Yeah... A three day weekend. Or the end of one. I hope everybody gets their BBQ on. I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing... maybe a little grillin' maybe kicked back with a cold beer, I will think of all of those men and women for which the holiday was made. Certainly it will be even better having to work only four days this week. That is what I like the most about three-days. That and meat sizzling in the BBQ.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
So we went out to Charleston for some educational enrichment. Or to look and see what we could see. Below is what I found. Not very scientific, but it is what I noticed.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Finally! 80 days have past, and boy oh boy was it a long time...
This is the concoction 15 lemons worth of zest, some 100 proof vodka and simple syrup.
After all the zest is filtered out I have enough limoncello to fill roughly four 750ml bottles. But I don't think it will stay in the bottles long. Some planning is needed if I want to give these things as gifts...
Posted by Mad Hatter at 5:00 AM
Friday, May 28, 2010
Sometimes, you just feel like a good western. Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) is a peaceful sort of guy, just a farmin away in post-civil war Missouri... Then some pro-union (at that time you were either on one side or the other) people burn down his house, rape his wife, and murder his son. I mean, there is only so much peace to go around.
So he joins a group that is hunting those same men that did him wrong. And the killing begins. Not that he is looking to kill anyone, because he is not, but when they are trying to kill him, it leaves him with the choice of kill or be killed. Captain Terrill (Bill McKinney) is the main bad guy, chasing Josey from Missouri to Texas. Josey just wants to escape, but he has revenge on his mind too. Along his way he (Josey) picks up various people needing help. Lone Watie (Chief Dan George) is an old Cherokee man who lost everything on the trail or tears. Little Moonlight (Geraldine Keams), a Navajo woman Josey saves from being raped. Laura Lee (Sondra Locke) who Josey also saved along with her grandmother, from a band of Comancheros.
The group eventually makes their way to a ranch that Laura's dad, left to her. Except their is a problem, besides the men hunting for Josey, Ten Bears (Will Sampson) the leader of the war like Comanches doesn't like Josey and his ragtag group moving in on his land. Will he decide to attack? Will Josey ever get his revenge? Will anyone find happiness? You'll have to watch (if you haven't seen it already.. It is on regular cable (AMC) this Saturday at 8:00Pm.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
So we got a new toy the other day. It is an I-Pad, and it is predominantly (Like 95% or more) my wife's thing. You see she worked overtime to get it and I think that is what you work extra for... to get something you like or want. Not to make ends meet, but some frivolous. I think it is good for morale. So she got one... and she loves it.
I'm a little more skeptical, there are some things you simply can not do with it. Like read some (not all) YouTube movies/video or some games on FaceBook, the lack of a keyboard, and the whole way it is marketed. Basically, you pay a premium for the product, then get 1-5 dollared to death adding apps. I actually own stock in Apple (I can't get a hold of how I would sell it, but still). I applaud their ability to get people to spend money, but not on me though.
So far we have some apps that you can get for free (NPR, ABC, Netflix) we also got some "things" like Dragon Dictation, Gravilux, and Chalk. And finally some games like pinball. And for the most part we like all of them. I don't know if we need any of them, but it is nice to have.
In fact it is so nice to have, we are looking into getting the 3G version, so we can have it where ever we might want to take it. And that comes at a cost of $15 a month. Yep I really do love how they keep providing my money with an escape route out of my pocket. But she (my wife) is worth every penny of it, so I don't mind... much.
Monday, May 24, 2010
So over the weekend, we went to the beach. Which was good, I mean for me it really depends on what beach we go to... see we kind of ditched the rolly cart, because it wasn't the right kind and it became a draggy cart, which is never fun. So until we get a new one, we said we would have to go to Hunting Island, why? Mainly because of where you park. And we have so much stuff,
Ok so we drive all the way out there. Which typically means at least one stop for some grub. We had to stop twice, Once to get some breakfast (McDonald's... Value menu) and the other for some lunch (Publix for some fresh fruit and fried chicken). Mmm, yum who doesn't like fried chicken with their fruit? This was also my youngest's first time... at least from a standpoint of actually get out into it, feeling the sand and water. So what does she do?
If you guessed eat the sand... then you are right!
It was funny how it didn't phase her at all. It was like she was eating pudding or grits. She just kept shoveling it in. Well not really, I mean we didn't let her get past the first handful, but it is not from her lack of trying. Still over all I was very pleased with us going to the beach, which is not all that often. I look forward to going again.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Perhaps you think I was visited by Zorro, or maybe a lightning bolt perhaps. No I wish, but no I have the enviable "sandal tan" and it is going to stay, at least until I get some beach time in.
Well I went to the beach and what happened? I got burnt along the "Z". So what was white and brown, turned to red and brown. Nice... ok not really. Yeah I got the nail clippers out and trimmed those toe nails.... I still have the Z pattern on my feet
Posted by Mad Hatter at 5:42 AM
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The other day I was going to pick-up my kids from daycare. Because why wife had a conference up in Columbia, which left me on duty with the kids. No big deal, I can handle this. I go pick up my oldest daughter for backup (it is all on the way, so again no worries). We stop and "look" at the youngest, happily sitting/rolling all over the place. Cool right?
Then I go to get the Songbird. And when I enter her classroom, i am literally overcome by the stench of poop. I try to maintain. Because, well, there are other parents in the room, teachers trying to wrangle kids, etc. But it smells really, really, really bad. I call the Songbird over to me and we make our escape. The door closes and I bust out laughing... because that sort of thing is funny to me.
So I ask the Songbird... "why did it smell so bad in your room?"
She tells me.... "______ had diarrhea on the Housekeeping carpet."
I can't even imagine but it must have been bad... `cuz lord knows it stunk something awful.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Yeah I know it is only 2 years old, but it is a documentary/rockumentry and in it it has one of the greatest guitarists ever. That being Mr. Jimmy Page. It also has The Edge (U2) and Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) the three men get together and just talk and jam.
It was pretty cool. I think they could have gotten someone else besides "The Edge" but, two out of three aint bad is it? I like Jimmy because he talks about how things were way back when, and how he had to make stuff, because they didn't have it back then. I really like Jack White because if his simple take on life in general. I saw this on roku/Netflix online. If you have a chance I definitely recommend seeing... and hearing this film.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This one is an old one. But for my sister, the oldest one, this song made it on to the record player every morning. While clouds of aqua-net and various other "getting ready" for the day woman things.
The next one is from the same time period, but by a different band, Cake covers "I Will Survive". Why did I throw that in? I just like this version.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
If you have school aged children you may know that they just got through with PASS testing. Do you know what they are testing? I didn't, I thought they were testing the children, actually they are testing the teachers to see if they are doing their job. That seems crazy to me, but I am married to a teacher, and she isn't bothered at all by it.
I think that if we want teachers to be good teachers, they have to have a good boss (AKA principal). We have some really good principals out there... and some not so good ones too. But I think it would be a much easier thing to manage and get rid of the dead weight if these not so good principals were held to the same type of scrutiny that teachers have to put up with. But all that does is make the principals put it back onto the teacher's back... which is somewhat self-defeating.
Now in Beaufort County they have MAP testing as well, and this does a much better job of gauging where your kid should be. But not everyone has the money to do this. So back to PASS. The pendulum is always moving. Or that is what my wife says. Now the pendulum's motion is more towards paying teachers to pass the test... or the kids pass the test. Good but bad because anything outside the test... won't be learned. If it is on the test... well I think you know the answer to that.
The real answer lies within ones own home. Sure you could have a super teacher this year, and maybe next year, but the odds of getting one each year, for 12 years are slim to none. But if you make an effort, become in-tuned with what is going on in your kids' lives, well it greatly improves the odds that they will walk away from their school time and something good happened. Maybe, it is still a crap shoot, but every little thing you do to stack the odds in your favor helps. :o)
Monday, May 17, 2010
I think you know which one I'm talking about. I'm glad I don't live around there anymore. But I've been glad for that since I left the area 17 years ago. I hope that they find a solution to this epic problem, but more likely than not... they will make it worse. I don't know what this means for Louisiana seafood. I doubt anybody does, but you could always look at the news and fishermen would be complaining about something. This may be the straw that broke the camel's back. Or maybe not, I truly don't know.
It makes me sad. To think when we would go to Grand Isle/Port Fourchon and catch fish all day. I probably was never going back anyway, but there is something about having the choice. I guess they (BP) made the choice for me. But I don't want to put it all on them. Even way back when we would get those tar balls in the sand. Was it from lackadaisical safety regulations or something else? I really don't know, I just know it was. now it might be a little different, I'm not there so we really don't know. It is a terrible catastrophe that has happened, but it some respects you know it had to happen sooner or later.
I'm not trying to seem blasé about this, but we are all human. We have a heavy industrial-chemical-petroleum base in the Louisiana/Texas part of the Gulf of Mexico. With us being human, this was bound to happen... sooner or later. All we can hope now is that we learn from this mistake and make it better than it was before. I hope that is what they do.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The baby found herself in a swing last week, and she liked it! And this is with a double ear infection. The songbird never felt this way about a swing... so no matter how similar they might be, there will always be some thing new with one of the kids... I like it.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
So I was enjoying a nice warm day out on my hammock. And what did I see? I saw what I thought was a bald eagle, and chasing after him a crow. It is just like that I guess... to a point. It makes no sense, but I guess nobody said it had to really. So then I saw the crow and he was attacked by a mocking bird.
So basically, if you go by bird world standards... You want to be a small bird, not a big bird. Just the opposite of fish, because the little fish get eaten by medium fish, which get eaten by bigger fish. But this isn't about fish, and honestly even the biggest fish turn up on somebody's dinner plate or hanging from the wall.
Back to birds. I'd say if I ever do come back as a bird (no I don't believe in reincarnation, but still) I would come back as the mocking bird. They sure seem to crap a lot, but that is all relative, and who stops the mocking bird? Nobody.
Friday, May 14, 2010
This classic comes from 1964. Henry Limpet (Don Knotts) wants to help out with the war (It takes place during WW2) but he is such a small man, plus he has an equilibrium problem... and his love of fish. Seriously, the man loves him some fish. His imperious wife Bessie (Carole Cook) thinks Henry loves fish more than anything.
Henry's long time buddy George Stickel (Jack Weston) comes back into town since he has joined the Navy. This make Henry sad, because he wants to help with the war effort. But is there a way
Henry can help? Why yes there is... if he were a fish. Which is what happens. Henry, Bessie, and George are at Coney Island and whamo he turns into a fish. Animated at that.
What that is crazy you might say. Yeah but honestly, once you get past that small part the rest of the movie is a cake walk. Stopping the Nazis is the name of the game. Or should I say sinking Nazi submarines (since he is now a fish). And he has gained the ability to make a loud roar under water, that lets him communicate with the Navy not to mention scare away and predatory fish. It's all fantasy, but I have to tell you it's a pretty good fantasy.
So watch this movie for your country... it's the American thing to do!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Ok so I got two old ones... but man are they good. I think I listen to the "Classic Rock" about as much or more than the new stuff. The thing is it is really good music and it definitely gets you to tapping your toe, or shaking your hips. Don't believe me? See for yourself...
The James Gang, Funk #49
Queen, Tie Your Mother Down
Ok this is not so old, but it rocks out all the same.
Nirvana, Lounge Act
All are available on the RBN (Rock Band Network) and are best played with lots of people around and cranked up to 11... :o)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Why does my brother make me laugh hysterically? I mean when he was 2 and it was my oldest little sister's birthday... we went to Panchos. It is a good, cheap, all you can eat place, with good food and sopapillas to die for, anyhow, we loaded up and went. Well my brother has always been shall we say "eccentric"? You see if they know it is your birthday Panchos will take a picture of you with a huge sombrero on you head.
We weren't leaving without the picture. No way in hell. My family likes public embarrassment. So what does this have to do with my brother? Well you see all this time while we were worried about my sister and wishing her a happy birthday, my brother (two-years-old) has taken off his shirt and is dancing to the happy birthday song, that is not quite it, he is dancing, with his finger jammed up to the second knuckle, in his nose... and he can be seen in my sister's happy birthday picture. It may not be the fist ever photobomb, but it is one I will take with me to the grave. I cannot find the actual picture right now, but Never fear, I am tearing up the place looking for it...
My mother has hundreds more stories like this, most of them involve some kind of public humiliation. What can I say? All it takes for a rise in the family is a little mortification. Fall on your face? Perhaps your shoes got misplaced and someone nailed them to the wall (yes it happened to me, and it is a funny story that lives on)? Maybe you accidentally crap your pants. Yep, this is the cause for endless laughter (hell, I can barely type right now for laughing). But it is more than humiliation... the person that is suffering indignity has to acknowledge that it is pretty funny... and it usually grows in humorousness with time. So it is not like we are laughing right when it is happening (mostly).
And what causes the funniness to grow even more? My wife. She looks at me like I am crazy and doesn't understand why I think something is so funny, which only makes me laugh all the harder. Maybe one day she'll get it, or perhaps not. Good thing for her I love her anyway. :o)
Monday, May 10, 2010
With this being my last go (maybe), I've decided to take out all and any stops. I let my daughter have her way with my dog. What happened to him? Well he looks like a My Little Pony for real. "How did you do this?" you might be thinking. With washable markers and a few treats. He (the dog) was very open to this... especially the treats part. Please don't bother me with any of that crap about how I am ruining his natural blah blah blah. It is washable marker and it is just for one day. No dyes were used, and really he was relaxed and let us do it to him.
Since he has white hair on the top of his head... and pretty much nowhere else, it was fairly easy. this was our inspiration:
Maybe it will be our downfall, or just the opposite, but we have to try, at least once. And so we tried and so we sort of failed. Well not really, we got 2nd place, the judging was hung (tied) and so they left it up to the crowd to decide... and they went with the other dog.
I think if anything, I learned an important lesson in all of this... Don't try to do anything cute or funny or really anything when it comes to the ugly dog contest because whenever I do something always happens and I wind up no further ahead than if I just would have left it alone.
The hair washed out fine, the butt tattoo didn't make it. It was rubbed off by the time the competition started, and man was it hot. It was so hot as soon as the Ugly Dog was over, we left seeking some place cool. To anyone that may have come out to see... well if he didn't take a thousand pictures, and become horded by everyone and anyone, maybe next year... Maybe next year.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Did you call your mother? Or maybe take her out to eat? Perhaps your mom is no longer here... then did you take you wife, the mother of any children you have? Just making sure you cover all the bases. I'm going to be busy Sunday. As I have 18,000,000 women in my family. So did ya' call yet? You need to.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
How do you hurt your 4-year-old and tell her it's the only way? When she gets 2 splinters in her big toe and they are broke off inside... meaning you have to cut them out. It was a nerve racking time to be sure. The Songbird is a wimp. I don't mean that in a condescending way. I can't remember any 4-year-old winning the tough guy competition.
But when you are doing the cutting... every cry... each flinch... makes it seems worse than it really is. And man was she flinching and crying. Yes it was drama-a-plenty at the hatter household. So I grab her by the big toe, her mother holds the rest, and I cut the first one out with almost no trouble whatsoever. I'm thinking, "ok this ain't so bad" well the next one is not so easy. In fact either I cut too deep or that part of her toe just bleeds a bit easier, but she bled and now I have a teary, moving all over the place, crying and bleeding target. And I have to cut more, because I just do, be it from the fact that I didn't go deep/far enough or all the kicking and screaming just didn't get the splinter.
Now there is an idea. Why can't screaming, crying, and kicking get rid of the splinter? Then there wouldn't be a need for any bloodshed and parents wouldn't have to deal with it either. I just need to make this happen...
Friday, May 7, 2010
Yes my how the tables turn when I need to watch a man flick in the bedroom. Or so I said to my wife as I settled down to watch Conan the Destroyer. She shrugged, turned over, and went to sleep quickly. But I watched the whole thing. Seeing the govenator punch a camel is worth 5 times anything you could find watching a chic flick.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is Conan. And he has been commissioned by Queen Taramis to get a magical horn. If he gets it, he will be rewarded by having his love brought back to life. Now you should know that Queen Taramis has no inclination to keep her end of the bargain. Still Conan assembles a rag tag group to accompany him on this quest.
They have the princess virgin Jehnna (Olivia D'Abo) who must go because she is the only person who can touch the gem, that finds the horn, her bodyguard Bombaata (Wilt Chamberlain) Conan's slacker friend Malak (Tracey Walter) the wizard Akiro (Mako, who other than Conan was the only person to reprise his role) and the immortal Grace Jones plays Zula a thief who comes to Conan as he freed her.
So you have all the characters, you have a bit of backstabbing and you have this monster/god who is basically the apocalypse. How do you think it is going to end up?
If nothing else, you should watch this video and see the camel punching. I almost pissed my pants from laughing, your mileage may vary...
Thursday, May 6, 2010
And so, this will be our 6th time going to the Ugly Dog Contest. I hate to say this, but it may be our last. It is not because of the dog. He's fine. Now so far nothing has been said... yet, and this may all be a bunch of worrying for nothing, but with cost containment, and everything else. My contract may not get re-signed. And thus I will need to find work... and probably move. It is the way of the world. I know the business I'm in, and it happens all the time. Anyway it will be 6-9 months before I find out, literally anything could happen. But it does leave a question of whether or not we'll be here for the next one.
It doesn't make me like it anymore than anyone else. But it is what it is. Plus I will likely have to take a huge loss on my home, as we purchased it for 30-40 thousand more than it is worth today. That really sucks, but it is not like I'm alone in the house under water department. I could go on and on but this is about the dog, not my finances. Besides, I might get that contract signed anyway.
Everybody come on out, have a good time, buy stuff, and cheer for my dog, the ugly dog to win. It is an even year. Which means good luck... see below.
2005 - 2nd place
2006 - 1st place
2007 - 3rd place
2008 - 1st place
2009 - 2nd place
2010 - ???
Here is hoping to go out on top. I don't know where the future will find me (here or there), but I'm sure we will have a bit of fun along the way. So if you want to see the enigma, the hero, the hairless dog who actually has some hair on his head, come out this Saturday, and you will see him, maybe pet him (he is warm/hot to the touch just so you know), and maybe give him a bite of your hot dog or sammich (ok not really... dogs in my house are on a no people food regimen... but accidents happen).
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Yes, it's true. We had to go, if for nothing more to say that we have been. That is to see the Niña and the Pinta. I felt like this may be a once in a lifetime experience, well maybe not a once in a lifetime, but you just never know. I think it is a cool thing to see. And the boats are amazingly small. To think that explorers would get in one and sail halfway across the world... well they were braver men than I.
Here you can see the ship's blackness... from all that pine tar, seriously well that is what they told me anyway. This is the Niña, a small, small ship.
Here you see the Pinta, which is larger by about 1/2.
And here you have me and the Songbird. Notice her death grip on my shirt. I can't keep the women off of me, jeez. Also notice the ropes, they are going this way and that way, running through a pulley, tied to some other thing. And yes, the was really windy out there and all these pictures were taken from my daughter's (the oldest one) camera and she was the camera man.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 5:52 AM
Monday, May 3, 2010
Though some arm twisting, and the fact that I now have roku access in our bedroom since the Wii can now play movies through Netflix, only make my arm that much easier to twist. My wife had me watch "Julie and Julia" a movie that shows how Julia Child came to be and this woman who decided to take her book and recipes over a year and blog about them (this is the link to her blog).
Well then, I'd be lying if I didn't say "Man I wish that would happen to me", but alas, no one really cares (minus the obligatory family and friends) and there is no famous person of which I can ride along the coat tails. So I'm out of luck. And that is ok, because I don't know if I would really want Julie Powell's life anyway.
It is never like they portray in the movies. Real life just doesn't work that way. I did a little poking around, because I was interested, and Julie through her own narcissism or just because, leaves a lot or not so much that you can read about. Mainly her second book, which she speaks on her infidelity and the recovery of her marriage. I start thinking more and more... now I know I would like to get a $1,000,000 and check out, but I know that doesn't happen.
It is that same feeling that we like about a woman cooking her way through Julia Child's book that makes us wretch at finding out she is no better than anyone else (like Kate Gosselin, Tiger Woods, or countless others). Maybe it is a form of voyeurism, but to put a blog down and post to it regularly means you must have some narcissistic and voyeuristic qualities.
I get a lot of the same pumped up feelings when I get a comment or two from strangers, also comes the feeling I'm talking to myself and only myself when I blog... and don't we all think that's a little crazy? Julie may be a bit more conceited, a bit more narcissistic, a little bit wronger (yes she thinks Hilton Head is a bastion of Republicans, I also know that is bad grammar, but still), but we all have something to hide or rather we don't like and therefor would rather that it were not common knowledge. I know I have had problems with being married, even got the divorce and ex-wife to prove it. There are some things in the work field that I wish I could do over, school I could have gone to (instead of the Army), girlfriends I wish I would have never gotten involved with... hell there is all kinds of things I wish I could take back, do over, just pretend they never happened. I'm fairly sure that we all have the same kinds of feelings.
But that is just it. We can't take those negative aspects of life and turn them off or simply overlook them. If we did, well we wouldn't have very much to write, or sing, or tell about. We like to be bad, for a little while, and then come back... less we let the black abyss take us and never look back. I think that bit of excitement gives us all something to talk about, even if it is someone we have no business knowing about.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Its the little things that collectively add up to bigger things, and before you know it... you used to have a cute, defenseless baby and when you turn around your looking at a full grown adult. It is crazy that it works that way, but it does. That is why I document from time to time the doings of my kids.
What is my littlest doing now?
Blowing raspberries, she is getting better at it every day. She has not started "talking" yet. She does have some moments were she makes some noise (I think she has a cold and that is the reason for not talking so much). She flips with the best of them now. In fact when we put her to bed, almost instantaneously she flips or rolls on to her stomach. She can sit up for much longer than she could before, in fact she is at the cusp of getting ready to crawl around. She also loves to eat real food, or at least the baby food version of "real". She now has a tooth to go along the food. The toothless grins are forever gone.
My 4-year-old, the Songbird, has learned her own bit of tumbling. She can now do a somersault. I think if I try to do one of those today, well I don't think I can do those anymore. I don't even think I could get in that position... what the hell happened to me?
Posted by Mad Hatter at 5:28 AM
Saturday, May 1, 2010
It seems I've been having a row with the animal kingdom as of late. With turtles and snakes, and now deer. This fight lasted all of maybe 5 seconds, but it was the way it happened that was amazing. I was driving on Buckwalter, I just stopped to get the kids from daycare, we were on our way home, and what happens? About 7 or 8 deer, of various sizes come stampeding out of the woods where the power-lines are, and where Parker's is eventually going to be. I have to stomp on the brakes because this is literally a four-lane highway and this many deer is just crazy. I'm not saying that you won't or don't see any deer in this area, but this was at 5pm. You might see this early in the morning or late at night, but in the middle of the evening rush hour home... not so much.
The amazing thing is, except for a few deer loosing their footing getting across the street, no cars, or deer were hurt. Now there were some screams for my car but it was a thing of wonder, not of pain. I could not take a picture, but it sure was a sight to see. That many deer, on a busy highway... that is actually crossing the road, and nobody got hurt. It could have worked out much differently. If I would have been 20 seconds earlier or later I would have missed it, if 5 seconds earlier their would have likely been a wrecked car and a dead deer, so I'll take it for what it was worth, and be thankful that I saw something kind of neat and nobody got hurt.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 5:53 AM