Wednesday, August 31, 2011

He Will Do It...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good News

After a night out on the town, I can honestly say that I am definitely not an alcoholic. We went out, had some drinks, had some more drinks, and got hammered. That part was fun, but the next day... that is a whole different story. My body simply can not recover the way it used to. I just can't drink the way I used to. That's ok with me... I didn't want to be an alcoholic anyway.

I'm not saying I got religion and I'm swearing off the booze for good. I'm having a beer as you read this (maybe) but I am saying that it is impossible (right now) for me to be an alcoholic. Maybe epiphany is more like it, like Bill Cosby said, "You owe it to yourself"

Monday, August 29, 2011

BT... R.I.P.

So The Bluffton Today is going to be free again, but at the cost of daily - to twice a week publication. I can only see things going down hill from here. Almost nobody is there from when it started 7 years ago. I guess we all knew it was going to happen, but now what? I feel torn about the whole thing. I want us, the people of Bluffton to have a paper, but I don't think it was really Bluffton Today's thing anyway.

I liked having someone I could oppose around. That is sort of why I started this whole blog, because I didn't want my words, what I wrote to become fodder for the paper to print whenever/however they wished, plus they went in and edited some things too, because they didn't want "Pool-pooping" a term that they came up with (it still ranks 6th when you google it). Oh well, that is the thing about trying to repress something... in trying to repress, you actually help it to grow. And I got more than a little fed up with their constant non-reporting even though they were a "newspaper". (like the school board/referendum or town/county issues or even issues with their own site)

Then I had my issues, mainly the stroke... my wife moves up in the world, and I really don't care much about what is going on anymore. That isn't to say I don't follow it, because I do, I'm forced to live it. But I know my kids are doing reasonably well, and they keep paying my wife... I'll leave that up to someone else to nitpick with them.

Back to the BT, this is their supposed first day of recreating themselves... which is supposed to be better, more of an online presence, so far I see nothing. Great more of the same. I can't knock on them too hard though, but if you wanted to be a reporter (no way in hell would I take that job) and you are starting off a new thing, wouldn't you make your presence known? I don't see anything different, new, or otherwise. Come on BT, don't leave me hanging... again.

Ok I got the paper, looked though it... it was/is more like a um, newspaper I think the adds are much less obtrusive, but everything is just jumbled in sort of willy nilly. No web presence at all. I think they are supposed to increase web presence. Well... we will see... I got my copy but it was wet... so, some things never change. (I know I have the POA approved newspaper holder beneath the mailbox, but it is easier to just chuck the paper)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Car Issues

Running scared from the hurricane yet? Me neither. What was supposed to be a fairly relaxing weekend turned out to be less than that due to a broken window regulator. What is that? It is a part of your and my car (that is if your car has power windows). I'm fairly sure that 95% of cars these days have them, so I figured maybe instead of paying someone I'd post some pictures so if you find yourself (as I did) with a broken window regulator, you too would look back and say "I can do that".

How did it wind up like this? That I have no clue about. It was a typical humid August morning and dew was fogging up my ride to work. I put the windows down so that I could see and whamo, the passenger side window would not go back up. I believe something slipped in the linkage but I can't be for sure.

The first part is getting the door panel off. Well this is done with hidden screws and pop off clips. You should look everywhere. And notice things may need to be disconnected (like speakers, the door lock or window switch) and look for screws in the door handle. Once all of that is taken care of... as it was for me, I couldn't get the part right away. I ordered a new regulator through Amazon (thanks internet) for about half price as the dealer and/or auto parts store. It pays to shop around. So I knew I would have to ride around at least a day, in my case 2 (because the overnight wouldn't help, I was busy the next day... second day would be fine and almost $15 cheaper) day delivery, I fashioned a wedge to go between the door and the glass (mine was a Crescent wrench wrapped in duct tape) yes if this ever happens to you, you'll find that what ever you have will have to do.

Now that isn't saying if you want to take your car in and have serviced by a professional, by all means if you can afford it, go ahead, I'm a processional amateur and I'm cheap and because I don't have money laying about. So I wedged a tape covered wrench in-between and kept on riding. You do want to make sure it is really tight and you may have to pull over/just leave it if it goes back down. Also doing this will make the window useless to you. It will also make it a bit more accessible by folks you may not want to have access... take valuables out of the car until you fix it. You need to take on a certain amount of responsibility, otherwise leave it to an auto mechanic (I am not nor do I ever want to be an auto mechanic). The main reason for wanting the window up was because I wanted to keep rain (if I got any) out and the cool A/C in. Plus it might deter the criminal element if they saw that it looks to be ok, if they were to really look, I'd be in trouble, but I live in a fairly nice neighborhood, so this should not be an issue.

Still driving around with a duct taped wrench is more than many can stand. It is a problem and I will combat that by driving our other car unless I am forced to drive my car (i.e. go to work). I really just want to keep the weather out until I get the new part installed.

Just an update, I drove with the wedged window, and I don't recommend it for the light of heart. For one thing padding and whatnot is in that door panel, I left mine off, because I didn't want to do more work than is needed. I also found this site for my car individually, however you may find some other for your make and model of car... the internet is a beautiful thing and google even more so. Now I don't feel like I have to get pictures as this guy has me covered. I will say what a strange world we live in when something as simple as a car window not operating properly interrupts us (me) so greatly. This happened to me on Thursday, Friday I'm going to the high school football game (Bluffton won 60-14), and Saturday my part arrives. If only the window would have gotten stuck closed...

All told it took me about 2 hours. And that's figuring in the time it took to make the wedge. Do I want to do it again? Not really, but I know I can if need be, and saved myself a $300-400 repair. I guess that is the main thing, I saved money and did it myself. I feel good about that...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

OK Go & The Muppets - Muppet Show Theme Song

Being a child in the late 70's and 80's, I liked me some Muppets. It is probably the most down home clean fun that anyone can have, So when they came out with the new Muppets movie I thought, I am so taking my kids to this. In the meantime, they teamed up with OK Go. See what you think...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Classic Film Friday: The Aristocats

I had to replay this movie because, my current toddler loves this movie as much as her sister does and her sister before that. Also I like the country bumpkin dogs... they are my favorite part of the movie. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but if you watch it through the eyes of a child, it is perfect in every way.

I know this movie is not really a "Classic" per se, but I think it is, it holds a special place in my heart, and it is almost 40 years old. It's my older daughter's most favorite "Kid Movie". We Netflixed it for that and because my younger daughter is going to be a cat for Halloween... Because everybody wants to be a cat.

It's about a family of French cats (a mama and three babies) who have it pretty good as far as cats go. Anyway it's all taken away by a money grubbing butler. It's out away from Paris where they cross paths with Thomas O'Malley (Phil Harris), an alley cat that will show the kids how the other side lives, and falls in love with duchess (Eva Gabor).

From it's pretty much classic Disney, but that's not always a bad thing. There's plenty of comedy to go around, especially with Napoleon and Lafayette, Pat Buttram (Napoleon) George Lindsey (Lafayette), two dogs, looking for trouble. The butler gets what's coming to him, the kitties all get to go home, and one more child is addicted to this movie. It's not Dumbo or Lady in the Tramp, but it is pretty good.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Alice Cooper - Lost in America

My wife and I were talking the other day... And basically, we started thinking about well we need a dog (because the two young kids probably deserve a dog they can call their own) and a convertible, and a golf cart, and a house with an in-ground swimming pool... with cable. Of course I'm kidding, except for the dog... we are thinking about it, but it hasn't gone beyond the thinking stage... yet. All of this reminded me of the mid-nineties Alice Cooper song. Lost in America...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There can only be MANY

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not So Political

I really try to be a non-political person. I try to make my blog a very unpolitical environment. Mainly because I don't much care... If I like the person who is in office I'm a gullible fool if I don't like the person, I suffer from sour grapes. I know that sooner or later one faction is going to win over the other, and the really funny part (This pertains to congress) is the people we elect we generally feel they do an ok job, but the others in congress... not so much. So basically it is everyone else's problem, our guy is doing just fine. Whatever.

I really feel torn by these two sides... because I like parts of both, but really who has my point of view on these things? The part that really makes me crazy is the way we choose who we vote for. We ask really stupid questions like are you pro choice or right to life? Well, unless the person is a woman of child bearing age... who the fuck cares?!? Pro/anti gun? Really? We are simply going to have to find a way to live with guns, they aren't going away, so deal. The same goes for drugs and anything else illegal to do... if someone wants to bad enough, it is going to happen. Gay marriage? I didn't think it was any of my business or anyone else's. Ok perhaps you or your friends or family don't approve, but since when is that really an issue? If you don't like something, don't do it, so if everyone is abstaining from everything gay, why would you care about what is going on in someone else's home? We get caught up in these stupid straw-man arguments, that take away from real issues... And it aint just the politicians, it is the media and anyone else that may happen to comment on the "quasi-issue" or "Red Herring".

Fiscal responsibility? Does anyone running for office really know what that means? If they don't spend money, then they won't get government contracts for their state, if that doesn't happen they may not be re-elected, now who really wants that? How many politicians have you heard of that run a campaign on "I didn't do anything". Everybody has his or her pets. Some want to "trim" the budget, some like a strong defense others like to help the poor or help the disadvantaged youth or what have you. It is all a big game, and while I'm thankful for the right to vote, I completely understand why voter turn out is abysmal.

What does it mean for me? What is going to happen to me if you do or don't get into office? I'd say pretty much nothing either way. So why bother with it at all? In fact look at this news article. It paints a fairly grim picture of both sides. I don't know how we could turn this ship around, and I'm not even sure I would want to. I'm so tired of all the political wrangling, You can't vote for him because he hates kids, well you can't vote for her because she is in the pocketbook of big business... blah, blah, blah... Enough already. I give, honestly can someone really run for office, any office, that isn't a crook, liar, or something else not so nice? Is there anyone left? Maybe I need to review 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' for Classic Film Friday.

Or do I... maybe all of this haranguing is for nothing, because it has been going on pretty much since we started this country? Maybe. Perhaps I am searching for a utopia that never before or will exist, but I can hope can't I?

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Part of the System

It's funny. Watching my little girl (the 5-year-old, AKA the Songbird) transition from daycare to school aged child... watching as she adapts and how we as parents cope with "losing our baby" and the kid we get back. I'm not saying any of this is bad, because it is going to happen no matter what. I am saying, wow, I had a preschooler and what I get back is something much better, richer... just plain more.

I think letting my kid go to school is just as much a boon to the school as I'm sure the school wants me to be assured that my daughter will be safe and learning. In return I get the future. Yeah I get the future astronaut or president or doctor or whatever. Seeing that right before your very eyes has an effect in you. I was too young to appreciate the teenager's first year. I mean I knew it was something, but I didn't write it down(at least that I can see). And I'm sorry for that but you can't change that now.

The teenager is about to be 16. Oh my god... Teenagers are full of drama and more drama and did I mention drama? Especially girls, So looking forward 10 years, it is really not going to be fun, but somehow I'll manage. Here is hoping that everyone has a good and successful school year. I will be awing the kindergarten achievements and holding on for dear life when I look at the high school. Isn't parenting a joy? Just keep looking at the hand turkey and count to ten (or 20 or 100) there is nothing to see in the high school...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Damn Kids Just Keep Growing Up...

Augustus (the baby) is learning that by putting words together, she can make sense. Yes it's true. The other day she said "Meow eat um-um (food)." I know to those folks that don't have kids or forgot what it was like to see the beginning of communication... it might not seem like much. But she is stringing words together, sometimes not making any sense (to us) but still she tries.

There is still the one word yells, usually when she wants something. "Muck" (milk) or "Juice" or "ahmi" (any lunch meat, but specifically salami). I can't remember the Songbird being so vocal about everything. And that is fine, a quiet kid is a good kid. Anyway once they learn to talk, it is just about impossible to get them to shut up. So I'm just sitting back and watching the interactions between the 3 kids, and us parents and marveling at it all.

The teenager has come along. We can trust her a bit now. Though I expect to be disappointed by her at any second. It is what it is. She likes being at the high school, she understands that it is work to keep her grades up and it will only get harder from here. Maybe, just maybe beating my head against the wall has made a small dent. We will see.

The Songbird broke our hearts again this week. She lost her first tooth this week. My wife cried. Which was interesting because she did not cry when she went off to kindergarten. But I certainly am no expert on the ways of women... but I boo hooed like a baby when I took the teenager to kindergarten, so I at least understand.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Classic Film Friday: Coal Miner's Daughter

With it being Mrs. Hatter's birthday, I figured why not do a review of her all time favorite movie. It is based on the true story of Loretta Lynn (Sissy Spacek) and her husband "Mooney" Lynn (Tommy Lee Jones). It tells the story of how a back woods country girl became an county music star and all the ups and downs they went through in that transition.

The movie also portrays Patsy Cline (Beverly D'Angelo) as one of Lynn's heroes growing up and catalogs her chance at meeting and becoming friends with her. The movie eventually ends with Loretta being at the top and I think that is what makes this movie so endearing to my wife. Her roots in Kentucky aren't all that far from Loretta's (Hazard is maybe 60 miles from Butcher Hollow) and it is a feel good story though many obstacles are overcome.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bob Marley

As you may (or may not) know my wife, Mrs. Hatter loves her some reggae. And she made me like it too. Bob Marley was in the news (I know he has been dead for decades) with a video made about the starving kids (and adults) in Somalia. I can't say that it is very appealing to watch desolation but I understand the need to help. If you want to see that video, this is the link.

I don't know if it will do any/much good. I know it just isn't like those people are starving (they obviously are) but there is more to it than that. But I'm not going to talk about the social or political or religion problems of that area. I just want to jam with Bob. Tomorrow is my wife's birthday, and in honor of her birthday, here is some Bob.

Bob Marley- Could you be loved

Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up

I Shot The Sheriff

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Funny Looking...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Hope I Don't Foget Where I Came From

Lately things at work have been see-sawing like crazy. One minute of happiness can turn into 3 minutes of shear terror, 5 minutes later, it is all roses again. I hate that, hell I don't think anyone really likes it, save some masochistic fools. As I climb the proverbial career ladder, I'm reminded of the little guy, who tries and tries and tries... but never wins the respect of his bosses, and I will someday be that boss.

I understand that as a boss you feel pressure from above to be better, do more with less, make chicken pie out of chicken shit. But I still remain loyal to the little guy, and understand that though we may want something to be a certain way, wanting something and the way it really is... are two completely different things.

A buddy of mine is an A/C mechanic. It is a time of year that isn't kind to A/C units here in the south. There was a problem with one of the units he takes care of... his boss found that it was because it had not been cleaned properly. Well yes, and no. The reason it had not been cleaned properly is because to do the job means taking the A/C down and thoroughly cleaning the unit (while it is not running). Okay, so when can he really do that? If he does it now the A/C will be down and thus people will complain, and my buddy is suddenly not doing "his job" or he could wait until it is cooler, but then he is seen as being lazy.

Either way he loses, but he is an excellent A/C mechanic, who just can't catch a break. I don't know what to say or do in situations like this. I understand each person's point of view, but it doesn't really solve anything. I hope that when I do become the boss I have the patience to hear my subordinates out before jumping on the "stomp on the little guy" bandwagon. At least I would hope so...

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Cat's Life

I have been keeping an eye on our (really it is Mrs. Hatter's) cat. Why? well you see the cat is really, really, really old. The time varies but we think she in at the youngest 17, 19 at the oldest. She has been around. And she goes through times of when she won't eat to times when you can't feed her enough. Being so old, it makes me edgy that she may be finally dieing. I don't like to think of that, and neither does my wife. But we both know that day is eventually coming.

So now do we just let it happen, or do we take her to the vet and put her down? Now before anyone gets their feelings hurt, she is a diabetic, a very old cat, and has accidents now and then. Not only are they accidents but there is blood involved. It is not that we don't love her, because she has lived with us all this time. And will continue, but we know the clock is ticking for her. Add to that we have small children, again not that it is a problem... unless the cat has an accident, and we find out about it from one of our kids because they have blood or poop on them.

Maybe I'm worried about nothing. I hope I'm worried about nothing. She (the cat) is laying here next to me as I write this. I pet her and she is happily purring. Maybe that is all there is to it. We all go sooner or later, how many times we get petted is the difference between a good life and a bad one. Maybe. At least for cats anyway.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yep, Pretty Much

This is Natalie Dee's website

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Your WTF Moment... brought to you by The Masters of the Universe

So He-Man was a product of the 80's. I get that, and yeah he looked rather gay. Ok he dressed (when not in He-man form) like a complete flamer. But you take what you are given. In the 80's it was He-man.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Classic Film Friday: Roller Boogie

What can I say, I like to watch a good train wreck. This film has about as much to like (rainbow suspenders or and other disco wear) as to hate (plot holes you could walk through) but if you want to take a ride on the hilarity of the late 70's disco era films, this one is a can't miss.

Bobby James (Jim Bray) and his band of cohorts are teenagers on the boardwalk in Venice California. They like to skate, as in roller skate. There was a time when everyone liked to skate, and this was probably the peak in the fad. Terry Barkley (Linda Blair) is a rich girl who likes the same things all the other teenager like. But she is on the track to be a flautist, and that doesn't really mesh with the disco scene.

But against all odds Bobby and Terry find each other and fall in love. And things are going great. That is until the mob comes by the roller rink and gives the place the shake down as the rink is on some valuable land that could be turned into a high priced store or maybe condos (We really never are info as to why). Well how does this affect Terry and Bobby?

Well see there is this roller boogie competition. And if the mob has their way it will end the competition. So Terry and Bobby and friends have to unearth the truth before it is too late. Will they? Hmmmm...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Strokes - Taken For A Fool

What is not to like about this video? It looks kind of tripy. Anyway a good song and a cool video, who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Dragon-o-saur

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm A Good Guy

I have to brag on myself (again). We recently passed some national accreditation inspection. Woo Hoo! Ok so we passed, and really we are supposed to and did. But we cannot, no matter how hard we might want to, escape time. What do I mean by this? Well that is great and I feel accomplished, but what about next year? Or the year after that? Or the year after that? The point I'm getting to is there is always another inspection just around the bend.

I know that sounds somewhat defeatist of me. And seriously I've contemplated some other profession for the very same reason (I found nothing that I liked or that didn't suffer from the same thing). So it is what I do and that is ok. I can take a breather having just passed inspection, but not too much, as the omnipresent "next inspection looms. Kind of like a comic book nemesis. You have to always be ready, because you can't ever put it away for good, just for right now. It is the world we live in. I'm ok with that, because sometimes you lose, I didn't this time but you never know if I might (doubtful, but still). You are only as good as your last inspection says you are. Yep, pretty much. So I'll be a good guy for a while.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Here We Go

Well not to brag to much on myself, but I will (just a little bit). Things at work have improved tremendously (not that it was all that bad). Basically things have expanded and I am going to reap the rewards of that expansion. I can't or won't go into too much detail but it looks like I could call the lowcountry home for a long time. This is a good thing because I really didn't feel this confidant 6 months to a year ago.

Now I just need to bone up on my leadership skills and work hard to not make the mistakes of my predecessor. I've worked for years to get to this point, now it just takes a small leap of faith to take it to the next level. That is the "hard" part. Nobody likes change. Everybody wants it, but nobody likes it. Everybody thinks they like it because they don't actually think it will be them who changes. Always someone else. This time it is me (hopefully). Nothing is set in stone as of yet. But I think (hope) that my long range plans (though they took a bit longer than I imagined) will come to fruition and I will not have to move to ascend the career ladder... So far so good.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Classic Film Friday: C.H.O.M.P.S

This is one for the kids (yes I know, many a classic film is, but this is just for kids) No adult would believe this... ever. But for a child, it's fairly easy. Brian Foster (Wesley Eure) works for a security company and he has an invention that will change everything. Ralph Norton (Conrad Bain) is Brian's employer and the father of Casey (Valerie Bertinelli) who is in love with Brian.

Then there is C.H.O.M.P.S the robot dog. This is the reason everyone will watch this movie. watch as C.H.O.M.P.S gets the bad guys, again and again. Yeah this movie is not a Oscar nominee by any means, but kids will be jumping up and down for C.H.O.M.P.S, and that is all that matters right?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hot Chelle Rae - Tonight Tonight

So this is a video that comes recommended by the teenager. So that right there should tell you something. This seems like bubblegum pop at best. But I was asking her if she knew of any songs out right now. And this is the song she listed. So here is Hot Chelle Rae... Tonight Tonight. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

He is a Peeper

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Debris Story

As you may already know... I am from New Orleans and anytime I hear about this or that new restaurant that is "New Orleanian" I both groan and I hold out hope too. I want to taste my heritage, but I don't want bad food labeled as being from New Orleans, when you couldn't be further from the truth one place on Hilton Head serves Gumbo without any roux in it... Sacrilege! So I heard about this sandwich shop in Savannah, The Second Line, with has a very limited menu, but they promise true roast beef and "debris" po'boy. A po'boy is a sub-sandwich, it is called a po'boy because way back when, only a poor person would eat it. Debris is all the left over bits of roast beef.

As with almost everything, it became an adopted and "in" food thing, and so the po'boy was for every-boy. Funny how it works out that way. But anyway, back to Second Line. My dining experience was sort of jaded. For a sandwich shop, you would think they would have your order made within 5 minutes. Not so much. And I had my kids with me, so they were climbing on the chairs, rolling on the floor, basically acting a fool. The food was good, but I don't know if it was worth that kind of wait... and the bread (the secret to any good po'boy) was off somewhat.

The place was really setup for the bar scene there on River Street. And I would have loved it if I had been part of that and probably I would have gone there with out question to satiate my hunger after a few drinks. But instead I was there with my kids, and it was a really long wait (2 hours all together). It wet my appetite for a good (better) roast beef po'boy. There are a plethora of recipes online. I decided to use this one.

This was what I remember about a good roast beef po'boy. There is nothing our instant gratification society would approve of, but man was it good. It takes time, like 3 to 5 hours. This is not something you walk into, you must plan ahead. But the reward is so much better when you do plan. And you might even have some for lunch the next day. (If there is any left). I disappointingly can't recommend the Second Line, but I can suggest if you have a Saturday or Sunday you make your own. Publix has an descent French bread loaf. Make it yourself, and while you're at it buy a good 6-pack or 12-pack, invite some friends over and make happy. That is what it is all about right?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cancer is Still a Bitch

I haven't spoke on this much, I really don't know why. My mother underwent surgery, a lumpectomy, the surgery was unsuccessful. The doctor was partly to blame and my mom has to share some of that blame as well. Basically, we went in and found more lumps that were cancerous. She will need a mastectomy. And then comes the whole reconstruction thing, plus she still has to go on the radiation and chemo afterward. It is a long time before my mom will feel like a whole person (if she ever feels like a whole person).

So we are doing the best that we can do... I mean I can do nothing but worry, so I keep worrying. My mother seems in good spirits and so that is good. She still has much to do, many appointments to make, places to go. I feel for her. I can't make any of the steps for her, but she doesn't really need me to do it for her anyway, but still ... you want to do for your mother (at least I do). Cancer is a long haul, no matter what the prognosis. There is good and bad with that, I guess my best bet is to take the good and forget about the bad.