Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kids, Don't Try This At Home

Every year around this time, the Consumer Product Safety Commission brings out a truckload of watermelons and mannequins along with a crate of all the illegal (fun) fireworks. Every local news station from around the country shows the footage of exploding produce and disintegrating PVC limbs ad nauseum along with terse warnings of "Kids, don't try this at home!" Don't try this at home? Even at 43, the inner teenager in me looks at this footage and says, "Cool! I wonder what would happen if I put two firecrackers in a watermelon?" This yearly pre-Independence Day ritual does nothing to discourage kids from wanting to play with illegal fireworks. Just the opposite. Exploding melons and mannequins don't put the fear of God into kids. I think we need to have the offending fireworks held in the hands of death row inmates or certain members of the Congress and then light 'em up. Now that would turn kids away from illegal fireworks! Or maybe not.

Blind Spot

Clay's been asking a lot of questions recently about things like skin color and other differences that people have. At the end of our neighborhood there's a sign that Clay asked about. It says "Blind Pedestrian". I told Clay that there must be someone in the area who can't see and that the sign warns drivers to be careful. This, of course, started the usual cascade of questions; "Why can't someone see?", "Why don't they wear glasses like you to see?", "How do they know where they are?" After trying my best to answer these, Clay says, "Well if they drive and get into a wreck, they will have their car taken away, right?" Right. How can I argue with that. The way most people drive around here, they might be blind.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Brother can you spare a bottle cap?

OK, I know this borders on being crass and begging, but I've been saving these stupid my coke rewards points since February to get a Clay a basketball and I'm getting real tired of drinking Coke. My gawd; words I never thought would come out of my mouth (or keyboard)! So far I have enough for a subscription to "Seventeen" or a DVD of the South American telenovella, "Ayiiieeee! Mi Corazon de los Amore es Meurte" or something like that; neither of which are on a 4 year-old's wish list. So I'm asking if anyone drinks Coke and doesn't collect the points, look for the 12 digit code under the cap or inside a 12-pack and send them to me. I need to get Clay a basketball before the end of summer. He needs to practice. Now. Have you seen the cost of college now and imagine what it will be like in 14 more years?

Ol' Yeller

Well as you may have read in Nancy's blog, I had some visitors the other day; three nuns and a priest. I do some freelance work for the diocese and they needed to ask me a few questions. After offering them some beverages and making them comfortable in the recently cleaned family room, the boys begin to entertain them. Drew just coos and smiles and laughs; what a 9 month old does best. Clay politely introduces himself to everyone. Just when I think, "Wow, things are going great; the usual chaos of the day (screaming babies, throwing toys, choruses of Why?'s, No!'s, and Why not!'s and innumerable counting to 3's) has subsided. Just then Clay cheerfully pipes up, "My daddy yells at me!" Then a brief moment of silence. Great.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

The best thing about hearing the baby cry at 5:45 AM on Father's Day morning is knowing that Mom will get up with him and I get to roll over and go back to sleep! Happy Father's Day to me!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Steal This Car!

My folks have been here all week and we always enjoy having them. I always worry a bit when they travel because they drive down in my dad's dream car; a 1985 Lincoln Town Car. If you remember the infamous Exxon Valdez, this car is about as large, handles as well and leaks about the same amount of oil as it did. We noticed some drips of oil on our driveway, so we figured, let's make sure all the vital fluids are topped off for the ride back. Since I couldn't find the transmission fluid dipstick, we took it to the local Ford dealer. I think there were audible gasps as we drove up. It must have been like seeing a World War I Fokker Tri-plane land next to a field of F-22 Raptors. I ran past a few salesmen with their mouths agape to ask someone in the service department to help me find the transmission fluid dipstick. By the time I came out, a salesman was already giving my mom his card and offering to buy the car from her. I think he was shocked when my mother informed him that they were keeping the car.

My dad loves this car; duct tape on the glovebox, chrome peeling off the bumper, AM/FM cassette player, no safety features of any kind and all. He thinks the car is worth around $15,000. He was shattered when he found out that it's true value is $683.

I thought about leaving the keys in it with the windows open overnight while they were here. Maybe next time they visit, I'll have to park it in DC.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Yesterday I spoke to my mom on the phone. Happily, they're planning a trip to visit us for a week. My mom knows I'm a real fan of Apple and I talked her into buying a few shares a couple of years ago. Mom is not very savy about technology so when I excitedly tell her about Core 2 Duo processors, Adobe CS3, or OS 10.5 Leopard, I might as well be speaking Urdu. So after my obligatory, "Apple's up to $122 a shre today", she followed with her usual, "So should I sell it yet?" "No!!!" But after that she shocked my by saying, "So did you see that iPhone they're coming out with. It looks like you can watch a movie and make phone calls with it. It's like and iPod and a Phone!" Maybe there's hope yet for my folks; now if I can only convince them to get more than basic cable.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

That'll be "To Go"

Yesterday was Clay's end of year pre-school picnic. Every family has to bring a contribution to the pot luck lunch and it has become our tradition to bring Popeye's chicken. A great tradition since we usually have "Buy 11 pieces, get 11 pieces free" coupons. So on our way I stop at the local Popeye's leaving the rest of the family in the proto-Canadian-like, air conditioned comfort of our Prius (which is Japanese for "why won't the stroller fit in the trunk?). I'm greated by the bespeckled teenage poultry engineer; "Hey" he says. "Hey", I say. "I'd like 22 pieces of chicken please." "Uh, Is that for 'here' or 'To Go'?" For a moment I think, I'm a big guy and I like my Popeye's; but what the hell is wrong with this kid? Then looking slightly vexed I said, "That'll be 'To Go'".


Well, since my wife has been posting all the little cool stories about the boys for the last few months, I thought I'd better get in on the act and put in my $.02. Let's face it, she's doing a great job of it, so I won't try to duplicate what she's done. I'll probably just use this space to vent and talk about the daily annoyances that I come across, and man do I get annoyed easily. Which leads me to my next entry.............