Monday, March 31, 2008

Wipe Hands on Pants

It's Monday, so I'm swimming pool blogging again. Today was the first day of free drinks at The Company, so I loaded up on Diet Mountain Dew. I had to pick HannahC up at a birthday party north of Ft. TomCollins and then bring her down here to Loverlyland for her swimming lesson. About 40 minutes from when I left work to when I got here. Despite me having completely emptying mysef of Diet Mountain Dew just prior to having left work, I was ready to explode again by the time I got here. This gave me a chance to make an interesting observation.

There are five sinks in the lobby lavatory, but no paper towel dispensers. This is one of those "blow dryer" places. The swim center is part of the public school system here, and thus they suffer from two main problems that affect school systems: 1) the bureaucracy can directly see expenditures on paper towels, but if you switch to electric dryers, you cannot distinguish the expense from the normal electric bill and thus it becomes "free", and 2) public school systems are dominated by Democrats who have, shall we say, poorly thought-out environmental understanding that leads them to believe that growing trees to make paper, then burying the paper in a landfill (thus permanently removing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) is somehow worse than burning high-sulfur coal to generate electricity to generate heat in the most inefficient way possible - through a resistive coil). I wonder what would happen if you proposed doubling the energy efficiency by burning the coal directly for hand heating, thereby removing the losses associated with converting heat into electricity and then transmitting the electricity thousands of miles over a lossy transmission grid. Imagine. Coal-fired hand dryers.

So anyways, there are five sinks, no paper towel dispensers, and only two hand dryers. It takes roughly five times as long to dry your hands with one of these hand dryers as it does to wash you hands (sometimes thinking of a blog subject motivates you to do strange things, like time yourself washing and drying your hands), so for proper efficiency there should be roughly five dryers for every sink. The only logical conclusion here is that the people who designed the restroom expected the majority of people to wipe their hands on their pants.

Not an unrealistic expectation, at least for men for whom the hand dryer can represent more time than the whole process leading up to that point. I wonder if the ratio remains the same in the ladies' room. A mystery to which I shall never know the answer. Unless I send Miss HannahC in there on a scouting expedition after her class...

So far, I am really enjoying my new GPS. There is a lot lacking from the documentation, so I've just been poking around in all the menu items to see what it does. I figured out how to submit map updates, so I marked the road on which The Company is located as "does not exist", as it does not. They plan to build the road when they get enough companies in the technology park so that access can no longer be made from the adjacent street, but we are the only ones thus far. In fact, we are the only building - the rest is a cornfield. My GPS shows me that they are even planning another cross-street in the middle, and it is already named. I didn't bother to mark that as "does not exist".

I kinda wish we had an address on a street that actually existed. We have an exit from the parking lot and a big The Company sign there at what is effectively a strip of scrub grass next to an irrigation ditch feeding the cornfield.

The swim teacher in the transpent pink bathing suit is not teaching this session. There is now only one dad in the mommy'n'me class. Odd.

I've been getting increasingly worried about the upcoming road trip to Barfalo. However, today I discovered it's only 300 miles farther than the route I drove when I moved from San Schmose to here, which I did in 1.5 days, so I am less worried. My main concern is arrival time at my brother's in Milwaukee given our departure time. We'll probably have to leave home a little earlier and cover more ground the first day in order to make it there before nightfall the next day. I'm wondering if I should take along my extra wireless router so that I can use my laptop at my parents' house. I'm pretty sure they don't have wireless, though a lot of cable modems have it built in by default these days. I wonder if there's a way for me to figure that out without looking at it myself.

I did manage to clear the vacation dates with my boss today. I did not ask permission, I simply showed her how I had marked myself absent on her calendar. She said, "OK."

She's a good boss.

Yesterday, I did a little vacuuming. I don't like to vacuum because that's completely 100% absolutely totally the job of The Mrs., and I don't like to give her the impression that if she starts slacking, I'll pick up the difference, but it just had to be done. One thing I can say, though, is that if next year the Easter Bunny again decides to deliver Easter baskets filled with cellophane "grass," then we'll be having fricasseed rabbit for dinner. Maybe paper "grass" would be a better idea. You know, something that isn't nearly invisible and that doesn't static cling to everything around so it can easily be transported all over the whole house by unsuspecting carriers.

It's like the Easter Bunny delivered a big basket full of thistles.

I bought some new sheets at Macy's yesterday. It was from their "Hotel Collection." When did "hotel" become synonymous with top-of-the-line? I've been to a lot of hotels, and the sheets have been unmemorable. When I handed the packages to The Mrs., though, she started gushing about how wonderfully luxurious they would be and how 600 thread count is something very special. They were quite nice, but mainly I was happy that the fitted sheet didn't pop off the mattress in the middle of the night like all our other sheets do.

Hee hee - a mom just waved to HannahC because she got her confused with her (grand)daughter. They're both wearing pink swimsuits with pink goggles, but I can tell them apart. HannahC is the one with the clear goggles strap, not the one with the dark pink goggles strap. Other than that, it's a tough call from this distance.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The staining is done

HannahC drew me a nice "thank you" picture. She believes the playset now looks "1000 times better", and she's appreciates the hard work I put in to the job. That's sweet. I don't know from where she gets such an attitude, though.

Today, I hope to take off all the blue painter's tape, clean the drips off the metal plates, re-assemble the slide, and put the swings back up. Right now, though, it is snowing. We seem to be getting snow about every other day this week during the night/morning. It all melts by lunch.

I got myself a new toy on Friday night. A TomTom GO 720 GPS. After having navigation in the winivan for over a year, I've gotten really attached to it. I picked this one because it got really good reviews. I had it narrowed down to the Go 720 and the Garmin Nuvi 750. In the end, I chose the TomTom because it had a slightly better match for features I wanted and it was $50 cheaper. Both models were stocked by my local Sam's Club which, oddly, was a LOT cheaper then Best Buy and Amazon.

HannahC managed to erase the map from the internal drive within hours of me opening it. I was using the "free upgrade" to the latest map, which means downloading a 1.6GB file over the net. It was going very slowly, and after an hour with it still projecting two hours more to go, HannahC decided to play with the download window. Somehow, all of a sudden, it said "Download Complete...Installing..." and then I didn't have a map anymore. Well, I had a map of Guam.

Apparently, you're supposed to make a backup of the internal drive before you upgrade anything. However, the first-time setup feature in the software did not include that step and went straight to the map upgrade. Happily, having bought it locally, I knew that if I couldn't get a map back in there, I could just return it and get a new one.

I started the map upgrade again after everyone was in bed so that there would be no interruptions. In the morning, there was a map of the US again. Yay. It thinks my house is across the street and one to the left, though. But, you know, if you can get me within one house of home, I think I can figure it out from there. I haven't tried the bluetooth stuff or any of the voice customizations yet.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Regulars

One of the perks about being regulars to any establishment is that you get better service.

Last night, we had a pretty good crowd at Fat Camp (8). When we got to Lucky Joe's, there wasn't room for eight people anywhere. We talked to our regular waitress, and she got us some beers while we waited. Then, a little 4-person table cleared out. We sat, or at least half of us did.

Next to that, there was a crowd of about 15 people all there for a girl's 21st birthday. The waitress had told us about them, and how sad it was that there were only about two people drinking and everyone else was just standing around. But they had grabbed all the tables in that section except the one we were at.

A couple of the guys stood up and wandered over near the door for some reason, and our waitress pounced on their table. She dragged it over and set it up next to ours, then brought there chairs over for us to sit down. The guys noticed and protested, but she waved them off. Not sure what she said, cuz we couldn't hear over the band, but I imagine it was something like, "Those guys over there are my very favoritest customers, especially the strikingly handsome one they call CherkyB, sigh, too bad he's married, and you can all just go f- yourselves if you think I'm going to make them stand."

Life lessons

A couple nights ago, HannahC was sitting next to me, watching me play Bubble Shooter. She started talking about all her career plans. She was telling me how she was planning to be a farmer, but would have a part-time job as an entomologist. I saw this as what liberals like to call a "teachable moment". They call it that because they're too dumb to realize that you can teach things about just about everything that happens, but instead they think you have to wait for a grand convergence or something.

I told HannahC, "Han, you need to learn about something called 'return on investment'."

"What's 'investment'?"

OK, maybe this would take a little time. I spent time explaining what investment was, then I talked about how many years of college it would take to be to be an entomologist (I guessed a part-timer only needed a Masters, but probably there are few jobs in the entomology field for anything less than a PhD), and how much college cost per year. Then I explained how she'd have to finance it with student loans that she would have only ten years to repay. Somehow, it worked out to like $1400/month for 10 years.

Then I 'splained how she probably wouldn't be making an extra $1400/mo in entomology if she was a full-time farmer. Cuz being a farmer is pretty much a dawn-to-dusk job, and tiring as hell. And it doesn't pay real well, so she would probably really need that $1400/mo to keep the farm running.

I 'splained how education for the sake of education is largely something foisted upon us by education elitists, and she'd be much better off in life looking at education like any other investment. Something which costs a whole lot of money up front and takes a whole lot of time up front for which there needs to be an even bigger payout later. Not something that you do for fun while sitting around waiting for someone to marry you.

She said, "Well, if I'm going to be a farmer, I'll probably need to be a veterinarian, too."

Which led into a discussion of the cost of becoming a veterinarian vs. becoming a farmer, but the relatively lucrative return a vet can make if properly positioned. We talked about how vets need lots of patients, from each of whom they extract a little bit of money, so that they can make a whole lot overall. She found that quite fascinating.

Later, I was telling this story to The Mrs., and she said, "She's a little girl. Don't wreck her dreams."

That's the kind of support I get in my parenting. I'm trying to teach her an incredibly valuable life lesson on return-on-investment, and the woman sees that as stomping on dreams. There's a little life lesson there for all of us: to a woman, the concept of planning ahead for financial well-being and working towards that goal from an early age is anathema.

Women are all about dreams. Men are all about paying for them.

Let that be a lesson to you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A brief update

Apparently, it's not all my fault.

On a completely separate topic, I did manage to go off on quite a few rants today at work, which made me feel much happier overall. Nothing I like more than ranting. Not much will come of the rants other than my temporary placation. But, hey, that's good enough for me.

On Monday The Company starts providing for us free coffee and fountain sodas. I expect the world will stop turning shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008


So, I don't pretend to be an expert on religion, in general, or on any of the evangelical branches of Christianity. But I'm sitting here in the bleachers at the swimming pool while HannahC has her lesson, and a moms just walked in with a shirt that said "T.G.I.F." in big letters across the top, with the "I" dotted with a Jesus fish. Then, underneath, it said "Thank God I'm Forgiven." And another moms stopped her to tell her she loved her shirt.

OK, what is with the f&*k on that? When did pride stop being one of the seven deadly sins? Does anyone besides the papists even believe in the seven deadly sins? At my UCC orientation training, I don't remember them being mentioned. It's odd that Obama and I share the same "religion", though to be fair our church wasn't racist in a politically correct way. It was rabidly sexist in a politically-correct way instead.

Still, though, even if one doesn't accept the dictates of the seven deadly sins, isn't is a bit, I dunno, un-Christian to proclaim proudly on your T-shirt that you know how God will judge you upon your inevitable demise? Isn't that the least bit presumptuous?

Well, whatever. Good for you. In My Worlde, I worry more about forgiveness from my wife for perceived transgressions. Maybe I can make up a competing design that dots the "i" with a ball-and-chain. And maybe includes an additional line, "...for now."

Speaking of which, the next 24-hours of Vegas is coming up. My lobbying is going poorly thus far.

I went to the gym today, and I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, the last 10 of which I did uphill. Then, I did 75000 reps on the erg. My arms hurt. Then I went to the post office and I had to use both the self-service kiosk, and I also had to stand in line because I have an oversized package. I can't believe how rude the clerk was. But I still trust the government to take over my healthcare to take all that corporate greed out of it. I mean, have you ever compared the line at the post office to the one at the UPS Store? I was so angry I had to go home and sleep.

Oh wait, that wasn't me.

The Mrs. has been grouchy for a solid week now. I'm not sure what to do about it. Yesterday, I let her go in the hot tub all by herself for as long as she wanted. I let her take a nap while I took the kids out in the driveway to play with their new bike (MaxieC) and rollerblades (HannahC), and we even went for a walk around the neighborhood picking up trash. She was still, and remains to this minute, grouchy. If you are one of her relatives, you should call her and let her vent to you, cuz telling her, "Oh for f&*k's sake will you calm the hell down, woman," doesn't seem to be working. Yeah, I'm pretty much out of idears. Consider this a cry for help. I may have to start resorting to the CherkyB "winning an argument with your wife" technique soon.

While out in the driveway with The Childrens yesterday, I realized how in love I still am with a dead musician nobody ever heard of. So I wrote a poem about it.

Dearest dead musician
Why did you die
And leave me alone
With all these women
In my house?
Why did you come back
As Johnny Bravo
When you know
I don't get
The Boomerang Channel?
You bastard.

Oh wait, that wasn't me, either.

What I actually did was to spray down a gallon of Ortho CleanSweep, which kills weeds and keeps them from regrowing for up to 12 months. Oddly, a gallon of this stuff only covers 150 square feet. Hell, I can cover more than that with just one fart. I probably put it down over at least 250 square feet, and thus I probably won't be able to detect any difference in regrowth between the long-lasting CleanSweep and just regular old RoundUp weed killer. But, at least I can rest easy knowing that I am doing my part to poison the environment.

It might be more cost effective to run to Wyoming and pick up a bunch of M-80s and blow the weeds up. But, technically, that's illegal in Colorado, and I try to be a role model for my kids.

Wait. Was that me?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Three Gallons

So first off, let me say I had a wonderful story to tell in today's blarg. It involved getting help in such a fashion that the job would take longer than it would without help. But before I got started, I was perusing some of the new posts from the old blogroll and, much to my chagrin, I discovered that Rio had blogged about the same thing already today. Now, she actually titled her post "My Greatness".

This gave me pause.

"My Greatness". I got to thinking what a blog post of mine with that title would look like. I had never really considered it before. Normally, when a dude titles a blog post "My Greatness", it will include grainy cellphone photos he shot of his manhood, badly Photoshopped for, shall we say, her pleasure. I don't even own Photoshop, and my Windows 3.1 version of CorelPaint doesn't seem to run anymore. So at Me, CherkyB, my greatness is just going to have to be implicit.

But I'm still gonna tell the story about the help, since it's the only interesting thing that happened today. See, it all started when I went outside this morning to work on the playset. Today, I was applying the tinted sealer. Shortly after I began, HannahC showed up in her painting clothes. So I gave her a roller, and she proceeded to roll on the sealer. She didn't do the best job in the world, or the fastest, but it was non-negative work.

Then MaxieC showed up with The Mrs. He wanted to paint, too. The Mrs. put him in his paint clothes, and he came out. He and HannahC fought over which of the two rollers and one brush they each wanted, with them both changing their minds in rapid succession but always agreeing that they wanted exactly the same one at all times. Finally this got all worked out.

The Mrs. asked what I wanted her to do. I said, "Try to keep them from putting the rollers in the sand. Mostly MaxieC, since HannahC seems to be OK."

So, The Mrs. processed to grab a paintbrush and started sealing also. The way she kepy tabs on MaxieC, as far as I could tell, was to bark out criticism every 10-15 seconds about how he wasn't paying enough attention. In between that, she had to bark out orders at HannahC as well about how she was dripping the stuff too much.

Now, if you've ever dealt with sealer or stain, you know this is very thin stuff. It's designed to be absorbed by the wood, after all. There is simply no way to apply it that doesn't drip a bit off the roller or brush.

I'm listening to all this hollering, trying to tune it out and go to my happy place, when out of the corner of my eye, I see a paint roller come toppling down. I look over just in time to see the roller extension handle bonk off The Mrs.'s head and the roller land right in the sand. And little MaxieC saying how he accidentally dropped it.

All I can say is, "Ohh...right in the sand."

So The Mrs. is all whining, the way only a woman can, about how horribly hurt she is because a 2 lbs. aluminum tube brushed the top of her head. But at the same time, she is telling MaxieC what a badly behaved boy he is for dropping it on her head. I noted later to The Mrs., after she had calmed down, how it really might not have been the best idea to give a little boy who just turned four and is barely more than three feet tall a paint roller on an eight foot extension pole so he could paint the stuff that was ten feet off the ground. In gusting winds.

She felt I was criticizing her.

Which I was.

I took the roller and hosed it off. Not the best thing to do with oil-based sealer, but about all that could be done. I then rolled all the water off onto a piece of cardboard. Upon my return, there was still no end to the hollering. So I sent all three of them packing back into the house so I could get a little peace.

I hope The Mrs. hasn't written any nasty couplets about me because of it.

After about 5 hours of work, during which time it never got above 43 degrees so I had to keep running into the garage to return the feeling to my fingers, I managed to use up three of the four gallons of sealer I had purchased. I think I'm a bit over halfway done, as I have two exterior walls, 1/4 of the roof, almost the entire interior, the swing extension, and most of the underside of the "house" done. It'll probably take 3 more gallons and another 5 hours to finish. Next weekend, I suppose.

Shortly after I packed it in, it began to snow. Joy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Some photoblogging

I haven't posted any pictures to the old blog in a long time. In fact, I had to install the software on my compooter to get the photos out of the camera, and I got this compooter in December. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to see when the last time I used picture was.

So, given that I've taken my eye off the visual side of the blog, it's perhaps not surprising that I forgot to take "before" pictures for the playset refinishing project. I was kinda smart enough to take "during" photos, though not until I finished the cleaning phase. However, the playset is not something I have never photographed, so I dug through my photo archive and found this little beauty from August of 2006. This is just a couple weeks after we moved in and shows the nicest the playset has ever been. It also makes me yearn for spring.

Here's the shot after the cleaning. Olympic scrub-free deck cleaner. It really works, and the color difference for the most parts appears in less than 30 seconds. It's not just a different lighting on the photo. It really looks this different. Surprised the hell out of me, to be honest.

Up inside the fortress was the hardest part. I got all dripped on, which made big splotches on my clothes. I kept worrying that it would make big splotches on my hair, too, but it didn't.

One thing I thought I had talked about, but apparently I did that at lunch wif da boyz and not on the blog, was that the support for the bottom of the slide turned out to be all rotted. It turned out that due to this rot, the sides were no longer parallel to each other but instead angled inwards at the top. This mad the slide suddenly narrower at the end, which you can actually see in the first photo. So I rebuilt the crosspiece. The old, rotted timber is in the front of the photo.

I sistered together two 2x6 lengths of redwood that were leftover from the deck. I held them together with 4 3/4"x3" carriage bolts and some exterior-grade deck and subfloor construction adhesive. It was easier than buying an 8-foot 4x6 and cutting and notching it to size and having a lot left over. I used the 1" forstner bit that was given to me for a birthday or Christmas or something by The Mrs.'s mother to countersink the nuts and the hex-head lag screws. Thanks, Moo Moo.

Then, I noted that I didn't like how the corners were kept at right angles. The original piece wasn't cut tightly enough for the notch to support the verticals, and so it relied on just 2 lag screws in each leg to keep them upright. With the pounding a slide takes, plus the fact that these bolts are buried under sand all the time (making the wood prone to squishyness), the joints get a little loose.

Well, say what you will about Ashley's singing talent, but that Simpson family really knows how to make a strong tie. I had a few of these mohambees left over from a prior project, so I slapped them on with hot-dipped screw-shank deck nails. Like a Power Bar in my colon, it's going nowhere.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More Parenting Tips from CherkyB

The conversation I had with my darling son this morning as I was walking out of the bedroom:
MaxieC: "You're a jerk!"

Me, CherkyB: "Huh?"

MaxieC: "You're a jerk!"

Me, CherkyB: "Why? What did I do to be a jerk?"

MaxieC: "You're an idiot moron!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK. I'll just tell Santa not to come anymore."

MaxieC: "Heh heh. Just kidding. You're nice."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A larger job than expected

The Mrs. used this list to plan the weekend. She chose two thing to do this weekend, but one of them we did a little more research into and decided was going to be a warmer-weather thing. So I was left with:

  • Clean and stain/seal the playset
This was exciting because I'd never done anything like it before. Thus, it was sure to be an adventure that would take many trips to Lowe's and Ace to complete.

So far, it has not disappointed. We went to Lowe's yesterday and picked up 2.5 gallons of Olympic scrubless deck cleaner and a gallon of Cabot cedar-tinted sealer. I also got a few junky paint roller sleeves and paint brushes that I can throw out instead of trying to clean. It's very hard to clean sealer, I imagine.

I spent quite a bit of time this morning removing swings and plastic bits and covering the big bolt heads and washer with blue tape. The fambly helped. We also dug the sand back from around the bottom so we could strip and seal below grade.

Then it went badly.

The cleaner needs to be applied with a garden sprayer. I went to use up the weed killer in my garden sprayer, and it clogged up. I spent 20 minutes trying to unclog it, then I gave up. It has been clogging a lot lately, like every time I use it, so it has become quite a bother. I threw it the hell out and bought another at Ace. It lasted about 8 years. That's pretty good.

I spent hours spraying this stuff on. It works great, but it's noxious. Smells like bleach, mostly. My sweatshirt got covered in little droplets, so now it's polka-dot. Just in time for Dingus Day, I guess. I planned on that and wore an old sweatshirt, plus fancy safety glasses and rubber gloves. Then I ran out of the stuff, so I had to go to Lowe's to buy 5 more gallons. I'm pretty sure this playset had never been cleaned or sealed since it was brand new, and it took many coats in most places to get it nice and clean.

I picked up another 3 gallons of the sealer while I was there. What the hell. The wood was just drinking up the cleaner, so I'll be lucky if 4 gallons covers it with even one coat.

After I was all done, I had to wash the thing down with the hose for roughly another hour. That's when I noticed that a lot of the wood was very silky with dead fibers. So tomorrow, I'm going to have to get out the belt sander.

It's supposed to rain and/or snow tomorrow. That's OK, since I think I can sand this thing down in about 14 hours, and it probably will only rain/snow for one or two.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Lunchtime Story

This is another amazingly true story, though I'm changing one person's name in order to avoid busting on a friend. This happened at lunch today.
Me, CherkyB: "Soooo... you remember that girl in the green who came out of the bathroom at L.J.'s last night with her friend?"

Richy: "Her fat friend?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah."

Richy: "She was hot."

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah. Do remember saying, 'She's hot. Too bad she doesn't have any [boobs] at all'?"

Richy: "Yeah. She didn't."

Me, CherkyB: "Did you happen to notice she only had one arm?"

Richy: "What? Seriously?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yup. Well, I guess she really had one and a half arms."

Richy: "Really? I didn't notice she was missing an arm."

Me, CherkyB: "Yet you noticed she was missing big [boobs]."

Richy: "Yeah. I guess I know what my priorities are."

Me, CherkyB: "I just thought you might want to know that about yourself."

Bozzetto: "These wings are too hot. I can't eat that many."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A True Story

You can't make stuff like this up.

Today, I was coming back from lunch at Taco Bell, and because Bozzetto was driving, we headed 3-4 blocks in directly the opposite direction from the way we needed to go because he couldn't decide between making a U-Turn or circling around the block to the right. We got to go to Taco Bell because Rico is out of town, and Rico is a very very very picky eater, though he makes fun of others for relatively minor details, like not wanting to spend $20 for authentic Mexican food since anything authentic in Mexico wouldn't cost $20. We ended up by CSU, since that's just a couple blocks north of Taco Bell, and it reminded me of our trip to Little Shop of Physics a couple weeks back when I wanted to go to Sears.

Having been reminded of Little Shop of Physics, I also recalled a funny story about a co-worker who we ran into there. That story went like this:
Co-worker: "Hey [CherkyB]. Are you, uh, here with your kids?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yup. Those two right there are mine."

Co-worker: "Oh. I didn't know you had kids. Are you married?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yup. This is my wife."

Co-worker: "Wow. I always got the impression you were single."

The Mrs.: [glare glare glare]

Co-worker: "Ummm...I don't know what it would have been that gave me that impression. I, uh, never really thought about it."

The Mrs.: [glare glare]

Co-worker: "OK, well I gotta go now before I cause any more trouble." [whoosh]

The Mrs. [to Me, CherkyB]: "So what exactly is it that you do that gives people the impression you are single?"

Me, CherkyB: "I dunno. I hardly know that guy."
So I tell that story, since the guys I'm with both know this guy. When I conclude, the guy in the backseat says, "Yeah. I can see how he could make that mistake. You always seem waaay to cheerful and upbeat to be married."

Monday, March 10, 2008

I wonder

Exactly what could it be that is worth $5500 an hour. It must be that, really, you're only paying for about 10 minutes. Still, though, that's almost a grand. You can get an awful lot of beer and pizza for that.

The Day's Greatest Accomplishment

Making the industrial-strength power flush toilet at work require two flushes.

I probably should look for a new line of work.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Surmountability Issues

Yesterday wasn't a very nice day. We managed to get almost nothing done, though I re-caulked the joint at the bottom of one of the shower stalls as the caulk had cracked.

Today, however, was beautiful. We did more yard cleanup. I sharpened the blades of the devil chipper/shredder, and it worked much better. I grilled hot dogs for lunch, and grilled a pork sirloin roast with a fancy glaze for dinner. We got the recipe from a new grill cookbook I got yesterday at Safeway. It was delicious, though next time I'll rotisserie it. The directions said, "rotate roast every five minutes," and it took two hours to cook.

The Mrs. managed to get all the planting beds trimmed of their dead stalks, and I managed to turn all of that into mulch, along with the rest of the corn stalks and sunflower stalks and much of the remaining garden waste. But we got to chatting about all the stuff that needs to get done in the yard this year, and I'm thinking it'll be at least two more years before I get it all done. For all the houses I have owned, it has taken over three years to get the yard "done".

The list:
  • Fill old pond with dirt to form the basis for the rock garden
  • Take out the old waterfall from the old pond
  • Run watering lines to the rock garden
  • Plant the rock garden
  • Run low voltage lines to the rock garden
  • Fix the low voltage lines running around the other pond
  • Install new low voltage light fixtures around the old pond and rock garden
  • Plant vines for the pergola
  • Move sprinkler head out from under the pine trees
  • Take grass out from between the pine trees
  • Put concrete keystone paver edging around the pine trees where grass was removed
  • Fill area under pine trees with mulch
  • Get a load or two of compost for the garden
  • Rototill the garden
  • Plant the garden
  • Fix the flagstone at the serenity spot that heaved in the winter ice
  • Pour concrete pad for the smoker
  • Put down dirt in the low spots of yard
  • Plant grass on new dirt and on old bare spots along western fence
  • Build a picnic table for the deck
  • Replace the top of the cabinet on the deck with Corian
  • Build two planting boxes for west side of deck
  • Build worm farm in garden
  • Clean and stain/seal the playset
  • Stain/seal the deck floor
  • Install underground pipe for downspout next to hot tub
  • Install underground conduit for east pump of pond
  • Put down Arizona flagstone for walking paths next to hot tub, in rock garden, and at garage side exit
That's all I can think of right now. At least in the back yard.

Oy Vay

Friday, I got home from work all worn out from a week of absolutely nothing going right, and I went to the bathroom right before dinner. As I closed the door, I realized the doorknob had been coated in a thick slime. From the distinctive odor, I determined it was the hand lotion that The Mrs. has next to the sink.

So first, I figure MaxieC put the hand lotion on too thickly, and slimed the doorknob. MaxieC has to put lotion on his hands every time he washes them in the winter, or his skin cracks. He has a fairly non-severe form of excema. Upon further inspection, however, I note that the doorknob is thoroughly covered. We have lever-style doorknobs, and MaxieC has a pretty small hand, being only 4. No, this was clearly an intentional slime job.

So I yell out, "Who covered the doorknob in lotion?"

And MaxieC replies, "Oh. That was me, Dah. Yeah. I was painting. Sorry."

Grumble grumble grumble. I return to the bidness at hand, except when I open the toilet lid, I note the entire seat and bowl are also covered with hand lotion. I start cleaning that up and hollering, and just when I'm done cleaning it up, The Mrs. shows up with HannahC and instructs her to clean it up.

Apparently, HannahC was also painting.

I guess two rooms of the house dedicated to art projects, including a large variety of finger paints, watercolors, and tempera isn't enough.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A fabulous drink idea

Inspiration usually comes by chance. If it was just a matter of sitting down and thinking about it a bit, well, then we never would have had the likes of the AMC Pacer. Or "Hillary Clinton for President". Or the whole entire field of post office blogging. No, instead we depend upon chance circumstances throwing together enough random events in such a way that a truly talented person will sit back and go, "Shee-it. Now there's an idear!"

I am, of course, a man of remarkable, breath-taking talent in this respect. At least, if I haven't been drinking too much in an effort to force inspiration. Drinking is a poor substitute for inspiration, and perhaps had a role in the afore-mentioned AMC Pacer and Hillary campaign, though I happen to know for a fact it was uninvolved in the birth of post office blogging. No, I have no idea what is responsible for visiting that abomination upon us.

So, I'm sitting there at a local restaurant with Rico and couple other folks from work waiting for lunch to arrive, and we're talking about drinking on account of them having a big sign up by the entrance advertising their new drink of the month - The Tiramisu Martini - which upon seeing that all I could think was "fuuuuuu$%, I bet that's a horrible drink."

We're discussing the finer point of drinking, including a long argument about whether there is a difference between "straight" and "straight up" (there is) and how it makes no damned sense at all to order a vodka martini "straight up", except Rico, being the argumentative type, is arguing that there is no difference, when out of the blue one of the other people asks, "Hey, is MoodyT still eating vegetarian?" (A hobby MoodyT started roughly last week to try to break the winter dooldrums.)

Rico stops his futile attempt at winning an argument about drinking with me long enough to say, "Yeah, I think he is."

I add, "Luckily, there are very few liquors that are meat-based, so it hasn't been that hard."

This immediately spun into a discussion of whether anyone could think of any mixed drink that had a meat product in it. None of us could. And no, Rhonda, I don't consider beer brats to be a drink with meat in it. I consider it a meat with a drink in it.

I proffered that I bet if you wrapped prosciutto around a big, fat olive in a dry martini, it'd be fabulous.

Now, of course, I need to send The Mrs. to the store for some prosciutto.

Bloggable phrases that aren't

Mere moments ago, I had to say this to The Mrs.: "If you didn't want to live with a man, you shouldn't have married one."

Yet, oddly, there's not a whole lot more to write about. I've just been a little gassy.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I used to be a much better blogger.

I was checking my statcounter log, and I noticed someone hit this post with a google search today. So I re-read it. Man, I suck now.

I'm still better than all of you, at least.

I'm pretty sure

That I'm going insane.

Not quickly. Just a little at a time. But there it is.

I try to think back to the last time I can clearly recall not feeling like I was going insane. I think it was before I had children, when I used to be allowed to sing at the top of my lungs common songs, except I would make up utterly filthy lyrics on-the-fly. Our downstairs neighbor in Rochester was a big fan of that. She would comment.

By now I have had to stifle my art, and it is makes me feel rigid and about to explode.

Today I was instructed by my boss's boss's boss that I should make sure I am present for our project's review with our two V.P.'s on Thursday, because there will be a lot of very hard questions that I will need to be there to answer. "Very hard questions" is our little euphemism for a lynching. You're not supposed to say "lynching" because of the negative racial connotations.

There's nothing like a big f-up to increase your face time with the VP's. I doesn't have to be your own f-up. It just has to be one about which you can answer "very hard questions". It really, really helps to also have a statement that begins, "and this is what we're going to do about it..." handy. Happily, I have one of those.

I'll have to remember not to wear a snarky T-shirt on Thursday. Especially not the "I make stuff up" one. Probably not the "Beer Inside" one, either. I may have to iron something with buttons and a collar.

My entire bar is covered in sand. HannahC and MaxieC decided to turn one of the spider habitats into a ladybug habitat due to the demise of the spider yesterday. The habitat had reptile sand in the bottom, so they dumped it into "the garbage". The Mrs. was angry because the sand was expensive reptile sand. I was angry because my entire bar was covered with a very fine-grained sand. Apparently, my anger is somehow irrational because we can always vacuum the bar, but hers is rational because once $3 of sand is thrown out, you can never get it back.

The whiskey in my glass cost more than $3. That's never coming back, either. However, I wouldn't be surprised if it gets replaced rather quickly.

On the other hand, we don't own any reptiles. Never have.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

There are times

...when you just want to nap a little. Maybe your throat is sore. Maybe your sinuses are congested. But every time your darling 4-year old son makes a peep, his mother sends him to, "Go play with Daddy."

And maybe darling son's idea of playing with Daddy is to sit quietly in bed next to Daddy and wait until he looks like he's just fallen asleep, then do a flying trampoline jump onto Daddy's junk. Being married, it is a rare event indeed for me to be awakened by a skull to the crotch. It's not anywhere near as pleasant and you might expect.

The Quick, The Dead, and The Mrs.

As if this post wasn't enough to convince you, The Mrs. once again floored me with her rapier wit.

Yesterday, there was a big pile of mail on the kitchen counter from the night before. I was making French toast for breakfast, because there are a few breakfasts that for some reason The Mrs. never makes but that I like, so when it's my turn to make breakfast, I make them. Now, for those of you who've made French toast, you know there's a flurry of activity at the beginning when you mix up the eggs and stuff, but then after that it's mostly sitting around waiting for it to be time to flip.

So I got to looking at the mail. It was quite a jackpot. Not only did we get the Cabela's Spring-Summer catalog, but we also got the Venus swimwear catalog. I glanced at the catalogs for a moment, but then I had to go flip the French toast.

The Mrs. came wandering in. She started leafing through the mail pile, and she stopped on the Venus catalog. The the following gem ensued:
Me, CherkyB: "I picked you out something from that catalog."

The Mrs.: "Really? What?"

Me, CherkyB: [Flipping the catalog to the back cover and pointing at the model's very perfectly large and obviously fake breasts] "I thought you'd look really good in a with a pair of these."

The Mrs.: "I like flip-flops."