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


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


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...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Going on a Vacation

So this day kind of marks a distinction in my marriage. My wife leaves today for her family's house up in Pennsylvania. She'll be gone a week. We've not really been apart that long before. I have gone on business trips and she's been on school trips, but never have we been apart for a week under these circumstances... vacation.

It's good that she is spending some time with her family, her last under year-round schedule. We just like any other modern family are spread thin. My parents in Louisville and Mississippi, hers in PA with a brother in east-central KY. We could easily spend all of our vacation just going to various family's houses.

So at least we get one knocked out, though honestly I like my in-laws and I like that part of the country, so there is a part of me that feels like I'm missing out. But I have a middle schooler that has to be in school, and the real reason I can't go, I still have no vacation time and it will be at least 4-6 more months before I do. So I sit this one out.

My 2-year-old will get to experience (though likely won't remember it) fall, the leaves changing color, and all that stuff. And I (and my other daughter) will likely do much of nothing. The two and a half months I took off last year, hardly seem worth it now, but at least in a few more months it'll be paid off in full... with no help from anyone else...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Singin' In The Rain

This movie stars Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor as silent movies are giving way to "talkies" or pictures with sound.

Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is a man with humble beginnings. Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) is his somewhat vapid co-star, who also can't talk her way out of anything, (which is good for silent movies, not so much for "talkies".)

Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) Lockwood's longtime friend, comes up with a plan. They'll use the voice of Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) as a substitute for Lamont's. So they hatch a scheme and audiences are wowed by how beautiful Lamont's voice is. It isn't and everybody knows it, except Lamont.

There is absolutely nothing at all to do with the rain, or singing in it, except for the song, I really don't know why that is the title, but anyway this has been named one of the best musicals and it has equally good dance numbers. My 2-year-old stayed up an hour and a half to watch it... so it must be pretty good.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh Drama!

My daughter, the older one, likes drama. I don't mean the kind you study, but the kind you create. Oh to be 13 and full of angst again. I know this is a kind of phase or whatever, I know that, but I don't know how much we (my wife and I) can put up with before I choke her.

I know, I'm not supposed to say that, but I don't care. I don't really get along with my kid, or at least not like others have projected. I have a fairly good grasp of what's going on, my kid... does not. I used to be her not all that long ago. We can get along, pretty well actually, and then other days not so much. I'm her father, not her friend. There has to be a point where I do more than just give and give and give.

She'll realize that when she's older, maybe I'll be dead by the time that happens, I don't know. So until then, check out this video. It kind of puts it all in perspective I think, except it really isn't like this, but still...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Exactly How I am I Saving More?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Garden Update: Week 2

Well, we're kind of floating into the 2nd week. Literally we had rain, some of it gully washers... if they gullies around here. Anyway some of the sprouts got washed away. Some of the spinach showed itself, as well as the onions.

There was also a bit more grass/weeds than I like to admit, but we'll address that in coming days. The irrigation system is fixed, not that we needed any with all the rain.


The wife, Mrs. Mad Hatter (we're working on a name) and I are in a bit of disagreement over whether or not we should be recycling. Now if I thought it was an out and out good thing, then we wouldn't be arguing, but you really can't tell. It's a mixed bag at best, and in some cases worse to recycle than it is to simply throw something away.

Plastic bottles are IMO, a waste of time. Sure they can turn it into a park bench or picnic table but they can't use it as a bottle again. Paper it turns out needs bleaching, something that's not good for the environment at all. The only thing that seems worth it is aluminum cans, but even still, not all that worth it.

Then we have the curb side pick-up side of the equation. The trucks, gas, and man-power needed. That's bad, but to make it even worse if it happens to be a little windy outside on the day of pick-up... Well, there is all kinds of trash, and since I live on the edge of a storm water retention pond, a lot of that ends up in there.

How ironic, people are trying to do a good thing for the environment (supposedly) and all their trash is everywhere. WTF? So yeah, I've got some reservations about recycling. But the wife, ever the positive school teacher thinks it is still worth it, even if it isn't all that great. Do you recycle? And did you consider all of the facts and so forth before you decided one way or the other?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Party Lessons

I don't think I'm going to have a party anymore. To much work, to much resources, and too little fun. Yeah I think it would be great if I went to someone else's house for a party, but this last one I don't know. I definitely had some things going against me. First of all the rain. It rained and rained and rained, from Friday to the early part of Monday it rained. So no outside. Second of the guests we invited only one of them ate oysters. So we threw a lot away. Third I really didn't know anybody so the whole thing was a bust (at least from my perspective).

I could have bought 1/2 a bushel of oysters and sat down to eat them in piece and quiet, not the 10 or so kids and 10 adults all trying to over-talk each other. I also think we should have something that is ready when folks arrive, not something you have to cook when people get there. Something like chili, or crock pot pork or chicken bog, otherwise you wind up feeling like the hired help inside your own house.

What I'm trying to get to is, I really didn't get to have any fun. And that is why I am here isn't it? Yeah I know, grumpy old me. But it would have been nice if somebody was there to talk to, or if somebody ate the oysters (other than the one, god bless her), or if it would have just quit raining. So maybe I'm not anti-party but I am anti-rain/cooking throughout the party/stranger unless they can strike up some kind of conversation.

I Know People

I'll tell you a secret. There are some people online that are not what they seem.

Big news right? not so much?

Well anyway, one of the comps for being a teacher's husband is that you meet a lot of people. And in those meetings you sometimes form business arrangements.

For instance we were looking for someone to watch our baby just after she was born. As bad as it is, momma had to go back to work. So my wife started looking, and bam, there you go. Other kinds of relationships have developed too. My wife, when I had a blood sugar of 11, had called this mother that we had befriended. At 2 o'clock in the morning, after of course dialing 911. She came right over to help. That's what friends do. There are many kinds of people in this world.

It kind of makes me worried about some people. You see they don't know me by the Mad Hatter, they know me by my real name and never have they put the 2 together. And when I see them online making crazy accusations or otherwise I wonder. I know their identity because they have said something or worse, they have said something to my wife, then reveal themselves somehow online.

I know that I give a lot less than a damn now, because of various reasons, as to how my identity is revealed. But at least I will do it through my blog, on my terms, not anyone else's. I think once this whole presidential race is over those people can go back to normal. (hopefully) Because I thought they were pretty nice on the whole and I don't even know if they realize how much they've changed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kids.... Hmpf

I'm mad. You know the old adage "when I was a kid... blah blah blah". And I'm trying not to say that but damn.

See I'm having trouble with my daughter. It's like a daily thing. There is no avoiding it. We have a failure to communicate. And it's hopeless, because I didn't listen to my parents, my parents didn't listen to their parents, and on and on.

What's worse is the whole education system, a system that my wife is a part of, is pulling the rug out from under me. My kid, by all rights, should be a "B/C" student. I'm not trying to be condescending to her, but honestly that's where I put her. Higher if she tries, but she doesn't. Beaufort County says she's an "A" student, and maxes out with 100's in everything.

Maybe I'm too hard on her you’re thinking. Maybe, but when I ask her something simple, that she should know, and she has no answer, that is not an "A+ student". All the problems she brings home are not an "A+ student". A kid that gets caught vandalizing the school bus is certainly not an"A+ student".

I tried to explain the whole bell curve thing to my daughter; I also tried to explain that she needs to clean her room, both with little success. In my day you had just the really, really smart kids that got 100's on everything. They looked like nerds, because they were. The more "normal" kids, the ones who scored "B's", "C's" and even "D's" were the people who basically had some sort of life. Be it in sports, or an after school job, or really anything. But my daughter has 100 averages in everything; you can't even try to talk to her.

With the PACT test results it was recommended that with her reading level she should read "Pride and Prejudice". We checked the book out for her at the library. She did not read it; she also didn't tell us that she did not read it... until the day before she leaves for the summer. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!

She says the book was boring, and she didn't get it. So here we have a kid who says she can't understand a book that is supposed to challenge her and make her grow, I mean she's allegedly got the ability, but she just won't use it. And all the rest of her friends are behind she says.

And meanwhile the other kid, the 2-year-old says "No talk to me, daddy"

I get no respect.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I am thinking about throwing a party. I know, the economy and all, but hell, you only live once. Anyway we, my wife and I, have been talking about it. See we were supposed to host a party last year (yes it's hard to believe but I'm coming up on the anniversary of "the event") for her grade level cohorts.

It was to be a BYOB affair and a sort of potluck too, though I would have enough on my own. If you drank any of my booze and liked oysters, then you were good. Sounds pretty good huh? Then the stroke happened. Tough luck I guess.

Now it's a new year. And as I write this, I wonder, if maybe I shouldn't have a Blog Jam type party too. I know all of you couldn't come, but maybe a few or more could. Just something to think about I guess. Let me know if interested, seriously I would like to hear from you whether for or against.

Back to this party, it will be another chapter turned on this whole medical issue I have. Of course that is if anybody shows up. We'll see, lord knows we all need to let loose now and then.

*EDIT* the party is today, rain or shine... which looks like rain, but anyway, I would like to hear about a Blog Jam get together if possible

Friday, October 10, 2008

Classic Film Friday: Soylent Green

Ok, before I comment on the movie itself, I must say that Netflix is in some kind of agreement with the Starz network and a lot more movies are now available. Like Spiderman 3 for instance. We love the Roku, really, really love it.

Now to the review...

It has Charlton Heston in it, so with that said it's very much his movie. That's not to say anything bad about him, but he has a tendency to over act a little (in my opinion anyway). He plays a cop Robbert Thorn, in the future, (which isn't all that far off now), The future is haunted by over-population and in a sense "global warming", and basically everything is dead or dieing. I'm talking about Mother Nature, trees, wildlife, pretty much everything.

Thorn is covering a murder of a very peculiar nature. Basically they try to make it look like some punk off the street did it, but in reality it was an assassination of a very important man. 'Sol' Roth (Edward G. Robinson) is a police researcher (they didn't know about computers back then apparently) and he lives in the same apartment as Thorn. Sol is an old timer, and can remember better days. Thorn doesn't even know or understand what Sol is talking about.

Anyway there's a love interest Shirl (Leigh Taylor-Young) who also happens to be "furniture" of the deceased. And Sol winds up going to a government clinic, to help him "go home". All of this revolves around Soylent Green. A processed food, and Green is on Tuesday. (whatever that means) The movie does have Eight is Enough star Dick Van Patten, but he is a very minor player.

That's all I'm going to say about it, the rest you'll have to find out in this post apocalyptic sci-fi movie yourself.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


So I'm still wondering. Wondering about the economy, who's going to be president, and life in general. And not to be all philosophical but for me and my family, I think we'll be ok.

You have to look at it a certain way, just like anything else. We live in a house we never imagined we would ever live in... Yeah, it's probably worth less than when we bought it. We drive newish cars. My first car was 2 years my senior. None of the tires were the same, the transmission couldn't figure out what gear it wanted to be in, and it replaced a Dodge D50 pickup, which I wrecked (before I got my license... hence not really my first "official car) and broke my jaw. On just those two items we're ahead.

I grew up in a less than 1000 sq ft house. That only had 1 bathroom. My father's house was even smaller, a 2 bedroom 800 sq ft house, that at one time housed 5 kids and 2 adults. Three girls got one bedroom, the adults got the other, and me and my brother slept in the living room. I thought I was in high cotton, nobody ever had a TV in their room. But I did, if only I knew. My wife also comes from humble beginnings. She says her brother used to sleep in a glorified closet.

And when my father moved to Mississippi, I can remember when we were going to "upgrade" to a doublewide trailer. Literally we cut a hole in the side of one trailer, and another hole in the other one, and tried to match them up. There was winches and so forth involved. One come-along broke and almost squished me and my father. The whole back end of the trailer swung down, and I almost became an orphan and/or dead myself. Hard living I'd say. And that wasn't the only time something like this has happened.

When I look at that compared to what I have today. I got it pretty good. In fact, minus the whole 401k deal, I got it really damn good. Now that's not to say everything is hunky dory, because obviously it's not. But when you can take a picture like this and just laugh, I think it is going to be somewhat ok. Know what I mean?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's Like That and Uh...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stepping into Nature...Again

Mrs. MH here. I spent another Saturday stepping out into nature. We went into the forest this time as we learned how to read the landscape. Loblolly Pines, Southern Magnolias, Cedars, and Cabbage Palmetto Trees made up the largest part of what you see at first glance. Pictured here is a Cabbage Palmetto just on the edge of the maritime forest.

If you look closer, it was easy to see so much more.We learned that beetles make up 2/3 of the insect population. Now, I'm a the kind of girl who is creeped out by "bugs." But I have to say that my journey of becoming a Master Naturalist has helped with this. I am considerably less skiddish around these things now. I guess understanding more about them does that.

We spent some time located and id
entifying butterflies as well. There were Gulf Flitilaries, Cloudless Sulfers, Long-tailed Skippers. and Carolina Satyrs. The truly neat thing was that after returning home to my own backyard, I was able to locate and find two of those four and then apply what I had learned by telling others what kinds they were.

Did you ever wonder how a butterfly gets nectar out of those tube shaped flowers?

We talked about form and function--what kind of wings does it have, and why do you think it has them? We've talked about reading the landscape and how just by looking closely at the type of vegetation growing in a location, you can tell whether there has been fire there, or whether it floods in that area.

The experience is definitely teaching me to look closer and ask the right questions!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Garden Update: Week 1

Well I didn't think I would have much to say but I've found some things wrong, and right.

First the good news. Things are already sprouting.

You'll see from this picture that the lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts have all come up. And, now the bad news. I don't see any spinach... yet (I thought that was the fastest of the ones I planted) there are signs of weeds/grass, and my irrigation hose broke.

All in all, not so bad. I'll pull some weeds, fix the irrigation and wait to see if the spinach comes out.

Deliver Us From Evil

So I'm still wondering about this whole Bailout thing. And while I've wondered my 401k has lost $1200 at the start of last week, made about half of it up, and then continued to lose everyday after that. I was on pace to crack the $20,000 (cut that in almost half now) mark by the end of the year. Not that it matters, because I have a long time before I retire. But now it's at the point where I'm breaking even. That is take my contribution and my employer's match, over four years, and I haven't lost anything or gained either. And that in itself is depressing. No good deed go unpunished they say.

This seems to be the way for me in all things. Buy real estate they say... well only in certain areas and I didn't really do that (this is in the Upstate). Now it's the pigeon holing money away for retirement. You can't go wrong they say, good at first, but now it has turned rather sour. I put 10% of my paycheck toward it, maybe I need to do something else with that money.

I know, I know... wait it out. I just don't know if there will be any money to wait this out with. In other news, my spinach has sprouted, so at least that is some good news yeah? Dear Jesus, please help, hello... hello? Aw nuts.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Puppet Lady

You ever look at somebody and think, maybe even say... out loud, "man that's got to be an easy job". I met somebody like that the other day. If you have kids and even if you don't or your kids are all grown up, you've probably met this person too.

I'm talking about Yostie, the puppet lady. I don't know whether I should be mad at her for doing something so stupid, and getting paid for it, or in awe because she is very lucky and basically "stepped in shit". I guess it really doesn't matter. And from what I hear, she's on the road a lot, so maybe she doesn't have such a great job, who knew, Yostie has such a following.

Anyway, you get on stage, act foolish, better yet get some other adult to act foolish, make a puppet out of everyday materials with kids, tell a story (that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything) and smile as you get paid.

That's Yostie. And that's what I pretty much tell myself every time a see her. How I wish I would be more like her, without much care, including people thinking I am a freak. Vanity is wasted on her.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Daddy in Charge

Well, sorta.

My wife the illustrious holder together of all things and the voice of calm, is going on some kind of school/business trip. She'll only be gone for one day, but as soon as she gets home she's off again for another day. So for those keeping up she'll be gone for 24 hours, go to bed and be gone for another 8 hours.

This is fine with me, I mean... I am a big boy, mostly. But my younger daughter, I don't know. She loves her mommy, which has become momma, we blame the Aristocats. If I can get though the morning (which by the time you read this I will have) I'll be home free. But mornings are tough, especially for non-morning people like me.

Once momma or wife or savior comes home for good, it will all be ok. Though at the end of the month, she and the little one are going up to Pennsylvania to see her folks. I can't go because I still have no vacation time, plus my other daughter has school. I think I can handle that much better. My older daughter and I have been through a lot together, though I doubt she'll even want to be hanging around me. You know teenagers.

Back to this particular trip, I have some flank steak marinating so dinner won't be too hard. We'll watch movies for the rest of the time. Going to sleep is hard, but I think she'll be ok. (she loves her momma) Besides doesn't this sort of thing build charater? Anyway, it's just for two days. Now I have to find some kind of training or school that I can go to. Like in Vegas or better yet the Bahamas.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Classic Film Friday: The Long Hot Summer

Ok so this is a tribute to Paul Newman. The man did a lot with charities and so forth. I think that is probably what the actor wants to be remembered for, but this about movies so here we go...

Paul Newman is Ben Quick who's reputation precedes him, he's a drifter and a bit of a con artist. Just recently being run out of one town as a barn burner he finds himself in another one. And this one has the name Varner all over it. So he goes and sees Mr. Varner, only he finds the younger Varner, Jody (Anthony Franciosa) and the girls who just happened to give him a lift Clara Varner (Joanne Woodward) and Eula Varner (Lee Remick). He wants a job and gets one.

Enter Will Varner (Orson Welles), who has been away at the hospital, getting well or having some kind of organ removed. He full of piss and vinegar. He sees a bit of Quick in himself, and the two fashion a contract of sorts.

I can't really say much more, but Ben Quick and Clara Varner are meant to be together. And I never thought of Angela Lansbury (Minnie Littlejohn, Will Varners mistress) as anything other Miss Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote).

There wasn't a trailer or anything but this will have to do.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Veggy Garden... for the Fall

Ok so this is my own economic stimulus package as it were. Our tomatoes are long gone, the pepper plants made their last pepper a few weeks back, everything is overgrown and unkempt, basically the shine that was present in the spring had dulled over the summer and by the fall, had become an eyesore.

But with the 4 of us working about a whole day... Ok not really... 1 is too little, 1 is too stroke bound, this was a 2 person job. My 13-year-old still owed on her little vandalism escapade. So she got most of the weeds out of there (and paid off her debt in full). My wife did most of the fine tuning/actual planting. I did have a hand in the boarder (to hopefully prevent the grass from invading again) and some mulch, as well as bricks for the garbage can.

This is the first time that we have planted from seed. We always took some plants already started from the store. We know that as far as timing, we are late, but I'm hoping for global warming, or I can cover the plants with plastic. We have, in our little garden, some broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, spinach, and onions. I doubt that everything will take, as we have no skill or previous knowledge of farming. And it's going to be watered on the irrigation system, so perhaps some might get too much or not enough water.

But all things considered it at least looks better that it did, and so even if this garden fails we'll be that much more experienced when the spring rolls back around. Now we just wait and see.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I've done a little cleanup here and there. If you are picking up my feed via RSS you won't notice anything, but if you are stuck on the intrawebs you'll see that some of the links are gone and more importantly that I've put the blog jam up in it's entirety and it goes by who posted last. I did not know that it did that, it was just a happy coincidence. Maybe it will encourage people to post more often, maybe not. I'm a quality over quantity kind of guy, so don't feel to obligated.

I've been debating whether or not to change anything, because I guess I'm a creature of habit. But so far everything looks good, so maybe I should have done it sooner. Always looking for more bloggers and I will add anything that seems worth it... Not change, just add. Anyway that's about it.

Feel free to try it out or tell me I'm an idiot or suggest improvements...

Where to go?