Monday, June 30, 2008

rain and scorpions.....

So we made it to Watercolor Saturday afternoon just fine, other than the traffic. It seemed that half of the Southeast was on the road to the Gulf Coast.

The house is great, plenty of room for everybody. The weather has been off-and-on rain. The bride and I got caught out storms twice yesterday at the beach. The first time we found shelter by the pool at the beach club. We watched the wind carry tables and chairs across the deck and one umbrella into the pool. The second time we jumped on our bikes and got back to the house just as it started raining.

Last night before we went to bed, the bride was on her way to the bathroom. I heard her gasp and asked what was wrong. She said, "Something just went scurrying across the floor!" We turned on the light and found a scorpion. It was only about 3 inches long, but it was still a scorpion. All kinds of creatures down here. This one got to go swimming in our toilet.

There's a 60% chance of rain today, so we'll probably spend the day at Pier Park in Panama City. Good weather's in store for the rest of the week, though.....

Friday, June 27, 2008

one thing i have to do next week.....

I'm not leaving Seaside until we do this.....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

questions, questions, questions.....

I called yesterday and closed a couple of credit cards that we no longer use.

The rep with Bank of America was pleasant, asked for my date of birth and the last four digits of my Social Security number, and closed out the account. Simple as that.

The call to Circuit City's credit department was much more detailed. I weaved my way through a maze of an automated menu system about 8 responses deep. When I did finally get a live person, the conversation went like this:

CC - Thank you for calling Circuit City, this is Phyllis. How could I help you?

Me - Yes, ma'am, I'd like to close my credit card.

CC - OK, let's see. Now, do you feel that your interest rate is too high? Because I'm authorized to lower your rate immediately.

Me - No, thank you. I don't use the card and would like to close it.

CC - OK, what about your credit line? Do you feel that it is too low? I can increase your credit limit for you right now if you'd like.

Me - No, thank you. I used it for one purchase, paid it off and now I'd like to close the card out.

CC - Alright, then, let me just get a little information from you.

She then proceeded to ask for my first name, last name, street address, city, state, zip code, home phone number, cell phone number, and Social Security number. After I gave her the final piece of information, I added this:

Me - And my blood type is A-positive.

CC - {dead silence for about 3 seconds} {followed by the biggest belly laugh I've ever heard from a telephone rep} Thank you, sir! Oh, my! Oh, my! Yes! {more deep belly laughing}

Me - No, I'm serious, my blood type is A-positive. What, you don't believe me?

CC - {even more laughing} I can't wait to tell my husband about this! You just made my day. Thank you, sir!

Me - You're welcome! Have you ever had this much fun closing someone's account?

CC - No, sir, I haven't! {stifled giggle} You have a lovely day!
I do what I can.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

wowwee, alive elvis.....

I saw this product yesterday and felt the need to share it with everyone. Read about it, then be sure to click on the link and watch a short product demonstration video.....

Capturing the magic of this monumental performer, Wowwee Alive Elvis is a lifelike singing and talking bust of the best selling solo artist in U.S. history. Motion captured facial animations and a leather jacket styled from the "Elvis Presley '68 Comeback Special" complete the most authentic recreation ever of this legendary artist. Whether you're his greatest fan or new to the man and his music, you can listen to, sing along with and learn more about the life of the man known as "The King of Rock and Roll".
Alive (Taking care of business) mode: Elvis animates autonomously, tracks movement and makes the occasional famous Elvis remark.
Song mode: Select a song and let Elvis entertain you.
Monologue mode: Hear about the life and times of Elvis, in his own words.
Sing through (Share the spotlight) mode: Plug in a microphone (not included) and song cartridge to sing along with Elvis, or turn his vocals down and sing along with the track.
Microphone shaped remote control:
Access functions: volume, play/pause, song and monologue selector
select a mode
External music playback: Plug in an external music source and enjoy the music with Elvis.
Song and Monologue Cartridge #1: Elvis comes alive, recounting 37 monologues about his life and singing eight of his best loved songs, including:
Thats All Right
Hound Dog
Heartbreak Hotel
Love Me Tender
Jailhouse Rock
Blue Suede Shoes
Baby What You Want Me To Do
Power source: 2A AC/DC adaptor included or 8 D and 3 AAA batteries (not included)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

but officer, she came at me with her walker.....

Indianapolis Star - 5/1/08

Jessica Vasquez, 19, was arrested in Indianapolis in April for a road-rage assault, but swore she was only exercising self-defense. Her victim, an 81-year-old woman whom Vasquez said was driving too slow, had been punched in the face, yanked from her car and thrown to the ground, suffering leg fractures in 14 places.

Monday, June 23, 2008

thanks, george.....

I grew up a George Carlin fan. He was the father of observational comedy. George died yesterday in St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica at the age of 71.

I remember I did a modified routine of his in 7th grade English glass for a presentation. I think I got an 'A'. (I remember that 'A' because there were so few of them for me.)

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from George Carlin:

When cheese gets it's picture taken, what does it say?

Is a vegetarian permitted to eat animal crackers?

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.

Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?

I think it would be interesting if old people got anti-Alzheimer's disease where they slowly began to recover other people's lost memories.

Women like silent men, they think they're listening.

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?

Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.

Why is the man (or woman) who invests all your money called a broker?

There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.

Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

new season for dad.....

We’re heading to East Tennessee this morning where we’ll attend a reception for Dad this afternoon. After 44 years in the same industry, Dad will be retiring at the end of this month.

It’s not unusual for me to run into something at work that I’m unsure of and pick up the phone to call him. From an industry standpoint, he’s been referred to as the state’s credit union historian. I’ll probably still call him for advice, it’ll just be on his cell phone while he’s on a golf course somewhere.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” And I have no doubt that new activities are on the horizon for Dad…..

Thursday, June 19, 2008

we need guano powered cars.....

New York Times - 5/30/08

Rising prices of synthetic fertilizers and organic foods have intensified the collection of bird droppings on 20 climatically ideal islands off the coast of Peru where 12-inch-thick seabird guano coats the land. In the 19th century, Spain fought with Peru on the high seas for the right to mine the guano, which at that time was 150 feet high in places. Said an official of the Peruvian company that controls guano production (to a New York Times reporter in May), "Before there was oil, there was guano, so of course we fought wars over it." The exceptionally dry climate means that 12,000 to 15,000 tons of guano are available yearly.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

funny how that works.....

I started running and eating better about a week ago. (Not at the same time, I'm not coordinated enough to do that.) My pants had begun to shrink, or my waist had begun to grow, I don’t know which one, and I felt tired all the time. A week later I’m down 5 pounds, I’m sleeping better, and I have more energy.

Wish I could lose weight eating pancakes and watching television. I'd be so freakin' skinny.....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

lucky to be alive to see this.....

How many times in life do we stop and think about the things that we're able to see on a regular basis? I think about all the things my 87-year-old grandmother has witnessed during her lifetime. How she lived through the Depression, and how she's seen the inventions of both television and the Internet.

Maybe I'm overstating this just a bit, but the ability to see Tiger Woods play golf may be one of the things we take for granted. Face it, he's brought the game of golf to a new level. Not just his ability to play, but his ability to draw fans to the game. People who don't even care that much about golf watch when Tiger's in contention. I watched the final 5 holes in the bonus room with the bride, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law and my brother-in-law Sunday evening. We've never watched anything together on television unless it was a wedding video.

Did Tiger play flawlessly? Not at all. But he did make the shots when it counted. The putts on 18 on both Sunday and Monday to force the playoffs took an incredible amount of concentration and guts.

I love to play golf. I don't get to play that often, but I love to play. But as Nicklaus once said, Mr. Woods plays a much different game than I.....

Friday, June 13, 2008

way #42,356 to tell you're getting old.....

I ran into a young lady in the hallway on Friday that I hadn't seen in awhile. I remembered that she had a very cute baby and asked her how that baby was doing. Turns out she's almost 3 now. She asked about my daughters and here's how the conversation went:

"You have how many daughters?"

"I've got two that are just a little older than your daughter."

"How old are they now?"

"Well, Meg's the oldest and she just graduated."



She gave me a blank look. So I said, "High school."

"Oh, oh, OK."

It was at that point that I realized she believed I was old enough to have a child who was old enough to have graduated from college. I tried to reason with myself, saying that maybe she thought we had one of those genius kids who finished college at the age of 12. Yeah, that's it! That's what she thought! No, nowhere close. Your paunch and balding head gave you away.

I went on to tell her about Sara. After that, I didn't feel like talking to her any more. I felt more like taking a nap.....

beach countdown.....

We're doing a different beach trip this year. Instead of going to North Myrtle we're heading to Seaside in Florida. We leave in about 2 weeks.

It'll be different for us this year without the Moffitts. We'll miss them, but I'm sure we'll vacation together again someday soon. It'll also be a little different filling up the van with gas this year. I figure if we eat every other day instead of every day while we're gone, we should be alright. Plus we'll be in a house this year instead of a condo. More room for everybody. Being the only male among 5 other women, this will come in handy for me.

Different can be good, and I'm sure it will be. I really fell in love with the town of Seaside last year. It's a beautiful little beach town. Let the countdown begin.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

help, i'm stupid and i can't get out.....

WCCO-TV/AP - 4/2/08

Mr. Cash Burch, 24, was arrested in Waterloo, Iowa, in April after he broke into a truck and tried to start it but apparently ran down the battery doing so, which triggered a theft-prevention device that locked the doors, trapping him inside, where he was waiting when police arrived.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

we thought he was just being really quiet.....

New York Post - 4/23/08

Two New York City men were charged with fraud after they rolled a dead friend's body in a chair from their apartment to a check-cashing store, propping him up to suggest that he was alive and wanted the men to cash his Social Security check for him. In May, a judge set the men free after they told him that the three had an income- and expense-sharing arrangement and that they thought their friend was merely incapacitated. Since the autopsy was inconclusive as to time of death, the charges were dropped.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

weekend movies.....

The bride and I watched a couple of movies this weekend. She chose one, I chose the other. Guess which one I liked? In fairness, the one she chose was one that Meg had already rented. And I did tell her, “OK, I just want you to know that you’re forcing me to watch a movie starring Eva Longoria.”

We watched “Over Her Dead Body” on Friday night. Gentlemen, a bit of advice for you if your lovely wife or girlfriend ever asks you to watch this movie: be sure to bring a fork because you’re going to want to stab out your eyeballs at some point during this movie. I’ll watch chick flicks, but this was absolutely terrible. And to top it all off, Ms. Longoria’s hair was too light. That’s just not right.

On Saturday night we watched “Reign Over Me” with Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. Excellent movie. Sandler takes a break from comedy and does a spectacular job. I was concerned it might be another “Punch-Drunk Love”, but it was nothing like that. Sandler and Cheadle were very convincing as former college roommates. Did I mention that it was an excellent movie?

So guys, just gut out the chick flicks. You can rent a good movie the next time…..

Monday, June 09, 2008

great financing plan for replacement windows.....

Dear Jack,

Re: Replacement Windows

Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive, double-pane energy-efficient kind. Yesterday, I got a call from the contractor who installed them. He was complaining that the windows had been installed a whole year ago and I had not paid for them yet.


Now just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid.

So I told him just exactly what his fast-talking sales guy had told ME last year...namely, that in just ONE YEAR these windows would pay for themselves! "Helllooooo?" (I told him). "It's ! been a year!"

There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up. He hasn't called back, probably too embarrassed about forgetting the guarantee they made me.

Bet he won't underestimate a blonde anymore.....

Friday, June 06, 2008

oops i did it again.....

Ever do something you swore you'd never do again? Seems that I've fallen into that trap quite a bit over the years. I did it again yesterday.

I was in the Cool Springs area around lunchtime yesterday. Before heading back to the office, I decided to stop and get a quick bite to eat. During busy/high-traffic times, I tend to eat at the closest place. Why drive across the street, get stuck at a light coming and going, when you can eat right next door? I settled on the A&W/KFC. Settled is a nice word to use.

About a year or so ago, the bride and I dined at this particular A&W/KFC. I kept telling her how great the A&W chili dogs were, and how she needed to try one or she'd die one day with a huge regret. So we went, and the chili dogs were incredible. But the restaurant itself was less than clean. In fact, I'd been in cleaner men's rooms at the state fair. After looking around a few minutes, we noticed that the KFC side of the restaurant had an all-you-can-eat buffet. That was the problem. Don't get me wrong, I love to get my money's worth. But something we've noticed about buffets is that they tend to attract people who - let's see how do I put this - have more than ample stomachs in which to store their food. And these people didn't seem to have a problem in throwing their napkins, utensils and unwanted food (I know, who would've figured???) on the floor.

When I went back yesterday, I noticed two unsettling things. First, as I was walking away from the counter with my meal, one of the employees climbed up on one of the food preparation areas and stood on the counter (with his shoes directly on the countertop) so that he could unplug a monitor. Yeah. Although he did take a rag from underneat the buffet and wipe it down. Whew! The other thing I noticed as I was finishing up my meal. I looked for a trash can to take my tray and dump my wrappers and napkins. I found one. There were chicken bones, several of them that had been gnawed on sufficiently, lying beside the trash can on the floor. Yummy!

Some of you may be wondering if I mentioned these problems to the manager. I started to, but she was busy getting the dirt out from underneath her fingernails and I didn't want to bother her.....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

i didn't know terry bradshaw played baseball.....

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 3/27/08

The Missouri Supreme Court suspended the law license of David A. Dalton II in March for allegedly arranging leniency, with a prosecutor, for one of his clients in exchange for the client's having her godfather, retired football star Terry Bradshaw, autograph a baseball for him.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

from 0.29 to 3.99.....

About once a week I'll go into the bonus room, plop my ever-increasing rear end onto the sectional, press the OnDemand button on the remote, and watch part of "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." I'll watch random parts, from the dinner scene to the various commercials.

Monday night I watched the scene where a young Ricky Bobby drives the car while his mom is in the convenience store. All he wanted to do was to go fast. I had Sara come in and watch it because the young actor looked just like a little boy on our street. Just as Little Ricky backed out of the parking lot, Sara noticed something. "Wait!", she said. "Did that sign say gas was just 34 cents????" I told her that I remembered when gas was as low as 29 cents. The look on her face was like I'd just told her there was no such thing as an iPod.

Now gas is so expensive that some pumps in New York can't compute.....

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

hard to believe you can make money doing this.....

America in Decline (Wall Street Journal - 5/10/08)

One of the Internet's successful Web sites (10 million page views a month, with $500,000 in ads from companies including Verizon, McDonald's and General Motors) is a site that merely reports on what celebrities' babies are wearing, in that so many mothers are apparently obsessed with mimicking those clothing choices for their own tots. A May Wall Street Journal feature said sometimes the site's posting a photo of a celebrity baby incites a nationwide run on what it's wearing.

Monday, June 02, 2008

finishing strong.....

Our softball season came to an end yesterday. For the first time ever, the Luna Construction 'Lunatics' won the end-of-the-year tournament. We also ended the season with the best record for 12-and-under teams in the Franklin league.

I had some concerns about our hitting going into the tournament because of the way we finished the regular season. But they came back in convincing fashion on Saturday and Sunday, outscoring the opponents 59-4 over four games. We had strong pitching, outstanding hitting and unbelievable fan support. (On a very personal note, Sara had a great tournament with a home run, several stolen bases and some great play at shortstop. She recorded the final out on defense by catching a fly ball.)

Congratulations, Lunatics! Here are some shots from the weekend.....