Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pile 'o tools

When kids are young ... say around the age of two, it becomes a problem to leave sharp, electrical and other types of tools lying around the house.

So, today (more) shelves went into the basement for me to stack, sort and generally keep the kids out of the destruction business.

We'll see how it goes.

Oh, and if you're buying a home don't only look for square footage, but also consider vertical storage (eg shelves, etc.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Conversations with a 4 11/12ths year-old

We join the conversation ...

"And about 700 days ago Daddy rode in the back of an ambulance," I said, looking at the ambulance.

"Was that during the times of kings and queens?" inquired the 4 11/12ths year old.

"No, there aren't many of them around."

"Daddy, when can we visit the kings and queens?"

"We can't."

"But you said there still were." He obviously recalled a conversation earlier in the week when I told him that dinosaurs were not part of the times of kings and queens, but there were some monarchies with parliaments still around (yes, I use those terms with him).

"Well, there are some, why?"

"I'd like to see their castles."

"Well, there aren't any in the United States, but we could visit England one of these days and see Buckingham palace, that's where a queen lives."

"Do they buck hands there?" He asked.

"No, BuckingHAM palace." I clarified.

"Oh, so, do they buck hams there?"

Oh, I can't wait until we talk about the Declaration of Independence and the largest signature on that one.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday's thing.

Totally excited right now.

Really, totally excited.

It involves cat pee. And a guarantee that will go fulfilled.

Isn't that GREAT!?

Okay, I guess an explanation is in order.

A good, dear, dear friend called me mid day today:

"Papa in Tacoma, I'm in desperate need to ask you a favor."

Because I was on my way to an appointment, and fearful that it might involve watching a child in the very near future, I posed my usual response, "Yes, but it depends on the time, place and scope of favor involved."

"Trusty husband and I are taking a trip tomorrow," said this person "And I've run through our standard cat watchers ... so I need someone to feed my cats for the next 10 days ... probably only twice ... we'll even pay you."

"That I can do ... and you know our house wine is a currency."

"Funny, we're going to California."

That's wine country.

That's cool.

So, I get the message as to the instructions. It includes a special bonus to clean up the cat pee that one of the ancient kitties.

I feel like hitting a box in Mario Brothers and getting an extra life mushroom! But in this case for wiping the box and floor, I get an extra bottle of wine.

That, my friends, if dedication and friendship. The means by which we should judge each other: would they clean up cat pee (or spray) if I gave them a bottle of wine.

I would.

Would you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Response to Elle

Responding to elle:

The problems with being big in the trunk:

1. It's the food. Produce is at record lows for supplying us the nutrients that we need. That comes from mechanization and the horrible chemicals that we have permitted to be used in production. The soil of the midwest is not what it used to be.

2. It's the soil. The best farmland in our state (WA) is under the city of Kent and most of the valley. It is optimal for growing food for people. Their major industry now? IKEA and shipping. The whole freakin' valley sits in the shadow of one of the largest volcanoes in the country, and they produce good soil when they blow.

3. We can fix the parent not being at home problem. Real wages have decreased steadily since the 1980s. Minimum wage has been stagnant since the early 90s (we got our first increase this year). Oh, and before you go off on how that hurts ... the states with higher minimum wages have lower unemployment numbers.

It's not a difference between mom or dad being at home, it's about a parent being there to ignore, I mean, participate with the kids in their lives. Many people work a second job to cover their health insurance premiums, co-pays or other related expenses. For some, the second check goes to day care.

For many , two people working is not because of woman's lib or whatever (I happen to find Rush's term for the woman's liberation movement to be offensive, as offensive as his name being that of a band), it's been about survival. And, as is typical in the neo-right-wing-conservative movement, it is the people who are being victimized that they blame. In this case, it's the working family who is responsible for not having the money, time or ability to care of their children because their misguided ill-advised and all together poor voodoo economic policies, and not their greed.

Simple steps:

1. Join all other industrialized nations and put everyone into a health care system. Private care would still be offered. Our system now rations health care, and puts whomever can't afford their care into bankruptcy (been really, really close to there).

2. Offer Pre-K to Doctorate education to all citizens. Invest in your future, gosh darnit! The economic benefit of an educated populace is incalculable.

3. Health and economic security are just as important, if not more important, than other types of security we hear about there.

It has been thirty years of think tanks, brain washing and general movement towards this situation. And, it is up to America to take back ownership of itself. We are the government, it is not separate from us. And it has a big impact on our livelihood.

A few words to the Sun ...

First off, I want to clarify.

I really like you. I know we have our moments. I don't like squinting. I choose to eat indoors during the summer when restaurants open their patios.

AND I make fun of you at meetings. It's based on a skit done on Under the Mailbox Theater, so it's hardly my material. But I find the idea of a bunch of people plotting to destroy the sun during a board meeting to be funny. Please, don't take it personally. Blame Ed, he is actually out to destroy you. I think that's what his new company will be doing. However, his employees will have joy at work.

Now, you know I live in the Northwest. I like the mild weather, and enjoy the rain. But right now, my plants need you. We get your rays filtered through the clouds right now, so they still do their photosynthesis and give us oxygen. That is good and all.

Right now, though, RIGHT NOW, my tomatoes need your warmth ... the sun flowers need your heat, and the corn really, really needs your golden rays.

Could you take a few days to come out and get them moving again? I know we foolishly planted them at the last possible minute to get a harvest in October ... and maybe your schedule says that's when you're next appearing, but some quality time between then and now would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Today is a day to vote.

If you don't vote, your option to complain about how things are done in your government is hereby revoked.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Busy day

Not unlike the last post that was short and sweet:

House project, politics ,politics and politics ... make dinner send kids to bed.

All I have to say is that one of those meetings today pushed a major project forward 6 to 8 months, and that is a good thing.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday's thing

Based loosely on an event that actually happened on Thursday, but worthy of being today's thing.

I got a call from tacomachickadee yesterday morning. It was a short and sweet call (calls are typically sweet from her, but frequently not very short ... except when she's working).

"Hey honey, they have oysters at the farmer's market today."


"Do you want some."

Ya betcha I want some.

I'm not what you would call a raving shellfish fan. But earlier this sumer, my neighbors brought us some they had purchased in excess.

They explained that you put them on the grill for about 10 minutes, until their shells crack a bit open ... then you take them off, pry them open (cut it from the shell), place the oyster in the deeper of the two halves and then drizzle a butter-based sauce over top.

We kept those for 48 hours before we had them, and boy, were they good.

Well, yesterday we had them for maybe 9 hours before we prepared them.

Oh, boy oh boy those things were some of the finest shellfish to grace my palette. The sauce was simply butter, a small bit of feta cheese (very sharp) fresh basil finely chopped and some white wine.

It was a nice, late dinner.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm a lying sack ... or geek for $400, please Alex

I lied.

Today I found out that I lied, mislead and all around was horrible to the 9 of you who read this blog.

I lied and I admit it.

I do have a second LP.

I found it today as I went to get the bells LP (which, quite frankly is awesome, can't say it rocks because it's bells. And to say it bells would be dumb.).

And, because of the title of the LP you know I'm a geek.

First off, the sleeve is black and white, and on the very bottom in bold, capital letters it says, "Organist/Director: Robert Schultz". Big giveaway when the featured artist is both the director AND the organist.

There are credits to Concordia Collge, River Forest, Ill. And a list of Minnesota ... Lutheran Churches.

Talk about getting my geek on (damn, this bell LP ... it totally bells), its "The Music of The Holy Communion".

I got it from our church staff, the saw it and immediately thought of me.

I now have an Hi-Fi to play it on. No, take that back, a groovy Hi-Fi to play it upon.

Along this one that totally bells.

Oh, and it totally works.

Take that Capitan Morgan costume friend.

Does anyone have a copy of the Thriller LP?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

5 minute rant

The stopwatch is set.

I have five minutes to get this out.

It is scary and all oh so bad.

My wife and I started a garden this year. In hopes that the experiment will work out and we'll reap benefits of fresh veggies.

One thing that I did was save seeds from a few plants in the past year, in attempts to grow something from 'em.

This was mentioned on chickadee's blog, and elle responded with the scariest thing ever.

There are some seed companies who produce seeds that are only one generational. Meaning they have a suicide gene where they will produce for only one year, and the seeds inside the fruits are not good to create a second generation.

I just don't understand. These are the same corporate types that rail against "unnatural things" yet they tamper with the genes of our FOOD SUPPLY and could not care less insofar as people buy their seeds every year.

It's horrible. That means they control our food. Ultimately, if you control the food you can control whole populations.

I guess we can check the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the door. 'cause you ain't gonna be able to do any of those if you cannot eat.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The point that my friend slaps his forehead ...

I can hear it already.

The dull smack on my friend's head as he meets it with his palm.

Maybe he'll go for the closed fist against the head. I dunno.

But he knows who he is.

When I picked up a 8mm projector from the WWII era, he said, "wow, that's neat, especially since you have so many 8mm films."

Yeah. We all have those laying around, right guys? Uh, Guys?

Today I had the privilege of assisting my aunt-in-law and uncle-in-law with clearing out a bit of his father's house. His dad died a few months ago, and all of the estate has been going through whatever process (probate?) that it needs to go through, and they just about closed today (complex story).

I went under the assumption that most of the stuff was done and gone, but I was quite wrong.

I also went assuming I was picking up just a few things to store for them until such time they had the capacity and ability in their vehicles to take said items to their house on the Oregon and Washington boarder.

Dear sweet, Lord, why do I deceive myself?

I'm practically an addict to estate sales. But I am poor. But when relatives are just about to ship things off to the local thrift store, it's all about free. I'm also a history sucker, and, well, that might not be a good combination.

I'm grateful that I got some usable stuff.

Though, I don't *quite* know what I'll do with four plastic mail order arbors that unfold and screw into some sort of fence (screws included!), or the bowling ball. Okay, I know the bowling ball is for juggling. So should the knives and antique oil cans (ala "Wizard of Oz", the Tin Man scene, except they are made of copper). Or perhaps the four Sampsonite folding chairs (mild mildew scent).

Or maybe the Hi-Fi from the 1950s in its built-in cabinet It's BEAUTIFUL.


Yeah I've been wanting one since about 1996 when I got an LP from a Russian Orthodox monastery.

It's not as weird as is sounds. It was either take the recordings of the oldest church bells in Russia from one of the few monasteries that survived the Soviet religious purges (the rumour is they did them alphabetically, and this one was at the end of the alphabet ... near the Baltic States, just outside of Pskov), or stay. Their kvaas was good, but not that good.

Okay, prepare your hand, dear dream house friend. I don't have a place to put it. Oh, I'll find a place to put it, and will set my modern i-pod station on top of it to play ipod tunes. Might even retro fit the speakers some day ... but of course I'll use it ...

To play my one LP.

And that, compared to my 8mm projector, should be justified.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Screw the EASY button


It's stupid.

I'd prefer a 'reset' button.

Like the one on the Nintendo Entertain System.

You know, Mario runs off the edge in the underworld, or doesn't swim fast enough, or, worse yet, you get into the negative worlds and get tired os swimming. You simply reset.

Zelda? If you really mess up (is that possible?) don't save, just reset.

In real life, it would be nice (heck, Windows wouldn't work without ctrl alt del) to have a reset button.

Maybe not in life, maybe just for something, like, say a house. Every time you buy a house it looks and works exactly as it should given your lifestyle and the space that is there.

Then, if it gets cluttery, you get behind in your day by doing something stupid (say, breaking something even more that you're trying, err, attempting to fix), you just push reset, and your house is back to the original state ... sans painting or other fixes. Dishes done. Clothes where they belong and linens wherever the heck they're supposed to go.

I guess my parents had that feature.

Yeah, it was us.

Oh for the coming years when the lil ones aren't so lil and they can help out more ... I can wait, but I'm slightly impatient at times.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bunnies eating

Long week, lots of projects finishing up (drywall from 2 years ago, bathroom, kitchen wall) ...
Will update later.

Until then, watch two bunnies eating.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Reflexive Red Robin Remix (imaginary Techno version)

It's my birthday
It's my birthday
It's my birthday
It's my special day.

Do I have a birthday here?
Yes I have a birthday here!

It's my birthday.
It's my birthday.
It's my birthday.
It's my special day.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Friday's thing

When it happened, it really doesn't matter. So, you're not going to get that information out of me. Though if my memory of the light in the room serves me correctly, it happened in the early afternoon.

How it happened, doesn't really matter, either, because I have not clue as to how.

It did happen.

It happened in my home, in my kitchen, right near the butcher block.

I was finishing a project, or staring at the wall that I'm converting into a chalkboard. Typically, it wold take a bit of chalkboard paint, and that is all. But former owner either one or two, really, really, really liked texture on the walls. I've cut my knuckles on these walls, if that gives you a clue. Though I might be mean in saying that. Perhaps they didn't like texture as much as they sucked at doing mudding and taping (and designing room layout, bathroom and tile work), and they sought to hide their job by, oh, totally sucking on the texture.

I'm not a home repair expert. I don't do everything by the book, but I do my best, and at least I know what I suck on in the process. And it's my suckage, and if we do sell, I'm certain there are ways I can find someone to help me fix some of the problems.

Anyhow, the 2 year old comes up the stairs. Usually I 'm expecting some sort of whining or wanting of whatever food she's been told she can't have. That day it was chips ... and chocolate (such chickadee's little girl), as usual.

But she changed her game.

She got to the top of the stairs, and her little legs sprinted towards me, arms out for a hug. I crouched down to receive this amazing hug.

Mid hug she says, "Dada, I missed you."

"Okay, honey, I've only been up here."

"Yeah, I missed you."


Come to think of it, it had been about 15 minutes since I last saw her, and I missed her, too.