Monday, May 26, 2008

I Met "Rudy" from Across the Street!

We had some new neighbors move in across the street about a month ago. I've been so busy with work that I haven't made the time to go over and meet them. As luck would have it, the boy and I were throwing the baseball in the side yard a few days ago and I let one get past me. It rolled across the street and into the neighbors yard just as they were pulling up in their truck and getting out. They are an older couple (I'm guessing they are retired) with some grandkids. I picked up the ball and introduced myself to the man who was holding a giant, beady-eyed pit bull on a leash. The woman went inside. "I'm Roger. I live across the street and I thought I should introduce myself since you've been here for a few months already."

He walked up to me with the snarling dog to shake my hand. I was a little slow to approach him as the canine made me just a bit nervous. "Oh, don't worry about him. This is Rudy. He's a big baby." I shook the man's hand and would have reached down to pet the dog, but I've become fond of my limbs and decided against it. The guy seemed ok, but strangely enough his eyes looked like Rudy's. He said something about baseball and the conversation was over. He pulled Rudy to his front door and I threw the baseball back to my son.

It was fairly uneventful, but did anyone notice that something was missing here?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ending Friendships With One Click

Thanks to the Internet, you can now end those annoying friendships with the simple click of a mouse button. I learned that today while toying with my software. In case you don't know what that is, it's a handy tool that finds new (or old) music you might like based on what you listen to. I'm sure they collect info on me and use it to send me nifty ads online but I honestly don't care. I can use this to see what other people listen to as well and establish "friendships" with these folks online. One of these "friendships" is with uvulapie of Uvulapie And His Amazing Hillbillies. While we have an online friendship, we're actually real friends (well, ever since my attorneys forced him to lift the restraining order). We met in high school over twenty years ago and still stay in touch today.

So, as I was messing around with my software today I thought I'd take at look at uvulapie's profile:

One day I discovered that I had ears. My life has never been the same since. 260 area code, still nostalgic for 219.
I was also able to see what kind of music he was listening to:
  • A Camp
  • The Beachboys
  • Galactic Cowboys
  • 2 Foot Yard
  • The Caridgans
  • Bryan Scary
  • Mr. Gnome
  • Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
He certainly has eclectic music tastes, much like myself--that's one of the reasons we've maintained our "friendship" even though we live nearly three hours away from one another.

But then I remembered that one time he glared arrogantly at a bowl of potato salad that I was eating back in 1989 and I decided that I'd had enough. I wanted to end this friendship and I wanted to end it immediately. But how could I do it? Could technology help me? The answer is...

YES! Thanks for making friendship annulment so easy.

That will teach him!!!!!

P.S. If you're a music geek like me (and uvulapie who is still my friend) you can see what I'm listening to via my thingy on my blog. It's on the right hand column somewhere (above the cheese news headlines). You'll also learn about "scrobbling".

Monday, May 19, 2008

Baseball and Softball

These two words pretty much sum up my life right now. I'm the head coach of a 13-15 year old Babe Ruth League baseball team and the unofficial assistant coach of a U10 slow pitch softball team. Our boys managed to pull off a last inning win Saturday night (late--we didn't get home until 11:00 pm!!!) and my son went 3 for 4 after not hitting all year (4 previous games). He had two hits already and then asked me if I'd take him to Taco Bell if he got another one. So, his third at bat he slugs one, literally, into the pitcher's mitt--hard. Too bad because that ball would have been a line drive into center field. Then with his last time up and two outs, he knocked one into a hole in the out field. Two batters later he was the winning run. How cool is that? I love baseball. To make things even better the Cincinnati Reds have won six in a row.

My daughter's team plays my niece's team tomorrow. THAT should be fun. Plus, she's made a new friend in the neighborhood (the little sister of one of my baseball players). Do you all see how baseball brings everyone together? We should teach the people in the Middle East how to play.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Summer Blogging

Is it just me or has our little blogging circle slowed down just a little? I know that our household is busy with baseball, softball, yard work, playing outside, etc. I just don't get on here as much and when I do, I'm not sure what to say (thus, today's entry!).

I haven't even perused some of my favorite blogs lately and the wife has slowed down a bit. It sort of reminds me that I have this post I've promised to do called, "Why I blog" with some of your responses. One thing I know is that I blog to chronicle my life. Not that I think it's important for the world to read, but it's one way we can remember things that happen. I guess that means I'll keep at it, but things may be a little slow this summer. We'll see.

Wow, this was a stellar post. I think that if you really concentrate you can hear the crickets and my guess is that they are all watching paint dry.

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Amazon News

Today I got a note from with recommendations. I'm sure that this is based partially on the types of things that I've purchased before. But the first one just doesn't jive with the others. Here's the list of products that were recommended for me (I'm listing them in reverse order for the best comic effect):

  • Greek for the Rest of Us - book on beginning New Testament Greek by William Mounce. (Ironically, I already own this book but the computers at Amazon don't know!)
  • The Cross of Christ - book by John R. W. Stott
  • Masterpiece Theatre: Northanger Abbey - DVD movie adaptation of the book by Jane Austin.
  • Humble Apologetics: Defending the Faith Today - book by John G. Stackhouse.
  • A Little House Traveler: Writings From Laura Ingalls Wilder's Journey's Across America (Little House)
  • The Prayer God Longs For - book by James Emery White
  • Ryrie's Practical Guide to Communicating Bible Doctrine - book by Charles Ryrie
  • Grand Theft Auto IV - XBOX 360 video game!!!! Can you believe this combination of recommendations? Ovbiously, they need to tweak their algorithms a bit. I don't see Amazon selling a lot of copies of Grand Theft Auto IV to thumpers like me.
Remember that old Sesame Street bit about which one of these things doesn't belong with the others?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dog Debate Continues

I'm not sure what prompted me to post about Coney Dogs vs. Chili Dogs, but it's been one of my most popular entries based on my StatCounter results. I wrote about this back in January and just a few days ago I received another comment. It's interesting how things like that work. Even more interesting is the face of Mr. Uvulapie himself in that handsome hotdog costume.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gifts for Brides and Babies!

If you've ever experienced the sheer transcendent bliss that is riding with me in my 1996 Honda Accord LX with over 200,000 miles, you know that I'm in need of some new interior door handles. For some reason unknown to Japanese automobile engineers the passenger side front handle and the driver side rear handle broke at about the same time. I've been looking around online for replacement parts with only a moderate degree of success. While experiencing some trouble figuring out one company's web site, I decided to call their toll free number. Once I had it figured out, I told the customer service representative that I'd just go ahead and order it on my own from the web site. He cautioned me that it was in my best interest to order on the phone because of "blah, blah, blabbity blah meow, meow butterpants." Twice I told him, "rear, driver side, door handle in beige" and he would repeat back to me, "rear passenger side in black." I'd had enough and told him I would order online. Can you believe that he still tried to get me to stay on the phone for the order? Sorry, bud. Too late. You've proven how inept you are. CLICK.

But, alas I finally found what I was looking for on (obviously, they sell a LOT more than books these days). I thought it was somewhat entertaining that amazon gives me the option to add a "94-97 HONDA ACCORD FRONT DOOR HANDLE" to a Wedding Registry and/or Baby Registry. Nothing says, good luck to the happy couple like car parts--and very specific car parts at that. And what baby wouldn't want to chew on a "94-97 HONDA ACCORD FRONT DOOR HANDLE" as a comforting pacifier?

Just for fun I thought I'd try this out on some other products available at to see if I would be given the option to add them to Wedding and Baby Registries. Sure enough, I was able to do so with the following:

  • Rat & Mouse Poison
  • Dandruff Shampoo
  • Whitney Farms Chicken Manure
  • etc.
I'm not posting some of the ideas I had on this blog (use your imagination). Obviously, it's an automatically generated feature of that can seem amazingly inappropriate.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Reds Win! Reds Win!

Yesterday was a great day. Not only did the Cincinnati Reds beat the lowly Chicago sCrUBS, our own 13-15 year-old Babe Ruth League Reds beat the Tigers for our first win of the season. We were up 9-4 and then let the Tigers back into the game as they scored five runs to tie it up during the top of the last inning. We play with a time limit so we either had to win it in the bottom of last inning or settle for a tie. If I were a paid, professional coach/manager I might have been fired for sending the runner at third home on a wild pitch with bases loaded and a 3-0 count. I just got so excited that I sent him and he was called out at the plate. Ouch. Parents all over the field were convinced that I was a moron (and rightly so--at least for the moment). I was going to blow the game for these kids. Thankfully, my own son came up to bat and let the struggling pitcher walk him to score the winning run. It was my first win as a coach and what a way to get it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Family Night at the Ball Diamond

Usually, when you think of "Family Night at the Ball Diamond" it conjures up images of families going to see a major or minor league ball game. Maybe there are fireworks afterwards or a free concert, etc. But last night we had a real Family Night at the Ball Diamond. Our family took on our in-laws at one of the local ball diamonds in softball. We were also joined by my father-in-law who started out as all-time-pitcher and then was recruited to our team when one of our members had to drop out (something to do with her Nike shoe deal and some contract negotiations). So, it was five on five plus the pitcher and each team had to supply a catcher for the other team--you know,...all of the stuff you do when you're kids to make a the game work with the people you have (but we didn't have any "ghost runners").

With our kids getting older and having some real experience with baseball/softball, this was the first year where we could do this without having to make special rules for everyone. Even the eight-year-olds and nine-year-old were hitting the ball and making plays in the in-field. The ten-year-old and the eleven-year-old girl--who both have played softball for quite a few years--now were each a force to be reckoned with (hitting and fielding).

This was probably the most fun I've ever had playing ball. Our families were competitive in a fun way, but we also get along very well--even if our in-laws cheated to supposedly "win" the game in the bottom of the last inning. Sure, my brother-in-law and I broke into a minor fist fight in the parking lot afterwards and a few bottles and rocks where thrown in true brother-in-lawly love, but we were able to at least get back to speaking terms (i.e. through our respective attorneys) while in the holding cell overnight.

All kidding aside, it was a very special evening and I would encourage the rest of you to make the time for this or something like it while you can.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Farmer's Only

Let me be really clear that I'm NOT making fun of farmers or hardworking people in general with this post, but you have to admit that is easy to make fun of. I see this site advertised regularly when I'm watching my Cincinnati Reds lose on TV. I finally broke down and checked it out to see if it was real. It is.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Skypigeon's Blind Dog Blog

One of my pals from TrackForum (Jeff--who I know as "skypigeon") has started his own blog. So, I guess there's no reason for the rest of us to go on living. Heh. Heh.

But seriously, it's called The Blind Dog Blog and it's worth checking out. Drop by and leave a comment so that he'll keep up the good work.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's the Brain Lady!!!!

Imagine the shock I felt this morning while reading the Indianapolis Star online when I saw this image.

That's my brain! I'd know it from any angle. I hope those freaky blue gloves were sterilized when she took that picture and that she managed to put it back correctly. She's not even wearing a hair net. No wonder my brain itches.