Thursday, September 28, 2006

road rage stalker update

I thought I'd update you on my road rage stalker, since I haven't said anything since I blogged about her.

Since that fateful day when the girls who were graduates of the youngster's school pulled out in front of a semi, I have found out a few things. First and by far the most important, those girls are doing better. The worst off of the three is still in the hospital, having just come out of an induced coma about a week ago. The other two are home convelescing. Back to the black Excursion from hell though.

I found out since then that she does indeed have offspring that attend the youngster's school. I deduced that because I would see her in the car pool line, and I couldn't think of any other reason for her being there. I also figured out that she does live on my street. I've seen the behemoth going by, and now know where it lives. There are only so many black refrigerators on wheels with Florida Gator license plates plastered on the front and back out's hard to miss.

Every year the youngster's school prints a directory with all the families and kids' names who go there, parents' names, addresses, e-mail, phone numbers, eye color, left or right handed, ice cream preferences, you name it, it's there. Since I now had an address, it was easy to figure out exactly who drives the black behemoth. Truth is though, I haven't seen her on the road anywhere near me since that day, so it hasn't been a factor in my life. Maybe it'll stay that way. At least, I can hope.

so, Me-O didn't try to commit suicide

Either that or he just can't admit failure. Only his publicist knows for sure.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

quick hits

Byron Nelson (aka. Lord Byron) died yesterday at the age of 94. He was famous for having the greatest year in professional golf, winning 18 tournaments. He's also the guy they named the Byron Nelson Classic after. Black armbands for all my friends.

Much is being made of Mark Brunell's first game against his former team. I don't get it. Yeah, it may be his first game playing against the Jaguars since he was traded, but it's not like he left yesterday. It's been three years. The teams aren't big rivals or anything. I don't think its all that big a deal.

Me-O apparently tried to kill himself, but was unsuccessful. You'll have to excuse me if I'm not all that sympathetic. I guess humility isn't the only thing he doesn't do well. At least the guy can play football. He should stick with that.

New Orleans just scored..again.

A humorous note on today's Stare magazine babe of the day pose over there to the right (this will only make sense on the 27th). Sure, we all wash our convertible cars with the top down...or is it that we all wash our bikini models with their top up? Who knows.

Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer is lying, and so's the other guy who claims he's the father of her child. I am. I met her at a party and she was instantly attracted to me, though I never figured out why. Anyway, after about four hours of her constantly begging me to take her behind the bushes and have my way with her, I finally relented. She kept grabbing my ass again and again, right there in front of God and everybody. I mean, she was creating a scene and it was getting embarassing. I thought if I gave in, it'd shut her up, but behind those bushes, she just got louder. Anyway, baby what's-her-name is the result. I'm not proud of myself but there's my confession. My wife, Morgan Fairchild, is coping with the news. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bush's neocons? excuse me?

I've seen the term "neocon" before. The only place I've ever seen it is on Yahoo message boards where people with more time than brains pointlessly argue with others in a similar situation but opposite viewpoint. I thought of it as yet another example of extremists on both sides (liberals and conservatives are both guilty) misunderstanding and lazily attributing a whole bunch of qualities to everyone not like them.

I guess part of my issue is what I consider the great double standard. Conservatives are constantly criticized as bigoted, uncaring, intolerant people with a rigid view of right and wrong, handed to them by some preacher from some equally intolerant church. In one conversation, I was defending a judge's right to put whatever the hell he wants on his wall, and if that's the ten commandments, so be it. I was asked, "well, what if you were being tried by a Muslim judge and the thing on the wall was some quote from the Quran?" I said that would be fine with me. I was immediately called a liar, because my answer didn't fit the stereotype. I don't believe anything a judge displays on his wall in a public forum infers that the government endorses any religion. If a judge puts a picture of Joe Gibbs on his wall, I don't think it infers government endorsement of the Washington Redskins, either. If it's a spyrograph, it's no endorsement of the toy company Kenner. The judge is there to enforce the law, not his religion. The fact that he likes something said by some representative of a religion and displays it publicly, and the fact that he may believe the tenants of that religion, have nothing to do with the case at hand or the rule of law. But I digress...

Conservatives are criticized by some for pigeonholing welfare mothers, the homeless, gang members, crack addicts, and any number of groups. We're told that we stereotype people unfairly, and everyone is different, and each person's circumstances are different, and yet, when someone else does it to us, that's supposed to be OK...because they think their stereotypes are right.

Where this rant is coming from...

Apparently this weekend I was in a news vacuum. I spent a good deal of Saturday helping the youngster study for social studies and science tests this week, and Sunday..well, there was football. I missed the news. Apparently I missed Mitch Cumstein..errr Bill Clinton going off on some Fox News interviewer. Someone showed me excerpts of the interview this afternoon. No, I didn't watch the whole thing. Twenty seconds and I got the general confrontational gist, from both sides. While I expect internet idiots to pigeonhole people like me in a group they labeled "neocons", I never exected it from Bill Clinton, who, for all his faults, is supposedly a fairly educated Rhodes scholar kind of guy. I never expected stereotype prejudices to come spewing from his mouth. Yet there he was, putting us all in a bucket called "Bush's neocons". Yeah, a lot can be learned from that twenty seconds of video. I've said plenty of times here, Bush ain't my idea of presidential perfection. I think there are plenty of better choices, but one of them isn't John Kerry-Heinz, so even today, I'd vote for him again in that election. Given better choices, maybe that wouldn't be the case. But hey, what do I know? I'm just one of Bush's neocons.

give 'em an inch

Yeah, the car pool kids are still workin' it. Close on the heels of yesterday's McBreakfast came this morning's request.

On our way to school, there is a grocery store. This grocery store gives away one free cookie to each child when you visit their bakery. The youngster has, on many occasions, stopped in the bakery for his free cookie. Well, the request this morning was....

"Mr. Lumberyard, we should stop in the grocery store for our free cookies."

While this one would be free, and probably not take a whole lot of time, I could see the results in my head. Five children with not much in their stomachs but a buttload the back of my car. Oh suuuuure. That has fun written all over it. Not only that. Fifteen minutes later I can unleash said sugar fueled children on an unsuspecting school...yet another opportunity for chaos. Follow that with the inevitable crash, when they all want to nap halfway through their first class. I can see the Lumberyard appreciation level skyrocketing with teachers and car pool parents.

Nooooo..I don't think so.

In the "keeping up with the Lumberyard" category, another carpool family is buying a new car today. They have four kids where we only have one, so their version of the new vehicle is far larger than the rolling video game. Either that or...we just had to be outdone. In any case, they are getting something that could swallow ours whole. I should have told them...if you're just trying to keep the kids happy during the commute, hash browns are a whole lot cheaper. I figure the kids can play football in the back of that thing on the way home from school...and have room for stadium seating for spectators. If one of the kids gets lost back there, we could send out search parties and it still may be days before we find 'em. Hmmmmmmmmm....

Monday, September 25, 2006

money can't buy me love

Bullshit. Yes it can, and at under five dollars, it's even cheap.

The car pool kids have been hounding me for about a week. A new McDonalds opened on our way to school, not far from our starting point. It seems one of the car pool moms bought them all sundaes one day on the way home. Since then they've been working me.

"Mr. Lumberyard, can we stop for hash browns?"

That same question was asked many times and many ways, from several angles. Finally I relented. I made a deal with them. If they could all be ready 10 minutes early (because Mr. Lumberyard still needs to get to work), I'd pick 'em up and we'd hit McBreakfast's for hash browns on the way. So last night I made sure everyone remembered to tell their parent to have them ready, which, of course, they didn't.

This morning though, it went off like clockwork. Got 'em all, went thru the drive thru, hash browns for everyone and instant grease soaked, artery clogging adoration for me, all for under five bucks. They took all the garbage with them to the trash can at school so I didn't have to deal with all is good, and I'm feelin' the love.

Of course, the problem with that theory is sustaining all that. To do that, you gotta keep doing the drive thru thing, and that ain't happenin'. I can see the hash brown love fading fast.

coulda woulda shoulda..and didn't

If you saw the Jaguars/Colts game...especially the first half, you saw all the reasons why we were going to win that game, and all the reasons we weren't. The Jaguars dominated the Colts...pushed them all over the place, and had but 7 points to show for it. We left so many points on the field in the RCA Dome, they were littering the place. Not only that, we gave them a punt return touchdown. If you do that, and you know eventually Peyton (still a girl's name) is going to get some points, you lose. We coulda, woulda, shoulda...and just didn't. The upside, I think the boys know they can beat the Indianapolis Colts. The just have to prove it in December. (Yeah, that's all.)

The Ryder Cup....I don't know what's up with that, but I know this. We suck. It's a format nobody plays that's not an issue. It's just as strange for the Europeans as it is for our guys. They seem to do a whole lot better with it than we, though. Even when we used to win occasionally, it was always a comeback. We always sucked the first two days. It's just that we'd occasionally still pull it out on Sunday. The big question, besides why didn't we pull it out this time is...why do we always have to suck the first two days? We have a handful of guys who are great individual golfers, but don't stack up in team play. In the end, you have to hand it to the Europeans and just say...they had the better team.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Well, it's happening. The "experts" at are jumping on the Jaguar bandwagon. As of this morning, 6 of the 8 have made their pick for the Jaguars/Colts game with 5 picking the Jaguars to win. This doesn't bode well. Even if the last 2 pick the Colts, the percentage isn't in our favor. Salisbury hasn't picked yet either. If that buffoon picks us, it's over. We're cursed.

More seriously, I think we have a decent shot in Indy, as long as the team doesn't start believing their press and start thinking this whole winning thing is easy. It's going to be a slugfest. As long as we can hit Peyton early, he'll get nervous and start making mistakes and...yeah, we got a shot.

Who names their little boy "Peyton", anyway?

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Listening to sports tralk on the way to work this morning, one guy called in and complained about HBO's Inside the NFL show that aired (or is it erred) last night. Apparently the Jaguars huge Monday night win got next to no mention, except a debate over whether or not Roethlisberger should have played, and everybody's pickin' Indy this week. He went off on Chris Carter and Dan Marino and...

OK, so?

Just cuz I love 'em doesn't mean everyone has to. As for Dan Marino, give the man a break. He's going to have a hard time starting a love fest for the team that sent him out on his ass at the end of his illustrious career in a 62-7 playoff loss, especially with his ego. The guy is only human.

I used to think like this caller guy, but over the years, I've either tempered myself, or been tempered, I'm not sure which. The Jaguars have this nasty habit of showing up huge one week and while we're busy patting ourselves on the back, next Sunday comes and goes and we're losing to the Texans, or somebody equally inept. (No disrespect intended Houston, but your team's in sad shape and not getting better very quick. I guess Casserley passes on the no brainer Reggie Bush pick by saying...what..."but, we have brains?" Still, they manage to beat the Jaguars all too often.) When we come to play, we're damn hard to beat but that doesn't always happen...or historically hasn't. I can't fault anybody for saying, "Just wait." I can even see, if we manage to upset Indianapolis, everybody picking Washington to beat us. The rationale would be, "They've been up for three straight weeks. The sugar rush has to end and they're crashing hard...Washington by a touchdown."

The Jaguars have yet to prove they can do what they started this year consistently. When they do that, the respect will come. Only one way to do the games. Even then, everyone doesn't have to like them.

I will say I've started sippin' the kool aid. I know, I know. They've made a believer out of me way too easily and way too often in the past, only to drown my hopes in the Saint Johns River. Still, I'm starting to believe again. The boys have made me feel a lot better about our chances. I think we can take Indy in Indy this week. I think it can happen. It might not be probable, but it can happen.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It should be done by May

So far, thanks to a lot of good weather, so good. I think I heard someone say it's actually ahead of schedule, but this is what the clubhouse at Sawgrass looked like as of yesterday. By next May's Players Championship it's supposed to be all done. I posted a picture when they first demolished the old one. The new one is a whole lot bigger. I'll be a better judge when it actually has walls and stuff.

white and nerdy

This morning we're doing the normal school run. I'm letting the kids listen to 'their' music, so we have some rap called Ridin' blasting from the speakers, by some guy names Charmander, or Charmillion or Pikachu, or one of them damn Pokemon things (can't remember which one...Squirtle maybe). It's a lovely ditty about a guy driving around with his music blasting from his vehicle and the cops stopping him to see if he is illegally possessing some sort of firearms because they're racially profiling him. It's a wonderful example of hip hop gangsta americana....almost Norman Rockwellesque. All the kids (ages 7 to 13) know it word for word. The youngster informs me its his ring tone. How special.

Here comes the cool part. The radio station follows it with the Weird Al Yankovic version, called White and Nerdy. Click the link and enjoy. It made my morning.

a day with the youngster

I'm not complaining too much. I know, from talking to other parents, that we are not alone. Situations like this happen all the time for everyone, but for those of you without kids....this is how it goes all too often.

Today is picture day. The youngster is in 8th grade and when he finishes 8th grade (hopefully this year), he will move on from his current school and go off to high school. This means his class is special and get their pictures in all dressed up clothes...for him, a suit and tie.

We got a paper informing us of all this...yesterday. Did he just get that piece of paper yesterday? No. How long has he had it? "A few days." ("A few days" is youngster speak for, "If I told you how long I had it you'd be really mad, so I'm trying to smooth this over without that happening.") How long has he known about picture day? "A while." ("A while" is longer than "A few days", but hopefully not long enough to make mom and dad mad.)

If it wasn't for the fact that we traveled to Pennsylvania this summer for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and bought him a suit for that occasion, we'd really be up a creek. (Incidentaly, we also bought me a suit then. The last time I had ocasion to wear a suit was about 10 years ago when I interviewed for my current job. While I can probably still wear that jacket, the pants became fodder for everyday wear in the shirt and tie world, and have long been gone, so I was essentially as suit-less as the youngster.) As it is, we just have to make sure his suit is clean. Well, the pants could use some help, but they won't be in the picture. The jacket is OK because he didn't spend a lot of time in it at the anniversary thing, so.....we're cool.

We got by this time, but how long till the next drill like it? Will it be "a few days" or will it be "a while." Only one thing is certain. It's coming.

ps. Now I know I shouldn't complain. At least the younster said something and we got where we needed to be. Two boys in his class forgot all about it and showed up in normal school clothes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

oh, and speaking of served

It was an absolutely beautiful night of defensive smashmouth football.....and a very quiet ride to school this morning. I almost had to put a muzzle on the youngster. We discussed the ride to school, and my desire for him not to be obnoxious about the events of the evening. He kept coming back with, "But if they would have won...". Yeah, but they didn't, and you can show a little class. You're older than they are. Show it. Yes, I know, if I hadn't have been there in the car, he still might have mouthed off. He finally agreed to keep his mouth shut, for the most part. We made a deal. He could make one comment, but that would be all. As the little Steeler fans climbed in, it was...

Youngster: We so totally own you. We could have beat you 16 to nothing, but we took a knee on the two yard line and let the clock run out.

First mouthy young steeler fan: (acting disinterested) oh, who won?

Second mouthy young steeler fan: That's nice.

That was all that was said about the game...or about anything. You could hear a pin drop in the rolling video game, but everyone knew, the Steelers got served. There was no chanting. There was nothing.

Silence is golden.

ps. While I'm on the subject of the game (which could be on and off, all day), ...Tony Kornheiser didn't do himself any favors last night with the J'ville population. He of the famous quote "Jacksonville is hosting a Super Bowl. What? Tuscaloosa was booked?", came out more than once last night with "Unknown team. Unknown city. Unknown coach." Talk about throwing out the "lack of respect" card, but ultimately...that's not true. It's just Kornheiser showing his ignorance.

Unknown team - In 1995 maybe, but I think 1996 and subsequent years solved that issue.
Unknown city - They did play that little game called the Super Bowl here. Heard of it? Every year they play a fairly huge golf tournament here called The Players Championship. Heard of that?
Unknown coach - Del Rio is fairly new in head coaching circles, so I can half give you this one. If you didn't know him before though, you will now.

Unknown team. Unknown city. Unknown coach. Yeah, I guess...if you live in China or some country that ends in 'istan'...maybe, or if you know nothing about football. You live somewhere in the vicinity of Washington DC, don't you Tony? Thought so.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Over 10,000 served!

A gratuitous 'patting myself on the back' (almost) post to follow....

OK, it took a year and a half, so my little corner of the web isn't the road most traveled. Still, today the lumberyard passed the milestone of 10,000 hits. Thank you, world (even though many of you came more for the babes on the right than anything I had to say, I'm OK with that)!


I feel a little better about the youngster and the whole Cotillion thing. They had their first event Friday night.

I drove him and two others from the neighborhood to the event, which, I saw when I got there, is nothing but a fancy word for a dance. It had a theme....sports. You were supposed to arrive in your favorite team colors. The "uniform" of the evening seemed to be some kind of team shirt, and jeans. It was a far cry from frilly dresses and tuxedos and...what I was picturing. There was every manner of U of Florida, Florida State, U of Georgia, Jaguars, Steelers (thanks to one of my charges), and too many others to mention, pretty much all in jeans. Like I said, it was...a dance. It reminded me of high school...30-something years ago.

The youngster had a good time, dancing with girls from his school, "and two girls I didn't know." He said he really enjoyed it and wants to go back. He even did about two seconds of crowd surfing before the chaperones stopped all that nonsense. Yeah, I feel better now. The snooty picture I had in my head and crowd surfing...definitely not the same thing.

here we go, here we go...steelers

I am so sick of hearing that crap...every morning.

I do understand. Three of my car pool charges are from the Pittsburgh area. Their grandfather actually played for the Steelers. Their mom's a Browns fan, which I suppose keeps it interesting, but she's alone in a house full of black and gold.

I also understand their hatred of all things Jaguar. It was the Steelers, after all, who gave the Jaguars their first ever home win in the expansion embarassment I witnessed first hand, and still bring up on occasion. This, my constant reminder that the Steelers aren't the greatest thing since the twinkie, which was the greatest thing before sliced bread came along, they consider an insult to their grandfather. (Twinkies and cockroaches, as you may know, are the two things that survived the asteroid collision that killed the dinosaurs. I heard it on NPR. It's gotta be true, man.) Last year they talked trash all week leading up to the Jagaurs/Steelers game...only to have Rasheen Mathis make them swallow crow. That just poured gas on the fire. A Jaguar win tonight would make it even worse..for them. For me, (besides the fact that it means we beat the Steelers...again) it means a quiet car. I wouldn't have to rub it in. In the silence...they would know. I don't know how, but it seems just about every year, even though we aren't in the same division anymore, we seem to play the Steelers, yet in 12 years we've played the Chargers maybe...twice?

So tonight I'm hopeful. I am more hopeful because the ESPN talking heads are picking againts us, but according to the radio folks, a lot of the so called "experts" are calling for a Jaguars win, and that's scary. I don't think much of the opinion of these supposed "experts". Still, the ESPN thing is a plus. Anytime you have Sean Salisbury picking against you, you gotta like your chances. The man's an idiot.

I'm cautiously optimistic. I know the Jaguars can win, but I know it's very far from in the bag. I also know the Steelers can win. Any given Monday, and all that. I'm just hoping that tomorrow morning it's me who's we go, here we go...steelers....out the door, and back home. No, not really. If we should be so fortunate, I'll be the gracious adult and just smirk. The youngster, however...I may have to rein the boy in. If we lose; however, life on the way to school will least for the next few weeks.

Friday, September 15, 2006

uppity Muslims

The Muslim world (if there is such a thing) is outraged by remarks made by Pope Benedict, suggesting that early Muslims spread their religion through violence.. Some high ranking Muslim somebody-or-other said, "The Pope of the Vatican joins in the Zionist-American alliance against Islam,"

Here's my issue, all you Muslim peeps who are buying into this crap. There is no freaking alliance against Islam. There is an alliance against violence, and its spread. There is an alliance against suicide bombers. There is an alliance against using terror as a tool. There is an alliance against the concept of a "holy" war, for there is nothing "holy" about war. There is an alliance against killing people because of their beliefs. There is an alliance against religious intolerance. There is an alliance against martyrdom where you intentionally wipe out a bunch of innocent people while "martyr-ing" yourself. If these are the things you think represent your religion (and make no mistake, these are violent murderous atrocities), then yes, there is an alliance against your religion, no matter what label you give it. If they are not, then it has nothing to do with your religion. It has to do with violence.

Rather than ask for an apology, do his pope-ness one better. Prove him wrong.

I guess I have a problem with people who will angrily protest one man's words but don't have the same reaction when man after man blows himself and 50 other innocent people up and uses their religion as an excuse.

The militant Muslims, of course, are doing their part to resolve the issue. They're vowing war on "worshippers of the cross." Now there's the answer. Let's have another freakin' war. That'll show everyone you're not a violent, evil group. Make his pope-ness look like a prophet, why don't you? Instead of proving him wrong, just go out there and prove his point.

a brazillian people

I really have to wonder. Some people sit around just waiting for an excuse to be offended at something.

Listening to sports talk, the guys are talking about the upcoming weekend in college football, and how there are a ton of really good games and the impossibility of watching everything they want to watch, and how there's a bazillian people whose sole focus on Saturday will be the television from noon till well after midnight.

The next thing you know, some irate idiot calls in and wants to know what these guys have against Brazillians, and goes off about stereotypes about lazy people in front of the TV all day and prejudice and the white man and...damn, dude. Get some freakin' ears.

ps. yes, I realize it could have been a joke, but if it was, someone was pretty convincing, and pretty quick witted, to come up with that tirade seconds after the fact, unless they had it "canned" and just waiting for the right moment.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I know we're all being more security conscious but...

...some things are just bizarre. I guess this guy didn't succeed in being discreet about the contents of his backpack. When it's making the news, I'm guessing his mama found out all about it.

the golf league finale

Tonight is the finale of our summer golf league for work.

We play 9 holes and start at 5:30. The finale brings everyone out of the woodwork because there are door prizes. This never ceases to amaze me, mostly because the door prizes are not big things. Examples are a sleeve of balls, or a golf towel, or a deck of playing cards with the 17th hole at Sawgrass on the back...that kind of stuff. There are also longest drive and closest to the pin contests for gift certificates. This could explain it, but most of those coming out of the woodwork are beginners and have no reasonable shot at those prizes. Neither do I, by the way.

Still, all summer we have somewhere around 10 groups playing golf and tonight, there are 19. Two starting at every hole but one, where there are three. Since it's also the end of the season, it gets dark earlier, and with all the beginners...lets say it won't be a quick trip thru the 9 holes. It will be dark when we're on the last hole. I'm OK with that, because it will be dark for everyone's last it's all fair. What I don't get is...all you people had all summer to play. It's fun, it's cheap and it hasn't been crowded, so...what....for a chance to win 3 new golf balls in a box, you'll come out and play? Computer down, so you're having to do everything by hand, and you can't find the playing cards? What is it?

Part of my frustration is I help run this circus, and I have the thrilling job of assigning groups to holes tonight. It wouldn't be so bad if everyone would just send me e-mails with their group, let me put the thing together and be done with it but noooooooooo. I published the hole assignments this morning and ever since then it' and so can't play so we want so and so instead. Can you put us on this hole with this group? The handicap you have is from last year. It should be such and such....and damn people....I have a real job here, and it's not spending my day on something that should be long done.

I love playing this league thing, because it's one of my better opportunities to actually play...but I'll be glad when today is done.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

my...road rage stalker? ( it me who's being a dick?)

I don't know this woman. All I know is she drives a black Ford Excursion, with a Florida Gator license plate. I know the plater number (which is actually 4 letters and devoid of numbers) too, but you don't need that. I think she lives on my street, but I'm not sure.

All I know about her is she seems hell bent on making my commute as difficult as someone is giving her a quarter for each time she can stick her big Excursion ass in front of me.

I do know I provoked it...sort of. There is a place on our trip to school on the old county road where 4 lanes (2 each way) become 2 (1 each way). Most people who travel that road line up knowing one of their two lanes is going away. Sometimes people who didn't go to kindergarten and never learned the concept of a line, race next to the line of cars and push their way in, which only slows the line down even more. I can understand this if you're from out of town, or don't normally drive that road and don't know the lane is going away, but people who travel that road daily have no excuse. All of us have places we need to be and no, yours isn't any more important than mine. One morning, Ms. Excursion was one of those kindergarten rejects, and she tried to push her big Excursion ass in front of me. Let's just say, she was denied. This probably pissed her off, but I can't think of any other incident where I would have had any confrontation with her where I got in her way. As I see it, if you're trying to cut in line in front of me and I stop you, that doesn't make me the asshole.

Ever since then, it's like she's looking for me, and if I come up behind her and happen to be in the other lane, she'll jump in front of me for the hell of it. If I switch lanes to get around her, she'll switch too. Yesterday, when we were in a bit of a hurry on our alternate route, she was in front of me on a four lane road. That's when it got very obvious. Before that I thought maybe she was just that way, and this vendetta against me might be the product of some paranoia on my part. I went to the left lane, she jumped in front of me. Didn't go any faster. In fact, she made sure she kept pace with the car in the right lane so nobody could pass. Finally it looked like I had an opening if I went to the right lane, around her, but no. As soon as I moved right, she swerved in front of me. Then she stayed between the lanes, slowly moving right and left (emphasis on slowly), making it impossible for anyone to get by her. Yeah, I was in a bit of a hurry, so that wasn't sitting well with me, especially since there was nobody in front of her and the car to her right, then in front of her, then to her right,then in front of her, depending on where Ms. Ernhardt was swerving at the time. (Yeah, it reminded me of watching the last lap of a NASCAR race with someone in the lead, desperately trying to hold off a faster car so it couldn't pass him to win.) If she would have gone faster, and she did have that ability, I wouldn't have cared. I would have just stayed behind her. But no, she was making a deliberate point of slowing me down. As the saying goes, "lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Eventually we got into other traffic that made her antics harder. I got around her and went on to school...she followed me...all the way to the spot in front of the school where I dropped off the kids. She stopped in front of the school right behind me as I helped them get out. I don't think she has kids there. Nobody got out, but as I left, she didn't. She parked in the lot next to the school. I didn't wait around to see if anyone got out. I was late for a meeting.

I don't know. It's kind of creepy. All I know is when I see that big black Ford Excursion with the Gator plates anywhere around me I start thinking...please, just don't let her notice I'm even here. I want nothing to do with that idiot, but I do need to get where I'm going. If I'm behind her, she makes life miserable....and she makes it crazy trying to get ahead of her. Consequently, no place in her vicinity is safe.

I guess, in the end, I'm looking for why. I know every story has two sides, and I've tried to think of what I did to piss her off like this. It's not a big SUV envy thing. Hell, I don't care what you drive, and if you want to drive a go for it. Just because your ass is big doesn't mean you get to shove it wherever you please, though. I know that one incident probably did something to make her mad, but I'm sorry...if everybody is waiting and the line is as far as you can see, no, you're not cutting in front of me if I can help it. You don't get to be any more special than everyone else trying to get where they're going. If that was enough to turn her into super bitch....well, I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones. I can't be the only one who stood my ground in front of her big black behemoth, can I? Her list of people to mess with must be longer than I thought.

This morning though, life was good. We got to school without incident. There was no sign of the black Excursion and the kids were back to the Yellow Submarine sing-along. Tomorrow, is Thursday, and I don't take the kids on Thursdays. I go straight to work, so no possible Excursion encounter till Friday. Maybe I'll get lucky and make it to the weekend.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

a morning in the 'all about me' world

It's been an ugly morning.

It started OK. Picked up all the school kids in the rolling video game and we headed out for school. About 5 minutes later we were in stopped traffic...and we sat..and we sat some more. Eventually we started moving...slowly. Obviously there was some kind of accident in front of us. The police cars occasionally went by in the grass alongside the road; their lights flashing and sirens wailing. I was in a car full of kids, growing more restless by the nanosecond. Stop and go.....stop and go a little the normal time I drop them off went by.

C'mon people...clean it up and lets get this line moving...I got places to be.

Finally I see that the road's completely closed, and the cops are turning us all around the way we came...damn....must be a bad the alternative routes to school are racing thru my head, and there isn't anything close to convenient...damn..again. I'm going to be so late for work. The kids are afraid they're going to be counted tardy, as the time school starts comes and goes, and we're still in the same line, now moving slowly away from the alleged accident scene, the kids are getting truck drivers to honk their horns by pumping their fists, which is starting to grate on my nerves...we need to get moving....finally a piece of open road...and I could hardly be accused of obeying any speed limit.

We finally got to school, about a half hour late (an hour after I normally drop them off). The principal was at the curb to meet us, telling the kids there was no need for checking in the office this morning....just go on to class. Others pull in behind us, late for the same reason....and I'm outa there. If the rolling video game had wings, I woulda been airborn. I was late for work, late for a meeting and shit, I needed to be there 5 minutes ago. Outa my way people. I got things to do. Thank God the cops are preoccupied with a wreck, because I'm a speeding ticket waiting to happen. Only then did I listen to the radio traffic reports...and hear about what we had to circumvent.

Three girls, on their way to high school, were broadsided by a semi as they pulled out of a driveway. The three girls are in critical condition at the hospital via life flight. Semi driver is fine. The three girls were graduates of the youngster's school. At one classroom for each grade, pre-K thru 8th, everybody knows everybody, and everybody knows the girls who were in the accident. All of a sudden, how late I am for work seems pretty insignificant....and I'm praying for 3 kids, whose morning makes mine look like a joyride.

ps. Early indications are the semi driver was traveling well under the posted speed limit, and the girls pulled out in front of him. The only reason I'm posting that is, I can see people automatically blaming the trucker, and it appears that wouldn't be at all fair.

Monday, September 11, 2006

the wave drill

There is little I despise at a sporting event like I do the wave drill. You know the deal. People synchronise throwing their hands in the air with those next to them, and then next to them, around a stadium or ballpark or whatever, in something that looks like a wave, traveling through the crowd. I'm at the game last night. Time's running out. Dallas has the ball, and they're looking like they could move it and we're only up by a touchdown, and some idiot comes flying up the aisle beside me and tries to incite the wave. If it wasn't for the fact that I sit on the aisle and he was making a lot of noise in his attempt, I may have missed him. He got a few takers, but thank God most people were a bit more interested in what was happening on the field than in the aisle.

There are things I despise more. An ineffective offense from the home team comes to mind...which by the way, usually can result in the wave.

The wave sends a signal to the players on the field. You've gotten to the point where whatever they're doing holds so little of your interest, that you've resorted to throwing your arms in the air to see if you can get others to do the same, and send a wave effect across the crowd, for amusement. I'll admit, in some situations, that's not such a bad thing. Sometimes the team needs that mesage.

The wave is a product of boredom, and/or people who didn't come to the game for the game in the first place. They are six year olds who, by halftime, have had enough and are now ready for the diversion of the wave....or to go home. They are girlfriends who came because their boyfriends wanted them to, or visa versa. They are people who came to be seen at the social event that is the game and, having accomplished that, are now ready for something the wave. The wave is the anti-sports fan activity.

Like I said, there are times when that's not so bad. When a game has deteriorated into a 52 - 0 rout, and people are heading for the exits, maybe the wave is OK. You're sending a message to whichever team is sporting a goose egg that they didn't exactly make the event exciting. When you're only up by a touchdown, and the other team has the ball and there's two minutes left in the game though, the wave....needs to be non-existent. When there's a real battle going on down there in the trenches, don't insult the guys fighting it by throwing your hands in the air and seeing if you can get the people in the next section to join in. There's an amazing show already going on right in front of you, and you're missing it.

you can trust your car to the man who wears the star...

...but don't let him play football. (Yeah, I know they've never heard that before.)

I'll admit I was wrong. I'm happy to admit I was wrong. It was our home opener and...the Jaguars weren't even favored to win. I walked into Alltel Stadium Sunday with a feeling of impending doom. The Cowboy fans were there in full force, singing some T.O. chant and talkin' trash, and I and visions of our preseason offense bumbling in my head. It looked like a recipe for disaster.

After the first quarter, it looked like a real recipe for disaster...and humiliation. I was hanging my head and the Cowboy fans behind me had that T.O. chant thing ringing in my ears, the the truth of it was, we had no answer for that jerk. Owens was single handedly kicking our ass.

Then adjustments were made. Drew Bledsoe actually had to move and spent some time on his butt. The Jaguars scored 24 unanswered points. The Cowboys fans stopped that incessant chant, and life got good. The fact that I watched a few replays on the big screen where calls got overturned in favor of the Cowboys that had no buisness going that way, and the Cowboys O-line held everybody all day (and I could plainly see it from my seat) while the officials turned a blind eye notwithstanding (not that I would insinuate the officials were in the wrong uniforms and should have been in something more blue,) they still got beat.

It's a good Monday...but please...nobody let it get out just yet. The Steelers, Colts and Redskins are coming up, and I don't want anyone outside J'ville thinking the Jaguars can play with them just yet. I'm still not sure they can, no matter how much I want them to. I'm staring at the cup, wondering if I really ought to take a sip of the kool-aid.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Michelle Wie misses another cut

I'm a big Michelle Wie fan. I think the kid's an amazing golfer. She's a helluva lot better than I am (hell, she hits it farther off the tee than I do, and it goes straight more often than my ball does) and she's a teenager. I think she's gonna be great some day...some day. I liked that she started playing in men's tournaments, and that while she didn't make the cut, she did beat a fair number of guys. Now, I'm not so sure.

When you keep missing cuts, there comes a time when you ought to take a step back and re-evaluate the strategy. Maybe the kid should play the LPGA...and stay there until she actually wins something. Get in the habit of winning things and not letting the pressure get to you, and build some confidence. Then take another shot at the guys. I'm sure they'll still be there when you're ready, but for now, you're just....not.

I see a long Fall coming

It began this morning. I watched a lot of the Steelers/Dolphins game last night. Neither team is big on my hit parade, so I didn't care much about the outcome. It was just nice to watch real football again. This morning however, I realized just how long this football season will be. The Steelers looked pretty strong, with their backup quarterback no less. This morning, for a painful 20 minutes, I listened to play by play from my obnoxious little Steeler fan car pool kids. Next week, the Steelers play the Jaguars and while I can hope for a favorable outcome, I have a feeling we might end up on the losing end of that stick. I love my Jags, and I'll yell and scream and pull with all I got, but I haven't seen anything in the preseason to make me think otherwise. Hopefully Sunday will be different, but it's hard to be optimistic. Next Tuesday could be ugly because if there's one word that doesn't describle these kids when the Steelers beat anyone, let alone the's gracious.

I might actually use this navigation thingie that came with the rolling video game. Next Friday the youngster is going to a dance at some place I never heard of. Maybe I'll plug the address in, and let Bitchin' Betty* take me there.

*Bitchin' Betty - a term of endearment used by Navy pilots when warnings and such were given a female voice in the cockpit, such as "The landing gear is up". The voice for the rolling video game's navigation system sounds very much like it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

sex sells X 2

In the great ugly American 'more is always better' tradition, we now have two babes a day. One is the same entry that's been here for a while, but it is now joined by the daily babe from Stare Magazine, where they brag...we don't even have articles.

The real beauty, (yes, even more than the babes themselves) is that neither require any Lumberyard effort. Both update daily automagically. Yeah, we in the Lumberyard are still trying to boost readership, and sex sells, so we're running with it.

all talk, no walk

I get the feeling that's the impression of the Jaguars around the NFL. Yeah, you have talent. Yeah, you have potential. Come back and talk to us when you actually do something with all that.

I can't blame 'em either. The last couple of years we come to the table with something that looks promising. So far that hasn't gotten us past the first round of the playoffs. 1999 was as close as we've come to the Super Bowl. Notice I didn't say we played in it. This year looks to be much of the same. Here comes a season with 'promise' written all over it, but until the Jaguars do something with all that, it's an empty promise. Last year was good, but when you finish in, not just a loss, but an embarassing loss to the Patriots, it puts a bit of a damper on it all, and has everyone on the outside looking in crying "fluke."

So it's all set up. The spread's on the table and the Cowboys, starring Me-O, are bringing the national spotlight with them. This Sunday about 90% of the country will be able to see the little ol' Jaguars...not because they wanna see our team. They're wanting to see the guys who wear the star, and the train wreck waiting to happen in Parcells coaching Owens. Doesn't matter though. The spotlight is going to be here nonetheless, and it's the Jaguars' chance to give us a glimpse, in front of everybody, of what it's going to be. Will it be the start of something special, or yet another year of empty promises?

I'm crossing my fingers.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

how early does it start, and where does it come from?

This morning in carpool, the kids asked to listen to a Top 40 radio station, and I relented, taking a break from the Yellow Submarine routine. Immediately, I have...rap. I don't know who it was, but I was giving in for 20 minutes, so I didn't care all that much. Let the kids have bad rhymes and bass lines.

Then it's.."c'mon Mr. Lumberyard...pump it up."

So I crank the volume a bit.


So now the bass is pounding and the rolling video game is vibrating a bit, and I'm thinking "Thank God school is only 10 more minutes away, because Excedrin Headache #392 is lurking."

"Now let's open the windows!"

There's the part I don't get. What is that all about? This is coming from a 9 year old and already that tendency is there.I mean, I made the conscious decision to give in and let them listen to this stuff, but nobody in the neighborhoods I'm passing, or in the adjacent cars, made that choice, and who am I to foist it upon them? What makes these youngsters think that just because they like this crap, the whole world should join in with them? Is it more that they want the rest of the world to hear what they're listening to, and in the process think they must be amazingly cool by association or osmosis?

"Oh WOW! He's listening to that rap crap. He must be the shit."

Or is it a sharing thing?

"This is such great crap, I, being the giving individual I am, must let everyone enjoy what I'm enjoying."

I what you like, and enjoy it, but where does the part come in that says I have to listen to it too, from three cars away, or at the same gas station as you?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bit of this, that, and the other

Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter, dies as a sting ray put a poisonous barb thru his chest. Rumor has it there's video and he actually yanked the thing from his chest...and that might be what killed him. In any case, Mr. Crocodile Hunter has provided endless Animal Planet conservation education and entertainment in the Lumberyard household for years...and in households all over the world. Yeah, when you do what he did for a living, I guess this kinda comes with the territory, but the man will be sorely missed.

Ben Roethlisberger has an emergency appendectomy and will miss this week's game against the Dolphins. They're saying he'll be back the following week, but I have my doubts. That would be the Monday night game, when the Steelers play the Jaguars in J'ville. Last year he had some medical excuse for not playing the Jaguars (or was it a note from his mommy?...I can't remember). This year there's this "emergency appendectomy" thing. Abject fear of facing the formidable Jacksonville Jaguars or mere decide. (Of course, there is the third option...wishful thinking in the Lumberyard...but let's not go there.)

Played golf yesterday, in an up and down (or in this case down and up) microcosm of what my game is. Front 9 - 49, Back 9 - 42. I have never shot 42 for 9 holes in my life before, and overall it was one of my better games. If I just coulda shoulda woulda done a little better in the beginning, I may have broken 90 for the first time. Oh well...that's life.

It's voting day here for primaries. Among them, I get to pick who I think should be the Republican who runs for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat, Bill Nelson. Is it that bad that I want to pick 'none of the above', because really...none of the choices are any better than (or even close to) the incumbent? The best of the bunch is Kathrine Harris, and I'm not that keen on her. Even in her shining moments (trying to straighten out the mess in the 2000 election made by the Democrats of West Palm Beach), I haven't seen much there to like. Not one, but two campaign staffs have walked on her (or been fired, take your pick), both screaming, "micro-managing control freak." Where there's smoke...I start sniffing around for gunpowder.

Friday, September 01, 2006

the paradox of being not quite well at work

"You sound terrible. You should go home and rest! Oh by the way, are you finished with such and such yet? Joe really needed it by this morning so he can do whatever it is he needs to do today."

one man's treasure

Ernesto brought us some very welcome rain (and we could still use more), but now I'm hearing about possible flooding as he heads north through the Carolinas and on into Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. I'll be praying for you guys up that way.