Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Tree

Shortly after this tree was felled, The Mrs. decided she hated it because it had some bare spots on the sides. She harshed on it non-stop for the 45 minute drive home. She loves Christmas.


Something Not to Do 22

Let's say, purely hypothetically, that you overhear your wife yapping on the phone with her mother (something that happens two to five times per day), and you hear her say, "He doesn't want to see that! He knows what I looked like then. He knew me when I was twelve." And then, in order to prove her point in some twisted female-logic way, she proceeds to describe in great detail exactly how you dressed when you were twelve.

So you decide to surprise her and dress exactly that way for the next two days, and she doesn't notice at all. Eventually, you break down and say, "Look, I'm dressing just like I did when I was twelve. Just like you described on the phone to someone a couple days ago. Was it your mother?"

"Yes."

"Why were you describing that to your mother?"

"Well, she found these pictures of me when I was twelve, and she wanted to show them to you."

Now, we all know your penchant for inappropriate humor. But take it from me, no matter what you do, no matter how funny you think it will be, do not ask, "Are they topless?"

That, gentle readers, is Something Not to Do.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Live Blog!

Having all kinds of troubles with Qik today. The "stop" button isn't responding all the time, so this vid goes on a long time after I hit stop.



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Things just don't go smoothly this morning. For some reason, my phone refuses to connect to my laptop via the USB cable to let me copy the pictures off of it. It used to work fine, but now it just spins the "busy" wheel at me.

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Oh, there it is. It just took about two minutes of spinning to work. Now you can get pictures.

I haven't tried the Morning Fresh Dairy eggnog that we get delivered to our house yet, but HannahC seems to think it is spectacular. It is spectacularly expensive, at least. There is no expense The Mrs. will spare to get dairy products in glass containers.




Now for the secret ingredient that will help me weather the holiday.




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Last night, as I was putting HannahC to bed accidentally late (it was 12:45am, and we had been up watching Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America which I watch because The Mrs. hates it, and thus I can get some peace, and HannahC watches because she's fascinated that someone rich and famous could actually curse that much) and HannahC was again asking the same questions she has been asking for weeks, as she's been unsatisfied with the answers:
HannahC: "So, Waddy, what is Thanksgiving supposed to be about?"

Me, CherkyB: "It's a celebration of a good harvest, just like on that Charlie Brown Pilgrim video thing you just watched. The Pilgrims were happy that they lived through the year and had enough food to make it through the winter."

HannahC: "So, if you had a good harvest, don't you think you'd want to save some of it up instead of just eating it all at a big party?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, there's a limit as to how long you can keep food, so if you've got more than you can possibly eat before it goes bad, you might as well have a party."

HannahC: "So, it's basically a holiday for making a pig out of yourself."

Me, CherkyB: "There's also the whole 'being thankful' part. You're supposed to think of something that you're thankful for and celebrate that."

HannahC: "What are you thankful for Dah?"

Now, you have to realize that I've had this exact conversation at least once a day for the entire month of November, and I have a hard time taking anything seriously (especially insipid pap like being thankful for great friends and blah blah blah), so I responded ChrkyB style. I farted.

Me, CherkyB: [farting] "I'm thankful for the richness and depth of my farts."

HannahC: "You're an idiot."
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We'll be sitting down for appetizers (instead of lunch) now.



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Now Qik is acting up. I shot another video, but it won't embed properly.

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OK, now it works. Qik servers may be overloaded today.




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I'm surprised no one as asked about the weather. It's nice. I uninstalled and reinstalled Qik to see if that would fix the stop button issue. I dunno if it did, as my phone rebooted while I was shooting this time. That's why it ends kind of in the middle of a sentence.



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The Stop button worked this time.



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It's sad, really. I posted one video to Facebook, and it generated two comments and an phone call, whereas the old blog here has nothing. No wonder I've only made $25 off my ads in the last 10 months. I should probably post stuff more often to try to build the readership back.

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I'm going to drink some coffee and maybe watch some TV now. Almost nap time.

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Deal or No Deal is so stupid, yet it's the only thing on right now. Angry Thespian had the game cracked, IIRC. I wonder what ever happened to her. She's probably a TSA screener now.

We've been having a debate about this year's Christmas tree. We normally go to a tree farm in Greeley to cut our own tree down, but this year (a) I have a broken collarbone, and (b) the trees were all picked over pretty badly the past two years with last year's tree being horrible. We go the morning after Thanksgiving (which is when they open), so it's not like everyone got there before us. They're just pretty much out of trees taller than 4 feet.

The Mrs. has been making noise about getting an artificial tree. To me, that's just a sign you've given up. We're going to try a different Christmas tree farm this year that may or may not have been recommended by a friend. We're pretty sure this one is the place she's talking about, but she said a different (nearby) city. There are only two Christmas tree farms in that whole county, the other of which is the one we regularly go to. So this has to be it. Check for photos tomorrow.

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Checked statcounter. The only person who has read this so far is The Mrs. Probably cuz everyone else is busy checking Facebook...

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It's possible the Cowboys might be good enough to beat the Bills. Not for sure, though.

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Damnit, I made coffee, and now I'm out of Irish.

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HannahC just brought me this month's Car and Driver and asked if we could send the $1 coupon for Camel Dip to Uncle Locksmith for Christmas. She's so thoughtful. I told her no. Aunt Ellie would get mad, and we all know how fragile Aunt Ellie is. Plus, Aunt Ellie's FB friends would disapprove as well, and that would be quite embarrassing for her.

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I just noticed that I have 4 people "following" my weather blog, and I have no idea who any of them is.

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Our sink garbage disposal just died. It gave off a smell that we refer to at work as, "letting out the magic smoke".

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Yeah, we're gauche. We turned on our Christmas lights Tuesday.



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That seems to be it for today. Settling in to go to bed. Tune in tomorrow for Christmas Tree hijinks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Mrs. - Emasculator

As you all know, given the very frequent posts I put up here, I've been nursing a broken collarbone for about 4 weeks now. It's on my right side, and I'm right-handed, so this has put quite a crimp in my ability to do all the stuff I normally do. The Mrs., on occasion, has been called upon to help with things I normally would do. Needless to say, while she's been quite a trooper, she hasn't lost any of her charm:

Me, CherkyB [trying to unload items from Sam's Club shopping cart into back of winivan]: "Ow."

The Mrs.: "Is this hurting you?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah. A lot more than I expected it to."

The Mrs.: "Well, I can do this. I do this all the time."

Me, CherkyB: "OK."

The Mrs.: "Here. You just stand there and hold my purse."
I've never been so insulted.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I don't like meatloaf

My dear wife unfortunately grew up in an environment where they didn't have a lot of money and ate mostly dirt and bugs. Thus, she has a soft spot in her heart for things normal people don't think of as delicacies. Like eating bologna off of a vinyl couch, ground spam and onion sandwiches on hamburger buns, and meatloaf.

Now, I detest meatloaf. I always have. The Mrs., though, absolutely insists that I love meatloaf. She has no evidence of it, but she clings to it like a liberal clings to the belief that higher taxes creates jobs. Every damn year for the twenty years she has lived with me we have gone through the same little ritual. As soon as the weather starts cooling off in the fall, she starts thinking about meatloaf.

The Mrs.: "I love fall. Fall makes me crave meatloaf. Will you east a meatloaf if I make it?"

Me, CherkyB: "I don't like meatloaf."

The Mrs.: "You don't like your mother's meatloaf. You've never had a really good meatloaf. You've never had my meatloaf. My meatloaf is fantastic. You'll love it."

Me, CherkyB: "I've had your meatloaf. I don't like meatloaf."


Then, I have to try to choke down a horrible meatloaf. Tonight it was a new recipe that was so foul that The Childrens couldn't even eat it. It was supposed to be Ted Turner's recipe for bison meatloaf. I doubt very much Ted Turner eats anything like that.

But the most disappointing thing is that I can't convince her that I've ever tried her meatloaf. Twenty years this has been going on. Twenty years of trying meatloaf, with always this one going to be the one I'll like, and continual denial it ever happened. Sheesh.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MaxieC - Man of Wit

The fambly was soaking in the hottub a couple days ago, and The Childrens decided to tell jokes. There seems to be very little I can do about this.

MaxieC: "Knock knock"

Me, CherkyB: "Who's there?"

MaxieC: "Banana"

Me, CherkyB: "Banana who?"

MaxieC: "Knock knock"

Me, CherkyB: "Who's there?"

MaxieC: "Peach"

Me, CherkyB: "Peach who?"

MaxieC: "Peach banana pie! Bwaaaa-haaa-haa-haaa-haaa....."

Me, CherkyB: "Did you write that joke yourself?"

MaxieC: "Yup."

Me, CherkyB: "Well, don't make up any more jokes. "

MaxieC: "Why not?"

Me, CherkyB: "Because you clearly have no idea what's funny. You'd think that after all these years living with your mother you'd have developed a sense of humor. As a defense mechanism."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Democrats - They're Everywhere

Back when I was in grad school and The Not-Yet-Mrs. was living with me on account of her inability to actually earn a living with a degree in music, she convinced me not to kill spiders I found in the apartment because, "Spiders are good. They eat all the bad bugs." Spiders, however, like to have hundreds and hundreds of babies. If you implement a no-kill policy (or a no-relocate-outside-where-they-belong-policy), a couple months later you realize your entire place has been overrun with spiders.

This is what has happened with Democrats.

On Sunday, I took Max up to the Cub Scout camp for Tiger Cub Day. Tiger Cub Day could be best described as a day in which the parents stand in lines, holding places for their childrens, while the boys go off to play. If you're up in the mountains at a camp with a big pack of 1st grade boys, and the only things to play with are are piles of boulders and lots of sticks, well, it's only natural that wars are going to break out with sticks for guns and rocks for forts.

I overheard this from the mom standing in line a couple people behind me talking to her husband.
"I told him it was OK to make guns with the sticks but that he wasn't allowed to touch any of the sticks that looked like handguns."
The line we were standing in? The BB gun line.

Democrats.

They're everywhere.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Isn't it Dreamy?

Wow. Two posts in one day. Can you tell The Mrs. isn't home?

The following is a Certified True Story (with no asterisks). I had this dream Saturday night while sleeping at the wonderful Cambria Suites in Pueblo, Colorado. We went there to go to the Colorado State Fair, at which HannahC had four 4H exhibits (she got 3 Grand Champions and, I think, Champion on the fourth one). I submit for your analysis the following dream:
I am in prison, where I have been sent for some sort of DWI infraction, though I don't remember any of what happened. I just remember I'm supposed to be in prison. I am not in an ordinary cell because I am considered to be extremely dangerous and need to be kept in a special cell, like Hannibal Lecter.

The cell itself is a giant cube that is three stories high and has bars on the front in a 3x3 matrix, as though what had happened was they had taken three cells across and three floors up and just removed all the walls and ceilings to make one giant cell. The inside of the cell is tiled completely in shiny, white 12" ceramic tile. There are windows on the back of the cell up near the ceiling through which sunlight streams, making it very bright (given that everything is white tile).

The front of the cell looks out into another room that is the same size, but instead of tile, it is the drab, unpainted concrete you'd expect of a prison. There's a door that goes from that room out to the rest of the prison, but I don't know what it looks like out there as I can't see out it from in my cell. The guards keep watch over me at all times from this other room, lest I devise some method to escape and kill a bunch of people. They sit on what looks like uncomfortable wooden benches - long, rough wooden planks on legs, no backs to lean on so that they can't doze off.

I have no furniture whatsoever. I sleep on the cold tile floor, but this doesn't bother me because I spend all my time thinking about how afraid they all are of me, and how being such a complete bad-ass comes at some cost in personal comfort. But I can't for the life of me recall ever doing anything that would cause me to be considered dangerous. Still, it is reassuring that the guards fear me. I spend time thinking about how I would act if I were in a movie playing a dangerous prisoner and trying to act like that.

Suddenly, it is visiting hours. The guards open up the cell, and all the guys from my project at work come in. The guards don't lock the cell - they leave the door open. Everyone is just milling around between the cell and the adjoining guard chamber like it's some kind of cocktail party.

My co-workers brought me my coffee mug from work filled with the free coffee we get at work. How thoughtful. My boss asks me a couple work status-related questions, which I answer, because I haven't been emailing out my weekly status reports on account of me being locked up in prison.

One of the guys on the team comes up to me and says, "Hey check it out. I finally got my new Droid X!" I say how the thing I miss most about prison life is my Droid. Then, I get resentful that he has a Droid X, and I'm not even allowed my Droid in prison, so I snatch it away from him, wave it around, and yell very loudly so that the guards will hear, "Maybe I should shove this down your throat and choke you to death with it."

He looks frightened, and I feel bad cuz he's a nice guy that I had no intention of killing, but I was really just trying to impress on the guards what a shit job they are doing of keeping me, total bad-ass killer, from killing anyone. Then my boss slaps me on the back and says, "Quit screwing around. You can't kill any of us. You'd get fired."

And I nod, thinking to myself what a hell of a great deal it is that I get to keep my job even while I'm locked up in solitary in prison, and how I better not mess that up. But still, I think the guards should be taking quite a bit more seriously the fact that I am apparently some kind of devious, demented killer who bites people's faces off or something, and I am upset with the disrespect and shoddy work ethic from these low level government employees.

Then, someone says something obvious, "Wow. It must suck to be locked up in a cell and not be able to do anything you want ever and never have any fun at all."

Not being able to resist a straight line like that, I respond, "Yeah. It's like being married. Only here, they'll let me out after just 20 years."

At this, absolutely everyone stops talking and turns to me with aghast stares. My boss breaks the silence, "That's not funny, man. Don't even joke about that."

I try to think of something to say about his mom, but I can't.
I had Chicken on a Stick with a side of lo mein at the fair for dinner, in case that helps with your analysis.

I've never gotten used to it

Some day, maybe. I've learned to expect it, I suppose. I imagine this happens to everyone, though. It just happened to me a couple hours ago. There I was, in the friendly neighborhood liquor store, picking up some provisions, when the Bacardi rep tried to sell me on exchanging out some of the brands I had selected for Bacardi brands (in this case, to trade my Tanqueray for Bombay Sapphire) in exchange for a $5 rebate and a free shot glass. She was young and blonde and, uh, well put together, so I let her talk me into it. Plus, I actually like Bombay Sapphire better, but I'm not willing to pay the extra $2 for it.

While I was filling in the rebate form, she glanced over my shopping cart and said,
Blonde Liquor Girl: "Sooooo...you having a party?"

Me, CherkyB: "Uh. No. That's actually all just for me."

Blonde Liquor Girl: "Oh."

Me, CherkyB: "Well, it is a long weekend."

Blonde Liquor Girl: "Yeah. That's why I asked you if you were having a party cuz it's a long weekend and I saw that you had so much...uh...OK. It'll take 4-6 weeks to get your rebate check in the mail."
Of course, the most fantastic part of all this is that the Deschutes Brewery truck was out front, and they were giving away free hot dogs, and I was hungry, and Deschutes beer was on sale. I got a 12-pack of Mirror Pond. Mmmmm.

The shot glass turned out to be total shite, though. Plastic.

Those of you who follow my occasional updates on FaceBook know that I'm heading out to go dove hunting tomorrow morning. And, yes, as I explained to The Childrens, that means I'll be hunting those nice little mourning doves that go "cooo cooo" and wake you up at the crack of dawn. Like the one that laid eggs in The Mrs.'s hanging flower basket on the front porch.

Now, I've never been dove hunting before. In fact, I've only ever been elk hunting before, and that was just once. Why just once? I take you back nine years:
The Mrs.: "You spent a thousand dollars on hunting gear, and you'll probably only go once."
The Mrs. is quite prescient. She has never let me go again after that.

A while back, as I'm sure you all remember, I picked myself up a shotgun. Not because I had any particular use for a shotgun, mind you, but because I'm a man. And a man should own a shotgun. I also felt like I had enough pistols (for now), and enough rifles (given I'm not allowed to go hunting anymore), and I felt it was time to branch out some.

Well, up at work I've fallen in with this bad crowd of folks who honestly and truly own so many guns that they can't even name them all. The ringleader is a guy who used to be named Mark something-or-other, but that wasn't special enough so, I kid you not*, he changed his name to Harrison Balzonya. He's taken pity upon me cuz of my sorry state of being so henpecked, and he's decided to teach me how to hunt doves, as you don't need a tag for that at all, and there are a number of places within a half hour of home where you can do it.

[It'll help if you read this paragraph with the voice of Carson Kressley in your head] Plus, the thing that is so very fun about hunting birds is that you get to dress all up in urban-chic camouflage, not in that dreadful orange that big game hunters wear.

Yeah, OK, Carson probably isn't a huge fan of camo hunting gear. But the accessories are a blast.


Mt hat doesn't match my clothes, and the gun isn't camo. But that'll be OK, cuz I understand that there probably won't be any doves where we're going hunting them anyways. It's a secret spot that usually mobbed on the weekends. I'll let you know if I kill anything.

* as far as you know

Thursday, July 22, 2010

CherkyB, Man of Reason

MaxieC: "Dad, can we order the pizza now?"

Me, CherkyB: "No. "

MaxieC: "Awwwww..."

Me, CherkyB: "We can't do anything until we get these dishes cleaned up so that we have some room to eat. I don't know why Mama has decided to stop doing dishes again. I really should get you a new mama. Do you like this mama?"

MaxieC: "Yeah."

Me, CherkyB: "You don' want a new, younger mama with bigger boobs?"

MaxieC: [silence]

Me, CherkyB: "Yes? No?"

MaxieC: [silence]

Me, CherkyB: "Oh. You don't want to answer."

MaxieC: "I can't decide!"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Back from Hiatus

My toe hurts. It hurts quite a bit. I don't know why. I assume it's gout, which is why I've given up drinking.

I'm currently treating the ailment with one of the best pain killers known to man - bourbon. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. Whiskey with an e.

We have multiple ongoing sagas here at the homestead - it's almost like an episode of Lost, except without any time travel, aliens, dinosaurs, or an audience. At least, I imagine it's like that, as I've never in my life seen an episode of Lost. I'm much too sophisticated for that.

Plus, it conflicted with Manswers, or 1000 Ways to Die, or something like that.

The first saga is that of camping. The Childrens have been nagging me about camping ever since we visited their aunt and uncle at a campsite in the Medicine Bows (a couple years back, I think). I broke down and purchased an enormous tent two weeks ago. A Kelty Parthenon 8. I bought the last one on Memorial Day, and I was back there yesterday, and they didn't have any more. Heh. The price was excellent. Much cheaper than anything I could find online.

Thus far, all we've managed to do is spend one night in it in the back yard, and then in the morning, I toasted bread on the camp stove with the toaster attachment, slathered it in Nutella, and served it to the fambily as breakfast. I also percolated coffee on the camp stove. It was just like camping, except there was a nice hot shower and a proper bathroom. The Childrens had a blast, though I had to remove the room divider early on. The Mrs. hemmed and hawed about joining us in the tent until well after we were all asleep out there, so she wasn't there at first, and when HannahC realized that it was dark and she was the only one on the "girls' side" of the tent, she got all worried.

I slept fine excepting for two instances. The first, I had just drifted off to sleep when I suddenly had this dream that there were bright lights shining in my eyes, blinding me. I awoke to find that there were bright lights shining in my eyes, though I wasn't blind. No, The Mrs. has decided to join us, and so she had flipped on the flood lights in the yard while she trekked back ond forth like 40 times to get all her gear. I dunno how many times, cuz I went back to sleep after about the second trip. But in the morning when it was time to break camp, I found she had her self-inflating ground cushion, zero degree "Deer Hunter" sleeping bag, two feather pillows, her teddy bear, and the body pillow.

That's right, gentle readers, my wife managed to stuff one of those 4 foot-long body pillows down in her sleeping bag. Her sleeping bag is enormous, though. More like a bedroll, really.
Me, CherkyB: "Wow. You brought all this stuff down here for the night? Not a very good dry run."

The Mrs.: "What do you mean?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, we're not taking all this stuff with us if we go camping."

The Mrs.: "Oh, I'm bringing it."

Me, CherkyB: "We won't have room."

The Mrs.: "The pickup bed is enormous."

Me, CherkyB: "Well, it's not really in the spirit of camping."

The Mrs.: "Why are you always gratuitously attacking me? You're such a jerk!"
The second time I woke up was about 4am, when the howling of the coyotes all around us stirred something deep inside me that I had repressed years ago when I got married and have tried to keep repressed in order to be a good husband - my survival instinct. I got to thinking about how, though we have never seen a coyote actually in the yard, they like to run along the trail behind our yard. A trail separated from our yard by a 3 foot high fence that FreddyC, despite being 12 years old and rather smallish, has no problem jumping whenever it seems something on the other side might be more exciting. But if the coyotes clear the fence, they'd still have to make it the 15 feet across the grass to where the tent is and then somehow make it through the tent walls, which are multiple meters thick, if you go by their static water pressure resistance rating.

Naturally, though, I just thought to myself,
Me, CherkyB: "Self, the coyotes aren't going to try to eat you. Now, they might try to eat MaxieC, who is right next to you and quite a bit less imposing in size. Plus, he's probably covered with whatever nasty candy he was eating right before bed, making him especially stinky."

Me, CherkyB: "But still, if they do attempt it, as The Man, it'll be your job to thwart the attack."

Me, CherkyB: "That, Self, is why it was good thinking to bring the .40cal with 14 rounds of JHP all loaded up instead of that pissant little 9mm. And the spare magazine with another 13 rounds."

Me, CherkyB: "Oh, and Self, you need to stop referring to it as 'your divorce attorney'. The Mrs. doesn't really think that's all that funny. And even though you and I both know she thinks it's hysterical - after all, she wanted desperately to marry you, of all people, so she must appreciate your inability to take anything seriously, even if she doesn't let on - it's the kind of thing that can be used against you at some later date."
I slept like a baby after that.

Now, though, I cannot go camping because I don't have a good ice chest. I don't like any of the ones I find locally except for the Yeti, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay $300 for a stinking ice chest. Bear proof or not.

Which bring me to my second saga. I decided to see if there was a way I could make it so that the air conditioner cools the second floor, where all the bedrooms are, on hot days. It turns out there is. It just involves completely replacing my entire HVAC system (other than the duct work, though the duct work is certainly as defective as everything else), plus adding a second A/C that will have the blower unit in the attic with all new duct work up there to cool just the second floor. But, hey, that's only $25k, and I'll get close to $5k in rebates and energy tax credits and such on top of that.

See, I have one of these. It's out of warranty and 12 years old, which turns out to be rather old for one of these to still be running.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

CherkyB, Giver of Fatherly Advice

MaxieC: "Hey Dah, have you ever considered that every second that you live you"

Me, CherkyB [interrupting]: "Are one second closer to death?"

MaxieC: "Yeah. Exactly."

Me, CherkyB: "Yup. In fact, I'm pretty close to death."

The Mrs. [from the next room]: "Oh stop."

Me, CherkyB: "I'm probably halfway to death. Maybe closer. Hard to say exactly. Now, womens live longer than men by like 7 years, so Momma's not as close to death as I am despite her being older then I am."

MaxieC: "So I'll die sooner."

Me, CherkyB: "Well, not sooner than Momma. But you'll probably die sooner than your wife. That's why you should always marry a woman who is at least 7 years younger than you."

MaxieC: "Why?"

Me, CherkyB: "So that your wife doesn't live a really long time after you die. Hmmm...wait. That's backwards. You'd have to marry a woman 7 years older than you for that to work. Well, you should still make sure you marry a woman at least 7 years younger than you anyways."

MaxieC: "Oh. Ok, Dah."

Monday, May 24, 2010

MaxieC, Man who Minces Not Words

We were sitting around discussing the logistics of trying to go anywhere on a vacation, when the Mrs. noted that some friends of hers have a house sitter who charges $20/day to watch the house and pets as long as she's allowed to have her boyfriend over.
MaxieC: "What's a house sitter?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, you know how a baby sitter comes over to watch the babies when parents go out?"

MaxieC: "I'm not a baby!"

Me, CherkyB: "I didn't say you were. So, a house sitter is someone who watches your house while you're out. With all the pets we have, it's very hard to find people to watch them all, and Camp Bow Wow charges like $35/day just for FreddyC."

The Mrs.: "And we had to take the rat over to K's house, and the guniea pigs to N's house, and I had to have S come over to feed the fish and water the plants."

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah. You remember how we took that road trip to Barfalo last year to go to Auntie D's wedding? Well, I guess Auntie D's and Uncle D's wedding. Wasn't that nice of them to schedule their weddings at the same time so we could go to both in just one trip?"

MaxieC: "Duuuhhh...they got married to each other!"

Me, CherkyB: "I suppose they did. By the way, who got the better deal out of that marriage?"

MaxieC: "Uhhhh...."

Me, CherkyB: "Auntie D did. You know why? Cuz she's the woman. Women always get the better deal in a marriage."

MaxieC: "Why is that?"

Me, CherkyB: "Because the entire institution of marriage is structured around the desires of women. There's really nothing about marriage designed for men."

MaxieC: "That's not true. The man has a very important part in a marriage."

Me, CherkyB: "What's that?"

MaxieC [making a sweeping had gesture where he holds out his left palm and swings his right arm down to land his index finger on said palm]: "The man has to deposit the sperm!"


Sunday, May 16, 2010

CherkyB, Role Model

Yesterday, The Childrens and I were out working in the yard when it began to rain. There had been big thunderclouds overhead for a while, and the wind had whipped up and turned cold, so this was not unexpected. It's also fairly standard to have a thunderstorm in the afternoon during the spring around these parts.

We packed up all the tools that were out which, I believe, was a folding tree saw and My Precious lawn tractor. Then, upon HannahC's direction, we all climbed into the bed of the pickup, opened the garage door behind it, and sat watching the storm. Naturally, when you're sitting in the bed of a pickup, drinks are in order. So I got myself an ice cold Keystone Ice, HannahC got herself a caffeine free Diet Pepsi leftover from Grandmother Moo's visit, and MaxieC, ever the showman, got a bottle of sparkling grape juice and a cup.

Now, in the bed of my pickup, I have a ratcheting cargo bar. Except mine is really, really cheap cuz I got it at Harbor Freight. I've taken to heart that old pickup-owners maxim, "everything I own is either wet or stolen," and I've steadfastly refused to store anything of value in the bed. I do keep the cargo bar in there, hence it's a cheap one.

Well, The Childrens saw the cargo bar as a potential chair that they could sit on whilst peering over the tailgate. The new F150's tailgate is quite a bit taller than the old Dakota's was, and the found that they couldn't see over while just sitting on the bed floor. I told them it was a really cheap bar and would bend if they sat on it, and then I got 20-questions that involved variations of sitting on it that potentially placed less weight on it but that would quickly devolve into sitting on it, to which I replied "no." Finally, we decided that they could kneel between the cargo bar and the tailgate and lean against the cargo bar. Which they got bored of in about 30 seconds and came back across the bar.

Then, MaxieC poured himself another cup of sparkling cider, and he set the glass bottle down about 2" from his foot.
Me, CherkyB: "Don't put it there. You'll kick it over."

MaxieC: "No I won't. My foot is over here."

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah, but you'll squirm around and kick it over. You're really clumsy."

MaxieC: "Fine! I'll put it on the other side of the bar where no human is allowed."

[Proceeds to move it to the other side of the cargo bar]

Me, CherkyB: "No human allowed? You just spent the last 10 minutes over there trying to figure out different ways you could put your ass on the bar."

Me, CherkyB [imitating MaxieC's voice]: "Can I put my ass on it?"

Me, CherkyB [own voice]: "No."

Me, CherkyB [imitating MaxieC's voice]: "Well, how about if I just put one ass cheek on it?"

Me, CherkyB [own voice]: "No."

Me, CherkyB [imitating MaxieC's voice]: "Well how about if I just put my ass crack on it?"

Me, CherkyB [own voice]: "No."

Me, CherkyB [imitating MaxieC's voice]: "Well, how about if I sit in front of it and just lean my ass back up against it?"

Me, CherkyB [own voice]: "Oh, OK."

MaxieC: "OK OK. I'll put it in the corner."
A few minutes later, MaxieC tried out a sentence with the word "ass" in it.
Me, CherkyB: "Watch your mouth there, cowboy."

MaxieC: "But you said it a minute ago!"

Me, CherkyB: "Yes, but I am a man. It is my job to role model for you the kind of behavior that is expected from a man. That way [pointing at MaxieC] you know how to grow up and be a man, and you [pointing at HannahC] know how a proper man behaves so that you can find the right kind to marry and not end up with a socialist or something."

HannahC: "Marry? Someone like you? But Momma doesn't even like you!"

Me, CherkyB: "Yes, but that has nothing to do with me."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Great Schism

I found it surprising that I only have 9 whiskeys. I have divided them into two groups: on one side, Maker's Mark, Crown Royal, Glenlivet, and Canadian Club; on the other, Jack Daniel's, Seagram's 7, Jim Beam Rye, Bushmill, and Woodford Reserve.

Pop quiz: why have I divided them into these groups?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

CherkyB, Real Man of Genius

"OK, MaxieC, you can cast down the driveway, but not at the trees."

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Christening

Christians, as most of you have likely heard, believe that new children should be baptized in order to welcome them into the Fambily of God. This christening involves some sort of liquid - most commonly water, though sometimes scented oils are used - that the child is either moistened with on the head or is fully immersed into. Methods vary.

Well, I attended such a joyous event yesterday. I had not expected to. You see, the day started out like any other Monday - a horrible awakening a half hour earlier than the rest of the week, drive the kids to their Monday-only school (hence the half hour earlier awakening), go to my job, suffer. But instead of going home, I got to go to the end-of-the-school-year musical and theater performance by The Childrens and their little classmates, the precious little creatures that they are.

As is often the case, the thing started late and was a lot longer than one would normally hope for from a school performance. Since buying the Droid, though, these things have been a lot more tolerable, as I can surf the web at 3G speeds and play games during the whole thing. Excepting that my darling wife, whose love knows no bounds for me and for whom my happiness is her driving force, sent me this touching text just as I pulled into the parking lot:
The Mrs.: "I've saved us two seats right in the front row."
Naturally.

The performances went about as well as one could hope. The audio track drowned out the kindergartners' singing, a blessing in disguise I imagine. There were a couple Destination Imagination skits that we were told involved robotics, but the "robotic technology" in the one our precocious little girl acted in was MaxieC's Thomas the Tank Engine alarm clock in a diaper hanging from the end of a Christmas wrapping paper tube that was taped to the top of a box.

Yeah, we clapped anyways.

After over two hours of this, it gloriously ended with lots of speeches from the director of the school and a couple teachers and the guy who rents the building to them. Then it was snack time. MaxieC loaded up his plate with cookies and brownies and started chowing, HannahC chattered with her giggling little friends, The Mrs. took over the job of Pouring The Drinks So That They Don't Get Spilled, and I stood forlornly in the middle of the room, suffering, occasionally meeting the eye of another poor, suffering father who had to come to this directly from work and hadn't had dinner, and we would give that little nod of acknowledgment and then return to our quiet desperation, all the while wondering how it has come to this.

At some point, I felt something leaning against me, and I looked down to see MaxieC with his look of quiet desperation. I feel for MaxieC, as at least I have the escape of work to get away from the prattling womens. Realizing how I actually came directly from work, and thus I had my truck and The Mrs. had her winivan, I inquired as to whether MaxieC want to, "get the hell out of this place," and I received an affirmative.

So, I went to inform The Mrs. of our escapetude. Of course, The Mrs. responded exactly as you would expect a woman to respond when her husband doesn't want to hang around long past the end of the school program:
Me, CherkyB: "Max and I are going home."

The Mrs.: "I need paper towels. Bring me paper towels."

Me, CherkyB: "The Mrs., I don't have any paper towels."
Then one of the teachers handed her a stack of napkins, so she waved me off. Apparently, taking over the pouring of the drinks does not guarantee a lack of spillage.

Once in the truck, MaxieC started whining about having a headache. Then, he fell asleep. About a mile from the house, he woke up and started complaining about wanting to be home right now.

As we turned onto our street, a mere five houses away form home, I heard what sounded like a drink being spilled in the back.
MaxieC: "Uh, Dah?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah?"

MaxieC: "I just threw up."

Me, CherkyB: "Huh?!!!"

MaxieC: "I said I just..." [bleaugh bleaugh bleaugh]

MaxieC: "I threw up again."

Me, CherkyB: "Gaaahh!! Those are perforated leather seats! Try to barf onto the floor cuz I have winter floormats that can hold a lot of liquid."

MaxieC: "OK Da[bleaugh blueah bleagh]"

MaxieC: "I feel a lot better now."
I pulled into the driveway, jumped out, ran around to MaxieC's door, and checked the damage. There, I found MaxieC with barf all down his shirt and pants, the booster seat covered in barf, the perforated leather seats all covered in barf, and barf running down around the edge and dripping onto the Sony 700W amplifier under his seat. Oddly enough, very little barf on the floormat. Oh, my poor new truck.

Welcome to the fambily.

Methods differ.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The World's Most Over-Engineered Compost

OK, not really. But it did cost close to $500 in materials and take two days to build. Would you expect any less from Me, CherkyB?

It all started back in San Schmose, where I built a rather nice compost bin out of redwood posts and that synthetic decking material that looks like Trex but is a lot cheaper. Here's a photo of it from this post.


I couldn't believe that I didn't blog the construction of that compost bin, given what a major accomplishment it was. So I poked around a bit and I believe the reason is that I built it pre-blogging. Yes, can you believe it? I actually had some life pre-blogging. And from the way things have been going, it looks pretty certain I'll have some life post-blogging as well.

I started blogging in March of 2006, and a mere 9 days into it, the compost appeared in a couple pictures in what was roughly my thirteenth post. If you count them today, it'll look like the twelfth, but remember that the first one was so bad, I deleted it. Nobody has the very first thing Mozart ever wrote, either. Probably. I'm not really an expert on Mozart, though I saw Amadeus a long time ago, so I know his wife called him "Volfie" and had a big, giant personalities. Or perhaps that was just the style of the dress.

The Mrs., as you can imagine, has been nagging me ever since we moved here to build her a new compost so that she could compost her "coffee grounds and eggshells." I, as you can imagine, found a lot of other things to do rather than to spend a weekend building a compost so that we could compost coffee grounds and eggshells. We don't really drink all that much coffee, and eggshells just aren't all that big. If you look at our flow of garbage, I'm pretty sure coffee grounds and eggshells are about as significant in magnitude as the rounding error in the volume calculation.

But, The Mrs. is not so easily dissuaded. Nag nag nag nag nag.

And then I got my glorious chipper. Instead of throwing them out, I chopped up all spring-cleanup yard waste. Now, I had piles of shredded branches and leaves all over the garden plot.

And then I was finally able to figure out what the right bagger was for My Precious, and I was finally able to secure one (though I had to pay special-order freight charges of $80), and I was finally able to install it and mow the lawn with it, and it made 25 bushels of grass clippings. That's over a cubic yard. Oye. So I had a big pile of grass clippings on the garden plot, too.

[For those of you who care (given that I couldn't figure this out without literally hours of googling, following nested links to old pdf files, and then contacting the manufacturer), the correct bagger for a 2006 Husqvarna YTH20F42T is now the H342SG. They no longer make the YTGTT342 that the manual that came with the tractor specifies, but as far as I can tell (and this was approximately, though not explicitly, confirmed by the Husqvarna customer service rep) they just renamed the YTGTT342 to H342SG as part of a renaming scheme that renamed all tractors and accessories with more "modular" names. For baggers, the key is "H" for Husqvarna, "3" for triple-bagger, "42" for a 42" mowing deck, and "SG" means sloped drawbar (oddly, "SL" means vertical drawbar - I dunno what exactly SG and SL are supposed to abbreviate). The "drawbar" is the back of the tractor frame where the bagger will attach.]

Now I really needed a compost. So, I assigned The Mrs. the job of figuring out what the HOA rules were regarding this. She failed miserably. Basically, she found the name of the "architectural approval" guy, and then called him to tell him I'd call him. But, you know how the saying goes, "If you want something done right, don't assign it to your wife."

It turns out that the HOA will let me do pretty much anything I want with a compost if I keep it under about 6 feet tall. This is a restriction that is relatively easy to satisfy.

The little compost we had in San Schmose that served as the inspiration for this one was capable of holding about one cubic yard. It was 3'x3'x3'. If I'm producing more than that in grass clippings in one mow (albeit, the first mow of the season, so it was a bit longer than normal), clearly this wasn't going to be enough. I planned to make it as a two-bin compost, with each bin 3x3x3.

The Mrs. looked at it when I laid it out with spray paint on the dirt and declared it too small. So I bumped it up to 2 bins of 4x4x3. After a lot of thought, I decided to build a temporary frame out of 1x3's to hold all the posts in place while the concrete set.

I used the bottom of the frame to lay out where to dig the holes, then I made MaxieC earn his keep:


We got everything in there and leveled the thing by adding gravel under the posts.


I added a diagonal across the front to keep the posts vertical. The frame had a tendency to rack when left to its own devices. Then, we put fast-set post concrete into the holes and added water.


The fronts of the two bins are made out of individual slats that slide down into a groove I cut in the posts using a router and a few passes of a 3/4" straight-cut bit.


The slats are kept separate with 4" screws left protruding from either end of the slat. This is an idea I got from somewhere, I think it was This Old House Magazine, but I don't remember anymore, though the original didn't drop the slats into grooves in the posts but rather attached a 2x2 down the side slats behind the post to form the slot between the post and the 2x2.


The two bins are separated by a similar slats-in-groove design, only these are permanently held into place with 4" screws shot diagonally through the top of each slat and down into post. The outside slats are just face-screwed into the posts with 3" deck screws.


Here it is all done, though it still has concrete dust all over it that needs to get washed off eventually. HannahC was supposed to wash it off with the hose, but she didn't. It has been raining the past three days almost non-stop, so I'm guessing it's pretty well washed off now.


We shoveled up all the yard waste that was in various piles in the garden plot and tossed it in the left bin. We mindfully mixed the dried leaves and wood chips in with the grass to promote fast rotting, and we almost completely filled one bin. HannahC then watered everything down to get it cooking.


Today, the bin is not even half full. We've had a lot of compression, which is probably just grass rotting. I imagine it will be overflowing with coffee grounds and eggshells presently.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

CherkyB, Historian Father

MaxieC: "Blar-dee-blar-blar gooba gooba yak yak [whatever whatever]..."

Me, CherkyB: "MaxieC, stop being such a maroon."

MaxieC: "What does that even mean, Dah? I mean, I've read all these books about stuff like that, and I just can't find what it means to be a 'maroon'."

Me, CherkyB: "Well, son, when I was your age, there was this cartoon character who was the best cartoon character of all time. He was like the Sponge Bob of his day. His name was Bugs Bunny."

MaxieC: "Oh yaaaaah! I know about Bugs Bunny. And there's that guy that's always fighting with him."

Me, CherkyB: "Elmer Fudd."

MaxieC: "Oh yaaaahh! Elmer Fudd. And there was that other guy, too, that was always trying to get him that looked like Elmer Fudd but was a different guy that was always trying to get him that wasn't Elmer Fudd."

Me, CherkyB: "Uhhh...sometimes Daffy Duck would fight with Bugs, but I don't remember another guy."

MaxieC: "Yaaaa! There was another guy, and he looked a lot like Elmer Fudd, only he wasn't Elmer Fudd, but he looked like him, and he was"

Me, CherkyB: "ANYWAYS, Bugs Bunny was really a wise guy, but he wasn't super bright. So one time, he was trying to insult someone by saying, 'What a moron,' but he said, 'What a maroon,' instead. So now, everybody my age calls people 'maroons' when they want to say 'moron' but in a funnier way. It's like a tribute to Bugs Bunny."

MaxieC: "Oh wow, Dah! That's being called a 'maroon' means! Thanks!"
Any time, son. That's what they call "parenting."

Monday, March 29, 2010

CherkyB, Melodramatician

This weekend, I decided to have a conversation with my wife. It's not something I do terribly often, given the general futility of such endeavors, but I gave it a shot.
Me, CherkyB: "I've decided maybe I'm clinically depressed."

The Mrs.: "Oh?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yes. I think I'd like to be depressed. That way, none of this would be my fault."

The Mrs.: "You should get some pills for your depression then."

Me, CherkyB: "Oh, that would work out spectacularly."

Both: "Sigh."
I realized yesterday that my daughter pronounces the "t" in "often". I think she might be British. I'm not sure why, though it's rumored I have some grandparents from there.

Speaking of British, you know how they like to boil their food? I believe the Irish do this as well (there's no accounting for taste, as they say). Well, imagine, if you will, saying this to someone, "Yes, yes, boiling is wonderful, but if you really want to bring out the flavor of a dish, instead of boiling I recommend soaking the food in tepid water for ten hours."

You should give it a try.

There have been many awe-inspiring new developments in the old Cherky household that I would have told you about as they happened, excepting I'm in a deep funk that requires me to sit around in the basement (a place I have decided to call "my flat") watching TV for all my free time. A TV that is not more than 15 feet from my blogging compooter - a distance I find insurmountable.

This, of course, made all the worse by the fact that my blogging compooter is a laptop that has an extended life battery that lasts over three hours and so would be easily ported to the couch on which I recline while watching TV, except that would require walking all the way over here from over there. Though over here is right next to the bar, a place somehow I am able to keep up with visiting. Plus, I can blog from my phone, though the blogging app doesn't support the blockquotes format, so I can't do those little conversations I have with The Mrs. that form the basis of so many of my posts, and that makes me sad.

So, let me just tell you about Sunday. Sunday was the day of days. But first, a little setup is in order. You all remember a couple weeks back how I started getting sick, so I had to go sleep in the basement guest room (AKA Granny's Room). Well, either The Mrs. or I have been sick the entire time since then, and so I've managed to keep sleeping in the basement, hence I have begun to refer to the basement as "my flat." I had been calling it "my apartment," but that seemed somewhat lowbrow and annoyed The Mrs. quite a bit. After weighing the pros and cons of that, I decided I really didn't like being lowbrow. One of the side-effects of me living in my flat is that I am sleeping uncommonly well given the lack of constant interruption from MaxieC and the always-present exasperated tsk-tsking from The Mrs. at every tiny little noise. However, there has been one little thing.

I've found I sometimes lose sleep if I don't have a gun with me. I left the gun up with The Mrs., figuring that I'm a very deep sleeper, whereas she's quite a light sleeper, and so if'n anything came to pass, I'd probably sleep through the whole thing in the nice quiet, dark basement, so it'd be better if she had the gun. But, I woke up at 3am on Saturday night thinking to myself, "Self, the only thing in this room that'd be marginally useful against a home invasion is your guitar. And really, that's a pretty light guitar to be bashing over anyone's head. Plus, it's not easily replaceable, given it hasn't been made for over 15 years. You should come up with another plan."

Now, I'm a reasonably bright guy, so coming up with a plan wasn't all that difficult. Especially since "the gun" up there means, "the gun I have in the bedside GunVault," not "the one gun I have." This really boiled down to getting another GunVault. So when I got up out of bed on Sunday, I was determined to go score another GunVault. I emerged from my flat, and The Mrs. started crabbing at me about something - I don't know what cuz I don't pay it any mind any more - so I said:
Me, CherkyB: "I'm going out."

The Mrs.: "But I'm making breakfast!"

Me, CherkyB: "Do I normally eat breakfast?"

The Mrs.: "No."

Me, CherkyB: "OK then. I'm going out."

The Mrs.: "Where?"

Me, CherkyB: "Shopping."

The Mrs.: "Where?"

Me, CherkyB: "I think probably Sportsman's".

The Mrs.: "But HannahC has to be at the ice rink by 12:30."

Me, CherkyB: "I think I can make it to Sportsman's and back in three hours. It's only ten minutes from here. Did MaxieC eat?"

The Mrs.: "Yes."

Me, CherkyB: "Great. I'll take him with me."
Off we went. MaxieC, when we got there, declared that he needed some snorkel gear. Why, I know not, but it definitely in some way involved the fact that HannahC had some, and he didn't. So I snagged him a snorkel. Then I looked at the bedside safes. They had everything under the sun but the one I wanted. I wanted to get one identical to the one I had, given that in the middle of the night when someone is intruding, you may not want to go, "Hmmm...now which safe is this, and how do I open this one?"

And thus we were off to Jax, which about a year ago opened a location quite near Sportsman's. Well, Jax had big stacks of exactly the model I was looking for. Hot damn. I bought one, and as we were walking out of the place, I spied a whole bunch of outdoor power equipment lined up over towards the right. And lo, there was the sweetest looking little chipper there. I mean, what's not to like about a 10hp engine with 14.5 lbs-ft of torque in a compact package for under $1000?

So I had to buy a chipper, too.

I got home at about 11:30 with my new chipper and gun safe, and MaxieC ran in the house to show The Mrs. his new snorkel. She came out to announce that she was about to make breakfast and to ask if I wanted any.

Now, see, two hours earlier, I thought we had already had this conversation. I'm pretty damn sure she was about to make breakfast when I left. But, being as that I was temporarily happy from spending over $1000 on my purchases, I didn't want to get her all catty at me (well, any more than usual), so I acquiesced and agreed to eat scrambled eggs.

But this was killing me. A brand new chipper, less than an hour before we have to leave for the ice rink (HannahC had a competition - she won!), and I've got to eat breakfast instead of playing with my new toy. So I got it out of the truck and filled it with gas while she cooked the eggs, then I gobbled down my breakfast as fast as I could and ran outside to play.

Now, naturally, given that I was in a hurry, I decided to forgo all those safety things like eye protection and gloves and steel toe boots. I blazed it up (and let me tell you, pull-starting a 305cc 10HP engine is not what I would call a joy of joys) and looked around for a branch. I had many piles of branches lying around from the fall and winter that were awaiting the arduous, all-day task of chipping them in my horrible electric chipper, and I grabbed the biggest one that was nearby and put it into the branch feed chute.

With the electric chipper, you have to push the branches in slowly to get them to shred. So I had a nice firm grasp on the branch, and I pushed it in, and it tore the branch right out of my hand with that wonderfully satisfying "ZZZZZrrrrroooopp" sound that real chippers make.

Of course, if you have a nice tight grip on a branch, and it is torn out of your hand, well, some collateral damage is to be expected. It also tore a big flap of skin off the web between my thumb and first finger.

Note to self - leather gloves.

So branch one down, and one injury. Just moments left before we have to shut down and head to the ice rink, so I look around for something fun to shred, and I see a pile of nice long, straight sticks. I grab me a handful.

Oh. Sh!t. These are raspberry bush branches. Raspberry bush branches are completely covered with fine prickers that break off in your skin if you grab them.

Maybe I'm not depressed. Maybe I'm retarded.

OK, that's it. I'm done running the chipper without gloves. I shut her down just in time to head to the ice rink, where I spend the next hour trying to pull raspberry prickers out of my hands with my fingernails.

HannahC skated beautifully, and she won "Level Two Freestyle with Music", receiving 3 first and two second place rankings from panel of five judges, thus securing first place.

Upon returning home, I got my boots on and some eye gear and my gloves, and I fired up the chipper again. Woo hoo! I chomped up everything in about 45 minutes. It was, I must say, spectacular.

Though I am easily amused.

Tonight, if you decide to break in to my house, you'll need to decide if you want to face 180gr Winchester Supreme Elite JHP .40 S&W or take your changes with 147gr Federal Hydra-Shok JHP 9mm. You'll have to guess which is which, but if you make enough noise, maybe you'll get to see both.

I will sleep soundly.

Monday, March 22, 2010

CherkyB, Romantic

HannahC: "Hey Dah. Why, even though your brother, Uncle CherkyK, is older than you, did you get married before he did?"

Me, CherkyB: "Poor judgment."

Monday, March 15, 2010

You don't say

I didn't know anyone read my blog who wasn't a facebook friend of mine, but earlier someone left this comment:DeleteAnonymous
Anonymous said...

Somebody has to ask....New truck??

Monday, March 15, 2010 6:31:00 PM

I suppose I shouldn't complain about people who read my blog and don't use facebook. After all, facebook is pure evil, whereas I make boatloads of money off my blog. Though, having recently done my taxes, it seems that my boat last year was 1/3 of what it was in 2008. And I blame facebook for that.

So, I bought the Ford F150, as you can probably guess from the picture below. I had debated getting the Ram 1500, but I decided I couldn't live without a 6.5' bed, and the Ram is only available with a 5.5' bed if you get the crew cab.


It's a King Ranch, which means I'm an all uppity cowboy. If I were an uppity city-slicker, I'd have a Platinum. If were an aging, pony-tailed hippy, I'd have gotten a Harley Davidson edition.


The King Ranch gives you this fancy stitched leather interior, though the burled walnut is "faux."


It also gives you these nifty buttons here:

That, when you push them, blow air conditioned air through all these little holes on the seats:


It is sublime.

And yes, that's a USB port there on the dash below the climate controls that allows me to play music off thumb drives as well as to mount any of the popular mp3 players to play and/or charge. I also have a 10GB hard drive on which I can store music, but it will only rip music off audio CDs. It won't copy mp3s from the USB port or from an mp3 CD. Stupid sop to the RIAA.

You also get little spotlights that light up the running boards when you get in and out.


And, if you get the SatNav system, you get one of these things under one of the back seats, too:


I also got the bed access steps that pop out from the sides to let you get to the front of the bed without climbing in it.


And, of course, the most fun was when I got to use my Sawzall to cut away the bottom part of this cabinet so that I could get the door open when I parked in the garage.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It started innocently enough

Being an electrical engineer is very dangerous work. I know what you're thinking, "Oh, puhlease. You're not one of those power electrical engineers who designs electrical distribution systems and gets his hands blown off by 20,000 volt high tension wires. You're a power management architect for things that top out at 130W. That's less than one fifth the power of the amplifier under Max's seat in your new truck. And Max is in no danger of getting his butt blown off."

It would be harder for me to know what you were thinking if you didn't move your lips when you thought. But, then again, it would be nice if turkeys didn't stare up at the sky and drown themselves when it rained. Or if women didn't decide to ignore their husbands once they had children. There are a lot of things that would be nice but aren't going to happen.

So, I am at peace with your lips moving.

I was on my way home from work Wednesday, and when I slung my laptop should strap over my shoulder, a horrible, horrible pain shot through my shoulder blade. Yes, such are the travails of the veritable power management architect - ergonomic injuries from working at a compooter all day. The old tendinitis is acting up.

I loaded up on ibuprofen and tossed and turned all night. It turns out to be hard to sleep if any movement at all causes pain to shoot through your back.

Thursday wasn't any better, though I found that sitting upright was a lot less painful than lying down. It was also 4H meeting night, which means not a lot of time for dinner between 4H and when I get to go out wif da boyz to Fat Camp. While we were chowing down at Arby's, my throat started to hurt. A lot. And so did my ear. The Mrs. noticed that I wasn't my cheery self, so to comfort me, said said, "If you are at all sick when you get home from Fat Camp, you're sleeping in the basement."

That's love, folks. I hope it's not too mushy for you.

When I got home from Fat Camp, my throat still hurt. So did my shoulder. You really can't drink enough beer to kill that kind of pain and still drive home. So, I did what anyone in my position would do - I popped a vicodin that I had left over from the last time I had great pain and went to sleep in the basement guest room.

Ahhh, there's nothing quite like that first vicodin. Yes, you build up a tolerance really quickly, so each one is less and less enjoyable, but that first one - the joy is almost indescribable. It's like the first time you flip on the air conditioned seat cooling in your new truck, only warmer.

So I'm peacefully sleeping in the basement, full of beer and vicodin, and suddenly I am startled awake by the door being flung open. It's dark, I'm not in my normal bed, I don't have my glasses, and I've got a prescription narcotic in my system. In short, I have no f'ing idea what is going on. All I know is that there is a very animated woman in my room lecturing me about something.

All I can see is the clock. 3:44am. I have this conversation with someone standing somewhere behind me, the whole time I'm trying to figure out what is going on:
The Mrs.: "MaxieC has a really croupy-sounding cough!"

Me, CherkyB: "Uhhhhh...there's not much I can do about that."

The Mrs.: "It's starting to interfere with his breathing!"

Me, CherkyB: "It's 3 o'clock in the morning. What can I do about it?"

The Mrs.: "I want to take him to the hospital!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK...and...?"

The Mrs.: "I think he needs to go to the hospital!"

Me, CherkyB: "And...?"

The Mrs.: "I'm going to take him to the ER!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK. Take him to the ER."

The Mrs.: "Fine! I will then! I'll take him to the ER!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK."
Then the door slammed, and I was alone again. The chance of MaxieC dying of a cough in the 10 minutes it takes to drive to the hospital at 3:44am was pretty low, I decided. I went back to sleep.

I heard them return about 1.5 hours later. No one came to wake me up, so I assumed MaxieC was still amongst the living.

When my alarm went off, I took a shower then went upstairs to get some clothes. There was MaxieC lying in bed next to The Mrs. He was awake. I asked him how he was, and he said he was OK.

This woke up The Mrs., who told me, quite proudly I might add, that MaxieC did in fact have the croup, but that he would be just fine because they gave him cough syrup with prednisone at the hospital, thus staving off the sub-1% chance of dying from the croup and bringing us maybe $1000 closer to the deductible limit on the high-deductible health insurance we have.

I wanted to say to MaxieC, "If you are at all sick when you get back from the hospital, you're sleeping in the basement," but The Mrs. looked sleepy and cranky.

Sometimes, when you come across a big pot of crazy, it's best not to stir.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Don't Pity Me

Because I know you don't care.

As you all know by now, this is the week that we refer to around these parts as, "The Week of Disappointment." I've covered it before: here, here, here, and here (and maybe other places, I dunno). It has gone reasonably well this year, I think. Let me give you a quick rundown:
  • I was out of town on The Mrs.'s birthday. I called her, but she didn't want to talk. I memorialized the phone call in yesterday's post.
  • She complained to The Childrens that I didn't talk long enough.
  • HannahC probably has strep throat.
  • Yesterday, I made The Mrs. a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for her birthday. I made it all from scratch, except I bought a spray can of decorative icing that came with 4 tips. As I was putting flowers and swirlies and writing "Happy Birthday" on is, The Mrs. asked me, "Can you please leave a part of the cake that you don't ruin with that so that I can have part of it that I can enjoy eating?" Yeah. She actually said, "ruin."
  • The Mrs. has laryngitis. She went on and on and on about it this morning. About how she knew that something was circling around inside of her looking for a place to settle, and it settled in her voice box, and how it has been so long since the last time she had laryngitis that she can't even remember how long it has been, cuz it has been a long time, and she figured out that the pain in her abdomen had turned out to be gas and had to rummage around on the medicine shelf to try to find the Gas-X at 2:30 am, and after that she could sleep, and boy was she tired cuz she hadn't slept in days cuz of the thing circling around inside of her looking for somewhere to settle, and it settled in her voice box, and now she was all hoarse, and how that was weird cuz it has been so long since she had laryngitis...
  • I said, "Well, it sure hasn't affected your ability to talk."
  • We were supposed to go to Wild Birds Unlimited today to pick out a new finch feeder, but then The Mrs. decided she was too sick. So, I spent the whole morning creating a movie about it.
Tomorrow will be the 15th anniversary of when I proposed to The Mrs. That is the culminating event of The Week of Disappointment, though I hear there's still like 5 more weeks of winter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

All's well

That ends badly.

I'd like to apologize to all my fans for not writing more often. A couple years back, I could look at any situation and see something blogworthy. Now, I look at every situation and see something mundane.

CherkyB has lost his edge.

It's not really my edge that I've lost. It's my pain.

Oh wait. Here's MaxieC. My pain is found.

[Brief interlude of playing PS2 games with him.]

A few days back, my wife asked me why I didn't become, "One of those famous humor bloggers." I guess she was talking about Frank J, cuz I'm not really aware of any other famous humor bloggers. Funny people, by and large, don't need to immerse themselves in the internet as an outlet for their humor. No, funny people just go around being funny, and then they have to beat the pu$$y off with a stick.

With a stick.

Speaking of which, I told a slow motion joke last week. Damned if I can remember what it was (it was more of a humorous topical reference than a funny joke, per se), but it traveled in a wave at about 1 ft per second. I was sitting at a lunch table with three other guys, and then I put the fish in the water. The guy diagonally across from me said, "I don't get the reference," and then stared, confusedly. Then a couple seconds later, the guy across from me went, "Oh, yeah. Heh."
Then the guy next to me got it. Finally, the guy on the diagonal figured it out. It was really something to behold - how often do you actually get to see humor propagate as sub-sonic speed? It's like one of those videos of polar bears humping.

Or something.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Many Things

First, I'd like to say that I was on edge all day over the special election in Massachusetts. I even had to watch the results live on TV. In the end, Good triumphed over Evil, which quite honestly was kind of a shocker for me, as I figured the Devil has our future all wrapped up in her handbasket already, and only a large stockpile of guns and ammo would pry it loose.

Shows what I know.

Which brings me to an old joke that I haven't been able to get out of my head for weeks now:
Q: How can you tell when Obama is lying?

A: His lips are moving.
But it's not a political blog. I risk alienating one or two of my readers with that above joke. So, you know, it's just a joke. His lips don't actually have to be moving.

--

As you weather fans know, I promised you a review of The Hangover. It was good. I recommend seeing it. It wasn't anywhere near Superbad good, though. It has been claimed that this is the best comedy ever set in Vegas, but I must say I can't personally name any other comedies set in Vegas. A lot of Smokin' Aces was set in Tahoe (or, more accurately, Stateline, NV), and it wasn't technically a comedy either. If it had been a comedy set in Vegas, it would have been better than The Hangover.

I almost got to create a Something Not to Do episode from the movie, when after it ended The Mrs. was bitching about something or other (I tune it out now, after so many years), and I told her she should consider which of the movie's characters she is most like.

Once you see the movie, you'll understand that.

--

I'm thinking of going to Napa. I've always liked wine country.

--

The clincher, I think, happened when I realized how I've been using only blower levels 1 and 4 on the HVAC system in my Dodge for a couple months now, and how 4 is too high, and 1 is too low. It'd be nice if there were some levels in between 1 and 4. Say, 2 and 3. But where 2 and 3 should be, there are instead two levels where all you hear is the fan rattling around on worn-out bearings.

And my truck is from 2003, a time when Chrysler Corp. quality was supposed to be at its peak.

My guess is that Fiat hasn't added a whole lot of quality to the situation.

Time to give Ford another shot.