Sunday, December 06, 2009

The RANDOM, Random, random Wheel of FUNK, Funk, funk...

In a previous blog post, I mentioned my truck. Well, actually, I mentioned crawling in the back of it to retrieve my canvas bags and included a drawing. It’s a Chevy Avalanche and it rides like a car. While it will carry five adults very comfortably, I can also fold down the back seats and get an 8’ bed for hauling stuff. It has a DVD player that occupies young children and ex-husbands equally well. It also has a remote start. This means that I can, in the comfort of my home or office, start it and it will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Super nice. I could go on and on about all of the fabulous features on this truck but there is one problem with it.

The random wheel of funk.

Many times, when I get in the truck, there’ll be an odd scent. It changes. Sometimes I smell old, gym socks; other times, mildew. Cigarette smoke and burning plastic or rubber are frequent smells. Undefined funky smells are also common.

It doesn’t happen all the time but it happens often enough that when I’m walking toward the truck, I wonder what the random wheel of funk has in store for me that day. I’ve heard about some kind of eco-filter and maybe I should check into that but I haven’t yet.

Earlier this year, I was traveling quite a bit for work and most of that travel was on the Gulf Coast. Let me tell you, working at or near the beach is freakin’ cool. Another huge plus was that I got to drive instead of fly. I don’t mind flying but having my own vehicle rocks. I’m not limited on space for all the various stuff I might need (like my chef’s knife) and I don’t have to deal with car rental places and the like.

While on my way home from one of these trips, I was meandering around a convenience store to stretch my legs and break up the travel a little bit. I saw this:

Too cute. It fit my working-at-the-beach-is-cool mood and it had an EXOTIC scent. I know this because it said so right on the package. I had to have it. I purchased the lovely palm tree air freshener, tucked it into my purse and then I saw something shiny*.

I didn’t think about my awesome new air freshener until I stopped again a few hours later. I was at a gas station/convenience store/restaurant/farmer’s market kind of place. Great stop to stretch my legs and meander a bit. I was about to get out of the truck when I remembered the palm tree air freshener. I quickly unwrapped it, hung it from my rear view mirror (I know), and went into the store. I checked to make sure the plumbing was operating correctly in the restroom, considered whether I should eat there (no), and checked out the store. I was probably in there for a good thirty minutes. It takes a long time to meander properly, you know. There was shiny stuff all over the place!

It was rather warm that day and I’d parked in the sun. Air fresheners get super-activated with warmth and sun. I don’t think I realized that before that day.

Since I’d meandered for quite a while and was still at least five hours from home, I left in a hurry. I jumped into the truck, cranked it and started driving… thinking to myself that the air freshener was damned strong.

Within a minute or so, I was on the Interstate. Within a minute and fifteen seconds, my eyes had started to water and I could taste the air freshener. Seriously. Oh, the taste? The exotic scent?

Pine. Exotic pine. PINE. Like pine trees. Kind of like gin but without the buzz. WTF?

I pulled over, removed the offending, stinky, nasty air freshener ruiner and tossed it in the back of the truck. I was tempted to throw it out on the side of the road but that wouldn’t be green. Plus, I was thinking about you, dear Internet. Blogs with pictures are better, don’t you think?

The new and disastrously unimproved RANDOM WHEEL OF FUNK – Now, with Exotic Pine and a Chemical Aftertaste.

* “Something shiny” happens to me a lot. I don’t know if it’s just because I have too much going on in my life but I’m easily distracted. Short attention span, ADHD, ditzy blonde, whatever.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

In my profile, I've mentioned that I'm a defense contractor. It's kind of a family business. My dad was a defense contractor, too, for over 25 years. However, before that, he was in the Army. He made a career of both with more than four decades of service to our country.

I grew up appreciating the sacrifices our military personnel make. I saw, first-hand, the dedication of our servicemen and women. The pay is low, the hours long, and the sacrifice for some, ultimate.

Today is Veteran's Day. It's a day for us to remember those who paid that ultimate price and a day to thank those who are still with us.

I frequently get frustrated at work. The red-tape and bullshit combined with the "who cares" attitude of some of my colleagues makes my tasks daunting at times. Recently, though, my dad let me have his old helmet from his Army days. I put it on my bookshelf at work and every single day when I walk into my office, I see it and remember who it is I'm working to support - the American Soldier. That's what makes it worth it, that's what makes my job mean so much to me.

Gene Castagnetti, USMC, (retired), director, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is credited by some as saying, "A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of up to and including his life. That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it."

Another tidbit: Colin Powell, while at a large conference in England, was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of ‘empire building' by George Bush. He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.’

Thank you, G.I. Joe and G.I. Jane. I appreciate you more than I can ever say.

I rarely talk about family and I never post personal pictures but Dad gave me permission to share a few of his service photos. Thank you, Dad.

Hua, Hooah, Hoorah, Hooyah, Semper Fi, and Anchors Aweigh!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

June? The last time I posted was JUNE?

That's just ridiculous. June? That was almost half a year ago.

Issue One:
I've had some access issues to the blog.

Issue Two:
I have been sofa king busy at work I can't see straight.

Issue Three:
Non-blog-appropriate personal stuff going on in my life.

Issue Four:
Ennui (The link will take you to a dictionary and recording of the pronunciation.)

Risk Mitigation Strategies (Can you tell I have work on my brain? Substitute "Excuse" for "Issue." Then, substitute "Issue Resolution" for "Risk Mitigation Strategies" and we'll be back in the real world and out of defense contracting land... well, at least we'll be on the path there. Issue Resolution is still rather work-like but it's early and I haven't had enough coffee.)


Excuse/Issue Resolution One:
I'm wicked smaht and I have gadgets. I can take care of this.

Excuse/Issue Resolution Two:
I'm working on my life/work balance and, while I really love my job, I need to make the time to do the things I like to do (like writing and such).

Excuse/Issue Resolution Three:
I don't wanna talk about it. Maybe later.

Excuse/Issue Resolution Four:
Note - I love that word. I'll snap out of it.

I can't wait to tell you about the Random Wheel of Funk!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Excuses, excuses - update - and good news!

I've been on the road for work far too much lately and I've missed you, dear Internet.

I have an update on Highway Treadmill Guy.

Highway Treadmill Guy is the owner of the health food store. He'd been working so hard with the store that he'd let himself get out of shape. The store wasn't doing that well. Heck, I drove by it every day and didn't even know it was there until I saw him on the side of the highway. He decided to combine exercise and advertising. It worked. I don't usually watch the local news but several tv and radio stations came out and interviewed him. Some folks pulled into the parking lot to ask him what he was doing. Business has really picked up for him, he lost 15 pounds, and now runs nearly every day.

In other news, fans of good beer have achieved a major victory in Alabama. Up until a few weeks ago, The Code of Alabama, in §28-3-1(3), addressing the regulation of alcoholic beverages, restricted ABV to 6%. It stated:

"BEER, or MALT OR BREWED BEVERAGES. Any beer, lager beer, ale, porter, malt or brewed beverage, or similar fermented malt liquor containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume and not in excess of five percent alcohol by weight and six percent by volume, by whatever name the same may be called."

That meant that while wine could have an ABV of up to 24% and was not regulated to certain bottle/container sizes, many craft and gourmet beers were not legal in Alabama. That sucked.

A lovely organization and movement called Free the Hops got busy. They were (finally) successful. On May 22, 2009, the Gourmet Beer Bill (HB373) was signed into law by Governor Riley!

Alabama beer laws are still somewhat restrictive but this is a HUGE step forward. Free the Hops is still working to, erm, free the hops in Alabama. It's a rather slow process for the distributors to get the now-legal beers into local shops, bars, and restaurants but the good stuff is beginning to trickle in - even in North Alabama. There are still restrictions on container size, home brewers, competitions, etc. so Free The Hops still has a mission and I plan to support that mission as much as possible.

A local brewery, Olde Towne Brewing Company, has released a beer in honor of this auspicious occasion. Emancipation Double IPA is available in a few choice locations.

I realize there are several non-local readers who are probably a little bored by this part of the post but won't you raise a pint in celebration with us? You've had great beer available to you while we've made do.

I'll close this post with some Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy: "Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed - Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, 'It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.'"


Friday, May 01, 2009

Boob Update

The preliminary biopsy results show no sign of cancer.

I am so relieved.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

National Poetry Month

Can one month contain such fabulousness?

Grilled Cheese Month, National Poetry Month, the Dining with Friends Dinner, AND my birthday? ~whew~ I get exhausted just thinking about all of those fun things.

By the way, there's been an update to the Hamzilla Incident. Be sure to check it out. You never know if you might be able to help.

In addition to all of the fun and excitement of the above mentioned events, I've also had a little bit of my own personal drama to deal with these days. In the past, I've kind of shut down and stopped blogging for a while when life gets difficult. I'm not doing that this time. I, also, don't share too much deeply personal stuff. Mostly, I like to keep it random and, hopefully, interesting and not like a "Dear Diary" kind of blog.

I could procrastinate this all night but I won't. You get a two-fer this evening. Not only have I written a poem to properly acknowledge National Poetry Month, I'm also putting out* a little bit of personal info.

I live in Alabama
But I swear I’m not a rube
Yet I find it important
To write a poem to my boob.

Mammograms are quite awkward
The ultrasound showed stuff, too
A week of doctor visits
They decided what to do

My left boob has a problem
The surgeon has made a slit
He went in there to find out
What is wrong with that left tit.

I admit I’m quite nervous
Biopsies just are not fun
The waiting’s even harder
But the waiting must be done

The path lab has the sample
They will do their tissue test
Then Dr. Boob will call me
I will keep you all… abreast.

If you pray, please do. Light candles, do interpretive dance, get your mojo rising, wish on a star, stare at the lint in your navel while pondering the meaning of life and boobies, whatever. Please think positive thoughts. I hope to have results tomorrow.

*Calm down, Jeremy. It's not that kind of putting out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's National Grilled Cheese Month! Really!

Just in case you don't have this marked on your calendar, I feel it's my duty to let you know about this fantastic, month-long holiday. Mmmm. Cheese.

For the past couple of years, I've been doing Grilled Cheese Night with any of my family who happen to be in the area. Each year, a favorite or two from the previous year gets to make a comeback. We make several different varieties of grilled cheeses, cut them into quarters (or whatever makes sense based on the size of the bread), then eat and rate. Grilled cheese purists would be outraged at some of the additions to these sandwiches but I consider myself a pancheesual person and I accept all types and kinds of variations on the norm.

Here are the sandwiches from this Sunday:

1. Turkey and baby swiss on sourdough
2. Peanut butter, granny smith apple, and cheddar on wheat
3. Pastrami, swiss, and spicy mustard on pumpernickle
4. Prosciutto, mozzarella, parmesan, and sun-dried tomato pesto on Italian bread
5. Blue cheese, dates, and bacon on pumpernickle
6. Havarti dill on white
7. Gouda and pear on Italian
8. Butterkase on sourdough
9. Avocado, cheddar, cumin, and chipotle chili powder on corn tortilla


Number 1 is a favorite in the Wurdibitsch house and is eaten year-round. Number 2 was a favorite from last year that came back for round two. I think the Granny Smith was too tart or I just remembered it being better. Number 3 was well-liked by everyone but made us all think of Reubens and then it was kind of sad. Number 4 was popular with half the folks and just "eh" for the rest. I think it needs a spicier meat (like pepperoni). It just seemed lacking some ooomph. Number 5 was a surprise dark horse. The blue cheese got several raised eyebrows and a couple, "I'll try it but I'm not promising anything." We thought it might be too strong a flavor for the grandgirl who was awake for the event but we were wrong. This was one of most liked sandwiches. Number 6 is like eating a soft, warm, dill pickle. Simple and delicious. Number 7 was surprisingly good, too. The pear was just firm enough to provide a little bite to the bite and the gouda (non-smoked) was perfect with it. Number 8 was boring. Butterkase is excellent by itself or melted or maybe with something else but it got lost in the crowd. Number 9 was also a nice surprise. The chipotle chili powder gave it just a little bit of a kick.

With all of that cheese, a heavy side dish would have been a disaster. I made two salads. The salad on the left is fennel, orange, and arugula with an olive oil, lemon and pepper dressing. The salad on the right is my bok choy, jicama, apple slaw. Since we had orange in the other salad, I substituted pineapple juice (and some pineapple bits) for the orange juice. I was also not that thrilled with some of my bok choy and had some romaine lettuce that needed to be used so I did half bok choy and half romaine. Tasty stuff.

Happy National Grilled Cheese Month!

Since Sunday was also my birthday, we had cheesecake, made by MrWurdi, the masterbaker, for dessert.

Monday, April 27, 2009


This time of year is when folks in our area start hosting dinners called, "Dining with Friends." These dinners benefit the local AIDS Action Coalition and the Davis Clinic. For a donation, the invitees eat, drink, and make merry - all for a good cause.

My dear friend, Chef~H aka Wormy, has hosted for as long as I can remember. Although I wasn't there this year, I've heard what happened at this year's event. In addition to pig candy and other BBQ'd delights prepared by Pinky, Chef~H prepared a massive ham. Close to thirty pounds, this was an impressive piece of meat.

The ham is missing.

I modified a song from my youth to pay tribute to the missing:

With a benefit dinner and some tasty food
The thirty-pound ham roast set a good mood
Start the carving with a sharp knife
A mighty big porker gave his life
The folks started drinking and a few, they got sauced
That massive porker ended up getting lost

Oh no, they say to cook it slow, slow slow Hamzilla
Oh no, where did that big ham go, go go Hamzilla

Oh no, they say cook it slow, slow slow Hamzilla
Oh no, where did that big ham go, go go Hamzilla

History shows again and again
How liquor exposes the folly of man
History shows again and again
History shows again and again
How liquor exposes the folly of man
History shows again and again

Oh no, they say to cook it slow, slow slow Hamzilla
Oh no, where did that big ham go, go go Hamzilla

This verse goes again and again
The original song won’t ever end
History shows again and again
This verse goes again and again
But on this verse, this time, the song will end
History shows again and again

If you've seen the missing ham or have information as to its whereabouts, please leave a message in the comments section of this post.

A hambone was left in a unmarked cardboard box on Wormy's doorstep the other day. A note was with the bone. The note, unsigned, read, "Thanks for the ham."

What kind of sick porkalogical madman would do such a thing?

Again, if you have any information about this incident, please contact us through the comments section of this post. Remember, only you can stop pork theft.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Highway Treadmill Guy

I mentioned Highway Treadmill Guy a while back.

I was driving to work one morning when all of a sudden, I saw this guy on a treadmill right on the side of the road. Now, I live in the freakin' boonies so when I'm driving to work, I'm either way out in the county or I'm on the highway. As it was, I was on the highway portion of my drive. By the time I'm on the highway, traffic is pretty heavy so the first time I saw this dude, it was a quick glance and I wasn't sure I saw what I thought I saw. Still, he was there the next day. And the next. And the next.

Dude. Treadmill on the highway? With all that traffic?

The first couple of times I saw him, I didn't notice any signs or advertisement so I was really confused. It seemed like a rather odd place to exercise.

It was really cold for Alabama on several mornings and this guy was still out there - very bundled up but out there every day. I started trying to figure out his story. I thought maybe he'd lost some kind of New Year's Eve bet. Then, I noticed a banner he had strung up by his highway treadmill.

Aha! He's promoting a health food store!

My logical mind kicked in and I was quite derisive. Dude, health? You're breathing in two county's worth of exhaust fumes every morning. That's fucked up.

But, yet, I was fascinated with this guy. He was dedicated. He was out there every morning. We had some obnoxiously horrible weather. He was out there. After a while, he started jogging - then running - on the treadmill. I found myself talking to him every morning.

"Good morning, Highway Treadmill Guy."

"Dude, you are seriously dedicated, Highway Treadmill Guy."

The weather got better and the layers of clothing lessened.

"Looking good, Highway Treadmill Guy!"

I don't know if he was trying to get healthier or promote the store but he was definitely getting my attention.

A week ago, he had a new sign posted: Last Week

Dude. That sucks.

I'm going to miss him but whatever he was doing, it worked. I'm going to the health food store tomorrow. I'm going to find out what the dealio is.

I'll be sure to let you know.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Best Nest

One of my favorite books when I was a child was The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman. What Mr. Bird says all throughout the book is:

"I love my house.
I love my nest.
In all the world,
my nest is best!"

I get that.

This past Saturday, I got new houseguests. I like these houseguests MUCH better than my previous ones.

Introducing the Dove family:

I thought it was kind of cool how they showed up the day before Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tap, tap, tap... Is this thing on?

I have had so much bloggity-blog-blog stuff to share with you, dear Internet. Alas, I have been paralyzed by my last post. Every single time I had something to write about, I'd remember that I hadn't followed up on Electile Dysfunction. Then, the thought of writing about politics would make my head hurt.

So, you haven't read about Highway Treadmill Guy or the ancient iron or what's cooking in Ima's kitchen or my Flat Stanley project and the follow-on to that, Flat Stanley After Dark. I haven't written about continuing Publix Embarrassment or my searches for great service. No haikus (Haiked Up, Clafoutis, Redneck, Wine) or limericks or funny cartoons have made their way to the Not-So-Wordy-After-All-Bitch blog.

So, rather than write a long essay about each of my voting issues, I'll keep it short and get this over with so I can blog about trivial stuff again. Someday, maybe when I have a little more emotional energy, I'll expound but no promises (threats).

In my last post, I listed my voting issues as follows:

1. Pro-Defense
2. Pro-Gun Rights
3. Pro-Life
4. Pro-Gay Marriage

That's the wrong order, for one thing. Let me try again.

1. Pro-Life

The rest pretty much all tie for importance but I'm just not going to vote for someone who is not pro-life.

Now, I know terminology can get people all stirred up and I could devote this whole post to that topic (but I'm not). I'm pro-life. I call it pro-life. I don't use the term anti-life for people who are pro-choice. Please don't call me anti-choice. I'll use your preferred term for you and you use mine for me, okay? I'm not anti-choice. It might surprise you to know that I'm pro-choice in my own way.

I do not for a minute think that any person or agency or government should tell any sane adult what they can or can not do with their own body. After that is where my path and the pro-choicers paths separate. The way I see it, once a person is pregnant, it's not just their body we're discussing. It comes down to the question of when life begins. There are so many differing opinions on this. Whether it's at conception or when there are brain waves or at birth or first breath has been and will continue to be debated. Brain waves (one of the criteria for keeping an adult on life support) have been measured at six weeks after conception. For me, that's life - an innocent life. Technology may eventually show us that there's "life" earlier than that.

I believe a person should be able to do what they want to do with their own body but that involves being responsible about that body. We all do risky things, knowing the risks and taking precautions, but knowing the potential consequences. Don't want any more kids? You can take all of the precautions: condoms, birth control pills, vasectomy for your partner, tubal ligations, etc. but there's still the risk of pregnancy. The only sure ways are to either not have sex or not have a uterus (yay, hysterectomies!)

There are arguments for legal abortion that are worth civilized discussion (life of the mother being one) but the current laws allowing abortion for any reason means that many innocent lives are ended because they were inconvenient or would create a hardship or just because the mother wasn't being responsible about her body. I've seen it and I've heard it. I volunteered for a crisis pregnancy hotline many years ago and met women who used abortion as birth control. I understand how difficult it can be to be a pregnant teenager who isn't going to be able to take the scholarship - that was me.

Contentious topic, I know, but it's one about which I feel very strongly and, as the tagline says, "This is how I see it." That said, I'd be glad to have a rational, reasonable, polite conversation about this or any topic.

Since I promised I wasn't going to do a lengthy essay on each of my voting issues, I'll keep the other three really short for today.

~Pro-Gun Rights: I'm a law-abiding citizen. Taking my gun rights because others have abused theirs is not acceptable.

~Pro-Defense: We can not afford to be complacent.

~Pro-Gay Marriage: I am sure I'll do a long post on this at some point... Love is a good thing, baby. Marriage isn't just a religious thing - it's a legal thing. The laws are written using the word "marriage" to show a legal joining that allows for certain legal rights - legal rights that should not be infringed upon because of who or how you love.

Peace and Love and Congrats to Vermont this week for seeing the light!