Showing 1 - 10 of 14 posts found matching keyword: ken

I've been sick for most of the past two weeks, ever since former friend Ken infected me with his blech at the the Georgia Tech/UGA game. (No, seriously, Ken. You will get your comeuppance for this.)

When I was sick back in March 2017, I had a delightful piece of art from friend Cam to post while I recovered. Luckily for me (and you), she's been back to work.

Merry Cokemas 2018

Keep up the good work, Cam. I eagerly look forward to seeing what you'll have for me to post when I'm sick in 2019!

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Georgia Tech came to Athens and lost for the first time since 2012. They lost badly, too. Through the first three quarters, Tech managed to score only on a punt return. After UGA pulled the starters, final score was Georgia Tech 21, UGA 45.

Ga Tech 21, UGA 45

The game was essentially over when Georgia scored their first touchdown on their opening possession. I didn't see that, however. I hadn't yet reached my seat because my companion, Friend Ken, was 30 minutes late to the carpool. But he did buy me a pretzel in the third quarter, so I'm not inclined to hold too much of a grudge. (Unless I catch his cold. If I catch his cold, yeah, grudge back on.)

By the way, I would be remiss to mention that at halftime, the Georgia Tech band came out on the field and played a tribute to Aretha Franklin. Then the Georgia band followed with... a tribute to Aretha Franklin. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. indeed.

UGA finishes the regular season 11-1 (7-0 at home). I saw 5 of the 7 home games, and none of them were very competitive. Was that worth the increased ticket price? Maybe. Will I renew my tickets again next year? Maybe. It probably depends on how much they jack up the prices this off-season. We'll see what we see after the SEC Championship game.

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I woke up to a text from Friend Ken who needed advice regarding his broken range top. "Boy, am I glad I don't have his problems," I thought to myself.

And then my kitchen sink broke.

Somehow, the nut holding the pipe on the strainer basket in the left basin had become completely stripped. As a result, the pipe slid sideways, and the dishwater, instead of draining away to the septic tank, drained into the cabinet.

Mom and I debated calling a plumber, but we ultimately agreed that replacing a sink basket is no big deal. I should be able to handle that repair easily. Unless the locknut nut is rusted in place. Which, of course, this was. Enter the hacksaw! In a tiny cramped space! On my back!

Two hours, one trip to Home Depot, and $17 later, the sink was back together and successfully holding its water. That's when I noticed that the pipe in the right basin had a cracked nut that was also leaking. Grr. Fortunately, I had the replacement parts leftover from a previous repair to the basement sink. So another hour later (in a tiny cramped space, on my back), both sides of the sink were good as new! Almost.

On reinspection, the left basin was leaking again. Thinking it must be because I had used too small a bead of plumbers putty, I unscrewed everything again. That's when I noticed that while reassembling the parts last time, I had accidentally placed the high-tech piece of cardboard (meant to reduce friction between locknut and gasket) above the rubber gasket instead of below it. It turns out that cardboard is terrible at holding water. Who knew?

Maybe I *should* have called a plumber.

Anyway, everything is working as it is supposed to again. So take that, Ken! The ball is back in your court, buddy.

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The Miami Dolphins came to Atlanta for their first visit to Georgia Dome 2.0 Mercedes Benz Stadium, and I went to see them with my friends, Falcons fans Keith and Ken (and their lovely wives).

Dolphins 20, Falcons 17

In the first half, the Dolphins played like the Dolphins, stumbling into a 0-17 hole. Jay Cutler was the worst he's been all season, playing without inspiration or conviction, placing balls where they would do the least good for the receivers. Just horrible.

However, in the second half, the Falcons played like the Falcons, committing penalties, throwing interceptions, failing to tackle, and just refusing to finish a game. The Falcons scored 0 second half points. The Dolphins scored 20.

Final score, 20-17, Dolphins! Whoo-hoo! Thank you, Falcons!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my first impression of the new stadium. All I've heard is how wonderful it is. Don't believe the hype.

  • The much ballyhooed 360° HD halo screen is worthless for half of the stadium. Those on the ground floor have to stare at the ceiling to see anything. Those in the rafters (like me) can't see half the screen because the near edge obscures the top half of the far side screen. (Given that they can't even make the roof open — not that you'd be able to tell from most of the seats — I assume that it would have been too hard to pitch the screens into a cone so that they would be visible to all?)
  • Stadium concourses are given over almost exclusively to concessions with queue lines cutting into walkways, making it impossible to get around without running through crowds standing in line for beer and $2 hot dogs.
  • And if you want a $2 hot dog, get one early. Lines don't move quickly. I didn't go myself, but watching and listening to those around me, the minimum wait time appeared to be 15 minutes. (And if you want a Coke, your only option is to stand in line for a fill-it-yourself fountain cup which entitles you to stand in line by the "free refills" drink fountains. That's two lines for the price of one!)
  • Speaking of 15 minutes, that was the wait time for restroom breaks — to the men's room!

In short, I didn't see that this stadium was an improvement in any way over the Georgia Dome save the welcome presence of natural light, and I got the impression that I must not be alone. From the very beginning of the game, there were huge blocks of empty seats visible all over the stadium. (I'd guess it was half full.) Given the stadium's evident disdain for people who actually want to watch a game of football, I can't blame those ticket holders for wanting to spend their time doing something other than watch football there.

But enough about that. I went to the building not to pass judgement on it, but to watch a football game with friends. In the end, I think a good time was had by all.*

To be clear, this picture was taken in the first quarter. My smile came out later.

*At least, all of us cheering for the Dolphins.

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Today was a UGA home game. The Bulldogs played Samford in Sanford Stadium at 7:30pm. However, I wasn't there to see it. Instead, I had to spend the day on Tybee Island with Mom.

She seeks sea shells by the sea shore.

Don't get me wrong. I love Tybee. (And I love Mom.) Tybee is a charming coastal town with some fantastic scenery. (And Mom is Mom.) I'm happy to report that most of the island survived Hurricane Irma just fine, though plenty of scars from last week's storm were still visible everywhere. But it wasn't Tybee's beauty or Irma's wrath (or Mom's Momness) that brought us to the Georgia coast. No, we were here to attend friend Brian's beach wedding in the shadow of Tybee's historic lighthouse.

Mom is a big fan of former Secretary of State George Marshall

Mom rented a wonderful house at 117 Cedarwood Drive, and she, Audrey, July, and I used it as a base of operations for our weekend stay. Mom frequently visited the beach (just a few hundred yards to our north) to collect shells, each time leaving Audrey behind to rue Tybee's draconian "no pets on the beach" policy.

Bring me back a pizza!

Sadly, I somehow managed not to take any pictures of the groom or bride, Veronika. For that matter, I don't have any pictures of groomsmen friends Ken, Keith, or Michael, either. The wedding party didn't show up on the beach until after the wedding officiant warned the attendees not to take pictures because that was the wedding photographer's job. Instead, you'll just have to be satisfied with this screen grab from the lovebird's official wedding website.

You know it's true because it's on the Internet.

In fact, the only picture I have of the wedding was taken by friend James. (James was one of my few friends in attendance who wasn't actually in the wedding party. Matt was the other. Why was I not in the wedding party? I'm sure it had no small part to do with my vowing to Brian after Keith's wedding that I would never wear anything dressier than jeans to a wedding again. "Except mine?" Brian asked. "Even yours," I answered. That's what I like about Brian. He listens.) James couldn't resist disobeying the order not to take any pics, but he somehow still managed not to get the wedding party. (Reminder: "Never do what James does.")

My wedding photo

I haven't attended a lot of weddings. I don't like them. Yet I found this one left an especially bittersweet taste for many reasons, not the least of which was that Brian was the last of my single friends likely to get married. From this point forward, we're all more likely to reunite at a funeral than another wedding. That's an uncomfortable thought, though it's better than imagining the possibility that I may have to sit through yet another wedding ceremony.

Thanks to Irma, there is much less dune area to be fined in.

Good luck, Brian and Veronika. Do me a favor and be so happy together that we don't have to do this all over again, ok? Thanks.

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My third book is currently out for galley printing. It will be on the market by the first week in November (target release date is Halloween). It's time to start thinking about marketing.

What's the best method? Keyword targeted Internet advertising is always available (Google Ads, Facebook Ads) for CentralKingdomsChronicles.com, but that costs money. I read a lot about networking (establishing a Twitter presence, participating in like-minded communities), but that's never made much of an impact for Boosterrific.com. I'm sure that I should pursue multiple paths, I'm just not sure which are worthwhile.

Obviously, since I wrote a fantasy genre story, it's fantasy genre readers I need to reach. Perhaps I could advertise at local comic book shops. I also plan to give away the Kindle edition of all three books for free over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday holiday. (Readers are more important than profits. Can't have one without the other!)

For the record, I knew going in that book marketing is very, very difficult. So many book, so few readers. For every author I read who has been even moderately successful, the trick seems to have been time: Grind out story after story, book after book until someone takes notice. I'll soon have three. I guess I should get to work on four. Maybe before I get to one hundred, I'll finally make my first buck.

(For the record, as I type this, the first two books have generated exactly $54.41 since release, $49.63 in paperback and $4.78 for Kindle. [Oh, plus Ken bought me a Coke. That counts as profit.] The publisher won't cut me a check until I pass the $100 threshold. Perhaps the release of book three will put me over the top.)

If anyone thinks of anything else I might try, please tell me. In the meantime, if you've read and enjoyed my books, please tell your friends!

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[2016-04-22 1:01PM] Ken: Hey Walter. Did I wake you up? Where's that place near Keith you said had such great hamburgers?

[2016-04-22 1:07PM] Walter: No. I've been awake for at least 30 seconds now. Food is Culver's.

[2016-04-22 1:09PM] Walter: 252 S 400 Center Lane Dawsonville

[2016-04-22 2:11PM] Ken: The burgers better be good! I never expected someplace you liked so much to be a Pepsi thrall.

[2016-04-22 2:11PM] Walter: Heh. I drink the lemonade

[2016-04-22 2:14PM] Ken: Okay damn. This food is really good dude

[2016-04-22 2:14PM] Walter: Ha! A Culver's Convert! Yes!

[2016-04-22 2:15PM] Walter: I'm so green with envy right now

[2016-04-22 2:16PM 2016-04-22] Ken: That wasn't my intent but I can understand why. At least they at building one near you now

[2016-04-22 2:16PM] Walter: Go ahead and gloat, north-sider

[2016-04-22 2:17PM] Ken: Lol

[2016-04-22 2:18PM] Ken: I got a double and now I'm going back for a single

[2016-04-22 2:19PM] Walter: Just keep rubbing it in...

[2016-04-24 12:18PM] Ken:

Welcome to Delicious

[2016-04-24 12:18PM] Ken: You have turned Robin and I on to Culvers in a big way. On our way back home and couldn't help ourselves. This...is not to taunt you by the way.

[2016-04-24 2:43PM] Walter: You're dead to me.

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Coca-Cola invades America's Roller Coast. Ride on!

Mom won 4 tickets to visit Cedar Point during the 2013 season in a Coca-Cola sweepstakes. She gave the tickets to me, and I gave the tickets to a friend as a wedding present on the condition that he take me along. He decided not to use them. His loss. My friend Coop and I decided that we weren't going to let good tickets go to waste, so we jumped in the car and made a week long road trip of it.

My last two Cedar Point trips were in 2012 and 2010. My first was in 2000, before I had a blog. This trip lasted 2 days longer than that one, but because of the free tickets, I think I spent about the same. I'm not getting older. I'm getting wiser!

The Real Thing
This sign in Cartersville, Georgia, looked terrible. (But effective. We immediately stopped for a 6-pack of Coke.)

Night of the Lepus
Dublin, Ohio, is serious about public art and water fountains. Ballantrae Park has both. (Better pics and details here).

Hot enough for you?
This polar bear reflects on global warming as he spends a 90° day at the Columbus Zoo. Not an iceberg in sight!

Cleveland rocks
Why a 2-hour detour to the Hard Rock Cafe in Cleveland, Ohio? Because we didn't have anything better to do.

T-Rex is for the birds
The T-Rex at the front gate of Cedar Point is another year older and another year shittier.

New for 2013: Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper is the new ride at Cedar Point for 2013. It gets its name because the track goes over the ticket booth.

Also new for 2013: Coca-Cola
Gatekeeper steals the headlines, but the important change in 2013 is that you can now get a Coke at Cedar Point! Whoo-hoo!

That's just the first 3 days. More to come.

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Yesterday I attended James' birthday at Medieval Times. I look so happy to be there.

Walter goes to a birthday party.

While I'm showing pictures, the wedding pictures from last week came in. I look so happy to be there.

Walter goes to a wedding.

Walter only has two expressions: scowling and this, my all purpose face which I call "not scowling."

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Saturday, I attended the wedding of another "old" friend. Ken is yet another fellow who I first met via the Comic Company in about 1996 when he was self-publishing his comic, Steviebear. Eventually Ken would become my manager at the Comic Company. Together we attempted to keep the store alive the owners decided to sell their stock and property, but that never quite worked out.

Anyway, it seems like he finally found the right girl in Robin. Ken is a champion procrastinator, leaving Robin to plan everything for the wedding. (Which, honestly, is probably the way that Robin likes it. She knew what she was getting into when she decided to marry the guy.) To everyone's great surprise, that led to this:

You read about these things on the internet, but you don't think it will ever be someone you know

Yes, those are their actual wedding rings. And, yes, they do reference dialogue from the love scene in The Empire Strikes Back. I don't know if that is true love, but it certainly is something unusual.

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To be continued...

 

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