Nebraska or Bust – Field Report By Rob Sinatra – Day 2

DAY 2:

Ed and I were able to get up when our wake up call came at 6:00 AM. All the water that I had drank during the night had done its trick. Unfortunately, I still had persistent problems if you catch my meaning. The room then showed its ugly side. The shower was in bad shape. First of all the hot and cold water knobs were reversed. Also anytime you used hot water outside the bathroom, the shower lost all its hot water. Now that we were fully awake we realized that there were no mattress pads or covers, only sheets. We decided to skip the continental breakfast because my stomach was still not in tip top shape. We stopped off at the local pharmacy and bought Immodium AD so that I wouldn’t have to stop on the road every thirty-six seconds. Unfortunately since I had to re-hydrate myself I had to relieve myself every thirty-nine seconds. Another difficulty was that the route we took to get to the “hotel” would not let us get back on 480 West so we had to find an alternate route. A nice and little detour that would pale in comparison to the one that would follow. We got a great jump on the day and left at 8:30 AM with TWO disposable cameras in tow so we could chronicle this momentous trek across the US. Ed and I were able to convince a very nice gas attendant at the local Sunoco to give us our 2nd camera for $8 worth of gas instead of the 8 GALLONS of gas that we actually needed to fulfill the deal. Needless to say that we have a lot of pictures left at the present moment.

Another problem that arose was the time change. Somewhere in Indiana, Ed and I went from Eastern Daylight Savings Time to Central Daylight Savings Time. However, there were no signs telling you to roll back your watch an hour, and the radio station that we were listening to never said what time it was. Not that this was a major difficulty or anything, but it was really discomforting. It was like Ed and I were stuck in some cheesy Dr. Who episode (don’t get me wrong, I love the Doctor, but it was the only comparison I could make). You never realize how important time is until your stuck grasping for it. Try not wearing your watch for a day and you’ll know what I mean.

Now for our getting lost. The trip when we started was pretty straight forward. You just take 80 West and keep on going. However, while playing a fierce installment of the Alphabet game outside of Chicago, IL, we suddenly found ourselves on the road to Wisconsin. Now while Ed and I are particularly fond of cheese, this was not the purpose of our journey. Thanks to the deftness of reading a map while extremely exhausted, brave First Class Navigator Ed plotted us the proper course back through hyper space and once again on 80 West. Then we ran smack dab into a long rain storm that lasted the through the last 200 miles or so. When we finally made it to Iowa, it could easily be said that Ed and I were pleased as punch. Then we got to the hotel. A REAL one this time. The Comfort Inn in LeClaire, IO was absolutely heaven, even in the rain. It sits directly across the Mississippi River. The room was gigantic and the beds were REALLY comfortable. We had a great recliner that easily could have doubled as a third bed. We both wanted to watch the Flyers/Devils Game 7 and so we went to the Supermarket next door and bought a freshly made pizza, soda, and snacks. The meal was great. The game was not. I even got a chance to talk to a friend in Ohio that I haven’t talked to in a couple of months. It looks to be a good nights sleep and another good jump on our last leg to Omaha.

Nebraska or Bust – Field Report By Rob Sinatra – Day 1

Here’s the whole trip in a nutshell (well… five pages of a nutshell anyway).

Mr. Rob and Mr. Ed Hit the Road: Nebraska or Bust May 2000

DAY 1:

The day started out pretty uneventful. We planned to leave at 7:00 AM so that we could miss all the traffic coming out of Philadelphia and make it pass Pittsburgh before rush hour. After departing Rob’s house at 11:45 AM (different story for a different day), Ed and I made pretty good time, mostly by breaking major laws of both physics and mechanical engineering (Average speed: 80 MPH). The weather was really nice and we had ample opportunity to enjoy it as we were stuck in two long episodes of stop and stop traffic (there ain’t no go). It took us nine hours total to get to the Econo Lodge in North Olmsted, Ohio. A nice place to stay( i.e. two beds, A/C, and a bathroom- everything a body needs). Due to the diligent Internet research of my brother Frank, we had detailed maps of where we were going and some really neat places to stop and enjoy all the local color that North Olmsted had to offer. After calling both our parents and telling them that we were alive and not in jail, we decided to eat at the local Lone Star a few minutes away. The e-mail search said that Lone Star was open until 11:00 PM, and since we got there at 10, we thought that we would have plenty of time to eat and unwind. Unfortunately fate had other plans. The hostess at the Lone Star after asking us whether we wanted to sit in smoking or non-smoking proceeded to tell us that the place had just closed. Ed and I had just traveled 485 miles. We were tired and more importantly hungry. WE WOULD NOT BE DENIED!!!!!! Right next to the Lone Star that had denied us life giving sustenance was a place of that was absolutely to quote J.J. “DY-NO-MITE!!!!” The name of the place was the Macaroni Grill. The cuisine was home-made Italian with lightning quick service. Needless to say the food was very good. The really neat thing about the Macaroni Grill was their jugs of wine. No, not bottles, but enormous, honking huge, behemothian jugs of wine (approximately 15 11 oz. glasses per jug and they gave us 11 oz. glasses to drink the wine with too). The wine works on the honor system. They charge you for one glass each and you pour as much as you want telling your waiter or waitress how many glasses of wine you’ve actually had. Pretty cool. Since Ed doesn’t really know a lot about wine, I chose a very nice Chianti, or at least what I THOUGHT was a really good Chianti (more on that later). Ed had the Chicken Marsala and I had a really tasty shrimp dish. The New England Clam Chowder was absolutely out of this world. The desert was interesting- an eggless custard. It was like eating something the consistency of Smoo, but not too bad.

Back to the wine. Ed at this point was really beat and had finished eating. He had one glass of wine and couldn’t finish the second. I offered to not waste his glass of wine in combination with the two large glasses that I had already. I know what you’re thinking. Rob drove back to the Econo Lodge totally vasnikered. UNTRUE. I went to bed feeling fine. It was only at 3:00 AM that my gastrointestinal system decided to wake me up in full rebellion. For those who know me, they know of my bathroom prowess (i.e. the mighty DM: Dumpus Maximus). However, things got so bad that a new category had to be created- DMEU: Dumpus Maximus Extremis Uncontrolabus. Thank God that I had the bed next to the bathroom. Rob’s Helpful Traveling Hint #1: Never ever have 2 and ½ 11 oz. glasses of wine and take two antacids and forget to drink a tun of water. Let the bathroom beware!!!! But that wasn’t the only bedtime adventure we had that night.

Apparently someone used the Econo Lodge for their other use (i.e wink, wink, nudge, nudge). To mask this they decided to crank out the toons that the young people will enjoy. I decided to call the front desk and they handled the matter with all due haste (only because Ed and I couldn’t find the room so we could blast the door down the Anti-tank weapon Ed packed along for those SPECIAL occasions. That’s what I love about Ed, he’s so resourceful.). I went to sleep after that with only the aforementioned problem stated above. However for Ed, the fun just kept on going. Ed had to deal with my snoring (i.e only second to my brother, Frank, who now has a machine to help him breath at night because he snores so bad) and the ‘happy couple’ who decided to watch TV at O Dark 30. Fortunately the A/C kicked in and Ed was able to kick the bed until I stopped snoring. Hopefully that is the worst that will happen to us on our trip


The Bathroom, The Fog Machine, and Me.

Ok, ready for this?

My friend Greg owns a professional grade fog machine.

The Tech Centre of TBS is in a remoulded two story house, with a full bathroom upstairs and a half bathroom or “powder room” down stairs. Just the loo and a sink.

One Evil Thought later, and I have snuck the fog machine into the office and stowed it away in the downstairs bathroom, under the sink.

Wait a week, just in case.

So, I make the announcement that if anyone needs me I’ll be in the john. I enter the bathroom, setup the fog machine, turn it on and let it rip! I had that thing running until it automatically shut off. I could not see my hand held out at arms length. I unplug the machine, wrap up the cables, and stepped out of the bathroom. Our office manager, Nancy, desk faces the bathroom, so I walk out, turn to her and say, “Do NOT, go in there!” and shut the door. She looks up at me an inquires “What was that?” I respond, “Ooohhh, Nothing.” “Open that door.” she commanded. I comply open the door, letting more of the fog waft out of the bathroom and close it again. Her eyes were the size of dish plates.

Now Rick turns a sees some smoke wafting across the top of her desk and his first thought was, oh it’s just Nancy’s cigarette smoke. At which point he realizes that there is to much smoke to be that. He stands up and comes over to Nancy’s desk, where she’s still starring at me in disbelief, and exclaims, “What the?!?!?!?!” I open the door and let some more smoke out. Rick busts out in hysterics.

Mind you all this time my boss, Jim has had his back turned to the whole situation. Added on to that he was busy on the phone and had not yet turned more that one quarter way around. Finally after ten minutes Jim turns around. I open the door. In the middle of a sentence about accounting software, he cuts to “Holy SHIT! The bathroom’s on fire! I’ll call you right back!” hangs up the phone and comes running over and stares in to the bathroom in disbelief.

Now here’s what the bathroom looked like. Looking into it was like looking into a portal to another dimension. It was a solid wall of fog that was slowly dissipating out into the hallway. I swear that if you your hand into it you couldn’t see it. Jim stepped into it and disappeared. This is only a 5′ by 5′ room that we are talking about. One sniff and Jim knew it wasn’t smoke, the fog juice had a strawberry sent to it.

I got into a little bit of trouble for pulling that prank.

I’m surprised that I did not loose my job.

Summer Camp Time!

Summer is here and so is summer camp! So here’s a message to all parents from all the children forced to go to summer camp just so their parents can get some nookie while the kids are away. After all that’s what summer camp is for, to get the kid’s out of the house long enough to forget that the little rug-rats were there.

But enough of the bitterness. On with the message!

Message From Camp –

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Special thanks to my Uncle Leroy for recording the message many many years ago when he had to endure summer camp, back before the child abuse and child labor laws were enforced.

E-mail Tag Lines

Never moon a Werewolf…

Never take a Vietnam Vet to fireworks display in the swamp…
Never take a recovering drug addict to a Grateful Dead concert…

And never, ever, stand up while your plane is being hijacked and ask for your Kosher meal.

Before Enlightenment, wash the floor and chop wood.
After Enlightenment, wash the floor and chop wood.

-Zen Koan (I think)

Anyone remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.

There are three types of people in this world: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wondered “What happened?”

“A happy childhood is poor preparation for human contacts.” – Colette

“A cult is a religion with no political power.” – Tom Wolfe

“Government is that great fictitious entity by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”

Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting and drinking
If you cheat,may you cheat death
If you steal,may steal someone’s heart
If you fight, may you fight for a friend
and If you drink, may you drink with me
May Odin Guide Ya and Fey Welcome Ya
Blessed Be

“Cloning forces us to ask some hard questions.
For example, which person, the original or the clone, gets to wear the goatee and be evil?”

“You are using the time-honored strategy of ignoring my point.”

This isn’t an office. It’s Hell with fluorescent lighting.

“If people listened to themselves more often, they’d talk less.” – Courtois’s Rule

“Democracy is that form of government where everybody gets what the majority deserves.” – Davidson’s Maxim

Btw. that “real life” you mentioned, is it worth downloading?

Reality is for those who are unable to cope with fantasy. Fortunately I have no problems coping.

we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a’ gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer

<—— [insert picture of elvis and nixon shaking hands in the oval office]

“…violence resolves problems that talking can’t solve.”

C: run
Run : , Run”

People that don’t like us to wear fur and leather, will only harass rich women, because a biker gang would kick their asses!

I used to live life like a possible senate candidate,
but the hookers and heroine got to be too much.

“Because you have the attention span of a goldfish and the level of intelligence inferior to a flabbering moth makes your input on what sucks and what does not about as insignificant as your very own existence.”

‘No trees were killed in the sending of this message.
‘However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

“I am Homer of Borg. You will be assim…ooooohhh, donut!”
“I am Homer of Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Preparation is irrel…MMMmmm…doughnut!”

Entropy isn’t what it used to be…

How do I set a laser printer to stun?

As I get older I find that all the worlds problems come down to one thing. Other people. So knock it off.

When life hands you lemons, lobby Congress to give you the sole right to provide access to lemonade.

Do not seek to imitate the masters. Instead, seek what the masters sought. – old Japanese proverb

Every child wins a prize! (Prizes not suitable for children)

When they took the fourth amendment, I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment, I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment, I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment, and I can say nothing about it.

Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence

Things Not to Say to a Naked Guy

  1. I’ve smoked fatter joints than that.
  2. Ahh, it’s cute.
  3. Who circumcised you?
  4. Why don’t we just cuddle?
  5. You know they have surgery to fix that.
  6. It’s more fun to look at.
  7. Make it dance.
  8. You know, there’s a tower in Italy like that.
  9. Can I paint a smiley face on that?
  10. It looks like a night crawler.
  11. Wow, and your feet are so big.
  12. My last boyfriend was 4” bigger.
  13. It’s ok, we’ll work around it.
  14. Is this a mild or a spicy Slim Jim?
  15. Eww, there’s an inch worm on your thigh.
  16. Will it squeak if I squeeze it?
  17. Oh no, a flash headache.
  18. (giggle and point)
  19. Can I be honest with you?
  20. My 8-year-old brother has one like that.
  21. Let me go get my tweezers.
  22. How sweet, you brought incense.
  23. This explains your car.
  24. You must be a growing boy.
  25. Maybe if we water it, it’ll grow.
  26. Thanks, I needed a toothpick.
  27. Are you one of those pygmies?
  28. Have you ever thought of working in a sideshow?
  29. Every heard of clearasil?
  30. All right, a treasure hunt!
  31. I didn’t know they came that small.
  32. Why is God punishing you?
  33. At least this won’t take long.
  34. I never saw one like that before.
  35. What do you call this?
  36. But it still works, right?
  37. Damn, I hate baby-sitting.
  38. It looks so unused.
  39. Do you take steroids?
  40. I hear excessive masturbation shrinks it.
  41. Maybe it looks better in natural light.
  42. Why don’t we skip right to the cigarettes?
  43. Oh, I didn’t know you were in an accident.
  44. Did you date Lorena Bobbitt?
  45. Aww, it’s hiding.
  46. Are you cold?
  47. If you get me real drunk first.
  48. Is that an optical illusion?
  49. What is that?
  50. I’ll go get the ketchup for your french fry.
  51. Were you neutered?
  52. It’s a good thing you have so many other talents.
  53. Does it come with an air pump?
  54. So this is why you’re supposed to judge people on personality.
  55. Where are the puppet strings?
  56. Your big gun is more like a BB gun.
  57. Look, it fits my Barbie clothes.
  58. Never mind, why bother.
  59. Is that a second belly button?
  60. Where’s the rest of it?

Paintball Safety – or – How not to Check to See if You’re Out of Ammo. #3

So now that we have REALLY learned our lesson this time by having me make and example of my self, we all are now ever so careful not to do anything stupid. Really. Honestly. If you believe that I got a bridge to sell you. Now we are gone along, three months now without anything bad happening. In other words, we should have seen this coming. Rob has developed some problem with his gun. We have now switched over exclusively to the PGP Pistols because of the lower cost to keep armed and filled with co2. Now for some reason the co2 cartridge is not properly sitting in the gun and Rob was having trouble screwing in the bolt that held the co2. We call a time out on the playing field so we can help Rob fix his gun. The problem was there was some gunk on the tip of the cartridge not allowing it to seat in correctly. Now with the PGP Pistol, the paintballs are held in a chamber above the barrel. There is a small gap where you can see if there is any paintballs in the gun. However, there is practically no way to see if anything is in the chamber. I think you see where this is going. To start a new co2 cartridge you have to pump the gun once to break the seal and then once again to fill the chamber. Greg gets the gun all together and does the double pump to start the gun. Rob asks if it’s now working. Greg responds “Sure! See” turns toward Rob points it at his chest, not more than a foot away, and pulls the trigger. There was a ball chambered. Rob went down on one knee and clutched his chest all the while informing Greg that his parents were never married, and making other accusations.


Paintball Safety – or – How not to check to see if you’re out of ammo. #2

Well, now that we have learned our lessons with the semi-auto guns, they eat up a lot of ammo, We have gone out and purchased several Sheridan PGP Paintball Pistols. Which holds 10 shots and 1 “in the chamber”. We are back inside the house getting something to drink. Now safety has become our major concern, especially after I SHOT MY FREAKING HAND OFF! Sorry, anyway, we are constantly checking to make sure that the safety is on, we dump out all our ammo before going inside. We had to repaint the living room after one of the semi’s were shot in the house because “Don’t worry, there’s no ammo in the gun. See?” and proceeded to fire the gun splattering the wall with paint. Back to the story. They ask me as a note of precaution, “Ed, is the safety on, on your pistol?” “Why yes!” I respond drawing my pistol, pointing it at my left hand. “See,” I say as I pull the trigger. And SHOT MY FREAKING HAND OFF, AGAIN!

I screamed like a cheerleader.