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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: July 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009


I have come to the realization that I have been laid off from my job at just the right time.

"But Dan, what do you mean by that? How can anytime be the right time to get laid off?"

Well, I'll tell you. I was laid off at just the right time so I could help out by taking pictures at VBS this year. I wouldn't have been able to do this if I was still at my job. Also, while I was still at my job I wasn't able to get the days I needed off to go on a week long mission trip to Kentucky, but now I can.

"But Dan, what will you do for income?"

Well, for now I'll be collecting unemployment. Things were very stagnant at my former job and I felt uncomfortable there because my boss and I didn't get along very well. I think it's a good thing that I'm not there anymore.

"But Dan, aren't you worried that you might not find another job?"

I don't think that this should be a time for worrying, in fact no time is a good time for worrying. How does worrying help anything? Like I said before, I was let go at just the right time so I could help with VBS and go on this mission trip. I get a chance to serve God in ways that I was not able to while I was working.

"But Dan, how will you live if you can't find another job?"

How will I live? Well first of all, Christ is life. It is not a job that will provide me with life. Too many people put too much emphasis on how important their job is to the point where their job becomes their god. Yes, I know that I need to eat, sleep, and pay the bills, but I also need to trust and have faith that God will provide. God has provided me with a family and with friends who won't let me end up in the gutter. I pray for those who aren't as fortunate as that. But I also know I can't just sit on my butt and wait for God to drop things out of the sky. I need to meet God halfway and get out there, do things, make things happen. I know that God will provide me with a new job, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be looking in the newspaper or online because I feel those are sometimes the outlets he chooses to reveal these things to us. How pointless would life be if God just handed us everything we wanted while we just sat around?

"Well Dan, you make a good point. Thanks for clearing things up for me."

You're welcome.

"Hey Dan."


"Uh, don't you think people will think you're a little schizo talking to yourself like this?"

No comment.


So yes, I will be going to Kentucky next week, so there will be no blog posts next week. I will be out of range. No internet. For a week. Pray for me. Seriously, I will have a great time. I'm going to a school called Hope Hill. The school takes in teenage girls who have had a rough life. Many have been abused, abandoned, been into drugs and alcohol. So we're going there to do some maintenance work on the buildings they live in and the grounds. Weed whacking, painting, hammering nails and all that good stuff. But we'll also spend time with the girls teaching them about God and about what he has done in our lives. And we are going to talk with them not just at them. I find that the best way to connect with people is to interact with them individually and show them and tell them what God has done in my life. Just standing on a stage and talking at people and telling them what God is about without mentioning any personal stories is not as effective. We'll also do some fun stuff with them. We have some activities and games planned out. We need to let those girls know they are not alone in their suffering and that they can overcome whatever they've been through. Hopefully those who never heard of Jesus will come to know him and those who have heard of him will truly come to know who he is and what he came to do. He came to liberate.

I'll be back after next week, keep me in your prayers. God bless.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm a Sell-Out

Yes, I did it, I went and monetized my blog by allowing ads on here, but hey, people do crazy stuff when they're unemployed. Don't know if it will really help, but hey, it's free and it can't hurt, right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I'm gonna take a little break from telling stories from the different jobs I've had over the years today since today is a busy day for me. But I wanted everyone to know I set up a YouTube channel to correspond with this blog. The channel I made is called Blogityblahblah. Below are the four videos I have up so far. I'm hoping to do some video blogs. Look for the first one to be up in the next month or so. Enjoy these videos.

This first one is a trip we took to Knoebels. I went with my girlfriend, her little boy, and a few other friends. This video features the Moon Bounce, The 1 1/2 Mile Train Ride, The Haunted House, Mini-Golf, The Log Flume and some pictures as well.

This is a hike we took this past January in Rauchtown, PA near Ravensburg Park. I went with my sister and a couple friends.

You've heard me talk before about Valley Mosaic on this blog. This is a mural of a mosaic we painted on the wall. The song featured is "Cover What You Can" by Copeland.

I took some video footage of a crazy lightning storm awhile ago, edited it together and put together a song in Garage Band.

Hope you enjoyed those.

Monday, July 27, 2009

WWWE: I Made $20!

So after I left the Shoe Dept. I found a job only a couple miles from my apartment. I worked for Blockbuster Video in York, PA. There were about five Blockbuster Video stores at the time in York, I worked at the one on the corner or George St. and Rt. 30 just in case you were wondering.

The cool thing about this job was that we could rent five movies a week for free! We also got to rent movies two weeks before their release date. The uncool thing was how I got tricked into working on Christmas. When I interviewed for the job, the manager told me we had to work at least two holidays out of the year. I told her I wanted Christmas and Easter off and she said that was okay. It was around Thanksgiving of 1998 when I was supposed to start working there. The manager told me that I didn't have to start working until after Thanksgiving so that it wouldn't count as one of my holidays off. I thought it was a good idea. So I started working after Thanksgiving. I told the manager what days I wanted off for Christmas so I would have enough time to go home to see my family. She said that's going to be a problem and I asked her why. She reminded me that she told me in the interview I had to work at least two holidays in a year. Then she said there are only two holidays left this year, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Not only did she tell me in the interview that I could have Christmas off, but she made it sound like a good idea to start after Thanksgiving. See, if I would have started before and worked on Thanksgiving I could have had Christmas off and worked on New Year's Eve. That's how I was tricked into working on Christmas. I was still able to go home and see my family for a couple days before Christmas, but what my boss did was just conniving and evil.

Fortunately, the big wigs in the company like conniving and evil managers so they promoted her to become the manager of a different Blockbuster and her replacement at our store was really cool. We got along great. Everyone who worked there was pretty cool. There was a kiddie section in the store close to where the cash registers were and when it was late we would put on movies that we liked, but still with a PG rating like Labyrinth or Star Wars, and we would watch them from the front counter.

One night I was working with one of the assistant managers and we were bored, really bored. The guy I was working with was only about 5'3" and he said "I bet you can't do this" and he jumped straight up and onto the counter. The height of the counter was almost at my chest. I figured if he could do it, I could do it. So I hopped right up there and I did it! But I landed on just the tips of my toes and I started to lose my balance. Both my feet came right out from under me and I came down on both my shins on the corner of the counter. It hurt so bad I just started laughing. I sat in a chair and started rubbing my shins. I looked at the assistant manager, he looked horrified and he told me he would pay me for a new pair of pants. I asked him why. I looked down and my one pant leg was soaked with blood. I didn't even know I was bleeding at first. So I went to the back room and cleaned it up. It was pretty sore for the next few days, but the bloodstain came out of the pants and I made $20! I don't think I would ever try doing something like that again though. To this day I still have a little white indented circle on my right leg.

It was fun working there, I was even voted employee of the month twice while I was there. But the time finally came where I had to move back home to Jersey Shore, PA. It was sad leaving that place, but I was able to transfer to the Blockbuster Video in Williamsport, PA. It wasn't as much fun working there as it was in York. It was the only Blockbuster Video in Williamsport so it was very busy. Usually on a Friday and Saturday night I would work an 8 hour shift and not even get a chance to leave my cash register because the line was never-ending, and this was with four registers open! It was busy! People around here have nothing better to do I guess. I don't have to many memorable moments from working at the Williamsport Blockbuster so I think I'll end it here. It will probably take a few posts to talk about my next job since there are a lot of stories to tell about that one. Till next time, adios!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WWWE: Manure, Strawberries, Manure

Okay, where were we? We are at job #6 or #7, but I don't really count the telemarketing thing as a job since I was only there for three days, so I'll say we're at #6. So in the cliff-hanging conclusion of yesterday's post I had mentioned that I was running low on funds and my roommate had been laid off so we did some job hunting together. We both found a job, at the same place. It seemed cool that we were working at the same place, but we also had the same classes at college, and shared the same room at the apartment (bunk bed of course). So yea, we were around each other a lot, which wasn't always a good thing.

We had gotten a job at the Shoe Dept. at the York Galleria Mall. It was a pretty good job. The people I worked with were friendly. To be honest I don't really have any significant memories of working there, nothing all that interesting to share except for the time Rip Torn (Men In Black, Dodgeball, Bee Movie) came there one day to buy shoes, but I was off that day. My roommate was there though and he told me all about it.

Actually I do remember another story now. One day I was helping a lady with a pair of shoes but she felt uncomfortable to go up to the counter to purchase the shoes. She said she wouldn't go up there because the man working the cash register was black. I thought she was being racist, but she said she was afraid, she had been abused by a black man when she was young. I assured her that he was a good man, but her fear was too great. I tried to convince her there was nothing to be afraid of, but she gave me her money to go up and pay for her shoes for her. It was difficult explaining to the cashier why I was making the transaction for her. It really upset him when he found out why. It was uncomfortable for me too. I can understand why she would be afraid because of a traumatizing incident, but instead of living like that I think she should have sought help. Because even if she wasn't racist, it seemed like she was.

Our boss relocated to a new Shoe Dept. that was opening at the Park City Mall in Lancaster, PA. Shortly after she went there I asked if I could be transferred there. I thought there would be more of an opportunity to make more money since we worked on commission, but only if we made more than what we would make on our hourly wage in a week. The drive from York to Lancaster was about a 40 minute drive and it smelled like manure almost the entire way, except for a candy factory that I passed on the way, then it smelled like strawberries, but then shortly went back to manure. So it was manure, strawberries, manure.

I enjoyed working at the Park City Mall, it's a good sized mall. I got along with everyone there...well, almost everyone. There was this one guy that I thought was a real jerk, but I tried not to let him bother me. There was an older woman who worked there and she enjoyed my sense of humor and she also enjoyed the jerky guy's sense of humor too. He would give me a hard time because he was jealous that I made her laugh too. But she explained to him that we both had a different sense of humor. She said he had an R-rated sense of humor and I had a G-rated sense of humor. I told her "Oh, c'mon, at least give me a PG-rating."

Once our vacuum cleaner quit on us so we had to borrow one from Suncoast Video. They had a weird looking vacuum cleaner, it looked like something from Star Wars. It really sucked...I mean it didn't suck, I mean it sucked at sucking. It sucked in a metaphorical sense, but not in a literal sense...yea.

As much as I enjoyed working there, I wasn't making more like I though I would, plus it was a long trip and I used a lot of gas to get there and back. Also, traveling 40 minutes up and back ate into my study time for school, so I had to look for another job, one that was much closer. My boss was really sad to see me go, she was another good boss, one of very few. I went back to visit every so often though. So that's all for today, I'll continue the story tomorrow. Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

WWWE: No Job for You, NEXT!

Over the past month or so I've been talking about all the various jobs I've had throughout my life since I was 13. It almost seems appropriate in a strange way that I am laid off right now from work because I'm at a point in my story where I was unemployed.

After leaving Freshlife (the place I talked about last week) I moved three hours away from home to York, PA to start college at the Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts. I was supposed to get a job working for RPS. For some reason they decided not to hire me. They did hire my roommate though.

I had saved up a good amount of money so I was able to live on that for awhile, but it was slowly going away. I interviewed for another job. It was a telemarketing job which only lasted three days, I couldn't stand it. It was so boring repeating myself on the phone over and over and over again, I can't stand that kind of repetition. Plus, I don't really like talking on the phone all that much. After the third day of working there I told my supervisor that this just wasn't for me and I wanted to leave. She totally understood and said it's not for everyone, so I just left. It was the first time and only time I didn't give a two week notice before leaving a job.

The reason I couldn't stand working there was not just because of the repetition, but because of some of the nasty things people would say on the phone. I didn't take it personally but that didn't mean it didn't take a toll on me. Although there was this one time I was speaking with an older lady and it was around Thanksgiving. So we had a nice little discussion about how her family comes to her house at Thanksgiving. But then one of the supervisors came by and heard me talking and said "Just hang up on her." I let the little old lady know that it was time for me to go and told her good-bye. I know they were trying to run a business, but that was cold.

Another thing that bothered me was sometimes I would call somebody and I would ask for someone and the person on the other line would say that person had passed away recently. I doubt all of them were telling the truth because it happened so often but it made me feel horrible to think that I may have upset someone who was still going through the mourning process.

I was unemployed from September of 1997 to January of 1998. My money had pretty much run out and I was living on ramen noodles. Eventually my roommate was laid off from RPS, so we started job hunting together. So that will be the subject of next week, or tomorrow. I've decided to put to rest the theme days.

So let's take a moment of silence and say good-bye to Inspiring Minds Monday, Story Time Tuesday, Artsy Fartsy Wednesday, Deep Thought Thursday, and Freakin' Funny Friday. It's going to be random from here on out. I'll continue talking about my jobs daily until I catch up to the present, there's still quite a few more to go. I'll be sure to keep everyone informed on the job hunt, it started yesterday and I applied to a few places and I have a few places I'm going to call today. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Okay, I said I would have another update today and I would let all of you know what's going on. I've been laid off from my job. I don't think I'll have time today to do an Inspiring Minds Monday post today, I'm going to be busy with looking for a new job and taking care of a few other things. I'm sorry to miss today's post but I've almost gone three months without missing a weekday and that's not too shabby. Now that things are different and I'm getting used to this whole blogging thing, I might not have such a rigid format to this blog. Instead of assigning each weekday to a certain theme, I might just post whatever's on my mind that day, I guess that's how most bloggers do it anyway. Besides, it's becoming difficult to come up with subject matter for each theme. I've been talking about all of the different jobs I've had for the past month or so on Story Time Tuesday and I might just take the rest of the week and part of next week to talk about the rest of my jobs.

I also want to talk about another blog I've started as a side project. It's called the "Universal Language of Mankind" and you can just click on that link to go there, but I will tell you it was inspired by three different things:,, and a blog called Garfield: Lost in Translation. So go check it out!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Sorry for the lack of artwork on today's Freakin' Funny Friday post. I just found a pic on Google and put it there. I always try to make my own artwork though for these posts. Some things have changed in my life recently and I'm hoping to keep up with this blog during the week, I'll tell everyone later what's going on, I don't want my friends and family to know until I tell them in person and I'd rather not have them find out by reading my blog. So I'll probably have another update on Monday.

Also next Monday I will be starting another blog in addition to this one. It's going to be a fun little experiment, some people will think it's funny, others will think it's stupid, but I'll let you know more about that on Monday as well, for now it's a secret. Have a great weekend!

Freakin' Funny Friday ~ Big Old Box of Crap

Last week we looked at some weird things people do to their pets. Today we'll be looking at strange and unusual products of all kinds, including some pet products. I found some of these over at Incredible Things. They also have a bunch of cool innovative products as well, but today we are focusing on the weird and bizarre. Let's start off with some baby products.

How many people think "Hmmm...I wish someone would invent something to hold my baby in place that look like hands severed halfway up the forearm." This is called the Zaky Infant Pillow and is supposed to help babies sleep better, but I'm not so sure they thought it through.

Sure, it frees up your hands while you use the restroom, but what happens when you walk out and a few moments you think to yourself "I feel like I'm missing something." Better yet, what about the person who walks into the stall and sees the temporarily forgotten baby hanging there on the wall?

Have you ever siphoned gasoline out of a gas tank before? Me neither, but this is kind of what it looks like except instead of a gas tank at the other end it's a baby's nostril. Now they say that the mucus is stopped before it gets to the mouth, but still, you still won't see me using one of these, ugh (shudder).

Yes, I did a double-take when I saw this one too. It's a baby bottom fan to keep your baby's bottom nice and dry. Or you could just do this...

Ah, yes, Mr. Mom, starring Michael Keaton. One of the great movies of the early 80's and one of the first movies I remember seeing as a child. Go out and rent it if you haven't seen it.

Use this in conjunction with the Zaky Infant Pillow and you'll have your infant traumatized in no time!

What is that? Is it one of those chest-bursting aliens? No! Is it some kind of Siamese twin or some kind of mutant? No! It's called the Peekaru. It's a fleece that zips over your baby carrier. I still think it looks like something from a Sci-Fi movie though.

Now we'll move on to a couple of pet products.

This is the FroliCat BOLT Laser Cat Toy. Do you want to watch your cat chase a laser but don't want to sprain your wrist? This is the perfect product for those of you who are just too lazy or don't have enough time on your hands to spend some quality time with your cat so you leave it cooped up in the apartment all day by itself with no one to stoke it's fur or rub its belly.

Then we have the Remote Pet Feeding & Viewing Kit. I think there was something like this on the show The Office that Angela had to watch her cats via the internet. In addition to feeding your dog or cat while on vacation you can make sure they are using their FroliCat BOLT Laser Cat Toy as well.

We'll finish with some random products.

Wanna look good and feel really uncomfortable on the beach? Now you can!

Are you lazy? Do you like ice cream? Then try the Motorized Ice Cream Cone. No more tiring your wrist with an unmotorized ice cream cone. Just don't try to eat it when you've finished your ice cream.

One time I was wondering where Zinc was on the Periodical Table of Elements but I was in the shower at the time. Thanks to this shower curtain I no longer have to wait until I'm out of the shower to find out where all the elements are. Girl not included. In fact, if you own this just forget about girls entirely.

Yet another novelty for the bathroom, personalized TP. I personally like the one that says "Lost in Hell's Canyon" Get it? Okay, enough bathroom humor, let's move on.

This is a horror movie scene just waiting to happen. Yes, those are syringes made into a chandelier, and you can buy the scalpel mobile for the little ones. Just kidding that last one doesn't exist.

Why is there fur in my Wookie Cookie? These books also include recipes for Jawa Jerky, Ackbar's Snackbars, Vader's Taters, Potato Wedge Antilles, and Salacious Crumb Cake made with real Lando Lakes butter. There's even a section on jarring with Jar Jar. I could keep on going, but I'm gonna stop there. That's enough nerd-ness for now. 

They have new car smell in a can and pine tree smell in a can for Christmas trees. Now there's New Book Smell for your electronic reading devices. Mmmmm, new book smell. 

Hey, Snoop Dogg from 1993 called, he wants his doormat back.

Hey look, a hose with a plug. Let's mix water and electricity, yay!

This lock comes in handy when you have guests over who want to leave but you want them to stay. It doesn't come in handy when you're on the phone with the police and they say "The calls are coming from inside the house."

That's all for this week, enjoy your weekend and be sure to come back next week!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Deep Thought Thursday ~ Swimming in the Shallow End

Today I think I'm going to swim in the shallow end of the thought pool and just have a collection of facts and some thoughts that have *popped* into my head from time to time. Some might make you think, some are just for fun, and others are probably gonna be just plain stupid, so let's dive in...oh wait, we can't do that today. Let's...slowly get used to the water as we go down the pool ladder.

Some of you may wonder where my nickname "Dr. louie" came from. I use that nickname for my e-mail and for most websites and forums I register with. When I was in high school my classmates nicknamed me Louie, probably because of my last name, Lewis. My dad was never called that in high school because he had a friend named Louie. I hated being called that at first, but after awhile it stuck. The only two people who still call me Louie to this day are my mom and my friend Josh. The "Dr." part came in when I was visiting the Five Iron Frenzy message board many years ago. I started posting as louie. I decided not to capitalize the L. After making some internet friends
(that sounds so geeky) on the FIF site I started posting a thread called "Ask Dr. louie" and people would ask me questions and I'd try to give them funny answers. So that's how the nickname Dr. louie came to be. Nobody really calls me that in person though, just on the internet.

These next three paragraphs are the answers I gave to some of the questions people asked me on the FIF message boards. the first question was "Why do hot dogs come in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight?"

I think the reason why hot dogs come in packages of ten and hot dog buns come in packages of eight is a marketing scheme pointed at people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You see, people with OCD would probably feel the need to have the same amount of hot dogs and buns, so they would need to buy four packs of hot dogs and five packs of buns so they would have forty of each.

Another question someone asked me was "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound?"

After much research I have found that the tree did not fall on it's own, it was actually cut down by a lumberjack, a deaf lumberjack. So now we know how the tree fell, but we still don't know if it made a sound.

Okay, one more. Someone asked me "Why is there braille on drive-thru ATMs?"

The reason for that is if someone is driving a foreign car where the steering wheel is on the right and they have a blind passenger they will be able to use the ATM.

Here is a quote that I made up, it's pretty deep if you really think about it:

"Always look both ways when crossing a one way street." ~ Dan Lewis

I get annoyed when people pronounce the word "theater" with a long "a" sound. What if they pronounced a long "a" sound with other words. Try saying this sentence out loud using the long "a" sound: "Hey, could I get some peace and quiet please! I am trying to eat my freaking popcorn in the movie theater!"

Why do they need to tell us that the commentaries on DVDs do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the movie studio, blah, blah, blah, etc. in ten different languages when the commentary itself is only in one language? I just want to watch the freakin' movie!

I have been hit in the head and/or face with the following objects:

A softball
Two rocks*
Other peoples' heads
Tree branches
A rubber hockey puck
A 7-Iron*
A powdered doughnut
A shovel handle*
A dinner plate
Hot Sauce (up the nose)
A steel pipe
Two dumbells
An apple*
and a bunch of others things I can't think of including all kinds of sporting equipment
(*Indicates a bloody mess, except for the apple, which was a soupy mess. My friend threw an apple at my forehead and then it dropped into my chicken noodle soup.)

Here are some thoughts from my childhood:

When I was little I remember seeing certain TV shows and movies in black & white and I asked my mom why they weren't in color. She told me it was because they were old. So then I thought the cartoons I watched would become black & white when they got old. I'm glad they didn't. He-Man would have been really boring.

I made up my first joke when I was about six years old: What do you get when you cross a bunny with a frog? A bunny-ribbit! Oh, c'mon, that's pretty good for a six year old.

Also when I was little, I saw the movie "Jaws" and I thought he lived in my grandfather's pool so I only swam in the shallow end.

And with that, I think I'll get out of the pool now. Sorry for subjecting you to some of that nonsense. I wasn't really in a deep thinking kind of mood today. My brain needs some rest. Come back tomorrow for more!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Artsy Fartsy Wednesday ~ Reduce, Reuse, Re-Create

Over the past couple years I've been trying to be more conscious about what I do with my garbage. I recycle at home, but there are no recycling bins at work, so I started taking my recyclables home from work with me. I'm trying to become as green as I can one step at a time. But there are some people out there doing something more than just throwing their recyclables into bins, they're creating with those recycled objects. Today we're going to look at some creative objects that were made not just for the sake of art, but objects that have practical uses as well.

Here are some creative uses for newspapers and paper tubes. They can be found at Ecoble:

Artist Sumer Erek is using newspapers not only to create an interesting interior wall design, but the newspapers also act as insulation.

Architect Shigeru Ban has built many things out of paper tubes, including this bridge made out of 281 cardboard tubes as well as recycled paper and plastic. It rests on a foundation of wooden boxes packed with sand. The bridge can hold about 20 people at a time.

Click here to see more things like this at Ecoble.


Take a look at this furniture made out of carpet samples over at Design Swan:

This is called the Carpet Sqr'd Chair. It takes 60 carpet samples to create this. Used carpets and rugs generate up to 2.6 million tons of waste per year, I'm glad somebody is putting it to good use.

This one is called the Green Screen. This one takes over 150 carpet samples to make and can be put together easily with some simple tools. It can be used to separate living areas and dampen sound. It could also probably be used to "fishbowl" a drummer.

This one is called RUGBURM. Looks comfy!

Find more interesting objects like these ones by clicking here.


Here are a few more things found at the Web Urbanist:

This lighting fixture was created by Castor Canadensis. He has taken old burned out florescent tubes and given them new life. Even though they don't work anymore they can be used to diffuse light and emit a warm glow perfect for a comfortable atmosphere.

These chairs and stand are made out of crushed aluminum cans. They were created by Amir Zinaburg. I would have linked to his website, but he doesn't seem to have one, but I found a quote by Amir that says, "In nowadays, in urban surroundings, the only nature that is available to us is an artificial one, one that is manufactured, like city gardens and traffic islands. Waste has become an integral part of our modern lives, a kind of urban nature, and that is why it can be regarded as a raw material like any other."

These tables are made out of old bike rims and were created by Andrew Gregg. He also makes chairs, benches, love seats, barstools, and accessories out of old bike parts.

Find these and other objects by visiting the Web Urbanist by clicking here.


Last, but not least, my friend Natalie (who I've mentioned on this blog before) has been making her own jewelry and other products out of recycled objects. She has a bunch of stuff for sale on her Etsy page which can be found here. She is also selling water bottles. 100% of the proceeds of the water bottle sales will go to charity: water. I talked about them last month. So remember to recycle and if the creativity bug bites you, don't smush it! Thank it, and then go out there and create!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Story Time Tuesday ~ WWWE: It's All Natural

Job #5 was at a health food store called Freshlife, and you probably thought I was going to say McDonald's or Burger King based on the photo above. This was one of my favorite jobs. My job was to fill bags with nuts, dried fruit, rice, beans, granola, etc. to the right weight it and put it out on the shelves. I had other duties as well like straightening up the shelves, taking inventory, and shipping things out. I was introduced to a lot of different foods. I ate an ice cream sandwich made of tofu and it tasted like a real ice cream sandwich, it even had the same texture. I tried a Boca burger topped with garden fresh tomatoes, lettuce, Nayonaise, Fakin Bacon, and a slice of rice cheese. It was pretty good! I forget what kind of ketchup was on it but it was also a healthy alternative. They had a soda called China Cola that I liked too.

It was a great job, all my co-workers were great and my boss was one of the best bosses I've ever had. She was tough and made sure we did our jobs, but at the same time she was compassionate and understood if we were going through a rough time and was always cooperative if we needed time off. She definitely wasn't cold and uncomprimising like so many other employers I've had.

I made a really great friend while working there. His name is Ryan and he was the stockroom manager. We both worked back in the stock room so we got to talk all day. I was at a point in my life where I had just come to the realization of who Jesus Christ was, what he meant to me, and what he did for everyone. I was "on fire" which is a phrase a lot of Christians like to use. But I was very cocky and arrogant which is a trap that a lot of newbie Christians fall into. Ryan was also a believer but he showed me that I needed to mellow out a little and that I couldn't go around acting like I was better than everyone just because I was a follower of Christ. He taught me so much. Of course, years later I again fell into the trap of becoming a cocky, arrogant, self-righteous, (insert your own adjective here) of a person again. I recovered from that as well and I've talked about it before...just click here.

Ryan and I became really good friends. Cheesy music would play throughout the store and there was some that sounded like the background music from an episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard". So Ryan and I would act like we were narrating an episode just like Waylon Jennings. We'd say stuff like "Now them Duke boys had gotten themselves into a heap of trouble. Boss Hogg was gonna get em' this time, I reckon." We were weird.

A few of us from work were going to see "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" at the theater one Saturday, but Ryan never showed up. I called and he didn't answer his phone. He wasn't at work the following Monday either. I received a call from him Monday after work. It was hard to understand what he was saying but what had happened was he went to a river lot party on Friday night and he took his dog with him. When he let his dog out of the car it ran up to two men and one of the men kicked Ryan's dog. Ryan came up to them and said "Kick my dog again and I'm going to kick you." Both of the men attacked Ryan and left him in pretty bad shape. He was bruised all over and his jaw was broken, it had to be wired shut.

Ryan came back a few days later and he looked horrible. He could only drink through a straw, so he drank a lot of smoothies. One day at work he said to me through his wired jaw, "When I get this stuff off, you and me are going to Burger King!" I agreed. I can't remember how long he had to have his jaw wired shut, but I think it was a month or two. He lost about 40 pounds, and he didn't have much weight on him to lose in the first place. We did what he said and we went to Burger King shortly after he had the wires taken off. Over time he gained back all the weight he had lost, and then some. Ryan's dog was okay too. He would bring him to work everyday and tie him out back. His name was Newman, named after the character from Seinfeld, I think. Ryan liked to call him "Sweet Sir Newman".

I got to know a few of the other people that worked there too. I used to carpool to work with a girl named Shelly. We would often repeat lines from Chris Farley and David Spade movies like "Black Sheep" and "Tommy Boy". There was a woman who worked there named Gail and she did a lot of community outreach stuff. We had her as a guest speaker at Valley Mosaic one time. Then there was an older lady who kept on calling me Dennis. I corrected her the first few times, but she would keep on calling me Dennis, so I let it go. It was like the episode of "Friends" that Chris Parnell from SNL guest starred on and thought Chandler's name was Toby.

The time finally came for me to leave that job because I would be moving to York, PA soon to go to college. They threw me a going away party at Pizza Hut. It was funny to see all these people who I thought were vegans and vegetarians ripping into Meat Lovers pizzas, it was awesome. I invited a friend along. I told Ryan that my friend looked like Drew Carey. The day after the going away party, I stopped by to visit Ryan at work and I said, "Did you think my friend looked like Drew Carey?" He said "Drew Carey? I thought you said Jim Carrey. I was trying to figure out all night how the heck he even came close to looking like Jim Carrey."

Ryan and I kept in touch for awhile. A few weeks after moving to York, I received a phone call. The person on phone said in a really stern voice "Is this Daniel Lewis?" I said "Yes." Then the person said "I heard you had girls in your apartment." Then he started laughing and I knew then it was Ryan. He continued to work at Freshlife and I would be sure to stop by and visit whenever I was in town. I lost contact with him when he quit his job there and I haven't really seen him since. There was one time though when I was at the courthouse in Williamsport and I saw him walking onto an elevator. I got his attention and he saw me and waved just as the elevator doors were shutting. That was the last time I saw him, it was about six years ago.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Inspiring Minds Monday ~ Back to School

Today I'd like to talk about some of the teachers I had in high school. These teachers helped me to think outside the box that most other teachers try to put us in as students. Some teachers are just there for the paycheck and maybe the summer off, but there are only a few who are there to inspire some young minds.

I have two teachers from high school I'd like to talk about. (If my girlfriend is reading this she is probably imagining me saying "high school" with a southern accent. For some reason I say it that way even though I don't have a southern accent.) The first teacher I want to talk about is my 10th grade English teacher, Mr. Farrelly. He is a very unique individual. When he introduced himself to the class on the first day of school that year he told us his name and then he told us he pronounced it a different way when he was eating at an Italian restaurant so they would think he was Italian. He had Friendly Mutton Chops (circled in the diagram below).

He would do impersonations of Grover from Sesame Street and he would perform Grover's "Near and Far" routine. He also impersonated Beavis and Butt-head. As child-like as he was for an old man, he also had much wisdom. We read some great novels in his class, "A Day No Pigs Would Die" and "Flowers for Algernon" were the two I remember most. Flowers for Algernon has since then become my favorite novel. I could tell that Mr. Farrelly wasn't just there for a paycheck, he was there to teach and do it in fun and creative ways. He was always available for his students to talk to.

Even though I only had that one class with Mr. Farrelly throughout my high school years, I continued to speak with him on occasion. When I received my class schedule for my senior year I had all study halls until lunch time. It would have been pointless to even go to school until after lunch, but I had to be there or else I would have been counted as absent. I took my schedule and showed it to Mr. Farrelly. He said "This is not good." He asked me what I was into. I wasn't sure how to answer that. I was never involved in any clubs or sports. I didn't really like high school, I just wanted to get there, get it over with, and get out. I told him I was kind of into art. I had taken a screen printing class and a black & white photography class before, and I liked to draw comics in study hall when I didn't have any homework to do (and sometimes when I did have homework to do). So he helped me select some art classes and I ended up taking an art history class, a drawing & painting class, and Art I. Then I took Art II and a Pottery/Sculpture class in the Spring semester. Taking those classes re-sparked my interest in the arts and has helped me get to where I am now. I had been interested in art since I was nine but never thought about it as a career before.

So then the second teacher I'd like to talk about is, you guessed it, my art teacher. His name is Mr. Hatalsky. He kind of reminds me of Steven Seagul a little, he even had the long braided ponytail. He was the instructor for most of my art classes. He was a good teacher, but he was tough. If he saw that you weren't taking the class seriously and you were just goofing off trying to get an easy A he would throw you out of the class, not physically like Steven Seagul probably would though. A student would have to take a study hall or try to get into another elective if he was kicked out of Mr. Hatalsky's class. He was very good to those who took the class seriously though. You didn't have to be a great artist to pass his class, you just had to try. He would hang the best work in the lobby of the school and I had a pastel drawing that went out there. Another teacher at the school bought it from me.

I once had to do a project for my English class during my senior year in which I had to interview some people. I chose Mr. Hatalsky to be one of the interviewees. It was nice of him to take some time after school one day to help me out. I don't remember all of the questions I asked, but I remember the last one. "What advice could you give to a senior who is about to graduate?" His answer was, "Whatever you do in life, make sure you enjoy it." I decided to take his advice. I admit that I don't enjoy really where I am now, but I'm working on it. I'm getting experience now, and I'm working in the field I want to be in, I'm just not in a place I want to be right now. Too many people go to college and study to become something that will make them wealthy, but if they don't have a passion for it, if they don't really like what they do, they will become unhappy no matter how much money it brings.

So those were two of the best teachers I had in high school. I liked the way they taught so differently from the others. I'm pretty sure they bent and even broke some of the rules for the sake of inspiring students to think for themselves instead of trying to stick them into some kind of mold so they are all the same. I learned recently that the novel "Flowers for Algernon" was banned in many schools between 1990-2000 in Texas and my homestate of Pennsylvania. I think the world could use more teachers like Mr. Farrelly and Mr. Hatalsky. Who were the teachers that influenced you?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Freakin' Funny Friday ~ Oh, the INHUMANITY!

I don't consider myself to be an animal rights activist. I like animals and I don't want them to get hurt, but I also don't go around spray-painting fur coats or adopting every stray cat I see. But there is one thing I saw over at Jason Boyett's blog last December about airbrushing poodles. I decided to research the strange things people do to their pets and I found myself in a deep dark place of animal costumes, strange animal fur-dos (hair-dos? fur-dos?), disgruntled cats, and people that just really need to get a life. I'm going to give you a look now at some of these disturbing images.

First check out this blog post called 16 Preposterous Products for Pets. I've always wanted to take my goldfish for a walk.

I admit that when I was a kid my stepsister and I would put a bib on our cat. The bib said "Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice" and we thought it was the funniest thing in the world when the cat would walk around the house looking humiliated while wearing it. Seriously, I think cats are the only animals that get embarrassed. So the next thing we'll look at are some pet costumes.

Did his owner think that dressing him up as a giraffe would make him feel taller and more confident? I don't think it's working.

I said I wanted to just "be" myself for Halloween but you obviously didn't understand what I meant!

On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

I'm not quite sure what's going on here, but I think Cookie Monster ate a pug.

I know it's not really a costume but apparently this must be an angry dog who doesn't want to be pet. Maybe he's angry because he has to wear a stupid sign that says "Do Not Pet Me".

Dr. Zaius?

Ah yes, the perfect costume for your three-legged best friend.
(Actually, the hook is a paper tube that the dog's paw goes into. It's been Photoshopped to look like a real hook, so don't get all sad and weepy, he has all four of his legs. How do I know? I'm the one who Photoshopped it. Click here for the original picture.)

Shalom. Hey, is that weiner kosher?


One night I was at a friend's house and hey had a cat that had most of its fur shaved off except for the fur on it's head, paws, and tip of its tail. It's called a "lion cut". The poor cat looked miserable. Here's a few that I found.

I think cats with the lion cut are in a constant state of being pissed off.

This one is so angry, he's about to destroy his owners with his laser beams.

Lastly we'll look at another thing people are doing to cats, painting them.

Aztec cat says, "The world may not end until 2012, but my owners are about to meet their end right now!"

This is what happens to cats when their owners' get drunk at Mardi Gras. Friends don't let friends paint drunk.

You'd think cats would get annoyed by getting painted all over their fur but this one seems pretty happy about it.


But...'s not as wrong as this...

Honestly, what was the thought process behind this. "Hmm, when I look at my cat's
back side it kind of reminds me of Charlie Chaplin dressed up like a clown. I'm gonna go and get it painted like that!"

Maybe I should start calling Friday's WTFFF (What The Freakin' Funny Friday). I don't know why people would want to do these kinds of things to their pets. Maybe it's boredom, punishment, or maybe they need a med check, but I think one day the pets will finally have their revenge.