The Funeral Video

vnrlvdoI was minding my own business at work last Thursday when the boss called us together.  One of the executives called him and his wife’s father had passed away and he was looking for someone to put together a slideshow video.

As computer nerds, we were all qualified but the other guys were not really interested.  They decided that the single guy with nothing to do should do it so I accepted.  They needed it immediately so the guy brought me 121 old B&W pictures to scan and a flash drive with newer pictures that evening.

It took me about four hours to scan, import and post-process into a nice slideshow in both Flash drive .mov file requested by the funeral home and DVD format requested by the church.  Fortunately I have a lot of experience editing and transcoding video so it was basically a snap. I even made a nice cover for the DVD box.

Back in the day you would have to do it the hard way using something like Adobe Premiere but with the free Microsoft Movie Maker it was even snappier.  He picked up the media at work the next day and gave me $220.  Later he and his wife called to tell me how much everyone enjoyed the video.  That felt really good.  He wanted another flash drive copy and five more DVDs so I made those that night and he picked them up the next day and gave me another $100.

I had considered going into a business like this during my sabbatical but there’s a lot of competition between the funeral home services and everyone on Craigslist who has Microsoft Movie Maker so I didn’t pursue it.  There’s not a very good health plan in it either.


Summer in February

sprnglvsIt’s mid-February and it is officially Summer in Texas.  Thanks to Global Warming we are now experiencing a most unprecedented change in climate.

February is usually the coldest part of “winter” in San Antonio.  I always look forward to it so I can enjoy sitting in front of a nice crackling fire and relax in my recliner while reading or watching TV.

This year I didn’t even use my fireplace.  I spend all the long summer looking forward to it and this year I was totally ripped off. It’s my favorite thing! At least I’ll have plenty of firewood next year.

Today is February 20th and it was 80 degrees outside.  The trees are already growing their new leaves and the grass is greening up.  I had to use my air conditioner all day.  This is totally insane.  I watch the weather channel to see reports of winter storms and heavy snow but I don’t believe them.  I’m pretty sure it is done with computers these days.  CGI has come a long way.

Each year it gets warmer so I guess winter is a thing of the past now.  There are kids here who are graduating from high school who have never seen snow.  I guess they never will.  Thanks Obama!


Hunting a haircut

bbrshpI hate going to get a haircut.  It’s such a waste of time on a precious Saturday.  Unfortunately it’s something you just have to bite the bullet and take care of.

After many decades of going to commercial “Stylists” like Supercuts and Great Clips I discovered a more traditional style Barbershop not too far from my house.   I was a little disappointed to see it run by women but they knew all the old fashioned techniques so I adopted the place.

Saturday is the only time I have free so the last few times I went there including today, almost all the waiting chairs were full of men who were either bald or obviously in no need of a haircut.  I stood there with my jaw agape as I tried to understand why all those people not needing a haircut were even there.  With around 10 people waiting and two people working it was obvious that I would spend all day there and lose my Saturday.

I turned and walked out, dejected.  I guess it is time for the old standby.  I pulled out my phone and opened the Great Clips app and “checked in”.   It took me about 10 minutes to get there and I was glad that I checked in because their chairs were full too.  Amazingly, as soon as I sat down, they called my name!  Wooooo!   There’s nothing better than jumping ahead of all the muggles.  Hooray for check-in apps.  Winning!

My haircut was subpar but adequate.  I don’t really care much about my hair so I’m satisfied.

Somebody tell people who don’t need haircuts that they don’t need to go the barbershop.  I was waking in with an unruly mop so I was justified.  It has been a common mind-boggle of mine every time I go to get a  haircut to see people who look like they just got a haircut clogging up the waiting room.  This planet is so strange. I’ll never understand the Humans.


New Couch. Long Wait.

pndrasofaI’ve suffered with a crappy couch for a million years.  I spend a lot of time on it so I decided to splurge on a new one.

After visiting a furniture store on a whim one day I discovered that sofa technology has advanced.   You can now buy a power reclining sofa with power headrests!  Where have you been all  my life?

Yes.  I’m lazy and power anything is awesome.  Why not?  My favorite and most important feature was the power adjustable headrest.  I’m tired of packing a pillow behind my head and still being uncomfortable.

I shopped around a bit and found the perfect model.  It’s a “Pandora” by Southern Motion. It’s great for laying down on as well as sitting and reclining.  No cupholder but I have a table.  The price was $1299 on sale for President’s day.  It didn’t take long before I made the decision and also picked up the matching Recliner for $899.

The bad part is that I have to wait until sometime in March to get it.  What kind of fuckery is that?  Apparently furniture stores no longer stock the furniture they sell.  I guess that is pretty unrealistic after all but in today’s instant gratification society, I want it NOW!  NOW NOW NOW!

OK.  I guess I can wait a few weeks but I’m really looking forward to their arrival.  I may never leave the house again!


The winter that wasn’t

nosnwIt’s mid February and it is 80 degrees outside. Global Warming is really starting to make changes to our planet.  San Antonio only had one freeze this year and it was so wimpy the plants didn’t even notice.  The grass is still green and the trees are confused.

Lows in the 40s and highs in the 80s would be wonderful in the summer but I waited a long time for the 100 degree summer to end so I could recharge with a few months of cold.  This year I didn’t even touch my woodpile.  It was too warm to use the fireplace.

I should be out taking advantage of the nice weather but I spend all my time at work.  Next weekend I think I’ll plan an RV camping trip.

I really thought we would get some snow this year.  I guess Global Warming gives new meaning to “Endless Summer”.


Don’t steal my weekend, holiday or vacation.

strdyTake my advice and never tell someone when you have a holiday or vacation scheduled or they will try to steal it from you.
I work hard all week and by the end of each day, I’m wiped out. The best I can do is veg out on the couch and watch a few hours of TV before going to bed and start over again tomorrow. When glorius Saturday finally arrives, I have much to do that just didn’t happen during the week. Yardwork, laundry, projects, maintenance, resting and relaxing.
I live in fear of the dreaded, “What are you doing this Saturday?” from some random person who either wants to do something I don’t think is fun or wants me to do something for them. I hate to have to say no but I need my Me Time. Saturdays, Holidays and Vacations are precious and hard to come by. They only last a few hours anyway so you have to make sure to use them wisely and not be sitting around waiting for someone to show up or sitting around wishing they would go away so you can attend to your stuff before the work week starts again.
If you’re lucky enough to have friends who like to do fun things that you enjoy then that may be different and you should take advantage of it. If not, they’re wasting your time.
It’s strange that nobody likes going to work yet we still all agree to spend the majority of our lives doing it. Can’t we come to an agreement to a three day work week? Who wouldn’t want that? Am I the only one who desires work-life balance?

Democratic Debate on PBS – Hillary vs Bernie

I’m watching the Democratic debate and it is obvious that I am not a Democrat.  The things I’m hearing make no sense.

  1. They want to make government larger to be all up in your business and make sure you pay for everybody else’s needs and control what you can and can’t do.
  2. They think that there is a disproportional number of black people in prison because white cops are discriminating.  You don’t think it might be because black men are dis-proportionally bad?  You know it’s true but nobody will say it.
  3. They think college should be free.  Seriously?  Do I get a refund then?
  4. They want to reform immigration to allow illegal aliens to become citizens.  Great.  Just what we need.  MORE people.  It already takes me 45 minutes to drive 12 miles to work.
  5. They do want to expand social security.  I agree with that. I’m getting older and don’t want to work until I die.
  6. They want to limit your ability to own a gun.  Wait…What?
  7. They think we can win a war without using the military.  That would be an amazing trick.  You can’t reason with jihaders.

Of the two, I at least understood what Hillary was saying.  Bernie sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher.  wah wah wah.

Hillary has a history that makes her completely untrustworthy.  I can’t imagine what kind of person would vote for her.

God help us if either one of them becomes president.

I do want to thank PBS for running a classy debate.  Why does FOX have to be so nasty?  I wish all debates were on PBS.  It would be far better for the country they were.