Monday, August 29, 2005

Today's sky report

I've been viewing the last few day's skies through the skylight in the family room. This limited view was brought to me courtesy of a bad back - the first real "ouch" I've had with my back. I would love to have a story like, "...and then I lifted the car off the little girl..." or, "...I knew I shouldn't have tried to bench press twice my weight...", but the truth is, I was bending over to reattach an air cleaner on my lawnmower. What a warrior. Anyway, I stayed home from work today just to cement three days of boredom. I'd rather be bored at work - at least there's A/C at work, as Kreblog points out.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Today's sky report - first over 40

I meant to post this a few days ago...I had my first gasoline fill-up for more than $40. It wasn't so long ago when I could be aghast that the cost of a fill-up crested $30. As the prices spiraled ever skyward, I began telling myself that I should fill up more often, just to avoid the heartache of shelling out (what's that mean, "shelling out"? has it got to do with getting gas at the Shell station?) more than $40 for precious petrol. Of course, the best laid plans and all that, found me staring at the "get gas now, idiot" light on my way home from work. I convinced myself that I could wait until after I dropped Kreblog off at the carpool meeting place - no sense in involving him in what would turn out to be a robbery (he of the little Civic "I knew there'd be expensive gas someday" mindset). At the pump, I watched the digit counters fall. There was a brief moment where I thought I might make it - the tank might be satisfied with less than $40. That moment passed, and as the pump clicked, I opened my eyes to see $40.56. Oh, well, I might as well top it off. At $40.90 I was done. Not exactly the milestone in your life you want to pass. Not to give too much away, but I can remember when I first was driving, I could get gas for $.28/gal down on the major highway (no, I wasn't in a Model T).

The next day I rode my bike. Guess I'll have to post again when I have the first over 20 for that.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Today's sky report

For a while now, I thought it might be fun to go into Panera and give a false name. The desire comes unearthed from centuries ago when we used to be required to sign into the library during our high school study halls. Somewhere in the middle of the period, the librarian (Chicken Legs Wollney) would call out the names to make sure nobody signed in and skipped out. Of course we would fill the sign-in with all those great high school characters like “Dick Hertz” and “Mike Hunt”. Chicken legs would dutifully call out, “Mike Hunt. Where’s Mike Hunt”. At that point, the quiet in the library would be shattered by barely stifled laughter.

The deal at Panera wasn’t so much about embarrassing the bread DJ who calls out your name when it’s time to pick up your order. After all, they only take first names so while “Dick” might be fun, it’s just not that funny. So when Kreblog and I went to the local Panera’s for lunch, and I resolved to make up a name. I worked on it while we were in line, finally deciding on Rafael.

After a long time waiting for the rather new help to get my somewhat complicated order into the touch screen, she asked for my name. I replied, “Rafael”. She says, “Rafael……how do you spell that?” Duohh, not so quick on my feet, I missed the opportunity to say, “It’s spelled like it sounds”. Instead, I scrambled to make up the spelling which you are reading here. Lesson learned: don’t make up names you can’t spell. On the other hand, Rafael sounded really good and smooth when the deep-voiced bread DJ called it out. I even remembered it was a clue for me to pick up my lunch.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Today's sky report

OK, this may take a few posts to play out, but the carpool has come up with a new reality show. Fittingly, it's called "The Carpool". The premise is that there's a carpool (ours) that has an empty seat and wants to add a new member. The current carpoolers (Kreblog, Seacoast Perspective and I) will be the judges. We'll start with a suitably large contingent of contestants, let's say 12. They have to demonstrate a certain set of skills each week (to be described below). Each week, we'll knock one or two of them off (fewer if the ratings are high, more if the ratings are bad - less shows to air). So, here's a couple of contests, and feel free to chime in with one of your own:

Vanity Plate deciphering - Since NH seems to have the highest number of vanity plates per capita of any state in the country, each contestant will be asked to decipher some plates. For example, "RDSXGRL". The correct answer is "Red Sox Girl", but extra credit will go to the contestant that can also come up with "RD's Sex Girl".

Fallujah Music Radio Switching - Somewhere deep in the archives of this blog is a post about the music that the carpool doesn't like and an explanation of why it's called Fallujah music. Each contestant will be put in front of a radio and distracted by asking them questions. They have to successfully pick out the Fallujah songs and switch them off in the shortest amount of time. One wrinkle will be to see if they can identify the double switch - when they switch from a Fallujah song to another one.

I'll try to work up some more contests in coming posts, but feel free to suggest your own.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Today's sky report - More UFOs

Kreblog, err, "David" must have been sitting with an artist last week. An artist's conception of the Exeter UFO appeared with the follow-up article in Sunday's Portsmouth Herald. I particularly like the flames. You'd think with all the sky reports I've done, at least one skyward view would have harvested a sighting of a UFO. I guess I'll have to keep looking. At least I live in a fertile area for sightings. This is not the first time UFO hysteria has broken out in Exeter. Back in 1965, several folks saw a UFO:

And we're not done yet. These odd airborne craft are spreading to neighboring East Kingston:

I'd better start working on what I'm going to say to the first alien to disembark...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Today's sky report - ezpass rage redux

So now the long lines at the tolls are the ezpass only lanes.  Open up another one, please - we're paying a premium to drive through (vis-a-vis the token users).  We deserve another lane just for us. 

On the positive side, it was very sweet breezing through ezpass lanes on the Mass Pike and the Tappan Zee Bridge on a trip to NJ this past weekend.  The TZ even had a lane with a high arching reader that let you blow through it at 35 mph.  Which we did...