Sunday, December 13, 2009

The 80 year plan to save the planet...

I've finally heard a plan that will save mankind from the horrors of global warming.

It will take some education and committement from the citizens of the earth, but if carried out, the plan is guaranteed to eliminate mankind's effect on the global temperature.

The problem of overpopulation will be solved, which according to the experts, is the cause of the greenhouse gases that is about to ruin the earth.

The plan is to get every couple to commit to limit the number of children they bring into the world to NONE per family.

This ought to solve it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maybe it was a "you gonna buy something or not?" sign...

The first sign I saw said, "You break it, you buy it." Then after the "$25 for all returned checks," was the "shoplifters will be prosecuted to the FULLEST extent of the law," "no refunds without receipt" and one other I can't remember, but it was no less forbodding than the other four.

Meanwhile, I heard the owner complain that business was terrible and he'd tried everything to get it going, but nothing worked. Nobody was shopping there, the economy was terrible, the weather was bad, he hadn't seen it this bad in the last 25 years.

"No matter what, these people...they got money...but they aren't going to spend it around here," he said.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I couldn't operate heavy machinery anyway, Mr. Know it all...

One job I don't understand is the Surgeon General. Everyone makes a big deal out of it and there are hearings and vetting all so that when the guy gets the job he trots out his esteemed opinion that cigarettes and alcohol abuse MIGHT be hazardous to your health.

This is also the opinion of your parents, your AA sponsor and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Oh, and if you're pregnant, it's not a good idea to smoke or drink. Brilliant.

But this guy gets to have it written on all the packaging like he was the first one to think of it or something.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oh, that sounds like wait, what did you say?

Today Gracie told us about a new game she learned at Bible Study...she doesn't study per se, but goes with Holli to the study where they have classes and things for the kids to do.

The game, according to Gracie, is called Jesus, Jesus, God and the rules are the same as duck, duck, goose.

Now, I'm no theologian, but something about this isn't right. Now I doubt that there is a direct ratio, such as Jesus is to duck as God is to goose, intended, but what's wrong with duck, duck, goose that it needs a religious twist?

When the kids play tag, is it "Laying on hands tag?" When they play dodge ball, is it "predestined to be struck with a red rubber (dodge) ball?" (I guess if you are really reformed you just stand there and wait for the ball to hit you...after all if you're going to get hit by the ball...)

Red Rover, Red Rover, let John the Baptist come over?

I'd write more, but Holli wants to tell me about the Singing Christmas Tree.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coming out of the closet...

I hate Christmas. I hate buying presents for people just because it is the last week in December. If I want to buy a nice gift for someone, I'll decide WHEN that is, thank you.

I hate Christmas trees...but so do all other men I've every discussed this with. It's a waste of time, money and if you have a dog...well, good luck. I hate figgy pudding, whatever that is.

I hate hanging garland, I hate getting the ornaments out of the attic. I hate sending cards to people. I hate having to explain why I still haven't grown up since last year in my yearly report. I hate photos of us smiling when two minutes earlier I was trying to convince Grace to PLEASE put on her (horribly ugly, she says) brown shoes and trying to get John to stay still long enough to put on pants.

I don't want to go over hills and through the woods on a sleigh. I don't want to sing for the neighbors wondering if I'll ever get full use of my left foot again. I don't want to exchange gifts with almost strangers. I don't want to explain to Grace and John why a fat guy in a red suit ISN'T in the nativity scene.

I do like egg nog, though.

I'm not a scrooge. I'm a man.

However, if by "Christmas" you mean the celebration of the birth of the Messiah, then count me in...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To whom it may concern at ESPN...

Scores, games and highlights.

I want scores, games and highlights. I don't want stories on the personal lives of the people in the games or highlights. If I want something other than scores, games and highlights, I'll tune into Access Hollywood or watch The View. But as it is, I can't tell you apart from Oprah right now.

Scores, games and highlights...


P.S. I'm retiring from golf. If being the best golfer in the world isn't enough to keep you from a public spectacle, then why am I trying to be the 1,000,000th best?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And playing middle linebacker...

The Discovery Health Channel is running a series of shows on pregnancy tonight...some of the titles are "Transgendered and Pregnant," "I didn't know I was pregnant," and "Pregnant and addicted," just to name a few.

Of course, the ones that didn't make the cut are "Pregnant and want to kill everyone," "Pregnant and Eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken Three Times a Day," "Pregnant and in a foreign country," and "Pregnant and Still Working as a Rodeo Clown."

Isn't it enough to be pregnant? From what I understand, that's plenty.

Note: The author continues to try to atone for asking, "well, why can't you change the tire? You're only in your second trimester!" during his wife's pregnancy three years ago.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hot Pink?

The debate rages on...11 point type or 12?

If you use 11 point type, you have to have more content and that may necessitate using the phone book for pages 12 and 13. If you use 12 point type, you fill up pages too quickly and that costs money to print more page with the same number of less profit margin.

But people want a thick paper, so the shift goes back to 12 point type. But people aren't stupid, they'll know if they paper is just printing bigger type in order to make more pages fill up. They wrote research papers in high school too, probably.

So, for no apparent reason as resovled above, I'm going to use 11 point type. Times New Roman.

I'll try to make tomorrow interesting. I'm deciding what color to paint the coin-operated newspaper boxes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Well, first you get a hat with "press" written on it...

1 : a paper that is printed and distributed usually daily or weekly and that contains news, articles of opinion, features, and advertising
Hat Tip: Webster's Online Dictionary

The reason I offer this definition is that my eventual competitor is asking around, trying to get some information on what I'm planning on doing, although they already know I'm planning to produce a newspaper.

(which makes them my eventual competitor...which is why they want to know in the first place...don't they know what they do?)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Not neccesarily in order...

Beef Jerky
Hormel Tamales
Skyline Chili
Gummi Bears (now that the secret is out)
Friends near and far
Dark Beer
Frank's Red Hot
Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet

and then my other list of make believe things to be thankful for...
Santa Claus
The Easter Bunny
The Great Pumpkin
and Global Warming

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Final answer?

We've advertised on the radio, we've told people, wooed clients, hired a salesperson, got a distribution plan and have a facebook page.

I ordered a printer, interviewed a printer (to print the paper) and hired a photographer. We've done it as a news story on the news @ noon (even though it starts at 12:05) although I didn't interview myself or anything.

I've been working on layouts, finished the masthead (or banner), created a name plate and incorporated. I bought a camera. I've told people to send me columns and stories and they've done so. I've written my first column. I bought a flask for my desk drawer.

So I guess I'm going to do this.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A clean comfortable room for only $36...

The raising of a young child should, I think, contain all sorts of things...a respect for others, a love for God, and a knowledge of literature, science, math and Tom Bodette. Tonight it was the last one on the list.

The path to useless knowledge began when Gracie asked if she could leave the light on. I replied that she wasn't Tom Bodette.

"Who's Tom Bodette?" The guy that leaves the light on for you. "Where does he live?" I don't know. "What's his middle name?" I don't know. "Why does he leave the light on for me?" So you'll stay at his hotel. "Who is he?" A guy. "What does he do?" He makes commericals. "Why?"

To which I replied..."hang on, let me get the light for you."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Things you don't learn in journalism school...

I got a bottle of scotch and a flask to keep in my desk.

I've got an old sportscoat and a fedora.

I'm still working on a cigarette to let dangle out of my mouth as I pound away on my typewriter as my deadline nears, but I've got it narrowed down to Marlboro's and Kool's.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's red and it's a chevy...

I finally have justified the purchase of a second pair of cowboy boots. I bought a truck.

I got hammered on the deal, all while being told I was getting a great deal, which is probably true (I'm just cheap and don't like paying) because my car really looked bad the day I took it over there.

That morning, I got an oil change for the car, which was stupid since I got NO credit for bringing in a car full of clean oil. Same thing for filling the gas tank.

During the queasy time of "getting my information" and while I was resisting the urge to run away, I was asked to go get the registration and insurance information out of my car.

When I got out to my car, I thought I had a problem...well two problems...I had neither registration nor insurance info. I couldn't prove I even owned the car.

But I was wrong. They didn't care. And (along with an agreement to pay for the car until Grace and John are close to driving) that's how I got a truck.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To this woman I legally bind...sign here...

I'm sitting here wondering whether the woman I offered a job to will take it. It's like being told, "hold on, the final jeopardy is about to come on," when you've just opened the box and popped the question.

But it could have been least when I asked Holli to marry me, she didn't ask me what was involved (until after the wedding and it was more like, "what do you mean you don't do yard work?"). She didn't ask me about paying mileage, about commissions on sales or what she would need to do to keep her job.

And neither did I spell out the marriage in terms worthy of a legal department nor did I ask her to sign a contract.

And I already knew if she planned to get pregnant, what religion she was and her views on gay marriage. All things that would get me sued if I were to ask them of a potential employee.

Draw your own conclusions...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I think it was Christmas Eve...

I was told I could come by and get my “stuff” which amounted to a weight bench and some weights and I don’t remember what else.

I tried to get a friend to go with me, but either he was busy or wise enough to know the climate over there was dangerous, or potentially so. He was almost right.

I pulled my Plymouth Horizon into the driveway and walked down the grass to the house.

I gathered my things from the porch and took them to the car. I looked back, hoping she’d come outside. Her father stood in the doorway, guarding the exit.

And then, I did the wrong thing. I walked back down the yard.

He scowled at me and slammed the door.

I lost it. I yelled, I screamed. I stood on their front porch and hollered they had no right to break us up.

The house was still. I opened my mouth, but with a suddenness that silenced me, he came out the door and lunged toward me. Her little brother, right on Dad’s heels, took a swing.

In a heartbeat I remembered he told me that he once shot someone who was drinking beer on his land…I remember that he got away with it…and as I remembered it, I ran.

I don’t remember much after that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Step one, I guess...

I'm living a double life, sort of.

I love gummy bears. From the day I first tried one back in high school, I can't seem to get enough of them. The slightly-greasy Hairbo ones are my favorite. I've been known to buy a bag of them ($.97 bag) and eat them all on the 10 minute drive home, throwing the wrapper in the garbage on my way into the house.

Tonight, the urge hit me and I went to the candy aisle to score a bag. And then panic ensued. They'd rearranged all the candy and they weren't where they usually are. And there is no way I'm going to find someone and ask them "Excuse me Ma'am, where are the gummy bears?" First of all, it isn't very manly, and second of all I've never found anyone to help me in (like talking to a brick) Wal-Mart within 15 minutes of trying.

But through perseverance, eventually, I found them and went to the checkout...I usually try to strike up a conversation with the cashier so she won't notice I'm buying neon colored candy. Or I buy a pack of cigarettes so she will see me as an evil smoker of tobacco instead of someone addicted to something that is 97.6% sugar.

And I ate every single one of them on the way home.

Friday, November 13, 2009

But Cayenne Lemonade does...

I got a phone call today from “an internet advisor” who informed me a search of key words on Google* did not result in our radio station being found in the first 10 search results.

This surprised me because putting the call letters (radio lingo) into Google*, does, in fact, yield our website. I told him so.

Not, said he.

So, said I…but then I asked…”what search words did you use?”

His reply was “radio,” “radio station,” and “country music.”

I asked him (or maybe I just wish I had) if he thought a 3000-watt radio station in rural Tennessee SHOULD be one of the top 10 search results in the entire world when you put in “radio,” “radio station,” and “country music?”

He said he thought our website could use some work. I told him (or maybe I just wish I had) that his manners could use some work and that I liked my website just fine (actually, it's quite mediocre, but what do you expect from a guy who has a blog named after a made up drink?) and that I had to go now.

So I went.

*While typing this I discovered that Google shows up as a misspelling in Microsoft Word if you don’t use a capital “G.” However, God doesn’t. Draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Betting I'll live past 45...

My IRA is about to become MY RA. Now.

Now for those of you who think I'm crazy to flush my retirement, I plan to use it for something better than that (flushing that is). The World Series of Poker beckons. Well, maybe not yet. Maybe someday.

The laws says I can have this money (without penalty) when I’m 59.5 years of age….but I bought life insurance that runs out when I’m 62. So I’m betting (with my money) that I’m going to die before 2029, but I’m planning to leave other money in the IRA until 2027? And for the wad of cash I’ll supposedly have (if I leave it in there they tell me), I won’t be able to spend it all in two and a half years.

So hand it over.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All in...

To do list:
Call Broker to liquidate 401K
Get a bank account
Buy some business cards
Learn how to use photo shop
Call the printer and tell him it’s on
Get a camera

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deposition taken...

Pursuant to the complaint the defendant gave the following responses on the 10th day of November, 2009 to the charge that she wrote her name on the wall of the bedroom in crayon:

Mom: Gracie!
Grace: Yes?
Mom: Why did you write on the wall?
Grace: Mom, that was years ago.
Mom: Gracie!
Grace: Mom, that was years ago. Back when I was four!
Mom: Ok, stop laughing.
Dad: I can’t help it.
Grace: But that was years ago...Mom...that was years ago.

As the statute of limitations had since passed, the defendant was released.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Well, yeah, I guess it is...

He rummaged around and found it under a pile of leaves. He had to pull a few twigs off of it and some bark, but finally he got it perfect.

He ran to the edge of the yard and pointed it at a passing truck, yelling at the top of his lungs. He pointed it at things and slammed it on the ground. He made noises like a gun while aiming it.

He hit acorns with it. He swept the leaves off the yard with it. He beat trees with it.

He came over near me, swinging it back and forth. He started hitting the ground with it. I asked…”What do you have there, John?”

Without looking at me, he replied, “It’s a stick, Dad.”

Friday, November 6, 2009

Breaking News...

Out there in the World Wide Web Somewhere -- Children used to learn about reformed theology on the street – either from friends, those weird older kids who'd smoke behind the dumpster, or a friend's older and ostensibly wiser sibling.

But a study reveals that kids are now more likely to learn about the five points of Calvinism on the internet.

“It’s really exploded,” says Tim Jones, “Kids now can learn the Apostle’s Creed without leaving the privacy of their own home.“

What the study also reveals, likely without having been intended, is the existence of reformed theology that has developed in the mainstream search and social media sector. When a person searches “Unconditional Election” or “Perseverance of the Saints” they find concise answers without having to resort to looking it up in a book or going to church on Sunday.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Looking for a sponsor...

About two months ago I did something stupid…to be specific (as I readily admit I’ve done stupid things since then, but I am speaking of one particular thing)…agreed to quit eating beef jerky.

(I would have agreed to quit “cold turkey” but I don’t really know what that means…why is it “cold turkey” people talk about quitting and it being so hard? Were there no Twinkies when this phrase was coined?)

Anyway (the screaming in my head makes it hard to focus hence all the parenthesis) the craving for a Slim Jim has now reached critical mass.

This became apparent when earlier today, when I saw a lesser man (or at least a smarter man who didn’t agree to stop eating them) tear open the plastic at the top and bite off a huge chunk. I nonchalantly wandered over and asked him if that was the spicy Tabasco or the regular.

He must have noticed the drool on my lips because he indignantly told me, “GET YOUR OWN.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If you really wanted to "friend me," you'd have offered to drive the getaway car...

The internet news teases you with the “Man/Woman arrested for…” and somehow I always end up clicking on it to see if it is someone I know.

There are 300 million or so people in our country, but I would figure someday I would be able to read up on an old acquaintance that did something terrible or wildly illegal and made the national news confirming my idea that “he/she never was quite right.” And maybe they keep checking to see if it was me.

I guess now that everyone (well almost everyone) is on twitter or facebook, it would be less likely to be a surprise if someone from your past got nabbed in heinous activity, since they would probably mention in a “tweet” or on their page that they were “standing outside the bank with a ski mask on” right before they took the note to the teller. During the hostage crisis, you could send them a “hug” or a “pizza” or write something encouraging on their wall. Your friends could start a “I sure hope he gets the helicopter” group. Also, your friends could make suggestions or tell you they “liked” the idea of trading useless hostages for a massage therapist or a good barber.

(where you’re going, both will be tough to get)

But so far, everyone has stayed within the law (at least enough to not make the Drudge Report). But I’ll keep checking.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In the dark, almost...

The internet is out (at the time of this writing that is – if it never comes back on you’ll never get to read this) and it seems like the earth has ground to a halt.

I can’t get email, I can’t get on the internet…it’s like I’m stranded on a desert island, although I do have phone, light and motorcar, so things aren’t that bad.

And through this grueling trial (it’s been out for about an hour now) it seems pretty apparent to me how the evil people are going to get us (you may insert your greatest feared group who might gain power for “evil” in the last sentence) in their grips…they’ll control the information. They’ll get us all used to getting our news, sports and weather from the net and then they’ll just

Monday, November 2, 2009

Confess your sins and get free refills...

I saw a coffee cup the other day that said, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

Bad grammar aside, I think it’s great that you can pin down the specific type of co-dependence that makes up your dysfunctional family life with a coffee mug. A great way to start your day.

In this same vein, I guess it would be fine if you had a mug that said, “Dad likes to risk the mortgage payment betting on college football games,” or “Sister thinks twinkies are a food group,” or even “Brother is a kleptomaniac."

All of which would make momma unhappy, so I guess the “If momma ain’t…” mug kind of covers the subject...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Three for the price of none

Tonight I needed a coat hanger. This is not good news in our house, since I needed it to try to fix the dishwasher.

The need of a wire coat hanger, I have found, is rarely good news. It's a locked car door, something stuck in the gas tank of my lawn mower, a plate stuck in the back of the dishwasher, or even (in the old days) poor TV reception.


Hate crimes are in the news. There is a movement to expand the definition of "hate crime" when a murder is committed against someone "different" than the alleged committer of the crime. Well, duh...we're all different, and has anyone heard of a murder not being a hate crime? Is there a case where someone MURDERED someone they had good feelings toward at the time of the act?


And finally, the people who are doing the TV listings for shows after football or baseball games have apparently never watched one or they would know that Seinfeld will not be airing 2 hours after the start of a World Series Game.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The fact that a rabbit can't lay an egg was my first clue...

Dear Jill,

I appreciate your email to the station letting us know that you can get us an interview with Santa Claus for a future broadcast.

In past years, we were interested in an interview with Mr. Claus (on a personal rather than professional level), but have been unable to get him to return our calls or our emails. Also, we suspect that our letters to him (addressed to the North Pole) were either not delivered or ignored, as they have consistently gone unanswered. Checking with colleagues has shown them to have an experience much like ours in this area.

Our other experiences with Santa have been unsatisfactory also. We have observed even those who were naughty instead of nice receiving gifts, in some cases in a disproportionate amount to our gifts. We feel his diligence in obtaining information in this area is misguided, sloppily done, or not done at all.

But the problem, we feel, is more insidious that just incompetence. Things such as duplicate gifts, lack of batteries included with gifts, uneaten cookies and the milk mustache our parents have sported on Christmas morning has led us to doubt the existence of this gentleman in the first place.

To be blunt, we think you’ve invented him. Our investigation supports this theory.

In closing, we’ve alerted the Better Business Bureau and hope that you will limit your offers of interviews to actual people, not ones created to make us behave during the month of December.


P.S. And don’t send us the Easter Bunny thing next year either.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Someone in England (A Lord Stern who is the Climate EXPERT???) has said the way to save the planet is to stop eating meat.

I, for one, agree that this will save the planet. For the cows, chickens, sheep and pigs, that is. The rest of us would be in serious trouble.

I have no statistics to support this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the number of animals made of meat right now is a rather significant figure. And to stop eating them would mean we would have to FEED them into old age, unless this gentleman suggests we slaughter them and take them to a landfill or something which would probably make the vegetarians rather angry since many of them have a problem with humans making dead animals period, not just the eating of them.

So we’d need to go out and spay/neuter them (although we could pick one of the two and it would have the same effect) in order to keep them from overpopulating the planet. This would be rather pricey.

And how about the economic effect of telling everyone working in the meat industry that in order to save the planet, they can neither profit from nor eat the spoils of the industry that until yesterday, they owed their livelihood to? That’s a long question, but I think you see where I am going with this.

And if we (meaning the countries with animals made of meat) tried to do away with them, the starving people of the world (who can’t get corn because some idiot wants to make gasoline out of it) would probably politely request that we send these “worthless” animals to them for food. But if we did this, WE would be the starving people, so let's not waste a stamp and just keep them here.

Yo...Stern…IT’S TOO LATE to stop the world from eating meat. Think of something else. But, I admit, it will be hard to top this one.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Well, I don’t get mad when you do it…

My apologies need some work.

In most situations, I’m perfectly willing to admit my mistakes, whether tangible or not.

I guess my philosophy is that if you are mad, I’ll say I’m sorry. Even when the reason is mysterious to me.

The problem is when my performance is less than convincing. Such as when I say it too soon. Or too late. I need some kind of guide for creating an atmosphere of believability when I humble myself and admit that yes, I left the toilet seat up, I’m sorry for it and it won’t ever happen again.

I mean, how can leaving it UP cause bodily harm?

Monday, October 26, 2009

The not-so-silent killer...

Every cell phone call you make takes five minutes off your life. We all know that. But the real killer is the calls that are being made around you.

When a cell phone is used, about half of the noise in the air is absorbed into the head by the user and the other half floats around in the air. The combination of mainstream and sidestream phone calls makes up environmental cell phone noise.

Also known as secondhand cell phone noise, this plays a part in more health problems than you might realize. No one should be forced to have their head poisoned with second hand cell phone noise.

If someone is using a phone in your area, crouch down so that the cancer causing waves go over your head on the way to the tower or if you can’t crouch down, ask the user to stand on a chair during his or her call.


But if you’re a user and you’ve tried everything…remember, trying to quit “cold turkey” by throwing away your phone and charger just won’t work. Odds are you’ll be back at the store buying more within a day or two as the chemical imbalance in your body cries out for the endorphins released by a text message or phone call. That’s why we offer the phone patch. A harmless patch that you put on your body that rings every three minutes, then every four minutes and so on until you’ve quit without even knowing it.

Call today (but use a land line)…1-800-PATCH ME. We’ll ship you six weeks worth of fake text messages and inane conversation that will rid you of your cell phone urges forever.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanks, Google!

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a newspaper columnist.

I would be witty and occasionally wise and always entertaining. But then I found out you didn’t apply to be a columnist, instead you started by writing obits, then if you were lucky you’d get to write feature stories about the 4-H fair, and then if someone died, you might get to write a sports story. If you did that well and you really had good fortune, right before your 59th birthday, you’d get that column with your picture on the page next to your diatribe on the Designated Hitter that would be read and adored by millions.

They called it “paying dues,” but I was broke and couldn’t afford it. And then (not right away, it took about 15 years) along came blogging, which has given me a forum to discuss at whatever length I want, any subject I want, as long as it doesn’t make wife mad or my parents wonder what they did wrong.

And you never know what might happen next.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And they don't always match...

My life seems headed toward “sock drawer” analogy.

Occasionally in my life, I’ve had too many socks for my drawer. But it always seemed like I could get one more pair in there…I’d cram them in…and then somehow get the door shut. Then, I’d find another pair. Same method. I wondered, sometimes, just how many more pairs I could get in there. Five, Ten? Who knew?

And this where my life is heading. I seem to be taking on (or negotiating toward) more stuff all the time…but it somehow fits in there. Seventy basketball games in 83 days? Sure, cram it in. Start a new business? Yeah, fine. Do your own yard work? Uh, ok…

To make room for my new socks, sometimes I’d have to throw away an old pair. But usually that would only come when they fell apart.

And I know I could get a bigger drawer. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The start of my next novel

At the immigration counter, I wistfully looked down at the cyan-colored burlap tourniquet I had fastened to my arm to stop the blood flow.

This will be tough to explain, I thought.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I need to stop reading Ayn Rand...

This past Saturday I found myself at the Music Festival listening to the tunes being sent up by the live artists. I looked around and noticed just about everyone had a toe tap or a hand slap...something to the beat of the music.

I meanwhile, just stood there.

I've got a little rhythm, but it only shows up during Dancing with the Stars or for no reason whatsoever...this is somewhat annoying to those are then forced to grab the hand or the pen that I am keeping a clandestine, unknown time with.

It's not that I'm marching to the beat of a different drummer, it's that a drummer isn't required or when one is present, I won't acknowledge that it even exists.

And if you are sitting there wondering what I'm talking about, you're not any different than someone that charged me $75 to listen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

And the national color would be pink...

Tonight I learned what the world would be like in a Gracie controlled environment.

1. You would go on Red and Stop on Green. She's not sure what to do about yellow.
2. The speed limit would be 80. At least.
3. There would be no bedtime.
4. There would be better tasting toothpaste.

There would, however, still be spankings for writing on the walls in crayon.

In accessing the list, I really wouldn't have much of a problem with this either, I'd get used to the Red-Green switch, I kind of have a lead foot, I don't have a bedtime and there IS better tasting toothpaste...we just haven't given it to her yet (but her birthday is coming).

Friday, October 16, 2009

I didn't dance all night...why should I pay the piper?

I wouldn’t say the fabric of society has been breached, but it’s close. Well, maybe it’s not close, but for today it’s close enough.

After delivering play-by-play the local high school football team, the crew went to a local wing joint where beer and wings were purchased and eaten. A good time was had by all.

Until this morning.

I awoke with a pounding headache, a bit queasy and a dry mouth. Now, I know what these symptoms mean, as I had friends in college who drank too much. But I only had two beers and I ate plenty of food with them. I got plenty of sleep.

(about 11:30 pm until 7:24 am...which left me 6 minutes to get dressed and get to work...I had to skip a few things...which accounts for the awful taste in my mouth right now)

The point is, this isn’t how the universe is supposed to work. I wasn’t drunk. I violated no rules. Therefore, I should have no hangover. But as it is, I feel terrible. It’s not fair.

I’d write more, but I just found some toothpaste and a toothbrush in my desk. Gotta go.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Well, brava...

Normally I have to show up a few times before I get fired/replaced, but this time it was before the first rehearsal.

I was asked to play Mr. Martini (complete with accent) in a stage adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life. I was really excited about it and was working on my character…I slicked my hair and I emailed an Italian friend (with an accent) with a list of phrases I wanted him to send me mp3 files of. I ordered a pair of tri-colored bowling shoes for everyday wear. I've been reading Chef Boyardee’s autobiography.

But while I was getting lunch today (an Italian sub of course) I was told that some guy named Bob was going to replace me by the lady that gave me my sandwich, which if she hadn’t been the wife of the director would have really been humiliating as I'd hate for the word to have already been on the street before it got to me.

But no hard feelings. However, if Bob needs the complete Godfather series on DVD, I've got a copy on the way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sugar and spice and everything nice...

Right before the scintillating 500th post on this personal tragedy of a blog site, I thought I'd enlighten you as to one of my new favorite sites to visit.

I don't spend a lot of time reading other blogs...often I just skim them to see if they've mentioned me.

But this one I read in full each post. It's a blog by the daughter of a dear couple of friends who in a past life let me sleep on their couch, although I was wise enough to bring a blanket, my own towels and set my own alarm clock. It was good training for adulthood, even though I was 33 at the time.

But anyway, she writes about haircuts and shows off her art. She doesn't have a link to my blog...which shows incredible taste and judgment at such a young age. She writes about two or three paragraphs and they are easy to follow, which may be why I like reading it.

(I know this post is a bit different but I promise to return to sarcastic and shallow by tomorrow.)

Her big sister was once my favorite little girl. But she grew up and got replaced, although her growing up wasn't the reason she fell to second place. She may have been the reason I figured I could actually be a parent...

But back to her sister. If I ever become un-self-absorbed enough to have a blogroll, she'll be on it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just some friendly occult hijinks...

I’m confused about something.

With the Halloween season comes the haunted houses and such to raise money for charity. You walk on uneven floors and people in bedsheets jump out and say “boo” and the like. Not my cup of eye-of-newt, but to each his own.

It's time now for the Real County Music lyric of the day:
Cause ladies love outlaws like babies love stray dogs...

Moving on...the other thing is the house that really is haunted…verified by Bill Murray and the Ghostbusters themselves or people who deal in this kind of paranormal stuff. These folks give tours of their house during the Halloween season and people go and…well, this is where I lose my way on this one.

If it really is haunted…why would you go? Why wouldn’t you go in the opposite direction? Didn’t these people ever watch Scooby Doo?

Monday, October 12, 2009

A little respect please...

Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain all the way to the Dominican Republic. He didn’t have sonar, radar, GPS or the weather channel.

He battled dysentery, scurvy, sea-sickness and bad breath.

And when he got to his destination, it wasn’t where he thought it was, nor were the conditions any better than what he had on the boat. There was no beer, not even Miller Lite. (There still isn’t, thankfully)

And for all this, his hard work and grit, some people think I should go to work today.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lies Men Believe...

I’ve never had much affection for the electric razor. They don’t seem to work very well, they give you this thing called “razor burn,” and it doesn’t seem manly.

In college I had one, but that was when my beard didn’t sprout a noon-o’clock shadow. But now every few years the grind of buying blades for my razor and the dream of the ease of a “quick shave” causes me to go back out and buy the latest Gillette-o-Matic or whatever the latest ad is pitching.

I tell no one, not wanting to be shunned by the purists in the shaving world for violation of the sacred. Also, because deep down I don’t think the newest thing has a breath of a chance of working.

It’s been about five years since I last tried this.

But now it’s time for the Real Country Music lyric of the day…You’re the reason I went to beer from Soda Pop.
You’re the reason I never go to the beauty shop.
And you’re the reason our kids are ugly, little darling
But looks aint everything and money aint everything
And I still love you anyway

Back to the monologue (even if the song wasn’t)…you never hear a man tell another man about the close shave he gets from his electric razor. And the reason is that it doesn’t exist.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Technically, it qualifies...

The writer of this blog has been too &(^&^%)_ busy to write today. Also, he has been too busy to look up the correct spelling of obscenities.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where I'll be for lunch...

A scared and shattered psyche is all I have to show for my years of crossing paths with bullies. I have no story of standing up to them and having THEM back down. Yes, I stood up to them on occasion, but I have no great victories to show for it. The TV and movies often show the disadvantaged rising up and smiting the great bully, but in real life it usually doesn’t work that way.

But after childhood, the bullies persist, but in a different way (I haven’t had anyone throw my car on top of a house, steal my baseball glove or threaten to follow me home from work) using a different set of techniques. Now the bullies just yell (and email) until everyone stops what they are doing and agrees to go along with what they want. It seems easier to deal with them that way instead of kicking them out of the committee or telling (who do you tell?) on them.

Occasionally, you hear of the adult bullies resorting to physical intimidation, but that usually is followed by jail or lawsuits.

But, since we aren’t thrown in a huge collection with EVERYONE like we were in school, you can avoid the bullies (unless you have to go to the DMV or something) by staying out of biker bars and Wal-Mart during the Christmas shopping season. Well, for the most part.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My oh Mayans...

This “end of the world” thing is still making me chuckle. I know I’m late in picking this whole 2012 Mayan prediction thing up, but I don’t think I should forfeit my chance at a bit of ridicule at their (whoever they are) expense.

In case you hadn’t heard, the Mayans (who didn’t make it out of the 14th century) predicted that the earth would cease to exist on December 21, 2012. Of course, since the Caesarian calendar was proved to be off by about 15 days by the early 1900’s (see time dot gov if you don’t believe me), even if these guys had a calendar, it wasn’t correct anyway. Some of the reasons given for the Mayan civilization disappearing involved witch/priests (complete with a cauldron full of eye of newt, I’m sure), a peasant revolt, and poor environmental policy that involved abuse of land and pulverizing natural resources such as forests, animals, and shoals and/or reefs that could have proved useful. If only Al Gore had been around.

So when these guys got together to map out the remainder of history, it is said they only went until 2012. To me, that would seem to be enough…seven hundred or so years ahead. But it is said to be a sign that the earth wouldn’t last past that…all because some Mayan guy had to get home to his wife before she changed the locks.

But these guys were the experts, not the sovereign being of the universe (translation: God) or even Isaac Newton or Morley Safer.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I guess it would fade to black...

The trouble with the end of the world is that you can’t be sure it really is the end of the world.

If you know that it IS the end of the world, you could just sit back with a cold beer and watch the festivities, because unless you had a spaceship and advance reservations to another world, you’re not going to make it out alive. It is after all, the end of the world.

But if you’re not sure, you get in your car and drive until the inevitable road-buckling that seems to be common with the “almost end of the world” scenarios played out in various styles and film genre. Then you run as fast as you can toward I have no idea what…which I would guess would make you wish you’d stayed home in the first place. It’s much better to use your own bathroom right before the world ends (or almost ends), unless you’ve run out of toilet paper or something.

But if the movie really is about the end of the world and the world ends at the end of the movie, how does the movie itself end?

Friday, October 2, 2009

My little number 8...

The soccer season ended last night for Gracie.

The first game was Tuesday and about 10 minutes in, a kid head-butted her (not on purpose) and she had to come off the field. Shaken, but still ready, she went back in only to be hit with a ball in the face from about 3 or 4 yards away.

She didn’t go back in. Last night we went and she was (understandably) too scared to go out there. Her beaming smile she had before the game as she warmed up with her teammates turned into a frown and fear-filled eyes when the game started.

So, for this year at least, she is retired.

As parents, we don’t know why she was the only one who got hit in the face with an airborne ball, but we can’t do anything about it.

We can’t ask her to do anything that terrified her when it isn’t a necessary part of life. There will be things she will have to overcome her fear for, but kicking a soccer ball with 18 other kids (most of them bigger than her) isn’t going to be one of them.

We’ll kick the ball in the yard. That’ll be more fun anyway.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And maybe tomorrow too...

Since the hysterectomy, I’ve got a real problem.

Before the surgery, we knew WHEN it was her. We had physical proof that while YES, I WAS AN INSENSITIVE JERK, her reaction was somewhat enhanced due to the hormones that had her in a more fragile state of mind. Or at least the proof came a day or two later and we all understood that her throwing the Baklava was probably only 50% my fault.

But now, with no physical evidence, I don’t know if it really is 100% me or a 50-50 deal. And, even worse still, neither does she.

You would think eliminating the “honey, are you PMSing?” question would help things, but good luck thinking of a different question designed to get that type of information that will work as well. And we have one less thing to talk about now.

So while I’m glad for the savings on paper products, I really need some sort of a signal that the “dark side” of the force has reappeared.

But today, I’m pretty sure it’ll be 100% me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One acre and a Kubota...

When I went to buy my lawn mower, they asked if me if I wanted a “zero-turn” mower.

Not knowing what they were talking about (and thinking I needed to be able to turn it) I told them no. This ended up saving me lots of money, but as I circle around in the yard going back to get that one foot wide strip to finish a section, I can understand why I should have gotten it.

As it stands, I now have more conversation chances with people, as in, “You mow yet this week?” and then the discussion of how wide my deck is and whether I’ve got the “zero-turn.”

The recent purchase of a chain saw may lead to questions such as, “Did you think you would miss those fingers so much?” or “When do you get that bandage off your knee?”

I'd write more, but I think the lawn is growing again.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Einstein likes to color...

Holli has a Master's Degree, an undergraduate degree and an associate degree. I've got a degree myself from a small liberal arts school. We are educated people, academically speaking. But John doesn't seem to care.

John's most reliable source in the house is his five-year old sister. Monsters? Sure, says Gracie, so John believes regardless of what we tell him.

He listens to her advice on food like she is the editor of Gourmet Magazine. If she says it's (in her culinary lingo) "not yummy," the boy won't touch it.

Her cravings become his cravings, be it water, cookies or whatever.

She's not 4-feet tall and he thinks she's the encyclopedia of knowledge on all subjects.

I mean, she's smart, but how about a look our way?

Monday, September 28, 2009

What, me smile?

We went and had pictures of us and the kids made this weekend.

I’ve not been much of a picture taker, due to the fact that I don’t smile for them. I don’t know why this is, but the first thing that occurs to me is that I need a reason to smile. You can’t just say “smile” and I smile. I need a reason. Dance. Tell a joke. Something.

The idea of taking a picture, I think, is to capture the moment. Well, if the moment is standing with a bunch of people looking at someone with an electronic device, I fail to see the reason for unbridled joy.

I think I genuinely smile as much as anyone. But if you think my motivation to grin is solely because you have a camera and tell me to, my advice to you is get better material.

And if you want to see someone grin for no reason, buy Mad Magazine.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How to get along with everyone...

It always amuses me when the anarchists get together, because by definition, they aren't supposed to...but there they were, dressed in black holding signs with the anarchists "A" on it, shouting slogans in unison. Yes, in unison.

They came from all over, the news said, to unite (?!?) and made their voices heard. They were described as "self-described anarchists." Well, I hope so.

It's the same kind of chuckle I get when I hear of people saying they hate intolerance. To be truly tolerant, intolerance should be accepted with open arms, welcomed, and encouraged even. It's fine with me if you hate everything.

All of this points to the fact that we don't seem to be wired, as humans, to deal with the other humans. It's a sorry world. The divorce rate is 50% or so...the prisons are full...Miller Lite...etc, etc.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm about to merge onto the interstate...can you text me?

I was going to write about how I always get a to go cup when I get ice tea at a restaurant (wouldn't that have been exciting!) and how this mildly annoys my wife, but something else happened.

I was leaving the restaurant in a rainstorm when my cell phone rang. On the other end was the life insurance people (who have my home, work and cell numbers) to ask me when I would like to schedule my "quick" health exam. They'll take blood, find out my cholesterol is a good three game bowling series and then either raise my rate or deny me coverage altogether. Or they might cut my term from a 20 year policy to six months or so.

But anyway, I'm driving in the pouring rain talking on the phone to the life insurance people thinking...what would my rate increase to if they knew what I was doing right now?

On second thought, maybe I should have written about the ice tea thing...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Three things...

There is a book I read when I was a kid about a guy who is supposed to meet up with a preacher to go to a revival, but the directions get all messed up and the guy goes to the wrong corner. By either providence, luck or fate (depending on your view of God), that night he is involved in a murder and gets sent to prison.

I don’t remember who was on the wrong corner, but it doesn’t really matter. This was an extreme case of a misunderstanding really messing things up for awhile.


I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but I’m pretty sure there are guys out there betting on the team they think will win, even though they are rooting for the other team.

Such is it with life insurance. Yeah, I signed up, paying in case I die before age 62…but obviously hoping that I lose the wager. I can wrestle bears, hand-glide, eat all the beef jerky I want, and juggle chainsaws…but I can’t kill myself for at least two years. The underwriter asked me all kinds of questions about my personal life, stopping somewhere between if I had ever consumed alcohol to if I was planning to swim the English Channel with a brick tied to my leg.


And finally, it seems that I will have to buy a new television. The old one doesn’t work so well since the LCD screen was smashed by an unknown assailant using an unknown implement.

We’ve questioned John and he confessed. He also confessed to leaving the toilet seat up, putting the milk carton back empty, and the Korean conflict.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If only John could read...

Are you stuck in a dead end job with no chance of advancement? Need new skills to make yourself more marketable?

Well, we’ve got the answer. It’s potty training!

Yes, just think of the opportunities that will come your way once you’ve mastered going to the bathroom. You won’t have to ask prospective employers whether they have a changing table in the restroom and you’ll be able to leave the diaper bag and wipes at home when you report for work.

We start with the basics and work our way up to full toilet self-actualization. You’ll learn to go, flush and wash hands like a pro. You’ll learn how to handle those “middle of the night” missions, complete with a chart on when flushing is good and when it should wait until morning.

You’ll learn about how to avoid confrontations with other users by lifting the seat before beginning your mission. But, even if you forget, our Delta Force sniper team will equip you with advance aiming methods that will ensure you won’t be caught with your pants down.

Think of the advantage you'll have if you go into that job interview with a briefcase instead of a spare pair of Huggies. Learn to use the toilet. It’s the first step on the way to the American Dream!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blood is thicker than mud...

I was going to write about getting my Dad’s truck stuck in my front yard and needing a wrecker to pull it out, and in the meantime putting a “For Sale” sign in the window so people wouldn’t think I was an idiot to have driven in my own yard to pull bushes out of the ground when it had rained for seven straight days with a chain that cost $56, but something else happened.

Gracie and I went to dance class tonight and then to dinner, as is our habit on Monday nights. While she was dancing (the parents are not allowed to watch) I was reading Les Miserables.

“Cosette's instinct sought a father, as Jean Valjean's instinct sought a child. To meet was to find each other. At the mysterious moment when their hands touched, they were welded together. When these two souls perceived each other, they recognized each other as necessary to each other, and embraced each other closely.”

Victor Hugo understood having a little girl.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's First and Goal and I'm craving a Pepsi...

I got a call yesterday from someone who wanted me to do a live advertisement during tonight’s football game. He wanted me to do it RIGHT BEFORE the home team scored a touchdown.

I appreciated the belief that I, as an announcer, possess the knowledge of when a team is about to score a touchdown. But if I really could do this, I’d sit in the stands and make random bets with other spectators.

Now I realize that one might be able to predict with SOME accuracy when a team was about to score, but what if the home team fails to score? And what does right before mean?

“He crosses the 50…he could score…just like you can score with the incredible deals going on at the Vice Mart!”

“He brings his team to the line of scrimmage…just like you should bring your car to Bill’s Auto Body!”

And then there’s stuff we could do when the home team is on defense:

“He’ll be thrown for a loss of 10…just like the pounds you could shed by joining Joe’s Gym!”


I’d write more, but I have to make some sales calls before the game tonight….

Thursday, September 17, 2009

While cleaning my office...

I have various bags of radio related stuff. I have cords, extension, cords, microphone cords, various lengths of phone cords, etc, etc.

The cords are mostly NOT wound up properly, as I have discovered that they work just fine if they are wound up well or just jammed back in the bag after the broadcast.

Every once in a while, I’ll be packing up the stuff for the 5th time that week and some once a month guy will remark that my method is one of his “pet peeves.”

In college, I had a broadcast-related professor that believed the current would be hindered if a cord wasn’t in order, as if it were a garden hose with a kink in it. He devoted an entire class day to winding up audio cords, complete with a test at the end of the day.

(If you stayed awake to the end of it, you passed.)

He had lots of ideas that seemed to make sense. But when we found out his son was named Kermit, we took them with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Only 45 more shopping days until Halloween...

While searching for white face paint (a friend is in a play) in Wal-Mart, I was forced to the aisle that also had the Halloween Costumes. I forgot to be outraged (for the moment) that it is September 16th.

A mom and daughter came down the aisle. I heard this conversation.

"Mom, the school says I can't be the Devil for Halloween."

"Of course not, you aren't going to be the Devil. You were Delilah last year and that's as close are you are going to get."

"Yeah, but that costume is too small for me now."

"Well, we burned it anyway, so it doesn't matter. Come on."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I may resort to watching Lifetime TV...

I’m a little congested. Now you know.

Nyquil keeps me awake. So while everyone else gets their stuffy head, fever so you can rest medicine, I get the stuffy head, fever and watching re-runs of That 70’s Show until 2:30 or so in the morning.

I tried a new one last night, Mucinex. It would have been great if I was an overnight truck driver.

I took Tylenol PM once. I spent the night tossing and turning all while having a recurring nightmare that the tasteless people who bring us Miller Lite came out with something called the Grooler, a combination BBQ grill and cooler.

I’ve tried everything including, the “lay down and close your eyes” plan I keep telling Gracie to use. I’ve tried thinking, I’ve tried NOT thinking. I’ve tried not trying, although since I was trying it, it kind of negated the idea.

The only thing that works is utter exhaustion. And if I nap for even five minutes during the day, I’m awake again in the middle of the night watching 30-minute infomericals for the Shamwow.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do you smoke? Do you blog?

I got a life insurance quote yesterday and it appears the people at the agency are willing to bet $500,000 of their money versus $13,075 of my money (or 38-1 odds) that I will live past age 62.

(I know they could earn interest on my money, but in order to turn $13,075 into $500,000 they would need to earn close to 90% on the money each year)

They must not read this blog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The only thing that made the broadcast tough was the two minutes of silent prayer

This morning we were asked to do live coverage of the “Cry Out America” prayer meeting held on the town square.

We agreed to do it, but lamented that we couldn’t have had more time to sell the broadcast to a sponsor.

(just kidding)

On one hand, we would have a great chance to sell it…we could just tell them God wanted them to advertise and that He would be mad if they didn’t pitch in…and on the other hand I’m pretty sure this is how Jim Bakker got started. So we didn’t sell it.

But in thinking about my closing sales pitch, I thought I’d try this…

“Well, sir, I understand why you can’t advertise right now…but I’m not sure God will.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

He's the one who drove the car to practice...

Two days ago at soccer practice, John escaped and ran out on to the field to talk to Gracie. I got there just as John got there. When she saw us, Grace told another little girl that this was her Daddy and her little brother. And then she added, “The one in the blue shirt is my daddy and the one in the yellow shirt is my brother.”

What is obvious to some is not obvious to others.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Religious Smorgasboard...

Dear Holli,

I think I have this figured out.

Sunday morning, we’ll go to the Baptist Church for services. We’ll fellowship with the laypeople and make plans for the Wednesday Pot Luck Supper and choir practice. Right when the service is about to begin, we’ll duck out and go over the Warren Community Church for the music…but right before the sermon we’re off again to the PCA church to hear about the grace we are being afforded for our sins, including possibly this plan. We’ll stay for communion if it is offered.

During the benediction, we’ll again leave and head back to the Baptist Church for the last few stanzas of “Just as I am” and to pick up the kids.

I'll play basketball with the Church of Christ/Christian Church crowd.

On Mondays and Wednesdays the kids can go to the Mother’s Morning Out at the Methodist Church.

On Ash Wednesday we’ll go to the Catholic Church and on Christmas Eve we’ll go back to catch the midnight mass.

Anyway, that’s it. I think it might work, but I’m happy to hear your suggestions. And by the way, you know anything about the Lutherans?


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another one bites the dust...

Sales Positions Available

Qualifications: Must disappear into thin air in the days following training. Must have a cell phone that “doesn’t ring for some reason” on a regular basis and an email address that receives messages 4 to 6 days after sent by employer.

A qualified applicant will NOT be subjected to drug testing. Are you kidding?

If interested, stop by the office, mention something in passing or sort of nod when we ask you if you’d like to work for us.

Salary will be based qualifications. That is, showing up more than one day in a row.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hey...I believe my t-shirt explains why you can't have a dollar...

We've all seen these signs that say "no soliciting" on doors. My favorites are the ones on places that have "SALE!" right beside them.

So they can harass you when you come in, ("So what's it gonna take to put you in this car/satellite dish/blender/carpeting today?") but you can't ask THEM to buy something from you. ("So what's it gonna take for you to shut up and listen for a second?")

Also, this isn't a legally binding can't be sued or arrested just because somebody goes out and buys a $5 sign. If it was a legal sign with the law behind it, the democrats would have a tax on it and you'd need a lawyer to notarize it and there would be fine print, etc, etc. The sign would cost about $300. And you'd have to buy it from someone (a government authorized one) and they might come to the door and you be right back where you started from.

With or without the sign, I suppose if they told you to leave and you didn't, you'd be in trouble for trespassing, but if as a salesman you stay when someone says no and tells you to leave, you are missing the point of selling anyway.

I've thought to combat this I could wear a shirt that said, "No Rejections." Or I could buy one of these "no soliciting" stickers and put it on the window of my car. It would save me from answering the "do you want fries with that?" question.

I've always wanted to sell these worthless signs door-to-door...if they said no, I'd just say, "Okay, see you tomorrow!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

My competitive spirit...

I watched a football game last night where at the end of the game, a guy from the losing team punched a guy on the winning team.

This was the kind of thing I always wanted to do when I lost. I never did, but that was mostly because I knew I wouldn't get away with it.

Now I know the guy is going to be suspended and maybe his year and career are over and everyone will condemn his actions as they should be...but for the fact that I'm too old, skinny, weak and slow to play college football, go I.

The only people I don't mind losing to are my children...and my wife. Maybe my mother-in-law.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

He hasn't friended me yet on Facebook, but I'm still hoping...

Once upon a time, with my life ruined, upon advice of a friend, I apologized to a lot of people. It took some time to find some of them, but the internet was some help and I think I wrote about 7 or 8 letters.

In return, I got two "me, toos," six no responses (or so) and one threat upon my life.

The me toos were nice, the no responses were fine, but the threat upon my life was what got my attention. It seemed that one of the people I offended over the years had recounted the story to her significant, foul-mouthed other. He informed me he was "this close" to driving from Omaha to &&*(^&%^%! and then &%$#*&**( me.

I didn't try to talk him out of it or ask him who and what army. Instead I just listened, realizing that someone out there was more distraught and stressed than I was. Suddenly, my life didn't seem so ruined. He yelled for a bit longer and then hung up on me.

When I told my advice giving friend about it, he quickly sized up the situation.

"Hmm," he said.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cayenne Lemonade in, Cayenne Lemonade out

I was listening to the radio hard to believe as it is...and I heard a line in a song that went something like, "I'm old enough to know better but too young to care."

This is a common thing in the country music genre I've found. To take tired old sayings and make them into songs. Or maybe it was the other way around and the Stars and Legends of Country Music created the vernacular by which we live. There are a few I haven't heard yet, but might soon.

"It's not the heat, it's the humidity."
"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."
"Garbage in, Garbage out."
and of course...
"The smeller's the feller."

Well, anyway...tomorrow will be better, I hope.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pretty in Pink, Part II

After years of training, Gracie finally realized her dream of playing soccer as she was drafted in an undisclosed round of the Parks and Recreation 5-7 year old league by the Green Team.

"We wanted to call and let her know she made a squad," Coach Pardue said. "We look forward to having one or two practices before we start playing games."

The tryouts were an grueling 45 minutes of running the length of the field and back without getting distracted, dribbling in-between cones and shooting toward the net and a long lap around the entire field. While Gracie did not dominate the tryouts, her pink soccer socks, pink sneakers, and pink ribbons on her pigtails were clearly what the talent scouts were looking for.

One of the youngest players in the league (she made the age deadline by three days), Gracie looks forward to the season.

"Daddy! That was fun! But why does the field have two goals?"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Another frontier is emabarked upon...

For the third time in the last 20 or so years, I've been asked to pee in front of an audience.

It seems that the boy is ready to use the facilities and I have been asked to lead the expedition. I shall take with me M&M's as provisions and use them as reward should a "buen exito" (Spanish for success and quite appropriate for the occasion, it seems) occur.

One other time I was asked to perform this service was in 1990 or so when I went to work at Wal-Mart for the summer. Yes, that's right, ALL the people you see working there PASSED a drug test. Anyway, after my resume checked out, I was sent to take the test at a local clinic. Helping me (and verifying my actual participation in the test) was a huge black lady who was delightful company (despite the circumstances) and joked that I should have brought some Budweiser when the inevitable stage fright occurred. However, with a monster ice tea from Wendy's, I was quickly on my way to cleaning up spills on aisle four and helping little old ladies carry 128 ounce boxes of detergent to their car.

The last time was in the Dominican Republic. The test was in Spanish, but I found the door marked "hombres" and was found to be clean.

But tomorrow I shall pee with more sincerity that ever previous. This is my offspring we are talking about. However, it is rather amazing to me I was asked to do this, since my aim (according to my wife) is less than what she hoped for when she said "I do."

I guess my reply should have been, "Well I do, but not a hundred percent of the time."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Book Review...the Juggling Boxer

Aiden Jones’ latest offering, The Juggling Boxer, is a uniquely crafted story of a fighter and his struggle with fading fame and his triumphant return to the spotlight.

Jones weaves the story of Mark Calnos, a boy from New Jersey who rose from a life as a circus performer to gain the heavyweight championship of the world, only to see it slip through his fingers, due to the evil guile of Billy, the half-man, half-horse.

While updating the circus website, Billy, who had become jealous of young Calnos’ success, began a rumor that Calnos’ was about to break off his engagement to the bearded lady.

In the hours that ensued, Calnos’ denial begins a public relations nightmare that led to him going into virtual hibernation in his home at Pedro’s South of the Border near Rowland, NC.

What was Calnos’ denying? His relationship? The engagement? The breakup? Was it a real beard? Was she a lady? As the story grew, it translated to disaster. Gillette dropped him as a sponsor and the National Organization for Women called for his title to be stripped. The World Circus Performer Boxing Commission (WCPBC), not wishing a scandal, did so.

But Calnos doesn’t give up. As the plot reaches a climatic finish, seven clowns, a ’73 volkswagen, the mercy of a fortune-telling gypsy, a unicycle and four lit bowling pins help him back to the spotlight.

A paperback version should be available by next week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Don't hit me in St. Louis...

In Missouri, if you hit a road construction worker, you must pay a $10,000 fine and you lose your driver's license. There are signs everywhere telling us.

So there you go, Missouri road construction worker, you now know what your safety is worth to the state.

Was this a problem before? People had trouble weighing the plusses and minuses of clipping someone paving the interstate?

"Hey Bill, better be more careful to not hit that guy in the orange might have to pay a fine!"

"Oh, yeah Charlie, I'd hate to lose that cash."

Isn't just not hitting someone enough of a deterrent?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A true story…without the yelling and cussing

The fine people who sold me my lawn mower supplied me with my first tank of gas. Knowing this wouldn’t last, I bought a gas can.

This can, however, came without gas and this became a problem when I began to mow the lawn for the second time last Friday.

As soon as I discovered I was out of gas, I grabbed my car keys and went to the gas station. After putting gas in my new gas can, I was shocked to realize that I had no money with me. No ID, nothing, just my keys and an uneasy smile as I explained I’d be back later with the money.

(this worked…I love this town)

When I got back to the mower, I attached the nozzle to the gas can and began to refuel. After a few seconds, the nozzle fell into the gas tank of the mower. I could see it, but I couldn’t get my hand in there. I went inside and asked for a pair of tongs from Holli. Upon being given the tongs, I was reminded that my shoes where grassy and I was to take them off when I came back in.

The tongs fit in the tank, but I couldn’t open them to get the nozzle out…what I could do (and did) was push the nozzle further inside the tank, to where I could just barely see it.

After I got a wire coat hanger, I succeeded in pushing it to where I could only see it if I stuck my eyeball into the tank…which is not a good thing to do with your eyeball.

In the garage (I wasn’t going back inside…the coat hanger retrieval was met with another reminder of the unclean state of my shoes) I found a telescoping curtain rod. Quickly, I wished I hadn’t as now the nozzle was out of site and the rubber end of the curtain rod was also now in the gas tank.

With nowhere else to turn I took off my shoes and socks and went inside to get a different pair of tongs. (other things happened during this trip, but it is not to my advantage to give MY side of the story without allowing her to give HER side of the story, so I’ll just skip this part…let’s just say I wasn’t happy about having to take off my shoes to come into my own house and my attitude toward her may have been a bit poor…and this is MY side of the story)

I decided to fill the tank hoping the nozzle and rubber cap would rise to the top. They did, but floated to the other end of the tank. So I started the mower and parked it on an incline so the offending items would float to the mouth of the tank. Of course, I did it on the wrong side to start, but eventually got it to float to where I could see it. The new tongs worked. I gathered all my stuff (coat hanger, two pairs of tongs, curtain rod) and put them back in the garage, got in my car, went to the gas station, paid, and came back home.

Then, a humbler man, I mowed the lawn.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I’m pretty sure this isn’t a sign of intelligence, but books and movies sometimes have strange effects on me.

I’m reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” and in between reading it (work, golf, banjo, bathroom, yard work, etc) I keep coming up with creative ways to punish all those $@%$#@$#s who did bad stuff to me over the years. Also, I spend some time looking over MY shoulder too.

I don’t know if Edmond Dantes wanted to really punish those who did him evil or if he just wanted an apology. I think an apology might have been enough, but with him being a fugitive and all, asking might have gotten him locked up again.

For me, I don’t really want revenge, not in the sense that I deliver the crucial blow or anything. I guess the best revenge is them NOT living well and knowing that if they just hadn’t stolen my baseball glove (or whatever they did) they’d have had a happier life.

Strangely enough, the ones in my life who dealt the cruelest of blows are not in my visions of vengeance. I guess therapy works.

I don’t believe in Karma, as defined. But, I do believe you reap what you sow, it’s just that sometimes it just takes a bit too long for my taste. Well, in everyone else’s case that is.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"...can burp the alphabet."

Monday is the day I go to dance class with Grace. We hovering parents (I’m the only Dad in there-the rest are Moms) are not allowed to watch the kids dance…we wait in the lobby of the dance studio. We can hear what is going on, but not see it. All of which assures me that Dancing with the Stars will never been on the radio.

Anyway, I sit in the lobby. The first week, I didn’t take anything to do, figuring the magazine rack would suffice. This was a stupid move as the magazines in the lobby all have the word “dance” in the title. So I quietly sat there while the hovering parents talked about their kids.

(The most talkative parent in the room starts EVERY sentence with “Gracie is/did/does/thinks/has/went/said/vomited”…etc, etc. This is quite annoying. Her child is named Grace also...perfect)

The ladies talk about vacations, doctor visits (their kids), school teachers, cooking, and other things. Half of them are married and talk about their husbands and the other half aren’t married and talk about their ex-husbands, usually with more respect than the married ones show.

I take a book. I do not speak unless spoken to (three weeks…I’m still waiting). Last week, I was reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” while one of the ladies talked about how their yard is a mess and her husband wouldn’t do anything about it.

Meanwhile, in my book, Edmond Dantes is in prison, falsely convicted with no hope of mercy. And I couldn’t decide who I’d rather be…

Friday, August 21, 2009

Henry Hudson she ain't....

Kids, listen up. You're being lied to.

Dora is NOT an explorer, not by any definition. In school, we learned that explorers go to uncharted territory to find new things, like Ponce de Leon and his trip to Florida to discover Disney World. We went over Vasco de Gama, Columbus, LaSalle, Lewis, Clark, William Shatner and others. No one ever mentioned Dora.

On her TV show...all the ones I've watched (and I've seen a lot of them) Dora always has a map. Yes a map, a map, a map. This makes her NOT an explorer. You can't discover something already on a map.

(The other possibility that Dora is perhaps a member of the division of the Boy Scouts, is by definition, not true, with her not being a boy and even the Supreme Court agrees she can't join.)

The episodes I've watched always have Dora needing to go from point A to point B (with her map, the map, the map, the map, the map) in order to save someone from a tree, go to Carnival or deliver invitations to a girl's sweet sixteen birthday party. Is this something you think Magellan would have done?

No, it's not Dora the best it's Dora the Errand Girl.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Well, you can't cook about writing...

Holli and I went to a movie last Saturday night…which was quite an occasion since we hadn’t been to a movie since 2003 (at least).

We saw the movie about the girl who cooks all the recipes in the Julia Child classic cookbook, “How to Gain 320 Pounds in a Year.”

(actually, I think it was “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”)

Anyway, the movie went back and forth between Julia Child’s story and the girl who takes on this task, to be confusing, they called her Julie.

Normally, in a movie there are villains and plots (and the occasional sub-plot) but this movie decided to not do that. Now, there was Julia Child’s side of the story, which was her struggle to get her book printed, but since Julie was cooking from it 40 years later, we pretty much could surmise that she succeeded.

On the Julie side, she became semi-famous for her blog (which is harder than you think as being brilliant isn’t enough, trust me) as she cooked 500-some recipes in 365 days, (I would have suggested a leap year, but they didn’t ask me) at some point makes everyone mad at her and at the end, her husband is taking 570 milligrams of Lipitor daily. But she cooks all the sauces and reductions and cups and cakes and accomplishes her goal

But we knew she would finish, this was why they made the movie. If they made movies about people who set out to accomplish something and then quit, I'd be famous already.

For me, from about the middle of the movie, I was hoping the last recipe was a two-minute egg and I hoped it was coming soon as I was starving.

All of this, by the way, makes Julia Child really mad. Well, just the stuff in the movie. I don't think she cares what I think.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The five word monologue returns...

A friend of mine has revamped the "Five Word Monologue" get five words and must use them in a, you guessed it, monologue.

So, our words for the day were...contemptuous, dropper, Christopher Columbus, luster, fretting. The twist she has added to it is that they are her 5th grade daughter's spelling words for the week. So upon successful completion, I will be swollen with pride knowing I have the vocabulary of a fifth grader.

And today, since I have the creativity of a Budweiser beer executive, I will reprint what I posted to her last Friday.

"If You Don't Like It, There's the Plank"

Now, maybe I’m imagining it, but it seems to me that I get this contemptuous look when I pull it out. I remember the first time I played it for her, she thought it was interesting, but now it has completely lost its luster, and I can understand it, for the most part.

After all, fretting a new chord for a forward-reverse roll isn’t exactly a jaw-dropper. I just wish she wouldn’t go to the other room when I start to open the case.

But it could be that’s why Christopher Columbus became a boat captain…maybe he wasn’t looking for a short cut to the West Indies…perhaps he just wanted everyone to have to stick around when he played the banjo.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stream of consciousness marketing gone bad...

When I got home from work today I saw an envelope from Direct TV waiting for me.

The return address was El Segundo, California. This reminded me of a visit I once made to Escondido, California (I can't believe we found it, but anyway...) to see friends of my parents. Their kids and I spent the whole day playing football in the driveway...we had a great time.

Years later one of the kids I played with got an appointment to the Naval Academy and he did quite well there until some of his classmates apparently conspired to get him brought up on charges and he was dismissed from the academy.

Angrily, I threw the envelope in the trash. How dare Direct TV do this?

Monday, August 17, 2009

They were out of Brown, Soft, and Acrid...

I went to the store on Friday charged with buying apples.

To be fair, I think she told me what kind, but when I got there they had, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith and Red Delicious.

My choice was obvious. Isn’t it?

With 7000 kinds of apples out there (thanks, google) there is bound to be a variance in names, but what could be better than RED DELICIOUS? The other names were neither descriptive nor told one iota of information as to how it would taste.

Now, there was no “Malecent's Sleeping Beauty Special” nor was there an “Eve’s Knowledge of Good and Evil” brand. But names like “Ben Davis” or “Irish Peach” are both useless and somewhat confusing.

If you are an apple expert, fine, but if you are new to the apple buying…wouldn’t you buy Red Delicious? And if you are naming the apples, you put yourself into a long marketing campaign if you want people to buy something like the “Cripps Pink.”

Red Delicious. The name (and color) you know.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Now, I've got to block myself...

I got an email a few minutes ago from a good friend telling me she is now selling software at incredibly low prices. However, she isn't selling software and her spelling is better than whoever hijacked her email address.

Meanwhile, I also got an offer for the Acai Berry diet. From myself. So apparently, my email has been victim of the hijack also.

So...for all of you, I'd just like to let you know a few things.

1. You look fine. You don't need the latest hollywood diet craze.
2. I'm sure your choice of software for your computer is working fine and I don't think you need anything new, nor do you need to change.
3. For you guys out there...uh...I don't care, I don't care, I don't care. I don't want to know. I don't want to know. I don't want to know.
4. No, I'm not the deposed Prince of Nigeria with 3 million in a Swiss Bank account.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So why does it have a cup holder?

My plans today were to write of memories of my visit to the Himalayas in college through a Sherpa-American exchange student program.

But then I bought a riding lawn mower and everything changed. I had to finance it, which tells you either of my current financial condition or tells you about the quality of the mower I bought. Truthfully, I paid less for two cars and four banjos (combined) than I did for this mower. But I got 24 months same as cash so it made no sense to pay up front.

In reading the owner’s manual, it appears that I am not to use alcohol or operate it while fatigued, killing my plans for midnight next Thursday.

I’d write more, but I have to go buy a gas can, an edger and a box of kleenex.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Something I'm sure everyone else has forgotten...I hope

Ten or so years ago, I threw up all over myself during church.

Well, that's what it felt like. This particular day, I made my public debut with a musical instrument.

I had played the banjo for a few years and practiced my song to be played during the offering for a few months. I could play it with my eyes closed, with a fox, in a box, or while reading clocks...etc, etc.

The morning of, things were different. I couldn't get it in tune. Fortunately, a friend quickly fixed that. I got in place and all of a sudden, it was time...and all of a sudden I was playing, missing notes and my timing was terrible. I was to play for three minutes, but by horrible providence (we are presbyterians...which takes luck out of it, but only adds to the cruelty of the situation when you consider God knew before the foundation of the world that I would be such a collosal failure) there was a second offering and thus, I was to play for three MORE minutes.

I just sat there, however...and my good friend Amy (the music director at church, who must have decided during the three minutes that I was NEVER playing again) saved me from further embarrassment and everyone else from further cringing by playing the piano for the three minutes during which I just sat there, numb.

I haven't played in public since. But I got a new banjo and I think I'm almost ready to go back out there into the great wide open.

But I'm going to try to get Amy to show up, just in case.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I come to the rescue...again.

Dear Aswana,

I got your letter yesterday about the 2.75 million dollars stuck in an account in Northeastern Botswana and have attached a document with my bank account numbers, social security number and passport numbers.

We really appreciate this opportunity to help you release the money from the account of your cousin, the former Prince of Moldavia. And we really appreciate you giving us 2.57 million for our help in releasing the funds.

We were a little leery of sending you our financial information (account numbers, etc), but even if you steal from us, the 2.57 million should cover any amount you could steal. We don’t have that much in the bank, so either way, we’ll come out ahead.

Thanks for everything!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Can't wait until next year...

Covered with mud and debris from the track, I exited the arena. We saw (and covered) a pure form of entertainment last night, something even John would enjoy…the Demolition Derby.

Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone" blared during the heats. And "Real Country" played during the breaks.

Eleven hopefuls in their already badly damaged vehicles entered the battle. It began with two heats, and the top six appeared in the finale…when it was all over only one car, the black 80ish looking Dodge Omni type car was the only one still running.

For his trouble, the winner got $1200 and bragging rights and stories that will long outlive the money. Second got $500, third $300. The rest got the thrill of crashing into someone on purpose or in one case, the terror of sitting stuck at the rail while two cars ran full tilt into him, spraying the MOTIONLESS crowd five feet away from the rail with mud from the track and water from the radioator.

And close to two thousand people saw it all, with perhaps thousands more hanging on the edge of their front porch steps listening on the radio.

And I have a new favorite “play-by-play” sport to do on the radio.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

And how will a redneck decorate his yard?

I’m no economist, but this seems pretty clear.

The 3 billion dollar “Cash for Clunkers” program is going to kill my dreams of owning an $1100 pickup truck to take trash to the dump or haul things I don’t want on the back seat of my car.

You either get $4,500 or $3,500 for your horrible excuse for a truck or car. These horrible excuses have their engines frozen and are crushed down at the crushing place, never to be driven again.

(at an average of $4000 a car, it some to about 750,000 vehicles no longer in the market place)

Now, if you have a beat-up pick up truck worth $500, you are going to go trade it in for the big payday and NOT sell it to a redneck-wanna-be like me. Or, you’ll offer to sell it to me for $3000 or something close to what the government is offering. So nasty good-for-nothing pick up truck prices will soar. And my 1980 Renault Le Car would now be worth 80 times more than what I sold it for in 1988. I knew I should have kept it.

Meanwhile, scrap metal prices are going to drop like a rock. And where do you put 750,000 crushed cars anyway?

Think of all the 8-track and cassette car stereos that will be eliminated forever from the face of the earth….

With no cheap cars left, poor people won’t be able to buy cheap cars. So…they’ll borrow more than they can afford for a car (since there will be NO cheap alternative) and we’ll be right back where we started with the housing deal.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I've always wanted to sell "no soliciting" signs door-to-door

An excerpt from the best-selling, Lies Salesmen Believe

Lie #14
When they say “no” it isn’t personal

Truth #14
You tell yourself this lie so that you can keep going, so you don’t give up. But actually, yes it is personal. The person on the end of the “no” answer doesn’t like you and hopes you drop dead. Not only that, but they think you are an idiot and a buffoon and even though they have plenty of money to spend, THEY AREN’T GOING TO SPEND IT ON SOMEONE LIKE YOU.

Lie #15
How they say “no” matters for a possible future sale.

Truth #15
This lie gives the pathetic salesman the hope that a polite “no” may turn into a yes in the future. Actually, people are either nice or nasty and it has nothing to do with the fact that they will say “no” forever. Also see Truth #16.

Lie #16
Ninety-percent of sales are made on the third visit or call by the salesman.

Truth #16
Not true. If they say “no” once, give up and never call them back. It’s a waste of time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Writer's roadblock...the streets should be clear now for awhile...

Closure is a good, but mostly unachieved thing.

Once upon a time, I had a friend that unintentionally caused great harm. In truth, the harm was only part of a bigger catastrophe…but while closure was mostly reached on the rest of it, the incident in question hung over the heads of everyone in future maintenance of the relationship.

So the relationship died. It may have died anyway, who knows, but it killed things off quicker than natural causes.

I sure the friend has forgotten it in the current circumstances to which I hear they are in now. And my silence toward their current circumstances is expected. It would be more odd were I to appear back into their lives, with more than the casual happenstance our “relationship” has become. They’ve moved on and have bigger challenges than worrying about an April day more than 10 years ago.

I still think about that day…but it was part of a terrible episode that has no remedy, other than the life lived since then. For them, and the others…the players on the stage (both the supporting cast and the antagonistic) of the drama that was larger than life for a season…it is a long since faded memory, I’m sure.

It’s hard to mourn with those who turned their back on you when you were down. So I’ll mourn from afar. I’m sure there are others who could do much better, but this is all I’ve got right now.

And maybe that’s all they had back then.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Only six months until the Winter X-Games...

Last night, after being glued to the TV to watch who got eliminated from “So you think you can dance while almost completely naked?” I turned the TV over to ESPN and found out the X-Games are on again. I hate the X-Games.

Normally, sports on TV are things that we could play as kids (or maybe even adults), but I didn’t see anything on the X Games that seemed like something I could play without being asked by Holli if I was stupid or something. Last night it was stupid-things-to-do-on-a-motorcycle-games.

When we were kids, Evel Kinevel was considered a bad influence. Every once in a while, shows would air talking about kids getting hurt trying to jump the Snake River Canyon (or the kid-equivalent) on their Schwinn to prove to the TV audience that Evel was, well, evil. Personally, I don’t remember my parents ever telling me I wasn’t allowed to set up a ramp and jump over stuff on my bike, but I always felt guilty when we did it, so they might have.

And before, during and after Evel’s jumps, Jim McKay on ABC’s Wide World of Sports would remind us 417 times to not try this at home, even if we happened to have 13 London Buses in our back yard and a really cool ramp.

And he always crashed anyway, so it seemed a bad idea.

But these guys are jumping 100 feet in the air, letting go of the handlebars and doing stunts mid-air while thousands scream in the arena and millions watching on TV wishing Sportscenter would come on. Or maybe it was just me.

It seems if you are crazy enough to do this, you don’t need a helmet, you need a psychiatrist.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm not sure this tactic will work in the long term...

This morning I went to a local convenience store/gas station and (miraculously) made a sale. On the way out, I bought a Pepsi.

In the afternoon, I went to an auto body place and pitched something while they re-glued the molding onto my car.

On the way back, I stopped at the new BBQ place, got a sandwich, and made an appointment to talk to the owner tomorrow.

Later, I went to the car dealer, but he was in a meeting. I guess I was in luck. I don't need a car.

And I'm glad I didn't go by the Funeral home...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And Microsoft office 2007...

I'm not sure I have all my facts straight, but Seattle seems like a tough place to live.

There's the rain. Apparently, they have alot of it. They also (at one time) led the country in suicides.

Then there's the coffee. Starbucks and Seattle's Best Coffee come to mind.

I'm guessing the suicide rate isn't helped by the likelihood of an overcaffinated populous, what with the two coffee magnates dominating the landscape. Caffeine can mess you up. I once took a couple of No-Doz in order to try to drive from Fergus Falls, MN to Morehead, KY without stopping for a rest break. I didn't make it. Somewhere south of Indianapolis, half-crazed and twitching, I pulled into a Taco Bell and slept for a couple of hours in the parking lot, before eating 6 soft tacos and then continuing on my way (still half-crazed but with less twitching) to eastern Kentucky.

It seems simple's proven that the rain is a depressing thing...and then you are so hyped up on double lattes that you can't sleep.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I did put a pillow case on properly...or maybe she was just being nice

Amongst all the other things I can't do I have added one: making beds.

Tonight I was asked to help make the bed. I managed to keep it to myself that making the bed a half-hour before GOING to bed didn't make any sense. Or maybe I didn't manage.

After being given the assignment of top right and bottom right corner, I quickly found that I hadn't pulled the corner of the fitted sheet far enough...evidenced by the sag in the corners and the sigh Holli gave as she came to my side of the bed and pulled them tight.

As a child, I was charged with making my bed every morning. I hated this chore so much I began sleeping on the floor (or on top of the bed) to perhaps save time, or perhaps to get out of doing it on a daily basis. I still would rather sleep on top of the bed, which would be fine except that I'm married.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Coming soon to ESPN...

Host: Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the Wide World of Sports. Today’s match has Dad, Grace and John in a battle royale on the Soccer field. Let’s get out to the action.

Announcer: Thanks, Bill. The players are ready to go…no wait, John needs a drink of water. We’ll be right back after these messages.


Announcer: Here we go! Dad kicks it to Grace, Grace passes is to John…uh oh, John has a bug in his eye. Time out on the field. John will leave the field for a moment. Grace kicks it to Dad, but wait, Grace is walking off the field. Let’s go down to our field reporter.

Field Reporter: Apparently, Grace has a blister on her right foot and will need a band-aid. John is still drinking water. Dad is on the field, but has no one to play with. We’ll step out for these messages.


Announcer: We’re back, but apparently the match will end after only 20 minutes, with 15 of it used by water and potty breaks. John is picking up the cones and saying he want to go inside. Grace says her foot hurts and Dad would rather watch golf than stand in the yard kicking a soccer ball all by himself. Let’s go down to the field for more in-depth coverage.

Field Reporter: Grace has asked if she could weed the flower bed instead of playing any longer. John says there is a “buzzy-bee” on the field and Dad is tired and worn out. Let’s try to get a word with John. John, John, why are you going inside? Well, apparently, John has no word for us right now and Grace has already gone looking for water. That’s all from down here.

Host: Join us tomorrow on Wide World of Sports for two swings of the baseball bat followed by a juice box and crackers.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Because "Ebony and Ivory" wasn't accurate...

It was a United Nations moment. A non-English speaking man of Mexican descent speaking with a non-Spanish speaking man of American descent on the streets of our (apparently) ethnically diverse city.

The non-Spanish speaking man was trying to convey to the non-English speaking man something of great importance, it seemed. There was gesturing. A lot of gesturing. The non-English speaking man was trying to understand, but it was clear it wasn’t working.

I decided to go to the rescue. It would make me feel good (not to mention look good) to help bridge the gap between two men so intent on understanding one another. Self-pleased at the good deed I was about to do, I softly hummed "We are the World" to myself as I approached them.

“Excuse me,” I said to the non-Spanish speaking man. “What are you trying to tell him?”

The non-Spanish speaking man looked at me, paused and said, “I’m trying to ask him if he’ll give me a dollar.”

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Saving the best for last...

Gracie asked me tonight what I was going to do when I grew up.

I told her I haven’t the slightest idea.

On the 12th trip to the bedroom, my kids both asked of me…
12 Hugs and Besos
11 questions about soccer
10 knock-knock jokes
9 “John’s out of bed!” claims
8 Aches and pains
7 glasses of water
6 “tuck me in!”
5 “The Music Stopped!”
4 “What are we doing tomorrow?”
3 Requests for books
2 “Can I get up?”
and one I Love you Daddy...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And the concession stand was out of aspirin...

I have watched 9 and 10 year olds play baseball for about a week now. I’ve watched grown men give hitters signals that the best WW II code breakers couldn’t decipher and 28 different catchers go out to the mound for a conference with another 9 or 10 year old…all to come back to home plate, where the pitcher would then throw it a foot outside or bounce it short of the plate.

I’ve seen parents scream at the PA guy (I’m sitting next to him in the booth) for mispronouncing their kids name.

I’ve heard parents boo a 10 year old because the umpire was terrible.

And tomorrow it all comes to an end, unless it rains again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Media Law Moment...

The Fairness Doctrine is a proposed law that would make it necessary to balance out radio broadcasts so that the general public was getting “a balanced view.”

While I am against this infringement on the freedom of speech granted to us by the Bill of Rights, it really doesn’t apply to us, with a couple of exceptions.

During sports broadcasts, any reference to a bad call by a referee would then be followed by a rebuttal by the questioned referee, who would be allowed to explain himself. Actually, this would lend an extra level of excitement to our broadcasts especially if the ref said things like “well, all you need to be a broadcaster is to have a pulse and a microphone.”

During our music programming (Real Country) we would be forced to follow, “Stand by Your Man” with something like “Coca-Cola Cowboy,” “Lying Lips Don’t Touch Mine” or “The Ballad of the Woman Who Refused to Stand by Her Man or Give Him Two Arms to Cling to.”

Monday, July 20, 2009

This chicken ain't from roun' eer, is he?

I heard yesterday I can get a Southern Chicken Sandwich from Applebee’s.

I am perplexed as to how a chicken can be southern. I supposed if the chickens kin are from the south and he was born in the south, he would be considered southern.

However, if the chicken moved in from out of town (and from out of the south) within the last 40 years, he’s a yankee chicken.

This means that even if he has a gun rack in his truck and a confederate flag in the windshield, he’s from up there and he can’t change it. Maybe his children’s children can change his status in the community (if everyone forgets), but for him, he’ll be hot wings or cordon bleu before he’ll be considered a good ol’ chicken.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lincoln v. Douglas revisited...

As the debate participants began with opening statements, it was clear it would be a cerebral battle for the ages. In one chair sat Miss G, clearly the more eloquent. But would it be enough? The other chair was occupied by Mr. J, whose words were few, but remained rock-solid on point. We join the debate as it began:

Miss G: In the interests of my own particular shape of Play-Doh I wish to create, I shall have need of the object Mr. J holds. And as I want it now, I ask you, Mr. J, to give it to me.

Mr. J: No, It’s mine.

Miss G: Please Mr. J, I really need it.

Mr. J: No, It’s mine.

Miss G: Mommy said you have to share things. Please give it to me.

Mr. J: No, It’s mine.

Miss G: I’ll tell Mommy. Please give it to me.

Mr. J: No, It’s mine.

As the debate raged on, it was clear Mr. J had a strategy that was both simple and impenetrable. Miss G tried another course of dialogue.

Miss G: Mr. J, I’ll trade you this for it.

Mr. J: No, It’s mine.

And thus they continued until Miss G was reduced to tears. Mr. J stayed the course, unfazed by the tears. And while Miss G may have possibly won the debate, Mr. J won the day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The day I hung up my green and yellow spikes...

I went over the last hurdle and ran for the finish line…I didn’t catch the guy in front of me, but I didn’t need to…a second place finish would get me into the final race. If I could win that, I’d make the state meet.

I don’t remember how long it took, but within minutes I realized that they had me third and I would miss the final race.

I went and protested, and then protested again, but no one would listen. They decided I was third and that was it.

I sat down next to the chain link fence and cried. I couldn’t prove it, there was no videotape (this was 1980…and few junior high track programs had $15,000 video cameras) and no one would listen to me (no one who would do anything about it, that is).

I still can’t believe it. I’ve accepted it, but that’s about it.

It’s just a coincidence, but this was my last race. The season was over. The next year I went to high school and they ran the 110 HIGH hurdles and my 5’1” frame wasn’t much taller than the hurdle itself. I could jump over one (maybe) but there were too many of them in a row for me to do it to anyone's satisfaction (coaches or mine) and you weren’t allowed a step stool or someone to help you over.

So I didn’t really quit, but in assessing my chances, it was time to retire.

A man’s got to know his (self-imposed or not) limitations.