Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Is It Over?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Anti-Depresant

I have had the unluckiest of unluckiness lately. Basically I'm coming off a cold, which is rare for me... especially since I've become a diabetic and a stroke victim... all that ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure stuff, and I'm getting another cold, or at least a piece of one. Not good. I'm also coming off the Lexapro. I've been wanting to do this for some time, but the holidays and the time needed to adjust etc, etc it just was possible until now. So I'm trying to come off some medicine and recover from a cold.

The Lexapro definitely has "something" in it. Because I walk around thinking my wife is mad at me for stupid reasons. Plus there is some kind of shock thing going on (like a buzzing in my head), and I have tried to ween myself off of it, it's the same either way. I am ready to come off of this though, I just need a little more time to adjust. But it's weird how a little pill, cut in half at that, can make such a difference. I think the world seems much darker now. But I still think that I'm better off without it, than to become a slave to it. I can say that even though I'm a slave to other drugs like high blood pressure and cholesterol, because of the stroke... for life. That seems kind of crazy. I know, why don't you just take the Lexapro and be done with it?

Because of what the drug does to your head. Pretty much. Maybe I'll fail, and I'll be forced to go back onto it again. But the buzzy feeling I have because of serotonin releasing or whatever is not good at all. If I stopped taking my other meds I would not have such adverse side effects.

I love google, looking up "stop taking Lexapro" and I see I'm not alone. Nobody asks "What happens when/if I stop taking _____". And the doctors don't really know anyway. I say all this not to tell anyone "Hey, look at me, I did/didn't do it". I really just need this so that I have a place were I can look back to as to gauge my progress and maybe tell others if they are looking at taking Lexapro, to look further and ask about what happens after. Nobody ever thinks about it.

That's all I'm saying, and I don't think Lexapro or any other "anti-psychotic"or "antidepressant" is meant to be permanent.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Traffic

We went to Georgia to see a friend over the weekend. It was all good except for traffic. And it was just along interstate 95, and only along the South Carolina part... some 8 miles. It was backed up. I mean bad. Once in Georgia it was fine, but otherwise, that was one back up that I just couldn't understand. Once in Georgia we got another lane and there was no accident or anything else, but the backup was still there some 5 hours later, when we were coming home. No traffic problem going northbound, but southbound... Yikes!

And when we getting ready to go to said friend's house, I could see the potential for new clothes, new shoes, new stuff... How many of us have seen the same? Getting ready to go somewhere, just two days after Christmas, surely we all had something new. And thus we did one daughter had new shoes, pants, and shirt, the other had new hair barrettes, I had on new socks... know what I mean?

Out with the old in with the new...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Almost Died

It was on Christmas Eve and we were busy doing elf work... I trudged outside for like the hundredth time or whatever and I felt what I thought was a rock in my shoe. I went inside after I got whatever and took my shoe off to see what it was (it was actually a slipper).

And that's when I see the spider come out of my shoe. I kind of scream like a girl, not because I was afraid of the spider but because it was so close to me... Anyway my wife says "kill it". And this is a woman that pretty much takes everything she finds and sets it free, but this one time she said "kill it", and I did. See here:


And so I flattened it, with the same shoe it was living in. I feel bad about it, but at the same time I think the spider should have known better. I mean really, what did he think would happen from him holed up in my shoe? He never bit me, but he got squished all the same... little bastard, scaring the bejesus outa me....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Body Squeegee

I have some of my best ideas in the shower, or at least I think I do, it's just that I always forget them once the towel hits my body. Well this one idea involves my father. We grew up in this very small house in Gretna, which is just to the west of New Orleans, the white trash of New Orleans if you will. It was a 2 bedroom chalet, about 800 sq ft, needless to say there was only one bathroom. Me, my brother, and many times my father had to bathe together. I think the same held true for the females, but I can't say for sure.

Its when you are standing there naked with your father and brother (also naked) that moments of high intellect come through. See we didn't even have a shower, just a tub and a hand sprayer, kind of like the one many people have in their kitchen. For me it was not a problem, since I didn't like the shower, but anyway. My dad would squat down in the tub and take a shower, again me thinking nothing of it. Now I have 3 bathrooms, something I never even knew existed. How we grow huh?

So my father, never one to waste anything has this theory, or maybe motto is a better term. Basically you had to "squeegee" off all the water on your body, before you could dry off with a towel. If you're anything like me you're thinking.... WTF, I paid good money to have a nice towel... use it! Well, not him, and because of something ingrained into my head, not me either.

That is unless I catch myself, which is typically mid-squeegee and I don't even know if that really works...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Garden Update: Week 12

So it's Friday... Wha... Yeah I know I'm a little late. Ok a lot a bit late. this whole Christmas thing has got me off. So anyway I figured this would suffice for a movie review, because who has time to watch anything this week?

The week was beautiful, in the 70's, and then the bottom fell out and I had to cover everything back up. Notice that this also made it colder than a witch's ahem... you know and I still had to put things together for Christmas. But it will all work out.

If you look at the bottom of the picture you can see the spinach, but for whatever reason, the sprouts are turning yellow. Anybody know why? Otherwise it's been a quiet week.... for the garden.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Better Off.... Right?

Just a side note... the event didn't happen on Christmas, I'm posting this in advance, because life is crazy. So don't think I'm crazy or whatever because I posted this on Christmas... I'm crazy, just not like that. So with that enjoy a bit of my misery before the holidays on the holiday...

So why is it that when all children are trying to be good, and trying not to be naughty or EVIL, my kid, my oldest, instead tries to push everyone's buttons and we want to take all her Christmas presents, and basically... kill her?

I am trying to remain calm and keep in mind that she is a teenager, and they have certain issues to deal with. I also have the "broken home" issue to handle as well, but honestly the kid in mind anyway, has the absolute best bargain that I could possibly imagine.

Go back to 2004. I was living at the Suburban Lodge. My daughter and I had Christmas in a hotel room. Not a nice comfy room, and there was the added burnt smell that permeated everything, because my daughter read the conventional oven directions... only she was using a microwave. Basically, it was less than ideal. I had just moved here, knew nobody, pretty much just me and her.

I had presents and a "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree, so we were not completely out in the cold. But compare that to what we have now. A 2000+ sqft home, our health, two more people, and many other things... we are a lot better off.

So again I ask, why does she make me have to kill her? I know, I know, I can't really kill her... no place to hide the body. I'm kidding but it is frustrating when we have so much to be happy and thankful for, that we're stuck on stupid. I don't know, but my child successfully completing middle and high school is going to take a lot of my time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Skinny on Santa?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Traditions again...

There's a bit of New Orleans tradition in Mr. Bingle. I don't know about other areas but being a kid in New Orleans meant seeing Mr. Bingle along with getting your picture taken with Santa Claus. He was created for department store, Maison Blanche, which is now Dillard's.

There's a bio and older sales fliers here. They used to do Breakfast with Bingle which basically was a sales tactic to get parents to shop at the Maison Blanche. Kids got a puppet show and a biscuit or muffin or something, and the parents got... holiday headaches maybe? I always associated Mr. Bingle with Mr. Bill. I mean they were from the same time, same town, they both had a white face, with blue eyes and a red nose... they could definitely pass for brothers.

Anyway, my kids won't or don't have any kind of tradition like that. Outside the family, that they participate in… Unless you count the Christmas parade, and coming from New Orleans, I have seen better. Well, I guess we'll just learn to live with it, though I now realize what a culture rich childhood I really had.

So to everybody out there, Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Immortal Cookie Recipe

Ok so I've been talking to my baker wife about the ultimate cookie recipe. Well, it turns out that this recipe is in my mother's head. Yeah, I know, I'm setting up my wife to fail, also it may not be so immortal after all. What I tasted as a kid and what I taste now is two completely different things.

But that's not to say that my childhood was somehow wrong. I still think my mother's sugar cookie recipe is good, in fact I'd go so far as to list it in the top 3. I think having a little piece of your childhood again easily makes something more decadent. But for my wife tasting said cookie for the first time, not so much.

I was going to post the recipe here, but it turns out my mother is writing a cookbook, and she does not want to give anything away. I will say that these cookies are thin, squished by a glass with colored sugar, they do not travel well at all. But they are good. Crisp, not too sweet, and with a hint of vanilla... I'm getting hungry just thinking about them.

I plan on making these and setting them out for Santa. It's like a win-win, isn't it?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh Here I Go...

So here I am, another Sunday, another weekend at work (so I can have the Friday after xmas off) and I'm thinking why didn't I pick a better football team, or at least the one I have could have done better.... just a bit?

After work I have a bike to put together, and a kitchen set. Life's tough huh? No more shopping, I mean sure I would go if I had more money, but alas, I don't. I could spend into oblivion if I wanted to, but there comes a point for me, where I feel if I get anyone any more and I'll just be spoiling them.

Christmas really should be about family, friends, and maybe beer. I can't ever really think of any material possession that I would hold higher. Unless somebody is giving me a Ferrari, which they aint but if for some reason they do, the "they" being someone very, very rich, I would rather assemble the family or have the ability to quit my job, than have a Ferrari. Pretty much.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick

So it figures. We have weeks of cold and rain and it finally warms up and I have a cold. It was started by my 13-year-old she gave it to my 2-year-old which gave it to me. Now all I can do is try to get through it, but gaw-lee. I'm a big puddle of snot. It was preceded by a hurty throat and feeling kind of weak. Now I'm just looking to stop my nose from running.

So if you see it (my nose) tell it come come back to me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Holiday Inn

This is a little pre-Christmas fun. Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby), Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), and Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale) are an act together, they are doing quite well, but Jim wants to take it easy. He plans to marry Lila and get a place in Connecticut. Live of the land as it were.

Except that's really not what Lila wants and Ted is quick to jump on it. So Jim leaves show business to live in the sticks while Ted and Lila keep right on dancing. That is until Jim figures out that farm life is not everything it's cracked up to be. So he comes up with an idea to make his home a Holiday Inn, no relation to the chain of motels. Basically he'll be open on just the holidays, the rest of the time he'll just kick back.

Sounds good to me, what about you? Jim tells Ted and his agent Danny Reed (Walter Abel) his plan and they just blow him off. Meanwhile Danny is buying some flowers for Lila, from Ted... enter Linda Mason (Marjorie Reynolds) who is the florist but is looking to break into show business. Danny blows her off too, and refers her to go work at the Holiday Inn.




Then things get kind of messy. Lila leaves Ted for a Texas millionaire. So Ted goes to Connecticut in a drunken stupor and winds up dancing with Linda. Haven't we been here already? Yep, and Jim, and Ted, and Danny can feel it. What happens you'll have to rent or buy the movie and see for yourself...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Art, School, and My Stroke.

I've kind of been avoiding the subject, or maybe not, maybe it just never came up. Part of me that I really never used much of before the stroke is really dead now, or at least I think it is. I was in a former life a bit of an artist. Now, with my right hand not quite what it was, not so much.

Why am I even talking about this? I saw an article the other day and in it was one of my high school counter parts. You can check him out here, if so inclined. He started the 365 project. Basically take a picture of something (for Stephen, it was himself) everyday for a year. Interesting concept is it not? Though I think a bit narcissistic, but that's just me.

So anyway, I took art in high school, for all 4 years of it. It was probably the one moment I looked forward to. I was as it was said "artsy fartsy". It was my only real reason to like school. And if I was a bit smarter I would have gone to college and majored in some kind of art degree and got a job doing something kind of artsy. But I instead joined the Army, saw the world, and basically became a member of our tax paying society.

Which has served me pretty good up to this point. Though I guess I'll always wonder what could have been. And now 1 year further along with my stroke I wonder if I would be out of a job now. Or at least be struggling. Starving artist sales are just one of the reasons I thought that getting in to the art scene, was not really my taste.

But seeing an old high school friend make it in the "business" makes me pine for it again. Or maybe just search for my own way to mark my spot on society. I guess this blog will have to suffice. I have a picture that I've been working on for years, not that I've been actively working on it, but maybe one or two days a year. Dare I put the pencil to paper again?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Garden Update: Week 11

Well yet another week has come and gone. I'm not sure if the garden is doing so good, but then again I've never done this before (winter garden) so who knows. If you look close you can see the spinach sprouts at the bottom.

The One Time We Get A Little Peace

So I was thinking, late at night, or actually early in the morning... That this time of year is one of the few gifts us parents are given. The whole "you better be good, Santa is watching" thing. I used it, at 4 am, because my 2-year-old is sick, and awake.

I told her, sang to her really... and it wasn't pretty, but only she and I could hear so it didn't matter... the you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why...
And with that I get a bit of a get out of "jail free" card, because all other discussion is a moot point.

I don't get asked why, or how, or anything... the kid just does what is right and I get off easy. At least until Christmas. Then it's back to the regular same ole' same ole'. There is some reprieve around Easter, but otherwise there is nothing else. You can't say "Be good" in say June or July, and instantly be listened to, not that my kids are bad, because they're not, but saying "Be good" this time of year gets you a lot further along.

So I'm going to enjoy it, while I can.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Whole Car Debacle

Ok so 1st off I'm not a car guy, nor do me and my family come from "car states" but still I do think it's kind of funny, this whole car bailout fiasco. I can see where these people are coming from, but I don't know if they can see from where anybody else is standing.

My initial response is along the lines of "no" simply because of the way I feel. There are lots of people who are not going to get anything (like me) from this or the other bailouts, so my opinion is of course negative. Now I know this seems odd, but my father has been laid off many times from the oil and shipyards and even from the government job he had at the ammo plant. It's a way of life for us, you get laid off you take time off, you get another job.

But then I think of all the support companies that will likely go bankrupt along with the big 3. And then again, I look at the previous bailout, that pretty much got me a big fat goose egg. What do I conclude? I think nothing.

Soon after the first bailout failed (the 700 billion one) there was all this talk of doom and gloom and the coming apocalypse. Then they made concessions, and voila we had a bailout, and then what? A bunch of nothing. If the car companies would have been first, instead of the finance companies... I might feel differently.

Then again they are only asking for a "loan". I mean we'll make out ok right? But I can't get a loan, so it makes me wonder. Is big business the only thing that the politicos can save anymore?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dreams

What is a person supposed do when your significant other has a bad dream about you? I mean, yeah you can comfort them and tell them that it would never happen, but still. You can't hide the fact that you are upset by it all. And I'm talking from the position of the person who dreamed it and the innocent other person who other than being in the said dream, has nothing to do with it.

This is all about much of nothing, but then again it's not. My wife woke up and said how could I go on vacation to Iraq without her. Now that sounds crazy, I would have much preferred the South Pacific. But the fact remains that in the person's head, it seemed real. Why do we have such vivid imaginations and why would it be used against us?

One of life's mysteries I guess...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Still Not Paying, But Still Get It Anyway

Much to my own chagrin, the paper is still free. I thought that with it going to "paid" that would mean, less clutter around my AO (Area of Operation). But since my neighborhood is one of the few (I don't know how much or many really) that get the "promotional" try out... I'm still dealing with clutter.

The mess is due to my thirteen-year-old looking at it and thus she simply must leave it anywhere and everywhere. Which it then quickly goes into the garbage. I thought I instructed her that for all intents and purposes, that "rag" isn't even worth the paper it's written on. Every now and then they'll have something, but it's still full of human interest pieces and dogs. That and the VOX.

Maybe I need to do another Grade the News. Maybe then the "news" will go away. Not likely huh? Well...hmmm

Friday, December 12, 2008

Classic Film Friday: The Parent Trap

This weeks classic movie is brought to you by Mrs. MH. Just so you know :o)

This movie happened to be on last Sunday evening on TMC. It seems that they are playing family classics each Sunday in December. I've heard of this movie, and knew that it was remade, but had never seen either films. So, I settled in for some classic family fun.
The movie starts out with a young girl, Sharon McKendrick (Haley Mills), being dropped off at summer camp. She is obviously well-to-do and it shows when she reminds the camp counselor that her grandmother wants her to be in a well-ventilated tent. It continues as she bumps heads with a young lady, Susan Evers (also Hayley Mills) that looks remarkably similar to her, but with rather short hair. In fact, so much trouble ensues between the two of them, they are sentenced to share a tent for the remainder of their time to either work it out or make each other miserable.

Eventually, they figure out they are twins, separated when their parents separated. They concoct a scheme to switch places in order to get to know the opposite parent and get their divorced mother and father back together.

What follows is sweet and comical. You'll have to watch the film to see how it ends...in case you're the other one in a million that hasn't seen one or both of the two versions of this film.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Snowing... In New Orleans

I know, I know ...so what. But much like it is in the Lowcountry something as trivial as snow, turns in to quite the big deal down there. In fact of my 20 years of living there, plus going back to visit, I can count on one finger... yes it's only snowed one other time that I can remember. They're supposed to get an inch, which is really nothing, but it's so rare I bet the kids are loving it.

What Should I Do?

We went to go see The Polar Express at the movies the other day. I had reservations about it, because we could just as easily see it at home, but the wife wanted to see it in all it's glory, and she thought the kids would enjoy it too. So we went... though I could have been watching football, or playing some kind of electronic game, or simply sleeping I went along too.

We got a spot close to the top, which I think is preferred, at my local theater anyway. There was two women and a boy up there as well. No big deal right? It's a movie, there is bound to be more than one person going. Then we hear it. It sounds like a moan. My youngest daughter said it was a dolphin. I'm not sure why, I think it sounded more like young Frankenstein, but anyway. It did not stop, I looked up and the two women were talking as if everything was normal. Then the movie started.

We experienced the noise again, and again and again. Now I know that this kid was obviously retarded and he didn't know better or whatever, but there comes a time when somebody says something. Well actually, I just kind of moaned, like young Frankenstein myself, repeatedly... like maybe 1/2 of what we were receiving. And that according to the wife, was wrong.

What say you? Do you think after 20 or so minutes they should have left, or can they stay and watch the movie in it's entirety and subject us all to the moaning? I know, I know, if I say you can't bring the kid out and about then he'll never get to do anything. But what about the rest of us... who paid money to see and hear the movie... without the moan factor. What do you do when life hands you those situations?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Garden Update: Week 10

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 weeks, and by judging the size of the crop, I really thought it would be bigger. But this IS my first wintertime garden, so I am allowed some leeway. The spinach is just sprouting, but even still, it looks weak. The lettuce looks the best, but I still have time. Here's a picture...


How About Some Justice?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

He/She Makes What?

Well it looks like the school district is finally get a look in to, but not really. It's long been known that inequities exist in the district. Look for your self here. The newer hires, the ones who have been Val's picks, seem to have a lot more dough. Why is that?

I guess they never had a pay scale before now, but I can't imagine why. Wait, look here. And none of this investigation addresses the underlying problem of teacher pay. I think those few that have been here a while and aren't paid accordingly should either step up, or step out. If you've made a positive impact on kid's lives then you should be paid well, if you haven't... there's the door.

This all seems a moot point anyway. Unless you are a Principle or work in the upper echelon of the district. So unless your one of those folks, who cares?

We are in a bit of trouble I'm afraid. When we are all caught up in the this one makes $5,000 more than that one, we can't help but find inequities. What we should be worried about is other more prudent things, like say our kids grades, or keeping spending under control, or at the very least, making sure kids actually stay in school.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Justice Served

Ok, I'm about to get my cackles in a big, unruly mess. I was going to just let it roll off my back and not worry about it, but now? Now that Fred Hamilton Jr. has made the comment "Justice served" I wonder, just who in the hell he's talking about.

I was one of the people that was given the wrong ballot, I tried to explain to my wife that we should get a say in the mayoral and town council races, but we are one the edge of town, so that makes it ok to not let us vote? My wife assumed the lady at the polling place knew what she was talking about. They didn't.

So like I said, I was willing to let all this go, until Mr. Hamilton made the "justice served" comment. Maybe justice for him, but not for me. What? You mean there can be different kinds of justice?

Justice:
The quality of being just; conformity to the principles of righteousness and rectitude in all things; strict performance of moral obligations; practical conformity to human or divine law; integrity in the dealings of men with each other; rectitude; equity; uprightness.

No Mr. Hamilton justice has not been served, not at all, and your continued effort to try and hold back justice has made you another enemy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Party

So, by the time you read this I will have been to the x-mas parade and attended the first of many Christmas parties. Debauchery aside, because I know that I will be near some of it, maybe not causing it, but certainly not stopping it either I hope it will be good fun. We'll see, and I might have some photos to add to the mix too.

My favorite get together is not going to happen this year. It's the one where my employer flies me and my wife to the corporate office and gets all nice and toasty. It is not because of the economy, at least that is what they're saying. And next year is really big, it's their 10th anniversary, so all is not lost.

One of the most memorable Christmas parties I've ever been to involved myself, and maybe 15 or so other drunks in a hotel room eating pizza and drinking beer. It was an after party, because the main one was over. These two guys got in a fight and somebody else was stuffing pizza in the bed sheets. I could only imagine what the poor guy who's room that was would have thought. But then again I think he was complaining that there was no pizza left, so he should have had plenty... once he went to bed. Ah them was the days.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer"

We watched "Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer" the other night. OMG! How in the world would anything like that see the light of day in these times? I'm not complaining, I like ole Rudolph, but jeezloueez I just don't think you'll find a judgmental Santa or a "in the closet" dentist now a days.

Forget that in the land of misfit toys, the toys talk, but regular toys don't or the reindeer can be so callous because of Rudolph's "condition". This movie/TV special is ripe with contradictions and the acting leaves a lot to be desired... but something makes us watch it every year. What it is I don't know, maybe it's Burl Ives singing, or maybe it's the abominable snow monster, or maybe it's to horse laugh all those other reindeer in the end.

Who knows, but we watch every time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

We Missed It... Barely

My daughter come into our bedroom at 4am, crying that her stomach hurt, could see sleep with us. My wife, thinking that this was some kind of evil attention getting plan, let her in, though we wondered. Not 2 minutes after the little one is nestled in between us, I hear it.

The gasping and churning of someone about to throw up. My wife, much more alert than me, gets the child out of our bed and that is when our daughter lets go. So she threw up, again and again and again, god bless her.

In a only "sort of awake" way, I got my wife a towel. She has a bit of cynicism in her, and I love her for it. That and she got me (and herself) out of being the main target of a vomit attach. Yes, I'd say it's true love. :o)

Classic Film Friday: The Day The Earth Stood Still

This is a 1951 Sci-Fi flick is going to be remade and will come out later this month. So I figured I would at least get the ground work of what the original was like before all the special effects of today's film take place.

Basically a being from outer space has come to warn us about our violent ways and how it might bring negative attention from other planets. This movie has something that today's movies really can't have... the suspense that it builds because of the lack of special effects. That's not to say it doesn't have them, because it does and that's not to say I hate special effects, because I don't. But in some movies that's all there is, this is not the case with this movie.

The movie was watched via Netflix instant viewer or Roku. Which is awesome. Everybody likes this movie at my house, and though it has some rather liberal ideals, in a perfect world that wouldn't matter. Get along, or dad is gonna' get the belt, and nobody likes that. :o)


Thursday, December 4, 2008

One Year Ago Today

Here it is. I've officially made it a whole year since my stroke took place. I thought there would be a little more fanfare, but I guess nobody really celebrates things like this. I also thought that I would be further along/ more recovered than I am. But it's all relative I guess. 11 months ago I didn't think I could eat without making a mess or putting my eye out.

I still have a ways to go, and I might never get there, but at least I'm still alive to try... and that ain't too bad. But if I think back to when it actually happened, the night before when the EMS guy said I had an 11 blood sugar... the next morning... trying to get my body to work, when it simply wouldn't... the hospital... and then all the recovery later. It is a bit much.

Still I guess now is a time to reflect on the accomplishments I've made, instead of being overly negative. I can operate pretty much in everyday fashion without anybody knowing I had a stroke (except handwriting). I can eat, handle tools, even fix some things normally. But then again it's easier to list the things I cannot do than what I can do. So as long as that list keeps shrinking I'll be fine.

So happy anniversary to me... I guess.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Um, Huh?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Garden Update: Week 9

So week 9 has come. Funny thing is, if it aint raining, it's freezing... oh well. Everything keeps growing right along.

Gag Gifts

So me and my maternal side of the family have this thing going, the last couple of years not so much with the economy the way it is, but I started it all off with the giving of gag gifts to what I thought were some ungrateful kids. And that first year one kid said she hated me, another said she wishes I were dead, and another never wanted to spend Christmas with me again.

Some 12 or 13 years later, they've come to love it, and I have even got some doozies from them too. It's not the money, or even what you got, it's the laughs at whatever ridiculous item given to them and their reaction to said item. My mother and I simply love it.

I admit, I've not done it too much in the last couple of years, but I think I have brought it back this year. And for less than $20 for 4 people. I won't get to see them, but my mom will and she needs a laugh, like anyone else. So in the mix of junk I'm giving my siblings I'm also giving my mother the gift of laughter, and that will last so much longer than anything else.

And now my wife is getting in on the action. She talked to her brother and suggested that we exchange gag gifts with him too. Because really, what would you rather a $50 gift you can't use or a $5 dollar gift that you will likely laugh at? It seems for us that the answer is the latter.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanks for What...Nothing

I'm thinking about dropping out... of SIC (School Improvement Council) that is. I don't want to step on anybody's toes, or offend anybody but god damn. People are worried about their kid taking high school classes in middle school, so they can take college classes in high school. Um, yeah you are really looking out for EVERYONE right? How about some issues that affect every kid? or at least most kids.

Leave the smart ones and the poor ones alone, what kind of attention do your average students get? None. at all. So now I wonder why I ever started going to these things? I thought I would make a difference, but clearly I won't/can't/don't. So I'm thinking of dropping out.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sweet Tooth

I have a bit of a problem. This time of year, there is all kinds of food, and for me each little bite means a shot. Because I'm a type 1 diabetic, that is, my pancreas doesn't work anymore so I have to plan what I eat and give myself the proper amount of insulin. I try to account for myself and keep my blood sugar between 90-120.

Add to the fact that I can't seem to make any sense of what I eat and how it affects my blood sugar. That's to say, I can eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and it make my blood go up only slightly while other days that same sandwich may have a serious impact. Why? I wish I knew.

So that leads me back to this time of year. The time of snackin' out. It's crazy. But I'm almost over it. That is, I don't know if I care anymore. I'm not saying I'm just going to die or anything, but I just can't keep up with every cookie, candy, or carbohydrate. It makes no sense. I want to be good, but at what cost?

My sanity and my sweet tooth is worth something too. Probably not as much as me going into a diabetic coma, but still.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How My Day Was Ruined... Sorta

Ok I had a pretty good thing going. I cooked the dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and did prep work for the the rest. And my 13-year-old was very helpful with everything, that is until we got around to carrots.

Apparently my daughter thought that she could just peel the carrots into the sink and let the garbage disposal do the rest. Um, no, not quite.

So while my wife was doing her pie and we were cleaning up, the sink became clogged. It's at this point that I find out about the carrot peels down the drain. I dig in the disposal, no good.

Trying to remain calm, I ask my daughter to get the plunger.

But it was no good.

I empty everything from the sink and... god bless Centex, they made the pea trap removable by hand. And it was jam packed with peels.

So I cleaned everything up, put the pea trap back on and viola! The sink was draining again, with no leaks or anything else. Of course I was now covered in carrot peels, drain water, and whatever was on the plunger. My day of lounging had been ruined, but at least I didn't have to call a plumber.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Closed

I don't have a movie, there was just too much going on this week. But hopefully I'll have a movie to review next week. Now I'm off to help decorate or shop or make cookies. Such is life.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Well the day has arrived, and I have nothing to say except that I hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday, and remembers to be thankful. Now, what are you doing on the computer? Go get drunk with uncle Jim or help aunt Rita with the dressing, or whatever. Today is a day that you should surround yourself with family and friends. So go and do it!

Happy Thanksgiving :o)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Garden Update: Week 8

Ok, I admit it, I'm late again. There's not much to say. The 2nd try at spinach has sprouted and it has been pretty cold. Which is keeping the bugs and such at bay, but anyway...

What Are You Eating?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do The Zoo

So I will, recount my trip to the zoo. I will say, that though I went alone, as in only adult, it was an experience. I would not or will not go again when it is so cold outside. We froze and had the zoo pretty much to ourselves for most of the trip. I also wouldn't recommend going just for the animals. The gardens really add to it, though when it's freezing outside, there really isn't anything too see in the garden section. We didn't go, mainly because it was so cold and we had a schedule to keep (my wife was in a meeting and we really didn't know when it would let out).

So we stuck to the animals. Besides being cold, did I mention that it was cold? A good time was had by all. The howler monkeys were especially active. They would do their thing until one of the monkeys would literally scream, like a person, like ahhhhhhh and they'd stop... for half a minute or so and start back again. It's hard to describe it with out making monkey sounds, but trust me, the monkey's went over big.

Due to the cold weather, some of the animals were not on display, like the Galapagos tortoise, the hippo, or the alligator. But we persevered. We saw the giraffes and zebras and ostriches and elephants and gorillas, plus all the indoor stuff.

But this cold stuff, I don't like it, at least not here. Maybe if I had a fireplace, or snow it would be different, but all we get is cold and damp. It's cold again today, but I see we may finally get back in the 70's later this week. As for the zoo... It was ok, but frigid. Most of the animals wish it would warm up too.



Monday, November 24, 2008

Busy Week Ahead

This week kicks off, what for me will be a long, arduous busy time. It may be until after Christmas before I get any rest. But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. This past weekend I went to Columbia to take the kids to the zoo (my wife had to go to a meeting in Columbia, so we were along for the ride), Sunday I had to work, because I want Friday off, plus I had to meet some friends for a movie. I'm not really sure what's in store Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but Thursday much merriment and being thankful will take place. I will have enough food to feed 5 or 600. Yeah I know, it's just my family and a few friends. If it were anyone else I'd cook for a 1,000 or so.

Something about that day makes me want to have way more than I'll ever need. But I will say that it will all get eaten. We have 4 days to do it, but come Monday... no leftovers, because there will be nothing left.

Then there is putting up the Christmas tree, all the decorations, and the Christmas Cookies too. I've got work to do...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Are You Worried About Your Colon?

So I got this, I'm sure we all get this kind of stuff...

Purify, Detoxify, Look Great, And Feel Great!‏

Flush up to 25 pounds from your colon with Colotox

Umm, yeah...NO.

There is no way I mean no way I believe this. Your body makes shit, as a by-product, and gets rid of it. What the hell? If there is any toxins in me, I'd hope I would shit them out. I mean, that's the point isn't it?

They claim people eat 4-6 times a day and only poop once per day. Would you really want to go 4-6 times a day? And I don't know about you, but I aint digging around in my poop to see if what goes in, is what comes out. It shouldn't even be that way anyway, since you only poop out the stuff that your body can't use.

With this Colonox, maybe you could eat your own shit, since it will "Cleanse your entire system"
I mean, it's clean right? So why not eat it again? Dogs do it. Monkeys do it too. Join in the fun I'd say. And you'll lose weight too. That's a win-win my friend.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Getting Nowhere

Doctors are funny. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, or even a comedian kind of way... just quirky. I had to go to see my specialty doctor about my stroke. Maybe he reads my blog, maybe not, anyway... He always makes you wait, always. It's ok really, he has a TV and it was playing the Golden Girls so what's not to like?

So he has this picture of the brain with a diagram mapping out all the areas of it. Click the link if you want to see it. It helps me... about zero, because while I think I know the area where I had a stroke, I can't do anything about it. I can't some how work the left side of brain, it's kind of an all or nothing kind of thing.

But maybe he needs "something" on the wall, so it might as well be that. Hell I don't really even care what he has on his walls, make me better. Our conversation seemed to center around how bad everything is right now. It is pretty bad, but what is one person to do. Not much, except complain about it. I told him the stock price of one particular company that we both do business with and we just laughed. Again what can one guy do about it?

Laugh or cry, that's all.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Bullitt

So here we have the mother or father of all cop movies. And the immortal Steve McQueen.

Senator Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn) picks Lieutenant Frank Bullitt (McQueen) to watch or babysit a mob snitch Johnny Ross (Felice Orlandi). The senator is bucking for a better position and is providing protection for this snitch so that he will testify against the mob...and thus make the senator look like he's tough on crime.

Except Johnny Ross gets whacked, while under Bullitt's watch. But it's not that simple, nothing ever is. There are some suspicious circumstances that makes one wonder. Why was Ross put in a lack luster hotel, why did Ross appear to let the hit man in just before being killed, was this even Ross anyway?

There are so many ways this movie cannot work today, but it is nostalgia and "classic" to see things like the phone being rotary, or having to stop the car and find a pay phone those were the days right? Also, apparently nobody ever heard of "calling in for backup" back in 1968. But this movie is probably most famous for it's car chases. Vroom, Vroom!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What is a Mirliton?

So I thought about things that make "home", home on the holidays. I can really only come up with one answer, gastronomically anyway. Mirliton Dressing. Nobody I know even can guess what a mirliton is (it's a sort of squash). But that is what makes home unlike anyplace else. And food is to a person that comes from my part of the world, love.

Back when I was a kid, my aunt Emily used to have family get-togethers at her house, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and 4th of July. she would have everyone over for a feast, plus... she had a pool. She was awesome and was also the most well to do of any of us.

Come Christmas or Thanksgiving we couldn't wait to go to aunt Emily's house. There I would see Uncle Buddy, my grandmother's brother. And his girlfriend Gracie. Every year like clockwork she would tell the same stories you heard dozens of times but nobody seemed to care. My aunt Janet had these two overgrown black poodles and one year I remember my cousin jumping in the pool because it was the only time that I ever saw a dog, not swim, he just sank, at the deep end. Janet lives up in Indiana now.

Or aunt Carol and uncle Frank, to big too talk about really. Carol did have some kind of voodoo shop or whatever, my mother said she never wanted to cross that woman. June and Phil (the one who died recently) would be there too. Along with countless cousins. But I don't know any of these people now. I mean I know them, but I never really had a conversation with any of them besides the standard stuff.

So back to the Mirliton Dressing… It is a got to have at my house, and I hope with my children, they will continue the tradition. Here is the recipe that my family has adopted, it’s not traditional, but it is what it is, what I mean is everybody has their own version, here's mine (adapted for SC or GA or pretty much anywhere that's not New Orleans)

MIRLITON DRESSING

4 medium mirlitons (look for chayote, they have them at Wal-Mart)
1 onion, chopped
1 pound of Sage Sausage (get it in the breakfast section of your grocer’s fridge)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Cup fresh parsley
1 ½ Tsp Sage
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 bag of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix (or a loaf of good French bread)
1 lb. of fresh shrimp, peeled and diced (optional some people hate shrimp)
Cajun seasoning to taste I like Tony Chachere’s
butter

Preheat your oven to 350°. Boil, cool, peel, and cube the mirlitons. Reserve the mirliton boiling water. Sauté the onion, green onion, parsley, garlic, and celery until soft. Add the shrimp and cook about one minute . Add the mirlitons, Cajun seasoning, and stuffing mix. Stir well. Use a little of the water from cooking the mirlitons to moisten if necessary. Place the mixture in a greased 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole. Dot with a little butter. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

That's pretty much it. Now to convert my children... hehehe hahahaaaaa...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How About Some Gourds?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Garden Update: Week 7

Boy what a difference a couple of days make. I was bragging about how nice it is here on Sunday, now it's going to freeze (29 is the low) late Tuesday/early Wednesday. The garden looks pretty good, from what I can tell. Everything is covered and protected. Other than that all's well :o)




Sitting in a Chair

Sitting in the barber's chair, the lady asked me why was I gone so long. I took maybe a month or more to get a hair cut from when I normally do. My hair was long, so at least she didn't think I went somewhere else. Which is exactly what I was thinking. There's been a place or two that have opened up closer to the house. But it just so happened that I was in the neighborhood and I needed a haircut, so I stopped in.

No big deal... to me, but what about to her? I realized then that it's not just me that's dealing with economic strife, she is too. She by talking to me, cemented a bond between us, not saying that I won't go any place else, but I'll try harder to make it to her place. That's crazy right?

I often find myself just watching. Watching the people around me muddle through the day. Like at my daughter's daycare. I sat in the car as my wife went in to get our littlest. I wonder what all these people do. There seems no shortage of them. And this is a question I've asked a 100 times before. What line of work are you in? Me? I'm in the medical field... kicking and screaming, it's not a thing I would recommend. But I guess you could say that about anything nowa' days.

Where the hell are all these people working, and how are they making it? We can barely make it on 2 incomes that average out to about 50K a piece. And we don't have credit card debt or anything else.... besides a house and a car payment. I just don't get it.

But I sit and I watch... all kinds of people doing all kinds of things, none specifically interesting or unique, just existing. Sometimes funny, other times... not so much. Maybe I'm just born to wonder why.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some Perspective

I, like everyone else, am going through some... change. I'm not saying I'm going anywhere or that what I have to say is doom and gloom. Because I reserve that right for only certain occasions and this isn't one of them.

"We've made it through another day, you can't plan any further ahead than that."

That's what a fellow co-worker told me, and I think it can not be more true. People come and go, jobs as well, but to anybody that has managed to stay employed, Good job! Not saying that lightly either, many people have been asked to do more with less, including less staffing. Here's to hoping it doesn't get too much worse.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Roses Still Blooming

Even with this being the South, I'm somewhat surprised that in the middle of November... I not only have flowers/roses, I still have more buds yet to come. Maybe it's just my little piece of good news in times that come be brighter. I have done absolutely nothing, no fertilizer or bug spray or fungicide or really anything. Hell I picked up the roses in Wal-Mart.

Anyway, Enjoy!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Throw It

If you look closely, you'll see a piece of bread (surrounded by a yellow circle). You'll also note that it is not exactly traveling in the intended direction. It's one of those unintended consequences. She threw it very far, to the left. We wanted it to go forward. She got it the 2nd time. But she really wound it up for the first go at it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Jailhouse Rock

It was inevitable was it not? With my family's love of musicals and the King of rock and roll... we had to come together at some point. I won't get into whether or not the King was exploited or anything like that, we'll just take the movie as it is.

Vince Everett (Elvis) is a bit of a hothead. And he winds up killing a guy in a barroom fight. He didn't mean to, it's just he doesn't know his own strength. So he finds himself in jail, doing hard time. Hunk Houghton (Mickey Shaughnessy) is his cellmate and he has a guitar hanging on the wall. Hunk sort of runs the prison, or at least from the inmates point of view. With time Hunk teaches Vince how to play the guitar.

There is a TV special that puts Vince on his way to stardom (How times change, All we get out of prison now is stories of rape, drugs or somebody getting shanked.) He promises Hunk that they'll go into a partnership once he's out of jail. Vince gets out of jail and Hunk gives him a name and tells him they should give him a job.

Enter Peggy Van Alden (Judy Tyler), who works in the record business. The two, Vince and Peggy, cut a record and now Vince is on his way to stardom. Women, parties, swimming pools, and more. All he really wants is Peggy, but because their arrangement is "strictly business" and because Vince is a bit of an asshole, it's not to be... or is it?

Ok I've gave away about 75% of the movie, but there's still some stuff yet to be settled. This movie is probably Elvis's best, but I'll leave it for you to decide.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Borrowed Time

I was channel surfing the other day. I came across "Living After Stroke: Conversations With Couples". I could not find anything on the internet about it, other than it was a show. I watched it and an interesting wrinkle was exposed. It showed or told how hard it is for the other person to deal with the stroke, and how the person with the stroke feels guilty for having so much put on the other.

I can't agree more, I know that the rest of my life is "borrowed time" and that it would have probably been easier if I would have died. I know this, it isn't easy to type, but true all the same. My wife would argue otherwise, I have no doubt there, but it's a moot point anyway, since I'm alive.

Another thing that kind of bothered me is... The people in the show have had to deal with stroke a lot longer than me, and they aren't any closer to finding out what to do or how to be than I am. I'm not quite a year into this, I wonder if I should mark the event... Happy Death Day or something. I'm trying to not be overly morbid about it, but the person I was died, what's left very closely mirrors him. I only had a mild stroke, if you are pregnant you can't be just a little pregnant, it's all or nothing.

Anyway I'd recommend seeing the show to anyone who might wonder about what's involved with caring for someone with a stroke. Though I can't tell when or if it will be played again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just For Now

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Garden Update: Week 6

It doesn't seem like it's been 6 weeks already, but it must, because this is my 6th post on the subject. As you can see, things are still relatively small, with lettuce being the biggest/best grower. I've also added a bit of peat moss, I'll need to add mulch... one day.


Also I took a picture of the "fall foliage" unfortunately (or fortunately if you like summer) we don't get much colors in the fall. But this is all I got.



I got something else to post on as well, but it will be later on this week. Can't give it all on one post you know :o)

Phil is Gone

I got a call from my father recently. It was a call that nobody likes to hear. One of my uncles died. He wasn't a maternal uncle as my father only has sisters, and he really wasn't well liked because of his past, but he's dead now and I feel obligated to give the man his due.

He wasn't much of anything, because he didn't do much, he went AWOL and did some time in Ft. Leavenworth, from there what he said he did and what actually happened leaves a lot to be desired. But he was a basically good man in that he stayed with my aunt and supported her until the end.

My father had a special relationship with that aunt, (5 girls, 1 boy) and the kids of my father and my aunt grew up together. She had a boy and a girl, my dad had 2 each. Many a weekend was spent at June and Phil's house.

I've tried to think of something good to say about him, like really, really tried. But I keep coming up bupkis. He wasn't a wife beater or anything like that. He and his son were "car guys" and they had a bunch of them. But my cousin is an alcoholic and wanted in more than one state for DUI convictions. So I can't really say anything good about the man. He was at best a neutral part of my own development. Not really doing anything positive or negative. Just kind of existing. I hear he was a good guy to party with. Bye Phil (or John) nothing more needs to be said.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Madagascar 2

Over the weekend, we had a movie that "we" (and by we I mean the 2-year-old) was dieing to see. Madagascar 2. Which if you saw any of the previews, they were supposed be be headed back to New York. They really weren't, or at least not for very long. They get to mainland Africa, which the lion, zebra, giraffe and hippopotamus are really from, and they find a way to fit in... sorta'.

I could go on how we paid for VIP seats, and other people didn't but were enjoying the leather seats and had really stupid laughs at stupid jokes. But I aint' going there.

The lion, Alex, find himself in the very same preserve that he was taken from years ago and he meets his parents again. The zebra, Marty, finds that he is not so special. The giraffe, Melvin, sees his girlfriend Gloria (the Hippo) find love in another hippo. It's all just a little too much, but it's a kid flick.

But really the whole reason to watch this movie is this:



I liked the first movie a lot better, there was an actual problem/resolution thing going on. The sequel lacks in that department. There was plenty of cheap laughs, if that's your thing then you'll love this movie.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Popsicle Party

On my other blog you may have read about my lack of sleep (and probably laughed, it's ok, that's what I put it there for). So we offered my youngest a chance for some great reward if she doesn't come to our bed at 3am. A little game of luck I'd say, because honestly we didn't think she'd take us up on it.

Well, she did and now we have to produce something that resembles a reward (we didn't plan that far ahead) She wakes up at a more reasonable 6:30am and wants... a popsicle. That's it? A popsicle? I think we can do that.

I mean it is breakfast, but a popsicle is no different than Cool aide right? Not that we give my kids cool aide, but plenty of people do. So there she was, chomping away at a popsicle at 7am. Is it worth it to get a full night's rest? Oh hell yeah.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Jessie's Girl

So as you know (or maybe you don't, but you do now) I'm a bit of a guitar hero aficionado. I got the latest version which came out a week ago. One other thing it has, downloadable content. Where I can, for a price, pick up a song or two. One song brought back memories.

Jessie's Girl, by Rick Springfield. See at the time that this song debuted, my father was married to a different woman, and this woman had a daughter who was roughly the age of my older brother. I at the time thought that anything my brother wanted was ok, as long as he liked me. I was 6 years old.

Anyway my step-sister really, really, really liked Rick Springfield. She got one of those things at the beach were you could type anything in and make it your own (in Panama City). It said "I Love Rick Springfield", she also had him on tape.

What does my brother do? He gets me to bash the medallion with a hammer. And then we record over her Rick Springfield album, because all you had to do was fill in the little hole with a piece of paper... And we recorder us making fart noises instead. My brother knew better, I didn't but then again he used to get me to dance looking like a was jerking off, so nothing was beyond him.

I wish if I saw this girl now, she'd be a woman, and I would deeply apologize. But my dad and his third wife divorced some 25 years ago. Still if you by some chance see this, know that I wasn't the jerk my brother was, and I am sorry...



From Weezer to Rick Springfield, yeah that just the way I roll...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Meet John Doe

Ok I figured I have to do something political on the week that we elect a president. At first I was going to watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but I try to bring a little bit "lesser" known movies here.

This 1941 classic starts off with a newsroom, and people getting the ax. Including Ann Mitchel (Barbara Stanwyck) she has but one more article to write and so she dreams up John Doe, a completely fictional character, that threatens suicide in a letter to the editor, protesting society's ills. People are going crazy trying to find him food, a job and of course HIM.

This saves Ann her job and she hatches a plan to milk it for everything it's worth. The newspaper hires a vagabond to be "John Doe", John Willoughby (Gary Cooper). So begins a "John Doe movement" with speeches all over the country. And the crowds lap all of it up. (kind of like our next president)


Thursday, November 6, 2008

No Names Please

Back in 1992, a friend of mine, We were in the same class in High School said if they elect Bill Clinton it will be the end of the world. Well I didn't really care, and in time he was proven wrong anyway.

It's funny how people attach so much on one person one way or the other. I don't think you could ever pay me enough to take on even one aspect that the next president will face. You just couldn't.

Anyway...

I was looking around at another social networking website, and there was my old friend, saying the same stuff as he did in 1992. I think there will be hardships and joblessness and all kinds of things. But there would have been that no matter what.

I won't be praising the messiah or calling for Armageddon. I'll just be, just as always.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Garden Update: Week 5... late but still

So this week's garden installment is a bit late. It all happened because of events some 10 months earlier. Mainly I had to change the oil in my car. What do the two have to do with each other you might be thinking... It started like this:

I went to change the oil in my car when it was nice and pretty outside. I brought all the stuff, I had the last oil change done by a "place" because doing it myself wasn't really an option with the stroke and all. Anyway I have my oil filter and oil and I'm ready to take on the task. But the "place" put the oil plug on so god damn tight... I can't get it to come loose. And oh yeah, I already took off the oil filter. Much cursing and yelling took place. Still I could not break the stupid oil plug free.

My wife, the voice of reason and calm, said to put the old oil filter back on, and she'll take it back to the "place". And that was pretty much that. A day wasted, but all is not lost. Then I come to work, describe my dilemma to a co-worker, and he decides that he is going to break it. He is stronger than me and he has access to better tools. He broke it loose. Hallelujah, it's free!!!

My friend tightened it up to where a human can take it off, I come home later that evening, (which by the way is rainy and cold) and I change the oil without incident. So still you might asking, "What the hell does this have to do with a garden?" Basically I spent all of my time on an oil change, instead of the garden. But I manged to get this picture.

I did work a bit on the garden too, as you can see I'm starting to form a skeleton for a greenhouse sort of thing... for when it gets cold.

My Brief Polictical Career

It seems that I was one of those disenfranchised voters on the 4th. There was some confusion as I was pretty sure I was in town limits, but for whatever reason I was not allowed to vote in the mayoral race of Bluffton. I demand my rights! It turns out I was supposed to vote for mayor, and this was at 4pm.

Well, I think so anyway. I got to the school board and I saw the name, Laura Bush, and I could not bring myself to vote for her. So I wrote in my name instead. My wife did too. So hey, I got two votes at least! I spent on campaigning and advertising a total of $0. So for the money, not bad.

Where's the Chics?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

He's a So and So

I've thought of all kinds of "sayings of exaggeration" that go along with the whole election crap.

Like "McCain eats babies" or "Obama is a has terrorists in his pocket" or "three head monster" or "he's into bestiality" or "whatever"

One thing that we will know for sure is there will be a winner and a loser. And to those who lose, don't feel too bad, you can always say "I told you so."


Add more if you like.

Time Change

So is anybody over this time change bullshit yet? I am. Not so much now, because we get a hour, everything is more relaxed, but when it comes time to pay back that hour... look out! The fact that we put ourselves through this, twice a year, is beyond me. Election doom and gloom aside, we should have a moratorium on daylight savings time, for at least 50 years...

Of course that's just my opinion.

Can I Breathe Yet?

My God, can or will life get back to normal in just 24 hours? It makes you wonder. I know political lines run deep and racism runs even deeper. I really just want whoever to just win and be done with it. No matter who wins there's going to be investigations and the comedy people will have a field day too.

I heard on the radio that there is still somewhere around 6-8% of undecided voters, I just can't believe that. I think those are called "non-voters". Seriously, if a person hasn't made up their mind by now... who the fuck cares? I hate to put it that bluntly, but really, REALLY? And they say it will be these people that decide our fate. Aye, yie.

So I guess we get what we deserve. A person who flip-flops, who lies, who takes money from untrusted people/corporations, just like always. I might move to Canada, or someplace else, why not?

No president has ever really affected or changed my life. Even when I was in the Army. I don't think any president is going to change my future either. It would be nice, if they changed it for the better, but I am not holding my breath.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What Do You Do?

I am, for the most part... normal. I realize that may strike some people as odd, but it's true. I was perusing YouTube when my daughter told me about Weezer's Pork and Beans. I've included here for your viewing pleasure.



So what I get from this is that in fact we all have some little quirks about us. Mine is the whole blogging bug I've got. Maybe. I used to be a R/C cars kind of guy. As in 2 or 3,ooo dollars worth of R/C cars kind of guy. There was a track up in Easley, SC. I rented a storage unit and had all my stuff there. It was only race quality stuff, which is expensive and only works on the race track.

So anyway, that's my pork and beans I guess. I still have all of that stuff, but nowhere and no time to deal with that, not to mention no money either. Now I search for a new pork and beans kinda thing, which is code for hobby. I think...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween... In Pictures

I thought about it, and really the best way is with pictures instead of words. It was a beautiful, yet nippy night, and fun was had by all. It's not the whole story, but enough to be put on here.





Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yeah...

I admit it. I did it. Am I sorry? Yeah, pretty much. I went on the local paper's website and posted, even though I swore off that place. It was because I thought there wouldn't be anymore BT. It was (in my mind) the last chance to get a message to a group of people that I might not otherwise reach.

There are quite a few people that could produce a pretty good blog. But alas, nobody asked me how, so now all I've got is a bit of regret. I was trying, still (though I know it's of no use) to eek out some form of journalism from the paper. Or at least let them know, that someone was watching. But you can't change the unchangeable. I give up on them, I still don't know why I even tried.

Maybe you found yourself on the sidelines, wondering "can I make a blog". The answer is yes. Will it have as many readers as say BT? No, at least not at first. But it will be yours, for whatever that's worth.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Classic Film Friday: 20 Million Miles to Earth

So we looked around, trying to find that perfect Halloween movie. Well, this one was the best I could do. It's not all that good, certainly isn't scary, and it just lacks that certain something. But it does have a monster in it. The US has flown a top secret mission to Venus, retained a lifeform from the planet, and has come back home... only to be hit by a meteor so they crash land in the Mediterranean off the coast of Sicily.

That is pretty incredible isn't it? It only gets better (or worse) from there. Only one man Col. Robert Calder (William Hopper) survives. Him and the alien lifeform. Which starts out as an egg, hatches, and then quickly becomes King Kong sized in a manner of days.

The monster reminds me of the krusher. It was a toy that you could smash and it would "magically" come back to life. It involved an air bladder, simple really. You can see one here.

Anyway, if you are in a bad mood, or you can't stand old movies because they don't have the realism you're used to, don't even try to watch this. It's classic B movie stuff. And really, the monster doesn't even try to kill anybody. But if boredom strikes you and you want to waste an hour and a half, I could think of worse (and much better too) things to do.



It's not a Halloween movie, but at least I tried.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Punkins'

We did a bit O' pumpkin carving in preparation for Halloween. Our house is divided on the method of carving. My wife and older daughter like to pick something out of the book and trace it out, which does make a very nice looking pumpkin. Me and the younger daughter, we just like to design on the fly... the old fashioned way, as I call it.

I think if I could spend all day and draw a design to be traced, well that would be the ultimate pumpkin. But it is just a pumpkin, come November 1, it will be in the trash. I can't dedicate so much of myself to the process, for something so temporary.

I also realized I'm still a bit stroke bitten when I went to carve up the pumpkins. I broke or bent several "pumpkin carving knifes". It was the typical stroke feeling. It became hard to do anything, but I took breaks in between and I eventually got done. Deep breaths were all that was required, and maybe a beer or two.

Here's a picture of all the pumpkins, I'll let you decide who did what.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How About One Of These Guys?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Garden Update: Week 4

So you see, I have some plastic over my garden. It's supposed to get in the high 30's tonight. I'm not taking chances. This is a real rough draft, it'll get better as time goes by. The spinach I planted either never sprouted or maybe the rain (two weekends of 4-7 inches worth) did them in. But everything else seems to be growing.



A Bit of Halloween Fun

Maybe I've just got a bit of trick instead of treat, or maybe I got some blind faith that my daughter (the older one) has changed her ways, or maybe I'm just a truly bad parent, but anyway myself and my daughter decided to watch a horror flick. A bad horror flick at that. We settled on Evil Dead.

I'm not saying this is a bad film per se, but it was dated and I've seen far scarier stuff. My daughter however acted like it was absolutely horrific, and that only made some latent gene that makes people sniff out the weak and want to subject them to even more... appear in me. Yes I know, I'm bad, but I will say she could have gone in a different room... she didn't, she'd rather throw a fit. And maybe that was her just getting some attention. I don't know.

We had tree raping and body chopping and ankle stabbing and other stuff too in this at best cult classic. Watch if you like, but if you really want to have ghoulish fun I recommend watching with a 13-year-old girl, that's entertainment.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Together Again

So the whole family is back together, me, the wife, two daughters, and various animals... all under one roof again. It ended much like it started, rain, rain, rain. It's really hard to believe we still under a drought. I guess that's because it keeps raining on the weekend.

Like animals gathering two by two kind of rain. It really came down, which I guess is good for the flora. I guess... it didn't stop looking and feeling nasty out until late Saturday.

My wife came home with a wheelbarrow full of apples, some pierogies, a bit of kielbasa, and some pizza you can only get up there. We're eating like Pollocks for at least a week. Anyway we're all together and that's all that really matters.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pecan Tree

So back in spring, when everything was budding and showing new growth I bought a pecan tree from Wal-mart. I planted it, not necessarily in my yard, but I maintain it so I figure no harm in it right?

So I follow the instructions on the bag, which includes digging to China and I eventually plant the pecan tree. Then I wait, and wait, and wait. And then I got tired of waiting, and just forgot about it.

Then the other day I was weeding and such and I happened to walk by the pecan tree/stick(it was so much work, I just left it in the ground). And what do I see? Some leaves, at the very base of the tree. Could it be? I guess we've have to wait until next year to see for sure. But for now it looks like a bit of growth at the bottom, and a 6-foot long dead stick on top. Go figure...



Saturday, October 25, 2008

Off Into The Woods

I was completely out of my mind for doing it, hell my daughter had flip-flops on, but sometimes you just have to take a chance, live a little, take a different path. So I did, into the woods by my house, and man let me tell you it's thick in spots.

So thick and full of water it gets kind of scary when you think about it, especially when it's close to dark, you have to keep up with 2 dogs, and your daughter is wearing flip-flops. I didn't worry, I mean none of that stuff is me, so why worry right?

Well I wasn't, at least not for the first 3/4ths of the trip. We walked for what seemed like forever, it was about an hour all told. It was also in mostly wetlands, hence the water, but I was used to this, or I thought so anyway. As a kid, the same age my daughter is now (13) I would go into the woods for miles. Now those woods were a bit different, had a bit more elevation, but no guts no glory right?

So I'm running out of daylight, I'm in way to deep to turn around and go back, and I have more than just me to worry about. (plus I was on the phone with my wife who was bitching about the Poconos) I walk into this area which I believe is the way out and then I notice there is water all around us.

I curse, tell my wife I'll call her back, and consider turning back. But my daughter thinks her dog has found a way. I have to go back to get the other dog who is so NOT liking this trip, I tell my daughter to go up ahead (thinking she'll just turn around) but no her dog did in fact find a way out.

We were on the street that leads to my neighborhood, which is just how I planned it. I think I might have started something inside my daughter's head. There's nothing quite like the moment of being lost and finding your own way out. She may just take more trips into the woods...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Spider Baby

This was the highest ranking classic horror that Netflix had on instant play. It was made in 1964 but didn't get released until 1968. It is about incest, and how a family withers away when you participate in those sorts of things. Lon Chaney is Bruno, The Chauffeur and he is left with 3 children (2 girls, 1 boy) to watch over as the father died.

They're crazy, and slightly cannibalistic. Meanwhile a distant cousin is making her way to see the family, as she smells money, so she brings along a lawyer and another cousin. The money grubbers get "it" in the end and so does the rest of the family. The two lone survivors, the other cousin and the lawyer's secretary are left the family fortune and something else?

This is a B movie, but really I don't think there is a classic horror movie that is anything else.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who Are We Talking About

Ok, so you've heard all the double speak and politicizing from the left and right. Is there anybody out there who needs further convincing? I really can't get over it, I guess that says I have no stomach for politics. But really with the millions of dollars being spent on both sides it makes you wonder.

Who are they trying to get to? I just don't understand. I read that this side or that side got so many thousands of people registered to vote. You mean you have to convince somebody who's old enough to vote... to vote? Do they get a wake up call and breakfast come election day too? Jeez, what's next?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Garden Update: Week 3

Yeah, I know, I a little late. My wife has my camera, that's the excuse I'm sticking with anyway. Everything is growing, though we did get a cold blast and I still don't have any mulch down. But except for that one weed/grass, we did get in there and weed the garden.

Yeah, Um No

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sushi

So I guess I'm trying to enjoy this "alone" time with my older daughter. We went out to eat at Kobe, because my wife doesn't like sushi and I love it, so I figured I'd take advantage of this opportunity. I don't think Kobe is even in the top ten places to go, but it is by the movie theater, and is pretty much the only sushi place around... it wins by default.

I spent over a 1oo bucks, just to have some sushi. I don't think it was worth it. There was only a handful of choices that were actually raw, everything else was deep fried. Don't they know this is a recession? Ah well, it will be another year or two before I have to scratch that itch, unless of course someone wants to invite me to some sushi with them :o)

Next we're having some shrimp, or at least the closest thing to a shrimp Po-boy that I can manage. We talked about doing some BBQ shrimp, which oddly enough has nothing whatsoever to do with BBQ, but we'll wait until later this week. We have leftovers and such to go through, and I'm still stinging over that 100 bucks anyway

Monday, October 20, 2008

Elephant in the Room

So the days of duel calendars are, after this year, over. I told you so. Here and here and in various other forms. So what? Well there's one big fat PACT or PASS elephant in the room. See now kids will have to go to school for a month or more after the test is given, and as it is right now, very little is taught once the big test is given.

The state has mandated that schools don't start until the 3rd Monday of August. Whoopee! So instead of teachers and students preparing for PACT or now PASS, we have a watch movies and have parties for a month. Yep, I can just feel the learning now. NOT.

So what can we do about it? Not a whole hell of a lot. Maybe call your state representative. Tell them to change the time the test is given, or to change the mandatory start time. Other than that... pretty much nothing. Which makes one wonder if they will ever take responsibility and education seriously in this state.

Nope, no reasoning with it at all... just wait and see who isn't making AYP in the years to come. (not that we would have made AYP anyway)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Moon

I know this is a few days old, but that's just the way it goes. Did you happen to catch the full moon earlier in the week? It was bright, I don't know how or why but it sure seemed brighter than normal. It hurt my eyes at first to look directly at it.

I think I have some kind of light sensitivity thing going on after the stroke, that or I'm just wimpy. I can't stand for very long in direct sunlight. In fact I get rather irritable when I am exposed to sunlight, direct sunlight more than a minute or so. Maybe I'm becoming a vampire, maybe not.

I can work as long and hard as you please... in the shade, but if in sun, forget it. It seems, that there is light sensitivity issues in someone who's had a stroke, why mine is showing up, some 10 months later is weird or maybe I'm just getting off my ass and didn't notice until now. Still here's some unprofessional photos of the moon. I looked everywhere for my tripod, came up bupkis, you'll just have to settle for slight hand movement...