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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

2:51 pm
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Birthdays are awesome.

Birthdays, when one has a Facebook account, are even more awesome.

Birthdays, when one has a Facebook account and your birthday is on a Monday, are even most awesome.

Birthdays, yada yada Facebook, Monday and your friends are so bored at work they look for anything to do but work, are THE BEST EVER.

If I had a dollar for every character typed on my Facebook Wall used in accordance with happy birthday wishes, well, I’d probably pay someone else to blog for me.  As you can see from my past posts, that duty comes pretty cheap. 

Fortunately I have great blog friends who pity me and give me content FOR FREE that I can use ROYALTY FREE and so I don’t have to pay because it’s FREE.

WHO ELSE AMONG YOU gets a one-of-a-kind Davetoon?


Oh wait.  I didn’t crop off the copyright all the way.  Well, I guess that makes it mostly royalty free.  I don’t even know any royalty, so I’m about as royalty free as you can get.  I mean, look at my whalltoon – I’m wearing a hawaiian shirt.  People who wear hawaiian shirts don’t get to meet royalty.

Thank you, Dave for the picture.

And Thank YOU to all the rest of you who reached out to wish me a Happy Birthday, or will at some point today.   The whole weekend was great and this week has started off in stellar fashion.

I have but one Birthday Wish if you feel like doing something good for your fellow band. 

No, not “fellow man.”  “Fellow band”.

You see, my wife and I are members of the Vandegrift Band Boosters.  Our daughter is a senior at Vandegrift High, and she’s an active member of the award-winning Viper Band.  One of the things us boosters have is a program called “Effortless Giving“.  This is a way for people to support the band without actually donating any of their own money.

Yeah, I thought I’d get your attention with that last part.

Some of our Effortless Giving sponsors are local to the High School area (Capital City Running, Take 5 Haircuts, Pizza Hut).  It might be hard for some of you in other states or countries to take advantage of these offers, so I thought I’d ask you to consider helping by using some of the “it doesn’t matter where you are” opportunities.

If you purchase anything from Amazon and you start your search from our webpage, the band gets a donation from Amazon on your behalf.  If you shop at Safeway or Randall’s, you can add us to your membership card and they’ll send us 1% of your purchases.  If there’s a Compass Bank near you, you can tie your account to us and we get a percentage of your debit card purchases.  And using Goodsearch or the Goodsearch toolbar is a great way to support us as well.

So take a look at some of these ways to support my daughter’s band, and whistle the rest of the year knowing you helped a great guy on his birthday support a great cause.  And best of all, you didn’t have to spend any money to do it.

Thank you.






12:55 pm
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When confronted with the title of this blog post, some people might think “oooh, that’s the Italian word for ‘beautiful’! Wayne is finally becoming multicultural!

Others might sound it out and think of an Austin Powers movie or two.

Get in mah bellah!

But after last night, I can say that when *I* hear “Bellah,” I will be thinking of Mickie Bellah Art

A few months ago, our family attended the Austin Psychic Fair.  We first saw Mickie’s art there at her booth and were fascinated by the Astrology Birth Chart Paintings.  However, what intrigued my wife even more was that Mickie hosted art classes where up to 4 students at a time could learn her techniques and just play around with making custom art. Mickie supplies the space, the canvases, the paint, supplies, prep and cleanup.  As a student, you just show up in clothes that can get a little dirty and start creating.

My wife and daughter went to 2 consecutive classes a month or two ago and really loved the experience.  They both strongly suggested I attend.  Clearly they see a budding artist within me.  Either that, or they hated it and wanted me to suffer along with them.  Fortunately, I can say that I’ve ruled out the latter.

Being someone who rarely passes up an opportunity for some easy blog fodder, I signed up. I also invited my mom along because A) she lives within walking distance to Mickie, B) they have the same massage therapist, C) they had the same hairstylist, and D) my mom is a great, wonderful and creative person to be around.

Mickie’s really great with enthusiasm, encouragement, tips and making sure you feel “open” enough to just be artful.  Always available with answers if you ask, she doesn’t proactively direct your actions, techniques, methods or even style.  We mixed our paints for a while.   I ended up watching Mickie do one, and watched two of the other students start on theirs before I decided to splash my first blobs of paint on my canvas and get to work.

click to embiggify

Not sure what i see in there.  You really need to enlarge it to see more, and of course there’s lots more detail in person.  I’m thinking maybe it was Dr Suess inspired (see the white Whosizit leaning out from the right?)

I went, undeterred, to create my second masterpiece:

click to embiggify

Now that I was getting the hang of it, I knocked out a few more:

click to embiggify

click to embiggify

click to embiggify

Other than looking like I had sniffed in a bunch of paints and sneezed them out, what do you see in them?

I finished out the session with this last piece:

click to embiggify

This concludes the first of two sessions – my mom and I go back again next month to do another six or so pieces.  Now that we have a little experience, I expect to make some art work that will be made available for sale.  I’m sure the prices will be reasonable; it’s not like I’m expecting to pay off the house with the income.  Maybe I can pay off a car or a timeshare or two, though.  You never know what people will pay for!

9:37 pm
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I’m going to say “holy cow” again.  Quick aside: I now realize what I did to completely and accidentally blow away this post earlier today, and that was to go to edit it, change the time of publishing, and then click “update” before the post edit box filled itself back up.  My tip to you?  Don’t EVER do that. Not only do you lose your post, but you lose all the post revisions!  I had to go into my Firefox cache on the disk, do some creative searching and editing, and here I have the post back.  What an ordeal!

And now… for your viewing pleasure, the original post.

I had tweeted recently that I was looking for a decent getaway vacation spot with my rapidly expiring frequent flyer miles.  I got a great reaction, and for that I’m thankful.

My first impulse, before sending the tweet, was to go to Vegas, the all-time gambling have-a-great-time what-you-lose-here-stays-here staple of the US.

But as I tried to piece together a 2-3 day vacation to Vegas with my miles, it was a losing prospect.  I’d either need to fly out one day and come back the next, or stay 5+ days.  Neither of those options fit into my schedule.

I’ve been to Vegas many times and have always enjoyed my visits.  Some visits had more gambling than others; we’ve traveled there for pool tournaments; I’ve been there for work; my wife and I spent a late honeymoon there back in 1992; some visits had a lot of shows like Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil; and even some where I didn’t have any money at all and just had to sit and watch other people win the money *I* was supposed to win.

Then I started thinking of some of the other enjoyable places I’ve visited over the years:

  • 2wk trip to Russia, with my high school band
  • Short stop in Shannon, Ireland (on way to/back from Russia)
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • New York (I basically worked there for 4 days a week for 6 months)
  • Seattle
  • Denver
  • Pittsburgh (we lived there for a short time)
  • Bay Area
  • Los Angeles / Costa Mesa area
  • Atlanta
  • Orlando
  • Lived in Minnesota and Louisiana
  • Arizona
  • St Louis
  • Massachusetts

As I kept thinking about all these trips I’ve made, I realized that I’ve never – EVER – taken a vacation by myself.  I’m almost 40 years old, and I’ve never gone just to go.  For all the above jaunts, I was either with my family, with school, or going for work-related purposes.

Sure, I’ve always had fun (travel is what you make it, after all) but the gist is — I’ve always been on someone else’s schedule.  I either had a class I was teaching or taking, a spouse or kids to coordinate schedules with, boatloads of work to do, someone to meet, or some responsibility here or there.

I’ve never actually had my own vacation.

So that’s what I decided to do this time – use the last bit of my frequent flyer miles to go do something for myself – Just for Wayne.  And while I’m at it, I should probably do something for those two hotties attached to my legs – oh my, one of them seems quite frightened.  There, there, hottie girl.  It’ll be ok.

As I mentioned, valid dates for a Vegas trip were coming up dry.  I started thinking of other places I could go, and the only logical thing for me to do was to see if I could meet up with other bloggers (hey, isn’t that another responsibility? I thought you said you wanted to relax SHUT UP NO-ONE IS LISTENING TO YOU).

Cissa from cissafireheart.com spoke up about Connecticut and Foxwoods and this and that, and as it turns out my company has an office there so actually it would be pretty cool for me to see that campus and knock out some relaxing times up there.  I’ve been in the NE a couple of times and always liked the many colors, so maybe that would work out well.  I see Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun all the time on ESPN for 9-ball tournaments, so there was that.

As I searched for valid hits on my award miles, NOTHING could get me up to CT.  Not any of 3 different airports within the area were showing up on my award search.  It wasn’t looking good.  American Airlines just didn’t want me to go to CT.

I searched some of the other vacation destinations and they too were slim pickins.

Until I got to Reno / Lake Tahoe.  It was like I hit a jackpot!

All that green – that’s good stuff!  Those are days that I can depart (on the left) and arrive (on the right).  There were so many to choose from!

So I chose April 5th – 7th for Reno / Lake Tahoe.  YAY ME!

Now here’s where you come in:

  • I want a cheap place to stay – I’m not picky on junkets like this.  Any recommendations?
  • I’m looking to do more gambling than sight-seeing — I figure I’d wait until I could take my wife to see how beautiful nature is and stuff.  Any recommendations?  I like poker, craps, and table games.  I’d prefer non-smoking if they have it (I’ve done ZERO research on Reno/Tahoe as you can tell)
  • Anyone else going to be in that area around that time? (not that I’d want to burden my busy schedule not scheduling anything, but hey, you never know…)
3:50 pm
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oh wow.  Holy cow.  I wrote up this long great post last night and scheduled it to post today and here it is, BLANK.  I’m editing it now to put at least this much in and open up the comments but what the heck happened??/

Hopefully I’ll have the post back up later tonight.  Sheesh!  There aren’t even any revisions listed, either, and I saved six or more drafts.

Ren from renagerie.com posted recently about how he wants to lose some weight again.  He lost a good 60-70 lbs a few years ago just by tracking his food and exercising.  This time around he just wants to nitpick about a few pounds, but him talking about it nudged me to do the same.  However, my starting weight is “just a tad” bit higher than his was, so thankfully my goal weight isn’t as low as his was.

I should also mention that TequilaCon 2008 is coming up end of next month and I wanna look my best.  I’m pretty sure my chances to look my best are quite good when I go where everyone is drunk and can’t see straight.

Maybe I’m destined to write the next best-seller, sure to sweep the nation with a new “diet fad” that will get immense press, great reviews and I’ll be on every talk show out there.  I’ll run the whole circuit with celebrity appearances; everyone will want me to visit their town and spread the news about the latest Awesome Thing; I’ll have a scandalous affair with Kirstie Alley (hey, she’s on my list) and then after a year or so the whole thing will die down, but America will be better for it because I was able to touch a few hearts along the way and build amazing memories.  That, plus I scored serious bank for my retirement, yo.  Then I’ll be able to afford my own Burger King.

I hereby unleash my super cool idea on the world: Eat Less, Do More™

Here’s the concept in two easy steps:

  • Eat Less.
  • Do More.

Never before has so much geniusness and smartacious intellection been combined in a collective yet together kind of way.

This plan is so easy!  No matter where you go, you can incorporate these two incredibly basic ideas into your day.

Some examples:

  • Let’s say you go out to dinner.  When you start eating your food, remember: Eat Less.  Simply put, this means you consume a lower amount of food than you normally would.  The end result?  You eat less!
  • Any time you feel like doing something, just Do More. By doing more, you increase the amount of stuff you do.  The added “do-ness” incrementally acts as an additive to what you get done.  I know it sounds like magic, but it works.
  • When in doubt, Eat Less.
  • You might find yourself not doing anything for a while.  Why not do something instead?  By replacing your “doing nothing” situation with a “doing something” scenario, you mix it up a little.  By doing something, you actually Do More!
  • Always remember to reduce what you eat while increasing what you do.
  • Do More while you Eat Less.
  • Eat Less so you may Do More.

Don’t feel daunted by daunting task of tracking the daunting things in life.  Instead, try to Do More.  While you’re Doing More, remember to Eat Less.  Don’t forget the Do More part while you’re eating less, either.

Let’s review.

Eat Less & Do More

We’ve gone over some important concepts in the Eat Less, Do More™ Program, and it’s crucial that you don’t forget what you’re supposed to remember.  Remember to Eat Less but don’t forget to Do More.  It’s that simple.  When you do both at the same time, it’s like they’re combined into one action.

Testimonials (add your own in the comment section):

“There was a time in my life where I didn’t know what to do.  I took Wayne’s fabulous Eat Less, Do More™ Program and now I know the secret!  He taught me the principles I needed to understand what it really meant to Eat Less and Do More.  Thank you, Wayne!”

— A.N., New York

“I was lost until I found Wayne.  His understanding of the Eat Less, Do More™ Program far surpassed my expectations.  I had no idea it could be so simple!  I’m going to Eat Less, Do More for life!

— D.S, Alabama

“Who knew *I* could Eat Less?  Amazing!”

— J.T., California

“I never thought I could Do More.  I’ve seen others do it, but always figured it was for someone else.  But guess what?  Now I’m doing more!”

K.P., Michegan

“I really appreciated Wayne’s approach for teaching people his approach to the Eat Less, Do More™ Program. At first, I mixed up the concepts and was eating more and doing less, but Wayne quickly pointed out that I needed to eat LESS.  I needed to DO more.  Once he re-explained everything, I knew my third time through his course would be a success.”

G.R., Oregon

5:24 pm
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There was a time when I was all the rage.

I used to be… “the man.” I’m not sure if you understand how studly I was, so let me put it into perspective for you.

  1. Women’s fertility rates would go sky high if someone said a word that rhymed with “Wayne”. Scientists have often speculated that the Baby Boomer generation was caused by the return of soldiers from WWII but in reality, it was the increased popularity of John Wayne.
  2. I could impregnate a woman just by walking past them in the grocery store. That’s why I sent other people in my stead.
  3. Offers for my DNA samples were in the six figures.
  4. Chuck Norris sent in a SASE to me for my 12-part program, “How to increase your manliness” and flunked out, saying “that kind of manliness just isn’t possible.”
  5. George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Sean Connery and Arnold Schwarzenegger each took stud lessons from me.  Each of them have fallen from stud graces and it’s not a coincidence that their fall started when they stopped paying me.
  6. The term “Stud Poker” was originally inspired by my high school nickname.

After a time, I saw clues that indicated… maybe I wasn’t such a stud after all. The looks I would get from some people seemed to say “pshaw, he ain’t that hot.” At first, I pitied these poor souls who couldn’t understand the greatness standing right in front of them. It’s as if they could walk right by a Mona Lisa or ignore one of the Great Pyramids. Clearly they didn’t “Get it”.

But then this perception continued, and it happened with more people. I started to suspect that maybe, just maybe, all this greatness was concocted by none other than yours truly, and that it was all in my head.

Was it possible that I suffered from narcissicm? Was a self-deluded egotistical fool? Was *I* the poor soul that deserved such pity?

This gave me great pause.


And then, while looking through old car repair receipts, I found the answer. I discovered the clue that poured insight into the change that happened with me.

Funny thing is – I’d easily pay 1.4 hrs of labor to get it replaced.

2:01 pm
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I’ve been told that I have great eyes. 

Technically they’re hazel, but they change from brown to green based on many things ranging from my mood, environment, clothing, financial state or presidential candidate’s economic policy.

Tribal knowledge tells me that when my eyes are green, I’m happier.  I have no scientific proof, log books, journals or tweets indicating a solid trend or causal effect.  But I have plenty of hyperbole and heresay that tell me when my eyes are green, it means I’m in a GREAT mood. 

Hmm, maybe I should make sure to wear sunglasses when playing poker.

My awesome eyes started their awesomeness when I was awesome as a young awesome child full of awesomeosity:

Oops, too young, and the picture is too fuzzy and doesn’t give enough detail.  Let me try again:

Ah, that’s better.

Sometimes I have my eyes tilted to the side:

Sometimes the eyes drift over to left for no reason:

Sometimes they’re protected in a silvery coating that reflects everything, from recording devices held up by a random appendage to a green trash container

And sometimes one eye decides to go off all on its own:

And if you REALLY wanted to look deep within my soul, now there’s a device that can do it.

(click for obscenely larger versions)

I know you *THOUGHT* these are from the Hubble Space Telescope, looking astronomically distant, beyond a distant galaxy and glimpsing the eye of God Himself while he peers into our Universe, but alas, it is only my own eyes.  But I repeat myself.

During my most recent trip to the optometrist (a new one we switched to), they have this Optomap thingy that takes a super high definition picture of the INSIDE of your eye. It supposedly helps them discover potential disease or maladies with your eyes better than just a visual examination by the doctor.

Either way, I found it quite cool.

More importantly, I’ve given you the above super obscenely large versions of the inside of my eye so you can finally have the computer wallpaper you’ve always dreamed of.

9:55 am
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Today I was called a dork by email. 

I’m usually called a dork, and it happens multiple times a day.  Less often by email, but it occurs nonetheless.  Mostly I’m called a dork to my face (my preference).  Sometimes they say “dork!” lovingly, with a smirk or a smile, and other times they say DORK! as in “SMART ASS!”  In High School I was Supreme Ultra Powerful Almighty Dork (SUPA-Dork for short).

You might not believe me when I claim my dorktitude.  Well, I’ll have you know, I’m wearing a shirt that proves it.  Imagine coming to work and meeting someone wearing a shirt like this:

wayne is a dork

Still not convinced?  Ok, how about this.  I took a picture of my friend’s trip odometer reading when it turned 1111.

1111 on the trip odometer

There seems to be no limit to my dorkosity.

I’ll even use my own blog to brag about ALMOST getting 100% on a Guitar Hero II Expert song – just missing a couple demon notes at the end.

guitar hero even rats expert 323298 99 percent 887 note streak

Join in the fun, won’t you?  Here are some terms used to describe my dorkiness – I’d love it if you could add more: 

  1. Wayne is the DorkMaster. 
  2. Wayne suffers from a massive Dorkoma.
  3. Everyone else suffers from Wayne’s massive Dorkoma.
  4. DORKWAD stands for “Dork, Wayne A Dork”
  5. Wayne is dorkalicious.
  6. All hail the dorktastic Wayner!
5:04 pm
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Ooops, I mistyped the above.

What I meant was, Have you Senior Photo?

Some of the bloggers I read have been posting photos of their younger selves.  So I went a diggin’ for my own photos and once I found a few, I thought to myself – my, my my, I suuuuuure did look good back in high school.  In order to distract the world from how I look now, I surmised I would post one of the better photos and ask everyone to join in the fun.

Here’s how it works:

  • Try not to laugh at me OR my photo.
  • Try harder, please.
  • Find your favorite high school photo of yourself.  Blog about it if you have one and link back to this post, or you can send it to me at whall at the name of my blog and I’ll post it in the comments for you.
  • Comment amongst yourselves on how good we all look(ed).


whall senior photo

6:56 am
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Should you choose to accept it, your mission today is to make a face at someone and have them make one back at you.

Jaden started it.

That’s what he’d like teh internetz to do for him today.

jaden makes a face for teh internetz

What’s your best “making a face” face?

Here’s mine:

wayne making a face

tsk tsk

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