Friday, October 31, 2008


UC/SFU - who can beat up a Bull?  A Bearcat, that's who.  Actually I have no idea...and I never saw a Bearcat at the game, but I did notice the robot from Futurama and Santa Claus at the game.

Keep in mind that the South Florida Bulls might possibly be one of the top five college football teams in Florida.  They were ranked #23 in these United States and are the south's answer to the Philadelphia Phillies and all of their northern pride.
The game was a bit sloppy at times (we counted 23 turnovers) and had some incredible highlight reel catches (as shown by my camera/phone/palm pilot) (ok, I gotta be straight with you...I got that pic off the interweb)
In the end - the Bearcats marched to victory.  I think we have the makings of the National Champions - assuming they don't count much of the first part of the year and our offensive line gets a lot better at drive blocking...and our safety would start playing safety...then we're practically the best team ever.
At some point I'm pretty sure I saw the unibomber at the game.  I saw him writing up something about an east coast bias in the polls and then went off to send a note.
And Leah has sort of a crush on the Futurama robot...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Collecting dust

My first collection was one of ticket stubs.  The prize ticket I had was of a Notre Dame game my dad gave me.  It had a full color picture of the three Notre Dame captains and was really a pretty cool looking ticket.  I collected concert tickets (the Kinks, the Romantics, Billy Idol, every Irish folk band ever), sports tickets (lots of Reds, OSU football and the occasional hockey ticket) and any other ticket I could get a hold of.  You could see a trend towards the end where every ticket looked the same.
I blame ticketmaster.  I was to be nobody's ticketslave and either I was going to fill my ticket book with Pearl Jam tickets or move on to a new hobby...
And so I collected coins...and baseball cards...and some football cards...
I've had other hobbies, interests and passions (although I'm not sure I was ever really passionate about collecting tickets) but lately I haven't been playing racquetball, obsessed about any team or taken on any big projects at home.  
I have been using coupons though.  I bought 11 tubes of toothpaste, 15 bottles of orange juice and lemonade, 5 deodorants, five bags of chicken flavored rice, 16 rolls of toilet paper, 4 2-liters, and 2 shampoos - all for $2.60.  That was pretty good.  I'm not sure it's a hobby, interest or passion though - it's just fun to see how much free stuff I can get with coupons.
I don't think I'll be headed to the coupon collecting conventions anytime soon though.  Chris, you'll have to go it alone my friend...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

traffic jamin'

It’s time to rethink traffic lights.  We’ve been on  the Red, Yellow, Green train for a while now and it’s time to get off the bus…or train.  Who am I kidding?  I’m not riding a bus or a train, and what would that have to do with traffic lights anyhow?
I like the color thing, I just think it might be limiting.  Three colors?  We can do better than that.
We don’t even have to think any more – we’re on autopilot.  Let’s put down our ipods and start focusing on signals once again! (too much?)
I say we go with Red, Blue, Yellow, Green and a question mark.
Red means stop – no change there.  

Blue means that you should probably stop but we’re not going to get legalistic about it or anything.  Who are we to judge?

Yellow means speed up – no change there.

Green means go celebrate the Irish and all that they’ve contributed to our society – again with the no change there.

The Question mark is sort of like a wild card.  You should probably slow down because there might be another car coming, or a train…or a bear…you just have to play it out and see what happens.

I’d also like the traffic cops to wear giant foam fingers announcing their sports allegiance when directing traffic.  Seems like it would make the whole traffic jam a little sportier – and who doesn’t like ending with a pun?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I've decided to make Tuesdays -Two for Tuesdays in November.  I've felt guilty about not givng October a clever theme (Rocktober, Proctober, Captain Spoktober, Remember to change your clocktober) and feel like making Tuesdays "Twosdays" might make up for it.

So here's the deal - you get two gems for the same price as one gem on Monday or Wednesday.

That's almost double.

Yesterday you got a history lesson - today you'd get double that.  I'm not saying that it'll be two history lessons, but it could be.  I'm just saying that you're getting twice the value on Tuesdays in November. (I'm also thinking through a "Snovember" theme - but that's up to the globe whether or not it's going to continue the trend of not getting any warmer this decade)

This feels a little like the episode where the Fonz was mid-air over the trash cans on his motorcycle and we had to wait a week to find out if he plunged to his death...but you're just going to have to tune in next week to see Twosdays in'll be my Fonzie jumping the trashcan moment...

Monday, October 27, 2008

thinking through my week...

If I knew how to find it, I'd post a link to the SNL skit with the 43 year old guy going trick or treating while he's getting his predator signatures.  Sadly I do not have that technology, or more accurately, just can't find it online...but what's not funny about that?

Having said that, let's talk about Halloween.  In much the same way that we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas most of us celebrate the true meaning of Halloween.  Halloween was originally an irish tradition (you're welcome) and was a night when the dead would visit.  It was sort of like their one night to party with the alive folks where everyone brought chips, salsa and sold pampered chef products.  They'd take turnips and rutabagas and hollow them out and stick a candle in there to light their way.  Often the dead would show up late and drunk and offend the host(s) by bringing friends that weren't really on the list.  Eventually they started dressing up their friends in costumes to get around any uptight hosts and it became a hilarious tradition once the dead figured out you could team up with your date for the night and have theme costumes (he's bacon and I'm an egg! - she's an electric outlet and I'm a plug...get it?!)

Eventually the candy companies took over and in their attempt to make this holliday evil created "fun sized" candy which is anything but fun...

Don't let them bring you down America.  Take back this precious holiday and get back to your roots.  Eat some soul cakes and talk about those evil English and their silly hats.  Carve up some rutabas because what's more fun than saying rutabaga?  I dare say nothing...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scout's Honor

Periodically I'll get a call to come and do a skit, talk or tap dance at a local function.  Last week when I got a call from the Boy Scouts of America to come and tell ghost stories around a camp fire, I suggested that this particular troop call Joe the Pastor.  Turns out they had...and he said the same thing, only in my direction.

He won.

I said the thing you should never say, "This isn't really my thing, but if you get in a me if you're desperate".

They were.  Apparently that's why they were calling me.

So I had the story about the guy with the dog getting carved up and finding a note written in blood on the wall - one about the ax murderer in the backseat of the car - the bloody hook on the car door handle...
and then I got to thinking...

These kids are about Griffin's age.  I'm not sure I'd tell these scary campfire tales to Griff.  So I called the lady at scout headquarters (her living room) and ran one by her.  If she could have punched me in the trachea through the phone, she would have.

"you can't tell those stories!  They'll have nightmares for weeks!  Why don't you tell some stories that sound scary, but have a funny ending?"

So I went to my "stories that sound scary but have a funny ending" file and pulled some out...

Turns out it was kind of fun.  I like spinning the occasional yarn and doing it in front of a bonfire with a bunch of young 'ens is a decent night out. 

On an unrelated note, Steve J. Fuller passed me a copy of chapter one of his book.  You can read it here.
It's actually really good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Nuremburg Soup Trial

I just received possibly the greatest e-mail since the one where I found out that I was picked by a prince to be the sole inheriter of a lot of money.

Not only am I soon to be rich (all I had to do was send them some of my info - how great is my life?) but tonight I will be dining on possibly the greatest soup of this generation.  The soup nazi ate some of this and immediately apologized for his goose-stepping, prison camp soup.  Martha Stewart had a bowl and immediately went back to jail and shanked her old roomie.  Rachel Ray gives it two "yummos" and Bobby Flay threw himself down on a broken bottle of hot sauce during a throwdown with this soup.

Not long ago one of my favorite authors penned this insightful article about this very soup.

Tonight I dine with the greatest of joy.  This stuff is so good it makes me want to smack Emeril 17 times while shouting Bam!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

and this is why my wife is awesome...

problem solved...
now I can just start up the 'ol car in the comfort of my own garage...
wait, that's bad too
Either way, I'm looking at a car that will be snug as a bug in a rug.  Do you really want bugs in your rugs though?

Dancing with my car

I'm a few minutes away from engaging in something I detest.  There aren't many things I like less than running out to my car, unlocking it and then starting it....only to run back into the house.  Seems like I'm wasting some momentum in that whole interaction.

Warming up my car on a cold morning is one of my top four least favorite activities.
1.  vomiting nothing (also known east of the Mississippi as dry heaving)
2.  vacuuming and/or ironing
3.  going over to Brad's to hang out only to have him show you his latest line dancing moves
4.  Warming up the car
5.  watching any show with the word "dancing" in the title
6.  why am I still making this list?  I was really just talking about the top four?  I hate it when I do this...

So today wouldn't normally be that bad.  Someone in Michigan right now is saying, "that's not cold, cold is when you lose an appendage and don't feel it because you're out tanning" and that's when I answer, "yeah, but your football team is a bunch of stupid heads" and walk away triumphant in our superior football and weather....who's the big winner now Michigan?

I won't have to de-ice the locks or scrape the windows - it's just that today is the beginning of future such least I won't be dry-heaving while running out to the car...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Praying to Oprah

I've heard it said that you can discover who your "god" is by looking at your palm pilot.  I think what they're saying is that if you use a daytimer or no calendar at all you're an atheist...or an agnostic at best.

Hold on -I'm not sure that's right -  Maybe the point is that the thing(s) that you spend most of your time pursuing are typically the things that you worship/and or live for.  They are your god.

I'm not sure that adds up - unless a lot of us are worshipping St. Mattress by spending roughly 56 of our hours in a typical week sleeping.  I don't know if I know anyone who prays, studies the Bible or reflects on God for that many hours...except for you.

So even if it doesn't add up - you've got to throw in the tiniest possibility that we do tend to focus on the things that are, in fact, the most important to us.  We might make our list of priorities with God first, family second, The Office third and friends fourth...maybe even throw work in there somewhere???  I think we'd make that list in more of a wishful way.  It's what we want our priorities to be, but not necessarily where they are.

If you spend more time listening to Oprah than to God - well that's gotta say something about Steve...right?

I recently had a friend tell me that "we get as much of God as we want"



"oh....huh....maybe that's about right"

There's often a difference between belief and action and I'm not sure it's much more than verbal.  I say one thing and it really has absolutely nothing to do with what I truly believe.  I do another and it has everything to do with what I believe.

faith without action is like the funniest videos in America without Saget - it just doesn't work...

Monday, October 20, 2008


If you feel like today would be a good day to pal around, but you've got no pal...I happen to know one.

I'm not just talking about any ol' pal.  This isn't like one of those pay pals either - because if you're paying, he's not really your pal...he's a pro.

I live with a certified peer pal.  Griffin was selected to go through Peer Pal Training and is now the proud holder of a Peer Pal Certificate.  If a new student moves into Freedom Elementary School and is in need of a pal...who you gonna call?  That's right, you want somebody that's been trained.  You want someone qualified.  You need someone who has taken the necessary course work and has the credentials that you want in a pal.

You'd call Griff.

What has two thumbs and is a pal's pal?
This guy

(the one in the middle - the other two aren't to be trusted....until they get picked and trained as pals)

Friday, October 17, 2008

I let the dogs out - me, me, me (they really had to go)

I've been doing the math and it turns out that a dog year = 365 days.  I've spoken to a few and apparently they go by the same Gregorian Calendar that you and I work with.  They're not wrapped up in printing calendars like we are, but the facts remain...same basic deal.

Sure they're still pissed about leap year, but thats one that they gave us.  They originally wanted a day that lasted a day + six hours once a year...but that's just stupid.  No offence, but dogs sometimes make really silly suggestions.  This is largely why they've decided to just go with our definition of a year.

This whole one human year equals seven dogs years silliness, well that's for the birds (don't get me started on those coo-coos).

It's insulting - it's condescending - it's irrational - and it's largely a slap in the face to dogs everywhere.

It's time to move on.  It's time for truth.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday part II

Thursdays are for suckers.  You can let The Man try to pull one over on you if you like.  Sure, everybody celebrates Thursdays...just try it...try it...try it...

Oh no, it's not a fake holiday trumped up by Hallmark and all of those fancy e-card sites with their adorable talking kittens and dancing, they'd never try to get you to buy into their day just to make a way.

Thursday?  Really?  Are you really going to try this?

Wednesday is hump day. Friday is a celebration of all things complete.  Thursday?  It's the week telling you, "Hey, it's not the beginning of the week...and not really the end suck on that lemmings"

Are you going to take that?

Not me mister.  I'm moving on.  Today is Wednesday's not quite as good sequel.  It's Fridays prequel and it's dead to me.

Not today Thursday, not today...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You don't have to give him an H middle name

We named our oldest son Griffin.  We have a friend named Evan Griffin and we liked the idea of having our kid having the same name.  Having said that, we probably wouldn't have named Griff after Evan if his name was Gern Blanston.  Cooper wasn't really named after anyone, we just wanted to yell, "Coop" and have one of our kids appear. 

At some point we were watching Waiting For Guffman and liked the name Parker...and now we have one.

We have some friends that went with all Biblical names for our kids.  I say that if you're going Biblical (Griffin's  middle name is there's that) you should go big.  I'm not saying that you should name your kid God, but what's wrong with Jesus?

I know a bunch of Peters, Pauls, Davids, Johns and have even met a few guys named Moses...but no Jesus.  O.K., I know one Jesus but I don't have a "Jesus" on my phone speed dial list.  I'm just saying that I don't know anybody that named their kid Jesus.

It's too late for us (maybe?) but if you're thinking of baby names - let me save you $17 on a baby book - Jesus is a very respectable name.  People tend to like him and while it's a very well known name, it's also a very uncommon name.

Who is going to beat up Jesus?  If you're playing dodgeball against Jesus, are you really going to throw a ball at him?

Who gets invited to every birthday party and is the class president every year?

Your kid - that's who...

you're welcome

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Days Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions are so 1996.  Everyone has said, "I'll start _______ on Monday" - how lame is that?  Sure, you could start a new plan in November...but really?

I'm making new day's resolutions today.

On Tuesday, October the 14th 2008 I resolve to make some resolutions.

I plan on using the word pandemic.

I'd like to have thai food.

I think today I'll have a couple of sticks of chewing gum and blow a bubble at an inappropriate time.

I'll crank up the air conditioning while driving with my windows down and scream, "I've always hated polar bears anyways!"

I'll fight apartheid and wrestle with voter fraud.

I'll call today, "Super Tuesday" and throw confetti on people taking coffee breaks.

I might just do a jig and tell people I'm embraccing my inner Mickey Rooney.

I'll tell a fake story about stick fighting Steve in Thailand and end it with, "I guess you had to be there"

I'm going to mime, mime, mime!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Books I'm not reading right now

__________(fill in the blank) for Dummies - my always-using-his-intro-to-Psychology-class friend tells me that labeling oneself as a dummy will eventually lead to hepatitis C or watching Mtv reality shows.

Mein Kampf - that guy is a really bad dude. I'm just not sure we should buy his book.  I don't care what Brad says...

Any comic book or graphic novel. If a picture equals 1,000 words - well who has the time to read a book with 250,000,000 words?

Fuller's book - it's not out yet, but I'm waiting.

Anything on Oprah's list. She doesn't control me...does she?

Any e-book.  I hate squinting at the screen and it actually costs more to print all those pages.

The book of love.  If I don't know who wrote it, I'm not reading it.

I'm not reading a lot of books.  I just had recently heard that we're supposed to have these book lists on our blogs.  Blogger hasn't been sending me the notes on what to have and not have on my blog, so I'm out here on an island just trying to figure it out.  They won't return my calls either.
Prima Donnas.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I feel like dancing...I think I'll go to the prom

hatin' armadillos

As far as the East is from the West - that's how much better the second episode of The Office was than the first.

and if the Christian Slater vehicle, "My own worst enemy" is half as good as Kuffs - well sign me up Mister...and make room for a fella named Emmy to stop by Slates...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

the trivialist of pursuits

What was John Wayne's real first name?

What's the point difference need to be if you were to tech fall a wrestler?

What's the deal with the first episode of The Office this season?

Spell C A N T E L O U P E

Stacy - a boy's name or girl's?

Name two things that don't taste better with bacon.

What two members of The Monkeys auditioned for the role of The Fonz on Happy Days?

Why are the New Kids on the Block back?

Who let the dogs out?  Who? Who?

Robert Zimmerman's stage name?

If a train left Chicago going 75 miles an hours towards New York - and at the same time a train left New York going 65 miles per hour headed to Chicago - wouldn't it make more sense to just fly?

What movie is this from?
'Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams?'

What number am I thinking of?

Why did the caged bird sing?

Who was the winning quarterback of the first two Super Bowls?

Why haven't they made The Godfather on ice?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

keep on truckin'

I think I'll join young Steven and move on for awhile from talking about the election.  It's beyond getting old. I've honestly not met one person open minded enough to walk out of a conversation and say, "you know what, I've changed my mind now that this has been openly talked about"...on either what are we doing?

I've heard for weeks  folks telling me that "you hate liberals" even though I've never said anything about either them being a liberal or hating liberals.  Living in a stereotype box gets tiring.  Beyond that - it's a step higher to actually discuss issues than to watch hilarious videos about non-issues...(that sadly will sway the kids)'s still frustrating and old.

If we're just trying to win our side of the argument - I'm not sure that's a win at all. 

So I'd rather start talking about Griff's baseball team and my new leg waxer.  It's time to start talking about Ron Pallilo and how sound energy will save a planet...but not ours sadly.

I'd like to wax poetic about what the expression "to wax poetic" actually means.

I'd like to buy the world a diet coke and then lecture them on the dangers of aspartame.

But most of all, this political talk has me thinking that I've ignored one of the all time greats for far too long...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

all you need is love?

love is all you need if it is patient, kind and not self seeking...

love means discipline & love means forgiveness...

love leapfrogs mercy and goes straight to grace...

if by love you mean putting off your needs and focusing on the needs of others...well I agree...

love get messy...

love is sometimes words, but most often action...

love is anything but platitudes and promises...

love takes time and can be given at first meeting...

love is not superficial, gimmicy and doesn't always appear on the surface to be nice...

love can mean consequences that you don't necessarily want or feel like you need...

love is a father in a hospital waiting room and a mother waiting by a phone...

love sees beyond partisan squabbles...

love doesn't always seem to win...

love is Courtney's last name...

nice doesn't come close to love...

I agree that love is all you need if you really know Love...

Monday, October 06, 2008

cold at the moment...

I feel like we're jumping around with this temperature thing lately.  I've been looking forward to shorts and a sweatshirt weather for a while now and don't feel like we've actually landed on it least not for more than 20 minutes at once.

We went from mandatory air conditioning in my car and house to scrounging through my car looking for a coat during Griffin's game.  I learned my lesson and wore jeans to the next game...and was hotter than Brad in his spandex bike shorts.  The next day I was looking for my ear muffs...because that's how comfortable I am wearing protective ear wear.

I wake up cold and go to bed warm.  Years ago I installed a digital thermostat so my house would figure out when to turn on the heat or the air conditioning.  Turns out that I still had to get up and switch it from air to heat.

I'm looking for a nice steady temperature range somewhere between shorts and a sweatshirt and shorts with a long sleeve T.  The bottom line is when you have legs like these you've gotta share them with the world.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I'm just not sure that this is the message for our children

I would think they'd want us to vote.  It just seems like they're saying bad things.
Shouldn't we vote.  This is very confusing...

"that sounds like a t-shirt company to me"

Friday, October 03, 2008

good times

I know if I say anything about the debates that people will get defensive/irate/insecure - but it's what I'm thinking as I sit down.

I actually enjoyed the debate.

Things I learned:

Bosniaks is a funny name.
Biden really doesn't like McCain, but he seems cool with Palin.
Palin really doesn't like Obama and she's frustrated by Biden changing his mind from his debates with Obama.
Biden came off as likable. Palin came off as competent. Neither of those two things were a forgone conclusion going into the night.
I write this because my rule of thumb is to just start typing whatever I’m thinking when I sit down. This isn’t an attack against you because we might disagree on who we’re hoping is the next president.   It's ok.  We can still play racquetball on Thursdays and take pictures of Alton while he's sleeping.

Life goes on.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

that's really cool

You'll rarely find the word "Golly" not preceded by the word "By" or followed by "Gee Whiz".

I know I know - Prove it Sean.  Let's see you put your money where your mouth is hot shot.

Well I can't.  It's just something I feel.  It's like when Bragg instinctively knows a puppy is lost and needs our help - you can't teach's just who I am.

I'll go one step further.  I don't think you'll hear the word "Golly" not uttered sarcastically for the rest of this year.  2008 will not be the year of unsarcastic golly.  I'm thinking we're looking at 2013 or 14 at the earliest.

I can't do it.  Oh sure I could give it a shot..but who am I kidding?  I could get away with an "that's awesome" perhaps a "nice!" but "golly"?  It'd take a better man than I young fella...

I miss golly.  I hope he's safe out there.  And before you get all feminist and insist on a gender neutral description of that long forgotten word...he's a he.  Don't ask me how I know...I just do.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Living La Vida Loca

It occurred to me that today would be a good day to celebrate popular thought and culture. Let’s thumb our noses at those in the minority and celebrate everything that’s popular. We’ll let them talk about how great their vinyl jazz albums are while we listen to whatever American Idol is producing these days. Let’s call our Dave Matthews fan-friends and proclaim our love for Ants Marching.

Let the snobs turn their noses in the other direction as we watch reality television and proclaim our obsequious devotion to that bad girl that is nice to everyone to their faces…but she’s really a naughty little girl 14 months away from her first Playboy cover.

We will worship at the altar of fast food restaurants and $100 million dollar movies. Today we’ll ignore art house documentaries and eat our popcorn in front of our anthropomorphic technicolor gods chasing girls and cars.

You drink your $7 coffee and $3 italian stale bread – we’ll grab a free cup of joe from the front desk and grab a handful of m & m’s while we’re up there.

I know that popular does not equal cool, but today that’s ok. If that means dancing with the stars…well that’s where I draw the line. I personally am going to abstain from that, but not because I’m above it…it’s just that it’s “stars” dancing and…come on. I also am going to have to sit out on Desperate Housewives. Tell you what – I’ll watch an Ultimate Fighter marathon and we’ll call it even.

Snobs – you’ll have your day back soon…never you mind.
and oh yeah...that's clip art my friend