Saturday, May 31, 2008

On the horizon: Arguments regarding Fiber Content of various breakfast items...

The first birthday is the toughest. But you can’t skip it.

Five: Schooling begins. Puking at 3 AM brings Ginger Ale and sympathy.

Ten: Double digits. You would think this would matter, but it really doesn’t.

13: Teenager. Acne. Stupid parents. Can’t play little league.

16: Drivers Permit and/or license. Parents still stupid, but have the car keys…diplomacy begins.

18: Voting, military service and being kicked to the curb unless you “grow up” are now possible. Cigarette companies stop telling you not to smoke and start telling you what to smoke.

21: Puking at 3 AM now rooted in legal activity. No longer necessary to drink everything you buy the same night. Guy with fake I.D. no longer needed.

25: You can rent a car. Parents getting smarter. Progress toward undergraduate degree should be chartable or abandoned.

30: Some sort of career path should be apparent. If unmarried, rumors of alternate lifestyle now in play.

35: Eligible to run for President.

40: Career in Professional Baseball, Football or Basketball now out of reach. Senior Golf Tour still in back of mind. Puking at 3 AM now cause for intervention.

41: You get together with friends, drink one or two beers, and are in bed asleep by 10:45.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

One man's trash is just garbage...

I went to the local landfill today five times. Yesterday, I went four times.

I’m throwing away a lot of stuff. I’m keeping a lot of stuff.

Some of the throw away stuff looks useful and some of the stuff we are keeping looks useless.

There is a guy there at the landfill who supervises. He makes sure I’m not throwing away nuclear waste and that I’m putting plastic in the dumpster labeled plastic and that I’m breaking down the cardboard boxes before I throw them down the chute.

He kind of stands by the bin and checks out what is going down. Near him sat an old pair of work boots, an old chair and a copy of Popular Mechanics with what looked like Mustard on the cover.

I’ve seen him stop people and get something out of their would be garbage and save it for himself.

He didn’t want any of my stuff.

I was kind of insulted.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I once tried to sell him for $50 on the internet...

About six and a half years ago, I was sitting right here, watching TV.

(I didn’t have a blog back then…I’m not sure who I watched TV)

A mouse appeared in the house from through the fireplace. He looked around and then returned back to the outside.

The next week, while on a road trip, I got a phone call from Holli telling me about the mouse and asking what should we do...

I don’t remember my recommendation (I think it involved doing nothing) but we didn’t follow it. We got a cat. His name was Hank. Big, orange cat with only half a tail. Got him from the humane society.

Hank wasn't humane to the animal world. Hank killed things…mice, birds, rabbits, squirrels. He was, in the cat world, a bad ass.

When we moved away, the house-sitters always had an agreement. Stay out of my liquor and take care of Hank. He was part of the deal. People from the neighborhood have, at times, tried to adopt him, but he keeps coming back to our house.

We got here last night. About an hour ago, I heard a cat at the back door. I gave him a rub behind the ears and a little food.

The liquor is all gone, but thankfully, Hank is still around.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

At least two toppings and two choices of drinks...

Dear Pastor,

We enjoyed church this Sunday and look forward to years of attending. We just have a few observations/suggestions:

1. With two small children, it appears that we will need some more space. If you could rope off our row, we would appreciate it. Also, while you are at it, the kids seemed to bother both the people in front of us and the folk behind us. So if it wouldn’t be any trouble, just save three rows for us. We’ll sit in the middle one. Not too close to the front, please.
2. The 9:30 to 11:00 time slot is a bit difficult. After the service, no restaurants were open. Please move back the service to 11:00 to 12:00. This will help our schedule.
3. The nursery needs to be open from the start of the service. Also, please place the nursery close enough to hear a blood-curdling scream, but far enough away to not be able to hear random yelling. We think around 143 feet would be a good start for experimentation. We’ll let you know.
4. Our children need food at some point during the service. We’ll send you a list of the things they like. Nothing red or orange, please. It stains.
5. We noticed some of the parishioners kept their eyes open during prayer time. This is the time we adjust clothing and do other unmentionable maintenance. We hope this can be corrected with a congregational letter.
6. The offering plate passed too quickly for us to be able to see how much was in it, or who wrote the check for $175.47. Please let us know. We have a small wager riding on it.
7. We enjoyed the coffee and fellowship time afterward, but would like a more substantial fare. Possibly pizza and soft drinks. This will correct item #2, if implemented. You decide which way to go, it really doesn’t matter to us.

Again, we enjoyed the service and look forward to attending regularly. We will be moving to your area soon and hope that we can get a group of men over to help us move into our house. Also, let the ladies know we don’t like casseroles. Meat and potatoes only please.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Common sense weight loss...

The West Tennessee Diet
by the creators of the South Beach Diet

Breakfast: One Grapefruit, 2 eggs over easy, bacon, toast and grits, 6 oz of Orange Juice
Lunch: 8 ounces of Arugula with Balsamic Vinegar dressing, Pulled pork BBQ Sandwich, Hush Puppies, Sweet Tea
Dinner: Tofu Patty, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Rolls and three beers

Allowed substitutions: Hash browns, potato salad and a half-chicken may be substituted for grapefruit, arugula and tofu respectively.

Good luck.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Restaurant Review...El Ranchito...

One more reason I’m glad to be back in the South.

Ice Tea.

It’s given to you in a glass the size of a small pitcher. At least 32 ounces. This is so they don’t have to come back very often and refill it.

In the South, TEA is sweet. You have to order it unsweetened to get it without sugar.

It’s brewed, not instant. It has caffeine in it. And it’s bottomless. You can drink as much as you want and get a Styrofoam to-go cup when you leave.

I drank about three or four of them during lunch at the Mexican place.

The Mexican place was just average. We knew we had trouble when a blond woman with a southern drawl was our waitress. This is a bad sign.

Good signs are no English, badly spelled menus, weird gum at the checkout, a picture of Pancho Villa on the wall and a full-time employee posted at the front door to warn the others in case the INS shows up.

Tomorrow, BBQ. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The history of the automobile...mine that is...

My first car was a 1977 Plymouth Horizon. It cost me $500. I bought it from my parents. It needed about $250 worth of work. I pushed it occasionally.

My next car was a 1980 Renault Le Car. It had alternator problems. This was the best thing about it. Eventually, I sold it for $50 to a junkyard…that same day I bought a pair of golf shoes for $54.

Then I got a 1986 Renault Alliance (car of the year in 1988). It was fine for about 120,000 miles and one horrendous head-on collision with a drunken motorcycle driver. It died one day at the mechanic while in for a routine oil change. I didn't even get to say goodbye.

A 1991 Chevy Geo was next. It was great. Got 50 miles to the gallon and ran for 112,000 miles. The savings outweighed the ridicule, but not by much.

Then a 1993 Nissan 240 SX…I loved that car. Died on the way back from my wedding.

1998 Toyota 4-runner…it was a fleet car for the state of New Hampshire before I bought it. You can guess how that worked out. I now use the internet to look these things up before I impulse buy them.

2004 Toyota Corolla. Sold it to my mother-in-law. She still drives it.

Which brings me to yesterday.

2007 Chevy Uplander Mini-Van.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just to let you not know...

I saw a sign announcing a concealed handgun license class.

I might go. I’m not going to tell you even if I do. This way, you won’t really know if I’ve got one. Telling you I went would kill the entire "concealed" part of the deal.

If you know I don’t have a gun you wouldn’t hesitate to break in and take my stuff.

But, since you don’t know…

Monday, May 19, 2008

The first day of school...

The first day in the radio business involved a trip to Memphis for an advertising conference.

The moderator asked us to bring a pad of paper, a pen and a calculator.

During the morning session, I used the calculator to estimate the odds of the roof falling in, which would result in the cancellation of the conference. The odds were approximately 6.5 million to one. I was hopeful.

We broke out into groups and came up with a make-believe marketing plan for a concert. To keep with the spirit, I pretended to be interested.

The afternoon session was better. We talked about the internet. It may catch on. I’ll let you know.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Just a quick thought between packing bags...

Holli and I are going to A Streetcar Named Desire next week when we get back to the states.

Jack Nicklaus is playing Stanley and Annika Sorenstam is playing Stella.

This makes as much sense as televising or watching a celebrity golf event.

It just makes me mad thinking about it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Group Hug...

My last night of poker was with the usual bunch…ten guys…four continents…six countries.

It’s hard to be sentimental about guys who would bluff, try to intimidate you and then cuss you when it didn’t work, but I’ll always miss them.

We didn’t play for a lot of money, we played for fun. And we had fun.

You don’t often find a poker group that you would trust every guy in it to watch your kids, but they are all trusted friends and confidants. It’s hard to imagine I’ll find another group like them.

I wish you all the best and at least one pair of aces per night.

And I’m not bluffing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Video Game Idea: Driving in the Dominican Republic...

I had a Chevy Tracker while we lived here. We bought it at a good price and sold it at a good price…fair to all intended.

It had a few problems.

The windshield cleaning thing shot to the right of the windshield…I could put my hand out the window and get soap on it while driving. This wasn’t as useful as you might think.

The door handle for the passenger front door broke about six months ago…or may two years, I can’t remember (I’m usually in the driver’s seat). And with the kids having the safety locks on the back doors, we usually had only one working door…good thing it was the driver’s. But, the driver had to get out and open EVERYONE’s door.

The remote for the doors worked on the passenger side only. Sometimes it worked on the driver’s side, but it was hit or miss.

The driver side mirror was smashed in a game of chicken I played with a truck. I think I lost.

What I really needed this car to have was an intermittent middle finger in order for me to flash my displeasure on a regular basis. Just every four seconds or so. Would have worked out great. And this is a conservative estimate.

As it is, this country has given me tendonitis.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

That Indian could have cried all the way to the bank...

I drove the car of a friend yesterday and it had a sunroof. I love a sunroof.

It’s nice to have some wind whistling around when you drive. You can wave to people, spit straight up, and learn simple aerodynamics by throwing beer bottles at road signs.

Some people think this is littering. I disagree.

I don’t recycle. I assume the people that go along the side of the road do it to collect bottles and cans (I just throw those out also) in order to turn them in to make money. This is me helping them out. What kind of person would I be if I hoarded all that potential cash in my car or just gave it all to one person? Share the wealth, I say.

If collecting stuff on the side of the road for money is your vocation, my right arm of philanthropy is what helps you stay liquid.

You’re welcome.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Golf as philosophy...

I thought I had a pretty good day going Saturday on the golf course. I was three-under par with five to play.

This would be good enough to win, I figured. I don’t know that I played it safe from then on, but I certainly wasn’t aggressive. I made two bogeys on the way in and posted a 70 (it’s a par 71).

I was disappointed I didn’t finish well, but it would be good enough to win.


Someone shot 66. So all the time I thought I needed to protect my “lead” I was really getting my butt kicked.

We do that with a lot of things. We try to hold on to something instead of reaching for something better. And in the end, we wished we’d taken the chance to be all that we could have been instead of all that would be “good enough.”

It was a lapse from my usual "playing it safe" that got me two wonderful children.

I hope I remember this…both on the golf course and off.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It was a really nice mop with a really good bucket...

To whom it may concern:

Cayenne Lemonade has been unavailable to post the past two days due to his preparing for Mother’s Day.

He is attempting to make up for three years of buying brooms and mops (and 40 years of bad perfume for his mom) for his wife with this years’ version of thoughtfulness, which will hopefully not include domestic products nor the standard statement…”I’ll move you to the Caribbean.”

This ploy has run its course. It never really worked anyway.

Wish him luck.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Losing the battle of wits, part two

The other night Gracie mentioned to me that there was a “Hippomotamus” in her book “Birthday Monsters.” Up until now, we haven’t been correcting her, but she’s old enough now to understand, so I said, “Gracie, it’s Hippo-POT-amus,” emphasizing the “P” so she could hear the difference.

She laughed and said she’d never heard of a Hippopotamus…THIS was a Hippo-MOT-amus.

We went back and forth for a bit until she said, “Daddy, Listen…”

She grabbed her “But not the Hippopotamus” by Sandra Boynton and turned to the first page.

(she can’t read, but she has it memorized)

“A hog and a frog cavort in a bog, but not the Hippo-MOT-amus,” she said with a triumphant grin and shut the book. “See, it’s Hippo-MOT-amus.”

Sources used:
Boynton, Sandra (1995). But Not the Hippo-MOT-amus, pg 1.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Stupid Proletariat...

Yesterday was a holiday in the Dominican Republic. It was Labor Day.

Labor Day around the world is a day for the workers to protest the injustice done them by management. People march in the streets and there are usually a few deaths associated with the protests.

What kills me about yesterday is that the holiday was moved to a Monday. May 1 is the traditional date for this holiday. So basically, management decided to move the day of protest for the workers. And the workers let them.

At least here, this is how management turned Labor Day around…from a day of gunfire and slogan-shouting to a day of hot dogs and beer.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Fixing all my problems...

I was getting ready for work this morning and the Golf Channel was on. They went to a commercial break…the sponsor was Charles Schwab.

Sponsors target their audience and place their ads where they will reach their potential customers.

(that’s what I understand from the book I’m reading entitled…How to sell radio advertising when your life experience (to date) has been making smart-ass comments and hitting golf balls)

So apparently, the people at Charles Schwab think that golfers need help managing their money. Should I be insulted?

Do beer companies think I need to drink more? Am I no fun sober?

By the way, the other sponsor in the break was Levitra.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I am not a crook...

I’ve always thought it would have been fun to be a confidence man.

Just for fun, not to hurt anyone or cheat anyone, but just to see if it could be done. The movie The Sting looked like a good time…except for the gunfire that seems to often accompany the life of the con man.

(maybe I’m doing it right now—I live in the Caribbean, have the complete run of a resort I couldn’t afford to visit on vacation and the company pays me to do it...and I have plenty of time to write silly blog posts..btw I also practice my golf swing with clothes on, in case you were wondering)

Anyway, the life of the con man looks like fun on the challenge scale, but in reality, it’s a bad deal. It hurts other people, both financially and intellectually. People can make more money, but how do they recover from their shame?

The other problem with the life of the con man is that you can’t really share your triumphs with anyone else. Famous con men are in prison or at the bottom of the Hudson River.

I got the Nigerian scam thing the other day. This version had the wife of a prince in the hospital. The funds for her life and death operation were frozen in the US (the Patriot Act), but she promised ten times the money in six months if I could see clear to pay for her prostate surgery.

I’ll have to think about that…

Thursday, May 1, 2008

If it rains, I'll be ready...

I’ve been practicing my golf swing without any clothes on.

Mostly in the shower (this isn’t a nudist colony). I’ve only fallen once.

I didn’t hit is very well yesterday and I’m wondering what the deal is. So, I practice, I test, I try. I make imaginary swings. Feels pretty good.

I’ll play nine holes today and see how it works. With clothes on. On the golf course.

Maybe it’s my putting…