Monday, July 27, 2009

In 40 years?

In 40 years, do you think that:

  • People like me, who are into the social networking thing, are going to say things like "Why can't we just have a conversation over Facebook like in the good ol' days?"
  • I will use Twitter?
  • MySpace will still exist?
  • The Ticket will still be around, bragging that this is their 55th year of Training Camp coverage?
  • There will be an iPhone? Will it be the Iphone 8GSwSHMS (8gSpeed with Super Hyper Mega Speed)
  • You will hear Metallica played on KLUV (Oldies)?
  • Barry Bonds will still be the record holder for career homeruns?
  • Google will still reign supreme?
It is scary to me to think that somewhere out there is a mother who is pregnant with the future president of the United States, and she is making choices every single day that could effect how he decides to handle a policy decision in the future. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could trace back our ethos like that, to the point where we know why we feel things the way we do? What if we could yell at our parents for deciding to move to Texas instead of staying in Michigan where you could have been a hockey goalie? Wait, I already do that. :)

Interestingly enough, Twitter and Facebook are kind of helping us do this now. ExplosiveKids will be able to go back to this blog, and my Facebook page, and my Twitter feed to see the kinds of things that I was thinking back in 2009. When it is 2049, my grandkids will look back at this post and say, "What an old fart!".

And then I will yell at them, telling them that back in the good ol' days, we used to have arguments over Facebook like civilized people.

Hidden Creek...Hidden Fees?

For those of you that don't know that much about me, I grew up in Burleson, TX (No, I didn't know Kelly Clarkson, but ExplosiveSisters were in choir with her). Whereas Burleson may not have the greatest reputation of all time (it is somewhat known as a hick town), I really enjoyed growing up there, but it was clear that I had outgrown the town shortly after high school. I still really enjoy going back, which is pretty frequently as ExplosiveFatherInLaw still lives there. Which leads me to my post...

It was suggested that myself, ExplosiveBrotherInLaw, ExplosiveFatherInLaw and my good friend all meet at the Hidden Creek Golf Course, located off of 35-W just south of Burleson. I had never played the course (in fact, I have only played 4-5 rounds of golf in my life), so I was excited about it. Our tee time was at 8:37, and we showed up, paid our $38 a piece, and played our round. I actually shot pretty well, shooting my first ever pars on a course (I got two of 'em!). I only lost about 5 golf balls, which was a personal best for me. You see, I golf lefty, and I also played baseball all of my life. My body just doesn't want to let go of the baseball swing, no matter how hard I try, so I tend to slice it a lot. There is one hole at this course where I-35 is just off the side of the hole, and I was very nervous teeing off at that hole, because I don't want to pay to replace someone's windshield.

But, that is not the point of this post. Before I start, I should preface by saying that it is not the point of this post to rail on Hidden Creek, per se. My beef in general is with the ways that places like Hidden Creek tack on other fees to make up for lost revenue. Not knowing their policy, I showed up with a cooler full of non-alcoholic drinks. I brought the cooler over to the golf cart, and was semi-politely informed by someone on the staff there that I couldn't bring in my own cooler. Ok, kind of miffed, but not enough to put me off, but this is where it gets interesting. I was told that I could go inside and use one of their coolers...weird...I can't use my own, but you will let me use one of yours for free? No problem...I go inside, and posted inside is "THE RULES". I can use one of their coolers for no charge, as long as I purchase FOUR drinks from the snack bar. Cheapest drink? $2.25. So it now costs me $9 to use their free cooler, plus I had to leave my driver's license. At least they didn't charge me for the ice. The odd thing was that I noticed that they had a sign up that said "Need Vaseline? Just ask!". I didn't know what to make of that.

So we set off on our round, $2.25 Powerade's ready to go, and we play golf. When we get to the turn (that is after the 9th hole, halfway through the round, for you non-golfers out there), ExplosiveFatherInLaw decides he is going to go buy a 6 pack of beer. He comes back with 6 Coors Lights in hand and a pained expression on his face. "Everything OK?" "Yeah...they just charged me $18.50 for 6 beers."

$18.50! Are you kidding me!!? So, the Vaseline sign made sense (no, they really didn't have a vaseline sign). Now, I know that Hidden Creek is actually on the cheap end of golf courses, and I don't mean to single them out, because A LOT of places do this kind of stuff to you. They kind of lure you in, and then nickel and dime you to poverty. I also know that our current economic climate dictates that companies do this to you. If American Airlines just rolled the checked bag fee into their ticket prices, no one would buy their tickets for being so expensive.

This is why I LOVE Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and why I am somewhat afraid of the Rangers getting a new owner. They allow coolers! With your own drinks!! What a concept! Heck, you can stop at Wendy's before the game and bring your own food in! Man, that is a great idea...and even with that, we STILL make a trip to the concession stand for food and drinks, if you can believe it!

If you have your own nickel and dime story, I would love to hear it. Put it in the comments...I need to know which places I need to avoid!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Euless man arrested in possible road rage incident on Texas 114 | Crime and Safety |

Euless man arrested in possible road rage incident on Texas 114 | Crime and Safety |

A Euless man was in jail Thursday after police say he fired a shot at a car on Wednesday afternoon that he claimed had tried to run him off a road.

This is why I go out of my way not to provoke people on the highways. I just have too much fear that this is the one who is crazy enough to shoot at me.

This is why I just smile and wave...or ignore them.

This is why I constantly remind my kids that a person driving slower than you is no reason to get pissed.

This is why I never flip anyone off while driving.

This is why I will let just about anyone in that needs to be in my lane.

This is why I don't drive "fast".

This is why I leave 10 minutes before I should, so I don't have to deal with these kinds of issues.

This is probably why I don't get stressed out...Getting somewhere 30 seconds faster doesn't really matter to me.

This is why I laugh when the guy on the motorcycle flies by you at 90 mph and you pull up next to him at the next red light. You are going to get where you want to go. Don't let the idiot who can't control themselves dictate that.

Be safe. Be courteous. Just remember that getting riled up about traffic just isn't worth the effort.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Ok, if you read this blog even semi-regularly, you know that I don't like to get into religion or politics all that often, which will make this post seem even more weird, as I dabble into both!

Politics: (I am open to debate on this, as long as it is civilized)

Take whatever current political issue that is plaguing our country, and you will find no shortage of people who think it is the worst idea in the history of humanity. You will also find people who think that it is the one thing that will save humanity.

Isn't the system set up so that there is a balance of those people? If something passes into law, isn't it because there were more people that think it is a good idea than bad? Doesn't that mean that there were (in theory) more people who think it will help? Whether it is bailouts, health care, or hydrogen cars, isn't there a system in place that keeps the terrible ideas from becoming reality?

Religion: I am reading the book The Shack by William P. Young, at the recommendation of a very good friend. This is a great, great book that challenges a lot of religious ideals that many people might find a bit hard to swallow. I would suggest that if you are Catholic, don't read this book because your head will explode. Otherwise, if you have an open mind about the role that the Holy Trinity plays in our lives, you should probably read this book. I am not done with it yet, but I am close to finishing, and it really hits home with a Preacher's son.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pizza that is Incredible???

So, for ExplosiveWife's birthday, ExplosiveDad gave her $50 worth of gift certificates to Incredible Pizza. We had never been before, but I knew they had pizza, video games, mini-golf, go-karts, and bowling. We decided to finally take the kids there this week, but our expectations were pretty low.

First of all, we knew going in it was going to be expensive, but we had no idea until we got there just how expensive it would be.

Every person entering the building HAS to get the buffet, and a drink. Even if you want water, you pay the soda price. We thought this was the biggest ripoff since the CueCat.

You really can't enjoy the place unless you get a video game card to play in the arcade. They had a special for a 90 minute unlimited game card for $12, so we bought two. The total bill came to $71, which, for a night out with the kids, is WAY more than we normally spend.

(As an aside, ExplosiveWife is, without exaggeration, the most frugal person on the planet. Seriously, I will do a whole separate blog post on how she is.)

So, we are in the door, and we head to the buffet. Basically, this place is Cici's Pizza when it comes to the food, but the selection was pretty bad. I never have trouble finding something to eat at CiCi's, but there were only about 5 total pizzas to choose from at IP. I wasn't happy about that, but we were able to eat.

After eating, we made our way to the arcade. The unlimited cards pretty much let you play almost any game in the place, save for a select few (such as the big crane games, for example). We unleashed the cards on skee-ball, games that simulated jump ropes, shooting galleries, and even games that you can win tickets to redeem for prizes.

This is where my opinion of the place started to change. In their lifetimes, ExplosiveKids have NEVER been able to experience what it is like to just let loose and go, especially at an arcade. Usually there is all sorts of rationing going on about which games to play, biding their time for the perfect situation, and they spend 90% of their time deciding. The unlimited cards allowed them to be totally free, and play whatever they wanted, for a full hour and a half. They were truly liberated for one evening, and that was totally worth it. Rarely, in their short lives, do they get an opportunity to be "spoiled". We are a very fiscally responsible family, and we do not spoil our kids by any imagination. Trust me, a night out at Jack In the Box is exciting to them, even though they only get 2 tacos and a Jumbo Jack (for $2), and they have to drink water. Remember my frugal wife? This is just one example. So, to see them just go crazy and really, truly enjoy themselves really had its rewards.

A couple of other things:

  • At least three times while we were in the arcade, an employee came up to us and asked us if we needed any help. Either we were having trouble scanning our card, or we looked lost, or even one employee who told us that there were 2 credits on a machine that "needed to be used", we found everyone there to be extremely helpful, and it looked like they enjoyed their jobs.
  • The place was really clean. I was surprised, to say the least.
  • The desserts were really good, if not a bit generic.
  • You might read into what I am saying here a bit too much, but there was an element of "upscaleness" to the place. For example, if you have ever been in a Putt-Putt arcade, you know what I am talking about. A million kids running around, unsupervised, making things really crazy. The fact that you have to put down a decent amount of money just to get into the place kept that element to a minimum. That was nice.
  • Not once did we encounter a machine that didn't have tickets in it. We didn't have to spend any time waiting for a machine to be serviced.
  • The unlimited cards are good for Mini-golf, go-karts, bowling, everything. So, you can use your card until there are two minutes left and go play mini-golf. Sure, it wasn't the best mini-golf, but the kids enjoyed it.
  • The best part of the night came when the kids played mini-golf and my wife and I got to go sit down by ourselves and enjoy dessert for 20 minutes. That was really nice, to have kind of a mini-date with the kids safely busy.
Needless to say, I did a complete 180 while in Incredible Pizza. Where we might not go terribly often because of the price, we will go again to enjoy ourselves in ways that we don't always get to do.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The theory of relativity

Hello, blog.

Hey there, Explosive. How's it going?

Not well. Extraordinarily tired and want to go home.

Why? What are you going to do at home?

Well, see, that's the problem. When I get home, I really don't have anything to do either.

You should get a hobby.

Yeah, but if I get into a hobby, then when I am busy I will feel bad because I am neglecting it. I am just stuck in the rut of summer.

Oh man, summer vacation is awesome!

Yeah, if you are 12. Once you get past a certain age, summer vacation just plain sucks. I even remember as a kid thinking how bored I would get the last few weeks of summer vacation.

So, you wanted to go back to school?

Oh, hell no. But I didn't want to be bored.

I hear you are going to Incredible Pizza tonight.

Oh yeah? How did you hear that?


Aw, crap. Are you stalking me again on Facebook?

Stalking is such a harsh word. I prefer to call it "following".

Well, stay out of my twitter feed.

Too late. I already put a link to it in the sidebar. Now everyone knows that you are driving home from work.

I don't put stuff like that on Twitter. My stuff is compelling, and interesting.

Oh, right. Like your update about Weird Al's new song. That is really exciting.

Shut up, blog. I will shut you down faster than...something that is really fast. Like a road-runner, or some shit.

Whatever. Don't you have to update your status somewhere?


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Ok, Dexter is a great, great show. ExplosiveWife and I are just getting into the third season, and we loved the first two.

Michael C. Hall is a fantastic actor. ExplosiveWife complains that some actors on the show really get on her nerves, but I honestly believe that it is because he is such a good actor that everyone else kind of falls flat around him. He really shines when he is on the screen.

For those of you who don't follow the show, Dexter is a serial killer who has been raised by his foster father to have a moral code, only killing those people who "deserve" it. He leads a double life, alternating between morbid killer with a lust for blood and a very effective blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Dade Metro Police Department. The cool thing about it is how he is called to analyze a crime scene and secretly he gets off on admiring the work of the perp.

Season one is about Dexter and his police force tracking down another serial killer, "The Ice Truck Killer". It was a great start to the show, but season two is where it really gets good. Dexter's mass grave is found and an intense manhunt goes through the whole season, with Dexter living on the edge of being discovered.

If you haven't seen the show, I highly recommend putting it on Netflix and checking out the first season. You will like it. I promise. No, seriously. It does a good job balancing the story with the stuff you want to see. What I really liked about it is that the violence isn't gratuitous. I never liked Nip/Tuck because I can't stomach the surgery scenes. Dexter never really shows much of the blood and gore, but focuses instead on the exposition of the mind of a serial killer who lives among us. It really is fantastic television.

Some other thoughts:

Twitter is cool, no doubt...but what I think I like most about it is the direct connection you get with a celebrity. Where else in the history of time have we been able to see just what these people are thinking? And the best part is, you only have to follow those that you are interested in. If you go to TMZ's website, you get a bunch of celebrity news that you couldn't care less about, except maybe one or two stories. With Twitter, you get a glimpse into those people you have chosen to follow. I sent a suggestion to Shawn Marion about what jersey number he should wear. I learned from Weird Al Yankovic that his new single is out. I also know, via Twitter, that Martellus Bennett is a narcissist who loves to talk about himself, but that is cool, because that makes him who he is. If you have a twitter account, find yourself some people who you want to follow that you are interested in. It makes it a whole lot more interesting.

I am convinced that the hardest thing in the world to do is to get the volume on your speakers at work to be the right volume.

ExplosiveSon does not like his gamertag on XboxLive. I can't say that I blame him. So, we went on a two hour long exercise to figure out what a new gamertag for him could be. Unfortunately, all of the good ones were taken. Seriously, every single one we thought of was gone. He thought of some good ones, too, such as "Comb The Desert", which cracked me up, and "AmazingGolfBallWhackerGuy" but that was too long. So, he is still stuck with the old, crappy one. Any suggestions for him?

Fellow bloggers, I appreciate you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where I've been....

Update: The last line should read "Daniel Larusso", not Larussa. Larussa manages the Ass-Cardinals. Those responsible for this mistake have been sacked.

About a month and a half ago, my boss was fired here at work. It was completely unexpected, no warning whatsoever. Since he and I worked very closely, I decided to go for his position. So, I put my nose to the grindstone and really focused on work.

This is why there has been no blog.

Well, I found out on Friday that I didn't get the position, but it wasn't for lack of trying. So...I am able to blog again.

There are probably three people out there who said "Yay! He can blog again!"

And there are 7,999,999,997 people out there who said "Huh?". (How do you say "huh?" in Swahili?)

So, I am back. Lots of stories to tell, dirt to dish.

Here's a good one:

My daughter just spent the last 1.5 weeks in Alabama with some family friends. They stayed at a lakehouse on the river (or is that a riverhouse?) and got to swim every day. My daughter looks like a Cherokee Indian now, but that is beside the point. She returned home bearing gifts for the family. ExplosiveSon got a Call of Duty action figure, which suits him VERY well. ExplosiveWife got a puzzle, which she loves to work. Guess what ExplosiveDad got? A fiction paperback called "Cheating Death" about a serial killer.

My guess would be that she just picked the first book she could find that had an interesting cover on it, but serial killers? From a 6 year old? I have some work to do.

We had the radiant barrier stuff put on our attic. I haven't noticed a difference. We will see when the next electric bill comes, but it has been at least 193 degrees every single day that we have had it. I bet our bill doesn't go down. I am going to keep a close eye on our kilowatt usage though. We also installed mini-blinds on windows that didn't have it, and I spent a good portion of my vacation caulking windows and doors.

Caulk is fun, especially when you start getting the double-entendres going. ExplosiveBrotherInLaw and I were having a blast asking risquee questions to family members:

"Do you want to see my caulk?"
"I prefer the white caulk, actually"
"It's very important to keep extra caulk handy" etc....

One thing I do is keep very close eye on other blogs and how things are going. Man, am I glad I don't deal with some of the drama other bloggers have to deal with! Of course, it seems that we all have to deal with this heat. ExplosiveSon sweats playing video games....I am blessed with some sort of freakish genetic gift that makes me hardly sweat, especially on my face. I NEVER sweat on my face, at all. It is kind of funny that I will be on the treadmill for an hour and it doesn't even look like I am trying, because I don't sweat. I always used to get mad that the gym would make me walk around with a towel, because I never needed it.

Having said that, I enjoy the invention of the Dri-Fit t-shirt. You know, the ones that wick sweat away from your skin? Those are great. I pretty much wear nothing but during the summer. They are just too comfortable. If you haven't tried them out, you need to get one. You can always find them at Ross, cheap.

Yesterday, I was approaching an intersection and the light turned yellow, so I stopped. Now, this isn't like, the light turned yellow as I was about to enter the intersection, it turned yellow when I was about 15 yards from entering the intersection. I stopped for the red light, and the guy in a red PT Cruiser behind me was NOT happy, at all. He honked, threw his hands up in the air, and was not in a good mood. As soon as the light turned green, he laid on his horn and let me have it. Bad idea, dude. I proceeded to move as slowly as I could through the intersection, further enraging him. He pulled up to my left in the turn lane, and he and his passenger were just dog-cussing me to no end. I just smiled and waved...If you go out of your way to let someone know that they made you mad, and it doesn't benefit you, don't be shocked when I do things that make your life more miserable. It was almost as if they thought I stopped at the yellow light just to make their life more miserable.

Seriously, don't let traffic get to you. What can you do about it? Just be glad that we can get from Fort Worth to Dallas in about 30 minutes. I know that sounds like old man syndrome, but neighbors just drove from Alabama to Texas in less than a day. Why do we get upset when we can't drive somewhere in 2 minutes less???

I have been listening to a Chicago Sports radio station all morning. Apart from the broadcasters, everyone from Chicago (local advertisers, etc.) sound like they have a Jolly Rancher in their mouth when they talk.

I need to find a large, gaudy trophy for cheap. Any ideas? I don't care what it is for, I just need to to be really big. Kind of like the one that Daniel LaRussa won in Karate Kid. Any suggestions?