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Archive for June, 2009

So we took the new boat to the river this last weekend and Jeff’s niece and nephew came along for the trip.  The niece and nephew are 10 and 12 years old so they are at the stage of thinking that they’re smarter than everyone else.  So Jeff and I take the kids tubing.  Tubing is where you tow an inflatable raft behind a boat at about 30 MPH.  The raft seats three people and has handles to hold onto during rough conditions.  Tubing has two purposes… 1) To the rafter -To hold on and have a good time.  2) To the Driver – To make the rafters lose their grip and fall into the water.

So we are towing the kids up and down the river and Brandon, Jeff’s nephew is getting a little bored and starts taunting the driver of the boat.  Taunting the driver is like teasing an angry bull.  The more you taunt the more effort is made into dismounting the rafter.  So we start weaving the boat into tighter turns.  Turning the boat throws the raft outside the wake and sometimes you can occasionally lose a rafter as the tube flys over the wake.  Unfortunately the kids are holding on tight so they stay put on the raft.  Because he’s not being challenged enough, Brandon continues to taunt the driver.  We then turned the boat sharp to the left then immediately back to the right.  In the process of making this maneuver, the boat slaps back down on its hull and created a “Wall Of Water” which quickly engulfed the two kids on the small raft.   Brandon who was in the process of shouting out taunts took a mouthful of water which he spat out in a long stream.  You’d think that the “wall of water” would have loosen the grips of the kids but they continued their handholds and didn’t give us the signal that they were done.

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So we continue up the river turning tight left then tight right…  Still the kids held fast.  So we decided to switch it up a bit and make a couple of donuts (making complete circles).  We make one circle then make another.  The wake that this maneuvre created was HUGE and as we powered out of our circle, the small raft with the two kids literally launched off one of these huge wakes.  The kids and the raft flew about six feet into the air.  The look on the kids’ faces was priceless.  I have never in my life seen eyes and mouths opened so wide.  Amazingly the kids stayed on the raft even after the raft re-entered earth’s atmosphere.  The driver, spotter and I just about died laughing.

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We slowed to a stop and Brandon is having the time of his life.  He can’t stop talking about how high he was.  Brittney is just about on the verge of tears, but also admidts that it was “So Cool!”.  We get back to shore and the kids make sure that everyone on the sandbar knows how high they flew.  I have both pictures and videos I just don’t have it uploaded yet.  As soon as I do I’ll give out a notice.

If you ever get a chance, you must try tubing.  Just don’t taunt the driver!

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So I spent Sunday at my parents house in Alpine celebrating father’s day.  My family’s estate is beautifully adorned with koi ponds, gardens, flowers, wisteria and quite a variety of other plant life.   While my own home is still in its renovation phase, I like gathering the seeds that are popping up at my parents house.  My mom’s wisteria has sprouted hundreds of pea pods and half are just about ready to pop open with wisteria seeds.  I absolutely LOVE wisteria so I decide that I’m going to pull off of couple of pods and bring them home for my own garden.  I pull off one pod, then I reach for the second.  Suddenly just as I’m reaching for the second pod, I see something that doesn’t belong in a wisteria vine..

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The vine that I’m just about to grab is actually a four foot long California King Snake.  He’s halfwalf curled up in a bird’s nest that was also entangled in the wisteria vines.  Now I’m not particularly scared of snakes, it’s just that a snake was the last thing I was thinking about grabbing.  So I quickly grabbed my phone and took some pictures and two quick videos.

It was actually really cool since it had been a long time since I had last seen a wild snake.  Check out the videos below…

So my slithery little friend slinked away down the vine and into the bush at the base of an old oak tree.

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Backfired!

I will happily admit that I’m a prankster.   And I love thinking of new and fun ways to get a laugh out of people.  Especially to people with no sense of humor.  I will actually spend hours hashing out a good prank plan then make a laundry list of supplies that I’d need to pull off the operation successfully.

So I decided to pull a prank on the warehouse manager.  While this manager was busy in a meeting I went out into the parking lot and attached several aluminum cans tied to twine to his bumper.  I then slyly tucked the cans up into the inside of the bumper so that he would not see the cans when went to leave for the day.  So the end of the day comes around and the receptionist (who assisted in this prank) and I are talking in the parking lot.  I get into my car and roll down the window so I can continue talking.  We wait for the warehouse manager to come out.  He comes out and gets into his car, but he’s not driving away.  We wait a couple of minutes but still he doesn’t move from his parking spot.  I’m dying to hear the cans drop as he pulls away – but HE’S NOT MOVING!!  By this time I’m getting frustrated and I gesture to the receptionist “What the Hell?!”  Then it happens… I hear a can drop.  I quickly look at the warehouse manager’s car… No can behind bumper… Hmmm   But then it registers… the dropping can sound is too close to be one of the cans attached to the warehouse manager’s car.  BASTARD!!!

He is laughing uncontrollably as I get out of my car and inspect my bumper which I find has all the cans attached to it and all but one hidden up inside!!!  The receptionist is just about peeing in her pants and tears are streaming down her face.  Apparently one of the warehouse workers who was eating his lunch in his car had seen the receptionist and I attaching the cans to the manager’s car and had snitched on us.  Sometime during the day the manager had then removed the cans from his own car and promptly reattached them to my own!

That should have been the end of my prankster days…  But in actuality it started a prank war!!

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Ghost Moose

My posts are usually on the humorous side, so I decided to switch it up and make the hairs on your neck stand up…

For those of you who don’t know this story…  Moose, my beloved doberman died of cancer back in October of 2008.  He was only five years old so when he came down with cancer I was devastated.  I was at Lorretta Lynns Racetrack when I received the grim word from Moose’s vet.  There was nothing that could be done as the cancer had already spread to several other major organs.  We decided that we would let Moose tell us when he was ready to go.  A week later the sparkle in Moose’s eye was gone and he barely moved from where he slept.  We made the tough decision to let him go peacefully and without pain.  He died in our arms at the vet’s office.  It was the saddest most painful day of my entire life.

Because Moose was my child and because I could not bear to have him buried with other dogs or creamated with other dogs, I decided that I would have Moose creamated by himself so that we could have his ashes.  Well it took a couple of weeks but finally Moose came back in a small wooden cedar box labelled “Moose”.  He was placed on the mantel in the living room along with his collar.  That night the visiting began.

Our roommate woke up at about three in the morning to the sound of ringing bells.  Now understand that had I trained Moose to ring these jingle bells when he wanted out.  So the bells are ringing in the living room and our roommate is freaking out because he doesn’t believe in ghosts and he cannot explain what is happening.  Another night goes by and nothing.  Perhaps this was just in our imagination.   The following night, we hear the clicking of Moose’s nails on the hardwood floor walking up and down the hallway.  Over the weekend, we have two guests over who are sleeping in the living room on the pullout couch.  The next morning, we asked the guest how they slept and the guests tell us that the bells were ringing all night and that they couldn’t sleep.  Both myself and my roommate went completely white as it proved it wasn’t just us hearing the bells and wasn’t a figment of our imagination.

So J is home working in the office when he hears the bells ringing in the living room.  He walks out and the bells are swinging from their loop.  Indy Bear (our roommate’s dog) was alseep in the office and the door the bells are attached to is closed.  So J walks over to Moose’s ash box and tells him that nobody can replace the Moose and that we’ll always love him no matter how much time passes.

Moose hasn’t made any kind of appearance since that day.

Make your own conclusion, but it comforts me to think that Moose came back to us, if only for just a little while.

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Moose

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Managers.  Managers are important people.  Managers have many tasks to perform on a daily basis.  Managers have bold and capitalized titles on their business cards.  Managers have tough decisions to make.  Managers in a nutshell are Gods!  and I AM A MANAGER!

As a manager, I occasionally have to make decisions which affect the direction that the corporation with take.  Usually these decisions require extensive research on the positive or negative consequences that either decision will bring about.  Will the decision cost us more money in the long run?  Will the decision bring an influx of sales to a particular region?  Regardless, information and education is required to make the decision.  Which is why I cannot explain why I used the Magic 8 Ball to make an important business decision…

Yes, I actually own a Magic 8 Ball.  And yes, it sits on the corner of my desk.

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Could this decision to utilize the Magic 8 Ball have cost the corporation more money?  “Signs Point to No”
Was it the right decision? “You May Rely On It”
Have I just found the most effective method of running an organization? “Without A Doubt”

It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  Knowing that this little ball of blue liquid and its mystical magic die hold the keys to a prosperous and profitable future for this corporation.  Gone are the requirements for extensive data.  Gone are the worries associated with a bad decision because  I realize now there is no such thing as a bad decision, its just simply wasn’t meant to be.

My Magic 8 Ball knows and sees all and because it’s so reliable, I reference its knowledge on a daily basis.  Sales are up, our market share is up, profits are up.

So, will I be getting a raise as a result of the important decisions that I’ve made by using the Magic 8 Ball?   “My Sources Say No”     Damn…

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Published At Last!!

I’m in a state of ECSTASY as I write this!  Why you ask?  Because I’m published!!  A company called MotorcycleUSA.com is not only using my images from the AMA Pro Motocross Championship races that I attend but they are also publishing a column that I write about the WMA (Woman’s Motocross Association)!

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/558/3611/Motorcycle-Article/WMA-Nationals-Hangtown-Results.aspx

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/558/3577/Motorcycle-Article/WMA-Nationals-Glen-Helen-Results.aspx

I cannot tell you how excited I am!  You can see some of my images in the WMA Slideshow and in the Motocross SlideShow.  My pictures are shown along side renown Motocross photographer Steve Giberson!!

I never realized how difficult it is to take action shots of the riders while trying paying attention to what’s actually going on in the race so that I know what to write about.  My first column at Glen Helen I think showed this.  However I managed to better keep track of what was going on in Hangtown.  Practice makes perfect!

Here are some pictures I took from the event…

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Next event?  Mt Morris PA… Maybe?

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