Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vinnie Van GoGo's

We originally went to the Second Line restaurant in downtown Savannah (but since the place was closed for the second weekend  in a row) we instead went to Vinnie Van GoGo's. I have to say this place is a dump, but the pizza is so good, plus they have cheap beer. They pretty much have the best pizza in the area. 

Hand tossed of course.

And here it is. It was so good, I quickly forget all about the silly dang Second Line.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I know everyone is busy memorializing there fallen loved ones. Ok probably not... but gives you a day off and likely gets your BBQ grill a going. And that isn't a bad thing at all. It is the start of tourist season too, which I'm sure everyone loves (or loves to hate). Here is to the unofficial start of summer.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I was flipping channels and I came across an old episode of Happy Days and of course the "Fonz". So I told my teenager about the Fonz but she had never heard of him... what was the big deal? I could not believe it. I was beside myself... she has never heard of the Fonz... What kind of parent was I?

Vezi mai multe din Desene animate pe 220.ro

She still doesn't get it. You can take a horse to water...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Littlest

I was just thinking... (yeah I do that now and then). My youngest, Augustus, is in short... a pip. I was talking to my wife, and the Songbird, our 5-year-old is so different, she follows the rules, she is a people pleaser, she is a 100% by the book sort of person. Which makes her easy to live with. Augustus on the other hand, is not any of those things. She usually ignores you when you call her name, does what she wants to do and is a teaser but also a snuggler. Literally I think of dogs and cats when I try to compare. The Songbird is a trusty golden retriever, Augustus is a cat.

But I love them both. I mean I know every parent is going to say that and it's true. I have three daughters, and three different people to love, and it is incredible the way each is different and each has their own way to get daddy or mommy's attention. Simply amazing. But back to Augustus. She is in an interesting position. Being the youngest, that means others have gone before. It also means she knows by default how to get around the rules. That is a problem.

Besides not really listening to us, she likes to tease us. You can see it in her eyes, she loves toying with mommy or daddy. She will act like she is coming to you to give you a book or remote or whatever, and then take it back, running and laughing the whole time. Not really the image I wanted, but it is what it is. Can we work with this? Does it matter? We are going to have to deal with it somehow.

But the kicker is while the Songbird was coming up, there wasn't a whole bunch of funny things that she did or said. With Augustus it is a virtual treasure trove of wild acts, funny sayings, impossible actions, and otherwise notable things about her. Not that I need something to talk about, but so long as we have her, there will never be a lull in conversation. More than likely she will make me laugh a lot, and more than likely make me sad even more, but she is the only Augustus I could ever want. Funny how you get just what you think you did not want and it turns out that you would not be happier any other way. Life is like that I guess. And I did say she was a snuggler... she can make you mad and then right before your eyes, give you a kiss or a hug and how are you supposed to stay mad at that? I haven't a clue...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Classic Film Friday: The Sad Sack

I can't believe I have never watched a Jerry Lewis flick since I started doing Classic Film Friday. For Memorial Day... sorta. I mean Jerry Lewis is a comedian and he made funny, screwball kinds of movies. This one is no different. He plays Meredith Bixby, the ultimate screw-up. If you ever were in the military you got exposed to this regularly. Maybe in this case it is a bit extreme but still you knew of a guy that just could not get it right, without a little help.

Corporal Larry Dolan (David Wayne) has been tasked to make a soldier out of Bixby by
Maj. Shelton (Phyllis Kirk) a psychologist. Dolan is not exactly the model soldier himself and he gets into a bit of trouble as he likes to go out and hit the booze and talk to pretty women. But Shelton and Dolan have hit it off and he tries to make Bixby a better soldier.

It turns out he does his job a little too well. And they all get sent to Morocco. And while there Bixby meets a woman. He also gets involved with some Arabian plotters. They have stolen the parts to a very sophisticated gun. Bixby is one of the few that can build it, and from there Bixby unwittingly aids the enemy. But that's ok... so long as it ends well right?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

James Taylor - Jelly Man Kelly

 This is an old song, but it is making the rounds at my house. We all sing it, because we got a DVD of songs for kids and this one made the list. My teenager hates it (but secretly hums the tune anyway) my wife sings it as do the Songbird and Augustus. What is not to like? It is a pretty good song. Old jelly man Kelly...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Ole Chalk Ear Trick

So my little girls were outside playing with chalk. Nothing bad or outrageous or funny can happen with that right?

Well unless you take the chalk and use it like a "Q-Tip" that is. It was funny, we laughed, as you can see Augustus didn't think it was all that funny, but in years to come she will see it was something that was mildly amusing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh...The Schools...

Everybody is up in arms about how the school district is wanting to increase taxes on 2nd homes by 1.5% and the County Council pretty much not wanting to do that. This is a long and complex problem. Could it have been handled better? Without question YES. But what did we get? A muddled thing where everybody is at fault (in the eyes of the other guy). Let's see. County Council is in a bad position because anytime you make cuts to education, you better be prepared to piss a whole bunch of people off. But blame can easily be put on the school district because that bunch has not been exactly cost conscious and there is some waste there.

But the school district can hold your innocent kids and the defenseless teachers in peril. I don't like this one bit, but if you don't tow the line, it will obviously have consequences. And besides the school district can blame state law. because of South Carolina Real Property Valuation Reform Act. So then it comes around to the state. Well we now have 3 different groups to blame and from that we also have the resident vs. non-resident fracas. So now what? Well every person or group has his/her own agenda. Mainly "Don't tax me, tax that man behind the tree" mentality.

I don't have the answers. And even if I did nobody would listen anyway. I blame everyone... including myself. The school district/school board, because they should not have let things turn into this mess. County Council because They had to know with all of these people moving in here, somebody would have to pay for it. The state because the whole tax the guy who doesn't vote here was a really shady at best. And finally I blame myself for voting for all of these idiots into office in the first place.

So now all we can do is take the cuts they are handing out, remember who voted how, and remember who to vote for next time. That is about it. It sucks, if me and my wife didn't make relatively the same amount of money, her with 15 years, board certification, and a Master's degree. Me with my Army experience, and medical schooling, we would be sucking wind right now. But because we tend to be savers (generally... except for the house anyway) we will do ok. And our combined income is fairly high, but if something were to happen to us, one of us were to be killed or become disabled or we divorced, we could never make it on just one paycheck. I hope things get better, but until it does, we need to stop blaming the other guy and start doing what we can where we can.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Sprinkler

You know it is hot summer-like weather here in South Carolina. Something I have always used to stay cool is a sprinkler. Even when I was a kid, I used to keep cool with the outside water hose and a sled sprinkler, you know one that oscillates back and forth. I'm here to tell you that you can expand you social circle with some water and a sprinkler.

Now a days my yard is automatically watered with a sprinkler system. Sounds fancy doesn't it? It is, but it just came with the house... one of the many extras that was making this house more desirable than the slew of other houses on the market. But I had a cast iron sprinkler, a hold over from my pre-automatic watering days. And there are some spots of my yard (not really my property, but I want it looking as green as my actual yard) that the sprinkler system doesn't touch.

When I crank the old sprinkler up, it brings kids out of the woodwork. And they can't help but want to play in it. I must admit, even I like to run through the sprinkler from time to time. And so without any further ado Summer can start now...

Sunday, May 22, 2011


This is a picture my Songbird drew for her mother, as you can see in the "I drd (drawed her words not mine) this for you." So what do you think?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Better Days Ahead?

I knew it would come down to this... but knowing what is coming doesn't make it any easier. My mother's health is not doing so good. She is into her 3rd round of chemo, and she basically says she doesn't care anymore. Doesn't care what they do, doesn't care if she lives or dies, she just doesn't care. I feel so bad for her and I can't lie to her and say... "in just a few more weeks, you will be better." Maybe a few more months, more like 6 months to a year. I can't go out and see her as I have exhausted my vacation.

I feel like, and please try not to think bad of me for saying this, but sometimes you just have to back up and play the hand you got. I feel so bad for my mom, I know she doesn't have that fighter's instinct like my father had when he was going through chemo and radiation. I wish it was me going through the chemo, not her because I know I could (more than likely) take it. I'm not trying to say that I am a better person than my mom, I am saying I wish she didn't have to go through what she is going through, so much so that I would take the chemo...  but that would not cure my mother's cancer.

I hope that I just caught her at a bad time and it will get better. But as I say that, it rings hallow. I know it won't be better and I don't know what to say to my mother. Should I have supported her going to Tijuana? I know that no I shouldn't have, but when she is so down in the dumps like she is now, it makes me doubt everything. And I know that is exactly why and how those types of people are around. Promising the world but delivering next to nothing. But the doubt keeps people coming back anyway.

So I sit and wait... from afar. And hope that my mom can do this. I know her body feels wrecked and her spirits are down. But there are sons and daughters and grandchildren and various other family members (cousins) and friends that are pulling for her. I know she knows this... there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether that light is death or the drive to keep going.... only she can answer that. But I still worry.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Classic Film Friday: Ocean's 11

This was watched on TMC earlier in the week. I must say that I like this movie much better than the 2001 version. It is a crazy idea of robbing not 1 but 5 Las Vegas casinos. The movie puts just enough into it to make it believable, but not too much to make you think, that Hollywood has run a muck.

Plus it has the Rat Pack in it. For that reason alone you should want to see the movie, but even more the movie is done with just enough... no out of this world car chases, no huge explosions, nothing that would make a movie now a days. Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) is a WWII vet and he recruits his buddies from the 82nd airborne to do a job. That job is of course to rob the casinos. Watch what happens next as they plan to rob them just after midnight on New Year's eve. They almost pull it off, but 1 of the 11 dies of a heart attack in the middle of the street. It from that point starts to get a little ugly.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise

The Beastie Boys are one of those groups you love or love to hate. The song is kind of snappy and the video is funny, and as long as the Beasties are funny I'll listen/watch. See what you think.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

He Appreciates It.... Really He Does

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We decided to catch a sunrise as we keep telling the Songbird about them, however unless you see it... it's just not the same. So off to the island we went. And we had no idea it would turn into a nature expedition. Fist off was this crab. Which (after scouring the internet) is a spider crab or a doubtful spider crab.

Next we saw a sand dollar. Still alive, we looked at it, I showed the Songbird all of its "feet" and tossed it back into the water.

Back to the crab, or a different crab (same species, just a bit smaller) and it liked eating dead jellyfish.

Finally, we have the sunrise we were looking for. Beautiful as always.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I've Been Avoiding Talking About It Long Enough

Ok so I went to see my mother, who has breast cancer. I can't really describe the amount of emotions that go through you when a loved one is sick... really sick and will get sicker before getting better. I think I did my absolute best to maintain a little bit of normalcy... but I was out there because my mom had cancer, there was no getting around that. The prognosis is pretty good, my mother should make a full recovery, but when it is your mother... things seem impossible.

Maybe the chemo is too much, maybe my mom is too old, maybe... there are a lot of maybes. We have to trust in someone, usually a doctor, that he is making the right decisions, that the nurses involved know what they are doing, that no virus/bacteria will make its way into my mother's compromised immune system. That is a big step for all (my mom and her kids) to take. It is by no means impossible, but it seems so at the time. And with my mom being so far away, the amount of control I have is next to nil. Which wouldn't be such a big deal, except my mom wanted to forgo the chemo and instead opt for something different out of Tijuana.

Which sounds crazy, I mean my mom is a nurse, but the lure of no pain and a "different way" (i.e. no nausea,  no pain) really sucked my mother in. She told me that she was not going to go forward with her chemo the day before I was coming out there to her. So at that point I didn't know what to do. I wanted to support her in what ever she decided to do, but I felt like this Tijuana business was shady at best. So I started digging and researching. I told mom, what I found (tests done on mice and clinical trials that really weren't there) and got her headed back to chemo.

Great right? I convinced my mother that the devil we know (chemo) is better than the devil we don't know. It was a hallow victory at best. Either way I could now be responsible for her death, by chemo or related causes or from listening to the quackery of promises being foisted out of Tijuana. That feeling is really heavy, and you want to make to right choice. Ultimately it was the choice of my mother, as it is her life, but I can't help but feel responsible.

We went with chemotherapy, which is basically poison. Poison that is supposed to kill just the cancer cells, but they haven't gotten it that good yet. Adriamycin and Cytoxan were the drugs used. There is nothing quite like taking your mother in to have that pumped into her. It happened over two days. Actually those drugs were given on the first day, along with Regulan and Ativan (anti nausea and chill out meds) and a Neulasta injection was given on her second day. The Neulasta makes more bone marrow, which makes more white blood cells, which were killed off the day before.

It was an interesting and somewhat depressing process. Also, she started losing her hair. So much so that she had me shave her head. Just that in and of itself was an experience. You can pretend whatever you want until the clippers come out. Now, everyone knows that my mom has cancer. She could get a wig, but up until that point it was in the back of her mind, but now she is forced to deal with it. It sort of brings everything home. And I did that too, with the clippers, right in her living room.

I'm not going to recommend that everyone go out and get cancer, because that would be awful, but I can say that I grew a bit because of this. Would I give it all back if it meant my mom was cancer-free? Hell yes. But she is not, and I'm a little more apathetic to anyone who is going through cancer treatment. I also wish I didn't know that much about our heathcare industry. But I can't change either one, so I'm playing the hand I got and rolling with the punches as they come.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Classic Film Friday: Falling Down

I first saw this movie when I was in Korea. It not that old, but for every one of life's gotchas is in this film. William Foster (Michael Douglas) is a seemingly regular guy, but not for long. The film is all about how an ordinary person can take a turn from which there is no escape. But the movie is almost a anti-hero, slugfest. You know, sometimes (most times) it is the little things that piss you off. Get ready to watch as little thing after little thing pisses one man off and see him snap. This movie is rated R... so for kids, not so much, but still a movie worth checking out.

Falling Down trailer

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rise Against - Help Is On The Way

This could not possibly be more fitting with all the hell that is breaking loose around us. This is Rise Against, 'Help Is On The Way'.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Words to Live By...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Everything is... Different

I know I haven't posted in a while. Things just have a way of slipping by you without you really even knowing it. Life is like that. I more than likely will get back into the swing of things, but right now... not so much. Cancer or "The Big C" as it has been called, is a bitch. It is a cruelty that exists for reasons unknown to me. It can give you a long time to say goodbye or it could be all for naught. Plus I have other issues, like a rotten teenager, and dead dog that everyone and their brother didn't know was dead (so then I have to tell them how he died and the whole rigmarole again).

Anyway I hope to get back into a bit more of a normal schedule... maybe.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mayfest Aint the Same Now That the Ugly Dog Is Gone

The Mayfest or the Bluffton Village Festival is coming up. I can't go. I look out at Thumper's grave site pretty much everyday. His grave is right on the edge of my garden, and within eye-shot of where I park my car. I am reminded of the fact that he died all the time. I don't think I need to be reminded of this day, the day he was supposed to shine as ugly dog. I still miss him, I'm not crying or anything, but I feel like he should have been around longer. Also the whole fishing his body out of the pond (half a body anyway) and burying him was rough, and of course didn't smell to good either.

Now I take a slingshot out and fire off a few rounds in hopes that alligators will find somewhere else to call home. I have yet to hit anything, though it does make the gator swim at the back end instead of the front end. Still I have the memories, I'll always have the memories. Why a rather silly, hairless dog has had this affect on me is still a bit of a mystery. I loved that damn dog, I'm really sorry he died the way he did, and I just don't know if I can ever go to the Mayfest again. There was plenty to see and do without the ugly dog competition. But that was the reason we went. Now, now not so much. There will NEVER be another dog like Thumper for me. The memory of him finding a chair anytime I told him to sit... I mean he was hairless, and he didn't appreciate getting his genitalia wet or grass touching it in anyway, shape, or form. I also remember the reaction to anyone who "petted" him for the first time.

Thumper was "naked" but he was warm and his skin was a bit tougher (I hope that damned alligator got indigestion) He was your best buddy when you were cold. You'd snuggle up next to him and be transformed almost instantly from cold to hot. He was also an expensive dog. $1400 to be exact. I never wanted a dog. But a girlfriend did. So this was a compromise. No hair, no fleas, ok I could deal with that. Well the girlfriend paid for him, and then left a year later... but left the dog with me.

And that was that, he came with me to the Lowcountry, I got married to a new girlfriend, we had two kids together, and while Thumper is no longer with us, he is with us in memories. Stupid dog...