At the Drive-In

ted | chicago,driving | Monday, July 7th, 2008

Not the excellent band that later formed The Mars Volta and Sparta, but a real, honest-to-dog movie where one drives in your car in front of a screen and watches a movie or two.

It’d been a long time since we’ve had an Us Night, so we made the executive decision to go to a movie. We’ve been hating on movie theaters for a while now – way overpriced, crowded, annoying jerkwads in the theater always talking on their cell phones, can’t bring in your own beverages, bad sound – so we opted to go to the Melody Drive-In. Yes, it’s in darkest Indiana, a solid 90 minute drive from Our Fair City. The drive-in gives you the freedom to have a much more pleasant moviegoing experience. To wit:

  • It’s cheap. $6 per person for two movies is a bargain, only second to Brew ‘n View at the Vic.
  • You can bring in whatever food you want. We stopped to get a pizza on the way there and had 4 sodas and 4 tallboys of OE “800” with us.
  • Cell phones and uncomfortable, sticky seats aren’t a problem since you can bring blankets, lawn chairs, milk crates or whatever you want to sit on. Some folks just sit in their cars. Some have recliners in the bed of their truck. You’re spread out enough that people in the next row or even right next to you talking on their cell phones aren’t a problem.
  • Distributed sound is better than monolithic sound. True, you don’t get Dolby Digital 47.23089 AC9 buzzword-laden sound, but you can either listen to the given speakers (classic!) or use any FM radio to make your sound as loud as you want.

We had a great time. Wall-E was surprisingly good and The Incredible Hulk was the usual yawnfest “we were able to cram some plot in cracks in the CGI” summer action movie and we had a thoroughly decent time of it all.

I remember, as a kid, riding past a drive-in theater that was projecting a movie and being amazed at the size of the screen. This had to be easily 20 years ago and the North end of Carrollton has sprawled along US27 at an alarming rate so I know the screen’s no longer there, much less the projectors or lot. Never got a chance to go to drive-in until last year and I think they’re great. Given the choice betwixt a standard theater and a drive-in, I’ll pick the one that lets me drink beer, eat cheap pizza and have a nice time the way I want – it’ll be the drive-in every time.

New jorb update, 2008 July

ted | bike,chicago,driving,HAMLOG | Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Basically the new place absolutely rocks. We got hell of labs and equipment and new computers and good software and I’m learning a whole lot of new stuff. Interesting stuff. Challenging stuff. I leave home at the same time as I did with the old place but I get home 1.5 hours earlier – read that again – I have an extra 1.5 hours AT HOME that I otherwise spent in the car or rotting away in my cube. Fuel economy for this first tank is down from 44ish MPG to about 40 MPG, but I only need to fill up about every 25 days instead of every 7 – 10.

But that ain’t really why I want to talk about.

I rode my bicycle to work today. Left home about half an hour early and had plenty of time to cool off a bit, change and be at my desk at my allotted start time. I felt great – awake, energetic and not really hungry at all. It was only after my big mess o’ black beans & brown rice for lunch that I got The Hunger. Fended that off until it was quittin’ time at Tara, whereupon I changed back and rode home. Took about 45 minutes to get to work and 40 on the way home. It’s nice to be able to ride to work again – or hell, for the first time ever. I used to only ride home from GE, 12 miles through Atlanta rush hour traffic. Now I’m going to be riding the full 18 miles to/from work a couple times a week, weather permitting.

This is more than just saving diesel. This is about getting back into shape by integrating exercise into my work day. This is about arriving at work fully awake and energetic. Getting the new job was just step one in my five year plan. Riding to work at minimum several times a week during that time of year when it won’t kill me is back to my roots and back to how I want to spend my time.

And like my homeboy President Carter from Plains GA said,

Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense — I tell you it is an act of patriotism.

T minus two weeks

ted | junk | Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Guess who has two thumbs and is gonna moonwalk out of this office in a short 9 work days?


Have a good Memorial Day weekend, kiddos.

Lead by example

ted | junk | Monday, May 12th, 2008

I have a hard time making any sense of Hillary’s “Economic Blueprint for the 21st Century” in light of her campaign debt that’s running at least $20,000,000.00 and growing (according to the news today).

Barack Obama’s campaign so far appears to be fully in the black – despite something like $660k in debt, he’s currently got over fifty one million in cash on hand. YES, $51,073,999 ON HAND. That’s what, 9:1 income to debt ratio? Awesome. The carpetbagger from her adopted “home state” of New York has, according to this source, over $15M in debt but only $31M cash on hand.

If she can’t manage her own damn campaign, how in the hell is she gonna get the US economy back in shape?

Good advice

ted | junk | Friday, May 9th, 2008

Just in case you were wondering, tater farmers.

Closure, of sorts

ted | the fam | Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Big Daddy has been interred next to my Grandmother, his wife of 60 years, and much like the day of her burial, it was unseasonably cold on 2008 April 14. Only took a month to get everyone together, but it was done. Dad read a bit from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, Mom read a Celtic prayer. Charlie put his box down in the hole – quite a ways right of center, just as he was in life – and I sprinkled him well with whiskey. Then in turn, we each turned over a shovelful of that deep red Georgia clay over him.

After everyone had a turn, Charlie and I did the bulk of the backfill with Dad working the tamper. We all said goodbye one last time and went our separate ways for the day.

Two days earlier, we had the memorial service which for the most part went rather well. I read a passage from the book of Wisdom, which certainly had its moments – I especially like “In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble”. No, it’s not disingenuous for a verified Slack Master like myself to read passages from the Christian Bible – that day was all about Big Daddy. Or so I thought it was to be. At some point during the reception some manner of verbal altercation took place which I can’t go into detail upon right now, suffice I shall refer to it as The Church Altercation until it has been resolved further. Most people were very well behaved and dignified as they should be; and they drank champagne and ate tiny sandwiches made with roast turkey or pork tenderloin and shared stories about Big Daddy, as it should be.

Clem H. Fortner 1917 – 2008, RIP

ted | the fam | Friday, March 14th, 2008

I got a phone call this morning just after my alarm went off. I knew why I was being called as soon as the phone rang.

My Grandfather died early this morning.

Finally, I think, he will be at peace. He had been through several surgeries, mystery symptoms, hospitalizations, tests, treatments, medications, interventions and other wonders of medical technology in the past five months until he finally decided he was tired of all that crap and opted to enter hospice care a few weeks ago. My cousin Christie summed it up very nicely by saying, “He has had 90 years, and been hale and healthy through most of them. We have been fabulously lucky to have had that time with him. And I am grateful.”

I’m grateful, too.

He was a magician, a ventriloquist, a mentalist, an amateur radio operator, helped put out forest fires in Oregon for the Civilian Conservation Corps, an Atlanta policeman, a private detective in the Fulton County Public Defender’s office, an ornery ol’ cuss and one of the wittiest men I’ve ever known. He even had a girlfriend – his sweet thing, Miss Jean. They used to get together to have dinner at his house and invariably would wind up grilling ribeyes and drinking Evan Williams Green Label bourbon. Later that night he’d call me up, two sheets to the wind, start singing a bar of “Sweet Fern” and telling jokes.

He is being cremated and in a few weeks, everyone will get together for a memorial service and a brunch where we’ll share stories and memories of him as a celebration of his life. Afterwards I’ll probably head back to my brother’s house and have dinner there. I have a feeling ribeyes and bourbon will be on the menu.

Big Daddy, as we called him, frequently told my brother and I that he wanted to live to be 110 and die in a whorehouse fight from a jealous husband. I’d like to think he’s going to get the next twenty years to warm up. So, rest in peace, Big Daddy, K4PKQ – silent key.

must be one of those days

ted | junk | Friday, February 15th, 2008
Disorder Rating
Paranoid Disorder: Moderate
Schizoid Disorder: High
Schizotypal Disorder: Very High
Antisocial Disorder: High
Borderline Disorder: Low
Histrionic Disorder: Moderate
Narcissistic Disorder: Very High
Avoidant Disorder: Low
Dependent Disorder: Moderate
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Low

Personality Disorder Test – Take It!
Personality Disorders

cabin fever

ted | chicago | Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

I like snow, but this is a little bit ridiculous.

(image stolen from the NWS)

Last Sunday, the NWS said “new snow accumulation up to one inch”, yet for some reason I had to go out and shovel six inches that fell that evening only.

I went outside when it was up to a gloriously balmy 36 foreignheit and I remarked at how nice and warm it felt.

I think I’m ready for spring.

This is important. This means something.

ted | food | Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

I’m learning – slowly – there are very few flavors that go well with almond extract.

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