DIRTY HARRY-BOWL

Not being a football fan, I had to find a way to pass the time yesterday while the Superbowl was on. I figured it was a good bet that the restaurants wouldn’t be too busy as kickoff time neared, so I went out to eat with the wife. Most of the restaurants we passed looked pretty quiet. Naturally, the one we had a gift card for – Red Lobster – was busy. Still, it wasn’t too bad. We grabbed one of the tables by the bar, so we didn’t have to wait to be seated. We got served pretty quickly, which is always good. I ate so much shrimp and pasta (not to mention those biscuits), that I just about had to be rolled out the door. The Yuengling was pretty tasty too.

Once we were back at the old hacienda, I had to come up with some sort of entertainment plan. I dug deep into the recesses of my VHS collection, and came up with Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool, which I watched back to back. Kind of like a double header. Harry Callahan won both games, but I don’t recall the score. You lose count of the bodies after a while.

BURGER-PALOOZA

While I was out on the west coast, a new burger chain expanded into the Albany area. It’s called Five Guys. I went there for lunch today. Damn. Good. Burgers. Seriously, awe-inspiring. I don’t lavish praise on burger joints lightly, but this place was that damned good. If you’re a connoisseur of burgers, you need to check it out. Their bacon cheeseburger is to die for – or to die from, depending on your current cholesterol situation. And don’t forget to try the fries. They’re tasty too. But get a small because they give you enough for three people. Well…two, if one of ’em’s me.

RANDOM B.S.

This post contains everything needed to qualify for a B.S. in Randomness. So pay attention, there may be a test afterwards.

Coldstone Creamery rocks. And the Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip rocks. The girl who sings a little song every time someone leaves a tip…not so much. Of course Simon Cowell may disagree.

Pulling a U-turn from the right lane of a crowded 4 lane is extraordinarily stupid. Having the gall to shoot a dirty look at the driver that almost hit you when you pulled the aforementioned bonehead move goes beyond stupid. Beyond arrogant. It’s an action that just screams “Please kill me before I reproduce.” Sadly, I feel we may be too late.

Richard Stark’s latest book, Dirty Money, was released recently. Of course, I haven’t read the previous two Stark books (Nobody Runs Forever and Ask the Parrot) yet. I’ve been waiting for them to be released in paperback. They haven’t been. I blame that French company that bought Mysterious Press. Damned French. And yes, I am of (partially) French ancestry. But we’re talking Richard Stark here, so damn ’em, I say!

I’m watching Married with Children as I type this. Al Bundy is wearing a grilling apron that reads “Kiss the cook, kill the wife” while explaining the history (and prehistory) behind Labor Day. Al Bundy is a true American hero. He should have his own comic book.

I have tomorrow night off. Then I go back to work. Only one more week of midnight shifts left. Cowa freakin’ bunga!

The braniacs who run billeting on this base finally turned off the heat and turned on the air conditioning in my building. It only took temps in the mid 90s for them to catch the hint.

WHAT’S NEW?

Nothing, how’s that for an update? OK, that’s not entirely true. It would be more accurate to say “nothing interesting.” But here it is anyway, in case you care:

I had the last couple days off. Since I’m on a different schedule from the two friends I have here (the other three rotated home earlier this month), I generally have to find ways to amuse myself on my down time. I guess I tend to be kind of a loner anyway, so it’s no big deal.

I went to see Vantage Point yesterday. It was a good movie, full of action. The plot revolves around the assassination of a US President at a meeting in Spain. The time period (about 30 minutes) leading up to, and directly after, the assassination is covered multiple times from different vantage points (hence the title). It’s a cool gimmick that held my attention. It helped that the movie has a great cast and featured some amazing stunts (including a heart-pounding car chase).

When my day-shift friends got off work yesterday, we went to dinner at Red Robin. Excellent meal. I had the bacon cheeseburger. It was delicious and fat free. OK, that second part was a lie. But the beer I had with it was fat free.

I finally watched Burn Notice this week. A pretty entertaining show, it’s definitely worth watching. The first-person narration works, due to lead character Michael Weston’s humorous take on the espionage business, and actor Jeffrey Donovan’s snarky delivery. The new season premieres this summer, so I’ll try to get caught up on season 1 as they rerun it this spring.

I bought some running sneakers today. I freakin’ hate running. But I’m gonna have to start. I’ve been trying to exercise regularly, but apparently it’s not enough. Running seems to be the only thing that really works for me. So either I start running, or I quit going out to dinner, which is not bloody likely. So running it is. Dammit.

About two more weeks and I’m off graveyard shift. Yee frickin’ ha! I’ve had about enough of this crap.

FORTUNE!

No, I didn’t win the lottery. But I did have some good Chinese food last night. Sesame Chicken, my favorite. After I ate my fill (and then some), I had the obligatory fortune cookie. My fortune:

“Your most memorable dream will come true.”

Yesss!!!!! My most memorable dream!! Whoo hoo!!! Now if I could only remember what my most memorable dream is. Getting old sucks.

STUFF AND NONSENSE

And the details of my life, or what passes for a life these days:

Thanksgiving turned out OK. A couple of us were going to go to the VFW, but we went to the office instead. As it turns out, some of the folks in the unit put on a spread for the people who were working. Those of us who were stranded here with nowhere else to go were invited, so we went. They had turkey, mashed taters, gravy, corn, stuffing–they even had pumpkin pie. It was good. Very good. After I ate my fill, I went back to my room and slept for a couple hours (damn tryptophan!) and watched some TV.

As I type this, I’m down to my last $10 in cash. That’s not a typo, there’s no missing zero. We’re talking ten $1 bills. I went to make a withdrawal at the ATM on Monday and it told me I had entered an incorrect pin number. Bullshit! I did not enter an incorrect pin. I had just reset it before I left NY, and I tested it to make sure it worked. It did. So I called the bank on Monday. The guy said he’d reset the pin and mail the new one to my house. As of Saturday, still no pin. Damn bank. My wife is going to wire me some money later today. Until then, I’ll be credit cardin’ it.

I finished my training on Friday, so my work environment should settle down some. I’m off until Tuesday, so I’ll have to think of something interesting to do.

I went to see the movie Hitman last week. It was pretty cool. If you like violent, bloody, shoot ’em up action films, then this one’s worth seeing. Timothy Olyphant plays Agent 47 (the hitman), Dougray Scott plays the relentless cop on his trail, and Ukrainian model/actress Olga Kurylenko plays the smokin’ hot babe (which isn’t much of s stretch for her).

Thanks to my credit card and the Walmart bargain bin, I’ve been adding to my DVD collection. So far I’ve picked up Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, L.A. Confidential, and Last Man Standing. At $5 each, you can’t beat it.

My next project: Lunch. But where? It has to be someplace good. Someplace different. And someplace that takes credit cards.

STUFF

Off-duty life here is pretty dull. There’s no internet access in base billeting. I have to go to the club on base–which isn’t open on weekends and holidays–to surf, email, and blog. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting wireless broadband, or (ugh!) dialup. I have to do something, this ain’t working. I’m having net withdrawal.

I recently read a book called Rain Dogs by Sean Doolittle. Good book. It’s the first one of his I’ve read. I’m going to have put his other books on my TBR list.

I found a Pizza Hut not far from base over the weekend. I was ecstatic. Freakin’ Pizza Hut, and I’m outta my head with joy. Good pizza places seem few and far between out here, and I was jonesing for a slice. Ya take it where you can get it.

I found a local Best Buy on Saturday. I picked up a DVD two-pack; Jackie Chan’s Police Story 1 & 2. I haven’t watched 2 yet, but 1 kicks ass. Great stunt work. Real stunts, too. None of that CGI shit.

The only TV shows I’ve been keeping up on since I got here are Chuck, CSI (the original one), and My Name is Earl. The final season of The Shield is set to premiere sometime after the first of the year. I’m sure I’ll watch that, even if I have to buy a VCR to tape it.