Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Something not to Do 4

Today was Halloween, and as is tradition out here at the FC site, we got to bring the kiddies in to work for a couple hours of trick-or-treating. Good lord, they got quite a haul. Had to stop halfway through to empty out the goodie bags, as they were full.

When we were most of the way done, we came upon a cube where there was a bowl of candy sitting on a chair at the entrance, which is standard practice. But here, there was a little boy, maybe 1.5 yrs old, leaning against the front of the chair. His mom was in the cube. I think it was her husband's cube. I said to MaxieC, "Hey Paco, here's some candy, but there's a kid guarding it. You're going to have to push him out of the way to get some."

I said this in a joking manner with both the child and the moms listening. Neither flinched.

MaxieC waited about five seconds, they he laid a killer open-ice hip check on the little dude and dove for the candy bowl.

Oh my goodness. I thought it was pretty funny, but neither the moms nor The Mrs. though so. I had to get a lecture about how little boys always do what daddy says to (In whose fantasy-land does that happen? "Go back to sleep MaxieC, it's only 6am." "OK, dada." Sheesh.), and how you can't joke with toddlers, and how we never joke about violence. Blah-dee-blah-blah-blah. Double-barreled lecturing from two moms.

So, joking with your son about how he should knock other kids out of the way to get at the candy during trick-or-treating, that would be Something not to Do.

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Disturbing image found on web

What in the hell is this?
1. I don't know, but I thought the camera was only supposed to add 20 lbs.
2. On Thursdays, it's your turn in the barrel.
3. I can't see it cuz I'm blind! I'm blind!
4. Something that should really be kept private between JackyB and his wife.
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Find the answer at the Blog of the Week, Thoughts in the USA. Of all the blogs I link to, Nava is turning out to have the gift for blog. I had hopes for Ellie323 which were immediately dashed upon the rocks. I never expected much from CJ or JackyB, and they have performed to expectations.

[Update: In response to assertions of copyrights over the image previously posted above, I have removed my derivative work (which involved cropping and re-lighting the original image), and instead have embedded a link to the original work. Thus, what you are seeing is the original photograph directly from the source, and not a derivative copy of it. Also, when you click on this image, it now takes you directly to the complete, original story rather than to just a larger version of the same image. The above image is excerpted from a larger work and is in compliance with the Fair Use Doctrine that allows excerpts for parody purposes and also excerpts that have a fortuitous result.]

Monday, October 30, 2006

A day after the weekend

and my palm still hurts.

What's wrong with CherkyB's palm?
The stigmata hasn't healed yet.
If you're smoking a cigar, don't scratch your nose.
He's been married over ten years.
He stayed up late playing with his ratchet.
Free polls from Pollhost.com

We managed to get the furniture all squared away in the guest room on Sunday. This was no small task. The Mrs. started Sunday morning out the way she always does the minute she sees light at the end of the tunnel - she began piling on more jobs that had to get done "today". Now, I had been predicting this was going to happen to the guys at work (you can check with CJ if you don't believe me), so I was ready. I started hollering immediately and refused to entertain starting any more jobs until this one was done.

This actually had a surprising effect. It motivated The Mrs. to actually help clean up the room and carry down the furniture. We could carry down everything except the giant headboard. The Mrs. declared that she could not even lift it, much less walk it to the basement from the garage. This despite much chiding about how the lady from the store was able to carry it just fine. There was all kinds of whining about how that lady only carried it down a ramp and then up the driveway, not up three steps into the house then down 15 to the basement. And how the store lady had a good number of pounds on The Mrs. So we had to get The Dave Guy from across the street to bring that down, though he wasn't home until late in the afternoon.

It took me like an hour to get the bed put together because it had 4 8" lag bolts that needed to be screwed in, and the pre-drilled holes were not very large in diameter. This bed will probably never come apart again. Very rarely do I wish for a pneumatic impact wrench, but Sunday was one of them. That, or I could have used a much longer-handled socket wrench. Or even a section of galv pipe to put over the handle for more leverage. Or the good sense to wear work gloves.

Well, what can you do. Here is what the room looks like right now. Note the three log candle-holders on the dresser. They hold tea light candles. There is a burl lamp that goes on the little round table, but we haven't put it out yet.

We ordered new blinds for the windows on Sunday. They should be in in about two weeks. Hopefully, they'll be here before Fat Moother comes for Thanksgiving. Otherwise, the old blinds will have to go back up for the visit. I have very intelligently not thrown them out yet. Next weekend, we'll go get a mattress.

Having finished off the guest room, The Mrs. started in on me about setting up "the craft room" by positioning a bookcase that was lying on its side on the floor so that it was lying on its bottom up against the wall. This was easy enough. But then she demanded I put together the other one that was disassembled in the garage.

That took a long time, cuz these things take a long time to assemble. Plus, two of the shelves had their mounting thingees torn out of the cheap pressboard, so I had to drill and countersink new holes. MaxieC kept trying to help. Cute kid. I don't like it when he runs around with my power drill, though. Here are the shelves in their final resting place.

Not content with fixing up two rooms in one day, The Mrs. decides to go for the third strike. The compooter room. This was really the last room of the house that had piles of junk on the floor (if you don't count the garage). I was tired and cranky by then, and so I complained harshly. Yet she kept nagging and nagging and nagging. See, a lot of the piles were my stuff, and "she" couldn't straighten up the room unless I put away all my stuff. Somehow, that felt like "we" were straightening up the room.

Here is the lovely The Mrs. posing by the compooter in the recently-straightened room.

Here's another angle. See my failure - that United box is all my stuff that I didn't straighten properly, so she dumped it in a box.

Tomorrow being Halloween, tonight was pumpkin carving night. I told The Mrs. she had to help me bring the big, giant, BrainkyP-head-sized pumpkin in from the deck, cuz I couldn't lift it myself. I lifted it up about 4" and realized The Mrs. wasn't holding on anymore. I set it down.
Me, CherkyB: Uhh...did you even lift it at all?
The Mrs.: Yes. But I can't. It's too heavy.
So I rolled it up the steps and onto the kitchen floor. It was quite heavy. Here we pose with big, giant, BrainkyP-head-sized pumpkin before the massacre. This is also about how long MaxieC lasted before demanding to go to bed.

I got to do the honors of removing the skull for the lobotomy.

HannieC did the actual brain removal.

During the carving, HannieC decided to eat the skull. She declared that it tasted like "not very good cantaloupe," but she ate more of it than she did her dinner. She had very little of her vampire makeup left. She decided she wanted to be a creature who sucked the lifeblood out of her victims.

Just like her mother.

Here is the completed Jack-o-Lantern.

It was still too heavy to lift, so I put it on the furniture dolly to roll out onto the front porch. No steps needed to be negotiated.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Kermit Shirt, RIP

And the painting is done

Still some cleanup to do. Couldn't pick up the drop cloths and all until the dribbles had dried.

The log furniture we had ordered got delivered on Wednesday night. It's sitting in the garage cuz I wasn't done painting.

The furniture guy hurt his back. So he wasn't able to deliver the stuff. Instead, he sent his wife. She showed up with a trailer in which our furniture was loaded. She parked at the bottom of the driveway and said, "I'm not too good a backer-upper." Thus, we needed to carry the furniture into the garage.

Everything was going fine until we got to the headboard for the bed. This thing is made out of enough logs to be a complete pine tree. It was heavy! I picked up one end on my shoulder, and she lifted up the other. As I walked down the ramp and started up the driveway, I hear from behind me the lady say, "You alright there? You got it?"

How humiliating. I made it into the garage without a rest, though. So there.

Our new campus will have a gym. I imagine I'll have to go to it lest some other blonde woman cast aspersions on my furniture-moving ability in the future.

I have a lot to say today, but none of it is particularly nice, so I'm going to photoblog instead. I dug through both the cellphone and digital camera photo logs to see what we've all been missing.

Here's a rainbow from a month ago taken with my cellphone from the company parking lot. Yes, the same one I got hit-and-runned in. If the wind is right, you can smell Greeley real well from here.

MaxieC and I snuck out a couple weeks ago for cheeseburgers at MickeyD's on the way back from the pond store. Shhhh...don't tell The Mrs.

We've already had our first two snowfalls. Neither has had snow that lasted more than ~24 hours on the ground. Here are a bunch of photos from the first snowfall of the year. I think these first two are pretty cool since you can see the big giant snowflakes falling in the photos. It's almost cartoon-like.

HannieC and I built a snowman that night. I rolled the snowballs, and she helped by running inside every 30seconds to get something. At one point, she came out with a snow cone cone left over from her birthday, and then insisted I fill it with real snow. That's how lazy she is. She couldn't fill the snow cone herself. Clearly, I'm some kind of enabler, since her mother is the same way. MaxieC was afraid of the cold, so he stayed inside and only came out for the photo-op. He's a regular John Kerry.

The next morning, the snow was still there, though it didn't make it too far into the afternoon.

I zipped off to Dick's Sporting Goods to pick up a couple sleds for The Childrens. In the parking lot there, I fell flat on my butt on the way back to the truck. It was glare ice.

MaxieC learned that if he wore his jacket and hoodie thing, he wouldn't get cold. So he came out and had a good time, too.

And he also learned that he loved the snowman. The Snowman's name was John Freezy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I feel I should write something profound

It's bizarre, but I have basically nothing. Not even a "Something not to Do". This is perhaps because I've been buried in my work to the point of ignoring all my email and phone messages for the last few working days, and perhaps because I haven't really been feeling all that well. Hard to explain, but just really worn out and achey for no apparent reason. Flu-like without the shivers and creepiness.

Today was Panic Day. Those of you who have worked with me in the past know that I have two great skills at work. The first is finding stuff that f-d up and will never work. The second is to spend roughly one day (Panic Day) in a crazed mental state after the discovery trying to figure out whether the thing is really f-d up and will never work, and if so how I could have been such an idiot not to notice until now, and if not, why am I so worried about it. Panic Day also involves trying to search out multiple people who might have some insight into the problem, not because they've really ever thought about it before, but just because they are fairly bright people.

I had my "go to" list back in SC, groomed after years in the inferno of the debug lab. Out here, I'm still trying to flesh that out. I tried for three specific people. The first one just kept walking - he's busy and is in something we actually, honestly, truly call "The Dungeon", which means he's not supposed to talk to anyone about anything other than one specific part of the project from 10am-5pm Mon-Thurs. This was about 11am on Tuesday, so he wasn't allowed to talk to me.

I'll get him back for that. Don't you worry. It just a matter of time.

The second guy I never was able to locate. He sits just a couple cubes from me, but I couldn't find him, and he didn't reply to email. It's "Make A Difference Day" week here, which means every day one group or another is off building a playground or remodeling a crack house or something. I can never find anybody.

The third guy was also in The Dungeon, so I sent him an email. He used to have the cube next to me when he was working on the very stuff on which I am now working, but he got moved to join The Dungeon team, and he never updated his office location in the database. The crack admin team also never updated the name lists on the cube aisles, so I simply couldn't find him despite wandering around a whole bunch.

That exhausted my list of people who had actually worked on this topic before and thus might have particular insight. Having spoken to none of them, my panic was not appreciably lessened.

As I was surveying the land from the end of my aisle, along came a fellow who had a passing knowledge of a similar technology on a previous design that failed miserably and who instant messages me every now and then to ask if I've killed the idea on this project yet.

He refers to me as "The Angel of Death" as I had a hand in killing this idea on the only two previous projects that it showed up on.

So I lured him in to my lair with a simple, "Hey, I think I know why I have to kill [this]."

Talked about it for maybe a half hour. At the end, I was more convinced it was a problem than before, and I was perhaps even convinced that it was an even bigger problem than I had thought.

As it turns out, when you are in a crazed panic, talking to someone who only reinforces your worries doesn't have the calming effect you might expect. But there is something oddly comforting about having someone of some import say, "Oh yeah. You should definitely kill it."

"It" not being a bottle of Scotch, mind you.

He then took me along to lunch with another fellow who is working on yet another definition (4th time's a charm?) of the same feature for the next project so that we could discuss it. This new definition had looked better from a number of respects, but it still suffers from exactly this same problem. Perhaps because no one had identified this as a problem before, perhaps because someone had and no one wanted to listen. Dunno. That pre-dates my work on it.

After lunch, I go find the guy (the guy other than me, that is) who was in the middle of all this on the previous project to bounce this off of. Yup. Definitely f-d up. As an added bonus, he knows where the guy who used to sit next to me is now located, and he walks me over there.

I look over the wall to see if he wants to break The Dungeon cone of silence. He does. My email has piqued his interest. I sits and explains. By now, it's the 4th time through the explanation, so it is both very detailed and yet simplified in its delivery. I have three possible fixes - all of which seem potentially more broken than just dropping the whole feature. He says, "Yeah, what you say makes sense. [This other guy that quit that you replaced] worked on all that, and I was always worried about this part of it, that he might have missed something."

Well, this isn't helping at all. So I go to one of my old go to guys from the past, StinkyJ. StinkyJ has done a great job of ignoring me since I left, but I can't imagine that his project doesn't suffer from the same flaw that mine does, so I figure I can maybe stimulate some interest there. None of the guys left on his project who do what I do use IM. They are a bunch of Luddites. I'm not sure I'd let Luddites define cutting-edge technology for me, but what can you do?

StinkyJ did a classic StinkyJ move - "send me an email detailing your concerns." He is of little or no use to me anymore. I figured he may have recovered, now that he has moved back in to his remodeled house and thus can dedicate more than 10% of his day to work as opposed to talking to contractors. But no. Mrs. StinkyJ, however, is a regular reader, so she can smack him for me.

So I attempted not to get all brooding about this. I read some articles from Modern Drunkard, I had a nice Sebastini Cab with a steak dinner, I read books to The Childrens and played games with HannieC after MaxieC went to bed. But now I still find myself brooding. Even the gin doesn't seem to help.

In summary, this is why I have nothing profound to discuss today.

I think I might have torn something

Last week, as we were heading home from FC MHE after gorging ourselves on peanuts at Lucky Joe's, one of the guys grabs one of those magazines that they always have at bar entrances off a rack and hands it to me. It is the 10 year anniversary issue of Modern Drunkard Magazine. I managed to tear myself away from surfing the web long enough to read some of it yesterday.

Well, OK, actually I had to do a #2, and I got tired of reading Ann Coulter in the toiley.

I was impressed with the sheer genius of the writing. So much so, that I visited their website this afternoon after returning early from lunch.

While reading this, I had to stop literally four times in order to catch my breath from laughing. I'm still hurting.

I may need to go to the gym more often. Laughing my ass off shouldn't be the most exercise I ever get.

Yet it is.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

That Wacky Spell Checker

I've always been amused by the spell checker included in the blogger interface. For one thing, it flags the word "blog" as a mis-spelling. It also is remarkable at how badly it suggests replacements for mis-spelled words. Today was the best, though.

I typed in the previous post "full-strength beer" only I accidentally spelled it "full-stength". The spell checker noted that "stength" was not a word. Its only suggested replacement?


Get Ready to Suffer

It's Saturday morning. The Mrs., who is a very light sleeper which causes her to be awake roughly 50% of the time she is in bed and supposed to be asleep, went back to bed this beautiful morning, leaving me to watch over first MaxieC then HannieC as well for literally hours. All by myself.

I used to be a very light sleeper, but then once we had HannieC, who was herself known for not sleeping at all for the first three years of her life, I quickly learned how to be a very heavy sleeper. So when The Mrs. makes me watch The Childrens in the early morning hours, I have devised a method to do so where everybody is a winner.

First, HannieC generally sleeps in quite late these days as she's heading into her difficult teenage years (she is advanced in her bad attitude development compare to her peers). So that leaves me with MaxieC. MaxieC like a few things in the morning. First, he likes to watch TV. Second, he likes Ritz crackers with spray cheese. Finally, he likes a sippy cup filled with ice water. The Mrs. likes to deny him his first two loves in life, the same way she likes to deny me mine. She thinks it builds character. But with The Mrs. asleep, we hit the tube, load up a plate with crackers and cheese, and get a cup of ice water for the little man. Then he plops down on the couch, where he will sit until one of the three runs out.

For my part, I lie down on the love seat and go to sleep. Every half-hour or so, MaxieC wakes me up for more crackers or water or to change the channel. This will go n from 6am until 9am if properly executed.

Now, if The Mrs. is the one who is up, she will not let the boy watch TV for that long or eat that many crackers, so he spends most of the time screaming in unhappy rage. I am a heavy sleeper, as noted earlier, however listening to the boy scream in rage for 2-3 hours in the morning wakes even me up. This makes The Mrs. very happy, as she is happiest when I am not. I'm still not sure of the dynamic there. I'm not sure if my unhappiness is actually what makes her happy, or if it's the camaraderie of watching me suffer when she is also unhappy that makes her heart go all a-flutter. No one likes to suffer alone.

That's why we have marriage, after all.

I wonder if I'll get to do any painting in the guest room today. Probably, since I hate painting so much. I need to go buy some more blue tape so that I don't have to spend forever cutting the bizarre edges around all the trim and window casings. Masking tape is a crutch for the unskilled, but I'm feeling lazy.

I may get the floaty pond heaters installed this weekend, too. Bought them last week, but I never put them in. It takes a couple weeks below freezing for the ponds to ice up, and we've only had one day and a couple nights.

I'll definitely need to hit the liquor store today. I'm almost out of beer, and you can only get full-strength beer in liquor stores in CO, and they're not open on Sundays. There's a liquor store right next to the hardware store, so I can get blue tape and beer in roughly one stop.

Well, they're not right exactly next to each other. Like, there's a gun store in between. And a sheepskin store. And a bike store. They're kind of actually at opposite ends of the same strip mall building. Overall, not a bad strip mall, though.

Friday, October 20, 2006

It's Alive!

Blog of the week Thoughts in the USA has come roaring back from a three month hiatus. The husband and wife team of JohnnyB and Nava are following in the footsteps of all those other great husband and wife bloggers like, umm, uhh, Glenn and Helen Reynolds and, uhhh, mmm. Well, anyways, Nava is taking a novel approach to blogging compared to the other folks on the blogroll. Yes, she follows the time-tested winning strategy of mentioning me in most of her posts (a sure-fire way to get named blog of the week), but she's also added the twist of taking shots at JohnnyB.

That seems to be a move out of my playbook. Speaking of which, have you notice how JohnnyB has started referring to himself in his blog comments as "The JohnnyB"? It's like he's confused the name of his blog with his own name. That's be like me referring to myself as Me, CherkyB. What a maroon, huh?

So, anyways, go head on over to Thoughts in the USA and check it out. Nava, being an artistic type, doesn't have her statcounter meter installed, so she'll never know you were even there. Maybe The JohnnyB could help her with that. Hmmm...Ellie doesn't have her statcounter meter installed, either. Maybe it's just a woman thing. I don't pretend to understand those woman things. Like why you'd ruin perfectly good tequila with triple sec and lime juice. Or what the deal is with Gran Marnier that makes women more, oh, shall we say, loving.

Last night was another addition of FC MHE. Not bad attendance at 4. Last week was a record at seven. I didn't even know two of the guys, though. Normally, I'd look to FC MHE for material for the Something not to Do series, but there was nothing. Try as we might, we couldn't get Hamburgler to hit on any of the womens he was oogling, and The Merman seemed to want to reminisce about drunken escapades years past in Costa Rica. MoodyT tried to start a little controversy between Me, CherkyB and the Merman by noting how I talked smack about futbol, and I tried to oblige by noting that it was a sport for girls in short pants and bobby-socks, but The Merman wasn't biting. This despite him being a damned foreigner with the requisite great love for this bizarre children's' game that comes hand in hand with that affliction.

CJ couldn't make it because he came last week, and his wife won't let him out to FC MHE two weeks in a row. I'd make more fun of that, except his wife will let him out to two things on the same week occasionally (like last week when he had sushi night and FC MHE), and my wife won't let me do that. Coincidentally, he's already cancelled for next week because he's going out Friday to something called "Game Night" where everyone takes their laptop compooters over to one guy's house and they play networked video games against each other all night.

I think this may be a case of the altitude inflicting permanent alteration on the mind. Yes, your brain can survive in this oxygen-deprived state indefinitely, but it has to cut back on some superfluous functionality.

Like good taste.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Need to Know

Here is an excerpt from Saturday's post:
[...] The Mrs. likes the new brown much better than the old. The old was called "Clydesdale", and it looked like diarrhea, as we've covered. The new one is called "Amore Della Prigione", and it looks similar only a bit more reddish. [...]
Now, I felt like this was perhaps some of my best material in weeks, but I didn't get a single comment on it. I know that there was a power failure that took out like half of my readership, but they're all back online now. So what gives?

a) Too obscure.


b) Not funny.

If you don't understand why it was supposed to be funny, then vote for (a).



Yesterday, I cleaned out the tomato plant branches that were hanging in the Koi pond. I tossed them on the yard so that I could run over them with the mulching blade on the mower. I was planning to mow later in the afternoon.

After lunch, The Mrs. came out and pulled out the rest of the tomato plants. She made a big pile of tomato plants on the walk right in front of the front steps. Then she said to me, "I don't know what to do with these plants." I said, "I tossed some on the lawn to see if the mulcher would take care of them. Do you want to see if it works?" She said yes, so I asked if she had her keys. She looked puzzled. So I said, "OK, you can use my key," and I put the key into the lawn tractor.

Her eyes lit up, and she said, "You mean, you want me to drive the tractor?"

But of course, since you've been whining for weeks about how you're the only woman on the street who doesn't know how to run the family lawn tractor. (In actuality, I've only seen three of the six visible neighbor women driving their tractors. But two of those three are the two The Mrs. talks to.)

I ran her through all the controls, including the "Democrat switch". Then she was off.

I'm not really sure, but it seemed like she was having a good time.

For my part, I had to stand at the tomato pile and toss plant branches out after each pass of the mower. Tomato plants are close to 100% water, so they simply disappear when you run them through a mulching blade. Except for a couple of the larger stalks. After a while of standing there lobbing tomato plants in front of the mower, I got a little bored and started lobbing little green tomatoes at The Mrs. This stopped when I got a Real Dirty Look (tm) after bouncing one right off the top of her head.

Don't get all huffy at me. You would have done the same thing.

It looks like JohnnyB had a similar experience, only being a Democrat (or perhaps a Bolshevik - who can tell the difference these days), he id two things differently. First, he did not use any power tools as, covered here, Democrats are fearful of power tools. Second, he just tied the stuff off for the government to deal with. Go hit some ads on his site - he needs the money for his impending move back to Canada. Or Minnesota. Not that there's much difference.

Here's a picture of my handiwork hanging the tire swing. It's a genuine, used Goodyear racing slick. The installation went very smoothly, though I almost messed up and drilled from the top down through the beam as opposed to from the bottom up. A subtle difference, but when you're drilling with a hand drill and a spade bit through 5" of wood, the changes of a slightly off-angle hole are pretty high, so if you start at the far side from where the metal plate is, you run a pretty big risk of not lining up with the holes in the plate by the time you get all the way through.

I call these next two shots, "You Dirty Bastards."

It's not as bad as it first looked, now that I've washed the mud off.

Here are three photos of HannieC's courtship of the neighbor's cat. Sometimes it likes to play, sometimes not. Yesterday was a not. It wanted to be near HannieC, but not too near.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Cop Out

As many of my longtime readers know, not all of my posts are Pulitzer Prize quality. I can usually tell ahead of time. You folks, however, head into each post with great anticipation, hoping for yet another masterpiece. Today, alas, you will be disappointed. Today, you get "misc." The easiest way to do misc. is to look at what pictures are in the camera, and then talk about them. So here it goes.

The Childrens are beginning to get almost as excited as The Mrs. about Halloween. I dunno what it is with The Mrs., but she gets extraordinarily excited about holidays. Particularly Valentine's Day, but hey, who wouldn't if she were married to me? HannieC's going to be a vampire, and MaxieC's going to be a space ranger.

HannieC thinks that once we hollow out our pumpkin, we should put MaxieC inside it, and he can jump up and yell, "Boo!" whenever trick-or-treaters come to the porch. Here they are sizing up the plan.

Remember how I said that I got to use the headlights when mowing the lawn last week? The Mrs. was so exited about that, she ran out and took a bunch of pictures. Here is my favorite of the bunch. The others are very blurry cuz The Mrs. doesn't know how to turn the knob on the top to the picture of a guy running in order to take pictures of stuff that is moving. I've told her many times, but learning escapes.

Here's the new minivan in the garage. It fits quite nicely.

MaxieC would like to interject something here:

FreddyC's favorite drinking hole is at the bottom of the secret waterfall.

I got my Agri-Fab fertilizer spreader trailer via UPS this week. HannieC and I put it together. It holds 125lbs. of fertilizer. I note that the big bags of fertilizer at The Home Depot are 42lbs., and I need three of them, and that makes 126lbs. Close enough.

HannieC was actually quite helpful during the assembly. We set all the parts out in little piles, and I read the directions and sent her to fetch the parts. She got to learn what a cotter pin was and a spacer sleeve and a wing nut. And she got to use the ratchet to tighten all the nuts.

HannieC doing her Price is Right hand flip. She's never seen The Price is Right. It shows in the quality of her hand flip.

Tomorrow, we will get to tow it around to put down the winterizer fertilizer. We may also be muck-vac'ing the ponds, as I picked up a muck-vac today.

I finished painting the walls in the guest room. The Mrs. likes the new brown much better than the old. The old was called "Clydesdale", and it looked like diarrhea, as we've covered. The new one is called "Amore Della Prigione", and it looks similar only a bit more reddish. I still have all the trim to paint, which will take many evenings.

For those of you wondering, the fambilies back in Barfalo are all doing well. Many are without power, but it is slowly getting restored to more and more. The Sister has been unable to blog due to the storm taking out her power, but she has found an effective way to keep warm in the meantime. Her blog is likely done, as she didn't change the name soon enough to survive. I usually leave blogs on the blogroll for about 30 days past the last post before removing them in order to make sure they're really dead.

I wanna thank all my readers who have patronized my blog sponsors. It only took a little over 5900 page impressions, but my first ad revenue check should be sent out on the last business day of November. It'll pay for the muck-vac.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Somebody hit and runned my truck yesterday in the parking lot either at work or when I picked up HannieC at gymnastics. I noticed this morning when I drove to work. Probably gonna need a new left bed panel. Big scrape and dent, high enough up that it had to be another truck.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Something not to Do 3

This morning, when I arrived upon the scene after showering and dressing, The Mrs. asked me if I wanted breakfast. She said it in such a manner that it was obvious she had read my note about having been waiting for a breakfast that never arrived on Saturday.
The Mrs.: Would you like breakfast so you don't have to wait around all day for it?

Me, CherkyB: Sure. I'd love breakfast.

The Mrs: Would you like me to servitude it to you?

Me, CherkyB: That would be nice. I'd like it on a plate on the table with a cup of coffee, just like a real breakfast.

The Mrs.: [harumph]
Now, at this point you may be thinking how things are going swimmingly. And you may want to inject some humor into the situation, because if there's one thing that always knocks the ladies dead, it's your sense of humor. You may be thinking to yourself, "Self, this would be a funny thing to say now."
Me, CherkyB: And I'd like for you to kneel there under the table while I eat.
It's an underappreciated fact that most married women have very poor senses of humor. Thus saying what to you may seem to be comic genius turns out to be Something not to Do.

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And Thus Ends Another Weekend

of suffering.

But, hey, I'm only 25 cents away from the cashout. Big money! No whammies! Big money! Big money! STOP!!!

Today was a day that started out so well. It started out with me coming downstairs to the basement to see what The Mrs. was up to and hearing her talking to her mother on the phone about how she absolutely hates the Clydesdale brown paint because, "it looks like diarrhea."

To which I replied, to no one in particular, "cha cha cha," because that's what I do when someone says "diarrhea."

I should not have noted to The Mrs. that I thought they called it Clydesdale cuz it looked like horse poop. She festered on that all night long.

Upon further inspection, we also decided that the ceiling needed a second coat, and that we didn't like that the paint for the walls was semi-gloss. I goofed that one up. I normally buy flat, but this house is painted all shiny, and The Mrs. said she wanted the easy clean-up of shiny paint as opposed to the need-to-paint-over-it cleanup of flat. I had said, "Maybe an eggshell." The Mrs. said, "Is this paint eggshell?" I said, "it looks to shiny for eggshell. I think it's semi-gloss."

So I bought semi-gloss. Mistake.

I found the old paint cans in the garage; they were eggshell. So, The Mrs. and MaxieC went traipsing out to the hardware store to get a new color of brown in eggshell and another can of the green, also in eggshell. So, really, this goof is costing like two gallons of paint and effectively no time, as I'm only putting on one coat of the eggshell. Unless it turns out that the old brown shows through the new brown, which I doubt will happen.

I painted the ceiling pretty quickly once I convinced HannieC that her help was making things worse. Then I made up for that by letting her paint a whole bunch in the closet, since if you mess that up, no one cares. She tried cutting a wet edge. I had to wash the brush out when she was done. Man, that closet took like 2 hours to paint, even with the two of us. It's one of those things that if I'd had a spray gun would have been painted in about 5 minutes, since I was painting everything white - walls, ceiling, trim. But we were using brushes and rollers, and there were lots of shelves.

Out of order storytelling: I painted the ceiling of the master shower first, this morning. The saga of the master shower has now come to an end. They had to tear all of the tile out, since they couldn't match the old color, which added another $1k to the bill. The shower door was installed Friday afternoon. The total on this job was about $9k, not including paint. Tomorrow morning, we should be able to take our first showers in the master shower in a couple months. And we can fire up the body wash. I hope it's nice.

I finished up painting at about 3:45. HannieC finished about an hour before that. I cleaned up the brush and roller, and headed for the steam shower. The Mrs. saw me and said accusatorially, "Are you done painting for the day?"

I replied, "Yes. I've got a lot of other stuff that needs to get done, and I don't have enough time to finish any of the walls if I were to start now."

She harrumphed.

I hit the shower.

Afterwards, I wanted to go run the rose clippings and tree branches through the chipper. They had been sitting in piles for weeks, and I wanted to get rid of them before it snowed (which might be tomorrow - though I see accuweather is now saying 35 degrees and rain). But The Mrs. had other plans. She needed me to string up Halloween lights in the back tree, which I did dutifully. Then I got out the chipper.

I hates my chipper. I never should have bought this thing. It got somewhat chaotic reviews, with a lot of people loving it and a lot of people hating it. I hates mine. It spends more time jammed than it does running, and the disassembly process to clear the jam is very time consuming. But I tried to focus on the positive while I was out there. I said to myself, "Self, lookit me! I'm making my own mulch! I'm recycling my yard waste into a beneficial weed barrier! I'm practically a Democrat!"

Of course, a Democrat would hire an illegal - oops, undocumented worker - to do this for him. Democrats are fearful of power tools.

After an absolutely horrible time with the chipper where I had to clear a jam roughly once every three branches and also had to endure a cold drizzle (about 40 degrees), I was done. So I got out the lawn tractor and mowed the back lawn. That made me happy again. Still does it every time.

I actually got stuck in a ditch with the tractor today. I had to help it along by pulling on the fence next to me. The old tractor could really use some lockers. Or a limited-slip at the very least. I also got to run with the headlights, as it started to get dark before I finished. It didn't get real dark, just early dark. But enough that it was tough to see what had been mowed and what hadn't. The headlights really cleared that up. The Mrs. took a picture of it, but I dunno where the camera is.

And with a top of the head that looks like that, can you believe she's single? Well, OK, it's kind of a round head, and a lot of guys look for a woman with a flatter one...

It was cold enough that I had to wear gloves when I mowed the lawn. I wore leather work gloves, mind you, not prissy little biotch ski gloves, so my hands still froze. They just didn't freeze up so badly I couldn't steer.

I bet HannieC a quarter that she would knock over a paint can while we were painting. She won that bet, though she rather promptly dumped a can of Diet Cherry Coke onto the floor. Luckily, the floor was covered with a plastic painting dropcloth that contained everything.

That is all.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Long and Drawn-out Post

Devoid of any meaningful content. Much like life itself.

First, I'd like to welcome a new addition to the Blogroll: Ellie323. Ellie323, a.k.a. "The Sister" around these parts, is the latest of the giant web of blogs spawned directly or indirectly from Me, CherkyB. Only two of all those previous blogs are still going, CJ's Blah and The JohnnyB. Spankolio bit the dust after exactly six posts and rumors about his death that he was never able to completely shake. CJ and JohnnyB both had spin-offs in the form of Cindy's Blah and Thoughts in the USA, neither of which made it too far before calling it quits. Cindy's Blah was completely deleted, and though Thoughts is still there, it has a grand total of one post. I guess if we're counting second-level spinoffs, though, there's another that's still going: What Part of..., JohnnyB's own spin-off of himself in which he describes his political views.

I'll save you the trouble: he's an unabashed left-wing whacko who is tormented by the fact that he just can't seem to give in to the rabid anti-semitism and terrorist apologism that is required from today's "progressives". The one thing that is fitting, though, is that JohnnyB's head is actually big enough to require two blogs to support it.

Not that I don't love him.

So, what are the chances of Ellie323 making it past six weeks? Well, if you take a look at those vanity blogs (i.e., not the political blogs) that have made it and those that haven't, it really comes down to two things:
  1. They have changed their names after being given suggestions by Me, CherkyB.
  2. They make frequent references to Me, CherkyB.
That's right, folks. "CJ's Blah" was originally given the unwieldy "CJBlah" moniker, and "The JohnnyB" was originally just "JohnnyB". And neither blog can get through more than a couple posts without making some reference to me. Hell, "The JohnnyB" even has a reference to me in the tagline.

So, let's take a look at Ellie323 to see if we can figure its chances for success. I see that she has #2 covered, with the first two out of three posts making reference to me, CherkyB. However, the title of the blog still needs work.

I remember back when I was living in that Hell Hole called Rochester, a movie reviewer named Jack Garner used to come on the radio in the morning to give movie reviews and chat with the wacky morning DJs. One day, some local moviemaker had released an indie film, and he was in talking to Jack about it. It was called "Rapture [some number]", and Jack said, "Never name a movie with a number in the title. People can never remember titles that have numbers in them."

So the number is going to have to go, regardless of whatever deep, personal meaning "323" has in Ellie's life. I don't know what that is, given I've only known her for twenty years. Best I can figure, it's a reference to her first car. But "Ellie" is not a very good name for a blog by itself. Maybe something catchier like, "What the Ellie's Going On?" or "What the Ellie's that on my shoe?"

Ok, maybe those aren't guaranteed winners. But I'm breaking one of my cardinal rules for entertaining blogging - I'm only drinking Diet Coke (Diet Cherry Coke, at that) - so you're not necessarily going to get my best stuff tonight.

Not unless you buy me dinner and a movie first, at least.

Ok, so after that Big Giant Plug for all associated weblogs, we can move on to other bidness. I got myself up early today with MaxieC, and I managed to see this wonderful sunrise:

I'd like to note that that is the moon, not the sun. This was 7am looking west from my back deck. The mountains were glowing brilliant red with the morning sun coming up over the plains behind us. You just don't get photo-ops like this in San Schmose.

I took a half-day off on Friday so that I could do some painting. The Mrs. insists that we paint the guest room before Fat Moother arrives for Thanksgiving. I love taking time off work to be with my fambily. It makes me just get all giddy inside.

We bought the paint and I got the ceiling done on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning, after a half-hour of non-stop nagging from The Mrs. about how I shouldn't watch the last half-hour of The Incredibles with my childrens, but should be painting (I was actually waiting for my breakfast, which never arrived), I got to painting. HannieC helped me patch all the little nail holes in the walls, and she even helped painting. Here's the "before" shot.

HannieC is a chip off the old block when it comes to painting. The Mrs's block. She only rolls, no cutting. And she only paints the bottom half of the wall. Then, she spends a lot of time nitpicking how quickly you're doing the cutting and complaining that you're holding up her work.

I showed her how the cutting is done. I told her, "This is called 'cutting a wet edge.'" Which she thought was a funny name. Whenever I say it, I get this picture in my head of Fat Moother saying, "and this is called cutting a wet [something else]," and then demonstrating.

Here's "after". Like all good before/after shots, it's of completely different walls. We painted a forest green and a brown called "Clydesdale". I noted that I thought it was called Clydesdale cuz it looked like the color of horse poop. Happily, these dark colors will require a second coat, so I know what I'll be doing too slowly and after starting too late all day tomorrow.

Here's a picture of the lovely Miss HannieC holding Angibelle. You may note the rather elaborate bandage on HannieC's left index finger. This was the morning after the incident. We're all friends again.

I can't mow under this tree, because the branches are too low to the ground. Now the leaves are an almost iridescennt orange. It is very cool looking in person.

Now for some old photos that were sitting in the camera. This one I call, "Momma said no more TV."

Here is "Please? Just one more bag of potato chips?"

MaxieC will, on occasion, ham it up for the camera.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Heading out to Fat Camp

FC MHE tonight. Looks like it might be a pretty bad showing. CJ is afraid to ask his wife for permission to go tonight, as he's only allowed to ask for permission for one thing a week, and this week he already asked permission to get a haircut. El Torito, being an old man, is claiming to be "tired" from "work". I think he just might be afraid to go to FC MHE without CJ.

I think MoodyT is in. Haven't heard from Rico, but he and MoodyT usually carpool, so if MoodyT shows up, I'm sure Rico will be there.

For my part, I gave up and let The Mrs. win. I moved the two boxes and the wagon out of the way and parked her van in the garage. I told her this, and she replied with a completely blank stare. No thank you. No it's about time. Nothing. Silence. Then she told me to get M&M's for The Childrens. That is the general form of communication I received nowadays.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Something not to Do 2

Today's installment of Something not to Do is a little career tip. Let's say you find yourself at work, walking down the hallway, when you bump into the lead technologist for your project and a lady who works for your boss coming the other way. Then, let's say the conversation goes something like this:

Lead Technologist: "Did you get yourself some new pants?"
Lady Coworker: "What was wrong with his pants?"
Lead Technologist: "They had holes in the knees."
Self: "Most of my pants have holes in the knees."
Lead Technologist: "Someone must be pretty happy."

At this point, you may be thinking of saying, "You mean your momma wasn't always this happy?"

That is Something not to Do.

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It's an interesting thing

to me.

We spent almost the entire weekend unpacking the garage so that The Mrs. could park her spanking new minivan in there (no word on how long it will be (if ever) before I can park my truck in there, too) before it started snowing. We worked and worked and worked. But the weekend eventually ended without the garage being cleared enough to park in any of the three bays.

Thing is, there is more than enough floor space to park in there, now. I moved almost everything out of the center bay (the one in which The Mrs. will be parking), but I left like two very light boxes and The Childrens's wagon in the way. I did this to see if The Mrs. would be self-motivated enough to do about 30 seconds worth of work so that she could park in the garage. I even programmed the Homelink remote buttons in her new van so that she could just push a button on the ceiling to open the garage doors. Then I sat back and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

The Mrs. spends close to an hour every day washing the dog online with stupid stuff like IMing her mother, shopping for Christmas presents for The Childrens, replying to her sister's posts on the family web page complaining about her last boyfriend, and, biggest waste of time of all, reading and replying to the posts I put up here on Me, CherkyB. Heck, just Monday night she spent half an hour watching deleted scenes and other bonus footage stuff on the DVD of "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story". So parking in the garage is a lower priority for The Mrs. than watching a 5-minute documentary about why seeing people get hit with a dodgeball is really only funny if they get hit in the head or in the junk.

Every now and then, when I'm out there, I push something an inch or two farther out of the way. It's killing me to see it so close to usable, but without being.

I'm starting to think that's her plan. Devious The Mrs.

Self, be strong.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Something not to Do

In my continuing quest to improve the quality of my readership, here is my first installment of a recurring segment I'm calling "Something not to Do".

Don't try to pick up a hamster by its face. If you feel like you really want to pick up a hamster by its face, just stop and say to yourself, "Self, this is Something not to Do."

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Oh No!

My context-sensitive advertisements have switched to hurricane relief public service announcements. That means I'm not talking about anything interesting enough for an advertiser to want to sponsor it.

Have I mentioned how much The Mrs. likes her new Honda Odyssey Touring edition with navigation and rear seat entertainment system? She like it tremendously. So much that she let me drive it on Sunday. Someday, maybe I'll even post a picture of it. I'm quite happy that we didn't get the Dodge Grand Caravan with the 29S package.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


My darling daughter, HannieC, has been plugging away at a reading workbook called "Phonics Pathways" for a while now. Enough so that she's really gotten to hate it. She was getting close to the end, so The Mrs. decided to incentivize her to finish with the promise of a mystery prize. The mystery prize was much hyped over the last few weeks, and HannieC dedicated herself to finishing the last ten pages off this morning.

She managed to get through the rest of the book by about 10:30am, and The Mrs. told her we would go out to buy her the prize, but that we had to stop at a couple other stores first. One of those store happened to be Petsmart, where we had to get FreddyC some dog food. Nothing at all suspicious in that.

Well, you can't go to a pet store without checking out all the pets, so The Mrs. had HannieC checking out the hamsters. She even got HannieC to tell her which one of the hamsters was her favorite. Then The Mrs. sprang it on her that the hamster was her prize.

For a certified super genius, HannieC is sometimes a bit trusting, shall we say.

I made breakfast today, by the way. I made bacon and pancakes. It was enjoyed by all, except The Mrs., never one to let an opportunity for improvement go by, felt the need to say, "When I make pancakes, I keep them warm in the oven while I'm cooking the rest."

And you know what, The Mrs.? You'll have ample opportunity to do that, as this is the last time I ever cook pancakes.

HannieC and I spent some time picking out just the right cage for her new ham-p-ster. We got a fancy one that has a removable "petting zone" and a running wheel that turns around in a circle while they run so they get a 360 degree view of the world. Oooo - and according to the website, it glows in the dark, too. HannieC won't be getting any sleep tonight.

She named the hamster Angibelle. We're not allowed to call it Angie, cuz "that's a boy's name."

When we got home, while I was assembling the cage, The Mrs. took the hamster out of its cardboard carry box. The first thing she does with it? Drop it onto the basement floor from about 4 feet up.

"It jumped!"


Luckily, the floor was carpeted. Angibelle managed to leave a little poop pellet behind in the Drop Zone. HannieC almost had a heart attack. I explained to her that hamsters can jump and fall quite a bit without getting hurt, which I think is actually true. Otherwise, I doubt there'd be a single hamster that made it past the first day.

Angibelle wasn't used to people yet, so she spent a lot of time hissing. But The Mrs. got her stuffed in her hamster ball, and she seemed to have a good time in there. I got the cage assembled eventually (it's like 30 parts), and she moved in there. We had to eat lunch in the basement at a card table with the cage as the centerpiece. The Mrs., for her part, ate at the bar. That was my plan, but she insisted I guard the hamster from The Childrens. That was my plan for her.

Apparently, I am too slow at my deviousity.

After lunch, hell, it was Sunday afternoon. So I lay down on the couch in the basement with MaxieC and took a nap. Except MaxieC didn't nap. He wandered off, and The Mrs. had to put him to bed for his nap. By the time The Mrs. woke me up all indignant (There is nothing she hates more than when I am happy. Nothing.), HannieC had Angibelle all tamed and settled in. Except HannieC won't let anyone else touch the ham-p-ster, as "she is only tamed to me."

Today, The Mrs. told me she wanted to learn how to use the lawn tractor. She just can't bear to see me happy for very long.

I got some new sunglasses today to keep in the new winivan. These were not $179 like the last pair. They were only $23. But they're still OK. HannieC helped pick them out.