"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Congressional Garage Sale/Bake Sale

Yesterday's post was so inspiring, it deserved to spill over into another one.

The idea of selling stuff to raise money for this "bailout" thingie is possibly one of the best 1,685 ideas I've had this year.

As it's evolved in my mind, I think it's something that could really work.

Join with me in a giant congressional internet garage sale slash bake sale (GCIGS/BS).

Feel free to leave a comment listing your available item and it's suggested price.

For starters, I'm going to sell:

1) Used soccer shin guard (only one). Suggested price: $1,999,000.

2) Hamster cage (Shorty died, may she rest in piece). Price: $850,000. If you want Shorty from the freezer, throw in another $150,000.

And for the bake sale, I'm throwing in two dozen slice-and-bake sugar cookies for $2,000 each.

Come on folks. List some items here in the comments and let's see if we can reach that $700,000,000,000 mark!

Monday, September 29, 2008

$700,000,000,000 Idea

Since congress didn't buy that bailout plan, here's a back-up idea to run by you:

I think we could mobilize the youth of our country to sell $700,000,000,000 worth of cookies, popcorn and giftwrap, door-to-door.

Just a quick thought.

We men like to fix things, you know.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

10 Things I'll Miss About Blogging

[Five days left until Blog-Out 2008, when I try to go for a whole week without blogging...all the while documenting my progress and struggles right here on my blog.]

My experiment is getting closer. In the spirit of scientific study, I'm going to make my hypotheses (I believe that's the plural of "guesses") about how it may effect me.

10. I predict I'll miss seeing some pictures of friends' kids. Pictures of kids make me smile.

9. I'll have a hard time figuring out what else to do in the bathroom besides checking Google Reader on my Blackberry.

8. That funny thing that happens to me will never be told, and your lives will be less complete.

7. I'll have to walk to the offices upstairs to say Hi to Emily and ASK about her life instead of reading about in her blog. ("Hi, Emily" )

6. Ditto for my wife. ("Hi, Cindy")

5. I'll miss the joy of checking StatCounter.com and discovering what odd searches brought people to my website. Seriously, EVERY DAY people find my blog while searching for "uses for shredded paper." Only occasionally do they find me while googling "really cool dad who has the world's best blog."

4. Conversations with Cindy will go like "Hey, Scott, did you read Gayle's blog today about the most incredible thing that totally blew my mind...oh wait, you're not doing that anymore. Sorry, it was really lame anyway and unmemorable. I don't even remember it now. Sorry."

3. I'll miss tons of homeschooling ideas. Granted, we don't homeschool anymore, but it's still cool to read about your lap folders, apron-making lessons, field trips to the grocery store and co-ops from hell.

2. I might miss some killer giveaways. Feel free to do me a favor and sign me up for any cool prizes I'd be eligible for during my Blog-out, okay? Thanks.

1. How will I survive without the joy of typing in those verification words like ijuweux and vfamow and libsuqd? I might go ahead and include those in emails I send at work, just to keep me from going into withdrawal.

Well, i look forward to comparing reality with these predictions during my upcoming week of internet darkness and personal soul-searching.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Years ago, my baby brother Steve starting calling our grandpa "BuddyPa." Perfect name for the grandpa who took us golfing and bowling and swimming and on and on.

After a very long and happy life, he died yesterday. It was such a peaceful passing that it was a couple minutes before family even realized that his breathing had stopped. May I be that lucky.

He'd been a carpenter by trade, and among the many things he built were churches. He helped with remodels on my family's home and made some pieces of furniture, a couple that Cindy and I are blessed to have in our home today.

He lived with my parents for a long time as they helped him while he aged and things got more difficult. He finally became too weak for almost everything, even eating. How strange for a man who'd been so strong.

But now we are so happy that today and forever BuddyPa is with his wife and a son and daughter that preceded him in death...and of course our Lord and savior.

Lucky dog!

In the meantime, we're getting ready for the funeral and seeing lots of family we haven't seen in forever. It will be a refreshing time even with the tears.

Augmenting my grief is the realization that I have no suits that fit me. We're good with the upper body, but all my pants have shrunk at the waist and hips, helping accentuate regions that ought not be accentuated at a funeral.

I'm pretty sure BuddyPa wouldn't mind if I wear some decent shorts and a pair of Crocs, right?

Would someone convince my wife and my mom?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Coming Soon: BLOG-OUT 2008

Maybe you've seen them.

Every month or so I see another post by someone pronouncing the end of their blogging career. It's their lives, really, and they can choose to blog or not to blog.

The reason many of them give for stopping their blogging? To pursue real relationships and to have time to do more important things.

Good for them. If by some chance a person has stopped investing in friends and no longer spends time on personal hygiene or the care and feeding of their offspring, then yes, it may be time to turn off the computer.

Since we often don't recognize things in our own lives that need attention, I thought I'd try a little experiment.

What if I gave up blogging for a week? What if I fought the urge to write about that funny thing that just happened? What if I didn't hop on over to my wife's blog to read about what's going on in her life?

Would I find out new things about myself...like I actually have 4 children?
Would I make new friends and deepen the ones that I already have?
Would I encounter nature and hug a tree and save a whale and braid hemp necklaces?

There's only one way to find out.

I suppose like any other junkie, I'm going to down a few packs of cigarettes before I give them up. Or the blogworld equivalent: I'm going to go on blog-binge for the next week.

So next week, I'll try to squeeze in as much as I can before I go dark on Friday.

Then be sure to check here daily to read my journal as I document my bloglessness.
7 days until Blog-Out 2008!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Today I Shall Channel A Junior Higher

We generally don't say the F-word at our house.

(I'm talking about "Fart," by the way, not the other one. Well, we don't say that one either.)

Cindy HATES the word "Fart" and claims that she has never ever said it. Never. Ever. She's very insistent about that fact. She flips out when she hears it. She's led me to believe it is not a real word. So whatever you do, do NOT go to her blog and comment using the word "fart." Do NOT do that or even think about doing it. But if you do, here's a link to her blog: http://stillhisgirl.blogspot.com, and the word is spelled F-A-R-T, not that you need to know that because you should NOT go there and type it in a comment.

I believed her that it might not be an actual word until today when I saw it in the news at msnbc.com, I just couldn't pass up the headline:

"Man Charged With Battery For Farting Near Cop"


Slow news day evidently.

In conclusion, do NOT go to Cindy's blog and tell her about this story or anything else related to the word "fart." (Of course, her current post is a sweet thing about a friend's baby's birth. That would be a tacky one to leave a fart comment on. So feel free to comment here but address it to Cindy.)

I'm off to 7th grade homeroom room now, then I need to check yes or no on a love note, then off to get my braces tightened. LYLAB!

[junior high moment over now.]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Modern Technology Rocks!

It's time for my kids to get their pictures at the local Pub. (That's short for "PUBlic school," silly, not Schmitty's Brewhaus. They won't get their picture there until November.)

They brought home an order form from school that amazed me. Check out these sample photos with miracle retouching powers heretofore unseen:

(Sorry this copy is so lousy and blurry.)

Notice the original "without retouch" on the left.
Then the "WITH Retouch" in the middle. It clears up some acne, age spots, wrinkles, and that forehead tattoo of last week's girlfriend.

Then for those with gender confusion, you can evidently select "Soft-Touch" and it'll give you a quick make-over AND a v-neck shirt.

I can assure you we didn't have this option last year in the homeschool yearbook.

You All Are So Dreamy

I'm going to work on a post later this week that deciphers the dreams you mentioned in the previous comments.

And thanks to those who helped interpret my beef-jerky heart dream. You were right; the evidence that proves Miss Mamie's innocence WAS hidden under the twelfth floor plank in the fruit cellar! You guys rock.

Now how about you all try posting about your next freaky dream and see if your readers can make sense of it/you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dream Unweaver

I had the most bizarre dream a few days ago. It was traumatic to say the least, one of those dreams you wake up from and are glad it was only a dream. It was so intense, that I refused to think about it for a couple of days. Just too disturbing and painful.

But I’ve calmed down since then and am ready to share it with you.

In my dream, I had some kind of heart condition. I couldn’t really tell you what it was, only that its remedy was to completely remove it and work on it. So my friend Alan did it. It must not have been too serious a condition, because I think the procedure took place in his office; he’s a minister. I’m sure if it were a more complicated procedure, it would need to take place in the office of my lawyer brother-in-law or a perhaps a city engineer like my friend Adrian.

So, somehow Alan got distracted while my heart was out. He wrapped it up in a paper towel and went for a drive and forgot about it. When he returned, and saw my open chest, it dawned on him that he had my heart in his car. By the time he got it, it had dried up like a large piece of jerky. When he woke me up, he had to give me the bad news that my heart was hard and crusty and that he wouldn’t be able to put it back. I was going to die. Of course, in dreams you have at least two or three hours after your heart is removed before you start to fade. My wife was out of town for the day, and I just didn’t have the heart (ha ha) to give her bad news and ruin her trip.

Alan felt bad. I felt bad. It was just a miserable dream. Fortunately I woke up before I died.

When I finally told Cindy about the dream, it was easy see the meaning of it. I clearly am growing heartless and am at risk of losing my heart altogether. I will need to be careful how I try to fix my heart, because my attempts may backfire.

[I’m still working on the significance of the two giant breast-shaped domes that kept recurring. I just can’t quite figure that part out.]

Since I’m in the mood, feel free to comment and tell about a weird dream of yours, and Cindy and I might be able to unlock it and change your life! Free of charge.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And I Thought *I* was Bad...

We had a staff lunch after church. Now keep in mind that I work at a church, so this picnic was populated with ministers and church secretaries and such. You know, squeaky clean, halo-balancing, Bible-thumping church staffers. (Well, not completely. After all, I work there too.)

One of our friends commented on the glorious invention of the DVR--digital video recorder--to which Cindy replied:

"That is the world's greatest invention...well, that and the tampon."

I about choked on my green bean casserole. Generally, it's me who's making comments about unseemly things like that, so it's nice to know I'm rubbing off on her.

Friday, September 19, 2008

And Now For A Moment Of Pity

Because I am a tender-hearted person, sensitive to the feelings and needs of others (stop laughing, Cindy), my heart is aching today for the guy who has to pick up the trash on our street.

I know it's worse in other areas, but the power outages here left a lot of food sitting at less than ideal temperatures for longer than an ideal amount of time. Not ideal at all.

Let's consider for a moment, one hunk of meat--a nice big pork butt--that has been sitting in our garage fridge since May. Timing was bad; we bought too much and then forgot about it. A couple of weeks ago I noticed it. It was actually hard NOT to notice it as the plastic that it was wrapped in had ballooned to twice its size. Clearly something was growing in there, and then when the power was off for a few days, I could only imagine the new species of bacteria and alien life that had spawned inside that pork-butt-balloon. I was so afraid of touching it and popping it, so it stayed put until I could develop my HazMat plan.

Well, it's sitting out at the curb now, and you can tell. In fact, I recommend rolling up your windows as you drive down our street. I imagine every trashcan has about 20 pounds of decaying meat and fish warming up nicely in the sun.

I'm still holding on to the tilapia, though.

[Coming soon: I'm working on details for an interesting social experiment to document right here on my blog. It will involve giving up a "necessity" of life and following how it affects my life.]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How Many Days Can Tilapia Sit At Room Temperature?

At the end of day three with no electricity, the cares of the day faded. Thoughts of the piles of unlaundered clothes, unvacuumed floors, unwashed dishes and unpumped septic tanks slipped into oblivion as we climbed up in bed.

With no lights, romantic candles were everywhere, flooding the room with their soft glow. Oo la la. Nudge nudge.

Then BAM! The electricity popped on and lights came on in the house, the ceiling fan started spinning, box fans starting whirring, and there was rejoicing and exceedingly great gladness throughout the kingdom.

Ahhhh. It was so nice to fall asleep while watching TV and internetting at the same time.

On the to-do list for today? Shop for mayo, buy flashlights (I know, too late) and download "Electric Avenue" on iTunes:

We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue,
And then we'll take it higher

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pay No Attention To The Chicken Behind The Glass

Hurricane Ike's second cousin's stepmother's hairdresser's godson blew into town yesterday.

Lots of wind. Not too much rain. All in all, not very dramatic except for the power outage. The energy company has prepared us emotionally with their recording "it may take three to four days to restore power to some areas affected."

Clearly, it's no disaster zone, and the worst we can complain about is having to buy new mayonaise again for the second time in two weeks.

We met my brother and his family an hour south of here at a KFC (kentucky fried chicken) that had power. Power but "no chicken."

"No Chicken" is in quotes, because that's what the lady in back hollered out to those ringing up orders. I guess their power had been out earlier too and they were running out of some food.

The only thing is, amidst the screams and grave warnings to STOP SELLING CHICKEN, we could clearly see over the shoulders of the employess into the vast display of tray after tray of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

They finally agreed to let us make off with some popcorn chicken, but they kept telling the rest of the customers they didn't have chicken.

We are so wishing we'd had a camera, because they had no less than 200 pieces of chicken right in front of us as they told us they're out.

So now it's 24 hours later. The power's still out, and writing this is making me crave some non-existent chicken.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Blisters! On My Throat!

Well, not really.
But it sounds dramatic...and that's the point.

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away I was in college. As was my wife, but she wasn't my wife; she was just my girlfriend at the time--and not a very compassionate one.

I went to visit the campus nurse with suspicions that I had a fatal case of strep throat. I was strong and braced myself for her diagnosis. I really only wanted to know how much time I had to get my affairs in order. Because of the number of unordered affairs that college guys have, I was hoping she'd at least give me 2 or 3 hours.

It turns out that my condition wasn't life-threatening. However, she did provide me with what I felt was fodder for sympathy.

"You appear to have blisters on your throat," she told me, without any concern at all.

As if blisters routinely appear on throats. You have to understand that I was a tender, sensitive lad, not given to much work or effort. Blisters were unknown to me until junior high or high school. I used a rake for, like TWO HOURS one day and some skin on my hand bubbled up. I knew it was cancer, but I detected it early--within 10 minutes of its birth--so I knew my prognosis was good. When I was told it was only a blister and wouldn't require surgery, I was relieved and immediately committed myself to a career behind a desk.

Anyway, Cindy couldn't have cared less each of the 97 times I hoarsely said things like, "Honey, would you run to the library and get that book for me. I would, you know, but...these blisters...[cough]" and "Did I mention that I have blisters on my throat? BLISTERS? On my THROAT?"

Which brings us to last night. I don't know what I did. I think I was downing a Coke Zero and some good-sized shards of jagged crushed ice went hurtling down my throat uninvited. I felt a sting. I think I cut my throat; it kept being irritated after that by everything I ate. Then swallowing hurt.

Finally I went to the bathroom sink and proceeded to expell some blood-tinged saliva. Just a little.

I knew that my wife has little [no] sympathy for my throat ailments, so I figured it might help if I brought her some of the bright red spit in a small clear glass as evidence that I needed her compassion and to warn her that she might possibly need to clean up after dinner for me. Because. my. throat. is. bleeding. [cough]

She was not amused.

But I thank YOU in advance for your outpouring of love and concern for me. Your thoughts and prayers will bouy me through this difficult time. [cough]

Monday, September 8, 2008

Grammatic Irony

Says one daughter, snottily correcting her younger sister's answer on a homework assignment:
"You shouldn't start a sentence with 'because.'"

"Why not?"

Snotty "smart" sister:
"BECAUSE it's bad grammar."

Then there were giggles all around.

Because that's what sisters do.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dog Gone It

O.K. it's a stupid title.
It's 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, and I should still be napping. So in my sleepy state, I'm just not able to summon the energy to move the mouse and click back up on to the title to change it to something more appropriate to the subject matter. But if I DID have the energy and motivation, I'd probably call it:

"The Day We Came Home From Being Gone For 6 Hours And Found The Puppy Loose In The House Because I Forgot To Lock The Back Door On His Crate"

Can you imagine the horror when we opened the door and were greeted by the pup? While it's a very nice thing to have a dog jump up and lick you and show his excitement at your return, it's a little disconcerting when you expected him to be in his happy little (big, actually) crate. Really, he likes the thing and walks in there willingly at night and when we leave him home.

Well, we did a frantic survey of the house to assess the damage. So far, all we found was a poop pile in a bedroom. We can only assume that he'd spent the whole morning napping as usual in his crate. And then it may have taken him a long time to learn that the door was unlocked. In reality, he might not have been out of the crate for very long at all. Judging by the amount of trim still left on the upholstered chair in the living room (our preferred equivalent of carbon dating), I'd guess he was out less than an hour.

Since we have yet to have serious damage from Cheddar, I'd love to hear some of your stories of puppy destruction. It'll make us appreciate what we've missed out on (knock on wood). Your misery could bring me great joy. And isn't that really what we all want here?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Maybe If I Write A Post, I Can Delay This Even More

There comes a time in every yard-owner's life when, after two or three (who's counting) weeks, you really just have to mow.

I've already used up all my delay tactics, and I have nothing else to do but mow.

Once the battery charges up.

So while it's plugged in charging up, I've gone out to check the lawn for debris. It's not uncommon for me to run over tennis balls, rocks, shoes and Polly Pockets. It's a riding mower, so I'm elevated enough not to have worry about being hit by Polly's head shooting out from the mower deck.

Since it's been especially long since the last cut, I also walked the yard to stir up the wild life to get a move-on. A small herd of gazelles popped out of the tall grass as well as a couple of giraffes that were hiding there.

I guess I better get to the mowing. And then I'll need to spend the next couple days raking. Did I mention the grass was tall?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Note To Self

Must remember...

In the mornings, I put my contacts IN.
So when I wake up and groggily plod to the bathroom counter and set down my glasses and open up my contacts case, I must remember:

Do NOT claw and paw at my tender corneas attempting to take OUT contacts that are not there. Morning. Night. Two different routines. Keep them straight.

Perhaps by putting this reminder to myself here, I'm also helping others out there who also struggle with remembering not to jab the living daylights out of their eyeballs.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Not Too Political

Though I don't generally get all political, I'll just say I really enjoyed Sarah Palin's speech last night.

I was already in bed and had fallen asleep, but Cindy was watching a little convention action. When Gov. Palin began speaking, I couldn't help but watch that snarky nominee and smile.

I'll still have to evaluate all the candidates, but I could have listened to Palin all night long. And I look forward to some great sound bites being repeated over the air waves these next several days.

- pit bull with lipstick
- Obama's styrofoam columns going back to some sudio lot.
- her appearance on "Big Brother 9"

(Just kidding about the last one, but I think that'd be fun to watch.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hot Stuff

While we were out camping, neighbor Brian sent me a message saying our garage door was open. He wanted to make sure we'd like it closed before he went and shut the dang thing.

I like nice neighbors.

I jokingly emailed him back about checking our iron, stove, bathtub faucet, etc.

I didn't think to suggest that maybe he check and make sure the fridge door was closed. After all, nobody ever leaves a fridge door ajar, right?

So when I dropped by the house to grab some necessities, guess whose fridge door was open? (You guessed? Am I that predictable?)

For the next couple of weeks, why don't you come on over and enjoy some of the fine creations from our room-temperature-all-weekend fridge:

Milk...cut into cubes
Butter soup
Warm, limp hotdogs
A tube of biscuit dough exloded all over shelf 2 (lid on shelf 4)
Yogurt, which I didn't open, so I can't describe it for you, but you can use your imagination.

Fortunately, payday was near, and in our house, those last few days before payday, the fridge and pantry are pretty slim as we dine on crouton sandwiches and some canned beets from 1998. Not much was lost beyond the aforementioned items and all those staples like mayo, salad dressing and sauerkraut (which technically had gone bad before it even left the sauerkraut farm).

Thank goodness there wasn't a fresh loaf of Velveeta in there.