A Prize In Every Box

This is a place for the random musings and life experiences of one Fliven, who looks for life's fun little surprises, even when its in a giant box of stale, tasteless foodstuffs.

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Location: Sugar Hill, GA, United States

The details of my life remain shrouded in mystery.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One of those people...

So, since owning a dog, I've realized that we have become one of those 'dog people'. The ones with pictures on their phone or in their wallet, and tell mediocre stories that we feel exemplify the fact that our dog is the most hilarious/awesome/cute dog in history. This works well in relating to other dog people, but others would just be bored to tears.

So how to overcome this? Being aware of the problem is the first step...next is convincing the wife of it, as well. Third is weaning yourself off your dog a little...i.e., making them less of a role in your life. Doing other things. Cutting back on dog-related purchases. Will be working on that.

Work has been slow this week...this is our lull after the new year and before the end-of-school-year rushes. Its kinda nice, but the day goes by SO SLOW when you don't have anything to do.

Also, to tell the general populace, in case you didn't know, the ancestral home, the ancient seat of the Fliven family, is going to be put up for sale in a couple months. Mom and Dad are already packing and painting and storage-uniting. And yes, it totally freaks me out. I only lived there for THIRTY YEARS, and am having trouble coming to grips with the fact of no Thanksgivings or Christmases there any more. The folks are looking at real estate in the Lancaster, PA area currently, which I hope they get, as it is a nice area.

Today's words of wisdom: there are a few jobs you shouldn't fall asleep at...one of these is air traffic controller. I'm talking to you, controller at National...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things To Do Before I Die

Finally finished my bucket list (or 'bukkit lizt', as the file is called on my computer). I found one I had done about 10 years ago, which made things a LOT quicker to finish. It was interesting reading it...I've done about a third of the ones that were on there, and a bunch of the others are either expired or dumb. And the rest were on my new list as well, so go me for being consistent. For example, 'ride the concorde' can no longer be done. And 'get a wax statue made of myself' is really kinda dumb. Not worth it. Although an action figure would be kinda cool...ha ha, mouse-clicking action, TV remote and dog-tennis-ball accessories...boring, but it'd be a hoot for me.

So here it is, in no particular order. Bear in mind that some of them are nebulous, while others are specific. And the list may change at any time. But its a place to start:
1. Drive a 1969 Dodge Charger.
2. Father at least one child.
3. Learn a foreign language fluently.
4. Visit the lands of my forebears. (1 down, 5 to go)
5. Map out my complete family tree.
6. Visit New York City.
7. Ride in a helicopter.
8. Learn to knit.
9. Construct a secret passageway.
10. Finish reading the Wheel of Time series.
11. Write a book.
12. Learn to play the guitar.
13. Be part of a sailing team aboard a large sailing ship.
14. Own my own home. (Done)
15. Get married. (Done)
16. Visit all 50 U.S. states. (17 to go)
17. Get a tan.
18. Grow a beard. (Done)
19. Be completely debt-free.
20. Drive a car above 150 mph.
21. Learn basic blacksmithing.
22. Ride a camel.
23. Drive a motorcycle.
24. Get baptized.
25. Meet a childhood hero. (Done)
26. Learn tai chi.
27. Win a race. (Done)
28. Make someone laugh till they cry. (Done)
29. Ride the Orient Express.
30. Go skydiving.
31. Open a Swiss bank account.
32. Spend the night in a castle.
33. Pass on a family heirloom.
34. Enter a poker tournament.
35. Build a model train village or dollhouse.
36. Restore a classic car.
37. Eat at Brighton Ice Cream.
38. Eat at Bob’s Big Boy.
39. Run a marathon.
40. Own a custom-made hat.
41. Work on an archaeological dig.
42. Write a movie screenplay ('Villains by Necessity'?)
43. Teach a class.
44. Die on my feet, sword in hand.
45. Fly a biplane.
46. Write a song.
47. See the giant redwoods.
48. Punch someone who deserves it.
49. Have my art hanging in a gallery.
50. Snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Today I had a banana for the first time in like, 6 months. Its weird how things that are at one time a staple of our diets suddenly are not, without us even noticing. Same with hot dogs. I used to have hot dogs at least twice a month, and now, its been since September or so since I've had one. Far out. I'm trying to think of what ELSE has dropped off the map...ramen, certainly...potato chips...a lot of candy...but that may be because I'm eating healthier. My weight and blood sugar and cholesterol aren't a problem, but the sodium is getting to be an issue. Oh, and butter...I eat a LOT less butter now.

My bucket list is about half done...I'm having trouble at this point, as all the easy, obvious things are written, but now the more deep and/or obscure things need to be discovered. Like 'discover myself' or 'learn to be at peace'. Neither of those things applies to me, as far as I know, but things like that.

That is all.

For the wife...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ice and Pins

Question: why is it that when I fill my plastic, liter-sized water bottle with ice, then pour cold water in it, the ice lasts maybe 5 hours before being completely melted, whereas, if I put JUST ice in there, in the same amount, but no water, I will still have ice up to 7 or 8 hours later? The answer: witchcraft. I need the number for an exorcist for my water bottle. Actually, this being the South, I can probably find one up the street on my lunch break.

Secondly, when it comes to selecting a PIN number, why does everyone pick a birthday or anniversary or somesuch? I have 5 different pins, none of which are the same, and none of which are my birthday or anniversary. But I still have trouble remembering things, plus have the added difficulty of dyslexia, so how do I do it? Pick numbers you already know, but that don't have any other bearing on your life. Like 1492, the year the Columbus discovered America. Or 1776. Or 1620 (pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock). Then you can pick up your debit card and associate it with a flag (easy if you're with Bank of America) and remember 1776. Or associate it with turkey and pumpkin pie. Or a man with a funny hat who tripped over a few continents on his way to China.

Anyway, that's all the tidbits of frippery I had rolling around in my head today. I'm going to go work on my bucket list now...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Rabid Moth!

This says it all really. It was my day yesterday. Ugh.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Is it illegal if its nice?

The drivers down here seem to think its ok to perform illegal maneuvers, like stop in the middle of an intersection to let someone who's turning right get in ahead of them, or stop when they have no stop sign to do the same, or let multiple cars merge in ahead of them...well, that's not really illegal, but it IS irritating. And they do this for no other reason than to be nice. To get warm fuzzies. They are fuzzy junkies. Its not just isolated incidents, either, its EVERYONE. And the cops do nothing. Why? Because its NICE. They are being NICE. It is Robin Hood Syndrome (RHS), it really is. But there is a problem. If everyone lets in a car or two ahead of them, say 3 seconds a car, then the people who are 50 cars behind you have to wait an extra 2-3 minutes! And that's if traffic is MOVING. And THEN you get the people who merge in and then let OTHER people merge in down the road. Compounded niceness. I am not a mean person, I let people in from time to time, but it is neither flagrant nor illegal.

And don't get me started on the retardidity (is that a word? it should be!) of turn signal usage. Random merging? No signal. Changing lanes? No signal. Actually turning? No signal. However, when sitting in a TURN ONLY lane, signals aplenty! What...the...heck?!?!?! You are in a TURN ONLY lane! You have NO CHOICE but to turn! I KNOW what direction your car is going to go in! But then they'll get next to me and just start switching lanes randomly.

Road rage aside (I imagine my road rage face being like Mr. Demartino's from "Daria"...pulsing veins, raspy voice, bulging eyeball, cerebral hemorrhage imminent) things are going fairly well. The lawn war is looking grim...weeds aplenty. Stupid bermuda grass, why you gotta grow SO SLOW?! It does make me feel better that no one else's yard in the neighborhood looks any better than mine at present.

That is all. Back to work. :)