Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Antenna ball and I are VERY happy to be in colder weather. Even with one eye, just look at how thrilled he is with his ice build-up.

As for me; I think Canada might just be my true Motherland.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Down With O.P.P.

They have police for that kind of thing??? Man, I could have used one of those back in the day. What do they do when they catch the offending bastard who was down with O.P.P.?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Town That Big Tobacco Built

The outline of the Richmond, Virginia skyline, home of the largest drug dealer tobacco company in the world, Philip Morris.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

It's Nowhere Near Mexico, Y'all

Recently we visited South Of The Border in Dillon, South Carolina. Click here to see more about this historic roadside attraction.




There is also an amusement park; visit Pedroland Park with the click of a mouse!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Trivia From The First Tsar Of Russia

I saw this on someone else's blog and thought it was funny and unique. Plus, I didn't really have anything to post today, so here you go:

Ten Top Trivia Tips about The Daily Rant!

  1. Lightning strikes The Daily Rant over seven times every hour.
  2. There are 336 dimples on The Daily Rant.
  3. The Daily Rant is the only king without a moustache on the standard pack of cards.
  4. The Daily Rant will often rub up against people to lay her scent and mark her territory!
  5. The Daily Rant has only one weakness - the colour yellow.
  6. Abraham Lincoln, who invented The Daily Rant, was the only US president ever granted a patent.
  7. The Daily Rantocracy is government by The Daily Rant.
  8. You should always open The Daily Rant at least an hour before drinking her!
  9. The Daily Rant was the first Tsar of Russia.
  10. More people are killed by The Daily Rant each year than die in aeroplane accidents.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cinema Stupido

What is it with guys and their movie choices? In my experience, they always list at least ONE of these stupid movies as their favorites:

1. Caddyshack

2. The Matrix or anything associated with The Matrix

3. The Big Lebowski

4. Porky's

5. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

6. Anything with John Candy, Chevy Chase, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Vin Diesel or Arnold (I keep hoping he will never "be back")

7. Anything Monty Python

8. Dumb and Dumber

9. The Evil Dead series

10. Anything Jurassic or Star Wars

And just as a side note: Why is it that men can't wash their face, shave or brush their teeth without getting water ALL over the sink, countertop and mirror???

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hail To The McGriddle Gods

Who? That's what I want to know.

WHO is the genius behind the McGriddle?

Sausage, egg and cheese sandwiched between two FAT little syrup infused pancakes??

Brilliant.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tequila Sunrise

We're still hanging in St. Augustine at company headquarters and have been doing nothing but sleeping, shopping and socializing. Every night since we got here last week, we've been involved in marathon Scrabble games and oddly enough, it's been a blast!

Ed typically wins every game (well, except for the one stroke of luck I had last night where I beat him by over 100 points!), which baffles me every time. He's not so much a wordsmith as he is a strategist. He eyes the board like a chess player; planning moves that will cripple his opponents while at the same time, rendering himself a high score.

The game started with just Ed and I burning up the board, but the past three nights we've drawn a crowd and several other people wanted to get in on the fun. As a result, we've been up until well past five in the morning, every night.

Tonight in one of our games, I had the ultimate coup de theatre; I made a word using all seven of my letters, giving me fifty points in addition to the sixteen my word garnered, pulling me out of my slump and getting me so far ahead of the pack, there was no winning for any of them.

My winning word, T-E-Q-U-I-L-A-S, can be seen at the top of the board.

This Scrabble marathon officially ended at 6:30 this morning when our newest player laid his last tile. Now it's time to catch a few hours sleep before we start all over again tomorrow. The Scrabble Fest will come to an end on Friday, after the company function is over and we all go back to work. We are heading to Canada next but won't soon forget the time we spent playing Scrabble 'till the wee hours of the morning in:

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Southern Family Tree

Eddie has a brother-in-law named Bubba. Last night while watching TV, an actor came on the screen and I said to Ed, "He looks like Bubba."

After another second, sort of to myself but still out loud, I said, "I never thought I'd know someone named Bubba."

And then to myself I thought, I can't believe the name 'Bubba' just came out of my mouth.

I guess that's a result of dating someone from the South.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A.D.I.D.A.S.

Greeting from sunny St. Augustine, Florida! Eddie and I spent the day at the outlet malls, shopping like drunken sailors on holiday. After lunch and a full day at the mall, we were finally ready to call it a day.

I got a great new pair of sunglasses and we also picked up t-shirts, sweats, jeans and a new pair of running shoes for Eddie; Adidas.

On our way into the mall when we saw the Adidas sign, several times while we were shopping and once again on our way out, Eddie said, "All Day I Dream About Sex", while looking over at me and cracking a cheesy grin.

A.D.I.D.A.S = All Day I Dream About Sex

The only thing that came to my mind was, This is what it must feel like to go shopping with a fifth grader.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jawl Spake Anglesh??

Yesterday while having lunch with Eddie, I noticed we were sitting next to some foreigners. As I usually do when I hear an accent, I tuned my ear in a little sharper so I could hear what they were saying.

That's one of the many things I love about being on the road; I often come across people from other parts of the world. I find other languages very interesting and when I hear a foreign tongue, I usually try to listen closer and see if I can guess where they're from. This was also true of this group, but for the life of me, I couldn't make out one word they said. Not one.

So I really made a point to listen closer, even looking over at them thinking if I focused on their mouths, I'd catch something in the coversation. Imagine my surprise when I realized they weren't speaking another language at all, they were speaking English!!!

I finally heard one guy in the group say something like, "Ah weynt to mah howse aynd trayhed to fihnd mah wihf but shay wuz owtsihd faydin' the chickens in the yard whiyl ah wuz insihd yaylin' mah fool haid off."

I must have looked puzzled because Ed was looking at me funny and said, "What?"

I said, "Oh, nothing. I just thought those people were from another country. I couldn't understand anything they said."

It only took me a minute to realize why it all sounded so alien to me.

We were in Georgia.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The King Of The Flying Salmon

Yesterday, I was reading an article in LandLine magazine about this Alaska Airlines Boeing 737, 400 passenger jet, that was painted with a 120-foot-long giant king salmon across its entire length. It was done with a $500,000 government grant to the Alaska Fisheries Martketing Board to help promote the state's fishing industry.

It took a team of 30 painters and airbrush artists a total of 24 days to complete the massive mural, using 140 gallons of paint. They have affectionately named the jet the "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon."

See detailed pictures and read more about it on the
Alaska Airlines website.

I guess if you miss this flight, it would definitely be considered the one that got away.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Turning One Million

Today, our odometer turned One Million. Happy Birthday, Odometer. Oh wait, it's not a million years old, but it has gone one million miles! Yes, that's right folks, one MILLION miles on the 'ol Freightliner and it runs like a spring chicken.

Why do you think the car manufacturers don't make a vehicle that can go a million miles? Hmmm? C'mon, I'm sure there is some guy out there who knows the answer to this.

Rock, care to take this one for me?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Oooohhhhhh, Jabra!

This is my new Bluetooth headset made by Jabra. He's completely wireless and sits atop my ear. Today, I got my first incoming call while wearing the headset.

The vibration was so strong, that not only did it startle me, but I actually thought a large washing machine on the spin cycle flew into the side of my head without me noticing. While my ear was enjoying itself, I fumbled to answer the call.

I didn't realize the headset vibrated when a call came in; no one told me about that feature when I purchased it. Hmmm.

From now on, I think I'll be wearing the headset in my pants. Oh, and my number is 555-555-1212. Call as often as you'd like. wink wink

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lucky One Eye

Here you can see a close up of my little Antenna Ball. You will notice that he now has only one eye, which I guess he lost somewhere along the way, and the streamers on the top of his hat are also getting a little tattered. It's only been 15 days since he joined us but he's looking pretty beat which is surprising since this is what he's made for; being exposed to high speeds and the elements.I say he's lucky to have just one eye. Because if he had two, he'd be able to see more clearly the disgusting waste of land that is New Mexico. It baffles me that they call New Mexico "The Land Of Enchantment". I looked in the dictionary and the definition of the word enchant is: to cast a spell over; bewitch; attract and delight; entrance. Here is a picture of what I'm talking about. If you are enchanted by the bleak, barren, brush covered expanse of land that is most of New Mexico, I guess you'll get what they promise. In my opinion, they should set one of those bushes on fire and let the blaze rage on uncontrolled. If we're lucky, it will take in most of New Mexico and if really powerful, the flames will also engulf Texas.

'Ol One Eye is a lot luckier than he can ever know.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

You Don't Need Makeup Or Starbucks

Almost always, when I'm getting ready to go somewhere, I put on makeup.

And almost always, when I'm doing it, Eddie says "You're beautiful just the way you are, Baby, you don't need makeup."

I always say thanks, roll my eyes and continue what I was doing, even though now I feel a little rushed.

Do guys say this because they actually think we don't need makeup or because they don't want to wait for us to put it on? And doesn't he know that even if I were trapped in a burning building awaiting rescue, I'd make sure I had lipgloss on just in case the firefighter who came to get me was, for lack of a better descriptive word for my fireman rescue fantasy, HOT?

The other thing I've noticed lately, is Ed's desire to wean me of my Starbuck's habit. It's not a bad one, but every once in a while, I reaaallllly want one.

He usually says, "Why can't you just drink the coffee we have in the truck and put a lot of milk in it?"

What????? Doesn't he know it's not the same? They steam and froth and flavor and dollop. We can't dollop in the truck.

In fact, today he went as far as saying, "I'll tell you what. I'll buy a cappuccino machine for the truck, beige khaki's, a green shirt, black loafers and I'll stand behind the machine and take your order. How's that?"

I had to laugh at that image in my mind and the obvious naivete of Eddie's proposal. Does he not know that it's all about the Starbucks experience? Does he not know the complexity involved in frothing? And finally, does he not know what it takes to be a Barista?


Roll that rrrrrrrr.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Did You Check The Solenoid?


My mother had the solenoid go on her car once. Since that time, all throughout my high school years, with or without boyfriends who possessed mechanical prowess, while living across the country and years into my adult life, every time something went wrong with the car, she would ask, "Did you check the solenoid?" or "Maybe it's the solenoid" or, taken from the annals of her infinite automotive industry and mechanical knowledge, she'd confidently declare, "I'll bet it's the solenoid." To this day, when my brother and I mention anything to each other about car problems, we like to imitate my mother by asking in her voice, "Are you sure it's not the solenoid?"

Just this week, Eddie and I have been in and out of the shop because we've been having some weird voltage spike in the truck. My laptop has been flickering (annnnnnoooyyying), the printer isn't working and the headlights seemed to be on the blink. The guys at the shop took the whole engine apart, removed and replaced the valve cover, checked the alternator, checked the wiring and found nothing. They thought it was fixed, but it was not, since we were still having the same problem.

Now had my mother been there, I'm sure she would have had them check the solenoid. I mean, seriously, what else could it possibly be? Hellooooo? Did no one think to check the solenoid???

Anyway, we went to another shop who checked things over again. Seems they found a problem with the alternator that the first guy missed and had to replace it. We also replaced the batteries - all four of them. So, $1000 plus later, the truck is running like new. Yay!

At least it wasn't the solenoid. I would hate to hear my mother say, "I told you so."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pepparkakor Cat

Last night, while watching TV at my mother's house, we were having tea and Pepparkakor; Swedish Gingersnaps. They are delicate and paper thin, crispy and delicious. I put my hand in the tin to get a few more and my mother ginger snapped at me, saying "Don't have any more! I'm saving them."

When the cat jumped up and dipped her paw into the tin, following the sweet smell of ginger, my mother said to me, "I'll give you one only if you give it to the cat."

I see. Apparently, she is saving them for the cat.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Downtown Scenery And Deals

Last night we were in Downtown Las Vegas on historic Fremont Street, where it all started over 50 years ago. An area almost forgotten because of the glitzy, trendy, mobbed with people "Strip" uptown. Downtown has some nice offerings and lots of nostalgia too, just check out a few of the ten legendary casinos that line Fremont Street; Glitter Gulch, The Golden Nugget, Binion's Horseshoe, etc.
Anyone who goes downtown cannot miss being part of The Freemont Street Experience - a light show on a big screen with over 12 million lights and 550,000 watts of concert quality sound that stretches above Fremont Street from end to end. They have several different shows that run through the evening; everything from an animated alien attack to an amazing tribute to the red,white and blue. Do not miss this if you go to Vegas....it was around way before the dancing fountain show at the Bellagio.
We also got to see a little filming for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which is set in Las Vegas. In fact, Ed and I parked the truck in the same lot as the crew on this shoot. We didn't see any celebrities but we did get to see a few scene set-ups that were pretty cool. In this picture, they were filming in an alley right off of Fremont Street.
And of course, let's not forget the food. Downtown has some of the best deals in town. Buffets aside, we actually had a nice sit down meal consisting of a 12 oz. steak, baked potato and vegetable. All for $4.99!!
Of course, when you lose $200 at the craps tables, that $4.99 doesn't seem like much of a deal anymore, does it? In a place like this, in order to not get caught up in the frenzy and excitement of gambling, you really have to eat and run.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Rock, Paper, Eddie

I bought these paper coveralls for Eddie so he won't destroy his clothes when crawling around under the truck. An opportunity to wear them came today, when he had to adjust the brakes on the truck (um, very important). I was very happy that not only did he not get any grease on his clothes, but for a split second it looked as if I was dating a nuclear power plant scientist geek.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Expressly American

I saw the following "questionnaire" in an American Express ad, where celebrities fill in their answers to the following list of questions. They include a blank page at the end of the ad for anyone who wants to do the same; I thought I'd do mine here. If you'd like to do one too, cut and paste this and leave your list in comments if you'd like. I'd be interested to get to know some of the people who stop by here!

My Name: The Daily Rant

Childhood Ambition: Makeup Artist

Fondest Memory: Everything that happened in my life prior to age 11

Soundtrack: Must be a mix - R & B, Jazz, Frank Sinatra, Country and a little bit of classical thrown in for the classy factor

Retreat: Anywhere cold

Wildest Dream: To travel the world

Proudest Moment: When I make someone laugh

Biggest Challenge: People

Alarm Clock: When my bladder wakes me

Perfect Day: Sitting in a bookstore, reading magazines and sipping a latte

First Job: Bussing tables at my family restaurant

Indulgence: Expensive makeup

Last Purchase: A magazine for Eddie

Favorite Movie: Dirty Dancing, Dangerous Liasons, If Lucy Fell and Shawshank Redemption

Inspiration: My brother

My life: Exciting, ever changing, free, envied, challenging, almost perfect

My card: Credit = Bad, Cash = Good, but if my arm were twisted, American Express Platinum

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Nice Melons

Not only does Canada have pretty produce, but they provide you with a cafe in which to dine on it in. I think we could learn a thing or two from our Northern friends.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Like Day And Night In Utah

These two pictures were taken at the Flaming Gorge National Park in Dutch John, Utah...



This was taken just north of Ogden, Utah...

This one, just south of Ogden...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Seattle In Motion

Driving by the Space Needle the other night, I thought I'd try to catch a quick shot. I thought this blurry image perfectly captured the conditions that night and perhaps my mindset right now since I can't think of a damn thing to write!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Take It As It Comes

Yes, I know it's dead in the middle of winter, but I was going through some pictures tonight and I found this one of me from two summers ago when I visited the original site of Woodstock.

I'm not a big fan of Woodstock music or hippie-ism, but Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, NY where the original Woodstock festival was held, is only 30 minutes from my summer house and is a beautiful drive where you can see some of the best parts of Sullivan County.

Billed as "3 Days of Peace and Music", Woodstock was a fairly good concept, but it is well documented that Sullivan County was not prepared for this kind of overtaking. Rather than the 40,000 attendees per day expected, there were half a million. The town did not want this festival to take place at all and it seemed that Max was in the minority by offering his farmland for use.

As excerpted from the Yasgur Farm website, "Yasgur asked each official if there were any legal stipulations within their respective departments that hadn't been met to accommodate the expected 40,000 people per day. When no reservations were raised, he addressed the entire meeting: "So the only objection to having a festival here is to keep longhairs out of town?" A murmur of dissent swept through the heavily conservative Republican crowd, and Yasgur bellowed: "Well, you can all go pound salt up your ass, because come Aug. 15, we're going to have a festival!" He stormed out of the room, and the rest became rock history."

My step-brother, just a teenager at the time, went to the festival and is now a little part of that history. He remembers it like it was yesterday and still talks about it with excitement and awe in his voice. I guess the people of that time just took things a lot easier. They didn't seem to have a care in the world and they let people just be who they wanted to be.

I was talking to a friend of mine tonight about this very thing; people just being who they are. If you want to deal with them, even if you don't like what they stand for or what they're about or even how they treat you, if they have something you want or need, you just have to do what is best for you and let them be who they are. And I think the best way to do that is to work around them.

Since this is the New Year, I guess that's what I'm going to try. Working around them. Getting what I want in a way that lets them be who they are yet still maintaining the peace, love and happiness - just like at Woodstock.

"Time to live, time to lie, time to laugh, and time to die.
Take it easy baby. Take it as it comes."
- Jim Morrison

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

How To Get Rid Of Your Girlfriend

Last night, we went through Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State, about 40 miles east of Seattle. When we stopped to get a bite to eat, we got word that the DOT, which has a chain law, put out a directive that any vehicles over 10,000 lbs. GVW had to put chains on their tires if they wanted to continue through the pass.

Ed pulled over on the side of the road with every other trucker and for the next hour, began chaining up his tires. It was raining lightly, but after being in it for an hour, he was pretty wet when he got back to the truck. I, on the other hand, was sitting inside surfing the internet. Um, I mean, checking the weather conditions. *cough*

While I was sitting inside, I noticed a very strong exhaust odor. I made a note to ask Ed about it once he got back in the truck. He finally climbed in and less than a mile down the road, the weather went from light rain to full-on snow. TONS of snow. In a matter of minutes, every single inch of space was white. It was beautiful. Well, for me it was beautiful, but I'm sure the guy in the car that spun out in front of us and was nearly plowed over by a Fed-Ex truck didn't find it so enchanting.

I finally asked Ed about the exhaust smell, which he said comes from the defrosting fluid. I joked with him by saying, "What? Are you trying to get rid of me and thought this would be the way to leave the least trace?"

He said, "No. If I wanted to get rid of you, I would take you back to your parents house and right in front of Frank, while he was watching TV, I would haul off and smack you right in the head."

I laughed and said, "That's the way you'd get rid of YOU, not me."

He laughed right back, since we both know that Frank would not tolerate one iota, someone doing anything of the sort to a family member. Especially me, since I'm his favorite.

Of course I know Eddie was just pulling my leg. Please. I can't even get him to kill bugs; he always wants to "set them free."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Our Truck Looked Reallllly Good...

Parked next to this castle:

Last night, Ed and I visited the Victoria landmark, Craigdarroch Castle. Built by Robert Dunsmuir, a man who came to Vancouver Island as a poor coal miner but became the wealthiest and most influential man in British Columbia. This castle was also featured on A & E's America's Castles.

The Hatley Castle website had this to say about Craigdarroch:

Craigdarroch Castle was built as the home of Robert Dunsmuir, the richest man in nineteenth century British Columbia.

The Castle was designed by Portland, Oregon architect, Warren H. Williams. Williams died only four months after construction began on the Castle. The responsibility for building Craigdarroch Castle was given to and successfully completed by Williams' associate, Arthur L. Smith in 1890.

The Drawing Room features hand-painted and stencilled ceiling decoration with lions' heads, garlands, birds and bouquets. The Entrance Hall and Dining Room are panelled with rich golden oak imported from Chicago. The Castle's windows represent the largest and finest in-situ collection of residential stained glass in Canada.

The story of the Dunsmuir family and their rise from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of wealth and power in western North America is complex and fascinating. Theirs is a story of profound courage and achievement, ultimately ending in tragedy.

Robert Dunsmuir died in April 1889, more than a year before the Castle was completed. After his death, his sons, James and Alexander, assumed the melancholy task of finishing the Castle for their widowed mother. 10 months after Joan's death in 1908, Craigdarroch was sold and the contents were auctioned off.

For sixty years, the Castle housed various public institutions. It was once a Military Hospital and was known as Victoria College for twenty-five years. The building is now owned and being restored by the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society.

Monday, January 02, 2006

I Should Have Never Had That Last Drink!

This is my new companion who is now perched on top of my side view mirror. He rang in the New Year with me, but we'll see how long he lasts. See what happens when you drink? You never know where you'll wind up.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

After a delicious Italian dinner in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, we spent the early part of New Year's Eve walking around the Inner Harbour. Victoria is the largest city on Vancouver Island, in addition to being the provincial capital of British Columbia. In this picture, you can see the Legislative Building outlined with Christmas lights. It was a beautifully impressive sight.
Conde' Naste Traveler Magazine reader's poll rated Victoria one of the top ten cities to visit in the world.After our evening stroll and drinks at a harbour side restaurant, we rang in the New Year at the landmark Strathcon Hotel inside their pub called The Sticky Wicket. There, Ed played several games of pool with guys from Canada and Tibet. The Tibetan guys barely spoke English, but their pool playing skills were mighty fine.

I watched Eddie's pool playing prowess from the bar while entertaining several men who felt the need to chit-chat with me; Art, a handsome older gentleman from Saskatchewan who tried to sway me into thinking that his province was better than mine, until he discovered I was American and the provincial rivalry was lost on me. His friend from England, who verbally gave me the "best recipe you'll ever taste" for Bangers and Mash. Don't think I'll ever be making that. Even if it IS good, the name creeps me out.

Then, the guy from South Africa who strayed over and whose accent was so thick I had to keep saying "Excuse me?" I didn't realized Ed was "naming" the guys I was talking to until he came over saying, "Boy, Earl really likes you." I guess that was the South African guy since the others already had names.


But my personal favorite was a silver haired, 43 year old man named Mark who in addition to testing my French, which basically consists of "Je ne parle pas fran├žais", told me before he left the bar that I had "...incredibly beautiful eyes. Just beautiful. Oh, and fantastic boobs." Well duh, I know that, Mark. Seems that the Canadian men aren't much smoother than the American ones and to top it off, I think he copped a feel when he hugged me goodbye and wished me Happy New Year!

It was all a lot of fun. Everyone was so nice, we had a great time and just an fyi - with the exchange rate, the drinks are a lot cheaper in Canada!

That make for a very Happy New Year, eh?