Saturday, May 30, 2009

Left, Right, Left, Right, repeat...

I went golfing with the fellas today. It was as gruesome as could be expected. While I hit every drive decently, the rest of my game resembled a spastic pirate on crack. Arrghh! Let's just say that I didn't break 60, and yes, that was for 9 holes, not 18. I figure if you take away those 3 nines I shot, I did really average. Throw those in though and...well I'm sore.

It is absolutely the hardest game on the planet. Any man that says it's for sissies (as I once did) has never played the game. It's one of those games that's 95% mental, 5% physical. Here's what goes through my head in 9 holes.

Hole #:

1. Not a bad start. It's going to be a good day. Look at the weather!
2. Whoa, that drive was a bit of a slice. Better luck next hole.
3. A seven on a par 4? C'mon Jim, get your head in the game.
4. There we go a bogey, only one over. You're a star.
5. What was that? You did everything wrong that hole.
6. I'm not very good, but I'm better than that guy!
7. Oh my gosh, is it over yet? Geez it's hot.
8. Oh the humanity! What a stupid game. I'm done for life.
9. Look at that drive. I can't wait to do this again.

The innate ability to laugh at yourself and set the bar very low are two ESSENTIAL elements to this game. Without those, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment.

I sold my shotgun at age 40 and used the money to help me buy custom golf clubs. Now it just looks like I'm hitting the ball with my shotgun. Might as well be. There was one turtle shell green today that I chipped over and back 3 different times. You just never see that with the pros. If you did, the announcers would say "Oh, he should just stop now."

The only saving grace of this outing, and the game in general from what I can tell, is that you get to be outdoors on a nice day with your friends. Now none of them exactly lit it up today either. That makes it more bearable when your friends shoot a shot that looks like it was taken by a heavily sedated blind man. Like the song by Morrissey goes, "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful", this holds especially true on the golf course.

Golf is shared suffering, is what it is. Moments of utter joy surrounded by hours of self condemnation and loathing. And we pay good money for this.

I always say I don't mind a bad day of golf, but losing balls is a drag. Well, I lost 3 today. It's funny how you hunt for 10 minutes for your first lost ball, but by the 9th hole, you're taking 3 practice drives off into the woods and not giving them a second thought. "There's more where that came from." When you consider what you've paid/lost on the course to that point, a few dollar golf balls shouldn't stop you from enjoying yourself, right? I'll never be able to afford that second home in Malibu, but I can slice a few into the woods all day long and still pay the mortgage.

I discovered I have a new disease on the course today. It's called drivenesia. What happens is that immediately after each drive, the second I put my club in the bag, I lose all perspective of where my ball went. It's like I never hit it. Was it 220 yards, or 130? Near the pine tree, or in the middle of the fairway? Did I slice, hook, or hit it straight away? Wait, did I even hit it yet? Am I in the water or did I clear it by 50 yards? For that matter, what kind of ball was I hitting? Do I have a brain parasite? Did I eat a lot of paint chips as a kid?

Seriously though I'll be looking for a ball and my buddies will say "Jim, you're way up here", like I'm some sort of blind, spastic pirate or something. Judging from where I eventually find my ball in relation to where I was looking for it, you'd have thought I was wearing an eye patch and when I hit the thing. Arrrghh!

This pirate's had enough and is blogging off...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pee Wee Goes for a Ride






I freed my bike from captivity today. The bike technician pirates at Cyclesmith released it to me after a week and a day. I had messed up my derailleur (that's french for "expensive, complicated, shifter-thingy) to the point where it would not hit 1st, 8th, or 15th gear. I could have lived with that reality, but knowing there would come a hill that required 8th and only 8th gear, I had to have it fixed. For sanity sake, you see. Because I'm nuts that way.

I paid my $17.33 and was again the proud owner of a 14 year old Trek. Now, rumor has it that my wife, bless her heart, was actually planning on getting me a new bike for Father's Day. While I was originally overwhelmed and excited about the prospect, having my old bike back suddenly changed all that.

I took it out for a test ride after I got it back tonight and was happy as a clam. "Why in the world would I need a new bike?" This one rides fine. I'm used to the riding position and know how it handles like I know my own kids. I've been through some nasty off-road falls on it. Once over-the-handlebars in front of my house. (It was like slow motion. I would have LOVED to see myself from an out-of-body perspective) Changed countless flats. 3 or 4 sets of tires. New rear wheel; new cabling all around a few years back.

It's a bit like an old car that you bought new. You know exactly what you've done to it, as well in what ways you've neglected it. (Cmon we all do it). You know the creaks and groans. You, or more likely your kids, made every bad stain on the upholstery. But you love her. You cherish her like a big steel and plastic pet. The sheer thought of turning her in for something better seems not only absurd, but disloyal and snakey.

All of these thoughts are going through my mind during my mind today. Not to mention that the world is in the economic dust bin and what gall I have for thinking that now would be a good time to make a $600 bike purchase. Tsk, Tsk. Stupid boy.

Then I turn around to head home and shift into a lower gear. Or should I say, attempted to shift. Turned the shifter, but the chain didn't move. My next thought, I kid you not was:
"Piece of crap, I need a new bike. What was I thinking?"

Needless to say, the jury is still out. I'll do battle with myself for the next 4 weeks until I tire so much of it that I either resolve to live with my current bike, or in a state of crazed, wreckless spending go out and stimulate China's economy and buy a new Trek 4500. Take a look and see if you don't drool a bit on yourself as well.

Old Bike:






New, Improved, Much Nicer, Better, Gooder Bike:




The world spins on despite the minutiae of decisions like these.

Blogging off.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Dog Ate my Homework

I was auditing a writing class tonight so did not get to blog as I'd hoped (Wed. and Sat/Sun). I'm very excited about the class and all it holds. It starts on June 17th.

I will try to get a blog post in Tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Blogging off...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Technology bytes!



The blogging door was open so I had to go through it. This despite the fact that the dog needs a walk and countless house projects beckon. C'mon it's Sunday, cut me some slack.

We have issues with our new ATT DVR lately that the stupid thing pixels out every minute or so, to the point of missing some key dialog at points. I decided to take some action on this last week and called 1-800-ATT-ISNOGOOD or some catchy number like that. I got a very nice woman who, bless her non-American heart, was trying her best to be a good technical help, but failed. Now, I had 30 minutes alloted for this call, because I had a meeting to go to, but figured it wouldn't take more than 10 minutes or so. Well, the introduction and contact information exchange took 10 minutes. It's like every time I make a service call they've never heard of me before. Name, address, State, sexual orientation, political party affiliation. Yep, all the same as the last time I talked to you.

The line I like the most though was "What can I do today to make your technical support call a satisfactory experience?". Let's see, world peace would be cool. That and a flat screen TV for my trouble. Oh, and a cool drink while I wait on hold, now that would be sweet!

If all of those are a bit too aspiring, I would settle for fixing my problem. I know it's a small, petty, very 21st century, indulgent issue, but I think for the great sum I'm paying you folks every month, money that would be better spent working for world peace, or at least cold drinks, you could fix what is yours before it hits my TV screen.

Tammy Tech (not her real name) then asks me if I've rebooted the box. Now what's the first thing anyone tries when they're having issues? (Reboot) Not to mention that the box reboots itself unannounced periodically anyways. "Yes, I tried that" I reply.

The first thing she has me try is to unplug the unit and hit the power button to do a complete energy drain, (the box's, not mine though I'm starting to get tired). This sequence of unplug/plug/reboot, takes the 10 minutes that I had hoped the entire process would take, but fails to solve the problem. "Check the TV upstairs and see if it's happening there" she asks. I run up the stairs, try it and it seems to work fine there. She sounds a bit surprised, leading me to believe that I am at the threshold of her technical understanding of the issue. She continues however, thinking that she'd better not tip her hand.

Next she has me try a warm boot, which is what I'd like to do to the phone at this point. A warm boot for those of you who are not technical, is another term for "technical desperation not solved by a cold boot." It is all that a cold boot is not, but less. Hmmmmmm...

Anyhow, needless to say that it did not fix the problem. At this point, I am getting VERY tired of this woman calling me "Mr. Landwehr" and apologizing profusely for my unpleasant ATT experience. I think ATT must practice waterboarding on their technicians, as they all seem very concerned about our level of satisfaction, to the point of annoying distraction. Perhaps it's the threat of the "this message may be recorded for quality control. In any case, it's a disturbing level of concern coming from someone I've never met.

Now it's 30 minutes into the technical call and I'm now at the point where if I don't leave for my meeting I'll be late. I relay this sense of urgency to the tech lady and she rambles on for another minute or two about how she would call me tomorrow at 6:00 and we could continue the troubleshooting (aka, shots in the dark) and that she hoped my meeting would be very successful. For all she knew it was to finalize my divorce or something. Again, a level of concern that was nice, but a bit on the intimate side for a woman from Bangladesh.

Is it any surprise at all that she never called back? No, not really. To further add to the frustration level, I get a follow up e-mail asking me how my call experience was. Thinking this was my sweet chance for redemption, I try the login/password using my att login/password and to my utter surprise, it was not recognized. So I dig up my "Account ID" a 17 number unintelligible set of characters and try that. Still no go. Furthermore, they give you no out at this point. No "forgot password" or "contact us", no nothing.

At this point I figure I'll just reply to the e-mail that was sent. I send a pleading note asking forgiveness for all the bad thoughts I'd had in the past day about ATT and about any future cynical or scathing blogs I might post, and here's the response I get:

".......Automated response to your message.....
You replied to an e-mail survey invitation sent from "'AT&T U-verse Member Care'"
This e-mail address cannot accept incoming messages. If you have comments or questions pertaining to the product or service mentioned in the survey you have completed, please contact that company's customer service department directly. If you are having technical difficulty accessing or completing the survey, please refer to our link to Technical Help below.
http://www.sendyouropinions.com/tech_faq.htm
Thank you for participating in our survey."

Lord have Mercy. Where would we be without all this digital happiness? I cry uncle on this one. I think I'll live with the problem, as it's not near as bad as the troubleshooting process. In fact, I forgot what the problem was. That's why I'm...

Blogging off

Friday, May 22, 2009

Filling the Pain




Ah, I love the 40's. That's the great time in life when the fillings that hurt so much getting them as a 13 year old start to rust and fall out. You would think something made out of mercury, aluminum, and kryptonite would last longer than 30 years. Am I being unrealistic here? Surely not.

In any case, I had 2 of them done today. Back left molars if you must know. Big honkin' fillings from what I can tell. I can't open my mouth far enough to see them because she (my dentist) made me open my mouth so far, it messed up my TMJ, another gift that keeps on giving into your 40's. Seriously, I can only open my mouth about 50% of what is usual. If I had to speak this blog right now, it wouldn't be happening, my friend. If it was, you'd only hear 50% of it, or every other word. Now there's some people in life I WISH I could only hear 50% of, but unfortunately they don't know who they are.

What a great superpower that would be though, eh? "Half Speak" powers! You can have your invisibility or flying powers, I just want some peace and quiet. Or at least 1/2 the peace and quiet I'm getting. I'm sure the dentist feels like she's living those powers because when I answer those questions she's asking when I'm all numbed up I'm sure it sounds like Joe Cocker at Woodstock. http://www.elwp.com/Joe%20Cocker.html


Which takes me back to where this started, namely in a compromising position under the bright lights of the dentist's chair. Because the Doctor can't really ethically prescribe sedation, anesthesia, or narcotics for fillings, I had to settle for Novocaine. She kept claiming that because I was so tall that it required more doses. So, I got 3 and she started to drill. "Did you feel any of that?", she asks. How does one respond to a question like that? "Yes, frankly I felt ALL of it, particularly the part where the drill touched my enamel. Yeah, that part. Yeah, that hurt. Yeah, it hurt. Other than that, no I didn't feel anything."

So of course I said I felt some near the end, because I did. She then gave me a "booster". Now, I'm 47, and I've never had a booster of 'caine before. It's one of the benefits of your 40's I think, and there aren't many. And besides, after paying $82.00 out-of-pocket for these two fillings, because they were "natural colored", I figure stick it to the insurance company. They don't keep track of how many shots of novocaine it takes the Doc to shut the old guy up. Heck, I'd have taken a couple of shots home with me if they would have offered. I could use it in my toe when I get one of those ouchy hangnails.

At this point, I'm getting pretty numb. One of my eyelids is drooping, and I can't feel a thing from my chin to my left temple. I've forgotten my children's names and am picturing my lip to look something like :













I'm sure it looked normal, but I felt like it kept flapping against my chin.


The Dentist then took the opportunity to finish the grinding and drilling. I kept trying to picture Myrtle Beach, complete with waves lapping against the shore. Of course as soon as I got 2 waves into it the drill would hit Warp 5 again and I'd be right back at the mercy of a merciless woman with a background in dentistry. So much for visualization therapy. All it made me think of ultimately was the stinging jellyfish of Myrtle Beach.


The only saving grace of the whole episode was that I mistook the drilling of two cavities for one. When she said she was almost done, I wanted to kiss her. Having hideous novocaine lips, I figured I better settle for a muffled "sounth gooth".


And what's with the LED light thingy used to polymerize the filling? Anything that can solidify a liquid substance in 30 seconds can't be good for you. I noticed she and the assistant kept looking away while this light was vaporizing my new filling. One day they'll probably pin that device to prostate cancer or extreme lipittius or something. Don't say I didn't warn you.


The nice receptionist out front took my $82.00 with a smile and said "See you in 3 weeks!". I didn't even get a cruddy toothbrush out of the deal.

So I head to work, flying on a head full of novocaine, droopy left eyelid and all; probably shouldn't have been driving.

Once at work, I try and proceed with business as usual. My Friday routine involves getting a sweet roll and I wasn't going to let the dentist ruin that too. But alas, she did. You think I could open my mouth wide enough to get a bite of it in? Hardly. I managed to get one bite in and from there it's a bit blurry on what happened to it. A good portion of the bite went into my left cheek and has yet to emerge. Not to mention that I think novocaine temporarily paralyzes your tastebuds, because I couldn't taste a thing. Couple that with the fact that I was like a cow choking up his cud for the the next half hour and you get a good picture of the enjoyment factor. Needless to say I put the rest of the roll aside until after lunch, when it was only a slightly better experience.

And don't even get me started about drinking the hot coffee. It's only 1/2 hot see? Left side; Not Hot. Right side; Scalding. Wierd. An ouchy kind of wierd. Drool a little to impress your co-workers and mess up your shirt, and well, Happy Friday. I can hardly wait to see what my 50's bring.

So what is the moral of the story? Visit the dentist only if it's throbbing, bleeding, or coming out in your cracker jack. I'm serious and I'm...

Blogging off.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Livin' in the 80's

Once a song by a band Killing Joke, the title comes to mind today when the temps dipped into the 80's for much of the day. I had forgotten how blue a cloudless sky could be.

So yesterday was the Boys Club post-mortem appreciation meeting combined with the planning for the Crystal River canoe trip in June. The meeting was conducted in the essence of all prior Boys Club events and meetings, namely shameless disorder, confusion, randomness and frequent loss of direction. It started with a prayer, and frankly, that's about where the focus ended. The rest was random, mindless opinion, undocumented hearsay, pointless long-winded personal stories, all interspersed with a plate of the best lasagna I've had in quite a while. Like most County Government meetings, the best thing about it was the food, in this case Italian, not donuts.

Over dinner, the topic turned to Big Oil, CAFE Standards, electric cars and bio-diesel. One gentleman claimed that China is ready to turn out a 300 mi. rechargeable electric car (undocumented hearsay) which prompted another guy to wonder why we're not pursuing bio-fuels more rigorously. Maybe because we burn more resources making it than we get out of it (my mindless opinion...unsaid of course). That and the fact that by making fuel out of food, we're taking food out of some child in Sudan's mouth.

Needless to say the topic teetered on the edge of the whole political tightrope we Christians love to talk about. Luckily someone reeled it in before we went there.

From there, it's hard to tell where it went. We talked about how the year went. The consensus was that it went well, except for the boy who's Mother claimed that he got a first degree concussion from getting hit by a ball in the head. You know, based on what I see, and prevent from seeing, from week to week, I have to say "Thank you Jesus; only a first degree concussion". Never mind that I almost separated my foot from my tibia on the baseball field with the kids last week. I won't count that. Or sue the church. I will make a note of it though for the next time I have a notion that I could still play short for a Triple A team. I guess doing yoga and walking a lot doesn't use the same muscle groups as leaping for a shallow fly ball. It's still sore.

Much like the meeting, so goes this post. I'm not sure where I was going. Oh yes, after we talked about how the year went, we talked about what we should change. There was a lively discussion of how to better run all the events; post time, gym time, and story circle. Very few notes were taken, so I'm sure many of the ideas went the way of the garlic bread and were passed away this morning some time. Even the notes that were taken were scratched in some hybrid far-Eastern, long-dead dialect that resembled a 4.5 Richter earthquake reading. Translation would require either a half dozen linguistic PhD's, or a great deal of single malt scotch. To say the ideas are dead, kaput, extinct, nada, nyet, gone, never happened, dissolved, long forgotten, or not-gonna-see-daylight, would be putting it mildly.

Fear not though, the second half (more like the middle 3/16th's) was devoted to planning the best event of the year, in my eyes at least, Crystal River. Unfortunately for all the planners, the notes ended up on the same pad as the unintelligible bullet points from the first 1/2 of the meeting. They might as well have been written on an etch-a-sketch and at the end of the meeting, everyone could have a shake. Either that or a magic slate. "I wanna pull the mylar, I wanna pull the mylar!"

What were the key insights to planning for this year? Other than a large, foreboding spreadsheet with lots of empty slots for volunteers at various posts, I'm not sure. As the meeting was "running a little late", (i.e. 10 minutes over with no signs of losing steam, or gaining direction) I took the chance to beg out of it saying my daughter was waiting for me. Turns out she was. For all I know the meeting is still going. After all, it was a hell of a spreadsheet.

Please bear in mind that none of this is meant to be malicious in any way toward what I think is an outstanding organization, though I use that term loosely. Boys Club teaches boys respect and Christian values and because it is run by men, for men (boys) it tends to be run like an onside kickoff at times. The boys LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it; the mothers PRAY for it; and the fathers I think would participate if there wasn't an age limit. So it's all good. Being part of the problem myself (as a leader), I can poke fun at it. I might run it differently if I was in charge, but I can't say how because, I lost my notes.

Blogging off...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Death of a Friend



I think the relationship has come to an end. The beast is dying. It even smells of death. The Kirby Heritage Classic is on life support. The motor revs up and down like it's getting power surges all the time now. The headlight works all the time know, to the point where my kids were asking when we put a light on the vacuum. I think it's just kind of a last gasp for the old girl before she shuts out her light for good.


It is a mixed blessing for me. Technology wise, it's a bit like pushing a Harley Davidson around the room when the rest of the world is using mopeds. I know "nothing cleans like a Kirby" and all that, but you know what? I'm willing to try.


We went out and got a new Eureka today and I feel like a man who's having an affair or something. After years of dutiful, beautiful service, I'm dumping the beast like so much baggage. Heartless *!&%. When I think of the pounds of cat and dog hair she's suffered through, and the stray shoelaces and subsequent shoes she's sucked up, it brings a tear to my eyes.


"But you've gained so much weight, it seems", I say. I'm leaving you for a better model. Trading up so to speak. Not that I didn't once love you, but rather that I've lost that loving feeling.


So, it's off to the Kirby shop downtown to see if they will give me $10 to part her out. Who knows maybe they'll refurbish and sell her for $100. I half contemplated getting her fixed, but part of me just wants to move on. I'm tired of pushing that anvil on wheels around. My back and wrists have had it. She'll make some younger fool much happier than this old dog.


Ben and I had a great day today. Went to Sonic for lunch. Note to self: NEVER ORDER THE CHILI DOG AT SONIC AGAIN! What a mess. There was chili and mustard on everything. Not pretty at all. Also, do you tip at those places? The car hops seem to be working so hard, that I felt they were worthy of tipping, but wasn't really sure of the ettiquette, so didn't bother.


After that we went to the Lakefront and, on a whim, rented 2 "skelters" which are 4 wheeled bikes that were a blast. Then we threw the football around in the gale force wind that was today's weather. After that we drove around the East Side of Milwaukee and then headed back toward home. We stopped at Dunhams to "boy shop" which is another word for drooling over many items, but buying none.


On to Gander Mountain where we looked at everything from Turkey Huts, fishing stuff, to shotguns. Again, more drooling, but no purchases, other than a license.


Finally we finished out the day at the Joke Shop where Ben got "Cups and Balls" a highly disappointing magic trick that only frustrated the poor boy. Practice man, Practice.


The greatest part of today though was just talking and laughing with him. I told him some of my Boundary Waters stories that wowed him. We just talked about whatever. The history of Lynyrd Skynyrd, goofy friends of his from school, lines from movies we've seen, fears and longings, dreams and goals. I never get the chance to talk one-on-one with him without an editorial comment from Sarah, so it was good in that way.


Well, gotta run as usual. No quality writing again. :(


Blogging off...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Time for It

A good day today. Nice, pleasant weather and all.

Walking the dog with my Ipod is one of the better parts of my day lately. Is that sad, or what? I'm not sure what to think about it. It's my happy place each day, because;

A. I'm outdoors, where I love to be most.
2. I'm getting exercise, a favorite pastime of mine
iii. I'm listening to tunes, another favorite pastime.

So while it might be sad, it's me. Simple, pleasurable down time. I think the dog likes it too because;

1. He's with his best bud.
ii. He can get away with peeing on the "floor"
C. He can eat any discarded food remnant that I don't block him from. (Yeah, best bud...right)

The neighbors probably set their clocks by my Toby walks, and that's OK too. I'm here to help.

Blogging off...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mr. Mothers Day.


Day 3 of doing the single parent thing and a bit of weariness has set in. I almost gave in to a nap at 4:50, but took a bike ride instead. It did my body gooder than a nap would have. What a great word.


Seriously, it's not bad. It's just there's no one to "tag off" to. Parenting is a lot like tag team wrestling, without the head smashes into the turnbuckle. Though that sounds like a good solution for when the kids are nitpicking at each other, at times. (Am I a bad Dad for thinking that? Probably...)


The kids have actually been good. Sarah is becoming SUCH a teenager. It's going to be a long 5 years, let me tell you. She's suddenly got a 10 year old moron brother and two parents who seem to be getting dumber by the day, so hey, she's here to save the day! I'll let her tell you about that.


What's with the stupid cats wanting attention for nothing more than their next meal? Why we got two of these ungrateful creatures I may never understand. I like them much better when they are only 1/2 my responsibility.


So here's a typical Sunday with Mr. Mom. Wake up to alarm at 7:15. Feed self. Brew Coffee. Read 3 sections of newspaper. Wake and feed Ben. Wake Sarah first time. Iron Church Clothes. Wake Sarah second time. Shower, shave, brush teeth. Dress self. Threaten Sarah with abandonment and certain orphan status if she doesn't wake up and feed herself right now. Set dog free from dog jail (kennel). Feed cats. Feed dog. Remind kids that of all rules regarding dental hygiene, and especially how relevant they are in church. Drive to church. Worship God. Give Ben updates of how much longer he has to sit...every five minutes. Shake strangers' hands. (Pass the swine flu). Drive to Paneras only to find that they're out of "plain" bagels (Sarah) AND very chocolate brownies (Ben). Order for myself and goof with the kids for an hour. ('scuse me I just had to go break up a fight). Drive home. Cut the grass. Weed Eat. Load the dishwasher. Take Ben to Downtown Waukesha where yes, EVERYTHING is closed. Take Kids and Dog to Dog Park. Watch Dog make idiot of himself for 45 min. Go to DQ. Drive home. Read rest of paper. Contemplate a nap. Take 10 mi. bike ride instead. (Life is good!) Get home. Call Wife. Sweep kitchen floor and back stairs. Take out recycling and trash. Kick Ben off computer. Do facebook for 5 min. Take picture with kids for blog. Blog. And here I am. Is it bedtime yet? Somewhere in here I think I've got to get dinner in. Hey, I'd better go. A Mother/Father's work is never done, eh?


So, it's been a great weekend. I'm not even looking forward to Mon. like I might have expected. I do however, still hate to cook. Tonight might be a cheerios night. Hey, it lowers your cholesterol, you know and Kids really need to watch that, right?


To all the single parents out there, (my mom having been one of them) I have nothing but pure, unadulterated respect for you. Hang in there. It's all worth it.


Blogging off for now...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mindiola Mudbowl 2009


Waking up to a soggy overcast morning, after an allnight rain, I expected Ben's soccer game to be cancelled, to no avail. It turned out for the better as the Pirahnnas won 6-3 in a high scoring bonanza. Ben got an awesome assist as he shot from the left hand side of the goal. It turned out a bit short, but ended up right on the foot of his teammate Aaron who scored.


It was one of those situations where the actual assist was better than the goal itself. Ben's teammates seemed to congratulate him more than the guy who scored. There might be a bit of Father-bias in the whole thing, but hey, you have to give me that much. In any case, it is so good to see my son out there competing and contributing to his team's success. As an adult who loved sports as a kid, I hope he will continue his athletic pursuits the rest of his life. Being physically fit is so important to your quality of life. But I digress.


Random thoughts and quotes:



  • "Heaven is a place that has to be believed to be seen."

  • When doing my 10 year old's laundry today, the underwear were tangled inside the legs of the pants making me wonder how he extricated himself from them.

  • How does Toby know it's not his pee from the day before that he's sniffing?

  • I'm trying to wrap my head around Brett Favre's brain. Are you in or out, guy?

  • This morning I had to call Ben downstairs to pick up the following things he had discarded by the coffee table: 1. His water bottle from soccer. 2. His Shin guards. 3. His pizza plate from lunch. 4. His claritin pill container from last night, that I explicitly told him I didn't want him to leave laying around last night. 5. A paperclip pretzeled into a the shape of a small mammal. I'm hoping the fact that I called him down to clean it up will serve as the teachable moment. Yeah right. I'm dreading what I will find when I go down there again.

  • All of the above point makes me even more appreciative for what my Mother and other Mothers do every day.

  • "Guilt-free idle time requires hard work to precede it."

  • Where is that line that differentiates a "color" from a "dark" in the wonderful world of laundry. Must be a gene that women have, that men don't.

  • Similarly, where is the line between a small load and a medium load? Can it be swayed by a single pair of underwear, or a washrag?

  • How come when Mom is gone, the dishwasher goes 2-3 days without being run. And when it does, it's mostly saucers, cereal bowls and glasses?

Off to the movies with the kids. Life is good.



Blogging off...

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Crown for a Prince.

My annual visit to the dentist today was a lesson in dental hygiene futility. I floss and brush daily, religiously as my wife will attest. Why then did they find not 1, not 2, but 3 fillings that need replacing? Add to that another tooth that needs a full crown, and well, it was a crappy way to start a Friday.

On the bright side, they can do it all in 3 easy appointments. No inconvenience there, no. I think they must be feeling the economic slump at Forward Dental or something. It didn't help that the hygienist was giving the doctor a heads up on everything she saw. "Yeah, number 14 looked fractured, and 7 looked kind of weak, and 21 looked a little shaky...etc." Hey, when did you get your doctorate, eh? I wanted to tell her to shut up and go sterilize some tools or something.

Frankly the crown thing scares me a bit. I've never had one and having had people describe it to me, it just sounds like ouchy. Besides, only old people are supposed to get crowns. Come to think of it only old people get fillings replaced. Hey...

Besides the Dental trauma, today was day 1 of Mr. Mom'ing it. It went OK I guess. As the kids get older, it gets easier each time. No bodily fluids to worry about. It's more refereeing than anything, at this point. The biggest non-suprise of the day though is that we had pizza for dinner. Donna had many meals planned out for us and "go out to dinner" as one option. Guess who used the "Go out to dinner free card" right away? Lazy? Perhaps. But when a man is faced with going home and preparing a meal (even a pre-prepared meal) or shelling out $6.83 for crazy bread and Little Ceasars, well, you figure it out. That is why, if left to our own devices, this family of 3 would die of either malnutrition or diabetes within 3 months of Donna not being around. Little Ceasars would be the defendant in the case.

Alas, they are beckoning me to come down to watch the movie we got from Netflix. So, stay tuned the next few days for more adventures from the land of Pizza Pizza.

Blogging off...

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Swine and Pleasant Misery

The impending pandemic may never happen, but it won't be for lack of media coverage. My goodness, you'd think people were dropping like flies. This is one thing our economy needs right now is people being told to stay home. Don't shop, go to a ball game, or the school play. Stay at home and sponge bathe yourselves with clorox wipes.

I see Yusuf (aka Cat Stevens) has a new album out. Last I heard, he was becoming a Tibetan Monk or something, never to write secular music again. It must be that Capitol Records pays better than Buddah. Either that or he didn't like the bare feet thing.

So I wake up my 13 year old daughter at 6:45 on Thursday. (She sets her alarm for 6:15, don't ask why. I think it's just to annoy me.) She says "gosh, I wish you wouldn't wake me up so late". She has to be to leave for school by 7:05.

Now thinking I'd help her out today, I woke her once at 6:35. Then, at 6:43 I woke her again and all she said was "I know!". Silly, stupid me. I really need to school up on the Variable-Time/Teen Urgency Quotient, I guess. What goes for yesterday does not float today. I truly am not the smartest person in the house anymore. I swear I'm writing a book titled "Dumber by the Day" someday. I SHALL be the main character.

With (false) promises to blog more frequently, it's me...Blogging off.

Jim