Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Monday, November 12, 2012

All we do is Win Win Win

Don't worry, the Razor is still retired.  Like Jordan, I'm just coming back for one more Championship.

What Championship you ask?  It's November, so that means I've conquered another Peanut Festival.

Longtime Slicers will no doubt remember my bottle lifting Championship last year, and if not, you can read the recap here: One Angry Bird

In preparation for this years Peanut Festival, I dusted off the ole bottle, broke out the fishing pole, and regained Championship form. Here's a pic:

Opening night Christena and I headed out to the Fairgrounds, she in search of corndogs, me looking to torture some carnys.  To my dismay, they no longer offer the bottle lifting event.  Perhaps, they wisely chose to avoid another nasty scene, and took it out of the Dothan, Alabama rotation.  Whatever the reason, I was disgusted and as we left, I muttered something about never coming back to the Peanut Festival.

Luckily, when I got home, I had time to simmer down, reevaluate things, and devise a new plan to conquer the fair, win extra large stuffed animals, and heap large portions of glory upon myself. 

"Christena" I said, "I am going to build a Reverse Steering Crazy Bike."  Without missing a beat, she responds, "I can't believe you are going to waste that much time building, and then learning to ride, a bicycle that steers backwards."  And then I said, "Christena, what event in our 6+ years together leads you to believe that I'm not going to build, and then learn to ride, a Reverse Steering Bike?"  I couldn't make out the words she mumbled as she sauntered away, but I imagine it was some combination of encouragement and thankfulness that she was fortunate enough to marry a guy like me.

Long story short, my friend Brad Tucker (who deserves credit for not judging me) tracked down the gears, my brother-in-law Stevie (read about him here) donated a bike, and a welder (who asked to remain un-named, for fear of being associated with such nonsense) pieced it all together.  Within 72 hours I had a Reverse Steering Bike.  Now to learn to ride it...

Stevie and I agreed to be training partners, which involved sharing tips, discussing strategy, and picking each other up off my driveway.  He came over Thursday night and we started working.  Progress was slow at first but by Friday night we'd developed a little bit of consistency.  He was better than I was, but with a little luck, we just might pull it off.  One word of caution, Stevie was still in backwards steering mode when he left my house Thursday night.  My sister and their children were terrified when he zigged when he should have zagged, and nearly drove their car into a ditch.

We met up at the Fair on Saturday night, fueled up on funnel cakes, and then set out for the midway.  The Crazy Bike, if you aren't familiar, is a more of a spectator sport than any other event they offer.  Hundreds of people gather around and watch an endless line of losers pay $10 for the privilege of bouncing off the pavement three times.  We decided that I would go 1st, since I was our weakest link, and if I failed, I could at least tell Steve how our bike was different from the regulation bike, and give him some last minute advice before his attempt.

Here's the footage:

We've got a Winner!  Another Carnival game defeated!  Another extra-large trophy!

Stevie is up next:  (Sorry this video is sideways, my blogging skills are rusty)

The Dynamic Duo does it again!  When I watch these videos with an unbiased eye, it seems obvious to me that my ride was better than Steve's and my victory celebration was more enthusiastic.  I'll have to work with him on that before the Fair next year.

We let his daughters pick the prizes:

Even bigger than last year!  The carnys could have got off cheap, just letting me win another Angry Bird at the bottle lift, but they made the mistake of rousing a sleeping giant.  In spite of the fact that I have a bruised tailbone, an open wound on my ankle, a deep bruise on my thigh, and lower back pain, the joke is clearly on them.
Those of you who have befriended Christena on Facebook, might think the Awards Ceremony picture above looks familiar.  Alas, you are probably confusing it with the Awards Ceremony picture from the 2012 Taylor Made Festival Washer Chunkin' Contest.  While similar in size, you can see the trophies are slightly different:

So that's pretty much everything you missed while the Razor was retired.  Oh yeah, I got married too.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Razor Retires

I had fun, I hope you did.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Retraction, A Clarification, and a Suggestion to Take Action...

Congratulations, it seems, are not in order. After reading the post I wrote last week announcing our engagement, Christena provided some "clarification". As it turns out, it was her intention to coerce me into proposing, not to actually propose herself. When I told her it was too late, I'd already accepted her proposal, she informed me that as no proposal had been extended, my acceptance was rendered invalid. As you can see, this unforeseen turn of events has left me in the uncomfortable position of being stuck somewhere between engaged and not engaged. We'll call it some form engagement-purgatory, duration of sentence unknown...

One other housekeeping item. There was a news item circulating around last week regarding former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville and his association with an apparently fraudulent investment outfit run by David Stroud. I received numerous inquiries from concerned Slicers curious to know if David Stroud was the same person as The Strowd, who I have written about so many times on the Razor.

Thankfully, they are not the same person. In fact, they don't even spell Stroud (Strowd) in the same way. Further, The Strowd's real name is Michael.

I decided to call him "The Strowd" because I didn't feel a generic name like Michael adequately illustrated what a unique individual he is. When I was first getting to know The Strowd, and was trying to come up with a more representative name for him, I mis-remembered that his blog URL was So I decided to call him "The Strowd". As it turns out, his blog URL was actually just without the "the". This was an error on my part, but I think "The Strowd" still does a reasonably adequate job of denoting that he is an enigma and not an average character. (You will notice the link to his blog no longer works. The Internet was not big enough for the both of us, he conceded that I am the superior blogger, and took his offline.)

As an aside, I actually do know David Stroud. I went to college with him, we interned with the same firm, and I think I still have the sweatshirt he gave me for Christmas in 1998. I have no idea if he is guilty of what he is being charged with. I haven't seen him or talked to him in years. If my memory is correct, I ran into him in St. Louis in 2003, and I haven't talked to him since.

I have no idea how anyone could misconstrue the previous paragraph as investment advice, but just to be clear, IT IS NOT. I only mentioned it, because I thought it was funny that when people asked me if David Stroud was The Strowd, I would say no, The Strowd works in the IT field, but coincidentally I used to be pretty good friends with David...



I'm sure most of you have seen the people linking the Kony2012 video that details the crimes of Joseph Kony and shines a spotlight on the atrocities he's commited against the children of sub-saharan Africa. After watching the video, viewers are encouraged to donate money to Invisible Children, so they can continue to support the children of Africa and raise global awareness of their plight. Just hours after the video went viral, detractors began posting links questioning the motives and efficiency of Invisible Children.

If you watched the video and want to help out, but don't want to do it through the Invisible Children organization, I would encourage you to consider

I had the opportunity to spend a weekend with a Ugandan orphan last year and I'm thrilled that awareness has skyrocketed due to the efforts of Invisible Children. With that said, they don't seem to be particularly efficient with the way they allocate donations and they certainly aren't the only organization that you can donate to...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leap Year Loop Hole


Was I the only one caught completely off-guard by one of the customs of Leap Day? Of course, I was aware that they added an extra day to the month of February every 4 years to keep the calendar in sync with Earths' position relative to the Sun. What I didn't realize, is that the 29th of February is the one day when ladies are permitted to propose marriage. The Ladies Privilege, as I've since learned, dates back centuries and gives a lady a once-every-four-years opportunity to ambush an unsuspecting bachelor with promises of matrimonial bliss.

So I was just strolling around yesterday, enjoying the extra day in February, when out of nowhere, BAM! My lady hits me with the proposal!

Let me rephrase, because that's not entirely true.

Due to the prolonged courtship period that she and I have endured (this is actually the 2nd time we've celebrated Leap Day together), she's learned that I'm too wily to fall for a direct attack. Rather, she led me down a slippery slope, and before I realized exactly what had happened, we were engaged!

I'm a big believer that forewarned is forearmed, so in that spirit, I would like to educate other bachelors so this doesn't happen to you. Here are some of the "advanced techniques" she employed against me:

1. She didn't attempt to propose on the 1st Leap Year of our relationship.

If your lady-friend is exceedingly patient, she may very well opt to skip her 1st opportunity, correctly deciding that you wouldn't view the 2nd Leap Year as a risky situation, and have your guard down.

2. She didn't come right out and say, "Will you marry me?".

Any bachelor with my years of experience would've seen that coming from a mile away. Nope, she tricked me with the ole, "Well, my lease runs out on 3/31/2012, how long do you think I should renew for?"

3. She was more than prepared for all of my standard responses.

I'd gotten lazy and uncreative, and she took the opportunity to really stick it to me. When I trotted out my standard response ("6 month lease should be about right") that had positioned her into so many 6 month leases previously, she skillfully deflected it and stuck to her guns. Still not sensing the danger or her level of preparation, I jumped straight to standard response #2, "Well, you wouldn't want to move out to my place and have Taylor (her son) change schools." This objection was overcome before the final words were even out of my mouth.

4. Sensing that she had me on the run, and it was time to go for the kill, she calmly said, "It looks like you need to start ring-shopping."



5. She attempted to get evicted from her house, leaving no alternative but to move into mine.

The day before Leap Day, as we were returning from dinner, she drove her Chevy Tahoe into the side of her house, causing significant damage to both. Unfortunately for her, the plan failed, as her auto-insurance company is going to pay for the damages and her property-manager is exceedingly lenient.


To reward her for her dedication, and to stop this madness before someone gets hurt or killed, I am going to spend the rest of my life with her. Do not feel sorry for me, she is beautiful, pleasant, and a joy to be around. If any sympathy is due, send it in her direction. As H.L. Mencken (one of my literary heroes) said, "Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it good and hard."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Long time no see...

Getting right down to business, we'll file this in the plus ├ža change category:

Both pictures were taken outside the Belize City airport. The 1st one in 2008 and the 2nd in 2011.

[ x ] Backpack
[ x ] Sunglasses
[ x ] Luggage
[ x ] White wristband
[ x ] Shirt (it's now too small...)

It's nice to know that the bird is aging gracefully too...

As you can probably surmise from the above item, I went back to Belize. The Strowd and I led a group of adventurous hangers-on into the jungle for New Years, and had quite a good time.

As I'm sure you can imagine from my previous writings, The Strowd made quite an impact on the local populace. Specifically, he and Montezuma got into a battle, but as of this writing, it is unclear who was revenging who. The Strowd, I'm told, left his mark (excrement) all over the jungles, caves, and painfully inadequate plumbing systems of Central America. The locals took to calling him the Gentle Giant, which may be a reasonable description of his personality, if not his gastro-intestinal tract...

I'm told Federal Law prohibits the writing of travel-blog posts without pictures, so here is a nice one of the 2 of us atop a Mayan ruin in Guatemala:

Finally, if you want to see some of the other people in our group:

If you would like to see more pictures of the trip to Belize, check in at "Life in the Fast Lane" from time to time. Christena will be blogging about it I'm sure...


In mid-December, the Thomas Clan gathers in Chattanooga, TN for a little Christmas party. For entertainment this year, my Mom and Dad enlisted my brother's rock band to play. As soon as they started playing, I heard whispers among the older crowd that they were TOO LOUD. Subconsciously, I wondered what they'd expected when they hired a group of 17 year old kids to play electric guitars and drums.

My Grandmother saved the day by requesting, of all things, Michael Jackson. Thankfully, footage exists:

My brother can be seen on the far left playing bass guitar. The dancer is my cousin. I think it's safe to assume he got his rhythm from his father's side of the family.

See ya
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