Tuesday, July 29, 2008


"Space Chimps". What could be wrong with that. It has two of my favorite things; Space and Chimps. The only thing that could be better would be "Space Chimps delivering Hooters' Wings with a free MacBook Pro". Heaven.

Clay has wanted to see this movie since he saw the first commercial months ago. So I decided to give Nancy a few hours of peace and quiet while I took him to see this potential Academy Award winning flick. As we enter the theater lobby, Clay immediately is disinterested in the movie and wants to play video games. All the games he wants to play are racing games and he is far too short to reach the pedals; thankfully.

I break him from the trance of quarter-swallowing electronic crack by telling him that we needed to get some snacks for the movie. "Clay do you want any popcorn?"

"No, I want that Batman thing!", as he points to Malted Milk Balls with the Batman logo on it.

"You're not going to like Malted Milk Balls. How 'bout some popcorn?"

"No Daddy, I want that Batman thing!", as he points to Milk Duds.

"No, Clay, you're no going to like those. How about some popcorn?"

"I don't want any popcorn!"

"OK, how about M&Ms or Twizzelers?"

"I want Starburst!"

"OK, you can get some Starburst. Are you sure you don't want any popcorn?"

"Goddammit Daddy! No Freakin' Popcorn!!!"

OK, well he didn't say that, but he again told me of his lack of desire for any type of warm, buttery corn-based snack product. So, I order a small one for myself. As we pass the "Popcorn Flavoring Station" I start sprinkling on cheddar cheese flavored salt. "Daddy, what's that?" "Cheddar cheese flavored salt". "Yuck! I hate cheddar cheese salt!" I tell him that since he doesn't want any popcorn, he shouldn't care what I put on it.

We settle in for the movie, and just as the first preview is about to start Clay says, "Daddy, I want some popcorn!" FIne. By the time "Space Chimps" starts, he has devoured most of the bag. "I guess I don't like cheddar cheese salt too much, but I'll eat the popcorn anyway", he says. I'll learn next time.

Oh, and the movie. Awful is not a strong enough word. It looks like it was made on cutting edge animation software that Pixar threw away in the early 90's. But Clay and I did both laugh when the big chimp slipped on the banana peel on the treadmill. Can't help it; Monkeys=Funny.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another Brick In The Wall

When we bought our house, we knew we had one major problem. We had two retaining walls in the back yard and they were both bowing badly. In five months the lower wall moved several inches and the final blow came when I was cutting the grass behind one wall and my leg went down in a void to me knee. Apparently, this wall was built by roving bands of chimpanzees which must have been through Pittsburgh 10 years ago. These monkeys were bad even by monkey standards.

So we called the landscaper and viola, two weeks, 20 tons of stone, two truckloads of mulch later we had our new (single) wall up. It looks great and even has a set up steps so we don't have to walk around the ends to go up a level. As a bonus, one of our neighbors gave us his kids' old play set. It's a good thing we had it done when we did, right before we went on vacation, because when we left our back yard was mud, manure and seed. By the time we returned, we had grass!

But the main reason we wanted to have the wall rebuilt was to have a safe area for the kids to play. I was worried that either the wall would collapse on someone or that someone would break a leg by "finding" a hole like I did. In the time our house was up for sale, it had become the "skate park". Various slacker-related items (parts of skateboards, snowboards, ramps, pipes, etc.) occasionally turned up on our driveway, lawn and retaining walls and I worried that one of these slackers would end up splitting his head open. At least now, I don't have to worry about the wall collapsing on them.

We've spent the last few days power washing, staining, repairing and re-fitting what will become "The Pirate Ship". We already have our "sail" and will soon put on the ship's wheel and the pirate flag. It sails in it's sea of mulch and will soon need to be officially christened. The old owner had spray painted "SK8-24-7" on the side; which I have since power washed into oblivion; so now we need to find the perfect name for our ship. Suggestions?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Birthday America

Sorry, it's been so long since the last post. Here's what's coming up: "Another Brick in the Wall", "F.U. VDOT", "OBX 2008" and more, but I couldn't let this go without posting this tonight. This was taken on the morning of our nation's 232nd birthday, because there is no better way than to say "Happy Birthday America" than "Bikini Cole Slaw Wrestling". And no, Nancy would not let me go.