Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I'm trying to get a hold of the facts regarding this whole Bailout business. How exactly did we get in this mess, and who will pay for it. I'm not finding much, I mean what kind of loans made to who, and how does the whole ball of wax affect me?

The one thing I can see is my 401k is down, like really down, I'm trying to avoid the issue but it's hard. Just hold on I say to myself, things will get better... maybe. But other than that I don't really see how any of this is related to me. I pay everything on time, and 700 billion or 1 trillion dollars is just a number, that I can't even attempt to fathom. Oh yeah, my bank (Wachovia) just got sold.

Granted, I know I should try to connect the dots and try to keep on top of things, but right now as with the presidential race, you have all kinds of politics and very little else. If somebody gets his nuts pinched because of fraud or stealing or whatever, then so be it. But how exactly did we get here, and how do we get out?

I don't care about playing the blame game, because ultimately that isn't going to do anything. But seriously what and how did we get here? That would be nice to know....

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Bluffton Beer & Bratwurst Festival

I went, and was basically unimpressed. I think last year was ok, but this year it was not. Why? They had too many people there, and they had too big a focus on kids. For crying out loud, its a beer festival. They had 3 jumpy houses, and kids were everywhere. People were bumping into more people, and at one point one of the jumpy houses collapsed, which caused all kinds of calamity that attention was taken away from the the other two, and more of a mad house was created.

Maybe I just went into it in a bad mood. Maybe not. But it seemed to me that the whole thing was one big cluster.... well you know. It seems to me that they need to find a different venue. I can't see the residents of the area putting up with this, and it's really too small.

Back to the Beer & Brats, you had to pay $10 to get in or at least it appeared so, no other Festival does this, I guess we could have snuck in on a side street, I really don't know. They gave you 4 tickets and a cup when you paid your money, kids cost $5. But half of the vendors would take cash, so the hell with it. Then to actually get a beer you had to get in yet another loooooong line, never mind that you just waited in a long line to get in the place. And then you really couldn't find a place to sit... even if (like we did) you brought your own seat. Arrrrrggggggggghhhhhhh... It was not a very fun time all.

Next year, I'll buy me a six pack and have a good time all by myself... at home.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Next Comedian?

My youngest is somewhat of a comedian. I guess all 2-year-old are, but maybe mine is especially so. Here’s why.

We're finishing up dinner, which is some rib eye steaks we got on sale at Food Lion, baked potato, corn on the cob, and some kind of bread. The 2-year-old says it (the bread) is "too tasty" and wants a regular piece of bread. It's kind of like a whiney-singing kind of thing. The "too tasty" is funny, but that's not all. So we're all sitting at the table wondering what to do next when little did we know we would have a bit of a show.

My daughter says "shhhh... did you hear that?" And so we all be quiet and listen. She looks to her left and then her right, her head sneakily bobs up and down. Then she says "ribbit". Hmmm. It seems we have a frog, and in case you didn't catch it the first time, she repeats it 3 or 4 more times. And just when you think this the only trick she knows she say "ruff, ruff"... it seems we now have an extra dog. From there we get pigs, cows, and cats. Where does this come from? It sounds complex when you think about it. I hope this just means a funny kid, maybe even a funny adult... and not a whole host of delinquencies growing up.

To wrap it all up she went around "scaring" us with a snake she got from the library. That kid I tell you, keep your eye out for her. LOL

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bad Parenting

I'm trying to not come down too hard on my teenager. I think most of us parents that have teens try to understand their kids. Hell it doesn't seem like all that long ago that I myself was a teenager. And I know... KNOW that some of the things I did weren't right or even legal. But my parents were kind of not really there. That's not to say I had a bad childhood, because I didn't but it's all in context. Yes I got caught with various things I shouldn't have been doing, but I got away with even more.

Maybe that's the problem. My child can't get away with anything, because I know all the outs. I know what kids do, I used to be one myself. But you can't say that to anyone. It's the last thing they want to hear. And my wife, well she's the perennial "goody goody" you can't explain anything to her, because she was a good kid. So combine a "goody goody" with a reformed "bad boy" and my daughter is facing impossible odds. But don't feel bad for her, she makes her own messes, she needs to clean them up.

Anyway I keep thinking of the song "teenagers" by My Chemical Romance. Sure you think adults are all out to get you, make you work, make you conform, make you do... Actually that's really not true, but you won't realize that until your on your own. Kids, phooey.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Classic Film Friday: The Aristocats

I know this movie is not really a "Classic" per se, but I think it is, it holds a special place in my heart, and it is almost 40 years old. It's my older daughter's most favorite "Kid Movie". We Netflixed it for that and because my younger daughter is going to be a cat for Halloween... Because everybody wants to be a cat.

It's about a family of French cats (a mama and three babies) who have it pretty good as far as cats go. Anyway it's all taken away by a money grubbing butler. It's out away from Paris where they cross paths with Thomas O'Malley (Phil Harris), an alley cat that will show the kids how the other side lives, and falls in love with duchess (Eva Gabor).

From it's pretty much classic Disney, but that's not always a bad thing. There's plenty of comedy to go around, especially with Napoleon and Lafayette, Pat Buttram (Napoleon) George Lindsey (Lafayette), two dogs, looking for trouble. The butler gets what's coming to him, the kitties all get to go home, and one more child is addicted to this movie. It's not Dumbo or Lady in the Tramp, but it is pretty good.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The DC trip

So my daughter comes up to me and gives me is permission slip for the Washington DC trip. I don't think this could have possibly come at a worse time for her, with getting kicked off the bus and trying to make $42.50 and everything. They want $670 to take her on the trip, about 4 or 5 days. That pays for the bus and hotel... not the food or really anything else. I know they won't be dropping in on Chinatown via the subway, like I did, so who knows. It sure seems a bit pricey for a trip that really isn't necessary for any one or group of classes.

Then I continue reading, only 40-80 kids can go... Hmmm, do you want your kid to feel loved and appreciated? Better act soon, or you'll lose your chance to get a seat. WTF?!? Yeah I think it is unreasonable to see the whole 7th grade on the trip, but still. We're talking about 1200 to 1400 kids for the whole school, 400 to 450 per grade. And only 80 are going to get to go, tops? (those numbers I threw out there... I don't know what the school's population is).

So with that in mind I asked my daughter if she even wanted to go. She said, not really. To delve further into it I looked into booking a trip to DC, which included a flight, not a bus. It was by far less. I'm not saying that the school trip isn't nice, but I can do better, and it will show my kid the real world. Plus, I wonder how much they are going to see.

Everything in DC is free, I mean all the monuments, the museums, even the zoo, so nobody is spending money there. How would I do a 4 or 5 day trip? Oh man, boy oh boy. But my traveling arrangements were cut short by my wife. We've already been to DC, we need to do something else. Ah, I hate it when she makes sense. And as far as my kid going on the trip... I told her if she makes the money herself or at least part of it I would support her, but that went over like a fart in church. So we're right back where we started.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear Guest,

The first installment can be caught here...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The LowCountry Institute is doing their master naturalist class again this year. My wife was in the first one, then the stroke happened. So she's at it again and hopefully this time nothing bad will happen. They picked up with salt marsh ecology. They learned about the form and function of various animals such as crabs. The group walked down into the muddy intertidal zone looking for periwinkle snails and mussels. After lunch, they discussed watersheds and the results of development and then went out to a dock to take a peek into the world of arthropods and sponges who'd attached themselves to it.

I ate myself silly Sunday afternoon we went down to Vinnie Van GoGo's for lunch. 3 pizzas and a picture of beer, and a girly beer for the wife. $60 with a tip. And we had some to take with us when we left (for dinner). That was the only time I ate all day. and it fed two other adults and 2 kids. It also made my blood sugar act stupid. Pizza always does. Which brings up something I can't stand. Let's say I eat 100 carbs of normal things, like potatoes but it is nowhere near the same if I eat 100 carbs of pizza. I don't know how to fix that, other than avoid it altogether, yeah right.

My daughter, the big one, sort of got back on the bus (after vandalizing it) but not really. She went out Saturday and washed a few cars, but is still $10 short. Now I would let her ride if she promised to make the rest of the money later, but she lied, as she always does, and so I am making her walk some more. Maybe the message will eventually get through to this kid, but my money is on her turning legal and then she is somebody else's problem. Not that I don't love her, because I do. It's just that you can show her the right way to do something and yet she decides to veer off the path anyway. She may be walking all year.

I hate to end things on a sour note, but the kids, and I say kids even though they are adults, but kids because their mom and dad bought them a house (they live on the island) and so even though one of them has a kid already and the other goes to college... they seem to be not so neighborly as we are often woken up and such late at night. And the last straw... somebody left a half empty beer can in my yard. I don't really know what to do, but I suppose the law will. Maybe I could send my daughter to live with them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hammock Time

I had a moment to just sit, actually lay outside, on the hammock of course. It was great. We have a cold front moving through, so instead of 80's or 90's it's more like 70's, which is welcome. Add to that a cool breeze, and it was beautiful.

I lay there, just thinking... about nothing... God how I love it. The breeze gets caught up in the bottle brushes and the pines sway, even I move a little. Now is a good time too because the wind is blowing in whatever direction to keep all of the mosquitoes away. I lazily watch butterflies and love bugs and various bees go from flower to flower.

I had one of my dogs with me, just in case, but she was not needed.

Yes there is the neighbor who is running the leaf blower or my own A/C running or somebody's calling their kids, but none of that is important to me now. I just lay back, rock a little, and save worrying for some other time. It's times like this that I live for...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More on Uniforms

I thought I would offer my own school experiences on the subject of uniforms. Throughout elementary school I wore uniforms, I didn't even think twice about them. I went to a private school, my mom had to scrape pennies just to buy milk. Other kids that went to the same school were by in large, a lot better off. But I didn't really understand all that. Now I do and the disparage is unbelievable. But the thing is nobody knew and nobody cared.

Fast-forward to middle school, where in the days before the internet and distance learning, my mother wanted to get her bachelor's in nursing. It was in Maryland, and it was my first time in public school. The kids were heartless. There were no uniforms. There was plenty of hurt to go around. Anybody not assimilating was mocked or worse. Add to that I was from the south and the in general angst of a middle schooler, well it was probably the worst year of my life. I got in plenty of fights, most of which I won, but it didn't make me fit in any better.

Now fast-forward again to high school in a small rural southern Mississippi town. Wal-mart was the only place there was to shop, unless you was highfalutin. More than half, maybe more than 3/4's of the kids there got clothes from the same place. It was like a uniform in a sense. Everybody was in economic distress, hence they got the cheap stuff, and those that didn't knew they had it good and kept quiet about it.

Still I don't think we need uniforms for high school, but somebody does. I don't know what kids are wearing these days, but the main culprit is probably too much drawers out of the male and too much of everything else out of the female. Which is crazy, but if you think about it, teachers aren't there to tell you how to dress, they are there to teach. When it becomes a problem getting kids to obey, the teacher quickly becomes the enforcer. That's not what they signed up for. So if a blanket, to cover all bases is used then maybe teachers will become teachers again. Maybe...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Walk

So a few days ago I walked about 3/4's of the way my daughter is walking from school. I thought it would be no problem for me to walk all of it, I thought wrong. Now maybe if I went at my own pace it would have been different, or maybe if I got out more. What happened to me?

Well I'm older than I think am, I know 33 really isn't that old, but considering I'm a diabetic and I've had a stroke... well you know. I still think I'm 18, in the army, and can do anything. So I have several things against me. But my stubbornness doesn't let me consider them really. A fault of my own personality I guess.

All of this aside it was 90+ degrees outside. But I started out anyway, with my daughter. She was talking about doing this everyday. We started in the shade with a cool breeze, it was a lot like a park. This made me have doubts about making her walk in the first place. Still we pressed on.

The first thing I noticed or wondered is where all of the people are going in cars? Walking makes you think about things differently. It forces you to slow down your thinking in relation to the place you are going, or just gives you more time to think. Some of the cars were big SUV's with only 1 or 2 people in them. I thought "what a waste" but then I thought how could it be any different? We met almost nobody while we were walking on the path, and of those people we did meet, they were all kids, no adults.

Anyway I got to the parkway, and then the shaded walk with a gentle breeze was basically all sun, all the time. My wife called right about the time we passed Publix and I was suffering with some of the remnants of my stroke. I don't like this at all, but when I come under extremes, like walking a long ways, things sort of fall apart. I noticed my bottom lip kind of tugging, a limp began to show, and I couldn't really talk anymore. Not taking any chances, my wife came and got me, and I was mad at me for not going the distance, mad at her for picking me up... and ultimately glad that she did come and get me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Bye Bye Birdie

This is the fun loving, early 60's version of satire of the time. Birdie is an Elvis of sorts with girls screaming, boys hating and parents just in disgusts. His draft number is pulled, and Janet Leigh (Rosie) and Dick Van Dyke (Albert) hatch a plan to get him to do a song on Ed Sullivan just before he goes off to the military.

This movie is a musical, and a bit of drama and comedy. It really has something for everyone.

Albert is a down on his luck song writer, Rosie is his secretary/lover. They plan to get Conrad Birdie (Jesse Pearson) to sing one of his songs, make a bunch of money, and live happily ever after. Add to that they have a random girl selected Kim McAfee (Ann-Margret) to receive a kiss from Conrad Birdie and it just makes it all the more funny.

Paul Lynde (from Bewitched fame, think Uncle Arthur) plays Harry McAfee Kim's dad and I just love him. He was gay, even if you didn't know it. Anyway there are two couples Albert and Rosie and Kim and Hugo (Bobby Rydell). And their relationships somewhat mirror each other... In a Love Boat kind of way. Yes it is campy, and a bit silly, and you know what is going happen, but if you want reality you could look at retirement funds. Too scary? Yeah I like Love Boat myself.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I'm trying very hard to stay apolitical as possible. Something occurred in me this morning, it just hit me, why I don't really know but anyway... This is the golden hour of campaigning and political wills. Think back when the last two presidents (Bush and Clinton) were on the campaign trail for their first run at the presidency. They had these great visions and starry eyed ideas.

Then the reality set in as they got elected and they had to cut back, or settle with congress, or set up, down, and/or around political lines. I don't think it really matters who gets elected. And if you think it does, then just play wait and see, because no matter which person you like, they (the other side) will find something to dig up on the guy. How much or how bad remains to be seen, but they will, they always do.

I'll sit back and watch. Maybe with some popcorn or maybe crying as my 401k crumbles into nothing. And it will happen again and again and again. Just sit... and ...wait.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Well, do You?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Man Vs. Woman

How do I, a man, come to grips with my wife's wants and needs? What I mean is, how do I act or actually become more interested in what she likes? Case in point, TV. My wife has been transformed by me in what we watch, she likes watching races and even football (sometimes). I on the other hand, haven't really picked up any of her viewing habits. Tolerate maybe, but actually like? No not really.

So I'm struggling with this. I want to be as appealing and accepting to my wife, but I don't want to compromise myself or fake anything either. My wife has been pretty understanding in all of this, much of the time we simply turn the TV off. Which isn't a bad thing at all, but still. I come off as a juvenile liking things that pretty much include, bathroom humor, fart jokes, gross stuff, and sports. Typical "man" stuff.

Can I be more patient on the things she likes or is it a lost cause? Anybody out there got some hints for me?

Monday, September 15, 2008

In Trouble Again

Today my oldest child turns 13, a good thing for the most part. But some things have happened that tarnishes the shine on that entry into teendom. Today also marks the beginning of her 5-day suspension from the bus. She got caught, along with 3 boys and 3 girls vandalizing the bus seats. I can't tell you how mad I am right now.

The whole thing stinks. It stinks that I have to be mad at my daughter while she has a birthday, it stinks that she would stoop to this behavior, it all just really, really stinks. My wife, under duress, is going to take my daughter close to school... she is not going to get in that madhouse traffic jam. But since it is the start of the day I think it is in everyone's interest that she start off ready to go. She'll get no such quarter at the end of the day.

It's approximately 3.5 miles from the school to my house, and she'll be walking every step of it. I hope that will be enough to make sure she doesn't do anything like this again. Plus she has to pay me $50, because I have to pay First Student to recover one seat. I hope it's nice and hot, and I hope she thinks about how much better life was on the bus, instead of walking. I hope, but I don't know.

Happy birthday, for whatever that's worth, you're starting your teens not so good, hopefully this will be the only time such a thing is needed.

Edit/Update- I took the walk myself... because I'm worried about the walk. I think she'll be fine, myself not so much. It sucks being old and decrepit. Oh well...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm a Guitar Hero Fan

So I have been playing "Guitar Hero" for a while, I find that when I play it regularly it helps with some decision making and hand/eye coordination. Even my doctor told me to do it. It also helps to kick back a bottle of wine. It loosens me up you know. I still am not as good, (even with the wine) as I was pre-stroke but it's a respectable 2nd place.

I got the Aerosmith version, for more songs, but I don't really like it. They say that "Rock Band" is even cooler. I've played it once at a friend's house, I think it's awesome... it'd be even better if I didn't have a stroke. Besides it's downloadable content is not for Wii owners. So I guess I'll just wait. In the meantime I'm looking forward to GH4. Yes I know that makes me a dweeb, but whatever.

I can't play anything when the children are sleeping, well I can, but I have to turn it down... whoever heard of that?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All My Cool Points are Gone

I'm about to tell you something that I'm not really all that proud of, but it all came out ok, so I guess that counts for something. The other night we were locking up and turning things off for the night. As I was almost to the top of the stairs, my daughter, the two-year-old meets me. Now she's supposed to be in bed asleep, why she is up looking like Children of the Corn, I have no clue.

So I screamed, or squealed it's not something I'm proud of but I covered it up well. Kind of like "Eeek-um-uh-Hi, baby". I then said, though she couldn't understand it "You scared the bejesus out of me." I then took her up in my arms. My wife was snickering as she came up the stairs, having the comfort of being delayed by a few minutes, she could watch it all unfold. Because it was late, almost all the lights are out, a creepy kind of quiet nothing could be further from my mind than a kid getting up.

So I screamed, a little, so sue me. LOL

Friday, September 12, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Forbidden Planet

So, we, my wife and I, picked this movie because we thought "Hell, why not?" We had no movies on Netflix, and this one was available for instant viewing via the Roku player. It also stars Leslie Nielsen. Which would lead one to believe this would be funny, but apparently not, he didn't start the comedy thing until 1980 (Airplane!). In this movie he plays Commander John J. Adams.

So what do we have here? A 1956 sci-fi movie, a lot of synthesized music, Robby the Robot, and an extinct advanced race. Set in the 2200's, Man has made it to outer space, and has broken light speed. Why they don't have a radio to match that, I don't know, but anyway United Planets Cruiser C-57D is sent to the planet Altair IV some 16 light years away from Earth, to find out what happened to a group of scientists that went there some 20 years ago.

They only find Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), the expedition's philologist, who warns them to stay away, but gives no reason. Enter Robby the Robot, He chauffeurs the party to Morbius's house. There they talk to Morbius and try to figure out what happened to the rest of the party. Then comes Altaira (Anne Francis) Morbius's daughter.

C-57D is a ship that is full of men and have not seen a woman for a year, Altaira has had no interaction with anyone other that her father (her mother died years ago). And I'm sure you can guess what happens from there. Meanwhile Morbius explains that there was an advanced race that used to live on Altair IV, and he has discovered some things about them (and cannot go back to Earth).

I'll leave the rest up to you, I mean, I don't want to spoil it for anyone. The movie does have some good special effects, for the time, and innovative music (it's too blah for my tastes but to each his own), and it is the first appearance of the immortal Robby the Robot.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another Look Back

I'm still dealing with my stroke, it's something that becomes integral to just being alive I guess. It's the tiny things now. It used to be much larger items and activities, like can I use my hand to eat (without making a mess) or can I walk, then it moved to finer more dexterous things,.Can I write, can I type on the keyboard, can I drive and listen to the radio at the same time, that sort of thing.

Now I'm on to things nobody would notice, unless I told them, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. Not that I'm complaining or that anybody has treated me wrongly, because they haven't and I'm not (complaining). But there are times when I feel like I'm in somebody else's skin, or just plain feel stupid. I wonder if I'm limping a little? Is my face drooping? Will I say the right things when/if somebody asks me a question? Does anyone see me writing things down... and how horrible my handwriting is?

I know that unless a person knows that I've had a stroke, they won't notice anything, and even then they likely won't notice because they have their own life to keep up with, and even then on top of that, they would have to compare me now to the old me. So yes I know it is highly unlikely that anyone will notice. But I wonder/worry anyway.

Maybe it is just me or maybe I'm a little conceited. I don't know. All I do know is it will be harder/different to move on and to put what's happened to me in the past. But then again we need to look at ourselves in the past to gauge how far we have come in the present.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Think He's Dead

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The SIC, part 2

Ok so I went to the School Improvement Council last night. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. How much can we really improve? So far it looks like they can offer different/better lunches, but my child brings her lunch from home... so that is a wash. Let me just back up for a moment.

Other than the Principal I was the only male in attendance. I hate to sound sexist or anything, but at the same time the women, who were not there because of work (i.e. teachers), all seemed like the stay at home mom kind, and don't have much to do throughout the day. There was also a contingent of honor roll/gifted and talented there. This was just the first meeting, so I could be wrong, but one subject kept coming up.

On the first day of school, a special Ed kid had inadvertently or accidentally brought a fishing knife to school. Somebody at the school called the Bluffton Today and told them half the story... that there was a knife, not that it was a special Ed kid's fishing knife. Anyway it ran like wildfire. Which is fine, the school was trying to catch whoever (they did not know it was a special Ed kid yet) so they were trying to keep a lid on the story until they caught the kid... the big, scary, special Ed kid. Whatever. Because of "zero tolerance" laws and such the kid will have to deal with all kinds of court hearings and the like. Ah rules.

So anyway this meeting was a meeting about future meetings. I'm really trying to stay optimistic here, can you tell? Things were brought up, and people were then calmed down, pretty much. Now they are looking for people who will throw their name into the ring to be elected. My wife and I have decided if we are going to go to these meetings, we have to be one of the elected. But who? My wife has SIC experience, is smart, and is probably way more qualified. I am a man, which is about the only thing I have going for me other than my daughter going to school there.

Decisions decisions...

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Um, Yeah I want my Mexican Restaurant to have New York style PIZZA!!! Hell yes!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

School Improvement Council

I decided to go to my daughter's school's SIC just to see what, if anything I could do or say to help. I haven't gone yet, it's tonight but I do want a kind of before & after kind of view. It's a South Carolina thing, you can see the web site here. Basically I hate fundraisers, my wife says that is not what SIC is (that's more or less PTO's) so already I'm interested.

What I do fear is that any recommendation that is not from the school or district will be overlooked, but I'll reserve judgment until I go to the meeting. How does this group actually improve schools? I'll have to wait until the meeting to find out. So look for a report, in the next day or so to see if there's anything that can be done and what that might be.

School Calendar

I know the divisive nature of the school calendar debate. You have those that like the long summers off that Traditional offers and you have those that appreciate the little breaks that Year-Round offers (I happen to be one of those people). Well what happens when you put those two groups of people together?

Nothing. You won't ever get those people to agree. It's kind of like the abortion issue, nobody is willing to give an inch. I used to be one of those kind of people, people that cared about what, where, when my kids went to school. But there is no reason to fight, basically the schools will do whatever they want to do, there is not anything I can do about it.

They'll have a "compromise" calender that won't do anything to please either camp. Figures right? If you can't make everyone happy, you might as well make them all mad. Summers won't be quite as long for the Traditional folks, they won't have a true Year-Round calendar either, you'll just have a collaborative effort, that really gets nowhere.

Congratulations tax payer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Drop Down Low

So there really wasn't a hurricane, or tropical storm, or whatever. All we had at my house was a gentle rain and some wind (emphasis on "some") Oh what are we to do? Anyway, like Y2K, there was pretty much nothing. Oh well.

I'll tell what has been dropping like a hot potato, and that is my 401K. It's taken a back seat to other things lately, but I'm still monitoring it. Yesterday it lost $500 the day before $150, and the day before that $175. It is hard to take, but I know to think long term. Still, my contribution, 10% of my income, is for the most part not going anywhere. It's bad when it loses money, but at least I can add to it when I get paid every two weeks. Even that isn't helping, it's losing more than I put in it now. Hopefully this means in 5-10 years, I'll be rich beyond my wildest imaginations, or I could be just as broke.

There was a time when I couldn't even fathom putting 10% of my paycheck to retirement. So I guess I'm not that bad off after all.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Get Caught

So we had pizza the other night, sans hurricane, and my wife ordered one half pizza just cheese, the other half sun dried tomato and onion. Then she changed her mind and wanted the whole thing to be sun dried tomato and onion, so she called back and adjusted the order. When the pizza arrives it is half and half, the pizza man already gone, not that there's anything he could do anyway but anyway. I looked at the pizza box, opened it up and said "shit, they just have half of the pizza, not the whole that you called them back for".

And what does little miss repeat everything say? SHIT, blah blah blah. Yes I know, I shouldn't cuss in front of my daughter, and yes I knew sooner or later she'd start to copy EVERYTHING, but there has to be a moment when you actually go through something so that you know, without a doubt that you have to watch what you say around her. This was my moment.

Not quite as funny as the moment I had when my older daughter blurted out in K-mart "Quit kicking my ass daddy". But then again, I really don't know where that came from. I was literally kicking her ass in a playful way, but I never said to her or around her about kicking anyone's ass. Each is gifted in their own way I guess.

I didn't make a fuss or anything, only I heard it and thus my day was saved. I think. I did tell Mrs. MH later about it, and she said that I need to watch my mouth. Fair enough, though it will be hard, but I'll try.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Classic Film Friday: The Philadelphia Story

This 1940 classic gives us Katherine Hepburn, Carry Grant and Jimmy Stewart... and some others too. Hepburn plays a rich, stinking rich socialite Tracy Lord, and she is about to be married to George Kittredge (John Howard). Her Ex-husband, Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), is about to throw a monkey wrench in the wedding when he tells Tracy that reporters have a story on her father who was gallivanting around and would bring shame to the family.

If Tracy agrees to let reporters into her wedding, he thinks it will stave the story of her father's infidelity. Haven convinces Tracy this will work, while trying to win her back. Enter tabloid reporter Macaulay "Mike" Connor (James Stewart) and photographer Liz Imbrie (Ruth Hussey). Who really don't want to be there, but they want to eat and a roof over their heads, so they play along.

In what turns out to be a convoluted love triangle between Haven, Kittredge, Connor and Lord, it somehow works out and almost everybody is happy in the end. It's a romantic comedy, but not by today's standard.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


So the paper, the daily wipe, also known as Bluffton Today says in their We Say column that teachers should wear uniforms just like the students. All students will have to wear a uniform in two years. Yes I know, you can make all kinds of arguments for or against the uniforms. The School Board made that decision, not the teachers. They can suppose anything they want to, but teachers are professionals, highly educated ones at that, and they need to attract more of them to the profession, not less.

The editorial seems like it was written by a middle/high schooler, because I sure can't make sense out of it... Kids, our kids, should not wear uniforms because teachers don't have to? Huh? Good God I think there's more than that, that the teacher's do that the students don't or vice versa. I'm not sending my teacher, my wife to learn or be taught anything. It just doesn't make sense. I went to Catholic school, and there never was anything brought up about what the brotherhood was wearing. If that is the best you've got then you really don't have anything at all.

If someone is dressed improperly, then let the right people take care of it. Believe me, if somebody flubs up on a given day, wears something inappropriate, I hear all about it...a little bit of kangaroo court if you will. But professionals don't need a uniform, or a shirt with their name on it (that's fine if you have your name on your shirt, but anyway) . I don't happen to believe we need a uniform at the high school level, but somebody does, and you have to ask "why?" and I bet your answer will be "if only those parents would have done their job..." But they didn't, and now we have what we have. Probably it won't work, but whether it fails or passes should not be teachers fault, they have enough blame already.

The Squirrel

I actually found my "dive bombing squirrel". I was out in my hammock, just trying to get nowhere when I saw him. He was chomping away at yet another pine cone. It is weird to see him up there, and yet satisfying too. There are now a couple of dozen pine cones, all shredded to the core, at the base of the tree.

The squirrel was all the was at the top of the tree, some 50 feet in the air.

I almost felt like it was wild kingdom or something. Normally, I sit or lay in the hammock and concentrate on the clouds or the birds or the locust buzzing away. But I caught a glimmer of something in the tree, and as I focused on it I could see him just relaxing on a branch, yeah I think WC is right... they are sneaky lil' um things...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


You know when I was a kid I'd hope a hurricane would come my way. There was an excitement about the idea. Hell, the adults were planning hurricane parties. I don't think that's the case anymore. Now we just fear, no time to celebrate.

We spent yesterday getting all the lose stuff out of the yard. The lawn chairs, the hammock, various plants and hanging baskets. We also went shopping for some stuff. Because you can't go through a hurricane without buying some stuff. Water, a cool new flashlight, some food. The basics.

I don't think we'll use any of it, at least not in the same sense as we bought it, but you have to be prepared. That sounds like a nun scolding you doesn't it? If it makes people prepare, then so be it. blah blah blah. I'm ready, or as ready as you can be, I don't think anyone is fully prepared. But for a Cat 1 storm, that may or may not hit us I think I'm good.

Hurricane Shit

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ok Ok

I guess with celebrity comes everything else. I'm glad New Orleans escaped another monumental tragedy, but really you can't compare something like Katrina to Gustav. There is just too many variables. Can we please stop the comparison now? Besides all of that, we have three or four other areas to look at one of which may come on land near us.

If a hurricane hits a place with a big number of people you will have damage, loss of property, even death. Which makes me wonder why so many people want to live by the ocean. I'm thinking a nice spot in the Mediterranean, or someplace in the mountains myself... Oh well

My Team

I should say my daughter's team. We picked a fantasy football team the other day. It was for my child's math class. They will keep up with the scores and what not, and then we'll see how the season plays out. I did break one rule already, most of our team is filled up by Denver (I lived there for 2 years, and my daughter was born there) and New Orleans players. They say not to do this. But I don't care. So we get to learn about math and football so it seems.

I have never done this before, so as far as the fantasy part I'm no different than my daughter. We had $40,000,000 to work with, I spent $39,925,000. Who knows if I got a good value. You have to get into it (football) on a whole new level. You can't just pick the 1st place guy in every position because you'll blow the budget. This might actually make my kid, a teenager, appreciate more the value of a dollar... maybe.

So we figured out who is passing and running and kicking and catching and playing defense. Now all we can do is sit back and see if any of our picks are worth a shit. No name calling or otherwise, this is for school.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day

I know that there are some of you out there in internet-land that will "get" what I'm about to say, but anyway... I made hot wings and potato chips... not the kind you get in a bag, but actual potato chips, like the kind you can get at Wild Wings. Not only is everyone in my house full, they are happy and the grand total is $17.43. There was no sitting down and a waitress got our drink order, we did it all ourselves. And sometimes you need to do that, to know you can make something and it will be as good as if you would have paid someone or someplace else to do it for you.

Wings are probably one of the easiest things in the world to make, you cook them for about 15 minutes, you put some sauce on them, and you eat them. the potato chip are much the same. Fried enough to be crunchy and salted generously, topped with blue cheese they are making me hungry all over again. Finish off with some cut up celery and you have a bona-fide restaurant dinner... For a lot less money of course.

Just a little Labor Day reminder that we all work hard for our money, a little savings never hurt. Today we're cooking some crock-pot pulled pork, or Boston butt, while we go play in Charleston. Basically we put it in during the morning and it's ready for us when we come back in the evening.