Monday, February 25, 2008

Kirksville, the whole sordid tale

All right. My coworker told me that I should tell the entire story. It's messy, and will last a long time, so buckle down. All ye who feel up to it will at least get a good story. Or a story at least.

The trip was actually two trips. My first trip was in August '06. I had never heard of this place, and had actually never been to Missouri before. So, I got on the plane in Cleveland and flew to St. Louis. We were in a small little plane on the way to St. Louis, so I wasn't prepared for what came next. I sat in the airport for 3 hours, waiting for my flight to Kirksville. I hadn't been given a choice between flying to Kirksville (the long wait for a 45 minute flight) or driving to Kirksville (a 4 hour drive) but I don't think I would have chosen the flight if I had known what actually had happened in the past. You see, the previous year, a group of hospital administrators had been on the same flight, and their plane crashed. Many of the people on that flight did now walk away from it. This was a tragic event, and easily repeatable because of the flight itself.

So, I finally got on my flight, but it ende up being a little prop job where the pilots actually also loaded up the luggage on the plane. I was already a little scared at this point. We get on the plane, and there is a curtain separating the passenger area from the cockpit. A curtain...really. This was ridiculous, but we weren't done. The plane took off, but we weren't able to climb very high since it was a two propeller craft. As we got close, we were told that the approach might be a little the last 40 minutes when we were getting knocked around in a washing machine weren't bumpy?

I got off of the plane, to be greeted by the baggage handler/co-pilot/ticket counter/security guard. The entire airport was about the size of my car...the Buick 'Nation. I was also supposed to pick up my rental car there, or so I thougth. Turns out the Enterprise place was 7 miles up the road in town. One of the passengers on the plane offered to drive me into town, so I took them up on the offer. She worked at the university where I'd be teaching the next day, so that was convenient. She was nice and just a pleasant person to talk to so we enjoyed the quick little drive into town.

When we got there, she dropped me off at the Enterprise center. As we were driving up, I saw that there were only a few cars on the lot. One was a little Impala and the other was a big black mazda minivan. I was hoping against everything that I wouldn't get the van...but that's what I got. My hotel was literally about 100 ft from the Enterprise rental agency, so that was not an issue that day. I went to the hotel, checked in, and went to my room. I had an appointment to meet a few of the clients for dinner that night. So, the client picked me up at the hotel and we went to dinner. I answered a barrage of questions from the Associate Dean (you know, I thought they were already a client, but it felt like I was getting interviewed that night). After answering all of the questions, I was left on my own the rest of the night.

The next day I went to the school to begin the training. The first day was painless, but I noticed that my tire was a little low that night when I was getting ready for dinner. I made the mistake of going over to the Enterprise place to let them know about the car. The guy working there said that the mechanic had already left, and that he couldn't go out and diagnose the problem. I told him that the tire was flat, and needed a new tire or help. He said, "Hold on a minute...I'll be right back." He proceeded to walk to the back of the office, and came back out with a roll of quarters. This roll was handed to me with this caption "Drive down the street and use these quarters to fill up the tire with air." You're kidding right? No? Ok then. So I drove the van on a flat tire down to the gas station, filled the tire up, and went to dinner. I then went straight back to the hotel for the night. The next morning, I went back out to the van, and the tire was flat again. Not to be outdone, I drove it back over to the Enterprise place. This time, the mechanic drove up and gave me his diagnosis. "You've got a flat tire there"., I'm not a mechanic, and I don't even play one on TV. (on a side note, I actually haven't played anything on TV yet) He proceeded to drive me to the school, and said that they would call me later in the day to let me know what was wrong with the car and if they could fix it. I waited around, and didn't hear back from them. So I called the place just to hear "Yep, we've got a problem with the tire so we're going to have to give you a new car for the night. We'll be down to pick you up in a few minutes." So, now I'm waiting for them to pick me up...10 minutes later, this gigantic white 4x4 Hemi powered Dodge Ram 1500 turbo pickup comes around the corner. His question for me was "Is this going to be big enough for you tonight?" I didn't give him an answer. He has me drive him back, and I get the truck for the night.

Well, what does a guy do who has a truck this size for the night? I went off-roading of course...lots of room to do that up in the corner of Missouri. The following morning I drove the (now dirty, real dirty) truck back to the Enterprise place, and they drove me up to the airport. I waited there for my plane, and finally got home. Tomorrow, look for part two of this story.

That is all, thank you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Travel this week...

All right. I'm going to Charlottesville Va this week, home of Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia. As I prepare for another trip, I thought I'd highlight some of the adventures I've had while travelling for work. For your reading pleasure, I submit these:

1. Newark, Delaware: I am hit with lactose intolerance's evil side, with an extra helping of vengeance and loneliness. I was travelling with a friend of mine, and we said, "Hey, let's split an order of these delicious BBQ Chicken Nachos!". The restaurant was Bugaboo Creek, and the nachos were good, but I paid for more ways than one. There is nothing so lonely as being sick in a hotel room by yourself...

2. Camden, NJ: Which way is east? No, seriously, we couldn't find the right eastbound road to get on, and circled Philadelphia until we found it.

3. Portland, ME: Our flight was delayed leaving Cleveland to Boston, so they pulled us from it and sent us to Newark, where we had another 2 hr delay before eventually getting to Portland. At midnight, and we were training the next morning at 8...and didn't know where we were supposed to go for the training...Oh is good.

4. Kirksville, MO: I am never going back...hopefully. Try to imagine what groundhogs day felt like for Bill Murray, multiply it by 3, then add a lovely dash of midwestern humor (It appears you have a flat tire son), and you might start to understand what it felt like.

5. Kirksville, MO: Ok...they sent me back, and this time was worse than the previous trip. I was stranded there on the day we were supposed to come home because the plane in from St. Louis had to turn around. The reason: the pilots couldn't see the runway. So I got to ride in the back country of Missouri across the Mississippi river into Quincy IL to catch a plane back down the Mississippi to St. Louis, run through the airport a la Home Alone, and finally get back to Cleveland. Click here for the trip...

That'll get you started...more this week from the road files!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Teachers are great yet prone to nerdness

Lately I have been sick because I work with kids. What?! Shocking! Anyway, the Kindergarten conference was in Columbus this past weekend and yes-I went. Not only was I not feeling well but I felt out of my element. I do not have a desire to wear cross stitch or holiday themed shirts nor do I hoot and holler when I win a puppet either. Oh my! I am just a different breed of teacher perhaps. I travel across grades. The other teacher and I took bets on all kinds of things including how many times we saw a school wearing matching shirts. I love my job but I wish we were appreciated more. Perhaps financially?! It's almost like we have to do all these weird things to keep us going. Happy Valentine's day to all educators!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Do good things really come in threes?

I'm sorry. I don't have any personal responsibility for these things, except that I have watched my fair share of them over the years. So, on the heels of that information, I wish to extend an apology for the scores of awful and unneeded trilogies that have pervaded the market recently.

This statement leads to my question at the beginning? Do good things really come in threes? I can think of one obvious mistake that happened in threes...Three's Company!

What I mean is simply this: A hit movie doesn't require a sequel, or even a third installment just because the same characters are in it. Another example of this type of excess: The Land Before Time.

Honestly, shouldn't these characters be extinct now, or at least shouldn't we see civilization by now...I think that we're up to Land Before Time 24. Hey, cool tie in: Jack Bauer doesn't want the dinosaurs to become extinct, because that would be a national security risk...Sorry, rat hole there, and I couldn't avoid stepping in it.

But Really!!! I am getting a little tired of sequels by now...Like the Matrix. I thought that the first one was great, and the next two were exciting in their visual elements, but I could have done without them. I don't know, maybe I'm just comparing everything to one of the all time great trilogies ever. Lord of The Rings...well now I've done it. I've revealed my inner geek, and he's standing there with his pimples, a miniature sword, and a dragon on his desk.

That's all for now...Thank you.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Woo Hoo!!! or should I say Yahoo!

I don't know how better to say this than these folks did here so I will let them take the story. Microsoft is getting the boot on their bid to buy Yahoo, so I'm safe for now. As this blog will reveal at various times in the 128 part series entitled "Why I'm a geek!", I love Apple and hold a special level of angst for Microsoft.

For those of you who are worried at this point, don't be concerned. There will not be any attempts on my part to convert you to apple, nor will I put any direct links to their website on my site (elppa evol i)!

In other news, I am announcing another regular feature that will be coming from this site. Whenever there is news/a person/an ethnic group/an organization/etc./Roman empirical senators or current ones/anyone running for president that does something particularly noticeable, they will receive a wooden spoon and will be added to the race. At the end of the year there will be quorum and a vote contributed by anyone who wishes but ultimately arbited by us at Wooden Spoons for the winner of the Gnarly, which will be an old wooden spoon that I will attempt to send to their house.

In related news, Bill Gates is the first recipient of a Wooden Spoon. Good job, and happy hunting to everyone else! Don't worry, with it being a political year, you all have a chance.

That is all. Thank you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Interview Time

We at Wooden Spoons Are Bad have been approached by a fellow blogger known as Flannery Alden for the purposes of an interview. We haven't granted many interview requests in the past (Read=Never) but this will be the first of many, including interviews that we will conduct regarding any topic that leads to complete world knowledge.

In the spirit of the interview:

Why did you start this blog? What’s it all about anyway?

Thank you for your question. I started this blog in an effort to expose the cruelity and oppression associated with objects that only have one purpose. The world has too many unitasker tools and widgets, so we have decided to break the world of that habitual need for things that only accomplish one thing. Oh...I'm sorry, I think we were talking about the blog...Well, I don't like wooden spoons, especially becase of the way that they feel on my tongue. So I thought that I should tell the world about it.

What is your favorite sandwich and why?

My favorite sandwich, without question, is the original double-double animal style from In-n-Out Burgers. There is a no better burger ever created in the entire world. Period. End of story. Finite`...oh, maybe I should stop.

Describe a defining moment in the development of your sense of humor.

I was over at my grandma and grandpa's house, and grandpa was watching "Blazing Saddles". That pretty much defined where I was going as a humorist. As they say, I am pleased to extend to you this Laurel and Hardy handshake to our new n-----.

As a musician and an epicurean, can you tell us what your favorite music tastes like and what your favorite food sounds like?

My, that is a great question. favorite music tastes slightly dusty, with hints of smoke, whisky, and a salt and pepper crust. My favorite food sounds like this: CRRUUUNNNCCCHHHH!Ker-plunk...and boink...

If you were up for a Best New Artist and Best Album Grammy, what would you wear to the awards show and would you prepare a speech? If so, what would the highlights be?

As this is a forgone conclusion, I will be happy to share my plans for this occasion. I have been secretly tasking a small town in the Andes to build me a tuxedo worthy of the event. It is all black, with miniscule tears woven into it by the villagers who have inspired the song. This song is entitled "Yo (I)" and features a band put together of some of the greatest musicians of all time, through blackmail.

The tuxedo is accompanied by a top hat, tails, white tie, and a monacle.

My speech will hit the following highlights:
1. the fall of the Roman Empire
2. the rise of the Ottoman Empire
3. the discovery of chocolate as a currency
4. etc.
5. thank you's to the various people who have been in the way, er I mean helped me on my way

Thank you for your questions, I will now take comments.
That is all.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This is what I am thinking about now at 6:00 pm.

So with all my "free" time I have had not blogging-oops-I have actually been able to watch TV!! I am actually quite busy. I have discovered a new show from HBO called Flight of the Conchords. I would encourage you to check it out if you like Napoleon Dynamite like humor. Its about a two man band from New Zealand that comes to New York to make it. I don't know what it is about that country but it seems in many ways that they are behind. I have seen a "revival" in 80's sweatshirts and in the show there is a commercial for the telephone! What?! The world is moving so fast! Thanks Adam for the intro to the show.

I have to admit I have been wanting sushi all the time. I am a wimp though-not too much raw at this point. The texture is not my thing. I really love all kinds of food. I wonder how people can eat the same things and not get bored. I say if you are gonna eat all the calories-make it worth it!

Monday, February 4, 2008

New and improved

Well, well, well. The wooden spoons gang is ready for anything it appears. Now we're ready to start posting from this will be promising for y'all. As lent is approaching, I also wanted to take a moment to let you know what I'm giving up this year.

Beef and, I can feel my stomach thanking me celebrate (er...prepare) I made a breakfast casserole tonight which included lots of sausage...we'll have to eat it all tonight and tomorrow so I don't break my lenten promise.

That's all for now...30 % less fat, and medically proven to regrow hair, in accordance with the prophecy.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Whoa...way too much caffeine

As I was drinking down my third cup of coffee in two hours, many thoughts came into my head; no seriously, there were literally a thousand thoughts running through my head. Here are some, in no particular order (as they weren't in any order at all in my head):

"do I smell like coffee?"

"what time is it in Abu Dhabi?"

"which club should I use with 176 yards to the pin and a north/northwest crosswind playing out of the rough?"

"I think that Paul Simon is slightly crazy...did you hear Kodachrome?"

"dodgeball should be a professional sport"

"I like what my coworker is doing with that flame graphic"

"when is it time to switch the shower curtain?"

"I hope my new glasses come in sometime soon!"

"We're getting internet at the house...holy blogging batman"

"I should be thinking about this game for the conference"

Anyway, I hope that you aren't too scared by that look into my head this's sort of like one of my favorite movies, Being John Malkovich

That is all for now...have a great Friday!