We’re back!

I’m very excited. The United States finally has taken it to the next level. In one of the most important sporting competitions in the history of mankind, we finally have a shot. His name is Joey Chestnut. No, you haven’t heard of him. But, he could be the most significant athlete since Jesse Owens.

Now, we’ve been dominant in all kinds of different sports. Our sports leagues are generally thought to be the tops in the world (apart from soccer, but that doesn’t count). Baseball, basketball, football… well, hockey not so much… but still… you know what I’m saying.

For the record, there aren’t many of our major sports where the Japanese dominate us. Sure, there are some terrific guys in MLB, Ichiro, Matsui, Hideo Nomo. However, our washed up major league baseball players go over there to milk a few more years from their careers, as seen in the movie Mr. Baseball. (I may be the only person that saw that one.) But the American sporting scene has had no one to compete with Takeru Kobayashi. He has been dominant. World champion 5 straight years. Physically unimposing at 130 lbs. he still has ruled the roost. Untouchable.

Out of nowhere comes this 22 year old civil engineering student at San Jose State. He has made a major splash on the IFOCE circuit. He is the current holder of the American record, and he’s shooting for the world.  This upcoming competition could really be like Ali v. Frasier or Bird v. Magic all over again. Mark your calendars for July 4th. The USA is going to regain the title, and Mr. Chestnut is just the guy to take us back to glory. It is only appropriate that on Independence Day America with reign again.

Read Mr. Chestnut’s story.


I love the internet

Have I mentioned that I love the internet? Well, I do. The reasons are to numerous to list here, but I will give my latest reason. I have recently started watching the CBS show, The Unit. It’s something that’s right up my alley. Secret, highly-trained military unit carrying out covert ops all over the world. Interestingly enough, the first time I watched it was the day after ‘d’ day when I was in the hotel with absolutely crap cable channels. Anyway, I was busy last night when the season finale was on. So, I set the DVR and recorded it.

Tonight, I go to watch the episode, and it was great.  So, I get to the end, and it says “stay tuned for scenes from our next episode.” Huh? I thought this was the finale. Well, there were TWO episodes on last night. Yup, I only recorded the first one. Well, sheeeeeee-it.

So, I’m wondering how the hell I’m going to see this show. I check the tv listings, and there is no replaying of the show scheduled. Damn. Then it comes to me… maybe I can find it online somewhere. I do a little searching and sure enough, I find it. In high-def, no less. Takes about 40 minutes to download over the big fat broadband pipe I got. Just finished watching it. Granted, the episode was good, but it wasn’t earth shattering or anything… the world wouldn’t have stopped if I had missed it (unlike missing The Sopranos… that IS life or death), but it was still good to see. If you are wondering where I found the episode, it was on the newsgroups. If you don’t know what that is, google is your friend.

Anyway, back to work. I have to get Equitable Stroke Control done for my 2nd job. More later.

The Day

Today, May 15th, is the 4 year anniversary of G and my first date. Yes, I remember these dates… thats the kind of guy I am. Met at Bittercreek Ale House and had a really good time. Moving on.

I have some pretty good family. Older sister has had me over for many meals in the past month, and has invited even more than I could attend. Its always nice to feel like you’re wanted.

Then, after reading an earlier post, my little sister brought me a yellow cake with chocolate frosting when we got together for mother’s day. How cool is that? (The cake is terrific, by the way).

Speaking of mothers day, in my haste to get to my sisters for brunch, I forgot my card/gift for mom. Good lord do I feel like a putz. If it wasn’t a 30 minute trip one way back to the apartment, I’d have gone and gotten it. Well, at least she has something to look forward to, right? Brunch with the whole family was nice. I’m back to being the fifth wheel (only one with no partner) but I’m pretty used to that. I was single a long time before I got married. Will probably be sinlge a long time again.

George came over on Saturday and we had a guys night. He brought the rest of the beer that I had taken to his house for the BBQ last weekend. So, we drank beer, ordered a pizza, played some xbox 360, and watched the movie Munich. All in all a pretty decent evening. Also on Saturday, I found a great area rug for my bedroom. The comforter I bought is greenish and has circles/polka dots sorta on it. I found this rug that is the same sort of patern. Matches very nicely. This is the first ‘decorative’ piece I’ve bought for the apartment. Mostly, I want to protect the carpet in high traffic areas. Save me some cash when I move out. I really need another rug, a bookshelf, throw pillows, and some art for the walls. I don’t want to live in a sparse white box. I’m a fairly creative guy. I think I have a theme for the living room. I’m going with black, red and shades of brown/khaki (existing carpet, recliner and leather couch are shades of brown). Then, I’m going to do a ‘jazz’ sorta thing. There are a couple ‘paintings’ at Cost Plus that are cool, and I can put up some Sinatra pictures and mount my vinyl Sinatra album covers on the wall as well. Combined with the really cool ceramic stuff my little sister has made, I think I can get a decent result out of it. Will just cost some cash, so I have to do it piece by piece.

Welcome Farkers

For those of you who don’t know, farkers are the denizens of Fark.com. One of the greatest websites on the planet. I’ve posted my blog link on my profile and have gotten a nubmber of hits from there.

I just want to thank all of you farkers for your thoughtful words. Even though you’re all complete strangers, in a wierd way I feel like somehow you’ve all got my back. Nice to know that I’m not alone out there “In The World”

So, stick around, read some stories if you like. As you notice, I’m posting quite often. If you are so inclined, come back sometime.

See you on the forums.

Shooter_McGavin a.k.a – Jason


Hey all. I really appreciate you guys reading this, I really like to know you’ve been here and have shared in my thoughts and ideas. On to the post.

Since all of this started, my appetite as gone right into the shitter. I eat maybe a meal and a half a day. Trying to drink a lot of water due to the kidney stone episode a few months ago, which I have no desire to relive (story of another post). When I do eat, I’m trying to eat things that are good for me. Thusly, I have dropped at least 20 lbs in the past few months. I am down to the very last hole on my belt. Measuring the distance, I have lost 3 to 4 inches off my waist. I have boxers that I can’t wear anymore because they don’t stay on and my watch does hula-hoops around my wrist. So, even if I don’t feel good, at least I look good. Not that I can recommend the divorce diet to anyone.

Also, on the food topic… since I moved into my apartment 5 weeks ago I have cooked in exactly once. See Some ‘PD’ friends below. Tacos for cinco de mayo. Bear in mind, that I enjoy cooking and what I made was certainly not gourmet. Mom asked me the other day what I’ve been eating and I couldn’t even remember. I guess I eat a little at the cafeteria at work… and maybe a few nights a week at family and friends places. The occasional pizza. My love of pizza is one thing that has not gone away.

I also still crave sweets every now and then. Of course, I don’t have any in the apartment, so I usually do without, but I have indulged once or twice. I have been craving a nice yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I would make one, but I don’t have… uh… anything.

Well, I think I’m going to go to bed early. I was awake way too late last night and could hardly drag ass out of bed this morning.

The NHL tried to kill me

I’m going to take this post in a different direction from the usual. Which is probably a good thing. Some of you have heard me bitch about this, but I wanted to post it anyway.

I’m a hockey fan. Love the sport. Had Idaho Steelheads season tickets for 4 years. Watched a good 3 or 4 games a week on The Worldwide Leader (ESPN), and the nights that they didn’t have a game they still had their wrap up show, NHL2Night. My fandom peaked in 2001 when the Colorado Avalanche completed the grueling task of capturing Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Since then, like I said, the NHL and its forces are tried to kill me. First, came the entire locked out / cancelled season of 2005. No NHL. Summing that up, millionaires arguing with billionaires. Billionaires won. When they solved that thing last summer, I was very pleased. We were a few short weeks from the start of the season. I had worn out my tape of games 6 and 7 of the 2001 finals.

Then, the wheels started coming off. First, I get word that my Colorado Avalanche have moved from Fox Sports Northwest (where I used to have every game of theirs) to some channel called Altitude. No, my digital cable system doesn’t get it. I call my cable company every day for a week, and they pretty much tell me they have no plans to add it in the near future. *sigh* Ok, well surely ESPN will pick back up their rights to the NHL, right? The NHL would be crazy not to go with the most popular sports network on the planet, right? Short answer is they went to the ‘Outdoor Life Network’ OLN, which is available in a fraction of the homes that ESPN is. Sure, the NHL got more money from OLN, but you can’t tell me that the loss of exposure isn’t going to hurt them. I subscribe to every single channel my digital cable system offers, unfortunately, this means exactly squat. I won’t even go into my attempts in past years to get my cable system to carry the NHL Center Ice package… “we’re not offering it because there is not enough interest in your area…” I’ve tried every year for the past 5 to get them to offer it. No dice.
Here were my options. Option 1, NBC was going to show hockey. Great! When? Oh, 4 saturdays in January, one game a day, and then show one playoff game saturdays in April/May. Wow, I’ll try to contain my excitement.

Option 2. Go to a bar that is showing hockey and watch it there. Well, anyone who has watched a game in a bar knows it sucks. Especially hockey. You’re sitting probably 50 feet away from the tv, that the game relegated to (the smallest one in the place). You can’t even see the puck, and there is no sound. Besides, trying to find hockey on TV in a bar here is not easy.

Option 3. Dump digital cable, invest a bundle of cash, buy a satellite dish and multiple receivers with DVR’s in them, get someone to install it, and learn an all new channel lineup, all just to watch a few hockey games. Well, since I was married at the time, needless to say, the payoff wasn’t worth the investment. So that was a non-starter.

Long story longer, I have seen about a total of 9 periods of hockey this season. Total. Not even all from the same games, either. So, the playoffs started a few weeks ago, and I didn’t even have any idea who was in. I pretty much lost all connection to the sport. It gets very little coverage on SportsCenter, and you have to sit through 45 minutes of NBA highlights… Ugh. Not worth it.

I’m worried that I’m just not a hockey fan anymore. I want to be, but following the game online is not exactly optimal. I’ve read about how the game has changed with rule changes… faster, more scoring, more plays not so much clogging… I’ve yet to be able to really see it. Needless to say 2006 has not been a banner year for me so far… Sorry for the length of this.

Like a zoo

The quiet of our office building was shattered in a big way today. Directly across the asile from me they are setting up this big IPG (imaging and printing group) product fair. Anyway they have taken about half the building which before was a Herman Miller parking lot. So, they moved all of that out and today really got full steam into setup. My cube is directly by the entrance of this fiasco.

I’m at work this morning, trying to get anything done, and there is a group of about 50 people getting geared up for this deal. The noise was quite amazing. Apparently, these folks were oblivious that there were people actually trying to work in there.

I had been there about an hour, feebly attempting to concentrate. When these nice folks started setting up something directly on the outside of my cube wall, peering over the top at me, and looking for network and power plug-ins, that was enough to push me over the edge. I came home to work in peace. VPN access to the work network is one of the greatest things ever invented. Especially in times like this. There were some poor bastards on our team that don’t have remote access, and they just had to sit there and take it.

I’m not even going to attempt to go to work tomorrow. That is when this hole shindig actually happens. I guess they’re expecting at least 2500 people to come by this thing during the day. Yeah… uh… I won’t. I’m going to stay at home and get actual work done.

How about that. A whole post with me not mentioning the ‘D’ word even once. I guess it can be done. Who knew?

Vegas Dreams

Well, one step forward, one step back. Today wasn’t as good. I found myself thinking a lot about Vegas. Specifically, the fact that G and I were there less than 2 1/2 months ago. We had such a good time. Sometimes I still can’t believe that all this has happened since then. It still seems surreal. I can remember everything we did. Part of me really wishes we hadn’t gone. See, we hadn’t been there since our honeymoon 3 years ago. If we wouldn’t have gone in February, then Vegas wouldn’t remind me so much of her. Now, when I think of the strip, I just think of all the things we did while we were there for 4 days most recently. How depressing. More of that ‘never get to do with her again’ category of memories. Be it eating at the restaurants we like, going downtown, getting drinks and listening to live music, seeing a show, playing Pai Gow. So many stories. Happy and sad all rolled into one toxic mental stew.

John has offered multiple times to foot the bill for a trip to Vegas. I know I must be crazy to turn him down. I would totally hate to get down there and feel horrible. Its difficult to explain. I wish I could just get this stuff out of my head. It just keeps circulating around in there never going anywhere. I didn’t do a damn thing all day. Didn’t even get dressed until 4:00. Luckily no one stopped by. Not that I really would have cared.

Anyway, maybe next time I can take TWO steps forward before I take a step back. Like Bill Muarry in ‘What About Bob’… “baby steps.”

Or this one is better

Bob Wiley: You ever hear of Tourette’s syndrome? Involuntarily shouting out profanities?
Dr. Leo Marvin: It’s exceptionally rare.
Bob Wiley: Shit-eating son-of-a-bitch… bastard, douche-bag, twat, numb-nuts, dickhead!
Dr. Leo Marvin: Why exactly are you doing this?
Bob Wiley: Well, if I fake it then I don’t have it.

Good night.

Some ‘PD’ Friends…

Well, I think Saturday was probably one of my better days “since”. More on that in a minute. Friday was a little tough, because G loved Cinco de Mayo. Not to mention, at one point, we were planning on having a big party for that day. Needless to say, I thought about her more than once durring the day. I had an eye checkup scheduled that day. Side story, one reason I should have seen this coming before I did, we had originally had eye appointments at the same place scheduled 30 minutes apart. When we got the notices a few months ago, I made the comment “Hey, maybe we can go to lunch that day since we’ll both be down there.” Her response? “That’s a month and a half away.” At the time, I was a little confused by this response. However, looking back, it makes perfect sense that she had already planned to do what she had planned and we wouldn’t be together when that came around. Stupid me.

Anyway, the eye appointment was kinda tough. She got her glasses at the same place and we had been in there multiple times. They are really friendly in there though, and when the lady there had called to confirm the appointment, she mentioned that she had heard I had a ‘change’. I’m assuming G called to cancel her appointment and told her why. That was good so I didn’t have to answer the question, “How is G?”. I dread that question.

So, I had my appointment and need some glasses for computer work. I also bought a pair of Oakley sunglasses to replace the sunglasses I lost on our last trip to Vegas in Feb. (One more reminder) So, Friday night I came home and decided I was going to cook for the first time in my apartment. I’ve only been here for a month, its about time. So, I went to Albertsons and got the fixin’s for tacos and a twelve-er of beer. I cracked a beer (first one I’d had in the apartment as well) and cooked some grub. Not gourmet by any stretch, but it was a start. Again, another step to normalcy.

However, Saturday has been one of my better days since all this happened. Earlier in the week, George invited me over for a bbq at his place. So, I rolled out of bed about 10am (I’m finally sleeping better. The ambien works) and played some games and did some work for my 2nd job. Talked to my boss for my 2nd job and got my next steps squared away and I think I understand what’s needed, which is always a good feeling. Then, I went to George’s place. I took some beer and we BS’ed for hours. His daughter Catie was sleeping and wife was at work, so we could just talk. Computers and movies and just crap. Just shooting the shit. Then, he fired up some burgers and fed me a good meal. It was really nice. His daughter is adorable (see ‘knitting on call’ to right) and his wife is really nice.

Then, I had gotten a call from Adam, a friend that I had known for a while as part of the couple Beth and Adam. They were couple friends that G and I had. I had sent him an email hoping that we might still be able to do things together, not really sure what to expect. You will notice in the post One Month below, I conspicuously left Adam and Beth out of the list of friends not to see again hoping that I still might see them, or at least him. Anyway, the party was at Barry’s place. I got there and it was really really nice of them to invite me. It was just really good to see some people I had known PD (pre-divorce). Barry, Coach Mac, Bobby BoSox, Hoffey, Becker and Adam. I only took a $50 bankroll and was more than happy to lose it all, if for no other reason to get out of the house and have a few beers with these guys. Just being there was really good. Almost felt like things were back to normal for a few hours. I can only hope I’m included in some future games. I would have one at my place, except for the fact I don’t have room in my apartment for a table. We could play in my storage unit where my table and chairs are I suppose, although that doesn’t quite doesn’t have the ambience one might like. I busted out early and it was still nice to sit at the table and have a beer and shoot the shit. I would be happy to drop a hundy every game if I keep getting invited. Its worth that much to me. Plus, I’m really craving a Dublin Dip from Barry’s Bar/Restaurant. Haven’t been there since a week prior to the event. And we used to be there once a week with regularity. Barry said flat out to me, ‘don’t hesitate to come back to the bar’. Logically, I know that should be the case since its a free country but to hear him say it really carries a lot of weight for me. I still just dread the ‘bump in’.

On a side note I forgot to mention… I got a envelope in the mail on Friday. It was from the attourney. I guess we’re officially divorced… I guess… I read it and its the same thing I signed 2 weeks ago or whatever. Its always fun to see the final nail get driven into the coffin. I know the deceased is not getting up again, but that doesn’t mean that the finally doesn’t sting a little, ya know? *sigh*

Alright, enough of the novel. Going to bed. Maybe I do have some friends left after all… I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. Although, I forget that people haven’t been in the loop on what’s gone down ‘since’. Maybe I’ll direct them here to get a rundown as to how I’m doing.


Adam (flashing Gang Signs) and Beth, March 2006

Wake up the echos?

Got a call from best friend John (in Georgia… See below) this evening. His idea is for he and I to make a pilgrimage to South Bend and catch a Notre Dame home football game this fall. That actually sounds like a lot of fun. Their first two home games are, of course, Penn State and Michigan. You’re looking at probably a grand a ticket for those games. Maybe we’ll shoot for Stanford, Purdue or Air Force. Probably not as in demand. Of course, I told John that they play USC on the weekend of my birthday… rematch of their absolutely classic game from last season… Of course, to get tickets to that, you have to sell your soul to the devil. (which just might be worth it.)

Anyway, its nice to have something to look forward to. I just hope our trip doesn’t coincide with a home Boise State game… I have a hard time missing those for anything seeing as I haven’t missed a home game in 13 years and all.

That might be a real good time. I hope it comes off.

John and I in Vegas, June 2000