lot of sense unless you're a big POTA fan.

Now I have to get busy on a freelance job of doing a pen and ink drawing of a couple of dogs for someone. Yes, I'm serious.


Saturday, 5/19/01 - I must not have been paying attention when I put away the groceries I bought last week... I just had a salad with shampoo dressing.

Have you ever noticed that a lot of overly muscle-bound guys are short? I think it's called "Short Guy Syndrome." These guys must work out to deal with feeling insecure about their height... among other things.

There are two houses for sale on my street. Both have "For Sale" signs with a little box containing brochures on each respective house. Just for a kick, I've been tempted to switch the brochures in each box to confuse prospective buyers and anger the homesellers. But, I nixed the prank when I realized that this could possibly delay the selling process and I want these two households out of the neighborhood ASAP.

I found a web story with my name in it. Check out the last line on this page.


Friday, 5/18/01 - It's Shriner Time in Tennessee
During lunch today, I went by the local Kmart. Pardon me, I mean the Big Kmart. Just outside the door there was an aged Shriner sitting at a little table selling Shriner newspapers for a donation. He was wearing the trademark Shriner fez hat, of course, complete with a tassle on a string coming from the top. I was most impressed with this fez. They come with their own little hat cases, which were on the table. Besides the one he was wearing, the guy had another fez on the table, sitting atop its case, that had the words "Klown Korp" on it. I wanted one of those. I wonder if I could join the Shriners, just to get get a nifty fez, and then quit. Nah... it's probably not that easy.

This Shriner was wearing a t-shirt that read "Pull My Tassle." I didn't.

(For more information on the Shriners, reference this older page of mine.)

So, I goes into the Big Kmart and looks at some shirts. A saleslady asked me if I needed any assistance so I asked her if urine would wash out of the shirts easily. She ran away, screaming. I don't know where she went. They always run away when I ask that.


Thursday, 5/17/01 - This is the first Thursday night since Survivor ended. The dream is over. I started watching it about 3 episodes from the end, got hooked, and then "boom," it's gone. First Lobsterfest ends, and now Survivor is finished. Oh, it's going to be a cruel, cruel summer.


Thursday, 5/17/01 - The kids were off from school last Friday and on that day, I glanced at the school calendar and read that the teachers were having another "staff development day." You'd think that this late in the school year, with only two weeks left, that they'd be fairly developed by now. Curious, I called up the middle school that my daughter attends to find out what staff development day is. The phone rang about seven times until a woman answered, giggling. She didn't answer the phone by saying the name of the school... it was just a giggly distracted "hello." I could hear "Play that Funky Music, White Boy" blaring in the background and lots of yelling, singing, and more laughing. After finally getting her attention, I told her I was a parent and was wondering what "staff development day" was. She replied "STAFF WHAT DAY???" followed by a whoop and uncontrollable laughter, as if she had just been goosed. There was then a bunch of banging and thumping sounds as the phone must have hit the floor. I waited for a few moments, but she never came back to the phone. I overheard someone yell "OOOHHH, PRINCIPAL STEVENS!!!" and then the line went dead.

I guess I got my answer. Yep, "staff development day" consists of a huge keg party.


Wednesday, 5/16/01 - I got a very nice mention on Christopher Shield's The Last Flight of the Icarus site. The "Icarus" is the name of the spacecraft in the film Planet of the Apes. Christopher has done a great job of providing detailed information and theories about this fantastic spaceship... just about everything you'd ever want to know but were afraid to ask! His ANSA Astronaut Field Training Manual is hilarious and a perfect tie-in to my Planet of the Apes parody. Have a big glass of Tang and enjoy.


Tuesday, 5/15/01 - I found a note to myself in a coat pocket that I must have wrote 3 or 4 months ago. I had scribbled a slogan down that I had seen on a plumber's van: "You're Behind the Brain Who Can Unstop Your Drain!" Now, aren't you glad I rediscovered it? Yeah, I thought so.


Monday, 5/14/01 - Although it happens rarely, it's a nice feeling when a woman gives me an interested look. But this morning, I stopped at a convenience store and got the once-over from this scary looking woman who was bigger and more masculine than you'd want a female to be. S/he gave me the willies and reminded me of my elementary school gym teacher. I think it was the "Let's Get Physical" tattoo on her hairy forearm that freaked me out the most.


Sunday, 5/13/01 - Happy Mother's Day
I spent most of today talking my mother down from a bridge (again) where she was threatening to jump off. Here's a photo of her taken right at the moment that she went nuts...


Wednesday, 5/9/01 - I clipped this out of a recent Radio Shack advertisement...

"Johnny Cash reads selected devotionals aloud."


Interesting choice. I guess Charlton Heston was busy.

I wonder if Johnny performs any musical numbers aloud, too? Maybe he sings "A Disciple Named Sue" or starts crooning "I hear that Lord a'comin, He's comin' round the bend..." or "I fell into a burnin' bush of fire..." or perhaps "I smote a man in Judea, just to watcheth him die."

Of course Johnny Cash would read the selected devotionals aloud. It would kind of defeat the purpose of the talking electronic King James Bible if Johnny was reading them silently to himself.


Tuesday, 5/8/01 - I must apologize for the self-pity in Sunday's entry. It's just that... (sigh)... I was in despair because on that day Lobsterfest ended at Red Lobster. Oh yes, it's over...gone...poof.

At a bookstore today, I saw a book titled "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Enhancing Self-Esteem." Hmmm... wouldn't the first step for enhancing self-esteem be to not regard yourself as a complete idiot by purchasing this book?

A coworker of mine just got some new office furniture. I was checking it out and opened a drawer. The only thing he had in there was a bunch of bananas. Needless to say, his new nickname quickly became "banana drawers.


Monday, 5/7/01 - Some crazy cool cat named Jonathan sent me this video clip (mpeg, 616k). Warning: Don't watch this if you're a squirrel lover. Visit Jonathan's site at Help Jonathan get a big fat raise by visiting his boss's website at


Sunday, 5/6/01 - I have such a strange feeling today. I think scientists call it a "funk." A lot of things are going wrong... my e-mail is screwed up, my computer is acting odd, my car's making weird noises, I got suckered into joining a record club. But mostly, I'm just bored and frustrated right now concerning my social life and lack of the same. I guess I'm feeling like I'm done in, with little going on other than going to work, paying bills, and getting older... alone. I've felt a bit down off and on and I try to get my mind off of it by purposely finding things to do around the house. Next week (May 9) marks the 10th anniversary of my divorce. My mom marks the occasion each year by buying me a gift. I've told her this year is the end of that. Even though the divorce was the best solution to a bad situation, it's still a failure. Why celebrate a failure in life?

All this time, I've been a single father raising two kids. Needless to say, this has kept me busy. Now, that they're teenagers, I want to be a bit selfish for a change and actually have a life.

Why am I telling you all this? Just whining, I guess. I'll probably feel better in the morning.


Saturday, 5/5/01 - I got the bags mixed up and accidentally put Miracle-Gro fertilizer in my cat's litter box.

There's been an Indian pow-wow campout thing going on the grounds of my daughter's school this weekend. All day long I could hear the banging of drums and chanting. I went up there and saw that they had the area roped off and were charging admission. I thought about going in until I found out that there wasn't any gambling.


Friday, 5/4/01 - A couple more cell phone sightings.
Which is more important, your kids... or your cell phone?

Recently, I saw a woman driving a mini-van with her small child not in a car seat, hanging halfway out the back window. The woman was on her phone and oblivious to everything.

Driving through my neighborhood, I saw a guy playing catch with his little boy. Yep, dad had a cell phone nestled under his chin.


Thursday, 5/3/01 - Congratulations are in order.
Well, well, what do you know... like the presidential race, once again it came down to a Tennesseean versus a Texan for all the marbles. Hip, hip, hooray to hometown girl Tina Wesson for winning Survivor 2. She makes Knoxville proud. I wish her good luck as I'm sure that by winning a million dollars she now has a lot of "close personal friends" to contend with.

In an unrelated story, take a look at this photo I clipped out of a recent Knoxville newspaper...

I have no comment on this... it's too easy.


Wednesday, 5/2/01 - I saw this panel from a Beetle Bailey cartoon in the funnies a few weeks ago...

Who would have thought that this long-running comic strip, as wholesome as Mom and apple pie, would lower its standards and show its main character baring his rear end? Is nothing sacred? What is this country coming to? I am shocked and outraged. Damn you, Mort Walker... damn you.


Tuesday, 5/1/01 - May Day! May Day! We're going down!!!


Monday, 4/30/01 - Something you'd rather not hear.
Overheard at a Target store this evening: "Honey, we need to get your stool softener."


Saturday, 4/28/01 - A friend of mine had an article published in The Metro Pulse, a Knoxville weekly newspaper. Read what Lucy has to say about working at home in her story, Pajama Envy.


Thursday, 4/26/01 - Cell phones
I think cell phone use has gotten ridiciculous. It's become the latest addiction. And the main thing is that people can't talk on a phone and function properly in whatever activity they're involved in at that moment. Every third driver on the road is talking on a phone while driving badly. I've seen people talking on phones in the supermarket while walking around aimlessly, stopping abruptly, and turning around and walking right into me.

I was at a restaurant recently and this dumb lout was talking on the phone loud enough for everyone in there to hear. I looked out the window and saw two guys walking up to the restaurant. One guy was on his phone, the other guy looked at him and pulled out his own phone. I guess he figured he needed to call someone to tell them the big news that he was nearing the restaurant entrance.

I've seen people in my neighborhood talking on the phone as they go to their mailbox and people on the phone as they're pumping gas. I saw a guy mowing the lawn around my office, on one of those mowers that you operate in a standing position, with a cell phone nestled on his neck.

Just today, while stopped at a red light, the trunk of the car in front of me suddenly pops open and the driver gets out (not out of the trunk), cigarette in mouth while talking on a cell phone, and walks to the trunk to retrieve something. Praying that it wasn't going to be a shotgun, the driver pulls a phone book out and returns to the driver's seat with it.

What is so important that these people think they have to talk to someone, and be reached by phone, at all times? What's wrong with being unavailable or away from a phone for a while? How in the world did they survive before cell phones? I guess I don't understand it because if I'm not at my desk where I work, I rarely call anyone or get phone calls in return. I guess that's because everyone despises me.

Admittedly, I'll probably give in and end up getting one someday but will probably only use about an hour's worth of calls a month. If you have a cell phone, don't get me wrong, I'm not totally against them... but don't overuse them like an idiot.


Wednesday, 4/25/01 - A friend and I were discussing the difficulties (and lack) of dating, commiserating on our frustration with the opposite sex. It boiled down to the fact that as bad as you think you think things are going for yourself, there are people out there who have it worse than you.

We saw it this way: would you rather have a woman use you, abuse you, and then move on to someone else... or would you rather have a woman use you, abuse you, and then move on to someone else because you're a heroin addict?


Sunday, 4/22/01 - I opened an e-mail this morning from Miss Cleo, the fortune-tellin', tarot card-readin' woman with the fake Jamaican accent. Seeing her on TV ads is annoying enough without her sending me electronic messages. Anyway, she told me that she had a dream about me and that I should call her 1-800 number to talk to one of her "gifted" tarot readers so that I could discover the many "wonderful" things that are going to happen in my life. Am I wrong, or would I eventually discover these wonderful things anyway without a tarot card reading? Isn't finding out ahead of time like cheating? And why didn't she just tell me in the e-mail about these wonderful things? Oh, I must have forgot... she's running a business that requires my money.

"Oh yah, dahlin... you need to call me right away, mon!"


Thursday, 4/19/01 - After hearing about it from coworkers and my mom, last night I finally watched that new game show "The Weakest Link." If you haven't seen it yet, it is a very strange show. It makes you tense just watching it. The host is this strange, evil, dominatrix-like British woman who emcees the show in a Nazi gestapo manner and constantly insults and degrades the contestants. She sort of resembles Julie Andrews in a way, so she can best be described as The Mary Poppins From Hell. The show starts off with seven or eight contestants and one is voted off by the others after each round until there is only two left. When the vote is cast, the host dismisses the unlucky contestant with a quick and cold-hearted "You are the weakest link! Goodbye!", a cute little catchphrase that I'm sure is being imitated all over the place already. At the end of the show this charming woman says some parting words and stands there rigidly as the credits roll. I'm sure that as soon as the cameras turn off, stagehands rush in, pick her up, and return her to storage until the next show, packing her in ice so that she doesn't thaw out.


Wednesday, 4/18/01 - I heard an old Bee Gees tune, Fanny (Be Tender With My Love) on the radio today. You just have to laugh at a song with the words "fanny" and "tender" together in the title.

I had a friend once who spent some nights on broadway doing some jive talkin' with some prostitutes, asking one after another, "how deep is your love?" He ended up with more than a woman and a few days later was barely stayin' alive with an acute case of night fever. What looked at first like a love so right turned into a tragedy. Now he's wondering how do you mend a broken heart? He asked me my opinion and I replied "you should be dancing."


Tuesday, 4/17/01 - This evening I went to my daughter's chorus concert at her school. Even though I was there, I missed most of it because I was fiddling with my digital camera. The batteries went dead, so I replaced them quickly with some spares I had and got the batteries in wrong which jammed the battery compartment lid shut. So, I missed taking a photo of my daughter performing in a clarinet trio and whacking the other two kids in the head with her instrument when they went offkey. That would have been a great picture.


Tuesday, 4/17/01 (12:17 a.m.) - The door we mostly use to come in and out at my house has a trick door knob that I've been meaning to replace for a long time. Even if it is unlocked, the only way you can get in from outside, if the door is fully closed, is by using the key while turning the knob. Well, I went outside after midnight, just for a moment, to roll up the windows and lock the doors of my car and absent-mindedly shut the door and "locked" myself out. The bad thing was... all I had on was my underwear. The original plan was just to dart out and back in real fast. Even worse, my kids were asleep and they can't wake up even with an alarm clock going off next to their heads. And, brother, it was a little nippy out there. Imagine if you will, an extremely underdressed man banging on doors and windows and ringing doorbells late at night, yelling "Let me in!" along with other colorful phrases. After 10 minutes, as I was giving up hope and starting to cry... and also starting to think of a way to construct a makeshift shelter out of patio son miraculously woke up and let me in. If I had been alone at home at the time, I would have been TOTALLY SCREWED.


Monday, 4/16/01 - This weekend I was doing some landscaping in my yard and was reconfiguring some old railroad ties that were used as flower bed borders, boundaries, whatever you call it. I had to saw some of them off to resize them and when I did, I could smell the aroma of what seemed to be that of a train (locomotive oil, I guess) that had soaked into the wood. So, I guess they were authentic ones that were actually used on a railroad. I liked the smell so much that I have decided to become a train-hopping hobo and travel this great land of ours with my belongings wrapped in a red and white polka-dotted handkerchief tied to the end of a stick. I think this is what I have been destined for all my life. I really do. So, I'll be "ridin' the rails" soon and I might be coming to your town... if you're lucky.


Sunday, 4/15/01 - Happy Easter!
Early this afternoon, I heard about four or five mysterious loud bangs in the distance outside my window. As I recall from my childhood, Easter egg hunting didn't involve gunfire.

Later this afternoon, my friend Brian got a day pass from his correctional facility and came over for a cookout. Brian insisted on doing the cooking. I'm kinda glad he did now. Brian is in stable condition now and resting comfortably at St. Mary's Hospital, room 442.


Saturday, 4/14/01 - Beijing calling...
I got an insane phone call at 2 a.m. this morning by someone with a very bad fake Chinese accent claiming to be calling from Beijing. They claimed that my number was on their caller ID. I played along for a while, telling from the tone of the voice that it was some kids fooling around. We talked about chopsticks, Kung Fu, the weather in Beijing, and formal apologies for unfortunate mid-air collisons. The accent was thick and unintelligible at most times and at one point I thought that the caller said that they had a three year-old diaper, but I finally understood her to say they had a three-year old daughter. The caller was obviously a professional prankster because he/she never once broke character or laughed. After about 10 minutes of this, it got tiresome and I hung up.


Friday, 4/13/01 - Last week while I was off from work, I had some new carpet put in my den. After the installation date was rescheduled two times by the carpet people, the guys finally showed up. The two installers looked normal enough as I showed them the room to put the new carpet down in. As they started working, I found something to do at the other end of the house. After about 15 minutes, I started hearing one of the guys yelling "Give up, give up!" and the other saying "Quit it!" I went into the room and discovered them wrestling on the floor, the big bald carpet guy had the other one pinned to the ground. When they saw me, they got back to work as if nothing had happened. I went back to what I was doing until about 20 minutes went by and I heard "G-4" and "miss!" coming from the room. I went back in and this time found them sitting in the floor, eating MY Cheetos and playing Battleship. Annoyed by now, I told them that they could play carpet boy games later and would they just please get busy, finish, and leave. They gave me a hateful look. I went outside for a while and did some yardwork. They came out a little later and said they were finished. I wrote them a check and went in and looked at the new carpet and had a sneaking suspicion that the carpet was used and not the same carpet that I had picked in the store showroom. The bald guy snatched the check out of my hand, the two of them jumped in their van and sped away, tires squealing down the road. I don't know about the new's not what I had in mind... but I guess I can get used to it.


Wednesday, 4/11/01 - Today I noticed that two neighboring houses had For Sale signs in their yards. Heh, heh, heh. My plan is working... soon the whole street will be mine, all mine.


Tuesday, 4/10/01 - In just a span of a couple of days, the weather has gone from cold to hot here in Knoxville, seemingly skipping Spring. Seemingly skipping Spring? Good Lord, what have I been drinking? Anyway... with the warm weather, every insect that flies and buzzes and has a stinger has come out of every nook and cranny and is flying dangerously close everywhere. I was sitting at a traffic light on my way home from work today and noticed my most hated enemy, a wasp, flying around the roof of the car in front of me. I watched it and watched it, knowing in advance what would happen... as it usually does. As soon as traffic started moving again, this wasp zoomed from that car and headed straight for my open window and my face. I hate wasps.

On an unrelated note, a little later I saw a personalized license plate that read "LETT 1."

So I did.


Thursday, 4/5/01 - It figures...
For a while now, I've known the story of how the Longmire family's ancestor came to this country... and it's a unique tale. Let me share it with you. Oh, come on... I know you've been wanting to know.

William Longmire was born in 1704 in London, England. He was arrested in October of 1725 for stealing a hat, an incident that would eventually land him in America.

It seems that 21 year-old William and some buddies were up to no good, loitering on a street corner when they encountered a drunken well-to-do gentlemen staggering out into the street. They started having some fun with him which turned into a game of keep-away with the drunkard's hat. William ended up with the hat, and ran down the street, taunting the man as he went. Needless to say, William didn't return the hat and was arrested for the theft.

The charges read: "Wm Longmire accused of accosting a gentleman on the Kings Hwy and stealing his hat worth 5 shillings." Believe it or not, William was sentenced to hang for this offense...yep, for stealing a hat. I guess the British took hat thievery very seriously in those days.

The next month, In November of 1725, the captain of a merchant ship "purchased" William from prison and brought him to Virginia to labor in the colonies for 14 years. William Longmire died in 1748 or 1749, which means that he was about 44 years old when he passed away and had about nine years of freedom after his "obligations" were met. He had three sons and now Longmires are all over the country (kinda scary, huh?).

That's a pretty cool story.


Wednesday, 4/4/01 -Except for my picky neighbors and police visits, I've found that 2:30 a.m. is a very peaceful and serene time to practice electric guitar solos on the front porch.


Tuesday, 4/3/01 -I took this week off from work and actually got to do some artwork today. A couple of years ago, I was lying on the couch looking out the window, when the view of a portion of my front porch caught my eye. I found the composition to be interesting and thought it would be a cool art project to do. I took some pictures of this view and today I finally got around to "drawing" it in Freehand. I think I'll print it out big, frame it and put it up in my house. Click here to take a look at it.


Monday, 3/26/01 -Every year I watch the Academy Awards and every year I feel like I wasted my time staying up late to view this boring show. I did notice some things, though:

1. Steve Martin is a much better host than that big ham Billy Crystal. Constant Jewish jokes are very, very old and tiresome.

2. Judging from Russell Crowe's refusal to laugh or even crack a smile, he sure did try to act the part of a tough guy. Someone needs to tell him that he's not really a gladiator.

3. Guys wearing sunglasses indoors to appear cool has always seemed kind of arrogant and rude to me. It works for some guys, I guess, like Jack Nicholson or Roy Orbison... but Danny DeVito? I think not. Nice try, little man.

4. I've been hearing a lot about California's energy problems. It looked like a lot of Oscar male presenters couldn't muster up enough power to run their razors. Didn't that 3-day-growth-of-beard-look go out with Miami Vice?

5. Bob Dylan performed live via satellite from Australia, and man, I have to tell you... he's looking just a little too much like Vincent Price these days.

6. The funniest part of the show came when Steve Martin announced that the FBI had uncovered a plot by Tom Hanks to kidnap Russell Crowe. From his seat in the audience, Tom Hanks responded to this adlib perfectly. Another funny part was where Steve Martin referred to some dancers twirling through the air during a dance representation of the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," as being "all hopped up on caffeine."


Sunday, 3/25/01 - Here's how I enjoyed this weekend:

  • Helped my cat make a sand castle in his litter box.
  • Because of those TV commercials, I spent most of Saturday worrying that the OnStar people know the secret location of the Bat Cave.
  • Went outside every morning at 3 a.m., made barking noises and got all the neighborhood dogs riled up.
  • Created the words and music to a song in my sleep, and promptly forgot them when I woke up. I vaguely remember that it had something to do with Absorbine Jr.
  • Stopped by an audio books store where there was a bin of free sampler cassette tapes. Took one and recorded over it with my own dramatic readings of Letters to Penthouse with cartoon special effects noises in the background. Took this re-recorded tape and dropped it back into the bin for a lucky listener to discover.
  • Watched some of MTV's Spring Break and hated myself for it.
  • Accidentally drank a case of whiskey. Thought it was Diet Root Beer.
  • Practiced my sexy stare.
  • Painted my driveway chrome silver just to confuse and anger my neighbors.
  • Received an offer in the mail to recieve issues of The Kiplinger Letter. I don't know what that is, but it sounded so impressive, I framed it.
  • Did some home improvement work. Removed old indoor-outdoor carpeting from my front porch and discovered a pentagram painted in blood... human blood.
  • Also, unclogged a toilet, dislodging a hatchet that someone had tried to flush.


Monday, 3/19/01 -Today, I attended the first day of a two-day computer training class on Flash animation. As all classes go, it started out with the mandatory practice of everyone introducing themselves. I have always hated this part, so I introduced myself as "Whitesnake," and made everyone call me this.


Sunday, 3/18/01 - What would YOU do if you woke up one morning and discovered that you were only 12 inches tall?

Coming soon: The Adventures of the Incredible Shrunked Guy...


Friday, 3/16/01 - With school being out for Spring break all next week, my daughter is staying with her mom (the ex-wife) and my son is on a weekend trip with a friend and his family. Both my kids will return on Tuesday. Until then, I'm on my own.

Let the Nights of Naughtiness® begin.


Wednesday, 3/14/01 - Sometimes my life is so dull that I look forward to sleeping at night so I can at least dream about something interesting.


Sunday, 3/11/01 - Last night, I watched my first XFL (Extreme Football League) football game... well, at least the first half. I kinda liked it. The halftime coverage was different from the NFL as it didn't spend its time with commentators yapping away, but rather featured the stuff that guys really are interested in... cheerleaders.

I'm thinking about running for governor of Minnesota. Judging from Gov. Jesse Ventura's TV talk show appearances everywhere, his magazine and newspaper interviews, authoring a book, and now he's a regular weekly commentator on the XFL, the governorship of Minnesota must be the least demanding job in the world. But, still, from what I have heard, he "ain't got time to bleed." Maybe if he skipped an appearance on Oprah or the Today Show, he could find some time to bleed.

Speaking of Jesse Ventura, who is a former pro wrestler, my brother and I grew up in the 60s and 70s in East TN, watching on TV the adventures of Ron Wright, a local wrestling legend. Along with his brother Don, Ron Wright was THE man, full of trash talk (delivered in a country AM radio Southern Baptist-type manner), threatening to dispense a "Tennessee Dog Whuppin" to anybody that crossed him. He may very well have been the first industrious wrestler to realize the potential of, and use, the familiar icon of pro wrestling... the metal folding chair. Yes, what is wrestling without a metal folding chair coming down upon your head or back? Like other sports such as tennis (racquet), baseball (bat and glove), and hockey (skates and stick), accessories like the metal folding chair are used. But unlike those other sports, the metal folding chair is not really essential to play the sport... it's just a nice little bonus. I've even seen pro wrestling action figures that have a little metal folding chair as an accessory. As high-tech as pro wrestling is today, with its fireworks and glitzy high-production values, and with the wrestlers now possessing rock star-like personas performing in big arenas with seating to accommodate thousands of fans... there still happens to be a metal folding chair handy that turns up unexpectedly to be used as a wrestling aid. In the 23rd Century, when wrestling is still going strong and fans are transporting to Venus to see a match, I have no doubt that with all the futuristic technology that will exist then, a metal folding chair will still be near the wrestling ring, waiting to be used.


Saturday, 3/10/01 - My daughter Ashley had 3 of her girlfriends over last night for a birthday slumber party at our house. That's a total of 4 LOUD twelve and thirteen year-old girls... all of them with attitudes. My nerves are still vibrating. This afternoon we all went to an amusement/arcade/pizza parlor for fun and games. I can't tell you that the girls are still friends, but the weather sure was agreeable. It was one gorgeous day down here in East TN.

Here's a shot of the birthday girl posing with her cake at home.


If you care to see more exciting pictures of the birthday activities, I posted a photo album . I promise there are no more pictures of me.


Friday, 3/09/01 - Today is my daughter's 13th birthday which means now I'm the father of two teenagers (I also have a 15 year old son).

Pity me.

Actually, I'm pretty lucky. My kids are pretty sensible and not demanding. They never have whined for the silly fads that other kids seem to think they must have, such as the trendy clothes, shoes, toys, music, etc. In fact, my daughter asked if she could have a birthday party this weekend at a popular amusement center here in Knoxville. I called the place and got one of the party packages for her and her invited friends and the cost was about $100. She was concerned that it was too much to spend... can you imagine that? A teenage daughter not wanting you to spend money on her? I told her that she only turns 13 once and not to worry about it.

This is fascinating stuff, isn't it? I knew you'd think so.


Thursday, 3/8/01 - Last night, I was in the kitchen putting away some groceries and our cat was on the counter getting in the way by sniffing out and getting into the bags. Annoyed, I gave him a shove off the counter and into the floor. He gave me a mean look after this. Later, I was awakened around 3 in the morning by someone trying to smother me with a pillow in my sleep. I could tell it was my cat by the smell of whiskey on his breath.


Wednesday, 3/7/01 - Last night, I was watching The Tonight Show and Jay Leno was doing something very clever and subtle. He had two women and one guy, all appearing to be in their early twenties, participating in a game show-type skit. He was asking them basic common-knowledge questions on history, word definitions, geography, etc. EASY stuff. Anyone could and should have aced these questions, but these young folks were clueless on a large number of them. I was amazed at how stupid these people were. The wrong answers, or should I say the guesses, that they gave to the questions were similar to the unpredictable and silly replies that 7 year-old children would have given. AND THESE WERE COLLEGE STUDENTS!

The subtle part of it was that (and you have to hand it to Leno for his slyness) the "contestants" were on national television showing everyone what morons they were... and they were too stupid to even realize that they were being made fun of! They laughed along with everyone else proving that ignorance IS bliss. A clever comedy bit, but a sad commentary on some of the pathetic intelligence levels in this country.


Monday, 3/5/01 - I attended a parent/teacher program at my daughter's middle school. The first part of it took place in the school auditorium. There was a very serious and at times intense discussion going on but I kept struggling not to laugh (kind of like holding back a snicker during church or a funeral) because my eyes kept straying to the back of the seat in front of me that had this message scrawled on it...



Saturday, 3/3/01 - I try to teach my two kids to be individuals, to not feel forced to play by someone else's rules, and to question authority and the "that's just the way things are done" mentality if something appears to be wrong or unjust. Using this philosophy, I lead by example by always parking in the "Reserved for Expectant Mothers" parking spaces at the mall.


Friday, 3/2/01 - Remember a TV evangelist by the name of Robert Tilton? A few years ago, I stumbled onto his show and was stunned. As he talked in his overly dramatic fashion, he would suddenly break into "speaking in tongues"(bobbyt.aif, sound file, 36 k). I thought at first that it was a parody. Well, you just have to check out this video clip (RealPlayer 2.4 MB) which is a series of scenes with Rev. Tilton spreading the word... and then some. He doesn't speak in tongues but chooses to express his message in another way.

A special inspirational moment is his description of the "gate of heaven." I don't know who created this clip, but it's a masterpiece. Isn't that something? Special thanks goes to Greg Noe for bringing this gem to my attention.


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