Friday, August 19, 2011

My New Tattoo

New tattoo that I got today. The inspiration for the tattoo was a photo titled "Weathered". (Thank you Tim and Jessica)

This tree has seen a lot during it's time here on Earth. It has seen scorching heat and bitter cold. It has been ravaged by time, floods, drought, and wind. This tree has seen much and it still stands strong. I have endured my fair share of "weather". Time, death, and divorce among others. I find myself today, still standing despite these setbacks. Weathered but still here. With any luck perhaps this old tree and I will have a few more years here on this rock we call Earth. Years to spend pondering one anothers existence and enjoying the company of someone or something that through our similar experiences are somehow connected in the grand scheme of things.

This tree is located about an hour North of my home. It stands very close to a river just off the highway in a protected parkland area. I was told by a park sevice officer who stopped me as I was leaving the area, that under no circumstances was I allowed in the area and that I was not allowed to park along a limited access hiway for the purpose of taking pictures of trees. He was pretty cool though and didn't write me a crap load of tickets. I got my shot and my tattoo artist, (Thank You Johnny T. at Flesh Art Tattoo) was able to create a beautiful work of art. I am positive that the tree would approve.

The pain? Excruciating! 3 hours in the chair and about a gazillion needle pokes...yeah it was painful. I love the tat and I hope you like it too! See ya!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Catch Up...or Ketchup...Catsup?

Yeah this post has nothing to do with condiments.

Hi to anyone who still reads this blog. I realize I have been slacking, I would love to tell you it isn't my fault, my computer broke, my fingers went missing, or something else, but that would be a lie. I totally knew where my fingers were at the whole time. I have been lazy, and quite busy, and really not feeling very bloggy lately.

The truth is I still don't feel much like writing but I felt obligated to post something since I do in fact take up space on your internet. I realize that pretty much everything is taking up space on the internet but still I was feeling guilty.

What has been keeping me so busy? Well, nothing...that was a lie too. I dont think a lie inside of the truth is as bad as an outright lie though. Example: I didnt come in to work today(truth)because I was stricken temporarily blind(lie)and couldnt find any clean socks to wear(truth). This story also illustrates how laundry will not do itself, science is cool.

"You're fired", illustrates how a boss might sound if he had no sense of humor and was missing an important member of his team due to the science of laundry and or temporary blindness.

I really haven't got any good excuse for my absence in blogville other than I just wasn't feeling it lately. I do want to say hello to my blogbuds though and let them know I think of them often. So, if any of you reading this would be so kind as to pass along a message for me....yeah I kind of thought not. Had to try it.

Anyway I love you all, take care of one another and I will write when I can. Did someone just mumble "Dude you never could"? Not nice...not nice at all.

PS I'm not really fired...I hope :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Letter To Blatz Beer

Ok I recently sent an e-mail letter to the Blatz Brewery and my friend thought it was funny....yep, they have yet to respond...

To: Blatz Brewery,
I'm writing this letter to request a tour of your brewing facility and purchase 2 cases of your fine beer for a
nostalgic fishing trip with an old and dear friend.

First a little history:
My good friend Mike and I graduated from Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg Kansas in 1983. Mike and I were
great friends and partners in crime. (The fact is we never committed any real crimes but the cliche seems appropriate)
As is too often the case, shortly after graduation life started happening and Mike and I lost touch for several years. He
moved to Arkansas, and I relocated to Missouri. Sometime around 1989 I had returned to Pittsburg and Mike and I crossed
paths once again and discovered we still had a strong friendship and many similar interests. 2 of our favorite things in life
were fishing and drinking Blatz beer. Mike would show up ringing my doorbell most weekends with a tackle box and a case
or 2 of Blatz longnecks. Life truly was good and we savored our afternoons fishing, drinking, and telling lies. We had a saying
back then that if the fish weren't biting...the beer certainly would be. We stayed loyal to your brand for our expeditions and
endured many a painful hangover thanks to your brewing expertise. We introduced many of our friends to Blatz and I like to
think that they are better people for having sampled your beer.

In 1991 I again relocated, this time to Anchorage Alaska and what was, as far as I could see, a Blatz free zone. I couldn't buy
it anywhere and often longed for its unique deliciousness. Mike and I again lost touch for a number of years, however our legendary
fishing trips were never forgotten. Flat tires, swamped boats, mosquitoes, rain and the blazing heat of an August afternoon were
never a problem as long as we had our sense of humor and a few bottles of Blatz beer.

Recently Mike and I ran into one another and our friendship is as strong as ever. We have resumed our fishing and lie telling trips,
sans one key element, that key element is Blatz beer. I have searched high and low for Blatz even enlisting the help of a friend who
owns a liquor store but sadly according to your website there are no distributors in Kansas or in any adjacent neighboring states
who can provide us with that which eludes us...we need Blatz beer, and we are willing to go the extra mile to get some.

Our thinking, skewed as it may be, is that a journey of a couple thousand miles for 2 cases of beer will not only satisfy our
thirst for Blatz, but, may also rocket us up the coolness scale like 100%. (I am recently divorced and a coolness bump can't hurt my
dating game right?) We figure as long as we are making the trip anyway we may as well try to tour the brewery where the beer that
got us through some otherwise useless fishing trips, is made. Our plan is to purchase the 2 cases of beer, and then sneak out to what
is now private property, (our old fishing hole) and re-live a piece of our youth. All the while ignoring the "no trespassing" signs,and evading
whatever sort of law enforcement may be present that day.You hold the key to recapturing our youth. Turn that key...unlock the door to the past.

In closing I wish to thank you for taking the time to read this rather lengthy letter and for considering our request for a brewery tour. In
any case we will make the trip, get the beer, and enjoy a fishing trip and a brief glance into our colorful, drinking, telling lies
and remembering the good old days.

Warmest regards,
Mark Price

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Carnival, You're Running a Circus

Has it been a month since i posted anything? WOW. Heres the deal, I got separated from lovely and have been seeing someone else and have been working and blah blah blah...sue me. I really didn't have much to say until I went on a cruise recently. Some time back I wrote a post or two called "Grind My Gears" based loosely on a Family Guy episode that I thought was pretty damn funny. The thing is this was going to be a "Grind My Gears" post as well but I felt the seriousness of the gear grinding warranted a more direct approach.

My cruise with Carnival was how shall we say, less than perfect. Prior to cruising on the Fun Ship I had been exposed to cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Carribbean Cruise Lines so the bar was set pretty high.

I believe there are 2 sides to almost every story so I will begin with the good stuff...
Number 1...The ports of call were really nice. (Montego Bay Jamaica, Grand Cayman C.I., and Cozumel Mexico)
Number 2...My stateroom steward was the SHIZ!! Lovin ya Tio!
Number 3...Ariel in the dining room you really went above and beyond!

Now that those 3 things are out of the way lets get down to the crappy stuff.
Number 1, the food...Really a cruise is supposed to be about eating way too much rich food and basically making a complete pig of onesself right? 7 days 7 pounds is the generally accepted weight gain for a trip. OK did the website mention that between the hours of like 3pm to 6pm that the only food available is pizza(unimaginably greasy), Hamburgers hotdogs or chicken strips (am I on a cruise or at a county fair?), or a deli sammich (really? I have lunch meat at home.)? No the website didnt mention that little tidbit and it was an unpleasant surprise.

Number 2, service...OK The 2 persons mentioned above are not included in this section of my review. YOU ALL SUCK! There are about 2000 people to serve food and drinks to on a cruise ship, thats a lot but didnt they tell you that when you hired on? A smile or a friendly excuse me would have likely killed the service staff on this trip. Angry, bitter servers, pissed off bartenders (when you could get them to take your order at all) and grumpy ass cleaning persons do not make me feel like coming back with a huge pile of money next vacation.

Number 3, revenue...I realize that cruise lines need to make money to survive in todays world. I went on the trip expecting to get ass raped every time i pulled out my sign and sail card...but HELLOOOOO Everything shouldnt be about fleecing the guests, its irritating. We did pony up some money to be here.

Number 4, photographers...I get it, photos are a money maker for a cruise line. People want to take the memories home and rub their friends noses in it but I think I counted 22 different photographers on the ship. Each one acting like a fool trying to take a photo that you just had taken 3 feet away. Different background screens yes, but all the same poses. It was like running the gauntlet to get through them all. Hey, NO MEANS NO!

Number 5, entertainment...The magician was OK, the comedians were funny, and thats all I have to say about that. World class? no. (I saw the acrobats from China perform on a different cruise...thats world class entertainment)

I dont want you all to think that I am one of those people who is never satisfied and just loves to bitch about stuff, it really was a dissappointment. I think maybe the persons in charge of training the crews mentioned above should go on a trip with a different cruise line and see how the guests like to be treated. Go enjoy the trip, take notes, and bring back something worthwhile to teach the next bunch of servers and bartenders and photographers, etc... I thought perhaps I was being too picky so I asked around to see if anyone else shared my views of Carnival...guess what, I wasnt alone, not by a long shot!

The trip was fun, I got to spend time with a lovely young lady, we did some fun things in port and got hammered at least once. (yep Mexico) So I don't count the trip as a complete waste of time and money. Thanks for listening to me whine...

Back to you Tom!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

About Last Night

OK the trip to Dallas was a huge success. Both bands were amazing. I actually was unfamiliar with 30 Seconds To Mars but they did an awesome job keeping us entertained. The opening act was called Middle Class Rut. They are a 2 piece band and I really couldnt believe the amount of rock they produced. (I had to get their CD) OUTSTANDING!

The venue was the House Of Blues and everything about it is cool. Spent some time there after the show and had a few beers. Super nice people, good food and a huge beer selection.

The hotel I stayed at was nice. We had a room on the 12th floor looking out over downtown Dallas. Yes but would you stay there again?? NO. Way over priced, not that I mind paying for good service and accomodations but 80 bucks for breakfast room service is a little stupid. No free wifi in the rooms, and for 500 bucks a night I think wifi should be a given. Wealthy people probably like it there because they never stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. LOL...ya, it Was nice to be only 2 blocks from the venue but Im positive a cab ride wouldnt have set me back the extra 300 bucks.

Another successful trip under my belt, logged just over 1000 miles round trip and finished in less than 48 hours. Yay, gotta love a midlife crisis right? Cousin had a good time too. Nobody got killed or arrested so everybody wins!

Have a good day bleeps!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Im Gonna Do It!

Ok my mind is made up. Im getting a tattoo. I know some of you are like "so what I have dozens of tats". Well I do not. I have been pondering the idea for a couple of years (ok like 5 years) so I feel like I have sufficiently pondered it and now its time to do it. I must admit I am still a little nervous...what if the guy screws it up?, its permanent, no looking back, will it hurt a lot? Ok the will it hurt is a minor concern I am much more worried about how it looks finished. I may smack down the artist if he wrecks it, nah I trust him he is an old friend. I hope it looks awesome.

I am getting a tattoo of my sons hands with a celtic pendant called "circle of life".

When Jake was alive we used to tell each other that we were like a triangle. The three of us represented the three sides of a triangle. The triangle is a unique shape, very strong with each side supporting the other two.
Our triangle wasn't strong enough though and now lies broken in ruins. I will not forget though that it held strong for many years and the tattoo will remind me that we did indeed have something very special, and I will treasure those memories for the rest of my life.

Son it will soon be a year since you left this place to go home to God. A lot has happened since you left. One day we will talk about it, but right now I want you to know that I miss you and I love you.