Friday, August 30, 2013

Headline Of The Day

The body language of the fireman in the foreground of the photo really sells it too.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Ron Swanson Pyramid Of Greatness

Do you want to live like Ron?  You must follow the pyramid.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 83

The Time Mookie Hit A Raccoon With His New Car

A few years back my wife and I got a brand new Ford Fusion for me to drive.  While it was a bit expensive, I had just gotten a promotion at work so it looked like we could afford it.  This thing was LOADED.  It was black, with all-wheel-drive, black cloth bucket seats, air, sunroof, Sirius Satellite Radio, and power everything. We even got the windows tinted so it looked even more bad ass.  A nice plus of the dark windows was that the kids could ride in the back with less glare from the sun.  If you are thinking to yourself "You had kids and child safety seats in the back?  That's not cool."...Yeah well screw you.  They were cool...the kids and the seats.

A few months after we got the car, winter arrived.  I have to say that the all-wheel-drive was worth its weight in gold on those snowy/icy days as I hummed down the highways watching other cars swerve off into the ditches.  Sometimes I could feel the back-end of the car wanting to "let go" as I drove along, but then felt the rear wheels catch up with the rest of the car and bring it back.  It was pretty sweet.

Early one particular evening in the dead of February, the kids and I were coming home from work/daycare.  It was getting near twilight where the sun was still giving off enough light, but it was almost time for headlights.  It had snowed a lot recently, so the shoulders and ditches along the highway were full of drifts - however the roads were completely clear.  I must also mention it was M-F-N COLD.  Like zero degrees or less.  We rounded a curve and came up over a little hill, and then out of the corner of my eye I saw this big fat gray and black critter make a run for it RIGHT in front of my car.  I had no time to react, and even if I did - previous personal events taught me otherwise of swerving an animal smaller than the car.


I heard it hit the front, and then the noise it made as the critter passed under the car.  I hit him good.

Knowing this was a "new" car, I was pissed.  I turned around and went back to see what it was and if it was dead.  I figured that it was a raccoon, but wasn't totally sure.  I drove up and down the road where I hit it......It was nowhere to be found. So either I didn't kill it, or the back tires threw it.  Either way, I was pissed about hitting it, but didn't think much about it.  The kids and I headed home and I thought that was the end of it.

A few weeks later I was at the mall on my lunch break, and when I was walking back to my car I noticed something wrong with the front air dam and ground effects on the front bumper.  I looked and they were badly cracked and broken.  The first thing I thought of was vandals or something, but why would they damage the grill of a car?  Then it hit was THAT RACCOON.

Any other time of year, that greasy little dirtbag probably would have bounced like a basketball off the front of the car.  In the dead of winter...nooo...noo.  That plastic shattered like glass in the cold under the impact of that tubby masked varmit.  God I was pissed.

I called my insurance company to have them come out and survey the damage.  In the coming days I went and got a few estimates.  All of them were approximately the same...$1,200.00  That little shit animal broke the front grill, which of course was all one piece, and connection rods behind the grill that protect the radiator.  Thankfully insurance picked up the hurt of it, but we were still on the hook for deductible.  God I was pissed at that animal.

In the end, I'm glad I didn't swerve and total the whole damn car but I still hate that animal.
I don't even have the car anymore and I hate him.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dan Gable's Amazing Story

I just read a story on ESPN about wrestling legend Dan Gable, and it is without a doubt an amazing read.  You can take a look at it here:

Its a long one, but its worth the time.

The Kids Should Probably Stay Away From This Church

I think that white stuff is supposed to be wheat.  That is NOT what it looks like.

And seriously, who advertises a church on the side of moving truck??

Fishing For Attention On Facebook

Everyone has "friends" on Facebook that are always "fishing" for compliments or attention. They say things that are incomplete, in hopes someone will inquire, thus getting attention. They say things like "Worst day!"
I hate these people.
I'd unfriend them if it weren't for their smartmouth friends who do comment but don't bite on bait given by the post.  Stuff like the example below makes me laugh. Raina went fishing for compliments, but Charm didn't play that way. Hilarious.

Poor Sarah Jessica Parker

I laughed at this harder than I should have.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 82

The Time Mookie Sold Firearms At Walmart

My resume notes that as part of my employment history, I spent six GLORIOUS years working in the Sporting Goods and Automotive Departments for the hell-hole that is known as Walmart.  During that six year time period, I had the "opportunity" to work in THREE separate Walmart stores.  The reason for this was that the company was gracious enough to let me transfer to stores near the different schools and cities I lived in during that stretch.

I still can't believe they gave me the keys to a display like this.
As I said, I worked in Sporting Goods - which meant I was able to sell guns and ammo - and I sold A LOT of it. Prior to working at Walmart, my exposure to guns was almost zero. This is not because I am against them, but mainly because my family and friends were not hunters or big gun owners. Needless to say, this lack of gun-knowledge caused me to live by the adage "fake it till you make it" for quite awhile.  I literally had NO idea what a lot of these people were talking about. Plus, when I moved to Colorado from the Midwest, the learning curve started all over again because the hunters out there used high-powered rifles as opposed to the shotgun-toting Midwest hunters. Very different weapons killing very different animals.

The one thing I quickly found out with most of these people while listening and learning was that they just enjoyed telling their stories.  While this is true with anyone who is passionate about something, I found out that with hunters it was all together different for some reason. Perhaps it was because it entailed killing things - I don't know.  The one thing that held true more than anything though, was that the bigger the redneck the person was, the more INSANE the situation or their stories were. You seriously couldn't make up some of the stuff these people were doing.

Needless to say, their stories have became my stories - because frankly - they are hilarious.

One of my all-time favorite stories was a guy who told me about how he was out on a date with some gal, and he saw a deer along the highway while they were driving. He stopped the truck, grabbed his shotgun from behind the seat, rolled down the passenger window and shot the deer from inside the truck. Then he spent the remainder of the date cleaning the deer carcass. My only response to this was to act like I was impressed and say the word "Nice."

An Asian guy I used to deal with on regular basis in Colorado used to come in and buy a lot of handgun ammunition.  He claimed to have several hand guns and liked to frequent the target range pretty often.  One particular day he arrived at the Sporting Goods counter and asked to purchase a few boxes of .45 cal shells.  He also had a few items in his hands that he'd picked up around the store and asked if he could pay for everything there.  What did he have?  In addition to the boxes of shells, I rang up a few bras and pairs of ladies panties.  I'm not sure if his lady asked him to pick up the lingerie, or if he wore them himself.  In the back of my head I told myself that this guy probably liked to party. All I could picture was him firing off target rounds while wearing the matching bra and panties.

I had a housewife-type lady stop by the counter one time, and began asking very generic questions about rifles and what-not.  I took a few out of the display case to show her (yes, we gave complete strangers actual guns to look at), and answered her questions as best I could.  She said she wanted to "educate" herself about them in the event she ever needed to buy one quickly because it looked like the "government was going to take away her right to buy one."  Whoa.
Want some ammo?  We got ammo!

One time a guy asked to look at a box of .44 mag shells, so I took the box out and he opened them to look at the tray of shells inside.  He picked up a few of the shells and looked at them curiously....and then he asked me for a cloth so that he could wipe his fingerprints off the shell casings.

One store I worked at was visited by an ATF officer (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) - three months in a row.  The reason?  In three consecutive months we sold an individual a cheap-ass .22 cal rifle, and in each of those consecutive months those individuals went home and committed suicide with said rifle.  I never found out if I was ever the "seller" of any of the rifles, but it was definitely a sobering thought to know that I might have been a party to that.

One time I had to deny a guy the ability to purchase a gun because when he completed the ATF purchase form, he noted that he'd been convicted of a felony involving a firearm.  Needless to say he was PISSED when I told him this, and had to contact a member of management to help handle the matter.

And finally....

I worked at one store where there was a female employee who happened to be suffering from some weird liver disorder.  She was out a lot on medical leave, but when she did work - it was hard to look at her because her skin and eyes were jaundice-yellow from to the liver illness.  The store had even put on several different fund-raisers for her and her family to help pay for medical bills and help get her a liver transplant and whatnot. She did end up getting the liver transplant she needed, but sadly it didn't "take" and she ended up dying a few months after that.  A few months prior to her dying, I had to help sell her "winner" of a husband a fancy $400 .44 caliber revolver - while she stood there all jaundiced and sick - so he could use her employee discount.


Walmart - the place where things happen that you could never ever make up.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lisa Robin Kelly In Better Times

Lisa Robin Kelly, the actress that played Laurie - Eric Foreman's older and incredibly slutty sister on "That 70's Show" died late Wednesday night in her sleep at a rehab facility.  She left the show several years ago due to her addictions, and has been arrested several times over the years for many offenses. Sadly her addictions got the best of her in the end.

On "That 70's Show," she often verbally sparred with Mila Kunis' character "Jackie" and their mutual lust for Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher).  An example shows below.  Good stuff.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Well The Jerk Store Called...

This is quite easily one of my most favorite bits from the TV show "Seinfeld."  The episode is titled "The Comeback," and focuses on George wanting to get back at a guy who insulted him in front of everyone during a meeting at work.  Naturally - like all of us - on the way home AFTER the meeting he thinks up something that he claims to be the greatest comeback ever.  All of his friends (Jerry/Elaine/Kramer) think the "comeback" is stupid, and give their own suggestions.  He declares they are all wrong, and that his comeback is the best.

When George goes to use it on the guy the next day, he finds out that the guy doesn't even work at the same company anymore.  So that the line isn't "wasted," he tracks the guy down in Akron, Ohio and gets a meeting with the guy and his team in Akron so he can deliver the comeback. It starts out spectacularly as he totally baits the guy into insulting him again, but then in pure "George" fashion it goes off the rails in a way George doesn't see coming.  When he tries to come back at the guy again (with one of the insults that Kramer suggested), it ends up in an even worse place.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

April Ludgate Is Awesome

While it is no secret that everyone here at Breathtaking and Inappropriate loves Ron Swanson, I have to say that the character April Ludgate (played wonderfully by Aubrey Plaza) is a close second.

Charlie Always Has A Plan

Odds are good its a horrible one, but he has a plan...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 81

The Time Mookie Visited Edgar Allan Poe

A few years ago, the company I work for needed me to travel to Baltimore.  Prior to this, I had never been to Baltimore - so I have to admit that I was kind of excited by the prospect.  Since I knew nothing about Baltimore - other than the Orioles and Ravens played there - I looked on the Internet to see if there was anything "fun" to do when I wasn't busy working.  As it turned out, there was a fair amount to see and do - but it was "encouraged" to only do these things during the daytime hours.  The reason for this is that the city of Baltimore makes the top-ten list for almost every violent crime statistic in the United States.

In looking at the statistics, I thought it was funny that they mentioned that Baltimore's "forcible rape" statistics were one of the lowest of the top ten most violent cities.  In fact, the average ratio in most of the so-called violent cities was five rapes for every murder.  HOWEVER!  Baltimore's ratio was FIVE MURDERS FOR EVERY RAPE reported. So apparently -  while my odds of taking a knife in the back were somewhat high, I should have been relieved by the fact that I probably wouldn't be forcibly bent over a garbage can and raped in a vacant alley against my will.  I was not reassured or relieved by this.

One definite point of interest that jumped up at me during my "things to do" research was that Edgar Allan Poe was buried in Baltimore. I decided that this was definitely something to check out, so I looked up where it was in proximity to my hotel and Googled directions on how to get there.

My first evening in town, I set out for Mr. Poe's gravesite just after dinner. The grave is located at a place called Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, and Google told me it was less than a mile from my hotel. However, once I got about three blocks from my hotel I quickly found myself on full-alert about anyone and everyone I encountered.  The neighborhood I was walking through and the people I was walking past were definitely scary.  Even though there was still plenty of daylight left, I quickly wished I had set out earlier in the daytime as I did not want to be a statistic under one of the city's top ten violent crimes.  I do have to say though that for the record: At no time did I feel like I could be a victim of forcible rape. So there you go.

Fun fact:  Poe's information on the monument is
incorrect.  His date of birth is actually January 19th.
The stone shows January 20th.
After a brisk 10-minute walk, I arrived at Westminster Hall and Burying Ground.  The entire place is surrounded by six-foot wrought-iron fencing and brick walls, and I found that the main gate is actually right next to Poe's grave site.  Luckily the gate was open.  I mention this because I tried to visit the site during a trip a year later and found the gate locked.

As I said, the first grave right inside the gate is Edgar Allan Poe's.  Poe is buried in this spot along with his wife and his mother-in-law.  WHO would want to be buried for all of eternity with their mother-in-law???

Each person's life data (date of birth / date of death) was on a side of the four-sided monument, with the front having a bronze portrait of Poe and his name.

After admiring and reading the information around the Poe grave, I ventured further into the cemetery to see what other interesting things lay within the brick-walled confines of Westminster Burying Grounds.  Some of the more interesting types of graves I found were ones that were above ground.  They were side-by-side crypts that had metal doors on the front.  It looked as though you could open the doors and say "Hey what's up dead guy?"

Another interesting batch of graves were marked by stones that were probably the approximate size of the deceased's casket.  The text on some of them was still legible, but many of the markers were hard to read due to their age.  In reading about the cemetery prior to going - and looking at some of the helpful signage next to some graves, the cemetery holds some of Baltimore's earliest leaders, a few notable United States politicians, and a few leaders from the War of 1812.

The original burial site of Edgar Allan Poe, and the site of
the "Poe Toaster." Note the roses and cognac left by imitators.
As you wander towards the back of the cemetery, you come to what some consider to be the cemetery's "main attraction:" Edgar Allan Poe's original burial site. When Poe died, he was originally buried at this spot near a few of his other family members.  However years later, he was moved and interred at the more prominent site where he rests today with his wife and mother-in-law.  This spot is marked with a stone indicating that it is Poe's "original" burial place, and notes the dates he was buried there.  One reason it is significant to many Poe fans is because this is the spot where the infamous "Poe Toaster" used to make his annual visit on Poe's birthday.

I wanted to visit this site because I enjoyed reading the stories every year about how the "Toaster" would sneak into the cemetery very early in the morning on January 19th, leave roses at the burial marker, toast the author with cognac, and then discreetly leave without anyone ever knowing who they were.  I found the whole "mystery" of it all quite entertaining.  Sadly this tradition appears to have ended in 2009, and the mystery of who the "Poe Toaster" is/was still remains a mystery.

After this I ventured further into the cemetery and saw a few "regular" - but quite old graves.  As you can see from the pictures, the grounds are kept very well and even have lighting (presumably for security and special events as I believe the gates are closed after dark).

I kept waiting for a hand to
come up out of the ground.
One particular grave gave me the creeps as it had the appearance like the granite slab marker had been "moved" by someone....or some thing. After walking past this grave and continuing on, I had the distinct feeling I was being watched.  That was when I came to what looked like two large above-ground crypts.  They were separated by a narrow walkway that went into a small area behind the church that had a few more graves.

At the "entrance" to the walkway on side of the crypt was a carving of what looked to be a human.  As you can see, time has eroded the carving - thus making it look like something scary you'd see in Raiders of the Lost Ark. It definitely creeped me out.  I have to add that it didn't help matters that the sun was going down and it was starting to get dark.

I'm pretty sure something was watching me.
I decided to walk down the path between the two crypts, and check out what was on the other side.  When I got to the end of the path, I quickly realized that this part of the cemetery was not terribly interesting, but was also a dead end (ha ha) and I would have to go back up the path.  When I looked back up the path into the regular cemetery, I didn't see anyone...but I had the CERTAIN feeling that I was definitely being watched by something. Not only that, I felt like I was being followed as well.  I don't know by what, but I do know for a fact that I was the only living person in that cemetery at that time.

Doorway to graves
After exiting the "crypt corridor," I wandered through the rest of the grounds and made my way back around the church and towards the exit.  As I walked past more above-ground crypts that I didn't see on my way in, I noticed the door pictured here. I thought it looked odd as it was "below" the church, but yet part of the foundation.  In my research after visiting the site, I found that the cemetery existed before the church, and that the church was built OVER part of the cemetery. Therefore there are "catacombs" under the church (i.e: graves in the basement).  According to what I read - they give guided tours of the catacombs (and the entire site) at designated times if you so desire.
I'd suggest that you check out if you are in Baltimore and are interested in seeing all of that.

As I made my way out of the Burying Grounds, I visited Mr. Poe's grave one more time and headed out into the street. Once I got up the street a little ways, I turned and snapped a pic of Westminster Hall's steeple in the evening twilight. I think the looming spooky and gothic nature of the picture was a nice book-end of my visit to Edgar Allan Poe's grave.

After I left the cemetery, I have to say that as I continued walking on around the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore - it was quite awhile before I no longer felt like something was watching/following me.

Those spirits must have needed some exercise.

Credit: Mookie
Nothing to see here.  Just the 911 crew picking up a dead
guy lying on the sidewalk in Baltimore as I walked by.

One final note about my trip -

As I was walking back to the hotel later that night, I crossed in front of a group of EMT responders that were picking up a dead guy off the sidewalk up the block from my hotel. Not kidding.

SO!  When you are planning your next vacation to Baltimore, remember that you statistically have a 1 in 69 chance of being a victim of a violent crime.

How do you like them odds??


Miss a previous episode of Monday Morning Stories With Mookie?  Click HERE to catch up!