Friday, August 12, 2011

My home office is going to get cramped

The wife and I have made a decision.  We're going to take on a new boarder in the house.  There are a million positives here, not the least of which being someone else's smiles to share.  The only real negative is that what is currently my home office is going to b converted into the new bedroom.  Then my little princess will move to the other bedroom, and the room she new occupies will become the Guestroom/office.  It's not going to be a palatial place by any stretch of the imagination.

Oh, and they will live here rent-free.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Update on me (or, "Talking like I think you care")

I know I have a few carry-over readers from my InvertedMind days.  I can count you on my nostrils, and half of you live with me and can read above a kindergarten level, but it counts for something, right?

I've actually had a few questions as to where I've been lately, and why I haven't written since I posted about the Rapture being cancelled.  No, I wasn't raptured away, unfortunately.  I'm still counting on it, but it hasn't happened yet.

No, I'm still alive and, well...okay, I'm alive.  I think that's a win at this point, considering my constant work schedule.  And I do mean "constant."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tomorrow's Rapture Has Been Cancelled. Apologies for the Inconvenience.

You've likely heard by now that Jesus is supposed to come back tomorrow -- at least according to one largely misguided man and his followers.

Maybe I should back-track a bit.  Could Christ return for His people on May 21, 2011?  Absolutely.  He could also come back on May 23rd, August 9th, or some time in 2338.  No one knows.

And that's the point.  No one knows.

New post @ God Then Country

As some of you know, I run multiple blogs.  One that has been a long time in planning but has just now finally had its first finished post is God Then Country, a blog with the purpose of opening dialog about faith and national identity and the intersection between the two.

That post addresses the national debt crisis and can be found here.  Please take the time to read, and leave comments on the site.  The dialog starts today!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Diet Update - Six Weeks In, the Rest of my Life to Go

So, if you've been a loyal follower for all ten or so of my blog posts since closing and opening Caffeine & Hot Sauce!, you are aware that I have been dieting.  First of all, the method: I have been following the Eat this, Not That! No-Diet Diet, which is less of a diet and more of a method.  It explains why we gain weight based on certain eating habits, such as why even a small shot of sugar on an empty stomach can have big consequences (the long and short of it is that when you get a sudden increase in blood sugar, your body releases a load of insulin into your blood to account for it; the downside is that an insulin imbalance like that will put your body into fat-storage mode, fighting with the insulin for the sugar and storing that sugar in fat cells).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Faith Through Destruction

I'll expound to a greater degree on this in another post, but anyway...

I am fascinated by tornadoes.  Captivated.  They are a combination of power, beauty and unpredictability that is rivaled by nothing else on planet Earth.  By beauty I mean that, to be formed, they require extremely precise conditions to occur simultaneously in order to even have a chance.  And I know there are a lot of people in Oklahoma, Alabama and here in North Carolina who are having a hard time seeing this "beauty" right now.  To many, they see the face of death itself.  To others, they see a thief, who stole their entire lives.  But to understand them is to see that amazing beauty despite great loss.

Sadly, we don't understand them.  We can't predict them, and we can't even promise to know where they will go even five seconds from now.  Chances are good that we will never be able to know.

I have a goal in life to see how close I can get to a tornado.  But after this weekend, I want to add a caveat to that: I want to be the one doing the chasing.  Playing hide-and-seek with 300-m.p.h. winds is not my idea of fun -- and it's the second time in two years I've had to rely on luck to avoid one.  After parts of ten years in Texas without so much as a tornado warning, I've now had three encounters with them in Michigan and North Carolina that have either had me (and others) hiding in a bathtub or basement, or (stupidly) running from one.

We were lucky to avoid the twister this weekend -- or, more accurately, that it avoided us.  All my loved ones in northeast Raleigh -- my wife and daughter, my brother- and sister-in-law (and dog-in-law, too), and a friend and her two kids -- were missed by varying degrees, with two downed trees in a yard and no electricity for an extended period the worst of our collective damage.  Our margins of luck were as wide as two miles and as narrow as several hundred feet, but we are all safe and damage-free.

The same cannot be said for hundreds of homes immediately around all of us.  I have personally witnessed damage from missing trim work to downed trees, from missing fences to missing roofs, from damaged cars to destroyed homes.  I've seen steel-framework electrical wiring rigs bent cleanly in half (two of them).  I've seen graves uprooted.

The eeriest parts of it all were the distant rumbles of thunder afterward, even though there was no longer even a single cloud left to be seen in the sky.

I've seen the side of my obsession that I want never to see again: the human impact and cost of a natural force.  But, I also believe the Bible is the infallible word of God and, therefore, is perfect in its content.  That means it will only get worse, and dramatically so.

I urge you all to find God if you have not already, or to draw even nearer to Him if you have that relationship already.  Like the winds of a tornado, Christ's return to collect his faithful will come when you don't expect it, and will result in destruction and desolation if you are not prepared.  Prepare, and learn to expect it even when you aren't expecting it.  If the signs in the world are any indication, it's coming sooner than you may think.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Tell Your Nation's Leader Needs Relieved of Duty

It's been a while, I know.  I have been busy with work -- yes, I actually do something with my time besides find ways to avoid writing here...

I've never been one to think Hugo Chavez was playing with a full deck.  That El Presidente de Venezuela would think Iran's leader still has full control of his faculties is already sending up warning signs, and that was one of Hugorama's more recent did-he-really-just-say-that? moments.  So it's not like I took to writing this post thinking the man had taken a sudden turn for the dumber.  It's been a long time in coming.

But, Mr. Chavez, please don't take it wrong if one -- or most -- of your constituents ask you kindly to please step out from behind the desk and hand over any of the nation's pens and/or stationery you may have "borrowed" during your years of service.  Really, it would be crazy of them not to.  Of course, in your case, crazy is most decidedly a relative concept, because next to you Tom Cruise looks like Ben Stein.

Hugo, Hugo, Hugo...your disdain for capitalism is well documented.  We know how much you hate America and everything for which this great nation stands.  But if you ever manage to hold a public office find a job for which you are still sane enough again, I would strongly urge you not to claim that capitalism killed life on Mars.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Call to Prayer

Let's take a brief respite from my usually sarcastic self, m'kay?

Today is a day that will live in the world's collective conscience for quite some time, but not fort any good reasons.  This morning, a devastatingly powerful earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami.  Chances are pretty good that you already knew that.  Hundreds are dead and countless more are missing in these early stages of rescue and recovery operations.  You already knew that, too.

You can help.  You can, I promise.  You don't need to fly or swim to Japan and start digging out survivors and bodies.  You don't need to give money or set up a Web site to collect donations, although these are all great ideas.

In fact, you shouldn''t do any of these things if you don't feel called to do so.  That's not part of God's plan.  But what is always part of His plan is for you to pray.

Pray unceasingly.  Pray for the safety of those still in peril.  Pray for protection for those who are involved in rescue ops.  Pray for the souls of the deceased.  Pray for healing for the injured.  Pray for comfort and clarity for the family and friends left behind.  Pray for each and every homeowner and shopkeeper as they begin to rebuild their lives from the soggy ground up.  Pray for order to reign supreme in the coming weeks and months.  Pray that those who are believers keep their hearts and minds aligned with God rather than turn from Him in anger.  Pray that those who don't know Him will find him through this disaster and choose to lean entirely on Him.  But, above all else, pray for Christ to return quickly, so that we never have to go through these types of disasters again.

Pray, and don't stop doing it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Like, Literally.

I have a habit of using a lot of colloquialisms when I speak, particularly informally.  I've picked them up over the years and the collection is vast.  In the last several months, watching five seasons of NCIS on DVD, I have picked up a lot of military speak, as well.  So, this evening, I called out that I would have to use the bathroom soon, but in typical Navy-ese.

Never say something figurative in front of a five-year-old.  They really don't get it.  But it can lead to some funny moments if you do, so forget that instruction.  Do it.  Do it often.  You could get things like this gem.

Hilarity ensued when I stated that I needed to "hit the head" in a few minutes.  My daughter exclaimed, "I'll do it!" and proceeded to smack me upside the brain cave.

I Want my Dadgum Coffee.

There is a reason coffee is so prominently featured on this blog.  It makes the whole world better.  It is the drink of many kings, the second- most traded commodity behind oil and, well, really darn good.

Clearly, if coffee's primary goodness -- that would be caffeine, for the uninitiated -- is part of this blog's name, then it must be important to me.

It is.

Water to a fish.

Air to a mammal.

Bacon to almost any meal.

Caffeine to Mike.

It really is that important.  Headaches magically melt away in the presence of caffeine.  I can function after the first cup of Joe.  I am human after two.  It's bliss.

So when I have to start my day without it, things go to crap.  Instantly.  Wholely.

This morning was one of those days.  And it started with needing gas.  All the pumps were occupied and there was a line.  At 7:30am.  And I had a chiropractic appointment at 7:45.  I got in line and waited, knowing that afterward I would be able to rush into the store and get my morning cup.

It's never that simple.

I went inside,  knowing I could still make it if I was done in two minutes.  I should have smelled trouble, though when they were out of 24-ounce cups.  Not that it mattered -- they were out of non-flavored regular.  I don't do decaf before 5:00pm.  In fact, I generally refer to decaf as "Why Bother?".

I grumbled, sat the cup with a few drops in it on the counter, and left.  How could the morning get any worse?

Like this!

I pulled up to the intersection with Capital Blvd. and moved to the right lane to get a clean takeoff around the slowpoke ahead of me when the light turned green, being the first car in line.  That person chose, at the last minute, to move to the turn lane,  nullifying my lane change.  Oh well, no biggie.


The light changed and Capital began moving.  Then they stopped, and the turn lanes on my street went.  Then opposing traffic went.

But my light never changed.  Capital then went again.

Then the entire cycle repeated.  Twice.

Finally I chose to make a right and go down one intersection.  I called the doctor and alerted them to my impending late arrival.  When I arrived the good doc offered me a shot of his organic dark roast from his Thermos, largely saving the day.

The moral of the story though is don't get between me and my dadgum coffee, or my day will go to pot in a fireball's hurry.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm Fat

Okay, I'm going to make something public that I have managed to keep under wraps (somewhat literally) for quite some time:

I'm a fat hog with enough love handle for the population of Sri Lanka to grab hold of.  With both hands.  With leftovers for Java t to join in on the blubber-lovin' fun.

"But Mike, you have a rather svelte figure!"  "You carry your weight well!"  "You have something between your teeth!"


Okay, the last one doesn't make any sense in the context -- if anything, it implies I've been scarfing down more calories and have a small reserve between my chompers that I was saving for my four o'clock pig-out.

I've kept it a secret for a while.  I suck in my gut in public and I wear "athletic cut" shirts that make me look slimmer than I am.  But the bottom line is that I am a pig.  A slop-swilling, pink-nosed, stink-making ham-in-waiting.

The last week hasn't helped matters, either.  My sister was in town visiting for her spring break (it really is a great feeling knowing your 21-year-old sibling would rather spend a week with you than slamming down Pabst Blue Ribbons at a quarter a pop in Cancun with 22,691 of her most-distant friends0 and that has resulted in going out to eat far more than I'd like.  I would like to send a special shout-out to m,y brother-in-law, who opted for Chinese food for his birthday dinner last Sunday, allowing me to bring the MSG content of my blood back up to unhealthy levels.

Of course, I share all this with you to announce that I am going on Diet Number nine-thirteen.  Albert Einstein once declared the definition of insanity as, and I paraphrase, "doing the same thing over and over again expecting the result to change."  That makes me quite insane at this point, so I don't have the highest of hopes.

However, the plan is to buy a mountain bike which I will, of course, not take off-road any time in the foreseeable future.  I will ride the bike as often as time allows, which as of now means "every third blue moon or pink flying elephant, whichever comes last."  And the meals need to change size and quantity, which hurts most of all.  If you know me, you know my three favorite things are food, food and anything else that tastes good after the food has run out.

I need your help.  I need you to encourage me and I need you to hold me accountable.  I have actually considered fasting, which is like having God as a diet coach.  Maybe that would work -- who knows?

So help a reforming slob lose weight today.  I want two inches off my belly.  No set time frame beyond "before Jesus comes back" but I think sometime this year would be nice.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Caffeine Speak: Dejadeja-Vuvu

I have a lot of words and phrases that I use to describe things through my eyes, and most of the time they need some (or a lot) of explanation.  So, without further adieu, I give you Caffeine Speak #1.

dejadeja-vuvu: n. - The uneasy feeling that you've had deja-vu about a subject before.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gloating to my northern family and friends

Most people know me as a very humble person.  Sure, I have a lot of confidence in the few skills I have, but I try to acknowledge that it is God who developed that talent, not me.  And, yes, there are the jokes about the "Famous Frazer Modesty" from time to time.  But I'm not one to brag much.

Neener.  Neener, neener.

[Sticks tongue out]

[Points and laughs]

Here's a shovel, people.  Try to dig out from under that blanket of snow.  Meanwhile, I will be enjoying these 70-degree days and the first cherry blossoms of the year!  For anyone not paying attention, it is February 25th.  There are still four more weeks of winter -- and, thanks to Punxutawney Phil, only four -- and I drove past about 20 blossoming trees during my commute this morning.

So enjoy the stiff, runny noses that come with time outside in the tundra, people.  I, on the other hand, am going to enjoy some time outdoors.

If this rain ever stops.

If you will excuse me, I need to go find a way to get knocked down a few pegs.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New "Caffeine" Page Posted

Just a quick note to let you know I have added the "Caffeine" page and will be posting the "Hot Sauce" page soon.  Check it out!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coping with a sports

We are sitting at a Ruby Tuesday in Burlington, NC waiting for a table.  I needed to use the restroom when we got here and, to my unfortunate surprise, the tiles matched the colors of the Green Bay Packers perfectly.

So I squinted.

The darkness worked perfectly: through barely open eyes, the tiles looked black and gold rather than green and gold.

Most fans would be thrilled to lose the Super Bowl and root for the #2 team in the league.   Me?  I just find crazy ways to deal with not winning.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Welcome to Caffeine & Hot Sauce!

It's new.  It's improved.  It's Yet Another Blog.

Thank you for taking the time to visit.  I hope as time passes you will find this blog entertaining, sometimes informative, and always insightful into the mind of a mad genius.

This is about nothing in particular; rather, it's just about what is on my mind at any given time.  I'm opinionated, which may or may not be good for you.  but one things is for sure:

I wrote it all.