Monday, August 27, 2007

The Golden Girls

Nope. I'm not referring to the television sitcom from the mid 80's featuring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty. Believe it or not, I'm going to be serious for a few moments.

I'm blonde and I married a blonde. As a result, we have three more blondies running around the house. So, three of the five blondes in our house are girls. While they can all be very different from one another, they share more than their GOLDEN hair. They are compassionate, loyal and require lots of watering and sunshine--how do you think they got so golden? I could go on an on about this, but I won't.

I simply want to share about my own little blunder last night and how much one of my little golden girls was waiting on me, loyally, for what she needed. I let her stay up a bit late to watch a movie and gave her my word that I'd tuck her in when it was over. Not wanting me to forget, she called up for me when the movie was over. About a half hour later, she came downstairs to check on me as I still hadn't tucked her in. I was in the middle of a very important project (not really--but that's how I made it sound) and told her to just be patient and that I'd be up. Two hours later I looked up at the clock--finished with my stupid project--and realized what I had done. I ran upstairs to see if I still had a chance to kiss her good night and pray with her.

The door was closed, but the light was still on. I quietly walked in to see her lying in bed, asleep with the light on and with her fan off. All of my kids sleep with a fan. I'm certain she didn't turn it on because she wanted to wait for me--which also explains why the light was on. She waited as long as she could until her eyelids gave out on her and she dozed off. I had let her down. I turned on her fan, flicked off the light and kissed her forehead. She woke up, startled at first, and then smiled at me while telling me how sleepy she felt. She probably didn't know that she had been waiting there for me, asleep, for two hours. I was forgiven. In fact, I'm not even sure that she was ever upset with me. But I knew that I had blown it.

She's probably willing to go through the process all over again, but every time she'll grow a little more weary. Eventually, she'll grow up, move out and lose the felt need for a daddy altogether. But not if there's anything I can do about it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The return of the goatee

The other day I decided to start growing the old goatee again. I successfully had something that resembles a goatee last year when I refused to shave for a few weeks and then shaved everything off except the place where this weird little beard is supposed to be. Most "manly" men that I know can grow a full beard in their sleep or just before dinner time.

For me, it takes months of patient growth and people asking me, "what's that on your face?" My facial hair grows very slowly and selectively--missing a few key areas required by goatee enthusiasts (I just made that term up). However, if I don't clip them off religiously two or three times a day, I can have a full set of antlers before sundown.

Take this picture, for instance, of me in San Diego a few months ago. It would have been such a nice picture if not for the antlers. The only good thing about being able to grow antlers is that it provides a regular source of income with the local taxidermist. Wish me luck on the goatee.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest! Sort of.

The other day I had visions of Gomer Pyle screaming, "Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest!" at me while I was driving the wife and kids down the road in the family truckster. As I looked into the driver's side rear view mirror (our real rear view mirror fell off the window a few weeks ago and I've yet to fix it), I noticed a snappy white SUV pulling up on my bumper and waving at me to pull over. Of course, I thought of all kinds of reasons why I shouldn't let a complete stranger pull me over, but I did it anyway. Usually, when other drivers are upset with you, they just give you the old "one-finger salute" (also referenced in this blog as the "you're number one!" gesture). So, I figured that there was probably something wrong with my van or that I might have been dragging a dog on a leash for the last several miles (that's my second reference to the movie Vacation). This feller and I would resort to some manly talk about vehicles, oil, grease, tools or some other masculine subject while the women-folk and kids stayed in the trucksters.


As soon as I reached for the door handle, I figured out WHY he was waving me over. For the past few days, there was something sitting on the bumper of the mini-van. Every time I looked at it, I just assumed that one of the kids would take care of it and surely we wouldn't drive off with it still there. Besides that, it would fall off somewhere and I could care less.


As I was walking to the back of the car to meet this stranger at the bumper it seemed as if every step was in slow motion. I kept my head low and stared at the ground. I couldn't bear to make eye contact with this guy. I turned the corner at the back of the van and looked up at the bumper to see my hunch revealed. Still sitting--just as the kids left it--on the bumper of the van was a cute little pink bag with a red heart...

And inside that cute little pink bag with the red heart sat six little bouncy balls...

I waived off Mr. Pyle (although I was the one feeling like a "gomer" at this point) and told him I knew what it was and thanked him for pointing it out--we sure wouldn't want to lose all of those bouncy balls.

Even though it's not her fault, I've decided to blame this blow to my masculinity on Aunt Leah, the Bouncy Ball Fairy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Hot Feeling" from The Daily Journal

While I cannot come up with anything original today, I can share something that I wrote over a year ago on another site:

May 17, 2006 We had a Japanese client visit our office for a few days and one of my jobs was to take him out to eat a few times. We visited my favorite Thai restaurant in town and had some VERY SPICY dishes. The next morning he approached me and said, "I had a very hot feeling in the toilet this morning
This was NOT made up, by the way.

FYI - "The Daily Journal" was my original "blog". It was created by Uvulapie, who allowed me and scott to be regular contributors.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Classic Quote from Miss Sniz

Yesterday the wife (aka "Miss Sniz") and I were doing some shopping at Costco when she made the most interesting observation. She's a big fan of croutons and we were considering whether or not to throw down the big bucks for a month's supply of stale bread. But this is not a decision that should be made willy nilly. In fact, as she put it:

"There are a lot of flavorless croutons out there."
That made the decision so easy. We put the big box down and made our way through the rest of the store and eventually the check out lane. However, on the way home, we second-guessed our choice to pass up the Big 'Ol One Pound Pack 'O Bacon. What were we thinking?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Slow News Day?

First off, I have to admit that I'm blatantly stealing this idea from a friend. In fact, it's the same friend who had me as his Best Man in his wedding just a few weeks ago.

Just yesterday he pointed out that it must have been a slow news day for our local Indianapolis Star. Here's the proof:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Making My Mistakes Interesting

We've been trapped (sort of) in our addition for the past three months due to the construction of a round-a-bout at a busy corner in our bustling bedroom community. Well, last night I heard that our corner had been re-opened. How could I pass up the opportunity to drive on it this morning during my regular commute? Right? At this point in the story, I should point out that all of the stupid road closings in our area have forced me to find new routes to work--and I've actually found one that I'll probably keep on using even when they DO finish up all of the construction around me.

But, as I said, I couldn't resist the opportunity to roll my wheels along the fresh pavement. I decided to try one of older get-to-work passages and stop for coffee at $tarbuck$ along the way (a treat I rarely allow myself these days). This particular route used to be one that I took every day, even in the midst of the Super 70 construction. The Super 70 project along I-70 continues, but they've finished one side of the interstate and have moved traffic to the new lanes. Being a creature of habit (even though I haven't taken this route in a while) I just kept driving. By the time that I figured out what I had done, I had to wait another 6 miles until I could turn around at an exit. I estimated that I drove 8-10 miles out of my way and there was nothing I could do about it.

Sometimes, we make mistakes that don't seem to have any consequences (they all do, but that's another blog entry). Other times (like today) we make mistakes and we have to go way out of our way to get things straightened out--and by that time there are plenty of consequences to deal with--like being really late for work.

As I look back and read this entry, it's not all that interesting, so I'm going to ask my faithful readers to finish it and/or embellish it. Have at it...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Finally, an AFFORDABLE Rocket Belt

This morning I got my daily tech news update that I subscribe to and found out about a new Rocket Belt available from the good folks at TAM. Perhaps my favorite part of the web page is how TAM tries to steer potential customers away from those OTHER rocket belt alternatives on the market:

"Be aware of people that offer plans, parts or a rocket belt that has not flown and tested because you could be killed."
At just $250,000 you get the following:

  1. A fully-tested, custom-made flying rocket belt, (duh!)
  2. This belt has been proved to be the most stable design and easier to fly
  3. A special machine to make our own unlimited supply of rocket fuel
  4. Hands-on training in the process and the equipment
  5. Flight training of 10 flights in your own rocket belt
  6. Maintenance and setup training
  7. 24/7 expert support
  8. Housing and food are included during training
Heck, I'd pay $250,000 just to be able to make my own unlimited supply of rocket fuel. Wouldn't the guys at NASA want to get a hold of this "special machine"?

Plus, it's made in Mexico (the home of space flight), so you know it's good.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Not too long ago there was a slight sign malfunction at one of our Avon Asian food eateries. Fortunately, no walls were eaten. However, I heard a rumor that customers DID nibble, ever so slightly, on the floor.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

New Job Title at Work

Looks like I got a promotion at work today. When the mail came this afternoon, I was pleased to learn that my job should be a lot more "FUN" from this day forward. Or, maybe it will be more FUN for everyone else--depending on how good I am at my job.

Call all the Churches

Well, I suppose it's a good time to bring up ANOTHER one of my former job experiences. This time, I'll pull from the Angry Gun-toting Talk Show Host producer job. Many years ago, I used to produce a syndicated radio talk show. As you can probably guess, the host of the show had a very short fuse and carried a 9mm Glock. He was also extremely greedy, selfish, immature, a womanizer, controlling, etc.--a real piece of work for someone that was idolized by a rather large group of adoring fans who were also convinced that Black Helicopters from the government were spying on them.

Desperate for attention and better ratings, he would purposefully say the most shocking things on the air to get attention (often at the expense of the person he was talking about or talking to). He also wanted his staff to work hard to build up the listener base. Now, there are many tried and true ways of going about this task, but we had to do what the host wanted to do because he was in control. So, one day, when we were brainstorming ideas to grow the show, he walked in and screamed, "Call all the churches!!!" Of course, how could we have missed that? Immediatly we opened the Yellow Pages to the church section and started dialing. Surely, all of these God-fearing churches would want to listen to an angry man spouting off on the radio for three hours every evening.

Actually, we didn't call a single church. We nodded in agreement and waited for him to leave so we could silently laugh. To this day, when I'm not sure what to do, I say to myself, "Call all the churches."

Monday, August 6, 2007

Robot Monkey

Whenever I'm at a job interview and I'm asked to describe myself in two words, I always say, "robot monkey," and then look at the interviewer smugly with one eyebrow raised. The way I figure it, a company that hires me after a stunt like this is a place I'd like to work.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Promoting Creativity

This past Christmas we decided to throw down a few bucks to purchase a digital camera for our 13-year-old. The fun thing about him having a camera is seeing what sort of pictures he takes (and knowing that you didn't have to spend money to get them developed!). This picture will give you an idea of what goes on in his head AND what goes on in our house. I'm not sure what it is or what it's supposed to do but I'm already working on a deal to sell it to the government--they'll buy anything.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Learning from Scissors - more from the Secret Warehouse

It's time to go back once again to one of my former places of employment--what I refer to as the "secret warehouse". This is the same place where I got the Uhhhh.....Larry? story from a few days ago. Truth be told, I'm sure I could write a book from this job alone--and then there was the other job working for a syndicated talk radio host--wow, but I digress.

If you're too lazy to click on the link above (I think it burns 1/16 of a calorie to click once) and you'd like to know what this job was, here's an excerpt from the post:

It was an online men's apparel store specializing in dress shirts and suits. 99% of the online stuff was handled by the owner who trusted practically NO ONE else with this. Thus, the rest of us were relegated to stocking, fulfilling orders, trying to look busy and helping with walk-in guests.
When I first started this job, it looked pretty promising (that's why we take these jobs, right?). I was hired because of my communications and marketing background (or so I thought) and the owner convinced three young smartypants from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to spend their summer break working in the secret warehouse (which had no air-conditioning!!!!). One day he sat us all down to go through one of his listen to me sound important* carefully arranged training sessions. These marathon rambling sessions would last for hours and you were expected to take notes on 3x5 cards using only a certain type of pen that was made available in the office. That's where this story is headed.

At some point in the lecture he corrected me on how to properly use scissors to cut the said 3x5 cards. I'm not making this up. It was his theory that we all needed to re-learn just about everything so we could be productive contributors to his little community and the world. I'm not one to stir up trouble, but I called him on this. I was pretty sure that at 28 years of age (that was almost ten years ago) I was incredibly proficient with scissors, breathing through my nose, and walking. It seemed like everything was ok and the rambling went on, as planned, for many more hours.

A few months later he--let's call him Morty just for fun--decided that he'd had it with me and my attitude. He spent four hours on a Saturday screaming at me while blaming me for just about every problem in the office and his personal life. At one point, he blamed me for the fact that he wasn't married and having kids (I later heard from another former employee that he pulled the same stunt with him.). Somewhere in the middle of all of this Morty referenced the now infamous "scissors incident" and that it was what initially set him off. Apparently, he had been stewing over it for months and it finally spilled out on that eventful Saturday in the secret warehouse.

By now you should all realize that Morty was not right. Although born into a prominent family and highly educated, he suffered greatly along the way and it made a serious impact on his mental state. By the grace of God (and I mean that), I didn't react the way Morty expected me (or wanted me) to. I stayed calm throughout the entire time and listened to him. I only spoke when I had to and allowed him to get it all out. Ironically, the last hour of that Saturday was spent in deep confession. He asked me to forgive him for the way he talked to me that day and the way he treated me in general. He promised to change and our relationship was different (better) from that day forward. Of course, I still left the secret warehouse for another job as soon as one came up, but when I did finally leave, it was a sad day for Morty. He took me out for sushi and lavished me with some very nice gifts and a cash bonus that really helped our young family.

But to this day, I don't look at a pair of scissors the same way.

(* I'm stealing Toni in the Midst's signature strike-through technique for this post.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Race Fans

Year after year I attend the Indianapolis 500 and other IndyCar events. I'm hooked. I love the cars, the speed, the competition...and the race fans.