Thursday, November 29, 2007


A friend of mine asked me if I'd watched the CBS show "Kid Nation" this week. I hadn't. I saw one episode, and that was enough.

For anyone who isn't quite familiar with the premise of the show, a group of kids were brought to a town where they would be filmed while living without adult supervision or intervention (other than for obvious safety and security reasons). The show follows these kids as they live in a "world" that they rule.

The show isn't doing too well in the ratings. In fact, I don't know anyone who watches it. I think CBS missed the mark here. A show about kids running the world, doing what they want to, by their own rules? Fellas, that's not a show. That's what a lot of us see way too much of in the real world, thanks. I'm not going to add an hour of that kind of torture to my world on purpose!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Getting To Be That Time...

Get one here

A Christmas Idea

Hi Folks!

My friend Jaime had a great idea and told me about it. It's sort of a twist on the ol' Kris Kringle/ Secret Santa projects of old. What she thought would be fun, and I agree, would be for a bunch of people from different states throw in together, and exchange little gifts for Christmas this year. The fun thing is, she suggested it be like a souvenir from your home state, and I think it's a great idea. Every state has something that shows up in souvenir shops (NY has the statue of Liberty or the Empire State building), or some unique product. Just something fun to exchange for Christmas, as a way of connecting among J-Landers or Bloggers, nothing over-the-top or expensive (it is the thought that counts, right?)

I always liked getting things like that, but it's been a while since I have. Maybe you'd like to join in on something like that. We can iron out the details...maybe we could throw all the names into a hat and secretly assign each participant a recipient to send to? The most important step, though, would be to get some indications of interest first (no sense planning if no one wants to play, right?)

Anyone can participate. Just either leave a comment, or shoot an email and let us know if you're into it, and we'll work out the fine print from there.

Hope to hear from you!

Hmm, A Little Revisit

Doing what I've been doing lately, TV becomes a bit of a mainstay in the daily routine. There are times where I have to sit and watch daytime TV (typically during the daytime), and there's only so much Discovery Channel you can take, you know? And the movie channels seemingly believe that we want to watch "original programming" instead of movies (the kind of thinking that drove MTV to stop broadcasting Music, I guess).

There are a host of morning shows, like the Today show. These magazine shows are on all the major networks, so they became my second choice.

One thing I've noticed that's common to all of these shows is that they routinely air segments dealing with relationship issues. And typically, the topic is how to fix broken romances. More specifically, the theme is "how to fix a relationship with a man."

Now, I don't mean to be nasty, but, are women really trying to follow this kind of advice? The biggest problem, right off the bat, is that it's women trying to tell other women how to work with men. Hey, it's a noble cause and all, but, are you kidding me? I listen to this stuff, and I think, "WRONG!"

No matter who is giving the advice, it's the same formula: 1. Identify the problem 2. Address it in such a way that it doesn't appear to be "all about you" 3. Provide a method that winds up making it "all about you". Not good. It's like Tiger Woods giving quarterbacking advice to Peyton Manning. No one benefits there, trust me.

OK, so I'm no Dr. Phil (who is majorly full of $#$@#, in my opinion) and I'm not an expert on women, nor am I a so-called Life Coach. What I am is a guy. So I have a clue what being a guy is about.

I can tell you that most, if not all of what I've heard is guaranteed to do one thing: nothing. It's women trying to tell other women how to turn their man into a woman!

Now I'm pretty sure that these people give bad advice on purpose. It keeps them in business, for crying out loud! If they devised a perfect formula that was guaranteed to work, what would they do for the rest of their lives?

I'm not going to get paid for this, so consider it a noble gesture. But I think the time has come for one of those "Stupid men" you're always talking about, (admit it, you call men "stupid" sometimes- honesty is the first step, as they say) to step up and offer some true insight into the male of the species. I've done this in some small fashion before, but after seeing the crap that's being fed to you poor souls, I think it's time to step it up a notch.

Interested? Then go here

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Big Fat HA!

I haven't posted much about my "weight-loss" program, because I haven't found a way to make it interesting, simple as that. But I'm still at it. At last check, I'm down 947 pounds, or I need a new scale...not sure.

I never have a problem with people who eat healthy, who stay in shape, etc. I just can't stomach the preachy ones. You know the type, they not only control their own diet, they want to dictate yours as well.

My diet isn't chock full of denials. There are some things I won't eat often, but there are few things I won't eat ever. One of my indulgences is a really good cheeseburger. I don't eat them a lot, but I'm always on the hunt for the "perfect" burger.

A few weeks ago, I had to hit the mall with a friend. I love her, but she's one of those holier-than-thou's when it comes to food. Granted, she's got a body to die for, but, well you know. Anyway, we hit a restaurant called Ruby Tuesdays, which I've been told has great burgers. So that's what I ordered. Of course, Ms Body ordered the Turkey Burger, while telling me that I ought to be doing the same. After I told her to be quiet, we ate our respective burgerage. So smug, she is!

Well, as luck would have it, today I caught a clip on the Today show. (how convenient). There was a guy running through the list of restaurant foods that are supposedly good for you. Ruby Tuesday's Turkey Burger was featured, and it was pointed out that someone who chose that sandwich would be better off (fat and calories-wise) to order two (2)Big Mac Sandwiches at McDonalds.

I can not wait to see her again.

Wipe Out!

When all is said and done, and it's time to just sit on the couch and veg, my favorite pastime is channel surfing. Yep, I'm one of those guys who, if left to my own devices, will happily sit and flip channels, never watching one show for too long, until I finally hit on a program to watch. I used to aggravate my friends, because I'd do that, and still be able to tell you what's going on with each show.

With the advent of these fancy cable-tv boxes, you could plug in all your favorite channels, and with the press of one button, be able to surf away to your heart's content.

But it's no fun anymore. Seems no matter what time it is, I start flippin', I get nothing but commercials. Any good surfer knew you didn't surf at the top or the bottom of the hour in the past, because that was typical commercial time. Now, it's like open-season for ads. I had 23 channels plugged in to the favorites, and when I started surfing this morning, 18 of them were broadcasting commercials when I hit them. Is it me, or are they out of control with the amount of commercials?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Songs and Memories...

Click that and listen to the tune a second. It's not the whole song, just a sample..

I think a whole lot of us have heard that song at one time or another, right? So, what do you think you were doing the first time you heard it?

Wrong Wrong Wrong

I don't think it's in our nature to enjoy being proven wrong. We usually don't like it when we make a statement and it gets completely debunked. Not usually something we enjoy.

Not usually.

I carried on pretty hard the other night, decrying society's propensity for selfishness, along with an ever-evolving ability to rationalize that behavior until we convince ourselves that what we're doing (or not doing, as the case may be) is just fine and dandy.

Well, leave it to me to be 100% wrong.

Yesterday, there was an invasion here at my home. Pop's grandkids made an appearance, accompanied by their Moms. By 1 PM, the population here was up to about 15 of us. They came to visit Pop-Pop, as they call him. Kids ranging in ages from 8 to 22 converged in one loud, happy, giggling crowd. 12 females, and 3 males. My son lucked out for once, as one of the girls had her boyfriend with her, and they hit it off, so it was a great day all around.

Chef Lippy Louie here got to do what he loves best: cooking a big meal for a whole lotta people. We had a second Thanksgiving here in Stupidville.

Turkey, stuffing, cranberry, vegetables and biscuits! (yep I made 'em and they were NOT hockey pucks!) But I have to be honest, the best, most tasty dishes I got to sample were a big, heaping helping of Crow, followed by a nice portion of Humble Pie.

Pop had a HELL of a day, and I was proven wrong, big-time.

I love being wrong.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Something I'm Pondering...

So now that Pop is living here, I expected a lot more people to at least stop by and say hello. He's local now (in some cases, very local) to a lot more folks than he was.

I'm a little surprised about something that's been said to me by some of those people.

Basically, the sentiment is along the lines of: "I would really rather not see him in this condition. I'd rather remember him the way he was."

Pop isn't dead. This isn't about a wake. The man is alive, conscious, cognizant.

The man is alive.

I'm usually what I would consider "sensitive" and "respectful" of others' feelings, but I think that is a major crock. What a horrible thing to think of.

This man should be punished for being sick with cancer because a bunch of people are, once again, thinking of themselves? A visit with him isn't about you, my friends, it's about him.

Are you kidding me?

You don't want to spoil your memories of him?

I personally think this is just another bullshit rationalization to explain away not putting themselves to any inconvenience. They all knew where he was when they needed money (lots of it) or a place to hang out (he always had nice boats that people should also have fond "memories" of.)

I'm getting really sick of the kind of people I'm coming into contact with more and more. When the hell is the Me Generation going to get a grip and drop the whole "all about me" crap? And stop spewing this Dr. Phil kinda garbage. Not everything on Earth is designed with "your feelings" in mind.

I just had to spit that out there. It was leaving a lump in my throat.

THE Sandwich

Now, I really love Thanksgiving and all, but my favorite part of the whole occasion is the leftovers. My family had its own tradition that I carried forth with me to this day. We would all sit around, stuffed to the gills, barely able to move while we watched football, etc. Just about the time we could all actually breathe without breaking or tearing, Grandma would begin to carve up whatever turkey was left, and the Sandwiches would begin.

It got to the point where the importance of Sandwiches almost (almost) superceded that of the meal. As the family grew, so did the demand for turkey. Eventually, my own Mom began preparing an additional 5 or 6 pound turkey breast specifically cooked for the Sandwiches portion of the evening. We were not about portion control that day.

I don't know of a tradition I cherish more than that one. We'd watch as everyone developed their own tastes and Sandwich style. (I capitalize "Sandwich" out of reverence, by the way)

So every year, the day comes, and the tradition continues. (Aside- I remember spending one Thanksgiving away from the family, and nearly cried when there was no time-slot for Sandwiches after.) This year, I cooked dinner to include Pop. For years, his family gathered at his late Sister's home for T-Day. I used to attend that meal before going to my Mom's for Dinner #2 that day. I did my best to recreate his Sister's menu from those days, down to the stuffed mushrooms. But while I was planning the menu, I was very careful to allow enough turkey for Sandwiches. The meal went well, if I must say so myself, and at 10:30 PM last night, I sat down to the TV with the Stupid Turkey Sandwich in hand.

My own version of THE Sandwich is: white-meat turkey, cranberry sauce and dressing (which we around here call "stuffing", appropriately) on a buttered Kaiser roll with salt and pepper.

So, are there any gluttons out there like me? If so, what's your version of The Sandwich?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

To A Whole Lot Of People!

The funny thing is, this time of year, we go through the motions, saying all the right things, sharing the right emotions. We're thankful for our family, our friends, our lives, mostly because we're supposed to be, and we would never think to say otherwise.

The thing is, when those people step up and really make a difference just when you need it most, it's almost like an epiphany. Genuine gratitude and appreciation feels good. You figure out that there was a need, and all these wonderful people around you filled that need. And all of a sudden, the world isn't so bad now, is it?

This year, I think I qualified as "needy". Sometimes I use that term in a not-so-flattering way, but for me it was an incredible experience. Some day, I'm going to share the details, but for today I'm just going to say "thank you." Thank you to the wonderful people in my life. I really have a whole list of things to be grateful for, and that's an awesome feeling.

Cassie and Emily, I don't know what I'd do without you, and I would rather never know what that would be guys so much. I guess we never get too old to appreciate having a hand to hold. You've literally carried me through some of the worst times of my life.

Nance, you're always there to remind me that no one is ever really alone.

Kristen, your words of kindness and inspiration were priceless. I hope you know they ALL mattered and while we're at it, Mamma, you too. I look forward to some more debate/collboration. Thank you.

NF, you said a few nice things, as did Holly-I wish you well. Pam, Jackie and Jackie, Nettie, Myra, Catherine, Kathy, Tracie, my old friends from AOL, you're always there. Really. And, by the way Catherine, you're an inspiration.

Sam, Gaz, Marty, Mort, Cubby, Tusk, Steve and Jeff: fellas, I think someday we all need to sit down to a few hundred beers. And maybe Sam and I could jam a little on those guitars.

Sharlene, you're a pretty Lady who says pretty things to me. Thank you. El-Em-Es, I'm still getting to know ya, but I am so glad that I am. Jodi, as always, thank you. Diesel, thanks for raising the humor bar. Emily-Two-Write: I don't always comment, but I always read. Thanks for reminding me of the value of good work. Kelly, keep those opinions coming my friend, it's nice to have kindred spirits. Lily, we think alike, but I'm not sure if you'd want anyone to know that! I love your take on things, and your input. Kelly and Pickle~Jenn, I'm glad you're my friends. Stacy, hang in there. I hope to be as good a friend to you as you've been to me.

Niki and Dave- few people ever did more for me than you two did when I was injured and laid up for months. No one should ever forget that kindness. Love you guys, and we'll sit down together again, very soon.

Kristeee, thank you for being nice to me 100% of the time. That can't be easy. Chosha, your adventures and ideas always kept me thinking. Let me know if that camera is a winner so I can get one too :). Hillary, your writing is amazing. I don't use that word too often.

Andi,what can I say. Love you.

Barb, I hope the South is treating you well. Stay safe with that new truck because you're a friend I can't do without.

Ally, I know that Blogger doesn't cooperate, so thanks for letting me know you're here!

Allison, I am SO glad you're back. Joan, Betty, Suzy, Becky, you too! And Celeste. My other Ally, it's always good to hear from you :)

Anne, you're like an angel on my shoulder. I love your every word. And the e-Cards.

Janice, your professional guidance the last few months has been priceless. Your friendship, more so. Thank you so much; you're someone else I couldn't have done without. I hope you know that.

Danielle, my partner in crime...hang in there. Time flies a lot more quickly than you think. You were my first Journals friend. And one of the best. Love you my friend.

Lindsay, keep sharing those stories about your little guy. And let me know how Brooklyn's treatin' ya.

Celeste, glad you found me again. Barb, you too, because your spiritual inspiration is priceless.

Nemesis, you're one of my heroes. I need way more of your attention :)

Cynthia, keep sorting and I'll keep reading. Donna, welcome back.

Tricia, we're working on it. I think it's worth it in the long run.

Marie, Jeannette, Missie, Nikki, Niki,Indigo... I always think of you, your lives, and I consider you friends. Shows how powerful the Internet is, since we've never even met. People connect any way they can, right?

Erin, love ya babe :)!

Tiffany, we agree on so much. But I still think you're great :)

Jill, B, Barry, Terry Ü, thanks for the kind words the other day.

Michele and Patti, two of my oldest, dearest, cherished "blog" friends. Thanks for hanging in there with me all this time; and Michele, glad you decided to give blogging another try!

Jude, when I think of someone consistent, steady, solid and always there, you come to mind. Thank you so much. Michelle, a new friend, I'm so glad we've "met". Your kindness goes a lot farther than you realize. Shash, thanks for turning me on to BlogHer, a great resource. Terri, thank you for taking the time to say nice things. Tammy, you epitomize strength and courage. The idea that you would take the time to try and lend some support to me, well, that just speaks volumes of the person you are.

Marina, you're awesome. Always thinkin' of your pal Stupid. Love ya.

Terra, I think of you every time I have hobo packs. And when I think of good people who love me. You're always there. Really. Love ya.

Martha, I'm so glad you let me into your Journals. I like the way you think. Thanks for being a caring friend.

Mary, some day you and I are going to hug. That's the only way I could ever imagine thanking you for every word you've every shared. I don't know what I did to deserve your friendship, but I'm glad I did it. Thank you so very much.

Rachel, you think you're weird, I think you're great. And I appreciate you finding time to show a few words of support.

Meta, just to remind you, you're still missed.

Christy, Julia, Annie, Joan, Robin, Bridgette, Jeanne, Jenny and Susan,we still manage to stay in touch, and you still manage to say the right things when you come here. Thank you.

And Lady M, you're back! I can't tell you how happy that makes me. Glad you're doing well!

I really did my best here, to thank everyone who took a few minutes of their lives to help me with mine. You're all terrific, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate that you've indulged me this far, today. It was the only sincere thing I could do.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you.

It Might Be True

People who champion legitimate causes rarely have to resort to extreme behavior or ridiculous displays. They simply speak their opinion, and allow common sense to take its course.


Very strange today. We had a major cellphone outage in my area for quite a few hours.

No one could drive.


OK, something normal is on the way... I'll be back.

Monday, November 19, 2007

In A Pinch

In the past year, I've learned a thing or two about responding to emergencies. Thank God there are some very sensible ways to handle real-life situations, because in the world of "quick-fixes", I must be in the wrong solar system.

There are way too many products that have failed me in a pinch. Too many times, these things didn't come through when I needed them most.

I have never fixed anything with Krazy Glue. I'm sure if I managed to snap a balsa wood board in half, this product would do just fine. I'm reminded of a long-ago Christmas night, trying to desperately repair a broken toy using this stuff. The only things it stuck together were 4 things I didn't need it to. Luckily, my ski gloves were mittens that night.

Anbesol, Ora-Gel, same thing. No luck, no relief. After using those, I had a numb tongue to go with my still-aching tooth. I think there should be some sort of study to figure out why toothaches only happen at 2 AM, and on holidays.

Similarly, I can remember using this goop designed to act as a temporary filling. Picture a toothache accompanied by a mouth full of Play-Doh. At 2 AM. On Christmas.

AOL. I was a paying customer for years. I'm not sure why. Every time I had to bang out a late-night email to save the day, thanks to America Online, the day was not saved.

And who among us hasn't desperately hoped against hope that that the Emergency Tire Repair in-a-can would come through. Yeah it came through: right through the nozzle and all over the pavement. And my hands. It did get the Krazy Glue loose, though.

My most recent debacle was using one of these on-the-spot Spot removers, be it Tide To Go or whatever. This product transformed a spot of tomato sauce on my shirt into a glaring announcement: "This nitwit needs a bib."

If you've had success with any of the above, I applaud your good fortune. But I'll bet there are more than a few like me out there. We're easy to spot: we're the guy driving down the street on a flat tire, with a big stain on our shirt, and one eye in a permanent wink, moaning from tooth pain, and holding something broken.

Wave when you see us.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Out On The Town

Just some stuff that's been on my mind on the road...

I use the made-up term "foofy" a lot. It's my word for those over-the-top kinds of people and products, you know the type. You're really hungry, say, and you sit down to a restaurant meal, and it's one of those places that plops down really big plates with tiny portions of food in the middle, and then presents you with a huge bill. Foofy people wear things like $1000 cashmere socks. You get the idea.

I've been doing so much driving lately, in places I haven't really visited before. While you obviously can't know everything about a place simply by driving through it, you can bet your assessments aren't far off if you know what to look for.

Now aside from the countless McMansions that pop up on the landscape like so many photocopies, with lawns the size of Cleveland, there are some signs that you're in a foofy town. Foofy is Dunkin' Donuts is replaced by something like "Tad's Pasty Emporium". There's not an "Ace Hardware" within miles (what ever would we purchase there, Lovey?); gas stations take on such names as "Crescent Automotive and Fuel Center". (We'll not have any of those ExxonMobil rabscallions, darling!)

Foofy is citizens strolling "Main Street" instead of strip malls, browsing at baby "boutiques" and shops with such names as "Martha's Fine Antiques". Foofy is $300 "organic" shopping bags on the arm of every local Soccer Mom (must go "green", my Precious). Foofy means merely speaking the names "Walmart" or "Target" causing you to be branded a veritable social pariah.

Foofy would never tolerate an eatery called a "Shack" unless the menu features such things as chocolate-covered escargot during the US Open, because then it's trendy, My Sweet. Foofy towns don't require "Convenience Stores" (the Help takes care of that, Bluebell). You can almost smell the fine Corinthian leather, Butterfly, as you cruise among automobiles whose collective value rivals the Gross National Product.

The closest thing you'll find to BBQ here, Muffy, is "finely grilled Tilapia". But don't worry too much about Foofy places like this, my Shiny Brass Monkey. Most of us won't spend much time here.

Our kind isn't welcome, Cookiepuss.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

To American Schoolchildren

Hi kids,

Every year at this time, your teachers probably have you do a project where you're asked to write a letter or make a greeting card to send to a United States military veteran.

I'll bet that sometimes, some of you wonder why you have to do it, or if your card or letter gets to a Veteran. I'll bet that some kids ask why a Veteran would care about that.

Let me tell you a quick story. My Pop is in a Veterans's Hospital today. In honor of Veterans Day, the people who make the food for the patients put a student's letter on the tray of every patient here. My Pop got one too. He read it, looked at me and said, "Isn't that something? I got a nice note from a kid I don't even know, telling me 'thank you'. What do you think of that?

I think it's great. And for every one of you kids or young adults who took the time to write one of those cards or letters, thank you. And thank you from every Veteran here at this hospital. Your letter really made a difference, and it really did matter. I saw that with my own eyes today.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What Do You Do?

Throughout this whole ordeal with Pop, we haven't lost sight of reality. The cancer is Stage 4, and I know that a 77-year old man has to muster a lot of strength to hang in there and fight. But we know what the possibilities and probabilities are.

At one point, one of the hospital staff at the local hospital introduced the idea of hospice care. Pop interprets hospice as where you go to die. He asked me, very clearly, to get him back into the care of the V.A. doctor, as he wasn't ready to give up the fight.

I remember how much that encounter upset him, and how I nearly had to take a blood oath to assure him that I was behind his decision to fight, all the way. But one thing I've learned about cancer is that it doesn't care about you, or your will to live. It's a very versatile enemy, and defeating it is a formidable task. Every time you knock one of its attacks down, it finds a way to regroup and come at you again.

While we've maintained a positive attitude with him, we've not lost sight of the real consequences. We've made it a point to let him experience as many of his favorite things at least one more time (had to drive 30 miles for a Nathan's Hot Dog!) without actually accepting that each time could very well be the last. You can't live like that. His comfort has been paramount. We've learned to make his favorite meals "just so" (slightly picky, you know?) and I made a big hit with him introducing him to Discovery Military Channel. It's about making every minute count, you know? Through the beauty of technology, I've been able to record all his sporting events, which we've watched at all times of the day and night. Life hasn't been awful.

We got less-than-desirable news yesterday from Pop's lead Oncologist. The lesion on his liver stopped shrinking, and in fact, the latest CAT scan showed it may have increased in size. On top of that, it appears that the original cancer of the right lung has made a comeback to hurt him again. The Doctor has been very involved and caring, with an incredibly comforting bedside manner. As he spoke to me on the phone, I had to take a minute because my throat tightened to the point where I absolutely couldn't speak. He waited.

He asked me to find a way to get him to the hospital to treat his current pain. The drive is about 120 miles to NY, since we hadn't completed the transfer to our local V.A. Medical Center. This Doctor has brought him so far, been so concerned and caring, that I told him if Pop could tolerate the long ride, I would indeed have him there. The Doctor also asked if we wanted him to inform Pop of the latest developments.

Part of me wanted to take that responsibility. I felt for a minute that news like that should come from family. But I chickened out. His daughter did as well. This Doctor has become like family to us, and we both felt that the issue would be better addressed by someone better prepared to answer the inevitable questions with the equally inevitable answers. My heart broke, as did hers, but we decided to leave that task to the Doctor.

We made the drive last night, and by 3 AM he was in a bed, resting comfortably. I returned to Pop's former residence to spend the night. I haven't been able to get myself up to going back just yet. I know it isn't going to be a good day. I'll get myself together, suck it up, and remember who's feelings are really at stake here. But in the meantime, I'm picturing poor Pop, this former US Marine, who survived combat at Inchon in Korea, now reduced to 107 pounds. Will this news reduce his desire to fight this enemy any more? I know him 30-some-odd years, and if there was ever a guy who personified "tough", this is the guy.

I, on the other hand, am not feeling so "manly" at the moment. I'm half-regretting my decision not to break the bad news. Now I feel, the least I can do, is to get up there and be ready for the fallout.

It's just a lousy break. I'm sad.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Winds of Change

Nope, nothing broke except my big "S" pictured here. I have had a number of people mention that my blog layout was difficult to read, and today a good friend brought it up, so I thought I would be accommodating.

Bad enough you're stuck reading this nonsense, it shouldn't be painful to the eyes as well. So, that's that. Hope you like it!

To Believe, Or Not to Believe

I'm just curious. Those of us who have religious belief rely on Faith to sustain us. But, religion aside, there are other things that we are often faced with, as matters of whether to believe or not.

We're frequently faced with choices of "belief" at least a few times in our lives. Think of ghost stories, extra-terrestrials, etc. Now I'm not talking about matters of religious nature, just more like the unexplained.

What is your tendency when faced with situations where there is a hint of evidence, but no proof? Are you the type who dismisses the unexplained as myth and fantasy, or do you sometimes accept things that no one can prove?


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketUnfortunately, one of the by-products of a change in the home environment seems to be a disruptions in routines. With the addition of Pop to the household, things got a little out of sorts.

Kids are affected by changes in routine, and there are usually two schools of thought when kids misbehave. One is that there is a cry for attention, and the other is that kids are typically going to take the path of least resistance and are clever enough to know when they can take advantage of a situation.

We're in a little slump with the schoolwork, it seems. My 12 year old son was awarded a detention for missing homework. I discovered that the detention isn't punishment for missing one homework, but for failing to hand in five. My 8 year old daughter decided that the class project wasn't something she felt like doing.

So last night, the Shakedown went into effect. Kids were seated comfortably at the dining-room table with Daddy's full attention. Assignment pads were checked off against work completed, and Playtime was eliminated in order to use the time to make up missed work.

As I said, the routine was disrupted a little with the addition of Pop to the household, but it could hardly be classified as a traumatic event, trust me. We slipped up on parental supervision and discipline, they slipped up on doing what they are supposed to. Like I said, path of least resistance. It's in the process of being fixed. We're not quite ready for Dr. Phil.

I like a household where the adults are in charge.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Those Thoughts Again...

I like to think that I'm always thinking (see?). I'm always thirsty for knowledge, and I love to figure out how something works. I also am a big practitioner of trying to understand people's motivations for doing things.

So it all kind of started when I heard a comedian say, "Did you ever notice, if you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal?" And it's so true. Some people call those things "ponderances", I don't really have a name for them, and if I did, it would probably be something like "Stupidicities", which I think I've used before.

Anyway, these are some things I've been thinking about.

  • I saw a commercial today, and the spokeswoman claimed that the product is "real food for real women like me." Just made me wonder, have they invented a breed of artificial people that I haven't heard about? I assume once we're born, we're all "real" people. GI Joe doesn't eat.

  • Something else I like to catch on TV is Discovery Channel's "How It's Made". For those not familiar with the premise of the show, it basically gives us tours of manufacturing processes. Kinda cool, but one thing I noticed is, there are a whole lot of manufacturing processes that don't involve people. At least not "real" people. (You think that's who that lady is talking about?)

  • You know who I find scary? People who actually live their lives according to their horoscope. I'm not talking about people who have fun with them, or enjoy the quirky coincidences that can pop up now and then, I'm talking about people who, if their horoscope said "Go stand on Main St. in a chicken suit" would feather up, baby. I actually know a few of those types. The most fun part is listening to them try and convince you that it's all real.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Peeving and Loving

We always have to get the bad stuff out first, right?

  • How many times do you see this little disclaimer: "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."? Then stop making claims that aren't substantiated, ok? If it's bullshit, sell it as such. There are plenty of people who buy BS in this country. Just call it what it is.

  • Same thing with the weight-loss commercials. They'll show someone they paid to lose weight, make it look so wonderful, and then, at the bottom, you see "*Results not typical". Ok, Losers, so show me some typical results. Might sell more product with some honesty.

  • And this is addressed mostly to women in this country who appear on TV to give interviews, testimonials, etc. If what you have to say is important, speak up for crying out loud! What's going on with this whole "bedroom voice" thing? You sound like you're asking for breakfast in bed!

  • And as sort of an off-shoot of the above: I watch Food Network a lot. I get a kick out of a bunch of their shows, and since I'm in charge of the meals for more people than myself now, I like the ideas. I started watching a show called "Ace of Cakes". Have you seen it? Pretty cool stuff they put out. But!, they do little interviews with the baking team, and they all talk like they're just waking up. STOP MUMBLING!

But StupidJimmy doesn't want to give the impression that all he does is gripe and complain. I do it a lot. Yes. But sometimes I like things, too. And I often switch from "third person" to "first person" in the same paragraph. Very annoying.

But there are things that make me happy. Sometimes I smile too.

So...what makes Big Stupid grin?

  • The CBS-TV comedies, "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men". Good stuff. Clever writing.

  • Artists who actually still produce music. Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Nickleback, Pink, Maroon 5, just to name a few.

  • "Dirty Jobs" on Discovery Channel. Good stuff!

  • Ladies who state what's on their mind, particularly if they are displeased. No hints, no games, no nonsense. Say what's up, let it be addressed. Get over it, get over yourself. I respect people like this, so much.

  • Similarly, people who never seem to be displeased. They just go through life seemingly unflappable. When something is bothering them, they do tend to get your attention, don't they?

  • Ellen DeGeneres. Her daytime talk show is pretty cool.

  • The Veterans Administration Hospital at Northport, Long Island. But in particular, Nurse Acosta, Nurse Williams, and Ray. Thanks, so much, you're three wonderful people.

See, there's balance here. Have a good, balanced day now, hear?

Yeah and While We're At It...

So now I have everyone from car companies to pet-food manufacturers reminding me to "go green.". Very noble, how everyone is jumping on the environmental bandwagon. Good job.

Here's the rub for me, though. While everyone is running around telling everyone how important it is not to kill ourselves, something else is taking place. In between all the stories and tutorials, I keep seeing these news stories about product recalls.

We're buying lead-filled toys made in countries where they don't care about us very much; we're returning foods that are contaminated with such delights as E-coli. So yeah, while we're all becoming so conscientious about not harming our environment, how about all you consumer products companies become at least a little mindful about not harming us, ok?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

No Place Like...

I feel as though my faith is really being tested lately, for a lot of reasons I really won't subject you to here today. I just know that the world hasn't been doing the right thing. I can deal with my own stuff, it just really kills me to know that my kids are hurting for any reason. But, like I said, not today.

During the week I had to run a mission that was pretty involved, and I decided to spend the night at my parents' house for the layover. Funny, I'm a big boy, and I get through day-to-day, but there was nothing like the feeling of going to bed under my parents' roof. No matter what has been going on, I knew for at least that night, the world wouldn't mess with me anymore. It was a welcome relief. And the nice, hot breakfast I woke up to (imagine a 3-course breakfast!) wasn't too hard to take either, believe me.

I left their house rejuvenated that morning. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thought For The Day?

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