The M&Ms Tournament of Champions

From back in August. Another example of the shit I come up with to keep my mind occupied…

Back in July, I started walking to get some exercise when I found out I could download Google Fit on my phone and keep track of the steps I took. I made a discovery:
I barely move all day.

No shocker there. My job requires me to sit and watch monitors all day. So, I started walking around my apartment building’s parking lot when I got home from work. I soon found out it doesn’t take long to do the amount of activity Google and the American Heart Association have determined to be a healthy amount of activity. I go by Heart Points, which are one point per minute of activity in which I take one hundred steps or more. That’s not much. In fact, I did that rate back in high school marching band. I often play the old fight song in my head because the tempo was 120 beats per minute.

I decided to walk in the Metro Parks today. I had the day off and nothing else to do until my kid’s band camp let out, and the walk around the parking lot was getting boring.  The park also has a nice paved all-purpose trail for bikes and walkers. Tons of trees for shade, and plenty of animals. I saw deer, which is not unusual in the suburbs, but one of them was a six-point buck. He just watched me walk by, and I imagined he was Herne the Hunter, blessing me and my travels in nature…

And that’s how we get to the M&Ms™. Awareness of my surroundings isn’t very difficult, so my imagination takes over. Continue reading



A short rant from my personal journal, December 31, 2017, edited to resemble English.

My brother gave me “The Whisky Enthusiast” sample box for Christmas. The box contains a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red scotch, Crown Royal Canadian whisky, and Bulleit bourbon. I poured myself a little drink before I started journaling today. I didn’t want to open the Crown, and my hands were too dry to get the scotch open, so, I went with the bourbon.

I read a couple of websites about Scotch and bourbon, mostly about how to drink it. To be honest, the most I’ve ever done with whisky is shots, and those went so fast, I never learned to appreciate the flavor. If there was any.  All I knew was the burn. So, bourbon it was.


I knew “neat” meant straight, room temperature, and “on the rocks” meant over ice. On the rocks didn’t seem like a clever idea if I wanted to try to find the flavor, with all that ice melting. Then I read about adding a little water. Enthusiasts seem to like this preparation, at least on the 2 websites I read, so I decided to give it a try. From what I understand, the water helps reduce some unwanted flavors that can come with wood aged liquors and enhances wanted flavors. Apparently, I’m an enthusiast, at least according to the box, so I put a little water in a rocks glass, and 2 fingers of the Bulleit bourbon.

I like the idea fingers, plenty of opportunities for humor with the finger concept. Of course, it depends on the audience. If a dude asks for 2 fingers, I can just flip him a double bird. Lots of laughs. “I’m telling you, Jerry, it’s the best Jerry, the best!” Have I mentioned ever mentioned I like Seinfeld?

So far, I’ve only had a few sips. My tongue and belly have a nice warmth going on. I probably still have half of the to drink to go. Where was I?  Ah, yes.

Fingers. Some good comedy potential if other dudes are involved, but comedy goes out the window in the ladies are involved, although there is still a lot of potential. ” May offer you 2 fingers?” and hold the bottle up for her to see. I’m no expert, but, I think you’ll know right away if the conversation is worth pursuing after that move. Of course, you could get slapped. At least you tried.

It’s the 21st century — no reason the woman can’t be the pursuer. “You gotta couple of fingers for thirst girl?” Give her a quick once over, and you either grab the bottle, or flip her a bird. At least she doesn’t have to worry about being slapped. Yeah, that’s wrong. Chances are you’ll be grabbing a bottle. No flipping or slapping, unless you’re a douche. And if you are a douche, chances are people know it already, and you don’t have to worry about making decisions about buying a girl a drink or flipping her off.

I think I just found some of the attitude and general outlook on life for one of my characters.

Nicotine Patches

I’ve stuck to a resolution pretty well so far.

I haven’t had a cigarette since January 1st.  I tried quitting last Fall, but just doing it out of the blue didn’t seem to work too well for me.  Guess I needed a place holder, or a landmark, or a milestone to start.  Why not New Year’s Day?

So there it is, no smokes since  4 AM, New Year’s Day.  I saved my last two for that morning.  I had to get up and go to work, so I stuck to my usual morning ritual.  I got up, had some breakfast while reading email and Facebook, then grabbed a smoke before the bathroom.  I had my last smoke after the bathroom, then took a shower.  The patches tend to stick better when you’re freshly showered. And use regular soap on the area you’re going to stick the patch.  Shower gels and other such products leave a residue of moisturizers that interfere with the patch sticking.  And plan on putting the patch on a different area every day.  They may look like bandages, but they are delivering chemicals that are absorbed through your skin.  When I take a patch off at night, the area of skin where I placed it looks sunburned.  The directions even say to use a different area every day.  I tend to alternate between shoulders.

And ya, read the directions.

I take mine off at night.  They can be used twenty-four hours, but, that must be for really heavy smokers.  I’ve forgotten and left a patch on when going to bed.  That didn’t end well.  I tossed and turned a lot.  I also had very vivid dreams when I did fall asleep.  I’ve been woken up by dreams before, but I would instantly forget them.  No such luck if I left a patch on.  I will wake up startled and not be able to forget what the dream was about.  The worst was a couple of nights ago.  I woke up, trying to save myself from a situation.  I figured out how to solve it and slipped back into the dream, only to presented with another problem after my solution.  I slipped back out of the dream and repeated the cycle.  I’m still not sure if I actually woke up, or if it was just one continuing dream.  The patches can fuck with your head like that.

Take the patch off before going to bed.  I actually try to remember to take mine off 30 minutes to an hour before bed, just to be sure.  Throw them away where pets or kids can’t get to them, there’s still a lot of chemicals on the patch.  On your skin, too, still being absorbed.

I’ve used the gum on a couple of occasions.  The gum helps with a strong craving set off by a trigger.  My trigger is usually spicy food.  In a related story, I seem to be craving chocolate more since quitting.  Must be something to do with brain chemistry.

Back to the gum.  The gum can be effective, but it tastes like crap.  Imagine keeping a hard candy mint in your back pocket.  All month.  Then shitting yourself before trying the mint.  That’s the gum in a nutshell.  I remember the first piece felt like fiberglass insulation in my mouth, but that sensation seems to have receded after more uses.

I started Step 3 today, the 7 mg patch.  I started with 21 mg on January first, and went to 14 mg at the beginning of February.  I think the multiples of 7 subconsciously appeal to the Math major in me.

The Top Ten Other Names The Lake Erie Monsters Were Considering Before Becoming The Cleveland Monsters


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The 2015 Calder Cup Champion Lake Erie Monsters are now the Cleveland Monsters.  I don’t like it.  In a sport as superstitious as hockey, how do you change your name when there are players who probably haven’t changed their socks since winning the cup?

“Lake Erie” is a name the entire area can get behind.  Think of the Texas Rangers or the New England Patriots.  Sure, everyone is behind the Browns, the Cavaliers, and the Indians, because we are the greatest fans on the planet, but, changing from “Lake Erie” to “Cleveland” takes away some of that recognition.  The team goes from belonging to the North Coast, to another Cleveland team, largely supported by the suburbs. Continue reading