Thursday, December 31, 2009

Some Other Songs

I've been listening to music more lately, and I figured with the end of the year almost upon us, I would offer some music... from my high school/army days. These are pretty random, but I'd dare say that it would make a lot of people's top 10.... maybe. Enjoy















Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Ugly Truth

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Almost Done

Ok, so I'm about halfway through my whole holiday "thing". That is we have one place left to go, and it is quite a distance from here. On Wednesday we will travel up to Kentucky. It is to see my brother-in-law, my wife's brother. He is a great guy, who did a lot for us when I had my stroke, and as my wife puts it, "he has come out here a lot more than we've been up there" (never mind that we live in what some call paradise, but anyway).

So we are leaving, and not coming home until Sunday. A good vacation by all accounts. I won't have to pay for a hotel, we will get to see family... but not too long, and it isn't like there is anything better to do. Yes I know, we could go to the Bahamas or maybe Vail but hey, I'm cheap and nothing costs less than family. :o)

Can you say hee haw throw-down for New Year's... aw yeah...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Health Problems

So I'm wondering, what is this healthcare reform bill going to mean for me? I don't think it means much of anything... really. I hear about it everywhere I look, but I just don't know enough about it. And I don't know if anyone in congress really knows about it either.

I know it won't be as bad as some from the right make it seem, I also know that it won't be so good as those from the left like to pretend either. I hope the whole preexisting condition thing is looked at. That is probably the only thing I have to look forward too.

Still what was promised and what will be delivered is two completely different things.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Endorse... Kids in the Bed

Well, it has come to an end, that is the driving of my daughter to school. Ah yes, I'll get a few extra winks in the morning... maybe. But something else happened, she the songbird, made herself a comfortable bed, right between her mother and myself and went back to sleep. This was at 5:20 in the morning.

Usually when she gets up like that there is crying involved. This time, nothing. I put my arm around her, kissed her, and we both drifted in-between sleep and being awake. That is until the tickle monster showed up.... and the bad toe nail. You know, the one that shows up and rubs you the wrong way. Then it is over. Because that is when the tickle monster gets you, when you least expect it.

One finger just lightly brushes across a sensitive body part... and it is on. Who will win I have no idea... I don't even think there is a winner. But once the monster shows up, you might as well get ready to go.

First she starts to tickle me, then I tickle her... inadvertently tickling her mother, my wife, and there is no coming back from that. So we all tickle each other until we gave all we had. And we finally gave up, and got ready for the day. But for that brief moment in time, we were happy, very happy in fact. Which is why I do not recommend letting your kids sleep in the same bed, except for those occasions when I do. You can understand me right?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day... Sorta'

Below are some pictures of what the whole day meant to me...

So I'll start with Christmas Eve, a picture of my littlest, enjoying her Christmas dress (that her grandma got her).



Then I got a visit the big guy himself makes a Christmas eve visit (via the Bluffton fire department). Which is fine by me... but the more inquisitive child may ask "If Santa is on the fire truck, how will he give out presents?" Thankfully not a word was mentioned by any of my kids.



The Christmas tree with all of the presents underneath ...



Finally all of the Santa Claus stuff... before the kids see it. Ya' know, when parents feel they can't possibly give anything more.



and then the next day, Christmas, after everything has been open, if you know what I mean...


Oh yeah, I got those HD sunglasses, from my wife, (and most loyal reader) I'll be giving a full review later on, but she bought them as a gag gift. We'll see who the gag is on later. :o)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Christmas in Connecticut

This 1945 film, although set during the Christmas holiday, isn’t your typical feel-good, family flick. Just watching the trailer below will show just how sassy it was for the time period.

It opens up with some background about Elizabeth(Barbara Stanwyck), a writer of a very popular column in which a housewife on a farm in Connecticut and mother of one describes her idealistic setting and her wonderful culinary creations. The thing is, she isn’t a housewife, she doesn’t live on a farm in Connecticut, she doesn’t have a baby and she doesn’t know how to cook. She is a writer. And her editor has no idea.

The jig is up when a reader suggests that she host a war hero in her home for the holidays. Being an unmarried woman with no prospects, she decides to agree to marry a friend and try to make the whole farce come true, even if just for one holiday. She even borrows a baby!

Then, enters the handsome Navy officer/war hero and the sparks begin to fly. The lucky thing is for one reason or another, she never really got hitched.
You’ll have to watch to find out what happens…and if you think you know…then watch just for the fun of this upbeat comedy.

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to say, to anyone who cared... Merry Christmas. I hope I get something good. I mean I'm pretty sure I will, but you never know. More than presents, it is family that makes it a little more special. I'll be spending it with them, and on the phone to my other family members that I can't be with. So if you can't be with anybody, and you got ripped off on your Christmas, and didn't get a good present. you might try this place. I like to play there a lot. And know that I did wish you a merry Christmas, so you can't blame me. :o)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All I Want for Christmas is...

I hope I have some of these under the Christmas tree... I hope, I hope, I hope... I mean, who wouldn't want to improve their sight? Right?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You Love Me... Right?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cookies

And so another day(s) has come and gone in which we make Christmas cookies. I didn't really help, because I am sick, and it really is not my thing to make cookies... just eat them, which I did.


Russian Tea Cookies


Pralines


Mom's Sugar Cookies (I had the teenager make these) as a kid these were my favorite.


Peppermint Pinwheels (Alton Brown recipe, tasty, but not many in a batch)



Nut-roll



Anise Cookies

There were more, you'd swear we were the Keebler elves there was so many different kinds of cookies, but they got eaten pretty quickly.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Lights

Now I know, we have some Griswaldian houses around here that like to decorate for the holidays. In particular, Dove Street...



But back in the day, back in New Orleans, first there was Al Copland (the founder of Popeye's Chicken).



There is also Christmas in the Oaks, at City Park which has turned into Celebration in the Oaks. I guess that is a more PC thing to call it. I have no movie of it, but it is a sight to behold, plus you can get out of your car and ride some rides, what more could you want?

There is something kind of like it in the Upstate of SC, it is inside of an animal park. Basically a zoo, all lit up. If you're interested check here... Hollywild Animal Park

I have been under the weather for the past few days, so this is a bit late. but I believe I'll be ok in time for Christmas, the rest of the family? Who knows...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Letter to Santa

My three year old is taking to writing and typing. It was supposed to be a letter to Santa. So can you sound it out?


SANTA

RANDER

COOKE



Yeah, we helped her with the two "O's" in cookie, but still, at three years old I admit I'm impressed. Basically she was writing Santa, to tell him and his reindeer that they would be cookies for him when came (thus he should have lots of presents for her). Oh boy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Songs

So this month's writing assignment is pretty simple: pick out what songs, Christmas songs, are special to you, and post them. It could be a top ten, it could be embeddable (like I'm doing), you could sing your very own Christmas song if you like, though I doubt anybody will actually do that.

So here I go, mine is a list, but not really in any particular order, other then my family. I went around the house and asked what is your favorite Christmas song? Below are the answers I received.

1st I asked the songbird, (3-year-old) She said Jingle Bells, Why? Because she knew all the words, pretty much.



Next I asked the teenager. She said 'I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas'. Why? I have no clue...



Next it is the wife's turn, She said 'Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire' Why?
She said she just liked it. Also mentioned it had a simple message and smooth melody (after singing it for everyone to hear). So there you go.


Next there was me (the baby is too young and the dogs can't talk). I say 'It's The Holiday Season' for no other reason than it has that loopy "hoopdey do" in the song.



And finally there is this one... not a classic, or one that everyone knows the words to, or anything really, but it is kind of fun to see those people from long ago and look at them now (Boy George and George Michael come to mind)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Classic Film Friday: The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

This 1962 classic is one for kids and the adults alike. Wilhelm (Laurence Harvey) and Jacob (Karlheinz Bohm) are brothers in the late 1700's. It is but isn't an autobiographical movie. Basically the two brothers did go around collecting stories ("Rumpelstiltskin", "Snow White", "Sleeping Beauty", "Rapunzel", and "Cinderella" to name a few). This sounds great right? Well it doesn't exactly pay the bills as it were. So they take up the task of writing history for a local duke.

And that is where they get in trouble. Wilhelm likes hearing and writing about the stories a little too much, while the real work, the work he is getting paid to do, languishes. The Duke finds out about Wilhelm's side "job" and is none to pleased. The brothers get one last chance, will this work? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. I caught this flick at 4am on a Sunday. Yeah I know, but what are you going to do? I do not think it is available on DVD... yet.

It does have stop motion in it, used to tell the stories that are intertwined though out the movie. Some of the best I've ever seen really. So if you are up strange hours or something, this movie is worth a look.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Are You Going to Be

I want all my daughters to have the very best in life. What I mean is not they have "to have the best clothes or toys", but that they take advantage of their situation to get the best from it. One thing in particular is school. Now I can't afford private school and I'm not sold on private's better than public anyway. There was a meeting, a meeting where my child, me and my wife, and the school counselor got together and planned my child's future.

I'm talking about my teenager, and this was good, but it gave a kind of slanted view of her possible future. The counselor was saying how great it is that our daughter has good grades, and because of that she would be able to take more advanced classes and get some college credit for them. Now I know and my daughter knows (subconsciously at least) that she will not be able to keep up the pace of an all AP kind of life. She will have friends, she might work, she might want to do something other than homework when she is home. I guess what I'm trying to say is, this meeting could have been helpful... if it took a little more realistic view of my daughter.

Again she could prove me wrong, but it almost seems like it is an all or nothing affair, and we all know life really isn't like that. And you only get one chance to be a teenager, that is, you can't have blue hair or a get a nose ring when you are 30... yeah I know you could, but the ramifications are a bit different from 30 to say 15. You do stupid shit when you are young. We all do and my daughter is no different.

So this was a meeting about nothing, or I guess a meeting where we fantasize about what could be. I mean I had no clue whatsoever what I wanted to be... and didn't really figure it out until 3 months into my senior year of high school. I know everyone is different, and had I had the opportunity to figure this out before I went into high school, I might have done things differently. So now we wait... and see.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It Is Not His Favorite Time of Year

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

G N' R

I can't think of an album that has been released... a debut at that... that just encompasses almost everything that you can imagine when you think about a rock 'n roll band. I posted every song off of Appetite for Destruction here because nothing can slap you in the mouth, kick you in the teeth and/or make your ass swing like it can, or did. So here ya' go
























Monday, December 14, 2009

Long Live Toastees

This is a flashback from my past. I ask, does anyone else remember the corn toastees? Apparently not. There is this guy. So at least I know I'm not alone. I used to eat these thing... glorified corn bread... on my walk to school. I mean, I was young I didn't even think about a toastee as corn bread. To me it tasted like "good". As in I had no idea what is was, and never questioned it, just something you put in the toaster and ate.

So I did some research on the internet and found this recipe, you can see the original here

Corn Toasties

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c + 2 T sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 c + 2 T cornmeal
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1 c milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium-sized bowl mix together the melted butter & sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the baking powder, cornmeal, flour & salt. Mix until everything is moistened. Stir in milk & mix until almost smooth (a few lumps are fine).

Lightly grease a 10" x 15" baking sheet with 1/2" sides. Pour the batter into the baking sheet, spreading into all the corners. Tap the baking sheet on the counter 1 or 2 times to even the batter out.

Bake for about 25 minutes. The edges should be brown & pulling away from the side of the pan & the top show be set. Allow to rest in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a sharp knife cut into individual pieces I cut it into eight 2 1/2" x 3 3/4" rectangles.

Store the toasties wrapped in plastic wrap or in a resealable bag in the refrigerator for use over the next week. For longer storage keep them in the freezer.

To serve toast until browning & top with butter, syrup, honey or jam.

Makes 8 toasties

I baked these and I am the only one who has prior experience with the toastees, but everyone loved them, like really, really loved them. They are more than just cornbread, they are "good". And now I can make them from scratch whenever I like.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Show



So we went to my daughter's Christmas Show, that is the songbird (3-year-old). What can I say about it? Not much, I mean there were the requisite toddlers/preschoolers staring into space, deer in the headlights as it were. Nobody showed out, that is, nobody made a fool of themselves, for everyone to see. I must admit I'm a little let down by that.

Usually there is at least one kid hamming it up, and he/she feeds off of the parents laughing or whatnot and that only encourages it even more. But there was nobody in the ham category this year. My daughter tried, but couldn't, I understand I couldn't really make an ass of myself at that age either. Now wait until she's 25 or 30.... then we'll talk.

My other daughter, the littlest (and squeakiest) one, slept though the whole thing.


Maybe she has got this Christmas thing down already. LOL

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Endorse... Mothers Everywhere

There is something about moms. Not to take away from us dads, but moms tend to put up with all kinds of crap, that I would not. I think they get this from patience, they have some kind of untapped reserve of the stuff. Plus there is all the other stuff, like poop and vomit and blood. I can handle the blood, but the other two? Yuck! And the crying... oh god the crying.

But it is more than just they do stuff that I wouldn't. It is love too. They have the ability to love way outside whatever I can do. I'm impressed, really. Whether it is my own mother or the mother of my children or anybody's mother. I'm gushing so much over mothers, you'd swear it was mother's day. But that is just it, you should appreciate them more than one day a year.

Go home and tell your mom, wife, daughters that you love them for what they are, or will be, and mean it. Hopefully you won't wait, I mean do it before your wife/mom/girlfriend reads this or you get sick and you need her :o)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Classic Film Friday: History of the World, Part I

I'm a sucker for 80's comedies. I know, I know... this movie isn't even that good. As a Mel Brooks movie there are others, like Blazing Saddles, or Young Frankenstein, but this one is good too. Basically it is the first (I think) movie that makes fun of other movies but it makes the most fun out of itself. If you need a laugh, or you want to immerse yourself in 70's-80's humor, this film is for you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Talisman

After reading MoodyTunes, I just had to post about my own "talisman".

So when I was a kid, the magic for me, the thing that would turn my day into the best day ever.... was a Slim Jim. Yeah, I know it is hard to believe that a meat snack would make your day change like that, but it was the whole process, not just a piece of meat.

You see way back, when my father still lived in Gretna (a suburb of New Orleans) he lived next to a store. It was a glorified house, it took up no more space than a house would, and in fact the proprietor lived upstairs. It was a magical place all in itself. We called it the "little man's store" because the guy who ran it was short... and we are a family of gargantuans.

Anyway my absolute favorite thing to get was a Slim Jim, because my dad would ask "do you want a Slim Jim?" And when he did, I knew right where I was going, and I knew I was getting the super size one, not that crap you see for much less in the actual grocery store. Premium baby... nothing but the best!

Yeah there were times when I would opt for a Hubig's but that was when I usually had a Slim Jim in my other hand anyway. So my father would give me the money and I would run to the store... make my purchase... and delight in the Slim Jim on the walk home. Strange that my father never wanted to share in the Slim Jim goodness, but at least he got one for me. And my brother and sisters if they wanted something. So the walk, the store, the asking if I wanted something were all magical.

Thank you Mr. MoodyTunes for evoking something inside me to write about, now I wonder if I got a Slim Jim today if it would be as special as it was back then.



Here you can see all of us, that is us children, I'm the little one, the baby as it were. We are all happy, probably because my father just offered us a Slim Jim.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Case of Mistaken Identity... From Your Uncle Sal

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Norah Jones

I have the ultimate respect for what this woman has accomplished. Here is a song on her latest album "The Fall". It is so simple, just her and her piano. At least in this live version. So here it is, 'Man of the Hour' sung by Norah Jones... yeah her man is her dog.

Monday, December 7, 2009

No... I Won't Go After All

Well, this past weekend was supposed to be one of Christmas parties and parades and general good will. What we got instead was a lot of rain, and a sick kid. Nothing we could do about either, I mean it is not anyone's fault. I think we have more parties yet to go to, more events to attend, yet more merry making to be had.

But still, I did miss it. Maybe next year. I hate saying that but, when you got kids, you just have to sometimes. A healthy kid is worth more than any party or parade... I think. I guess we could have just went out and about and left my sick kid with a babysitter, but we just don't swing that way.

I am thinking about a writing assignment for the month of December. More details on that as I think of it. :o)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cradle Cap

Or as I like to call it... Mr. Hooper hair:



My littlest has got it, not really sure why, but all 3 of my kids suffered with it in their 1st year. Sorry little one, you have it too. Some internet research (the definitive source right?) says that she might not have Cradle Cap (witch I keep calling cradle crap... not on purpose, but anyway). It could be that what my daughter is going through is just normal, but my wife insists on taking any and all preventive measures.




And that in itself may cause the very problem we are trying to avoid. So you see, with some problems you are equally damned no matter which way you decide to go... so why worry about it? Well it is because we love the baby and we want what is best for her. So I guess we'll er on the side of "we tried to do everything."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Did It Again

I know I shouldn't have, but the irritation inside me could not take it. When you see posts I make here, they are thought out, and for the most part, proofread. What I mean is, I have my wife re-read what I post, so I am clear about what I want to say. So the other day, I saw something on Bluffton today(you can see it too, here) and I had to reply.

I know that it solved nothing, I know that nothing will change, but I had to say "I told you so". And it was on the fly, and so words didn't really come out the right way. I get all the words in there, but they don't always come out the right way. I liken it to a water tower (the words) and instead of a nice big pipe to get the water where it needs to go, I have a leaky straw (delivery) and this is caused by... well you know what caused it.

I and others have tried to tell you, you being the people who voted for the referendum... that if you vote no, they will have to come back with another plan...one that worked. You didn't listen, and now there will undoubtedly be yet another referendum because we need it. Move attendance lines first then build what is needed. Instead we build, and then we move people willy nilly. I blame the general public, not the buffoons/idiots in the school board. We said all of this would happen years ago...

So you see in red what I meant to say, but they are not there in the original post. Sorry for that, I guess that is one of the reasons I quit posting there. You can't really think outside of what everyone else is thinking, or one smarmy blogger can take a very small lack of punctuation, and turn it into something completely different. And that is ok, I mean that is on me. Clearly I need to work on that a bit more.

But if you think about it the North of the Broad high school situation is crazy, and it is crazy because we (the public) didn't say to the school board... "Um no." So we will have to have another referendum. Our area is/or will be 5 elementary schools (a 6th one is scheduled, but I don't think they'll do it now) 2 middle schools all feeding one high school.

Let me break it down

NOB

11 elementary schools
4 middle schools
3 high schools (this includes Whale Branch High School, not open yet)

SOB

11 elementary schools
3 middle schools
2 high schools

So what is the problem? It all seems pretty close right? Well except NOB has a less dense population, whereas Bluffton is busting at the seams (school-wise). And NOB has high schools within 5 miles of each other. Another referendum is coming. And that is fine, so long as what is needed is on there and not "stupid shit" or something for everyone. I would be behind a new high school, but I'm afraid of all the stuff that will be tact on to the bill, the something for everyone that will make this a no go for me. And my kid starts high school next year.

As for the posting on BT. Well I keep wanting to reply, but at the last minute I don't. I don't want to look like someone who is mad, sad, deranged, or otherwise. I keep telling myself you really can't/shouldn't worry about fights on the internet. You'll just looked retarded whether you win or loose anyway (nothing against retards)... and I think I look stupid enough already.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Classic Film Friday: How to Marry a Millionaire

Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, are looking for a man, and not just any man, a very rich man. Schatze Page (Bacall) finds a New York high-rise apartment, penthouse even to rent from a guy who needs to lay low because of IRS problems. This also means that the renter can... and does do things like, sell all the furniture in the apartment, without the man knowing about it, because he is trying to lay low.

The three women go man-hunting and for some reason they think they need a high dollar address to get the right kind of man. Betty Grable plays a as Loco, naivest of the three. She believes a man that wants to take her to his lodge is somehow taking her to an Elks club instead, But she meets the man of her dreams while there, along with the measles. Marilyn Monroe plays a nearsighted buffoon that walks into walls, gets on the wrong plane, etc. And actually sits next to her landlord, though doesn't know it yet. The two hit it off and that just leaves us with Schatze.

A man, Tom Brookman (Cameron Mitchell) has trying to sweep Schatze off of her feet since the beginning of the movie, but she feels that he is just a "gas pump jockey" so she hooks up with J.D. Hanley (William Powell) he has money, but is older... she doesn't love him, but he has got money.

Well do you really think money is everything? Well do you? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. I will say that watching this movie means you'll have to stretch the imagination, but if you are ok with that, then you should be fine.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Reflective Look Back

Well, it has been 2 years. I guess time flies, when you're having fun. I went back, and looked at some of the things I wrote 2 years ago. What is clear is the pre-stroke post-stroke difference. At first I wanted to go back and fix all the misspellings and write in complete sentences, but that will forever show what happened to me, so I decided to leave it.

It was a very long recovery, I'm still finding that things I did 6-9 months ago were crazy. But I'm always improving, and I can say that is good news. I'm lucky, one of the luckiest bastards I know. I have a wife that loves me, three beautiful daughters, both of my parents are still alive, and I have a job. Those are all good things. I have friends... some in high, and not so high places. I still have my two dogs and my (really my wife's) cat... who will outlive us all it seems.

I'm a happy guy, and I never want to take that for granted. I know, that when I started this blog there was a bit more "piss and vinegar" to what I was saying, what I was doing, and what I was thinking. I'm not sure whether I could have held anyone's feet to the flames if I wouldn't have had the stroke, but since then, well it is all kind of moot now isn't it?

I don't care if the school board, or mayor/city council, or newspaper is fucking up. Because they probably are, and there is nothing much I can do about it anyway. I choose my battles much more carefully now, than I did 2 years ago, when I would go full bore and not really care about anything but the truth.

I don't want to say I've lost the will to fight, but maybe I have. I cannot fight in those battles anymore, because even if I win, what do I really win? ... Yeah, nothing. I would love to take it back and be the man I was two years ago, still waiting for that time machine, I don't think it is coming. Even now I'm thinking about closing up shop over at the BlogJam, because no one there is writing anything... except me, and I already have this blog to keep humming along. Humming, humming, humming along...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Working on the Tan

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New John Mayer

So John Mayer released another album. So far, I like this song best.



This whole album is kind of melancholy. I want to slap the man and tell him to straighten up, 1000 more fish in sea, just get another woman... ah, love, what can you do? Just wait, that is about it. Maybe that should be a song title on his next album.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Endorse... Fatherhood

It is a nice feeling, being a dad. What I'm saying is, since my wife was put on bed rest and now with having to care for the baby, I have taken up the role of bringing my 3-year-old (the songbird... a new name, because she is always singing) to daycare.

Now I did not like this, or want this... It was out of my way to work, adding 30 minutes to my trip (one way), plus I'm really not a "morning person". Turns out that neither is the songbird. So we have two people that hate mornings together in the mornings. Sounds like Broadway's next hit.

Anyway I'm resigned to facts. That I will take my daughter to "school" until the new year. And that is ok, I mean nobody is going to give me a fat check or an award, but we for the most part got down to a routine, that works for everyone. So on one particular morning, one where we are early, which is not very often, I pull into the drop-off area and we have 5 minutes to kill.

So I turn on the CD player, take the songbird in my lap, and just jam. She shows me her moves, I show her mine, and we are for the most part inside a moment that will soon end, but for that brief moment there is nothing else that matters. Not work, not school, not sisters, or mothers or anything else. Just us, jamming out to one song. That is why I love being a dad.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Look at Me... I'm Riding a Motorbike!!!

So we went to Beaufort, ate at Plum's (my wife's favorite), and then went to Wal-Mart, because the selection over there is not at all like it is over here. I can't figure that one out, but I don't try anymore and that isn't what I really want to talk about.

This guy, on a motorcycle, like mirrored me the whole way home. It didn't matter if I was going 45 or 70, this person stayed right in my blind spot. From Beaufort to Bluffton... he stayed there. And it wasn't like he had cruise control, because I tried to go way to slow or way too fast, he just liked me. Like really, really liked me. I was just happy when we got to a place where we could turn off and be rid of him. He was even doing some tricks. My guess is he wanted somebody to see, and since we were going the same direction, why not me?

Dumb luck I guess.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The End

Maybe I'm just being a little off right now, or maybe not, but I may decide to go ahead and put a end to the BlogJam... Why? If you look around, nobody is blogging. That is crazy. I know it is a funny time of year, there are all kinds of reasons for it, there is shopping, and Christmas trees and dinner to cook and you have to work and I'm sure 1000 other things that I have not listed.

Having nothing to say should never be one of them. Blog about how you don't like dirty dishes, or how you do like babies, or vice-versa. What I'm trying to say is there is a litany of things one could write about. How you choose to write about it is the difference between "I walked down the hall" and "I journeyed through the vestibule dimly lit by the night light". What I am trying to say is, you might not think it is all that special, but you can make it special, depending on how you write it.

Some of you are busy, I understand this. But then again, it has been months since I've seen anything from you. My very, very loose requirements are, post once a month, if you can't find the time to do that, well then so long. I mean, if you are having some kind of "thing" and you plan on posting more.... later on then drop me a line hatterlives@hotmail.com.

I am always looking for new members, new ideas, new anything. So far, I've got very little to show for it. Please prove me wrong, this blog, there goes the neighborhood, will always be open... I think. But I fear the days of the BlogJam are numbered. I hope I am wrong, but you just never know...

Friday, November 27, 2009

No Movie... No Nothing

In light and respect for everything shopping... there is no movie or anything else. I'm sure you understand that more likely than not I'm in a turkey-coma right now, and you should be in one to. :o)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Anti-Anthem

I think of this song as an anti-anthem to Black Friday. I know that is not really what the song is about, but to me I can't help but think it is...



I was talking to my wife, and she didn't get it. I guess what I mean is instead of a girlfriend... you have a toy that you cannot find to purchase, or Christmas spirit that is gone, that sort of thing. It is gone, and there really isn't anything you can do about it.

Happy Thanksgiving & Black Friday! No movie, but everyone is too busy to worry about it right?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Well Don't Count on Him to Be There

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Endorse.... Looking Like a Dork

So as you may already know I'm a fan of Guitar Hero. It is fun, and it helps me with my recovery, and who wouldn't like it really? Something has come to my attention however... you look like a complete dork when you play it. That's OK I mean, as long as everyone is having fun, right?

Well according to some among us (the teenager) I get extra dorky when Van Halen songs come along. And I admit that in order to keep up with Eddie Van Halen, I'm required to do... more. Make faces, hunch over the guitar, swing with a little more force, I have to just to move my fingers fast enough. Look at the videos below, and you'll understand. I mean hell, the man is a god. At least a god of the electric guitar... To me anyway.










Monday, November 23, 2009

Sweet Potato Souffle

First of all, I really don't know why it is called Souffle but it is really good (and calorie laden and so not diabetic friendly... but it only comes around once a year).

Ingredients

* 6 sweet potatoes (or you can use the canned stuff, about 3 big cans)
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 can condensed milk
* 16 oz container of marshmallow fluff
* 1/2 cup melted butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Topping

* 1 cup dark brown sugar
* 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup melted butter
* 1 cup chopped pecans

You mush up the potatoes in a mixer, with all the stuff above, mix it all up real good, and pour into a buttered dish (13X9), then in a bowl, add all of the topping ingredients together, and sprinkle over the top, let bake @350 for about 30 minutes, and viola your sweet potato never tasted better. I make mine the day before, as it frees up the stove for other things. :o)

Broken Light

The light at Simmonsville Road is broken. Well, not all the way broken, but at least intermittently broken. If you are on Simmonsville and you want to get on Hwy 278, you may already know this. You have to wait (so far) for 2 cycles to go. Basically, I think the sensor that is on the road by Walgreen's is messed up. If you get someone in that lane, who is not very aggressive, or putting make-up on, or talking on their cell phone, or just not paying attention, the light will turn green for the Kroger/Wendy's crowd across the street, which typically has 1-5 cars, and the other side, the Simmonsville Road side, could have 10-15 cars, and gets nothing at all.

This is fine... when you are not late for work, but otherwise sucks. Because in all honesty, traffic on Hwy. 278 is given like 6 minutes per cycle whereas The Simmonsville Road people are given maybe 1 minute. And that is as it should be, if the light is working properly. Maybe I just need to find a different way to go... or does anyone know who I contact about the problem?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ever Get One of "Those" Phone Calls?

So I get a phone call, middle of the morning, it is my wife, and she says... The car battery is dead. Great, "I'll be there in just a minute honey". Now I should back up, because Honda (the maker of my car) told me they thought the battery was going dead about a month or so ago. They tried to tell me, but I would believe them not really... well that isn't so either.

I had planned to go get the battery checked by Auto-Zone or whatever, but things just kept me from doing it. And so now I pay the price. The really weird part is, this car is only 3 years old, most batteries are good for 5, but that doesn't help me now.

I rush away from work, go get a battery, and meet my wife where she is parked at Hallmark/Kroger. I brought my work tool kit with me, because I was sick and tired of not having the right tools, and work is so much better at making sure you have everything you would need. Well, not really because everything on my car is metric, and what do I have? Standard. I am howling inside, because this is my curse, to always not have what I need to do a job.

Also I should note that Honda makes their batteries out of gold, because they are so expensive and they don't have a handle on them, probably as a theft deterrent. I eventually get the battery loose and out and put the new battery in, but lord have mercy, it could have gone a little smoother, just a little. Maybe, at least next time we'll have a handle, that is if nobody steals it... lol

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And Now... Something Really Stupid

I think this is ridiculous...



Why? Because you could pick up some Chinese, in 10 minutes. At least around here. Is it cheaper? Maybe, but then everyone has to eat the same thing. Not worth it in my opinion. And a talking panda bear... WTF?!?!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not So Classic Film Friday: Star Trek

Why did I pick this movie? Well, I think, or hope, that one day we will look at this film as a classic. Plus it just got released to DVD this week. The movie, in case you have not seen it, is a new beginning, for all your favorite Star Trek characters. How is this possible? Someone has gone back in time... and royally messed everything up. So you have Jim, Bones, Spock, Scotty, even Mr. Sulu, Chekov and Uhura are all there.

Because of this guy, Nero a Romulan... that goes a little crazy, we get to see all of our friends all over again. I never really felt like, "Oh, what they need is William Shattner in the movie". Mainly because they choose the right story to tell, and really we need somebody young anyway. But Lenard Nemoy does make an appearance, as Spock, so it does really all tie together.

This was "THE" movie of the summer, and I can definitely tell why. It has everything, love triangles, fighting, outer space battles, space aliens, even a few chase scenes, and a planet blows up or rather implodes... seriously, it has it all.

Our personal favorite is Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. He is probably the most like the original, but in a good way. Like an old crotchety man... anyway this will be a classic, one day.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not My Manliest Moment

Weird how when doing something does not equate with saying you'll do something. What I mean is, doing it and saying you're going to do it, are two completely different animals. I got reminded of this the other day while at work. I almost never post on what I do at work, that is on purpose. I find that it really doesn't help (or hurt... hopefully) and it can make for some weird situations, so I make it a practice to never write about work.

Anyway we were up on the roof, with a ladder. a really long ladder at that and we had to cross a section that required a "jump" to get to the other side. It looked small. like more of a hop, or really a step... but then came the actual doing part. I call it a jump. All I could think about was my family and what would happen if I died doing something this ridiculous? But it needed done, and we did it. Hell I didn't even climb the ladder either.

But I did hold it so that the other guy could climb it. And something happened. I don't know if it was the sun glaring down or what, but I was just a few inches from falling like 20 feet, which would probably hurt something awful, and I could no longer look up and keep a steady hold on the ladder. I had to look down, otherwise I would feel weak in the knees.

I can't really describe it, but there is something profound about your legs turning to butter when you are high up, and inches away from falling to your (perceived) death. I am not crazy about heights, I mean I'll do it if it must be done. Heck climbing a 6 or 10 foot ladder doesn't bother me, but anymore and I get antsy... add more, like say a balcony or rooftop and a ladder, forget it. I don't know why but it is just that way.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Available at Wal-Mart... for $1

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Got Ripped Off, Maybe

So we went to the Christmas in the South over the weekend. Which was good, I mean we went somewhere, and stimulated the economy. I think it is a step above a flea market, but hey, you just never know. Anyway we went, we bought, we got pooped out.

Before we left, we saw this hammock chair. And my wife just had to have one... sorta' I mean we all need something to say is ours, and ours only. She had this vision of it up on our balcony. So I say it is hers.

Now I know we paid way to much for it, but that's the thing about going to these type of shows, you don't know how much they've ripped you off until it is too late. But we are happy with it anyway. It does some "stuff" that cheaper ones don't and hopefully that money we spent will do more for our own country, instead of China... Just hoping that the guy we bought from doesn't get his from China.

So this is my 3rd weekend in a row that I have something to do on the weekend.

1st is was the clean out the dryer, perform feats of amazing contortion, and cursing

2nd was to paint the balcony you see pictured above, at least the underside (I know from this angle, it is not painted) which involved a ladder (because it is on the 2nd story) , also some contortion, but mainly reaching and painting, and curses.

And finally this, which doesn't seem so bad right? It isn't, but it is... It involves making a hole, and the stud finder would not work on the plastic, (yes there are a few extra holes now) and screwing a really fat closed loop wood screw at a funny angle. And of course cursing because I never have what I need to do a job. It is my bad karma I guess, I have to find ways to engineer a way around it. Which I did, and everything is good now. My wife, when not having to deal with the baby, can sit and relax, in her hammock chair. Proving that life really is good.

Monday, November 16, 2009

One of Us

This past week marked a few milestones for the littlest in our group. First off she lost her umbilical cord. This makes it possible for the next picture...



A bath. Yeah it ain't very pleasurable, is it kid? But it was your first, well sorta'... Your first bath at home anyhow.



You can see by the picture below, she is either very glad it is over, or she is high, whateve... as long as that water is far away from her.



She is gaining weight slowly (but surely) and all in all, she has become one of us. Which is what it is all about right?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We Are All Sick (Well Most of Us Anyway)

So I'm standing here... not really, but you know what I mean, and we have had a bit a of a scare, in the swine flu way. We never were tested, and the doctors say it is your average virus, but you can't say that to my wife. Basically it started with the teenager, because we all don't know what kind of gross cooties are crawling all over them. From there it went to the 3-year-old. And we started to worry a bit. Then my wife got it.

Not good, not good at all. So now it is me and the baby. I don't really get sick that much anymore, but when I was younger, when everyone else got sick, I would catch the cold two or three times over. So maybe that is karma looking out for me, maybe I got sick so much when I was a kid, I won't get sick so much as an adult. Maybe...

Meanwhile, the baby... well she has her own little antibodies and whatnot. Plus my wife is a borderline lunatic about being clean, washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, etc. thus protecting the baby even more. Though I remember some article somewhere saying that you were more likely to get sick from your baby than you were to make your baby sick, especially if you are breastfeeding. But I can't find anything to verify or refute that, so I will say what will happen, will happen, you can try to steer it in one way or another, but there is no way to know if your efforts were justified. But anyway, knock on wood, and hope I don't get it too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Weezer

Weezer has a new album out, it came out a week or so ago. The first song is (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To. Here is the song... I'm still absorbing the CD, It seems a little too kiddish for me, but Weezer sings about strange things, so I'll let it play a while before I come to any judgment.



I will say this, Weezer makes their stuff available. I mean a lot of bands think that by making their music only available through them, that somehow they can control it. All that winds up happening is people like me can't really blog about it, and show a video. Which hurts the artist, not the blogger. Just sayin'

Friday, November 13, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Labyrinth

Here is a movie directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas. In the geek speak, we have the potential the have an epic "nerdgasm" add to that David Bowie and well, you might want to get a napkin or something.

But seriously, Sara (Jennifer Connelly) is a teenager, going through teenage life. She resents having to watch her half-brother and while he is crying she wishes that the goblin king (David Bowie) would take him away. Well, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

So now Sara must travel the labyrinth to get her half-brother back. She makes new friends and enemies along the way. It is kind of like the Wizard of Oz, but with puppets/muppets and it is a bit darker. There is the David Bowie songs to think about too, though I don't remember any being very popular, still it is Bowie... I'll let you decide if you think it is good. Watched on the Roku.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Endorse... Fire

I had a fire over the weekend. You know, inside the fire pit, roast some marshmallows kind of fire. It was at this time that I decided that life is full of these special moments... if we want to make them special. I was out there, stoking the fire with my teenager and 3-year-old. Reminiscing on fires gone by.

That is kind of weird right? But it is true. I think of places in my youth, like the backwoods or the creek or even later when I was an adult in northeastern Georgia. Granted it is much more organized than it was back then. We would just gather up brush, or a fallen tree or what have you. Now I buy the wood, who would have thunk it? But I do, and it is much more contained in my little fire pit than it ever was in times of my youth.

But the effect is the same. It is the calming of the fire, the forget everything else and just watch the fire, that doesn't really change, and yet I can't take my eyes off of it. Just sit back and enjoy the show. I hope that for my daughters the making of a fire is equally magical and undefinable. It just is. It can be that way if you have a fireplace, though it is not the same, and honestly, the amount of time you will use it doesn't seem to justify the cost, and if there is natural gas involved... forget about it.

But I do recommend you take that fire pit, or just dig a hole (saving the grass) and make a fire over the weekend. Even if you have to buy some wood like I did, It is one of the simplest pleasures I know of... one I don't think any of us should do without.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It Is Just A Number

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday

Sesame Street turns 40. Amazing that for most of it... I was alive. Here are some clips of "back in the day". Funny because the show's early days are not considered "educational" or whatever. Enjoy it all the same, Happy Birthday Sesame Street.