You suck, CNN camera symbol!

I read because I don't have time to think about news and political debate, I just want to know how many people died and how good looking the teacher having sex with her students is.

But CNN has made my life difficult because of video. On their front page, they list their headlines and if there is a little camera symbol at the end, it means the link goes to a video. Even if you just click on the text, it goes to the video.

The video starts out with a 15 - 30 second commercial and then dumps into the news video clip from their channel. By the time they get to the goods, I've copied the headline of the news story, searched for it on Google News and found similar print stories.

What inevitably ends up happening is that the original video playing in the background rolls into the next news video in queue, which is more than likely a Nancy Grace bit and in a rush to make her go away, I reset the computer.

I like my local NBC affiliate website because they have the camera symbol, but it is a tabbed option.

You will have to wait until morning.

My friend Renee recently stayed at a La Quinta Inn in Mansfield, OH. She, along with her husband and son, had picked up some to go food and were getting ready to eat in the room. The father and son left the room to go get Cokes. When they came back, the boy was having trouble with the key card so Renee tried to open the door from the inside. As she turned the deadbolt, she heard a loud noise that sounded like the internal mechanisms of the lock dropping. The door would not open. The lock was completely jammed. She was stuck in a third story hotel room. It was 5:00pm.

A view out the window

She called down to the front desk and told them the lock on the door was broken. The front desk said they would send maintenance up to fix it.

When no one showed up after more than a half hour, she called the front desk again and they said, “Oh? You are locked IN the room?” As it turns out, the maintenance person was not on site and had to be called in. He showed up about another half hour later, fiddled around with the lock for a minute and determined that a locksmith would need to be called in. It was now 6:00pm.

The front desk called around for a locksmith. They called Renee back and said that a locksmith would not be available until tomorrow and she would have to wait, locked in her room, until the next morning. She said, (edited for brevity and to clean up the language) “No. Call the fire department.”

The fire department was called in. At first they were going to remove her from the room via the window, but firemen like to bust shit up so they got out the Jaws of Life and pried the door open. (Renee said, “I mean the whole door was moving it was awesome!!) The door opened up at 9:00pm and her son rushed in and gave her a big hug. (Awe!)

Here are the photos of the door.

From the outside

Jaws of Life'd!

From the inside

For her troubles, they got a different room, another free night at any other La Quinta Inn and a meal at The Cracker Barrel next door.

The hotel told Renee this was only the second time this had happened.

The Power of Soup (ver1.2)

A very good friend gave me some of her thoughts on "Soup." I removed the name of the woman and I added a brief, new ending. Some other small edits as well.

Please let me know what you think.

The Power of Soup

In a very small house with two very small windows, lived a woman. She lived alone, but she was never lonely.

If you were to look through the very small windows, you would see a very small bed, a very small chair, a very small table, a very small lamp, a very small painting and a very big stove.

The woman loved to cook. She had a very big kettle to sit on the very big stove. She had a very big spoon to stir whatever was in the very big kettle. The woman could cook about anything, but she especially loved to cook soup.

Pea soup, bean soup, potato soup, vegetable soup, rhubarb and turnip soup, dandelion soup, and her very special soup which she called Soup Soup.

People would come from the villages near and far to the woman’s house and bring whatever ingredients they had so that she could make her delicious soup for them.

Miss Dryer came to the woman’s door, “I have carrots.”

“Then we will make carrot soup.”

Mr. Hearty came to the door. “I have potatoes.”

“Then we will make potato soup.”

The Simon twins came to the door, “We have turnips and leeks.”

“Then we will make turnip and leek soup.”

Somehow, though only one or two ingredients were added, the woman was able to stir and stir and stir and stir and soon that one ingredient would taste like many!

Everyone loved the woman’s soup.

One day, a little dark haired girl with sad eyes came to the woman’s door. She wore handmade clothes that were more patches than cloth.

“Can you please make me some soup?”

“What have you brought with you to make the soup?” asked the woman, knowing the answer.

“I have nothing. My mother is sick and father is away in the city. I have nothing to make soup.”

The woman said, “Come inside. I think you have something to add to the soup.”

The woman added water to the very large kettle. She lit the very big stove and began to stir.

“Now, little girl, you have nothing in your hands and you have nothing in your pockets, but you have something in your heart. All you need is to speak to the soup and tell it what your heart is saying.”

The little girl stood on a little chair and was just able to look over the edge of the kettle.

She spoke in but a whisper, “I love you Mommy. Get well soon.”

The woman then began to stir and stir and stir and stir.

And as she stirred and stirred the soup began to churn and bubble. Broth began to form and carrots and peas and beans and leeks and hundreds of herbs and vegetables and flavors mixed and melded in the pot. With a final stir, letters formed of pasta bubbled to the surface.


“I love you Mommy.”

…and they sank. Then…

“Get well soon.”

As the sun began to dip in the afternoon and create its own colorful soup in the sky, shadows of a smaller person and a bigger person together carried a very big kettle towards the village.

The next morning, the woman arrived back to her very small house with two very small windows. She carried with her a much emptier kettle, a simple bouquet of wildflowers and a very big smile.

As she walked in the door she said to herself, "I think I'll make some soup today."

Lighthouses in Old Worthington

It seems that developers are going out of their way to market their apartments in landlocked Old Worthington, OH. They are not mundanely giving away ceiling fans or trying to make their neighborhood fancy by adding an "e" to old and calling it Olde Worthington. Instead, they've built a lighthouse and created a small ocean. At least that what it looks like in this scenic advertisement.

Of course, I could be mistaken. Sorry Jen.

Player bites referee and removes jersey to hide identity.

There was a story the other day out of Delaware concerning an irate soccer player who bit a referee on the chin. A photographer on the scene caught the incident on camera. You can read the story here on The website has a video of photos.

I have a photo of the video of the photos which I thought was particularly funny:

The guy that bit the referee removed his shirt so that he could conceal the number on his uniform and thus his identity. He almost got away with it!

Ann on the swing

Father's Day Tie Fighter

At pre-school, Greg made me a tie for Father's Day.

He drew some X-Wing Fighters and some Tie-Fighters on it. I guess when his teachers said that they were going to make a tie, he got stuck in Star Wars mode.

I wore it for about six hours.

Dyslexia Ahaed

I highly recommend for all your sign generator needs. I don't really have any sign generator needs, but I seem to make them up as I go along.

Lilly Jane

Congrats to Mel and Jason!!

In fifteen years, Lilly will look two years older than her father. (That beard ain't foolin' anyone.)

Yo! photo

A few weeks ago I went to the CD release party for The Hot Damn… (My five year old son thinks the name of The Hot Damn is actually the Electric Pickle because I couldn’t rightly say I was going to see a band with the word damn in it and when I asked him to guess the name of the band, he suggested Electric Pickle, a band he heard on Scooby Doo, so it stuck.)

A few weeks ago I went to the CD release party for The Electric Pickle, which was held at a little venue called The House of Crave. The House of Crave is strategically located next to the Lifestyles Communities Pavilion, which you might think would be a swingers club, but is actually an indoor/outdoor concert arena. That night, Rick Ross was doing a show at the LC and in front of the concert hall was “Yo! photo.”

“Yo! Photo” is some guy with a bed sheet, some paint, a 1” brush, a section of a chain link fence, a few clamps, a white board, a digital camera, a color printer, a crocheted lawn chair and a dream.

The dream became a reality when Yo (I think that is his name) painted a royal purple convertible on a bed sheet and thought to himself, “I bet you people would pay $10 to get their photo taken in front of this.”

From my vantage point on the patio of The House of Crave, I could not see that dream coming to fruition. I just couldn’t see people wanting to give up $10 to have their photo taken in front of a large, purple slice of ass.

The Rick Ross show ended and people started to pour out the doors.

And they headed straight for Yo! Photo.

In about thirty minutes, we saw eight groups of people stand in front of the purple turd and smile as Yo took their photo. My rough math says that is about $80, but it also looked like he was printing up multiple photos. The price of additional photos wasn’t on the white board, but I assume it was $5 a print. The guy probably pulled down $150 just in that half hour.

As soon as I can find a length of chain link fence and a bedsheet, I’m going to have a dream too.

We're taking dinosaurs back!

Screw the dinosaurs! I want to find out how Genesis can give me super-human strength!

Erik Eats: Fish, With Smell and Little Speak

"Fresh" Fish Snack



Peek Inside

Treasure Flavor

Fresh Fish Snack - Fresh Fish - Fish Snack

Fresh Fish Snack Ingredients

Fish Snack Ingredients

Prepare to Eat!

Smell of Face Cramp

Expiration Date?

Keegan Smells

Erik Examines





Weep with Delight


Next Week - Foreign dried potatoes with dried plant scrapings.

{Dedicated to Sarah. We miss you terribly.}

OHIO 5T 3UCKEYE (on Michigan Plates)

A friend of mine got this photo of two Ohio State fans with their Michigan vanity plates.

Good stuff.

A condom in my beer

Imagine finishing off a delicious, cold glass of beer...

when you notice that in the bottom of the glass there is a condom.

Yeah, it's not a condom, but it's about that size & shape with the large word Trojan. I couldn't help but think of there being one in the bottom of my drink the whole time. The advert is glued or melted on the bottom of the glass.

{UPDATE} My buddy Shorty pointed out that the bottom of the glass is actually a pig's nose, just like the pigs in the Trojan commercials. When you tip the glass back, it would look like you have a pig's nose from the front. Now that is clever!

Feazel Roofing takes the high road

Monday, June 16, 2008

To the administrator and readers of and, and whomever else it concerns:

From our headquarters in Westerville, Feazel Roofing Company has been a leader in the roofing business in Greater Columbus for over 20 years. Great service to our clients has built this company, and keeping our entire team focused on that, everyday, will be one of the keys to our future growth and success.

Of course we provide full roof replacement services when necessary, but our company is very much focused on the service and maintenance of existing roof systems. We believe that this is a unique approach to this industry, because many contractors might try to recommend a more expensive roof replacement before it is necessary. However, we have found that with consistent maintenance and preventative care, a well-designed roof system can last much longer then expected.

In regards to the recent Blog post concerning the March 3rd direct mail marketing piece that you received, let me start by saying that I strongly agree with many of your opinions. I must admit, you’re not the only person which it upset, as I received a few other calls with the same concerns. The original marketing piece in question was designed by a 3rd party direct mail company. Fortunately, the letter was only sent as a test to a small group of individuals. While the language in this marketing piece was quite strong, the main message was supposed to be this, and these are quite verifiable facts: CertainTeed Corporation is the defendant in multiple class action lawsuits currently in process in 16 states (including Ohio), and further litigation pending in 8 other states and Canada. The lawsuits cover several different brand names of shingles manufactured since 1987, all of which have demonstrated premature curling, cracking, or de-granulation.

Here is a simple explanation of the CertainTeed Legal activity:

I paid an ad agency to write the letter because I didn’t know the best way to go about educating homeowners on this issue. Obviously, the real message got lost in “sales language” – the piece went way overboard, and I should not have allowed it. Therefore, it was my mistake, and I sincerely apologize.

We do offer free preliminary estimates for all services that our company performs, including repair and replacement. However, we also charge a $179 fee for a full roof inspection. This is a more detailed and time-consuming written report, which may include pictures of any damages found, detailed measurements and multiple courses of action to remedy any concerns. We also offer this service to business partners in the Home Inspection and Real Estate industries. Our inspection pricing is very much in line with what other companies of our size charge for this service, but we always rebate the fee if any work is found during our inspection, which we do find some about half of the time.

We were offering a discounted fee of $49 for a limited time, thinking that we could perform numerous inspections in one area, saving on gas and drive time. This aspect was my idea, not the marketing company who wrote the letter.

Everything else you stated on your original Blog Post is accurate for 99% of the cases we come across with defective shingles. 100% of the CertainTeed Horizon shingles installed were defective, and are installed on thousands of homes in Central Ohio. If your shingles are defective, your home will not collapse overnight, and more often than not, water isn’t currently entering the home. However, we have had more than a handful of cases in which water has entered walls just a few years after installation, causing mold growth and other severe interior damage.

For anyone who would happen to read this who knows that they have a CertainTeed shingle installed on their home, I suggest contacting an attorney. The law firm’s website I’ve been referring homeowners to is but there are numerous others working on this case which can be found if you search “CertainTeed class action” in your favorite internet browser.

I would like to close by saying again that I apologize for allowing this type of “scare tactic marketing” to be sent from my company. However, I also want to state that we will continue to educate the marketplace on this issue. The shingle manufactures don’t send out a recall letter (like you might get from an auto manufacturer). Left unaddressed, problems may arise, and in some cases the problems can become catastrophic if not found in time.


Mike Feazel, President
Feazel Roofing Company, Inc.

{Author's note: I am satisfied with the response that I received from Feazel Roofing concerning an advertisement they recently sent out in the mail. I believe the letter to be sincere and consider the matter closed.

Because of the integrity they showed and the way in which our discussions concerning my issues were held, I am removing both posts because even though I might be satisfied with the reply from Feazel Roofing, the internet is not so forgiving.

I may be kicked out of the internet for these actions, but sometimes the right thing to do isn't the most popular.}


CNN: Flooding bad for country, obviously great for fishing

Run, Rabbit, Run

I ran over a baby rabbit with the lawn mower this afternoon. We noticed a nest a few weeks back and the kids have been very curious about when the bunnies will start running around the back yard. The answer to that is: today.

I was mowing the area outside the fenced-in back yard and didn’t think that any of the little furry bastards had made it that far. One did and he was really hidden because I did not notice him till he popped out from behind the push mower, upside down and franticly kicking.

I yelled. Really loud. Miss Sally came out of the house thinking I had cut off my foot.

I'd seen a nest of rabbit run over with a riding mower when I was a kid. Most had died instantly. A few with cuts all over with no chance of survival. Eyes bugging out. Blood.

This rabbit had righted himself and was sitting, balled up and very still. I picked him up by the scruff and there was blood on his fur in back. I couldn’t tell if the blood was on his leg or if the blood was on where his leg used to be. I carried him into the fenced in back yard and put him by the nest so that he could be close to home when he died.

Because I am a big softy, I became distraught. I started to reflect upon life and that it’s been a year since I gave a futile dose of CPR to my dying/dead neighbor. He had been mowing his lawn that day. I thought about how life can end in the split second it takes for a mower blade to spin around or in the agonizing ten minutes it takes to die, waiting for someone to give you CPR.

And then I checked my mower manual and found the problem.

I had the throttle on the wrong setting! I changed the lever off the dead rabbit position and continued to mow the lawn.

A few minutes ago I checked the nest and the rabbit was gone. I looked over the yard and over by the swing set, the mama rabbit stared at me. In a flash she darted off… and left behind was the injured rabbit. He hopped a few times and hid in the shade.

I left the yard and went inside. From the kitchen window I could see them back at the nest. Mama keeping watch and Limpy following behind. I hope I see him hopping tomorrow.


Sometimes a really good interactive is a very simple one.

I love this horse because it is life sized, realistic, in a quaintly themed area with a really good opportunity to fall off and hurt yourself. My instincts would be to surround this thing with fencing and padding and to have it staffed with eight team members and a mop made of band-aids.

You'll find this horse at the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Damn I've got a Big Head.

Phoenix Probe reveals more Ice on planet surface

The ice is described as: weak, watered down, washed-up, and though mocha in appearance- vanilla in flavor.

The Hot Damn - CD Release Concert

I went to The Hot Damn release concert/party at The House of Crave this past Friday. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot seeing as I’ve got a mean case of Columbus-Doubt when it comes to music.

What a great show!! (I’d drop in a descriptive expletive, but my nephew has been reading the site and saying that the show fucking rocked would really put his mom off.)

I love Matt’s vocals and his guitar is achingly fluid. Ash sounded great once her vocals were turned up. She’s got a matter of fact sound that I dig and her back-ups echo around my brainstem. Casey is on the peripheral, but hovers into the center of the stage quite nicely. Bobby plays the drums with the savage accuracy of a lucid, pubescent gorilla.

Acton ponied up five bucks to buy me a CD cause I spent all my cash on beer and a picture at the YO! Photo $10.00.

We’ve been spending the past two days talking about the album. No album is perfect, but this CD does a pretty good job of knocking out five really great songs with a side of decent tunes. Here’s my take on the songs I really found awesome (in order from the CD):

We Call This a Cycle – Best song on the album. Catchy, like Swedish fish dipped in honey and thrown against a frozen sheet of raspberry sorbet.

Left Hand, Right Hand – I’m a sucker for any song where there is a form of “La la” in the lyrics.

Arm’s Length – I’ve been dumped before. This song is my “F-you” to you ex-girlfriend. Great lyrics and guitar.

Birds & Bees – Very Breeders-esque. Ash does a really nice job here.

The Battle of You vs. Me – Reminds me of the Lightning Seeds without the whiny, caramel corn lyrics.

I had to shake some of the crappy songs off my iPod, but I made room for this album.

Someday when I am a real critic, I’ll come back and give these guys the review they deserve. Until then, check out the streaming album with optional option to purchase at Merit Badge Records.

The Hot Damn
Ashleigh Wells- Guitar, Keys, vocals
Matt Smith- Guitar, Keys, vocals
Casey Warner- Bass, vocals
Bobby Heigel- Drums, no vocals