The house, the house, the house is on fire

Years ago, I wanted to run cable tv to the upstairs bedroom of my house. Of course, that costs money and at the time I had none. But I didn’t need it, did I? I watched the cable guy very carefully when I first got cable. He just used a drill to bore a hole through the house and run the cable through. It was just a long drill bit and I had one of those. What could go wrong? Continue reading “The house, the house, the house is on fire”

How a scrolling error could have killed me!

While reading the morning paper I was shocked to find out that the latest US Government study shows that Americans are dying because they don’t consume enough nuts, salt and salty foods: processed meats including bacon, bologna, hot dogs, etc. Holy crap! Really? Lesley has been forcing me to avoid these foods FOR NO GOOD REASON!  I need to get on a bacon burger diet RIGHT NOW! Am I reading this right?

Turns out, I was not reading it right. Scrolling is important.

Plight of the Cardinal

While sitting on my deck this weekend, I was intrigued by the relative ease with which I was able to spot cardinals among the trees. I must have spotted 3 of them in a matter of a minute or two. This has to pose some hazard to them, doesn’t it? I mean, if I can see them, then I know the hawks, falcons and other birds of prey can see them, not to mention cats and kids with b.b. guns. Was this hazard overlooked when they were bidding on uniforms? Were they so focused on style that they didn’t consider the threat it posed to their standing in the food chain?

Not that they’re the only ones to ever experience this irony of style. They remind me of the British Red Coats back in the eighteenth century. I don’t care how good you are with a musket, it’s not going to counter the risk of walking through the New England woods wearing a bright red target highlighted by long white socks. Come on, just where would that not stand out?

And young thugs today seem obsessed with letting their pants hang below their ass which might make it easy to go to the toilet but its got to make it difficult to run from the Po Po. Every episode of Starsky and Hutch I ever watched showed gangstas running down an alley and climbing over a fence. You can’t do that with an ineffective belt.

So here’s to you my fine-feathered friends, I pity your plight. You can fly but you can’t hide.

not PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN

Sitting in traffic this morning, I felt an ominous sense of disgust, shame and anger all at the same time. I sat in my sedan surrounded by a sea of SUV’s. I don’t mean practical, little RAV 4’s or Ford Escapes either, I mean big, obnoxious, gas guzzling Suburbans, Escalades  and Expeditions.  When will this obsession die?  I am so tired of it.

This is part of the reason other countries hate us. We are gluttonous. We represent only 4% of world population yet we consume 30% of its resources. The U.S. spends more on feeding its food than most countries spend feeding their people. Those Escalades that surrounded me all contained only one person. Gluttonous. Certainly, it’s unheard of in most countries.

I used to own a Mini Cooper.  I was proud of it. It was economical, had a small environmental footprint, and was easy to park. I really felt like I was doing my part. It was also new to the American market so it was unique. I got lots of smiles.  Then it became more popular. It was cute, but not big enough for Americans. BMW is not stupid, they know if they really want to grab the U.S. market they need to make it big. So Americans now have a big Mini Cooper, the Countryman.  It’s about as pointless as a fuel-efficient Hummer.

We’re not satisfied with just driving these gunboats either, we have to add a trailer hitch so when they take up two spots in the parking garage they jut out into the passage way as well.  You gotta have a trailer hitch, or else how are you going to transport your bicycle to the park? And they are too big to fit in most garages so they sit in the drive way or worse, out in the street. That doesn’t really bother most owners since their garages are so full of crap they can’t put a vehicle in there anyway. Most people don’t realize that we are one of the few countries where people actually build houses for their cars.

The Farrier From Hell

*Originally published in 2005

The Thoroughbred we recently bought has been having some issues with his new shoes. He is fresh off the track and is used to wearing only lightweight aluminum racing shoes. Of course he didn’t walk very well in them, so we had him fitted with regular shoes. The problem is he is tripping over them. He is comical to watch, but scary to ride.

Farriers are like barbers; there are bad ones and good ones. And if you use someone else, they get offended. That’s why it was with great reluctance and gnashing of teeth that we decided to let a different Farrier put shoes on Jay. He swore with confidence that he could correct Jay’s problem with (very expensive) special shoes so we said okay. Hey, any opportunity for us to spend top dollar, you know we’re going to take it.  Continue reading “The Farrier From Hell”

A Day At The Races

Just took our dog Elvis to the dog park for the first time.  I had no idea it would be so entertaining.  I also found it mystifying that these animals can run side by side at about 104 mph, crash into each other and transform into a tumbling pile of dogs without getting hurt.  They stand up, look at each other, and take off to do it again.  And again.  And again.

Size and shape doesn’t seem to matter either.  If I’m at a party, I’m probably not going to hook up with the big black guy with the gang tattoo on his neck.  I’m going to seek out the middle aged introvert drinking the same beer I am.  Not these dogs.  The clique my dog packed up with included a Dachshund, a Weimaraner, and a pretty mean looking Pit Bull.  And the Pit Bull wasn’t even in-charge; a little three-legged mix was calling the shots!

At one point, Elvis came up to Lesley and I with the whole pack behind him as if to say, “Hey, these are my friends…bye!”

Great time for everyone.

The Backstory

This is a fictional writing challenge accepted by my writing friend.  Hope you like it.

As a teenager, I learned to sew.  Not just buttons and repairs mind you, but I could sew entire outfits, costumes, jackets and other clothing, from scratch.  I loved it and got quite good at it.  By my junior year in high school, I had created the uniforms for the entire Varsity Drill Team.

Here’s the rub, my Dad hated it.  He was so embarrassed by it that it kept him up nights. He didn’t think it was manly and went out of his way to divert my attention from it.  It didn’t matter to him that I had a girlfriend, he was way more concerned that my girlfriend bought me a sewing machine.  That absolutely flew all over him, almost as much as my first project with that sewing machine; my Prom tuxedo.  I made it from scratch and wore it proudly.  My girlfriend loved it.

My Dad was so angry that he forbid me from even going to the prom.  Instead, I would be riding with him on his UPS route.  I couldn’t believe it.  There I was on Prom day, watching my Prom-bound friends through the windshield of a UPS truck.  I was seething.  I think my dad realized he had gone to far and so he offered to let me drive the UPS truck for a few stops.  I was still pissed, but at least I got to drive.

The UPS truck turned out to be a little trickier than I thought.  While making a stop on Canal Street, I accidentally shoved it into reverse instead of park.  The thing jumped off the curb and down a ravine.  I thought it was going to roll over before it came to a rest on a tree stump and a chain-link fence.  I though my dad was going to have a stroke.

“Holy crap! Holy crap!” he hollered!  “I’m gonna lose my job!  What the hell have you done!”

By the time he scurried out the rear door, the police had already arrived.  It was at that moment that I realized I was less than a half a block from my girlfriend’s house.  He was so busy trying to explain what happened to the police that he didn’t even see me run to my girlfriend’s house.  I put on my tux, grabbed the sewing machine and handed her the camera.

She snapped this photo:

Laundry Sorting Enforced by Glock

Spring is such a happy time in Atlanta.  15 shootings in one weekend.  Really?  People just don’t hit each other anymore, that’s the problem.  Anyway, this story caught my attention in the paper; I just had to read about all these shootings.  Just what are people shooting each other for?  I gotta know.

Four of them were shot by the same guy, apparently pissed off about something unknown, but clearly significant.  After shooting two, he drove across town and shot two more.

A few of them were over run-of-the-mill drug deals gone bad.  That seems to be a growing problem that needs to be addressed.  It’s getting to the point where these poor drug dealers can’t go anywhere without getting shot at anymore.  If it continues, the price of street drugs will just continue to sky-rocket and then everybody loses.

One shooting took place during an argument on an escalator in Underground Atlanta. Next time your buddy asks you to pick up an Orange Julius on your way back from Foot Locker, you might think twice about blowing him off.

A couple more shootings were just random drive-byes, and those are just to be expected.

This is the one that really grabbed my attention:

4 p.m. SaturdayA 66-year-old man shot his adult son, Cobb County police said, after an argument between the son and his mother over “putting his whites in the laundry.” The father joined in and got his handgun to make a point, police said.

Holy crap. I remember how mad I was when my mom told me I couldn’t go to a Foghat concert with my friends because I refused to clean my room. Looking back, I am really grateful that my dad didn’t march down the stairs and shoot me in the head.  Thanks Dad.