Thursday, June 26, 2008

A hero gone

Sorry, it's been a while since the last writing, but I would be remiss if I were to not post something about this week's celebrity loss, George Carlin.

Growing up, I had two role models in my life: Kermit the Frog and George Carlin. Sure, you might ask, "what about your dad?", but I would point out that in my twisted memory of childhood Kermit and my dad were the same, um, person. Ask my sister and she'd say the same.

I grew up with Carlin. I said my first dirty words with Carlin. Some day I will find out what a few of them actually mean.

I was introduced to George in the 80's with Carlin At Carnegie. I distinctly remember standing next to the TV sometime around the fifteenth viewing of the special, my finger poised on the "record" button of my cassette tape recorder (the one I also used to plug into my Timex Sinclair 1000) so I could record the audio and listen to it over and over again. And I did. Over and over again. Back then I could recite the first 90 or so words from George's complete dirty words list from memory. And I did. Over and over again. Somewhere in the basement is the complete list, but no matter. This week I confirmed that Carlin At Carnegie is forever available on YouTube. Enjoy.

If it wasn't for George, I wouldn't know what to say when I opened the refridgerator and came across an empty plate (Did something east something else?).

If it wasn't for George, I wouldn't have known that the Mexican Hat Dance was written by two people.

George made me snicker every time the flight attendant said, "please check the overhead compartments for any belongings you might have brought on board with you (well, I MIGHT have brought my arrowhead collection).

George taught me that the object of baseball was to GO HOME.

George taught me that woodpecker was the tragic next stage of pussyfoot.

George taught me that a fart's a fart, and that's that.

Ironically, this week I've been introducing my daughters to Season 1 of The Muppet Show on DVD. Timeless classics. As an adult, I have a new found respect for Kermit, and see how he did in fact shape my life. Kermit was the leader, the anal retentive organizer, trying to make sense and order of the weirdness around him. That's me. But I also noticed one thing I had never realized watching the Muppets as a kid.

Kermit was quite the horndog.

Forget about Miss Piggy for a moment. In two of the first three episodes of Season one, Kermit and his cohorts hosted Juliet Prowse and Connie Stevens. Both babes. And Kermit could have had either one of them. Had it not been for the G-rating of the Sunday night show, he would have. he's just that charming.

Somehow, I didn't pick up that trait growing up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A little Fathers Day Rasta, mon

Sunday was, in my humble opinion, a perfect Fathers Day.

After sleeping late, my kids surprised me with the power tools that I bought a few days earlier and had my wife hide (how did they know???). We then spent much of the morning cleaning the garage. Now, you're probably thinking, "what the heck kind of Fathers Day event is that? Well, the important part of that last sentence is the word "we". You see, my family actually HELPED me clean the garage. I believe it's a first. It obviously WAS a special day.

In the afternoon (and a beautiful afternoon it was), the four of us went to a concert in a park. It was a Reggae Band called Spiritual Rez. We had gotten there early, so we were fairly close to the front. There was quite the collection of hippies, stoners beatnicks and freaks there. All good people, mind you.

About a half hour before the concert started, Natalie noticed a gypsyish-looking woman in a sun dress with a pretty freaky tattoo down her back; she was hula hooping. Natalie got up the guts to go ask to try it herself, and instantly become the star of the crowd (I had no idea she was such a good hula hooper).

Then, the concert started, and both Natalie and Jessica decided to dash up to the very front and center and dance, nonstop, for at least 45 minutes. Now, given this was a Reggae concert, the crowd was feeling the vibe, and there was plenty of dancing going on. Natalie was right in the center of it all. The image of Natalie, wearing a very preppy teal-colored short sleeve shirt, khaki capris and, and Disney Princess sandals, strutting her moves (picture Elaine from Sienfeld) in amongst about 50 or so of these stoners, hippies, and free-loving rasta tatooed creatures was absolutely priceless.

We're talking skinny dudes in cargo shorts with no shirts, scruffy wastoids in dreadlocks and rasta caps, numerous young ladies dressed for the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, and even a guy with a backpack full of juggling pins (hey, we love you all, 'mon). The whole scene got even better when the lady with the hula hoop gave it to Natalie again so she could show off in what was effectively a mellow mosh pit. The crowd was eating it up, Natalie was feeding off the attention. And me without my damned video camera.

In an effort to give the younger sibling her moment in the bloglight, I must also mention the events of the day before. Jessica had her first ballet recital. She and a dozen or so of her 4-year-old classmates were the opening act in a two-hour grand presentation, performing in precise synchronicity to the tune of Snuggle Puppy. Okay, maybe no so precise. But holy crap there is nothing cuter than a dozen 4-year-olds in tutus clutching stuffed animals and attempting to keep in step with one another. The highlight, I believe, was when the girls were to skip in a circle, and the young lady next to Jessica appeared to forget the next move. Jessica was not shy about pushing her aside to get where she was going. And again, no damned camera. I'm hoping someone has it on video and can get it to me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


If you haven't heard, Freecycle is a network of people interested in giving away and obtaining free crap (and I mean crap in the global sense, not just the garbage sense. Some crap is good crap). If you've got something to get rid of and feel guilty tossing it in the trash, post it on Freecycle and chances are you'll find someone who wants it. Alternatively if you're looking for something post a request on Freecycle and chances are someone out there is looking to get rid of it.

I'm a big fan of Freecycle, despite having been briefly banned from it. I've gotten rid of lots of post-renovation stuff including old paint, a door, and old gutters. I've also used it to gain a new family member in the form of Goldie the Blood Parrot Cichlid. But most importantly, I've gotten more than my fair share of enjoyment reading some of the more goofy posts I find on there.

I've been collecting the good ones for a while. I thought I would share some gems from my collection, of course removing names and such to protect the innocent, the stupid, or the just plain creative. I've found I can sort the classics into a fair amount of categories, which I will do now. I promise these are true.

Category: Why'd you bother?

Offer: Two packages of active dry yeast.

Offer: 4 ripe bananas

Category: Am I reading that right?

Offer: 2 White full-figured bra's (WIRE). Both were wore. Size 40DD.
(Hmm, I was hoping someone was getting rid of a hammock, but this will do.)

Offer:......cloth reusable menstrual pads. I purchased these several years ago and I don't need them anymore. are unbleached cotton made by Dixie Babies..these are 10" long pads for medium to heavy flow.
(What frightens me is that there was a follow-up post that these were taken).

Offer: 2 tubes of hair putty
(Hair putty? Sounds like the new product from the merger of Hair Club For Men and the Gorilla Glue Company)

Offer: Potbelly pig, "Snickers".
("Snickers" being just the perfect name for it).

Category: Good luck with that.

Wanted: Wood working tools, Power tools, bench....I especially am looking for a Router, Router bench, and Jig saw.
(No real man would part with these items).

Wanted: Mac computer for video editing
(Yeah, I must have one of those lying around somewhere).

Wanted: …just entered into the world of public safety in may of 07 and work in a rather dangerous neighborhood on a patrol where there is quite a bit of gang activity. I'm in need of a bullet proof vest if anyone has gotten a new one and have one that is close to expiring or has expired not too long ago i sure could use it as i frequently encounter individuals who possess illegal/stolen firearms and also have had several shots fired at us on multiple occasions. Any help with this would be great. Even if it's not a perfect fit it's better than no fit!!!
(Okay, holy crap! Ever heard the term "you get what you pay for"? It applies here).

Wanted: I am looking for kitchen cabinets. Mine are 30 years old and look very drabby and starting to fall apart.
(And, finding free ones on Freecycle will be an improvement how)?

Wanted: Books on the Rapture
(The event where Jesus comes down to save everyone, or the Blondie album?)

Wanted: machine that plays mini dvd tapes.
(Think about it.)

Wanted: I'm looking for T1 line, any length.
(Okay, the geeks out there have already chuckled at that one. For the non-geeks out there, a T1 line is essentially a very high tech, expensive telecommunications protocol and cabling solution that provides fast internet access directly from your ISP. Something large companies can afford. Something that involves long term contracts with telephone providers. Not something you give away on Freecycle. I think this dude wants an Ethernet cable. Or, maybe I'm wrong).

Wanted: Hp deskjet 960c printer power source
(I suggest electricity, thermonuclear fission, or gerbils in a spinning wheel).

Category: If I had the free time, I'd jump on it.

Offer: Nerd Xing Sign.

Offer: McCalls sewing pattern 3931, for adult men's or women's kimono (size small).

Category: Spell checker ain't gonna help that.

Looking for a died mope or a working Moped

Category: Instant classics.

Wanted: My son is in need of a football helmit for his 2nd grade school play/book report.
(I’d suggest this guy use the one from his own childhood, but obviously he didn’t have one. Nor did he have shouldemer pads. So why do you think he needs protective gear for a book report? Must be SOME school!)

Wanted: Dutch Hoe. I never knew there were different types of hoe, I thought this was the only one. If any one has such a thing going spare I'd be very grateful having just got a house.
(With clogs, or without?)

Wanted: Anything Science Related. Our church is hosting a Science Themed Vacation Bible School...
(Ugh. Too many jokes. I give up).

Looks like I'm getting banned again.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Scream Four, The Campout

An odd thing happens when you raise children. Your shopping list tends to cover a broad spectrum of categories. I was cleaning out my to-do list, and took a second look at a shopping list from the weekend. Looking back, it strikes me as a rather odd list:

New flashlight
Inflatable duck floaty
Scuba Flippers
Hannah Montana action figure
bounce dryer sheets
Wallace and Gromitt movie

This was in preparation for an Adventure Princess campout with my daughter last weekend. In case you're wondering, the flippers and the Duck were for my costume for the dance, and the Hannah Montana action figure was for the raffle held during the campout. The Pringles and Beer were mine.

As for the campout, while it was a lot of fun, it was also a complete washout. Our dreams of horseback riding, mountain climbing, and sailing on the lake were drowned by heavy downpours the entire day. Instead we spent most of the day watching the really awful remake of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (the Johnny Depp one, a total travesty)and eating ice cream at the snack bar, and playing a long, drawn-out game of Go Fish.

I want to throw a question out to the women of the audience. Why, exactly, does a gathering of little girls result in hours of meaningless screaming? Natalie and her buddies spent lots of time hanging out in the cabins together while the guys sat on the porch managing the beer and Pringle collection. During that time, we probably had to enter the cabin at least thirty times to tell the girls to stop screaming. But we never actually saw a REASON for the screaming. Each time we entered, we found them sitting on the bed making bead necklaces. We saw no sign of the Deer Valley Slasher, that mysterious guy with the hook for a hand who preys on little girls at campgrounds. There was no giant spider climbing the walls. None of the children were being eaten by a bear. Near as I could tell, they were all sitting on the bunk bed together making bead necklaces. So why the screaming? It was as if the conversation went like this:

Girl 1: can you hand me the bead box EEEEEEEEAAAH!!!!!!!
Girl 2: Sure, here you go EEEEEEEEAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
Girl 3: My sister says Hannah Montana has a big nose EEEEEAAAHHH!!!!!!!
Girl 1: Your sister is a big poopyhead AAAAA!!!!EEEEEE!!!!!!
Girl 2: I want Pringles EEEEEEHHHH!
Dad 1: What's all the screaming in here????
Girls: What screaming?

Saturday night was the last straw with the screaming. After the dads were done listening to the Penguins lose to the Redwings on the XM radio one dad brought, it was time to tuck the girls into bed. The campground was generally silent except for one cabin, where the ladies had not yet been corralled. This cabin was directly below mine, and I had a direct view of what was happening. The dads were roasting Pringles by the campfire, and the girls were playing a game of shining flashlights in each other's eyes and screaming at the top of their lungs. Every five minutes or so one dad would proclaim, "girls, quiet down," which of course fell on deaf ears. By 11:45 that night I'd had it. I sat up, leaned to the window of the cabin and yelled, "SHADDUP DOWN THERE!!!!"

After some quick scurrying by the dads, the campground was suddenly silent. And there was much rejoicing. and sleeping.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Forgotten photo #2

Beat this caption...
Originally uploaded by daninhim
Damned shame throwing away a perfectly good superhero like that....

Okay, so I'm in a slow period. Or maybe it's a busy period. In any case, I'm sitting watching Overtime #2 of the Pens/Redwings cup game, and I thought I'd pop open blogger in order to keep myself awake.

Forgotten photo #1

Cutest bug ever
Originally uploaded by daninhim
I was doing some cleanup of my Flickr account and came across this photo I'd forgotten about. We found this little guy in our back yard. I never did find out what he was, but talk about a cutie.