Jan 17 2013

Sooo…I’m all Skyrim’d out

Am I even allowed to say that? I’m afraid Kaleb, Todd Howard, and Mr. T are going to come to my house and I’ll find out firsthand that they all pity da foo.

Anyway, as I was saying, I think I’m done with Skyrim. For a while anyway. Compared to writing and producing VBS skits, the rush of sneakybowing bad guys is kinda weak. Maybe once I am done or at least have all of my major story problems solved I will indulge myself in some more Bethesda goodness–maybe even pick up all the DLCs.

Until then, I have work to do!

And I love it.

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Oct 11 2012


As far as I know Kaleb coined this verb. It’s a rather technical term, specialized to a particular activity within a specific series of video games.

In the Elder Scrolls series you can shoot opponents / attackers with a bow and arrow while ‘in sneak,’ a state of stealthy concealment that provides extra attack damage at the expense of speed and mobility.

Usage: “I sneakybowed that bear and took him out.”

Like many other good words, ‘sneakybowed’ is both concise and precise.

Plus, it just sounds cool–sneakybowed.

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May 20 2012

Music and Memory

Every time I hear Elvis’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You it makes me think of Kaleb’s wife.

Hold on–I know I have some ‘splainin’ to do–just give me a second.

Music has a way of embedding memories. Trisha Yearwood and Clint Black, appropriately, used music to point this out, in The Song Remembers When and State of Mind, respectively. Sometimes for me it’s a whole set of memories, if the song was playing for several months during a certain part of my life. Frequently it’s just a single memory–not otherwise significant–it just happened to be when you first heard the song, or it was an event that gave new significance to a piece of music. Sometimes the music marks the event, sometimes the event marks the music.

I was just pulling onto T highway outside of Higginsville when I first heard Alabama’s Song of the South. Every time I hear it I’m suddenly 17 years old in a bright yellow ’79 Ford van. Listening to anything from Blackhawk’s first album or Paul Simon’s Love Songs & Negotiations reminds me of my wife’s and my brief courtship.

The connotations aren’t always so sunny. Every time I hear that really annoying Hall & Oates song (which one, amirite?) I’m reminded of having a giant argument with Heather in our old Mazda in the parking lot at Walmart. Likewise REM, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam bring back memories of working at Worlds of Fun, not having worlds of fun, but making little money, sleeping in my car/in the garage/at a relative’s house/on someone’s couch. Kind of like the aversion therapy in A Clockwork Orange, it’s like pre-programmed misery.

Certainly I had heard the Elvis song a long time ago, but it was at at Kaleb’s wedding that the music embedded itself on me. Mrs. Kaleb walked down the aisle to it, instead of Wagner’s traditional bridal chorus from Lohengrin.

I guess a more accurate thesis statement would have been suffixed with ‘walking down the aisle at her wedding,’ but it doesn’t have the same hook.

Kaleb walked down the aisle to Seal’s Kiss From a Rose, but it didn’t make the same imprint–that song/memory was already reserved.

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Mar 3 2012

Wind beneath my wings

One time Kaleb and I went to work on a printer. While we were there, a young female doctor was in the room. The three of us bantered back and forth for a while until the printer was finally fixed and it began to spit out backed up print jobs.

Doctor: “You guys are the wind beneath my wings.”

Me: “Wouldn’t that be in the armpits?”

Doctor: “Smell it up, boys!”

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Nov 23 2011

Dumpster Divin’

Way back in the day the 9-530 crew at work was awesome. It consisted of me, Kaleb, Jimmy, and Timmy.

One night close to Christmas we clocked out together and headed to the shuttle. On the way we passed a certain department. The custodians had left a dumpster outside the department, and they had discarded a large, gold box of chocolates.

Before I continue, let me quantify the word ‘large.’ One thing that drives me crazy is when I go to the store to pick something up for my wife and she says she needs something, like say, ‘a large can of green beans.’

“How big is large? 10 oz? 14 oz? 28 oz?”

“You know, one of the big ones.”

“No, I don’t know. That’s why I asked .”

“Just get me two big ones.”

So when I say they discarded a large box of chocolates, what I mean is that the box was something like 1.5 x 2.5 feet.

But it had the look of that cheap, waxy, off-brand chocolate they market around the holidays to poor saps in search of a last-minute gift for someone they barely know but don’t want to appear cheap or rude.

We all stared at it with a mixture of piqued curiosity, disdain, and then, suddenly, a wee bit of peckishness.

The box was just sitting there, completely sealed and unopened.

We all decided to try it, making a pact never to reveal that we had eaten chocolate that was found in a dumpster (and we never did). We quickly looked around, grabbed one piece apiece, and hopped on the shuttle to try our newly acquired waxy candy.

As we all agreed later, that was probably the best chocolate we had had in our entire lives. But then we were in a dilemma: how to drive back up to work, go past the security checkpoint, surreptitiously remove the world’s biggest gold box of chocolate and transport it back to the car (or cars).

Now every time it gets close to Christmas and I walk past that department, I long for dumpster chocolate.

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Sep 11 2011


I have long despised bananas. Maybe ‘despised’ is too harsh, but I certainly was not fond them. Before July I only ate maybe four bananas a year, just whenever I got a potassium-deficiency-induced craving. Since being diagnosed with diverticulitis, I have changed my diet significantly for the better, and eat 1-2 bananas a day.

But I may accurately state that I have always despised banana bread. And zucchini bread, squash bread, and all other heavy breads with vegetables in them. I loathe them all. Heather, being an amazing pastry chef, makes lots of other nice things anyway.

So back in the spring Kaleb brought in a dessert his wife, Mrs. Kaleb, had made. Kaleb, being a keen observer pretty much everything in a 120′ radius of his person, knew of my hatred.

KALEB: “So I got this dessert I want you to try. It’s made with banana br–.”

ME: “I don’t like banana bread.”

KALEB: “I know you don’t like banana bread, but this is so amazing.”

So I tried it. I can’t remember the exact composition, but it was made from 2 white chocolate chip banana bread cakes sandwiched with peanut butter, and frosted with a mixture of chocolate chips and cream cheese.

It was so amazing. Even so, I forgot about it.

Fast forward a month. We go to the birthday party for Kaleb’s little girl, aka, The World’s Most Adorable Baby.

It was a great party, and we had a blast, despite how sad I look in the Facebook pictures. And, we had some incredible strawberry cupcakes (I think I had like four, and they made me take two more home).

Right before we left, Kaleb mentioned something about the recipe for Mrs. Kaleb’s chocolate-cream cheese-peanut butter-banana bread sandwich.

“Oh, Daniel doesn’t like banana bread,” Heather said.

“Really? Kaleb said he loved the one I sent to work,” said Mrs. K.

Uh oh. Busted.

“Oh really?” asked Heather

It was one of those, ‘He never drinks two cups of coffee at home,’ moments, except with the implication that because I had enjoyed another woman’s desserts (in the most literal sense), I had somehow committed an infidelity, at least on a pastry level.

But, I seem to have gotten away with it.

Well, except for the marriage counseling.

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Feb 21 2011

‘the Marital We’

My friend Kaleb, another logophile, coined this phrase. It describes the phenomena when a wife addresses her husband with a sentence beginning with, “We need to…,” and by this statement what she means is, “You need to….”

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Dec 20 2010


We just got our Christmas card from my friend Kaleb and Mrs. Kaleb. Of course it has a picture of their baby on it. They have the World’s Most Adorable Baby, and they don’t want you to forget it. Every few months they find some occasion to send out a new card:

Our New Baby!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Yom Kippur!

It’s Canada Day!

It wouldn’t be so bad if they wouldn’t rub it in our faces (the cuteness, not the actual baby).

Their baby is so cute even Kaleb’s mom accidentally broke mom-protocol and hinted that Kaleb was not quite as cute when he was a baby.

“She’s so cute! Compared to her Kaleb was as ugly as sin waking up in the morning after a turpentine hangover on Monday!”

It’s not that I mind pictures of cute babies. In fact, I’ve glued all the pictures they have sent over my own children’s faces on all of their pictures, though things do get a little Brazil-esque as the girls get older.

But the real problem is Mrs. MadMan. Nothing fires up the “I Need Another Baby” boiler like seeing Kaleb’s Adorable Baby.

“Awwwww,” she starts. “We need another baby!”

“We have a baby,” I reply, “And she’s 13. It’s too late to have another one.”

This logic does nothing to sway her, so I continue.

“Besides, I know this baby. I’ve seen what she can do. I was there–at Apple Butter Day.”

At the aforementioned Day the little one had released such a poopsplosion that they had to take all of her clothes and put them in a bag and tie that bag to the outside of the car. And then they had to burn the car.

But it’s not like I’m unwilling to compromise. I told Heather we could have a baby if she could convince Mr. & Mrs. K to give her their baby.

Whaddaya say, guys?

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Apr 5 2010


A few years ago I’m sitting in my office on a July Monday morning catching up on email. Behind me I hear someone enter the stockroom and stop.


It was Kaleb. I turned around, and Kaleb showed me how his weekend was, out on the Smithville Lake in an aluminum boat.

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Jan 5 2010

Buying a stove wasn’t that hard, part 3

Part three in the chronicle of my stove-buying experience (parts 1 and 2).

So I was telling all this to my buddy Kaleb. He suggested I go to Nebraska Furniture Mart. I had never been there, so I asked him if they had a decent selection. He must have thought that was rather humorous.

Christmas Eve I got up and starting looking around online for a stove again, and remember Kaleb’s NFM recommendation. I quickly found my model, and saw that they were offering two years with no interest through TODAY. Ally and I hopped in the car and drove all the way out to KCK, racing the impending snow and ice storm that was coming in.

For those of you who have never been to Nebraska Furniture Mart, it gets it’s name from the fact that the store is roughly the size of Nebraska. Within five minutes I had located my stove (it was $20 cheaper than it showed online). Within another minute an employee offered to get a sales associate. Within another five or six minutes Randy, our sales guy, had a ticket for us with warranty and delivery (can you believe they deliver within a 150 mile radius?).

Randy then pointed us to the credit desk so I could take advantage of their sweet financing option. Another 5 minutes of taking down info, and the credit associate said it would be about 10 minutes. Ally and I sat down and were in our seats for less than a minute when the sales clerk called our name. We were already rung up and everything; I just had to sign the receipt.

I still had another purchase to make, and even with that Ally and I were in and out of the store in less than 30 minutes with a promise that our stove would be delivered on December 30th.

At 8:15 a.m. December 30th our stove arrived, delivered by a couple of jovial guys named Danny and Steve who drove through the snow from Kansas City, Kansas.

Heather loves her stove, and I’m pretty darned fond of it myself (last night I made chili, and today I am making French Toast as soon as everyone gets up).

So, sorry Lowe’s: you blew it. Sorry Best Buy: you double blew it. If either of you had had better service, I would have never ventured out to Nebraska Furniture Mart. The selection was gigantic. Every single employee we worked with was helpful and cheerful. Both of our sales associates ignored their telephones so they could focus on us.

Guess where we are buying our next refrigerator?

Part 1

Part 2

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