Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Asymmetric Tonsillitis

My right tonsil hurts. In fact, it has hurt for two days now. My right ear canal is beginning to hurt today. It's very odd. Normally when I get a sore throat, it affects both tonsils and the whole throat. But not this time. If I could figure out how to swallow with just the left half of my throat, it wouldn't hurt to eat at all.

Alas, I have not figured that out.

I figure this must be some horrible disease to be affecting me on just one side. I assume that I am not long for this world, and thus I am napping a lot. Normally, I force myself not to nap because of the wrath that this brings down upon me, but given the unavoidable consequences of this horrible affliction, I am unmoved by worries of future penance to be extracted. I let it ride.

Sadly, this all comes at a time when I am becoming hugely popular on Facebook. I am up to 8 friends now, 6 of whom invited me. Yes, The CherkyB is in high demand wherever he goes and mingles with the little peoples. I have thus far eschewed the "applications," despite receiving about 12 different requests of some sort or another, each of which requires me to agree to a new "terms of service" form plus grant the application unfettered access to my account.

I must say, I am intrigued by this "shot request" application, though. I have one request pending on that. I may break down. I generally don't refuse shots.

Unless they're flu shots, which the gubment uses to track you.

I should probably lie down. I'm going to lie on my left side to see if the disease spreads due to gravity.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Has my wife ever met me?

This is the coffee she bought for me, cuz I won't drink her nasty Starbucks half-caf:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Again with the mice

Today, I happened to glance into the closet by the garage where The Childrens keep their shoes. I noticed there was a lot of dog food strewn about in there. Hmmm. That usually means mice.

So I checked for turds.

Yup. Mice. Turds on the floor. Turds on the shelf. Turds in the shoe caddy.

Plus, I found dogfood in the toes of some of The Mrs.'s shoes that were in there. I didn't actually find any little mousy nests, though. I see that as a good thing, as I'm not as quick as I once was (though I'm as quick once as I ever was), so I don't really like to grab mice and squeeze them to death with my bare hands anymore.

I checked the perimeter defenses, and there were dead mice in two of the three traps. One of the dead ones was covered in ants. They'd been there a while. So I dumped out the deaders and reset the traps, moving two of them into the shoe closet.

Now that we have Amazon Prime, I ordered me up a couple more traps. Can never be too careful.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I just got unjustly accused

The Mrs. just forced me to show her all my facebook friends because she suspected I was having an affair with someone nicer than she via facebook. She suspected this because I told her that a guy I used to be friends with in elementary school and that she knew from high school was one of my (few - I'm not very popular) facebook friends, and he had sent me an email telling about his family.

So, naturally, she assumed I was cheating on her. How sad she was to discover that my only non-relative female facebook friend was blogauthor.

Now, if I were blogauthor, I'd be deeply offended that The Mrs. dismissed out of hand the possibility of us having an affair.

But then again, I did say she expected I was having an affair with someone nicer.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Fountain of Joy

First, let me open with the view out my bedroom window this morning. You've probably heard how Denver had a big snow storm this weekend. Well, we didn't. However, the mountains just west of town did. You can see the nice fresh coat of white on them.

Also, you can see how green my next-door neighbor's lawn is compared to mine. He turned on his sprinklers a couple weeks ago, whereas I haven't yet. I did drag the de-thatcher around the yard yesterday in the rain, so my lawn kinda looks "combed."

My project for today was to get the little fountain pool that spills down into the corner of the back pond running. It's located right directly behind the pergola in the above picture, so's ya cain't see it atall.

It has never run since we moved here. To me, this seemed to obviously be because it didn't have a pump, and it's pretty damn hard to coax water out of a pond and up about four feet through six feet of 3/4" tubing to spring forth in a fountain without a pump. No, pump clearly was called for.

So I headed off to my local pond store (which, now, is the 3rd closest pond store - used to be the closest, but they moved past #2, and then someone opened up a new one even closer than that) where the guy is always very helpful, and he fixed my up with a pump and all the tubing an valves I'd need for the elaborate setup I was going for.

See, there was this little status of an alligator that was supposed to spout water into the little pool:

And there was also this little fishie that was supposed to spout water into the pool:

That requires a couple of extra lines with T's and apportioning valves. But in the end, it worked out:

When I first turned it on, I noticed it was spilling over the sides a whole lot and seemed to be washing a lot of dirt into the pond. Upon investigation, I discovered that the liner had not really been installed right for the channel, and that it stopped 8" short of the pond. The pond liner was all folded up under rocks down there, so I unfolded it and ran it up under the channel liner for about a foot so as to make a contiguous liner from pool to pond. This appears to have worked.

Oh, I also got a new toy. This is my new Blaster 1000 spa filter cleaner. It automatically turns the filter while it sprays it. Coolio.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thirst, Interrupted

I'm starting to get the idea here with facebook. it goes like this: "I'm going to delude myself into thinking that people care about all the tiny little crap that I do, and I'm just going to give little updates all the time. This will, in turn, prompt other people to think that their mundane little things are just as interesting as mine, and they will start to post them. And so on."

It almost beats the hell out of having something to say. Except people will soon discover that most of the mundane things in my life revolve around figuring out what to drink. Or, even worse, they'll think that I'm pretending that I spend spend a lot of time thinking about what to drink because I think it'll make me look cool.

Neither will be true, though. In fact, most of the mundane things in my life revolve around actually drinking, not contemplating what to have. I am a very decisive person, though not necessarily known for my good judgment.

Now, one of the interesting things about facebook seems to be the way it selects people to suggest as your friends. I get that it tries to match background, but this is perhaps done in a ridiculous fashion. For instance, it keeps insisting that I want some guy named DannyK as my friend because "You and Dan both went to SUNY Buffalo."

SUNY Buffalo is a pretty darned big school. Its enrollment has been running around 28,000 students per year. The chances of me knowing just anyone who went to that school is pretty low. But get this - this DannyK fellow is a grad student there right now, according to his profile. I graduated in 1990. 19 years ago. They graduate ~7000 people a year, and it decides that I'm gonna want to be friends with some random dude out of the 130,000 people who went there after I left.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I don't get it

I'm going to try to say this in a way that doesn't offend everybody. I know, however, that you're all hyper-sensitive and are just looking for some way to feel slighted by The CherkyB, so if it makes you feel better to feel offended, be my guest.

For I while, I had just one "Facebook Friend", and that was fine because it meant that facebook was largely what I expected it would be based upon descriptions given to me by co-workers who used it - an application completely devoid of any value whatsoever, but largely harmless. Then, this morning, I had two people who wanted to be my friends.

And that's when I realized it is much more than I had thought. It is actually not devoid of value. It has negative value. It allows people who should be keeping their inane thoughts largely to themselves to post every silly thing that comes to mind. I blogging, even really really bad blogging, you have to at least wait until you have a whole paragraph of something to say before you post it.

Not so in Facebook. It appears to be specifically designed for people who can't think of an entire paragraph of something to say.

For instance this little gem:
"5 Things i don't leave the house without!".My Brain, My wallet, My shoes, Patrick Swayze and My Boobs."
And if you click on any of the embedded photos, it asks you to consent to have all your personal information mined so that they can use it for something that is buried in the small print of a service agreement. Really.

Or this:
"[I] got the last Broadway Market butter lamb at Wegman's."
Followed later that same day by:

"[I] put the ham in the oven."

Lamb or ham? Which the f#$k is it, for f*%^k's sake?

And it just scrolls on and on and on like that. It make's Angry Thespian's work like like art in comparison.

It's like someone was kicking back one day hitting the herb a little hard and said, "You know what, maaaan? You know what I really miss with all this web 2.0 sh!t and stuff, man? I miss the days when you would call up your local bulletin board system on your 300 baud half-duplex modem and just post whatever you were thinking, man. And you didn't have to think too deep cuz at 300 baud you couldn't type too much. And you could have like a cool screen name like 'Kreton Metallicon' or 'Zerk the Infinite' and just like, be whatever, maaan. Someone should invent something like that only, like, with pictures, so if you didn't have anything to say, you could just snap a pic with your cellphone and put that up. Like, 'Hey, this is me. This is what I look like right now. I'm like feeling all baked and sh!t.' Only without having to write anything."

I can feel myself getting shallower already.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh so busy

The complaints have been pouring in here at headquarters that I haven't blahrged lately. Well, I'll tell ya', I been heap busy. See, it's springtime here in Fort TomCollins, and with springtime comes a whole host of new and exciting tasks, a lot of which require me to be outside while streaming bar-rockin' country music over the deck speakers.

With sprintime also comes the revelation that the weather is going to change rapidly and dramatically from day-to-day, so it also means planning ahead is difficult, and you've just gotta get done what you can when the weather holds.

Oh, and I suppose there were some high Holy Days over the last week.

We had a little snow and a little rain over the last week, so I decided to knock off a task that started with "dig a 20 foot trench" on Saturday. It was very exciting because it involved something I'd never done before - run electrical conduit and then pull a line through it. This meant I got to buy a new tool - a 75' steel fish tape. Oh joy of joys, I loves when I get to get a new tool. Plus, while I was there in the electrical department, I found that they sold those infrared thermometers with the laser pointer built in that let you measure the temperature of anything within about 15 feet, so I picked me up one of those for no reason at all. Happy Easter to me.

The back pond now has an electrical outlet at the east end (on a different circuit from the west end), so I can stop running the pump and heater at that end off an extension cord. It only took about six hours of work to do that, but I did it with just one trip to the store for supplies.

I also managed to get the cap off the pickup (in anticiaption of getting mulch and compost next weekend) and to do a routine drain/clean/fill on the hot tub. Things I did not get done included dethatching the lawn, taking the blower off the lawn tractor and installing the mowing deck, and fertilizing the lawn. It's supposed to snow again this week, so maybe that would have been premature. But a bunch of the neighbors have started up their sprinklers already, and my 35000 sq ft of brown isn't looking so good in comparison to their lush green. And, naturally, I have deeply ingrained in my DNA the need to compete with the neighbors on lawn quality. It's just one of those things. You can ask my dad about where that gene came from, if you get the chance.

I believe that this year I am going to spring for a tonneau cover for the pickup bed. I'd like some way to throw my fishing stuff in the bed and not worry about it being stolen, and I always remove the cap in the summer so I can get mulch and compost and the like dumped in the back. There was one on craigslist a while back very reasonably priced and the right color, but I didn't buy it.

Yesterday, our fambly and another went to Fort Fun to play laser tag. It was fun. I came in second in the first game (which I think I would have won had I not backed into a wall in a hurry, which somehow managed to shut down my vest and gun for the remaining 2.5 minutes of the game, and I only lost by ~50 points out of ~1200), but I won the second most triumphantly. I was the only person over the age of 10 in the second game, though, so it wasn't much of a triumph.

Today I finally broke down and signed up for facebook. I did this because I needed to get some information for the Tax Day Tea Party Protest downtown, and they put it on an individual facebook account. If they'd done a business account, you wouldn't have needed to be a facebook member to see the info. But Tea Party protests are individually organized, not part of a business, so whatever. When I created the account, it told me that my sister had invited me to be her friend, so I clicked on allowing that. Then it found all the millions of the rest of you out there who it thought I might want to be friend with, but I skipped over that on account of I really don't plan to ever use it. Don't get all offended.

Monday, April 06, 2009

We should refinance every week

Consolidating two loans (a mortgage and a HELOC) from the same bank into one mortgage from the same bank turns out to be considered a "cash out" refinance, which as far as I can tell means they screw you for a whole lot more origination fees and paperwork, including requiring a walk-through appraisal.

Being the cheery, happy-go-lucky guy that I am, I tend just to see the bright side of all of this - and I mean on top of the $350/mo in interest we'll save with the new rate vs. the old. Yes, we've actually cleaned up the place. Vacuumed the whole house tonight, we did. We even got two vacuum going at once - I did the upstairs and first floor and half the basement with the fancy-shmancy Sebo X4 Automatic, while The Mrs. Slowpoke did the other half of the basement with the Hoover Fusion Cyclonic (a vacuum which, oddly, is almost to the penny 10% the cost of the other vacuum (and it shows)).

In addition to that, I got to clean all four of the toilets. It went like this:
Me, CherkyB: "Which rooms should I vacuum?"

The Mrs.: "The rooms aren't ready to vacuum. You should clean all the toilets."

Me, CherkyB: "I didn't ask if I should clean the toilets. I asked which rooms I should vacuum."

The Mrs.: "Here are some sanitizing wipees. You'll probably want to put on some vinyl gloves. The toilets are really disgusting."

Me, CherkyB: [in a whiny voice] "I didn't ask for wipees. I asked what rooms I should vacuum."

The Mrs.: "Make sure you get all four toilets."
Thank god only one of the toilets is black. That one needs to be buffed after cleaning in order to prevent streaks. It's almost like it needs a couple coats of carnauba wax.

I also got to fix some of those niggling little problems. Like, I patched a hole in The Childrens' bathroom wall that resulted when the little stopper that's supposed to keep the doorknob from crashing through the wall if you fling the door open broke and let the doorknob crash through the wall (not the first time, upon inspection). And I patched another hole in the master bedroom door that resulted from when that little stopper that's supposed to keep the doorknob from crashing into the wall if you fling the door open did not break and instead punched a hole right through the door (and thus, the doorknob only made a small dent in the wall instead of punching right through it). I've replaced those hinge-mounted things with ones that are on the baseboard and contact the wood frame of the door, not the crappy veneer panel.

I also got some grout caulk to temporarily patch the missing grout in the kitchen. There are some slightly loose tiles in the kitchen due to shoddy workmanship, and all the grout around them is coming out. I took a piece of grout to the store to match the color to the grout caulk (which has sand in it so that it dries looking a lot more like grout than normal caulk would). The one that matched the piece in the store did not match when it was in the floor (I would say the color on the tube was a very loose approximation of the actual color). So I went back and got another color. That one didn't match either. So I mixed the two together and got pretty close to the right color. Close enough that you wouldn't notice if you didn't know the spots I patched, which you don't.

I also re-attached the trim around our attic hatch that got knocked off when we had a giant wind storm and the attic hatch started flying around. Plus, I cleaned the ceiling in the master shower.

Yes, it's like some other fambly lives here. Some fambly that isn't a bunch of slobs.

CherkyB, Accidental Humorist

Those of you who know in IRL know that I have a tendency to answer every question with the same two word response. Sometimes, this is unexpectedly more funny than usual.
HannahC: "Sooo...whatcha doin' Dah?"

Me, CherkyB: "Your momma."

Dear inventor of the shiny black toilet,

Fuck you.

That is all.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Well, that sucked

We went to the Larimer County Boating and Fishing Expo today. It sucked. Good thing it was free.

We were supposed to have a blizzard last night-though-today that was going to drop 12"-14" of snow and have really high winds. It was windy alright, but I don't think we got more than an inch of snow. The wind managed to pile it up in drifts here and there that got a good foot deep, and so we got to have some fun driving through that on the dirt road behind our neighborhood on the way back from the Expo. My truck is now completely covered in slushy mud.

At least last night the snow was quite pretty. The Mrs. sat in the fambly room watching the snow fall in the wind and drinking heavily.

Which, for her, means she had one drink. A Black Russian, which is the only thing she ever drinks despite the utter scrumptiousness of my own drink recipes.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Something Not to Do 19

So just yesterday, I was thinking to myself how it has been a while since I had posted anything in any of my episodic topic areas. Something Not to Do™ is one of my favorite series in that it manages to teach through the use of tragedy, not unlike Shakespeare or fine films from the 70's or Reno 911.

Then I got to thinking how I could do a very simple, short entry in Something Not to Do™ that said nothing but, "Get married." However, every time The Mrs.'s hillbilly brother, Billy, comes to visit, he reminds me about how his wife, Gordy, is still after close to four (?) years mad at me because not long before their wedding, Billy tried to get all serious in a consulting-with-the-elders way and he said to me, "So, any advice?" And naturally, I replied, "Yeah. Don't get married," because, well, duh, he'd known me for like 20 years what in the hell did he think I was going to say? And apparently I did this right in front of the bride-to-be, and she was so heart-shatteringly affected by this that to this day she is either still furious with me or is wondering if she should not have taken my advice, depending on which version of the story you hear.

So, ever mindful of this, I have to be very careful with the don't-get-married advice, as now The Mrs.'s little sister Ellie is getting married. But of course, I would never tell her not to get married, because telling a woman not to get married is like telling a lottery winner not to quit her job. But if, right before the wedding, D_ should come up to me and say, "Sooo...any advice on dealing with these Treeperson women?" it'll be a real struggle indeed for me not to just blurt out, "Yeah. Don't get married." Then I'd end up with two sisters-in-law who would be mad at me because they resent the truth of my wisdom, and it would make family reunions even more uncomfortable than they already are, and I'd probably be forced to sit out on the back porch alone in the cold rain and catch pneumonia. Again.

Though I'd get my revenge by taking them up to 12,000 feet whenever they visited in order to make them puke. Or, in the case of certain relatives, puke and have violent diarhea simultaneously. Your cats are no match for my altitude. Ha ha! [sinister laugh]

So, anyways, I'm trying to lay off the whole don't-get-married thing in front of The Mrs.'s family.

Which is a really long segue into the actual subject of today's post. If my wife is anything, she is a woman of her word (unless it involves promising not to buy something, in which case she is a woman of the exact opposite of her word), so true to her promise, she has decided to ratchet up the mean progressively until my blog is funny again.

When I came home today, The Mrs. was cooking dinner. Now, I know what you are thinking (because I can see you sounding it out slowly with your lips), "What is mean about cooking dinner?" Try to just keep quiet and not interrupt. Making dinner is not, in and of itself, mean. In fact, making a dinner that three out of the other three people in the house don't like, and then making a different dinner for two out of those three because they don't like it, but not for the third, is not really mean. Considerate in an inconsiderate way, perhaps, but not mean. So do let me go on.

Moments after taking off my shoes, my darling daughter HannahC bounded up to me and said, "Game?"
Me, CherkyB: "Huh?"

HannahC: "Play game?"

Me, CherkyB, "Hannie, honey, I had a really hard day at work, and I just walked in. Why don't you go fetch me something from the garage first."

HannahC: "OK, Dah."
Of course, this infuriated The Mrs. She yelled, "I'm cooking dinner!"
Me, CherkyB: "Of course you are."

The Mrs.: "I don't have time to wait on you when I'm cooking dinner!"

Me, CherkyB: "No. Of course not."

The Mrs.: "I suppose you expect me to have a cold beer waiting when you walk in the door every day."

Me, CherkyB: "No. Of course I don't expect that."
Then, let's say purely hypothetically, your wife starts rattling off with machine gun speed all the things she supposes you expect her to do (because they are, after all, the normal things a woman does for her husband (or so I read in books), and thus are very easy to think of). She builds up such an amazing list of things she knows she should be doing but is not with such speed that you can hardly even keep pace, but she wraps it all up with, "And I suppose you expect to have sex the way that you like it."

As temping as that grapefruit pitched slow across the plate may be, you must not under any circumstances respond with, "You mean, with people other than you?"

That, my friends, would be Something Not to Do.™

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