November 2005


So I looked in my wallet today and found very little of interest.  I then looked in my desk drawer and found a cup brimfull of pocket change.  cha-ching!

I headed straight for the nearest Albertson's and their awesome CoinStar machines.  Yeah, I know they charge you 8.9% for the priviledge but at least they give me money which is better than what my bank does. 

The banks seems a bit snooty when it comes to coins.  Yeah they'll take them because the law requires it but they'd obviously rather not.  I brought a bunch of coins to the bank once and instead of even offering to count them, they offered me a bunch of paper tubes.  Then after I had counted them out and rolled them, they made me sign each roll and include my bank account number.  My sister used to have a business where she needed change and she never got any rolls of change that looked as if they'd been hand-rolled so I figure the bank takes my carefully counted rolls, breaks them out and recounts and re-rolls them in their own way. 

My niece's boyfriend had an admirable way of dealing with huge amounts of change:  he spent it.  One summer, he had the job of filling a bunch of soda machines and he'd have great bags of quarters, dimes, and nickels.  He just went to the local convenience store, filled his truck with $50 worth of gas and went inside and counted out $50 in change, one coin at a time.  I asked him what the store thought of it and he responded that he didn't care.  Money's money he said.  He bought lots of stuff:  CDs at WalMart, gas, meals at restaurants – all paid for with pocket change.

 I tried that once at WalMart when I bought sodas for the refrigerator at work.  The money box had a huge amount of coinage in it and I just paid for the $60 worth of Coke and Pepsi with quarters but I really felt the heat from the people in line behind me who were fuming as I counted out my money.  It stressed me out too much.  I guess I don't have what it takes to live a cash existence with all coins.

There’s a city in Virginia called Falls Church and I always wondered about the origin of that name but this past Sunday I fell down at church and now I realize what a big deal it can be. I don’t know that I would have named a town after the event of yesterday but it’s certainly worth blogging.

It’s a big deal because I spilled my coffee. It’s a pretty new building and so they’re a bit anal about their carpets and any coffee stains thereupon. But sadly I tripped on the top step and went down. Normally I wouldn’t have lost my balance but since I was working so hard not to spill the coffee, I fell anyway, spilling the coffee and hurting myself in the bargain. I barked my kneecap on one of the steps, skinned up my knuckles, spilled the entire 8 ounces of hot coffee on my hand and made quite a puddle on their new carpets. I got my entire hand too – not just a portion.

This is where a loving wife comes in who will go get paper towels while you see to your burns and not make fun of you later for it.

On the positive side, now my jacket smells like coffee.

Once while looking at the map of the south Pacific, I began to wonder at the origin of the island’s names. My theory is that if you were to translate the island name, it would translate to one of the following phrases:

“I don’t understand you.”
“Hey, your skin is white!”
“Hey, you can’t park that ship there!”
“What did you say?”
“Wow! Nice boat!”

I can imagine the scenario: British ship captain struts ashore arrogantly and addresses the first native he sees:

Captain: “I say! You there, savage! What place is this?”
Native (in native language): “What did you say?”
Captain (scribbling on his note pad): “Ah! Vanuatu. Very good. You are now British subjects.”

Strange weather we’re having lately. Yesterday the wind began to blow. That’s not so unusual in Oklahoma (you know the song about the wind coming sweeping down the plains?) but it’s a bit unusual in November and it’s really unusual for it to blow at 40 miles and hour continuously with gusts up to 50 or more. This is what I’d call freakishly windy.

I even thought it was moderately entertaining so watch the neighbor’s mailbox rip off the post and go rolling down the street until some powerlines somewhere got blown down. Well, with the lights off, it isn’t all that entertaining any more. Plus, the aforementioned powerlines apparently sparked a lot when they fell which touched off a huge fire. It got to within two miles of my house. We could see and smell smoke and while nobody else seemed worried, I was mentally ticking off all the things I’d have to do if we had to evacuate. Things like turn on the lawn sprinklers, wet down the roof with the hose, grab important paperwork, pack underwear, and head west on the turnpike.

Fortunately it didn’t come to that since the wind was blowing in such a way that the fires didn’t come my way.

Strange weather we're having lately.  Yesterday the wind began to blow.  That's not so unusual in Oklahoma (you know the song about the wind coming sweeping down the plains?) but it's a bit unusual in November and it's really unusual for it to blow at 40  miles and hour continuously with gusts up to 50 or more.  This is what I'd call freakishly windy.

I even thought it was moderately entertaining so watch the neighbor's mailbox rip off the post and go rolling down the street until some powerlines somewhere got blown down.  Well, with the lights off, it isn't all that entertaining any more.  Plus, the aforementioned powerlines apparently sparked a lot when they fell which touched off a huge fire.  It got to within two miles of my house.  We could see and smell smoke and while nobody else seemed worried, I was mentally ticking off all the things I'd have to do if we had to evacuate.  Things like turn on the lawn sprinklers, wet down the roof with the hose, grab important paperwork, pack underwear, and head west on the turnpike.

Fortunately it didn't come to that since the wind was blowing in such a way that the fires didn't come my way.

Once while looking at the map of the south Pacific, I began to wonder at the origin of the island's names.  My theory is that if you were to translate the island name, it would translate to one of the following phrases:

"I don't understand you."
"Hey, your skin is white!"
"Hey, you can't park that ship there!"
"What did you say?"
"Wow!  Nice boat! 

I can imagine the scenario:  British ship captain struts ashore arrogantly and addresses the first native he sees:

Captain:  "I say!  You there, savage!  What place is this?"
Native (in native language):  "What did you say?"
Captain (scribbling on his note pad):  "Ah!  Vanuatu. Very good.  You are now British subjects." 

There’s a city in Virginia called Falls Church and I always wondered about the origin of that name but this past Sunday I fell down at church and now I realize what a big deal it can be.  I don’t know that I would have named a town after the event of yesterday but it’s certainly worth blogging.

It’s a big deal because I spilled my coffee.  It’s a pretty new building and so they’re a bit anal about their carpets and any coffee stains thereupon.  But sadly I tripped on the top step and went down.  Normally I wouldn’t have lost my balance but since I was working so hard not to spill the coffee, I fell anyway, spilling the coffee and hurting myself in the bargain.  I barked my kneecap on one of the steps, skinned up my knuckles, spilled the entire 8 ounces of hot coffee on my hand and made quite a puddle on their new carpets.  I got my entire hand too – not just a portion.

This is where a loving wife comes in who will go get paper towels while you see to your burns and not make fun of you later for it. 

On the positive side, now my jacket smells like coffee.

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