Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gol dang it

I, like everyone on blogger, have any comments left on my blog automatically sent to me via email. That way, I don't have to constantly check every single post to see if someone has left a comment. Well, today I went to reply to a comment left on my last post, and I discovered there were actually three new comments on the post. So I went poking around in my "spam" folder. My spam filter has today decided that 2 of the four comments on that post are spam.

I don't know why. Two got through, two filtered as spam. None of them had a valid return address (all being the noreply-comment@blogger.com address). One was from a non-blogger account, the other was from Scooter from her blogger account.

I hope this is a glitch and not a trend. I may have to add noreply-comment@blogger.com to my email alias list.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Today, I am sick

Actually, I've kinda been sick since Friday. I was going to come home early from work on Friday, but then some new, anxiously-awaited data arrived that I had to go through, and then this happened, so I never got home early.

Both Saturday and Sunday featured me grogging my way through the day and then falling asleep moments after dinner. On Saturday, I was freezing cold after dinner, so I turned on the fireplace (wood burning fireplaces are illegal to install around these parts due to air quality concerns (i.e., the place has become lousy with Democrats)) and fell asleep on the floor in front of it. Sunday, I managed to make it to bed before dying.

At some point, there was a massive amount of screaming involving one or more of the childrens, and that woke me up. The Mrs., always happy to see me, banished me to the basement guest bedroom so that I wouldn't infect everyone. Thus, I ended up in bed at 8pm, which was odd.

I managed to sleep until 9:30 in the morning, when I first checked the clock. Oh. I hope I didn't have to meet anyone this morning at work...

I didn't.

Stayed home all day, mostly lying on the couch slumbering through daytime television. I still love The People's Court, mostly because I find morons entertaining. Though I must say there is a much higher class of clientèle on TPC than on many of the other court shows (notably Divorce Court). I also caught an episode of Cheaters, though it wasn't the one about Bill Clinton. Sadly, both episodes of Scrubs and the episode of Holmes on Homes were ones I had seen before.

I can't honestly say what's wrong with me other than that I generally don't feel good. Occasional chills, a loss of appetite, and a lack of energy. The Mrs. diagnosed me as having the flu, though if it's really the flu, it's the mildest one I've ever had. It's the lack of energy that is killing me. I can barely walk up the stairs. Neither of my feet appear to be broken, though.

I think I'll be OK to go to work tomorrow. I've been feeling a lot better tonight.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's not like me to complain

but sometimes, things are just ridiculous.

Take this morning, for instance. MaxieC was up at the ungodly hour of 7:30. AM. The Mrs. told him to talk to me about it, so I stumbled out of bed, went downstairs with him, and turned on Spy Kids. I picked up a 2-pack of Spy Kids DVDs yesterday at Sam's Club for $13.98ish, so he still had some interest in seeing them cuz he'd only watched them each twice.

I then lay down on the loveseat with an afghan and a pillow to snooze a little more. This is, as you can imagine, a massive hardship for me. I am substantially taller than the loveseat is long, and afghans are OK for an afternoon nap in the sun, but not for a crack-of-dawn suffer-slumber. The Mrs., BTW, has never approved of me sleeping on the loveseat while MaxieC sits on the sofa watching a DVD. She, being the hovering sort, thinks this smacks of inattentiveness, like I should be reading him a book or something. However, MaxieC is perfectly mobile and able to get himself drinks and snacks and even hit the pause button on the remote if he has to pee. I see it as not interfering.

He did wake me up about every 15 minutes to open a mini chip bag for him. Another score from Sam's Club - a big box of vending-machine-sized Frito-Lays snacks. For some reason, MaxieC decided after a couple mouthfuls that he doesn't like Cheetos anymore, so I got to eat that one.

Eventually, HannahC showed up and watched the moovie, too. The Mrs. wandered down at some point, and sat and drank her coffee in peace while I watched The Childrens. Then she went to ride Carl in peace while I watched The Childrens, followed by a steam shower in the basement bathroom in peace while I watched The Childrens (though it is unconfirmed whether she actually turned on the steam). She wandered through the fambly room while I was wrastling with MaxieC and announced that she'd already had her shower.

I don't know why, as that tidbit of information did not in any way affect my life.

She wanders upstairs to get dressed in peace. HannahC is, at this point, complaining vehemently that I am not paying enough attention to her. The she huffs off to play her Wegets web game stuff.

After about a half hour (it's now 10:30), I head upstairs to see WTF. The Mrs. is still pootzering around and isn't even dressed. I wait patiently. She curses at me because I chuckle watching her put on her freshly-shrunk-for-the-dryer jeans. It's always entertaining to watch a woman try to put on fresh jeans, what with all the hopping and contorting and stuff. Just like on TV.

Eventually, she is dressed, so I ask permission to take a shower.
Me, CherkyB: "Can I take my shower now?"

The Mrs.: "I should hope so. It's practically noon. You've wasted the whole morning, and you haven't even taken your shower yet!"

Me, CherkyB: "I've been up over three hours watching The Childrens so that you could sleep in and drink your coffee and ride Carl and take a shower and get dressed in peace!"

The Mrs.: "Don't you dare begrudge me my one day of the week sleeping in!"
So there it is. I've "wasted" the entire morning watching The Childrens so that I could begrudge her her sleep-in day.

I took my shower. First, I tried to find a dry towel. There were 11 towels out in the master bath. 11. The number that were dry? Zero. Whatever.

Two minutes into the shower, HannahC comes storming in. "MaxieC is forking his chair!"

"What?"

"MaxieC is forking his chair!"

"I can't hear you. I'm in the shower."

"MaxieC is forking his chair!"

"Why are you telling me? I'm in the shower. Momma is watching you now (supposedly). Go tell her."

Five minutes later, MaxieC is pounding on the shower glass. "Breakfast is ready!"

Breakfast will just have to wait.

Yuck

This drink is so bad, I hesitate to document it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's hard

being Me, CherkyB. Well, harder than it looks.

Yesterday, I went to pick up HannahC at gymnastics after a day of suffering at work that ended with the determination that not only had we not fixed something, we had broken something else that had been working in the process. This is all software-kinda stuff, so it's not like we blew a million dollars on it and had it come back broken. It's just a couple simple little tests. You'd think that a team of highly paid engineers could get a couple simple little tests working in less than 3 months.

But, apparently, we can't.

So, as I walk to the door of the gym, I see MaxieC waving at me from inside. I said to myself, "Self, this is odd. The Mrs. very distinctly told me this morning that, though MaxieC had gymnastics class today, I did not have to pick him up because his class ended a lot earlier than HannahC's. Yet, here he is. I wonder what The Mrs. will yell at me for not remembering."

However, there was no yell at, as I had remembered correctly. She had just decided to fritter away the hours with shopping or something and found herself still in the neighborhood at the appointed picking-up time. Oh, and since the hours had been frittered away rather than spent at her work, we were going out for dinner.

Oh the joy. The joy.

The Mrs. suggests a place that is about 12 miles from where we were. All the way back to our house, and then keep going another four miles into the tiny nearby town. I thought it an odd suggestion, as we were literally sitting right in the middle of the restaurant district of Fort TomCollins, surrounded by a plethora of pretty new, soulless chain restaurants. Probably 20 different places within one mile. I started listing them.

The Mrs. selected Macaroni Grill. We'd never been there before, and it was only two blocks away. So what the hell?

One problem with Macaroni Grill is that it shares its parking lot with Texas Roadhouse and with the biggest movie theater in Fort TomCollins. And it was 6:45 on a Friday night. So we both had to circle around a bit to find someone pulling out, but it was only maybe a half minute. Inside, there was a mob. The wait - 1 hour.

OK, let's try Texas Roadhouse. The wait there was only 45 minutes.

I strolled across the parking lot to Old Chicago Pizza, where the wait was 10 minutes. HannahC loves Old C's, and she had expressed disappointment when we drove by it to go to Macaroni Grill. I phones The Mrs. and told her to bring the kids on over.

The moment we walked in the door, they seated us.

Now, this is when it got difficult. I'm not sure if many of my readers will understand the following story, given that most of them are womens and therefore they only relate to stories about childrens and dogs and shopping and the weather and stuff. But try to follow along.

Old C's has these booths that are slightly elevated compared to the floor. Not hugely elevated, but perhaps six to eight inches. It gives you a good view, though I managed to sit on the side where all I had to look at was a neon Budweiser sign, and the folks on the other side got to watch snowmobile racing on the TV behind me. Our waitress came along presently to take our drink order.

Our waitress was a nice young lady of, say, average young lady height. However, God had blessed her with a distinctly non-average, oh how can I say this delicately, bountiful cantaloupe garden. On top of that, despite it being the dead of winter in Colorado, there was quite a bit of it on display for your viewing pleasure.

So here I am sitting with my lovely wife and childrens in a booth that happens to be elevated just high enough that when combined with my height and that of our waitress, my eye level is staring right directly somewhere where you really don't want your wife to catch you looking. This is a very challenging situation, because every few minutes the waitress comes by to ask if everything is all right or to refill The Mrs's Diet Pepsi, and you know you turn your head automatically. Seriously, try to sit at a table and not turn your head automatically when someone comes up next to you and starts talking.

The whole time, I had to keep saying to myself, "Look upwards, then turn your head. Look upwards, then turn your head." It would really have helped if there had been a TV hanging on the ceiling for me to be watching, but there wasn't. I was very careful to have only one small beers lest I lose concentration.

I know it's a very strange thing to be complaining about.

Sadly for the young lady, The Mrs. paid the bill, so the tip did not reflect her talent as a waitress.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'd always rather not

Don't take it personally, though.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Dream

Last night, I dreamed that I was watching the news on TV and they were reporting that Mel Gibson had been run over by a truck and killed while filming a scene for an upcoming movie. Then, tonight I learned that it's all true.

Except that it wasn't Mel Gibson, it was Heath Ledger. And maybe some of the details about the truck were different. But still, it's pretty clear confirmation that I am psychic.

So, since we're talking about untimely death, I guess you all heard that Fred Thompson exited the race for president today. I'm not really sure where to go from here. He's the only candidate I trusted on my single issue - gun rights. The fact that I agreed with him on close to 100% of the remaining issues was just gravy on top.

The rest of the guys are largely a bunch of gun-grabbing lefties. McCain is maybe not too horribly bad in comparison to the rest of the bunch, but he's shifty. Plus, the fact that the main-stream media loves him so much is a red flag. The friend of your enemy is not your friend. Probably the best case scenario is that Obama gets elected, and then in four years, Fred beats him. I figure Obama will be too ineffectual to do too terribly much harm in just four years. The whole "outsider" thing doesn't really play that way inside the beltway.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wonderful Happy Joyosity

MaxieC drew us a picture this morning. It was a picture of the whole fambly. He labeled the peoples, then he walked me through the diagram.

MaxieC: "This is mommy. This is you. That's HannahC, and that's me. And this thing here is JackieC. And this is FreddyC. And this is the aquarium full of crickets."

Me, CherkyB: "What's this over here?"

MaxieC: "That's the TV."

Me, CherkyB: "The TV is part of our fambly?"

MaxieC: "Yes."

An All New CherkyB

I'm thinking of revamping the blog a bit. You know, new template, new tagline, etc.

The first change I'm going to make, though, is to only write about happy things.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'd just like to say

I'm not really a Giants fan. In fact, I've never really forgiven them for accidentally beating the Bills in the Superbowl. However, in tonight's game I found myself pulling for the Giants. That's right, despite the cross-state rivalry and the fact that nearly half the people in the world who share my last name hail from Milwaukee and of course the fact that Rhonda is a much more reliable ad clicker than Cavitation is, I found myself hoping for a Giants win.

Why?

Well, because I feel Eli Manning's pain. The poor guy is a pretty darn good quarterback, but he has to spend his whole life endlessly being compared to his older brother and to his father He can never just be Eli Manning. He has to be Peyton Manning's less-accomplished little brother, or Archie Manning's disappointing younger son.

And I understand what that is like.

On a lighter note, I managed to get a perfect score on my range rules true/false quiz at today's new member orientation. A perfect score is required to be accepted as a member. It's not too hard to get a perfect score, as it is an "open book" test and the book consists of one side of an 8.5x11 piece of paper with all the rules printed on it. And if you get one wrong, they call you up to the front of the class afterwards, and the instructor says, "I'd like you to re-read this question and think about your answer a bit. Then, I'll give you a chance to change your answer if you want to," and after you change your answer, the instructor says, "Wonderful! A perfect score!"

I am now a certified Range Official at the Weld County Fish and Wildlife High Plains Shooting Range. So there. Plus, I get a 5% discount on garage door repairs, which will come in handy given that my garage door springs all are in need of adjustment.

It's late

This morning, I got up at an ungodly early hour with MaxieC while The Mrs. slept in. Then, after playing with him for almost two hours, HannahC got up. So we all played Snap Circuits. Then, eventually, The Mrs. rolled out of bed.

When MaxieC and HannahC were down in the basement playing quietly on some kind of art project, I took a shower and got dressed. After I got out, MaxieC was playing games on the compooter, and HannahC playing with her rat.

So I sat down in the basement and turned on DIY Network's "Man Caves". I watched precisely 6 minutes of the show before The Mrs. stormed in, put her hands on her hips, and said, "So. You're going to sit around on your butt all day watching TV and go to the class at the shooting range?"

I was pleasantly surprised. I had expected this to begin yesterday.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Movie Night

It was a smashing success, as it always is when I'm allowed to pick the movie. The Mrs. likes to pick horrible movies that even she can't stand. This is because she picks movies based on who is in them, not what they are about. Thus, we get subjected to, say, a month of nothing but Kirsten Dunst movies. Or Jake Gyllenhaal. And the fact of the matter is that there are only two actors who have been in more than a couple movies yet never been in a bad one, but we've already seen all the Tom Hanks movies. And the other guy hasn't really been making movies since he became governor of California.

I, on the other hand, and much more concerned about the plot and the drama, so I choose movies based on that with little regard as to who is in them. I know this is exactly what Hollywood does not want me to do, so I feel all the better about it.

Let me add one little caveat, though, before The Mrs. gets all hysterical in the comments section or is moved to finally put up the first post on her blog. I do have one exception to the above, and that is that I have a penchant for Pam Grier movies. The Mrs does not share this love however, and after we watched one of the best movies made in the 70's, Coffy, she banned me from getting any more Pam Grier movies from Netflix.

She needs to exert control over every aspect of my life in order to be happy. I suppose I should be happy that she still lets me pee standing up.

Anyways, due to our differing methods for selecting entertainment, movie night is usually substantially more entertaining when we are watching one of my selections. And last night was no exception to that. We watched American Pie Presents: Beta House.

I don't want to say too much about this one, as it just recently came out on DVD so most of you probably haven't seen it yet. It had its rough spots - the dialog might have been written on a napkin during lunch at Burger King, the acting was reminiscent of cardboard cutouts, but the cinematography was fabulous. The whole movie, you never wanted to look away for a second, so riveting was the scenery.

Even The Mrs., who is not known for her comedic sensibilities, was heard to break into laughter during the "throwing up does not disqualify you" scene.

Friday, January 18, 2008

HannahC get the facts of life

Tonight, HannahC and I were soaking in the hot tub after The Mrs. and MaxieC got out so he could take a bath. I looked at my watch and noted that it was about time for us to be getting out so that The Mrs. and I could watch a moovie together.

And that's when it happened. HannahC asked one of those eternal questions that children often ask about the facts of life. Gaaa! I tried to think about a way I could creatively not answer, but then I got to thinking about how all the recent advice says that if you answer honestly and factually, the child will generally be placated for quite some time.

I felt a little uncomfortable, given that most of what I know about this I learned on the internet, but I gave it a shot:
HannahC: "Why do you and momma have to watch a movie together?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, see it's important that Mommy and Daddy spend time together without any childrens. And I don't just mean Mommy and me, I mean any mommy and daddy. "

HannahC: "Like, any married couple?"

Me, CherkyB: "Right."

HannahC: "So, not just no kids, but no other adults either?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yes."

HannahC: "Why?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, you see, if mommies and daddies never spend any time together except with the kids, they start to kind of ignore each other cuz they end up spending all their time focusing on the kids. Then, eventually, Mommy will go, 'Hey. What do I need this guy around for anyways? I have my kids, and that's all I need.' Then she divorces Daddy."

Me, CherkyB: "Then, the Daddy has to move out."

HannahC: "Why doesn't Mommy have to move out if she the one who divorces you?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, kiddo, that's not the way it works in this country. Mommy gets to keep the house and the kids and the dog and everything, but Daddy has to keep paying for it cuz Mommy never got a job in her life that could afford all that."

Me, CherkyB: "So Daddy has to move out, and then you childrens have to come 'visit' me at my little one bedroom apartment every other weekend. Except the court also awards about $4000 a month in 'child support' that I have to pay Mommy. So, after paying for the house and the child support, I'm left with about $400 a month to live off. So I have to live in some dumpy roach and rat-infested hovel."

Me, CherkyB: "Then one day Mommy decides she doesn't want her precious childrens spending every other weekend in a roach and rat-infested hovel, so she goes to the court with pictures of my place to say that you shouldn't have to go there. So the court takes Mommy's side and says I no longer get to see you."

HannahC: "But what if we want to see you?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, Mommy won't want you to think it's her fault you never see me, so she'll start to tell you all kinds of things about how bad a person I was and how I never spent time with her or you, and how much better off you are without me, and how she always protected you from me. And after a while, you won't remember any different cuz you haven't seen me in a long time."

Me, CherkyB: "Of course, I won't say anything because I won't want to poison your relationship with you mother, cuz there's no point in you not liking either parent, and you'd have to live with her"

HannahC: "Oh."

Me, CherkyB: "So then, whenever I try to call you, you'll yell, 'How could you be so bad to Momma!' and hang up on me. And you'll go through the rest of your life being mad at me."

HannahC: "Oh."

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah, so we better get out of the hot tub now so that Momma and I can watch a DVD."

HannahC: "Yeah. We better."
And she climbed out of the hot tub immediately.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Sponge

One of the oddities of Northern Colorado is that despite it being a locale very attuned to private gun ownership, there are very few places around at which to go shooting. And most of those that do exist are member-only places. The SF Bay area, which one might consider the antithesis of a free culture, had a much greater selection of nearby ranges, and none of them were members-only (though some offered discounts if you bought a membership). For the one as I count 'em open-to-the-public range around here the hourly rate is about 50% higher than the place I used to shoot in Santa Clarabelle.

Needless to say, this is cutting into my shooting time. Not as much as interference from the home life, but it's hard to justify $40+ for a couple hours of shooting on a Saturday just for lane rental. My good buddy The Ice Man took me out to his private range once to shoot my new .40, and it was about a 40 minute drive from my house. It's a very popular range with a long waiting list because it is the closest outdoor range to Fort TomCollins. They also only accept new members once a year in the end of December/beginning of January timeframe. So I was sitting around at work right after Christmas, being one of like 15 people at work that week, and I got to thinking. I said, "Self, in a year or two, HannahC is going to want to start practicing her shooting at a longer range than the little distance-across-the-garage (30 ft?) pellet gun setup you have. You better get yourself on the waiting list for next year." So I sent in the application. Another fellow at work who had applied in the summer had gotten a call a couple months back to schedule his new member orientation training, so I mailed it with confidence that I had missed this year's window of opportunity.

But Lo! and Behold! the guy from the range called me last night to tell me that they'd had 20 no-shows at the orientations so far, and this had opened up a chance for me to make it in this year if and only if I could show up at the range on this upcoming Sunday at 1pm with a check for $125. I quickly checked the playoff schedule to make sure The Bills weren't playing at that time, and confirming that they were not, I said with great confidence, "I'll be there."

Then I sat and ruminated about how to break the news to The Mrs. The Mrs. does not like when I schedule things without her permission. Especially on a weekend. But, hey, it was a family membership. We'd all get to go for free once I took the class and paid the annual dues and new membership fee. But still, telling this guy I'd go without having first consulted with The Mrs. could be seen as a sign that my pair might be growing back, and thus I was filled with fear.

I wrote it on her calendar and kept quiet for the night.

The Mrs. had decided to wash all the pillows in the house yesterday (one of the benefits of having a front-load washer, I suppose. You know, other than that you get to pay twice as much for special low-sudsing detergent and four times as much for the washer in the first place). Naturally, mine were the very last ones she did, so when it was time to go to bed, I was instructed to go fetch them from the dryer.

As I was putting on the pillow cases, I noted to The Mrs. how one of my pillows seemed oddly heavier than the other, when they had both been identical before. She told me that they were dry and that I should stop criticizing her. Or maybe she said I should go fetch a pillow from the guest room in the basement if I wasn't happy with her abilities to do laundry. Either way, I interpreted it as a, "F-off. Not my problem. I'm going to bed," kind of answer. So I went to be myself as well.

In the middle of the night, I rolled over and realized that I had rolled into a big puddle. The first thing I thought was, "Damnit! MaxieC peed the bed!" cuz MaxieC shows up in the middle of the night every night, and sometimes his diaper leaks, and naturally since all the bedding including the pillows had been washed that day, it would be the perfect opportunity for the little pisser.

But MaxieC wasn't even there. What I determined had happened was that I was sleeping on the heavier pillow, and this had squeezed water out the ends like if you squeezed the middle of a wet sponge. The ends of the pillow were soaked, but the center was quite dry.

I ditched it on the floor and used the lighter pillow. In the morning, after telling this story to her, The Mrs. said something to the effect of, "What kind of a dumbass sleeps on a pillow he knows is wet?"

"But you told me it was dry!"

"If it was dry, why would it be so much heavier than the other one?" Roll eyes.

Whatever.

Later, after she had had a shower and was thus in her "happy place", I said, "Hey, I've got to go take a class over in Weld County on Sunday in the afternoon. It's like 3 hours."

"What gun did you buy this time?"

"Huh? I didn't buy a gun."

"When do you think you're going hunting?" but aren't.

"Not going hunting. Just joining a shooting range. They make you take an orientation class. This is my last chance to take it for a year. If I go 4 times, I'll be ahead."

"Oh. Harumph! Write it on the calendar."

Later, at work, I was talking to Ice Man about how I squeaked in this year. He started asking me if I'd bought HannahC one of those little, pink .22's yet, as like his niece had just gotten one. After much debate on the subject, I stuck with the, "I'm gonna get her a better air gun first." The problem with a pink .22, though, is that there's no way I can hand that down to MaxieC. I bet they'd both love camo, though.

Oddly enough, at dinner tonight The Mrs. expressed actual sorrow that my pillow was wet, and reported that she had dried both of them for many additional hours during the day today. And she also seemed supportive of the whole gun range thing. So, maybe it's just me.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Today was a wonderful day

Well, parts of it at least.

It started badly, with the fambly heading to the Outlet Mall in Loverlyland to hit some sale at OshKosh where they had everything like more than 50% off. MaxieC, of course, got incredibly bored very shortly after discovering that despite the clothes being for him, only Mommy was allowed to pick anything out. So went and sat in the winivan where he watched Brother Bear and ate Slim Jims.

Then we had to go to the Carter's Outlet, where they had a Lego table. He played nicely with another kid about his age. So that went smoothly.

The Outlet Mall is right next to Sportsman's Warehouse, but I decided not to mention it. The Mrs. was already piling up millions of places we had to go, MaxieC was worn out, and we were instructed that none of us could eat lunch until everything was complete. This is something I call "planning ahead." I am the only person in the fambly with that skill when it comes to things like lunch.

Why did I want to go to Sportsman's? Well, because The Mrs. is getting me a stainless 4" S&W 686+ .357 magnum for Valentine's Day because she loves me so much.

Oh wait, that right, Valentine's Day is what we call The Day of Disappointment around here. I imagine I will not be getting that, or really anything at all, other than the standard, "I wasn't disappointed. I've learned to have absolutely zero expectations, and that way I'm not always disappointed."

That's a direct quote. You can ask her. She uses it on her birthday and Valentines Day, which on most year fall within a couple of days of one another.

On Christmas, she uses, "It wasn't worse than I expected." I'm not sure if that's better or not.

No, I wanted to go to Sportsman's to see if they carried CamelBak parts. In particular, I'm looking for the tube and bite valve. See, I got one of those beer hats for Christmas. The kind that hold two beers, and then there's hose to your mouth. This was given to me by someone who really cares about my happiness and wants me to maximize my joy when riding my lawn tractor. Namely, Fat Moother, from whose loins The Mrs. sprung lo those many years ago. The Mrs. tells me she was a little disappointed in the birth. It didn't really make her feel special. It seemed like there was a lot of focus on her mother through most of it, and not so much on her until the very end.

So, the thing about the beer hat - and I'm not trying to criticize here as I love the gift very much, and it was one of the most personally touching gifts I got this year - is that I don't think the Chinese have lawn tractors. See, if they did, they would have realized that having a very difficult to operate ratchet clamp to start and stop the flow of beer would mean time driving along with no hands on the wheel, since the left hand is, of course, fully occupied with a fine Partagas cigar.

Now, the hiking and mountain biking crowd figured this out a long time ago. The CamelBak guys invented this fancy thing they call a "bite valve" that is a big round silicone thing that fits in your mouth, and it has a slit in the front of it that opens up when you bits this. Actually, I'm guessing it was one of the girls at CamelBak that thought of this. That, or I feel really sorry for one of the guys there.

It's like prom night all over again, as they say.

So the nice thing about the bite valve is that it requires no hands to operate. You hear that? It requires no hands to operate correctly.

I know they sell replacement ones, as do a couple other companies that make knock-offs, including Nalgene that makes one to convert their bottles into suck things. I also know they're available at REI, I but, like Fred Thompson, don't like to be near hippies.

But we skipped that little outing.

We hit Office Max cuz they were having one of those "15% off anything you can fit in this bag" sales, and The Mrs. has been hounding me to get a can of compressed air to clean out all the smoke detectors. I don't have any idea why.

The great thing about Office Max is that right in the same parking lot there is a store called "Liquor Max Warehouse". And they have great prices. The first three things I picked up were all about $10 less per bottle than at the regular place. And they had sales! Wow. I got a bottle of Tanqueray on sale! I haven't gotten liquor on sale since leaving Kalifornia.

Funny thing - they had Crown Royal in 1.75L bottles, something I've never seen. Crown Royal bottles come in boxes, so I grabbed a box and put it in the cart. Then, shortly thereafter,
HannahC: "Da?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah?"

HannahC: "Do you think that bottle still comes in a purple bag like the smaller one does?"

Me, CherkyB: "That's a very good question. (look in box) Yup. It's just a bigger bag."

HannahC: "OK. Good."
I could sense The Mrs. looking at me with one of those "Why does my 7-year old daughter know Crown Royal is packaged" looks that we've all experienced. Sheesh. Womens.

Then, The Mrs. declared that we had to stop at the Safeway that was in the town on the opposite side of our house from where we were, and if we were good, she'd let us get drive through from a place that MaxieC hates and that has like a 20 minute wait at the drive through. So, despite being right across the street from Lowe's, I forsook the spa chemicals (we can go another day without water clarifier, and we're not technically out of defoamer yet). Mostly cuz I was hungry as hell at this point, what with it being 12:15.

I managed to get a "Gut Buster Coney with onions and cheddar". The Gut Buster is a 1/2 lbs. hot dog. The Coney adds chili. Wow, was it good.

The rest of the day I was assigned to keep MaxieC calm. He's got a bad cold, so he needs rest. I role modeled for him by lying on the couch under a blanket with him and watching TV all day.

That was the best.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

There was a time

When I would look to others on the blogroll for blogging inspiration.

That isn't working today.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Now you just watch

This blog post is going to suck. I mean really suck. Suck even worse than those blog posts that catalog exciting stuff like trips to the post office, or what you heard on the radio today, or how many times you masturbated in guacamole to a picture of Al Gore. This is probably going to be the worst blog post you've ever read. Even worse than this gem.

How do I know? Well, for starters, not a god damned thing of any interest happened to me today. The Mrs. didn't say anything particularly witty. My Childrens didn't do any awww shucksy cute stuff. I didn't yell at anyone at work (it was, in fact, a remarkably productive and idiot-free day). There wasn't even any weather today. No weather at all.

And then, on top of that, I've been having a bit of acid reflux the last few days, so I decided to lay off the nectar of life today. So this is Me, CherkyB blogging sober. It's so awful I can't even bring myself to proof read it.

The Mrs. and I watched Superbad yesterday. It was funny. McLovin ... Hah!

I've decided to implement a policy of watching movies when I want to and not waiting around for The Mrs. She has the habit of saying, "Let's watch a movie!" and then going to read one or more of The Childrens one or more stories for one or more hours, and then showing up to announce that it is too late to watch, and then going to bed. Yesterday, I simply announced I was going to watch a movie, and I booted up the DVD. The Mrs. managed to show up while I was mixing myself a little something to enjoy during the viewing.

So there.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

That's just great

Somehow, the story of our middle-of-the-night false alarm made the Sunday paper. Yup, it was the featured local editorial about how 911 calls are routinely mis-directed in my neighborhood. The Mrs. was quoted in the story, as was a neighbor who actually called the local paper as they've been fighting with the 911 problem since the neighborhood was built. I'd send you the link to the story, but then you'd all learn our IRLs.

Of course, I'm not the one who is obsessed with nobody learning my IRL. So obsessed with privacy that I track down people who leave comments and send their wives Christmas cards. No, that wouldn't be Me, CherkyB. So here you go. It's a wonderful example of professional journalism. It starts out by mis-identifying the area in which we live right in the headline. Then it includes a couple quotes from The Mrs. that she claims never to have made (and at least one of them is kinda way too stoopid for The Mrs. to have ever actually said, so I made fun of her all day about it). Our realtor called us after she read the article. I'm not sure I'll be able to show my face at work tomorrow.

I does have a nice picture of the rockpile at the entrance to our neighborhood on which our subdivision's name is written. We sometimes go sledding on the hill next to that.

So, here's a funny story:

I walked in to the dining room this evening, and The Mrs. was standing there ironing. I went back to the family room and...
Me, CherkyB: "MaxieC! What happened to Momma?"

MaxieC: "Momma?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah. See, there's this crazy woman in the dining room and she's"

The Mrs.: "It's for a project! Don't get all excited!"

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The failure

The consensus opinion is that one does not call the fire department when the smoke alarm goes off unless one actually locates smoke. The fact that I did not call the fire department, but instead The Mrs. did, apparently does not eliminate my shame.


The dishwasher is now fixed. $100. $60 to come out, then $20 for every 15 minutes, or something like that. The problem? A bad connection to the power pigtail due to the wrong size wire nuts being used. So we paid $100 to have a guy replace two wire nuts - something I could very easily have done myself. My only saving grace here was that it was a major pain-in-the-ass to get to the power connection, so it took him a half hour despite being a professional. I probably would have removed the dishwasher from the counter to do the work, but he was able to do it by reaching underneath. I couldn't even find the power connection when I looked down there. The Mrs. (who witnessed the repair) reported that it was behind some plastic panel back underneath that needed to be removed.

My only redeeming feat of manliness this week was that I changed the battery in my truck. This is the first vehicle in a while where I could actually get to the battery without removing tons of stuff, and since Sears doesn't (or didn't) charge for the install if you buy the battery, I used to let them do it. It took them over two hours to change the battery on The Mrs's old winivan, which needed to have a body crossmember, a couple wiring harnesses, a fuse box, and the air filter box removed in order to get to the battery.

I got a battery at Checker, though. It's an Exide platinum series. I hope it's not crap. It has 20 more cold cranking amps (770A) than did the old battery, but it's a bit smaller. Yesterday when I got out of work, when I started the truck, it did one of those grr-pause-vroom things that a battery does when it's just starting to go. It was the original and just passed 5 years of age, which is pretty good for an original battery, as they're usually crap.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Why am I posting at 2:36AM?

Well, I had to wait for the fire department to go home first.


[Everything is fine. One of our smoke detectors got dusty, apparently, and in these fancy new houses, they're all wired together. When every smoke detector in the house goes off at 2AM, you kinda just grab the kids and get the hell out of the house.]

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Curse you

and your bad dishwasher karma!

Our dishwasher died last night mid-cycle. It just went dead. My little VoltAlert tells me that it still has power underneath, so I'm guessing that the door switch went bad. I'm not calling a repair guy on New Years Day, though. It'll have to wait until tomorrow, and we'll make do with the dishwasher in the bar and (gasp) washing dishes by hand.

[Oh, in case you care, it is neither a dreaded Bosch nor the much-acclaimed KitchenAid. It is some plastic-tubbed Kenmore that appears to be a rebranded lower model Whirlpool. And yes, I know KitchenAids are also rebranded Whirlpools...]