A blog about "nothing"!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Travel season is upon us, and along with it, travel horror stories. This thought has come to mind because a friend recently returned from a not so great vacation, I can certainly feel for her. I think everyone has had at least one bad travel experience in their lifetime, and if they haven't, lucky them! When I think of my own bad trips, a trip to Virginia comes to mind. Before it was over with I had an allergic reaction to something, thought I'd lost my keys, and we ran out of gas 15 minutes from home--ugh! My first experience flying wasn't all that great either, my boss and I had overslept due to our alarm clock not going off, and after running like O. J. Simpson through the airport to catch our plane, didn't get to take off because the airplane equivalent to the oil light coming on happened. We went back to the terminal, and while we sat on the plane waiting for the crew to decide what to do with all of us, I look over at another plane that was also supposed to be heading to NYC 15 minutes after we did, and they can't get the door shut on it. So there we sat, two planes full of people, NOT going to NYC, several missing connecting flights-it was not a pretty scene. We finally did get another plane for the 30 or so of us that were left that they hadn't re-routed at that point, only to have it be an extremely bumpy ride, the flight attendant screamed and three people threw up before it was over with. 5 overseas flights since then, and I have yet to see someone throw up!

I think the award for the worst travel experience goes to my friend's former boss. Don decided to take his wife and two children on a family vacation, something they didn't do often. Their destination was only about an hour and a half from home, should be simple--yeah right!!! They were almost there when the car broke down. They had the car towed to a garage not far from the motel, and were told it would be ready in a day or so. No biggie, they could work around this, and the good part was that they could actually see the motel just a little ways down the street, across the road. Shouldn't be too bad as far as getting the kids and the luggage there--WRONG!!! The road was one that you couldn't cross just anywhere, and the nearest crossover was about a mile down the road. So with kids, luggage and whatever else they had in tow, they started walking and eventually got there, a little worse for wear. This was not going to ruin the trip. They did get the car back in a reasonable amount of time and for the most part were able to continue with their plans. There were some minor issues here and there, but nothing horrible, until a couple nights in to the trip when the fire alarms went off at the motel in the middle of the night! Everyone poured out in to the parking lot while the fire department showed up, and Don and his wife spent most of their time convincing their daughter that if her new tennis shoes burned up in the fire, they would buy her new ones. In the morning, Don decided he'd had enough of this whole trip and they were going home early. They packed all their stuff in the car and headed home. The fun was just beginning.

As they were heading down the road, they got behind a truck carrying a mattress. Don didn't give it a second thought (isn't hindsight great?!) and followed behind at a normal pace. All of a sudden the mattress slides off the back of the truck, and before Don could get his car stopped, he drives up on to the mattress and gets stuck. To make matters even worse, the vehicle carrying the mattress doesn't stop! Don gets out to see if he can figure out how to get the car off the mattress, but realizes he can't do it by himself, so now what? In the meantime, someone must have seen what had happpened and called for help because just then a state police car pulls up, the officer gets out and says................................"Is this your mattress?" By this point Don's wife has about had it with all the things that have gone wrong and says to the officer (in a rather sarcastic tone) "yes, we always drive with a mattress strapped to the BOTTOM of our car!" At this point Don explains to the officer what had happened and starts giving him a statement. As they are doing this, the truck that started this fiasco drives down the other side of the highway! He doesn't stop though, I sure hope the police caught up with him further down the road. Don finishes giving his statement, when he and the officer realize that they smell something burning--the exhaust system of the car is igniting the mattress! They do manage to get the car pushed off the mattress before anything horrible happens. The silver lining to this story--Don said that it was actually kind of interesting, it burnt a perfect image of the exhaust system on it and he knew where all the holes were that needed repaired.

So, as all of you head out on your summer travels, think of Don, and count your blessings. And beware of trucks hauling mattresses!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Big Damned Bugs

I'm not a bug person. Especially larger bugs. I've got a definite issue with spiders over a certain size, no chance of a tarantula as a pet in this house anytime soon. Rodents I don't give a thought to, in fact I've been known to play with a couple that have gotten in to our house (much to my husband's dismay). Keep those bugs out of here though!

Last week my co-worker Becky comes over to my desk with these two Ziploc bags and says "what do you think these are?" I'm not normally a squeamish person, grew up in dairy farm country, have watched chickens being butchered, have smelled the aroma of organic fertilizer, but when the realization that "they" were two really big bugs hit me, I about gagged on my Rice Krispie cookie. We're not talking big like horse fly big--these things looked like walnut shells with legs. Big, fat, roundish bugs--and then the ultimate, they had egg type things coming out of which Becky told me came out when they stepped on them--oh yuck!!!

I had absolutely no idea what they were, my first thought was a roach of some sort, but too round, then I looked up cicadas, wrong year for this area. I told her to take them to see Fran, another co-worker who gardens a lot. I could hear them discussing them when I heard a scream, and saw the bag airborne. Apparently one of them was still alive after being stepped on AND spending all night in the Ziploc bag, he wiggled a leg. These were bugs to be reckoned with.

We asked around to several people we work with who we thought might have enough expertise to identify them, only to get a lot of "I don't know's". It was time to bring in the big guns. My friend Maureen is very in to gardening and her husband Terry (aka T. C.) is very knowledgeable to the extent of writing a gardening column for the local paper. I decided to call him. I told him we had these large bugs we couldn't identify and I could immediately hear the excitement in is voice. He wanted to know when we would be going to lunch so he could get further details from Becky. These were bugs he wanted to see!

Anyone who watches CSI knows how Grissom is with bugs. This was like having Grissom in person. He played with the bugs, he photographed them, he compared them to pictures in his bug book, he took notes, he asked Becky a zillion questions. When it was all over with, he asked Becky if he could have them. "Uh, yeah, they are ALL yours". Turns out our bug "buddies" were a ground beetle which isn't dangerous, actually good for the environment (okay Becky, no more pouring gas in a hole and lighting it!) and the eggs he suspected were layed on them by another bug, they were only serving as hosts for their "guests". He was going to post them on a bug/gardening forum to get some confirmation on his suspicions. Who could have thought two bugs that completely grossed us out could create so much joy for someone else? Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Bring on the mice please!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fireworks

I took about 100 pictures when we went to see the fireworks, this is one of my favorites. Happy Birthday America!

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What's In A Name.............

I've been debating on starting a blog for some time now. I had the basic misgivings about it-- What would I write about? Would anyone read it? Would I have time to mess with it? But the big ? I had was "what would I call it?" I thought several times about different names, and then I thought I would try out some of my favorite sayings. Of course, there's "This Has Disaster Written All Over It", a favorite Seinfeld line, which led to even more Seinfeldisms ("YADA, YADA, YADA", "I Don't Want To Be a Pirate") but none of them seemed to work. Finally, "More Fun Than Humans Should Be Allowed To Have" popped in to my head. For those of you who don't know where this originated, it's something that Dave Letterman used to say years ago on one of his earlier incarnations of his talk show. A guy I worked with used to say it all the time when we were bored out of our minds, and it just fits so many situations.

So, here it is. I hope I don't bore you to death and find you saying this. And I hope I have enough subjects to write about to keep up with this, and not let it stagnate. Everyone has to start somewhere though, this is it!