Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Optical illusion? No, just a bad day.

It looks like the front end of a car in the back seat! How is this possible? Optical illusion?
No, just a bad day.
You see, Colorado was hit with a bad snow storm last week and I was one of the many unfortunate people to get stuck in this mess. Interstates and highways were closed, Denver International Airport was shut down, and even the post office was closed for 2 days right before Christmas (rain, snow, sleet, or hail....but apparently not blizzards). For some reason, I decided to go to work (actually, it's still my hobby) and as I pulled into the parking lot of my company my car got stuck in the snow. As I tried to get unstuck, I was throwing the car into reverse and heard an unfortunate noise. That was my front bumper snapping off. Apparently, the underneath side of my bumper cover was serving as a large snow shovel under my car, scooping snow until it couldn't handle any more. I was trying to dig my car out for almost 2 hours and of course, I didn't have a shovel with me, so I was down on my knees reaching under the car, trying to pull the snow out with my hands. Now, I'm left with frost-bite on my knee caps and a rather strange looking car and a bill for over $1,000 for repairs. Donations are always welcome.
Ideally, you should have a Winter Car Kit during this time of year in case this happens to you too. This includes everything from a shovel, to a bag of kitty litter in case you can't go (that's for traction under your tires - it has nothing to do with relieving yourself). Maybe I'll take my own advice and put all the stuff in my car someday.
Anyway, I think it's time to move to Phoenix where I don't have to deal with Colorado snow storms.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Consider Yourself Warned

Click here to watch this blog as a video
Dear makers of TAG body spray,
I recently saw one of your commercials and was more than excited to try your new body spray. I was only imagining what could happen the minute I sprayed myself with your product - my mind was filled with images of large groups of girls attacking me instantly. Unfortunately, this hasn't been my experience.
When you said, "Consider Yourself Warned", I guess I thought this was a good thing. The first day I used TAG, I was overcome by a cloud of aerosol gas that I couldn't help but inhale in the close-quarters of my bathroom. My eyes began burning and when I exhaled, it was like I had been smoking TAG hookah. After escaping the formidable cloud myself, I wasn't coherent enough to think about warning my roommate. Before I knew it, he had entered the bathroom and was quickly suffering the effects of my little black bottle. Thankfully, we're both alright.
I've also noticed that the smell is slightly overpowering at first, and then it begins to turn sour throughout the day. The first day I went out after trying tag, I noticed women suddenly covering their mouths as I walked by. At first, I thought they were just laughing because I was suckered into believing they would be attracted to me, but then I realized they were throwing up in their mouths just a little. Indeed, the various scents don't seem to be as appealing to women as you promised in your commercials.
Thankfully, I won't need a refund on the $5 per bottle I paid for this product. I've found that it kills bees and wasps immediately with a quick shot, or I can empty a whole can into my house before leaving for vacation and it acts as a bug bomb, killing everything inside!


T. L. Lorenc

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Thought for the Day

"Breaking promises makes you a liar, but liars aren't always promise breakers unless they make a promise not to lie, then break the promise by lying. Now they've lied about the fact that they lie, and breaking the promise isn't the issue - they're just a liar."
-T. L. Lorenc

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's getting harder and harder to breathe

Yes, it's been a while since I've blogged and I apologize to all those who enjoy living life vicariously through my blogs. I guess I'm so busy with my "hobby" right now that I just haven't found the time....if you don't know, my "hobby" is real estate. I can't really call it a job at this point because I haven't made any money, and as my good friend Delbert pointed out, if I'm just doing it and not making money, it's a "hobby". Thanks for the insight Delbert. It really helps me cope with the fact I haven't had a paycheck in 4 months. I guess it could also be considered unvoluntary volunteer work. Plus, I've been putting in a lot of overtime, but of course, that's not paid time either. Thursday was a good day - I worked from home. I figured if I'm not making any money, I can do that from home. It hasn't helped that this last week I've been sick with a cold. I realized something very important this morning - you can't use mouthwash when you have a cold. I nearly drowned as I tried my best to get the full effect of swishing the sugary green juice in my mouth, yet still breath through my stuffed up nose. Finally, when I was about to faint from lack of oxygen, I decided it was a good time to spit.What can I say - I'm here to help: you've been warned. It's also difficult to sleep with a cold. Breathing only through my mouth, I managed to inhale fuzzies from my blanket all night and woke myself up snoring and choking on fuzz balls. Yeah, it's been a fun week.

Monday, October 23, 2006

It's ABOUT time...

Well, apparently I don't have any felonies on my record. My real estate background check finally came back along with my license! I'm finally official. Yes, my 3-month vacation from working is over. Now, I have to really get started and work like most normal people. I'll be working with Brian Slivka at ReMax Properties, Inc. the #1 selling real estate firm in Colorado Springs. We have 5 offices and almost 300 employees, so there's a great training program and good reputation behind me. So, now it's your turn - I really need you to keep me in mind if you're looking to buy or sell a house, or if you know someone who is....or if you're like Ruth, and want to relocate to Colorado Springs (we'll talk Ruth...trust me.)

So, here's my info:

Toby Lorenc
RE/MAX Properties, Inc.
216 N. Tejon St
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 332-4816 cell
(719) 635-SOLD main

Yes, welcome to the "world of working people" Toby.

Well, thanks for asking what else is going on...I've joined a Colorado Springs improv group (The Stick Horses in Pants) to make people laugh when I'm not working. It's been fun so far but I've only been in a few shows. I'll let you know when the next show is so you can come heckle me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I learned to do it in a minivan

As I'm sure you can tell from the title, we're talking about driving. I had some problems when I first started driving: the road test. It was the day of my 16th birthday - I couldn't wait to get my license so I could go home that night to my birthday party and drive all my friends around (I was one of the oldest in my class, so not many others could drive at that point). So, I'm driving around with Stan from the DMV. Stan normally wouldn't be someone I would pick as a friend. He's a bit anal and seems to enjoy the control and power he has as a proud staff member of DMV. He had the personality of a chemist mixed with dedication to the DMV of a drill sergeant. Anyway, I think I'm doing really well - going the speed limit, checking my mirrors, hands at 10 & 2 - you know the drill. As we pulled into the parking lot at the end of my test, I start getting out of the car and he says, "Hold on, Toby. Let's talk about today." At first, I thought he was going to comment on the plush interior and smooth handling of my parents minivan that I used for this joyous occasion. But instead, he said, "You're not safe to have on the roads." That's not what you long to hear from your driving instructor, Sergeant Stan. Apparently, I hadn't actually stopped for any of the stop signs - or at least a "complete stop". In fact, at the only one I came to a full stop I stopped on the crosswalk and forced a pedestrian to walk into the intersection to cross. That's frowned upon. Anyway, after our brief conversation and valuable life lessons from Sgt. Stan, I went home without a license. I handled it like any mature 16-year-old - cried myself a river and prayed that my friends would still think I was cool. I tried to laugh about it with my friends that night, but it pretty much sucked. Happy freakin birthday. The sad thing is, years later, I went back and failed the written part of my motorcycle test 3 times before getting my license. Ironically, after all that, I have a clean driving record.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Second time's a charm

One of my favorite hobbies in high school was perfecting the art of TP'ing others houses. I had a friend who was constantly dating various girls, but most importantly, constantly breaking up with them. They made the perfect targets to practice our skills. One night, we were TP'ing one of his exgirlfriends house. When you're buying "supplies" at the store, the clerk has a pretty good idea of where you're headed. You're wearing all black, and purchasing 2 very cheap 24 packs of toilet paper - you're not fooling anyone.
Anyway, we were so excited, we went too early - we should have waited until early in the morning. Instead, it was about midnight and when we were almost finished, a car started coming up the street. We both laid down in the grass waiting for the car to pass. Instead, it began to slow down and pulled into the driveway - it was her dad!! At one point, his headlights lit up my face like a jack-o-lantern, but somehow he didn't notice me. I think he was too distracted by the 44 rolls of TP hanging from the trees. So, he gets out of the car and starts walking around the yard, pulling down all the TP and mumbling something under his breath. He was out there for a good 20 minutes trying to clean it up, all the while we're laying silently in the grass on opposite ends of the yard, sometimes just feet from him. Finally, he tore it all down...here was his fatal mistake: he threw it in a big pile, just outside the garage by the side of the house and went inside. We hated to see it all go to waste, so we stayed another 30 minutes and put it all back up, plus hung the additional 4 roles we hadn't yet used.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Public Announcement

I think one of the best purchases I ever made was a $40 CB radio with a PA option, and a $14 bullhorn speaker that I inconspicuously placed behind the grill of my '86 Chevy Nova. I know, that's a lot of numbers - all you need to remember is that it's illegal. But it brought hours of fun, many laughs, and no felonies (thankfully). One time, I was on a date and we went to Garden of the Gods Park. Not to walk around or enjoy the scenery, but to use my PA system. It was about 10:30PM, I pulled the car up to a trailhead and killed the headlights. Then, in a calm voice, I got on the PA and said, "Thanks for visiting Garden of the Gods Park. The park is now closed. Anyone remaining in the park will receive a $300 fine. Thank you." It wasn't but 10 seconds later, we see a group of teenagers running up the trail towards our car in the parking lot. They didn't think it was as funny as we did. Probably the most illegal use of the PA was in the car on the highway when my roommate was making police-siren sounds and people were actually pulling over. The next thing we knew, we were being pulled over. When the officer approached the car she said, "Do you know why I'm pulling you over?" We were scared spitless and said we weren't sure why....thankfully, she had not heard the PA but only noticed that one of my friends didn't have a seat belt on. WHEW! That's called "Impersonating a Police Officer" and I think I could have done time. On another occassion, I pulled up to a busy gas station and announced, "Thanks for filling up at Diamond Shamrock. Free coffee with every fill up today!" I'm sure the clerk had some explaining to do when customers requested their free coffee. It was amazing that people didn't think twice and just assumed what they were hearing was the loud speaker at the gas station. Yes, many fond memories. I also enjoyed playing tricks on co-workers. For example, after work one day I was getting into my car ready to leave when I saw a fellow co-worker walking out the front door. She had her arms full with various bags and crap she was brining home from work. So, I got on the PA and said, "Barbara, you have a call at the front desk, Barbara, front desk." You could tell she didn't want to turn around and go back inside - she'd barely been able to open the door the first time with all the things she was carrying. But, like any good employee, she turned around and went back in. Less than a minute later, she was coming out again, fumbling with all her stuff. Another opportunity: "Barbara - please report to the front desk. Barbara" This time, she was ticked - you could see it on her face, but she turned around and went back inside. Finally, the third time as I was making another announcement, she was downright upset. She looked around, and spotted me in my car just a few feet in front of her. The funny thing is there wasn't even an outdoor intercom system...but she fell for it. Good times. I'm a jerk.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Step Up: I'm ready!

My brother and I used to fight a lot and when I say "fight" I don't mean bickering, I mean Fight Club type fight. You see, we are only 15 months apart so we've always been very close. However, at one point, my brother was about 6'4", 260 lbs and 1% body fat when he was playing football. I, on the other hand, was about 5'6", 90lbs with no body or fat. So, it was hardly ever a real even playing field. One day in elementary school (I was in 2nd, he was in 4th grade) we decided to fight out on the playground before school. Now, understand that kids would gather around and watch as my brother and I squared off. Most of my fans would continue cheering even though I was laying on the ground in crazy pain. I wanted to show them that I could win occassionally. Fun times. Anyway, this cold winter day, we resorted to fighting again, but I decided this was my day. I was set in my mind that I would beat him and all my friends would cheer. I let him throw a few punches and then I socked him right in the mouth with my winter gloves on (the kind that smell funny on the inside when they get wet). He went down instantly! But, I pretty much knew that would happen since I had slipped a handful of cold rocks into the knuckles of my gloves. I think I got a little bruise on my finger when the rocks crushed against his front teeth. Anyway, right as he fell to the ground, the teacher blew the whistle and all the kids lined up to go to class....except my brother laying in the middle of the baseball field face down, covering his face. Maybe he was thinking if he held the spot where his front teeth used to be it might stop bleeding...it's hard to say. Finally, he got up and made some threatening remark to me. I don't know...I really couldn't understand him with his new lisp. Looking back, I should have thought it through a little better and positioned the rocks so they wouldn't hurt my fingers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Okay, so here it is....CHAD BLEW MY COVER!

Well, after quiting my job and the "unnamed" publishing company, I went to school for real estate. I just finished the class a week ago, and today I took my official national and state exams to be licensed in Colorado....and I PASSED! Yippee! Thanks for all of your who have been encouraging me through this venture - it feels good to have it completed and moving onto the next step (which is actually APPLYING for my license and making sure the FBI doesn't find out anything too serious when they're doing my background check).
Anyway, I still have some days of being unemployed in my future as I work out all the details, but passing the exam was a huge step.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Garden Massacre

When I was young (probably about 5 years old) my brother and I were outside playing in my great grandpa's garden. As he worked the dirt with his hoe, he suddenly stopped and called us over, "Come here boys!" We ran over and saw a small snake - it was the first time I had ever seen a snake and I was pretty excited. Both my brother and I fearlessly crouched down to get a good look at it. As we were mesmerized by the incredible creature, the hoe suddenly came down and chopped its head off followed by, "Those are bad for grandpa's garden". It was fairly traumatizing and playing in the garden wasn't so special after that. Thanks grandpa.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mary's meat sauce...and other things I wasn't interested in.

When I first moved into my townhouse I was 19 years old and my neighbor next door was a middle-aged woman who was single and looking for a nice young man....much younger. I apparently fit the role well. But it wasn't a mutual interest. You see, I'm too nice sometimes and one day I offered to help her with something. After that, me and my roommate became her "handymen". We hung curtain rods, changed light bulbs, carried in groceries, moved furniture, fixed her computer, etc. Once we had done our chores, she "rewarded" us with a special gift - frozen, homemade spaghetti sauce in ziploc bags. I sort of felt like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer. We were always a little worried about the contents, so we never actually indulged in our parting gifts. Yeah, they went straight to the trash. Anyway, we continued to help her with various things until she started making comments in her grogly smoker voice, "If I was 30 years younger..." although we never got to hear how that phrase ended because Mary would begin to laugh, and then start a hacking-cough from years of smoking. On the days she wasn't feeling as forward, she'd tell us about her drinking problem and start crying - then (of course) "Come give me a big hug" and she would embrace us like a Katrina victim being air-lifted from their rooftop by a rescue party. Finally, she found a nice live-in-boyfriend (Rafael) at AA and she didn't need our assistance anymore. One Saturday morning, they came over and told us how much they appreciated us as neighbors and asked us if we wanted to have a BBQ that afternoon on the community lawn. It seemed a little strange, but we accepted. He was going to bring the beer (they both left AA after meeting eachother) and we were going to provide the burgers. Anyway, a few hours later, we saw them driving away with a truckload of stuff. We figured they'd be back in time for the BBQ in a few hours, but we never saw them again.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Does it seem odd to anyone else that when we were kids, we could ride our bikes in the street all day without helments or sunscreen, yet we had to come in when it started getting dark because it wasn't "safe"?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Near Death Experience for Chuck E Cheese

It's every parents nightmare. They ask their kids what they want to do for their birthday and the "precious little children" opt to go to Chuck E Cheese Pizza. I know how much parents hate it - from personal experience. I use to work there and one of my main duties was hosting birthday parties. I was their personal host for an hour and a half. It was awful. The parents were more than likely grumpy as the realization hit them they would be spending much more than planned for little Jimmy's special day. It's bad enough just to take your kids there and have them yelling and screaming and whining for more tokens. What's even worse is having 20 other peoples' kids there. It never ended. It was one Exedrin headache after another. One of my duties was dressing up in the Chuck E costume and walking around hugging the kids. Ironic isn't it? At furry rat making up for love their parents never gave them. Anyway, that usually wasn't too bad, until some brat came up to me with what I thought was a friendly handshake, only to find out that he secretly mashed his chewing gum into my furry paw. I was also punched in the crotch more times than you can imagine. But, I had passive-aggressive ways to get revenge on the little twerps. Like the time I was walking down the isle, leading a train of about 20 children, marching happily along through the dining room. Unfortunately, Chuck E's shoes are about five times as big as mine and a little trickier to walk in. Consequently, the overly large red shoe caught on a chair and sent me tumbling to the floor. The train of children suddenly came to a screeching halt as Chuck E's head rolled down the isle and his body lay limp next to the tipped-over chair. Their happy little smiling faces instantly became hardened with fear, for Chuck E may have died in their minds at that moment. But, I knew the death of Chuck E would be far too traumatic for these small, virgin eyes. So, I slowly slithered along the floor on my furry belly until I reached my jumbo sized head. As I looked more closely, I realized the horrific fall had broken off the two front teeth from Chuck E's plastic face and cracked the left ear. But these were the least of my concerns - I had to pull through...for the children. I couldn't stop now; I must show them that Chuck E lives! So, I slipped the head back on, stood up quickly, and with my plastic smile and missing teeth, confidently continued my joyous march around the dining room. That's one birthday those children will always remember.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Times we made mom cry

My family often went camping 4-5 times each summer when I was younger. One year, we went to a spot just up the mountain from Vail, CO. My brother and I had wondered up into the forest and had been playing up there for hours. You see, we found a tree that had fallen over onto a rock so we walked up the tree, then grabbed the top of a nearby aspen tree and jumped. I think it was a good 20-30 feet down, but aspen trees tend to be very flexible, so the strength of the tree's resistance made it "safe". What can I say -we were boys, about 12 & 13 years old at that point. I honestly can't believe I survived my childhood. Anyway, as the sun went down we decided we better start making our way back to camp. We couldn't believe how quickly it was getting dark and before we knew it, it was pitch black. So, we wondered down the mountain until we finally hit a road, realizing we were still quite a ways from our campsite. As we're walking up the road, suddenly a man (whom we've never met) comes running toward us and asks in a half-scared, half-angry voice, "ARE YOU CHAD AND TOBY!?!?" This was the point we knew we were going to be in trouble. When we finally made it back to our campsite with the escort of Mr Perky McFinderson, my dad was around the picnic table with the park ranger and other concerned campers and my mom was in the tent crying. Whoops. I guess they hadn't heard yet that we were alive. All kids make their moms cry - Clay Aiken's mom probably cries everyday. Thankfully my brother and I tried to not "bring on the waterworks" too often.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stuntmen - make that stuntman

In response to my brother's comment on "Hair Care Holiday", let me further explain the laundry basket and staircase game. Basically, we were risk-takers growing up. He was the risk, and I was the taker. I would say we were stuntmen, but it was actually just me who did the stunts, so I guess it's just stuntman. Being a very small child, I decided to show my brother (Chad) how cool it was that I could actually fit into our laundry basket. I got in, closed the lid and was so proud of my new talent. As I climbed out, Chad said, "Wow - that's really cool! Show me again" Like a moron, I climbed back in, closed the lid - but this time Chad held the lid down and picked up the basket. I was laughing, not knowing I was now the candidate for "today's stunt". He then carefully set the basket at the top of the staircase and said, "Don't move". Unfortunately, half the basket was hanging off the stairs and my weight was not distributed evenly. Within a matter of seconds, I was tipping toward the staircase (about 20 stairs). It was actually fun for the first tenth of a second - then the basket hit the fifth stair down and shot me out like a biscuit from those pressurized cans. I believe I got some pretty good air before I hit the 12th stair, and finally the wall at the bottom of the landing. Chad thought I was perhaps dead as it took me a minute to orient myself and readjust my eyeglasses. He was laughing pretty hard, but deep down I think he felt bad.
I've sketched a rough rendering of the event called "The Laundry Basket and Staircase Game" for your enjoyment.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hair Care Holiday

People have commented, "Oh, you cut your hair?!" Yes. Thank you. I know that's some people's way of not telling me it looks awful. Thank you again. Anyway, as I thought back to my childhood, I realized the trauma my hair has caused me. Just off the top of my head I can think of 3 specific instances that could drive me to this new look:
(1) when I was about 5 years old, my brother decided the sun-heated, pliable, hot tar from the street would be fun to add to my blonde hair. It was not fun and my mother gave me an unexpected hair cut while my brother cried in the corner
(2) When I was about 8, the minimum wage employee at SuperCuts was giving me the then trendy flattop haircut. Apparently, she wasn't totally familiar with operation of her instruments and created a quarter-sized bald spot on the side of my head. Somehow, she made it perfectly round and then that one spot got sunburned. About a week later, I was at the doctor and he immediately suggested we run tests on this unusaul mark on my head. Not funny.
(3) I went to some beautician lady when I was about 13 and she told me I had the perfect hair for a perm. Can you imagine me with tight blonde curls? I'm afraid I might look something like Jonny Fairplay and that's definitely something we all want to avoid.
You can clearly see the trauma I've experienced. Plus, this new look allows me to wake up at 7:42 and still make it to work by 8:00. I'm sure you understand the importance of this.
Anyone's free to rub my head for good luck.

Those pennies sure do add up!

Yeah, I just got back from a family reunion. You'll notice that I'm gambling - pretty much becuase that was one of the few things to do in Des Moines, IA. Unfortantely, I was playing .02 cent slots, so the 1350 credits was a total of $27. It didn't last long... I also made some bets at the horse race track, but I lost before I could even figure out what was happening. That was fun.

It was fun to see everyone, and I had lots of time to think about life in general on the 12-hour drive (each way). One last picture: my cousins Chris, Kim and me (I'm not sure who's beers those are). Anyway, I'm still here - more to come soon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Things are heatin up - inside and outside

Aaahh, the sights and sounds of Spring are here. Just the other day, I saw two bunnies riding eachother like the nickel-pony at the grocery store. After researching what I saw, I learned that a female rabbit is called a doe, a male rabbit is called a buck.
Very interesting.
Anyway, now that it's getting hot (I'm talking about the weather now, not the bunny love), I decided I needed another fan for my house. You see, only about 40% of homes in my city have A/C. Usually, our weather isn't unbearable and you can stay cool by simply opening the windows. Yeah, whatever. So, I went to the Sharper Image and picked up the Unbreakable Fan. It brags on the box that it's shatter proof. Is this really a serious problem that consumers are facing - their fans shattering? I couldn't say that's ever crossed my mind. I've seen lots of things in my life (like bunnies mating) but I've never seen a fan shatter....hmmm...Thankfully, I've side-stepped that landmine with my new purchase.
Yeah, this blog really wasn't about anything. I just wanted you to know I'm still alive.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Refreshing Turkey Legs!

Every holiday weekend gives us a reason to party - Memorial Day, St Patrick's Day, July 4th, Yom Kippur, etc. There are always plenty of festivals, parades, and events to occupy our time off work. And for some reason, when we get out in the hot sun, our senses are dulled and our judgment is impaired. I know this because I watch people line up and pay for overpriced turkey legs and giant pickles. Neither one of these is something I would consider a "refreshing snack". Maybe it's just me, but the last thing I'm thinking on a hot summer day is, "boy could I use a giant, hot turkey leg." Have you ever seen a marathon runner finish the race and head for the grill for a turkey leg? or a sunbather enjoying a day at the beach and crack open the cooler for a warm piece of poultry? No (unless you live in Alabama). So what makes them so tempting at carnivals and festivals? Someone needs to take a stand for all mankind and proudly say, "that's filthy disgusting."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Grills - not just for cars and cooking

So, as you know, I have opinions about lots of stuff. Here's a new one for ya - "Grills". These are actually custom-fit jewelry that somehow we've brainwashed some American citizens to not only buy, but wear over their teeth in public. Grills slip on over your teeth, but do absolutely nothing for the health of your teeth, in fact, it's recommended that you only wear them for 3 hours at a time. You can't have them in to eat, sleep, or brush your teeth. You can purchase these stunning freakshow trinkets anywhere from $100 to over $1,000. One site offers them in everything from 10k gold, to Platinum. I've thought of some potential ways these may change our society:

1) no more need for bicycle reflectors - just smile if you're about to get hit by a car
2) "It was so romantic - he got down on one knee, smiled, and asked me to marry him with a 14k grill"
3) Criminal mugshots will be less recognizable because of the glare from their grills
4) As if rap music isn't bad enough, now we're going to hear feedback in the microphone from their teeth jewelry
5) Eminem has something else to spend his money on...what's next?...maybe his children...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Jesus Loves Porn Stars

Well, I have to say, NavPress is certainly "reaching new markets". After Amercian Bible Society backed out of their agreements, NavPress is now making arrangements to publish the Message Bible with a bright yellow and pink cover that simply says, "Jesus Loves Porn Stars". The Bible will be handed out at adult porn conventions by xxxchurch.com. Some people are truly offended by this, but the fact is it's true! No, Jesus doesn't love what they're doing or what they support, but He still has an unconditional love for them.
Check out Beliefnet.com for more information or xxxchurch.com to order your own copy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

If I had a birthday party and could invite all my friends, it would mostly be flight attendants, rental car counter personnel, and TSA agents.

Well, another fun trip. Have I mentioned my love for travel? I figured I spent about 120 nights in hotels last year for work, not including personal travel. So far, about 40 this year. Tonight, I’m staying at an old favorite – the Hampton Inn Peabody (see this past blog for a recap of my last visit here). It was quite a adventure getting into Boston. THIRFTY Rental Car decided to rent the car I had booked with my reservation. So, AVIS was the next choice and all they had were minivan’s and Cadillac’s. My “inner geezer” chose the Caddy. So, I’m pimpin’ through Boston in my Caddy, looking like a possible dealer – or just a pimp. Tomorrow, it’s off to the airport for a 7:30 AM flight to Nashville (5:30 Colorado time). Most of you aren’t even up then – slackers.
I know travel is beginning to take a toll on my sanity when I start watching TV shows like Dog the Bounty Hunter and sumo wrestling on ESPN. Plus, when I’m home I miss the warm glow from the emergency orange-nightlite coming from the wall mounted hairdryer in the bathroom and the sheets tucked in so tight on the bed that I can’t feel my legs after 15 minutes. Only on the road my friends. Let me know if there’s something else you’d rather hear me complain about. I’m always up for suggestions.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Things that work - things that don't

Before you travel, let's review a list of both things that work in your hotel room, and things that don't:
1) In-room iron
It will simply leak all over your clothes that you can't really press anyway thanks to the fine-quality Sunbeam irons that the hotel so thoughtfully selects for their premier guests.
2) Alarm Clock
Bring your own - despite your best efforts, you'll never be able to set these to actually go off at the right time
3) Key Card Locked Doors
Insert = Red light - dangit. Insert again = Red light - piece of... Insert again = YELLOW LIGHT!! what the *** does yellow mean?
4) Hot tub
Sorry for the inconvenience, but you've chosen to stay with us for the week that our hot tub is under major repairs.
5) Under-window temperature control unit
You have two options: off or on. Recommended: crank it up and cook for a while, then shut off to freeze.
1) In-room Iron
looks like the iron works after all. I just got a 3rd degree burn, but it still won't take the wrinkles out of my clothes
2) Alarm Clock
wow, that works too. apparently it has a dual alarm feature and the funny guy before set it to go off at 2:17 AM
3) Key Car Locked Doors
sure enough...I just closed my door without the key and it's securely locked. I guess it's time for a trip to the front desk in my pajamas.
4) Fire Alarm
blazing loud and clear - definitely works, except that it leaves me disabled in my room with a heart attack, left to burn
5) TV Remote
well, the volume up works, but I can't get it turned back down

Really - you're missing out on the glamour if you don't travel.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lost and gone forever

So, if you know me very well at all or work with me on a regular basis (and, yes, I probably have your phone number memorized) you know that I travel all the time. I'm also extremely hard to reach or make any sort of contact with. All that said, my brother created an unique but honest out-of-office reply for my email:

Sorry I missed you, I am never in the office, in fact I would need a map just to find the office, so of course you missed me. Rumor has it my family has sent pictures of me for milk cartons and postcards.

I am currently on a (Choose one: plane, train, automobile, ship, space shuttle) and will be spending the night at a hotel in (name a location in North America) which I will be available between 12-3 as I sleep, but I have meetings immediately before and after, following that I will be back in a (Choose one: plane, train, automobile, ship, space shuttle) until my next (chose one: sale meeting; sales training, vendor visit, client visit, or my (name of the place I am at) girlfriends house) after which you can reach me (go back to the beginning)

Your best hope of ever catching me is calling a random stewardess at the main airline hubs in the country, where they all know me by name and may also be my (name of a location in North America) girlfriend. Don’t bother calling me on the cell phone as I can never answer it and the voice mail is always full. Forget emailing me despite the fact I have four computers at my disposal - I never have time to use any of them. But you can read my blog and check out my website if you have forgotten what I look like or would like to pretend I am talking to you so you can engage in my great sense of humor.

Do not use this email as an invitation to rob my house just because I am not there - all my mail and money go to my parents house and I don’t have any time to spend my money and buy things anyway. Despite the fact I work 80 hours a week I actually don’t make that much money either. So unless you are offering a new job with less hours and better pay forget trying to get hold of me. Please just close your eyes and remember the times we used to have together and the man I used to be.

Toby (the machine)
(***) ***-**** [cell] (not that it's going to help you anyhow)

Friday, March 24, 2006

I found my desk - it's gray.

Many of you will be pleased to know I cleaned up my desk. That's right - cleaned. I've recovered some important items that have been lost for years. Apparently, I've been getting some magazines I didn't know about that were burried under piles of stuff. Also, thanks so much to all of you who sent Christmas cards in 2003 - they were lovely. Unfortunately, one item which I always thought was a stuffed-plush toy left by a caring coworker turned out to just be a clod of dust that had collected in the corner.I've also returned all employee dishes to the kitchen, found some coffee mugs, and a Starbucks gift certificate. As you look at the pictures, notice a few things: there's a large silver calculator on the desk in the first picture just above the top of the chair. Yes, it's a calculator and it's almost as big as my computer. Thanks to my coworkers who think I'm suffering from farsightedness. Also, note there's a dart board for when I'm on the phone with boring customers (not you Ruth, of course), and Mr. Potatoe Head is always watching me work (probably bugged with hidden cameras so management can watch me). I'm a "pile" type guy - everything looks disorganized to you, but I know what's in each pile (with the exception of that gift certificate and a few other crucial, highly-sensitive papers). Finally, here's the new office....
...we'll see how long it lasts.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I should have said something...before I started screaming

Like everyone, I have my....quarks. Perhaps one of the more disturbing would be the fact that occassionally I'll wake up screaming at night. I usually try to warn new roommates or coworkers if we're traveling together, but sometimes I just forget. I've been told that I "scream like a 4th grade girl at recess". Seems natural. I've scarred more than one person with these sudden bursts of terror. Usually, my dreams aren't really that scarry. You see, the way I describe it is this: some people have dreams that make them twitch a little, perhaps snort really loud, or even wake up breathing a little faster - I just sit up screaming. Simple. I often wake myself up as well, and then laugh it off and go back to sleep. However, it seems to keep my roommates up for a while longer. One roommate actually thought he heard a mountain lion outside, but no, it was me. I've had hotel security called on me once - I'm sure the folks next door thought someone was being murdered. Did I mention I talk too? Yes, I do. Crazy things about random things, but it all makes sense in my head. Once, I was camping with some friends and had gone to bed early. When my buddy came into the tent late that night, after zipping it up, he turned around only to be nose-to-nose with me. According to him, my eyes were open and I said, "Hey man, did you find your shoe?". Then, I just flopped back down onto my sleeping bag. I guess it was a little strange. I don't know - I don't remember it. Anyway, let this be your fair warning: if you're ever my roommate, neighbor, or in the same hotel as me, just make sure you hear me laughing after the scream and you'll know I'm alrgiht. And please - don't call security. That's embarrassing. All that said, feel free to analyze your own dreams.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

"And they named it COSMIX"

My patience for traffic is minimal at best. Now the city is working on a project to widen the Interstate. You know it's going to be bad when they give the project a name (COSMIX) and create a website. This website is filled with reasons you'll be late for work, as well as traffic cams of people just like you sitting in traffic. Yes, everything you could want, from which exits are closed to downloadable maps of detour routes. I'll be sure to print those out and keep them handy in my car. It's a simple way for the city to say, "We're going to be doing this construction for a very long time." Of course, you wouldn't want to miss any of the excitement, so they've decreased the speed limit to 45 as well. That way, everyone can get a good, long look at the workers pushing dirt around. Please join us for the completion party in the year 2030.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. “Oh, no,” I said. “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.

Monday, March 06, 2006

How about just brushing your teeth in the morning?

Every once in a while, a product comes along that causes us all to pause and ask why. If there's ever been a room full of product designers that decided to invent the dumbest product they could just to see how many people would flock to buy it, this is it. I'm sure they sit and laugh at consumer stupidity while we 'try new things' and they see sales increase. Seriously, please tell me that you have never purchased Brush Ups. The TV commercials alone should have been your first warning as grown adults dance around town with this rubber finger puppet used to brush their teeth. I really don't want to see anyone brushing their teeth in public, and especially with some mock-tooth-brillo pad (or textured teeth wipes as they call them). Thankfully, they've warned consumers in the product features that the "Comfortable, slip-on design fits most finger sizes". You know we'll be seeing a lawsuit for this in a year or so - some fat guy loses a finger when his circulation is cut off by his newfangled textured tooth wipe. You see, part of the genius of a toothbrush is that you don't have to stick your fingers in your mouth. I swear, if you're ever out with me and you 'rip one open', the evening is over.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I think I con myself most of the time

Well, you're probably tired of hearing my travel stories so let's change gears - shopping misfortunes. I think I often con myself into bad purchases. A great example: Columbia House. Folks, this has never really been a good deal yet I (and others) continually take advantage of this "incredible special". You get the little flier or email showing you a great deal - 8 CD's for a penny! How can you go wrong?!? I read the fine print everytime, like I don't know that you have to buy 4 more at regular price (I'm not sure where they're getting this "regular price" because it's close to what I'd spend for the CD player itself, let alone a single disc). So, I sign up. Yes, BMG, Columbia House CD, Columbia House DVD, etc, etc - they're all just waiting for suckers like myself. A few weeks later, you've got a whole box of new DVD's for just pennies. Now the real fun starts: don't forget to send the reply card back or you'll get the editor's pick of the month - the "featured selection". I think the next logical question is, "Who is this guy and why is he picking these movies"? You know, the classics like Hair Show, The Mexican (aka Brad Pitt's compromise), and Jingle All the Way (ditto for Arnold). The next thing you know, these are showing up in your mailbox as your first clue that you apparently trashed the reply card about two weeks ago. Then, the box is designed just right so you can't actually see what the DVD is until you open it. You try pulling up the window flap just enough to not tear the box for non-returnable status, but enough to see what Mr. Very Unsavvy editor has sent you next. Finally, you get so frustrated and rip it open - DING - sale for Columbia House DVD. Not just any sale - a "regular price" sale which means you just paid $25 for a DVD. 1 down, 3 to go! Hurry and get your last 3 (for one, you've got a deadline and they're going to charge you anyway) because once you meet your membership criteria, you'll unlock special savings as a valued-customer. You poor, sorry sap. Don't worry - when you're done with this commitment, you can always sign up again! Anyway, click here to get started.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Days Inn: Just A Gunshot Away!"

Sometimes I make poor decisions. About 2 weeks ago, I booked a room for 2 nights at the Days Inn in Nashville (on West End Ave). That was a bad decision. Right now, I'm dealing with the consequences of my bad decision - night #2. Mental Note: Sometimes it's worth paying a little more to stay alive and free of diseases. In honor of this smashing hotel, I've created a Top 10 list for your enjoyment and my sanity:
10) Could you shut the drapes? The neon lights from the gentleman's club are really bright
9) Good thing they patched that leak in the ceiling - this mattress can't hold much more water
8) Those dead bugs really help block the draft coming in through the window
7) Thanks for helping us conserve water by hanging your towel on the bathroom door if we can use it again for another guest
6) Feel free to use the chair in your room to prop under the door handle while you sleep.
5) The gunshots are much further away than they sound
4) My hands are filthy - all I did was pull back the shower curtain
3) Park anywhere you want on our property - it's a guessing game which car will get broken into tonight
2) If someone knocks on your door claiming to be housekeeping, it's a trick - we don't have housekeeping
1) Sorry, no vacancy. All rooms are being used by the Nashville PD for surveillance

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Newly Renovated: FREE FUMES!

If you're looking to travel to Boston, may I suggest the newly renovated Hampton Inn in Peabody. Conveniently located off Route 1, this once trashy, dump off the highway has been remodeled. Yes, it's certainly a privledge to stay here now - they must have just finished painting and laying carpet before I walked in. There's the overbearing smell of new carpet glue (similar to the toxic fumes that escape when you burn plastic in the campfire), combined with a refreshing hint of paint. I was going to go out and get some dinner, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to operate heavy machinery after being in this room more than 1 hour. If I slip into a coma, come get my body in Rm 523 (wear your grubbies - don't want to get paint on your church clothes).
I'll just keep touching my fingertip to my nose and saying the alphabet backwards to make sure the fumes aren't affecting me too much.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Embarrassing Photos: Part 1

Ahhhh, the 80's. Okay, 1987 to be exact. I was in 3rd grade and apparently cowboy shirts and fluffy flattop hair was "in". Of course, there is always the possibility that neither of these cutting edge fashions were "in", but that was my life. The sad news is, this was picture day so I probably looked better than usual. Obviously, I didn't bother getting a hair cut - I guess I was just so excited about picture day at school that I didn't bother. Some people commented at this point in my life, I looked like IceMan from the popular movie, Top Gun.
I used to whistle while I walked - not for fun, or even on purpose. It just happened when the air blew through the large holes where my teeth used to be. Thankfully, I still had my rabbit teeth up front. Memories.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Party Tricks

As you can tell, I have a fairly large mouth and during a New Years party at my house in 1997, I thought I would be "festive" by putting 97 pretzel sticks in my mouth to celebrate the new year. Then, I figured since I had 97, I might as well go for 100. I failed to think through the consequences of having my lips wrapped around 100 salty pretzel sticks. Plus, my mouth was watering and there was really no way to control the constant stream of drool goozing through the pretzels and running down my chin. My mouth was dry for the rest of the night and my lips were burning. The upside: I didn't need salt on the brim of my margarita's for the rest of the night.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Isn't it Ironic, Don't ya think...a little to-o i-ronic

well, the title isn't very original (and it's actually copyrighted as well) but the fact of the matter is this: I decided to create this blog so I would have something to keep me entertained on the road while I travel. However, now I'm not having time to blog because...that's right - i'm traveling. Hmmmm.
I just got back from Canada. It was cold - like God was punshing me for something stupid I've done. The only thing stupid that I could think of....was going to Canada. Actually, it was a great trip and we had lots of fun. You can see some pictures if you want. We went to Edmonton for a large conference and then up to Jasper for a day off.
I've given my most deep and sincere apologies to Ruth for not blogging, and now, I officially offer them to the rest of you.
NEXT TRIP: Grand Rapids, MI
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Night, there's nothing to see anyway
OVERALL RATING: better than Detroit

Sunday, January 15, 2006

This just in: I'm still alive

I've been lost in the mountains for weeks - that's why I haven't blogged! Okay, maybe not. I really have no excuse. It's kind of like taking out my trash - I just didn't get around to it until people started to worry. No, I've been a complete slacker. Last week, I went to Hershey, PA and Chicago, IL and just got back yesterday. I love going to Chicago because I know each time that if I drive in Chicago traffic and live to tell about it, God has a very special plan for my life. Anyway, it was a business trip, but lots of fun too. Then, today I went hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains (hence the picture). I will post more later - I'm not really feeling creative right now, but due to the comments, I felt it necessary to confirm that I was indeed alive.