Showing 1 - 10 of 197 posts found matching keyword: friends
Saturday 23 December 2023
Week one of this college football season, I told friend Randy that we should go the National Championship Game if his team, Florida State, ended up playing mine, Georgia. Well, we got half of that.
Randy didn't want to spend the time or money it would take to get us to the Orange Bowl (which is understandable since he's dealing with family medical issues), so we compromised instead on the Camellia Bowl played in the Cramton Bowl stadium in Montgomery, Alabama, where we saw the Northern Illinois University Huskies defeat the Arkansas State Red Wolves 21-19.
Maybe it didn't have the weight of an SEC vs ACC contest, but I can't argue with the price or location. We even had great seats. Well, pretty good seats, anyway. The banner in front of us did block our view of the near sideline, as you can see in this screenshot of us from the ESPN broadcast. I have helpfully illustrated the best looking Georgia fan in the stadium.
Last year in Birmingham, we were very cold in the evening air. This year, we were very warm in the midday sun. As much as I dislike the cold, I also dislike noon kickoffs that require 9AM departures. Maybe next year the time and temperature will be just right.
Highlights of the experience include the Arkansas State crowd booing when the PA announcer suggested everyone should get COVID boosters, Randy's calling a fake field goal prior to the snap (by the position of the kicker), and Randy's recognition that the late game onside kick attempt was doomed to failure (by the position of the kicker). That Randy sure knows his kicking game.
Speaking of kicking, Randy also had a lot to say about the Camellia Bowl Queen who played football on her high school football team. Her position? Kicker.
I'm glad we went, and I already wonder where we'll go next year.
Saturday 11 November 2023
Last week, knowing that Mom would be busy tending to her wounded beau, I sent a message to my standing group text with my friends looking for someone to accompany me to tonight's 7PM football game between #2 UGA and #9 Mississippi. They ignored me.
To add insult to injury, my so-called "friends" were unsympathetic the following day when I complained about people who put up and decorate Christmas trees the first week in November. Are they really my friends if they hate live football and think Christmas should be celebrated before Thanksgiving? I say no.
So I did what any sane person would do: I deleted the group text chain from my phone and went to the game by myself.
Sure, it was cold and drizzly, but I still had a great time (and a hand warmer), mostly because the Bulldogs were totally dominant (and because Mom wasn't there to talk me out of bringing a hand warmer to the game). The seniors were celebrated; the veterans were celebrated; the SEC Champion soccer team was celebrated.... After halftime, it was pretty much all celebration inside the 9th largest football stadium in the world. These are good times to be a Bulldogs fan.
There are still two games remaining on the season, but this was the last home game of the year, an unusually early ending to a (mostly lousy) home schedule. Looking back at the four I attended, Kentucky was the most fun, but this was an easy second place. The question is whether I will be back next year.
It is getting very hard to find people to go to the games with me, especially since I have fewer friends than I thought I did. (Christmas tree-hugging bastards!) So spending thousands on a couple of tickets I can't (and don't want to) always use is starting to seem like a bad use of my money.
I'll see how I feel when the bill comes due in February.
In the meantime, do as Miss Manners advises and "finish your turkey before putting up Christmas." Assholes.
Thursday 2 November 2023
The day before Halloween, my mother's boyfriend fell out of a deer stand. He would insist I call it a "deer lodge," but you probably don't know what that is, and I don't want you thinking that it was anything like an Elk Lodge. There's one of those down the street, and I can attest that they are comparatively painless to fall out of.
The "lodge" was 20 feet up in a tree, and he broke both shoulder blades, six ribs, eight vertebrae, and his pelvis. He's alive and expected to recover, but that's still a lot of hurt. He's a pretty smart guy, a former Eagle Scout, with plenty of experience in deer "lodges," so it's surprising that something like this would happen to him.
I told this to friend Randy, and he said, and I quote, "Your blog must be getting to them for them to strike so close to home."
As usual, Randy's right.
I suspect Mom's boyfriend has spent his last night in a deer "lodge," but that doesn't mean that you've won, deer. The war is not over. This attack against my friends and family will be avenged!
Wednesday 18 October 2023
My aging computer, which I use 8 or more hours a day, has been showing signs of senility lately, so last Sunday I decided to buy a replacement. Specifically, I decided to buy a Razer, as that's what was available on sale at BestBuy.com with the specs that friend (and boss) James recommended. Before going through a shopping cart, I did a little research and discovered that Razer.com had an even better price on their own product. So I decided to order directly from the manufacturer instead. That proved to be a mistake.
No sooner had I completed their checkout process than Razer promptly sent me an email to notify me that the transaction had been "unsuccessful" and urged me to get in touch with their customer service, which I did immediately via chat. The representative told me they would "forward a support ticket to the relevant team" to verify me as a legitimate buyer so that my purchase would be processed by their system "automatically." Except it didn't.
On Monday, I got another email, telling me that the whole problem was my credit card processor. They said I needed a payment authorization code to clear up the problem, so I called my bank. Turns out the bank's AI was naturally suspicious of such a large purchase of nearly $3,000 — don't judge me — and killed the transaction. Fine. It happens. In fact, I appreciate the caution. Except they could not give me an authorization code because no payment had actually ever been authorized. They said I'd need the merchant to run the transaction again.
I told Razer this, and they said they couldn't run a charge against the original order; I would have to just place a whole new order. One small catch: between Sunday night and Monday morning, Razer raised the price of the machine by more than 13%. Since I was only shopping from them because they had been cheaper than Best Buy, I asked their customer service to honor Sunday's price. They declined. I explained that in that case, there was no longer any incentive for me to buy from Razer.com... and they followed up by politely suggesting that I "explore authorized Razer resellers, where you might find attractive deals and promotions."
In hindsight, perhaps I should have expected that. The Sunday representative ended our chat by telling me that "right after you end the chat, you might receive a survey for you to provide us with feedback. The survey is all about ME as your assistance buddy as how I tried my best to assist you today, and not with Razer services" (emphasis mine). Hint, hint, Walter.
Anyway. This is all just a longwinded way of explaining why I will not be buying a Razer computer from any Razer reseller, authorized or otherwise. If they don't want me to buy their product, I'm more than happy to oblige.
Saturday 5 August 2023
58/2224. Flaxy Martin (1949)
The title character is not the protagonist but the femme fatale, the reason the protagonist runs afoul of the law in this compilation of crime noir cliches. I watch enough of these that I must like crime noir cliches.
61/2227. I, Tonya (2017)
It's weird, getting old and seeing movies made of historical events that you remember living through. This very comedic interpretation of the scandalous events of 1994 leans heavily in Tonya Harding's favor, but even when she's on her best behavior, the movie is populated entirely by some of the worst people behaving badly, so it's hard to feel too charitable.
62/2228. 1917 (2019)
Friend James told me this was a great film, and I didn't take him seriously enough. It really is amazingly well crafted and, yes, beautiful in its depictions of the horrors of the Great War. Honestly, it's a masterpiece.
63/2229. Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt) (2020)
On the other end of the movie making spectrum is this much, much smaller fantasy coming of age film with a budget so small you'd lose it in the laundry. Sucker that I am for coming-of-age films, I still enjoyed it very much. (It's kind of nice to be reminded that as fraught as teenage hormones and relationships are, they aren't a literal war.)
64/2230. Storm Warning (1950)
Ronald Reagan is a crusading prosecutor driven to rid his town of the Ku Klux Klan! The film hints at an underlying connection between the racist Klan and the manipulative forces of industry, but that's subtle enough not to get in the way of the crime thriller. Pretty darn good.
65/2231. Don Juan (1926)
Credited as being the first movie with synchronized sound, it doesn't really capitalize on the innovation. It's mostly just another swashbuckling adventure film of its era with sword sound effects reliably clanging on cue.
More to come.
Monday 24 April 2023
I know my loyal readers probably couldn't sleep at night until they got an update to my April 12th post RE: Walter's hunt for a new cap, so here it is.
I still haven't found one.
After that first Nike hat turned up too large, I ordered another in the next size down. It was, perhaps not too surprisingly, also much too large. Oh, well. If I can ever make it to the post office before 5PM, I'll be shipping that one off to Friend Ken, who agreed to take it off my hands even if he doesn't know if it'll fit him. May you have more luck with it than I had, good sir.
Figuring that no matter what size Nike hat I ordered, they were all going to be too large — Nike sells style over substance, so it figures all their hats are designed to fall off outfielders catching routine fly balls — I decided to next order from the Official University of Georgia Bookstore a '47 brand hat that looks darn close to my previous one-size-fits-all cap. The bookstore's website took my money, then their employees emailed to inform me the hat was permanently out of stock. One of these days, they'll get around to refunding me, they promise!
Undeterred, I went to the '47 website where I discovered that they don't carry the hat anymore, either. But they do carry a different red Uga hat that might be acceptable, so I ordered that one... for $15 more than I paid for the hat I didn't get from the bookstore. Fingers crossed.
By my count, I've now spent over $170 on a baseball cap I don't yet have. The difference between obsession and stupidity is a very fine line.
Saturday 15 April 2023
I woke up early (1PM!) to have lunch with my libertarian friend Matt, and the one thing we could agree on is that "compromise" is the dirtiest word in America.
(Actually we agree on two things: I am an asshole.)
Good to see you, Matt!
Saturday 18 March 2023
EPISODE FOUR: SURVIVAL, PART THREE
Quig stepped over the corpse of the boarding craft captain as he made his way to the craft's command console. The boarding craft had pierced the hull of the Chutoi's storage bay, and only its specialized atmospheric shield projectors were keeping everyone from being blown out into the vacuum of space. Quig admired its control panel; it was an impressive bit of engineering.
"They put up less of a fight than I expected," said Striker One from the storage bay as he wiped the blood from his hands with a tunic he had torn off one of the dead slavers.
"That's because they keep underestimating us," said Sahara.
"I don't know about that," said Cobryn. The pilot leaned against the bulkhead as he held an emergency medpack against the laser wound in his thigh. "They estimated where I was pretty accurately."
"You know what I mean."
Striker One said, "Just because we beat one boarding party doesn't mean we're safe yet. Or have you forgotten that our engine is dead, our life support is failing, and there are still two warships out there filled with slavers and gun runners who hate us?"
"I haven't forgotten."
"Then what's our next move?"
Sahara shrugged. "I'm open to suggestions."
"I have one," Quig called back to his comrades. "Piercing our hull didn't damage this boarding craft at all. It looks like we could use it to return to its mother ship."
Cobryn didn't look pleased. "Are you crazy? The Fenris is full of slavers!"
"Exactly. They're slavers. They're expecting their craft back with slaves in it," said Quig. "Only, if we're not slaves, we'd have the element of surprise in an ambush."
"I like it," said Sahara. "Let's take the fight to them."
Striker One asked, "What about Bronson? He's still on the Fenris. Do we think we can overpower him?"
Quig smiled. "I have a plan for that. You see, according to the craft's log, this is just one type of boarding craft the Fenris carries."
He turned on the boarding craft's tight-beam communication array. "Boarding craft Hound's Tooth calling Fenris. We could use some help here. Can you send Bronson over?"
"I don't think that is wise," said Striker One.
The radio crackled to life. "I was hoping you'd ask. I'm on my way, Hound's Tooth."
"You are crazy," said Cobryn.
Quig snapped the radio off. "The Fenris's other boarding pods are one-way trips. Bronson will be expecting to fly back in this." He hopped off the pilot's seat. "If you can manage to fly this thing with one leg, Cobryn, I suggest you get ready. We're not going to have a lot of time after I start the overload on the Chutoi's power core."
"I think Quig is my kind of crazy," said Sahara as she and Striker One began helping Cobryn into the boarding craft.
It was almost a shame to blow up such a nice ship, Quig considered as he hustled down the corridor to the Chutoi engine room. But all things came to an end. So long as it wasn't his end, Quig could live with that.
Sunday 26 February 2023
EPISODE FOUR: SURVIVAL, PART TWO
Cobryn knew he was a great pilot. All pilots thought that of themselves, of course, but Cobryn knew that he really was. He could have flown for one of the galaxy-wide conglomerates if not for all the red tape that came with those types of jobs. Filing debriefs and sitting through human resources cross-species dating seminars didn't have anything to do with flying. Sure, those jobs came with great health benefits, but they were boring. Cobryn just wanted to fly.
Although, right now, the prospect of health insurance seemed pretty enticing.
"Dammit, I need more speed," Cobryn urged.
Quig barked a laugh as his tiny clawed fingers danced over the bridge's engineering console. "The power core has taken so much damage it's a miracle I've still got life support working. This is as fast as you're going to get."
It wasn't fast enough. The Chutoi shuddered as another another energy blast slammed into her hull.
Cobryn looked at the many, many warning lights blinking across the pilot console. It was almost hypnotizing. Minimal thrust, pitch and yaw control... he might as well be flying a rock.
"There go the last of our shields," Sahara complained. "I'm open to ideas here. Anyone got anything?"
"We've done considerable damage to the Garbools' flagship," said Striker. "More than I would have anticipated, honestly. However, the three Wolf Pack vessels have us surrounded and are closing the net. If we cannot outfly them—"
"I'm doing my best," Cobryn snapped. What he didn't say, what he knew everyone else already knew, was that his best wasn't going to be good enough.
The radio crackled to life. "Crew of the Chutoi, this is the Wolf Pack Fenris, Bronson speaking."
"I really hate that guy," mumbled Striker.
Bronson continued, "Don't worry; we're not going to shoot you out of the sky. I want you alive. I intend to make you my personal slaves."
"Death first!" shouted Sahara.
"He can't hear you," said Quig. "The microphones lost power minutes ago."
"Is slavery really the worst option right now?" Cobryn asked. "Death seems so... final."
Again, the Chutoi shuddered as the Fenris's gravity beam seized her. This proved to be the last straw for the power core. Its insulators shorted out, and the core's remaining energy was discharged as electrical feedback through the ship's systems delivering a nasty, numbing shock to Cobryn's hands.
"I suggest we prepare to be boarded," said Striker.
Cobryn rubbed his pained hands. Yes, he sure could go for some of that corporate health care.
Monday 6 February 2023
EPISODE FOUR: SURVIVAL, PART ONE
Sahara leaned back on the bench and allowed herself a moment of self-satisfaction. Haze was pleased with their successful raid against the Wolf Pack slavers, and despite herself, she was pleased he was pleased.
Haze's computer-modulated voice continued from the speaker. "The remaining members of the Wolf Pack assumed the attack came from the Garbools and destroyed their primary weapons factory in revenge. And just like that, the once unassailable Three Families have been brought to their knees. There is only one more thing to be done...."
Sahara frowned at the sudden silence. "Did we lose the connection?"
"Not on our end," Quig answered from his seat beside the communicator. "The line is still open. Haze just stopped talking."
"Mid-sentence? That's not like him at all," said Striker. "His communiques always sound almost as though he is reading from a script."
"I've got a bad feeling about this," said Cobryn.
So did Sahara.
Haze returned. "I'm detecting ships tracking to your location. They appear to be.... Yes. It's the Families: Wolf Pack and Garbool ships. They must have tracked you somehow. They'll be at your headquarters within minutes. You must get out of there. Now!"
"This is very, very bad!" said Cobryn. "The Chutoi is no match for Three Families fighters."
In his irritatingly calm manner, Striker asked. "Should we stay here? The bunker is protected from direct bombardment."
Sahara started gathering her gear. "The bunker might be, but the Chutoi isn't. Haze is right. If we don't get out of here quickly, we're sitting ducks waiting for the Families to overrun us."
"Where are we going to go?" asked Quig, as he packed his drone.
"We'll worry about that when we're airborne."
The truth of the matter was that Cobryn was right: the Chutoi was a transport, not a fighter. It was slow and weak. If they were forced into a direct confrontation, they might as well be flying a coffin.
But as Sahara and the others hustled to the landing pad, she couldn't shake the feeling that Haze knew more than he had said. If everything had gone so well and the Families were really on their heels, why were the Wolf Pack and Garbools working together again? How had they found the bunker safehouse? And what was Haze's last task?
If by some miracle she survived this, she'd be sure to ask him face to face.