Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Home Construction

Our kids like to build houses out of shoe boxes. Typically, they find a box and get inspired to create. This often leads to "homes" with multiple rooms, connected together with tape, staples or whatever fastening device or adhesive substance they can get their hands on.

These dwellings are a great place for their little "friends" to hang out. Polly Pockets and little plastic animals are right at home.

It usually starts with an empty box and a request, "Daddy," my 8-year-old girl asked me this morning. "Can you cut a hole in this for the door?"

"Sure, sweetie," I said as I grabbed the box. In order to gain a head start on this project, she painted the inside--lavender. I know this because that's what color my hand was after grabbing it.

"Be careful," she added while the box was already in my hands. "I just painted it and the box may still be a little wet."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Being Told vs. Being Asked

I bought these tickets several months ago. That's not like me, but for once I planned ahead.

It was the end of a LOOOONNNNNNGGGGG week at a trade show and I was looking forward to getting home.

I picked a window seat because I prefer to be sedentary on flights (i.e. I don't get up during flights and I don't enjoy getting up for others--sue me!).

So, when I walked up to seat 14F only to discover that an 60-ish foreign woman was there, I kindly told her that she was in the wrong seat and held up my boarding pass. It happens all the time. No big deal. She'd move and I'd be able to sit by butt down for the +3-hour flight home.

But that's when her husband (also foreign, but it doesn't matter) stood up. "I sit next to my wife. You sit here," as he pointed to the MIDDLE (yes, MIDDLE) seat in row 13 (13E, to be precise).

So, what was I supposed to do. Surely, I wouldn't demand that I get the seat I picked out nearly six months ago. The plane was full. I'd feel like an [HEE-HAWWWWWW!!!!] if I did that. But if I were in the same situation, I think that I'd go to my original seat and then ask someone if they were willing to trade. That's the way to do it--right?

It wasn't that bad. No one in my row needed to get up the entire time. However, I forgot my book that I was reading and ended up practically memorizing the Thursday edition of the USA Today. I even did the crossword puzzle.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What you see in the drug store

For those of you that don't know, I'm on the road this week for business. So, please excuse the lack of entries. However, this morning I saw something that I simply had to share. At the CVS (that's a drug store) I saw a woman buying two things at the checkout lane: Nicorette (a gum that helps you quit smoking) and Marlboro Lights. I was just wondering if she figured out a way for these two products to neutralize one another?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Couple of Random Thoughts From Watching TV

The wife and I sat in front of the tube this evening to watch some mindless TV (yes, we do that). I noticed a couple of things that I thought I'd share with you all:

When the first line of a commercial is, "Hello, cleavage!" look the other way or hit the pause button (if you have a DVR) so you can skip it.

ER is getting ready to start it's 14th season. Why?

A Visit From A Holy Lady

Just a couple nights ago, while the wife and I were laying in bed we heard our 13-year-old son walk in the house and scream like a girl. The only time he screams like a girl is when he sees a bug (He gets this from his mother, but the rest of the story is a bit surprising if you know her).

Unless you ignored the image on your screen, you've been able to deduce that we had a rather large praying mantis in the house. In fact, she (I'm just assuming it was a girl as the males don't survive after mating) must have flown in to get a better look at our family as she was admiring some of our pictures on the wall.

Now, if you know my wife, then you know she's not all that fond of bugs. While the 13-year-old would have NOTHING to do with prompting our holy green friend to leave, the Mrs. sprung into action. She was like a different person. Here she was with a box, calmly trying to coax the mantis into it so she could show her the door.

"You're horrified of bugs," I said.

"I'm not scared of a praying mantis," she replied.

Apparently, there are certain bugs which strike fear into her heart and cause her to nearly drive off the road while others solicit no reaction from her at all. I'm thinking of putting together a list.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Great T-Shirt Streak of 2007

This is MY side of the story. You can read HER side here.

We have friends that sometimes give us tickets to Indianapolis Indians games. This is a AAA minor league baseball team that feeds into the Pittsburgh Pirates. Honestly, I feel bad for the guys who do well here in Indy as it means they may get called up and have to play for the Pirates--but that's another story.

This post is about an amazing streak I have of getting free t-shirts at these games. At just about every game, they do a t-shirt giveaway between innings. While the teams are coming off the field, the announcer comes on the P.A. system to let everyone know that the shirts are going to start flying and immediately people begin screaming as if they didn't actually own clothes. I'm pretty sure they could throw out free hunks of dirt and folks would get just as excited.

Such was the case when we went to a game in late July. I stood up like everyone else and the nice lady who handles all of the Indians between inning activities sort of glanced my way and tossed me a shirt as if to say, "That poor fella needs new clothes." It was obviously a leftover shirt from some walk-a-thon or something as it had nothing to do with the baseball team and they didn't mention it when they were throwing them out. But I think it was the first time that I've ever gotten a free shirt, so it sort of made my day.

A month later we returned for another game with some friends guessed it...another t-shirt. This time it was an actual Indianapolis Indians shirt with the logo on the front and the 2007 schedule on the back. Very cool. The same lady looked at me and threw it directly my way. Was this odd? Read on.

So, we managed to go to the second-to-last home game with more friends. I made a joke to them that I had a streak going of two games in a row with free t-shirts. Seconds later (I'm not exaggerating) the t-shirt giveaway starts up again. I stand up, almost reluctantly as my wife and friends stare at me. Immediately, she walks out onto the field with shirts in hand and looks my way. The next thing I know, I'm holding a spiffy Chipotle shirt in my hands.

Did I mention that every shirt was just my size? Should I send her a Christmas card? Do the wife and I require some sort of counseling?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's your favorite song about the Pancreas?

If you're a music lover and a big fan of the pancreas, you have lots of choices available to you. You don't have to settle for one or even two songs devoted exclusively to that mysterious organ.

If you're an iTunes user, you can choose from the following:

  • "Pancreas" - by Weird Al Yankovic (from the album Straight Outta Lynwood)
  • "Pancreas"* - by Mindless Drug Hoover (from the album Top Banana)
  • "Fiddycent Ate His Own Pancreas"* - by Killjoy vs. Enduser (from the album It's Incredibly Retail)
  • "The Happy Pancreas" - Sam Crain & Friends (from the album Jazz Guitar Vol. 3)
There's even an album called I Am John's Pancreas by a band called A Witness.

A quick MySpace music search reveals these results:
  • "That Pancreas"** - by PANCREAS THAT!
  • "We are Pancreas"** - by the death metal band called Pancreas
  • A band called Pancreas and the Checkered Rectum**
  • A band called Pancreas Music**
  • Another band called Pancreas (they should get together)
  • A band called Pancreas Records***
But my all-time favorite song about the pancreas is "Pancreas" by Heywood Banks:

Go here to listen to it.

*Labeled as "EXPLICIT" on iTunes. Listen at your own risk.
**No Labels on MySpace for lyrics, but I recommend that you tread carefully around these parts.
***I cannot even figure out what these guys are saying.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Making Your Own Pope Hat

Judy the Rebel got me thinking about some of the stunts that I've pulled in my life that have gotten me into hot water (Actually that's an odd expression if you think about it. The only time that I'm in hot water is in the bathtub or a whirlpool--which is usually a good thing.)

In a former life, I was the youth director of a small church in northeastern Indiana. One day, me and two other folks (one was--still is--a friend and the other was a youth group kid) were hanging out at the church just for fun when one of us discovered a cool way to make a Pope hat out of some cardboard and markers. Don't ask me, "why?" we did this. It just happened--like that time when Edison was watching TV and came up with the idea for the light bulb.

Anyway, this great idea turned into a brief video concept which consisted of one guy playing the Pope and another guy playing a heckler. You just don't see a lot of heckling at Pope events, so we thought it would be humorous--and it least to the three of us who made the video. The Elders of the church didn't think it all that funny and I received a severe wrist slapping along with a recommendation that I not make any more videos at the church without screening them to the leadership first.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hello New Zealand!

According to my FEEDJIT tracker on the right column of my blog, I've had someone from New Zealand stop by. Whoever you are, feel free to leave a comment.

I've also been able to use a top secret tracker to determine than most of the men who read my blog are wearing their pants inside out on their head. How strange.

Eliminating Fruit Flies...and Owls

During our recent week-long trip to Lake Michigan, we had quite a few issues with bugs. When the winds died down, there were many mosquitoes. The biting flies were legendary. They left giant welts on the back of my 8-year-old daughter (who must be allergic to bites) and at one time a hundred of them swarmed me while I tried to read at the beach. Inside the house, we had to deal with those annoying little fruit flies that land in your food. They seemed to camp out by the sink and tried to get into anything in the kitchen. They were so annoying that my brother-in-law went online and came up with a way to eliminate them with a home made trap. I don't remember all of the details, but I'm pretty sure it involved an empty Pringles can, some soap and water, and a permanent marker used to write "Fly Trap" on the can. It managed to catch a few flies here and there.

Not wishing to be outdone, I created an "Owl Trap". While we were still pestered by those stupid little fruit flies throughout the week, I can proudly say that we remained owl free for the duration of our vacation.