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.

My Photo
Location: Sugar Hill, GA, United States

The details of my life remain shrouded in mystery.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I now own 3 'awesome' t-shirts. One is 'if you were me you would be awesome', another is 'i'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of my awesomeness'. I just got one yesterday that says 'this guy is awesome' and has two pictures of thumbs pointing towards the neck hole. Am I really worthy of all this awesome, though?

Right now I am 34 years, 1 day, 3 hours, and 42 minutes old. Which means -1 days till my birthday, and 4 days till vacation. The disturbing news? My PARENTS didn't CALL me on my BIRTHDAY. Seriously, I got one facebook post from Mom, but Dad did NOTHING. What the HECK is up with that? I think I'll guilt trip them later on...

Still, I had a great birthday and got some neat swag. Went out for hibachi on Friday, which is deelishus, but apparently gives me heartburn for a couple days. Worth it. Normally we only do hibachi on New Year's Eve...but it was a nice change-up.

The toy Voltron with the pilots that can go inside each lion robot and then assemble into the big man is going back on my Christmas and birthday wish list. I made one this year, and had NO really fun zany items on it. I mean, a shop vac, shirts, and a mitre saw are all very nice things, but very mature responsible adult things. Which has never been my M.O. So yeah. Let's Go Voltron Force!

Important note: the chocolate fudge pie at Fresh Market is amazing...it tastes just like brownie batter. And you can trust me...apparently I am awesome.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Horrible Bosses

So my movie review of Horrible Bosses. It was a funny movie! A step up from, and more relatable to than Hangover, but still in that same genre. They picked the right people to play in it, that's for sure. Perfect casting. Although I can't really remember any one line or scene that really stuck out...which means either my memory's going or it just didn't have one. Or both.

Today is Friday, thank heavens. 3 days until my birthday, 7 days until vacation. UGH, it has been a long wait on that vacation.

Right now my wallpaper is a scene from the original Super Mario Bros. game. Although I may change it since it may give people the mistaken impression that I am playing video games at work. Which I would never ever do...maybe...I have tons of bookmarked websites that I visit regularly, and that usually takes up any free time I may have at work. I'm hoping the wife will help me get a copy of my back tattoo so I can see if I want to change/reink it. I am thinking one of three options...either find some way to combine/connect my back and shoulder tattoos together, like vines or armor plating or SOMEthing, or just embellish the one on my back so its more fancy...like a shield backdrop or landscape behind it...or just tattoo over it with something else. Money is always a factor, too, so I'll have to see.

Right now I'm in a pickle, because if I left NOW, I'd make it to McDonald's for breakfast, and as we are having hibachi tonight, I want to be good and hungry. But I'm not really hungry right now, and don't really want hotcakes. My taste buds are craving some fries and deelishus mcnuggets. Maybe I'll go in like, an hour. Eat from 11 to 12. Yeah, that'll work.

House update: I mowed the lawn yesterday. It has actually thickened up quite a bit from the past few weeks where the hot weather and no rain had thinned and dried it out. I REALLY need to get a weed eater though...the edges are getting a little sloppy. I don't have that much that needs trimmed, so I normally do it by hand and it takes like, 10 or 15 minutes, but the recent robust growth has made it a daunting task that I'm sure would take half an hour or more, and that's just ridiculous for hand shearing, when it'd be 5 minutes with a weed eater. I need to re-edge the lawn too. I never notice how much its crept in over the sidewalk and driveway till our neighbor edges hers, and then I'm like, crap, now I've got to do mine.

The other day we had a storm that was pretty bad...I say pretty bad cause we lost power for awhile, and the grill, which weighs about 80 or 90 pounds, at least, got blown over. You believe that? The patio chairs were fine, but the grill that's 3 feet away got blown over. The grill is fine. The wife's lily plant was not. Oops. Still, there are lots of other plants in the garden, and that one may live, anyway. And my strawberries are fruiting again. The plants are starting to do well, which is great. I'm hoping next year that they get HUGE so we have lots o' strawberry goodness. Cause who doesn't like strawberries?

We also have gremlins stealing our tupperware...not sure what to do about that. I'll have to find some more the next time I'm at the store to replace it. Its just one size, but its the size that's the most useful.

Remember: when the zombie apocalypse happens, there is no such thing as "safe".

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Have you ever felt like all the tiny bits of wisdom, knowledge, experience, and so forth that you've gained over your lifetime are only just a TINY bit away from all coming together—like a shattering window in reverse—into a perfect whole, which will sum up your life and give you inner peace and whatnot? Had that happen on the way to work this morning. It is unbelievably frustrating not to be able to get it to come together though...keeping the window analogy, it would be as if the glass were instead made up of squirrels made of jell-o. So yes, my inner peace will be a stained jell-o glass window of living squirrels. Don't judge. But they're fast and slippery and you can't tell whether you're missing any or not, because you're having to build this window blindfolded. However, the squirrels are friendly, and catching one or two at a time is pretty easy. But hundreds? Thousands? More? Its a daunting task and one that you know is not worth quitting.

Only 4 days until my birthday, and 8 days until I get 9 days in a row of vacation. I really NEED a vacation, too. Its been a really REALLY rough year or so. 14 months I guess would cover it. My last week-long vacation was spent caring for a wife who had just broken her arm and simultanously trying to close on a house. And you just can't get any kind of deep relaxation done that way, you know?

I am taking ideas for family tree software...everyone I can find will only print out your direct line rather than the whole shepherd's pie (I would say 'enchilada', but given my family is British in ancestry, I figured I'd go with something more fitting). I don't mind paying, but ancestry.com for example wanted an exorbitant sum, which is not cool. I think I have one that MIGHT work, but I have to run a few more tests to be sure.

,,,,,chameleon. Um...my brain has just checked out for the weekend. Too bad its only Thursday morning.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hot Hot Hot

So today is supposed to be uncommonly hot, even for the sweltering South. Heat index of 106 degrees. Nice. So our air conditioning breaks. I didn't notice at first, as the ambient coolness kept things nice, as did our being on the bottom floor of the building and not near any windows. But its been getting fairly warm the last couple hours, and I am watching the thermostat go up a degree about every 20 minutes. Yuck.

Got a fun care package from the folks yesterday...lots of goodies. 'His' and 'Herr's' potato chips (for reals...look it up). Some candy, some old photos that I'm going to put on Facebook. Gotta be careful of those old polaroids, though, as I went through them yesterday and had silver nitrate all over my hands by the end. Gross. And probably not healthy. But my fingertips would not be eaten by a werewolf, so there is that. Silver lining...heh heh heh...

I'm not too jazzed about my birthday this year. The only thing I can say is 'at least 33 is over'. And 34 had better be a vast improvment or I will LOSE it. No joke. 33 was ROUGH. Still, got a nice visit from Charles, and my parents sent some gift cards to amazon.com and my great-grandfather's Victorian-era pocketwatch. Yes, I'm that old. My father's father had siblings born in the 1800's. Three or four generations will get you back to pre-Civil War, depending on which side of the family you go to. Anyway, that's weird, just three generations of my family stretching across 3 centuries. If I happen to live to be 123 years old, it'll be 4 centuries. Do NOT want to be that old, though. Man. My body is ALREADY starting to break down on me.

Started reading the 'Mistborn' series by Brandon Sanderson. Its pretty good so far. I figure I'd give him a try since he's co-writing the last few Wheel of Time books. Which he REALLY NEEDS TO FINISH! Started reading the series about the time the fourth book came out, which was in 1993. 18 years. EIGHTEEN YEARS I've been reading this series, waiting for closure. If it goes too much longer before the last book comes out, it'll have been more than HALF MY LIFE. That's just sad. Anyway.

This is kind-of a hodge-podge post, isn't it? Oh well.

Also, I found a HUGE black spider in our back yard this morning. The dog almost pooped on it, which would have been hysterical, but I had to catch it to check if it was poisonous or not. Turns out it was not, but still good for scaring the wife. She thought it was fake and came from a cereal box or something. Ha ha...until it started running around the tupperware I had it in. When I say huge in reference to spider size, I am talking about 2 1/2 inches in length, black and hairy. Nasty thing. I threw it back in the woods.

Am going to melt into a puddle of goo now.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Is it vacation yet?

Green Lantern was ok...not great. I expected MUCH better in the story and acting department, although the effects were spot-on. Anyway. Last week was hellish at work. Didn't enjoy it. Here's why.

The company I work for supplies clients with business forms, be it checks, manifests, order forms, medical forms, RX pads, and so on (its especially depressing getting a traffic ticket that YOU printed). There is a customer service department of about a dozen people, who take orders, and then pass them along to order entry, comprised of 2 utterly incompetent people, who could both be fired and one GOOD temp could do their work at a third of the price. Order entry puts the order in the system, makes sure that all the art and instructions are there, and send the orders to us. We are the bridge between the production side of the company, which is a huge warehouse full of printing presses the size of school buses, and the wussy officey customer service side, who complain when their climate varies by so much as a degree. What WE do, in our department of 4 people, is take the orders, typeset/design them on the computer, make sure it looks good, and then send it to be plated. Each ink color of each job gets printed on a separate metal plate (imagine a 2' by 3' square of aluminum siding) that will then be sent to the press floor. So. There are 3 typesetters, of which I am one, and 1 plating guy.

Last week the plating guy was on vacation. I fill in for him when he's not here, IN ADDITION to my own job. So I am doing two full-time jobs for a week. That's bad thing number one. Two, we have record numbers of orders come in last week, so there is a LOT of work to do on both jobs. Three, order entry was down by half for two days, so we had to send one of OUR people up to help them out, taking our staff of 4 down to two. Four, one of our people was GONE on Friday, so we had two, and order entry had one. Five, in addition to this, it being a holiday weekend, everyone's wanting rush jobs done so that things get printed and shipped before the holiday. Now, you're thinking, no big deal, right? And that'd be true for lots of 1,000 up to say, 10,000. Think of it in printer paper boxes. Those things hold 5,000 sheets of letter paper. Some of these people are ordering lots of up to TWO MILLION forms, each of which may be 5 or 6 sheets. That's a LOT of paper. At 5 sheets per form, that ends up being two thousand printer paper boxes full. Enough to fill a few 18-wheelers. Anyway. So the press floor people are howling at me to get these jobs out quick so they can get them done, and the plating machine goes down. Mostly cause Kodak, who makes the machine, is stoopid, and didn't fix it right the last time they were here. Basically, the hard drive was fried. So it was down for a day and a half, got sorta-fixed and worked for half a day, and then was down another half day. It was BAD. Somehow, I still managed to plate 250 jobs, which is really good, all things considered.

We're getting through leftover nasty from last week, but will soon be back to normal, thank goodness.