Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I love to kiss

You're an Passionate Kisser

For you, kissing is about all about following your urges
If someone's hot, you'll go in for the kiss - end of story
You can keep any relationship hot with your steamy kisses
A total spark plug - your kisses are bound to get you in trouble

Thanks for the idea Mel

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Questionaire

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
He wraps some of the presents on the years I have the kids overnight on Christmas Eve.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Colored, although sometimes white is nice

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I will if I ever have a girlfriend at Christmas time (or someone over that I am really interested in)

5. When do you put your decorations up?
First week of December if the weather is nice. I try to do all the inside and outside stuff all in one weekend

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert?)
The turkey is the best

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
Sledding down the hill behind the Madison Heights Public Library

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't remember how old I was, but I found out when I discovered presents stored in a linen closet for me and my brother from Santa. I'm not even sure it was December yet.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
My parents caved into our insisting on opening one gift on Christmas Eve. My ex's family opens all their family (non-Santa) gifts on Christmas Eve. So my kids get to open half of their gifts on Christmas Eve with her family, then half in the morning with my family.

10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him?
He usually gets one of each kind. But I think Santa's favorite is Buckeyes

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
I love it, but we don't get enought here in Colorado Springs. Once in a while we get a good dump, but it is only once or twice a year, but it's gone in just a few days.

12. Can you ice skate?
I used to. Growing up in Michigan the fire department would clear a big field across the street from my house and pump water into it. That was so awesome. Most of the places to ice skate in Colorado Springs are indoors, which I think takes half the fun away from it.

13. What is your most memorable gift?
An old bike

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Spending time with my family

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Oh God, what isn't.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Playing board games and telling nestolgic tales of our past.

17. What tops your tree?
Usually a moving Bugs Bunny holding a lantern

18. Which do you prefer - Gift-Giving or Receiving?
I prefer to give, but I hate shopping

19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol?
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
No real opinion

Merry Christmas to all my friends

It has been quit a year, hasn't it?

I have not quite been blogging for a year and I have met some really great friends here. You have made me laugh, think, worry, cry and get horny. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I want to thank you all for your friendship and advice.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

You know what's cool? He's not my boss!

I think it really bugs Doug that I don't have to report directly to anyone at the office. I think that makes him think the if I am not being watched then I am not doing my job.

I do have a lot of respect for the guy. He is on top of what is going on with the product technically. I just don't think he has a grasp for what it takes to do my job. That bothers him. I think it also bothers him that sometimes I hang out with some of the developers and chit-chat. He is not the manager of these developers either so maybe that burns him a little.

Doug is not my boss. He never has been. He had an agreement with my former manager, Brian, that he would be a "dotted-line" manager to me. When I was hired I took this as meaning if I needed management support for something I could go to him. That seems to have morphed in Doug's mind as meaning he has some authority over what I do. That is far from the case, even more so now.

Reporting to Brian was pretty cool. He knew that my being remote to him was going to be a bit strange, but it worked. I respected him and worked very hard to make sure he was glad he hired me. I have received nothing but praise from him. Due to changes within my company I now report to a different manager. I thought reporting to someone that had his office 90 miles away was remote. My new manager, Gregor, is in Scotland.

From what I understand he is a good guy. Get's us what we need, but also lets us self direct how we do things. The guys that came to visit from Scotland talked a little shit about Gregor. Not because of what he does. They were referring how he doesn't communicate with his people. Barrie told me I should call him and introduce myself. I didn't want to come off as being some kind of suck up. I didn't call.

I heard of the news about the re-org weeks before I ever made contact with Gregor. I was kind of waiting for either Brian or him to tell me. Brian finally confirmed the rumor a number of weeks ago. I still heard nothing from Gregor. I finally broke down and contacted him via e-mail when I heard we needed to start getting ready for our performance reviews. I sent the e-mail to both Gregor and Brian. Gregor finally responded and was nice about how we would proceed. I still haven't talked to him on the phone.

Doug had asked me if I had talked to Gregor about the "dotted-line" agreement that he had with Brian. I told him, "No, I haven't", and left it at that.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Let's Amputate!

Sorry for the short absence. I had the boys this week, and work has been an absolute bitch (or was it Doug at work being the bitch... I did feel like slapping him).

We are approaching a release of our software and of course that brings on a rush of changes at the last minute. All I have to do is build it and send it to manufacturing, but some of the things that I automated need to be done manually now. Release time is always stressful. Some things have not been done in anticipation of this release and Doug (the tool) was trying to blame me. "Didn't you say you were going to handle that?".

I have heard that same comment about 3 different things this week. He has taken over as the Release Manager because the previous guy, Brad, took a new job on a different project. Brad was awesome, and always showed his appreciation for my hard work. For some reason I get the feeling that Doug doesn't think I do enough. He is probably projecting this since his responsibilities have doubled recently (so has his bad attitude).

Kevin, my 13 year old, was complaining about his arm hurting on Wednesday. Typically this can be attributed to growing pains or maybe he hurt it. I asked him if he had hurt it somehow. He said no. I told him to think really hard if maybe he hit it on something or was lifting anything heavy. He just shook his head. Then on Thursday he calls me from the school office saying that his arm won't stop hurting. I asked him to go back to class and keep it propped up. Hopefully resting it would help.

I was out to lunch with a couple guys from the office when he called back. I didn't drive, so he was going to have to wait. I told Kev to contact the rest of his teachers and get the homework assignments for the night. My friend Dan said it sounded like he might have a hyper-extension. I got back to my desk, sent out a message to the whole project that I had to leave to get my son from school and that I would be working from home. I took my laptop and headed out the door.

I tried to call the doctors office to see if they could fit him in. They were out to lunch, so I had to call back later. I got Kevin from the nurses office. While I was signing him out I noticed a very pretty lady picking up her incredibly cute daughter. Kevin caught me looking. He told me that she is in his math class, and they were the ones he pointed out to me when we were out to dineer earlier in the week. I'm thinking Kevin likes this girl. She is going to be dangerous in just a few years. I am going to need help... Yikes!

We got home and I took a closer look at Kevin's arm. It was definitely muscular. I asked him again if he could remember doing anything to it. He said the only thing different was that in his science class the other day they had to life an 8 pound dumbbell because they were studying muscles and how they work. Kevin is a strong kid. Eight pounds is nothing to him. I didn't think that could have done it, but it was good info to pass on to the doc.

I connected up to work since it wasn't time for the doc's office to be back from lunch. This is when I was reminded that I had a meeting scheduled. I sent a note to those involved to make sure they knew where I was. Stewart asked if I could call in. They needed me in a discussion about some database changes. UGH! I was getting scatter brained. I told him I was trying to get Kevin into the doctors office. He decided we could put off the meeting until the morning. Wow, a rational manager, thank you.

I got ahold of Kevin's doctor's office. They could get us in right away. I found a sling we had from when Kevin broke his arm and strapped him in.

We got to the office and saw a few people ahead of us. We sat down for just a minute before they called us in. I was expecting to have another long wait in the exam room. Just 2 minutes later a nurse practitioner come in. Nice guy, but he needs a hair cut. Maybe it's just me, but I like for professional people that I have to pay a shit load of money to be well groomed. Anyway, we started talking about the problem while he was checking out Kevin's range of motion. He asked Kevin what he might have done to hurt it...

Now why is it that my own son can not tell me the full story, but a perfect stranger he can give all the necessary details. Kevin went into how in his science class they were learning about muscles. He described the weight that they were lifting. The he descided that maybe it was important to provide the crucial fact that he and his friends then had a competition to see how many times in one minute they could curl that dumbbell.

I just put my hand over my mouth rolled my eyes to the back of my head and held back the laughter. The NP (or is it CNP?) and I finally both broke out in laughter when Kevin said he was able to do it 54 times in a minute. Kevin then got some extra credit information from this guy about lactic acid in the muscles.

I was totally embarrassed to have had to go in for that, but I laughed about it all the way home.

Oooh and guess what? I ordered and received an HD Satellite receiver. Woohoo!

I've been busy all day mucking out a closet, cleaning, and doing laundry in preparation for my family coming in for Christmas. I need a massage and a vacation.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Three Things

I copped this from Grace who got it from Abeni.

3 screen names I have:
1. Shankbone
2. LHarvey
3. JonnyX64

3 physical things I like about myself:
1. My sense of humor
2. my eyes (just because women seem to like them)
3. My hair (I'm not losing it like my brothers... knock on wood)

3 physical things I don't like about myself:
1. My weight (just 10 or 15 pounds and I would be happy)
2. The hair on my back (grosses out some women)
3. My ass, or lack there of

3 parts of my heritage:
1. French
2. Irish
3. Scottish

3 of my everyday essentials:
1. Food, hence the weight issue
2. The net
3. Family/friends

3 of my favorite musicians:
1. Goo Goo Dolls
2. Train
3. The Beatles

3 of my favorite songs:
This is impossible, so here are a few long time favs
1. If You Could Only See - Tonic
2. You Better Be Home Soon - Crowded House
3. Driving With The Breaks On - Del Amitri

3 things I want in a relationship:
1. Humor
2. Loyalty
3. Passion

3 lies:
1. I hate giving/receiving oral sex
2. I miss being married to my ex
3. Reality shows are the best

3 of my hobbies right now:
1. Blogging
2. Building computers
3. Playing Battlefield 2

3 things I want to do really badly now (with a special someone):
1. Relax
2. Take a trip to a warm climate
3. Kiss, deeply

3 careers I've considered doing:
1. Massage Therapist
2. Software Engineer
3. Computer Networking

3 places I would like to go on vacation to:
1. Australia
2. Europe
3. Fiji

3 kid's names I like:
1. Ryan
2. Tara
3. Michelle

3 ways that I'm a stereotypical guy/girl:
1. "Pull my finger!"
2. No chick flicks (unless you promise sex afterwards)
3. I have a hard time understanding women

3 people I would like to see take this quiz:
Whoever wants to

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Meltdown in Michigan

I just saw my neice Kati (Paula's daughter) last weekend when back in Michigan. She seemed to be doing very well. She only had 2 weeks left in her semester at college (small college in Wisconsin), then she was coming out here with her dad for Christmas. She was going to take next semester off, then go to U of M next year.

Here is some background on Kati.

Kati took the train back to college, but missed the connecting bus in Chicago because the train was late. The meltdown ensues.

She went back to Ann Arbor, deciding to just let her grades come without finishing the semester work. She is really depressed. It has been a hell of a year for her. More than many of us could handle. I am not surprised by all of this, but just wish the timing was a little better.

John went out with a friend of the family last night, inviting Kati to go along. When John returned he found Kati on the floor, hovering over a bunch of pills. Some were cold medicine and some were an antidepressant. She told him she took 5 of each.

Nothing life threatening, but clearly a plee for help. John took her to the ER. Now she is in a psych ward. This scares the hell out of me, but I think it is very short term. I imagine the anti-depressants are making her head spin.

When one of my family hurts, I hurt.

Friday, December 09, 2005

What Leading Man Am I

I'm not sure why there is all this blank space...

Cary Grant
You scored 19% Tough, 9% Roguish, 28% Friendly, and 42% Charming!
You are the epitome of charm and style, the smooth operator who steals the show with your sophisticated wit and quiet confidence. You are able to catch any woman you want just by flashing that disarming smile. When you walk into a room, the women are instantly intrigued and even the men are impressed. When you find yourself in trouble, you are easily able to charm your way out of it, or convince others to help you. You're seen as dashing, suave and romantic. Your co-stars include Katharine Hepburn, Irene Dunne, and Joan Fontaine, stylish women who know a class act when they see it.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the Classic Dames Test.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 30% on Tough

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 21% on Roguish

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 51% on Friendly

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 77% on Charming
Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I was just rummaging through some old pics and found these. I am going to break the rules and post from a couple years ago.

Yes, I was in a drunken and stoned stooper. How much more naked can you be in this condition. I don't get high often, but it was for a good occasion.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Party On!

I was hoping that Patti would not get clued into the surprise we had instore for her. The planning for this party started back in March. We were really worried about my mom spilling the beans over the last 7+ months.

Mike and mom were going to spend the night at my house since I live closest to the airport and our flight was at 6:00 in the morning. I went down to Pueblo Friday night to get mom. Mom and I sat around for a few minutes before getting ready to come back up to my house. Right when we were getting ready to leave her house the phone rang. It was Patti calling to say hi. I waved mom off, mouthing that I wasn't there. She understood and didn't spill the beans. She did say something about coming up here to do some Christmas shopping. That was a mistake. Mom doesn't drive more than 5 miles EVER. It confused Patti, but she didn't question it too much.

Mike was going to spend the night at my house, but he was working at the bar. He said he would be there around midnight. Mom went to bed around 10. I fell asleep on the couch around midnight waiting for Mike to arrive. I woke up when he walked through the door... at 2:30. This was 1 hour before I was planning on getting up for a pre-flight shower. I went to bed and turned up my alarm. I think I tossed and turned for 45 minutes before I fell asleep again, then the music came blaring. DAMN IT!

I got in the shower then started waking people up. Mom was pretty easy. Mike was really tough. I know it sucked just having about an hour and a half of sleep, but we needed to get moving. Then I realized that we got about 3 inches of snow overnight. We ended up leaving about 20 minutes later than I was comfortable. We were a little late getting to our gate, but we made it.

Then we waited... and waited. We needed de-icing. I knew this was going to be pushing our 50 minute layover in Chicago. We made up some time due to a tail wind but we ended up only having 30 minutes to get from O'Hare's concourse F to concourse C. Mom is 77 years old. We asked for a wheelchair at our stops, apparently they didn't get that memo. We asked how long it was going to be... too long, and running was out of the question. We got direction to the concourse shuttle and got there as fast as we could. When we got to concourse C I ran ahead to have them hold the gate. We made it with just a couple minutes to spare.

Off we went to Ann Arbor, had some homemade pizza compliments of my brother-in-law John. My niece Kati was there too. She seemed to be in great spirits. Last time I saw her was last Christmas, a few weeks after she lost her mother and I lost my sister. It was really good to see her.

We loaded up and headed to the party in Farmington Hills. We arrived and barely knew everyone, but they all knew us. Most of the people there were from Patti's dance troupe The Madame Cadillac Dance Theatre (yes, that's my sister in the top pic and the middle of the bottom pic). I had met a couple of them when they came to Paula's memorial last year.

Everyone not associated with the dance company were to hide in the bedrooms and not come out until Patti was in the living room. We totally shocked the hell out of her, then jumped right into singing Happy Birthday. Knowing my sister I was expecting her to cry a bit, but I think she was even too shocked for tears. It's a good thing heart trouble doesn't run in our family. She freaked out for a good 15 minutes about the whole thing before settling down.

We then nibbled on a number of different things that people had prepared. The main things were salmon, roast beef, fake crab meat, Vienna sausages, and an assortment of breads, cheeses, and veggies.

As we were eating the jazz trio was setting up. I can't remember the name of this group, but I guess they are fairly well know in the southern Michigan jazz circles. They were absolutely incredible. They mostly played as 2 guitars and a cello (yes, a jazz cello), but sometimes one of the guitar players would whip out his clarinet. They really blew me away. There was lots of dancing. What would you expect from a dance company? Although I can play the hell out of swing I have not learned how to dance to it. My sister and her friends really went to it. I was thoroughly impressed.

We all hung out and told stories for a bit and eventually it was time to head back to Ann Arbor. It started snowing during the party, so by the time we left there was a few inches on the ground. I stayed awake to help keep Billy awake while he drove.

We slept in the next morning (MUCH needed). Patti and Bruce came by around noon. Bruce unfortunately had to leave early to go to his daughter's concert at her college in Kalamazoo. He left Patti behind to visit with us.

When you get all of us Shanks' around a table it can sure get loud, but it is also extremely funny.

Unfortunately, I did not find time to meet a Blogger friend of mine while I was there. We didn't coordinate our schedules prior to my departure.

We didn't get to do the bonfire for Paula, but maybe we will do one at Christmas.

Friday, December 02, 2005

It's been a year since...

This has been a difficult year. My sister Paula died this day last year suddenly from a very strange medical disorder. This falling one day after my other sister Patti's birthday and 2 days after mine. A time of year that we are supposed to be celebrating is now scarred by our loss.

We're leaving in the morning to go to Michigan for my sister Patti's surprise birthday party (gee, I hope she doesn't search through blogger). I am hoping for some good weather. I am thinking we need to have a bonfire Sunday night for Paula.

I am hoping to get together with a friend of mine that lives near Ann Arbor, but you never know what may get in the way with a big family trip.