Brett Mason's Brett Bugle

February 2007 Archives

You are in the Brett Bugle archives right now. The HOMEPAGE is much more important.

2007-02-28         category: WORK

~ government takes a big chunk ~If you're one of those people who thinks I need to quit watching television and go work more, you'll be pleased to know that I've been working more lately. My company has moved forward on the database I wrote for them, and they've recruited me to assist on the big upgrade from Access to SQL Server. It's going well so far, and it keeps me rolling in dough.

The only problem I can see is that I'm now spending a lot of time in the Georgetown office, which is north of Lexington on Interstate 75. Know what that means? Yep, I am spending more time on I-75 South these days (when I drive home from work), and one never knows when I-75 South is going to write itself into one's obituary.

2007-02-27         category: CITY

~ work does not matter to us ~Wright Tree Service has visited my yard twice this year, both times as a contractor for the local electric company (KY Utilities). If you look back in my January archives, you'll see a photo of them clearing a fallen tree from a power line. And now, this week, they returned to cut down more trees that were threatening to interfere with the power lines.

So here's the thing. For their work order in January, they did not remove the tree debris, but for the work they did this week, they DID. Unfortunately, they only cleared the debris they created this week! They had the workers hauling branches, and they had the giant woodchipper truck running full steam. But they only chipped up the branches they'd cut down in late February, not the branches that the same workers had left behind in January. How hard would it have been to use these workers and this truck to fully complete both jobs??


Now, I was home to observe this partial removal process, so I talked to the foreman about the remaining branches. He gave me a bunch of bullsh about the man-hours allocated for "circuit" work which do not overlap with man-hours allocated for "ticket" work.

They've done all they're gonna do here, and many branches remain in piles in my back yard. So in retaliation, I will post this amusing anecdote on the World Wide Web in the hopes that I can better inform the Lexington residents who want detailed information on Wright Tree Service.

2007-02-24         category: WEBSURF

~ use wifi to surf the Internet for free ~Two days ago, I wrote about the Dell laptop. Today I want to express my excitement for having turned this laptop into my own custom radio station, broadcasting French webradio loudly through my empty house.

Here is a Windows Media Player playlist full of radio feeds from France. Download it and save it to your "My Playlists" subfolder of your "My Music" folder. Open it in Windows Media Player, and use the {Next} button to navigate through all of these excellent stations: NRJ, Europe2, RTL2, SkyRock, FunRadio, and CherieFM.

Tech specs = I am connecting to broadband Internet using a Microsoft MN-720 wireless card on an Inspiron 1000, and I have a simple audio cable connecting my laptop's headphone output to the auxiliary audio inputs of a Sharp CD-DD4500 Mini Component System. I run Microsoft WMP 10 on Microsoft Windows XP SP2; I don't like WMP 11 at all. I like the "FoxyTunes" extension (XPI file) for controlling WMP from inside Mozilla Firefox.

2007-02-23         category: LIFE

~ Danielle smiled at me ~MOVIES I HAVE WATCHED RECENTLY. ~~ Pan's Labyrinth ~~ Layer Cake ~~ Half Nelson ~~ La Doublure ~~ School for Scoundrels ~~ Breach ~~ The Pursuit of Happyness

THE ONE I LIKED THE BEST. ~~ Jägermeister


2007-02-22         category: FOOD

~ time for a new diet ~While I was out shopping for a new hard drive for that Dell Inspiron 1000 that I found on the street a long time ago, I noticed that the Easter candy is now on display, including Cadbury Royal Dark Mini Eggs. This pleases me, since Cadbury Mini Eggs are my favorite Easter candy, and I am now quite fond of anything made out of dark chocolate. If I remember, then I will tell you how much I like them when I buy them at half price on the day after Easter.

Speaking of dark-chocolate candy, I have purchased and consumed Hershey's Kissables Special Dark, and they are deliciously similar to dark-chocolate M&M's. Good movie snacks! Healthy!

Another item that I am watching at the grocery store is the bag of sweet-potato chips by Pringles. Haven't eaten this yet because it's really overpriced right now, but I know it has to go on sale sometime, so when it does, I'm snaggin' it. (Alternately, when I go visit Dad and Cheryl in Florida, Dad will send me to the grocery store to stock up on vacation treats, and I will buy large quantities of these chips using his grocery fund.)

2007-02-19         category: FAMILY

~ do not mind birthdays ~In honor of Cheryl's birthday, I am taking the day off from work. I put in a request at the post office to get them to take the day off from work, too, and I'm pretty sure they're actually following my advice.

In other family news, last night I dreamed that Grandma Mason corrected me on my pronunciation of the French phrase "zut alors." In my dream, she said I need to pronounce the S at the end. Anyone know why she would say that? Ain't right.

2007-02-18         category: LIFE

~ just call it a waste of time ~Just as I mentioned I would, I attended the Contra dance on Friday night and a karaoke function at Quest church last night. No surprises in my predictable (and well-documented) life.

Last night's deal, in addition to having karaoke, also had movie-oke, which I'd never done before. The techies had prepared some transcripts from movie scenes and were projecting those scenes onto a big screen while muting the audio. So volunteers from the audience could come up and read the dialogue off a page while trying to match the scene being shown. It was a mess, but kinda nifty. The scene I chose to do was the "Mockingbird-Singing Hitchhikers" scene from Dumb and Dumber, for which I recruited Elizabeth Skees to help me.

This is a complete change of subject, but today I used my snow shovel for the first time in years. Cleared a few inches of snow off my sidewalk — snow which would have melted quickly enough without my help. But, I gotta say, it is satisfying to put the snow shovel to good use again; it makes me feel that I wasn't throwing money away when I bought it.

2007-02-16         category: MUSIC

~ what is happening chief ~
Come to ArtsPlace in downtown Lexington tonight, especially if you can be a volunteer musician. You will find a Contra dance there, with live music, and you will find me there, playing piano. You can dance or play your hammer dulcimer or whatever.

And then tomorrow night, come to Quest church and do karaoke.


2007-02-15         category: FOOD

~ get a Valentine bouquet for a girl ~I just got home from the Kroger grocery store on Alexandria Drive, and they are having a massive Valentine's clearance sale right now. Get a dozen roses for 10 bucks. Get a few hundred bags of Valentine candy for $1.20 each.

If you know me well, then you may have already guessed that I bought 5 big bags of dark-chocolate M&M's and 2 bags of dark-chocolate Hershey's Kisses (in addition to 1 bag of Valentine KitKat bars) for less than $10 total. I am pretty sure that this renewed supply of sweets will last me through April.

My four favorite candy-shopping days of the year are the day after Valentine's Day, the day after Easter, the day after Halloween, and the day after Christmas.

2007-02-13         category: WEBSURF

~ on the Internet again ~When I got home from work today and checked my logfiles, I noticed that I was getting flooded with hits from users of I don't know WHO submitted my blog or WHY, but I feel kinda honored to have been thrown into that mix. Wonder if this boost in traffic will translate into something bigger and better, later. We shall see.

HEY, StumbleUpon crowd, check out my most popular entries.

2007-02-10         category: MUSIC

~ oh no ~Almost a dozen years ago, I was in France for a summer, and I will never forget hearing an obscene song on a grocery intercom there. No one in the French store had any idea what they were hearing because the song was in English, and it was full of slang. It was incredibly memorable for me, though.

Well, tonight I attended a USABDA dance, and something similar happened, in a reverse way. The DJ played a song called "Tu Es Foutu," and we all danced to it, and no one seemed to care. If I am translating the title correctly, the song is obscene. But this is Kentucky, where very few people know French.

In other news, I wonder if I can slip this past your obscenity radar:
STFU Vader


2007-02-09         category: LIFE

~ angry and cussing ~Roaming around Fayette Mall this afternoon, I had both a something for nothing experience and a nothing for something experience.

Something for nothing: In one of the anchor stores of Fayette Mall, in a place where everyone can see you but no one will bother you, I discovered a computer with an unfiltered Internet connection. If you want to know more, you'll have to ask me because I'm not going to reveal this secret here in a public place.

Nothing for something: I took my malfunctioning phone to the Verizon Wireless kiosk, and suddenly, INSTANTLY, just like that, I lost everything stored on my phone, including my cameraphone pix and my contacts and my call history (which documented my final calls with Mom). The clerk took one look at the blinking logo, grabbed the phone, wrapped it in a printout, and tossed it in a box. Then he gave me a brand new phone which was exactly the same model. He then said "you'll have to put all your phone numbers into this new phone. There's no way for me to get the numbers off your old phone if I can't turn it on."

I cussed him out. I was so angry that I was tempted to punch everyone in the Verizon Wireless store.

This reminds me of the time my JumpDrive failed. When it's gone, it's gone; you cannot recover any data from a dead FlashDrive / ThumbDrive / JumpDrive. No one tells you to keep backups of your mobile-phone data or your keychain-drive data, but one day you will be stunned to find that it has gone to hell, never to be seen again.

2007-02-08         category: WORK

~ working will not get me anywhere ~In the past three weeks, I'd worked a total of three hours — an average of one hour per week. But now, yesterday and today, I've resumed my programming work in Georgetown, which is good because it builds my travel fund.

At the same time that I have gone back to work, my Verizon cell phone has decided to quit working. All it will do now is show a white Verizon logo screen for two seconds, then blink off and appear to power off, then come back on with that white logo screen, then blink off / power off, then repeat this cycle forever and ever amen.

Good thing I have a landline and an email address and a MySpace profile. You have many other communication choices (apart from calling my annoying mobile phone) if you want to tell me when you're going to be doing background work on another TV show.

2007-02-05         category: NONE

~ on the Internet ~I might be an okay blogger and a capable programmer, but I've lost whatever skills I had in the Google department. That company is confusing the hello out of me.

Why is it that my new domain,, appears high in the Google search results for Bret Mason or Bret Bugle but not for Brett Mason or Brett Bugle? The correct spelling of my name is all over this page and in the title bar, also. But the incorrect spelling is the one that gets a better ranking. It's crazy. They're crazy.

2007-02-04         category: FAMILY

~ so dull that I bore myself ~Have you ever been chewing on a turkey-and-bacon sandwich, and then the horseradish sauce on the sandwich made you want to sneeze, so you tried really hard to finish chewing the bite before the sneeze arrived, but then you didn't finish the bite in time, making you sneeze tiny pieces of turkey sandwich all over your car?

That happened to me today. It probably happened because I was excited about the prospect of seeing my sister on the next episode of Boston Legal.

2007-02-02         category: CITY

~ what is my local groundhog doing today ~Today is Groundhog Day, as you know. What you might not know, if you don't live in Lexington, is that we just had our first big snowfall of the year. (The way I determine this = the street in front of my house must be completely white, and I won't be able to see the grass in my yard all day.)

There are two little neighbor kids, Zach and Shay, who often hang out in my front yard when the weather's nice. We usually play catch or ride bikes or play frisbee. Today I hope they come over so we can have a massive snowball fight.


Now that it's 2007, I expect that I'll soon be getting invited to the 20-year class reunions from both McDowell High School and Asheville High School. Go class of '87!

Before this summer, though, I'd like to gain a lot of weight, so that I can arrive at my 20-year reunions looking completely different from how I looked at my 10-year reunions. So here's my plan.

I'm currently at 29x30. If I eat nothing but dark-chocolate M&M's, dark-chocolate Raisinets, and dark-chocolate Snickers and drink nothing but Ale-8-One sodas and Chick-Fil-A strawberry milkshakes between now and the reunions, I should be able to fill some 40x30 Dockers. I think I'd also like to get a part-time job at Donut Days or the nearest Cheesecake Factory restaurant.

before pic is 29x30   after pic is 40x30


Would you like to read my blog entries from January 2007, December 2006, November 2006, or earlier? Sure you would! Feel free! Go read them! Gosh!


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