Thursday, November 30, 2006

First Time at Lowe's

I've been in the local Lowe's before, when I helped Big R pick up his dryer, but I've never shopped there, until yesterday.

I needed to pick up some odds and ends. When I say odds and ends, I mean that I have no idea what I need. I have something to fix and an idea in my head of what part or parts could be used to fix it. This is one of the reasons why I hate it when hardware store guys insist on helping me. If I don't know what I need, how could you possibly help me? Plus, if you let me wander around undisturbed, I'll probably end up buying something I hadn't even planned on.

Anyway, whenever I had one of these little projects to do, I avoided Home Depot like pictures of Lindsay Lowhore's crotch on the Interweb. They just don't stock all the little doodads that you might need only once in your life, like a turnbuckle, or things that you probably won't ever need in your life, such as a Woodruff key. Those are the kinds of items you could only get at a small hardware store. Even if Home Depot did have what I needed, there was always a 50 percent chance they didn't have it in stock. Or it was on a top shelf in a box and I couldn't find an associate to help me. And the one time I climbed up the shelving unit to help myself I got caught.

I didn't go to Lowe's because I thought it was going to be any better than HD. I figured it was probably the same, just all blue. Just like Target is red to Walmart's blue. I went because it's about a 1/4 mile closer to my house than Home Depot which even that is only a half mile away. A funny thing happened though. Lowe's, to my amazement, had all of those little doodads, and every kind of nut and bolt I could think of. Even metric, which I vaguely remember the orange home improvement center not having. A half hour was spent (wasted?) just browsing through the hardware aisle.

So, what did I end up getting? A 3/4 inch galvanized clevis hanger, a 4 inch hook and eye latch, and a 4 inch eyebolt.

Kip Journal 4/1/1999

Kip is a fool every day.

Kip tried cocaine. Its overrated.

Read the Kip Journal FAQ

Don't Patronize Me

I see the irony in the "Reduce Speed Ahead" sign when I am only traveling 5 miles an hour on the interstate, yessir, I do.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Fabulous Movie Reviews

Once Upon a Time in America
Wow. Not only is this a great movie, it's also freakin' long. It took me two tries to get through it. It's like reading a great book, impossible to get through it one sitting, but so worth it. I know I recently berated a movie for being too long, but this one is different, nothing could be cut out without negatively affecting the story, plus it's better written and there are no special effects attempting to fill space and make up for lack of story telling ability. 4.0 stars out of 5.

Rambo: First Blood Part II
I hadn't seen this movie since I saw it in the theater at the ripe old age on 10 in 1985 with my friend Erik. Luckily, this time around I understood what was happening because I didn't have Erik to explain it to me. I saw three movies in the theater around that time: Ice Pirates, Dune and Rambo and he had to explain all of them to me. His IQ was my IQ2 also.

I like this movie. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. It aged well, plus you got the whole POW/MIA emotional thing going. The thought that struck me while watching it was that in 1985 the Vietnam war was no far removed from the nation's collective psyche than Bosnia or Mogadishu is to many of us now, less so even since it was more traumatizing. 3.2 stars out of 5.

Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo
Subtitled and Korean. Not for the faint of heart, but if you love a good war movie with a good story and plenty of action, then this will fit the bill. 1.96798967126543041853922720428152 stars out of 2.23606797749978969640917366873132.


I know that I have spokem ad nauseum about the crooked urinal at work. Many people have aksed me (okay, nobody has) why I continue to use that urinal.

Well, the answer is simple, really. There are three urinals in the bathroom. The crooked urinal is the left one. On the far right is what I like to call the Billy Madison Special. You remember that scene from the movie, right? Where he is in an elementary school bathroom and falls over while trying to crouch to do his business and Sideburns is secretly spying on him? I tried to find a picture on the Interweb, but instead I stumbled upon this interesting article.

The middle urinal is ideal except that there is no privacy. Who wants to have another man standing 13 inches away, probably getting spray on you, or silently making fun of your shake technique?

So, you see, I have no choice.

I call the urinals Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Which is fitting because the middle one is the most perfect but it is surrounded by places you would never willingly go to unless you had no choice. The left one is the worst because if you aren't careful it can taint you with its evil current. The right one makes you feel awkward and desirous of leaving as quickly as possible.

I choose to use a stall now, of which there are three. Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. I always stay to the right, but I don't mind the middle one once in a while.

Noodle D'Onofrio

There's a new cast of characters at work that I thought I would introduce. Unfortunately, I don't really interact act with many people, mostly because my particular job doesn't require me to, so I don't have the level of knowledge of their personalities like a Kip or VeeDub. Maybe in the future.

Ms. Noodle
A woman, mid 30s, who wears baggy wool dress pants every day. Every day. Quite bizarre.

Pvt. Pyle
From Full Metal Jacket. He's got shifty eyes that say don't look at me or I will kill you. He's not very intimidating, due to his pudgy 5 foot 4 stature, but me and my 150 lb body wouldn't mess with him. It's been a while since I watched that movie, I need to again.

And lastly, the incomparable, Barry White.
I think he knows who he sounds like though, as evidenced by him referring to all the ladies as baby doll and sugar.


I just discovered my iPod has games on it. Cool. I miss the Solitaire "competitions" me and 12 Gauge would have at my old job. Of course, it wasn't really much of a competition though because his IQ was my IQ2.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Its late November and I just ate my meal outside. In a t-shirt.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reserved Words

A checker

Meet the New Van

So here's my new van. Or should I say my wife's new van. Surprisingly, it's my first Chevy. My dad has owned a 100 Chevys. How come this is my first? I dunno.

Our last van was a Ford. A Windstar. It was pretty good for a piece of crap. Generally speaking, I hate Fords. Unless they are Mustangs or F-150s. I owned a Ford Tempo when I was in my late teens. That thing had everything go wrong with it that could possibly go wrong with it plus a couple of extra things. Replacing the clutch took me a week. A CV shaft, 3 days. Brakes, a whole day. That sticks in a man's mechanical memory.

The Windstar we had was a 5000 pound vehicle that handled like it was 10,000 pounds. The alignment was never quite right and the seats were less comfortable than the vinyl seats in the 1981 Chevy Sport Van my parent's bought after our 1979 Chevy Malibu. The Malibu was cool because they bought it brand new and I remember being at the dealer when we closed the deal. Also, this was pre-"we must save the children" America, and it was cool to sit in the "way back". Nowadays, letting your kids sit in the way back is grounds for a stint in county jail.

If I had to pick the one thing that bugged me the most about the Windstar it would be the doors that automatically locked themselves once the vehicle was moving. I hated that because every time I got out of the van and tried to open the back door to get my kids out I would have to hit the unlock button. Of course, my wife would knowingly hit that button about 1 second before I would. Irritating.

The beauty of this Chevy is, besides not feeling like I was driving a Penske 26 foot rental truck, not only does it lock the doors automagically for you when you start driving, it UNLOCKS the doors for you when it stops.

It UNLOCKS the doors for you??!! That's crazy. Why couldn't Ford think of that? I dunno. I suspect that they worked on the door lock/unlock code towards the end of a long holiday weekend (perhaps Thanksgiving) and then forgot what they had been working on when they came back in on Monday.

So far I have only one complaint with our new Chevy. It smells like cigarette smoke. Mixed with Febreeze. I don't really find the smoke smell offensive, until it is mixed with something else designed to "hide" it.

I didn't notice the odor until after we brought it home. During the test drive, I detected something a little "off". When I asked my son he acted like I was crazy. (sigh) My nose had been recently assaulted by the death scent of my truck. Not to mention that the Petersburg landfill was directly across the street from the used car lot and the dealer himself smoked in his building. So it was useless. Whatever. The smell will go away in the "crisp New England air" this weekend.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Kip Journal 3/25/1999

Kip's a little rusty with CGI

Read the Kip Journal FAQ

Tip of the Day

Always be nice to your IT guy.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Holy Crapfish!

I googled "fishing james river" today and what did I find? Could it, could it be? YES. Haha. It is. Look closely and then compare.

You're famous, Rob.

Blogger Sucks

Yes, I realize it's free. But free is no excuse for suckage. I don't keep using it because it's free, but because I am too lazy to move somewhere else.

Dear Deer

At least once or twice a week during either my morning or evening commute there is a dead deer on the side of the road. One morning, one particular deer looked like it had exploded on the highway, the only distinguishable deer part was a patch of its hide the size of a doormat on the road, but there was blood and carnage everywhere.

Two days ago traffic suddenly slowed down which it does often, usually for no reason it seems, but that day there was a freshly killed deer carcass in the middle of the fast line and a Nissan Sentra in the breakdown lane with its emergency flashers on.

The thought that has been bugging me lately is, how come you never see bucks dead on the side of the road? It always seems to be does. A guy at work said it's probably because people stop and take the bucks for the antlers. Eh, I dunno. Maybe. But I doubt that people would take every dead buck.

This morning on the way to work, I leave my subdivision and drive down a little major road, to get to a major road, which in turn brings me on to the highway, and there a 100 feet from me down the street into another subdivision is a buck with a full set of antlers walking down the street.

Rob pointed out to me that its hunting season. So I assume the buck knew where he would be safe, which leads me to believe bucks are smart enough not to cross a 4 lane highway.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fabulous Movie Reviews

King Kong
Three hours and 7 minutes! Are you kidding me? This movie could easily have been cut to two hours. Easily. I'm never afraid to watch a three hour movie, but sitting through this was just killing me. Yeah, the special effects were good, especially Kong fighting two Tyranosaurus Rex, and the story was good, but man, it just wasn't good enough to be 3 hours and 7 minutes long. I can't be the only one who thinks that. 3 stars out of 5.

Hotel Rwanda
Great movie. Great story. A mild tear jerker too if you're a woman or a man who is so inclined. Don Cheadle, who I remember most fondly from the movie Out of Sight, is excellent in the lead role. Speaking of Out of Sight, if you've never seen that, you should. It's based on an Elmore Leonard book, and unlike all of his other books it doesn't involve bumbling crooks from Detroit who steal a shipment of drugs in Miami from Colombians. The only downside of Out of Sight is Jennifer Lopez. My wife feels similarly about George Clooney which I can't understand why.

Anyway, the best part of Hotel Rwanda, besides people getting saved, is the fact that it proves that the genocide is clearly the fault of France and/or Belgium. Just like Vietnam. 4.2 stars out of 5 for Hotel Rwanda and 3.99 stars for Out of Sight.

J.D. Screw

Rumors are just rumors in the baseball off season and most never come true. I hope any and all rumors about the Sox signing J.D. Drew remain just rumors. The guys a stiff. And if they would give him 50 million bucks, then why not Johnny Damon? A guy who plays hard every game and doesn't miss half of every season with a groin or hamstring pull.

Here's someone more articulate than me waxing philosphic about the whole subject.

The irony of the situation to me is that I have always kind of considered Jeff Weaver and J.D. Drew to be very similar, wouldn't that be something if they BOTH ended up on the Red Sox next season!! yippee. I won't be watching.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

51 Meellion Dollars

That's the number the Red Sox bid to gain the rights to sign a Japanese pitcher by the name of Hyundai Kawasaki. Just the right to bid on him, thats not counting the probable $50 million contract it will take to actually sign him. He might be great, who knows, but there has never been a dominant Japanese pitcher in the Major Leagues. Good ones, yes. Great ones, no. A hundred million bucks or one trillion yen could buy a first baseman, a closer, and two other starting pitchers. Eh. What do I care anyway, its not my money, nor my team since I am a Washington Nationals fan now. Just kidding.

In other news, congratulations to Hanley Ramirez for winning Rookie of the Year. You might remember him from such articles as Red Sox call up Craig Hansen, Hanley Ramirez and Top Ten Prospects: Boston Red Sox. But, oh, I forgot to mention, he won the National League Rookie of the Year. He's not with the Red Sox anymore. I had reservations about that trade at first, but because we got a good, young pitcher in the deal (Beckett) and we had EDGAR RENTERIA who turned out to be edgar renteria and most of us were convinced (or hoped at least) that he had just had an off year and would be a "force" to be "reckoned with" in '06. Then less than a month later, they trade Renteria away.

Anyway, I could go on and on about this crap, but I will stop here. It's just this Rookie of the Year award opening up old wounds and other stuff.


Yesterday while listening to a local talk radio show where they were discussing two new housing developments in the county where I now live, a woman called in and said that "Chesterfield county is nothing but a pothole" filled with "drug addicts" and "children who don't know there fathers" and that they should do more to improve the area than just building more housing units like adding an Applebee's.

Fruit Flies

I have fruit flies at work. I don't know where they are coming from, especially since I don't have a garbage can or keep any food in my desk. At my old job, fruit flies reminded me to empty my garbage. I can only imagine what the woman in the next cube is saying when I slap my hands together attempting to kill an elusive fruit fly. "Oh lordy lordy, what is that crazy white boy doin' now."

Smelly Truck Smelly Truck Why Are You So Smelly?

Saturday, it was in the upper 70s here, so on the way home from Rob's house that afternoon, the windows in my truck were down to enjoy the nice fresh air. Unfortunately, I forgot to roll them up and it rained Saturday night. A lot. I woke up Sunday morning to find a one inch puddle on the floor, water all over the dash, and of course the seats soaked up the rain like a sponge.

I've been sitting on towels all week, and now the truck smells awful. Like laundry that you washed but forgot to put in the dryer so it sat in the washing machine. Wet. For a week.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More Potty Humor

My apologies for all of the bathroom related posts, and I promise this will be the last one for a little while. You must understand its been 2 and a half years since I worked at a company that didn't have single sized bathrooms.

Again, the infamous crooked urinal. Today it dawned on me that the floor surrounding this urinal is always damp. Why? I wondered. Intrigued, I decided to hang out and watch the flush instead of doing the "flush and run" in order to see from where the water was leaking. A crack in the porcelain or maybe a leaky flush valve.

It turned out to be neither. The sheer amount of water released and the force of it, not too mention the urinal is not level, cause the urinal to "overflow its banks". Luckily, I was standing far enough away. Here's a diagram for those of you who are imaginationally retarded:

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Let's Close this Deal, Right After I Wipe

A man was talking on his cellphone in the stall in the bathroom yesterday.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wall Mounted Urine Collection Receptacle

One of the urinals in the bathroom at work wasn't mounted to the wall level, so "stuff" pools to one side. I don't know why I would notice something like that. I included a diagram for those of you who are imaginationally challenged.

Two for One Special Part 2

I paid 80 cents for a bag of Munchos today. The bag got stuck on a bag of Cheezits that were in the next slot. I tried shaking the machine to no avail. Faced with either marching a quarter mile to the cafeteria and getting my money back from the cashier or dropping another 80 cents into the machine for another bag of Munchos, I chose the latter. Luckily, I was rewarded with two bags of Munchos.

Please note, if I had been employed longer than three and a half weeks I would have just shook the machine more violently.

Aych Dee Tee Vee

I got a sign on bonus when I accepted my new job. I don't really think it was a bonus, per say, more like they felt bad that I asked for too little money when they asked for my salary requirement so they threw me a little pittance to make sure I stuck around for a year (I have to pay it back if do leave before a year, prorated). Anyway...I took that bonus and bought myself a 42 inch plasma TV. I really wanted a 40 inch LCD, but this thing was the cheapest 42 inch name brand HDTV that I have ever seen. It was a sale at Circuit City. The same TV at Best Buy was $500 more. Anyway...we plugged it in to the cable and lo and behold we get HD channels that we aren't paying for. Yippee! The picture quality is astounding. I flip back and forth between the HD channel and the SD channel and my jaw drops. Last Sunday's Patriots/Colts game was simply amazing. You can really see individual blades of grass. I don't know anybody else with an HDTV so I didn't realize the difference, so maybe I can convince someone else who is on the fence to take the plunge. DVDs look better too and component cables made a noticeable difference compared to the old fashioned RGB (I think thats what they are called, you know the red, yellow and white ones). I wonder what a DVD player with upconversion will look like.


Have you ever struggled for a day and a half with a problem, scoured the Interweb, poured over MSDN, desperately searched for a solution to a problem that you are convinced that someone else has solved and you find tons of stuff that kinda seem like it would help you but doesn't, then you finally give up and hopelessly begin to come up with your own solution which you end up doing within an hour? Yeah. I can't count how many times this has happened in the past 8 or so years. And each time I start this journey into the dark recesses of the Interweb message boards, I convince myself that this time will be different. It never is. I think part of me is afraid that some programming archeologist will come along in 10 years and look at the solution I came up with and laugh at it whilst saying to his colleagues, "Look at this. Can you believe this fool did it like this? What a simpleton."

Screw you, Mr. Near-Future-Programming Archeologist, my stuff works and ultimately I am just concerned with making my boss happy for the next 12 to 24 months, not creating the Parthenon or Mt. Rushmore.

I'm losing my mind.

New Harley

This thing is cool. I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Assuming it's not priced through the roof like so many other Harleys, the Street Rod included.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How DO you pronounce that?

I think it should be On - e - bol not Annabelle like some of the retarded Boston sports writers and WEEI hosts pronounce it.

An excerpt from an article (I'm not even going to comment, you can sense my rage I'm sure):

Here's one number that Suppan's agents, Leventhal and Damon Lapa, will be sure to sell: His 2.39 ERA after the All-Star break was the third lowest by a National League starter after Roger Clemens and Anibal Sanchez.

(Anibal Sanchez is a pitcher the Sox traded case you didn't know)


Translation: He's a ground ball guy who pitches to contact, so he better have a solid infield defense behind him. And he might want to exhaust his other options before pursuing a job in, say, the American League East.

Yeah. He's tried that already. Let's just say, he sucked.

I love this one:

An American League executive expects Suppan to get three years and $21 million, "minimum." But if Matt Morris could fetch $27 million over three years last winter without Suppan's postseason portfolio, that estimate appears conservative. Don't forget that in 2004, Suppan beat Clemens in Game 7 to pitch the Cardinals into the World Series.

He also looked like a squirrel on the interstate in a game against the Sox in the World Series in '04. I thought National League pitchers had mad baserunning skillz?

This about Jeff Weaver in the same article:

"We first saw him and he was topping out at 88-89 and everybody was like, 'Is he hurt?' " said a National League coach. "All of a sudden, boy, he got stronger. He got the innings under him and started letting it go a little bit."

NO. It's more like, he is already a millionaire, but he got caught up in the excitement of the playoffs and decided to pour his booze down the drain, throw his weed in the fireplace and give his crystal meth to Goodwill.

I am going to SEO a little bit here in the off hand chance Mr. Jeff Weaver reads blogs or Googles himself. Jeff Weaver Jeff Weaver Jeff Weaver Jeff Weaver Jeff Weaver St Louis Cardinals Loser Pitcher Detroit Tigers First Round Draft Pick Who Is A Total Stiff Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher Who Crys Like A Baby Jeff Weaver Sucks Jeff Weaver Sucks Jeff Weaver Is In It For The Money Jeff Weaver's Brother Is Better Jeff Weaver's Brother Sucks Too I Hate You Jeff Weaver Get A Haircut Jeff Weaver You Look Homeless Which Is Impossible Because You Made Millions For Doing Nothing Jeff Weaver Jeff Weaver

Oh yeah and shave once in a while too, you look like me. An overgrown man-boy who wishes he could grow a beard and look tough. You suck, Jeff Weaver.

Stephanie Root or Millie Waddams

There's a woman at work who is a dead ringer for Milton, the character from Office Space played by Stephen Root. Except for the glasses.

The few times I've needed to speak to her (she's a team leader and one of the data enterers(?) for whom I am building something), the millisecond I step into her cube she immediately minimizes all her windows. Today she was actually typing an email and as soon as I said, "Hello", BAM! down go all the windows before she even acknowledges me. And she doesn't hit the little "Show Desktop" icon either. Every window is minimized individually, and she's fast. A real pro.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Looth Tooth

My oldest son chipped his tooth today. Broke half of it off actually, diagonally from the bottom to the top. We were in the Walmart parking lot walking to the entrance and he walked right into a truck. I heard the hollow thunk of a blunt object hitting sheet metal. As I turned around my first thought was, oh crap, what kind of damage did one of my kids do? Immediately followed by, oh jeez, how the heck do you walk into the side of a truck when I saw the boy with his hand over his mouth. To, oh thats gonna cost me some money when he took his hand away.

I do feel bad for him. It looks really bad. Hopefully, we'll get it fixed early this week, but still, HOW THE HECK DOES SOMEONE DO THAT?!

Development Arrested

I bought all three seasons of Arrested Development on DVD a couple of weeks ago. I was staying at my brother's place and he hadn't gotten cable hooked up yet, so we needed something to watch. My wife and I just finished the last season last night. I hadn't seen the final episodes yet because they were taped and as often happens unlabeled VCR tapes get lost. I was pretty bummed out when the final credits started rolling. I got pretty attached to the Bluth family, especially since I had just watched all three seasons in the span of a month.

Everybody I've made watch this show has loved it which begs the question, why was it cancelled? Because Fox sucks. I loved the show but I missed half the episodes when originally aired because of their half-aced scheduling. How much more difficult was it for the casual viewer of the show to see it?

They seemed to hint of a movie in the last episode. I doubt it would happen, but it would be cool nonetheless.

This rant is pretty pointless, I know, since most of the ranting was done last winter when the show got cancelled, but, whatever.

Please Be Quiet

My daughter is in the kitchen coloring. I am here in the living room on the computer for the first time for any length of time in a couple weeks. She has not stopped talking for at least 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Two for One Special

You gotta love it when after sliding your precious dollar bill into a vending machine, two 20 ounce bottles of Coke fall down the chute. I looked furtively over my shoulder to make sure no one was looking before grabbing my bounty. Forty ounces of Coke (what Kip might call a scuba tank) for 1 dolla! Yes, I realize a 2 liter bottle at Wal-mart is 89 cents, was two for one. It's the principle.