Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Gardener

Our house is an old farm house that is pretty close to our road.  There used to be a blue spruce between us and the road, but something did it in, and we had it taken down last year.  When it was up, grass wouldn't grow underneath it, what with it being an evergreen and all, so we put down mulch and bulb flowers for pretty much the entirety of our "front yard."

Now that the tree is gone, we decided to plant grass back in that area, so we raked up the old mulch and moved it to another part of the flower bed, and then planted grass seed.  There had been a border made of various cobble and small boulder sized stones around the edge, so I had to move all of those.  GPop rototilled, then we planted the grass and raked it in.

Now we are sore.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thank Goodness for Twilight

I never thought I'd say that, but it could be worse.  Click to embiggen - turn your head to read.

Totally AWESOME!!!!11!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Star Is Born

The video with me in it played at the all-employee meeting yesterday.  My image kicked off the video, and they came back to me a couple of times.  I think I'll ask for a copy in HD of what they have.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life's* Little** Pleasures***

I love it when a meeting gets rescheduled.

*If you can call it a life.
**Probably better described as "minuscule."
***Cessation of nearly-overwhelming sense of ennui.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Itsy Bitsy

John C was ranting about how cold it was in Small City, Midwest State, and how it had topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Arizona the previous day.  When I got to work, I saw this spider in the break room soon after my VP was impressed that someone was on the floor at 6:30am.  None of those three events were related, except that that were temporally proximal.

Click to embiggen.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Angry Language Guy - Capitalization

I love the arbitrary and capricious capitalization "rules."

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Trees in a ravine at a park about an hour from us.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Foto Phriday

Spring is here; spring is here!
Life is skittles and life is beer!

Now that the weather is better, although still a bit sketchy, a lot of people have started riding motorcycles around.  GPop's bike is a 2003 Honda Nighthawk 750.  It's a nice street bike.  I had never seen a Nighthawk 650 before, but here's a picture of one next to my Honda Civic Hybrid (hmmmmmm).  Please note the Cookie Monster strapped to the back.  As always, click to embiggen.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dear Doctor

I had a doctor appointment yesterday for an annual physical.  I am in fair health, for someone who drew my numbers in the genetic lottery.  My dad and mom both have GERD, and I got it in spades.  My insurance company has decided that Nexium is too expensive, so they are jacking around with my coverage to discourage me from taking it.  Here is a letter I just wrote to my doctor, which is a follow-up to the discussion from yesterday, when I didn't have the letter from the insurance company.

TO:         Dr. Doctorlady Withglasses
FROM:  GDad Lastname
RE:          Discussion from 04/18/2012 about Nexium vs. insurance coverage
PAGES: 2 (this cover and attachment)

Dr. Withglasses,

Attached is the letter from my prescription coverage plan advising me that I need to consider alternatives to Nexium in order to keep coverage.  I see that I failed to discuss this with you before April 1, as the letter mandated, but we’re close.  I spoke to Kelly at CVS/Caremark this morning, and she told me that I must have you call to provide a pre-authorization to ensure that Nexium is medically necessary.

Item for discussion next time I see you – How is “pre-authorization” different from your prescription?  Isn’t the act of writing a prescription regulated to the nth degree already, and don’t you, as a doctor, have what amounts to a sacred trust to keep your patient’s medical needs in the forefront?   Kelly seemed chipper until I questioned this, then she was a bit curt with me.

In any case, if you could do me the favor of calling CVS/Caremark to provide a pre-authorization for GDad Lastname regarding my Nexium prescription, I would greatly appreciate it.  If you think another route is medically advisable, please let me know.  The CVS/Caremark number is 1-800-[redacted].


GDad Lastname

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Advice for President Obama

I have a way for you to ensure a second term.

In September, send that group of Navy SEALs to find and "take care of" Rachel from Card Services.  Then advertise the victory.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Son's Thanks

Son's English class read The Last Lecture, and the teacher gave them a multipart assignment to create a portfolio of short essays around the topic of memento mori.  One of the short essays was a eulogy.  Son wrote it as though I were speaking the eulogy at his funeral.  I joked with him that some of the less astute "left-enders" would probably write a eulogy in the first person.  He graciously chuckled.

Later in the portfolio, I ran across two thank-you notes from him to GPop and me.  He wrote that he was grateful that we had given him a stable, loving family, and that he just wanted us to know.  He told me after I wiped away something that got in my eye that he had always written thank-you notes to people who had given him gifts for gift-giving occasions, but that he had never written one to GPop and me yet.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fruit Kaboom

I love how the fruit is bleeding out of this muffin.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


This is a bumbled bee I saw on the floor of the walkway to the parking garage at work.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Away to the Window, I Flew Like a Flash

This morning, I got up around 3:30 to use the bathroom, as is usual for me.  After finishing, I got back in bed, and a few seconds later, I heard a big crash.  I leaped up from the bed and ran out into the hallway to check for a sabertooth tiger, dire wolf, or perhaps that troublesome tribe of Neandertals from over the hill.  Once I realized that there were none, and I was able to engage the frontal cortex and look around for the source.

Nothing in the bathroom.

Nothing on the stairs.

Son's room?  The touch-activated lamp formerly on the nightstand was on the floor and turned on.  Evidently, Son stretched out beyond the confines of the bed and had knocked the lamp onto the floor.  Since nothing was broken, I turned it off and went back to bed.

Normally, when I get up around 5:20, I do the ablutions, then turn on Son's light and shut off his fan.  This morning, I moved the lamp back to the nightstand, which of course turned it on.  Generally, this does not wake Son up, but I saw eyes open this morning, and a finger snaked out from the covers and shut off the light.  I turned the light back on and told him that he had knocked it off during the night.  A finger snaked out from the covers and shut off the light again.  At this point, I decided to let the alarm clock handle the situation, and I left for work.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Interesting UCE

I got this e-mail this morning.  I really wonder what would happen if I replied.  E-mail addresses changed to protect all of us, and other typos left untouched.

To: lastname@megacorporationone.mega
From: "Thoms Muller"
Subject: Legal Advice

Hi ,
My name is James Gilliard and I am in need of legal assistance in dealing with a marital agreement matter.
Please advice me if this area of law is within your field of practice so I can proceed with providing you with further information.
Cordially yours,
Thomas Muller

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Possible Headlines for Today

"Romney Squeezes out Santorum"

"Santorum Wiped off the Ballot"

Add your own below...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dente Canis et Sum non Medicus

At the drop-off for the birthday party, Neighbor Rusty's evil little Jack Russell (supposedly) terrier came over and bit Tremell's mom when she was getting back into her car.  Duke is the dog's name.  He is supposedly quarantined to Rusty's house for 10 days and is "under review" or something.  Rusty initiated the review period with Animal Control.

Tremell's mom was quite insistent on asking me for medical advice.  I advised her to consider her own health situation, consult with Rusty to make sure Duke had all of his shots, and perhaps chat with a family doctor, but I could not provide solid medical advice.  She kept asking.  In my mind, I kept answering, "Go to the d@m_ doctor, woman!" but on the outside, I simply repeated the lines about making sure she was comfortable with the outcome.

Also, she said her leg was "leaking" rather than "bleeding," which I suppose is a perfectly cromulent use of the word, and she didn't appear to be familiar with antiseptic ointment and adhesive bandages, so perhaps I should have been a bit more assertive about seeing a doctor.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dream Log - Monday Morning

Corbin Bernsen was giving me a shot of Novocaine to prep me for some dental work on my left incisor, which had a big chip in it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Lots of travel, lots of family, lots of food.

Now we sleep.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Under the Pink Moon

Son had a small group of friends over last night for a birthday party.  There were 4 additional boys in our house.  Their ages added up were less than GPop's age and my age added together.  Ah, well.

In any case, I made pizza with colored dough.  When I use the breadmaker, I often add food coloring to the bread dough.  It doesn't change the flavor, but it adds some fun to the pizza.  The boys chose purple and blue.  Purple, because they liked it, and blue, because it matched Son's new motorcycle.

Our town is gradually getting out of the white-bread farm gestalt that it had been 10 years ago.  One of the lads who was over, Tremell, is African-American.  He is also the youngest of the boys, and was the loudest and fastest talker.  I gave my rules near the beginning of the party.

GDad:  Gentlemen, here are the rules.  1. I don't care for casual swearing.  I will call you out on it.  I expect you to behave like gentlemen, and I will treat you as such.  2. If I am awakened by noise once I go to bed, I will take all of you home, and I don't care what the hour is.  3. If I wake to find anyone out of the house, I will call to file a missing person report.  Got it?

Daniel:  Yes, Mr. Lastname.

Everyone else: [look pointedly at Tremell]

Tremell:  Why is the black kid always the loudest?

GDad: [pause] I don't think I'm allowed to respond to that.

Everyone else: [general laughter]

Just for the record, Daniel is a very polite and intelligent kid.  He is one of the few kids I've met who doesn't struggle with calling adults Mr. and Mrs./Ms.  I think part of the reason some of these kids struggle is that many of their friends have parents with surnames that differ from the kid's surname, which causes confusion.

Later in the evening, we got out the 6-inch telescope and looked at the moon.  GPop pointed out the Sea of Tranquility, and a couple of the boys expressed surprise that there were seas on the moon.  I was flabbergasted at that gap in knowledge, so I explained about how astronomers in older times saw the dark areas and thought there was water there.  I would have thought this was third grade knowledge, but perhaps I was a bit of an outlier with respect to astronomical trivia when I was a lad.

GDad: Look up there.  That's Mars.

Boys: Oooo... that's cool.  Let's look at that!

GPop: OK.  Give me a minute.  [futzes with telescope]

GDad: Does anyone know how many moons Mars has?

Boys: 2! 4! 7! None!

GDad: Yep, it's two.  Do you know the names of the moons?

Tremell:  Marquell and LaQuesha?

GDad:  Hardly, but interesting guess.

Their noise didn't wake me up, but I guess their self-policing got a little silly.  Eventually they fell asleep.  The next morning, they awoke and ate pancakes.  Before they went home, Daniel expressed interest in seeing my small collection of foreign coins.  He was especially interested in the heptagonal (he used that word) dollar coin from Barbados.  I told him that sometimes banks will have a small jar of those coins that get stuck in coin sorting machines, and that perhaps he could give them puppy dog eyes to get his hands on them.

They were gone by 11:00, and except for the Diet Orange Crush stain on the carpet, there was no damage to the house.

Friday, April 6, 2012

What To Do

Let's say you're a minority - we'll go with race, since it's visible and in the news these days.

You're with a small group of friends who belong to this group.  At a lunch in a food court, you notice one friend heading toward a place known for tasty food, but also known for its support of abhorrent policies and politics.  Let's say it's "Circle Triple K."  This is a place where you would not spend money in a million years, because you have some political awareness and have spent time developing a sense of money activism.

Circle Triple K

Do you advise your friend of the situation then and there, stay silent, or choose another course of action (such as blogging about it anonymously a few days later)?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Son and his Present

Son is riding his bike in this clip.

Yes, he has his motorcycle temps.  Yes, we have limitations more strict than that.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Winter Days - 2011

This is video from over a year ago.  Thank goodness we're past it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Son's Birthday Present

GPop had the sales guy put "SOLD" signs on all of the floor models that Son was eyeballing a couple of weeks ago.  Son's was assembled fresh in back and had a HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign and ribbon on it.  I thought Son's head would split open from him grinning so widely.

It is a new 2009 Honda Rebel (250cc).  Honda had surplus inventory, presumably due to the late 2008 market crash.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Video Monday - Son with Dad

This is Son riding with Dad in Dad's 1959 Corvette.  Dad got it when I was in high school.  It had been in many pieces.  It took about 2 years to assemble completely, and he even let me drive it when I turned 18, although I did drive around for a couple of hours and made my mom think I had died in a crash.  The speedometer in that car goes up to about 130, but I can state very confidently that it does not have the ability, mechanically, to go more than 90 down a long hill.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

All Grown-ish

Here's a picture of Son trying on the pants from his Viking costume.  We were doing some spring cleaning.

I don't remember why son needed a whip.  I think it was from the Renaissance Fair, although it could have been from some other nerd festival.