Saturday, October 24, 2009

Scrabble Cat

It seems I have a cat who likes to play scrabble. I came home from walking Toby and lo and behold the Z and S keys were removed from the laptop's keyboard. Knowing their catlike curiosity, after all they are cats, I traced it to Chester. Luckily the one key was on the keyboard and the other was under the laptop, but nonetheless, I'll be closing the top from here on out. I was trying to guess what word he was trying to spell with Z and S. Maybe Zeus, or Zits. (Do cats get zits?)

It took some doing to get the little buggers back on, and the stupid z keeps poppin off, but I'll get it worked out.

Ben's last flag football was today. It was a cold, grey morning game. The two teams had met earlier this year and Ben's team took a beatin'. This game was different. A defensive battle to the end. Ben started at QB and did a great job, moving the team for one of its 3 first downs. Then, after handing off on a double reverse, he was trying to throw a block, and ended up going kneecap to kneecap with another player. He went down in a heap in what I was sure was a blown ACL. It looked like ACL type agony, and he needed to be helped off the me. Had it been an NFL game, it might have been a cart.

As it turns out, it was just a good bruised kneecap. He sat out for two series and then, at my urging, he went back in on Defense. Uncle Steve was there watching, he had come from Bayview, and I didn't want to have him have to watch Ben sit on the sideline.

Ben played the rest of the game. As I said, it was a 0-0 game until the Giants (Ben's team) threw an ill-advised, across-the-field pass that was picked off deep in their territory. The next play they threw a pass to Ben's receiver who was double covered by Ben and Brandon, and the kid caught it in the end zone and scored. The kid was a head taller than Ben and to Ben's defense, he defended him the best he could. It was just a well thrown pass to a taller kid. Whats a boy to do? It's like Terrell Buckley and Michael Irvin. OK, bad analogy.

I tell you though, I am so proud of that kid. He made every practice and was a good sport about every game, every play. He said the other team was trash talking, but he never did. I know Ben, he wouldn't do that. He's just better than that.

The Giants got the ball back for two more plays after the touchdown and succeeded in getting;

1. An illegal procedure penalty

2. An incomplete, almost picked off pass

After the game we all headed to Marty's for end-of-season Pizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzssszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzza. There's that stupid z key at work again.

I did get to talk to Ben's offensive coach at length and found out he has his own business recycling cell phones. If you've got one, contact:

It seems like a noble cause. Taking old cell phones and either recycling them, if they're too old, or getting them to lower income or third world countries.

Is it just me or are the colors of the fall trees exceptionally vibrant this year. God is amazing!

Donna's grandma passed away yesterday. While my initial thought was that it was very sad, after giving it some thought it occurred to me that she's in a better place and is finally reunited with her husband, Ray, after so many years alone. That's a great thing. That and meeting Jesus. Sweet!


There it goes. Mind of it's own.

I think my cat wants me to hurry and finish this because he's thunk of a word. (Is thunk a word?)

Writing class continues to stretch me and challenge me. My friggin' memoir has become much bigger than I ever intended it and I may never finish it. If I should croak before it's done, it's in my C:\Jim\Papers folder. Please paste the sucker together and get it published for me posthumously. It's the least you could do for all the work I've stuck into it.

So with regards to doing the Mr. Mom thing, as I am, I have a few questions.

1. Where do you draw the line between the "colors" and "darks" clothes sort? Is grey considered a dark? What if it's grey and red? Color or dark? How about a dark blue towel? Blue is still a color.

2. Does making your bed matter when the kids don't care? If I wasn't so anal about the way it looks, I probably wouldn't make it.

3. If you stop making your bed, is the next step not folding clothes? From there it's leaving the milk out to spoil, seventy three emaciated cats, drinking vodka straight from the bottle, tin-foil on the windows, electricity shut off, human garbage and feces on the floor, an obsession with Betty Davis movies, and Lord knows what else. I think it's just easier to make the bed.

4. As I ran onto the field when Ben hurt his knee today, I thought how odd it would be if Aaron Rodgers's dad ran onto the field when he got hurt. Hey, that's my kid!

5. I think we're having pop tarts for dinner. Is that wrong?

I caught my first Musky last week. What a trip. Just a great fish. Small for a musky at 36", but I'll take it. I was shaking for 10 minutes. My friend Steve took me up for my first musky fish and now I'm hooked. It's hard to describe how it's different from regular fishing, but it is. I still love both, and will probably only go musky fishing once a year, but who knows? I still like to catch ALOT of fish, but catching one REALLY BIG one is cool too. Thanks so much to my good friend Steve and his friends John and Julie for use of their cabin.

Well, my mixed load of colors and darks (yes, I gave up) is ready to be hung on the line, so for now I'm blogging off.


Friday, October 23, 2009

No Cash for this Clunker

Detroit dies a slow death
while Escalade drivers search
for an open gas station

General Malaise for the working stiffs
unionized to prevent profits from ruling
over the “rights” of entrenched lifers

Imports infest one model at a time
seeping into the culture like an arsenic drip
picking off jobs right down the line

If we took all the Hummers, Yukons and Suburbans
and melted them all down into a new mindset
would it still be too late to salvage this Detroit junker?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Chill In the Air

Well, the fall winter-is-coming angst is upon me. I was putting on the two basement storms today, running to the dump and getting the basement and garage in order. I'm like a squirrel storing nuts away for winter. There are supposed to be flurries in the air tonight and tomorrow, and it's only Oct., 10th for cripes sake. What's a man to do?

Writing workshop was good last week. It was a week where everyone brought something, so I didn't get a chance to read or get critiqued. It works that way sometimes and I'm OK with it. It actually buys me some time to get ahead on the next assignment.

I was a bit discouraged about the comments on my character outline of the brothers on my last piece. I need to deal with it and revisit, revise, and rewrite the thing I think. Here I was thinking how great I was and the instructor just kind of brought me down a notch. Valid points nonetheless, but they still stung a bit. Writing is such a personal, heart-thing, that when criticized, even in a constructive manner, it stings. It's like telling your son he's naughty. He's not naughty, he has a naughty nature. We all do. I'm not a bad writer, just a decent writer who had a bad day.

In any case, I'll ask the teacher for clarification and be done with it. It doesn't help to dwell.

As I approach what I think is the end of the memoir material, I'm getting more excited about finishing it and getting it to copy. I'll likely go the self publishing route and see what kind of experience I have with that. It's likely a bit of a cop out, but it will get me where I want to go.

Ben's flag football game was today and they got whacked pretty good, 26-6. I had to play ugly parent/coach when a kid who Ben "tackled" (grabbed his flag) and the kid, when Ben went to give him the flag back, threw a shoulder at him. He did it right in front of me and I screamed something like "Hey, you can't do that!" Scared the ugly dad right out of me. I didn't think I had that in me, but evidently I do. Alas.

Well, much to do yet, so I'll have to blog off for now.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ides of October

The leaves are starting to fall and change. My fleeces are coming out of storage. Packers take on the Vikings. Aiieee, I can't wait for spring!

Did I mention it's dark at 7:00 PM. Soon enough, I'm going to start going to bed earlier than I would like, then the scaly skin will start. Throw in a bad cold for good measure and I will be in my full glory. Oh if it were up to me, I'd live in CA. Alas.

Boys club this coming Tuesday is Map Reading and Understanding a Compass. Being the map guy, I am in charge of running it. I think I'm going to try and run the 3 leg compass game. What it involves is the kids walking 10 paces, turning the 360' dial a 120' then walking 10 paces, and so on for 3 turns. Ideally they should end up exactly where they left. We'll see how it goes. I may end up taking 100 steps and then taking 100 more in the same direction.

I have looked into the self publishing thing and am pretty certain that is the route I'll take for my BWCA memoir. It looks painfully easy, and should come out pretty nice. I've got to get more material written on it though, so I'm...blogging off.