My other early birthday present.

Thanks to a joint gift from my mother and sister, I have two new Hawaiian shirts in my collection. A collection that is getting increasingly tattered as time goes on. There are several shirts that I no longer wear to work because they’ve started to develop holes.

The favorite shirt of fat men everywhere.

Isn’t it pretty? I got two of this same shirt so it’ll take twice as long to wear them out. I’ve added a number of Hawaiian shirts to my Amazon Wish List from different manufacturers so I could figure out which would be my favorite so I could add a bunch more. These shirts are made by Pacific Legend and are 100% cotton. They were a bit starchy when they arrived so I ran them through the wash once to soften them up. It’s still a little itchy, but I’m hoping additional washings will help to make them less so. That said, the material is thick enough that I’ll probably find myself wearing these year-round. Also, this company has some of the more beautiful prints I’ve seen.

I also have shirts on my wish list from La Leela, and Johari West (whose webpage appears to have been hijacked so I won’t link to it). La Leela’s shirts are available in both 100% cotton and something they call Likre material, which is some form of artificial silk. The patterns tend to be more of the cliched sort for Hawaiian shirts, but I’d like to try one made of Likre just to see how comfortable it is. Johari West’s shirts are 100% cotton and have some bold designs similar to Pacific Legend’s.

I’ve mentioned before that my chest and back are really picky about the feel of the shirts I put on to the extent that even the weave of the fabric can determine if I can stand to wear it or not. Buying 100% cotton is no assurance I’ll be able to tolerate wearing it. I’ve got three Hawaiian shirts that I generally only wear in cooler weather because I have to wear a t-shirt underneath them or I’ll itch all damned day. Right now I’m on the fence about this Pacific Legend shirt. I’m hoping to find a few more companies offering Hawaiian shirts on Amazon, but these are the three that come up most prevalently in a search.

Anyway, another early birthday present that is well appreciated.

Happy 15th Anniversary to the love of my life!

On April 21st, 2001 I said “I do” to my best friend and love of my life, Annette Gribble.

Wedding picture.

The start of the journey.

Fifteen years later and we’re still making it work. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve made it this far.

I wish I could come up with something profound to say about marriage after this much time, but the truth is I’m still figuring it out as I go along. All I can say for certain is I love my wife more each day than the day before and I’m grateful she chose me to spend her life with.

Happy 15th Anniversary, sweetheart! Here’s hoping for many more to come!

Happy Easter Eve 2016!

pagansexdaySo it’s been a while since I last updated. I keep starting entries and then scrapping them as they’re not turning out the way I feel they should. So for now I’ll wish you a Happy Easter a day early.

Being an atheist, I don’t go in for the usual celebrations, but I did do the whole Easter Bunny thing as a kid with all the egg hunts and criminal amounts of candy that it entails. I don’t have as many fond memories of Easter as I do Christmas probably because I did attend church as a kid and the fun only lasted until you headed to church to hear about how a dead palestinian jew supposedly came back to life for like the four millionth time. It’s kinda like how they can’t do a Batman movie without showing his parents being murdered every single time. The pagan aspects of the holiday are pretty fun though and I’m happy to have a four day weekend.

So if you celebrate Easter in whatever fashion you might choose, here’s hoping you have a happy one that finds you safe, healthy, and surrounded by those you love.

A belated birthday to my momma.

I could’ve sworn I had written an entry on Monday wishing my mother a happy birthday, but all evidence points to the contrary so I must have dreamt about it or something. As a result, I am late in wishing her a very happy 81st birthday.

momma81

Happy Birthday, Mom! I wish I could think of something profound to say right about now, but I’m coming up with nothing other than I love you and here’s to another 81 years!

Welcome to 2016.

Here we are! We’ve made it another year. With the Presidential election coming up in the fall I’m sure it’s going to be a doozy, but my more immediate concern will be getting back into the rhythm of working as my vacation has come to an end and I return to the grind wheel this morning. After three weeks off I’m sure I’m going to have a ton of stuff to dig through. Not to mention there’s a big swap of company phones and a refresh of older PCs that are probably ready to go. Alas, my plans of hitting the lotto over vacation didn’t come to pass so I’ll have to go back, but at least it’s to a job I enjoy and where I seem to be appreciated. That’s a lot more than some folks can say.

Beyond that I didn’t have a lot to say other than Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable holiday season, whichever ones you were participating in. As for myself, I think this picture of Cuddles, the official SEB cat, sums up how my vacation went pretty well.

cuddlesnapping

Merry Christmas from all of us here at SEB.

We’ve made it to another Christmas. Whether you celebrate the season or not, here’s hoping you and yours are healthy, happy, and together.

In honor of the day, here is this year’s Lil’ Bub’s Most Magical Yule Log for you to run in the background while unwrapping your presents from Santa:

The day before the day before Christmas

Haven’t posted anything in awhile so I thought I should toss something up. I’ve been on vacation for the past week and a half which means I have a week and a half to go before going back to work. I’ve been taking the last three weeks of the year off since I started in my current position mainly because I can. It’s one of the few jobs I’ve had in my career that offered any amount of vacation time and being able to spend three weeks doing nothing in particular is a kind of bliss. The only problem with being on vacation is that I lose all track of what is going on in the world. I get out of the habit of reading blogs, I fall behind on my webcomics, I don’t share as much stuff on G+ or Facebook, and I blog even less often than I do when I’m working. I am, however, much further along in both Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Metal Gear Solid 5.

All of my Christmas shopping has been done for a couple of weeks now, but there was some concern that one of my gifts for my wife wouldn’t arrive in time. That one finally showed up yesterday and it’ll be wrapped and placed under the tree today.

christiansbelike

Lastly, my Christmas gift to myself — a new 16GB RAM kit for my desktop — arrived last Thursday… to my old address in Ann Arbor. I hadn’t purchased anything from Newegg in a while and, despite remembering to update my credit card info, I failed to remember to update my shipping address. I drove over there once I realized the mistake, but no one was home. Left my contact info and called the apartment office the next morning who also reached out to the tenant. Then didn’t hear much of anything for the whole weekend. Tried driving over again Monday afternoon and finally caught up with the fellow. He’d been out of town and his fiancee had been collecting his mail so I had to come back again on Tuesday to get the package. It made for a bit of a stressful weekend. I gave him a $10 gift card for Biggby Coffee as a thank you. Fortunately he likes Biggby coffee.

So that’s pretty much all I’ve been up to the past couple of weeks. Getting ready for Christmas, stressing over a mis-shipped package, and spending too much time playing video games. What about you guys? You all set for Christmas day?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksjesusI’m often asked around this time of year, what with me being an atheist and all, just who it is I’m thankful to on Thanksgiving. My answer is simple:

I’m thankful to my wife who not only puts up with me and loves me when I’m at my best, but takes care of me and still loves me when I’m at my worst.

I’m thankful to my daughter for turning out to be a wonderful person despite having me as a father and the rather unconventional childhood she had to go through to reach adulthood.

I’m thankful to my mother for all the things she’s ever done for me which are too numerous to count.

I’m thankful to my brother and sister for their love and support over the years even when they didn’t always agree with my choices.

I’m thankful to my in-laws for so wholly accepting me into the family some 14 years ago.

I’m thankful to my friends for their friendship. Whether it’s someone I’ve known since I was in grade school or someone online I’ve never actually met, but have been hanging with virtually for years.

I am solidly middle aged at this point and there’s plenty of things I thought I would have done by now that will likely never happen. I’m not anywhere near where I thought I’d be in terms of owning a home or the amount of money I’d be earning and we often live paycheck to paycheck. However, I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge and gas in the car and two kitties who are spoiled. I may not have everything I want, but I have the things I really need and I am grateful for that.

I don’t believe there is an all-powerful deity providing me with anything. I do know there are people who have made it possible for me to provide these things for myself. So I don’t thank an imaginary friend for the things my real friends and family are due credit for.

Thank you.

Happy Halloween 2015!

Boo!I’ve not posted in quite awhile so I thought I’d take a moment to drop a Happy Halloween on everyone. Here’s hoping you have a fun and safe spooky holiday.

I started the day watching The Lazarus Effect and laughing at how stupid it was. Tonight we’ll find out if we get any kids trick or treating at our new apartment. Most of the apartments I’ve lived in didn’t see much in the way of kids to hand out candy to, but we’ve got quite a few in the area so I’m optimistic we might see a decent number tonight. At least I hope so, because the last thing a diabetic needs is a lot of left-over Halloween candy.

Not sure when to expect kids as it doesn’t appear Canton sets specific hours, but I’m anticipating they’ll probably start around 6PM and last at least a couple of hours.

Happy New Year 2015!

It’s a brand spanking new year! A time for hope, optimism, and resolutions to be better people that we’ll break before the month is over. I stopped making new year resolutions long ago because I’m a terrible person and have little hope of ever maintaining them, but when I did try to make promises I knew I couldn’t keep I’d often resolve to have a higher opinion of my fellow man.

Then I’d go on Twitter and see tweets like this:

And my resolution would be broken instantly. You can’t have a worldwide population of 7,285,099,800 (as of two seconds ago) and not have a few folks out there who are, to put it politely, clueless about certain things like the age of the world. In case you thought David was an isolated case, well, nope:

There’s tons more of these tweets out there and it’s clear that many of them are meant to be jokes or are simply attempts at getting retweeted for the attention it’ll garner them. (Some folks will take whatever Twitter fame they can get no matter how stupid it makes them look.) The ones I posted above I couldn’t confirm for certain weren’t jokes, but there wasn’t anything to indicate that they were. Indubitably there are certainly some folks out there who are this clueless and the fact that it’s often difficult to tell the jokers from the serious ones makes the number of folks who really think this is true uncomfortably large for maintaining faith in mankind.

In short, my cynicism is pumped up yet again. There’s a part of me that hopes that all of these folks are just yanking our collective chain and no one really thinks the Earth is a mere 2015 years old, but given how common lazy thinking is I’m sure that there are some out there who do. On the bright side, it gives me something to blog about in the new year.