Stuff

Random stuff. What more can I say?

Facts are a difficult thing …

12

Sorry for the long silence here on the blog … it’s been a pretty crazy month. Not sure where to start, or if I even should. Personal challenges abound, but there’s something I try to remind myself as often as possible:

Worse things have happened to better people …

Of course, when we’re in the dumps, it can sometimes be easy to be cynical about even the simplest of facts. But facts, they say, are a difficult thing.

Facts are difficult because they do not bend to our denial, they are not affected by our lies, they remain stalwart and seemingly silent, but that “silence” can become deafening.

When everything is said and done, there is always three sides to every story: Yours, Mine & The Truth.

Sadly, it is too easy to cling to the first thought that comes to mind. Surely, our ego assures us, we cannot be wrong. Ahhhh … the joy of arrogance and the heart-warming bliss of denial!

Truth can only be found by those who seek for her. Those who refuse to seek Truth will never find her, and in this self imposed ignorance we bring chaos and disorder into our lives as well as the lives of those around us. Before we know it, we are so lost and confused that we cannot even remember when or how we even lost our way. This is the path of denial, and it only leads to darker places.

Life changes and so do we; we either get “better” or we get “worse.”  In fact, the whole of our lives is a combination of both, but hopefully — in the bigger picture — we are at least directionally correct.

I visited with an old friend for the first time in a really long time yesterday. From the moment I shook his hand and gave him an embrace I could tell that things have changed for the better in that man’s soul. He has never seemed this much at peace. The time that we did get to spend together was good but entirely too short. I now wish I had asked more questions and spent more time listening.

It also left me looking at my own life …

Life changes and so do we … and in our living and changing there are certain that things that always remain.

Facts, they say, are a difficult thing.

Cellphonius Terminus

12

You may recall my c-Net styled review of the HTC Touch Pro; if not, I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to hop over to that page and read it now.

Assuming you have the time. Which, if such is not the case, then I really don’t understand why you visit this site in the first place. I mean, verbosity is our thing; it’s what we do! To say that we, in the writing of our bloggings here, are anything other than overly verbose would not only be redundant and senseless, it would be downright unnecessary and devoid of wit.

Oh, you’re one of those that are just here for the pictures, aren’t you???

Silly maggot …

Ok, are the rest of you back from reading the review?

Yum, yum … you can just taste the bile, can’t ya?

Well, that was was November 5th, a mere 64 days after I’d acquired that fetid work of the underworld. The adventure had only just begun …

It is now late February and I have continued to endure this … this …

the non-profane eludes me at this moment

I am still the “proud” owner of this little marvel and it still is — lucky me — my primary communication device, of the portable electronic variety, of course. I have, though, attempted to change that on more than one occasion.  I guess I should probably address the matter of why it is that it has taken me so many months to finally change my fate:

I visited the local purveyor of Verizon phones at a franchise storefront here in town  several weeks after I’d made the fateful mistake of committing to this “smart” phone. My first visit saw me dealing with the younger gentleman that Ron, the owner, has in his employ. I forget his name at the moment, but I walked in, introduced myself and set my phone on the counter.

He furrowed his brow a little and asked, “First gen Touch Pro?”

“Uh … yeah.”

“Ouch!”

I chuckled, “And as if that weren’t bad enough, this was the ‘upgrade’ to my previous phone which was a first gen Chocolate.”

“Seriously?”, he asked.

“Yeah … am I not just the luckiest dog on the porch?”

We proceeded to talk for a brief few minutes before he said that I really needed to talk to the boss-man. It took me a few days to carve out the time to make it back to the store in the hopes that his boss, Ron, was there. Because the Spousal Unit and Ron have a history, I tend to drag her along with me on these visits. I mean, what can it hurt, right?

We returned  a few days later …

I opened the door for my lady and as I followed her in I put on a big smile on my face and nodded, “Heya Ron! How’s things?”

He smiled back, “Goin’ good, man! How have you guys been?”

In total Matrix / Neo style, I mentally dodged the small-talk bullet and cut to the chase: “Dude, I really … desperately and seriously … need your help.”

He shot me a surprised look; not surprising given the opening lob of drama, “Well, we’ll see what I can do. What’s the problem?”

“This,” I said in a playful attempt at feigned anger as I slammed The Brick on the counter.

“Oh,” he said, seemingly unaware that this device was any different than any other PDA / Smart Phone in his inventory, “and what seems to be the problem with it?”

As it turns out, the explanation I gave was actually the germination phase of what would eventually become the cNet styled blogging about this same device that I linked you to earlier. To say that he was a little taken back would be an understatement, but he did laugh with me along the way a few times. The Spousal Unit, however, seemed a tad exasperated at times. Seems my occasional outbursts of manic energy are a touch uncomfortable for her sometimes. I hope it’s not that I embarrass her; that’d be sort of a bummer.

But we don’t have time for such musings this morning. I have a house I need to finish packing and a move I need to make the final arrangements for.

At the end of our pleadings he intimated that he was powerless to do a thing. He did, however, explain that if we took it to a corporate store they would most likely just declare my unit defective and give me a replacement model.

I smiled, as this was my desired outcome.

Ron shook his head, and not in the affirmative, “No, I mean they’ll send you the same model.”

“Oh no,” I blurted out, “No, no, no, no, NO! Dude, that will not do!”

He shrugged his shoulders in a way that I would soon suspect was a calculated and learned trait possibly passed down through corporate sales training sessions at Verizon.

. . .

We all shook hands and said our goodbyes. Seeings how we frequent the same watering hole it only makes sense to keep things on the up and up. And besides, Ron’s actually a hell of a nice guy.

As we drove away I resumed my irritable ramblings.

“Oh my god, what is it with me? Will foul luck and misery follow me all the days of my life?”

.. and …

“Are you shitting me? I cannot believe I am stuck with yet another piece of shit phone for two years!”

… and it continued along similar lines …

Being the fearless, 6 foot tall Scandinavian woman that she is, the wife interrupted me at one point, “If you can handle keeping it long enough, maybe they’ll discontinue it and you’ll get an upgrade to whatever replaces that one.”

I stopped and nodded at the obvious wisdom of her rhetorical question. The image of the two Monty Python-ish cartoon characters from the semi-recent Guinness commercials popped into my head as I blurted out one simple word in a poor Irish accent: “Brilliant!”

Later that evening I visited the Verizon Wireless website. I had been there several days earlier and there were scant few customer reviews on my particular phone (HTC Touch Pro, just in case you forgot). Now there were suddenly hundreds of them! Evidently, there were a whole buttload of those pending approval / moderation and someone must have just clicked on “release/approve all.”

I dare say I cannot ever recall seeing a lower customer rating than what I was staring at. The fact that I did NOT grab any screen captures ticks me off! It was absolute pandemonium! Apart from the rare comment / review by a customer who had obviously just crawled out of a cave and left these comments the same day they purchased this phone, the rest was one angry, vitriolic response after another.

This served as the watering phase of the aforementioned germination process that ultimately blossomed into the blogging that was my own review of the HTC Touch Pro (linked above).

If it was named T H C instead, I’d like to think that all of this would at least make a little more sense …

Anyhow … I came back to the Verizon Wireless website some days later to grab some of the fresh vitriol to use as fodder for my own blogging.

But it was all gone! All references, except for the most benign tech support issues, were completely purged from the site! Not a single customer review. Not a single link to a Discontinued Model, which was still their habit.

Nossir, this sucker just up and disappeared like a thief in the night!

Several months pass and, man, have I got to tell ya … it has been downright nightmarish dealing with this damnable device.

One thing that I will say to its benefit is the fact that it is amazingly durable! My take on this being an effectual weapon was spot on!

Hey, don’t be hatin’ … if you were paying the insurance and you KNEW that you were — some how, some way — getting that thing eventually replaced because it was not only a lemon of a product as a whole, but your particular unit was clearly defective beyond that … yeah, you tell ME you wouldn’t occasionally fling that thing across the room or into a cement wall!

But anyhow …

Along comes February, and the insane back-to-back blizzards! While visitations of the various beasts of the snow migration were a wonderful distraction, everybody around me was growing increasingly impatient with the same words constantly bursting from my lips multiple times an hour: “I hate this fucking phone!”

I printed a copy of the blogging I’d done about the Touch Pro, grabbed it, jumped in the truck and made our way across town to once again beg of Ron’s mercies. I handed him the print out and said, “After I leave and you’ve got some dead time on your hands, you ought to give this a read; I think it’ll give you a decent laugh.”

He nodded as he glanced at it. “So, how can I help you two today?”

“Dude, is there anybody that you can call at corporate to put in a good word for us as a preferred customer?”

He shot me a look that almost hinted of, Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?

“Dude, after more than ten years as customers and my wife’s insistence that we primarily deal with you? I think that just about makes anyone in my shoes a preferred customer.”

“No,” her interrupted, “no, that wasn’t it at all.”

“So,” I said with an exasperated sigh, “there’s nothing you can do, not even put in a call on our behalf?”

“Naw,” he said as he shook his head and shrugged his shoulders, “that’s really something that just has to go through corporate.”

We clarified which locations closest to us qualified as “corporate.” He suggested that I go to the one in Ashburn as he’d had some really pleasant dealings with some of the staff there.

As we shook hands and said our goodbyes he added, “Good luck, man. You may have to press the matter pretty hard if you want anything more than an in-kind replacement.”

“If those assholes want to keep my business — and I assure you, our monthly bill is more than ample — then they better do something more than offer me another Touch Pro or even the Pro2. I’d rather step back down to a simple flip-phone, demand a refund for the wasted monthly data-plan charges, and give that to my son until my contract is up and just go get an iPhone.”

He nodded sympathetically as he tapped on the print-out I’d handed him earlier, “And I promise to give this a read! See ya at Spanky’s some time, alright?”

“I look forward to it,” I said with a smile, “you know where to find to me!”

He chuckled, “By that stupid video golf game!”

“Yes,” I smiled even bigger, “the claws of the monkey that is that adult video crack machine are dug deeply into my soul.”

Some days later I reached my absolute and final boiling point with this phone. This time it was a solo venture. Being as irritable and as driven as a I was to finally get this situation resolved, regardless of the outcome, I thought it was best if I didn’t have my wife’s sensibilities and her distaste for public confrontation to interfere with the divine mission which was mine to undertake.

As I pulled in to the parking lot of the strip center within which the corporate Verizon Wireless was located, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a brief moment. Politeness, directness and calm were the order of the day. All the same, visions of a massive pyre and Viking warriors chanting at the tops of their lungs filled my mind.

(as always, click to enlarge)

I opened my eyes quickly so as to not drift too far astray with in imaginations.

As I walked into the store, I was greeted by two young ladies seated at small receptionist station-like stations. The younger one shot me a broad smile and the lady who actually greeted me directly seemed to not be having a great start to her day. She asked tersely but politely, “How may I help you, sir?”

“I really need to talk to somebody about this phone.” I gently set it on the counter in front of her.

The younger lady, to her left, leaned over and asked as she curled her nose, “Touch Pro?”

My left eyelid twitched a few times, “Yeah,” I said as politely as I could, “seems like you’re familiar with it.”

She shook her head back and forth as she raised her hand and with a smile said, “I’m not even getting started.”

I turned my attention to the lady who was waiting to assist me and went on to try and describe why this thing was not only a defective unit, but possibly the most evil thing to have cursed humanity in centuries.

She finally interrupted me, “I’m sorry, sir. You’re going to need to talk to someone in tech. Someone will call your name in a few minutes.”

As I stepped aside it suddenly occurred to me that this woman had probably pressed some sort of panic button to inform the manager on duty that a possibly irate customer was in the building. If they had a special, emergency-use-only button for the potential “postal” types, I’d imagined that that was the once she chose to press instead.

I took another slow, deep breath to once again regain my focus.

And I made the mistake of closing my eyes again …

A young man’s voice brought me back to the store / present reality, “Good morning, sir!”

I blinked my eyes a few times to shake the images out of the frontal lobe. “And a good morning to you, dude. Are you the tech guy that I’m waiting to talk with about this … this … phone.”

He shook his head, “Oh, nossir, I work with the Fios side of things here. I’d overheard you say you were in the process of moving … ?”

With a grin and a nod I cut him off, “Actually, we’re very, very happy Fios customers and — lucky me — the place we’re moving to is already wired for Fios.”

Alex — I believe that was his name, but it might have been Adam — continued to chat for a few minutes about some of the really cool new features and upgrades that Fios had recently began to roll out. As we were talking I heard my name being called from behind me, albit slightly mispronounced as usual.

It’s a stupidly simple Hungarian name, I’m surprised it gets mangled as often as it does.

Anyhow … as I turned around, I was somewhat disappointed to have gone from dealing with such a pleasant, broad smiled young man to being greeted by a perfect sour-puss of a mildly effeminate young man. Seated to his left was a young black man who, as I would learn, was recently employed by Flextronics and was under the tutelage of my fussy little tech support representative.

“My name is Shea, what seems to be the problem with your phone?”

I went on to re-explain to him the same things I had been enumerating to the young lady I was first greeted by. He was perfectly disinterested in hearing me out and continually interrupted me. The third time he interrupted he simply said, “Sir, if you would like me to take a look at it, it sounds like it easily qualifies for a replacement.”

“I realize that, Shea. I am fully and unquestionably aware that this particular unit is defective. Have you worked here for very long?”

He nodded, responding in the affirmative.

“And you are familiar with this phone,” I tapped on it a little less than gently, “the infamous HTC Touch Pro?”

He nodded his head in agreement again, “Yessir, we stopped carrying that model last fall and HTC stopped manufacturing it shortly after that.”

“I appreciate the history lesson, but surely you’re aware of what an epic failure this … this … thing was and still is?!?!”

Once again, I was confronted with a look and a tone that was chock full of red flags that had the words “bull shit” written all over them. It does not take a PhD in psychology or any of the other behavioral sciences to tell when someone is patently lying to you.

And it was impossible to ignore the fact that it was done in the same trained, rehearsed demeanor that I had encountered with other Verizon employees over the years.

“Sir, if you would let me take a look at your phone I can at least determine if this unit is defective and, if so, we can have it replaced with a new or refurbished one.”

I blinked a few times before asking, “Are you shitting me?” It was the first time I’d let a hint of my own frustration or irritation show.

“That’s all your warranty covers, sir.”

“Yeah, and I not only pay $45 a month for a data service plan that does me absolutely no good, I also pay another $5 per month for the protection / replacement plan thing. Hell, I’d almost rather downgrade back to a stupid clam shell phone than put up with this … this …”

He interrupted me again, “Do you have an old phone in a drawer at your house?”

“Excuse me?” as I tried to figure out how he knew about the veritable black holes we call “drawers” in our kitchen.

“I can see what Verizon can do in the way of a refund and you can go back to using an old phone until your contract is up in May.”

I was on the verge of losing it; and dealing with this prancing little priss of a man across the counter was not making matters any better. “Look, Shea, we’re obviously having some communication issues here … is your manager or supervisor here in the store this morning? I really need to talk to somebody who is capable of making decisions. If I can’t get around having this … this … DETESTABLE THING replaced by pretty much anything other than another anything from HTC … then I may as well just say ‘screw it all’ and go get myself an iPhone.”

I sighed as I tried to look him square in the eyes, “Please?”

I say “try” because he averted the direct eye contact; that pansy.

Shea turned around and stepped through the door to take the matter up with the manager.

It was at this point that I got better acquainted with the young black man who was working under Shea’s wing yesterday morning. He was a perfectly pleasant guy and, as it turns out, he’s worked with a close friend of my family for quite some time (at Pohanka Lexus).

Several minutes later a short, another black gentleman about my age, perhaps a few years older, stepped out through the doorway and introduced himself. He looked as if he was possibly from Kenya or another African country, and carried a slight accent to match. His name was Jack.

Jack calmly and patiently allowed me to once again re-tell my tales of frustration and woe. He finally said, “Well, if we can show that this is a defective unit we can have Verizon send you a replacement or a refurbished one if there are no new ones left in stock.”

I stood there silently, flabbergasted beyond words.

“Sir,” I pleaded as I stared into his eyes, “I really need some help!”

It immediately occurred to me how that could have easily been taken an entirely different way by him or anybody else witnessing this exchange.

“What would you have me do?” Jack inquired.

“This thing is a freaking lemon, sir! All I want is relief from this insufferable piece of shit! Anything that does not have the name HTC on it would probably do; I’m dead serious.”

“For free?” he asked.

“Yes,” I nodded wildly, “of course for free! I’ve been dealing with the most miserable, unusable, frustrating phone ever conceived by man or demon for 6 months now, and I pay an extra $45 dollars month for data services and internet access for a phone that does me no good! Come on, Jack … I really need your help.”

“But we cannot give you a phone, sir. If you would like, I can see if we can reset your contract and you can get a new phone that way.”

I nodded towards the business phone immediately beside us, “Could you please just call someone at Verizon and put in a preferred customer request or something? We’ve been loyal customers for over 10 years now, and all I want is just be free from this hideous phone.”

Jack picked up the phone and started dialing. As he was logging in to the call center, he got past the point of typing in my account number and password. It was at this point that I learned about a balance due of proportions I was not prepared to confront.

“EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS?”, I burst out, “Are you kidding me?”

“Yes sir,” Jack said quietly, “I noticed that as I was looking at your account before I came out to speak with you; until you get that paid up you will not be able to talk to anybody at Verizon about this problem, even if you just wanted it fixed.”

I spent the next half hour or more with the extremely pleasant young lady whom I met at the beginning of my visit to the store. She and I went through the last couple months of detailed statements, one account at a time. Suffice it to say that some command decisions were made at this point regarding a number of things and a number of services were blocked.

But I digress …

Once we were all paid up, I was finally put back on the phone with Verizon. After a short exchange the lady I was speaking to informed me that we first had to transfer my call over to tech support. After being on hold for a few moments, a very pleasant, soothing voice greeted me, “Good afternoon,  my name is Lauren, how may help you today?”

I proceeded to, yet again, detail my tales of woe. When I finally paused she jumped in, “Sir, before we can do anything I first have to confirm that this unit is defective and is something more than just a ROM or other software upgrade.”

“Don’t you realize what a perfectly useless, miserable piece of crap this thing is?”

“I can only imagine, sir, but we have to prove it’s defective before we can do a thing.”

My shoulders fell and I sighed, “I understand that; I’m just beyond frustrated with this whole debacle of a phone.”

“I appreciate that sir. Are you willing to erase everything on your phone now?”

“Excuse me?”

“Do you use ActiveSync to back up your phone?”

“Oh, that! Hell no … that was just the beginning of my troubles 6 months ago. I never got that software to install properly.”

She proceeded to inform me that our only solution was for me to head home and she would have a set of links awaiting me via email. I was to email her to let her know I was ready to have Lauren walk me through a number of things over the phone. I finally got home, frustrated beyond belief that I was leaving the store empty handed.

Between my email to Lauren and her return call to me, I went ahead and started installing the latest version of ActiveSync. While waiting for the call, I then went ahead and launched the program to go ahead and do the back-up myself. I mean, hey … I’m technically adept, right?

Well, as it turns out, ActiveSync decided to synchronize with my local copy of Outlook, a new installation with no contacts, no appointments, no nothing on it … and, as fate would have it, the default setting was to give preference to the data in Outlook rather than what was on the phone.

Did you notice the past tense reference there?

Yeah, I lost my entire contacts list as well as a few other items of lesser importance.

A few moments later Lauren calls me back on my wife’s phone, just as she promised she would. As it turns out, she was skipping her lunch break to try and get things resolved for me.

After almost an hour of fiddling around, installing various software upgrades and settings changes, Lauren sighed an almost happy sounding sigh and said, “Okay, sir … your phone is definitely defective! Now I can finally talk with you about your options.”

“It’s about time!”

“While I was waiting to hear back from you earlier I went ahead and briefed my supervisor about your situation.”

“Thank you,” I said quite enthusiastically.

“And he gave me some options, so bear with me, okay?”

“Yes ma’am,” I said with a huge smile.

“Okay,” she paused, “I think I already know the answer to the first one; we can ship you a new HTC Touch Pro tomorrow morning.”

“Are you @#$%ing with me?” I exclaimed!

“I kinda thought that might be your answer,” I could swear she was stifling a chuckle as she hurried along to option number next, “which brings us to option number two: we can downgrade you to a regular phone and refund a month’s worth of the data plan charges.”

“Okay,” I said calmly, expecting the next option to be more appealing.

“Would you be interested in that, sir?”

“Well, perhaps as a last resort. Is there an option number third?”

“Yes sir,” she said, “there is. My supervisor also said that you can upgrade to any device you would like for the one year contract price.”

“And what exactly does that mean?”

“It depends on which Smart Phone you are interested in. If you were to get any phone you wanted from Verizon, which one would it be?”

“Well, The Droid, of course.”

“I take it you’re not referring to the HTC model.”

“Correct, my dear … the Motorola Droid. If I never see another anything from HTC for the rest of my life I will not be disappointed.”

She gently asked, “So, you would like the Motorola Droid?”

“Of course! Sounds like that’s the only thing out there that begins to hold a candle to the iPhone.”

“Okay, my supervisor said you can upgrade to one at the one year contract price.”

“And what does that mean to me, Lauren?”

She hesitated a little and then answered, “The one year contract price for the Droid is $369 with a $100 rebate.”

“So, they want me to pay them another $269 to be free from this piece of crap phone?”

“Uh,” she hesitated again, “would you be interested if I could get him to approve the two year price?”

“Which is how much?”

“That’s $299 with a $100 mail-in rebate, sir.”

“Wow,” I said, clearly dejected, “that’s something I’m going to have to think about, Lauren. I mean, I was sold an absolute lemon here and now I’m being told that my options are to live with a replacement lemon, go back to the relative stone age, or pay even more of my hard earned money for the type of device I expected when I ponied up a bunch of money 6 months ago.”

“I understand, sir,” she said with a lot of empathy in her voice, “it’s probably easiest to contact me through the email address we were using earlier this afternoon.”

“Alrighty then,” I sighed, “We have some errands that we have to run and I’ll think more about it and will get back with you before the end of the day.”

“I look forward to it, sir.” and we hung up.

As it turned out, the events of the day and the allure of a quick couple rounds of Golden Tee kept me from getting back to my computer until later that evening.

The next morning I shot Lauren an email thanking her for all of her time and her kindness. I expressed my frustration in being offered a “solution” that was no better than what any schmuck walking in off the streets would get. In fact, I told her that I felt the options given were downright insulting, but again assured her that it was not her I was frustrated with, but Verizon. I also made it a point to say that she could feel free to forward my email to her supervisor, or preferably someone above him.

Later in the morning I received an email from Lauren thanking me for the kind words.

As my friend, Fuku, and I finished our round of Golden Tee, the rest of the Friday Happy Hour crew was showing up. I looked down at my watch and it was just a little after 5:35. Well, I thought to myself, Lauren’s off for the day. I guess Verizon’s content to lose another customer.

As Oren and Fern started playing their first set of the Friday happy hour, my freshly reset phone lit up with an incoming call. The screen read “Unknown Caller”, but the area code looked familiar. It was the same one that Lauren had called me from earlier in the day.

I picked up my phone and as I made my way out of the pub I looked at Billy and said, “Tell the guys to give me a couple minutes before we start, I need to take this call.”

I tapped the Answer key, “Hello, this is Tom.”

A familiar voice greeted me, “Good afternoon, sir, this is Lauren from Verizon Wireless, we spoke yesterday.”

“Why yes it is, and how are you doing this afternoon?”

“Uggghh, it’s been one of those days; I was supposed to be out of here a while ago but I wanted to give you a quick call before I left for the day.”

“Oh, okay, that’s cool! What’s up?”

“Well, as you requested, I forwarded your email to my supervisors and a little while ago my boss came to my desk to tell me that he had read it and told me to go ahead and send you a Droid first thing Monday morning.”

I was slightly taken aback, “The Motorola unit?”

“Yes sir, I didn’t think you would be very interested in the other one.”

“Holy smokes, Lauren … you are my hero!”

She laughed and said, “Well, I don’t know about that, but I did want to call you before I left work for the day to let you know that there was a good outcome from all of this.” She went on to explain that she had to come in Saturday to get some other matters taken care of and assured me that she would also get everything processed so the new phone would be ready to ship first thing Monday morning.

The smile on my face stayed there until I fell asleep many hours later.

So, there ya have it. It’s been a long, wild ride these past 6 months, and what did I learn in the process? Well, for starters, no more sight-unseen purchases. From now on, when it comes to electronic devices, I want to handle the device and use it before making any decisions. I also intend to do much more homework in the future as well. Had I spent some time doing a little research, it would have been readily apparent that the early generation products from HTC have been notoriously slow. Of course, with the underlying operating system being a Microsoft product, how surprising is that?

Hopefully the next two years will be pleasant ones, at least as far as smart phone usage is concerned.

Check it out! The dude is getting a Droid!

Now it’s time to get back to packing this house for next weekend’s move!

Peace off!

As the Big Thaw begins and the dig-out continues …

4

My, what a busy couple of days for the old Buckaroo here! Somehow or another, I managed to get some work done from the house while stranded in the clutches of the 2nd blizzard in a week.

Well, perhaps “stranded” borders on being a bit of misnomer. The Spousal Unit and I had told ourselves that we were going to stay home Wednesday when the blizzard proper was at its zenith. She had a wonderfully aromatic pot of pasta sauce slowly cooking on the stove and I was bundled up on the couch, goofing around online with a few friends and getting ready to catch up some stuff we have on our perpetually filled-to-capacity DVR.

Besides, bucket loads of snow and 50 mph winds really don’t make for the best driving conditions ever known to man.

Such things don’t seem to bother my buddy, Shimmay.

Around 6pm or so he starts text messaging both of our phones. “You guys coming out to putt tonight?”

My reply: “We have a 48 foot snow drift at the end of our driveway; not digging out in this much wind.”

Moments later the Spousal Unit gets a message from Shimmay: “I’ll be there in 25 minutes to pick you guys up.”

So much for a quiet nice at la casa del Buck …

But who am I to turn down an adventure on night like this, right???

And quite the adventure it turned out  to be. I dare say Shimmay had the biggest challenges keeping his happy face on; not only did his beloved Washington Caps lose to a bunch of drunken bastards from Canadia, we had a couple of interesting characters already playing on “our” GT machine upon arrival. The round table behind the playing area was loaded with almost a dozen recently departed Budweiser’s, several loaded ash trays, a few packs of cigarettes, a c0uple Starbuck’s gift cards (that’s what most of us here in town use for Golden Tee identification purposes) and various other personal effects. Not meaning to make the pub sound unkempt, but they were seriously under-staffed and damned near packed to capacity.

The denziens of Leesburg had been trapped for days on end, some on unplowed roads and without electricity for much of that time.  Spanky’s, as it turns out, was not only the ONLY place in town open that night, there was not a single day in the midst of these historic back-to-back blizzards where Spanky’s failed to open its doors for business. Word of this evidently spread wide across the county and it was THE destination of anyone stupid enough to be on the road that night.

And before you even start wondering if the owner is some sort of an evil ogre, I need to point out that he — at the onset of both storms — called his staff and told them to stay home, stay warm and stay safe.

Bartenders don’t roll like that, though. Not when bartenders like ours are dealing with a drinking community like THIS!

But back to the two guys at our beloved Golden Tee machine …

With most garden variety non-regulars, this would not be a problem; especially when it’s only 2 or 3 players. Most times, asking if one (or two) of us can jump in causes most players to defer and pass the table to us at the end of their game. In some cases, though, they do invite me/us to play and that is usually a one time event.

Except when the “outsider(s)” happen to be really good players. But that’s another blog for another time … when it comes to the dredges of GT, most competitively minded people really don’t enjoy being trounced by 20 strokes and more. It’s downright humiliating and I don’t mind being the Giver of said humiliation; it almost always results in them walking away and opening the machine for me and the rest of my friends to play. BUT … you might want to know that I do so in a very polite, gentlemanly manner. That’s just who I am and, therefore, how I naturally behave as a result.

Wednesday, however, was not one of the nights where the machine was going to be easily relinquished. Instead of garden variety outsiders, we had two familiar faces from our recent past to contend with. One being a very recent addition to the mix and the other a sometimes notorious figure from my semi-recent past, as well as Shimmay’s.

His name is Jason.

Evil JasonMany people just don’t quite get Jason, which is a shame. To keep it short, there are two sides to this young man. There’s the Good Jason (the sober guy), and then, when things have piled up in his life and he’s overwhelmed, he hits the bottle with reckless abandon giving rise to Evil Jason.

And nobody likes to be around Evil Jason.

There are those with whom he argues with almost anything said in a viciously combative manner. For reasons I won’t expound upon here, the chemistry that particular evening brought out that very side of Evil Jason that night and Shimmay was the party towards which EJ’s combativeness was directed. Fortunately for me, Jason doesn’t play that way with me. I think our history goes back far enough and on a personal enough of a level that there’s some odd modicum of respect between the two of us.

But anyhow …

As if having a two-out-of-three sheets to the wind Evil Jason on our hands weren’t bad enough, his new best-buddy and GT opponent du jour was a 6’8″, square-jawed, behemoth of a young man we had dubbed — for obvious reasons — Yetti.

We met the Yetti — who would later be re-dubbed “lil B” — during the previous storm less than a week earlier. He works for the postal service yet lives in a town almost an hour from his office here in Leesburg. When major snow storms or ice storms are in the forecast, he will usually stay at a hotel just around the corner from Spanky’s and take advantage of not having to drive. Let’s just say that he is a very loud, albeit wonderfully pleasant, and insanely distractable human being when he dives headlong into the fire water.

After several beers he turns into a freak of a social butterfly and this, as you might imagine, is NOT conducive to a well paced game of Golden Tee. In fact, when playing with people who are orders of magnitude lessor of a player AND you’re having to repeatedly call them back to the table to take their turn, it can get more than mildly irritating.

After a brief exchange in private, Evil Jason decided he was going to go ahead and call it a night. Unfortunately, lil B was now in the mood to start ordering everybody rounds of shots … and was clearly still in the mood to play more GT. We humored the Yetti for one more game but I dare say I may have put a bit of a wrinkle in our budding potential friendship by dealing him OUT of the next game while he was off taking a bathroom break. When he returned I pointed out that it had taken almost an HOUR AND A HALF to play the previous round (thanks to his terrier-like propensity towards terminal distractability) and that the 3 of us really needed to pick up the pace if we were going to get home at a decent hour.

He took it like a goodly hearted dude … and, I’m sad to say, said “decent hour” never quite materialized.

But we played pretty well once the pace actually picked up! :o)

HOWEVER … the combination of Mama-Buck not having to worry about staying in a safe-to-drive condition, the shots purchased for us through the evening, and the wonders of having an empty tummy prior to epic moments of imbibing, saw her eventually reach a place where she pulled me aside, and in a dead serious tone exclaimed, “I THINK SOMEONE SLIPPED SOMETHING INTO ONE OF MY DRINKS!”

There is a very, very weird couple that has been visiting our fair little pub of late, and they really creep me out more than your run-of-the-mill oddball at a bar. As I got to thinking about it, though, there would be no plausible explanation for slipping my girl a Mickey as they had no angle to capitalize on something like that.

As we got to talking more, it became increasingly clear that her sense were being assaulted by a barrage of subatomic anomalies of some sort and was, therefore, clinically not sober. She started chugging a bunch of water and ordered some fries and well before the end of that particular round of Golden Tee, she was feeling kinda, somewhat, sorta grounded again.

I qualified so heavily because as Shimmay drove us home a little later she had him stop the vehicle on more than one occasion claiming to have just seen a snow frog hopping across the snow and ice covered streets.

In fact, she was so insistent, even the next morning, that I guess she must’ve seen a couple mice or some other small animals dashing across the road, disoriented by the wind and blowing snow.

. . .

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I am the newest member of SharkBait Productions as well as the Recovery Channel®. Mikey Rez is currently working on a faux’cumentary of the Blizzards of 2010. Here’s an exclusive sneak preview of a rough draft or a proposed narrative for a voice over of the opening moments of a film that may, or may not, be about the recent Snowpocalypse, the target rich environment that our town has been for any would-be snow shark hunters, or have any relation to the resulting snowcano that was deposited in our fair town this past week …

(your thoughts on the following piece are encouraged and would be warmly welcomed)

. . .

North America has been gripped by a series of weather events of historic proportions. Unless you’ve been living in a cave or, perhaps, a self-induced coma, it is impossible for you not to be aware of this.

But then again, there’s surely at least one reason why you are watching …

The Recovery Channel

As our solar system spins and wobbles its way through its light years long orbit through the Milky Way, it crosses through regions of intense quantum instability. These thin, unstable ribbons of subatomic debris interfere with our atmosphere in a manner similar to the way in which photons from our own warming star, the Sun, interact with our ionosphere and atmosphere.

In essence giving us the quantum equivalent of an aurora borealis event.

Unlike the benign light shows generated by the polar auroras, these quantum disturbances affect not only the weather patterns of our planet, but the psyche of most life forms that inhabit it.

One of the most unstable manifestations is known as a QAGE (pronounced “cage”): a Quantum Alignment Glacial Event.

.

The surface of our planet is encased in an infinitely thin skin of subatomic energy. Under normal conditions this thin veil eludes observation and is not given even a single thought.

However, when Earth collides with one of these ribbons of subatomic debris — the tail-like remnants of a deceased black hole — pockets within this thin skin of energy react and sets into motion the spontaneous creation of anti-matter.

Should this process last for more than 7 picoseconds – a picosecond being a mere one trillionth, or one millionth of one millionth of a second – quantum volcanic eruptions tend to occur.

And thus the otherwise infertile ground gives birth to a QAGE.

Loudoun County Virginia was witness to one such event during the second blizzard of 2010. In its wake, a flaccid quantum volcano that some of the local recovery refugees dubbed …

Mt. Snowsuvius!

We were there to film the historic ascent to the summit of this freakish quantum phenomenon that has less probability of occurring than a convention of Gay Jewish Muslims for Christ.

. . .

… stay tuned.

.

Seriously … Mikey Rez has already filmed the ascent, put together various interviews with locals, at least one sherpa and more. Tune in to The Recovery Channel and find out more …

Until then …

PEACE OFF!


Eddie Cut!

22

Mornin’, sports fans! Cheers!

… tis I, is your benevolent and goodly overlord.

How is everybody this fine day?

If you, like me, are in the mid-Atlantic … all I am going to say is “Wow!”

Okay, I honestly intended for “Wow!” to be all I was going to say, but WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!! …

and I understand that the past week or more has been completely focused on these back–to-back blizzards, but this just insane! And no, these are not just large, heavy snowfall events. This is two back-to-back, bonifide blizzards!

The National Weather Service issued a bulletin about an hour ago telling people that they ARE to stay off of the roads. The city of Baltimore has initiated Phase III of their snow plan … only emergency vehicles are allowed on the roads. Period. Intense snow fall and winds of 40 miles per hour make for some rather hideous conditions.

My ex wife recently tossed a friendly jab my way, telling me to suck it up because they get this all the time up in Maine. While I will agree that these types of intense wintertime weather events are more common up there, I dare say that they are not quite accustomed to this!

I could be wrong …

but let’s just move along …

.

I'M CRAPPIN' YOU NEGATIVE!Before we do get about the business of moving along … the following was — and I am CRAPPIN’ YOU NEGATIVE … one of the paragraphs (verbatim) from the National Weather Service alert that was issued for our region at 11:34am:

“People are encouraged not to panic… but to simply stay inside… enjoy your favorite indoor activities… and ride this storm out… the hazardous conditions will be improving later this evening.”

OH YEAH!

You know what the means, don’t you?

Tis time to actually write instead just pumping out another one of those finished-in-fifteen-minutes picto-blogs!

But first, I would like to have a little chitchat with some of you about blog etiquette.

Or, not to put too fine a point on it: blog reading etiquette.

kissing assThanks for the herpes!Before we get too deeply entrenched in that subject, though, I want to start off by saying THANK YOU!

If you have visited us more than once, I double that order of gratitude.

If you are amongst those who regularly visit this place, I am sincerely honored that you’ve been entertained enough to want to come back with any frequency.

Good stuff, I tell ya!

As you’ve probably noticed, I am not the only one who blogs here. At present, the regular writing staff is a tad Spartan, to say the very least.

Before the council of writers gets too large and the silly insecurities of  the “what about me?” sort enter the picture …

I want to give some really huge props to our “stunt blogger”, Nuthin!

We are fortunate that such a gifted and entertainingly clever person has chosen to park some of his linguistic creations on this dark, humble, virtually uncharted little corner of “teh interwebs.”

I still don’t have actual profile pages for the site Authors and Admins (nor for the Council of Doom, but that will come in time)

.

So, where were we?

A big ol’ butt load of thanks to our readers!

Here, how about I make you a steak?

Yummy!

.

Okay, back to the subject of blog etiquette …

We, as “authors”, do what we do because we enjoy it.

Plain and simple.

It is fun to do this blogging stuff and I have to believe that I am laughing infinitely harder than most any of you are. I write stuff that is fun to come back and read later. Due to the completely spontaneous, “stream of consciousness” nature of the vast majority of my blogging, I hardly remember many of the details of what I’ve written, so this is really an entertaining process for me.

Sadly, it is painfully obvious – sometimes unbearably so – that I do not proof-read what I post, no less go through any sort of editorial process.

Something I like to refer to as …

“Projectile Blogging.”

But my point being, it’s when I come back days or weeks later that I’ll finally do proof reading (if any) and sometimes a little editorial work. Although, I must say that when it comes to my true projectile blogging posts, I really don’t like doing much in the way of editorializing my original process. I mean, hey … if it struck me as important enough to blurt it out, then it very well has a purpose — however miniscule — and is hopefully resolved by the end of the story.

And even that’s not intentional most of the time … which is what make projectile blogging so daggone fun. At least for me.

Yummy!!! But anyhow … I guess you’ve probably noticed that I really like those “so last decade” smilies, huh?

Dude, they taste just like chicken!!!

.

I really need to contain my A.D.D.-like tendencies today, sorry …

. . .

On to matters of Blogging Etiquette …

B.E. 101

(if you will)

As detailed on my “FOK!” page, the intent here is not to point the Finger of Authority at you and make you feel scolded. That would be patronizing, and nobody wants that!

Except you, so shut it!

My point being — and I understand the whole matter of feeling like a finger is being pointed makes that a poor choice of words — we really get a big charge out of interacting with our beloved audience. Especially those of you who choose to Register as member-residents of the Wonderful World of Buck!

Just shut your whore mouth and REGISTER!I really should stifle this urge to channel the spirit of Billy Haze …

he’s the parallel universe alter of Billy Mays, and he dies in that universe too …

You really don’t want Billy Haze storming in here like a cocaine-induced manic jackhammer and start pummeling you about the virtues of becoming a registered user on this site. Just feel free to register. It makes commenting and interacting more enjoyable … and it very well may be the start of a quest that results in you getting sucked into this whole cerebral black hole known as blog writing!

If you like to tell stories or make people laugh in a clever, well delivered  manner, blogging really is worthy of your attention.

And when that day comes, you too will understand this whole aspect of interaction.

Even heckling and a throwing of the proverbial elbow of jest is warmly welcomed.

Without getting all geeky and checking on server logs, we really have absolutely no clue whether anyone has stopped by. Now … should you happen upon a blog post that’s really a train wreck of failure, then perhaps the silence that only a cricket could wish for would be in order.

The point is, have a heart, leave a comment if you make it all the way to the end of a blog.

Got it?

Good.

Don’t make me break out the anal invading hyenas from hell …

I am dead serious, they are some bad mamma-jammas!

(and, as it turns out, this species — Hyena Semper-sodomus — is actually a marsupial. So much for that whole idea that the marsupial is a calm, bashful and predominately harmless species. The Tazmanian Devil, for example …

About the only thing worse that the hyena semper-sodomus … even worse than the Tasmanian Devil — especially an angry she-devil, doubly so when mating season approaches — is an animal thought to be extinct for centuries now.

And it is no matter of coincidence that I am making mention of marsupials here …

Behold …

the Snow Devil!

I'M GONNA EAT YOU, BEYOTCH!

.

I know, I know … it bears a STRIKING resemblance to the Snow Possum.

That’s only fitting when ya think about it, though. I mean, dude … they’re both marsupials! Much in the same way that certain of the King snake species can bear a striking resemblance to teh Coral snake, the devil’s in the details.

But we’re getting a little bit off track here, aren’t we?

Our job as writers is to write … and due to the fact that there’s no binding obligation or moral imperative that we do so, it’s not a job whatsoever; but I’ve already covered the whole “we do it for the joy of blogging” nonsense.

We don’t get paid … I have absolutely zero aspirations of every hosting any click-thru ads to raise a little cash …

even if it is for a worthy cause … say, I dunno … alcohol research!

This is a purely casual endeavor done for the love of the LULZ …

.

We do it for our own ROR …

All we ask is that you quit being such a selfish, miserly, tightfisted, lurker and show our writers a little love, will ya?

Okay, let’s just pretend that you’re here for no other reason than morbid curiosity …

Unlike real life … where, if you happen to stumble across the police investigating a horrid, unthinkable crime scene … here, in BucksWorld, you’re actually EXPECTED to find a way to get into the background of whatever the forensic photographer is photographing and ham it up with a big grin or funny face.

SRSLY!

(go ahead, click on the image … you should be familiar with the routine by now …
Click to Enlarge!
huhu … that’s what she said!!

Anyhow … even IF you’re here out of sheer morbid curiosity, you’re still expected to make your presence known.

Otherwise … it’s considered lurking …

and quite frankly …

… and it’s just downright creepy!

Okay, I think that about covers it for today, kiddies.

In case you somehow missed it … and this is the abbreviated version for those even lowlier souls: the folks that simply scroll through to see the pics.

.

STOP RIGHT THERE!


If you’re the type that just scrolls through for the pics, this is an important announcement for you:

Leave a comment!

SRSLY!

.

And that, my friends, is one ballsy white boy!!!!!!

… now scroll on down and leave a comment …

Germs and Funkaditions …

10

Wow, we have a lot of territory to cover and very little time to cover it.

Be forewarned, though …

Parts of this blog ARE about YOU!!!

It appears that some of us are a little too retarded to safely share computers with their spousal units. Yes, one of our very own is guilty of impersonating a Buck’s World official.

The Accused: Eh — the Dutchess of TaTa’s — Mizzle (loving and devoted wife of the ever lovable Jay Bizzle)

The Accusation:

In Friday’s afternooon posting — the infamous, “welcome to the outskirts of interwebs drama” post — a comment in which endearing references to a certain male cetacean reproductive organ were made, and credited to Jay Bizzle.

At first, I — your moderately humble host — was almost taken a’back, but then I could not help but attribute said homoerotic references to Mister Bizzle’s warped sense of humor.

He attributes such to the voices … but we’ll have to come back to that subject another day.

All the same … later Saturday afternoon I happened upon Missiz Bizzle, who laughingly, yet discretely, asked if I enjoyed her reference to the above referenced cetacean phallus.

I blinked my eyes in confusion for a moment before it occurred to me …

Jay Bizzle is not coming out of the water closet quite yet!

Thank god we dodged that bullet.

. . .

I think it is important that we take a few moments to step back and review the decorum and certain other points of order that every citizen of the wonderful world of Buck should always be aware.

Before we begin, though, perhaps it would do us all well to be reminded of the consequences of our actions. We must needs be mindful that infractions against the laws of this cyber-land can not, and will not, be tolerated!

Make certain of this, though … I, your loving and benevolent leader, would never execute punishment on ANY of the goodly people of this wonderful world.

Nay.

Those who cross the line must face …

The Council of Doom!

[insert cheesy, stereotypical music wherein a villain is first introduced onto the screen]

It’s really not appropriate to reveal the identities of every member of the Council of Doom at this time. There may be — gasp — outsiders amongst us!

However … there are a few seated lifetime judges on the council, and perhaps a brief introduction might bring a little more mindfulness to some of our citizens and, let us hope, possibly wipe those smirks off their faces!

Ladies and gentlemen, our senior council member needs no introduction …

Greetings, citizens! I’m Space Ghost!

Hey, stop it right there Space Ghost, I already said you needed no introduction.

Yeah, I know, but …

I’m SPACE GHOST!

We know this, Space Ghost. Please sit back down and allow me to finish this stupid blog up before I have to head out for the day.

man . . .

Okay, while Space Ghost is the senior council member, he is not the judge nor is he the one who runs the show when court is in order.

The Chief Justice and Supreme Arbitrator is the one and only … but, for legal reasons, we have to refrain from using his name … the ineffable Judge K!

Sup?

It’s kinda early in the morning for a judge to be having a pint of beer, isn’t it?

Harden the f*@# up, mate …

Anyhow …

[Space Ghost starts waving his hands wildly]

Yeah, Space Ghost, what’s up?

If I can’t introduce myself, would you at least allow me to introduce the rest of my staff?

Sure, Space Ghost, why not?

Thank you!

Ladies and gents, Moltar, for reasons I am legally obligated to not discuss, is not with us here this evening. However, I’d like to ...

. . .

With all the things we have on our plate this morning, we really don’t have time to fully get ourselves acquainted with the Council of Doom.

Suffice it to say, that is a courtroom you do NOT want to be in!

. . .

Let’s see, what else do we have in the in-box this morning?

Ah, yes …

Buck?!?!?

Dude, what are you doing back here?

I have something for you …

Space Ghost, I’m serious … I really do not have time for this crap this morning!

I have a snow shark for you, sir!

DUDE! Put that thing back where you found it!

Why?

Because it’s not yours to take!

Really? Then whose is it?

We can’t talk about it …

Why not?

Because we can’t …

Well, um,um,um … is it SNOW COW?!?!?

SHUT UP, BRAK!!!!!!

. . .

Moving along …

Jay Bizzle pulled me aside from an otherwise less-than-stellar round of Golden Tee this weekend to announce that he has found a potential beer belly gold medalist …

Yeah, that dude has that TATTOO’d onto his belly!!!!

Love it!

. . .

Have you seen one of these before?

That’s a Snow Frog.

You may have heard of them … maybe not.

You’ve DEFINITELY heard them over the years, though … that much is for sure.

I’ll never forget the first time I’d had it pointed out to me!

This must’ve been 1978, maybe 1979 … we lived at Quantico and we were in the midst of getting SLAMMED by a massive snow storm!

The weatherman had only been calling for “a dusting” earlier that evening …

We got several FEET!

Anyhow … after an evening of Christmas caroling and imbibing on massive quantities of heated, spiced wine, we finally made our way back to our quarters on the other side of the base. My parents, my brother and I slowly worked our way from the driveway to the front door, already more than knee deep in snow! I was immediately behind my dad.

As he fumbled through his pocket for the house key, a distinct, rumbling noise broke the perfect, angelic silence that normally accompanies snow fall.

“Ah, dad … you FARTED!!!!!!!”

He turned his head over his shoulder towards me, shaking his head gently in the non-affirmative, and with a hint of a drawl, and maybe even a slight hint of a slur, he intimated, “Noooo, son … that was a fucking SNOW FROG!”

I … came … un GLUED!

Anyhow … this was supposed to be  a blog about other people, not me.

OH wait, I almost forget …

It’s all about Buck! B-)

. . .

Well, sports fans … I had a LOT of other stuff I wanted to talk about this morning, but I dare say I hear mama Buck stirring about upstairs.

That can only mean one thing:

It’s time for breakfast. That oughta be fun; we’ve not gone out for breakfast together in quite some time.

So, while I’m taking a shower and you’re contemplating … whatever it is that occupies the mind of some poor fool that would have the time, no less the inclination, to actually read through an entire episode of this projectile verbiage …

Take another few minutes to enjoy the following little add-on for your laptop that is CERTAIN to make you “The Man” with all the hot chicas at the office!

(or get ya written up on sexual harassment charges!)

. . .

Okay, I REALLY have to get going!

Until next time …

PEACE OFF, FAUX CURSE!

… ain’t good for the gander!

2

Whoa! So, yesterday I post that goofy blog. I mean, I’d been looking for one of those moments when I could squeeze in a little something over-the-top and actually have an excuse to have gotten away with it. Let’s face it, some things are best just left alone.

But we can’t can have that …

All the same, I waltz into the pub anxious to play some Friday afternoon Golden Tee and I’m all like a pro football player with a few of my friends about what I was convinced was a marginal home run of a blog …

I didn’t want to risk using an image of an actual professional football player out of fear that the owning corporation might jump on the opportunity to sue me for using a copyrighted image of the “#FL” … I mean, Bob forbid we actually believe that anybody apart from that great and all-knowing body could have otherwise come up with something like the fleur de lis or the phrase “Who Dat?” ???

Seriously … what is this world coming to?

But anyhow … I am starting to believe that Jay (of the clan Bizzle) and the other goodly town folk who have suggested I find and/or create a warning sign of some sort might have a point.

I mean, don’t get me wrong … I tend to think there are just some things in this world that really should not require pointing out.

Seems yesterday’s mental equivalent of pinching the proverbial loaf didn’t go over perfectly well.

DISCLAIMER! The following blog and commentary is not about you! Now, yes … a couple of the things that I mention are about “NOPE!!! ” … and in two places I do take a playful stab at “NotaChance” … actually, make that three times.

But everybody else … this is NOT about you!!!!

Repeat after me:


. . .

. . .

. . .

Anyhow …

I did advertise it as, “not for the faint of heart” for the Facebook crowd … did I not?

Sports fans, work with me here for a moment …

This blog is all about the satire
(granted, poorly executed)

a feckless exercise in sarcasm …

quasi-wit and shamelessly self promoting banter …

(actually, I think feckless was probably enough all by itself)

. . .

But it is vital that we maintain our focus on the word “sarcasm” for the moment.

Ya know what? This whole thing of even mentioning why I feel the need to write a disclaimer is going to get inherently complicated.  Once again, this not about you …

it’s all about Buck!

(well, yeah, and there are more than a couple references to “NoWayOk?“)

You see, sarcasm and wit go hand in hand.

Of course, there are th0se who have opined that wit is nothing more than educated insolence. I believe that one started with Aristotle, but who knows, he may have clept that one too?

And I know I shouldn’t be patting myself on the shoulder so enthusiastically either. I’m not a master of wit nor sarcasm as much as I am a predatory opportunist.

Oh man, that’s really a bad choice of words.

I am not a predator!

I used to be a Predator,  with a capital ‘P’ … and I must say that for all of our faults as a paintball team, the Predators DID have some major league fun! I do look forward to some day hooking back up with J.C., Muzzi or any of those guys from back in the day!

In our own minds, we were pimps, we were ninjas … we were special Olympians … Yeah, baby … we were

The Predators!

(remember, you can click on these images to enlarge them)

But anyhow …

I’m an opportunist, plain and simple.  Just ask anybody that spends too much time around me: Jay Bizzle, Possum, Billy, even the She Beast can tell you: my only gift is in overstating the painfully obvious in the most intellectually obscure, almost intelligent sounding, multi-syllabic manner possible.

In fact, my own bride can be frequently heard uttering the words: “Thank you, Captain Obvious!

J’yup … that’s me!

And it’s high time we finally get back to our regularly scheduled disclaimer …

Where were we anyhow?

Ah, yes … sarcasm.

I actually had a point here … and it’s sort of convenient that we’re having this little pow-wow as I’ve been looking for an opportunity to blather on a little bit about this new “Sarc-Mark” nonsense.

Yeah, did you read about this? There is a firm here in states who, after centuries of men and women of wit confounding the comparatively simple-minded, have — in true “Property of the NFL” fashion — come up with a symbol and have obtained a registered trademark for it.

Yeah, ther’s now a “Sarc-Mark” (r) …

Are you believing this?

Sadly, such has been proposed numerous times over the years … anything from upside question marks and exclamation points and more. I find it disturbing that we even have to consider as much, but hey … that’s the world we live it, right?

I mean, do we really need someone to point out that something like the following is purely an exercise in sarcasm?

Now that I think about it, maybe in this case it does …

Or how about this …

Do we really have to couch something like that with a sarcasm disclaimer?

But I digress …

So, in closing, all I want to say is this …

None of this is about YOU …

Come on, sports fans …

Say it with me:

We’ll have to save the disclaimer thing for another time! B-)

Expanding your horizons …

21

That’s right, sports fans … it’s time once again to have your horizons expanded, despite the fact that you are probably unaware that your horizons were even in need of expansion. But that’s why you keep me around, isn’t it?

How else would you have learned about things like mental laxatives or banal lube?

* To give credit where credit is due, it was my old blogging friend Agent Neptune who turned me on to the inconvenient realities of cranial constipation and the whole concept of mental laxatives. His patent-pending Lax-a-Thot is genuinely inspired.

But anyhow …

Of Mice, of Men and of Pornographic Pachyderms …

I’ve been getting quite a bit of “Dude, why???” from the Spanky’s crew.

Seems the whole elephant butt thing was met with quite a few mixed emotions.

Some were disgusted. As you can plainly see, such was also the case with the snow man there to the left.

If you think it’s a bad thing to see, just imagine being on the receiving end of something like that …

and not knowing it’s coming!

Yeah, talk about “highly unwelcome!”

Although, there is at least one or two people from my favorite little pub who’d probably enjoy something like that.

[twitch!]

Odder still is the the number of people who actually questioned if that was a real photo, or if it was something that someone manipulated with some sort of graphics software.

Well, I firmly believe that we are held accountable by God according to the gifts we’ve been given. As the smartest (and, dare I say: most humble) man in town, it is therefore my responsibility to enlighten those whose minds have not been endowed with the manifest wisdom mine own has.

Case in point: pachyderm love is infinitely more complex than Llama love. Llama’s pretty much just spit … that’s about it. Seriously, what the fixation is that some have with llama love absolutely escapes me.

Apart from having more wool, and wool of a better quality than most sheep …

But let’s try and stay focused for a change, shall we?

In the event that you are unaware of the image in question, allow me to save you the trouble of digging through other recent blog posts!

Yeah, if you’re so inclined, you can click to view the full sized image.

If nothing else, though, you can at least thank me for not assaulting your eye holes with the larger, more explicit version of that pic.

Am I wrong?

Anyhow …

For my doubting Thomas’ and Tomasina’s …

Yeah, much like that shocking ad campaign that asks, “Centipedes in my vagina? It’s more likely than you think!”

… if you’ve never seen it, you can click on the link above labeled, “Vowel Movements” … click and enjoy …

… go ahead, go check it out … I’ll wait for you!

* * *

What’d you think of the video?

That’n made me laugh out loud.

Anyhow … where were we?

Ah, yes … elephant and elephant strangeness!

I was relieved to discover that the fixation isn’t 100% trunk to butt action …

Okay, so maybe it’s really not all that much easier on the eyes …

But here’s the thing … and, believe it or not, I actually do have somewhat of a point here … it’s not just the elephants that are into these sorts of things.

Shockingly enough, mankind — after countless eons of observing this sort of lurid behavior — has decided it wants in on some of the action too!

Need proof?

Uh, yeah … that’s just nasty!

Nastier still is the fact that someone thought this whole experience would be good for a friggen children too!!!

I know … I”m sorry …

. . .

Did that help any?

Here, maybe this will help make it all better …

Click to enlarge (you earned it)

Ya know, it COULD be worse …

I wonder what sort of grade he got for THAT science project! Hahahahahaha!

Anyhow … I did promise to change the subject, did I not?

Moving along …

Did that clear your mental palate?

Daggonit …

Mama-Buck is ready to do all that crappy responsibility stuff. Grocery store, pay bills, blah blah blah.

I just want drink a few beers and enjoy the games!

In parting …

Alright, I better get going!

* * *

Go Saints!

Yeah, it’s amazing what a little make-up and a professional photographer can do, huh?

Vampires???

3

Just a quick update or two …

#1: more material has been posted at my “Politico” blog. CLICK HERE to check it out.

#2: for those of you who, for whatever reason(s), have nothing to do with #1, HERE’S a little gem I stumbled across today. That dude (to me) is Fuuuuuu’NAY!

Sorry that that’s all I have for now … I promise some more nonsense and laughter is forthcoming.

Happy Effin New Year!

(and stuff)

A Holiday PSA from Buck!

10

Yeah, I know, I know …

PSA’s (Public Service Annoucements) are typically the dubious honor and domain of the rich and famous (and, dare I say, usually troubled) Hollywood elite and their ilk.

However, it is not entirely uncommon for a garden variety citizen such as myself who will rise to the occasion and selflessly — and from the bottom of their heart — offer their own message intended for the betterment of mankind.

I, my friends, your dear and beloved Faux King, Emperor of The Wonderful World of Buck … am one such benevolent soul

* * *

This year I would like to talk to you about child safety and the holidays.

Children are often pitiful, hapless victims in the midst of these holiday soirées of questionable sobriety.

Victim? you ask …

Yes, hapless, unwitting victims, I tell you.

How so? I hear you inquire …

Well, indulge me as I attempt to elaborate.

Unless you are a living in a cave (or a back alley around the corner from a resturant or deli), one thing that is certain to be an unavoidable component is kitchen utensils.

Sure, maybe you’re the type (lazy, like me) that provides pretty much nothing but chips, crackers and other various and assorted finger foods.

All the same, you’re sure to have at LEAST one dish that requires the presence of a fork.

Yes, the seemingly innocent and benign fork is really an evil, scheming, autonomous agent of the underworld, hell-bent on wreaking havoc upon your festivities.

Of course, forks aren’t ALWAYS evil …

Oh wait, my bad … those are spoons.

Anyhow … back to our little public service announcement …

Forks + Children == Bad News

. . .

Look at p’oh, p’oh, little innocent Billy here …

See dis????

IT HUUUUURRRRRRTTTTTT, MOMMY!

IT HURT!

See what happens when you and your friends get distracted with the holiday festivities?

More disturbing than those seemingly little nicks on Billy’s little nose is how they came to get there …

This

One

Bothered

Me

(a little)

.

. .

. . .

. . . .

. . . . .

. . . .

. . .

. .

.

OUCH x 1,000,000,000!!!!!!!!

* * *

Merry Christmas everyone!

Until we meet again, sports fans, always remember …

Forks are bad.

Spoons are good.

And until next time …

PEACE OFF, FAUX CURSE!


. . .

Looking for more holiday cheer, BucksWorld style?

Head on over to Nuthin’s post:  Merry Christmas and other nonsense…

Walk with me, talk with me …

7

Hey folks,

It’s time once again for a brief intermission from the inanity.

In short, I’ve had to resort to changing the system so only registered users can post comments now.

Reason? Some moronic hackers overseas have been using blog comments on my site to post links to servers they’ve hijacked.

I’ve been spending a LOT of time every week deleting these “trojan horse” comments, sometimes upwards of 20 minutes a DAY.

THE GOOD NEWS … becoming a registered user of BucksWorld has some benefits:

– If you click on “Remember me” the next time you log on, you’ll no longer be asked to provide your name, etc. when posting comments or replies to other people’s comments. Yay.

– It automatically enrolls you in our occasional drawings and random “door prize” days. Yes, YOU too could win VALUABLE PRIZES!

– Quite frankly, the sense of becoming part of something bigger than yourself borders on orgasmic.

– and most importantly: Your information will NEVER be sold or made available to any body, any time, for any reason! Quite frankly, there’s not all that much of a chance that you are more paranoid about surfing the internet than I am. I DETEST junk mail, I am genuinely AFRAID of identity theft. I’m not really sure if there’s anything I CAN say to make you more comfortable about taking this step other than to tell you I’ve been doing this “online entertainment” thing for a decade and a half. There are people who CAN vouch for the fact that BucksWorld has NEVER hosted advertising links … has never once turned a single penny’s profit. I’ve paid for these websites out of my own pocket purely for the sheer enjoyment of hopefully finding people who will join me at laughing with AND AT me.

So, come on … WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?!?!

Click now and become a honorary citizen of the Wonderful World of Buck!

.

ps: if you do NOT receive a confirmation email with your password within 20 minutes, please shoot me a message at Facebook or my private email address: “Buck [zat] BucksWorld.net

(of course, don’t include the quotation marks and replace the [zat] with … well, you know … the “AT” symbol …)

~ ~ ~

On an semi-related note: this is NOT the same as subscribing. Registering makes you a MEMBER of this online community. That gives you the right to comment and opens the doors to giving you a blog of your own here some day.

Subscribing, however, is a means whereby you receive notification of each new blog that gets posted here.  The various subscription options available are listed at the top-right of each and every blog posted (cleverly disguised as “Subscription Options”).

Die’Rections

2

Back when I had the time and inclination, my former website was somewhat … shall I say: organized … there were designated pages for serious stuff, pages for silly stuff (a whole hell of a lot of those, as you might imagine) , a page for the Electric Comedy Club, another for tributes for the dearly departed, yadda friggen yadda.

For now, though, all I really have here is this here old WordPress server / blog and it seems that I (once again) have two distinct groups of readers: 1) those that are here for “teh funnies” and, 2) those that are here for the serious stuff (or, at the very least, willing to trudge through just about anything along the way).

So … I got to thinking again … and yeah, the process itself was a bit taxing. Not painful, but definitely a little taxing …

But all the same: in the midst of all that thinking the thought occurred to me that it’s probably best if I separate my more serious rants and ramblings from the more patently inane stuff that I publish in the hopes of coaxing a smile, a chuckle, and maybe even a laugh from you, my poor, depraved reader.

So, forthwith, all of my more serious drivel … my more political rants and social commentaries, if you will … shall be posted elsewhere.

Should you be so inclined as to the location of said postings, they can be found at the blog now titled:

(un)COMMON SENSE” …

That’s http://politico.BucksWorld.net for those of you so inclined to copy & paste rather than click on a link.

That is all.

. . .

Hi, my name is Nuthin

9

Good morning and hello to all my fellow residents of “Teh Wonderful World of Buck

Let me introduce myself:

Photobucket

Hi, my name is Nuthin.

all my friends call me Nuthin.

but you can call me Nuthin.

I won a “contest” here at “Bucks World” and “Buck” was kind enough to grant me “Contributorship Status” on this here “finer-n-frogs hair” website, so I resolved to “contribute”.

Photobucket

Some of you may know me from my brief, albeit busy, stint on the social networking site know as ‘teh Spazz’.

I am no longer there for legal reasons…and we’ll leave it at that.

Photobucket

I suffer from Profanitism: the excessive and habitual use of profanity. Which means I swear alot (I have promised to restrain myself a bit, but expect the occasionl fcuk bomb here and there.) I credit my beloved Marine Corps for an almost unparalled mastery of the issuance of all things profane.

Semper Fi

Photobucket

I prefer the color red. (in case you hadn’t noticed)

I learned something today, and so should you, and to prove this point…

Here is my contribution for teh day to the furtherance of your vocabulary.

Grawlixes:

Typographical symbols standing for profanities, which appear in dialogue balloons in the place of actual dialogue. (dont axe me how thats pronounced though, I know not)

irony

I am a technophile. Although this does NOT mean I am especially versed in all things computer, unlike our fiend Buck.

I intentionally typo.

Photobucket

I have an Olde English Bulldog puppy (4 months old) who’s full name is “Reglus Titus Tiro”. He prefers “Titus” for short.

I really like latin for some reason, and Tibet.

Photobucket

I like long walks in the rain, poetry, and calling cadence.

Speaking of Poetry…I have one I’d like to share with you.

Its one I wrote awhile back and its short enough to hold the attention span of the average hominid, yet profound enough to occupy ones mind for longer than one would prefer it be occupied. (profound to be read confusing)

Here goes…

Ode to a Realist’s Water Glass

o cylindrical containerized fluidity

how dost thou quench mine thirst in vain

foer but hither hour comes anon

I greedly lap thy refresherating coolness again

making pale my yellower evacuations

leaded crystal minst vehicle for watery indulgence

I bade thee thithereth me mine thirst be gone

Fore but leaves thine glass half full?

nay, Half empty then this transparent sand?

NEITHER say I. Pessimissim be damned!

Optimism be thou thrown likewise from yonder Dam!

IT IS A GLASS.

IT HAS FCUKING WATER IN IT.

SHUT UP AND DRINK IT.

I am but a humble REALIST drinking poorly

from the richness of my tap.

Thank you…**takes bow**

I am completly imbued with the knowledge of the useless…of which I would like to share.

Here is a prime example, and as an addition to todays vocabulary lesson, here is the Arithmetic lesson for all you interwebs kiddies out there.

Did you know that teh internet weighs approximately  1,096,564,831,978 lbs, or about 1.1 Trillion pounds.

I know this because the internet told me…plus I read this report.

How heavy is the Internet?

I share a love of all things idiosyncraticly visual as does the aforementioned Bcuk.

Photobucket

I come from a long line of handsome bastards.

Photobucket

…and I got my, and my brothers their, unofficial nicknames when my father threatened his mother, while we were yet babes, that he was going to name his three children Whatcha, Howya and Nuthin (our last name is “doin” only spelled differently). I dont think she minded actually. Knowing her, she laughed and dared him to do it. From hence forth I became “Nuthin”.

This is Howya:

Photobucket

This is Whatcha:

Photobucket

I am Nuthin…

Photobucket

In conclusion, I dont expect to write often, but when I do you will at least know which parts to skip during your daily foray into Bucks World.

Now the homework part of todays lesson:

Do you have a nickname?

In short…why?

-Semper Ebrius

Photobucket

Travel Guide

4

This afternoon I added a quick “how to” guide. It’s a first cut thing and it’ll expand over time. Towards the top of this page you’ll see links/buttons to three other pages on this site:

(out and …) About!

FOK!

Point B

FOK! is the travel guide … or, the Frequently Observed Kaons page (FAQ pages are just too passé)

It seemed a fitting name given the events of the week …

Enjoy.

Barry L. Gates: RIP, dude …

14

I gotta tell ya … it’s just been one of those years. There’s a lot of details I’ll spare you for now, as they’re way too personal and still unfolding, so it makes no sense to elaborate, however … this morning, I learned that a friend of mine, Barry, took his own life.

I don’t think the reality of it all has really set in quite yet. It’s starting to, though … tears are not something that cross my cheekbones very often.

And no, I’m not a tough guy … cynical, a touch hardened by life, maybe a minor smattering of unresolved bitterness here and there … but not necessarily tough.

Barry, however … was pretty tough, especially for a man who often wore his heart on his sleeves.

My buddy, Barry Gates, was an adventurous man. To some he may have appeared a touch rough around the edges, but a devout friend he was.

Barry was best known as the traveling Harley mechanic here in the DC area. Harley Davidson enthusiasts from near and far relied on Barry to repair and assist in the maintenance of their prized bikes. Some of his more regular customers were police officers from numerous districts in the area. A strange partnership that engendered more than a few laughs from Barry some of us over the years.

“Stealth” is not a trait that I can recall anyone accusing Barry of. The proverbial bull in the china shop would be more applicable as he was not a quiet man by any stretch of the imagination. When he entered a room, everyone knew it, and in all but the most personally stressed of circumstances, he had a huge smile for his friends and a warm introduction to those he had not yet met. Barry was an intense man with passionate beliefs and even more passionate opinions at times, but at the end of a friendly disagreement there was often a big bear hug in waiting. At least that was my experience with going tow-to-toe with the man.

I was, by far, not amongst his closest friends, but we were friends all the same. His sudden and tragic exit from this life completely caught me and everyone I’ve spoken to more than a little off guard.

It’s ironic that in recent months I have referred to Barry in terms such as “mostly harmless.”

This morning, though … Barry was anything but harmless; to himself and — to a lesser extent — two others.

Perhaps I’ll come back to this subject when I’m not so flushed with emotions. The events of this morning have definitely taken me by surprise. I spent a good bit of time with Barry in recent days and nothing I can recall would ever lead me to believe that the circumstances that unfolded over the past 14 hours stood a chance of ever happening.

[sigh]

Rest in peace, mi brudda … rest in peace.

Barry L. Gates

August 4, 1964 ~ October 27, 2009

Barry-Gates

(a pic from Barry’s last road trip … his last beach sunset, Key West, Florida, September 2009)
key-west_sunset

Goodbye “MySpaz” Insanity!

19

Well, after years of being part of an active (usually) blogging community over at the psycho-circus cesspool of cyberspace known as “MySpace” … I have finally broken free. Wish me luck as I busy myself cleaning off the muck and sludge from my soul that resulted from my stay there.

I have many things to say on the “plus” side about that site, but the negatives so far outweigh them that it seems silly to say any more than that.

So, in the midst of this ritual cleansing / cyber-decontamination process, I opted to also shave off a few excess rough edges from the bloggage / drivel / generalized vowel movements that I’ll begin posting here on my own domain. To those of you more accustomed to my past performances that border on the profane … bear with me. In all honesty, if I cannot articulate myself in equally as entertaining and laugh-engendering ways without, then I obviously have some issues … am I wrong?

… of course not!

After 13 years of posting my ongoing series, “It’s a &*$@ed Up World, Charlie Brown” … I am considering a name change along the lines of : “The News As Viewed Askew.” (that’s actually been an on-again / off-again alternate title for that same series)

Perhaps the former title with the semi-random ANSI characters might actually work, I dunno … I’ll have to ponder that one a little before wholeheartedly committing to it.

So, rather than ceaselessly ramble any further … let me end this by welcoming you. If you’re one of my readers from elsewhere, PLEASE feel free to leave a comment as it’s wonderful that you came along.

Until I have my next pix blog or installment of “The News as Viewed Askew” … feel free to click and enjoy!

Deep fried pickles … fancy that.

1

I really don’t have much to say about fried pickles, other than the fact that I like them; quite a lot, actually.

Mmm, mmm, good!

Hard to believe it was 8 years ago today that our country found itself literally under attack by a group of quasi-religious camel humpers. It’s even more disturbing to see how the same media that initially fed into the sense of indignation and patriotism turned tale and spent the next decade demonizing G.W.

No surprise when you consider that the mainstream media is mostly comprised of a bunch of retarded puppets hellbent on sending this country into the bowels of Marxism.

But I ranted about that enough yesterday, didn’t I?

Oh well … back to my own boring life.

Let’s see … “Dash 2” got his Dervish in yesterday. I was surprised at how little he had to say about it. Quite frankly, I assumed he’d be lighting up my phone like a 4th of July fireworks show! Perhaps I take more pride than I should about turning him on to the wonderful world of longboarding.

If you know where my family blog is, you can head over there to read up more about that, and see a few photos. If not, bugger off … you’re not entitled to know EVERYTHING about my life.

Nosey, nosey …

I know, right?

Well, I need to get back to installing RAD Studio 2010. Holy crap, can you believe all these “2010” versions coming out already?

It’s gonna be the 2012 versions that’ll look the creapiest to some people, though … myself probably included.

Peace off,

Hmmm …

4

Wow, that was odd … my Joomla and WordPress installations somehow got trashed. Granted, it’s not like I’ve actually been USING them all that much, but hey, it still stinks to have such things simply go away.

So, here I am … and hardly a soul will see me any time soon because Google has me black-listed as a “reported attack site” or some strange nonsense.  Two months of constant attempts to get an explanation and NADA … not a damn thing!

So, I suppose it’s time for a new installation and a new start. Let’s hope it goes well this time around. My eldest son is off to college now and the other two are growing up WAY too quickly. Perhaps it’s time to start capturing some of those fleeting moments and memories here before it’s too late.

Hello world!

0

Welcome to BucksWorld.net …it’s been a while and it would be great to hear from anybody from the old BucksWorld.com days before my beloved domain was snatched away. As it turns out, I could have easily prevented that event had I locked-down my domain placement, but I was unaware that such a thing existed.

ANYHOW … out with the old, in with the new.

This domain is a hosting site for  my family and friends. Some have their own domain parked here, others park content such as images and other stuff here, and others still have their own blogs, special pages, etc.

It’s not a family site, per se, and it’s certainly not an all-out “family friendly” site either. Some of my friends and their opinions might offend, so be forewarned: I don’t do outside input about what I allow to be posted on my site.

If something expressed here offends your sensibilities, then you are free to simply leave. However, if i INVITED you here and you’ve found reason for offense, I’ll listen. Doesn’t mean I’ll change anything, but at least I’ll listen.

Fair ‘nuf?

Let’s let the big ol, bad ol cartoon begin!

(content to be added soon)

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