Monday, June 30, 2008

Seems like every 50 feet or so...

We went in search of a restaurant called Vinegar Joe’s.

No, that’s not a country music lyric, it’s a restaurant in Arlington, TN. We found it using the GPS (Garmin brand) that I bought last week.

The reason I bought it was that I was lost all the time. Apparently, four years in the Dominican Republic has robbed me of my sense of direction. (Ask the people in the van with me in Pittsburgh last month)

It is pretty good and seemingly worth the money. You put in your destination and it gives you (out loud) directions to get there. You can search for restaurants, vineyards or gas stations. I can’t believe how many Subway Sandwich Shops or Cracker Barrels there are...

We pause for the Real Country Music Lyric of the Day: The jailer had a wife and let me tell you she was awful. But she brought that hot bologna every day.

Sorry, where was I?

The GPS can tell you how fast you are going, where to turn and even what to do if you decide you don’t like their idea on how to get there. It just re-calculates the route for you if you don’t make the turns they suggest.

It’s kind of like someone that tells you what to do, but is right there to help when you ignore their advice. It’s doesn’t say, “I told you so!” nor does it say, “Now why should I continue to tell you when you refuse to listen to me?”

It tells you when you are scheduled to arrive. It tells you how fast you got there and what your top speed was on the way.

But it didn’t tell us that Vinegar Joe’s was closed.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

And polish my bowling ball...

Last Monday I took a knife to a gun fight.

And that isn’t quite accurate. It was more like a butter knife to a nuclear war. I played in the United States Amateur Public Links qualifier.

The good news is that I didn’t finish last and I was not injured during the round. Well, not seriously injured.

My caddie (he stayed for both rounds, mostly because I drove and he didn’t have another way home) is a good friend and we had a good time talking about old times (back when I could hit a green with a 9-iron) after it became unrealistic that I could qualify while I still had holes to play.

This was for about thirty of the thirty-six holes. The end of the day (I had to walk all 36-holes) saw me with a blister on my foot and an unbelievable burning sensation in another area.

Today’s Real Country Music Lyric of the Day: There’s no place I’d rather be than with my redneck, white socks and blue ribbon beer.

Back to the story of Custer and the Indians…

I could say I didn’t have time to practice or play in the days prior, and that would be correct. But to be closer to the truth, I wasn’t good enough to qualify for this. My chances (realistically) were just as good my chance to qualify for the 200 meter butterfly in the Bejing Olympics. And I don’t swim.

I could insult myself more, but I have to go get my tennis racket re-strung.

Friday, June 27, 2008


The Pros and Cons of having people help you move.

Pros: Obviously, help. People help load the truck and clean the house. A three-bedroom house job can be changed from three days to three hours.

They help you actually move less stuff. They say things like…”Why are you keeping that? Just throw that away!”

(this helped me get rid of my junior high school year book from 1979…the year I was sick the day photos were took and I didn’t get a retake and am not actually pictured in and has a rather embarrassing note to me in the back that starts, “2 sweet, 2 be…”)

They keep you company during the larger than realized job of taking everything you own and putting it into a 34 X 10 space where things won’t shift at 70 mph. Or they give you people to blame when they do shift.

We pause for a moment to introduce a new feature…The Real Country Music lyric o’ the day:
“I only want a big brew and little ol’ you.”

Cons: Sometimes, you take things with you (for various reasons including sentimental) no normal person would keep…things like 73 different golf instruction books or a cracked baseball bat from 1977. I always tried to carry these things on to the truck…the last thing I want is someone thinking…”I’m helping him move THIS?”

But, the biggest problem with people helping you move is that only really good friends will do it. So exactly when you are leaving somewhere (and some people) forever, these same people show up and help you do one of the toughest jobs there is…thus making you miss them all the more.

Stay in touch.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two men and a truck...a plutonic love story

After packing the U-Haul full of stuff, a friend remarked that it was amazing to him that a regular person would be allowed to drive such a rig.

(it’s more than 34 feet long—a tractor trailer is about 60 feet or so, but 34 feet is plenty)

I had to agree. The 15-mile trip from the rental facility to the house was highlighted by two running-off-the road and four curb incursions.

In short, I was terrified of the impending trip. I was terrified to back the thing out of the driveway.

With help, I managed to get it out of the driveway. Then, one of the friends that helped load up suggested that he go on the trip with us.

Holli offered him food, lodging and new clothes. At this point, I intervened and offered food, lodging and used clothes. He took us up on it.

So he rode along, helping clear traffic, consulting on whether I was about to hit the car sitting at the stop light during my left turns and letting me know that all the road signs that I hit bounced back, good as new. We didn’t keep track of the curbs I hit (probably double figures) and we had a great time strategically plotting the entry and exit of gas stations, restaurants and a hotel.

His son was in the area on a charter flight (he was flying it) and picked him up about an hour after we arrived. It was a long day for all of us…but a great day nonetheless.

Part of the fun is getting there…unloading is another story.

But that’s tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why not?

We’re moving to just outside the city limits so there is no garbage service.

So, it’s off to the landfill every three or four days, hoping the can doesn’t tip over in the back of your car on the way. This is the fate of everyone in our subdivision. That is, unless someone does something about it.

That someone is me. I have a couple of ideas.

First, instead of standing around and complaining, we are going to start a garbage pickup company. There are about 50 homes in our subdivision and I’m sure we could get all of them to be on our route.

I priced a truck on The cheapest truck I could find is a 20-yard capacity 2002 Kenworth Rear Loader for $49,000 (we are buying used…why would I want a shiny NEW garbage truck?).

I will have to go to Tampa, Florida to pick it up. It is 809 miles away. At $4 a gallon (the mpg of my truck is listed at 2.8), it will cost us $1156 to drive it back.

Add that to the plane ticket to go to Tampa and at least one night in a motel, some beef jerky and soda, and I’m up to $50,689.

A new pair of gloves will run about $10. Overalls: $35.

I’m sure there is a license or something to purchase. Let’s guess $100.

The Landfill is about 14 miles round trip from the subdivision. We’ll need to make three trips on garbage day (once a week)…add $60 per week for gas.

Second pair of gloves (just in case the first pair gets soiled): $10.

Frequent oil changes, a sturdy pressure washer, insurance for the truck, and a part-time employee to operate the truck and collect the trash ($12 an hour, one day a week) will run us another 10-15 thousand a year. Just to be safe, let’s make it $15,000.

Twenty-five more pairs of gloves: $250.

There must be something else I’m forgetting. Let’s put $100 more down for that. (If I haven’t forgotten anything, we’ll just buy 10 more pairs of gloves.)

Ok, let’s see…we are up to $69,314 for the first year. Two-year operating costs (with a 4% inflation adjustment on everything for year two) comes to $88,684.

So we’ll need to charge the 49 other houses $75.41 per month to break even after two years.

The reason I say two years is because I think that is about the amount of time it will take the IRS to catch up with us due to the fact that I forgot to include paying taxes in my business plan. At that point, the truck will be seized along with the sturdy pressure washer and any unused pairs of gloves.

My second idea is to drive over to the landfill a couple of days a week with our garbage. I’ll buy some bungee cords to keep the can in place in the back of my car.

That and a pair of gloves: $17.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Why do dogs like to watch me eat? I’m getting tired of it.

We got the car loaded and we headed for…well, they didn’t tell me. I still don’t know exactly where we were. I’m glad I didn’t have to drive home.

I took a nap on the way. I think they stopped at a hardware store (they go there every day for something) then drove around in what seemed like circles until we arrived.

When we got inside, a bunch of people seemed interested in me, but I wasn’t in the mood. I’d been sleeping pretty soundly (I heard them mention snoring) and was rudely awakened. What do they expect? Also, everyone seemed to know my name and I didn’t have a clue who they were. Also, they had a dog. Small by their standards, but I know he could put his paws on my shoulders and lick me if he wanted. I let everyone know I wasn’t very happy to be on the floor. Would someone pick me up?

After a bit, they took me into the dining room and sat me down. I wondered if it was my seat from home. I didn’t know for sure until I found a Fruit Loop from this morning (breakfast) lodged in the cushion. They must have brought the seat with them. Seems like a pain to have to haul it around, but if they want to do it, whatever.

Anyway, the food was pretty good. Mac and cheese, corn and dinner rolls. There was some other stuff, but I didn’t get a shot at it. They never ask me what I want. Blueberry Cake with Cool Whip for dessert. I got some blueberries on my forehead. I’m not sure how. I probably spilled a bunch on the floor, but the dog was right there, so no one had to clean it up.

We went into another room (I kept a close eye on the dog) and we talked and laughed. I grabbed a tennis racket and hit the floor with it and yelled. This went over pretty good, so I kept it up until I got bored.

Then, I grabbed one of Gracie’s toys and threw it across the room. She screamed like I’d hit her with the tennis racket. That was fun.

Before I left, I made peace with the dog. She didn’t lick me or anything and I got to pet her a couple of times.

I slept all the way home, got my jammies on and crashed.

I wonder what we’ll do tomorrow…

Thursday, June 19, 2008

*It isn't a "back windshield" unless you are in reverse...

While traveling for work, I used to ponder the great questions of life, the universe and the lives of flies.

If a fly zooms into your car right before you leave for a long trip, what happens when you arrive (perhaps hours later) and they fly back out? Are they lost forever, cut off from their family and friends? I think it is obvious they would be. Doesn’t anyone care?

I would think there are literally millions of fly milk cartons with faces of the missing on them.

(I don’t think about that one much, just every once in a while)

But this next one has bothered me for years.

If I’m traveling in a car going 70 m.p.h. and a fly is inside it, flying around, why doesn’t he smash into the back windshield*? Wouldn’t he have to fly 70 m.p.h. to keep up with the car? If he were outside the car he would have to…so why not inside the car? If he were sitting on the seat, I understand, he could just ride with the car. But he isn’t attached to anything!

Even if the windows are down he just rides along in mid-air. What am I missing?

I just don’t get it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Would you do it for Mr. Lincoln?

We have no cable here at the house.

It’s only a month we are here, our renters didn’t have cable (yes, these people exist) and we couldn’t get cable for one month, could we? We decided not.

So yesterday found me walking down the street looking for the cable box, hoping the door was open and the old line to our house could just be hooked up without the hassle of calling the cable company. Why would I want to worry them?

As luck would have it, the cable box was opened, but it was the one across the street. It was marked with things like A-23 and RTZ-1, not (as I was hoping) addresses. But, I had to assume the cable company didn’t run lines under the street. Also, there is a box in my neighbor’s yard on my side of the street.

I headed over to have a look. It was locked. I thought about breaking into it. Just a little.

After my moment of larcenic (yes, this is a word) thought passed, I started for home. Lo and behold, I saw the cable truck and cable guy pull up to the open box. It was fate. I jogged over.

“Excuse me,” I began.

“Yeah?” he answered.

I explained my situation. A long-time customer returns to his home to find his thrifty (or perhaps intellectually superior) renters have left him out in the cold, unable to watch Sportscenter. It was a tragic tale of woe.

(I feel a tear in my eye as I recount it right now)

“Well, just call the company,” he said. “See what they can do for you.”

This was where a man much more slick than I would have offered some sort of incentive to attempt to rectify the situation immediately.

Ah, but not me. I walked back across the street and up the steps and into my house.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Open until filled...

Job Posting: Advance Agent
Available: Immediately

Job Description: Advance Agent will go ahead of subject to ascertain any potential risks and difficulties for subject. Advance Agent will scout existence of any threats (breakable items less than three feet high, glassware, all dogs, rooms without doors allowing for escape to other rooms with breakable items less than three feet high, etc) that may make the parents of the subject endure an evening of living hell in the homes of friends and acquaintances.

Advance Agent will also occasionally scout local restaurants for booster seats, high chairs, crayons, speed of service, changing tables in both men’s and women’s bathrooms, and kiddie menus (with particular emphasis on finding the quality and availability of Grilled Cheese sandwiches, French fries, and lemonade).

Advance Agent will (upon arrival of subject at destination) coordinate removing any items (silverware, ketchup bottles, glassware, tablecloths, salt and pepper, etc) from the arms-length reach of the subject no less than one nano-second before subject reaches for said items with intent to do harm to either self, others or collateral property in the area.

Qualifications: Candidate will need to have had a minimum of 17 years experience in a combination of child rearing, handling hazardous waste, and hostage negotiation. Ability to withstand torture a plus. Masters Degree preferred, but not necessary.

Compensation: Commensurate on qualifications of chosen candidate. Rubber gloves and helmet/hockey mask provided.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Can someone help me with this?

I’m in the market for a car, so I went to the dealership. While looking over a particular brand (with a salesman leering over my shoulder) I was informed the car in question had Bluetooth technology.

“Great,” I said.

Of course, I had no idea what he was talking about, so I looked it up. Apparently, it is a system of wireless communications. I looked up the products that boast “Bluetooth” technology and it was mostly a bunch of headsets for cell phones that you strap to the side of your head, definitely showing a healthy amount of skepticism regarding cell phones to cancer link studies.

I’ve seen this on the street. They look like they just stepped off the Starship…Enterprise. When they use it, they appear to be talking to themselves. They look insane until you figure out what they are doing. But, once you figure it out…it doesn’t really improve things.

But what really amazes me is that they claim this eliminates wires.

What wires?

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Beer Drinker's Story...

My first sip of beer came with a moment of disbelief.

I couldn’t believe people LIKED it. In fact, for the brand I was drinking, I still can’t.

Until I turned 29 (for about 10 years) I didn’t understand why I didn’t like it. Everyone else did. They drank it from a can and it didn’t matter if it got a little warm. Me, I needed sub-artic cold and from a bottle or frosted mug. (I still like the frosted mug or bottle)

A few people have told me they never liked it. They just drank it, for various reasons. Some have quit and some keep trying.

Most of the people that drank the “bad stuff” drank a lot of it and got drunk. As I’ve said before, I’ve never liked drunk, either during or after.

So I don’t think it was peer pressure. But I wanted to be able to enjoy a beer.

One day, I tried a Newcastle Brown Ale. This opened a whole new world for me. I found (in time) that there were beers that I could drink (and enjoy) without a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips or a huge amount of pretzels after each sip.

So for about the past 12 or so years, I have enjoyed it. I quit drinking the beer you see advertised during the super bowl or on billboards. Doesn’t taste good to me. And now that I own a mini-van, trying to be cool isn’t really in the picture anymore.

I drink quality stuff. It’s fairly expensive, but I don’t drink it in large quantities. I just enjoy one or two with dinner or after a day well spent.

I like to go to the grocery store and just browse the hundreds of micro brews that are out there. I usually pick one and (unless something really special happens) never get it again. I’m drinking a Red Seal Ale right now. Has a red seal (the animal) on it. Pretty good. I probably won’t get it again. I’ll try something else next time.

A friend of mine and I made our own beer for a while. Very good. A lot of work. Possibly not cheaper than buying it in the store. We did it for fun.

But now that the microbrew craze is in full glory, I’ll let someone else worry about the quality of the malt and yeast. And I’ll just pick and choose and enjoy.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Maybe I should have had the Margaritas...

I didn’t hear this directly, but I understand some of our friends want to go dancing one night soon.

Some friends.

My dancing career began in 7th grade. I think it was a sock-hop. I don’t remember anything about it except I was quite apprehensive about it and every one of my fears came true.

For 8th and 9th grade I went to a school that felt dancing (and drinking and movies and Disneyland and shooting baskets in the nude) was a sin. I knew these were just rules made up by men and NOT sins, but for the dancing portion, I was on board.

(maybe the famed anti-everything-fun Minister Increase Mather wasn’t really against dancing, he just had two left feet and needed a cover story to avoid looking silly…)

For 10th grade, I was released from the bondage of legalism and sent kicking and screaming into the world of dancing. I remember going to a high school dance and thinking they all looked like idiots. When I tried to see how I was doing (by watching my feet), I didn’t think I was doing much better.

For the last 25 years or so, I have tried to avoid it whenever I could. I went to the Prom and Homecoming my senior year of high school, but electro-shock therapy must have driven the dancing portion from my mind. I really don’t know.

(I was once accused of ruining an entire evening for more than 150 people because I didn’t want to dance. I take issue with this version of the story from those self-absorbed lunatics, but if I did, it was well worth it.)

When I moved to the Caribbean, it took about 45 seconds to discover that my idea that I couldn’t dance and looked terrible doing it was 100% correct. This is because everyone told me I stunk up the joint. Even after four margaritas.

If they want to go, I’ll go…but I’m not dancing. I’ll be the designated driver.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Highway Toll Booths=Fewer Transvestites…

The curse of Eve came with a perk…maybe they (women) don’t see it that way, but right now I’m carrying a cell phone, my money clip, about 75 cents in change, and my car keys. Then I might have a business card I was too polite to refuse to take or a merchandise receipt my paranoid brain is forcing me to keep for the moment.

All of this in two pockets. It slows me down, weighs me down and destroys the sleek look I like to have as a go about my business. Well, it does weigh me down. I feel so cluttered.

Women, you see, get to carry a purse. I’m positive 7 out of 10 cross dressers list this as the number one benefit.

(I’m informed it isn’t the pantyhose, maybe that’s the curse of Dame Edna.)

Usually, what I try to avoid having in my pockets is change.

So it accumulates, either in the house or in the car…sometimes the quarters get used, but what is usually left is a mountain of nickels, dimes and pennies. There aren’t enough opportunities to get rid of it from home. The kids that came around with the orange boxes at Halloween are nowhere to be found. When I’m in the drive thru, I’m usually drinking my drink (or looking for a straw) and don’t have time to sift through all the change. And there aren’t enough toll roads in my area to help me with this glut of coins that is threatening my sanity.

There are these machines at the grocery store that take the coins, counts and gives you back 97% of it in a portable form. If the guys that invented this machine went door-to-door, they’d be rich.

But sales of pantyhose to middle-aged men would drop.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

And part of 1987...

My first year of real college (a small liberal arts school) I co-hosted a radio show on the campus radio station.

(by real college, I mean where I actually signed up for AND went to class…you know that nightmare where it’s the end of the semester and you forgot to go to class all year? That wasn’t a dream for me…it was 1986)

My co-host was a friend (and my roommate) that had also worked in professional radio. He had more talent for on-air stuff than I did, but I had a few creative moments and the show was considered a success on campus. People listened.

(by professional radio, I mean getting paid for working. If you read some of my past posts, my “professionalism” may have come into question…just clarifying)

At the end of the year, we received an award…”The Golden Mike”…for the best on-air talent of the 1987-1988 school year at the station.

I was there (first time since 1996) two days ago and it’s still there on the wall in the station…for all to see…forever….

With my name spelled wrong on it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I hooked it a bit, and it went into the weeds...

I left the liberal arts college I attended near Pittsburgh around noon and headed south with a friend from school. I was giving him a ride to San Marcos, Texas and then heading over to Houston where I would work at a driving range for the summer. My first job in the golf industry.

We ate dinner somewhere, I can’t remember where, and pressed on. We stopped a little after 2 a.m. in Joplin, MO. I remember sitting in the Waffle House, downing coffee and eggs, wondering how we were going to make it 10 more hours to San Marcos. I could barely focus, and I wasn’t behind the wheel, just sitting at the counter. It didn’t help that I couldn’t stop giggling.

Somewhere in Oklahoma (or North Texas), I got out of my car and hit a driver down the desolate, straight-as-an-arrow highway that was our route at the time. Just for fun. It was 6 a.m.

Sometime around noon, we made it to San Marcos. I stayed a minute or two and headed toward Houston. I didn’t bother going by the house I was staying for the summer, I just went straight to the driving range. I hadn’t slept in 30 hours when I arrived.

Somehow it seemed to make sense to have me start working immediately. To whom, I have no idea. But there I was out there driving the range cart picking up balls. I had never done it in my life.

I ran over a stump (mistake) and then tried to back up (colossal mistake) to free myself from it. I bent the frame of the picker and got myself stuck. There I was, 100 yards from the shop, with people hitting balls at me, with my new boss (whom I had never met until 40 minutes ago) staring at me from the tee, and with the clothes I had worn since yesterday on, stuck.

It took us about 30 minutes to get me unstuck, while the range was closed to customers. I was making an impact on business already. It would cost about $50 to fix the picker. A few more days of me and they would be out of business.

Twenty years later…I’m about to start a new line of work. I’ll keep some cash handy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Talk amongst yourselves...

I'm in a time machine today. It's a nice machine, bucket seats, CD player...a lot nicer than the machine I rode in on 20 years ago.

I'll see the old places, eat at the old joints and reminisce about when I couldn't wait to get as far away from this place as possible.

It's great. Maybe for fun, I'll park in the fire lane and wait for security to show up and give me a ticket I won't pay.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lies...all lies...

John the Realtor,

We’ve spent the last few days readying the house for sale. I think you’ll appreciate our efforts and information in the areas outlined below:

1. I spent hours scrubbing the police outline of the body from the living room carpet and I think I got most of it. The cops seem to think the investigation has gone cold anyway.
2. The neighbors have agreed to not jump naked on the trampoline while people are here seeing the house. We were over at their 53rd wedding anniversary party last night and they seemed reasonable about it.
3. The septic tank seems to have stopped bubbling up in the backyard since we are only flushing each toilet once a day.
4. The priest told me the exorcism worked and we shouldn’t have any more visits from the Poltergeist as long as we don’t use the fireplace.
5. The paper mill that adjoins our property is now hidden from view because of the trees and they are closed for June. When they open back up in July, they’ve agreed to eliminate the 3 AM siren (third shift lunch) but not the 5 AM. We’ll keep working on it.
6. The airport told me that the house won’t be in the flight path from noon to 4 o’clock on Thursdays. I know that is kind of a narrow window to show the house, but do the best you can.

Just let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. The engineers come by tomorrow to see about the sinkhole in the side yard that seems to be growing. They seemed optimistic on the phone. We’ll let you know what they say.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Just make a pile of the broken stuff and we'll reimburse you when we leave...

Dear Dave,

We are all set to arrive today. We are looking forward to spending time with you.

We are bringing a crib for John and will need to set it up before he goes to bed around 8:15. Sometimes he has trouble going down so it might be as late as 9:30, but as long as the house is completely silent (no TV or radio or talking), it shouldn’t take too long.

Grace is pretty easy to deal with. We read her a book and then she goes to sleep. Usually, she only gets up for a drink of water 10 or 11 times before exhaustion gets the better of her.

We won’t need an alarm clock. Number one, we’re on vacation and number two, John hasn’t awakened after 6 am since his birth. He usually is ready to go around 5:45 am. He’ll need breakfast (so will Gracie), but it isn’t complicated. Just make some cereal or toast and they will be just fine. Try to have it ready by 6:05 sharp. They get a little cranky if it isn’t on time. We’ll probably be down around 7:45, but we’ll make our own breakfast.

I hope you remember our phone conversation and have removed anything breakable from a height less than three feet from the floor from the entire house. Also, John likes to take a wooden spoon (or equivalent object) and hit things repeatedly. He’s pretty strong. (I still have a bruise on my ankle.) Did you get the shin guards I suggested?

Actually, John is pretty docile as long as you let him do anything he wants. We follow him around and most of the time we can get to him before he breaks something. It isn’t that hard. In fact, he’s pretty predictable.

One of the nights we are there, we’d like everyone to go out to dinner on us. Just bring back a receipt and remember to take bibs for the kids. Also, John had a Blooming Onion the other night (with a reaction you might expect) so try to not order anything really spicy for him.

We can’t wait to get there!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Serious Moment...

I had a friend who lived with his brothers in a house they built a few years ago. Before that, they rented, but they saved their money and built a great place.

I used to go there often, as much as I could. They had a lot of friends and I became friends with their friends.

One day, I was driving by and I saw my friend leaving the house with his bags packed. He told me later that he didn’t plan to leave, but that his brothers had given him an ultimatum, either him or them. At that point, upset by the situation, he left in haste.

I called one of the brothers to find out what horrible thing had occurred to cause them to part ways after all these years. He assured me it was nothing big (not scandalous), but that it was permanent…my friend would never be back.

I’m not worried about where my friend will go or what he will do (he already has a few offers), but I worried that the explanation given was both “nothing big” and “permanent.” If it was nothing big, why couldn’t it be reversed just as quickly as it came about?

They told me it had been going on for years, this problem, but they hadn’t resolved it. At this point, I quit worrying. I figured my friend would be back soon. They were a forgiving group, these brothers, always willing to go the extra mile for even a stranger.

A week or so later, my friend tried to go back to the house, but the brothers stood firm. He wasn’t allowed back in. When I asked why he wasn’t able to come back, one of his brothers told me, “It’s complicated.”

When someone tells me something is complicated, either 1. They think I’m too dumb to understand or 2. They don’t really have a reason or 3. They just are dodging the question. I don’t know which one it is…I’m hoping it isn’t that they think I’m dumb, but you never know (they might read this blog).

I went to the house this past week. A lot of people were there that I had met through my friend. We all agreed the house was still a good place to be, but some (like me) wonder about the brothers.

I wonder why my friend left and never could come back. Not so I’d have some bit of juicy gossip, but so I’d be able to understand the character of the brothers that are still there.

They’ve put a “roommate wanted” sign in the window. I’m wondering what kind of person they will look for in a roommate this time. The brothers and my friend haven’t told us they reconciled the situation and have gone their separate ways in peace…in fact we know they haven’t.

I wonder what the new candidates for roommate will think of that…

Monday, June 2, 2008

Chance of Rain: 50%

Back when I was in the golf business (my last official day was two days ago, so my memory is still pretty clear) I was frequently asked questions pertaining to rain. Often, people called from their home ON the course to ask if it was raining AT the course.

Anyway, my favorite four rain-related questions are below.

The answers I usually gave (which never resulted in a punch in the nose or being fired, miraculously) are also below, just a bit farther…a couple more mouse clicks should do it.

For fun, (if you can stand more than the excitement I have already caused) try to match the answers with the questions, or if that is too complicated, just insert “I don’t know” into all of them, which works equally well and might have saved me some dirty looks, but would have prevented people from understanding the real me (what a tragedy that would have been, right?).

1. The most often tendered was: Do you think it will rain today? ________

2. If it was raining already, I got this one: Do you think it will stop raining? ________

3. If the people were guests (I got this one a lot at Casa de Campo): Where does the rain normally come from around here? ________

4. When I ran tournaments, this one was my favorite: What will we do if it rains? ___________

A. Get wet
B. Yes, see Genesis chapter 9, verse 11
C. Yes, somewhere
D. The sky




Answers: 1.c 2.b 3.d 4.a