Friday, January 30, 2009

can't file this under workman's comp.....

Kansas City Start - 11/24/08

A 49-year-old Leavenworth, Kan., man was hospitalized in November after (according to police) using a front-end loader to pluck an ATM from the Frontier Credit Union. He was hurt when he drove to the edge of a 50-foot embankment and tried to drop the ATM, imagining that the fall would break it open, but instead, he, the loader, and the ATM all crashed to the bottom.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

pinky returns.....

Raising kids can be hard. There are moments when the demands on your time seem to be so much greater than your actual available time, especially when they're small. You go from carrying a baby around everywhere to chasing a toddler through the house, hoping they don't fall and hurt themselves. Then school comes with its parent-teacher meetings, PTO, plays, etc.

But there comes a time in the life of a father, especially for a father of girls, when demands slow significantly. My theory is that when girls acquire a certain article of clothing that they have to wear on a regular basis, Dad becomes an alien and is no longer useful for anything but money. I've learned that they do come back partially, but Mom is much more their "go-to" from that point forward. I'm not resentful, I'm just saying that's what I've observed.

I used to tell bedtime stories to the girls when they were little. Stupid stories. Stories where their stuffed animals came to life when the girls went to sleep. One of their favorite story-times was when Pinky the elephant came to visit. We're not really sure where Pinky came from, he just showed up. No one ever remembers buying Pinky, winning
Pinky, or stealing Pinky from someone else. One day he wasn't there, the next day he was.

Monday night was bunco night for the bride. Sara and I said goodbye to her as
she left, knowing she'd be a different person when she got home: in a really good mood if she won, or in a really bad mood if she lost. (I pretend to have fallen asleep when she gets home so she won't beat me in case she loses. It works most of the time.) Sara finished her homework and we played Mario Kart. She got ready for bed and I went to tuck her in. We talked a little about school and other things. I asked her what else she wanted to talk about, and she reached under her bed and pulled out Pinky. And for the first time in a good while, Sara got a Pinky story.

Although there was an almost-14-year-old beside me, I looked over and saw the 3-year-old Sara with the curls and the sneaky smile on her face. Good times.....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

so we've got that to look forward to.....

Washington Post - 12/22/08

Among the best-selling and most controversial toys of this past holiday season were the $39.95 Mattel "Gotta Go" Doll and the $59.95 Hasbro Baby Alive, both because of their interactive features, especially their digestion/excretion functions. The latter doll comes with its own food ("green beans," "bananas") and a warning ("May stain some surfaces"). The Gotta Go includes a toilet and brings the flushing process to life for the child. An industry insider told the Washington Post that next season's toys would be even more realistic.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

what'chu gonna' do.....

I've got an eclectic mix of songs on the bride's iPod Shuffle. My iPod Mini is a hand-me-down from Meg and is too big to take when I run, mainly because I'm too cheap to buy an arm band for it. So I've taken the Shuffle and loaded songs from the Marshall Tucker Band as well as U2; the Eurythmics and Carrie Underwood; Taylor Hicks and Grand Funk Railroad. But every now and then I'll hear a song that I don't remember uploading. Such was the case Sunday.

I'm about half way through my run when I hear trumpets, followed by a dance beat, then the words,

"What'chu gonna' do with all that junk,
all that junk inside your trunk?
I'm gonna' g-g-g-get'chu....."

Yep, somehow Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps" had made its way onto the ol' Shuffle. I hit the "next" button after finding out what exactly what it was that Fergie was going to do with all that junk inside her trunk.....

Monday, January 26, 2009

always check your child's homework.....

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.
I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.
From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Mrs. Smith

Friday, January 23, 2009

mario could make me fat.....

I got the bride and the girls a Wii Fit for Christmas. I've used it almost as much as they have. Some of the yoga (stretchy lycra pants not included) and strength exercises seem to be working for me. And I'm the king of the ski jump.

We'd been hearing about how much fun Mario Kart is on the Wii. I found a great price on it earlier this week and ordered it. It came yesterday and we played it last night. It's addictive. And it doesn't require that you balance on one foot, or do anything that sounds degrading like downward facing dog. You just sit and steer. Good exercise for your wrists, maybe, but that's about it.

Oh, in my first attempt at Mario Kart last night, I beat Sara. Just had to get that in.....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

bad multi-tasker.....

Canadian Press - 11/21/08
Louise Light, 21, was not hurt when she crashed into guideposts in Woodstock, Ontario, in November, but she did get milk all over her because she was eating cereal from a bowl while driving.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

finally, a race with incentive.....

I've started running again. Nothing major, just a mile for now. I'm adding a little to it every time I go out.

I've always wondered about doing a 5k run. One of my employees is trying to convince me to run a half-marathon. I laughed in her face. She persisted. I
may have to fire her.

But here's a run I can get excited about - the Krispy Kreme Challenge. It's a total of 4 miles. You run 2 miles, eat a dozen Krispy Kremes, then run the other 2 miles. All in less than an hour.

Is there throwing up involved, you ask? Here's a quote from their web site:

Okay, we can’t technically stop you from throwing up, and quite frankly, that’s just part of the race, but don’t MAKE yourself throw up. The real challenge is to keep all 12 down, so don’t cheat yourself.

Wonder if I can be up to the challenge by February 7.....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

our opinions matter.....

Our pastor mentioned something this past Sunday that blew me away. He said he saw an online poll that asked the question "Do you hope Barack Obama is successful as President?" 59% said yes, 41 % said no.

I didn't vote for Obama. Maybe that's not a cool thing to admit. I wasn't thrilled about either candidate to be quite honest with you. But the fact is that later on today, Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States. And whether or not I agree with his politics or his policies, I need him to be successful. This whole country needs him to be successful.

I'm hoping and praying that four years from now we'll all be able to say that Obama was successful.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

blart rulz.....

The bride and I were childless for part of the weekend, so we were able to date a bit on Friday night and Saturday. We saw "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" Saturday. I'm telling you, if Kevin James doesn't win an Oscar for his won't surprise me a bit.

"Paul Blart" is a typical Adam Sandler movie. Very formulaic, very prescribed. Alot of the same cast as every other Sandler movie. It had some funny moments, but most of them were in the previews you see on television. I think Kevin James is hilarious, but he's not a leading man. The bad guy in the movie was played by the weird kid in "Wedding Crashers". Yeah, that could have been cast a little better.

So the movie was OK, but the time spent with the bride made up for that. We had a great time together. Maybe our next date movie will be better.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

cold blast advice from the ofit.....

In case you haven't heard, it's cold out there, folks. Here's some sage advice in two translations:

King James Version
That which thou doest not want frozen off, thou hadst better swaddle.....


The Message
Cover it or lose it.....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

hard to believe there's no pay for this job.....

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - 11/12/08

Recently, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has been seeking 75 volunteers to be trained in listening to frogs so that the state can complete its annual frog survey. Georgia has 31 frog species, each with distinctive ribbits and croaks, and surveyors, after practicing detection, will monitor frog habitats to help officials measure population trends. Tracking season begins this week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

looking for light.....

I was 10 years old when I first got glasses. My teacher noticed that I was having trouble seeing the chalk board, even after she moved me to the front of the class.

I didn't want glasses. I hated the thought. Only nerds wore glasses. But I had to get glasses.

Mom took me to Johnson City Eye Hospital and I had my eyes examined. I think I cried when the doctor confirmed that I needed glasses. (Shut up! I was 10!) I got some silver, metal frames. I actually needed some type of industrial strength frames, because they were in good shape for about 3 hours. When I got home that afternoon I tried to walk through the sliding screen door onto the patio and both bridges bent out at 45 degree angles. All of my glasses stayed bent because of sports-related occurances until I got contacts my senior year of high school. (Before getting contacts, I had glasses with plastic frames. Looking back on them, they made me look like what Elton John would look like if he was heterosexual.)

I've got an eye doctor appointment this afternoon, and I need to get both contacts and glasses this time. My current glasses have never been right. (That's what I get for going to a different doctor last time.) I'm looking for some very lightweight frames. I'm 44 now and I don't tend to walk through screen doors as much these days.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

it takes all kinds, i guess.....

Walking down a hallway in any business, you're sure to encounter all kinds of people. But what kind of reaction do you get? As a public service to my readers, I've compiled a list of creatures you might run into from time to time and how to handle them:

The Hugger - There's nothing wrong with these people. They just love everybody. Hug 'em right back. If you want them to stop, give them a pat on the bottom and wink as they break their embrace.

The Watchman/Berryman - He's the guy who is too busy. There aren't enough hours in the day. Just as you make eye contact, he's looking at his watch or Blackberry. Stop this person and ask him loudly if his wife's out of rehab yet.
The Big Mouth - This is the person who sees you from 1/4 mile down the hall and yells your name. This is fine on a college campus, but not in the corporate environment. Duck down the nearest stairwell and find an alternate route to your destination.

The Head-Turner - This person is too good to talk to you. Or anyone other than a superior to whom they want to suck up. They make eye contact and immediately look the other way. Stare them down until they feel uncomfortable, then ask if they put on a little weight over the holidays.

The Long-Talker - This is the person you want to avoid at all costs. You know, the one who thinks you mean it when you ask how they're doing? Just tell them how great they look as you pass them by, then take out your phone or Blackberry and stare it down like there's no tomorrow.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I swore I wasn't going to get upset over Saturday's game. I promised myself I wouldn't yell and scream. I vowed I wouldn't throw blankets and whatnot. But I said all of this when I thought the Titans would win. And they would have won if they knew how to hold onto the football.

Yes, the Ravens got a free play when the play clock went to zero. Yes, they could have called a few personal fouls on the Ravens. But you can't turn the ball over three times and expect to win a playoff game. And it's obvious that the Titan's MVP is Chris Johnson. Without him, they're nowhere near as good an offense.

I told the bride that this was the most disappointed I think I've ever been in a football team.....

Friday, January 09, 2009

the one about constipation.....

Yesterday one of my employees had this very serious look on her face as she was on hold with one of our vendors. I went by and asked if she was constipated. The serious look left her face, and it was replaced with a look of disbelief. She got over it.

It made me think about a friend of mine from high school, Danny Brown. Danny passed away a few years ago, but he gave us all alot of good memories.

Every morning we had a group that sat at the same table in the commons area. We'd usually sit around and eat and talk. Chris and I had this thing where we'd always ask Danny if he was constipated. I don't know why. I could say it was because we were both 17 or 18 and it just seemed funny at the time, but to be honest with you it's still funny to me 27 years later (as proven in the first paragraph). One morning Chris and I were sitting at the table. We looked at each other, didn't say anything, then both looked at Danny, still not saying anything. Danny yelled, "I AIN'T CONSTIPATED!!!!!" No one could figure out why Danny would make such a declaration in front of about 400 people, but Chris and I enjoyed it.

When I emailed Chris to rekindle this warm memory, he reminded me about Danny and me both trying out for basketball our sophomore year in high school. Neither of us made the team. But I was fortunate enough to have made it through the tryouts without receiving the comment Coach Maddox made to Danny. One day during tryouts, we were scrimmaging. Danny was on defense and Coach Maddox yelled, "Brown, you couldn't guard a Christmas tree!"

Danny and I did end up making the lunch league team that year. We played enough to letter in the sport, but they didn't offer letters for non-sanctioned leagues.....

Thursday, January 08, 2009

no, that's not mine, i don't know how it got there.....

Portsmouth Herald - 11/28/08

Jeremy Aron, 33, was arrested for DUI on Thanksgiving night in Portsmouth, N.H., when an off-duty police officer spotted him driving down Lafayette Road with a fire hydrant stuck to his bumper.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ever wonder why grunge music originated from Seattle? I don't know that I've ever thought about it until yesterday.

I'm sick of rain. It's put me in a bad mood. A really bad mood. I went running in a downpour last night when I got in from work. On the second half of the run, I wondered to myself if this is what it would feel like to live in Seattle. Then it hit me - no wonder grunge music began in the Seattle area.

If I had to live in the rain most of my life and I was a song writer, I'd be permanantly ticked off and write depressing, angst-filled music, too.....

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

yeah, that's not covered.....

Houston Chronicle - 12/17/08

In November, the Great American Insurance Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio) sought a declaration in federal court in Houston that it was not liable to pay death benefits from a 2007 office fire because the three victims did not die from "fire." The company pointed to an exclusion in the policy for death by pollution" (thought by most people to cover only toxic industrial discharges) and argued that the three victims were actually asphyxiated by smoke, which is "air pollution."

Friday, January 02, 2009

jackie gleason may be my hero.....

Jackie Gleason was a bit of a yo-yo dieter. When he bought clothes, he had his tailor make them in three different sizes, hung them in three separate closets, and labeled them fat, fatter, and fattest. I'm one step closer to doing this. While I was off during Christmas, I had to buy a pair of fat-boy casual khakis to get me through the next couple of months until I get some of this blubber off of me.

My dress pants now scream at me when I put them on. They hurl insults at me like Don Rickles.

I ate what I wanted to eat over the weekend. Goodbye pancakes. So long ice cream. Farewell chips and dip. Hello fruit. Hey, good to see you, feet!

Time to start running and starving again.....

can't make a profit like this.....

MSNBC-KHQ-TV (Spokane), 11/10/08

Muoi Van Nguyen, 31, was arrested in Spokane Valley, Wash., in November, charged with breaking a window with a hammer at a state liquor store and grabbing a bottle of wine valued at $9. Earlier, Van Nguyen had tried unsuccessfully to break the window with a rock, but decided he needed a hammer to do the job and went to a nearby store, where he purchased one for $11.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

happy new year.....

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce