Monday, August 31, 2009

the pots and pans circle

A long time ago..I wanna say about 20 years, maybe longer (might have even been about when we got married) parents bought us some pots and pans. They were really nice pots and pans, and they served us well. We used them for everything, until about 2 years ago. The wife announced she didn't like them anymore. She also announced there was some special deal going on at the grocery a pot/pan a week for a special price. They were lighter. They were a pretty blue. They were all teflon coated and came with power windows, sunroof, cruise control and wireless internet access. They the pot world...da bomb.

So we bought them, a week at a time. When we had the whole set, we gave the old stuff to our niece, who was just starting to make her way in the world, and could use pots and pans.

After about a year and a half, the handles on the lids of these fancy new cheap ass pots started breaking. The first went when I was holding it by the handle to wash it. I was ridiculed for washing it 'too hard', but soon I wasn't the only victim. One by one we lost them. The lids still functioned, but you needed a screw driver or pliers and pot holders to get the lid off, because the handles were worthless.

Finally, this weekend, the wife had enough. We went pot and pan shopping, and came home with a new set. We've come full circle. It's an updated version (because it's 20 years later), but basically...they're the same brand and stuff we used to have. Maybe we learned a lesson.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rick Pitino's had enough?

Rick Pitino held a press conference today to say that the sex scandal he's in the middle of has been pure hell for his family, and that he's had enough.

Really? It's been pure hell for your family? Really? DUH.

You've had enough? Oooooh I don't think so, Ricky. You're going to get a whole lot more before it's all said and done. I don't think the "you've had enough" call is yours to make, and to say you've had enough is playing a smugness card that frankly, isn't in your hand. I think a whole lot of media and whoever else decides to put their nose in your very public business will be deciding when you've had enough. You may think you've had enough, but you're about to find out how much more you can handle...or can't. Either way, it's coming.


Ted Kennedy

I was sad to learn Ted Kennedy died this morning.

He and I agreed on almost nothing, politically. I believe he loved this country as much as I do, and wanted to make it a better place for all of us, and for that, I respect him. We just disagreed on the ways to do that.

Black armbands for all my friends.


Monday, August 24, 2009

a mood ring....for your beer

The label on a Coors Light bottle turns blue when the beer is cold enough to drink. Wow.

I didn't know the average American beer drinker had a problem determining when a beer is cold (and if it really is an issue, perhaps that's a sign it's time to put the beer down and switch to coffee.) I always resorted to holding the beer in my hand and, based on what I felt, made a subjective judgement on the drinkability of the beer. So far that method hasn't failed me.

I wonder, what color does the label turn if the beer is happy?


Friday, August 21, 2009

the return of Ron Mexico

I need to find a Michael Vick Eagles jersey...for my dog.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Brett Favre

Does adding Brett Favre really make the Vikings any better? Everyone seems to think it's a given. I'm not so sure. I think the move does more harm to his legacy with Packer fans (who will now hate his spiteful ass) than it helps the Vikings, who were pretty good without him.

Does anyone outside Minnesota and Green Bay really care what Brett Favre does anymore? I'm pretty tired of his act.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

avoiding anything that ends in oscopy

right up front..TMI warning

I have few mantras in life, but one is...avoid anything that ends in oscopy. ...particularly colonoscopy. For you under about 50, this is something you don't have to worry about for a while, but it's coming.

I've seen what happens. I haven't seen the actual procedure, and really have no desire to. I've seen the preparations one goes through to get to that point, and....let's just say it's shitty....literally.

Mom-in-law stays with us when she has to go through this ordeal, because the hospital she patronizes is far closer to us than it is to her house 90 miles away. When that happens, we load up a bathroom with her reading material and, once she's in, seal it off with crime scene tape. After she leaves for the hospital, we bring in the biohazard team to check it out before we let anyone enter the area.

For years, Mr. My Doctor has been mentioning that ugly word to me, and for years I've been replying with an equally ugly phrase which can be loosely translated as "No."

Then my family started in on me...particularly (and surprisingly) the youngster, who showed some honest concern about my health and expressed a desire to keep me around for a while. The wife also hit me with plain old logic, which is a bit hard to refute, as in, "It would be really stupid to find out later you're dying of colon cancer, when everyone who cares about you is asking you to do this test to detect/prevent it." I started looking at my distaste for all things oscopy in a different in, stop being a baby about this. No, it ain't a lot of fun, but it's only a day. You'll live through it.

So now, it's on the schedule. It's still a few months October, but the trepidation is already here.


The Jaguars first pre-season game

I watched the first half last night, and I don't want to try to take too much from watching the first pre-season game. The team is young. Lots of rookies and lots of player turnover.

I saw some things that made me hopeful, but at the same time...watching the first team just looked a lot like it did last year, and that ain't good. Some of the first string players didn't play because of minor injuries, so there's that to consider, and some of the guys just haven't played together for that long. Some guys (Maurice Jones Drew) barely played at all.

I'm hopeful, but the reality is it needs to get a lot better. The first string offense didn't move the all. David Garrard led the team to one first down in three possessions. That's pitiful. I'm cautiously optimistic, but with more caution than before I watched that game. Please me something I can believe in.....soon.


Monday, August 17, 2009

meaningful health care refore can't happen without direct government involvement? excuse me?

While I can accept health care reform, I don't understand why Howard Dean thinks it can't happen without direct government involvement. What kind of ego must this guy have? I understand that he was once an actual doctor, but he sold that soul to politics years ago, or he'd understand what I'm talking about. Besides, he's the head of the DNC. He's not actually in the group of buffoons making up this policy. Yeah, I'm talking about the likes of you, "the outrage displayed at town meetings is not necessarily representative of the American public", Arlen Specter. Yeah, well Arlen, then again, maybe it is. All I know for sure is it isn't all generated from right wing radio talk show hosts, like our liberal friends want to believe. I haven't listened to one of those radio programs in at least a decade because the hosts aren't much higher than you on my credibility scale, and I'm still not a happy camper. Let's not assume, either, that the democratic party holds some monopoly on bufoonery. Politicians from both sides of the political aisle are equally capable of finding loopholes in the most idiot-proof of processes.

I'm sorry, but what do a bunch of kiss ass politicians know about health care? Who stepped up and knighted them the experts? What have they butted their fat asses into where it didn't belong that they didn't completely fuck up? Welfare? Affirmative action? Social Security? The track record isn't exactly impressive, and yet this guy thinks another huge program can't succeed without the government getting directly involved and....doing what? Not fucking it up? For once? This just in...our political "leaders" aren't qualified to play with themselves, let alone a national health care system. They need to be restricted to basic government functions, and leave the rest to people who know what they're doing.

This is a bit like giving the keys to your brand new Ferrari to your 16 year old neighbor who just totalled three other cars. Why would you do that? Health care reform may or may not work, but it stands a much better chance the farther it can distance itself from a bunch of washed up trial lawyers and political schmoozers.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

it's the same, only different

Something struck me as I was chuckling my way through this blog this morning. The basic premise is the nasty things that happen to women's bodies because of age and childbirth, and the effect on beachwear.

It came to me that the same thing happens to men, more or less, except we don't have near the in children running around the house. While children will affect the grey hair count, or hair at all count, of the average male, we don't have the weight issues that come with bringing them into the world. All we have is age, but it's still there.

When I was twelve, we had a boat and went water skiing almost every weekend. The trip home almost always included a stop and Ronald's House of Fine Meats. I remember my dad telling me, "I'll buy you three Big Macs if you'll really eat them." He did, and I did...many times (and I wonder why I'm on cholesterol meds, but that's another related issue). Yet I wouldn't gain an ounce.

Through my 20's I ate everything and anything I wanted. Yes, I was fairly active, but I never made a concerted effort to exercise for the sake of exercise. Weight was never an issue. I could suck down a bazilion milk shakes and not gain a pound.

Then I hit my 30s...pretty much the same story, until my later 30s...when I noticed the weight starting to creep I started exercising more.

Then I hit my 40s...and the metabolism slowed to a crawl. About then I also quit smoking...and anyone who has knows what that means. I noticed my pants getting tighter and knew I had to take action. I bought bigger pants. Mr. "My Doctor" started lecturing me as the weight increased, then inched up some more, and some more. Along came the blood pressure and cholesterol meds. It happened slowly and I just chalked it up to age. I still ate like a pig and exercised...some.

Then, at the ripe young age of 49, a few things happened. One, I got on a scale after binging over Christmas, and the number on the scale was higher than it had ever been, and higher than I ever thought it would be. I had visions of my dad, who could serve Christmas dinner on his stomach. No offense intended, pop, but you know it's true. Then, brushing my teeth, something dripped from my mouth....onto my belly. My freakin' belly, dammit! That was one gross wake up call. Something had to be done and buying bigger pants wasn't the answer.

That started my current two and a half year run of more exercise than I've done in any other period in my life, including 100 mile bike rides. To be honest, though, as much as I thought it would, the original issue hasn't gone away completely. I thought...if I could get myself in good enough shape to ride 50 miles at a shot, I'd be burning enough calories to make the gut disappear. Well, I'm past doing 50 mile rides and....the needle on the scale and the amount of me I see when I look down aren't changing much. Sure, initially there was a weight drop and an encouraging reduction in waist size, but it's leveled off.

I still weigh more than I want to. My stomach isn't catching anything that seeps from my mouth any more, and I can see my feet, but still...the abs aren't quite the six pack variety. In fact, they're still the one keg kind and not very flattering. If you look back through bike pictures in this blog, you'll see what I'm talking about. Those clothes don't hide anything, and the gut is still pretty prominent. I benefit from the fact that not many people get a good look at me in bike clothes. Most people are driving by in cars, or they're on a bike and have enough to worry about besides what I look like in a bike jersey. It's not like laying out at the beach....which I just don't do anymore.

The only answer I have left is less. I love food, and I know I love food too much. The concept of portion control isn't one I espouse. I'm always the guy finishing everything on his plate, which is something drilled into my head at an early age with visions of starving kids in Africa. If food's going in the trash, I feel guilty..and I need to get over that...and the fact that whatever could go in the trash tastes too damn good.

I haven't got there, yet, but I need to learn to...just let it go.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

lawn watering restrictions

Like some of you I'm sure, we're dealing with lawn watering restrictions. We're only allowed to water our lawns twice a week. Odd numbered houses can do it on Wednesday and Saturday, but not during the middle of the day when most of the water evaporates and doesn't do squat for the yard. Even numbered houses can do it on Thursday and Sunday.

Overall, it's been no big deal, lawn-wise. I never watered it more than twice a week anyway. Most of the summer, we've had lots of rain, so I've done very little human-assisted lawn watering at all, restrictions or no. My issue isn't the lawn.

My issue is water pressure. We haven't had rain since last Thursday, so this morning (Wednesday), every odd numbered house in a bazillion mile radius of mine was running sprinklers on their lawn to keep their grass healthy. I...was trying to take a shower while getting ready for work. It was damned difficult! The water was barely coming out and the pressure was non-existent.

I don't mind the restriction on lawn watering. Twice a week is plenty and we could all stand to abide by that (not that the restrictions really matter, because they aren't enforced and there are plenty of people who ignore them, but that's another matter). Do we all have to water on the same freaking day though? Can we spread it out a little more, so half the world isn't trying to water their lawn on the same day and suck the water pressure down to where you can barely take a shower? This is bordering on ridiculous, but then again, I don't know what more I expected. Once government bureaucracy gets involved in anything, common sense seems to disappear.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

a round of abortions, for all my friends

I'm all kinds of happy about this concept, because not only do I want to condone your "right" to murder your babies, I want to pay for it too.

Yay for politicized government sponsored heath care!

...and liberal America wants to whine about the abhorrent shit Dubya shoved down their throats?? Really? I so don't want to hear it. OK, I'm overreacting a bit, because nothing's really happened, yet, but this is the road people want to take us down...and I'm not happy about it.

Out of curiosity, I wonder how quick liberal America would be to support the "right" to an abortion if they knew some of those babies were gay. The call for hate crimes legislation might be deafening. What if PETA found out, God forbid, they were whales.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bill Clinton

I have never been a big Bill Clinton fan. I never voted for the guy, and his wife just about makes me wretch. Seriously, I've had to change my habit of watching the national news during dinner, because when she appears, my appetite vacates the premises.

Having said that, when the guy comes through and does something good, I gotta give him props. He went to North Korea and managed to negotiate the freedom of two Americans being held for allegedly wandering into North Korean territory. That's pretty amazing, and well beyond what I thought him capable of. I was wrong. (Got that Jess? I'm admitting I was wrong about a liberal. Mark it down on the calendar :).)

I won't go into my opinion of irresponsible journalists, hikers, random idiots, who know the consequences and still choose to risk their well being, getting themselves in nasty predicaments in hostile countries and then expect their country to bail them out (too much). That's a different issue.

This though, was pretty cool. Good job Mr. Clinton!


Monday, August 03, 2009

doin' the stanky leg

The youngster and I had our reality checked Saturday.

We helped with a party for underprivileged kids. We've done this sort of thing before, but it's always been in a fairly sterile environment, where the kids come to us in a nice a suburban park. This was in their world, and it was a wake up call.

We drove to a part of J'ville where I don't think I'd be alive (or at least have the same possessions I started with) for more than an hour if it was after dark. I saw stuff...and I knew it existed. It's just diferent when it's in your face. We got there around 9:30 in the morning and started setting things up for games. Guys are walking around and...I know the look where your big ol' shorts are on your hips and your boxers are showing, but this was a completely different level. The shorts were down around the thighs, like well below the the point where the bottoms of the shorts are at shoe top level. They have to use one hand to hold them up when they walk, so they always have just one hand free. I was carrying this little girl around...maybe four years old, tops. No idea where mom or dad was. If that was my child, I'd be knowing who the stranger was that's carrying my child off to the playground. I asked one little girl who looked about three where her dad was. "I don't have a dad." What about mom? "My mom's gone." I asked who brought her. She was being taken care of by her older brother (looked about ten) for the last few days. Well before noon, this woman walked by. She looked to be in her 20's, and she was noticably high as a kite.

Part of the deal was lunch, which was brought in. We unloaded drinks into big coolers...and as soon as they went in the coolers, people were carting them their homes. By the time the hot dogs and burgers were ready, the drinks were gone. We brought all the kids up front around the food when we got ready to serve it, but as soon as the food was in reaching distance, the older kids and grown ups were reaching over the little ones and took it armloads. It disappeared and the little kids were just staring at empty hot dog buns.

There was a DJ...playing rap. I didn't understand most of the lyrics. The youngster told me it was mostly harmless stuff that you can hear on Disney radio. They did a few dances, like the cha cha slide, and then started doing one (among many) that I didn't get, but the youngster could at least make out the lyrics..."do the stanky leg, and the booty do". The stanky leg...oooookay. I'm not judging or saying anything's better or worse than anything else. It's just not what I'm used to. It was bizarre, to me, but no more so than seeing Dolly Parton do Stairway to Heaven. (That lipstick reminds me of the Joker in The Dark Knight.)

Beyond all that though, the kids..I'd say mostly between the ages of three and ten, had a great day. It was fun, and just talking with them and playing with them...getting them to smile for a while, was rewarding. Just pay them a little attention and they light up. The thing is, you realize you leave...and it's just one day. Those kids need so much more...need to see so much more to realize there's a big world out there they can be a part of, and they can. This day was part of a bigger program, involving mentoring and tutoring, and helping them see how they can improve their lives, and I hope it helps. I know it's better than not trying. They need to see what's out there to reach for, besides the tops of their shorts.