Sunday, January 17, 2016

It's Winter Again

It's that time of year again. The crystals fall from the sky and glisten in the moonlight as they settle on the ice-covered pond behind my apartment. The icicles hang everywhere there is an edge to grab onto and the white snow stretches as far as the eye can see. Winter can be seen everywhere and more than anyone else I hate it.

I despise winter down to the very core of my being. I hate it. Hate it. Hate it. I hate being cold. I hate being bundled up with extra clothing and layers. I hate space heaters (I'm always worried they'll catch fire). I hate the increased chances of slipping and breaking a bone. I hate the dangerous driving conditions. I hate the decreased visibility. I hate the extra time that must be considered to get to work, to prep your car before leaving, to get dressed before exiting the house and the extra time required to shake the outside off your clothing so you don't bring it inside. Not taking these things into consideration can and do result in death in for many people every winter and I HATE IT.


I have felt this way my entire adult life and really don't know why I haven't moved to a warmer climate. I did live in San Juan, Puerto Rico for one year, but my son was allergic to the island and we had to come back. It was so much better to look at palm trees at Christmas time than dirty snow piled on the side of the road.

I now work for Amazon which has fulfillment centers almost everywhere. Maybe if I give them a little bit of time, I can transfer to a climate where I won't have to worry about my hand freezing to something I touch. In the meantime, I will spend my time making sure my car is stocked with rock salt, sand, kitty litter, candles, blankets, drinking water, granola bars, lock de-icer, a first aid kit, a shovel, jumper cables, road flares, a fire extinguisher, MREs, and basic tools.

I'm ready for spring.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Will Tweet For Money or Any Reason At All

After being out of the blogging habit for over a year, I am finding it difficult to know what to write about. When I was writing all the time, I had no shortage of topics to choose from. Inspiration was all around me. I wrote posts based off a commercial I saw or off the tail end of a news story on the radio.

I kept a notebook in my back pocket to write down ideas as I had them. And I always had them. It's amazing what building a habit can do for you. All week long, I knew I had to write a post this weekend and a topic never came to me. So, now it's time to write and I've got nothing.

While it has been painfully obvious by the gaping void in my blog that I haven't paid much attention to it in the last year, it doesn't mean I haven't been writing at all. I have have been, but it has just been in much shorter bursts. 140 character bursts to be exact.

I spend a lot of time on Twitter. I love Twitter. I get excited when I get new followers. I love it when one of my favorite accounts retweets me or follows me back. Or when a known celebrity (not an internet celebrity) comments on something I said. It gives me a high that lasts for days.

I understand that it's shallow and doesn't really have any meaning in everyday life, but I'm addicted. I can't wait to grab my phone each morning before heading to the bathroom to get caught up on the last Twitter trends while I evacuate my bowels.

During my lunch breaks at work, I head to my car to get back on Twitter.

As soon as I get off work, I'm back on Twitter.

If you can't already tell, I am a little obsessed and I enjoy this obsession. I may be back in the blogging world now, but I have no intention of giving up Twitter. I'm getting to the point that I have an impressive number of followers and several of my tweets have gotten the attention of other websites. As someone who loves attention, I can't help but enjoy this.

I love the hashtag wars. I love participating in new joke formats. I love taking the days headlines and trying to find some humor in it. Plus, with all the negativity out there that is so easy to find, having this release is refreshing.

If you have a Twitter account consider giving me a follow. I can promise you won't learn anything from me, but I'll try to give you a laugh. I also retweet a lot of other funny people on my account.

I love Twitter if you can't tell.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

This is NOT a New Year's Resolution

Let's see...carry the one.
The last time I posted was November 30, 2014. 2014! Not 2015, but 2014. And thanks to our friends at the GCC (Gregorian Calendar Commission), it switched to 2016 a few days ago. Plus, if I understand the mission of the GCC, their intent is to keep time moving forward like this for all eternity, so we just have to live with it until another viable competitor can offer other options.

November 30, 2014 was 398 days ago! 398 days is the length of one year, one month and one day. That was the last time I posted. I think I've eaten an entire cow's worth of cheeseburgers since then. That is a long time for someone who earlier that year stated that he was back in the blogging world.

To make it even worse, I only wrote three more posts after that one before taking my 398 day hiatus. I think this is one piece in a long list of evidence that shows I have trouble doing something just to do it. I need a bit more of a reason.

So, here's my reason. I loved writing my blog once I was writing regularly. I found myself thinking about posts all the time. I took notes and pictures during the day for something that would be included in a post later that night or week. I loved it. I enjoyed the creative outlet. However, it wasn't just something I liked. It was part of my daily habit and now that my schedule has changed, I have time to make a new habit. That's why I can claim this is not a New Year's resolution. The timing is just good right now. Resolutions are doomed to fail anyway.

I loved coming up with topics and fashioning my thoughts into something I believed would be worth reading. I would get so excited when I picked up new followers and really enjoyed many of the new friendships (several of which I still maintain) that grew out of this endeavor.

However, the part I enjoyed the most was seeing how my writing was improving because of all the practice I was getting. There was a definite difference between my early posts and the posts two years later. Just like anything else, if you want to get better at something, it takes practice and since I still have the dream of being published one day, I need to practice.

As much much as I remember how much I enjoyed all this, jumping back in doesn't just happen. Those happy memories are not part of my practice anymore. They are just happy memories. I can recapture them, but I have to develop the habit again. So, I have a plan.

For the time being, I am committing to one post per week. Currently, I am off work on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday, so I will use one of those days to write. I will eventually bump it up to two days and then we'll just see where it goes from there.

I figure I have lost the vast majority of my followers who I left behind and will have to earn them back. I also know that in order to do that, I have to do more than write. I also have to re-establish my presence in the blogging community. So, I will be sure to start reading blogs again. That I can do all week long.

So, for the few of you that are left to even notice this post (since it's been over a year since my last one), I look forward to speaking with you all again.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tofu Independence

Over the weekend, political correctness hit a new high (or low, depending on how you look at it).

It is a long standing tradition for the president to pardon a Thanksgiving turkey. I understand the humor in the tradition, but have always thought it to be a little silly since being eaten is typically what domesticated turkeys have been bred and raised for.

In the last few years, many city mayors have started doing this on a local level and sending a turkey to go live the rest of its years on a farm somewhere with the turkeys pardoned in previous years. However, this past Thanksgiving, the mayor of Seattle decided to show of the eccentricity of his city by pardoning two tofurkeys. Not just one, but two. Read the story here.

For those of you who may not know, a tofurkey is a turkey-shaped hunk of tofu and wheat protein which has never and will never be alive. This makes the 'pardoning' kind of…well, pointless. If you disagree with me about the validity of this strangeness, consider this. The tofurkeys were then donated to a food bank to be fed to the homeless at a local shelter. This means they were never even actually pardoned to begin with. They are still going to be eaten!

On the upside, if for any reason I was ever in a position where the only way I could have a Thanksgiving dinner would be from a shelter or a community food drive and they served me tofurkey, it just might be the jolt I needed to get my life back on track.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Coming Soon to a Town Near You

Since I work in a school, I have a few fantastic perks. The best one being that I have summers off. I don't get paid during this time, but having that time off is wonderful. I gives me the time to do things that a typical job would generally prevent me from having the opportunity to do. This past summer , I took advantage of one of those opportunities.

People don't usually believe me when I say this, but I have a son, Christian, who's a rock star. He isn't selling out huge stadiums or giving tours of his home on MTV's Cribs, but his band is seeing a lot of success. He travels all over the country doing what he loves and will soon be going out on a tour of Canada. He plays lead guitar in the band AS WE ARE. You can hear their music here.

I got this image from Google.
Did you know Google tracks you?
Creepy, huh?
While he was in Indianapolis helping me move, he invited me to accompany him on his next leg of the tour. Fifteen days playing venues in Iowa, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Despite being newlywed, my loving wife encouraged me to take this trip. I don't get to see Christian much and this was a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time together.

So, a week later we left. There were the four guys in the band and me. They put me in charge of merchandise sales. For over two weeks, we slept in a van, ate peanut butter sandwiches, schmoozed our way into people's homes or hotel rooms to get showers, and lived on almost no sleep. It was rough, but I had a great time.  Plus, we hung out with a lot of bands that I am a big fan of. Here are the ones that I can remember meeting over the course of this tour.
Piercing the Darkness • Newsboys • Bread of Stone • We are LeoMark Schultz • Medic • For King and Country • Everfound • Plumb • The Crossing • Random Hero • Project 86 • Echo • Chris Day • Zachary Freedom • Michael James Band • Disciple • Willet • Lybecker • Unspoken • Leeland • 7eventh Time Down • Rhett Walker Band • The Afters • Bob Lenz • Offering • Steven Curtis Chapman • Chasynn Canaan • Written in Red • Unscene Patrol • Kindred • At the Wayside • Satellites & Sirens • We As Human • The Neverclaim • Climbing Blind • Tim Timmons • Love & the Outcome • Kerrie Roberts • Offering • A Life Set Apart • Manafest • Children 18:3 • Fight the Fade • As Clouds Break • Scott Stapp (of CREED) • Tru-Serva • Eternity Focus • BOTB • Dawna Johnson • Paul Williams • Bubba Dowling • DJ Chris VanDam • What Was Lost • Red Jumpsuit Apparatus • Nine Lashes • The Elim Arrival • Crimson River • Last Watch • Katie Danielle • Captives Set Free • Chris Sanchez • Inner Rain • Death and Desire • Break the Fall • PhinehasThe Protest • Thousand Foot Krutch
Ft Yates, ND
Standing Rock
Sioux Tribe Reservation
We lived a few days in a parked RV, slept some nights in a church basement, and stayed on an Indian reservation in North Dakota for a few days. I saw Mount Rushmore, got a tour of the seedy side of Rapid City, SD from a homeless man, talked my way into the projection room of a movie theater, and spent an afternoon learning to play bridge with a bunch of old ladies in Montana.

Every single day was an adventure due to two simple facts. First, I tend to seek out a good time wherever I go. Second, we had some pseudo-celebrity influence that I was more than willing to take advantage of. Several times each day, I would walk into some business explaining who we were, pass out a few CDs, drop some names of people we had just hung out with and then explain what I wanted to do. It was very rare that someone told us no.

Once the typical person learns that you are in a traveling band and can prove it (or even better, they have heard of you), they bend over backwards to accommodate you. Luckily, I wasn't looking to be deviant. Most of the time, I just wanted to get some interesting pictures. Our first photo op was in Osceola, Iowa. I talked a city employee into letting us into the city council chambers. She actually unlocked the doors and just walked away. I assume it's because everyone trusts musicians.

Next, we visited the Women's Auxiliary of the AMVETS in Osceola. They taught us how to quilt.

In Terry, Montana, we walked into the Historic Kempton Hotel and and asked to borrow a vacuum cleaner. They just handed one over without even asking what it was for.

Then, we went to visit the city pool. Paul had an idea of a shot he wanted to get. They weren't open yet, but they let us in anyway.

I know that this is probably not what most people think of when they hear the phrase "living the rock 'n roll life", but I know I enjoyed it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Defending My Choice to Give to Charity

A couple of weeks ago, I was nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Now, I am sure that most of you are familiar with what this is, but for the few of you who may not be, I'll try to explain.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It basically causes the muscles of the body to stop receiving nourishment.

Sometime within the last couple of years, someone came up with a genius idea and the Ice Bucket Challenge was born. It involves a person dumping a bucket of ice water over their head and then challenging someone else (usually three others) to do the same. This is usually captured on video and posted on the internet for everyone to see.

A person who has been challenged is to donate $100 to the ALS Association ( However, many people do not have an extra $100 laying around, so they have another option. If they dump ice water on their head and post a video of it on the internet, they can give a smaller amount of their choosing. They are also to nominate three more people for the challenge. This is all supposed to happen within 24 hours.

Whether the people nominated donate the full amount or a smaller amount, the cycle lives on as long as the nominees continue to keep nominating more people. As of the time of this posting, the ALS Association website states that the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $114 million dollars for the cause.

After being nominated myself, I sprang to action that same afternoon. Here is my video.

I wanted to do something different from the thousands of other videos that have been uploaded to YouTube and have a little bit of fun. It took some courage for me to remove my shirt in front of a camera, but I was happy with my video and glad I did it…for a few days.

Before long, I started noticing posts on Facebook and Twitter that seemed to condemn the practice of participating in this challenge. Anti-Ice Bucket memes started popping up all over my feed.

People were posting about how they had been challenged, but chose to just donate in private and not make a public spectacle out of their generosity like all the attention whores. 

Others ridiculed the people who participated in order to get out of having to give. This one had a little bit of a point since there were a large number of people who had completely misunderstood how this was supposed to work. People willing to dump the ice were not supposed to do this to get out of donating. It was to be able to give a smaller amount and pass the challenge on to others to raise even more money.

Now, these posts may have already been there before I participated and I was only now noticing because I had recently done it. Also, none of this was directed specifically toward me. Since I was seeing it on Facebook, that means it was coming from my friends. People who I love and I know love me, so I did not take any of this personally, but it did bother me a bit. Suggesting that me participating in fundraising for a worthy charity was bad or self-serving in some way just didn't sit well with me.

First of all, suggesting that the people who participated in this challenge are a bunch of greedy attention whores* is completely unfair. It is true that I only donated to ALS because I was nominated for the challenge. Sure, I could have donated without participating or even without having been nominated, but there are literally thousands of causes out there. No one knows which causes or how many causes I may already be contributing to. They also don't know how much or for how long I have been giving. The fact that I put a video of my dumping ice water on my head does not prove that I only give when it is a game. A person's generosity (or lack of) is in no way indicated by whether or not they chose to participate in this phenomenon.

*The attention whore part I will concede to. I am and always have been an attention whore.

In fact, there are literally thousands of very generous people out there who have not contributed to this cause. They have been giving to other causes that they are passionate about. It may be to feed starving children, prevent animal cruelty, raise domestic abuse awareness, clean up a city park, elect a political official, protect the mosquitoes, bring back bell-bottom jeans, or an infinite number of other possible causes. Once again, whether or not a person participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge will tell the observers absolutely nothing about the generosity of that person.

That's a lot of zeros
I will even take this a little further. Participating in the challenge and participating publicly contributes more money to the cause than giving privately. If I privately contribute $100 to ALS, then ALS has $100 they didn't have before and that is a good thing. However, it stops right there. On the other hand, if I give $50 and then challenge three others to do the same, the $50 each of them contributes (plus my $50) adds up to a total of $200 instead of just the original $100. This doesn't even add in the money that will get contributed by the people that they challenge and then the people that they challenge. Even if people only contribute $10 instead of $50, it is still vastly more than the original $100. However the numbers deviate, it cannot be denied that in whatever way people participated or contributed or even completely misunderstood the point of how this is supposed to work, $114 million dollars has been raised with this challenge.

That's a lot of zeros.

If we had relied on the adage of people should just give more, then this money would not have been raised. I salute the person or team who came up with this idea and I am sure it will not be the last time that people are looked down upon for doing something good.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I Think I'm Back

You know, it's really easy to maintain a blog when you are only posting once every few months.

I feel that I owe you all an apology. My writing has really slacked off in the last year. I do have a reason for this, but most people don't want to hear excuses. That doesn't mean I won't offer any, it just means most people don't like hearing them and fortunately for me, I am not most people. I am only me and me has been busy.

However, I have reason to believe that my writing is about to start up again. Mainly, because the thing that has kept me so busy has just come to an end. After several years of hard work, I finally completed my Master's Degree. This means that I have a lot of spare time now as compared to the last 30 months.

DISCLAIMER: It's pat myself on the back time.

Plus,  I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. I got straight A's through the entire program. This means the very thing I am always telling my family, neighbors, co-workers, and students:

Since I am a genius, I have a social responsibility to share my intellectual insights with the rest of the world. Therefore, I will start writing again this week. Plus, a woman at my new church just discovered my blog and I need to produce some new stuff for her to read. I wouldn't want to give her the wrong impression before she gets to know me personally.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mr & Mrs Transformed Nonconformist

Four months! 

It's been over four months since my last post. A lot can happen over four months. A lot has happened. I've really dropped the ball. Let me try to give a quick recap of what I have not written about.

My daughter left high school with a bang.
Valentine's Day has come and gone, as well as St. Patrick's Day. I got a job in the Indianapolis Public School system. Spring Break is over. Summer vacation has started. My daughter graduated high school. Orange is the New Black has released season two onto Netflix. Russia invaded the Ukraine. An 18 year old girl in New Jersey lost the case against her parents when she sued them for college tuition. The Big Bang Theory got picked up for three more seasons. Casey Kasem died and I got married.

I'm not going to try to cover all of that in this post. One thing at a time. Let's start with the last item on the list. I got married.
I am sure that I have lost some followers since my writing has drastically slowed in the last year, but my long-time readers know that on May 2, 2012, I met face-to-face with Red of Doesn't Speak Klingon. Before that, we met through our blogs, we conversed in the comment sections. We traded emails and eventually started making phone calls. We then dated for almost two years while living 200 miles apart.

Last December, I moved to Indianapolis to take advantage of some educational opportunities to finish up my degree. I moved to a big city for these opportunities. I chose Indianapolis because that was where Red lived. We had already seriously discussed marriage, but there was nothing official. I thought it would be nice to get to date while living in the same town. Those bi-weekly commutes were hard on both of our wallets.

It didn't take long before we knew marriage was in our future. We just needed to decide when. Neither one of us was interested in the ceremony, but didn't want to exclude family either, so eloping or just going to a courthouse was out of the question. We had the end of the summer in mind. I would have just finished my degree and she would be moved into a bigger place ready for me to come join her.

Once we got her moved in, we were just waiting for the time to pass. I had my place, she had hers, and we knew we would be married in 3 to 4 months. However, no one else knew that. We had decided to keep it quiet so it could be ours and no one else's. We wanted no family input on how it should be done, what food should be served, what should be worn, or who should be invited. We just wanted to be married. We didn't know when it would happen, but we did know we wouldn't be giving much notice to anyone.

One Saturday morning, Red was discussing the travel plans of her sisters. They were both going to be in town the following weekend. Her family is so spread out, they are very rarely all in the same place. Her brothers aren't even in the country. So, I suggested doing it the following Sunday.

Red: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Sure. Why not?"
Red: "OK!"
Me: "Great! We're getting married in eight days!"

I quickly called Chuck, a local minister friend of mine, to check his availability. We then called Red's parents to tell them our plans and get permission to do it in their backyard. We called our immediate family members and assured everyone that nothing was needed but their presence. For the people who like to stress about these types of events, we had provided them with the gift of only getting to stress for eight days.

We did get some questions.

"Would you like me to pick up some ___________?"

"Hey. Should I bring a ____________?"

"How about if we get a few _____________?"

Red and I had decided that more "stuff" and involvement would just make the event bigger and more stressful with things to plan. We were going to show up at her parents' house after church with some pizzas and soda for everyone and when they all got there, get married. That was a simple plan and we wanted it to stay that way.

We only put effort into three things.
  1. Red SOLO cups - we specifically had red SOLO cups simply because someone told us that we couldn't (not one of the guests or family).
  2. We purposefully mismatched the plates we used. I had a 10-pack of Happy Birthday, 10-pack of sports themed, 10-pack of underwater themed, and 10-pack of Disney princesses. This was done to demonstrate that we were not concerned with protocol or appearance.
  3. We begged everyone to not mention the ceremony to anyone or put it on social media. We wanted to announce it after the fact. Everyone respected our wishes.
Red's mother did get us a beautiful cake and one of her sisters bought items for the best man, maid of honor, and cheerleader to hold (we had a cheerleader instead of a flower girl).

Notice the casual style.
(Except for the cheerleader's tiara and my tuxedo t-shirt)

It occurred to us after picking the date that May 4th is Star Wars Day.

"May the Fourth (force) be with you."

Get it? Plus, since Red is a huge Star Wars geek, it turned out to be the perfect day to do it. That's why there were light sabers. Thank you, Hestia.

We had 15 guests (plus the minister and his 6 kids), a day that could not have been more beautiful, and every family invited was able to make it. Plus, our main goal for the day was accomplished. We were married.

I only met this wonderful woman because
I started a blog in October 2010.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

At Least Nothing Fell Off

Two weeks ago, I hopped on a plane with my beautiful girlfriend, Red of Doesn't Speak Klingon, and my daughter Kirsten. Red was headed to Delaware to participate in her tenth Polar Bear Plunge and since I had participating a Polar Bear Plunge on my Bucket List, she asked if I would like to join her.

*Although, I suspect she had an ulterior motive. I think she likes me.

We reached Delaware two days before the plunge, so we had time to see the sights. Red had lived in this area for 12 years before moving to Indianapolis, so we met up with some of her friends, had some great meals and did some shopping.

Things are done differently from state-to-state. There were several times that I wasn't sure what was going on. For instance, I saw these signs all over the place.

Something is to the left

I would be driving through the city, trying to find my way to whatever we were headed to, so I carefully kept my eyes on the signs. Signs are useful for telling you what is around and how to get to things, but in Delaware they aren't really sure where things are either. As you can see above, the Historical Society and alternate parking are to the right and something is to the left, but the city planners aren't really sure what it is. These signs are all over town with no clue as to what they are directing you toward.

Delaware is also very liberal with how numbers work. Walking around town, I was having trouble deciding what to buy for a souvenir. I got excited when I stumbled upon a store with a sign in the window advertising that everything was under $9.95.

They had some cool stuff in there, but I was afraid to give them any money because I didn't trust their math skills enough to know if they could count change.

The day of the plunge arrived and a wonderful thing happened. The temperature started going up. We had been dealing with sub-zero temperatures in the Midwest for the last month and Delaware had experienced similar temperatures. However, the day of the plunge, the temperature rose. It was up to almost 60 degrees an hour before we jumped in the Atlantic. The water was still 34 degrees, but at least we wouldn't freeze once we got out. That was the part I was most concerned about. I was ready to brave the water, but thought I might die afterward.

The beach was packed with over 2,700 participants and hundreds of spectators. Two hours before plunge time, people were already running around in swimsuits. You expect bikinis on the beach, but not in the middle of winter. There was still snow on the ground!

The Polar Bear Plunge is done to raise money for the Special Olympics and all these people showing up to jump in the frigid water raised over $425,000 at this one event. The excitement was in the air and it was time to jump in. They started the countdown and 2,700 people ran for the water.

This entire time, I had been amazed at how I was not freezing despite having only worn swim trunks for the last 15 minutes. As soon as my feet hit the water, I understood why more people don't do this. Thirty-four degrees is not exactly a comfortable temperature, but I had flown 900 miles for this 'privilege.' It felt like little needles stabbing into my feet, but it was too late to turn back.

My plan was to run in far enough that I could jump in to go totally under and come out. However, the surf pulled away soon after my feet hit the freezing water. I had to chase after the water and soon saw a large wave coming at me. I tucked down enough that it washed over me. Thirty-four degree water on my feet was a shock. Over my entire body really had my attention. 

After this time on the beach enjoying a few days outside, I came home to this. We've had a high averaging 15 degrees ever since.

My car the day after I got back. Thank you, Indiana!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Traveling Entertainment

He quit talking to me for some reason.
Before moving to Indianapolis, I had a job as a courier (which is just a fancy word for deliveryman). I mostly delivered office supplies, but I had a few contracts that involved me delivering blood for the Red Cross and the occasional biopsy sample for a medical firm. The office supplies were always delivered around town, but when I had medical deliveries, I was on the road for a while.

I usually had to deliver to St. Louis (90 miles from my house), but I didn't always make the pick-up in my hometown. Sometimes, I had to drive for a few hours to even get the product. These trips varied from 180 to 450 miles round trip. In addition to these trips being long, they were always done in the evenings after I had already gotten off my regular route. For this reason, I was usually tired before I even started the trip and often needed help staying awake.

Apparently, it is illegal to talk on the phone while driving and my Candy Crush scores tend to suffer when I can't give the game my full attention, so I am always looking for ways to pass the time. On road trips, this is not an issue because I can pull over at any time to look at anything that catches my eye. When making deliveries, I was on a schedule. It didn't take me long to learn that texting passed the time fairly quickly.

NOTE: My phone is voice activated and the texts are read to me over my stereo system. So, I am not looking at my phone. My eyes are on the road. Sometimes I drive with my feet to entertain myself, but I am always looking at the road.

Recently, while going through my phone, I found one of those texting conversations. It was getting late and I needed someone to talk to. So, I shot a text to my brother Kyle. It turned out he was on the road also and even had other people in the vehicle with him, but I was not deterred. Despite the fact that he didn't stay in the conversation for very long, I tried to keep it going since I had an audience.

That conversation is included on the right.
I didn't feel bad about it. Kyle has a long history of trying to tie up people's time on the phone. Back in the 80's when answering machines still used miniature cassette tapes, Kyle would talk long enough to use up the entire tape. If the machine had a 30-second cutoff, he would just keep calling back until it was used up. He still does this today, but in today's digital world, there is an almost unlimited amount of time. I have received many voice mail messages from him that lasted longer than the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended versions).

Now that I don't have that job anymore, I have to find new ways to be annoying.