26 December 2008

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

The other day, I was in the kitchen tidying up. This is the important part, mind you. I was most pointedly NOT in the living room at the time and bear utterly no responsibility for what happened.

Not. My. Fault.

The Wife has acknowledged this fact.

Anyway, at some point I heard The Boy say, "Mom, I cut my finger." It was a simple statement of fact. Nothing more, nothing less.

Hmmm. "Curious," thought I. Being me though, when somebody says they cut themselves, I have to go see how good a job they did, so I walked into the living room to see what had happened.

The table was scattered with shreds of paper that magically occur when my son get a hold of a pair of scissors. No biggie.

The Wife was staring at some small particle that appeared to be roughly the size of two grains of rice. Not the long, wild kind. Just simple, white rice.

The Boy was staring complacently at his thumb.

The particle was actually a small chunk that The Boy had taken off of his thumb with the scissors.

I frowned. Cuts are easy, stanching a missing chunk sucks.

There is a peaceful time right after you cut yourself like that when your body seems to marshal its forces for one purpose and one purpose only.

To bleed. Profusely. With reckless abandon.

I knew it was coming, so I walked back into the kitchen for a clean towel. Then I heard the wailing.

Ah, right on time.

I came back to The Boy's thumb which had started bleeding. My first thought, being the loving father that I am was, "I hope he doesn't get any on the new couch." Seriously, blood is damn hard to get out.

I wrapped his thumb in the towel and let him know that we needed to apply pressure. He started a mantra. "It hurts, it hurts, it hurts."

The towel was fairly absorbent, so I waited for a second to see if he would calm down. He did not. Instead he added, "I can't believe I did that," to his mantra. A little long for an effective mantra in my book, but hey, he's six and still learning. The Wife playing with the piece of ex-thumb didn't help the matter, so I got rid of it. Ick. That's all I'm saying.

When I came back, The Wife was way past Frantic and heading on to Freaked. I'm sure that was most soothing to The Boy as well. I did what I had to and delivered the riot act to The Boy at 110 decibels. It elicited more tears, but he wilted and let me put pressure on. Mission accomplished.

Don't get me wrong, I was all compassionate and crap after that, but you have to get audience participation for stuff like this. It stopped after about 20 minutes. There was a brief tussle over cleaning the wound, but 'the hairy eyeball' squelched that handily.

He's fine now, no worries. The really funny thing? Here is the implement of destruction:


Don't screw with Frosty, man. He'll cut you bad. He's as cold as ice.


Technorati Tags:

12 December 2008

By Request: The Corner Psychos - part 1

We live in a nice neighborhood and we have a dog and a child so we go for walks. On these walks, we have the pleasure of walking past Dick and Joan's house. It's sort of like the Dick and Jane books, but if they were demons:

"See Joan throw a nutty."

"See Dick have his spirit crushed and complain about the universe."

"See Joan use inappropriate words around children."

"See Jim get in her face and eventually just try to find ways to make them both have a stroke: gleefully."

Before the boy came along, when we were new to the 'hood, we used to take the dog for a walk and Joan used to say, "I used to have a dog like that." We thought, "She's not bad."

Then, one day, the dog set foot on her lawn...just walked on it mind you -- two or three steps tops -- no peeing was involved. All of a sudden we heard an outburst. Sort of like if nails on a blackboard could come to life at 120 decibels. "Get your Goddamned dog off my lawn!" At that time, being new to the block, we just moved along.

We slowly learned from other neighbors that this is what they do. It was like the neighborhood secret -- House of 1000 Corpses minus the corpses. They hover around their front door waiting to cuss out potential offenders. The guy that lives across the street from them has a Harley. They yell whenever he starts it up. Once, there was a fire and the hydrant is located in front of their house. The fire was contained but the resultant water had washed some mulch away. They called the city and demanded to be reimbursed for the mulch and also called the water company so they could be reimbursed for the water they had to use to clean up.

They hate when people walk on their sidewalk, so they park their car so it lays across the sidewalk. In the Summer, they lay their hose across it as if it creates and unseen barrier that people cannot cross.

They have called the police on children playing ball in the street.

My favorite time of year is Fall though. It turns out that Joan is quite fussy with her leaves. I can sit on by back porch and watch the multi-colored leaves waft on the cool Autumn air to the sweet sounds of Joan. "Goddamn it, Dick! You're raking those leaves wrong! What the hell is wrong with you, you asshole!" That's pretty much verbatim. I didn't take the time to write it down, but poetry like that just sticks with you.

Once, the mood took me and I yelled out, "Shut up Joan! Abuse your husband in private. We don't need to hear it." She volleyed back, but I had had my fun. Nothing more needed to be said.

We live in an area with a lot of woods and mountains and I always think, "If he came to his senses, they would never find her body. Nobody would even care to look," and shrug. If I was him, it would be worth a late night of negotiating a dimly lit mountain path, but that's just me.

Once though, we were walking The Boy and, being twoish at the time, he tread on their grass. Joan came out and started yelling...at my son. The Wife kept walking while pulling The Boy along, but I felt the need to speak my mind.

I led off with, "Shut your yap and listen, you harpy." She quieted but that was short lived. I laid into her about yelling at my son. I realized I was getting nowhere after about a minute after I had the quick epiphany that I may as well be telling a starving wolverine to stop biting me. Instead, I figured that I needed an endgame move.

I stepped onto their lawn.

She lost her freaking mind. It was awesome. All the crap I had to hear from her and her husband was suddenly worth it. She never shut up for a second, but I no longer cared. I walked off her lawn with a parting salute. I didn't feel vindicated, but I did realize one thing.

I had a new sport.

Baiting Dick and Joan.

More on that tomorrow though...


10 December 2008

Anti-Wordless Wednesday

I tried, I really did. I had pictures here and everything. They just sat there though...taunting me. They weren't funny, they weren't witty. They were just there.

Instead, let's talk about a cat...

There was this cat in the neighborhood. He was a neighbor's cat and would roam about. We tend to believe in keeping cats in the house when you live in town. That way they don't decimate the bird population and are much healthier in the long run. I don't point this out to the neighbors who let their cats roam though. If I'm going to potentially alienate a neighbor, I like to go big. Ideological differences aren't any fun. Now a pulling a single leaf off the psychos' tree on the corner property...that's my idea of fun because they. Lose. Their. Shit. Then I egg them on because the rest of the block enjoys the harpy shrieks of the female half of team whackjob too.

That's another story though...I digress.

So this cat was about 6 months old and was pretty keen on finding all the female cats in the hood and doing what boys do. My wife is on the board at the SPCA so this creates an instant issue.

The Wife: "What should I do?"

Me: "Not hearing this."

TW: "Seriously, what should I do?"

Me: "Seriously. Not hearing this."

My ruse of temporary deafness did not work however. Imagine that. Perhaps I should try the old "air embolism" ruse next time. I'll have to write that down. We talked about it for a while and it was decided (by her, I just replayed Jimmy Buffett songs in my head -- it's easy to smile and nod with Jimmy playing) that we would abscond with said cat and get him snipped as a public service.

Yee freaking hah.

Off the cat goes to get a denutification and promptly picks up a respiratory infection. Note to owners of said cat: vaccinations are a good thing. Now The Wife is in a tizzy. Let's play "What happened next?"

A) Cat convalesces at the SPCA.

B) Cat gets adopted and recuperates at a new, loving owners house.

C) Cat hangs on the futon in my attic where I get to give him a 14 day course of antibiotics and develops the uncanny ability to turn on the TV to watch daytime/late-night television while I'm not looking and causes The Boy to grow progressively more attached while I continually think that two cats in the house is just fine and when is he going back to either the SPCA or the previous (rightful?) owners.

Thanks for playing people...I think you all picked the right answer. There is no prize though because I got no prize in this deal either. So tough noogies.

So let's imagine where this will end up...

Have I mentioned that we've had 5 cats? (not all at the same time) Three were shelter cats but more importantly, two were from a neighbor whose house I can point to from mine. Yeah, I know I'm screwed despite my objections.

Well, at least I like the cat...unlike the "Little Dog" reign of terror.


09 December 2008

Spin Cycle: Birth of Blog

The lovely Jen at Sprite's Keeper was inspired by the nappy Jen at Steenky Bee to do a spin on the birth of a blog. Why you started, what it's named what it is, and so on. Here is my humble tale:

I started blogging mainly so I could kick around and just write. I was writing short stories and freelance stuff but I wanted to have something that I could do with a little more regularity -- to keep in practice and try out new stuff. I already had a nickname of "Heinous" from when I was a gamer. (I don't have time for that anymore, but once my son is old enough for some pwnage, I'll make sure I school him well.) I tried to use it for my blogger name but some fiend (who never seems to have used it -- the lousy mofo) had taken it. I had to resort to my 'leet' spelling, because I'm just all cool like that (read: geek), and that's where 'h31n0us' came from.

The first part of my blog name, 'Irregularly Periodic', just came from the fact that I didn't post with much regularity originally. I still skip days, so it still sort of applies. The 'Ruminations' part came from the way I like to sit and look at things, generally with a touch of humor. I silently curse my choice of blog name just a little bit whenever I have to type it out. Thank the heavens for spell check. A find myself using IPR a lot nowadays.

It started off smallish (as we all do) with a few visitors here and there and has grown a lot in a small time...much faster than I could have ever expected or even hoped for.

I blog now because I love it. It has helped my writing in general, so that's been good in itself. Most important to me now though is the fantastic community of bloggers that I am fortunate enough to be a part of. I'm grateful for all the comments I get and the fact that people seem to enjoy reading my blatherings. I've made quite a few friends that I rarely, if ever, have to pay to talk to me. Now if I could just get my wife to read it...

I'd just like to give a big, sappy thanks to you all for coming by whether you're new here or have been here from the start.

07 December 2008

Sunday Randomness

A quick salute to parenting super powers for the week...
1. Super hearing:
I was standing in the kitchen and heard a faint sound from outside. I thought, "I can identify that sound. Let's see. It sounds like glass...being smacked against...hmm, brick. Yes, that's definitely the sound."
I ran outside to see the boy testing the tensile strength of a bottle he was carrying to the recycle bin. Before parenting, I would have totally ignored that sound.
2. or when you can see into the future:
Me: "Dude, don't lean against that, you'll knock the soda off the table."
The Wife: "It will be fine."
House rules: I warned you well ahead of time, you clean it.
Tech Support call:
"Hello, all my email is gone."
"What is your login ID?"
He gave it to me and said, "I graduated two years ago."
"Sir, we generally delete account 90 days past graduation."
"But I've been using it for two years."
"And we sent you a notice that your account would be deleted after 90 days."
"Well yeah, but I kept using it since you never turned it off."
"We don't backup student accounts, it's gone. There's nothing I can do here."
"But I've been using it for two years."

I can only take so much of this stuff before I turn unpredictably snarky...

"You're welcome for the gracious extension to your account." *click*

Somewhere, someone is thinking I'm a rotten bastard and I'm okay with that. He graduated anyway. We already spent that money.
A definition:
Blood Firsty: The feeling you get when you see a new post in your reader and are taken over by the compulsion to get to the blog and get your, "FIRST!" in.
That's it people...go enjoy your day.

04 December 2008


Over the years of working with computers, I've learned quite a few things about them. One of the more interesting things is that even though they are computers that supposedly work on logic, things get quirky. Quirky to the point where two computers with the same hardware and set up will behave differently. It makes no sense, but as an admin, I either accept it or risk A) sanity or B) literal physical implosion due to stress which is messy at best.

Once you learn to accept the quirks and learn all of the good stuff that comes with server administration though, you receive a gift. It's elusive and you must earn the favor of certain small and petty technology gods as well. It's admintuition.

It's part experience, but it's more. I have diagnosed problems in under 30 seconds that people have been working on for days. I'm not tooting my own horn here. It just happens often enough (with my co-administrator too, not just me) that there is no other explanation. Granted, that perk alone is nice enough but there's another that's way more important.

As an admin, I commonly deal with stuff the affects roughly 5000 people at a time. That means I can screw stuff up royally, with panache if need be. Fortunately, I have admintuition on my side. I'll be futzing (sorry for the technical term there) with the fabric that our servers run on and there's almost always a warning if I have something wrong in my syntax or configuration.

It starts out simple. I'll go to click 'ok' to finish a change or hit 'enter.' I pause for a second and wonder where that faint screaming is coming from. It's not too uncommon in IT and there are a lot of students...they're unpredictable.

Oh wait...the screaming...it's IN MY HEAD. It's the old, "something is about to be FUBAR'd" scream. I'll double check at that point and if something is still amiss, I move to the second failsafe.

Obi-Wan Kenobi's voice rings through my head. "Use the force, you dumb bastard." That's when I really start to take things seriously. The first warning; that could just be me being overly cautious. The second one is serious. I pore over the changes I was about to implement. I usually get it right by the second time. I finish the changes and tell Obi-Wan to send Princess Leah next time -- preferably in the slave costume.

There is a third stage where my head is taken over by sadistic gremlins armed with tiny brain saws and I have to walk away from the server for a while to clear them out. Caffeine is their nemesis. Remember that. It could save your life someday.

Every once in a while something gets borked so badly that we just scream past all the roadblocks with all the abandon of Amy Winehouse with a brick of crack. Like when my co-admin nearly formatted every last computer on campus a little while back. You read that right. Every. Last. Computer. Had that happened it would have been a month before I got to update my blog again...because I would have taken vacation somewhere where there are no lines of communication and I have that much at least that much vacation saved up. Pull a boner like that and you're on your own...I'll be in Belize.

Fortunately, that's rare and the last time I came close to something like that was years ago when I almost lost 4 years of email for 5000 users. I still maintain that was Microsoft's fault, but they won't fess up to anything.

I've got another juicy upgrade coming up soon here. Let's hope I've paid those dues to the small and petty tech gods.



03 December 2008

The (yeah, that's right I totally forgot the title today and will let it stand as a monument to my idiocy)

The other day, The Wife came down and said that her chest felt a little tight and she had been coughing. She had bronchitis last year so I just said, "Call the doctor and have her look at it." She took my profoundly sage advice and called me at work to let me know she made an appointment. Because she calls about everything, that's why. Everything. Every. Last. Thing. Not that I mind (this, of course, will be the one post she ever reads on my blog.)

Anyway. She said she had talked to the nurse and they got her in at the branch office. I filed that away under the heading of "really important stuff to know" and worked away until she got back from her appointment.

She called and I asked, "How was the appointment?"

Her answer in convenient anecdotal form:

She got to the doctor's office and been whisked away to one of the exam rooms. Standard procedure so far. The doctor comes in, points to the machine behind her, and says, "Let's get you hooked up to that."

The Wife looked at the machine and said, "What is that?"

"An EKG," came the reply.

"For potential bronchitis??? Can't you use a stethoscope?"

The good doctor paused and said, "The nurse entered in that you had called in complaining of chest pains. We cleared the afternoon appointments for you."

(Here's the point where I feel that I should point out that The Wife is a good Catholic girl who got a triple helping of the associated guilt that should come along with any fine, Catholic upbringing.)

"Oh. My. God. I'm so sorry. But I just said my chest felt tight. Like it was congestion. Really, I didn't mean to. Blah, blah, blah" (Insert about five minutes of apologizing for most of the world's ills here.)

The doctor laughed and assured her it was okay. She was good natured about it the whole situation and quite relieved.

Which brings us back to the phone conversation:

The Wife: "I felt so bad."

Me (laughing, especially since I have none of the appropriate Catholic guilt instilled in my black soul): "It wasn't your fault, the nurse entered it in wrong."

TW: "But they cleared the whole afternoon."

Me (still laughing): "Again, not your fault that the nurse was a twit with poor diagnostic skills."

TW: "Well, YOU told me to say my chest felt tight."

I stayed silent here...well, except for the laughing. I don't recall what I said verbatim, but if she says that's what was said, it probably was. I did not however force her to say anything and had nothing to do with the nurse's poor triage skills.

Me: "That's so going in the blog."

Later I was talking with my dad and he asked how everyone's health was. I just burst out laughing and said, "Great. Bern's EKG came out awesome." I caught a look for that one. That's okay, 'the look' pretty much slides off anymore. I'm bulletproof.

I think the best part is that she didn't have bronchitis. She didn't even have a cold. The doctor thought it was probably just a case where she needed a humidifier. At least that's easier to run than an EKG.

Technorati Tags:

01 December 2008

'Tis the Season

Ah, consumerism. It's amazing how fast it sinks its teeth into even our children. Sure, I realize that all the toy commercials are out in force right now, but it really sank in the other day when The Boy said, "Wait, go back," when we were flipping through the channels. I went back to the last channel and was about to go further when he said, "that's it!"

There it was, the object of his desire...the ne plus ultra of Christmas giftiness...the Perfect Pancake Puff Pan. Complete with flipping sticks!


I stared at him. For a while. "That's what you want?"

He nodded his head vigorously.

I briefly wondered where this mild case of freakiness had come from, but it was obviously from the marketing fairy (who, I'm sure, looks like Ron Popeil with lacy wings -- that repel dirt!)

The commercial wore on. I think it was the extended re-mix. He kept pointing at the various iterations of pancake puffs that could be created with the modern marvel and, knowing his mother's penchant for crab, said, "Look, you can make crab puffs too!" at the appropriate time. Somewhere Billy Mays shed a tear over his unknown protege.

After the commercial he looked at us expectantly. I stopped cringing inside and pulled the old, "We'll see buddy."

He persisted. "We should get it at Lowe's."

Sigh. "Why Lowe's?"

"Because they're the best."

"Why is that?"

"They say so on TV."

"Of course. Silly me. I'll tell you what, we'll look at Lowe's next time we're there." All I can say is that I'm betting that Lowe's will not carry the Perfect Pancake Puff Pan. (Complete with flipping sticks! Did I mention the pastry brush and sugar shaker?)  That should get me off the hook.

Of course, it will never happen even if Lowe's is "the best" and does miraculously carry the damn thing. Mainly because I don't do novelty dishes on command. I'm just not down with that; I have my pride. It would also either A) take up valuable storage space or B) The Wife would end up taking it away from me after I ended up cutting all the puffs in half and insisted on making armies of 'boob cakes' with gumdrop nipples.

On the plus side of all these commercials and rampant consumerism, I feel relatively safe that The Boy will be fiscally responsible. He has good parents and more importantly, he knows all the words to the freecreditreport.com commercials. He'll have no trouble checking online to make sure he's not too far in debt from late night TV purchases.


30 November 2008

Sunday Randomness

The Boy has this Fisher Price nativity set. It's cute and he can do the whole crèche thing without mucking up the good set. We were watching TV last night and I looked over and had to say, "Dude, get the BVM's (that's Blessed Virgin Mary to the uninitiated) head out of your mouth." I figured we'd keep those germs where they belong a little respect was due and just yuck...I have to touch those things.

He promptly tossed her across the room.

The Wife said, "Now why did you go and throw the B...um...Mary across the room?" (Points for me for almost getting The Wife to say 'BVM.')

The Boy dutifully walked over and retrieved it. Now the Fisher Price figurines have a sort of indentation in the bottom so you can place them on Fisher Price People Posts so they don't fall out of FP vehicles and crap while you're playing with them. You can also do this with cherubs:


He's an angel; he can take it. He even seems to mildly enjoy it...

Anyway, I look over and he's got the BVM up to his mouth again. Here's where you should all be proud of me:

What I wanted to say: "Get your tongue out of Mary's hole."

What I said: "Yeesh, can you just put that down somewhere?"

That just cant be right. He's too young for confession, but I think he owes one for that. If I were pope, I could look it up in the Vatican Database of Crap You Need to Confess for, but I have to wait until I get elected pope before I can access that.

Technically she would still be a virgin though, right?


I was talking to my dad on the phone the other day and we were wondering where all the parents were to guide their kids when they went and signed loans for a 300k house on a 50k a year salary.

Ole Man Heinous: "They were probably too damn scared they would alienate their kids."

Me: "I thought that was our job."

We laughed our asses off. Father of the year, that's me.


My son was out playing with his friends in the snow the other day. He came in the house to warm up.

Me: "Dude, where are your snow pants?" (He had jeans on underneath thanks to all the forces that keep me sane)

The Boy: "I don't know."


Me: "How can you not know? You had to take them off...correct? And they're pants...they don't blow off like a hat, right?"

The Boy: "Oh, that's right"

Zip, he was out the door. I don't even try to understand anymore.


A little captcha love:


This would have been a completely different movie. I'm thinking Stallone's career wouldn't have survived.



If you get the stomach flu and record yourself, I bet you'll hear yourself making this sound at some point.

That's it! Go enjoy your Sunday people.


Technorati Tags:

26 November 2008

Spin Cycle: What I am Thankful for

I'll start off by saying that I am thankful for all the usual things: family, friends -- that includes you people too, don't forget that -- pets, and all the other usual suspects. Today though I want to focus on one thing that brings a lot of us together and serves to bring us closer.


Sure, the 'love' thing brings us closer, but there's so much commitment involved. You can walk up to total strangers and tell a funny story or (good) joke and have them smiling with you. Now go ahead and tell that same stranger you love them and check your response. Go ahead, I'll wait. You can even make someone of the opposite sex laugh and your spouse won't even get mad at you. Now making love, that's a whole different story...

It heals us and gets us through rough times. I still remember when my mom was going through chemo. It was a rough time, but she could still crack a joke or get us smiling with a story (see, the laughter...it's in my genes.) For me, humor is comforting and can pull me out of foul moods (not that I have many) faster than anything.

I said 'a lot of us' at the beginning because, let's face it, some people no sense of humor. I feel sorry for those people. There just has to be something lacking in a life without humor and laughter. ...but like we used to say in school: "Screw you if you can't take a joke." I think that was grade school, but wisdom comes from all corners.

Seriously though, it seems as though a few of you get a smile out of my blog now and then and I love that. I also love coming by your blogs and laughing out loud with you. Thank you for that.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (that's belated if you're from Canada, but tough. That will teach you to live so far North.)



Technorati Tags:

25 November 2008

The Wine Academy

I like wine. I'm not fussy about it though. I can match up the right wine with the right kind of meal, but that's about as anal as I get with it. That's anal as in prissy, not as in bypassing the kidneys, people.

Last week, we were invited to a wine tasting party. I thought, "Well, that sounds fun," after I read the subject line. Then I read the emailed invitation (I've lovingly provided excerpts):

"Saturday...at 6:30." We can make that. Awesome. We'll foist The Boy Ask if Grammy and Pappy can watch The Boy.

"Semi-structured?" Wha? It's a party, correct? With wine. So we drink, eat, and someone says something stupid at some point so we can make fun of them. I guess that's what he means here: drink, eat, ridicule, repeat as necessary. Okay, got it.

"We will taste each of the 'big six' grapes as a group." Six? I thought there were red and white groups. I count two groups. If you throw seedless red and white into the mix I guess you squeak out four groups. Evidently I am undereducated in this department. I shall have to remember this for the next time it comes up in Jeopardy!.

"We will need wines...representative of the varietal" and "we don't want to end up with a bizarre Riesling." Whut? God forbid we end up with a bizarre Riesling (I'm betting that's one of those 'big six' though -- even I can pick this stuff up -- there's hope.) What makes a Riesling bizarre anyway? Does it have a thing for squash instead of other grapes? Perhaps it was caught with a raisin when it was young. I figure if they squish the little freak and make him into wine though, all better. It's not an issue for me.

"I've looked at all the wines at the liquor store." Dude, get a life.

"Bring a wine from the attached list." List? Where? Oh no, you did not attach a spreadsheet to the email. Oh. Yes. You. Did. Are you kidding me? I'm betting Ripple didn't make the list. Oh, at least now I know what the 'big six' are. I feel so enlightened now. I'll check that off my list of things to learn before I die.

"Again, this isn't going to be that formal" followed by "I need a syllabus." Not formal? What part of 'spreadsheet' followed by 'coordinated group tasting' with a discussion afterwards do you not get here? I've seen Catholic masses with less structure than this.

Ultimately, we decided to bail on our invite. Maybe I am a cretin, but I'm thinking a class on how to disassemble particle accelerators would have been more enjoyable. I'm sure the people that went had a wonderful time, blah, blah, blah, but really...wine, food, people mingling freely in my house, and the occasional, "How does that wine taste?" is all I need for a good wine tasting party.



24 November 2008

Safe Harbor

Did you ever have one of those weeks?

I feel like I'm the captain of a ship that's been adrift, locked in a dead calm with safe harbor in sight yet maddeningly out of reach. The cool, sea breezes that once carried my ship have left like a lover after discovering betrayal.

I can hear the grumblings of the crew. I can still silence them with a glare or a barked, "I am Captain of this vessel, dammit, and you will do as I say," but I find myself quelling them more and more often as I see the signs of discontent fester. The flag of the ship huddles against the mast; a bellwether of the ship's morale.

This vessel which I have captained so well for so long languishes in the still waters. The reserves dwindle. The monotony of the sound of the water against the hull drives the isolation home with a dull, "slap. slap. slap." The sun bears down with a physical weight and pushes the captain, myself, closer to the brink.

Resolve comes uneasily from some unplumbed depth. Whether released by some kind fortune or pulled by sheer force of will, it does not matter. It rises unsteadily at first, like an air bubble buffeted by currents in the water. Finally, it sparkles in the light from the surface above and crests.

Something has to be done. If I must swim though these waters with a rope in my teeth pulling this ship to safety then I will do it. I will pull. Every. Fucking. Inch.

I will brave the sharks. I will defy the weather. I will persevere.

It doesn't matter how I sailed here. My charge will be delivered safely.

Now to slip into the waters and make my own safe passage.

22 November 2008

The Big Guy (with the funny hat)

Somehow, I never seem to lose any followers after these posts. I love you guys for that. Thanks! Yes, you may take that as sort of a warning for this one. (and remember I am a Catholic, so I am licensed to do this.)

I was thinking the other day (always a dangerous thing.) The Catholics have so many cool things -- vampirism, pirates, and the ass-kicking gozillica just for a few examples -- that it must be unjustifiably cool to be in charge of it all. Ahh...a day in the life of the Pope. I wonder what my day would be like if I was the Pope?

6:00AM Get up early because holiness seems to require not sleeping in. This rule pisses me off. I'll have to rewrite that one.

6:20AM All showered with holy water and the Vatican-approved 'pope soap on a rope' (Guaranteed to wash away all sin!)

6:30AM Stop thinking about sex. There's another god damned rule (I can say that right? I'm the Pope.) that needs to be axed.

6:45AM Pick out holy poncho with cryptic symbols and crap on it for the day along with matching funny hat.

6:50AM Knock funny hat off head after passing through a doorway. You would think I would learn by now.

7:00AM Talk to God and tell him what a bang-up job he's doing and let him know that I am on my way to smite some mofos (that's non Catholics, of course.) Ask if He's willing to ease up on the sex thing yet.

7:05AM Make note to attend confession after being all pissed about His answer to the sex thing.

7:30AM Breakfast of bread and water. Just kidding. You should see the spread I get here for breakfast. It's the freakin' Vatican.

8:00AM Sit on throne made entirely of gold for some holy ponderage. "I wonder if I should start a blog? I could call it 'Poperiffic!'"

9:00AM Okay, enough of that crap...I mean, done. Off to the holy cookie factory to bless the wafers. You know...just in case the priest blows the transubstantiation gig. We can't have people eating stale, tasteless crackers after all. I should stop by the holy chalice factory too and talk to the people in R&D. People are still getting colds by sharing those cups. Jesus' blood isn't curing the common cold. Go figure.

9:15AM Oh. My. God. That nun is soooo freaking hot. What the hell is she doing being a nun? Crap, she saw me staring.

"Um...yes, sister...carry on. I'm very proud of your progress towards...uh..Godly stuff."

Yeah. Nice cover. Smooooth.

Note to self: add those thoughts to the list o' stuff to confess.

10:00AM Done with the cookies and the chalice thing. Have to meet with some cardinals and other lower management. I'll twitter from the meeting if I get bored.

11:00AM Need to get that idea for the iAbsolve phone to R&D. That's going to be a money maker. We just have to figure out what carrier to use.

12:00PM Crap, have to conduct a mass. I wonder how you say, "blah, blah, blah," in Latin? I guess I should stay traditional for this one. The worshippers got a little bent last time when I introduced the "Rock and Roll Mass of Awesome-osity".

1:30PM Count some of my the church's money while eating lunch. Are you watching this, God? A working lunch. You're welcome. Um...maybe I mean I'm here to serve in Your name. I'll talk to You tomorrow about your prefs on this issue.

5:00PM ...and ten billion. That's a nice, round number to stop at. Off to dinner.

6:00PM Wow, am I stuffed. Another mass? Come on people. Do we need this many in a day? Fine, brt.

7:30PM Heh. I bet they didn't even notice when I said, "I'm not wearing any underwear under this poncho," in Latin. Bite me. It gets hot in this thing...I need all the ventilation I can get.

8:00PM I can't stand talking to people anymore. They want to kiss my ring. That's. Creepy. Man. Stop it. I betcha there's all kinds of slobber and lip goo in the grooves. Yick...heading to the holy jeweler dude for cleaning again.

9:00PM Hitting the wine cabinet and reading up on my favorite blogs.

11:00PM Hmm...probably too drunk to pray properly. I'll get to that in the morning. Ahh, what the hell, I'll phone one in:
Um...g'night God. Yay You.
That's it, I'm wiped...

19 November 2008

Mysteries to Solve...

I'm not here today. Clark Kent has gone missing and I intend to do something about it.

Read my guest post where I become a second-story man in the quest to find him.

17 November 2008

The Meds

It sat in the bottom of the cup: a pink, pearlescent puddle. It looked innocuous enough but I knew better. Meds. For The Boy.


I dipped a finger in and tasted it; I always want to know what the reaction was going to be from him. Hmmm...cherry flavored. Not ba...SWEET MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS HOLY (AND LESS THAN HOLY TOO SINCE I DON'T LIKE TO BE ALL EXCLUSIONARY LIKE THAT.)

Where did that aftertaste come from? I was tempted to go eat some grass in the back yard to get rid of the flavor.

The Wife walked into the kitchen. "What's with 'the face'."

I pointed to the offending, tiny, pool of doom that lurked in the bottom of the rocks glass. She walked over and dipped a finger in. I thought briefly about warning her but the thought, "why should I be alone in this?"

"That's not ba...oh. my. god. That is horrible. Why didn't you get it flavored?"

"I did. I just didn't realize that when I asked for cherry flavor it came with a chaser of putrefied skunk rectum."

The Boy walked in. We stopped staring at the pink cesspool. He knew what was up when he saw the rocks glass though. "I don't want any medicine."

Zoom! Gone. Out of the room.

It was time for the pleading to begin.

I chilled it in the fridge while we offered all sorts of helpful hints on how a popsicle would numb his taste buds and how it'll make him feel better (it was only a minor sinus thing, thanks for caring) and how the doctor said he should take it and how if he didn't take it, God would come down from heaven, destroy his bodily form utterly and completely, and cast his soul adrift in the winds of Limbo until such time as he decided to take the damn medicine and then and only then would he be made corporeal again (okay, I only thought that last one, but I still think it would have worked.)

None of it worked. He's always been stubborn like that. Finally, I had to pull a daddy trick. I got his nemesis, the dosing syringe. I silently held it up and he had flashbacks to the times I held him tight and forced medicine down his throat with it. They're not pretty memories for either of us, but, in the end, you have to go with what works.

He crumbled. He took the medicine with an iced tea chaser. We did the appropriate praising and wrote a few extra verses to the Hallelujah Chorus in honor of his achievement...because that's what little boys require.

The rest of the doses since have gone off without a hitch. Someday we're hoping to achieve drama-free nirvana. Until then though, I've got the dosing syringe on standby.


15 November 2008

Sunday Randomness

The usual stuff that I didn't feel like making into whole posts...

The Boy: "Do I get any extra in my allowance for spending time with the family instead of playing with my friends?"
(Does a kick in the pants count as extra?)

Me: "Why are you wearing my sunglasses buddy?"
The Boy: "So the spitting cobras don't get me."
Me: "Righto, carry on."

The Boy: "Wanna know my favorite song?"
Me: "Sure, what is it?"
The Boy: "The Polka."
(I'm going to have to have a talk with his Polish grandfather. That's just not right.)

Fortunately we know the Polka thing isn't true. We have the following as proof:

A little help on some lyrics is in order, but he's got the ham going. I trimmed a bit out in the middle where he discovered he could make the CD skip when he whacked the table.

Also an award from Tara at From Dawn Till Rusk. Sadly, she is wrapping up her blog to move on to another project and I can wish her nothing but the best (even if she does spell favorite strangely...there's no 'u' in there...even spellcheck marks it wrong, so there.) It is well worth perusing her archives if you get a chance.

I rated as 'Coolest Dad' in her book and that's good enough for me.

14 November 2008

The Ballad of Little Dog

I have to start this post with a disclaimer. I really do love animals. We have two cats and a dog and I've had pets all my life. There was just this one dog though...

My wife is on the board at the local SPCA so we stop over there on occasion. One time when we were there, they were naming some new animals they had just gotten in. There was this little dog there. Black and tan like a rottweiler pup. It was some sort of terrier though, so it was full grown. He was roughly 112,000 years old (in demon years.) They needed a name and my wife was wearing Levi jeans so I said, "Levi." They liked it and that was that or so I thought.

Levi had a hard time finding a home. Personally, I think it's because he was a mean little bastard, but The Wife thought it was because he was handicapped. He had a gimpy front leg. When you walked him it looked sort of like he had three legs and a flipper. Gimp leg would swing out and forward, plop down and repeat as he walked and made this little 'skritch' sound as his nails would drag on the pavement.

Time passed and Levi festered in the SPCA. Finally, one day, The Wife announced she was going to foster him so he didn't have to stay there. I begrudgingly said, "Okay."

He had this habit of trying to bite people in the heels. It's all he could reach, but after a few corrections, he at least stopped trying it with me. One day, someone decided they would take a chance on the miserable, little cur Levi.

When he got to his new owner, he rapidly made himself at home by unhousebreaking himself. This was made worse by the fact that she was a little older and couldn't really do a good job of retraining him. He was also one of those vile poop eating types. Yeah, because you want to see that happen in your house.

Back to the SPCA went Levi.

Enter The Wife.

TW: "We should keep him."

Me: "I don't like him. I'm sure the feeling is mutual too. I've seen him try to dial for a hitman. But he can't because of the gimpy paw."

TW: "That's mean."

I need to point out here that we had just gone through an ectopic pregnancy. It's was rough for both of us since we were told we couldn't get pregnant. At all. And then that happened. (Hey, Universe, I still owe you a big, "Fuck you!" for that one. Consider yourself served.)

Anyway, I could tell this was one of those things that would help.

Me: "Fine, but I'm calling him Mr. Hankey now due to the whole poop thing."

So home he came with us.

He would go for walks with us. We discovered we had to buy him these little booties for his paw because the top would scrape on the ground and it would get raw. I'm certain he did this only to inconvenience me though.

Time wore on and his name changed. He became 'little dog.' The Wife called him this because she used to carry him around like a 15-pound black and tan meatloaf. People would come over and remark how cute he was. They thought he was a rottie pup. Usually if they thought he was cute, I'd ask if they would like to adopt him. After about 20 or so hairy eyeballs from The Wife, I stopped.

Time ground on and little dog, nipper of heels, started peeing in the house even though he was going out regularly. Off to the vet. He was diabetic. Whoopee!

Gimpy and diabetic and mean (to everyone but The Wife and The Boy.)

The morning routine changed a little and I had to start giving him shots. Granted, it was some small satisfaction. "This is for your own good, Levi." Jab.

Time crawled through fields of razor wire and broken glass bisected by a river of burning bile.

Levi turned grey, but he was just teasing me. He clung to life like he would to my leg given the chance. Then, another joke on me. The diabetes caused blindness. It didn't much matter since The Wife carried him most places. He would just bump into things here and there. That didn't matter much either since snails would challenge him to drag out in the backyard. No harm done when he bumped into something. But for those of you keeping score:

Gimpy, diabetic, blind, mean.

Time nearly gave up. I kept resuscitating and yelling, "Finish it already."

One night, while trying to sleep, I was awoken by barking. Constant barking. I tried to reason with little dog. He was having none of it. Back to the vet. "He seems to be a bit senile," was the diagnosis. Frigging awesome. After The Wife would go to bed (she was sleeping in The Boy's room at the time and couldn't hear the barkitude we had going on) I would carry his crate down to the basement so I could sleep. I'd get up early and sneak him back up. Oh, and:

Gimpy, diabetic, blind, mean, senile.

One day I came down to find that the senility had advanced. How did I know you ask? He was covered in his own poop and urine. The Mr. Hankey joke was no longer quite so funny.

TW: "What are we going to do?"

Me: "That's funny that you chose the pronoun 'we.'

TW: "Get back here."

Me: "Fine, I'll hose him off in the yard."

TW: "It's 40 degrees out!"

Me: *shrug*

TW: "Fine, I'll take care of it."

Amen to that. This mercifully only went on for a week or two before we took him to the vet's office for one, last visit. She misses him from time to time. I don't, but there's no need to point that out to her.

It turns out here also that I was also a bit of a prophet when I named him. As proof, I present this:


12 November 2008

Country Roads

We live in a rural area. Well, close enough that the city folk (where I'm from originally) qualify it as rural. I like it. I would never consider moving back to even a fair sized city. There are some drawbacks though.

We were coming back from a sale at the Woolrich store (it's about a 5 minute drive) and The Wife said, "Let's take that back road home.

Okay, I thought. I don't mind a leisurely drive home. There are some roads I love around here. The kind with all the little hills on them where you can hit them at just the right speed and make the boy giggle in the back seat when his tummy gets that dropping feeling.

This was not one of those roads.

Don't get me wrong, it was a country road with all the appropriate windy-ness. It was what lined the roads.

Houses. But not normal houses. Houses that strain the concept of words like dilapidated and slapdash and bedraggled. Houses that make my wife say things like, "Look, Jacob. People actually live in there."

I know, I sound a little snotty here but really. I'm not a builder or anything, but I redid the attic and have framed walls. It's not hard, it just takes time. If your entire house leans to the right, it may be an appropriate response to find some time to work on it. That tree won't hold it up forever, pal.

I don't think there's any need to have two stoves, a refrigerator, and an assortment of couches on your porch either...not to mention the abused car lot in your back yard.

As we drove, my six year-old son kept muttering, "disgusting," in the back seat as The Wife kept pointing out 'houses.' Yeah, we've at least instilled that much wisdom in him.

After a about 10 minutes (it's funny how you always hit a time warp on these roads) we cleared the last of them and I announced, "It looks like we're leaving Deliverance-ville." The joke fell flat. The Wife is a cretin when it comes to the classic. We'll let The Boy slide since A) he hasn't seen it yet and B) he may have been in a slight state of shock after seeing numbers of houses supported mainly by the surrounding shrubberies.

We did make it home safe and no one had to squeal like a pig to get us there, so that's a bonus. That and we're all just about done with Christmas shopping.

10 November 2008

The Blood Test

Yesterday, I had to take my son for a blood test. No worries, it's all just to make sure there's no Lyme disease crawling around his system since I had it earlier in the year and my in-laws' dog has it too. They watch him after school, so there's a chance.

Ticks rule like that. Vile little beasties.

Anyway, it was decided that I would fly this mission solo since Jacob gets all 'momma's boy' when she's around. She's a crumbler at the first sight of tears too. I happen to have a convenient heart of stone for these situations. I keep it in a little box filed under, "crappy stuff that has to be done."

The time was nearing to go pick him up and I had the requisite feeling of dread, but there was nothing to be done; the sentence had been passed.

I drove over to the in-laws to pick him up and let him know it was time for his test at the doctor's.

The Boy: "What kind of test daddy?"

Me: "Oh, you know, just one of those tests."

The Boy: "Am I getting a shot?"

Crap, this was going to be like a big game of dodge ball all the way to the doctor's.

Me: "No, not a shot." Similar concept though...still a needle involved, but they'll be taking instead of giving. I was not lying here, mind you, merely omitting.

The Boy: "How long will it take?"

Me: "Not long."

The Boy: "What kind of test is it?"

Me: "Dunno, buddy. We'll find out in a minute." Okay, I lied. Bite me.

The Boy: "Will it hurt?"

Me: "I don't think so." Hey, pain is all relative. Of course, a needle to a child might as well be a sharpened drain pipe.

...and double bite me.

We finally got there and were walking across the lot when he asked, "Am I having surgery?"

I burst out laughing. "No, no surgery."

We entered the office and I was all prepared. We had a stuffed animal du jour and I had the pocket video recorder so I could show him the movies we took for Halloween. Yeah baby, I had it covered. Dad o' the year, that's me.

We were in the lab in under five minutes and he was sitting on my lap. He was watching videos to the left. He never even looked to the right when they did the strappy thing to his arm. Things were moving along nicely.

Cool, this might just work out.

Then he looked to his right just as they were about to put the needle in.

Full. Bore. Nutty.

"I don't wanna. I want to go home. I want my mommy," over and over again. A protective mantra at 100 decibels. Then the tears came.

My little, stone heart chipped a little.  Perhaps it cracked a smidge as well. It's rough. You tell your child it's so they wont feel icky later on but it's still hard to do.

The nurses broke to their respective corners and we talked him down. After a minute or so, he realized there wasn't any escape. Especially since mommy wasn't there.

Some more tears flowed as I put his little legs between mine and crossed them so he couldn't kick and I held his flailable arm while the nurses held his other. It was over pretty quick and the nurses were great.

I said, "Let's bolt," and we were outta there. On the way to the car he said it wasn't any worse than his flu shot. I thought, "Yeah but you could have at least had the consideration to make it easier on me." Sheesh, these selfish kids nowadays.

The Boy: "You didn't tell me that was going to happen."

I thought, "Duh, I couldn't have gotten you through the doors without a team of Clydesdales pulling you if I had."

I said, "Gee, I wasn't sure what kind of test it was going to be buddy."

Liar, liar. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do though. Let's hope that's the last test for a while.


09 November 2008

Church, it does a blog good.

Every time I think, "There's no way I can possibly get more material from church," all I have to do is pull up and get proven wrong.
So I get to church and try to park...evidently the Pope issued a special edict that Catholics no longer have to park between the lines. This is good for me. I like special treatment like that. Of course, I'm pretty sure this is the same reason Martin Luther broke away...no spot for his damn horse.
We were late, so The Wife likes to pull the 'baby room' trick in an attempt fool Father into thinking we weren't really late. Whatever. We get there and there was this little girl. She was a cutie but she was non stop. Non. Stop. Srsly. If at one point she would have stopped and had to cut and snort another line of coke to keep going I would not have been shocked. She had those little girl shoes too. They made this sound on the floor: *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* one way and *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* the other way. Mom just let her go.
It's okay. It's my church and I expect this.
During the homily (I had to look that up, I was going to call it a 'sermon' but my acute Catholic senses told me that was wrong. Saved by 40 years of nigh paying attention.) Father was blathering on about something but it was hard to pay attention with all the *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* one way and *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* the other way. He also has an accent so what follows is totally not my fault.
Anyway, Father said the word 'basilica' at some point. With all the distractions though I heard this:

RUN! It's the church come to strike you down with holy Jeebus fire! Repent now mofos! (I'm fairly certain that's how the pope refers to non-Catholics.)
Think how useful the Godzillica would have been during the crusades though. You could worship inside and then go kick some ass. Take THAT heathens!
The good thing about me mishearing something like this is that it burns a good 10 minutes of church while my little mind turns it over and over.
About this time another little girl, with a much lighter step, comes in and we start having a race around the baby room. Lil Miss Speedball was winning by a mile until:
*thump* *thump* *thump* *thump*...*WHUD*
Yeah, the ump says she was 'safe.'
She bounced right back up in time for mommy to actually dart forward -- Hey! Nice ink mommy! You're gonna need a lot of butt spackle to patch that crack though. -- and grab her girl. She held her around the waist, but I was pretty certain that anything less than a full-nelson wasn't going to do it. Nope, she was out of the pit in record time.
The Wife and The Boy left around this time. I assumed it was to go potty. Then about five minutes later I saw them heading up to the altar for the Holy Ritz.
Wha? Did I miss a memo? You leave me in here with speed racer and her mommy -- who I noted was wearing socks with her peep toed shoes. Is it me or is that wrong? -- and head off for crunchity waferness?
She got back and I leaned over. "You ditched me! No cookie for me today."
She just started laughing. See? Even The Wife works against me in church. How am I supposed to get all holy with all this material flying around?

07 November 2008

Sunday Randomness

Dear son,
Just because a pen is left out in the open, undefended, does not mean you have to use it to write on any piece of paper (including photographs) within reach. Thank you for you consideration in the future.


The management


The scene: We had Chinese food the other day. The restaurant is owned by a Chinese couple down the street. They're really nice. Anyway, we had the neighbor's girl over (she eats here as much as The Boy does sometime) and this was the conversation at one point:

Girl: "So do they speak Chinese?"
Me: "Yes they do. They immigrated."
Girl: "Cool, I wonder what it sounds like?"
The Boy: "Hola!"

Yeah, close enough for now buddy.


Grandma was watching The Boy the other day and stopped over at the house. She accidentally tried the car keys in the door.

"You can't drive my house, Grammy!"


Captcha Love  for the week:

I'm pretty sure this was the tech support guy's name when I called Verizon.


...and this was his last name


The election's over. Can we ease up on that already?



I'm sneaking this in down here. People are going to start thinking I pay people for this stuff...

This award comes from Wayne over at Wayne John. He's a great guy and has a fantastic series on how to make Blogger work. If you need tips on how to do things in Blogger, this is the place to look. He also happens to be a twitterer extraordinaire.

Prox_award This is a friendship award. It's the Proximidade Award. He tells me that "This blog invests and believes, in 'proximity' [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy]. These blogs are all charming and they aim to show the marvels of friendship. Lets give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers who in turn must make the same thing and put this text."

It also sorta makes my blog multi-cultural. You didn't know I could be so classy, huh?

So here are the eight people I award this to for being a part of my community of bloggers. My heartfelt thanks to them all for making blogging so rewarding. (They only let me pick eight people, I'd pick you all if I could. That and listing you all would take me way too much time.)

Mary Anne @ The Stiletto Mom

Jen @ Blissfully Caffeinated

Diane @ Diane's Addled Ramblings

Petra @ The Wise Young Mommy

Tony @ Life with Tony

Deb @ I Need a Martini Mom

Tara @ From Dawn Till Rusk

Mel @ Melanie in Oregon

Kelley @ Magneto Bold Too


Okay people, go relax...it's Sunday.


Technorati Tags: ,

06 November 2008

Words I can't shake

We all have them. They're either left over from high school or picked up from the streets as we move through life. Our 'go to' words when all else fails us. They're ingrained in us. No thought required most of the time. They just bubble to the surface unbidden. Here's a few of mine:

Boffo: To this day, I don't know where the hell I picked this up but I love it. I get the occasional strange look when I declare something 'boffo,' but I'm used to that. It just rolls off the tongue and makes everything extra awesome.

Gnarly: When I was in high school I used to make fun of people that used this word. It was a dumb surfer word. Then I went to college and started rock climbing. A lot. It was the perfect word. "Dude, that bracket you used to get to the top of the white lightning route was gnarly." or "Dude, you're gonna need stitches for that, it's just gnarly." (I just used some crazy glue and kept climbing btw, it was no where near gnarly enough for stitches.) Anyway, 'gnarly' is just too all-purposey for me and it's staying.

Dude: Yeah, there's no getting away from this one either. It's all purpose too. It's all in the inflection. It can be used in greeting, outrage, commiseration, surprise...it's a catch all. I should do an audio post for that to truly capture the essence. I think I'm too lazy to though. Dude.

Tard: This is probably my most anti-PC term. Hey, I'm a child of the 80's. I don't do politically correct. Besides, I use it to describe people like...um...me actually. Usually after a particularly smooth move. It's more like a term of endearment. If I didn't like you and you did something stupid, you'd be an asshole. But you're all 'tards in my book. You're welcome.

MoFo: This one is my newest. I picked it up to replace my previous favorite so that The Boy didn't go spouting that one off. See, I can be a role model. It's bad enough that he lets the occasional 'Jesus H. Christ' slip after he helps me work with plumbing.

Two quick asides while we're on the topic:

"What does the 'H' stand for, daddy?"

"Harold. You know, like the song, "Hark the Harold Angels sing."

(Yeah, I can't wait for the Catholic School to call after he tries to explain that to his class.)


"What does MoFo mean daddy?"

"It's just a funny word that grown-ups say...and only grown-ups say. We use it to describe the things in life that stymie us."

"Do the things go away then?"

"Nope, but we always have our funny word for small solace."

I have some others too, but those are the ones I catch myself with most often.

Now it's time for some commenty goodness: So what are the words you can't shake?


Technorati Tags:

03 November 2008

Wrong Number

We switched to IP phones at work. This was a while back and ever since, I've been getting misdirected phone calls. Basically when someone dials a local number on the other side of the state, it gets redirected to our system here. Verizon insists that this isn't something that are responsible for, but that's their M.O. and another blog entry entirely.

The calls are the entertaining things. Voice messages are routed to my inbox so I can save all the really entertaining ones:

Message: "I was wondering when and where you want me to drop off this hot tub"

Well holy crap. A free hot tub? I wonder if I can get that guy to drive it 3 hours to my house? I'm not sure if I have the room for a hot tub though, so I may just have to resell it. I wonder what shipping would be on eBay?

Message: "Yeah, we're ready to have that grave dug. Give us a call when you would like to do it."

I wonder what the going rate is for grave digging? I can do that. The guy that was supposed to do it will never notice. It'll be sort of like it was subcontracted out. I'm thinking my shovel isn't going to cut it though and I don't have a backhoe handy, so I'll have to pass on that one too. I sure hope they call back and get the right number. That could potentially be an awkward situation.

Message: "You can come pick up the oxygen bottle."

What? I wonder what the market value is on an oxygen bottle? It's related to the medical industry, so I should be able to charge roughly 200,000% of its production price. This one may be worth looking into.

Message: "We're ready for a new oxygen bottle."

Okay, this one scares me. We're not provided with the caller ID's on numbers that are misdirected. Eventually I picked up the phone and caught this person to let them know that they should keep trying until they get the right number.

Message: "Kurt, the blade needs to be sharpened on line 8.

Sucks to be line 8 then, doesn't it?

Message: "You better get that money to me today or I'm coming over there."

Look lady, I don't have your money. If you can find me however, I will give you five dollars for your awe-inspiring stalker skills.

Message: "Kurt, the roller on line 8 is loose. We're worried that it's going to come off and hurt someone."

What the hell is up with line 8? Kurt better get his ass down there and straighten that out.

The really funny thing is that I eventually got hold of Kurt's number after a caller left it in a message. Calls for Kurt are my number one source of misdirected calls. When it's serious now on line 8, I usually call him and let him know. He's a nice guy.

P.S. If anyone wants to work with me on the grave digging, let me know. I know a guy. Well, not really, but he doesn't know that I don't know him.

01 November 2008

Sunday Randomness

The school had a nice Halloween party where my son got as much candy as he did "walking the streets" for a sugar fix. They invited the parents so we could do all the taking of the movies and pictures. Okay, since you asked, here's one of Officer Boy:


Criminals everywhere were quaking in fear at his 'tough guy' face. Fortunately, we got this picture before the school handed out stampers along with candy goodness. After he got hold of that, he managed to stamp himself right between eyes. At least the stamp read, "Boo!"

The Boy actually enjoys giving candy more than trick or treating. He lasted about a half an hour on the walk and then helped us hand out candy. For a while at least. Then he walked over to the neighbors and helped them instead. 196 kids were served overall. Not too shabby.

The pop rocks are mine, stay away.


The wife called me upstairs at one point in the week, pointed to the floor, and said, "What is that?"

I scrunched down and looked at the thin strand of something on the floor while she added, "I hope the cats don't have worms."

(The Wife has a case of extreme heebie jeebies when it comes to all things parasitic.)

I picked it up, stretched it, and said, "Yeah, these rubber band worms are horrible this time of year."


(Hey, you chose to marry the smartass.)


A few more captchas from this week:

In honor of most of the costumes out this Halloween:


(Slutted up Beyond All Recognition)

When your child paws a piece of prime candy for a few minutes before deciding that he or she doesn't want it:


("Ewww, I can't eat that. It's all defingly now." This also happens at birthday parties when the cake isn't guarded from 'icing probes.')

It was just odd that this one came up during a tooth fairy entry:



That's all I have people. Go be relaxed; it's Sunday.



Technorati Tags:

29 October 2008

School Picture Day

I'm not a big fan of school pictures...or any sort of organized picture taking for that matter. Hell, I'm not even a little, teeny fan of them. I prefer candid shots. I have roughly a billion of them, so if I need a good one, it's just a quick digital flip away. The Wife however just has to have them. One or two a year. Now that The Boy is in kindergarten, we can at least forgo the whole scheduling routine. So here's how my first class picture went:

The night before, The Wife announces that The boy will participate in a bath and hair washing activity. He didn't seem to mind much. Boffo. So after dinner, she was on the phone and the boy wanted to play soccer in the house. (Hey, it was a soft, little ball, don't look at me like that. We hardly ever break anything.) I said, "Okay."

We play for a bit and I pretty much just stand there and block an occasional shot. One time (oddly enough, the last time for the night) I blocked a shot by trapping the ball. He kept running and launched a kick at it.


I was wearing shoes; he was not.

"Waaaaaa, Mommy!"

"Dude, are you okay?"

He calmed down after a few minutes and we found that he had bent his nail back a bit on his toe. Ouchy, yes, but he was working on a oscar.

One band aid and one popsicle later, all seemed to be well. Then The Wife said, "Let's go take a bath so you can look good for your picture tomorrow."

"Waaa, my toe hurts too much to take a bath."

Of course, I got 'the look' at that point. Wha? Me? He's the one not taking a bath and he kicked me. I was utterly not at fault here.

I went to do dishes. When in doubt, I find that some light housework takes the heat off.

The Wife came in after a few minutes and smacked me (playfully...mostly) in the shoulder and said, "You just had to sabotage me."

"Me? I'm an innocent here. It was The Boy."


and back to dishes for me...

The morrow comes...

The Wife has one day a week that she works an evening so I come in an hour early and we split the day. I'm at my desk and the phone rings. Hmmm...I see it's the cell phone.


*whud* *whud* *whud* (that's the sound the back of the car seat makes when it's being kicked...also insert assorted screams and wails.)

"The Boy will not get out of the car to go to school."

"Be right there."

Aside: I'm lucky here. Work is roughly two minutes from work. It would be one minute, but there's this pesky 'school zone.' in the way.

Tangent: School is also five minutes from my house. That's right, I can drive to school, boot The Boy out of the car, and make it to work in under seven minutes. My life rocks.

Anyway, I get there and she had coaxed the wiener out of the car. I grabbed his school bag and we trooped to the doors. He was still all blubbery, but I'm immune to that stuff. He's a first class actor. We got inside and the reason for the outburst was, "I don't wanna get my picture taken."

So I said, "You don't have to get it taken if you don't want to." Hah! Score one against the tyranny of posed pictures!

The Wife chimed in, "That's right, you don't have to."

Game, set, and match baby.

His teacher came down and we got him into the classroom and that was that.

Later, another call from the cell.


"Hi daddy! I got my picture taken today!"

I sure seemed to be my cell, but who was this child on the other end? I asked, "Did you have fun?"

"Yup, I was the first in line."

What I wanted to say: "Well what the hell was all that crap this morning?!"

What I said, "Well, that's awesome buddy. I'm proud of you."


This is why I hate organized pictures. They induce psychoses in women and children. I know it's some sort of plot by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. I will find a way to stop it. It's my mission.


Speaking of pictures:


That's right, that's me in my awesome, new, customized t-shirt from Jen at Steenky Bee. I was hand (well, mouth actually) picked by the only and only Henners. Seriously though, it's kinda the nicest one that I have. You know...since guys don't buy new ones until the old ones are pretty much unrecognizable as clothing.


Only a few days until Halloween if you're interested in my Halloween story : Click the linky.


26 October 2008

It isn't my fault

Here I was thinking that my church observations were over...all played out. I had even made a sort of pact with myself that I was going to pay attention and everything.

We got to church Sunday and normally there is a girl there who sings all the churchly hymns and stuff up front. She has a fantastic voice. Our lector for the day, we'll call him Mr. Flatty, did not. He had what can only be termed as a 'god-forsaken' voice maybe even a 'touched-by-satan-himself' kind of voice. He sang anyway, the brave soul. I was awesome though. I hardly chucked through his opening string of clinkers. My wife did not admire my restraint as much though so I received the first official 'look' of the morning.

Not too bad for the first three minutes of church I thought. Then the priest walked up the aisle for mass followed by three Knights of Columbus (some Catholic club thing) in full regalia. Don't get me wrong, the feathery hats and capes are nice looking, I just don't think I could take myself seriously in this:


So they make the rounds and come to seat themselves two rows in front of me. Precisely one row in front of me is an adorable, little girls who blurts, "Are they pirates mommy?"


That's the sound I make when I poorly contain a belly laugh. Since I was already mildly unhinged by off-key guy up front, this bout of laughter took supreme effort to subdue. Again, I was quite proud of myself. Low and behold though; I had earned a second 'look.' C'mon, that was funny, Wife. I'm quite sure Jesus would have peed himself on that one.

Flatty set off on another voyage into what was, for him, the unfamiliar territory of music. I thought I would have been able to handle it until he made the daring move of trying to add an entire third note into his list of musical achievements. Even my wife was in shock at that one so I missed getting another 'look.'

It turned out that the reason that the KoC were there was that there was a new priest that was just ordained. He joined in with Flatty in 'song' and although I never caught his name, I can only assume it was Father Tony Deaf. The duet set me over the edge but I was saved by The Boy, who needed a potty break.

When we got back the Knights standing again with their Deluxe Long John Silver hats on. I gave The Wife the 'Hey,' look that you do in church and she replied with the, 'What do you want?' eyebrow. I leaned over and said, "Yarrrr." She laughed in spite of herself and I got a pinch. Sheesh, I try to add a little levity and what reward do I get?

The noob priest got to do the sermon and it turned out he had a thick accent. Awesome. Grand. I love a good, unintelligible sermon. After he got rolling, I caught on and picked up some phrases here and there. At one point he said, "They, like you were responsible for Jesus's death."

I thought, "Dude, I was nowhere near the scene of the crime." I don't believe in the whole 'sins of the father' line of reasoning so you're not pinning that one on me...and leave my boy out of it too.

There was another duet by the Flatty and Fr. Deaf. I was laughing by the end of it since if finished on some high notes that they abused soundly. It was then that I heard a child call out loudly, "Is it time for the cookies yet?" The child was located to my right and looked suspiciously like my son.


We got our cookies -- Jeebus flavored goodness -- and got out of there.

Am I the only one that this stuff happens to in church? Nearly every time I go there's something that I can't resist talking about. Maybe it's just Catholics. I give up, no more pacts. I'm just going to assume that God clearly wants me to blog in church.

Also: If you haven't seen it and are interested in my Halloween story gifty thing: Click the linky.

23 October 2008

Go to Sleep + an Award

Ahh, the wonders of not being able to sleep. A brief replay of my morning:
Brain: What time is it?
Eyes: 5:00
Body: Go to sleep
Brain: Want to know what song keeps running through me?
Body: No.
Brain: That song that FADKOG had on her site the other day. "This bed is on fire
With passion and love."
Body: Shut up. She's lucky she's awesome or I'd make some sort of public remark (say in a blog) about her keeping me up.
Brain: What time is it now?
Eyes: 5:05.
Body: Both of you be quiet. Eyes, no more answering brain.
Eyes: Gotcha.
Brain: We don't need sleep. We have day long access to the 'sleep substitute'...coffee. "The neighbors complain about the noises above."
Body: GO TO SLEEP. We have all sorts of computery crap to do later on.
Brain: Pfft. I can do that stuff in my sleep.
Body: Which is what you should be doing now.
Chest: What is going on?
Eyes: The cat is perched on you. Um...could somebody move the cat? His nose is like an eighth of an inch from my cornea and it's freakin' me out.
Body: Do NOT touch the cat. Then he'll know we're awake and get all playful and purrity and cute and crap.
Nose: I hate allergy season.
Body: Go to sleep nose.
Nose: I'd love to but...you know...allergies.
Body: I hate involuntary bodily functions.
Heart: Oh really? Do you?
Body: Bite me, you know what I mean.
Mr. Willikers: Heh, he said, "Bite me."
Body: I'm ignoring that.
Eyes: Hey hands, can I get some help up here.
Hands: What's up?
Eyes: Sleepy dust, the usual.
Hands: K, brt
Body: Ahh, the cat knows we're awake you buffoons. That's it. Screw you guys, I'm getting up.
Mr. Willikers: Heh, he said, "Screw."
Hands: Awesome, can we blog now?

There was about another 45 minute's worth, but you get the idea.

The Point at Which an Award is Acknowledged in a Timely Manner:

Carrie over at Confessions who gave my this award which appeals very much to writerly ol' me:

Thank you very much Carrie. She's great and is going to fill out that pirate costume in a pretty inspiring way, I'm sure. Stop over and check her blog. She even left a comment -- in plain sight (that is to say where I could see it...with ease) -- to tell me about it.

The Victims (these are all great blogs that you should be reading if you aren't already. I won't wax prosaic though since these awards things take almost as much time as memes):

  1. Mrs. D. at A cup of thought, an ounce of sass, & just a dash of crazy
  2. Loralee at Loralee's Looney Tunes
  3. Maggie at Okay. Fine. Dammit.
  4. Mr Lady at Whiskey in my Sippy Cup
  5. Mike at The Newborn Identity

The rules (I actually followed them for once):

  1. Name 5 other Super Scribblers.
  2. If you are named you must link to the author & the name of the blog that gave you the award.
  3. Then you must display the award and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  4. Finally you must visit the aforementioned post and tell your name to Mr. Linky. Then they will have a record of all the people who are Super Scribblers!
  5. Post the rules on your blog.

20 October 2008

Giving the Government Way

The other day I walked to my mailbox at work, and there it was; the 9 x 12 manilla envelope. That can only mean a few things here...either more work or more crap for the recycle bin. In this case it was an annual appeal for the SECA campaign. This is not to be confused with either A) Sega SegaGenesis1

or B) Seka


I know Sega is much more enjoyable and I suspect Seka would be but I have no first hand experience with her body of work, so I'm guessing there.

Anyway, SECA stands for State Employee Combined Appeal. What that boils down to is the state of PA comes to my mailbox and asks for donations to various charities and they will lovingly deduct straight from my check if I would so desire. Every year I toss it unceremoniously in the garbage can. This year however, I have a blog, so it has a few days of respite.

Why toss it? First and foremost, I am a past president of the local American Cancer Society and remain on the leadership council. That's where I volunteer my time and most of the money that I donate to charities. Secondly, when was the last time you can think of your state correctly managing anything remotely associated with money?

For a lark, I opened it up to see where the ACS was listed. Hmmm...it wasn't under 'America's charities' which would sort of belie the whole of the letter 'A' in ACS. Ahhh, there it is. Listed sporadically in separate counties...under the headings of 'PA United Ways.' So let me get this straight. You would like me to donate to a third-party who will give that money to a third-party who will finally give it to the place I already donate to so that the state of PA can rest well tonight.

I'm thinking that the ACS will probably be lucky to end up with a quarter of what they usually do in this deal.

If your charity isn't listed in the little book, evidently the state thinks they blow. Go find another one. Screw those homeless waifs and get a real charity dammit.

What will also be fun is the emails and messages in my mailbox urging things like '100% participation' and promoting our university 'through the spirit of giving.'

What I would like to see is having it promoted the way it should be. "Let's get 100% participation so those charities can get less of what you give." or "promoting our university through the spirit of wasting," would be awesome.

Hopefully, some year, people will come their senses, look in the little book for their favorite charity, and give to them directly.

Technorati Tags: