Monday, May 31, 2010


Take time to remember those who died in service of their country.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Heat

Dad now keeps the house at about 80 degrees.  This makes it hard for me to sleep.  I can't wait until I can do these things to Son.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


We are at my dad's tonight.  Niece is quite precocious.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Postlude to a Dream

The other night, I dreamt that everyone I know was glued to television reports indicating that we were at war in Iraq. They were all astounded that we had gone to war, and there was much pearl-clutching.

When I tried to explain that we had been at war in Iraq for over seven years, nobody would believe me. They all looked at me condescendingly and with a bit of pity, as though I were sincerely insisting that Santa Claus was bringing me a toy fire truck this year.

I wonder if I was somehow thinking about how little people analyze incoming information.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In the Brit politic,
He's the mid right wing pick.
That's a Tory!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Words That Never Caught On #384

diaria (\ˈdī-(ə-)rē-(ə-)\) - A place where one goes to write in one's diary.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Next Up

We could try plugging the oil leak with surplus BP executives.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's a Girl

Mandy and Mr. Mandy announced that pre-rugrat is now officially in rugrat status. A beautiful little girl was born yesterday afternoon at 5:18pm, for those of you who were feeling disturbances in the Force.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yet Another Again

[For those of you who haven't seen these before, sing them to the tune of "That's Amore!"]

With this function defined, it
Soothes the engineer's mind.
That's a Fourier.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Take Me Out Again

We went to our local minor league blernsball team game the other night. They played a team from a town three states away. I'm not sure if we won. It was cold and raining, and we left after the fourth-and-a-half inning.

It was Dime-A-Dog night at the park. Son thought we were saying "Diamond Dog," but that was about as far from the truth as our seats were from home plate. On Dime-A-Dog Night, one could buy a tiny disgusting blend of pork snouts, sodium nitrite, and what appeared to be potting soil for only ten cents. I ate four. With mustard. So four Diamond Dogs times ten cents plus one small bottled water plus tax equals $4.17.

We met Baldo and Geekina McNerdy at the game and found our seats in the section farthest from home plate that we could sit in and still be in the park. Because it had rained most of the day, the seats were wet. Fortunately, the park had people to take care of that. There were two ushers dressed in their smart red nylon jackets with the helpful USHER written in large black letters on the back. GPop rolled his eyes when I asked if those folks had a small unstable shed to store their stuff.

The ushers for our section were two young men, maybe 19 or 20, who appeared to have gotten this far in life on the strength of good looks and an easy smile. They were carrying pumpkin-colored fake chamois cloths to wipe down the seats. When we approached them to show our tickets, I asked the closer of the two, "What exactly IS the plural of ShamWow? Is it ShamWows or ShamsWow?"

"Uhhh.... I'm not an English major."

"Well, you might need to know that if it keeps raining. Ha ha." That last bit was to demonstrate that I was just kidding around and was not some kind of grammar police officer intent on executing a pogrom against the grammatically ill-advised. He used his defense mechanism of flashing his perfect teeth at me and guided us to our seats.

We were the first people there by a long shot. I sat and "guarded" the seats while GPop and Son wandered around looking for some kind of cookie or something. As per modus operandi, Baldo and Geekina were still in transit. Eventually, we all converged and the game started with the appropriate pomp and circumstance. A local minor celebutard threw out the first ball, and a barbershop quartet did a stirring rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. The quartet was (or for you Brits, "were") quite good. They held the last "the" before the "brave" out just long enough to create tension, especially with the chord they were singing. Fortunately, they got us to the end of the song, which is the command, "PLAY BALL!"

The people sitting behind us were college age. There were three men and two women. I'm sure the women were quite nice people, but they were loud. And they were vapid. The old Mad TV show had a sketch were some people were at a baseball game, and two spectators were loudly and repeatedly misusing the word "literally." We were figuratively in that sketch. The one woman was explaining how she LITERALLY passed out after her class, and it was LITERALLY freezing in the classroom. GPop and I started texting each other.

GPop: My head is LITERALLY going to explode.

GDad: I am LITERALLY wishing for lightning to strike right behind me right now.

It was all we could do to keep from laughing out loud.

On our way out, we passed the guy in the giant hot dog suit. GPop got out his phone and motioned for me to stand next to the hot dog. One of the reasons I love GPop so much is that he accepts my recently developed desire to have my picture taken next to people dressed in bizarre costumes. The hot dog guy leaned in close, and I told him, "Don't smile. Make it look like you are barely tolerating standing next to me. It will be hilarious." GPop snapped the picture. The hot dog had smiled. We tried again. I asked him to make it look like his mom was making him stand out here in the light rain with this jerk next to him. The hot dog did not smile this time.

So far, I have a giant bear, a fast food mascot, a strawberry, and a hot dog. I need something outside of the food and animal realm. Perhaps I could stand next to one of those Statue of Liberty people who stand on the corner and wave during tax season.

Happy Blernsball, everyone!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Foto Phriday

This is a picture of a sculpture made by Baldo McNerdy a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moving Right Along

Friend and reader C reports that her husband's truck died. It may be recoverable, but it has issues at the moment. She was reading my wallowing entry about moving far away with only what can fit in my car, and her husband said, "I want to move away with GDad!"

She asked, "Why would you do that?"

He replied, "He has WHEELS!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In a Mood

I am kind of in the mood to sell everything but what I can fit in my car and move someplace far away.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The urinal is fixed. I don't know if even the repairperson can explain how.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bucket List

There are these newfangled waterless urinals in the men's rooms at the building where I work. One of them on our floor has been OUT OF ORDER since last Tuesday. Here are some reasons why this is ridiculous.

  1. The technology is roughly equivalent to a bucket.
  2. With a hole in it.
  3. That drains into a pipe in the wall.
Seriously - out of order?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The End of the Music

Son has his last chorus concert of the school year this afternoon. He's very excited.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Walking a Mile

I got some new rubber-soled moccasins for Christmas. They are lined with wool. Mmmmm... foot comfort. The brand name is supposed to evoke images of lambs and softness. It is "LAMO." I laughed a lot.

Even cooler - there's a reusable bag that held the moccasins. I can stuff it with LAMO gifts for someone later.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Conversational Building Block

I just tried one of those things you see in movies and teevee where a character will respond to someone with a short response, pause, then say it again.

Alice: ...and that's why I don't use two-ply bathroom tissue any more.

Bob: Great information, Alice. [pause] Great information.

Unlike when Ward Cleaver or Bill Cosby would use this gambit, it sounds contrived and awkward in real life. I think I was hoping for "avuncular," but when the person I'm addressing is 20+ years my senior, avuncular doesn't quite work. It becomes condescending and a bit off-putting.

I'm going to have to keep this one in my back pocket for use when I want to cause trouble.

Foto Phriday - Fair Edition

This rabbit at the state fair is almost spherical. Spherabbit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Crazy on the Road

This morning, on the way to work, I was driving, cruise controlled, at the speed limit, in the center lane of three. There was traffic on and off the freeway in the right lane. The fast people were in the left lane. In the right lane, a minivan matched my speed about a car length and a half ahead beside me.

Suddenly, a woman in a Corolla sped up behind the van in the right lane. She looked to see if she could zip between the van and me to get into my lane. The van slowed just a bit so there was less than a car length between us. It wasn't really possible for her to zip into my lane. She went up to within two feet of the van, then zoomed around him ON THE SHOULDER.

Had she slowed down for a second, she could have gotten behind me, then into the left lane. I watched her for a moment to see if she was exiting at the next exit, but she zoomed right past it. Amazing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And Poker

I don't get out much any more. Not that I ever did. Since Son joined our family, my social activities have really been cut back, and I think some of my friends may have had a hard time adjusting to my lack of availability.

My current social activity revolves mostly around lunch. I try to eat lunch alone very infrequently. I'll schedule lunches with coworkers and other friends so that we have 30 minutes to catch up and talk about whatever. If I don't have specific plans, I have a default lunch group of the Three Wise Men. They've been working together (and lunching together) for 20 years and more. The oldest of the three is the newest employee of the company, and he has been there for 20 years this year.

I started having lunch with them as my default group about a year, year-an-a-half ago. They a really fascinating guys with varied backgrounds. One thing that I like is that their long-term friendship has allowed them to navigate treacherous conversations with ease. Their beliefs about the Big Three Conversational No-Nos might be different, but they know how to waltz adroitly around the topics of politics, religion, and money.

Recently, a new guy, whom I shall dub "Sven," has joined the group as often as not. He pushes our group to the right politically, toward the center religiously, and toward outer space in a few other LY's. I am really learning some interesting ways to pull conversations back to a comfortable place when they move off the beaten path.

And, even better, these guys even pretend to be interested when I totally geek out and point out that The Doctor's issues with getting to the right destination seem to be tied to the fact that he is using a Type 40 TARDIS, which may be a major plot point this season, so...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Suspendening

Son was suspended this afternoon for one day out of school. He had a bit of a meltdown in class. More to follow as events unfold.

UPDATE: I wrote this and hit "save" instead of publish.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Four Word Movie Review - 1408

Really scary Cusack monologue.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Four Word Movie Review - Precious

Avoid this if suicidal.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Four Word Movie Review - Iron Man 2

New suit, more booms.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Missed Opportunity

I just realized that I missed the opportunity to title my last post "Bye Bye Beardie." Alas.

Little update - the night after Beardie died, GPop woke up around 1:00am screaming. I calmed him and asked him what was wrong. He said, "It's coming right at me." He does not remember this incident.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

R.I.P. Beardie

GPop and Son took Beardie to the vet for a follow-up visit last night. Son was holding Beardie in the car on the way home when Beardie gave a small shudder. Son told GPop that he thought Beardie was no longer breathing, but GPop couldn't check out Beardie until they got home. Beardie did not respond to anything when they got out of the car.

I was taking a short rest when Son came in and shook me awake. "Beardie's dead." He started to walk away. I took his arm and pulled him close. He collapsed in my arms and started to cry. I sat him down and said what comforting words parents have had to say since kids started having pets. GPop was also distraught.

We buried Beardie in the traditional shoe box out in the back yard. I put some of those glass beads that look like marbles that have started to rot. Those are the treasures Beardie will take with him after he stands before the god Anubis to have his heart weighed against the weight of a feather. I am certain that Beardie has memorized the spells and passwords in my copy of The Egyptian Book of the Dead, which weirdly I can not find in its normal place as I am typing this.

I think I managed to calm both Son and GPop before they went to bed.

Here's a video of Beardie deciding whether or not to eat his lizard chow. This is from when he was still healthy. The vet believes it was some kind of growth that interfered in his bowels, which caused an injury that got infected.

Good-bye, Beardon J. Beardie, Professor of Bearditation at the Beard Institute of Beardology, and former Captain of the Forty-ninth Beardgade. Your short life from August 2006 through May 5, 2010 was a joy to our family.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Doctor Who Prediction

So far, in the three episodes of this season of Doctor Who that I've seen this year, the Doctor has some issues with arriving when he expects to. He has blamed it on the Type 40 TARDIS that he uses. I suspect this will be part of the plot arc this year.

I am definitely a nerd.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Jedi Day!

"May the fourth" be with you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Garfield's Schtick

At the risk of losing readers due to triteness, I hate Mondays.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Here Comes the Sunflower

Maternal Grandma has an old farmhouse. Every spring, GPop, Son, and I help her plant flowers in her flower beds. We had a really good time getting some of those flowers out today, but we had to dodge raindrops. Fortunately, there was not the "severe thunderstorms" that we heard about on the way up.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Beardie's Back (Side)

Beardie is back in the house. He has stitches on his butt, but the doctor said that he has a good chance of pulling through. He's being difficult about eating his meat paste out of a syringe, but he did take the medicine.

We had to take out his pumice rock and driftwood, because they may have harbored bacteria or fungi. He looks forlorn just lying on the floor of his terrarium, but when he gets the stitches out, he'll get a new playground.