Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Unofficial Bring Your Child to Work Day?

All day long, different people here in the office have been parading their kids from desk to desk for some daytime trick-or-treating. Some of these kids appear five or younger, but some are clearly older. Why are they not in school? I don't think it's an official holiday.

Don't get me wrong, I like kids, their costumes are cute, I'm glad they're having fun, etc. But I think that if I was a parent, and I had to choose between my child A) learning about fractions, or the Boston Tea Party, or spelling correctly, or B) acquiring handfuls of prepackaged, processed sugar, I'd probably have to choose a quality education.

(Then later that night, they can go get their prepackaged, processed sugar from the neighbors.)

2 Talked Back:

At October 31, 2006 at 9:18:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

well, bah humbug to you!!!!!! :)

I would have bet you'd wear a costume to work


At November 4, 2006 at 8:53:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

I'd choose option b myself. Especially as a kid. I love seeing them come in in their costumes. Always preferrable to the grown adults wearing kids costumes. I had two women in my office wearing Superman costumes. If you are over 30 and not a supermodel NO ONE wants to see you in full spandex and tights. UGH!

I went to Josh's presumably to hang out and help hand out candy. He only had a few trick or treaters as well. But there was a huge traffic jam on the way home. I think everyone was driving to the swanky neighborhoods to get the rich people's candy...


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Monday, October 30, 2006

The kids went trick-or-treating in their swimsuits again

Hi! Nicole and I are back from the honeymoon now, and we'll be updating our blogs soon. I really just wanted to come on here and say WOW, the weather here in southern Missouri sure is warmer than I ever knew in Portland. It's October 30, and it's supposed to be 77° today! By contrast, the forecast for Portland is 51°, which frankly I think is a little warm.

That is all.

1 Talked Back:

At November 4, 2006 at 8:50:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

It was 27 degrees one morning this week. But I'm not worried because next week I'll be on Oahu enjoying the beaches and sunny weather. Hooray!!!


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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Back to blogging soon

Hi everyone, since we've been on our honeymoon this week, I haven't been blogging. Nicole and I will be home tomorrow night, so shortly after that, we'll be telling you about our week...all of the interesting places we've visited and things we've seen all around the Kansas City area.

See you soon!

Friday, October 20, 2006

It's crunch time, and I'm not talking about cereal

The wedding is tomorrow afternoon. Am I nervous? Getting there!

Last night at about 2:30 a.m. Nicole and I finished our packing for the honeymoon. This morning, I woke up at eight to help her get ready for her mani-pedi appointment. I say "help her get ready" but that really means "get up at the same time as her out of loving support and fairness", only because she just had to get up this early and I didn't have to yet.

My groomsmen, parents and niece are all coming into town today, one way or the other. John flew into Chicago yesterday, and he and his girlfriend, and Dan and his wife (who, conveniently, are from the Chicago area), are making the 9- to 10-hour drive to be here. Dave originally missed his flight that would have brought him into Tulsa last night at 11:30-ish, but he was able to catch a red-eye to O'Hare, and he makes the second leg of the trip this morning (hopefully, that is, if he got on the standby flight at 8:30. If not, the next flight wouldn't leave there until 2:55 this afternoon). I'm driving a van to Tulsa at 11:30 or so to pick up my mom, her husband, and my niece, then to kill some time around Tulsa until Dad's flight comes in at 2:45-ish.

Then all of us are driving back, to the hotel in Joplin. I'll help get everyone settled in their rooms before moving everyone over to the church for the rehearsal and dinner. In a word: Ribs.

Not only that, I need to be available to pick up anything we might need from a Wal-mart or Michael's or whatever.

It's approaching quickly!

2 Talked Back:

At October 20, 2006 at 9:58:00 PM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

I love that you are available for support and small trips to Michaels and Wal Mart! So fun. I wish I could be there. Seriously!

My love to you both!!!!


At October 22, 2006 at 11:20:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

Congratulations, Mr. Married Man!


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Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm getting married in two days, and here I am blogging about breakfast

I got breakfast from the company cafeteria today, but I forgot to grab a knife to spread jelly on my English muffin.

Used a piece of bacon instead. Worked pretty good.

Now I'm thinking about inventing a type of bacon that cooks perfectly straight and rigid, so it can double as a knife. I'll call it the Baco-Knife™.

I probably should wait until after the honeymoon to develop that one.

3 Talked Back:

At October 19, 2006 at 11:33:00 AM CDT, Blogger Meagan said...

That is a good idea. Everyone already knows how french fries are perfect for spreading ketchup on a burger. Why not bacon for jelly?


At October 19, 2006 at 12:07:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

As far as I know, nobody's invented light bulbs made of candy, either.

P.S. Hi Meagan! Long time no see.


At October 20, 2006 at 4:17:00 PM CDT, Blogger Why said...



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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Big Easy idea

When New Orleans has finally been rebuilt, they ought to officially change the city's name to New and Improved Orleans.

3 Talked Back:

At October 18, 2006 at 1:35:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

shouldn't you be saying your strength or something???????? :)

has anyone told you what they do to the groom-to-be the night before the wedding, oops, nevermind


At October 18, 2006 at 8:17:00 AM CDT, Blogger stan said...

These last two posts were buried deep in my Drafts archives from 2005, and I wondered why I hadn't posted them in the first place, so I just did. I suppose the New Orleans idea would have been more timely (and original) in Sept. 2005, when I first thought of it.

And fortunately, nobody knows me in this town, so I'm safe as far as pre-wedding shenanigans go. My bachelor party was on September 8, right before I left Portland. We ate Cheetos and threw darts (not at each other).


At October 19, 2006 at 12:43:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

you zany wascals


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At least I'll be organized

The scheduler on my cell phone will let me set a reminder for as far into the future as Dec. 31, 2099. So, decades after I'm dead and buried, I still won't miss any appointments.

2 Talked Back:

At October 17, 2006 at 9:02:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Amy said...

So then they won't be able to call you "The Late Stanley Kost"


At October 18, 2006 at 1:33:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

they do that because that's how long it takes to pay off credit cards


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Hey Jim, has this ever happened to you?

Nicole and I went through the McDonald's drive-thru today at lunch. When we paid and pulled forward to collect our food, the window opened, and the 55-ish lady inside handed me one of our drinks and two straws. Before the other drink was ready, here's what she said:

"Boy, I'm ready for bed."

Not knowing what to say (was that a proposal of some kind?), I politely smiled and waited for the second beverage to be filled. It was only a medium drink - what was taking so long? That's when the woman inside, whom neither Nicole nor I has ever met, began to tell us about how 3:00 in the morning sure does come early, except today she had to be up at 2:00, and her grand-daughter kept waking her up, and blah blah blah...

I wanted to loudly say, "Dear Diary..." but I just didn't have the heart. All I cared about was whether they remembered that second order of fries, unlike last time.

7 Talked Back:

At October 17, 2006 at 9:15:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

Oh my gosh, that sort of thing happens to me all the time. Maybe not in McDonalds drive-thru's, but it seems like everywhere I go, random people start telling me deep and personal things about their lives. And I'm just like, "Why are you telling me?"


At October 18, 2006 at 1:33:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

welcome to small town America -- a couple weeks ago the food-hander-outer (Window 2) told me all of the detail of her wedding (the bridesmaids wore 'Bordeaux' -- I knew two of them because they work at, well, you know) -- you eventually get to know how long the lady at the post office was married and how long it takes her to cut her grass, and why the walls at the cleaners were supposed to be painted blue but they turned out greenish because the owner hired a relative -- when I first moved to Texas, many of the gas stations were still full service, you were expected to get out of you car and talk to the guy for at least 20 minutes


At October 19, 2006 at 11:37:00 AM CDT, Blogger rindy said...

I'm a friend of Nicole's from small town Arkansas. She and I recently "reconnected" thanks to the blog world, and I've enjoyed getting to know her again by reading your and her blogs. Because blog culture lends itself so well to unsolicited comments and advice...here's mine: although your northwestern perspective on "the south" is interesting, for your own peace and contentment it might be helpful to start looking at the differences as unique aspects of a group of people different from what you've known rather than a somewhat condescending view of a way of life vastly different from anything you've ever experienced. When I moved back to Arkansas last year after living in a city of 16 million people, every little thing about small town folk really annoyed me. But once I started trying to focus on the unique aspects of a small, southern town, it become a delightful place to live. So, ok, this isn't the typical quick, witty comment that most try to leave on a blog, but I'm praying for the best in your marriage to Nicole and a husband who is happy and content with his surroundings makes for a much happier marriage.


At October 19, 2006 at 3:00:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

1. I don't consider this the South. It's different from the Northwest in some aspects, but overall it's quite the same here as there.

b. There are plenty, and I mean plenty of weird people and situations in Portland, too, far weirder and more blogworthy then yesterday's chatty McDonald's lady. 95% of my blog entries are Portland-based.

III. Yesterday, Nicole was just as perplexed as I was.

4th. I'm not really writing about annoyances per se, just interesting people, situations and observations. I blog about happy things, too.

I appreciate the advice, Rindy, really I do, but I think I'm doing just fine. And just to show that I'm good, I'm going to link to a recent photo of me smiling.


At October 19, 2006 at 9:00:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

My, how you've aged. :)


At October 20, 2006 at 8:33:00 AM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Nicole sure is lucky to snag a looker like me!


At October 24, 2006 at 1:17:00 PM CDT, Blogger rindy said...

Good to hear you're doing great. And, I am very excited for you and Nicole, congrats!


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Sunday, October 15, 2006

The family that poops together stays together

Spotted in a restroom area inside a Tulsa shopping mall

4 Talked Back:

At October 16, 2006 at 12:16:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

You know how I feel about potty humor. ;-}


At October 16, 2006 at 1:48:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Amy said...

I wish there were more "Family Restrooms" my five year old little boy just can't take the indignity of using the Women's room much longer.


At October 16, 2006 at 3:19:00 PM CDT, Blogger Scott said...

We have one of these at the Casino were I work.


At October 17, 2006 at 1:42:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

they seem to have turned their backs to the guy in the wheelchair


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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Now introducing Hellmann's Anti-Bacterial Medical Mayonnaise

Spotted this typo when checking the Hellmann's Mayonnaise FAQ (don't ask why I was there):

Where is the best place to buy my favorite Hellmann's/BestFoods products?

Hellmann's/BestFoods products are sold nationally in most supermarket chains, as well as mass merchandise (club) stores. Although we would like each of our products to be available in all sores, shelf space and consumer demand sometimes limit the number of items a retailer is willing to carry....
Here's the link to the Hellmann's FAQ; it's question 2.

2 Talked Back:

At October 12, 2006 at 8:36:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

did you have a mayonnaise question, or were you just being Stan checking out FAQ sites for fun and pleasure :)


At October 13, 2006 at 8:24:00 AM CDT, Blogger stan said...

I had never heard of Hellmann's mayonnaise until I came to Missouri, but the logo and packaging are identical to Best Foods, so I looked it up. Sure enough, it's the same company, Best Foods west of the Rockies and Hellmann's to the east. Best Foods bought Hellmann's in 1932.

And yes, FAQ sites are fun. If all the world had FAQ's, universities would go out of business. I should start posting random FAQ pages regularly. Here's another one:

FAQ's about Speedi-Beet


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Waaaaahhhhhh!!! WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!

While a woman is on maternity leave, sometimes she'll bring her newborn baby into the office to show to her co-workers. I don't have a problem with this at all.

What I do have a problem with is when they stay for several hours, and the baby cries and cries and cries and cries and cries and CRIES and CRIES and CRIES.

When are we going to adopt a national standard time limit for post-natal office visits? I propose two minutes per co-worker, limited to two departments, then go home.

3 Talked Back:

At October 12, 2006 at 5:05:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Amy said...

If that baby screams incessantly, the Mom NEEDS to be out of the house and with friends for a while. Or she will soon be the one crying non-stop.

That said, several hours is a bit too much for any co-worker to handle.


At October 16, 2006 at 12:13:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

Bah Humbug! Okay I had to give you a hard time... Babies in the office, I love babies.


At October 16, 2006 at 12:14:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

Okay that posted before I finished... I agree, if the baby is not enjoying the visit chances are those being visited aren't enjoying it either. But I do agree the poor Mom probably just is dying to get out and see another adult.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dumb question

According to the American Diabetes Association, the number of people in America with undiagnosed diabetes is 6.2 million.

How do they know that if they haven't been diagnosed? Are doctors keeping secrets?

1 Talked Back:

At October 14, 2006 at 1:42:00 PM CDT, Blogger K said...

My favorite is these awareness months. One of them is "Fire Prevention Month." Does that mean the rest of the year we try to start fires?


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DfC #7: Pro-nun-cee-ay-shun

Just over in Oklahoma is a town called Miami. But surprise, it's pronounced My-am-uh.

North of us is a town named Nevada. Neh-vay-duh, not Neh-va-duh. See a trend here?

Down in Arkansas, the townsfolk of El Dorado say it El-dor-ay-doh instead of El-dor-ah-doh.

Apparently to locals, Missouri is pronounced Miz-ur-uh, (or possibly My-am-uh), but I'm not changing the way I say that one. (It's such a double standard, though, because I've always corrected people who pronounce Oregon Or-ee-gonn rather than Or-ee-gun.)

Oregon has a Detroit, a Dallas, a Milwaukie and an Albany. Just like their better-known counterparts in the U.S., they are pronounced Dee-troyt, Dal-lus, Mil-wah-kee and Ahl-buh-nee.

So why is it different down here?

3 Talked Back:

At October 10, 2006 at 4:12:00 PM CDT, Blogger Nicole said...

And in Oregon, there is a town called Aloha, pronounced A-lo-uh instead of A-lo-ha.


At October 10, 2006 at 5:51:00 PM CDT, Blogger Scott said...

Nicole, nice one!!


At October 11, 2006 at 7:26:00 PM CDT, Blogger K said...

There is a town in Virginia called Buena Vista - pronounced Byoo-nah Vista, not Bwa-nah. There is also a town in Mississippi called New Delhi pronounced New Del-HI rather than Del-HE. Gotta love the South.


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Monday, October 09, 2006

DfC #6: And yes, Nicole did sing all of "Oklahoma!"

I've been slacking, big time.

Yes, I know that I took several photos of downtown Carthage a few weeks ago, and that I haven't posted any of them yet. Call me a slacker, but between getting ready for the wedding in a week and a half, and getting things organized in my (soon to be our) living space, it's been a challenge to find some quality blogging time.

I have been neglecting to give you all a very blogworthy update: I am working again! Yes, I am still a "temp", but I'm not working for an outside agency this time. And the pay is lower than I was making in Portland for similar work, but that's just the overall way things go here. Wages are just lower. However, rent prices are generally lower, and gas is $1.98 a gallon, so there's a little bit of balance.

There was a school shooting over in Joplin today. Hey, quit it, already! You know, I got picked on in school, too, but it didn't take a gun to solve the problem. It just took patience. And Jesus.

Last Saturday Nicole and I had to go to Tulsa so she could have her friend (who works at a salon) do a sort of practice run on her hair for the wedding. We made a morning appointment so that we could spend the rest of the day doing some stress-free activity. We thought it would be fun to take the "long way" back to Carthage, which really means that it was a road-trip day. In fact, we went the exact opposite direction—Oklahoma City—before heading toward home. We went to the site of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which was quite a moving experience. (Yes, I took pictures, which I will probably post before Thanksgiving.)

From Oklahoma City we drove north on I-35 and US 77 all the way to Kansas, then east toward home. It's just beautiful country out there, and I loved the towns we drove through, like Guthrie, Perry and Winfield. Nicole was super excited to be able to go to Taco Tico for dinner, because she hadn't been in any of that chain's restaurants since she was a kid. It was my first visit, and I must say, their food's pretty good for being Mexican fast food.

I only realized today that we could have driven to the Little House on the Prairie historic site in Kansas if we'd ventured just a few miles north. I think we'll do that on another Saturday driving adventure.

Oh, remember waaaayyy back in aught-five, when I listed all of the counties I'd ever been to? Well, I updated that list a couple of weeks ago, and now, because of Saturday's trip, I can update it again. I also found a big U.S. map that shows its every county, and I have taken it and colored in every one I've stepped foot (or driven tire) in. I'll post it soon.

Hopefully before Christmas.

1 Talked Back:

At October 10, 2006 at 11:43:00 AM CDT, Blogger Clay Bethelbridge said...

You have a very good blog here, Mr. Carthage.


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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dispatch from Carthage #5: Random Thoughts

Thoughts too small for their own posts:
  • Why is it that no matter where Nicole and I go for a meal, the table at which we sit is always wobbly?

  • Fountain drinks are almost universally served in styrofoam cups here. Environmental consciousness aside, they just don't hold the lids very well. It's only a matter of time before I spill my lemonade all over my pants.

  • Road kill - every day I've seen a new dead animal on the road. Every day.

  • Speaking of roads, most of the roads around here have no shoulders. It's just pavement bordered by grassy ditches. In the Portland area, I can't think of any paved rural roads that have no shoulders.

  • Also, the method for naming roads around here is certifiably crazy. On one level, you have your tree-named roads running alphabetically east-west, and bird/animal-named roads north-south. Then there are the numbered roads: CR 164, CR 170, etc. They seem to progress from one end of the county to the other. Wackiest of all is the letter system, whereby you can have Highways V and HH and D and M and O all over the place, not in any order, and yes, I know that Jim blogged about this on June 18, 2005.

  • It's still strange to think that I'm two hours ahead of almost everyone I have ever met.

  • Stranger still is the number of people here in the area who vaguely look like some I know or have known. I guess there are only so many types of face out there.

  • So much for 185. I need to start losing weight again, because it's getting uncomfortable to tie my shoes.

  • Within a week of my arrival here, Nicole and I went to a Carthage High School football game. For free. Nicole, and now I, are the youth leaders at the church, so the high school figured that we shouldn't have to pay to see any home game. So they sent us a pass, gratis. Go Tigers!

  • Tired of hearing me mention this? I'm getting married in two and a half weeks. Married. Me. At nearly 34 years of age. It's blowing my mind, big time. And I can't wait!

3 Talked Back:

At October 4, 2006 at 11:12:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

no one ever honks their horn.

the wind never stops blowing.

they give the weather for Missouri, kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

someone is always "going to the lake" but never says which lake.


At October 6, 2006 at 8:16:00 AM CDT, Blogger Emily said...

i had friends in southern michigan that live on 1st XY Avenue. Which, to me, indicated that somewhere along the line there would be a 2nd XY Avenue, but I am yet to find it. Oh well.


At October 9, 2006 at 12:10:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

This sounds like a strange foreign land. I feel like I need to come see it just to experience. Though the closest I may come is going to Memphis for work sometime soon.


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