found me some treasure

I gots me a geocoin!

Last Monday I had some free time in Brandon Florida while visiting family for the holidays. I decided to whip out the old c:geo and do some geocaching. I was surprised to see just how many caches there were in the Bloomingdale area. I spent a couple hours finding 5 or 6 caches and never went outside of a 2 mile radius. Of course, remembering how boring Brandon was growing up, I completely understand why people would use inventive ways to entertain themselves.

Anyway, the whole reason for this post: I found my very first geocoin! Admittedly I’ve not done a lot of geocaching, (I’ve only found 11 to date) but still, I was surprised to see such a find in such an easy cache.

So I’ll fill those in who are in the dark. A geocoin is a special trackable item that you leave inside a geocache. (I’m not explaining what geocaching is to you…) You leave the coin in a cache, and someone else picks it up and takes it somewhere else. All the while logging where it goes. So you can watch your geocoin travel across the state, country, or globe. Total nerdy fun. I love it.

So I found the one pictured up top, “Pirate Booty.” I was eager to see where it had been, and after punching in the code on the back of the coin into, I was surprised to see that I was actually the first person to grab it!

So, it’s perfect really. Me visiting from out of town, it’s going to be easy for me to move it a good bit. I’ve brought it home, and now I just need to get off my lazy butt and go drop it in another cache somewhere around here. Maybe I’ll use this as an excuse to finally start my own cache near my work.

week without the wife

This morning Teresa and Noah left to go down to Florida to see our new nephew, Bennett Gray. These visits happen maybe twice a year, leaving me up here by myself. In the past it’s resulted in songs (oddly enough that was the same time last year…weird). This time that may or may not happen. But I can tell you what’s happened thus far today.

As soon as Teresa pulled out of the driveway I came back in the house and turned on Pandora to blare loud metal in the likeness of The Faceless. I then sat around for a few moments trying to figure out what to do with myself.

First thing’s first, I need food. It’s Sunday, which means there’s little to eat in the house. So I take off to Kroger and buy a bunch of food I shouldn’t eat. Teresa, I’m gonna put the parts you shouldn’t read in italics (she’s can’t think about food with that baby in her) Here it goes: I bought nacho makings, refried beans and chips and such. I bought Hamburger Helper Cheesy Enchilada with the intention of making it, and then eating it in burritos for the following several meals. I got oreos because I’m weak, but I justify it by considering that it will get me to drink more milk. I just realized that the ice cream I got is ALSO Oreo. This is gonna turn out great. Just to cap it all off, I got Hormel Chili and a bag of Fritos to make some sort of awful elementary lunchroom punishment food. I bought all this because I know that if Teresa was here I’d feel guilty about eating like a college kid. But with her gone I can eat anything without repercussions. (Only part of that statement is not false.)

Once I was all fueled up on left-over baked ziti I decided to do something active. I always complain about never getting to ride my bike recreationally, so I figured I should do that. Unfortunately it’s been raining, so the off-road trails were out of the question (See? I’ll always find something to complain about) so I decided to try a good long road ride. (Long in my book is 20 miles) I was sick of my area, so I looked up some routes in the Roswell area and decided to try the Roswell Mayor’s 20 Mile route. Put together a little cue sheet (yes, that’s my bike INDOORS. I can do anything when Tree’s gone.) and set out on the road. My only comment is that the Roswell Mayor must love to climb hills. Jerk.

After that I decided nothing would be better than to go to Smokejacks and eat fried pickles and their sliced pork sandwich. I drove about 5 miles out of my way only to find out they were closed for some weird religious holiday called “Super Bowl.” I guess it’s like a feast of the saints for Catholics or something. Dumb reason to be closed either way. I want my fried pickles.

So, dejected I went to find the next best thing, Taco Bell. Again, keeping the whole college kid theme going as far as nourishment goes. I downed two half pound burritos and a Mountain Dew. Then I hopped on a snow board and did a gnarly double pits to chesty.

Came back to the humble abode, blared some more technical death metal and did the dishes (BODACIOUS). Now as I type this I’m text messaging with my friend (like a cool college kid) figuring out what we’re going to do tonight. Looks like board games and dorkiness. I’M ALL IN. We even discussed settling a monetary debt by providing root beer. This night is gonna be perfect.

Week without the wife day one has thus far been a success. We’ll see how the rest pans out, and I’ll check in tomorrow to let you know if my heart has stopped.


our vacation in Tennessee

yeah, I know this is like, 3 weeks late, but you know what? I’m a busy man, so leave me alone.

I’ll warn you, this will be very long, as it is fairly detailed. It covers each day separately, and plays out much like the horrible slide show you never want to get stuck watching. So if you want, you can just scroll through and look at the pretty pictures. There’s a video at the end that I promise is not horrifyingly boring. It includes bears. Does that reel you in? If not, then you should just leave now.
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a lesson in rolling with the punches

one of two things is happening: a) i have someone escaped death’s design, and it is hunting me down much like it/he/she did in final destination, or b) God is teaching me a lesson in patience in that way that i hope He and i will laugh about later. either way…i’ve had a tough week.

now i do know that there are people out there who have things much worse than i do, but i’m judging on a scale of middle class white guy grade. let me explain further, using dates and details compiled via official government documents and whatnot. heh.

May 17th: driving up north 75 in the rain, a puddle mistakes my truck for a pair of waterskis, and i begin to hydroplane…which sounds a lot cooler than it is. as i think to myself, “don’t oversteer, don’t slam on the brakes” i notice out of the corner of my eye, the gaurdrail located in the median is laughing at me. i decide to show it who’s boss, and we get into a short fight. the gaurdrail won. much thanks to my sister, driving three hours from alabama to pick me up, we both ventured the other three hours to atlanta, leaving my truck in a salvage yard to be dealt with at a later, and dryer time. i manage to get everything out of my truck except for the tool box mounted in the truck bed, and my ever so beloved stick shift skull, steve. it was hard leaving him behind, reminding me of when my children would die in oregon trail. worse was knowing that i couldn’t drown my sorrows in a good round of rabbit hunting.

May 18th: i found out i have rental reimbursement on my insurance…and thusly i get a rental car. i can now work while i wait to hear about the fate of my truck. i am told i can use up to 30 dollars a day and a total of 900 dollars.

May 20th: learning of an airsoft game in daytona florida on the 5 of june, i decide the best plan of action, if the truck is in fact totaled, to drive down with my roommate on the 4th, pick up my fiancee’s old car, and then play airsoft on the 5th, heading back up to atlanta on the 6th, and all would be well. happiness ensues.

May 21st: i get a call from my insurance company, letting me know that the car is in fact totalled, and they’ll get the settlement numbers out to me asap, most likely on monday. with this news, we decide that going down on the 4th is a good plan. all is well.

May 24th: insurance updates me, settlement is, well, settled, and i am then informed that i only have three days left on my rental reimbursement. so that means i’ll have no car after the 27th, and that i can’t work after that. fun. i call about 5 different insurance people, who all use the same tactic of “tell him no until he gives up.” i give up. so now i’m stuck with no car, no money from my insurance company (yet), and no way to get down to florida to get my fiancee’s old car.

May 25th: after explaining my situation to many rental car agencies, i get several estimates for renting a car and leaving it in florida.

May 26th: i decide the rental car idea is a good one, and call hertz, who quoted me the lowest price. after verbally filling out forms for a nice long time, i discover that the guy from yesterday failed to explain that hertz doesn’t rent to people under 25. yay. i call back all the other places i called the day before…same deal. i start to look up plane fares…but at this short of notice, they’re all in the 200 dollar range. it finally comes down to a greyhound bus.

may 27th. plans are set. but then issues come up about having a tag for the car. can’t get a tag till after memorial day, can’t work until i get the car…it’s decided that coming to florida on the bus that i can’t get a refund of is the best idea…and i’ll just wait in florida until tuesday comes.

May 28th: i stay up all night to ensure that i’ll sleep as much as possible on the bus. i take an hour long nap. i wake up at 5:30am with an instant feeling of nausea. i manage to get one cheddar and peanutbutter cracker down. arriving at the greyhound station, after getting lost, i realize it’s much like an airport…only tiny, and dirty. i wait for my bus for an hour, head in hands, praying to God for relief from my horrible nausea. the bus ride is very long, and i am sick the whole way. ten hours of bus and sick. lots of fun. i transfer buses in some small town, and the bus driver gets lost. i arrive an hour and a half late, and i wait almost another hour because my ride was being haggled by a salesman.

May 29th-31st: if i don’t eat, i get sick. if i eat…i get sick. this is pretty much the game throughout the weekend. i spend some time with my best man, seeing kill bill vol 2 again, (just as awesome the second time around…odd how i was sick the first time i saw it too) and thank God that as i hang out at my best man’s house and watch the lightning game, i eat hungry howie’s pizza and don’t feel sick.

June 1st: i am amazed at how quickly we get through both the tax collector’s office for the tag and title, and the circuit court for our marraige license (little side trip). but i’m so scared of having another sick day, i worry myself sick. we take my new (to me) car to tire kingdom to check on a funny looking tire. they say “two hours” i wanted to leave town my 9:30 am. i make a comment about not getting out of town till 11. my fiancee says it’ll be fine and i’ll be out before then. we wait at her house…i’m sick…and tired. i nap. we get a phone call, car’s done in 30 minutes. hooray. we arrive at tire kingdom. they don’t know who called, but the car hasn’t even moved yet, and they send us back up. 11 o’clock passes. I make another comment, this time saying 4 o’clock. we get another car, the car is done…for real this time. two new tires, alignment, and 220 dollars later, and i’m ready to hit the road…sorta. gotta get some safety pins to pin up the sagging roof cloth so it doesn’t drive me nuts touching my head the whole trip back. by the time everything is ready to go, it’s 3:45. i believe i am a prophet, until i cannot manage to part my pepto bismal like moses did the red sea. I drive off, make it down the road, only to get a call from my fiancee telling me she forgot to show me how to check the water levels in the car. i turn around, and we figure it out, i’m on the road again. i discover that the AC does not work, and at a rest stop i break the belt buckle cover. as i travel onward, through the area i crashed my truck it, it rains slightly, as if to mock me. i turn on the windshield wipers, and i watch as a drop distored view becomes a streak distorted view and notice that the wipers are half desintegrated. mind you, i’m sick through all this too…hungry…but nauseous.

and that brings us ’round about to now. i didn’t get home till around midnight. and now i’ve spent an hour writing this, and it’s so long, no one will read it. well, that’s not true. i’m sure teresa will read it, and leave a comment about some innacurate date or something. cause she hates me. but that’s my story…long, annoying, and i have to say i left out about 15 little annoying detauils that just made the pile seem bigger and bigger. i don’t have the accuracy of memory to properly recount just how daunting this past week has been…but i do believ this is the part where i would wear sack cloth, put dirt on my head, a mourn publicly. but in the weirdest way, i’m very much at peace with God. during all these events, as frustrating as it all was…i knew it was for some reason (yet to be revealed) and i knew that in the end things would end up better. i did get to spend some nice time with my best man, and i certainly appreciate seeing my fiancee again. so while i do complain alot…i know that i’m blessed with far better things than well working cars and good luck.