Atomic Ned

music. pop culture. sports. babies.


Wake Up Screaming

“There is a line of thunderstorms coming in from the East. The captain has decided to fly through the line and climb above them rather than delay the takeoff.” That’s what the flight attendant said in my dream. I have a fear of flying. I’m not the kind of guy who needs sedatives to step onto a plane but I do get sweaty palms upon takeoff and landing and any mid-flight bumps that I might encounter. The thought of falling out of the sky terrifies me even though I know that I’m far more likely to die in a car accident on my way home from work than die in a plane crash. Still, it doesn’t make me feel any better.

The plane took off. I think I was leaving Texas and flying back to Ohio. I was able to see a radar shot of the line of storms and it looked pretty ominous. Once in the air, the pilot decided to stay beneath the clouds. It was a rocky start to the flight and I didn’t have a good feeling. I could see an approaching metropolis and knew that we were flying far too low to be flying into a major downtown area. The people in the seats around me were getting nervous and the flight attendants were rushing to their seats. Bump. Bump. Bump. We hit turbulence as we approached a group of skyscrapers. And then, my worst fear … the plane took a sharp nosedive, almost like a rollercoaster that has just dropped down its first hill. In my dream, I could see out the front window of the plane and could see the ground approaching far too quickly. Doing the only thing I could think to do, I braced myself for impact (What was I thinking? Like, putting my arms out and holding onto the seat in front of me would save my life?)

At the last minute, the pilot was able to pull the plane out of its freefall and we flew down a major throughway through this downtown area. But we weren’t out of the clear, there was definitely something wrong as we were tossed about the cabin, impact seeming inevitable. I grabbed the in-flight phone from the back of the seat in front of me and scrambled for my wallet so I could swipe my credit card and call my wife to say my last goodbye.

I woke up at this point. It was 5 am. I lay in bed, afraid to go back to sleep, afraid to go back to this dream. Eventually I did doze off but the haunting images of the dream are still in my head. I remember thinking, as we were freefalling, “Wow, I’ve only dreamed about this before but now it’s really happening.”

Moral of the story: Don’t eat spicy bean dip before going to bed.


Is it broken?


I realize it's never a good idea to blog about work, but this isn't offensive and isn't something that can be held against me at a later point in time. A few months ago I noticed that I was seeing this guy 3 or 4 times a day. I work for a large International company that has over a thousand employees worldwide and about 800 at the location where I work spread out across 4 buildings. Many weeks can go by where I don't even see somebody within my department that sits on the same floor as me and yet this guy (HowdyHell and I have nicknamed him "Desmond" due to some similarities to the guy who plays Desmond on LOST) seems to appear from out of nowhere near every time I leave my desk.

Now, a few years ago I made the comment that Patrick Baracus must go to EVERY single rock show in town because every time I was out, I ran into him. That led a few people to say that maybe I go out a lot or maybe Patrick only goes out to the same shows I go to. But, this whole Desmond-sighting thing has gotten downright creepy.

Every once in a while HowdyHell and I go grab some breakfast at the cafeteria - and there is Desmond. I'll go grab a snack from the break room - and Desmond will walk by on his way to the restroom. HowdyHell and I usually walk out to the parking lot at the end of the day together and 3 days out of 5 we'll see Desmond. Desmond, mind you, isn't in our department and doesn't work on our floor. It's very bizarre and uncanny. I've started wondering if Desmond is just a figment of my imagination - something that I would truly believe were it not for HowdyHell's spotting of him as well. Maybe I'll use this blog to document Desmond sitings just to prove that I'm not crazy.

I wonder if Desmond tells his friends/co-workers, "Yeah, I see this one dude from the 4th floor EVERY time I leave MY desk"?


Monkey Biz
I'm not going to take credit for finding this one, HowdyHell found it but since he won't start a blog, I'll serve as his vessel (ick, something sounds gross about that).

[from HowdyHell's email to me & others]

OK, I subscribe to the premise that all monkey stories are inherently funny. But this one is better than most.

Suburban pet monkey "attacks" neighbors.

But it's the video that keeps me coming back.

Story at: (There's a link to the vid.)

But before we go there, let's take stock of the elements that place this one in the pantheon of off-kilter hilarity:

1) Monkey diaper
2) Monkey darting to the end of his leash
3) Monkey chewing on lapel microphone
4) Weird old anchorman apparently dragged back from voiceover work
5) First known use of the word "feroshudly"
6) Money quote: "She just ... she cannot control her monkey"
7) Child’s ripped shirt waved in evidence
8) "It just attack-ud me" -- TWICE
9) "The monkey's INpredictable"
10) Woman gives her son's FULL NAME (J.D. Beardon), like he's a stranger
11) Weird, long, giveaway pauses when people are asked if the monkey is "dangerous"
12) People dressed worse than the monkey
13) Lead-in that establishes, for some reason, that the monkey was purchased in Kansas City

HowdyHell sent out a follow-up email saying that he totally forgot to mention the real thing that made this story hilarious - it was the LEAD story on the news.


This seals the deal
I'm afraid of heights; not deathly afraid but I get sweaty palms when taking off and landing in commercial airliners. I don't get white and clammy when crossing bridges like other family members do, but I don't think there is any chance - unless somehow Amazing Race picks me to be on the show - that I would EVER willingly jump out of an airplane. I just read that a first-time skydiver fell to her death yesterday ... in Ohio nonetheless. Guess that seals the deal for me (as if there was ever any question).


Pet Peeve #113
Why did the woman in the self-scan line next to me at the grocery store tonight think that it's okay to leave her cart behind after she finished scanning in her items? Does she think that the cart-return fairy is going to come along in search of lost and abandoned carts to rescue?


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