Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hopefully Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Forgive my extreme lack of presence here of late. As the saying goes, something had to give and this was it. I'll be back again soon.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day

I'm continually reminded that it is Mother's Day "Weekend", which I'm not buying for a couple reasons: my wife gets more than a birthday, she nearly gets a birthweek and beyond, so enough is enough.

The other reason is, she spent half the day cleaning the house so I don't think she's taking her own Mother's Day Weekend seriously. I tried to forbid housecleaning this morning, but was fully dismissed.

So now my son and I have been negotiating wake up time for Mother's Day morning. He wants to get up at 6:30 and start making breakfast. I'm hoping for 7:30. Momma wants it closer to 8:30. I told the boy to come poke me at 7:30, and usually he will stick to a schedule if you give him one. He's worn out, so hopefully I'll be the one waking him up.

So, breakfast, coffee, newspaper in bed. A small gift and thoughtful card from her boy. Then I'll stay out of her hair by doing chores all day. Then a fabulous dinner at Isaacs, a popular Middle Eastern place here in town. That should make for a great Mother's Day weekend for all of us!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Box Of Rocks

This is hilarious. I'm glad she got her money back. Of course you have to wonder if the first "disgruntled customer" had something to do with the disappearance of the actual DS.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Took Quite A Beating Today

With the boy on spring break from school, we spent the day here, and I feel a bit like I might spend tomorrow here. Here's the thing: we were certainly not the oldest people shooting down the water slides but I'm thinking we were in the top ten percent. It's been 20 years since I've done this sort of thing.

Up about 75 steps for each ride, and then you either flop onto an inner tube - not a natural position for a moderately overweight 41-year-old - or, if it's a body only slide, you get yourself in the sarcophagus position and squirt through a narrow, dark, and twisty corkscrew until you are excreted at the bottom into a small pool designed to stop your momentum and inject as much water up your nose as possible. On the way down, if it's the body only, no inner tube version, your heels, ass, and head are assaulted by every curve and every seam in the chute. It's luge without a sled.

Then when you try to exit at the bottom with dignity, everyone laughs at you.

I didn't realize it until I got home, but I'm sore as hell.

In spite of all that, we had a great time. I probably shot through the chutes-of-death 20 times. If it were closer to home I would love to go more often. LBB and TB would, too.

Now, what to do for the rest of spring break? Tomorrow looks rainy, so maybe just a Rock Band marathon. Then Wednesday it's back to work for me, so I can recover then.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I guess if you are in prison you do just about anything to pass the time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

No Line on the Horizon

My wife bought the new U2 record, No Line on the Horizon, last week and I've listened a few times. I need to give it more thought on the individual songs, but overall I think it is one of the best the band has ever put out. Without doubt it's the only record since Achtung, Baby (1991) that I've wanted to listen to repeatedly, end to end. That's a pretty high compliment these days when full albums aren't of much concern in the industry.

I particularly like the title song and the next one, Magnificent.

I Wonder

Have you ever wondered about some day to day thing you've never thought about before? Like just now, I was scooping out the cat boxes and I wondered: who was the first person to say, "Let's see if this cat is willing to shit in a bucket? Then the cat can live inside with us."

I'm sure I could find some information out on the google somewhere, but it's not a big deal. It's not worth the research time. Just something I think about while doing the things that need to be done.

I wonder about the cats quite a lot, actually. Our two get canned food, but not always the same flavor or brand. Last week, LBB bought a full case of "Ocean Whitefish", so I was a bit concerned that the cats would get bored with the same thing every day. Do they care? I'm like that. If we have Mexican food at home one night, I wouldn't want to go out for it the next day. The rest of my family doesn't seem to care, but I like to mix it up. Are they sick of Ocean Whitefish? How would they tell me if they were?

Double Whammy

My child suffered duel disappointment today. First of all, despite protestations from many coaches, our local rec league refused to let him, and several other boys, into coach pitch even though they have already played two years of tee ball. He shed some major tears when he found that out this morning.

You see, they have this whacky rule that you have to be 8 years old before May 1 to play coach pitch. TB's birthday is June 7. Seems odd to have the cutoff date right in the middle of the baseball season. Basically what this does is send most second graders to coach pitch, but force a small number of them to remain in tee ball for a third year despite their skill level. Seems to me they ought to operate on a maximum age, not a minimum age.

Well, you can't win them all. He wins on the summer swim season, though, because the age groups are determined by their age as of June 1.

Second whammy of the day was that I had been planning to take him skiing tomorrow but the weather is looking prohibitive. I'd say rain all night and an 80% chance of showers tomorrow promises some lousy ski conditions. Maybe we will squeeze a day in next week.

Yahoo, Ya-what?

Apparently it was announced last summer, but I totally missed it, that Yahoo was cranking their domain name renewal price from $9.95 to $34.95. I got cold-cocked by that when I opened my Master Card bill.

It would have been nice if they had sent an email. How can they charge $34.95 when it looks like I can transfer my existing registration, plus get an extra year from GoDaddy for only $6.99?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Stand Corrected

Looks like tomorrow might be a good sledding day after all. It's coming down pretty hard right now.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


That's about how much snow we have had in Roanoke this year: 3/10 of an inch. Tonight added the most to that total. The lawn is white. The car has a wisp up on top. The street is wet and fully navigable. What little we have will be melted by the time TB gets up in the morning.

They called for a bit of weather tonight but the good stuff, as always, is up in the mountains to our west.

Don't get me wrong, I pretty much hate winter and could do without it completely, but as long as we are someplace that might get a few inches I think it would be nice to have one good snow each year. Our sleds have been laid up in the garage, lonely and neglected. Looks like they have to wait one more year.

21 Questions

Seems like I'm always swiping these lists from Country Dew. Ahh, that's alright, she swiped it from someone else and that's just what we bloggers do on rainy Saturdays.

1) Do you like bleu cheese? Yes, I do. The bleuer the better.

2) Have you ever smoked? Sadly, yes. First time when I was 10 years old. Everyone in my family except my mother and one sister-in-law was, or still is, a smoker. So it was easy to get away with. I didn't pick it up regularly until I was 17 or so. After that, I would quit for long stretches, even a couple years, but I would somehow start up again. I was never a heavy smoker, probably 5 packs a week at my peak. I quit cold turkey a week after my son was born and haven't done it since. Now even the thought of it is sickening to me.

3) Do you own a gun? No, and I wouldn't. I have nothing against hunting, it just doesn't interest me. And I think handguns are more of a danger than a comfort.

4) What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite? I didn't care for any of them except lemonade.

5) What do you think of hot dogs? I like them once in awhile. They always taste better at a ball game than they do at home.

6) Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Life. Although I must admit I thought Bad Santa was funny.

7) What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Grapefruit juice, then either coffee or Diet Coke.

8) Can you do push-ups? Yes, but not as many as I used to. Weaker arms, bigger self.

9) What is your favorite piece of jewelry? Anything I buy for my wife that she enjoys. The only thing I have is my wedding ring.

10) Favorite hobby? Can I say exercising? I guess not, that's more of a necessity than a hobby. I'll say reading and listening to music. At one point a couple years ago I might have said blogging. I'm trying to get back into it.

11) Do you wear glasses/contacts? Yes, glasses for distance. I used to wear them all the time, but now they are off more than on. I think that means I need bi-focals. I have worn contacts but don't have any right now.

12) Middle name? Scott

13) Name three drinks you regularly drink? Diet soda, beer, water.

14) Current worry? That my son will start to hate swimming as he gets older and the practices consume all his time.

15) Current hate right now? Day after day after day of bad news on the economy. I'm also peeved with people bitching and moaning about Obama and the stimulus package. I'm not happy that it's necessary, but it is, and I'm sure McCain would have done something very similar.

16) Favorite place to be? My house, at the beach, or hiking up a mountain.

17) Do you own slippers? I have a pair of moccasins but I never wear them. I usually wear running shoes and it drives my wife nuts. I've never been entirely comfortable in bare feet.

18) Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Never have.

19) Can you whistle? Yes, but nothing fancy.

20) What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing, but I nearly always have a song in my head. It can be anything. This morning it was "The Stanky Legg", because I watched that silly video on YouTube yesterday.

21) Last thing that made you laugh? Well, The Stanky Legg is pretty funny, but I'll say it was the sight of my son racing at top speed through the produce department in Kroger holding a grapefruit over his head and crashing head on into a giant crate of melons.

There you go. Feel free to play along!

In Case You Need An Extra Push

In case you are right on the verge of slitting your wrists and need that extra incentive, take a trip out to Circuit City.

Dear god it's depressing. I guess I should have expected it. It's been over a month since they announced they are going belly up. I took the boy out there to see if there might be any Wii games for cheepy-cheep.

No, no games left, except about 200 copies of a PC poker game. There seem to be a lot of display model TVs left, but otherwise it's just mismatched mess of speakers, cameras, and bad CDs and DVDs. The best you might find would be something like Glen Campbell or Loverboy. They are literally breaking the shelves down and moving the remaining product to the front of the store as people shop. There is police tape blocking off the empty areas. Dreadful.

There were four or five depressed looking workers wandering around. They still have a "customer service" counter, but I'm not sure why. Some schmuck was there complaining that he couldn't return a defective subwoofer there that he bought online. The lady at the counter was like, "Sorry, chump. All sales are final, even online. Caveat emptor, dumbass."

On the way home, TB asked, "Daddy? What are they going to put in the Circuit City after it closes down?"

I wish I knew, kiddo. I'm afraid places like that will probably sit empty for a long, long time.

Proved Me Wrong

I thought for sure my boy was going to be a sick mess today. Nope. He woke up rested and ready to go. My wife, on the other hand, is still flat out in the bed. She arose to make a jelly sammich but that basically knocked the life out of her.

So far, I feel tip top. Like I said, I refuse to get it. But if I do, I have a meeting on Tuesday I wouldn't mind missing . . .

Friday, February 27, 2009


I love music. So here are a few lists of over and under rated musicians/bands from a few different perspectives. All opinions mine.

Overrated by Critics: Green Day, Nirvana, Eminem
Underrated by Critics: Rolling Stones, Yes, Madonna, The Cars

Overrated by Radio: Bob Seger, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd (a word of explanation - I think Floyd is great, but their best stuff isn't radio friendly, and what they do play on the radio isn't all that good)
Underrated by Radio: Grateful Dead, The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Overrated by History: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix
Underrated by History: The Beatles (yes, they were that good that I think they were underrated), Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd

Overrated by Me: Genesis, The Police, Steely Dan
Underrated by Me: Bruce Springsteen, U2, Eminem

Rrrrbody in the House Gettin' Sickly

Tuesday LBB started to complain about being tired. Next day she had this little cough.

Thursday, TB seemed a little subdued and started with a little cough.

This morning, LBB didn't get out of bed until noon, then just for a piece of toast. She's roasting hot, aching, miserable.

Tonight, TB is roasting hot, ate very little, declined dessert, willingly went to bed before 8:00, and waved off a bedtime story. He's got it.

So while they sleep off this misery, I'm downstairs just a'waiting for it. So far, I feel hale as a horse. I refuse to get it.

Maintenance, Long Overdue

Three weeks after my last post I find that I have fallen asleep at the wheel. This site needs attention.

First, I had a Bush's Last Day countdown that expired over a month ago.

Then, after wondering for months why my blog takes too long to load, I realized that I still had that music player up on the right column. That was pure self-indulgent fun, well over a year ago, and I loaded it with many too many songs. And then rarely listed to it. Worthless!

It is gone now.

It's decision time. I want to either: a) revitalize this site, b) pack it in and forget it, c) leap in with the minions on Facebook, or d) some combination.

Clearly, I've been on the path to option "b" for quite some time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ten For Ten

TB had a swim meet over the weekend and had a clean sweep. Ten events, ten wins. He improved on his best times in several events, most notably the 100 IM, in which he dropped nine seconds. It helped that two of his best buddies were at the end of the pool cheering him on.

I hope he wants to keep it up, because the boy's got talent. He seems to have turned the corner toward understanding the need for practice. Of course they all complain about practice, but it obviously helps.

Two more meets this season. District Championships in two weeks, and then another in Charleston WV in March. We are getting fussed at by the coach because the first day of the District meet conflicts with the Pinewood Derby for TB's cub pack. We gave him the choice and he chose the Pinewood Derby. That's fine. There will be many years of swim meets, but the Derby is just once a year and he took great pride in designing and building his car (an army truck, sort of).

He still gets to swim half the meet anyway, and the coach dangled the idea of entering him in the 12-and-under 500 freestyle. Yipe! 20 lengths of the pool. Not sure if that will happen, but TB did watch the 500 intently this past weekend. Maybe he was working out his race strategy in his head.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Legalize It

Now Michael Phelps has been suspended by USA Swimming.

None of this would be an issue if our nation could get over its puritanical dread of mild drugs. The guy was on a break from training and went to a party. Damn, half the country would be suspended from something or another if the wrong person took a picture of them and decided to publish it.

Leave Michael Phelps Alone

I was thinking of spouting off about how the media and everyone else need to lay off Michael Phelps. He busted his ass to get where he is and he deserves to blow off a little steam once in a while. Frankly, I'm more disturbed by his DUI four years ago than I am about a little pot smoking. He's 23. He's lived life in the spotlight since the 2004 Olympics. He's probably eased up on his training routine for awhile. Give him a break.

As the father of a natural-born-swimmer, I must admit the only thing that disturbed me about Michael Phelps' toking it up is that it might have an ill-effect on his lungs.

This column by Jason Whitlock says many things about it much better than I can. It's worth the read.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Spring Is Here!

Or at least it feels like it. About 64 degrees this afternoon, sunny, birds are all confused, chirping and carrying on like they do. Dozens of kids were at the playground. I'm ready for the end of winter, but I'm afraid I'll have to wait. Might be a half inch of snow Tuesday morning, so I'm sure school will be out. I'm sad the kids haven't been able to go sledding this year, but otherwise, I'm done with winter. I don't like a thing about it.

Radical change of topic, here's my Super Bowl prediction. It will be one of the best, closest Super Bowls ever. Even though the Steelers should dominate, they will not. Final: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rock Band Party

There is nothing much more hilarious than a bunch of seven and eight year old boys at a Rock Band party. I'm a bit scared how much my kid (the shirtless one) looks like Scott Weiland.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Eleven Feels Like Zero

What's the difference, really? We have had only a dusting of snow this winter. That's fine. I'm done. I'm ready for spring.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Left New York For This?

I'm not into this:

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Annoying, But Thank Goodness It's Not Zack and Cody

Our son does not watch a great deal of TV but when he does it seems like it's either Sponge Bob or these two dreadful characters:

Our family is probably tattering the fabric of society even more than it already is because we don't restrict the shows TB watches. Granted, he never strays from Nickelodeon, so it's not like he's stumbling into a bunch of violence or other "adult situations". He is enamored with some irritating shows, though.

Actually, Drake and Josh is far better than that Zack and Cody on the Disney Channel. Even from just overhearing it from the other room I can tell you that program is unwatchable. Thankfully he never latched on to that one.

The other show that gives me the willies is the Fairly Oddparents. I can't get past the grating voices of Timmy Turner and the fairy godparents. It might be a funny show but I refuse to listen long enough to find out.

The good thing is, if I just pick up the remote and change the channel he doesn't fuss at me. So it's easy to divert him to a basketball game or Jeopardy or one of those shows where people fish for crabs or drill for oil.

But when it comes to Nickelodeon, I'm always happy when iCarly comes on. I'm sure it's disturbingly inappropriate for a 7-year-old, but at least I can tolerate it from here next door in the office.