Thursday, May 26, 2005

Raiders of the Lost Dining Chairs

Both of my readers seem to want me to post a review of Episode III, but I will bow to the wishes of my Aussie Son and wait a few more days until he has seen it.

Instead, let's talk....Furniture.

I like to keep the Blond happy. After all, she supports my
Paintball habit without complaint.

Last weekend, while down in
The Cities, we stopped in to check out the very popular BIG Blue Building with the Yellow Letters.

We were pretty much blown away. Here was everything we had been looking for: Good, but inexpensive furniture with a distinct "euro" look. It was the kind of place where you could walk from room to room and see very hip, tasteful decorating. It was the kind of place where you could find furniture to maximize space in smaller rooms. It was the kind of place where you can tie the furnishings in your home together under one common, but diverse theme. It was the kind of place where you could spend the GNP of a small industrialized country.

I felt like we had found our next McDonald's: A business we liked so much that we would shop there FIRST without regard for their competitors.

But then the fun began.

We found a dining room table we really liked, but still needed to find comfortable chairs to go with it. We found a nice set, but were curious if they came with different color seats. Now please understand, there were TONS of items that came in different colors ALL OVER this store, so we thought we'd ask a "helpful employee" (Code name:
Eva Braun).


"Ooooo-kay," we said, backing away. We decided that we kind of liked the seat color anyway, so we got a pick-up slip for the table and headed to the "Self-Service" area to pick up 6 of the chairs.

Now the self-service area is totally cool. It is a HUGE warehouse, at least three stories high, packed to the rafters with cases of furniture. It looks very much like that last shot in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

I actually started humming the Indy Theme when we walked in, but then realized I was wearing my
Brown Fedora and looked really stupid, so I shut up pretty fast.

We poked around the Warehouse, looking for the chairs. When we got to the bin where they were to be located, to our dismay, we found only two available. Looking up, we saw a endless wall of cardboard packing crates, seeming to reach to the sky. Perhaps there were more chairs in one of them.

I asked another "Helpful Employee" (Code name:
Tonya Harding) if anyone could help us locate a few more chairs. Here is, to the best of my recollection, the conversation we had...

Me: "Hi! We'd like to buy six of these chairs, but we only see 2 of them. Is there someone with a forkli..."

Her: (interrupting) It's AGAINST our POLICY to bring the FORKLIFT onto the SALES FLOOR while we're open. (actually, that DID make a lot of sense...)

She glanced at the terminal in front of her.

Her: "The are EIGHTEEN chairs on the floor. "I" (dramatic pause) will help you find them.

Me: Thanks, but there's only two chairs down here.

Her: There are EIGHTEEN! I will show idiot." (She didn't actually call me an idiot, unless you take her tone into account.)

Naturally, when we got to the aisle, there were only two chairs.

Her: You'll just have to come back tomorrow.

Me: Well, we'd like to, but we live 250 miles away.

Her: We'll get more down tonight and you can pick them up tomorrow.

Me: Uh...we won't be here tomorrow, we live 250 miles away.

Her: (Greatest line of the conversation...) Well, would you like them DELIVERED?

Me: much would that cost?

Her: (I'm not making this up...) I can only tell you if you are within 30 miles.

Me: (Smiling so hard my teeth are breaking)

Her: (I swear this is the truth) You'll have to come back tomorrow.

We had gone from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" the "The Wizard of Oz".

At this point, the Blond simply walked away in order to avoid a murder rap, while I practiced my Coronary Artery Stretches.

Looking back, I think it was all because of the hat I was wearing.

Anyway, we looked for something comparable up here in the Northland, but just couldn't find a set that worked out as well, so in the middle of this week we ran down again, met some really great IKEA employees, and had a much better experience.

Overall, I still think it was worth it. After all, I got an 830 word post out of it.

And IKEA....Please take a good look at your weekend staffing.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Black Helicopters

Stupid little things I do, just because I'm a moron...

I'm dropping of a check on behalf of my
trans-global son for his application fee at the local college.

The lady behind the desk says, "You don't happen to know his social security number, do you?

So I rattle off, "Three Two Six-Nine Four-Three Eight Two Seven."

She seems kind of impressed, so after a pause, I do a very bad
Dustin Hoffman impersonation, "A-a-a-ask me any social security number, any social security number for anyone, anyone in the, the, the United States."

At this point she gets a strange look on her face, and starts feeling under her desk for the
secret button.

I hope I didn't hurt my son's college chances...

Besides that, I gave her the wrong number.

(Click Here for the Next Post in the "Moron" Series)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

To My Loyal Reader:

Sincerest apologies for the long dry-spell here at the Bandspot.

I'm seriously deciding whether it's better just to stick anything old thing up here no matter how busy I am, or wait for another
good post idea to come along, like, once every fifty-seven years.

Obviously, while waiting for the latter, I have to spend a little time on the former.

So here goes...

Things I really haven't missed while I've been too busy to care...
1. The Apprentice
2. Cleaning up after my
3. The Hibbing Daily Tribune's (Motto: "Yesterday's News...Tomorrow") Crossword Puzzle
Working Out
5. Counting Calories
6. Taking Showers (See #4)

Things I have Missed...
1. Posting for You
2. Reading your Blogs
Stupid Links
4. The Whiner, the Blond, and the boy we don't photograph much

By the way, (this one is true) I heard on the radio tonight, that
Paul Anka is coming out with a rock album featuring him doing cover tunes by Nirvana, the Cure, R.E.M., and others. Just think of how they will advertise this one...

Paul Anka sings Nirvana!
Your Parents will hate it...

...and so will you.

Monday, May 09, 2005

We Loved the Tube...

Londoner's don't seem to like their Underground System We thought it was great. Of course, it helped to have a killer research tool before we went... Posted by Hello

Going Underground

Lately this Blog has been getting a few (four, actually) hits from the London area. This is most likely due to a quick comment I posted on a Blog over there. The comment dealt with the abysmal "Hitchhiker's" film, and I included a link to my own, equally abysmal review of this disaster.

As I was posting my thoughts, I happened to look at the comment above mine. It was a somewhat nicer, but still very accurate point about the movie. The person who posted the comment was one, "Annie Mole".

The name sparked my memory as being that of the author of the most useful and entertaining web site we visited before Becky & I traveled to London a couple years ago.
Going Underground, is an information and humor-filled site devoted to the London Tube (Subway, to us...) System. It is a huge wealth of information that I read almost in its entirety before we went over. Because of this site, we didn't feel like total rubes. as we traveled around the city. (Please understand, we still WERE rubes. We just didn't FEEL like we were.)

I found the sections on "Tube Etiquette" and "Shaving Minutes off your Journey" to be very useful. It was wild fun to "flaunt my superior knowledge" as we traveled with some friends:

"Which station are we in?" I would ask.
"South Kensington," They'd reply.
"And which line are we using?" I condescended.
They would sigh heavily, "The District Line."
"OK, stand right here on the platform," I would state matter-of-factly, "The carriage in front of us will be pretty empty when it pulls up, plus we'll be closest to the exit when we get off at Piccadilly."

Of course, I was dead wrong, but it was still fun. I think we ended up somewhere out in Greenwich.

So anyway, since were getting a couple hits from London, I just wanted to pay tribute to this great, funny, and helpful site.

Annie Mole, if you happen to see this post, thank you for making our trip go MUCH smoother, and it would be an honor if you would leave a quick comment.

P.S. to our regular readers: As souvenirs for the boys, we brought back
"London Underground" Underpants because...

1. We Loved the Tube.
2. They Like Boxers.
The word "Underpants" is funny.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Ok, I am officially "old".

I have fallen into the habit of leaving reminder notes all over the place to help me remember to do important things.

I usually have notes posted saying things like,
"Get Air Filter for Lawn Mower"
"Don't post Paintball Stuff on the Band Blog"
"Take a Shower, Dummy."

I didn't think this was so bad until a couple days ago. I was sitting at my desk and my Palm Pilot beeped.
It said...

"2pm: Receive return on Loop Payment"

What? What in the world does that mean? Obviously I had left this message for myself, but I didn't know why. I looked at my PDA again.

There it was, glowing cryptically, defying me, taunting my progressive senility, and challenging me with questions I could not answer.

What is a "Loop Payment?"
What kind of "Return" could I expect to "receive" on it?
Why did I have to do this at 2pm?
What the heck was I thinking?

Two o'clock came and went. The earth did not stop spinning, but my head eventually did. Later, that evening, I asked my wife if I had missed anything important that day.
"Stop bugging me," she said.

I eventually had to give up trying to figure it out and move on to more important things. My latest entry was now stating how important it was for me to "triggggle the lobbostrocks....8074-321...URGENT"

So, if you have the return on my loop payment, I want you to know that, even though I haven't the faintest idea what it is, I am ready to receive it.

I'd even be willing to trade you a used Palm Pilot for it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Sk8r Boyz

Is it just me, or do I live in a town with the very WORST skateboarders in the universe?

Here's what I mean. No matter where we go, we will see young men, in baggy pants, standing on skateboards. They are on every corner, every set of church steps, every sidewalk. Now that in itself, is problem. I don't mind these kids at all. I'm glad there are healthy young people in own town, who are free to gather outside without fear of excessive crime, air pollution, etc. I'm also glad they have found an activity, such as riding their skateboards, that they enjoy so much. But here is my problem...

They NEVER RIDE them! They don't GO anywhere.

We never get to see one of these young men doing
this, or this.

We don't even see them
grabbing on to car bumpers and outwitting Biff and his lackeys.

As a matter of fact, we hardly ever see them move at all.

Here is the standard, and only, "skateboard trick" that all our hometown skaters are required to practice from sun-up to sun-down, from their first pair of baggy pants through their last set of Depends:

1. Stand on the Skateboard
2. Move NO MORE THAN 5 inches
3. Suddenly SNAP your knees up about 3 inches so that your feet slightly leave the board and it tips over to one side.
4. Fall off
5. Repeat forever

Yesterday, I was driving to pick up the Whiner (Love her...Really.) from piano practice when I saw two young guys on the corner, standing on their skateboards.

I began to count. Before I got to three, "KaCHUNK...KaCHUNK. Both had snapped up their knees and promptly fallen off their boards. It was like a compulsion..."We've been standing stock-still for 20 seconds now...I know! Lets tip our boards over and fall off!" Another kid came walking up with his board. Through my rear-view mirror, I watched him put it down next to the other two, stand on it for about three seconds, obviously getting "In the Zone", then...KaCHUNK. He hopped up about two inches, tipped the board slightly, and fell off.

Why do these guys even have wheels on their boards? I could do the same thing with a two by four I keep in my garage.

So after I picked up the wonder-daughter, we discussed this phenomenon and on a whim, we decided to drive by the skate park. As we slowly inched past, a couple skaters were making attempts to ride about half-way up the little ramps. Well there... at least they were TRYING to use their wheels.

We turned around in the nursing home parking lot, and drove slowly by again. One of the boys had quit. The other (I am not making this up... ) was standing totally still on his board in the middle of the pavement. Dead still....Tensed like a cat....

"Wait for it..." I said to the girl as we inched by, "Wait for it..."

KACHUNK. And he fell off.

"Sweet!" my daughter said.

I smiled and headed home.

I had a trick to practice.

Monday, May 02, 2005


For those of you who like silly, pointless links, I've gone back "George Lucas Style", and "Fixed" my Two "previous Posts" with a lot of "Links" and "quotation Marks" and my trademark "Capital Letters in the Middle of a sentence for No apparent Reason".

By the way, the Today Show is reporting this morning that "Hitchhiker's" was the #1 film of the weekend.

'Nuff said.