Monday, December 21, 2009

Black Bear Sighting

This morning I had to go WAY out into the country to do an inspection for a prospective home buyer. The name of the town is Ocklawaha, and I was in the part that has no cell phone service, no traffic lights, and a good percentage of the roads are still dirt. Put it this way: I was so far out that I would have to go in town to hunt deer.
Anyway, the person that had sent me out there told me to be careful because the door had been kicked in previously and someone had stole all of the appliances. He also said that he'd seen many bear tracks around the perimeter of the home, so I should be on the lookout for anything coming out of the woods that wasn't two-legged. The moment he mentioned bear, I forgot everything he said prior to that. The possibility of some burglar attacking me didn't faze me. Not when there was a chance of running into..well you know...the "B" word. Oh yeah, I saw those old "Faces of Death" videos where the bear turns that dude into his own personal plate of linguine, so believe me... I was on high alert.
Upon my arrival -my judo chop locked and loaded - I walked the outside of the home and immediately notice several bear tracks in the dirt. I took a picture of them for proof. They looked like they belonged to a BIG bear, but the more I thought about it, I guess all bear tracks are at least pretty big. So after I finished up, and prepared to leave unscathed and unmauled by the beast, I set out for my next appointment. While driving, I passed a side street and noticed something unusual in my peripheral. I turned to see a good sized Florida back bear sitting 15 feet from my vehicle staring at me. I immediately put my truck in reverse in hopes that I could take a picture of it.Suddenly emboldened with adrenalin, I rolled my window down and headed back towards the bear. This made me a little weary because I kept imagining it charging my truck. "If he did," I told my self "I would simply put the truck in drive and take off." The best he could do is ram my truck and worse case scenario is I would have a cool story to tell my insurance agent. As far as what I really should do if I come in contact with a bear,The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says this: Talk to the bear in a normal, calm voice, in as much of a monotone as you can master. You can say anything you want, as there is no evidence that bears can understand English.(Um, Really?)“Hey bear, hey bear, we’re here and we’re getting out of your way now,” is easy enough to remember! If you are in a group, only one person should be the “bear talker” as several people talking will likely sound contentious to a bear, no matter what you’re saying.
Now I don't know about you but, if I'm about to expire, I don't necessarily want my last words on the earth to be,"Hey bear, hey bear, we’re here and we’re getting out of your way now.” Maybe something more meaningful as in, "Listen son, you're gonna be the man of the house now, so promise me you'll take care of your mama and your sister...and don't forget to feed Old Yeller."
But alas, as I got close, it ran off into the woods. I snapped a photo of it running away, but cell phone cameras unfortunately don't always take the best pictures. So all I got was a fuzzy photo of a dark, shadowy image. Kind of like the photos you see that are supposed to be "proof" that bigfoot is real. Maybe soon I'll be on the shores of Lake George and I'll snap a pic of Ol' Nessie.
None the less, as Monday mornings go, at least this one was bearable.
Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Top Five Christmas Movies

1.It's a Wonderful Life
What would Bedford Falls be like if George Bailey was never born? Once more, what would the Christmas season be like without this masterpiece? I shiver at the thought!

2. A Christmas Story
This cult classic was actually kind of a dud at the box office in 1983 but has made up serious ground since then. For many, this movie is as much a part of Christmas nowadays as going into the frozen forest and chopping down this years tree and…well you know what I mean.

Buddy the elf goes to Manhattan to find his biological dad and he's surprised to find that his dad treats him like a giant weirdo who dresses like an elf…probably because he's a giant weirdo who dress like an elf.

4. Home Alone
Slapstick reigns supreme in this 1990 classic. Charlie Chaplan would be proud of young Macaulay Culkin (Kevin), as he burns, beats, and baffles the bad guys at every turn.

5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

The Griswold family returns for this wild, and warped Christmas affair. From the moment cousin Eddy (Randy Quaid) and the rest of the family arrives, it's non stop mayhem and merriment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is a list of my favorite movies.And while I could put certain movies on this list that would make me look worldly and sophisticated-a nearly impossible feat- I’m only listing the one’s that I know front to back and have watched numerous times. Keep in mind, I am pretty much a caveman, and the more action and violence, the better I like the movie. But even I have a softer side, as you will see from one or two of my picks. Still,romantic comedies would be a lot better if they incorporated a few sword fights now and then, but I digress. Without further ado... the list.

1. Braveheart
- While a bit violent for some, this epic film has something for everyone; love, action, sacrifice, grief, encouragement. It has it all. And it’s based on a true story to boot.

2. Schindler’s List - This movie takes an in depth look into the holocaust and at German business man Arthur Schindler, who, through pure desire for profit, almost accidentally, turns into one of the true heroes of the 20th century. In my opinion, this is Steven Spielberg’s finest work to date.

3. The Godfather Part II - This sequel picks up where the first movie left off and actually improves on Part I. The scenes based in the early 1900’s are some of my favorite in all of film.

4. The Godfather - Well as I said above, this movie was very well done. From it’s star studded cast to all of it's legendary scenes, this movie is one for the ages.

5. The Wizard Of Oz - Filmed in full color and released in 1939, this film was cutting edge for it’s day. While losing nearly every major award to Gone With The Wind that year, this is the movie that has stood the test of time.

6. It’s A Wonderful Life - Love it. Watch it every year. Anyone who’s ever tried to be successful and experienced frustration and setbacks only to triumph through perseverance can identify with George Bailey, an American icon.

7. Star Wars - This movie totally consumed my friends and I for years. The 70’s weren’t exactly known for being hi-tech but this sci-fi adventure was the exception.

8. Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring - Great story line, memorable characters, groundbreaking special effects, and dominated all of the major awards with good reason.

9. Titanic - Okay here’s my entry from the “Romance” genre. This film was so big and so popular that people started suffering from Titanic fatigue. It then became more accepted to mock this film than admit you liked it. None the less, it’s impact was every bit as huge as the vessel it was named after.

10. Glitter...Just kidding.

10. A Few Good Men - With no action or romance to speak of, this movie was all about story lines and dialogue. With great acting from big stars like Nicholas, and Cruise, this movie has some of the most memorable moments and lines ever. Remember? “You can’t handle the truth!”

India Unveils World’s Cheapest $10 Laptop

India Unveils World’s Cheapest $10 Laptop

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Let me see...should I get the extended warranty?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

San Francisco Mayor Backs Radiation Labels For Cell Phones

So mayor Gavin Newsom is behind a proposed new law that would require cell phone manufacturers to label each phone with radiation information. The labeling must be at least as large as the price display. Are you kidding me? There's no scientific consensus on whether or not cell phone radiation does any harm, but that's not enough to stop big brother from protecting us from ourselves. Being the mindless sheep that we are.
What's next? Maybe they'll pass legislation saying the stuff that we exhale- carbon dioxide- is harming the environment and we'll have to buy these imaginary "carbon credits" to offset our crime of breathing out. Oh wait, maybe I shouldn't give them any more ideas.
My job, on most days, requires the use of a ladder so I can access attics to perform my inspections. Every time I set up my ladder I see numerous warning labels like, "Don't stand on here" or "This is not a step" and "Falling from this ladder would probably really hurt so you might want to avoid that." Okay, so I added the last one myself, but it's not that much of a stretch.
If I order a cup of coffee at the drive-thru, do they really have to warn me that coffee is hot? Yes. Because if they don't, and I spill that coffee on me and get burned then guess what? I'm getting paid! What ever happened to accidents or just plain ol' bad luck? Why does every misfortune of mine have to be someone else's fault? Let's take sports for example: "Hey coach, how come you're not starting my son at quarterback? I think he deserves it more than that other other kid." Because your son sucks that's why. Sure he may be a good student and he studies the bible every day, but he's got a noodle for an arm and you can time his 40 yard dash with a calender. And you know what? That's okay. It's no one's fault, that's just the way it is. I mean, where did this sense of entitlement come from?
So I reserve my right to fall off of my ladder dang it. Let me spill hot coffee on my self if I want. It shouldn't have to cost someone else millions of dollars because I was being careless or dumb.Well I guess I should wrap this up because my cell phone's ringing and it might be momma. Now where's that speaker button... don't wanna hold these things to close to our face now do we?

The love of money

Today while I was working, I was thinking about ways to make more money, while I was making money!. I wondered,"How can my small company gain market share?" I was thinking how nice it would be to have lots of disposable income, be able to vacation in Europe, drive the kind of car I’ve always wanted.
I wonder, how many people go through the day thinking these exact same thoughts? Almost everyone who’s carrying the label “Provider”, that’s who. No wonder it’s hard to make a lot of money - because everyone else is trying to make it too! Where does this obsession come from? Is it primal -as in- If I don’t hunt food, my family will starve? Maybe it’s the “Keeping Up With The Jones’” syndrome. Think about it, that neighbor- you know-the one who drives the Escalade with the nice rims and all the gold trim. Every time you take out the trash, you see that car. And if you look closer you’ll see his butler taking out his. Then later that morning he passes by your house on the way to work and you smile and wave while saying under your breathe,”Yeah hey, how you doin’? Don’t hit a telephone pole or anything.”
Now, I know this isn’t exactly how it works but in my mind I picture this pie graph, and I see my minuscule little sliver with a bunch of other slivers around it. Those “other” slivers are all of the people who have the same thoughts about money as me. You people!
Well then, I would like to ask all of you a favor: Stop thinking so much about making money. Because when you do, you're making it harder for me to make mine. Let me put it this way, the next time your being innovative, or you’re really hustling to top last months goal, stop and think for a second, “How am I affecting James’ ability to make money? Am I stealing a piece of his pie to feed my own greedy agenda?” Life isn't just about you... you know?
Okay so maybe I'm getting a little carried away with whole money thing. You see what it does to us? Look away, I'm hideous!
So I guess there's nothing wrong with you trying to carve out your own little piece of the pie too.
Just make sure and save a slice for yours truly. Capiche?