Today I went to work and brought with me my new personal P.A. system… or karaoke system, as it will most frequently be used. I recently spent $95 on a set of nice computer speakers, a nice microphone, and the tiniest of mixers. The idea was I would set up a karaoke practice center in the garage. Combine a system like that with a beer fridge, a dart board, a few power tools, and I’m just a DirecTV MLB.TV package and a creeper away from an official man cave.

When Douwe, Shenea, Eddie, Allison, Debbie, Roxie, Joanna, Tom, Brian, Stephen, Phil, Mark, and others entered, I quickly cranked up the decibels and made starting lineup-like announcements. “Now entering the Callaway Golf Interactive floor, a 5’4″ e-mail marketing manager, from Hutto, Texas…” that kinda thing. If you are wondering how it went over, it went over better than possibly expected. I had the VP sitting there looking out the window forewarning me when new people were entering the building so I could prepare and queue up the music.

Over lunch break I made my traditional breakneck-speed trip back home to let the hound out for a few minutes. Baxter is a peculiar hound. All we have to do is grab a bag of tortilla chips and crinkle the package and he goes darting for his crate. I grab a handful of crumbs and sprinkle them on the blankets and he goes apeshit crazy for them. While he’s nom-nom-nomming away, I put a blanket over the crate, wrap a bungee cord around the doors, and push it into the corner with both doors up against walls. I then set ten cinder blocks on top of and around the crate. I then block both sides with additional fences. The hound shall not escape ever again on my watch.

Back at the office, we all celebrated the launch of udesign. I had a role in the launch of this cool new make-your-own-driver program, and that was preparing the images for the shafts and grips. If you get past the coloring of the crown and sole, the images after that were all my doing. Sami Khan is the real hero who spent months programming this thing, only to disclose afterwards that he was leaving us for a new job. Sami and I have teamed up very regularly for foosball and frequently find ourselves on the losing end. To celebrate Sami’s going-away, we will be going to iFly on Wednesday. Yes, I am excited. This is the indoor skydiving place where you are floating around in mid-air powered by a giant fan. Can’t wait.

After work I returned home and prepared dinner for me and Lauren while watching America in Primetime, a documentary about TV recommended by Jason LaPlant. Lauren has been sick for weeks, and with a brutal week of work she was so pooped she vowed to be in bed by 9. I, however, was wide eyed and bushy tailed and was up for more fun, so I changed into my pajamas, mixed a Jim Beam drink, and was prepared to spend my night in front of the TV… until Bart called. He wanted to go out and do karaoke with Mikey Mike and me. I got dressed again and we headed over to the Water Tank, where the DJ let 20 people go ahead of us. We finally got in right before closing time (I did “Pinch Me” by Barenaked Ladies) and then we split for Canary Hut, hoping to sing more karaoke. But we were saddened to learn upon arrival that they are closing down! So we moved on over to Common Interest where Bart paid for a private room for an hour and the three of us sang to our hearts’ content. Damn it I wish I would have thought of that when the family was in town.

The rest of the weekend should be busy too. My old Valleyfair supervisor Charlie Ahern is in town with his wife and there are plans to go out to dinner. There’s also a party we’re invited to, as well as football on Sunday. The free time I do have I will spend running with the hound, perhaps at Walnut Creek Park, and doing some contract work for Microboards.