Friday, August 29, 2008

Some things are unlearnable

The Mrs.'s brother and his wife are visiting us. We live at an altitude of just about 5000 ft. When lowlanders come to visit us, this requires a bit of adjustment time. We all know this.

Yet, for some reason, every visitor is in some way "special" and just doesn't need this acclimation time. We always manage to find some reason to manage to head off to Estes Park (at 7000 ft) and Rocky Mountain National Park (at 11,000-12,000 ft) like, I dunno, within a day of our guests' arrival.

You would think that by now, our guests would know this is a bad idea. We have established a firm rule that we won't take people up there within the first two days.

But, of course, today was "special". Our guests are marathon runners, and thus in optimum shape. They are here for just two days. Plus, they have their own rental car with NeverLost and will go without us if we refuse to escort them.

And hell, we haven't been up there in a while. So, since they're gonna go anyways, we may as well make a day out of it.

Twisty mountain roads at 11,000 ft. with folks who get carsick easily.

So I'm going to tell you people this just one time: if you ever come to visit us, do not insist we head up to Estes and RMNP the first day. Really. It's for your own good. I don't care what kind of shape you think you are in.

We probably ought to start stocking barf bags in the minivan.

While at RMNP, we only saw one limo and one Prius, so my worry that the place would be lousy with Democrats was perhaps unfounded.

I'm blogging from the front porch while smoking a cigar and drinking bourbon. A green bug of some kind just landed in my bourbon and promptly died.

That is, as you know, one of the signs of good bourbon.

We've got the schoolroom all painted and The Childrens moved in there. The Mrs. picked up a couple drafting tables to use as desks (my idea). Aaron Brothers had a drafting table/chair/lamp combo on sale for $99. Hell of a deal, considering an actual desk is over $400 and isn't height/tilt adjustable. The room looks good. I'll take some pictures before they wreck it.

Tomorrow, the womenfolk are planning an excursion to JoAnn Fabrics. Maybe I'll take MaxieC to Sportsman's Warehouse and get a new gun or something. You know, before Obama makes it illegal. I think I can fit a couple more in the safe before I'll have to upgrade safes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Mrs., Master Negotiator

The Mrs.: "Go cook breakfast."

Me, CherkyB: "I'd love to, but I have to be fully aroused in order to cook breakfast."

The Mrs.: "Oh f%^k off. Go cook breakfast."

Friday, August 22, 2008


Fat Camp was fun. But not as much fun as this guy had. Those wacky Canadians!

Tomorrow will begin another weekend in the school-room painting saga. I had hoped to finish this weekend, but due to the tragic events of last weekend (that I can't mention without running the risk of further weeping, as I noted before), it may push onwards. It all depends on how quickly we can do the trim. And by "we," I mean "I". That is, assuming the repair for the aforementioned unmentionable does not add an additional day of work all by itself. Carl, Jr., spent most of lunch quizzing me on why it is I would agree to paint instead of go fishing on a weekend.

I don't think I actually agreed to it. I think it was thrust upon me.

Soon the big DNC gala hits town. On the radio, they've been all abuzz about the terrorist activity that has been found out about so far but that is getting little play in the press. In particular, how a reclusive 300 lbs. Canadian Muslim who lived with his parents in Ottowa and had no independent means of support ended up dead in a $250/night hotel room in Denver with a pound of cyanide and over $2000 in cash, and now it's ruled a suicide with no connection to terrorism. Also, reports that bricks are being found taped to the backs and bottoms of dumpsters all around the location of the convention, in theory so that "anarchists" can make it through security and still have stuff readily at hand with which to smash windows. It sure looks like it will be an eventful coronation. I hope no one gets hurt.

I plan to not watch a second of it, just like my plan was with The Olympics. I don't believe we should grant tacit approval to communists by giving them big TV ratings.

HannahC wants to go fishing tomorrow. Maybe we can all go over to Eastman Park where there's a big playground and a small pond stocked with bluegill and largemouth. It's quite nearby, and Max can play on the playground when he gets bored after three casts.

My whole basement is covered in popcorn. I don't pretend to know why. They seem to be sewing it into popcorn chains that they hang on the back tree for birds, but I don't know why there is salt everywhere along with the popcorn. Do birds like their popcorn salted?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'd love to help

I feel almost like I'm on a roll, having posted for two days in a row already, and I'd love to keep the momentum going. But I just can't. See, tonight is fat camp.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dear God No!

I just ran out of Captain Morgan. Someone send reinforcements.

I caught no fish again today. I had a pretty large bluegill or pumpkinseed fish snatching at my buzzbait quite a bit, but it just couldn't get the big hook in its mouth.

Like prom night all over again, as they say.

Tomorrow morning HannahC and I go on a homeschool field trip to the factory of a local maker of commercial lawn mowers. Homeschooling is fun. I have to miss a review session with my boss's boss where we go over all the plans for the group until the project ends, though. Oh, the sacrifices one makes as homeschooling parent. I did manage to get my boss to cover for herself at the meeting, though. See, she was on vacation when the plans for our sub-group needed to be drawn up, and I was covering for her, so I put those together. So really, she'll be covering for me not being there to present her plans that I wrote while covering for her.

The one hand washes the other.

HannahC starts school on Monday. Its a homeschool school that I don't pretend to understand, but it meets just once a week and somehow allows our local school district to get state and/or federal funds by having kids who wouldn't be attending public school go there once a week. It's a special program designed as kind of reinforced independent study. I think The Mrs.'s prime motivation for sending her is to get her out of the house once day a week. MaxieC will be old enough to go next year, and then The Mrs. has promised to stop refusing to clean the house.

Or something.

Tonight was garbage night. I took the garbage out at 9:05, and I appeared to be the only one who had the garbage out. This got me to doubting whether it really was garbage night. So I came inside and checked out all your blogs.

Yup. Garbage night.

Except when I checked Rhonda's Blog, it said it was deleted. What happened to Rhonda? Has she also gone to those still waters of August like the Badger and The JohnnyB?

Someone at work today told me he thought public schools were right-wing indoctrination camps. Then he said he was from Oregon, and it all made sense. Otherwise, he's seems like a pretty decent guy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A collection of that which should have been

I've been slacking on the old blarg lately, and it's not from lack of material. It's actually because I realized that it had been a year since my favorite blog, Badgers, came to an abrupt halt, and I've been stewing in self-pity. And we're coming on fast on the 1-year anniversary of the death of The JohnnyB (the blog, not the person, as far as I know). August is, apparently, a rough month for bloggers.

So I'm going to throw together a big, nasty jumble of all the things I should have been blogging about but wasn't. It'll be like the Reader's Digest of blogging, only with less substance.

Yes, a tall order is that one.

First, I'll open with a moovie review. I don't normally do "Night at the Moovies with CherkyB," mainly cuz moovie reviews is one of those areas that Cavitation has kind of claimed for himself (though I think this was prior to him having to flee the country), and I try not to cop the style of other bloggers. Though, certainly, that courtesy is rarely returned. But here I just have to break the rules a bit and do it.

Like prom night all over again, as they say.

Last week The Mrs. and I watched one of the most godawful moovies I have ever seen. I know what you're thinking, "Did they get sneak-preview tickets to the latest abomination upon the Star Wars name? Or...oh I like Santa."

No, as you my loyal, though easily distracted, readers know, The Mrs. and I never ever ever under any circumstances ever go to a moovie in the moovie theater without The Childrens. Rather, we get all of our moovie enjoying pleasure from Netflix. And yes, we did watch Memoirs of a Geisha this past weekend, though no, that wasn't the moovie of which I speak, this despite the fact that it was purportedly a story of a high-class escort girl yet contained absolutely no T-T's in it.

I am, in fact, referring to "National Lampoon's Pledge This!" Aghast, you are. Again, I know what you're thinking, which is because after all these years, I have my finger directly on the pulse of my readership, ready to apply sleeper-hold pressure just as soon as it becomes necessary. You are thinking, "But wait. How could a moovie chock full of frontal nudity and starring Paris Hilton be bad? I mean, she seemed like a great actress in all the clips I downloaded of her off the web. Oh, did I say that out loud? No. I didn't. Wait - so why am I reading it in this blog post. It's like, like, I'm reading my own mind. Wow. Deep. Obama!"

Yeah, I honestly was surprised myself. But it actually started out bad, as the very first scene when Paris speaks, her lips don't match the dialog. So, if you're thinking of checking out Paris in her Hollywood debut, skip it.

Next topic. Painting. I am apparently an absolutely atrocious painting instructor. I can't say any more without potentially having to suffer through another round of weeping.

Next topic. We are the kiss of death to restaurants. We've been regularly dropping The Childrens off at Kid's Night Out at the Discovery Museum, which gives us three hours child-free on a Friday night about once a month. We've gone through four of these thus far. The first one, we went to a famous local restaurant in Old Town (which is what you call a downtown if there aren't any high-rises, and instead it is just old) that had been there for years, and the food wasn't all that good. Two weeks later, they were out of business. Then we went to our "favorite" sushi place in Old Town the next time, then to a chop house near there the time after, both without incident. The food was good both times.

Friday, we went to a French restaurant in the newer part of town that had opened about a year ago and was run by a couple who had for many years run a very successful French restaurant in a smaller town a bit south of here. I had the "game fusion," which was Australian red deer and kangaroo. It was OK. The Mrs. was not that impressed with her meal.

Sunday morning, I open up the paper, and it says, "[Restaurant] Abruptly Closes." We were there, from what I can tell, on the last night they were open.

Then this morning, we are discussing where to go for dinner tonight. The Mrs. and HannahC had to be at a homeschool Odyssey of the Mind kickoff meeting clear across town until 7, so we decided to eat out after that. The Mrs. said she had coupons for free kids meals at Red Robin and at Bear Creek Cafe. I opened up the morning paper about 15 minute later, and it says, "Bear Creek Cafe Closes."

So we had Red Robin, which I hate.

And The Mrs. forgot the coupons. So now we'll have to eat there again. Blugh.

Next topic: pond electricity. The replacement of the pond electrical box did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. The new box was defective and had one of the screw holes only drilled out halfway, which one does not find out until one completes putting a stake into the ground, attaching the box, doing all the wiring, and then inserts a screw to attach the outlets to the box, and it promptly bottoms out and snaps off. Luckily, I was able to remove that screw and replace it with a shorter one. Not so lucky when I snapped off the screw next to it because that hole wasn't quite deep enough, either. That screw I couldn't get out. So I will take this as an opportunity to buy a set of easy outs. Right now, the box is held together with 3 rather than 4 screws. It'll be fine for a while.

I haven't caught a fish in weeks. I'll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Today we had a massive thunderstorm with hail and buckets of rain. When I got home, I noticed that the back pond pumps were no longer running. Uh oh. That probably means the GFI tripped.

Yup. I have one outlet box for which the lid will not stay shut, and if it rains hard, it gets water inside. It's a double-gang box, and the left outlet pair had shorted itself out earlier in the summer because of water infiltration. I only need two outlets in the summer (three in the winter - adding the pond heater), so I had purchased another outlet pair but had not yet installed it.

After poking around a bit, it seemed like the other pair had now shorted itself out. I took this as an opportunity to install the replacement. The first thing I noticed after opening it all up was that there was a big giant hole corroded through the back of the box where it rested on the ground. Wonderful. Now it can flood from both sides. But it's late, and I need to get the pump running before dark, so I replace the outlets that I can and vow to replace the box and other side on the weekend.

While wiring up the new outlet, I note that the color coding is reversed. I think to myself, "Self, the guy that did these ponds was a complete idiot when it came to wiring - running unshielded wire 3" underground, putting outlet boxes on the ground with no support post, running the Romex into the outlet boxes with no clamp/strain relief, using a GFI outlet and a GFI breaker on the same circuit. Do you think he got the polarity backwards at the other end of this Romex, and then reversed it again at this end to make the polarity correct, or do you think he didn't bother to read the labels on the outlets that very clearly say "WHITE WIRE" where the black is hooked up? The former would require actually checking the outlet with a circuit tester to discover the reversal and then fixing it at the wrong end of the wire. The latter would require just absolute utter incompetence. I'll go with door #2, Monty."

So I just did a quickie hookup so there were no loose wires, flipped on the power, and tested the circuit. Yup. Backwards polarity. Easy enough to fix. But now I'll have to go check all the other damned boxes in the yard for all the millions of pond pumps he had. Knowing that the wiring is wrong to electrical devices that go, oh, UNDER WATER is very reassuring.

I think Dr. A-berg is right. I'm a chore-blogger.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vocabulary Corner

Today when I got home from fishing, I mean work, The Mrs. made me vacuum up a mess in the kitchen where some plant of HannahC's had fallen down. Vacuuming is a very cathartic exercise, as the loud noise tends to drown out the rest of the world, and if the rest of the world attempts to intrude upon your solitude, you can threaten to run over their toes with the vacuum and then chase them around with it in a threatening manner.

As such, it becomes the kind of contemplative exercise that would normally would be reserved for taking a dump if you lived in the kind of house where shutting the bathroom door didn't trigger everyone in the house to bang on the door and tell you things you really don't care about, like dinner is ready despite the fact that it isn't on the table and the table is not set, or this is the exact moment that the dog must be walked, or at this very instant a light bulb was scheduled to be replaced, or HannahC won't share the remote, and any number of absolutely trivial things that simply can not wait even a picosecond longer. And today I got to contemplating my vocabulary and a recent addition to it.

It's a very interesting word, and I'm not sure where I picked it up. Possibly at work, possibly somewhere on the many blogs I read (and I don't mean yours). But I found myself using the word over and over again in many different hypothetical sentences while I was vacuuming. I even vacuumed much of the first floor (the parts I could get to without sucking up too many toys, at least) in order to practice working this into my vocabulary.

Then, I had to check urbandictionary to check on the derivation of the word. Lo and Behold it finally made sense. I had largely been using it incorrectly. I had assumed it was a synonym for asshole, but it actually is a synonym for idiot. Wow. I felt somewhat ashamed, and now I feel like I need to figure out where I picked up this word so that I can let that person know it had been used contextually incorrectly.

Welcome to my new favorite word:


One who has their head up their ass. Thus wearing their ass as a hat.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beeeeeep Beeeeeep Beeeeeeep

You're all about to die.

Yes, folks, we finally got our Weather Alert radio yesterday. I ordered it from Amazon on Wednesday night after another chastising from The Mrs. about how there was a severe thunderstorm warning that she wouldn't have known about had she not been obsessed by the weather and thus checked every 15 minutes all day long. I paid loads extra for the overnight shipping.

It arrived Saturday. It started out in Phoenix, then for some reason decided to go to L.A., where it sat for a day in "extreme weather delay," and then came to Denver, and finally Fort TomCollins. I set it up last night, and oh goody today at 10am we got our first extreme weather alert! It started beeping and flashing lights in a fabulously annoying way that goes on for 5 minutes or until you go over and push a button which prompts it to tell you what the trouble is.

Flash flood advisory from 2pm until 8pm. So we got 4 hours advanced notice.

Of course, The Mrs., who is obsessed with weather and therefore hits every fifteen minutes all day, knew about it at about 9am.

I've been making The Mrs. paint the schoolroom as punishment for her transgressions. She is a maddeningly slow painter, but seems to do a pretty ok job, quality-wise. It's been nice, cuz I get to do what The Mrs. normally does while I'm slaving away.

That means every 2-3 hours, I put a load of laundry in the wash, and then I turn on a DVD for MaxieC and take a nap on the couch. Then, when I wake up, I make sure to complain about how messy the house is, and how I just never get a chance to tidy up such a big house, what with me having to watch The Childrens all by myself.

However, I got a bit bored with all the napping, and The Mrs. started whining about she wasn't sure her wet edge cutting ability was up to snuff for a tricky area around the window seat, so I broke down a did some painting this afternoon.

Whew. I think I need a nap.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wednesday - Garbage Night

I'm wondering if I should start recycling my post titles. Like, maybe I should have 6 out of the next 7 posts titled, "hill". And I could talk about how there's this hill, and sometimes I run up it. Or perhaps, I could write a whole bunch of posts called "road," and I could talk about how I go down my street, then turn left at the stop sign, then left at the next stop sign, then right at the light, then left at the first paved road, then right at the roundabout, then right into the second entrance of the parking lot, and then I'm at work.

Except maybe sometimes I could change it up and describe the whole thing in reverse and then hit you with the surprise ending, "and then I'm ........... home!"

But I feel I owe you, my loving audience, better than that. So instead, I will discuss how tonight is garbage night. Every Wednesday is garbage night unless a major holiday came earlier in the week. Tonight's garbage has a very special treat in it: two dead mice. No, not pets. Evil, home-invading vermin.

And why are they dead? Because I electrocuted them! Bwaaahaahaahaahaa!

So far, I have only collected the garbage from 3 of the garbage cans in the house. There are many more than that. It was raining before, and we had little mini-tornado watches south of here that freaked The Mrs. out, so she made us keep a local channel on the TV during dinner. Except they had that show "Wife Swap" on, where they find two different moms who are both pathologically bad at one thing and good at another, only they're opposite things, and then they swap them for a while, and then The Mrs. got all concerned that I was enjoying the concept too much and decided to risk the tornadoes and turn off the TV and not let me watch it at all even though I had finished dinner. So I went downstairs and watched a moovie with MaxieC, only I fell asleep, which was great, cuz I was really tired from reading about running up hills. And I think it's hysterical how Obama can't admit that he just flat out made up a "fact" that inflating tires would save more oil than all the oil "they're" talking about drilling, and how newspaper "journalists" are saying "he's right" by neglecting to note that 100% of cars on the road are not running on critically under-inflated tires and how automotive oil consumption is less than half of the overall oil consumption and even if you pretend those two things aren't true, he's still off by an order of magnitude or so because "journalists" don't have the faintest idea how to do basic arithmetic, and it has also never been a requirement in the field of politics. I think this fella will be a much more entertaining president than even Bill Clinton, cuz at least Clinton kinda nudge-nudge-wink-winked when he was making stuff up.

Our A/C iced up tonight. First time this year. I noticed cuz when I took out the garbage, I heard the compressor running and it sounded rather labored. When I put my hand above it, it was blowing cold instead of hot air. Then I noted that the house was 79 degrees, and the A/C was set to 73 (cuz with the piss-poor A/C I have, you have to super-cool the house in the morning to keep it below 85 degrees in the afternoon on hot days), and it was kinda cool today. So now I'm running the furnace to try to melt the ice on the coil. This is so retarded. I wish I could ditch the A/C and just save energy by taking a vacation on a massive new houseboat.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Would you like that gift wrapped?

Sh!t. Someone stole my good scissors. I left them on the bar after fixing something two days ago cuz HannahC was pestering me to watch a movie with her instead of putting them quickly away, and now they are gone. I keep them at the workbench so that I can always find at least one pair of good scissors.

I plan to go all Spanish Inquisition on them. I am Spanish, after all, so this is my birthright.

Ah ha! The Mrs. fessed up without me even having to actually drill any holes through her teeth. I'll have to figure out how many Hail Marys to assign her.

Another installment of the continuing saga of painting the "playroom." No, not one drop of paint has touched the room yet. This is more to do with the clearing of the room, but I didn't want to include it in my rant as it would have lessened the effect.

As part of converting this particular playroom into a "school room", leaving a mere three playrooms for the poor, neglected childrens, The Mrs. decided to get rid of some of the older toys that The Childrens never play with anymore.

In particular, she decided to get rid of some of the very large plastic house stuff. Two plastic playhouses, a plastic oven, and a plastic kitchenette. Plus various and sundry smaller toys. Now, the way The Mrs. likes to get rid of larger toys is to put them up for sale or for free on a homeschool mailing list. Homeschoolers are notoriously cheap (because one of the parents has to not work), so anything offered for free gets snatched up in a fury within moments, and anything with even a nominal fee (like $10 for a toy that new costs $300) will never sell.

When she told me she had put the outside play house up for free, I asked, "Did you put a limit on the distance for free delivery?"

She said, "No. It's free. They can come and get it."

"Do I need to disassemble it today?"

"No. We're giving it away for free. They do all the work."

I said, "Hah! I don't believe that for a minute."

See, I remembered the time she gave away tumbled river rock for free. I ended up having to load the rocks into the pickup, deliver the rocks to two different sites, and do most of the unloading as well. This is because, to The Mrs., my time and effort are of absolutely no consequence. We actually discussed this with her pastor during our mandatory pre-marriage counseling, and she promised him that she would try to do better. But, like all things, without the threat of retribution, backsliding is inevitable.

What he should have said was, "Son, if you expect your future wife to change for the better in any aspect whatsoever after you say 'I do' then you are in for one rude, rude awakening." I forget what he actually said, but I think it was something along the lines of "Run!!!!!!" only in a much more subtle fashion like, "well, I hope you continue to communicate your feeeeelings to each other on this aspect of your relationship."

Anyways, within moments of sending out the email, one of her homeschool buddies snatched up three of the free things, including the big giant plastic playhouse that lives in the garden. She was to come over the next morning (Sunday) with her husband and their Suburban to haul away the loot.

Sunday morning, I went outside to see if there were any remaining infestations of yellow jackets in the playhouse. I found four and spent some time killing them off so that the disassembly process would go smoothly.

At the appointed time, the lady drives up not in a Suburban, but in a Taurus. And she is also sans husband.

This is odd.

After being greeted by The Mrs. and a brief conversation, The Mrs. comes sashaying over to me to announce, "She did some research and people on the web all say this playhouse doesn't fit in an SUV, so she decided not to take it. Except she really wants it. So I told her you would take it to her house in your truck. Can you start disassembling it?"

We have established that the free delivery radius is at least 15 miles. And it only cost me an hour and a half plus two gallons of gas to give away a $600-when-new play house for free.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I'm feeling much better now

We took the dog for a walk.

And the Diet Dr. Pepper punching bag seems to be holding air at long last.

My Ungrateful Wife

Yesterday, The Mrs. decided it was time to paint "the playroom". That not being a specific enough designation in my house, being as there are so many playrooms, this is the room on the second floor which is supposed to be the fourth bedroom up there, but is designated as a playroom.

So I took both kids fishing (which turned into a major cluster f^@k of an outing, but I'll discuss that over on the weather blog) to get them out of her hair while she cleared everything out of the room and then, as always happens, she started asking me to build shelves. I'm not sure what it is about painting that makes The Mrs. want me to build shelves, but it seems like whenever she looks at an empty closet that is configured such that you could put clothes in it, this infuriates her.

I said I couldn't build shelves since I didn't own a table saw (mine having been destroyed in a tragic accident that involved a very expensive dado blade and me nearly having a saw blade flung through my midsection at rather uncomfortably high speed). Being the manipulative sort, she said, "Do you want to buy a table saw."

"No. I have nowhere to put one, since you've filled up every possible storage area in the house and garage with toys." Or something like that.

I determined that what she was actually asking for could be done with a hand saw, a drill, and a router. So I bought the wood and a fancy new 5/8" radius roundover bit, but it was over 100 degrees outside and even hotter in the garage, and I didn't feel like sitting in the sweltering heat making shelves, and I'm not allowed to saw in the house because of the mess it makes.

So I headed to the basement with The Childrens to watch TV and conserve my energy while waiting for it to cool off.

The Mrs., seeing me take a moment's rest in the afternoon, immediately called me, "You lazy bum."

Now, I really don't know where she gets off copping this kind of attitude with me. I think it's because you're not allowed to properly discipline your wife anymore.

But, being a man of remarkably cool temperament, given the constant goading I get, I decided to argue my side of the case by example. I said, "I'm a lazy bum? Have you ever met a guy named [soon-to-be-ex-husband of her friend in San Schmose]? Have you ever discussed lazy men with your mother? The next time you get to thinking that I'm a lazy, you should call up your mother to get her opinion on it."

The Mrs., of course, has absolutely no idea what "lazy" really is. To her, it means not willing to drop everything at a moment's notice and cater to her every whim.

I have clearly spoiled her. But it ends now. I hope she has fun painting.

BTW, here are your stupid shelves. I hope you enjoy sleeping on them.