Friday, October 30, 2009

it's the end of this blog as i know it, and i feel fine.....

I started writing here about 6 or 7 years ago. It was fun. It gave me an outlet for creativity. I work with numbers all day long, things that are absolute. So this was a nice diversion.

Over time, the fun went away. I guess it started a few months ago. Writing here became more of a task, a chore, a job. Something I had to do. The past few days it finally hit me that I don't have to do this if I don't want to. Why do something that's supposed to be fun when it's not fun any more?

So thanks for coming here to read about my life, my family, my oddities. I've made some friends on here that I didn't have before I started writing this blog, and that was a nice added bonus. I've made some people laugh, some people cry, and some people mad. That's pretty much how my life outside of the blog has always been, too.

If you're on Facebook, look me up. We'll keep in touch.....

Monday, October 26, 2009

so very close.....

Maintenance crews at Bryant-Denny Stadium were seen spraying tanks full of diluted bleach on the bleachers and home sidelines Saturday evening. The #1 (or #2, depending upon which poll you look at) team in the country and their fans apparently peed in their pants Saturday afternoon.

Yes, Alabama won. And like Lane Kiffin, I refuse to count moral victories as wins. That's what Vanderbilt fans do. (Yes, I said it.) But Tennessee came to Tuscaloosa as a 2-touchdown underdog. And for 59 minutes and 56 seconds, they kept up with Alabama. Their chance to win came down to a 44-yard kick off the foot of a kicker with a quad injury. But to their credit, Alabama made plays when they had to. And that's what good teams do.

I like where we're heading as a football team. We've played the #1 team in the country twice this year and scared them both. The wins will come in time.....

Friday, October 23, 2009

just put the phone up to scruffy's ear.....

SF Weekly - 9/18/09

The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals operates an assistance-dog program under a $500,000 grant and not only provides the trained dog but also yearly "refresher" sessions to keep the dog sharp. However, client Patricia Frieze told SF Weekly in September that the organization had asked her whether it could do the refresher course this year by telephone instead of a home visit by a trainer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

could be a mutiny in titan-town.....

This was from a Titans fan who attended an event here in Nashville yesterday. Jeff Fisher was introducing the speaker, Tony Dungy, and according to this Tweeter, here's what happened:

Jeff Fisher just took off his jacket and he had on a Colts jersey and said, "I just wanted to feel like a winner!"

And here's the picture:

Wow. Part of me thinks this is funny. Another part of me thinks Coach Fisher might get a call from ol' Bud Adams.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

words of wisdom to inspire you.....

The greatest revenge is to accomplish what others say you cannot do. That and gluing someone's hands to their face while they sleep, covering the kitchen floor with butter, setting off the fire alarm and watching them fall trying to escape the house.

Leroy Smith

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

tommy boy moment.....

Remember the scene in Tommy Boy where Chris Farley and David Spade were in the car listening to the radio? They were singing along with the songs. Then The Carpenters' "Superstar" came on. They both looked at each other, called the song lame. The next scene you see, they're singing along and crying during the chorus.

I went for a run Saturday morning. It was cool, 52 degrees. The rain had stopped, but it was damp. I stepped out the door in shorts and a long sleeve Under Armour shirt and immediately thought about going back in for a jacket, but figured I'd be OK after I started running.

I had my iPod set to shuffle all 900+ songs. Songs played by Cage the Elephant, The Doobies, The Eagles, Elvis Costello, James Morrison, Al Wilson and others. Most of the songs I listened to all the way through, but some I skipped over. As I started the last mile, it came on - Barry Manilow's Could It Be Magic. Every now and then, when I'm shuffling the whole catalog, a song will come on that I don't really want to hear at the moment, so I'll press the forward button to the next song. But I couldn't do it this time. From song's opening of the piano solo, I was under some king of spell, unable to lift my arm to go to the next song.

But I didn't cry like Farley and Spade. No, seriously, I didn't.....

Monday, October 12, 2009

good saturday.....

I'm not sure who that was wearing the #8 jersey on Saturday. He looked like Jonathan Crompton, but he sure as heck didn't play like JC. If not for special teams, it would have been an almost-perfect game.

I don't like Georgia. I don't know why, I just don't. Beating Georgia the way they did was just great.

Meg's big sister came over for dinner Saturday night. The bride had made all the fixins for hot fudge cake. I couldn't wait. I stayed away from sweets all day long just so I could eat a big ol' piece with a glass of cold milk.

Sara was the first to finish her chili. She asked when we could eat the hot fudge cake. The bride went over to the stove and turned on the eye for the hot fudge sauce. Or at least she thought that's what she was turning on. Funny thing about stoves - if you turn on the wrong eye, the thing you think you're heating up doesn't get hot. Sara was anxious to eat, so she kept checking the sauce. All of a sudden, we heard a crack that sounded like a gun had gone off. Glass went everywhere. The cake pan, made of glass, was sitting on a now very hot stove eye. It scared Sara too death. Not only the sound, but also the thought that we wouldn't be having hot fudge cake for dessert.

So Meg, Sara and Whitney headed to Publix and bought the stuff to make more. I'm happy to say it was delicious.

It was a good Saturday.....

Friday, October 09, 2009

yard sale faux pas.....

WBAL-TV (Baltimore) - 8/11/09

David Perticone, 46, was arrested in Severn, Md., in August and charged with stealing about $25,000 worth of items from a woman's house just down the block. The woman discovered the items in Perticone's front yard, part of a yard sale he was conducting.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

inexplicable side effects of brain injury.....

BBC News - 9/2/09

Malcolm Darby, 70, awoke from surgery following a stroke in Oakham, England, last year to find that he had near-perfect vision (after having worn eyeglasses since age 2) but later discovered that he no longer spoke or understood French.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

the attempt to recapture ignorance.....

I'm reading the book Second Hand by Michael Zadoorian. It's about a guy who's a "junker", someone who runs a second hand store and is constantly on the lookout for things to buy so he can clean them up and sell them to someone else.

There's a part in the book where a man comes in and buys an old, non-working radio. He says his parents had one just like it when he was a kid and that he hadn't seen one like it in decades. Richard, the owner of the store, thinks about this as the man leaves the store with his new purchase:

This is a strange thing about people. We own something as children, then as adults we are willing to buy it again for about a hundred times the original cost. We think we’re buying back our youth or our innocence or something like that, but what we’re really buying back is our ignorance. We want to remember a time when we didn’t know so much.

I read this and it hit me that I've been guilty of this very thing. I saw an old "Billy Blastoff" toy on eBay a year or so ago. In mint condition, the cost was about $300. I knew I couldn't afford it, and wouldn't buy it even if I could, but the memories it brought back were incredible. I was 5 years old when I got "Billy" for Christmas. You can't get much more ignorant than 5 years old.

I thought about the author's words on the way into work this morning. It struck me that Facebook is allowing people to recapture their ignorance with its service. We reconnect with people we haven't seen in decades, back to a time when our lives were less complicated, more innocent, more ignorant to what was to come later in life; back to a time when we didn't know nearly as much as we thought we did.

I can see the new marketing campaign now - "Facebook - ignorance realized". Yeah, maybe not.....

Monday, October 05, 2009

tough times for football fans in tennessee.....

Anyone who thought the Vols would go 8-4 or 9-3 when the season started has had that fantasy shattered by reality. While Hardesty is leading the SEC in rushing, he appears to be all we've got on offense. I'm not going to pile onto Crompton - we knew what he was going in to the season, and he is who he is. The defense looked lost at times Saturday night against Auburn. Maybe it was because they were on the field so much. It's going to be a long season for Vol fans.

Speaking of long seasons, the Titans took the field against Jacksonville Sunday afternoon. You may have noticed that I didn't say they played. The bride and I left before halftime and went to the library. You know I'm not thrilled when the library wins out over a football game. The thing is, I'm trying to figure out how they got so bad so fast. The defense can't stop anyone. The offense has Chris Johnson and that's about it. We need a quarterback. I'm predicting that Mr. Young gets the start next week.

I'm a fan. I'll stay true to my teams. But the growing pains won't be any fun.....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

not quite sure about this.....

I heard about a new Christmas album this morning on the way into work. Now, you know me - I love Christmas and anything having to do with Christmas. But the announcement of this album left me scratching my head. Here's part of the release from the band's web site:

Not So Silent Night Christmas Album


Rock superstars REO Speedwagon will be releasing a new Christmas album, Not So Silent Night...Christmas With REO Speedwagon, on October 27th on Sony Legacy Recordings, produced by Joe Vannelli, along with associate producer and lead singer Kevin Cronin. The album will feature 13 Christmas classics with a unique REO Speedwagon musical twist.

"We are really excited to bring something brand new for our fans to enjoy with their families, just in time for the holidays," said Cronin. "We are as proud and passionate about this project as we have been about any album we have ever made. We hope that this music is as much fun for our fans to listen to as it has been for us to create. The holiday spirit is alive in the REO family, and we wish the same for yours."

I like REO Speedwagon's music. The songs"Can't Fight This Feeling", "Keep On Loving You", "Roll With The Changes", "Ridin' The Storm Out", "Take It On The Run", and "Time For Me To Fly" are all part of the soundtrack of my youth. But a Christmas album? Somehow it just doesn't fit.

I reminds me of something Jeff and I used to do when we were growing up. We had a few people from our church choir who would do solos from time to time. They were good, but they had "church solo" voices and that was about it. We would imitate certain church soloists as they would sound singing contemporary music. The two just didn't go together. The thought of a certain male soloist doing Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" or Clapton's "Lay Down Sally" still makes me laugh.

Maybe REO's Christmas album will be a big hit. Maybe it will sound great. But for some reason I just can't wrap my head around it. Oh, well, 86 days until Christmas either way.....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

yeah, that couldn't have been them.....

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News - 8/12/09

Police in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, decided in August not to press charges against three boys whom they had previously believed had harassed a young moose so badly that it had to be put down. A final piece of evidence against prosecution came from the father of one of the boys, who vouched that the three could not have committed such a crime since they had been busy at the time, vandalizing a nearby church.

Monday, September 28, 2009

i've done all i can do.....

My fantasy league football team is so bad this year, I'm thinking of renaming them "2008 Detroit Lions." I'm seriously doubting I'll get a win all year long. But I did something this weekend that I thought would help the Titans. I started Mark Sanchez as my quarterback. No rookie has ever started the season 3-0, so I thought he'd have a terrible game against the Titans. Hey, if I can't win with my fantasy team I might as well help the Titans get their first win of the season. Didn't work. The Jets beat the Titans, and the Titans are now 0-3. Playoffs???? Playoffs???? I guess it could be worse. The Titans are just a quarterback, 3 wide receivers, an offensive line and a defense away from a championship this year. Maybe next year. Or the year after. Or sometime after that.

The Vols won, but it wasn't pretty. Yes, we scored 34 points, but it's obvious to everyone that we're short on talent at quarterback. I read that Jonathan Crompton's father was escorted out of the stadium Saturday night because he took issue with a lady (and the lady's husband) who was booing his son. Someone posted on Tennessee's site that Crompton's dad probably took a swing at the guy but missed completely and hit somebody three rows up. It's either laugh or cry this year, so I'm going to try to laugh when I can. Besides, anyone who thought we'd compete for an SEC championship this year is sadly mistaken. It's going to be a few years to get to that point. The depth of talent just isn't there yet.

After what seemed like 4 straight months of rain, we had a beautiful day on Sunday. And it's supposed to be like that all week here. I'm ready for fall.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

serious about the weather.....

Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA) - 9/2/09

Geography professor Melanie Patton Renfrew, 54, was convicted in Burbank, California, in August of violating a judge's order to stop stalking KNBC-TV weatherman Fritz Coleman. Renfrew had badgered Coleman for two years, via e-mail and telephone calls, about his "error" in terminology, confusing "onshore" winds with "offshore" winds. Coleman, she insisted, needed to apologize. "Offshore" winds blow out to sea; "onshore" winds blow in.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

common sense 101.....

San Antonio Express-News - 8/28/09

San Antonio police chief William McManus announced in August an upgraded training program to teach his officers how to obey the law while off-duty. The department has had to fire 10 officers so far this year for law-breaking, and included in McManus' program is a personal talk to each incoming cadet to stress that police officers must not commit crimes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

vols and titans....and wild women at my house.....

So Saturday's UT-Florida game went better than expected. It was still a loss, but at least it wasn't a 30-point loss. From the sound of things, the Vols gained some respect with their play. According to something I heard yesterday, Florida fans were acting like they'd lost because it was only a 10-point win.

Then on Sunday, the Titans showed what happens when your secondary has huge holes. 31 points should be enough to beat any NFL team; well, except for the Saints. Like a friend of mine said yesterday, one wonders if the Titans might miss defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz more than they miss Albert Haynesworth.

Now for the wild women at my house. Bunco is back and the bride is hosting it tonight. Here's hoping I don't have to break up a fight.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

things i won't do.....

Watch the movie "The Notebook" - Yes, I've heard from several men that it's a good movie, but now it's a matter of principle with me. I've said "no" so many times that I just can't give in now.

Eat broccoli, cooked cabbage or turnip greens - I refuse to eat something that smells like something I get in trouble for doing after a meal. 'Nuff said.

Twitter - No one needs to know what I'm doing 24 hours a day. I don't even need to know what I'm doing 24 hours a day.

EVER own another dog - I've told the bride that we'll never own another dog. She said she wants a lap dog one day. I told her it was either me or the dog. She hasn't made up her mind yet.

Park in a fire zone, handicapped or employee-of-the-month parking - There are rules in place for a reason. Just ask my mother-in-law.....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

can you hear me now.....

Times-Reporter - 5/21/09

With no help from Verizon Wireless, law enforcement agencies managed to hunt down a disturbed, 62-year-old man sought in an 11-hour manhunt following a domestic violence call in Carrollton, Ohio, in May. Deputies had wanted to use the man's cell phone signal to locate him, but the company had shut off his service over an unpaid $20 bill and refused to turn it on, even for a few minutes, unless deputies paid the $20. The sheriff was reluctantly about to pay when deputies found the man.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

another first.....

I had a thought Saturday night that I don't believe I've ever had before in my life. I sat in my recliner watching the USC-Ohio State game and thought, "You know, I really enjoyed a Broadway play more than I enjoyed a football game today."

The bride and I saw "Wicked" Saturday afternoon. I wasn't all that happy about missing the UT game, but that changed soon after the curtain went up. "Wicked" was brilliant. The two leads were incredible, and the story was great. I thoroughly enjoyed the play.

We got home in time to see the 4th quarter of the game. Jonathan Crompton may be the greatest guy in the world, but he's no college quarterback. We've got a big problem at that position. It worries me to think that he's the best option we've got at quarterback.

Maybe Elphaba could cast a spell on Crompton and turn him into a quarterback.....

Friday, September 11, 2009

best line of the morning.....

A listener emailed this to 104.5 The Zone this morning about the Titans' 4th quarter defense:

Deal Chuck Cecil,

John Chavis just called, he wants his defense back.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

wanted: size 9 1/2 tap shoes.....

I used to really like to play golf. I got excited every time I got a chance to play. And I used to be pretty good at it. Not great by any stretch of the imagination, but pretty good. Not any more. I don't play much, so it's hard to get into any kind of rhythm when I play. But when I do play, I vaguely remember being decent. I guess that's why it's so frustrating.

After 27 holes on Wednesday, I considered putting an ad on craigslist for my clubs. Maybe somebody else could get some good shots out of them. Heaven knows I sure haven't lately.

Every time I play like I did today, I ask myself why I want to do something that gives me so little pleasure. Why in the world would someone do something that makes them feel so inadequate? Why heap that kind of mental punishment on yourself?

Maybe I'll take up tap dancing.....

Friday, September 04, 2009

the influential power of the ofit.....

I received the following message from my sister yesterday:

I thought you'd be proud of this.....
I took Lizzie to preschool this morning and she had taken a little doll of hers that was wearing no clothes. Her teacher asked her what the doll's name was and Liz replied, "Nakey Butt". I blamed it all on you!

If memory serves, I believe I did in fact name that doll "Naked Butt" about a year ago. It feels good to pass something along to the next generation. I guess I'll add "philanthropist" to my resume.....

Thursday, September 03, 2009

ringtones and whispers.....

I was in a meeting yesterday morning. A meeting attended by professionals, or so it would seem. A regional director from a government agency was speaking.

The sound was muffled at first, so I didn't know if I actually heard something or if the rustling of the hair in my ears was creating a noise. Then it got louder. And louder. I finally heard it as plain as day - Calypso music. Someone's phone was going off. Please. Even if you forget to put your phone on vibrate during a meeting, at least have a generic ringtone.

I went from there to a funeral. Even in my advanced years, I was one of the youngest in attendance by at least 25-30 years. 40 years in some instances. I don't mind being around older people. They can be funny. Sometimes they mean to be funny, other times they just are. Such was the case with the man directly in front of me.

The gentleman hadn't made a peep the whole service. He leaned over towards his wife to whisper something to her. She leaned in. He said, "THIS PEW FEELS LIKE A KNIFE IN MY BACK!" I know he meant to whisper. It's just that as one gets older, their whispers tend to increase in volume dramatically.

Not many people smiled when this happened. Either they agreed with him or they couldn't hear what he said. I'm going with the latter.....

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like.....

Costco, West Nashville, August 31, 2009.....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

gee, look at the time, i should be going.....

The Times (London) - 5/19/09

About 20 men were present for a Belgian body builders' championship in May when three anti-doping officials arrived unexpectedly and requested urine samples. Every single contestant abruptly grabbed his gear and fled, according to press reports, and the event was canceled.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

dangerous formula.....

Diet Mountain Dew (in a sippee cup)


birthday cupcakes


ice cream



gets you this:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

yeah, well, that makes sense.....

Kansas City Star - 6/24/09

A woman in Kansas City, Mo., told police in June that the reason she had stabbed her sleepwalking 24-year-old boyfriend in the face was that she feared he would hurt her if she didn't wake him up. (She said the man had also just finished urinating in her closet.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

good grief.....

I've always been a "Peanuts" fan. I loved all the characters and their personalities. And though Charlie Brown was a blockhead, I always rooted for him. The one character trait that ol' Charlie Brown possessed that drove me crazy was his tendency to be wishy-washy. But since the guy just never seemed to have anything go his way, I understood his wishy-washiness. I didn't forgive it, I just understood it.

While driving to lunch yesterday, I heard Dan Patrick say that Brett Favre would come out of retirement and sign with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday for somewhere between $10 and $12 million. Brett Favre retires and "unretires" more often than I change my underwear.

I used to love to watch Favre play football for the Packers. He took risks. Sure, he threw almost as many interceptions as he did touchdowns, but his touchdown passes were so exciting that you forgot about the interceptions.

Maybe his misses the competition. Maybe he needs the money. Or maybe he just doesn't want to go to training camp like a "regular" NFL player. But one thing's for sure - Brett Favre's wishy-washiness sure has made him look like a blockhead.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

rookies to the rescue.....

All three of the Titans' touchdowns were scored by rookies on Saturday night. Kenny Britt is going to be a great receiver. Javon Ringer could possibly put Lendale out of a job. And Ryan Mouton will be a solid addition to the defensive backfield. Even VY looked pretty good, except for the lapse of judgment when he tried to lateral the ball on a botched snap. Not smart at all.

Oh, yeah, just 19 days until UT kicks off its season.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

yeah, regis, that ain't gonna' happen.....

I saw something on Yahoo yesterday about the Gosselin family, you know, the "Jon and Kate Plus 8" people. In an interview on "Regis and Kelly", Regis told Kate Gosselin that he feels Jon will come back home and that she and Jon will eventually get remarried.

Since it started, I refused to watch this cute little show called "Jon and Kate Plus 8". The bride and the girls simply adored it. But I just couldn't bring myself to watch it because Jon never looked the least bit happy. Not because of the kids, but because of his wife. Now, I'm not advocating his actions, and I'm not saying he wasn't partly to blame for the break-up. But this man couldn't stand his life then. Why in the world would anybody think he would go back? Especially now, after all that's happened. Does anyone believe she wouldn't hold that over his head and make his life even more miserable?

Regis, you're a wonderful talk show/game show host, but predicting the future just ain't your bag.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

important warning.....

Viruses and worms are unfortunately prominent on the Internet these days, so whenever I see useful information about potentially harmful emails I like to pass them along to my friends. I received this one from Chris this morning. I only hope you've not opened this one yet:


If you get an email titled "Nude photo of Nancy Pelosi," don't open it....

It contains a nude photo of Nancy Pelosi.

You're welcome.....

Monday, August 10, 2009


Yes. Football is back.

I know it was just a pre-season game, but it was real, live football. I've missed football so much that I'd started watching college replays and even Canadian football. Yeah, I may have a problem.

The Titans' first-team offense seemed to move the ball well. The trick play was great! Chris Johnson looked good, as did both Lendale and Ringer. Note to VY - before you enshrine yourself in the Hall of Fame, be sure you know how to throw 4-yard routes to your running backs. I'm just sayin'.

The Vols play in less than 4 weeks. I can't wait.....

Friday, August 07, 2009

that'll teach him.....

Akron, Ohio - July 2000

A 10-year-old boy, trying to avoid leaf-raking chores by hiding underneath them, was hospitalized when his mother accidentally drove over the leaves.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

this is what 9 years looks like.....

First days of school. 2000 and 2009.

OK, technically, yesterday wasn't Sara's first day of school at Centennial. But I'm going to count freshman orientation as a first day.....

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

(not) leaving on a jet plane.....

Daily Mail - London - 6/23/09

The British charter airline Thomas Cook announced at the gate in the resort island of Mallorca in June that, regardless of seat assignments on a departing flight, passengers should sit toward the rear of the aircraft in order to balance the load (since it was already front-heavy with cargo and therefore harder on the pilot). Not surprisingly, 71 apprehensive passengers refused to board. (Also, some incoming passengers on that same aircraft, which experienced a similar balance problem, had dramatically dropped to their knees in the terminal, kissing the ground, calling the flight their worst ever.)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

let leroy motivise you.....

According to the website,, Leroy Smith is the man who inspired Michael Jordan to greatness. Since I need a little motivising every now and then, I decided to become one of Leroy's fans on Facebook. By doing this, I receive daily inspirational messages from Mr. Smith.

Here are a few of them from the past week or so. I hope they mean as much to you as they do me:

Just did 3 hours of Capoeira in a sauna, while wearing a ski hat and eight down comforters wrapped around me. Then invented my own form of martial arts called, "Feng-tasma" which is a mix of French traditional fencing and Bocce ball.

The only real failures in life are those who fail. Don't be those people. They suck.

Morning workout. Got up at 3:26 am, ran 43 miles wearing one broken flip-flop, in the sand with a small red wagon filled with cinder blocks and scrap metal strapped to my neck. Then put on a medieval suit of armor and a 600lb weight vest, rented a hang-glider and jumped off a cliff to test nerves. Now having a banana smoothie.

Teamwork is key. No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it. That is unless you've taken years and years of whistling training and devoted yourself to the art. Then you could probably whistle it just fine and you should ignore this advice and keep up your magnificent symphonic whistling.

Steps to motivational skydiving. 1) Jump out of plane without chute. 2) Find another skydiver with a chute to latch onto. You will be very motivized to do so. 3) Do not die.

Never try and motivize a mime to talk but there's nothing wrong with teaching a monk how to juggle.

Monday, August 03, 2009

i guess there are different kinds of luxury.....

When you hear the word "luxurious", what's the first thing that pops into your mind? And expensive house or car? A resort vacation? Perhaps elegant dining? All that comes in a distance second for me now after seeing the commercial for Quilted Northern Ultra Plush toilet paper.

According to their commercial, Quilted Northern Ultra Plush will deliver a luxurious experience to consumers during every trip to the bathroom. Really? Luxurious? I've got to be honest, luxury is probably the last thing I'm thinking about whenever I use toilet paper.

Hope I can wipe this image of luxury from my mind really soon.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

i've had enough.....

I've never considered myself a genius. One could look at my high school and college transcripts and figure that out. But for five days out of the week I feel somewhat smart. I know what I'm doing most of the time. I can figure things out. It's those other two days of the week that I feel as incompetent as a 4-year-old who's been asked to perform triple bypass surgery. Especially lately.

We've finished the kitchen/downstairs renovation for the most part. And when I say "we", I mean the people we've hired to do this stuff for us. The bride set it all up and did most of the painting. I did a little painting and switched out electrical outlets. Other than that, my job was to screw things up and then call someone in to finish what I started.

I don't think I was always this way when it came to doing things around the house. I'm not really sure when it all changed, but when it did it changed for the worst fast.

So that's it, I'm done. From this point forward, unless I know 100% that I can do some type of household project, I'm hiring someone to do it for me. A friend once said, "Hey, painters (or whatever type of profession) gotta' feed their families, too. I'm not gonna' take food out of their mouths!"

That, my friends, is called wisdom.....

Monday, July 27, 2009

it's just not the same.....

Star Press (Muncie) - 6/25/09

Until Mayor Sharon McShurley changed the protocol this year, fire stations in Muncie, Ind., had been delivering reports to department headquarters downtown by dropping them off in fire engines. McShurley ordered the department to learn how to send reports by e-mail.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

10 games for old farts.....

1.) Sag, You're it
2.) Pin the Toupee on the bald guy
3.) 20 questions shouted into your good ear
4.) Kick the bucket
5.) Red Rover, Red Rover, the nurse says Bend Over
6.) Doc Goose
7.) Simon says something incoherent
8.) Hide and go pee
9.) Spin the Bottle of Mylanta
10.) Musical recliners

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

a different kind of road rage.....

Agence France-Presse - 5/23/09

A certain bridge in Ghangzhou, China, has become popular for suicide (12 attempts in a 45-day period in April and May), and with each incident, traffic is slowed or halted for hours while crews attempt to talk the distraught person down or perform rescues. Mr. "Chen" was on the ledge in May, according to an Agence France-Presse dispatch, but he couldn't make up his mind about jumping. One frustrated motorist, Lai Jiansheng, ended the suspense by walking up to Chen and pushing him off. Chen survived, and Lai was arrested.

Monday, July 20, 2009

the end of an era.....

You're never really prepared for these things. Especially not over the phone. The bride called her dad on Saturday to see if we could borrow the truck to haul some junk off to the dump. (By the way, this "junk" was recently adorning out home until about a week ago. Funny how things can go from "necessity" to "junk" in such a short amount of time.) I saw an odd look on the bride's face when she said "Oh, really?" I knew what that was all about. I felt the need to tell the girls, to let them down as easy as possible. After all, it's a father's job to comfort his daughters during a time of loss.

We all knew this was coming. Some had accepted it, others had held out hope that "Ol' Red" would miraculously heal himself and start running like he did over 16 years ago. It never happened. The bride's father had sold his truck.

Both daughters have learned to drive in this truck, so it holds special sentimental value to them. Loads of mulch have been hauled in that truck. Families have been moved. Boxes had been toted from one place to another. Wood and supplies had been picked up and delivered for home projects. Any time someone in the family needed to haul something, the red truck was available.

So it's time to break in a new "family" truck.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

like, whoa, dude.....

KING-TV (Seattle) - 6/10/09

Nestor Waddell had to rush his 11-year-old Labrador mix, Jack, to the vet in May when he started acting strange during a walk, which had taken him into some bushes. The vet concluded that Jack had discovered and devoured some dry, harvested marijuana. According to Waddell, "(Jack's) eyes were kind of glossed over. ... When he was trying to walk, he was looking at his paw, and then looking at the ground and then trying to get his paw to reach the ground, but was unsuccessful."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

even i can appreciate this.....

I'm a left-brain person. But for a few minutes every sunny morning I get all artsy.

As I turn out of the neighborhood I begin driving east towards I-65. And when it's not raining, I get to witness the sunrise. Something happens to me when I see those colors - I become immediately thankful. It's almost as if what I'm seeing is something that God painted just for me to see at just that particular moment.

You can believe what you want to believe, but it's hard for a left-brainer like me to understand how anyone could believe that all we see around us was brought about accidentally.....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

they get paid to do this.....

Daily Telegraph (London) - 6/7/09

Researchers from Cleveland State University, for a recent journal article, assessed the physical traits of 195 female characters from the first 20 James Bond films, revealing that more were brunette than blond and that at least 90 percent were young, slim and of above-average looks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

working on titles.....

The bride and I are considering co-authoring a book on home renovation. Here are the two titles we're mulling over: Renovating on a Budget and Home Remodeling: Divorce Might Be Simpler.

I wish I was different, I really do. I don't have a lot of patience when it comes to doing some things. I want to do things right the first time, check them off my list, then move on to the next thing. When I "allow" myself an hour to do a project and it ends up taking 4 hours, I'm not the most pleasant person to be around. (I know, I know, you find that hard to believe, but it's true!)

I'll have to admit that the bride has done all the scheduling for the renovation, from the wood floor installation to the cabinet refinishing and everything in between. And she's also done almost all the painting. We spent this past weekend getting ready for the flooring guys to come on Monday. By the time Sunday evening came around, I think she was ready for me to go back to work. We took out countertops, painted, switched out electrical outlets and switches, moved things into the master bedroom and upstairs hallway, and had a couple of light fixtures installed. An hour or so of silence was observed at one point during the afternoon on Sunday. I think the bride was meditating. Or plotting my demise. One of the two. I'm still not sure, and I don't think I really want to know.

We keep telling ourselves it'll all be worth it when it's over. Talk to us when it actually is over, and we'll let you know.....

Monday, July 13, 2009

air hockey, suicides and couples skates.....

Last Friday morning, I was sitting at my desk working on a quarterly report. My regular internet radio station was having connection issues, so I was listening to an iTunes radio station that played hits from the 70's.

I heard the flutes from the opening notes of Oliva Newton John's "Have You Never Been Mellow", and I was no longer at my desk. Or in 2009 for that matter. In my mind, just as vivid as could be, I was in Kingsport at Skate Inn, 1975.

I usually had three things I wanted to accomplish whenever I went to Skate Inn: I wanted to play air hockey; I wanted a suicide (all their Pepsi products mixed into one cup); and I wanted to have a couples skate with a cute girl. I was usually 2 out of 3, with the third one being left undone.

The song ended and I was back in 2009 staring at a computer screen.....

Friday, July 10, 2009

it's just a prototype.....

We usually use a picture from summer vacation for our Christmas card. Here's one we're considering for this year.....

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

there's stress, and then there's stress.....

KCTV Kansas City - 5/20/09

Marcella Rivera said the last she heard was that her soldier-husband, William Rivera, would try to reconcile with her and their five children when he got back from Iraq, but then her mother saw a TV program on returning soldiers that showed William being married to another woman. Marcella pressed a bigamy charge in Independence, Mo., but prosecutors dropped it in May after William convinced them that "post-traumatic stress disorder" suffered in Iraq had made him forget that he was married.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

still not acclimated.....

Yesterday was tough. Stacks of mail. Voice mails. Having to wear pants.

We had a great week in East Tennessee. We stayed at the L & G Bed 'n Breakfast, and it was wonderful as always. Here are some take-aways from the week:
  • Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg continue to grow.
  • I still can't ride roller coasters without feeling like I need to puke for several hours afterward.
  • My golf game goes from brilliant to terrible from one hole to the next.
  • I brought back some of the wonderful food I ate in the form of a larger waistline.
  • The bride and the girls could never live where they went on Friday. Too quiet.
  • Cousins are good people to have around.
Time to have the house torn apart by people who say they know what they're doing. Better them than me.....

Friday, June 26, 2009

day tripping.....

Time for a little vacation. We're looking forward to spending a week in East Tennessee with my family and doing some day trips next week. We'll visit some friends and family, spend a day in Pigeon Forge and Dollywood, hopefully get in a little golf, and eat Mom's/Gramma's cooking.

Good times.....

Thursday, June 25, 2009


St. Petersburg Times - 5/16/09

The head of Florida's Department of Corrections admitted in May that at least 43 children (including a 5-year-old), who observed their parents' prison jobs as part of "Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day" in April, were playfully zapped by 50,000-volt stun guns. DOC Secretary Walt McNeil said the demonstrations (in three of the state's 55 prisons) even included one warden's kid, but that only 14 children were individually shot (with the rest part of hand-holding circles feeling a passing current). Twenty-one employees were disciplined.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

tiger math.....

It's been reported that Tiger Woods made $110 million last year. Let's see how that breaks down:

$310,370 per day


$12,557 per hour


$209.28 per minute


$3.49 per second

Let's assume Tiger sleeps 8 hours each night. While he sleeps, he makes $100,456. If we assume he takes 20 minutes to eat a meal, he makes a little less than $4,200 while he eats. In the time it takes him to brush his teeth, he's made about $420.

So, Tiger, if you're reading this, the bride and I are doing some renovations at our house. If you could spare a couple of hours, we'd really appreciate it.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

seriously, they exist.....

Anchorage Daily News - 5/24/09

At the biennial World Beard and Moustache Championships in May in Anchorage, Alaska, four local heroes "defeated" the usually dominant German contingent in the 18-category pageant, including overall champ David Traver of Girdwood, Alaska, whose woven chin hair suggests a long potholder. Said Traver, of the Germans, "They were humble, and you have to respect that." One defending champ, Jack Passion of Los Angeles, fell short with his navel-length red hair, despite having authored "The Facial Hair Handbook" after his 2007 victory. Traver acknowledged that no money was at stake (only trophies and "bragging rights"), but added that there are "a lot of ladies" who fawn over men's facial hair. "Seriously, they exist."

Monday, June 22, 2009

they're out to get me.....

My wife and daughters are trying to kill me. No, not in an "in your face" kind of way, but in a very subtle way. With food. Here's what they fixed me for breakfast yesterday:

Croissant French toast with fresh strawberries, HOMEMADE whipped cream and bacon. Delicious? Of course! But I have a history of high triglycerides! Oh, and the girls gave me 5 different flavors of Famous Dave's barbecue sauce, encouraging me to eat more pork! The doctor will have to double my dosage of Crestor.

I'll be lucky to make it to my 45th birthday.....

PS - thank you, ladies, for making my Father's Day special!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

how to drive your wife crazy.....

No, this isn't a commercial for any kind of medication you see advertised during PGA events.

You know the old joke about how you can drive someone crazy by putting them in a round room and telling them to pee in the corner? I've got a new one - just have your wife pick out hardwood flooring.

Works at our house.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

might want to plan a little better next time.....

Indianapolis Star - 5/12/09

Police in Indianapolis
charged Fifth Third Bank manager Dwayne Roberts, 31, with arson and theft after the failure of his scheme to cover up embezzlement. Police said that Roberts elaborately staged a fire inside a locked vault so that an undeterminable amount of money would burn up, thus perhaps covering his cash shortage. However, after Roberts had set the fire and locked the vault, he realized he had left his keys inside and could not re-open the vault or lock the bank's doors or drive home.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

lipstick in schools.....

According to a news report, a certain private school in Brisbane (Australia) was recently faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.

Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back.

Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses). To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.

He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers, and then there are educators.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

you're the worstest dad ever.....

Plain Dealer (Cleveland) - 5/17/09

When a son, angry that his father had ordered him to clean up his room, screamed at Dad and threw a plate of food across the dinner table, Dad called 911. The son is 28-year-old Andrew Mizsak, who lives rent-free with his parents in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford, Ohio, and is a member of the Bedford School Board (and whose mom is a city councilwoman). After police arrived, the habitually untidy son apologized and, according to their report, "was sent to his room to clean it. He was crying uncontrollably." Subsequently, the school board punished Andrew by removing two of his duties.

Friday, June 12, 2009

mission accomplished.....

Six months ago I set a goal weight for myself. No definite time range, just a goal weight. I stepped on the scales yesterday morning and saw the number I've been looking for. I'm now wearing clothes from the skinny side of the closet.

It was a relief. I've eaten differently, I've run more consistently. It's not always been fun, but it's been tolerable knowing that the weight was coming off.

After my run yesterday we had dinner. After dinner, Sara looked so pitiful when she couldn't find any chocolate to eat for dessert. I offered to take her to get a milkshake. The bride saw through my "generosity" when I said I'd get one for myself, too. I hadn't told her, but I'd long ago decided that when I did hit my target weight I was going to go get a milkshake. Sara later decided she didn't want a milkshake but rather sugar cookies from the grocery store, so I picked up some Edy's ice cream that had waffle cone bits, chocolate chunks and caramel swirls. It was so good that I wept as I ate it.

Good stuff.....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

a few tips for those attending this week's cma music festival.....

Fan Fair week is here. The week Nashville businesses love. The week those of us who work downtown dread. Here are a few tips for those Fan Fair guests who are visiting Nashville:

Buy a map so you know how to get downtown.
We have residents from Maury and Lawrence counties who already clog up the interstates with their poor driving skills. Don't add to the problem.

No, we don't see country music stars walking up and down the streets all the time.
If you do see them outside the exhibit hall, let them be. One of the reasons they live in this area is because most people let them live their lives in peace.

That Red Roof Inn you're paying $119 a night to stay in? It was $47.99 on Tuesday.

Enjoy your stay.....

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

dry spell.....

I've hit one of those dry spells in my blogging. No creativity. I got nothing. At all.....

Monday, June 08, 2009

they must remember cars, too.....

USA Today - 5/19/09

A University of Florida researcher found, for a recent journal article, that mockingbirds, among all animals, are skilled at identifying particular humans who have displeased them and whom they wish to attack.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

8 magic words for husbands to memorize.....

After much deliberation, we're getting ready to do some renovations at home. Kitchen and floors. Simple, right? That's what I thought.

The bride has jumped into the project with both feet. We have another family on the street doing similar projects, so she's teamed up with the wife/mom and they're doing research like crazy.

I'm a simple person. I'm decisive, straight-forward. I know what I like. When most people a
sk me for my opinion, I give it to them without a filter. You can't do that when it's your wife. I forgot that.

The bride had several hardwood samples down on the floor for me to look at. She asked for my opinion. I didn't remember that I was talking to her, so I gave her my honest opinion. Her response was something like, "What are you, crazy? That's the worst choice EVER MADE by a human being! That's horrible! I can't even stand to look at you right now!" OK, I may not have that exactly word for word, but that's the gist of what I heard. And to be fair, she was taking the color of the furniture and window treatments into consideration. But she just asked my opinion on which floor sample I liked best.

So if you're a husband, I'd like to share 8 magic words for you to use whenever you're considering any home improvement projects. Whenever your wife asks your opinion, simply say, "
What would you like my answer to be?" You'll save yourself a lot of grief.

One more thing - when you say those 8 magic words, say it like you mean it. Even if you don't. Again, you'll save yourself a lot of grief.....

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

talk about your literal interpretations.....

Wisconsin State Journal - 4/13/09

In April, a manager at a Dean Health System clinic in Madison, Wis., received corporate instructions to "immediately" lay off 50 listed employees, and the manager (a 30-year nursing veteran) decided that that included pulling one RN out of a room in which she was assisting with surgery, leaving just a physician and lower-level staff members present. A clinic executive later called the manager's timing an error, but said there were no adverse consequences to the patient.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

bruce kicks shia's butt every time.....

Meg had her wisdom teeth extracted last week. She's done really well, not a lot of swelling. While she was recovering, she watched quite a few movies.

Last Thursday night, the bride and I watched the original "
Die Hard" with Meg. It had been a long time since I'd sat down and watched the entire movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The action, the bravado of Officer John McClane and the way he took down the terrorists had the bride and me on the edge of our seats the whole time. And we knew how it turned out! After it was over, I asked Meg how she liked it. She said it was "kinda' slow". My jaw hit the floor.

Friday night, the bride and I watched "
Disturbia". Very good movie, lots of suspense, based on Hitchcock's "Rear Window". Meg and Kyle came in and watched the last 30 minutes with us. After the movie, Meg commented on how much better "Disturbia" was than "Die Hard". Once again, my jaw hit the floor. I now have a significant bruise on my chin.

Head to head, Office John McClane puts Kale Brecht to shame. McClane had, what, 8-10 terrorists with C4 explosives and missiles? Kale had to fight the curly-headed guy from
St. Elsewhere.

Kids these days.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

on the receiving end of a swirlee in high school? this job's for you.....

USA Today - 4/12/09

In April, the district attorney in Vilas County, Wis., announced that he was seeking volunteers for a forensic test to help his case against Douglas Plude, 42, who is scheduled to stand trial soon for the second time in the death of his wife. The volunteers must be female, about 5-feet-8 and 140 pounds, and will have to stick their heads into a toilet bowl and flush. Plude is charged with drowning his wife in a commode, but his version (which the prosecutor will try to show is improbable) is that his wife committed suicide by flushing herself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

overheard at the driving range.....

I'm playing in a golf tournament on Friday. Since I haven't swung a club in almost two months, I thought it might be a good idea to go hit a bucket of balls before the tournament. I believe if they let me tee up my ball in the fairway, I may be OK.

The range was pretty full yesterday. There were a few guys working on their swings, acting like they knew what they were doing. Then the rest of us appeared to be plowing up the dirt to plant potatoes.

To my right was a guy with two younger boys who looked to be about 3 or 4. Dad was there with his clubs, and his sons had their on set of junior-sized clubs. But the boys were doing more talking than hitting. At one point, the comments went something like this:

"Good shot, Dad! Wow, that was reeeeeally high!"

Dad smiled and said "thanks." Then he started duffing the ball, and the comments went something like this:

"Whoa, that was a bad one, Dad."

"Well, there's another bad one, Dad."

"That one didn't go very high, did it, Dad?"

"Dad, I need to go pee." They left pretty soon after this one.

Even if these boys don't grow up to be professional golfers, it seems that they may one day give Johnny Miller a run for his money as commentators.....

Friday, May 22, 2009

my girls, showin' the love.....

And there ain't a middle schooler in the bunch any more.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

good job, your fired.....

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 4/15/09

East St. Louis, Ill., policeman Kristopher Weston apprehended a murder suspect about 20 minutes after the crime in April, which was such a nice piece of police work that the mayor called Weston before the city council to commend him. Five minutes after Weston left the room, the council got down to regular business, the first order of which was to approve a list of police and firefighter layoffs due to budget shortfalls, and on the list because of low seniority was Officer Kristopher Weston.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

he just doesn't want to record that crappy coronation song.....

Did you watch American Idol last night? I was a little surprised that it was an Adam/Kris showdown. For weeks I, like most other people, figured it would be Adam and Danny. But Kris came on strong and deserved to be there. In fact, he might just win it all tonight.

I actually thought Kris won both of the first two rounds. Adam's songs were boring, and Kris's songs were more relevant. Don't get me wrong, Adam is an incredible singer with unbelievable range. Plus, he's an outstanding performer. But I keep thinking about how both singers' talents will translate in the current marketplace, and I see Kris doing better. To me, he's more current. A little bit of John Mayer, with some Jason Mraz thrown in for good measure. Kris just sounds more like what's on the radio today.

Then came the third round. I wonder if Kris was sitting backstage listening to Adam sing that terrible song written by Kara and he started thinking, "Oh, crap! If I win this thing, my recording of No Boundaries will be on iTunes for everyone to make fun of and laugh at. I'd better forget some of the words and give a sub-par performance." Oh, like that couldn't happen!

If Kris wins tonight, it will be considered the biggest upset in Idol history. The judges have been crowning Adam the winner for weeks now. Even their comments to both singers after the last song were a bit lopsided - it was as if they were congratulating Adam for winning and thanking Kris for just showing up. I hope Kris pulls off the win.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

new ordinance.....

Henceforth, all police and state troopers are to cease patrolling the interstates during the morning commute. Studies show that drive-times are drastically reduced when said officers are not present. Also, driving the speed limit has proven to make some motorists lose their minds. It's a win-win.....

Monday, May 18, 2009

y es! a new pimple.....

Daily Telegraph (London) - 4/13/09

New York artist Ariana Page Russell has a dermatological disorder that makes her skin puff up immediately at the slightest scratch (which renders her, she says, the "human Etch A Sketch"). She now scratches herself in deliberate patterns, to create artistic designs, which she photographs and offers for sale. Russell says she must work quickly, for her skin usually returns to normal after about an hour.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

everybody ought to have one of these.....

Ever have a friend who knew you every which way? They know your good stuff, your bad stuff and everything in between. They're the kind of friend you could call at 2:30 in the morning from jail and they would be there without a trace of judgment.

Jeff and I met when we were both 14 when his dad came to pastor our church. He didn't want to come to Kingsport. At all. He hated the thought of moving right before he was to start high school. During the next 4 years we became each other's closest friends and sounding boards.

Over the years life took us in different directions and we lost touch. Then Facebook came along, I found his little sister, and she gave me his contact information. Jeff came up this past weekend and we went to the Unwigged & Unplugged concert at the Ryman. As much fun as we had at the concert, the best part of the weekend was our conversation. We stayed up talking until about 3:00 Monday morning, then picked it right back up a few hours later.

I've found that the older I get, the harder it is to find good friends. I've also found that the best friends in life are the ones I made as a teenager. Good times.....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

sibling facebook chatter.....

Julie Stapleton Cathey
I'm going to have major surgery so I can have strawberry shortcake too!! Either that or come in Memorial Day weekend.....

Devonna E. Stapleton
I'd go with Memorial Day weekend if I were you...but it's totally up to you, whatever you want!

Wade Stapleton
I don't have to have major surgery to get this. I just show up.....

Thursday, May 07, 2009

gonna' move.....

Not me. No, the bride hasn't kicked me out of the house. Yet. Tomorrow's the day Meg moves back home for the summer.

26 years ago, right about this same time, I moved back home from my dorm room at ETSU after my stellar freshman year. I made about 3, maybe 4, trips up and down the stairs in the dorm and I was finished. I had a 13" television, some stereo equipment, a small refrigerator, and my clothes. No books to take home, since I'd already sold them back for pennies on the dollar. I stripped my bed and tried to fold my sheets, but they cracked and crumbled and I ended up throwing them out. No one told me I was supposed to wash them. And of course, no computer equipment. PC's back then took up the space of a small laboratory. So
instead of a computer, I had my slide rule and my abacus. It was that long ago.

Tomorrow's move will be more like the move I made when the bride and I moved into our first house. There's a recliner involved. A couple of televisions. More clothes than I've owned in my entire life. And nick nacks. Tons of nick nacks. (I don't think I ever had either a nick or a nack in my dorm room. Decorations, other than posters, were never even considered. I wonder what happened to that Farrah Fawcett poster? I'll bet Ray still has it.)

It'll be good to have Meg back home. Yes, it will be an adjustment for all of us, but that's normal. Besides, it'll be good to hear the girls fighting again.....