Sunday, July 27, 2008

City/County Swim Meet: Bragging A Little

Gotta share this info. This weekend was the "City/County" swim championship meet, which includes 15 local swim clubs and over 1100 swimmers.

TB broke meet records in 3 of his 4 individual events, anchored the 8 & under freestyle relay, and swam butterfly in the medley relay bringing his team from fourth place to first in his leg of the race. He did come in second in the 25 yard breaststroke, so it was a near perfect season, but he didn't seem to be disappointed by the loss. He's real laid back about the whole thing (and so are LBB and I), but people were treating him like a rock star.

The most amazing thing is that the records he broke have stood since 1996, 1990, and 1988. The old butterfly record was 21.58. He swam 17.54.

We're thinking college might be covered if he chooses to keep this up. That's my boy!

There were many of our friends and friends' children swimming in the meet, also. Lots of records were broken, lots of personal bests. Too numerous to list, but congratulations everyone! It was a fun time.


I'm hating Cox web mail these days. Makes me log in twice almost every time and it locks up a lot. I'm not sure why I haven't canned it completely, but the problem is that my wife uses our local Outlook Express client for her work, and it doesn't play well with others.

Yes, you can set up multiple accounts, but for some reason the primary email address gets all the email dumped into it, and we would rather keep it separate. I'm sure there's an easy fix, but I haven't taken the time to work on it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

To Clear Things Up

Hey Chris, this one is just for you . . . to clear up that problem you were having, as it were. Hope this helps!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pussy Problem

I told ya' awhile ago about this new cat, right? Well she's sweet. As sweet as can be, for sure. She gets up on LBB and kneads at her face and neck. Could not be cuter.

The thing is, though, throughout the night she all over me because she knows I'm the one that's going to crack open a can for her in the morning. She climbs on my back, she lays across my legs, she flicks her tail in my face.

Isn't that so, so sweet?

Henry Rollins doesn't do all this. He just waits patiently. He's a good boy.

So how can I get a good night's sleep with this new cat? Should I get a fish tank to keep her occupied? Breed mice that she can chase? Should I cut her tail off? (Joking! Kidding! I would never do that . . . except at about 4:00 AM when tickling my face . . . oh, OK, no I wouldn't, not even then). How about some catnip in the basement?

I mean, I appreciate how sweet she is. She's a great cat, but how do I get her off of me and on up onto LBB each night?

I'm not getting any rest!


OK, if this works then all is forgiven. Now go get your roller skates!

Another Try

I'm peeved at You Tube so I'm going to give them one more chance. Here's a great Replacements song with no video action whatsoever. If this doesn't work I'm gonna start writing letters, and you don't want that to happen you better believe!

Well, OK, Rats!

Please forgive me the last post with the Johnny Cash video, because apparently you can watch in on You Tube but you can't see it here on a blog because it says it's not available anymore.

I'm sure I goofed somehow, but I tried twice and I've never had any trouble before.

I don't really mind that it's "not available". Fine, but I just wish I had some pop up or warning to tell me it would not work before I tried to post it. Grrrrr . . . .

Anyway, go watch it on You Tube. Johnny Cash, Hurt.


I got to listening to Johnny Cash tonight, which led me toward poking around for videos. I know, you've seen Hurt. It's only a few short of 10 million views on YouTube.

This reminds my of my father, Rockwell B (Rock). He died in April, but I remember right after G'diddy died (a year ago April) that I watched this and felt a connection to my own father that I hadn't felt in a long while. He had already been gone from us mentally for years, but this video brought him back to me. It reminds me of my Dad after I moved away from NY.

It wasn't the Christian imagery in the video that touched me. It was the hurt. The hurt that he felt and inflicted and regretted, and the pity and pride that June shows at the end. That is my Mother. She was his rock. I still don't think redemption has anything to do with Jesus, but I think it exists.

I'm sure my Dad had regrets, and hurt. I miss him, but he's been redeemed.

Anyway, you've seen this before, but it's worth watching again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sunshowers in Blue Skies

There's a dude on my roof (who has the biggest afro I've ever seen, by the way) cleaning out my gutters with a garden hose. It looks like it's raining, but just on my house. It's clear and nice once you get a foot beyond the perimeter.

Stumbled into this deal, though. I was chucking balls with TB in the front yard on Sunday. This guy came to look at a job he was planning next door. I grabbed him and three days later we have clean(er) gutters. That's just how you have to do it sometimes. You call, you get on a list and they get to you when they can. If you know they are going to be right next door anyway, grab 'em.

By the way, right now I'm listening to the new Beck album, Modern Guilt. Love it so far. I'm on track #5. Somehow my title "Sunshowers in Blue Skies" seems like a good title for a Beck song.

Heavens to Betsy

"Heavens to Betsy" was one of G'diddy's pet phrases, and he'd surely be saying it now if he saw this chart. That's Wachovia's stock price over the past year.

G'diddy worked for Bank of Virginia, in Richmond, and later in Roanoke, ultimately retiring in 1975 as a VP at Signet Bank, which acquired Bank of Virginia. Signet was later bought by First Union which then became Wachovia. So, he was ultimately a Wachovia retiree.

He had a fair amount of stock that he held on to for years because they paid quite a good dividend. Looking at it now, despite cutting their dividend in half, the yield still looks huge compared to the price per share.

We're still hanging on to that stock. At this point, it's either gotta go up or go under. We already missed the boat where selling it would have been wise so now we just wait and hope. Worrisome times, indeed.

Catching Up

Let me first say, I know I've been really lame lately. Absent. Infrequent. Scattershot. I'm not making any promises that I'll do better. What was that Pat Benatar line, "No promises, no demands?" Work has been clouding my thoughts lately, and outside of that it just seems like we've been really busy.

Plus, I've been extra tired. I blame that on HBO. We added HBO a couple months ago for the first time, and I'm addicted to Curb Your Enthusiasm, which comes on at 11:00. That's past my bedtime. We're also backed up on things to watch on the DVR. Thing is, I don't like to watch TV until after dark. I like taking full advantage of the daylight. So, since it's not really dark until 9:00, there's not much time to catch up.

That's probably another reason you haven't heard much out of me: summer. I don't want to click away at the keyboard when the sun is shining. Last year, blogging was new and different and I was all "Yee haw! Here I am! Read me!" Not so much anymore.

How was our 4th of July? Quite nice. We stayed around home for the holiday weekend, but it sure seemed like a lot of people cleared out of town. The day after the 4th, we were sitting on the front porch and it seemed like nothing was moving. No cars, no one outside, no noises. Nothing. It felt like everyone went off to a picnic except us.

The pool was packed July 4, though, so not everyone left town. A friend who is from Long Island remarked that afternoon that he hadn't heard any firecrackers yet. In New York, he said, there would have been blasts from backyards all day long. He's right, I remember that, too. Maybe it's because home fireworks are illegal in the state of New York so people think it's more of a big deal. Or we are just too polite and quiet here in the South. One or the other.

For the real fireworks, we watched from a spot a couple blocks up from our house. Used to be a great vantage point, but the trees have grown up so much we had to search for a good gap. Good show once we found it, though.

Other fun things. Let's see. Oh yeah, we got a new kitchen sink. We had a perfectly good stainless steel sink, but it kinda lost it's luster and looked dingy, even after cleaning it. Plus, we had a leak in the fixture that I didn't feel like fixing myself. So, since we were going to hire someone to fix that anyway, we went ahead and replaced the whole darned thing. Old sink went to the Habitat Store.

Seems like we are spending a lot of time at the pool this summer, or at least my family is. With TB on the swim team it gets to feel that way. Practices in the mornings (except Sunday) and then back in the afternoon for fun if it's a hot, sunny day.

TB has had a perfect swim season so far. 12 races, 12 first place gold times, and he has the best times in the RVAA for all four strokes in his age group. Can't beat that! Next weekend is the City/County championship. He might sweep that as well. The boy has a future in swimming if he likes it. He certainly likes winning the ribbons. Sometimes he whines about practicing, though. Ah well, he's only seven. As parents, we are teetering that fine line between encouraging his participation in something he's obviously gifted in, and burning him out so he hates it with the fire of a thousand suns.

TB has gone to a couple camps, but it's been low key the last couple weeks. He has Salem Avalanche camp soon. He's getting more and more into baseball, which makes me happy because that was always my favorite, along with basketball. Oddly, he announced he didn't want to play soccer anymore. Most of his friends play, so we just assumed he would want to again, but no. So, no soccer camp, no rec soccer in the fall. He was an OK soccer player, but not very aggressive. It's like his mind wandered and he wasn't engaged with the game. That's fine. You can't play everything.

It's been rainy so I've had to cut the grass a lot more than usual. At least weekly. Normally, by this time of year it's down to biweekly. It felt like June and July flip-flopped this year. We have a double lot, so it takes a good hour to mow the whole thing. If I weed whack and actually do a good job it's more like two hours. Our lawn is a wreck, though. Full of dead spots, mole holes, clover, rye stalks. It's a mess. Every year I'm tempted to get one of those Chem Lawn treatments, but I never do. Seems like cheating. I dump fertilizer on there myself. Not sure how much it helps. Not much considering the issues I just listed, but I still prefer dealing with it myself. I like yard work for the satisfaction of caring for my own little kingdom, I guess.

Today, LBB took TB and a friend on the swim team annual trip to Wet and Wild Emerald Point down in Greensboro. Then he's having a sleepover at his friend's house tonight. Life can be grand for a kid, can't it? OK, I guess it's pretty grand for me, too, but sometimes I have to concentrate real hard to remember that.

So, while he's away we might do a low key dinner out. LBB wants Alejandro's downtown, which is really good, but we were both just there recently. I've been wanting to try the Annie Moore's Pub out 419, but I wish I could see a menu. I know I want fish n' chips, but LBB is a vegetarian. It only slightly complicates things sometimes. She usually finds something on any menu. She's not one of those vegetarians that makes a big deal about it in a restaurant. Of course she sends me PETA propaganda, but I just delete it.

So, there you have it for now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oops! Retraction

Sorry to anyone reading from a feed. I mistakenly sent out a draft post a couple hours ago. I'll fix it and finish it later. Never meant to publish it. Rats!

Milk Is Not An Eskimo

I know! It doesn’t make any sense does it? Milk is not an Eskimo. What is that all about?

I kept dreaming it last night. I can’t even remember what sort of action took place in my dream, but this phrase kept coming up over and over. I even got up and had a glass of water and slid back into my dreams and there it was again: milk is not an Eskimo.

I don’t typically remember my dreams anymore, probably because they are cut off by an alarm clock most days, but I do know that I can wake up for a few minutes, consciously do something like get up and look at messages on my Blackberry, then get back in bed and slide right back into the dream where I was. It’s like a “pause” feature. Pretty cool if it’s a good dream. I can shut it off, too, if it’s a bad one.

So what’s up with Milk Is Not An Eskimo? Is it trying to tell me I need to get more calcium in my diet? I doubt it, as much cheese as I eat. I’m not big on ice cream, though, and I’m guessing the Eskimo aren’t either. Is it a reference to Heathers (“esquimeaux”)? Doubt it. I haven’t seen that movie in years.

Not worth trying to figure out, I guess, but I know it’s about the only thing I’ve been actively curious about for weeks. Weeks and weeks and weeks of numbness seemingly snapped to a halt by one nonsense phrase.

I don’t know what has put me in such a fog lately, but I do know one thing for sure: Milk is not an Eskimo!

Thursday, July 3, 2008