Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Everything is Finally Fixed and/or Replaced

So I am, through the power that is "Holiday Shopping" back up to full speed on everything electronical. I spent an entire day taking apart my old TV and surrounding bookcase/console. The electrics I sent to the dump, the wooden parts I burned. Why the heck would I do that? Surely it would/could/should be reused... why not donate it to Salvation Army or something?

It was old and broken and I could not justify having someone pick up my TV and surrounding console knowing that it was garbage. A projection TV it pretty much worthless. A broken projection TV is worth even less than worthless. And the somewhat broken console? Well, I already said that a projection TV is worthless... and so a console specifically designed for a projection TV, is equally un-good. Don't you just love technology?

Now these things were big... I mean had a 56 inch TV (replaced by a 46 inch, I know it seems like I'm taking a step backwards) and getting everything out and the new in was a monumental task. My back yard looked a bit like a scrap yard at first, but I chopped and the wood parts into more manageable parts and slowly burned away the remnants.

You might be thinking, why not just haul it all off to the dump? I would except that would required a trailer and backbreaking labor of which I had neither so it had to be this way. It is all set up or take apart. Out with the old and in with the new. I have so much more room now... which is just in time for Christmas anyway right?

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Gag

I don't know if you know this or not but I have a thing for the gag gift. I like the thought of it, the hilarity of both giving and receiving the gag, the search of just the right gift, which generally costs less than $5, and let's be honest, what gift are you really going to want or like, that only cost $5? $10? Hell I'll go as far as $100... I don't know about you, but I can't really say that there is anything that I get as a gift that I really, really like or want that I wouldn't have already gotten for myself anyway. There are rare occasions, but they are the exceptions not the rule.

So that brings me to a haul of some really good and pretty cheap gifts I got over the weekend. They are great and the some are the usual suspects. But one thing I had to buy for myself and my family is already wishing that maybe I didn't find it.What is said item?

Basically it is like the old Fart Machine... like this:

Except it doesn't take a remote to operate, which means so long as you don't mind being the one who farted or if you can blame someone else in your group, then party on my friend.

I can't tell you how much fun I've had and how much fun I will have later when my family comes over for Christmas. Cut one on the way to the checkout line in Barnes & Noble, or perhaps stand next to a kid in the middle of Publix. (Yep, both done already) the possibilities are limitless and I've apologized to my wife profusely, but I can't help but laugh... like in tears, knee slapping laughter when this thing comes out and makes it's presence known. And all it cost was a buck. I'm going back to get more...  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Your Moment of WTF!?!?

I bring you this moment in WTF!?!? Because it seems to find itself on TV at any and all hours of the day. And all this is somewhat tolerable until, they get to the potential groom, at what does he have to say about it? Watch and see...  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Growing Up

So my littlest can't decide on what nickname she likes more... Augustus is still in the running, the kid can put it away and then some. But with her walking, she has slimmed ever so slightly, and we were calling her Charlie, because she walked like Charlie Chaplin.

But that quickly turned into this kind of strut. The George Jefferson strut. I know this isn't exactly the right clip, but it is the closest I could find. Basically it is in the arm movement, though it is in the hips too.If you watched the Jeffersons, you know what I mean.

Before you know it we'll be calling her Fred Astaire or Greg Louganis... Why are they all men's names? I have no idea.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Classic Film Friday: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

 This is a classic in the sense that it has become a Christmas staple... and it is kind of weird because were it to come out today... I don't think it would be accepted. Nobody would shun Rudolph, or the misfit toys, or the "gay-ish" Hermey the elf. Even Santa himself shuns Rudolph.

What is a misfit to do? Well strike out on your own, find other "beings" that are misfits too, and somehow use your differences to your advantage? You betcha! And the world is safe again. (I know this was a special for TV, but still you can't help but watch it.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gorillaz: Plastic Beach

Something a little different. Maybe you like, maybe you don't. The idea is kinda neat. A group that only exists in the "virtual world". See what you think... and oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yeah He Does That

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls are something so good, so delicious, I find myself stumped as to why they only appear this time of year. And you want to know a secret? I have not had these sausagey, cheesey, balls of goodness until I moved to South Carolina 10 years ago. Also you can make all kinds of witty or sarcastic sayings when you talk about making, eating, or anything else... because "balls" are in the name and when you add "sausage" well then it kicks the sexual innuendo into over-drive.

You need:
1 pound of Sausage the one pictured is a hot sausage from the Pig.
1 pound of finely shredded Cheese
1 1/2 to 2 cups of Bisquick

You mix the three together and form into balls, where you bake at 350 for 10 minutes. (You can flip them over and let the other side brown up too if you like for another 5-10 min.)

Then you enjoy your creation. Which is to say, at my house anyway, they don't last long at all. But all my kids are a slave to anything sausage. If it has sausage in it, then it must be ingested, over and over and over again... until it is gone.I mean, I made this with a spicy sausage and the Songbird and the teenager, ate this... and the don't usually like hot or spicy things. Make some, before I buy up all the sausage, Bisquick, and cheese!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh That Naughty School District

Maybe you've heard the news, that the district may close Shell Point. Why? Because they are looking for ways to save money as County Council did not approve the tax hike the district wanted. So what is a school district to do? Make the cuts where it will make the most impact... politically speaking that is. By doing so, or pretending to do so... they will make a large uproar (in concerned parents) and it will have potentially the most effect County Council. There by making a big to do about nothing at all.

Now I could be wrong, but that is the way it is looks to me. Playing with people's emotions is not really "clean politics" but it makes things happen or makes you get money you didn't already have. Yeah it is like that, around here anyway. So I see County Council giving the district the money it wants or some kind of "compromise" solution will be reached, it is very doubtful that Shell Point will close, but you just never know these days do you?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How My Daughter Has More Friends in 5 Minutes Than I have in My Entire Life

I really don't know how it happened. Well, I do know how it started. Basically me and my wife told the teenager, "You can have a facebook account if you friend us" well at first she balked at the idea. Because my daughter has a healthy suspicion of anyone in authority... myself included. She thinks we would actually be so sneaky as to follow her around on dates with friends. What she doesn't understand is we would much rather play "newlywed couple"... if given the chance, than to go off chasing her around.

Well it finally broke her down, she said "I will be your friend, can I sign up for facebook now?" And so we set out doing just that. And I was happy, she was happy, everyone was happy. Then it got weird. As she was adding all of her friends and they were adding her back, she is popular I guess. I asked her, "Do you talk to these people daily?" and she claimed that she did. And I can't help but wonder when the hell do you have time to do this?

I understand that kids will talk during class, lunch, between classes, on the bus, virtually anywhere and everywhere... but as her facebook fills up, my facebook is full of people I really don't talk to. Old high school friends, family, old army buddies, and some regular friends and co-workers thrown in and except for family, I really don't talk to much of anyone. And I can't help but wonder why. I have no idea.

I do know that almost all the people I would like to hear from/about either don't have a facebook account or they don't talk much... so what is a guy to do? Well I guess, I start posting a little more on facebook, and start looking for more friends... I can't be a wallflower while my daughter talks and meets everyone now can I?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Troll Hair

So here you can see what you get when you try to brush curly hair... it is not very pretty, it is kind of like treasure troll hair.

Yeah I can definitely seen the resemblance. And since she is too young to use "product" (as my wife puts it, she shares the same hair issues). All we can do is wet her hair and try again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Classic Film Friday: The Blob

I saw this classic the other day on TCM, and for the most part it is Steve McQueen's coming out party. He is a teenager, Steve Andrews and he Jane Martin (Aneta Corsaut) witnesses a very strange thing. A older man is "attacked" by a meteor, in which he starts poking around and this ooze gets on him and he can not get it off. Steve spots the man on the road, as he and his date are out cruising.

Now Steve offers to take the man to a doctor, which the man agrees, but the blob only gets worse, kills the man and others as well. And it can not be stopped, as it grows Steve is trying to warn everyone but who is going to listen to a teenager? So he takes matters into his own hands.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Trick Pony

This french woman teams up with Beck to release an album.That is about all I know about the album, but the song is catchy, very Beck-like in fact. (you can see Beck in the video)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

He Doesn't Really Smile Though...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friends of the Past

With Veteran's Day just past, actually at the time I'm writing this it is Veteran's Day, but anyway I thought I would share a "war" story with you.

There was a man named John, and he was my very good friend. He went to Korea, just like me, maybe a year or so before I did and he had ex-wife problems. Just like I was beginning to see for myself. My then wife left me and took my daughter, twice. the first time I went to go get her, the second I did not, and so John took it upon himself to come by, make sure I was ok, he was a true friend. There was a sense of camaraderie in the service that you just can't find very often in the civilian world. We worked together, we played together, hell, we got drunk together... It was a good point in my life. So we were out behind the military housing on a very cramped Fitzsimons Army Medical Center (the whole post was only 1 square mile)

From the picture if you look right, that was where the military housing was (yet to be built). And we had a thing for firing off model rockets. Which is no big deal, unless you have had a few to drink. Then it becomes "look what this drunk fool did" and that is pretty much what we did. On Christmas Day, we got the idea to "daisy chain" rocket engines, that is to have one go off right after another one has gone off. In theory, it works out great, in reality, not so much. The first engine worked no problem, however there was a delay in the firing of the second one, and in that delay, the rocket turned sideways so when the second engine finally did ignite, the rocket was parallel with the ground. And it was headed straight towards officer housing to the left (yet to be built) And the rocket was a 6 foot mean machine...

We never saw the mean machine again, we always snickered that it crashed into some old Colonel's wife's rose bushes or something like that.

But that isn't the only "rocket story", another time, it was during "Reveille" that evening and for whatever reason we were out shooting those dang rockets again...

We shot off a rocket and it looked ok, then a big gust of wind came by or something on rocket came off, and it sent the rocket on a crazy trajectory and came down right in front of the hospital (the big building in the picture). They were folding up the flag and all of that (a special detail that everyone gets do... I always got to fire the howitzer). Why didn't we wait until after? I have no idea... But we all got a bit of a chuckle out of that, And yes, through we were in civilian clothes, we still gave our respect to the flag. We christened that rocket "Rat on Acid". Nobody got hurt or demoted or anything else, the sergeant major of the post did see this particular rocket exercise. While he did not approve, he also did not disapprove it either. I think he was in utter bafflement as to what was going on. Which is always a good thing (right?... maybe) when you do something you might get in trouble for later.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I guess it is time to let the proverbial cat out of the bag. I will be staying at my place of business for at least 2 more years. That is a great burden off of my shoulders, I can worry about that later. I really didn't think we would come out on top, and it led to a downward spiral with the mortgage on my house and my wife's work. Plus my boss was really, really good to me when I had the stroke. I didn't want to leave him. But now all that is settled and I won't have to do any sort of thing like that... for 2 more years anyway.

And in even bigger news my wife got accepted to a Master's administration cohort sponsored by the district. Well, not fully sponsored, but they are paying for half, and we will have to come up with the other half. Basically the only thing more that my wife can do is get her PhD or move up in administration. This will let her do that. Even though she already has her Master's in Literacy, if you do the math it works out like this:

PhD in Literacy $40,000
Master's in Administration $6,000

Both will get you into a leadership role (vice-principal or principal) but the obvious choice is in admin. I think this is a great investment by the county in its future and it shows her that they value her, and that is great. Also that works out good with my two year plan because she will graduate in two years as well. So it is good news for us both on the work front. On to kids, animals, movies, music... you know the important stuff!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Skippyjon Who???

You may be thinking... "Who is this strange woman?" Well she is the author of the Skippyjon Jones series of books. Anybody who is a teacher... or a kid from say 4-10 knows all about her... of her cat Skippyjon Jones. Who is a Siamese Cat who thinks he is a Chihuahua. She was at the Savannah Childrens Book Festival. It was a nice day, with good (but a little chilly) weather down in Forsyth Park in Savannah. Good, cheap, fun. And a place where you can meet an author or two. What is not to love about that?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yes! I Finally Got My Camera Back

It took 6 weeks to fix. Finally it is back. I am eternally grateful, seriously... having to wait 2-5 seconds between pictures... you have no idea until you try it. So anyway, here a few snaps of someone who would like to eat my camera very much... I told "no" but that is just a word. And words have little to no effect on Augustus!

I'm just glad I got my camera back...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Classic Film Friday: The African Queen

It has been awhile since I did a real, old movie... that gave this classic film Friday its name. Well I must tell you Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn have just  the right panache to get one back into these classic films.

Made in 1951, this movie takes place in 1914, in the middle of Africa. Rose (Hepburn) a British Methodist missionary with her brother Samuel. Charlie (Bogart) is a boat captain of the African Queen. He warns that Germans are in the area, but they choose to stick it out because they are missionaries after all. The Germans come in and take all the natives hostage. Leaving her and her brother, and her brother soon dies. Charlie comes back and helps Rose bury her brother and pack up.

Then it becomes a tad bit fantastic, but that is ok if you keep in mind, it is just a movie. They decide that they are going to get back at the Germans by turning the African Queen into a torpedo. And firing the torpedo at a bigger German ship. But first they must navigate an unnavigable river, go past a German fort, make repairs to their boat and deal with nature. It seems like so much, but anything is possible if your mind is right... right?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Chemical Romance: Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

I am posting this, because this song makes my teenaged daughter squeal every time she hears it. So it must be good right? I will admit it is catchy. See what you think.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Think They Get Plastic Surgery or Something

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Trip to the Zoo

Over the weekend last week, we had the opportunity to drive up to Columbia and while there we went to the zoo. Well first we had to drop my wife off at a school, as the real reason for going to Columbia was for her to attend this meeting. So we went to the mall, scoped out a good place to get our grub on and generally played.

As you can see the kids were pretty hyped up about going to the zoo. I don't think any kid suddenly becomes disappointed but anyway... We went to Hudson's Smokehouse for lunch, pretty good. I really liked the collard greens, but the mac-n-cheese was a hit with the kids, but really everything was good to Augustus. (Notice the shiner is still there)

So with the meeting out of the way and with full bellies, we head for the zoo. And there have been some changes there since we last went. Mainly, that the sea lions are not there anymore, replaced by a kangaroo walk about thing. You can walk right up to them, however you must stay on the path, and the kangaroos are off in the distance (at least they were when we went through). We miss the sea lions, but we pressed on.

There was a new baby giraffe, and who doesn't like seeing some cute baby animals?

But the show stopper had to be the Lorikeet exhibit.The Songbird loved this, as did her mother and the teenager. Basically you get swarmed by these birds hoping you'll have the $2 cup of sugar water (or whatever, I didn't taste it) and if you did, then prepare to have the birds come out of the woodwork. 

Notice how I didn't include Augustus in the list, because while I was snapping some pictures with one hand and holding her in the other, a lorikeet flew up on my shoulder and she was not ok with that at all. She likes her wildlife at a distance I reckon.

Kind of like this, there is at least a cage between the two. Through she again started crying when that white goat got up on his hind legs and erased that comfort zone that she thought existed.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, well that was until we got to Yemassee. The Songbird said she had to pee really, really, really, really bad. We took the first exit we could, but there was no actual bathroom available. Just an old abandoned gas station. Try as we may, we could not get the Songbird to just "go" in the woods. So we did make it to the next exit, and they had a much more "civilized" bathroom there. So we learned that she might say she has to go, but really, really, really? I think not!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Voting... A Look Back

"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." Thomas Paine

I can't help but wonder, a week after election day, what all this means and if anything will really change. I mean half of the ballot I turned in there was only one person to vote for. So is that really a choice? We can say goodbye to Joy Logan, I guess that is a good thing, but I'm looking for more. I felt some of the other positions were a toss up... the State Treasurer? Superintendent of Education? Agriculture Commissioner? What do these people do? I mean really do? Earn a salary and that is pretty much it? Or am I woefully uneducated/uninformed? 

I think there should have been something in the newspapers about these positions, but at best I found either a press piece written by the candidate or an outright commercial for the candidate at worst nothing at all. I know we need government, but how much... that I don't know, and how I can affect any change in the government is also in question. Nobody came and talked to me and honestly if they did, I would write it off as lip service only anyway. So in a way, even though I did vote, I'm starting to wonder why... I really don't know and wish that I did. I hold about the same power as a non-voter. And I know that is not good.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jack Johnson: At Or With Me

I know I have already "did" this review, but this video kind of makes fun of the fact that Jack Johnson is so likable and "mellow". So he mixes it up a bit with Andy Samberg. Enjoy...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Shiner

Yeah, Augustus has quite the shiner on her forehead. Why? Because she is learning to walk, and falls with bruises are a necessary evil in the process of it all. Thankfully, for her mom and dad, she acts like nothing happened, and so we still get scared when she walks or "dives" off of the bed or sofa. It is good worries though, she is growing up after all.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Classic Film Friday:The Dukes of Hazzard

I know this flick is not a classic, but I have to believe it will wind up being one eventually. What does this movie have? Everything of course! An immortal car in the `69 Charger, fights, women, car chases, explosions, moonshine, jokes... this is a man's movie. I know none of the "movie critics" got it, but this movie is not intellectual or feel good... it is about a car making impossible jumps, winning a race that shouldn't be won, and a middle finger for the law. It is a fantasy and that is ok. If you like the TV show, than you will love the movie. Even though you won't recognize any of the players.

Cousins Bo and Luke Duke (Sean William Scott and Johnny Knoxville) along with Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson) and Uncle Jessie (Willie Nelson) find a way to out fox the law and help each other out of sticky situations. Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds) and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey) are trying to turn the whole town into a strip mine. It is on the Dukes to stop them...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Scissor Sisters: Night Work

I went hunting up some new music the other day and I came across this...

Now if Dave Grohl likes it, well I must at least give it a try right? Anyway this band appears to have a thing with the disco scene. That and I can't help but think they are all gay. Which is fine by me, really. Maybe they are a bit more out there than I would like, but hey to each his own, and maybe there are some readers who think "Man, why doesn't MadHatter post some gay music?!?" Well then, how about this? Your welcome.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Down the Hall to the Left?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Go Vote

It is that time of year again, voting day that is. I won't tell you who I think you should vote for, I try to keep this blog as apolitical as possible. But I do tend to lean more right than left. Well sort of... I like the be fiscally conservative, and socially liberal. Which seems rather strange, but that is the way I roll. What can I say? Go out and vote, vote early and vote often.... Ok that was just a joke, but really this is the one time you have to say which way or person you would like to see in office. So go vote already.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It is just the way it is…

Basically I work in a maintenance type field… kinda, sorta, yeah it’s like that. I don’t post about my job or anything to do with it because I feel I work here and I like it, there is nothing left to say. But every so often things happen. This is one of them.

I was repairing an item, a very sophisticated item. It would not be unheard of to call a man in that does nothing but repair these types of machines for a living. On top of that I was fixing the hardest thing on the sophisticated item. It took right at 4 hours to do, turn the machine on and “bam” it works like a champ. I am happy, the customer is happy, smiles all around.

Next comes a very unsophisticated piece of equipment, like very, very basic. You may even have one in your house it is that simple. And cheap, whereas the sophisticated item cost hundreds or thousands to fix, the simple, basic item costs less than fifty dollars. And it completely kicked my ass. I don’t like to admit that, but that is what happened.

In the end both the items were repaired, but one left me feeling accomplished and the other had me pulling my hair out, wondering why something so very easy has got to be so very hard? Because that is the way it is.