Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Damn Dog

Ok so as you may or may not know, I own two dogs. They are pretty stupid, not being mean or anything I'm just saying. People are a lot smarter... well sometimes I wonder. You see other people in my neighborhood have dogs too. I know this because I keep going out and catching them on my property. What usually happens is dog enters the back yard, I catch the dog, I give the dog to my 13-year-old to go take to wherever the dog lives. I'm not mean spirited about it, but if my dogs ever got out, and ran to whoever's house... without me knowing about it... I would be mortifed.

I know you can't hold everybody to the same example, but I know where my dogs are, because they cost me a lot of money. And believe it or not, I love them... even though they are dumb, and more than likely won't save me when/if I'm attacked by a bear or fall down a well, they are mine (that goes for cats too) and I aim to take care of them. Not let them run loose, not let them get into someone's flower bed, and certainly not let them defaecate on somebody else's lawn.

But again, I'm not like other people. But other people are somewhat pissing me off with their lack of responsibilities. And I'll let them know it. So much so that is why I let my daughter take the dogs back. Because I would become a scourge of the neighborhood, because I would hold everyone up to the same standard that I set for myself. Isn't that awful?

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Weekend

I always had dual lives, even and especially when I was a child. When the weekend would come around, all my friends would disappear, I was going to my dad's house. Every weekend he would come and get me. He has never missed a date. I think that's commendable. But there is a backside to that story. My mother worked Baylor shift, that is weekends and attended school during the week. So while I thought my dad loved me and everything, it turns out that my mom did too.

While I was playing and having a good time, my mom was working and going to school. Not that I shouldn't have had fun, I was just a kid. But again the dual nature of me is a little skewed. With time I see the difference. But then again, I don't want to take away from what my dad did... or didn't do. He was there for me, and he made it known that no matter what he would continue to be there for me. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I was loved, but in different ways by my parents. And all of this is kind of hard for me to explain, because now I have kids, and I want to show them that I love them, But I'm trying to love them in both ways. And that doesn't always make it out, the right way.

I try to reason and sympathetically feel for them like my mother, but at the same time let them grow, knowing I'll always be there for them like my father. I'm sure everyone goes through this, it's just two different loves, and they are not the same, but the love is there. So which kind is it going to be? Nobody knows...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rock Out

This song has been out there awhile. But it's on Guitar Hero, and much by accident my daughter absolutely loves it... my three-year-old daughter. So sit back and enjoy "Lazy Eye" by the Silversun Pickups.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Making a report

So my daughter, the 13-year-old, is doing reports and posters and what not. Which is fine by me. But walk with me if you will, into a time when all you had was a typewriter and a library card, that's it. No Google, no internet, no nothing. And researching a topic at the library usually involved copying the information by hand or running through microfiche after microfiche with a pocket full of dimes to print your info. I cannot make my child understand... there used to not be a computer in almost every home. There was no SpellCheck or Synonyms replacement tool. You had to do it yourself... and God help you if you made a mistake, you had to start all over again or use corrective tape. Kids these day have no idea how hard giving a report used to be. Really. No. Idea.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Ok, first off, I have to admit something to you... I didn't know that this film was the inspiration for the TV series Alice. I had no idea. That said, this movie is so much better than the TV series and you really don't get that it was the inspiration until you see Mel (he is the only person to play in TV and film) or at least it didn't for me.

So Alice (Ellen Burstyn) is a singer, and a mother, and a widow. She really doesn't know how she will make it... as she was widowed recently. So she sets off from New Mexico to Monterrey. But never quite gets there. She makes a stop in Phoenix, because she ran out of money, and she falls for yet another abusive man (her husband was abusive too). So she moves on again, to Tuscon and this is where a lot of the TV show gets it's inspiration. There is Mel, and Flo, and Vera. But they are so much better portrayed. Life is unedited. And a little cuss word or a snappy comeback is life.

This movie also stars Kris Kristofferson as David, the man that Alice eventually settles with. It also stars a young Jodie Foster, but it is nothing more that a side roll. This is a movie about how imperfect the world is, and yet we all live in it and try to make the best of it. It really doesn't have an ending, because really what does? This is real life, or at least somebody's version of it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lake Warren Trip

So where the hell is Lake Warren, and why did you go there? Well, I don't know why, but the state park is just south of Hampton. It really doesn't offer much, unless people scare you. Then this place is right up your alley. Plus, sometimes the journey is better than the destination. I took the long way home (instead of I-95) and went through Estill, and other smaller towns down Highway 321.

Here is a big pine... X2

This is the "coast" of Lake Warren... kind of mossy

I saw ferns too...

In various stages of growth.

If you go, this .3 mile trail is much more satisfying than the 1 mile trail to nowhere.

Trail... To Nowhere.

We saw this, I thought we were inside the park, but maybe not.

This is where Lake Warren ends.

A "sea of green"

This is in Estill, I guess it is grandfathered in that whole no tobacco ads?

Here is the water tower of Estill. Which was probably worth the whole trip.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just Being Honest

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I have to go on a bit of a rant here. What is the deal with recycling in Beaufort County? You put everything in the same recycling bin, and that is recycling? I thought you had to separate and clean and you know... work?!? Instead, we just break some boxes down, and throw them right next to the plastic bottles and viola that's recycling?

Hell they pick it up with the same truck just different days as the regular garbage. Maybe somebody should show me the way to enlighten me, but my guess, and this is just my opinion, all the garbage and recycling goes to the same pile. I'm just saying... If I'm wrong then so be it, I just don't see how any of this makes sense.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bad Posture and Cars

It's kind of odd, the way I'm proportioned. You see, I'm 6'4" but that is just half the story. I have an abnormally long torso, which means I kind of sit funny, or slouching over (especially in the car). I have legs about the same length of a normal guy, but a really long chest/stomach area. So why m I saying all of this? Because of cars.

This is the veiw I have when I sit up straight and correct.

This is what I get when I hunch over... and as you can see... It is much more, all the way around.

So does anyone think I have a case against the car manufacturers? No? I didn't think so either.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Stroke, Strikes Back

It has been a rough couple of weeks for me. Not that it is really serious or even eventful, but life is like that. I have been caught up in some stuff. Again it really is not all that much, but when it is happening to you, it is a big deal. All I can do is put it behind me, and maybe everything will be ok.

It has to do with work, and by in large I do not comment on work in my blog. So you'll either figure it out, or not. What was a big deal, turns out to not be such a big deal, or maybe it is... honestly, I don't know. But it has caused me to re-evaluate everything. A lot of this stems from me having a stroke and whether or not I can still function in the workplace. I can, but am I as good as I used to be? No not really. But how good do you need to be? Well that is a question that remains open to everyone. I don't think I need to be 100% to do my job. How much management or people in charge think that you need to give 110% is also open for debate. Not that I won't give 100 or even 110% of whatever I am now, because I will, but if you compare that with me pre-stroke well, it won't be the same.

So all there is to do now is tread lightly and keep my nose clean and try my absolute hardest to make things work. So I might not be online as much. We'll see...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Mauler

My daughter, the three-year-old, picked a flower. Usually it is just a piece of grass, or something off of a shrub. This time it was one of the pansies that we had forgotten . Oh well, they can survive freezes and neglect, but they can't escape the eye of a three-year-old...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Stir Crazy

I know, I know this movie is from 1980, but it's still classic to me, besides it's almost 30 years old. And it has Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. This is your basic comedy based on two losers who through no fault of their own, wind up going from the streets of New York to an Arizona state penitentiary.

Skip (Gene Wilder) is the thinking man, at least he thinks so, he tries to rationalize with everyone. Harry (Richard Pryor) is more or less every man, kind of dumb, horny, and likes to do things that might be illegal.

I picked this movie because it has been in my cue forever, and sometimes you just need a good comedy to set things in perspective. So anyway, this is kind of like me. The whole getting into trouble, even though you really didn't do anything wrong. At least this week. Enjoy...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sunday... Not the Time to Go Do Anything in Charleston

I like the place. I mean I really really do, but nothing opens up for business until 12 or 1pm. Well heck I really didn't want to be hanging around or at least I thought we would be heading back no later than 3... it presents a conundrum.

Originally we were gonna stop by Angel Oak in the am, have some lunch with friends, then walk around the city until my youngest couldn't take it anymore. But right from the start we should have known. The weather was crap. I mean it was bad. Not raining, but it might as well have been.

A very gray day.

This is the angel oak...

...from outside the fence.

Here is some barbed wire that has been swallowed by another tree.

On to the Buccaneer Restaurant...

This cannon, looks intricate... to blow your head off.

Finally, we arrive at market street. This is the back

and this is the front. Notice the sky? It was not like that for long.

And this is just one of dozens of church steeples.

And finally, a fountain, who doesn't like a fountain?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How We Play the Game

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Garden Update: Week 5 for the Summer

So, it has been a month now and what do I see? The cucumbers are getting a bit unruly almost choking off the tomatoes, but not quite, soon, maybe even this weekend I'll transplant them

Things aren't looking so good for the flowers. Just one missed watering and half of my crop is gone. Here's looking at the other half.

I Think He'll Make It...

Ahhh. What a release, to not worry over work and just have some fun. I haven't had fun like that in a long time. There is something about having the day off and having it off on Saturday or Sunday doesn't count. Of course there was lots of people who had the day off with me... with the whole St. Patrick's Day thing in Savannah. But still.

My mom is still my mother, with all of her idiosyncrasies, which is not at all bad. My brother is not my "little brother" anymore either. And yet he is. He is funny, like laugh out loud funny. Actually, "wreck the car" funny... or close to it. Laughter was in high supply all weekend through.

Not that my normal everyday life is in laughter deprivation, it's just well, you have to know my brother... He'll do things like impersonate Arnold Schwarzenegger to the check out lady, or turn our heads by acting "gay" or dance a jig in the middle of the street. He is just like that, always has been.

My daughters had fun too, even the teenager. And that may have been the kicker in all of this. With one three day visit my mother has possibly made up my daughter's mind for her. We'll see. Meanwhile my youngest has had a great time with my brother, because up until now, she has never really met anyone like him. Deep down, he is a shy kid (20-year-old) but you'd never guess it if you met him. He's never had a girlfriend, though they show an interest in him. Never really worked, never had much of anything. Besides me there was no other male in the house, with 3 sisters and my mother.

I never would have imagined that he would amount to much, he was, for all intents and purposes listed as an ADHD kid. But now when he talks to me, really talks, it is quite pleasant. I'm not sure if he will be famous or rich or both, but I think he'll make it. As always... we'll see.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Girl

I have mixed emotions about the current state of affairs concerning my oldest and her desire to perhaps live at her mother's house... in Mississippi. You see it has been going on for years. And my daughter is the spitting image of her mother. Like her in every way. So on one hand I'm fighting a battle that I can not possibly win and on the other I know she will sink even deeper if I let her go live with her mother.

You see education really isn't all that important to my ex-wife's family and to me and my current wife (a teacher) it really is. Then there is the whole family situation. My ex-wife lives with her mother, who also lives with her mother. In fact it is just one big, uh happy? family. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, but it is hard to step outside the box when/if the time comes.

I asked my daughter, "What is it that is so good about over there, that you can not do over here?" She could not provide an answer. Finally I told her that life is pretty good here, I pretty much have everything I could dream of here. But if she was convinced that life here sucks and it would be so much better in Mississippi with her mom, then she needs to go. It hurts to say that, because for many years... it was just me and her. And I feel like it will all be thrown away if she moves away.

Maybe, maybe not, I don't know. There will be good things if she leaves. No more teenage angst in my house. No more pushing her to do better in school, No more pushing her to take car of her dog, take care of her room, or take care of her chores (which we would do quicker anyway). I would instantly become a "weekend dad". She would only come over once and awhile and there would only be fun things. Wouldn't that be nice? Except everything I've worked so hard to instill in her would be gone, and I really wouldn't be her father anymore. At least not one that I thought I would be... to her.

But the old saying goes "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". Yeah, I know, but it doesn't make me feel any better.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


We were talking about colors the other day. Nobody says "yes it's a light black, or a deep white color". Nobody does it. Think about that... and get back to me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Don't Say That

Kids are strange too.

We'll be driving, and having a pretty ok time, I mean nothing special or anything, and then it pops out. The "don't say that" bug. It's rampant.


She'll say "don't say huh."


She'll say "don't say hmmmm..."

"Wow" you say.

"Don't say wow" she says.

"Whatever" you might say (to yourself) and she would say "don't say whatever."

Whatever you're thinking about saying, don't unless you just want to be told to not say it (sometimes I admit, I'll go a round or two with her) but there is no satisfying her... except to be quiet, and even that is really guaranteed.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day Off

Ok, Friday is my first day off in over a year. A day off, all to myself, sorta'. See my mom is flying in for the weekend. She and I are kindred souls, or at least I would like to think so. Being the oldest gives you that right to decide that I think. I've know my mother longer than any of her other kids, and I've had experiences with her that log in a moment in time... usually things like us splitting a grilled cheese and a can of soup, or other foods or 13 inch black and white TV in our living room.

We were admittedly poor, but we had each other, and that was worth something. My little brother is somewhat meeting her in Atlanta and then they'll both fly together to Savannah. I hope we have fun, because lord knows, I need a break.

We're definitely going to Charleston, and we're surely going to get some oysters somewhere but other than that we're wide open to suggestions. But there will not be a Classic Film Friday this week. Yes, I know, many people rely on Classic Film Friday to kick off their weekend, but alas not this weekend (there is sarcasm there). Go outside and spend some money... not necessarily a lot, just enough, but a plant or some new paint or a new bathing suit... Spring has come, and we all need to be ready for it! :o)

Meanwhile, don't bother me, I'm vacationing.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This was One of 'Those' Weekends

The one where you understand the reason why you live here in the first place. Gorgeous weather, no bugs, a day that you have no problem staying outside all day. I took advantage of this great weather and re-did all mulch in the front and back yards. The wife pruned every bush we had, and when it was all done, we simply kicked back and laid on the hammock for hours.

It was beautiful.

So the sick kid didn't ruin everything after all. Then Sunday came around...

We decided to spend our day at Hunting Island State Park.

Which, if you haven't been, is highly effected by beach erosion.

Like really, really...


It is also home of the maritime forest. A mix of palm, pine, and oaks...

It's also home to a lighthouse

That you can climb up (for $2)

It is a long way up.... seriously.

But the view, is worth $2, I think

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Garden Update: Week Redo Week 4 for the Summer

Ok so I gave up on the whole winter garden thing... for this year anyway. The spinach shriveled up the broccoli just kind of stayed there, even the lettuce is starting to brown. So from here forward we are just going to worry about the summer garden. Still the winter garden got us to where we are now, and for that I am thankful.

The cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes look to have survived the great watering, or lack there of... incident.

The flowers, at least part of them, not so much

Until Next Time

You ever enter a problem with all the best intentions of being helpful and basically nothing you say or do is right? I experienced that recently. It's nobody's fault really, it's just one of those things. Unfortunately it is up to you to somehow make things better. That's the part that rubs me the wrong way. I basically got reamed out and now I have to go apologize for that reaming that I received.

Human nature I guess, and the fact that the customer is always right, even when everyone knows they're wrong. Ah well, a beer (or three) will make it all go away.... until next time. *sigh*

Monday, March 9, 2009

People are Funny

People in cars going everywhere. Just the other morning I was tasked with getting my 3-year-old off to school/day care. My wife had a meeting and could not be at that meeting and take my little one to school, so you have me. I'm a resource, I admit it, I'm even proud of it... though I did grumble a little bit.

So I get to take our minivan, because my car has no car seat, and I'm exposed to a whole different genre of people. That and my wife forgot to gas up the car... I'm a resource. It just never ceases to amaze me how so many people get to work, without killing themselves. Whether it's the "minivan mom" who as speeding down the parkway, and not getting anywhere any faster than the rest of us, or the guy who has a full blown breakfast in his lap while driving, to the more prevalent cell phone use in the car, or the hygiene things... put make up on, or shave (for men). People are funny.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sick Again?

It just goes to show you, my 3-year-old is sick again. And it's a beautiful weekend. What's one to do? Not much. It just so disappointing that we finally have a pretty good weekend, and we'll spend it inside, mostly. No beach, no walk in the park, no nothin'. Just sick... sick, Sick, SICK.

And I'm not the one who is sick, but I have to stay with her, so I might as well be. Ok maybe not, but still, I want to be out and about instead of stuck at home...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

And then... I Fell On My Face

You know that point when you know something bad is going to happen but there really isn't anything you can do about it... so within a fraction of a second you resolve to have that bad something, happen?

What the hell am I talking about? I basically fell down the stairs. It was a bad tumble, and though I did what I could, I could not fight inertia or gravity. I was unhurt, barring my pride might be injured, but I did just talk about how I could zip up the stairs, without using hand rails.

It was funny, how you think of everything, within a few seconds and then it comes crashing down around you. To make it seem even worse, I've never fell down the stairs before. I fell from about the 6th step up (I was heading downstairs), and there is a 90 degree turn involved, and tile floor is what eventually stopped the fall. It was bad. But not so bad that I could not laugh at myself and so I did, and shared it with the public so that maybe you too can laugh at something stupid that I did. There's nothing better to keep a man humble than to laugh at your own mistakes.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Classic Film Friday: For Me and My Gal

This film is one of those ones where the truth is stranger than fiction. It is loosely based on a true story about vaudeville actors Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly) and Jo Hayden (Judy Garland). Which is kind of strange because the movie sort of fell apart near the end, but when I googled it and saw that it kind of really happened, well... I don't know.

So anyway, Harry and Jo, meet up and become an act together. They hope that one day they'll play the Palace in NYC, but until then they play smaller venues. Harry is a dreamer, a schemer, an opportunist and Jo is simply in love with Harry... even though Harry doesn't know it. They come into contact with Eve Minard (Martha Eggerth) who is a very accomplished singer. Though Harry doesn't know it yet, Jo and Eve plot against him, so that Jo can see what he is all about. Eve offers Harry a job, but not Jo, and Harry takes it.

Harry has to break the news to Jo, and that is when it is revealed the Jo loves Harry, and Harry loves Jo. To make things even better their agent wires them that they will play the Palace. Too good to be true huh?

Jo's brother Danny is called up by the draft, he was going to be a doctor. He dies and Harry gets notified that he's been drafted... and he needs to report before they can play at the Palace.

What happens next is where it gets weird. Harry hurts his hand to keep from being drafted, which also enrages Jo. To make it up he tries to enlist but no one will have him. So from there you will have to rent, borrow or buy the movie to see if Harry can turn his luck around, if they will play the palace, or if Jo and Harry will be together again.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

To Savannah, The Historic District

So we went into Savannah this time. Though really my wife wanted to go to the Spring in the South craft show, and I tagged along taking my 13-year-old with me, because I'm just like that.

Ok so we started our journey here, that is on this side of the river, the actual Savannah side over there.

This is one of the ships coming into port, I tried to explain that the ships coming into New Orleans were even bigger, and more numerous, to my daughter, but you really can't explain anything to a 13-year-old, can you?

We crossed the river via the ferry that goes from the Westin to River street, in the background you can see the Talmadge Bridge.

This tree, on River street, looks to have needed some bracing. It didn't get any, but it seems healthy.

This is just parking between River and Bay streets.

Another view between the two streets.

Which brings us to this. Yes, be careful, there are stairs nearby...

I just like the way the oak tree seems 'twisted'... Plus, I cropped out a bum that was kind of funny, but anyway... you had to be there.

A fountain!

This was my attempt to mortally embarrass my daughter, she blocked my efforts.
You win this time pesky teenager...

So Savannah has these cross lights that talk to you. Telling you to "Wait" every 10 seconds or so

I'm sorry, what? Oh I can walk across the street now? Goodbye.

And finally, it is good to know that someone is looking after our soul, I mean really. Fighting for freedom? Thanks Jesus.