Monday, January 31, 2011

Financial Freedom

I am about to enter a time of my life that up to now I've never experienced. I'm about a month or two away from owning our minivan. What is the big deal? Well in the past I would keep a car and then sell it before I could pay it off, usually financing the difference and thus sinking further into debt. Yeah I was young, and really stupid. I filed for bankruptcy in 2006. Again because I was rather stupid and I simply could not afford to keep up with two mortgages. Lord knows I tried for almost a year, but I had to call it quits eventually. I think there was a bit of a stigma that I put on myself because nobody wants to default on their mortgage. But because it would not sell, and I bought the home not really understanding that whole process (paid too much). Well I defaulted.

So out for under that rock I will finally emerge plus the car payment, suddenly I'm loaded. Well not really. I have credit cards to pay down, things to buy for my 5 and 8 year old cars (tires, brakes, alignments, and more no doubt), and my current mortgage to worry about. But I really couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel until now. A five year tunnel, and it was a long slog. When you think "Oh when we get this paid off and that paid off... it will be easy street then." but somewhere in my head I always had a voice saying "it will never happen." Well, it looks like it is going to happen and while no... the money will not be pouring in, it will be about $700 more a month. I can't think of anyone who would turn that down.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yet Another... WTF...Over?

Me and the kids just finished watching Mulan. Apparently Jackie Chan can sing? Who knew? Certainly not me...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Good Does Not Equal Cheap... Or Does It?

I know there is a lot of people up in arms over the Taco Bell thing. Why? I have no idea. How else could you get the tacos so cheap? People just don't think sometimes. I know that tacos from Taco Bell are nasty, but I like them anyway. Have you seen Burger King's BK STUFFED STEAKHOUSE? If anyone claims that is anything better that Taco Bell's taco... they must be smoking crack.

I can't believe BK is trying to sell this... at least they do put their ingredients up for you to see. But anyway I'm torn by this subject. I want the best... but when you pay for the cheapest, you can't really complain when you find out you get anything but the cheapest. I mean if it were 100% ground round, taco's would cost a dollar or two more than they do now. And I'm not sure they would taste any better.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Classic Film Friday: War of the Gargantuas

I really never reviewed any 60 ft monster movies... I think. So that ends today. It seems that almost every 60 ft monster movie takes place in Japan, and this one stays true to that effect. Basically we have a good vs evil thing going on here. But I'd say we see the evil, or green gargantua for at least 75% of the film.

You know right from the start that watching a guy in a dinosaur suit takes some stretching of the imagination. But if you can get past that, then the movie is ok. It is not like watching Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart, but it does have its place in classic movie-dom. Especially when you consider they didn't have any of the cgi or really any special effects that they have today.

Anyway we are instructed that the green monster is a part of the more peaceful gentler brown gargantua. what is that you say? He is the father of the green monster? No not really, A part of the brown's flesh was torn away from him, and the green monster was the part that was torn... with some added nuclear radiation and whatnot. Hey, remember we are stretching our imaginations right? The green one has a taste for humans, and has an aversion to light... well at fist anyway.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Politics: New Politics

This group from Denmark and their self titled debut album came out back in June. The teenager told me of this band... of the bands she recommends to me, I find this one to be one of the few I agree that there is potential. See what you think.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flying Lesson #1

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Done With the Cold

So I know it is January, and it is supposed to be cold, and it seems like every year I want it to be cold when it is hot and hot when it is cold. Once Christmas comes and goes... I'm pretty much done with it being cold. By the New Year, forget about it. I'm just sayin... this bit of cold weather is a lot more than I want living in the "little toe" of South Carolina. It has has been in the 30's for a month? maybe two? Crazy talk.

I've lived up North and out West... you know, places where it snows regularly. And we don't have it like they do. 1 we don't really have the heating systems. A heat pump might be economical, but walking around the house wrapped up in a blanket really does not evoke pictures or warmth. It doesn't snow here, so all of the fun sledding, skiing, snowmen, snowball fights... all that stuff, it just doesn't happen. All we really get is cold, damp, and miserable. At least we don't have to worry about car accidents and whatnot from ice storms.

About the only thing I can say is... with all this cold, below freezing weather we've had... going outside on the one or two days it has been above 60, makes it nice because the cold weather killed the mosquito population. Still I need to remember this in July when it is hotter than the devil's ass crack outside. But I'm ready for it to be warmer.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh Boy

What to do? What to do? My wife will have a new/different job next year. Why? Well her position has been eliminated. It is not that big a deal, as it paid the same either way, but I do wonder what the school district is thinking. How exactly are they going to do this... Why even have any coaches at all? I mean I don't think it will work. I tried to stir up some public debate... and failed miserably. Not one comment, not one single quip. Actually, there was one... and it wasn't very nice, and I think it was a swipe at Bush... the president, well the former president, and really I am not going devolve myself into that kind of fracas.

I did talk to friend(s) about it, and I'm simply going to leave it alone. Because while it may or may not be true, going down that road leads us away from the real issue, and people become incensed with all the rhetoric, and the reason for starting the conversation is lost.

But I should have known that before I started to write my first sentence... I knew better, but I let myself get caught up in the moment. It happens, I'm only human, as is everyone else. I'm a little disappointed that a pretty good program is going to be axed, with little to no public comment. But I kind of expected that too.

So what is a guy to do? Not much. We (my wife and I) are going to see what happens, and get in where we fit in... or perhaps not. The most important thing is we got each other. Where ever we go and whatever we do, we'll always have each other, and that means more than anything else (yeah I know, it sounds corny and cliche but it is what it is).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Make `Em Big

Well, here we are... at the 95 percentile. Yep My daughter is "big". We've already had the "talk" from doctors and we are aware... very aware, of the fact that is a big girl. But I am 6'4 (pretty tall) and my wife is 5'7 (very average) so what do you expect? My daughter is already starting to slim down a bit. We don't call her Augustus nearly as much. Now she is more like a "caveman". She grunts and does these one syllable screeches to get what she wants. She will also bite (something the other two kids have never done) if she is mad enough. Well I never made her that mad... or if I did I made sure I was far enough away to not have to worry about being bitten.

She has hit or pushed me out of her way but that sort of thing is expected from a 15-month-old. We (my wife and I) keep her in check, but I think this one will be a test of wills, that may even rival the current teenager. Still life is good. I mean yeah we are in debt up to our eyeballs and there is always a chance we may have to find a different job, but when has is not been that way? Exactly.

So back to kids and important stuff. I can't believe January is almost over. It seems like just yesterday we were carving up the Thanksgiving turkey. Time flys when your having fun, or so the cliche goes. In less than a month the Songbird will be 5. And in preparation for that, her transition from daycare, to real school. It really isn't so bad, since my wife will be right there at the school everyday. But it seems funny to be saying that she will be moving on. And to make even less since of everything, by the time Augustus/caveman is 5, my oldest will be out of the house. And I will be a really old man. Well, I will feel really old anyway. That is what kids are good for right? making you look/feel/become old. Thanks kids.

And oh congratulations to my daughter for being in the 95 percentile... way to strive for the "A". lol

Friday, January 21, 2011

Classic Film Friday: Harum Scarum

Well it is an Elvis flick. but some of  the plot would work today as it did (or didn't... it is an Elvis movie) back then. Johnny Tyronne (Elvis) is a movie star and he is promoting his newest flick in Pakistan. He gets kidnapped, along with some singing of course, and he now finds himself in quite a pickle. The assassins want him to kill the king. If he does not then he faces the assassins and their threat to kill him and along with some orphans. Oh my... So what will he do?

I know this movie isn't one of Elvis's best, but in certain respects some of the plot makes more sense (with the war over in Afghanistan, 9-11, and so on) than it would pre-9-11. Also thanks to TMC for finally making us able to preview the movie here:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Leopold and His Fiction

This is another band that I can't believe I missed... but I did, until now. The great thing about missing something like this is that you can always make up for it. You know, act like you have always known the band, in fact your best friend's uncle knew the bass player back in high school, or whatever. This band has been out there since 2006. They are pretty good. I found them on Pandora.

Leopold and His Fiction - "Golden Friends" - Live at PA's Lounge from Extraneous Noise on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Or... Maybe Not

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

For the Birds

Over this past weekend, I felt a little more spring like. Lord knows the birds thought it was... it got up to 55ish nice day, NO bugs (mainly because I think they all froze over the past week) no rain, it was, for all intents and purposes a really great day. A great day to watch some birds in the backyard.

Here the Songbird shows she is ready and has the right equipment (binoculars) to look at some birds...

There was a hawk or eagle, but I barely caught him. I wish I had a more zoomier lens but alas it was not to be...

Blue Birds... Very pretty, I love this bird, I don't know why.

Hooded Merganser, these birds are very pretty and apparently very common. The female lacks the black and white markings of the male, but has a weird fan shaped head.

The White Ibis. These are fairly common too (in fact all of the birds are pretty common) they seems "up to something"...

They along with the Egrets, and a Great Blue Heron were all along the perimeter, waiting for the Hooded Merganser to catch a fish, and then they would try to steal it. Sometimes it would work, other times, not so much.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy MLK Day

I know, it really isn't a day that I celebrate... but it is still a holiday of sorts. Not a holiday for me, but for my wife and kids they get the day off. It always seems really bad weather, either freezing or raining or both. But a day off is a day off. So happy MLK day, I'm working...

Sunday, January 16, 2011


(According to Merriam-Webster) the quality or state of being equal or equivalent. In football, I can't think of another time (especially watching the Saint, heavily favored to win, lose to the Seahawks, a loosing team) when there has been more of it. So this year's Superbowl won't mean as much, because my team didn't make it... But I didn't think they would make it anyway. Next year, there is always next year.

Still we may see more upsets in store. You know that old saying... "on any given Sunday" Well it is true. Just ask the Patriots two years ago. On any given Sunday (or Saturday, or Monday, any day really) one team can beat the other, even if it is outgunned and out manned. I like that in the NFL, and it is a quality I can't find in any other sport. So there you go.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Cutest

Sometimes I wish I had a camera sewn into my hand. Two times in two days my little Augustus has done something extremely cute. First thing was doing the "chicken dance" which means, her clapping wildly as she watches her sisters do it. She was all smiles, and it did good on everyone as we have all felt sick these past few days.

Second, and by no means less deserving... In the morning, just having had her diaper changed, and only half out of her pajamas (the legs out) she became my shadow. She has this thing about her. Basically, whoever gets her out of bed she loves, the other not so much. So yeah Daddy got her, and she got to me. It would have been better if I had a camera, but still, I'm all about living life not so much documenting. So she will just have to take my word for it, that I liked it...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Classic Film Friday: Idocracy

This film is not so classic, but you know in time it will be. If you have not seen this movie, you simply must try to see it. It may well be one of the funniest movies ever. Also it could be (not necessarily is, but could be) an awful prophecy if it were to ever come true. The basic premise is a very ordinary guy Cpl. Joe Bauers, a.k.a. "Not Sure" (Luke Wilson) is sent (unwittingly) 500 years into the future (sort of like Futurama) by putting him into hibernation. When he wakes up he finds that suddenly he is the smartest man on earth.

Watch as he bubbles through... all the way from prison to the White House. I'm telling you, it is a classic in the making.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Foo Fighters

Not so much that there was a music video or album, but there is one coming, and if you can think of a better video, then go ahead and submit it on their site. Plus it is pretty funny. I'm just stoked that they are making another album.

It will be hard to put something together that will be better than these... but you just never know.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And I will call him...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

All I Can Say Is...

...That stomach virus is a mother... It has me a bit off. I'm better, my kids are better, my wife... she is still feeling the lingering effects. About the only good thing I can say is, it made me drop 10 pounds. I'm sure it will return soon. Anyway, here is hoping to a better week.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just One Letter Off...

Ok so I had a neighbor in New Orleans who's name was Mayo. Well there is all kinds of ways that it could be misunderstood. You see my little sister insisted on calling them Mato, which turned into Tomato and thus we lived right next to the tomatoes.

Why did I think of this? No clue, but that is not the only time I have taken the tomatoes name in vain. When I lived in Spartanburg we were right next to the fire station... or at least a few houses down. Why is that important? Well it is safe... at least from a fire anyway. Also there was a tornado siren. Yep the teenager, at the time a little one, called a tornado a tomato. And thus we had all kinds of fun with that. Why is it so funny to hear someone screaming "a tomato is coming! A tomato is coming!"? Because it just is.

And not to be outdone, my ex-wife once came to me and said, "Why is the tornado siren going off? it isn't Saturday?" (They would test the siren once a month on Saturdays) "Because there is a real tornado dipshit..." It is no wonder we are no longer together.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


My daughter, the Songbird, just realized how incredibly stupid we can be sometimes. We were on our way to Ridgeland to go to dance class and she saw the towers at Traditions.

She said "Hey Daddy, I just saw a lighthouse". She saw a real one the other day when we were going out to Tybee.

I replied "We are 20 miles inland, those were just... decorations"

I tried to explain, that those towers are not near the ocean, and will never signal a boat. That it was just for looks. But she was beside herself. Still thinking that somehow those towers had to do something. I told her no, they really did nothing, I don't even think you can enter those towers.

And so a little bit of innocence was taken away from the Songbird, who thinks that everything has a purpose. I guess I should have told her that those big towers are to take money of the people who live there. But that is a can of worms that I didn't want to open...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup: We Speak No Americanco

Apparently I've lived under a rock for a while. This somewhat viral (yes I know I'm not supposed to use that word anymore, but whatever) video and club smash hit is kind of catchy, but I just don't get it. This was brought to you by my teen-aged daughter, who got it from my sisters. Yep thanks for that. Now you got it from me... You're welcome.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Not a Wintertime Kind of Guy

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

State of Affairs

Well, what can I say? It is a new year and some perspective is in order I guess. I don't like to say this... but I think that maybe this blog thing has run its course. This didn't turn out like I had wanted to... and honestly I'm tired and there really isn't anyone reading this anyway. So what do I do from here? Well at first I could just sign off and not look back... but that really isn't my style. I like to finish things up. But really, it never started.

I've lost myself. I used to rally against the school board, well as my wife moves closer and closer to a position of authority that would make me against myself. That doesn't work. I know there are things that are wrong with the system. I know that there are bad teachers, bad principals, and bad upper admin. folks everywhere. I will leave it up to someone else to point them out. It doesn't take a genius or a super secret spy skills to know where to look. I don't feel like "if you can't beat them join them" but in a way, I guess that is what I am believing. The thing that I would pay attention to, more than anything else is watch the people who work for you... your elected officials.

I also used to like to be a thorn in the side of the local paper. I won't even waste my or anyone else's time with this. They are too few, to be anything but a human interest-company written mouth piece. There is nothing else... well they do have pages and pages of VOX, but whatever.

So where does that leave me? Maybe if I had a bigger following, or maybe if this Lowcountry Blog Jam would have taken off, or something... anything really, that is anything but nothing. This time away I got more in touch with actually living my life than documenting it. And life has been good. I'm not saying that life has been perfect, because it has not been, but it has been close enough.

I've written all this stuff, but I still haven't said where I will go from here. I think I will feel my way for a while. I guess I won't stress out over whether or not I have a post everyday. Not that I really stressed out about it, but now I will even worry about it less so. I would like to add more members to the Blog Jam, I would like to have more people to read my blog, I would also like the winning lottery numbers as well.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Vestiges

This past Christmas was LOADED with presents. And while I like me a good gift, I like good company even better. Not everyone came (due to the blizzard up north) but almost everyone came, and it was nice...