Friday, January 29, 2010

Big Gears, Tiny Gears

I'm fairly positive that our conversation started before I was consciously a part of it. But sure enough, he was talking to me. "A five dollar check" he said. "Only five dollars." Wait, what are we talking about, I thought to myself. He was a middle aged black man, overweight and balding. The hair that he had left looked like it hadn't seen a shower in quite a few days. He was sitting on an exercise bike in the furniture department of St. Vincent DePauls and he was apparently talking to me. "I cashed that five dollar check and the people at the bank laughed at me. They took two dollars for cashing it so that only left me with three. I had a seven dollar, no wait, eight dollar check last week. They called me and told me that they needed me at work but they told me to go home after 30 minutes. The guy wrote me that check right then, five dollars."

Since we were apparently having a conversation I politely agreed. Five dollars is a rather small check but money is money so you have to cash it. Our conversation continued from there, like a mountain trail full of sudden twist and turns. Wait, what were we talking about again? Gears, we are talking about gears now. "I used to make gears at a factory in Chicago. They were big gears, heavy, some this tall." he motioned with his hands. "Some as big as this room. But at my new job I'm going to be making tiny gears, only this big. So small, like a quarter." he laughed, "so small, little tiny gears. It will be so easy"

"I'm getting fat but I eat healthy. Every other night I eat a can of vegetables and a baloney sandwich. Every other night I skip dinner and just drink beer." Huh, that doesn't sound too healthy I thought to myself. "A friend once told me that America makes you fat. Maybe that's your problem." I quipped.

"Someday I'm going to find that special girl to marry. The Bible says it ain't right just to be sleeping with people. That's what people do now a days you know? They go on a date and then they sleep together. That ain't right." I nodded in agreement, "Nope, that isn't right." I guess we are talking about marriage now.

And the conversation went on, never knowing what surprises lie in the next sentance. Ah ha, my chance. He had cornered another stranger and was asking their advice on the exercise bike that he had been sitting on for the last 20 minutes. He was getting fat and since his diet was healthy he figured it must be his lack of exercise."Hey, what if I don't want to use my arms on this bike can I disengage thees things..." The stranger didn't know, and I had walked away, I had shopping to do.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

God Bless America?

Every time I hear a story about Haiti my eyes tear up. I feel for them and I'm sad that any human would have to suffer like they are and like they have for so long. When I hear stories of American generosity I tear up. It makes me proud to know that our country is full of so many generous and caring people. It reminds me that being rich gives Americans the opportunity to help the rest of the world. But then it happens. I run into people that make me rue the day I became a Westsider. Facebook is good for that. I guess I was naive to think that everyone was for helping the helpless. I never though that I would read a statement like this one from a gentleman from Westwood:
"Haiti is the toilet of the earth. Mother nature was just trying to flush." or how about this one from a young man from Price Hill "help america first f**k everyone else!"

There was even a young lady from Western Hills who chimed in with "Yeah its sad that happened to them but its every man for himself or in this case country... Noone helped us on 9/11 or hurricane katrina we did it all ourselves..."

When I informed her that over 100 countries offered aid when Katrina hit she told me that she didn't care about statistics. Yea, statistics, who need them? People,who cares about people? The rest of the world can burn. God bless America?

Friday, January 15, 2010

7 Randoms

My Dad

My dad stopped by my work the other day just to show me this comic. He cut it out of the paper for me.

My eBay Account

My eBay account was partially suspended by eBay today. Dupont filed a claim agansit me because I illegally used the word freon in my auction. They aparently own the word freon. I did not know this and I bet you didn't either. eBays customer service is quite possibly the worst in the world.

My Emotions

Every time I hear about the people of Haiti on the news I tear up. I'm usually driving so I try not to cry. It's hard not to cry. They are people just like me.

My Country

Every time I hear about all that my country is doing to try to help Haiti I am proud. I think that we get a bad rap when it comes to world politics. Americans as a people and as a government do a lot and give a lot to help other nations.

My Snowman

I built this guy a couple of years ago in my parents front yard.

My Antique Photos

I think this girl is beautiful. Too bad she is dead.

My Hair

I pulled a car with my hair years ago. Yea, I really did.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Got to Have Goals

So here they are, my list of goals. I made a list of around 75 life goals last year and completed 15. Not too shabby if you ask me. This year I did a list of 50 (as did all of the guys in my life group) and plan to accomplish at least 25. Ryan, our fearless leader did on too and you can read that one here

1. Make $8,000 in online sales
2. Put railing in my hallway
3. Have a giant party
4. give away $1,000 at one time
5. Be less socially awkward
6. Go on a date
7. Get 12 new people to come to church
8. Get 3 friends to join life groups
9. Bungee jump
10. Visit Africa
11. Be published
12. Fast for 48 hours
13. Enter a food eating contest
14. Read 4 books
15. cook 5 new dishes (new to me)
16. ride my bike once a week (weather permiting)
17. Visit South America
18. Be on TV
19. Go ice-skating
20. Break word record
21. average 200 kids a week in kids church
22. make a dessert from scratch
24. shoot a machine gun
25. go on safari
26. scuba dive
27. go to the top of the carew tower
28. build a piece of furniture
29. drink an espresso
30. have a meaningful job
31. go hunting
32. flip a car (buy and sell)
33. try a new type of meat
34. cliff dive
35. plant a garden and actually grow tomatoes worth eating
36. keep better business records
37. get 50 subscribers on my blog
38. be a roll model
39. get married
40. visit the Indian mounds
42. go ice-skating
43. get $500,000
44. have kids
45. be in a movie
46. get my dad to do something crazy fun
47. get 1,500 feedback on eBay
48. explore the abandoned subway tunnels
49 buy a pacman arcade unit
50. open a Roth IRA

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How Did you Find this Blog

I'm a bit of a statistics nerd. And like all blogger nerds I like to track my blog views and how people found my blog. I came to find that people have searched some, um, interesting things on google to end up here. Here are some of the searches that brought folks to my blog:

white people hats
weeble wobble making
single guys with minivans?
older ladys hitchhikers sexy
i wanna punch this person in my year
guanatur fala ingles
grandma with piercings
evangelical "dan thoms"
dandruff in mustache
cultural differences farting
blogspot my pierced nipples
cultural differences farting

Bob Can't Remember My Name

Let me introduce you to Bob. I met Bob on Monday in the same place that I meet lots of interesting people, the thrift store. He was looking at some Autobahn magazines in the book section when he looked at me and said the magic words, Antique Road Show. That will get my attention every time. He then proceeded to tell me his entire life story. Bob, or Big Bob as he's commonly known, is in his 60s, he is married and has a son, Little Bob. Bob has a problem though. Bob can't remember stuff. He tries real hard but his brain doesn't work like it used to. You can see in his eyes that he wants to remember. His hands move nervously, his eyes look up and he thinks. And then he apologizes because he just can't remember. In 2005 Bob wrecked his Harley. His head was crushed and his arm was torn off. He was in a coma for a long time. When he woke up they had already reattached his arm and fixed his head but now he can't remember stuff. That's probably why his name is written in marker on all his clothes. His eyes water up as he tells me, "I just can't remember, I try but I can't. This causes arguments with my wife. She's having a hard time with this. I don't like arguing. I can't even remember what it is we are arguing about." He wanted to remember my name and he was going to write it down but, well, he forgot.

Bob told me a lot of interesting things. For instance, he knew the original Barbie and Ken. No, not the dolls, the people that the dolls were named for. He was friends with the Mattel family. Bob used to collect hot wheels. He tells me that few years back he decided to sell off some of his collection and made $108,000 in three hours. He must have spent that money though because on Monday he only had $4 to spend. He bought a small wooden plaque for twenty-five cents and a pack of wooden train coasters for seventy-five. They were for a friend.

I saw Bob again today. He likes the thrift store. Sometimes he just comes and puts puzzles together. I guess it's therapeutic. He is also in a support group for people with serious brain damage. He didn't remember my name. This time he wrote it down. He didn't have any paper but it's on his hand in big blue letters, St Vincent Dan. "Dave?", "No my name is Dan. It's nice to see you again Bob."

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Water Was Cold - Understatement of the Year


"Shocking the circulatory system can produce a warm afterglow and a transcendental state that one literally needs to experience to fully understand."

What better way is there to start of a new year than with a quick swim? The sun was out and the air temperature was a brisk 20 degrees but with the winds it felt like 12. The water was a bit warmer measuring around 35 with a little ice around the beaches edge. Ah, the Polar Bear Plunge. Last year I missed it but this year I dived right in. After all, it was on my list of things to do. Now, I don't normally scream, I'm generally a rather quite guy. However, when I came up out of that water I let out a hearty scream, "ahhhhhhhhhh." Mind you, the average swimming pool temperature is around 81 degrees so to say that the water was cold would be quite the understatement. I must admit though, it was invigorating. When you come out of that water your heart rate speeds way up and your body goes into a temporary shock. My entire body felt instantly numb. Strangely, as I started to dry off, I didn't feel cold anymore. It was almost as if my body believed, even if for just a moment, that wet swimming trunks and no shirt were proper winter attire. I must say, doing the Polar Bear Plunge is a crazy thing to do and I have some very crazy friends. I give swimming in the freezing waters of Indiana a big two thumbs up.

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