30 May 2007

False rumor

No matter what you hear to the contrary, cleaning the gas grill is not as glamorous as it is made out to be ... now if you'll excuse me, I need to go degrease myself, I mean take a shower.

Goodbye Mikey

A well-liked coworker of mine passed away last Tuesday, Mike Cannon.

I apologize if I get some of the details off here, but I am going from memory.

The day of or the day before his 18th birthday Mike broke his neck while skiing, he ended up partially paralyzed. He neither hid his dislike for his condition, nor did he necessarily complain about it ... he took the hand he was dealt and played it out with gusto. He walked with the help of crutch, he enjoyed the ladies and drink now and then, and he golfed - crutch in one hand, club in the other - he had a hole in one at #2 at Milt's (of which I am very jealous).

I would be lying if I said to you my first interactions with Mike were pleasant ones, I was a new employee, and frequently didn't know what I was talking about. Mike let you know when you were wrong ... he also let you know when you were right. When I moved to the overnight shift, I got a chance to know him better. He remembered you, and remembered stuff about you and asked about it. He liked to call me 'Saluki', and pretty much everyone else on the shift ended up doing so too. I think I learned how to be a gentleman from Mike, he always had more patience with the ladies than with the men, and I saw on several occasions them falling all over themselves to be close to him. He had a great sense of humor, his physical humor was flawless, and was not afraid to laugh at himself, or others, in good nature.

Mike had some bad hair, some bad shirts, and had the most horrendous garbage disposal appetite. He was 49.

I will miss it all.

Mike confirmed with me that how you treat every person does make a difference ... some say that how we treat others is the only thing we can take with us to Heaven, well Mike certainly took that. What he didn't take was his broken neck, here's to Mikey Cannon up in heaven, playing golf, skiing, and throwing back a cold one with the angels. I'll see you again my friend.

29 May 2007

A public thank you, a Thursday to do, and a service opportunity for me

EDIT: a change in the performer lineup!
Justsmilechild works at Liberty Elementary School in Omaha. This is good work in a tough neighborhood, 20th & St Mary's. It is a public school, and some public schools are created more equal than others, and this one would not be one of them. I want to say a public thanks to her for being brave enough to follow through on what you believe in and teaching there when you could have just as easily gone and taught somewhere else.

And on a related note, there will be a benefit for Liberty Elementary on Thursday at Mick's in Benson, information below, justsmilechild says "Come help support our students!"
Liberty Benefit Show
Thursday, May 31, 2007
9 pm @ Mick's, 60th and Maple
Featuring Dylan May, Bill Hoover, and Liz Matson & justsmilechild
$5 cover, 80% of proceeds go to Liberty Elementary
And on another related note, I was driving home from downtown today and was on St. Mary's. I knew that justsmilechild was working, and there were no kids there, so I decided on a lark to stop in and say 'hi!' I immediately got put to work by her and Liz (who she teaches for) cleaning up the classroom for the summer. Yeah! Service opportunity for a tall guy! I helped out for about an hour or so pulling down and putting away high up and heavy things ... well I hope I was helpful and not intruding.

25 May 2007

OnionBoy Knowledge, the Answers

And now for the moment a half dozen people have been waiting for: the winner is Viv, who will NOT get a fabulous prize (inside joke) from me, but will get dinner on me at the restaurant of her choice. I will announce all the scores to a comment on this post (the scores are not with me right now). I was disappointed by the lack of participation *sigh*, so phooey on you if you didn't take a stab at it.

Here are the answers to the OnionBoy quiz:

Easy (1pt):
1a. My favorite drink is Diet Pepsi.
TRUE, if there was a 12 program for this drink, I'd be in it.
1b. I love to see movies.
FALSE, the count is at seven this decade and holding.
1c. My favorite condiment is ketchup.
FALSE, gross, grosser, grossest.
1d. I think dancing is for losers.
FALSE, dancing is sweet.
1e. I hate doing laundry.
FALSE, laundry is my favoritest chore ever.
1f: I'd rather be MAKING OUT. this is from the Omaha Jitterbugs, but it's got to be the right girl.

Not as easy (2pts):
2a. One of my regular readers was my first girlfriend.
TRUE, You Get A Life was my first girlfriend, the relationship ended when she attacked me with a comb while wearing a bikini ... my brain was too confused.
2b. I was born in Chicago.
FALSE, I just lived there for a large portion of my life. I was born in Toledo, Ohio.
2c. I think rats are cool pets.
TRUE, I had two fancy rats, Mandy and Sis. I miss them bunches.
2d. The spicier the food, the better.
FALSE, some like it hot, some just are hot.
2e. My roommate won't tell people his real name.
TRUE, I'm unsure what his real name is ... let's just call him Schmendrick.
2f: The onion fascination comes from a Native American word for CHICAGO.

Getting tougher (3pts):
3a. I have been to every continent except Antartica.
FALSE, however, I was on four continents in a 24 hour period once. (North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia)
3b. My mother is 5'3".
FALSE, try 5'10 1/2".
3c. I have been to New York City.
FALSE, what is there I can't get in Chicago?
3d. My current car is my fifth Saturn.
FALSE, my current car is my FOURTH Saturn.
3e. Prime rib (medium rare) is one of my favorites.
FALSE, I don't each much beef at all.
3f. BABY therapy is a great way to cheer up. No one got this right, I know you have heard me espouse the joys of holding a baby or small child ... and then giving them back.

Hard (4pts):
4a. I lived on the 13th floor of building.
TRUE, Presidential Towers just west of the river in Chicago, apt 1305, $605 / 485 sq ft.
4b. I named a cat after a Charles Bronson movie character.
FALSE, okay, kind of a trick question, Laramie was named after a Jill Ireland character in a Charles Bronson movie.
4c. My 2nd birthday was spent in a body cast.
TRUE, at 20 months I broke my left femur.
4d. I met my ex-wife when I tripped over her at a concert.
FALSE and way worse. Laura was on a date with another guy, and left him to go to a party with me.
4e. I have two cousins named Fritz.
4f: My dog is named after Cherokee Parks. For those of you who are not sports fans, this was Laura's favorite basketball player when we found him.

Seriously (5pts):
5a. I broke my cheekbone while playing softball.
FALSE, it was football.
5b. I have a speech impediment.
TRUE, I'm just very efficient at covering it.
5c. I am 1/8 Native American.
FALSE, only 1/32.
5d. I played 'The Artful Dodger' in Oliver in high school.
FALSE, I was in Oliver in high school, I just didn't have a part.
5e. The first concert I ever saw was Journey.
TRUE, Greg Kihn opened, nanana nana na na naaaa.
5f. On my fifth birthday I watched men walk on the moon! - for the first time

22 May 2007

OnionBoy Knowledge

Current top score: 62!
2nd place: 50 - 3rd place: 48
as of 1116ct 5/24

Time to test your knowledge of the old OnionBoy. Inspired by a similar quiz on the Jannaverse, (which, by the way, I won)I have prepared a list of statements below, you must decide which are true, which are not, and which require fill in the blank answers. The contest will run through 0200 Saturday, May 26, all answers must be received by then via email at e7onions23@yahoo.com, my usual home email address, or just post it if you think no one will cheat off of your answers. The winner will receive an appropriate prize, OnionBlog acclaim, and be able to be the absolute envy of the entire universe.

Questions a-e are true/false, and f. is fill-in-the-blank. 90pts possible. Revised answers are allowed and encouraged. Your last entry will be the counted one.

Easy (1pt):
1a. My favorite drink is Diet Pepsi.
1b. I love to see movies.
1c. My favorite condiment is ketchup.
1d. I think dancing is for losers.
1e. I hate doing laundry.
1f: I'd rather be ______ _____.

Not as easy (2pts):
2a. One of my regular readers was my first girlfriend.
2b. I was born in Chicago.
2c. I think rats are cool pets.
2d. The spicier the food, the better.
2e. My roommate won't tell people his real name.
2f: The onion fascination comes from a Native American word for _______.

Getting tougher (3pts):
3a. I have been to every continent except Antartica.
3b. My mother is 5'3".
3c. I have been to New York City.
3d. My current car is my fifth Saturn.
3e. Prime rib (medium rare) is one of my favorites.
3f. ______ therapy is a great way to cheer up.

Hard (4pts):
4a. I lived on the 13th floor of building.
4b. I named a cat after a Charles Bronson movie character.
4c. My 2nd birthday was spent in a body cast.
4d. I met my ex-wife when I tripped over her at a concert.
4e. I have two cousins named Fritz.
4f: My dog is named after _____ _____.

Seriously (5pts):
5a. I broke my cheekbone while playing softball.
5b. I have a speech impediment.
5c. I am 1/8 Native American.
5d. I played 'The Artful Dodger' in Oliver in high school.
5e. The first concert I ever saw was Journey.
5f. On my fifth birthday I watched _____ _____ _____ _____ _____.

Good luck!

Fire is cool

I bought a little fire bowl. Here is the first fire in it, and I lit it all by myself ... well actually Schmendrick criticized the way I stacked the kindling, but I'm sure he was right. It should make for some good late night conversations. Yes, I checked it is legal, and also notice that Mr. Safety is prepared with a bucket of water.

21 May 2007

80s Party

There was an 80s dance at the Jitterbugs on Friday night. A good time was had by many, meaning of course, those who showed up.
The only picture of me that showed up from the 80s party, it was on my camera. This is how I dressed in the mid-80s, dual colorful polos with the collars straight up in the air, spiked hair, and 80s style pants (although they would have been more pastel). Mae was totally gnarley.

100_3149 - cliffo
Spanky & KPikop give the lesson in, um, 80s east coast swing.

IMG_1857.jpg - cornstalker
Cornstalker & Viv try to make JennyJitterbug look tall ... wait, JennyJitterbug is tall.

100_3175 - cliffo
Your 80s contest participants!

IMG_1861.jpg - cornstalker
And your winner, Viv, who won a very strange prize, a spam coin bank!

Much thanks to both Cliffo, you can see all 20 photos in his set here, and Cornstalker, you can see all 12 photos in his set here for allowing me to borrow pictures with more or less implied permission.

19 May 2007

Still alive

Yes folks, I am still amongst the living. I've not really been that busy, just you know, busy ... but not that kind of busy.

The ankle is doing really well, the backyard is getting all cleaned up, the weather is beautiful, and I got out of seeing a movie! So without further ado, let's check out a few scenes from the week.

Even when I took this picture I knew the colors wouldn't come out. This is from the aviary at the zoo. Many of the birds are in breeding colors and it is amazing. I had agreed to go see Spiderman 3, but the weather was so beautiful, there was just no keeping us inside.

back yard
Have I ever mentioned how much I love the yard at my house, it gets prettier every year. The tree in the middle of the picture was just a ten foot high bush when I bought the house, nice shape now.

I think we all remember the controversy from the last picture I took of my odometer. This time, you'll notice the speedometer is at zero! Happy 40,000 to the OnionMobile.

oh look a chicken
Of course the most exciting news of all is ... Oh! Look a chicken! ... What was I saying?

11 May 2007

Leg trauma drama

Okay, I guess it's time to share this drama:

As I have mentioned before, I have begun to play basketball with some of the 20 somethings from GAMe on Tuesday nights, this has led to general muscle soreness and the discovery that exactly zero muscles are used in common between dancing and basketball. I am not a good basketball player ... besides not being able to shoot well, I can't dribble (especially left handed), pass, rebound, or know where to play ... I can defend adequately, but playing defense is mostly about hard work.

I am aided by my athleticism, and my fast feet, but not right now.

Two Tuesdays ago, April 24, someone took a long shot, the ball bounced out to me, and I had a clean breakaway. I laid the ball up over the front of the rim, and then proceeded to watch it go in as I went under the basket. Not smart. With my head tilted all the way back I really had no idea where / when I was going to land. I came down hard on my left foot and then awkwardly on my right, falling to the ground in the process. Of course, I got right back up and played. I knew I had hurt my ankles, but I thought it was just sore muscles.

I went through the rest of the week fine, dancing on Friday, and I really didn't pay attention to my ankles again. Monday came around, and they started to complain a lot. So Tuesday (May 1), my first day off, I called my doctor and made an appointment for later in the afternoon that day, hung up, and got to thinking (never a good idea).
** cue the strange music & wavy lines **
hmmm... I can go to the doctor OR I can play basketball tonight and dance on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
** cue back to regular **
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I called right back and canceled the doctors appointment and went on my merry way. By the time I got around to going to the doctor on Tuesday this week, I may have had a slight problem.

swollen ankles
I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to look like this ... they should be much more tanned.

When the doctor walked into the room she yelled to the tech "They are both swollen." She also took the Web MD pages right out of my hand and said "We'll tell you what is wrong with you." That would be Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, aka, Shin Splints. So the end result is a sprained right ankle and a probable stress fracture on the inside of my left tibia.

Did I mention I hate icing anything? I am supposed to get a bone scan to confirm the stress fracture, but I'm not really enthusiastic about spending that kind of money for that confirmation, and it is my work week and I've been busy. In the meantime I am mostly behaving myself, trying to take it easy, dancing slowly, and NOT playing basketball.

Oddly enough when we looked at the X-rays, it was readily apparent I had broken my right fibula bone about three inches above my ankle at some point in my life. I don't recall this at all. It wouldn't be surprising to find out I had and just toughed it out.

06 May 2007

The return of Lindy in the Park

The 2007 Lindy in the Park season opened with a bang, oh, wait that was just thunder. About fifteen people were downtown today to open the eighth, um make that ninth year of this Omaha tradition.
Okay, it's noon, we're here!

There may have been just a little leftover water from the Saturday night rainstorms.

IM003582.JPG IM003583.JPG IM003584.JPG IM003586.JPG
During a slower moment, Squirrel #1 (yes, I know her name) and I invented a game called "papparazzi". Mostly it was fun to chase her around with the camera.

Steve & Spanky are so cute when they wear the same shirt like that.

Hey, look there was dancing...

...some good conversation...

...and other stuff.

You can see all 25 of my pictures of this event here.

Where did I put that ark?

We got a little rain here, oh, about 4.5 inches in the last 24 hours, and the majority of that, 3.6 inches in around 4 hours last night between 2300 and 0300. Those of you that have seen my house that flooding isn't really an issue where I live, until yesterday ... no damage, but it was a little concerning at the least.
This is at the top of my driveway, the little lip there as high as the curb, and is meant to keep water from running down the driveway, it is the first time I have seen it overtopped.

No, it's not a cement retaining wall, it's my driveway.

You can see the sheets of water as it goes flowing by the house, swimming anyone?

And it all ends up flowing through the backyard. That's not going to make the person who just planted flowers against the deck very happy ... oh, that's ME!

Another two plus inches of rain are in the forecast today!

Edit: I went down to near where the Papio dumps into the Missouri River (about 3 miles south of my house) and took some pictures around 1130 the morning after all the rain.

IM003571.JPG IM003572.JPG
This is not a river and this is not a lake, both are usually dry.

IM003573.JPG IM003574.JPG
Looking west (upriver) and looking east (about 1/2 mile from the muddy Mo). These are not necessarily meant as artistic, my stupid camera messed up the color on both of these, and they came out nicely in black and white.

Normally you can see the footings for the bridge without all the water here. People go biking and walking all the time on this trail, but not without scuba gear today.

The next bridge upstream has the Papio Creek measuring station (FCKN1), it would be normal for the creek height to be 10 to 12 feet ... at the times these photos were taken it was measuring 31.75 feet.

01 May 2007

Time for a BeckyRant...

I don't know why this bothers me SO much, but seriously, just get this right:
viv & bird - matt
The male bird standing next to Viv is a member of the species Pavo cristatus, Indian Peafowl, more commonly known just as Peafowl.

The males of this species are Peacocks, the females are Peahens, and I guess technically, babies would be Peachicks. If you have ever found yourself referring to any members of this species as male peacocks, you are being redundant at best. If you have ever referred to any of these creatures as female peacocks, I can only suggest a sex education class for you, because you just are not getting this whole female/male thing.