Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Hey, it's been awhile. I'm still here, just lacking time and energy to spend on blogging lately. I'm still reading everyone on the blogroll, but I've been too lame to issue many comments.

The short of the long is that I had to go to NY for awhile to help my mother. Dad has gone into a nursing home and is not likely to come home. He's had Alzheimer's for years and years and years. Forever it seems like. I remember he wasn't quite right at our wedding, and that was 12 years ago.

His memory is gone. I think he realizes I'm a good guy and I'm on his team, but he has no idea who I am. He brightens up when Mom is around, but couldn't say who she is either. He's fallen a number of times, and now, he really can't walk or eat without help. He talks very little, and when he does it makes little sense. Still, you know he's having a good day when he tries to talk.

One day, I'll have a lot to say about all this. About Dad, about Mom, about my hometown, about the pitfalls of the healthcare system, and also about some of the bright moments that come through the darkness and make you laugh, even in a dark time.

Lately, though, I've just been out of it. Too busy or tired to think much. Work has been a whirlwind, and then the boy and I had to finish up the Pinewood Derby car. It was ugly, but performed well for a first timer: won three heats, lost two. Pretty deep into the bracket for a Tiger Cub. The best part was that on the way home, after seeing all those well crafted cars, the perfect paint jobs, and the more creative designs, TB said to me, "Daddy, I love my car."

My Dad wasn't the most involved with my activities growing up, but he was always there. We built a couple Pinewood Derby cars. Never won much, but it was fun. I remember carving it and sanding it in my Dad's workshop, and his insisting that I do the paint job myself. I miss my father, and I know, that at one time he probably missed me too. Wondering what he's thinking about, and knowing that my Mom has wondered the same thing, day after day for years, is the most helpless feeling I've ever had.

So I've been distracted, but I'll be back. Dang, even Blogger is getting in my way. I just noticed a scheduled outage a'coming in a few minutes. I better wrap this up.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Where's JSR?

Up in NY helping with some pretty major issues with my parents. I'll have some heavy stuff to lay on you when I return.

Right now, I'm connected via a Verizon "broadband" card. I'm here to tell you, there's nothing broadband about it. Slower than dial-up. How did we live before cable connections? This is too much torture to endure. As soon as I look at email, I'm giving up.

Oh, and the other thing is that it only works at night from my parents house. Tomorrow, somehow, someway, I'm finding an hour in Starbucks to get a proper wi-fi fix.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Congressional Hearings On Steroids in Baseball

Can someone please explain to me why Congress is holding hearings on steroids in major league baseball? I mean, come on! Even though I'm enjoying seeing big ais Roger Clemens squirm in the hot seat, I resent my tax dollars being used to investigate what is essentially an employer/employee issue. Has Congress ever examined, oh, let's say, employee theft at 7-Eleven? I bet not. That's a problem, just like steroids, don't you think?

I'm glad the issue has come to the forefront and baseball is working to clean up its act, but enough already. Let's move on.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Kids Today

Take a look at what my son wrote in school today. They had a lesson on dental care, and I guess the tooth fairy is part of the curriculum.

Here's the text, [sic] all misspellings and grammatical errors of course:

"Dear Tooth Fairy, I want my loss tooth to fall out when I am playing bassketball and I am puting it in my peloe and I want 200 [drawings of $100 bills y'all] and my tooth bruch sings to much."

Just to translate the one really strange word, a "peloe" is a pillow. He has a pillow with a little pocket to put his lost teeth in for the tooth fairy. He also has one of those "Tooth Tunes" brushes, that's what sings too much.

But what is going on with this demand for $200? Gaaaahhh! Ain't bloody likely. He's already lost seven teeth. I'm guessing, although I don't know for sure, that he will get $1 for number eight, just like all the others.

Don't Scroux With The Roux

Today I arrived home from work to find my wife making dinner. Once I got done soiling myself from shock I realized she's making one of my favorite dishes, Pastitsio. I'm not sure what I did to deserve this excellent surprise. One frightening feature of this dish is that you have to make a roux. That's always the time I'm told to leave the kitchen: "Back off, I'm makin' a roux!"

I'm not sure what the big deal is. All you do is stand there and stir. Still, I scurried away as I was told, because I don't want to screw up before dinner time!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Spring Fever

70 degrees, February 5, 6:00 PM. The sky is a wild, wavy red. I'm in my short pants. I just took TB to basketball practice with all the windows open. I cranked up the radio. It felt really, really good. TB asked me why we were going to practice and it was not dark yet. Ah! Spring is coming. T'hell with that groundhog. I'm ready now.

I feel like making a margarita. Too bad it's only Tuesday.

Can you tell I like warm weather? If I had to ditch one season of the four, it would be winter. If I could keep only one, it would be summer. But I do like the changes, particularly these little teases like today.

Very Cool FineTune Improvements

The FineTune player over there on the left sidebar has some nifty new features. First, it gives you a peek at the album cover of the song queued up to play. Better yet, once you click play, it gives you an option to "pop out the player", so it plays on in its own window. No longer is it necessary to open a second browser session, it does it on its own. Maybe now, hopefully, I'll stop shutting it down by accident.

I Post This At My Own Peril

This hilarious bit by Dad Gone Mad reminded me of a funny little exchange this past weekend.

I'm really going to get chewed out for telling you this.

It was Sunday night. The Super Bowl was on the TV. Dinner was done and it was not quite bedtime for TB. I was prone on the couch and LBB was on the loveseat, head on one side and legs flung up over the other. The boy climbed up on his Momma and gave her a hug and just lay there for a few minutes.

Then, from where I was sitting, it looked like he started spitting in her face. "What are you doing?" I shouted, "Don't slobber on Momma!"

"Yeah, what are you doing?" LBB asked.

"I'm not slobbering, Momma," he replied. "Your breath stinks. I'm blowing it back into your head!"

Monday, February 4, 2008

Best and Worst Super Bowl Ads

Did you all watch that game last night? I bet a few of you did. What a great Super Bowl. One of the best I can remember. The first quarter told the whole tale: the Giants controlled the ball on offense and their defense pressured Tom Brady like no other team all season. Those were the two things they needed. Yes, they turned it over a few times, but the other factors were so strong that it didn't matter.

Now, on to my best and worst commercials lists. I saw a few lists today, and I seem to be going against the crowd with my choices:

Best 3:
1) The Bridgestone ad with the screaming squirrel. Overall, it was too long, and it was overkill once they got through every creature in the forest, but the initial squirrel scream and the woman in the car were hilarious.

2) Bud Light fire-breathing ad. There wasn't much to this. It was a quick ad right near the start of the game. For some reason it made me laugh out loud. I saw this one on several "worst" lists, but I thought it was pretty clever.

3) The Bud Light ad with Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell). I'm a Will Ferrell fan so I was roaring by the end of this one.

Honorable Mentions: the Pepsi ad with Justin Timberlake. I saw that on a "worst" list, too. I think it's great when a mega-star can make fun of himself. Getting dragged nuts first into a mailbox (over and over): I bet you wouldn't see Kanye West agreeing to do that ad.

Also, the Ice Cubes gum ad with Carmen Electra. She was looking really good in that red dress, so that's about all it takes.

Worst 3:
1) The Sobe water ad with the model and the lizards dancing to "Thriller". Old song, weird concept. I just didn't get it. This was on a number of "best" lists. Why?

2) The Career Builder ad with the woman's heart squirting out of her chest. Just vile.

3) The E-trade ad with the spitting baby. That isn't cute. It's disgusting. I don't understand why vomiting on TV has become so commonplace. You see it all the time now. I'm a huge South Park fan, but they lose me sometimes with all that vomiting. Yes, this was a cute little baby "spitting up", but that's still vomiting and I don't like it. Yuck.

Dishonorable Mention: the Amp ad where the chubby mechanic clamps the jumper cables to his nips. Gaaahhhh!

Overall, it was one of the best games ever, but the commercials were a disappointment. You can see them all here if you want to take a look.