Sunday, August 31, 2008

Clarior Hinc Honos

Clarior Hinc Honos-"Hence the brighter honour".

That is the motto of the Clan Buchanan, which my family is somehow associated with. I'm not sure exactly how. While researching the subject online, I found that my someone with my family surname migrated to England. This occured in or around 1066 A.D. in the wave of migration that took place after the Norman conquest of England. We first made a name for ourselves in Cambridgeshire, where we held a family seat as Lords of the manor Crowhurst. As far as I can tell it was either Robert Count of Eu (who may have deeded some land to my family) or later Walter de Scotney who might have been my relative in ownership of the land (although I believe the former more likely from my reading). From there I don't know what happened. Somehow, we either married in or came under the protection of the Clan Buchanan.

I did all this research because I am going to a Scottish-Irish Highlands Festival next weekend and want to be prepared for any questions regarding my family history. I always knew I had some Irish ancestry, but only knew about the Scottish link through my baby brother's research. And, since he gave me a kilt to wear, which is of the Buchanan tartan (pattern), I figured I better at least have some clue as to why I was wearing a particular family fabric.

Although, to be completely honest, I was only going to drink and enjoy the mountains on the cheap. It was very interesting tying my family name to history. I also found some pictures of the ruins of Crowhurst Manor, the Buchanan family crest and the Buchanan tartan kilt that I will be wearing. Hope this was somewhat interesting to everyone else. Maybe I'll find someone out in Colorado that knows more on the subject than I do, or maybe I'll just drink and listen to the bands and eat the food.

Here is the ruins of Crowhurst.

Here is the pattern of my kilt.

And, the family crest/coat of arms.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


The owner of the private investigation firm I used to work for had a saying. He would say, "Guys, you need to use the five P's." The five P's stood for: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. I thought I was prepared for something that happened to me yesterday afternoon. However, sometimes things just don't go as well as I think they should. I thought I was prepared. I wasn't.

A little less than a year ago, I put myself in a bad situation. I had no control over the outcome and was forced to accept the way things went. Now, almost a year later, the eventuality of the situation caught up to me. St. Louis is one of the biggest small towns in the world. You can't hide from anything for too long, here. Not that I was trying, I accept the consequences of my actions. But, I was hopeful that I would only have to deal with the nagging emotions-anger, guilt, helplessness, sorrow, pain, sadness-on my own. Never having to be put in the physical situation, again. In my experience, emotions dull over time. Unless, of course, they are brought back to the surface. Yesterday, the whale came to the surface for air. It hurt quite a bit. More than I thought it would or even could.

Steph, thanks for listening last night, as you always do. I know there are certain things I could possibly do. And, the legalities that we discussed last night are the least of complications for me. But, some of the consequences of those actions are a little too harsh, even if the reality of them may turn out better than I think they would. But, the fact that there is more at stake than my self, and it might turn out worse than I imagined, I feel as if I have to let it be. As with every difficult decision, this one has been pulling me apart. For the better part of a year. Is it cowardice to leave it be? Is it brave? I don't think I will ever know for sure.

I thought I was prepared.

The Thought of You (7-22-08)

I think about you
More often than I want to admit
And the thought of you
At once, makes me smile
And crushes my heart from the weight of it

When I met you
I was happy and I was terrified
And the thought of you
Was an angst-ridden joy
When I lost you, something in me died

Were you ever mine
I know that it was possible
And the thought of you
When that enters my mind
Is a biting wind, and my heart an empty hole

Hopefully, someday
There will be another or more
And the thought of you
I know will never leave
Just the thought of you, has struck at my very core

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


When I got online this morning, there was an item on my home page about toilet paper. To be more precise, it was a link to free e-cards for August 26, Toilet Paper Day. I smiled and proceeded to send the card to several friends. If you are one of my friends and did not receive it, I'm sorry, I was just throwing a few names on there to get it into circulation. The link above will take you there.

Anyway, I didn't even know there was such a thing as Toilet Paper Day. I shouldn't be surprised. There is a day for everything else in America. Why not T.P.? It got me to thinking about that wonderful cleansing tool that most of us take for granted, until we have to waddle around looking for it with our pants around our ankles, because we forgot to check for it before we sat down. You know you've been there. We all have.

An article I found about toilet paper, reminded me of the constant struggle, that was placing the TP on the dispenser in my marital bathroom. You see, my ex-wife was very anal about things (hehe. toilet paper. anal. sorry.). She had to have the roll set so that the toilet paper came up over the top and rolled toward her. I, on the other hand, didn't care if the toilet paper was even hung. And, being a man, I knew that she would want it hung, but I would always forget which way she wanted it. I hung it, inevitably wrong most times. Then, she would get pissed. I thought I was doing a good deed by hanging it, she thought I was hanging it "wrong" on purpose just to raise her ire. After about the first year of living together, she managed to realize that I was not doing it on purpose, and stopped getting angry when I would hang the TP backward. And, I got so used to hanging it so that it would roll over the top toward her, that to this day, I rarely hang it the other way, unless I am just not paying attention. I've been divorced for close to four years.

Now, on to some random toilet paper facts. Did you know that the first commercially available toilet paper was manufactured by a man named Joseph Gayetty in 1857, in New Jersey? Or that the Scott Paper Company (Scott paper towels, TP, etc.) was started by selling some form of toilet paper from a push cart in lovely Philadelphia? Coincidentally, they did not market their toilet paper under the family name Scott when they started selling it, "not wanting to, ah, soil the family’s good name." Can anyone guess when two-ply was introduced to the marketplace? 1942, by the St. Andrew’s Paper Mill in England. Who knew that if Americans used rolls made from recycled paper 424,000 trees would be spared by replacing a 500-sheet roll of virgin fiber toilet paper? That would save a whole lot of Canadian forest, which is where most of our paper products come from. Here's a couple more random facts for you. In China AD 1391 the Bureau of Imperial Supplies began producing 720,000 sheets of toilet paper a year, each sheet measuring two feet by three feet, for use by the Emperors. The average American uses 57 sheets of toilet paper per day.

The funny thing about all these facts, I couldn't find any mention as to why we celebrate toilet paper on August 26th every year, the first year it was recognized, or who pushed for it. Happy Toilet Paper Day everyone!!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Looking Forward

Last week was atrocious. I managed to fall behind at work by helping out my department. Nobody does my job, so when I am not doing my job, it doesn't get done. I worked really hard the last two days at work and managed to get mostly caught up. Situation under control. I finally got my last semester of classes paid off, so that I could register for my next semester of classes. So, by getting registered so late, I didn't get any of the classes that I wanted. Although, I did get classes that I needed, so it isn't really a bad situation. However, now I am very, very, very broke. My books have been bought and I have enough money for gas next week, so, I'm alright there. And, if you read my post, one of my favorite musicians passed away. But, DMB is still performing and will move on, so it looks as if I will still be able to enjoy their music for years to come.

Now that I have the bad week out of the way, the next month looks like it is going to be great. School starts Tuesday and I can't wait to get back at it. Next weekend is a long one, due to a holiday here in the states. I will be traveling down to my Dad's farm to spend it relaxing miles and miles away from the closest town. Then, I'm back to work (and school) for two whole days before I fly out to the mountains of Colorado for a Scottish festival with a very Scottish friend. Managed to snag that trip for just the cost of airfare, as my friend had already rented a cabin and I got him a huge rate cut on a rental car through another friend. So, he isn't making me share in any of those costs. For those of you that are new to my site, I love Colorado. I haven't been in the mountains without snow cover in almost 20 years. The last time I saw this friend was almost three years ago in Vegas, it should be just as much fun (although I doubt there will be midgets wearing diapers). The next weekend is going to spent down at the Lake of the Ozarks for a friend's bachelor party. I haven't been to the lake since high school.

So, as long as I can fit in my schoolwork, the next month should be awesome. Then after a few more weeks, my bachelor party friend is getting married at Graceland. Another trip, if I can afford to make a whole weekend out of it. Memphis is supposed to be a really fun city. I have only had the pleasure of driving through it (several times) on previous, P.I. road trips. It's a shame none of my old claimants stopped in Memphis, the BBQ and bar scene is supposed to be fantastic.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

R.I.P. LeRoi Moore

"We all had some bad news today. Our good friend LeRoi Moore passed on and gave his ghost up today and we will miss him forever." Dave Matthews, L.A. 8-19-08

Listen to the crowd get louder and louder as he gets further into his sax solo. This happened every time he would play a solo.

Just listen to a tribute from one of his best friends.

You will be missed, LeRoi. I didn't know you, but you moved me a time or two or more. Thanks for all the beautiful music. Don't be surprised when God asks you to play for him.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Own A Lot Of These

I own a whole lot of live Dave Matthews Band (and Dave with Tim Reynolds) albums. I even own a few concert posters form shows I have attended (like the one below, from June). But, I am really excited about the new live album that is coming out. You see, I love live albums from just about any band that can do it right. A lot of bands don't sound as good live as they do in the studio. Some bands sound ten times better, though. DMB is one of them. It is one of the reasons I like them so much.

Their newwest release, DMB Live Trax 13, is from the show that I attended earlier this year. I own a lot of live albums, by a lot of bands. This will be the first one that I will own that I will have attended the show.

If I had more time and money, I would attend as many DMB shows as I could every summer. They are just that fantastic. The energy is always high, so are most of the people. The quality of music and the way they all play to the crowd. Some people would classify them as a jam band. I won't go that far, because I think they are a bit too structured to actually be a jam band. But, the way they drag out their songs with long solos of every color, shape and size...

I would strongly recommend them to anyone who even remotely enjoys their music.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


People need to stop chasing instant gratification and start pursuing fulfillment. Instant gratification is all well and good, but, it only lasts an instant. It seems like greed to me. How much pleasure can one attain from an instant? Even if it is the highest degree of pleasure, it is still only an instant. Fulfillment does what the word implies, it fills one up with joy and contentment for long periods of time. What fulfills you? I know I have been looking for my answer for quite some time. It took me a while to stop pursuing the fast fix. I have found things that kinda fall in between pleasure and fulfillment. They last longer than an instant but not really long enough to say that it has fulfilled me in any way. I know some people find their answers relatively early in life. And others find their answers when it is almost to late to enjoy the spoils.

Some people say having a great family or a successful career is the answer. Unfortunately, others turn to forms of vice. I know I love my family and they, along with my friends, keep me from ever being lonely. But, being single, I have noticed that I am happier than I was in my very few relationships. So, really, I am basing my thoughts on this on a failed marriage and my immediate family. I know that one night stands aren't my answer. I have yet to find a job that speaks to my soul. They all spoke to my bank account, some louder than others. I am fine with that. A job pays the bills and supplies me with the means to pursue my interests. As long as that is the case, I don't need my job to fulfill me. Although it would be nice. I have never really been into vice. So, where do I go from here?

I have my hobbies. But, they are like forms of instant gratification. I perform my intended task, I reap my reward, then it is over. In essence, it's like reading the side of the shampoo bottle. "Lather. Rinse. Repeat." It's fun, it's a distraction from the everyday boredom that rules us. But, when it's over, it's over. I am, by no means, unhappy, or even looking to speed up the process. I know that, once found, whatever it is that fulfills me, will be the sweetest of rewards. Until then...

Author's note: When I used spell check, there were no misspellings. Never happens.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Love Animals. I Swear.

It's just that I. HATE. GEESE.

They're not really animals.

It seems that they know this, and are taunting me. Twenty-two of those filthy bastards were on the parking lot this morning while I was working outside. You don't believe me? Count for yourself. Look carefully, they are all there.

One of these days I am going to find a way around the Federal Migratory Bird Act of 1918. Then, they are all in trouble.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Time and a Half Can Be Very Boring

This evening I am sitting at work, pulling a few extra hours of O.T. My boss wanted to leave, and since I am on call, I told him I would stay for a few hours. The evening guy is on his last day of vacation. I told my boss that I would sit in the shop and wait for any calls, but was not going to be visible on the floor. Not surprisingly, he was cool with me sitting online until 7 or so.

I'm bored out of my skull. The filters on our server don't allow for much web-surfing variety. I have read about all the interesting news stories I can find. I have surfed all the blogs that interest me, and that it will allow me to read. Can't listen to music online, although I have the limited selection on my phone memory card to keep me from going too stir crazy.

Does anyone know of any good sites that can skirt filters? These filters won't allow much, other than news sites and some email sites. G-mail, Google, and by extention, Blogger are okay.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sore Loser, Part Deux

Another weekend, another hockey tournament, another 0-for. Like I said last week, I was going to be the worst player on my team. It was a toss up between myself and another guy. Right before the start of the tournament, about half of the guys that were supposed to be playing pulled out, for one reason or another. That left us with eight players and a goalie. For any of you that don't know hockey, there are five skaters on the ice and normally about 10 more on the bench. Or, two more "lines" of skaters, so you can rotate through and not get too tired.

We did have a dominant team, for the first period or so. Then, as our energy disappeared, the other teams with full benches would take advantage of our lackluster play and pour it on. We thought we were going to get one more guy for the last few games, but when he showed up, one of the other guys got hit in the eye with a puck. It was gruesome. Stitches above and below the eye and his eyelid was also cut. His eye, thankfully, was undamaged. So, there we were for the whole tourney with only eight guys. And, being in a college town, with everyone starting to return for fall semester, there was a lot of partying going on every night. For our last game on Sunday morning-AT 7AM!!!-we were short one more, due to overindulgence.

When I got home, I worked my butt off on Monday. Then, went out with one of my friends to meet a new woman he is seeing. And back to hockey on Tuesday night. I think I might be overdoing it a bit. On the last shift of the night, I pulled my groin and have been limping around all day today. Thankfully, I got to sleep in, as our evening guy, at work, is out in Sturgis and I got to go in late and got to cover his shift.

Hopefully, I'll have something else for y'all this week. Maybe I'll blog on the multiple tiger attacks that have occurred in the great state of Missouri this week. Who knew we were a hotbed of tiger activity? Maybe, Mizzou fans, but come on, I'm referring to actual tigers this time. We're turning into India, or something...

Just a side note, for those of you who hit the "tiger" link. I know The girl in the picture's step-brother (if it is the same A.B.). The only reason I bring this up, is because he had sex with her about a year before they became step-siblings. When he would piss me off, I would shut him up with comments like, "You screwed your sister, dude." and "What is incest like?" Nothing shuts someone up quicker, than bringing up their quasi-incestual past.