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Showing posts from December, 2010

Channeling my inner Sheldon

Sure, Sheldon looks cooler in that shirt than I do and he is certainly wealthier but that still won’t stop me from wearing it.

He’s also a tad thinner. I guess it’s time to cut out some of the donuts, and pizzas, and Cokes, and Krystal burgers, and cupcakes, and loaves of bread, and Big Macs, and Chinese food.

Another New Year

Remember way back when New Years Eve was simply about watching B-grade TV stars like Daisy from “The Dukes of Hazzard” ring in the new year? Now each year I’m filled with a bit of dread knowing that I will see Dick Clark and think “How tragic”. It’s hard to celebrate when you are reminded of that every year. That’s why I totally try to avoid him and watch Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin instead. Each year I wonder how she will top the insane things she said the previous year and each year I am amazed when she actually does it. I think Anderson Cooper summed it up nicely in his statement from a CNN press release: "Once again, I'm terrified to be co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve show with Kathy Griffin. It's often bitterly cold, and yet after being with her for a few minutes on live television, I find myself drenched in sweat."Typically I end the year on the blog with a look back at all the things that happened in the last 364 days. This year I am not doing tha…

Post Holiday Cleanup

I thought I would do a good thing last year. Instead of leaving garbage bags piled up by the trash can so the wind could blow them in the street and the dogs could go through them, I bought another cheap trash can and put the extra bags in it. Of course, the city left the trash in the can because it was not in their “city garbage can”. They want you to buy a second one from them to use on day a year.So, this year, I just added some height to my current can with my specially engineered cardboard walls. I also went out and added a bag of stinky leftovers to the very top last night. It felt good.Now I am engaged in a battle with the weather. I am trying to get all of the outside decorations down before they get soaked in the upcoming rain.I got part of them down last night and hope to get all of the lights off the house this evening. After that, it can pour.Here’s a good song about rain. I like how they start the taped music before he is ready. That’s a lot of people they employed to mak…


I’m not sure how we will top this Christmas. We probably won’t. The kids got what they wanted. There was snow all day long. I only had to open two or three annoying toy packages. It was a Christmas dream come true. Of course, this is also a sign that the kids are growing up and don’t want toys anymore and it won’t be long before we lose the “magic” of Christmas. That’s something I just try not to think about and hopefully we can put up enough lights and stuff them with enough sweets to keep it going for a few more years!Sara got a new Wii remote for the New Carnival Games that was about to be opened.Lindsay got costume beads for her about to be opened pageant dress that I am not sure where it will be worn to.Alex got a stocking full of toys that she promptly destroyed and then took Lindsay’s Pillow Pet unicorn as her own. Note that she has taught the unicorn who is boss by sitting on its head.There was snow a-plenty to play in.Can we just pause on this day and have every day be just l…

Christmas Eve!

The house is oddly quiet now but that will all change soon. We brought all of the presents here and anal-retentively organized them by child to minimize Christmas Present Passing Out Chaos Disorder. CPPOCD is something children ages 4-11 are quite prone to. At 12, they turn into tiny hipsters and try to pretend they are cool and don’t care (even though they are about to poop in anticipation).The Elf on the Shelf finally stopped being such a high-flying daredevil and settled down with an old friend for his last night here at the house before tradition deems that he flies away until next year.I think the kids will have a good Christmas. It’s our first year with very few toys. They’ve grown out of most of it. It won’t be long until all they want is a car and their freedom. So, we’ll enjoy the simpler times while we still can!Merry Christmas!

Almost Christmas

As we get closer to Christmas, The Elf on the Shelf have gotten even more brave and daring. We found him on the ceiling fan yesterday.This morning he went even higher. I think he’s nutty.Our snow chance has gone back up and that will sort of wreck our plans for my family to come to the house on Saturday. They won’t drive in the snow and if I try to drive there I will never hear the end of how I risked all of our lives!3 to 4 inches would be a whopper for us. We just don’t have the road clearing capability that they have north of us. When I lived in Cincinnati I drove to work one morning with 13 inches on the ground. 13 inches here would paralyze us for at least a week!On thing we are doing different for Christmas this year is no longer having the Christmas cam on Christmas Eve. It was a hoot the 3 years we did it but this year I prefer to curl up under a Slanket with a nice cup of Egg Nog without having to go back and forth and check on the camera!That’s it. Tomorrow, we begin the hol…

3 days before Christmas and I am barely awake

Where, oh where is my holiday energy? I am dragging. There must be too much yule in the air and it is making me sleepy.It looks like we might have our first White Christmas in 17 years! I’m not sure what possessed me to go out in the snow and take pictures of the last one in ‘93. If the forecast holds together, we could get anywhere from nothing up to 6 inches starting late Christmas Eve! It just depends on who you listen to. I expect them to change the forecast to “Sunny and 80 degrees” tomorrow.We did get out and visit the recently reopened Opryland Hotel this week. The decorations were excellent as usual and the crowd wasn’t too bad. It’s hard to believe that most of the hotel was under 10 feet of water from the May flood and it’s even harder to believe that they fixed it all in just 6 months. I’ve been going there to see the Christmas decorations for years. There is something quite special about it. One more day of work this week. How many cups of coffee will it take to make it thro…

Ode to Our Future Christmas Tree

O Clearance Tree, O Clearance Tree,I’m so glad you were forty percent off.O Clearance Tree, O Clearance Tree,I’ll store you until next Christmas.My four year old tree is wearing out,Some branches no longer light up.O Clearance Tree, O Clearance Tree,The plastic poison fumes you’ll emit are still legal in China.

Dell E6410 laptop–goodbye and good riddance!

So, there is no good week for your work laptop to go kaput but you don’t want it to happen on a 4 day week and on your busiest day of the week. Call it bad laptop karma. Around 2:30PM, I am feverishly keying stuff into the system when all of a sudden I appear to be unable to type correctly. For the first five minutes of getting more and more frustrated, I thought I needed a bit of coffee or I was having some sort of mental lapse. That’s when I realized that I was having to hit every fourth or fifth key twice. Then, programs started closing themselves and the computer would randomly type a letter here and there.A reboot did not resolve it. A reboot with all of the USB stuff removed did not resolve it. By the third reboot, the keyboard was only staying responsive long enough to log in and the touchpad would not work.I finally had to pull the hard drive to get my files off of it. I had last done a back up on 11/30 so there was quite a bit to copy over.Thank goodness I work in IT and have…

The DQ Blizzard Maker–making ice cream the old fashioned (1905) way!

My youngest daughter has been bugging me to make DQ Blizzards ever since she got the DQ Blizzard Maker for her birthday. It’s a pretty hot selling toy – she actually got two of these plus we had almost bought her one.The big thing standing in the way is me forgetting to buy Half and Half 3 different times. My brain just doesn’t function like it used to so I keep leaving this off the grocery list.It looks so easy (on the box) so I thought I really need to get this going and we’ll be rolling in cool, tasty treats in no time. See – just 4 easy steps!I did finally open the box Friday to see what other things we need to do to make a delicious ice cream treat. Imagine my horror when 4 easy steps turned into 19 mind-numbing tasks.Yep, by the time you’re done, you’re going to be too tired to eat the ice cream. You see, you’re churning this the old fashioned way – like my great-grandmother probably did at my daughters age – back in 1905. I can hardly get her to pick up her shoes or brush her h…


The snow is over. School is almost out for the holiday. I had a cavity-free dental check up this morning. I have a day off tomorrow. I’m watching the new Big Bang Theory and tonight is the last night that Larry King will be on television. Can it get better than this?The only thing that stands between me and this glorious three day weekend is two hours of elementary school Christmas parties where I will have to eat hardly identifiable homemade concoctions and resist the urge to hit unruly children in the head with inedible burnt sausage balls.

Saying “Thanks for the memories” to The House Foundation

Just under a year ago, I wrote about changes at the morning radio show I’ve been listening to for over twenty years.Tomorrow morning, the show ends. After losing two members last year due to budget cuts (which have sucked the personality out of radio across the country), I had a feeling that Gerry House would be gone when his contract ended this year and that his longtime male companion, Mike Bohan, would leave also. So, what is my attachment to a radio show and why does this sadden me? For starters, I have had to get up early for work for years. I normally start working at 6AM or even a bit earlier when needed because the morning is the busiest time where I work and our company stretches across 5 time zones. The first thing that goes on when I get up is the radio. Through all of these early mornings, the House Foundation has been there for me – keeping me sane when I thought I was about to lose my mind by keeping me laughing. I have kept a radio with me in each office I have had. What…

Snowy Sunday

We beat the snow down to the shopping center but it made it before we could get back to the house.It was just a tad slick out there as we made the way home. We couldn’t get on the interstate because some nut tried to take the on ramp too fast and crashed!Arriving home, I knew my fate was sealed – there would be no school on Monday. The snow is being followed by some very cold weather – 10 degrees tomorrow night. I’m already tired of the really cold weather. What happened to our 40 degree winter days?Now it’s time for hot chocolate and pj’s while my penguin guards the house.

The word for Saturday is RAIN

The rain has been with us since about noon. The drops seem large than average which is quite annoying. Of course, I would take the rain over the blast of freezing cold weather and the two to three inches of snow we are expecting tomorrow. Remember – it only takes about a half an inch of snow here to paralyze the city!Last night, we had the opportunity to go to the Grand Ole Opry and see the Rockettes kick it Christmas-style!I sneaked in one highly illegal photo before the show started. Shhh – don’t tell the Rockettes.This morning, I drove over to the office and dropped off some computers I imaged this week for backups. I know it sounds exciting. Then, I headed up to my parents house to work on some computer stuff for them. It was nice and dry this morning before the rain hit.Instead of going interstate the entire way, I drove through the part of Nashville where my grandparents lived. Talk about going down – it was just a plain mess. At least the dumpy Sir Pizza was still there. Some t…

If flu shots don’t make you sick, is it just a coincidence that I feel like I’ve bit hit by a truck?

I don’t know exactly what has happened but I have felt “off” since I got up this morning and I must have woke up about 10 times last night. All of this has happened after getting my super-mega-flu shot yesterday.I didn’t go there particularly for the flu shot. I went because I had an appointment with my nemesis, the sphygmomanometer.Once again, I squeaked out right under where I would have to be to go on the high blood pressure meds full time. It’s actually down compared to last year which is amazing because I would think the stress level is actually up due to the holidays plus I haven’t lost much off of my full-figured Santa belly. I just have to keep checking it at home and call back if it moves up. Thanks to my good reading I get a six month refill on my allergy meds! What a reward!Maybe tomorrow I will wake up feeling 100% and ready to take on the world in various calm, low stress activities.

Remembering John Lennon

When I think about today being the thirtieth anniversary of the senseless assassination of John Lennon, several things come to mind. First, it’s hard to believe that 1980 was thirty years ago. Where did the time go? The world sure has changed in the past thirty years and it’s almost seems crazy to be old enough to have that kind of perspective.Second, how would music be different today if John Lennon was still alive? He already defined one generation and I think that much of his solo music is just about timeless. He was a genius and an innovator. The music he was working on that was released after his death is certainly not defined by the style that was popular at the time. I think we really missed out on some great work and I think he would still be writing and performing today.Finally, the main question is still “Why?”. Mark David Chapman seemed like a real nut when this happened but the world today is filled with who knows how many people who are just like him. They feel that the f…


It seems unusual to be worried about pipes freezing up here in December but the cold January weather has arrived a bit early this year. We have a short break coming up later this week and then snow and even colder weather forecast next week. Winter hasn’t even begun and it’s already too cold. Can’t we have some of those brisk 40 degree days to transition us to frostbite?This week is crawling by. There is so much to do and typically those full days fly by but the last two have been creeping along. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow to make sure my blood pressure is still under control and to get the super mega flu shot. I wonder how long I will have to sit bored in a stupor awaiting for my appointment. I’m not sure why I bother making an appointment for the doctor since I always sit there for an hour regardless.That’s all I’ve got for today.

Eat, Pray, Love? (It should be called “A lot of eating, not much praying, and you call that love?”)

So, just from the title you can tell exactly what I thought of the Julia Roberts movie I was forced to sit through on Saturday night. I am glad it was just a $1 rental at the Redbox because I would hate to pay more for a movie that just makes me want to scream at the television.It’s not that that movie is totally bad – the scenery was incredible and all of the film of great food (and there is lots and lots of great food displayed and consumed in this movie) left me pretty hungry. There are also a lot of quick editing cuts that are sort of cool to watch. As for the praying, she seems to have no spiritual center at all and that is a part of the problem. She ends up turning to the teachings of a religious guru for advice and when she ends up in India at this guru’s enclave, you see other characters that have ended up in the same place who are just as messed up as she is. I was left wondering how they ended up there and noted that they seem to leave not much better than they were when the…

Anal retentive Christmas exterior illumination tips

I think that it’s time to share some of my tips from many years of suffering that I have endured while decorating the outside of the house for Christmas and other holidays. The most time confusing and tedious part is hanging up the icicle lights. I’m not a big fan of heights so I use a telescoping Christmas light install pole with little plastic gutter clips like this one.I test all of the lights before I put them up. I do this because it is no fun to put up lights all the way down the house and then discover that a whole strand is out. That is something that happened last year. I start at the far end of the house and move right. One key to doing this quickly is that I pack them at the end of the year and number the strands so I know which one goes where down the line. I know that is incredibly anal retentive but it saves me trying to make sure I am not putting up too few lights to make it all the way down the house (which happened three years ago).Wind is a real factor here. It’s not…