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


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)


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?




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 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


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


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.