Thursday, December 31, 2009

Y2K-Ten years later

It will be the end of the world as we know it.

Do you remember where you were December 31,1999? Due to the shortsightness of computer makers, at the stroke of midnight, all computers will roll over to 1900 and turn themselves off because they didn't exist then. People bought and hoarded canned food, bottled water, kerosene, gasoline, batteries and candles. How would the computerless future look? Would anything you owned work?

Well, as we found out, all that pandamonium was unfounded. I won't call it a hoax, but possibly the most over hyped event that I can remember.

Were you prepared for Y2K or did you just go about life as normal?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas recovery

Since Christmas was on Friday this year (my normal laundry day, yes ladies I do the laundry around here), and we went down south for some Lemon squeezings from the grand kids on Saturday, and Sunday was church, our laundry never got done. Fortunately, I had the foresight to schedule the day off today as a vacation day.

I started laundry before Lady Nottaguy-TYG even started getting ready for work today. I had seven loads (counting the bedspread). You know it is Christmas time when you have an entire load of reds. Since I was taking her to work today so I could have the car, I needed to get started early.

With a load in the washer & one in the dryer, I took her to work. After I dropped her off, I stopped by and took care of a couple of dogs that we are sitting. I then came home and did the dishes so I could take Mom her deviled egg container that she sent home with the leftover eggs with my wife on Christmas.

I wanted to get that dish clean so I could take it back to her with the ham bone & pies that she forgot at my brother's. I also etched their names on two tool sets that they got in the gift exchange. With that, I also has a disk of pictures to take with me to load on their computer. The drive there was quite an adventure, due to the snow we recieved. I was glad I was driving the car and not my truck (that thinks it's a sled).

When I got back, I joined my wife for lunch. It's nice to have lunch with your spouse during the week. I then came home and finished the laundry.

After I picked her up from work, I folded and put away all the laundry. We then ate supper and I read a book that I got in a lot from ebay. I purchased this lot for one specific book (which I gave as a Christmas present). The rest came along for the ride. (BTW- the book I read was Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan. Technically it is teen book, but was pretty good, and an easy evenings read.)

I then went and put the dogs out again. When I got back, I turned on the electric blanket to warm up the bed (Thanks again,Mom). It should be warm by now. Good night to all.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Flashback Friday #67

My worst Christmas ever

Hello, come in and pull up a virtual chair by the virtual fireplace. Help yourself to a cookie (unless you've set your browser not to accept cookies) and prepare yourself for another edition of Flashback Friday.

Christmas morning. Just the very mention of it gives adults images of happy children rushing downstairs to see what awaits them under the tree. Kids wake up with joy overflowing and a bubbly anticipation of what they will soon be unwrapping.

When I was 12, I woke up on Christmas morning bubbly. Very bubbly. So bubbly, in fact, that my entire stomach was churning. And it was excitement either. I rushed downstairs, not to open presents, but to kneel before the largest porcelain article in the house. I knew it was going to be bad, because I flung my glasses aside, so they wouldn't accidentally fall in, and be lost forever.

When I was finished, or so I thought, Mom asked where my glasses were. She said that new glasses weren't one of my presents. After some searching, they were found behind the toilet.

We opened our gifts, and for the life of me, I cannot remember what I got that year. When we finished opening the presents, we made ready to make the trek into Westerville to visit my grandma. I was not looking forward to the trip, seeing that I wasn't feeling good. After two hasty stops, we made it to grandma's.

I loved Christmas at grandma's because she had the coolest Christmas tree that I had ever seen. It was a shiny aluminum tree that had a color wheel that shone on it, turning it from red to green to orange to blue (and them back around and around). This year, even the cool tree couldn't put me in a festive mood.

I laid down for most of the day in grandma's bedroom. A bucket was brought, just in case I needed it. I did several times. It got to the point where mom decided that she needed to take me to the Emergency Room at the nearby hospital.

The doctor told mom that I had picked up some kind of bug, and that I should be OK in 24-48 hours. That was fine for him, but this was Christmas, and I was messing it up for everyone. When we got back to grandma's, we said our goodbyes and headed home. Like the doctor said, I was better in a couple days.

Did you ever have a Christmas where it seemed that nothing went right?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Graph Out Loud

Here is a graph for all my "nerdy" peeps out there. A fun bit of Christmas humor.
song chart memes

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Potluck = 1 pot & no luck

Today we had a potluck for Christmas at my workplace. For this potluck, I was bringing a crock pot of Spanish rice. While transporting the tasty dish to work this morning, as I rounded a corner, it tipped over. Luckily most of it landed in the lid. I took the pot & lid and flipped them up together and saved the vast majority of it. The rest landed on the seat of my truck.

I don't know whether to take a shop vac to it or put Sparky the wonder dragon in the truck for a while so he can clean it up.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Help! There's a dog in my underwear!

Has the rush of the Christmas season got you down. Are you having a "Blue Christmas"? If so, this TRUE story should put a smile on your face.

I was at my parent's house the other day when Dad told me of something that happened to him recently. But first I must get some of the ensuing details painted first.

My Mom had a home health client who recently passed away. Her client was concerned about what would happen to her little poodle when she died. Mom told her that she would take the dog. My parents haven't had an inside dog in a very long time.

This dog hated men when it was with Mom's client. Now that it is at my parent's house, it is the constant companion of my Dad. Dad can't even go to the bathroom without CoCo following him.

The other day, Dad went to the bathroom, followed by his little furry shadow. While he was sitting "upon the throne", CoCo curled up and made himself comfortable in Dad's underwear.

The problem was, is that Dad had a stroke a couple years ago and his arms just aren't as strong as they once were, and neither is his balance. When he finished, he tried to pull up his shorts & pants but with the extra weight of the dog, he couldn't get them up. He couldn't bend over and pick up the dog for fear of toppling foreword. He told the dog to move with no avail. He called out for someone to help him, but wasn't heard over the TV. He sat there and contemplated what to do. Finally, he lifted his legs straight in front of him, and out plopped the dog. He now closes the door upon entry to "the throne room".

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flashback Friday #66

The shirt off my back

Hi, it's me again, hoping to entertain you with some more senseless rambling about my life in the late 70's. Just the phrase "the late 70's" should have you ROFL.(IMO,the 70's were only funny to the people who didn't live it)

School pictures. Just the very mention of the phrase is enough to cause a shiver down the spine of most adults. Who ever took a good school picture? I never did. Looking back through my yearbooks has brought on many fits of laughter from my Sunday school class. But I digress. This post isn't about school pictures in general. Just one specific one.

In 7th grade, I had a favorite shirt. It was a green t-shirt with navy blue sleeves and collar band. I had my school picture taken in this shirt.

As much as I loved it, my brother, Sir Gattabout, teased me about it. He got to pick out his clothes, so everything I had was "childish" because Mom still picked out my clothes. His clothes were cool, he wouldn't be be caught dead wearing any of mine. (Disclaimer: We wore the same size shirt. He was a stick and wore smaller waisted pants even though he was four years older than me.)

Mom always bought the package of school pictures. When we brought them home, there was quite the surprise. We both had on the same shirt. How was this possible, you ask? The High school and Jr. high had picture days at different times.

When asked why he had my shirt on, my brother replied, "All my shirts were dirty, so I guess I borrowed one of yours". Mom has a strict rule that she wasn't going upstairs to gather our laundry. If we wanted it washed, we had to bring it downstairs. He hadn't, so he had nothing clean for picture day.

If I had those pictures, I would have scanned them to upload them to this post (My long-time readers know that I don't care to put my picture on this blog. I think it has shown up once, long ago). I even looked to see if I still had that yearbook from 1977 (I didn't).

Did you ever have anything unusual about any of your school pictures?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A common affliction?

Yesterday at work, I was working in another department moving parts in & out of the department with a tow motor. As I was taking a skid of parts out, I asked female co-worker D if she needed help moving her next job into place. She said she could do it with a pallet jack. A few minutes later, while I was in another department discussing upcoming part shipments with male co-worker KQ, co-worker D came over to me and the following discussion happened:

D: Can you move that skid for me? I can't budge it.

Me: You can't budget?

KQ: I hear that a lot of women can't.

At first D didn't catch on (you could tell by the look on her face). When the light came on, she put her hands on her hips and said sarcastically "Very funny". One of these days, KQ is going to say the wrong thing to the wrong woman, and she'll clean his clock.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It was like returning to the scene of the crime

Last week "The Boy" had his school Christmas program. He had it in the same building that his momma had her's at that age. He stood on the top riser just like she did in the third grade.

The difference being, he did not elbow the boy standing next to him off the top riser like his momma did.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Flashback Friday #65

Goodbye to the Butcher Boys, Hello new neighbors.

Hello, Welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday. In today's edition, we cover the topic of having a good friend move away. We had lots of neighbors, but the Butcher boys were the little brothers that I never had, and now they were leaving.

I came home from school one day and started my chores. About and hour and a half later, I heard Doug & Billy's bus (since I was now in Jr. High, my bus ran earlier than theirs, seeing that they were still in Elementary). Giving them enough time to do any homework, I went over to their house.

When they greeted me at the door, they dropped the bombshell on me. Their dad had put an offer on a house in Marengo, and it was accepted. they would be moving shortly. They were excited, me not so much.

Having only an older brother who's sole purpose in life was to torment me, I liked having younger "brothers" to play with. They never thought something was "only for little kids". It was going to be quite an adjustment without them around.

After they moved, the house they rented sat vacant for a few months. I saw, one day, that someone was moving in, but I couldn't see who. It was winter and cold, so I figured if there were kids, I would see them eventually.

One day Dad came in with a strange girl. He had seen the new family (The Pershing's) and stopped to talk to them. This girl had told him that she had seen a boy (me) out burning the trash one day. Dad told her that he would introduce us. I found out that there wasn't just a girl, but four of them. The oldest (Pauline) was my age. The next oldest, Tess, (who Dad introduced me to ) was two years younger than me. Next in line was Trina who was five years younger. The youngest girl, Samantha (or Sammy) was seven years younger. The youngest, at three years old broke tradition. He was a boy named Bert.

Now as disappointed as I was in losing the Butcher boys as neighbors, this new bunch was quite intriguing. Being in Jr. High, I had started noticing girls, and these new neighbors were cute. Not only were they cute, but they were tomboys who could climb trees with the best of them. Things weren't as bad as I had thought.

I still visited Doug & Bobby Butcher whenever Sir Gattabout knew that their aunt would be in. She lived in Columbus, but she liked him, and he liked her, so she came up as often as possible. Since we no longer saw each other at school, and I only saw them whenever my brother felt like taking me along to visit "his girl", we lost the closeness that we had when we were at each other's house every day. More to come in future posts about the adventures with the Pershing girls.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Redneck Christmas lights

As you all know, I love redneck humor (probably because I am one). I nearly fell off the chair at this Christmas light display. I'll bet mt SIL (The Woodsman) would appreciate it.

I wonder if this was one of Santa's reindeer?

I also like this one. When your neighbors get carried away, and you get tired of keeping up with the Jones, you do the next "best" thing (said with tongue firmly in cheek).

I have a feeling that this is what Charlie Brown's house would look like if he was in charge of hanging the Christmas lights:
What redneck wouldn't be proud to be seen in this?

Finally, Here comes Santa Claus

white trash repairs - Santa Claus Modern Age
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's like a cross between a Geico commercial and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

This is from the "I don't know if you've seen it or not, but I thought it was pretty cool" department.

There were two Hungarian brothers (Zsolt & Geza) who were very poor. (OK everyone, say it, "How poor were they?") They were so poor that they had to live in a cave. The survived by selling scrap metal the found in the street for pennies. Their parents severed ties with them, and lost touch with them until the parents died. You may ask what I found so intriguing about this.

Their grandmother recently died in Germany. As far as they knew, grandma didn't even know of their existence. Grandma was incredibly wealthy (can we say billionaire?). Under German law, direct descendants are automatically entitled to a share of any estate. They learned of their good fortune after homelessness charity workers in Hungary were contacted by lawyers handling the estate . Now they, and a sister who lives in America, are said to be on the verge of inheriting their grandmother's massive fortune after a life of poverty.

Geza added: "If this all works out it will certainly make up for the life we have had until now - all we really had was each other - no women would look at us living in a cave. But with money maybe we can find a partner - and finally have a normal life."

Becoming a millionaire, so easy even a caveman can do it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flashback Friday #64

Burning the Trash

Hello, and welcome back to another look at once was. Grab yourself a chair and huddle around the fire that I'm kindling in the minds eye, for fire is the topic of the day.

When I was younger (30-35 years ago), nobody thought twice about outdoor burning. Everyone where we lived did it. Everyone had a burn barrel or burn pile. Now days, not so much.

We had both. What ever didn't fit into the barrel, was put on the pile and ignited. I can remember roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over burning furniture. Many a couch, chair or mattress went up in smoke after ending it's usefulness. When it went to the pile, you knew it wasn't any good anymore, because we didn't have the money to constantly replace stuff. It was kind of like the old Jeff Foxworthy joke around our house. "If that's still there at midnight, it's in my living room".

We used the burn barrel mostly for burning trash. It's amazing how much fun a boy can have while doing his chores, especially if it includes setting something on fire. Mom always told me that if I played in the fire, I would wet the bed (maybe that was one of her superstitions). I always played in, and around the fire. here are some of my favorite things to find in the trash:

Catsup bottles: We were too poor to use ketchup. We always got the cheap catsup in the glass bottles. When I would find one in the trash, I would loosen the lid, and set the bottle upright. The heat created pressure in the bottle, and the lid would shoot off into the air, 10-12 feet.

Aerosol cans: I know it says right on the can "Do Not Incinerate", but who hasn't tossed one into the fire to see what happens. Hair spray cans were the best. I've seen cans explode and fly 20 feet in the air. I've also seen the blow a hole in a rusty burn barrel. Only once did I burn the trash without looking for aerosol cans. When the can exploded, it scared the bejebers out of me. After that, I was very diligent about checking first.

Women's magazines: Whenever Mom got rid of any Better Homes & Gardens, Redbook, or Good Housekeeping (which wasn't, and still isn't very often), I had a field day with them. Do you know how many paper airplane you can make out of one of those? Not only did I make paper airplanes out of them, most times I would catch the planes on fire before I launched them. A flaming airplane will stay up longer than you think. I also would put firecrackers in them before lighting them (a post dealing with firecrackers is due in the future).

I realize now just how dangerous some of the things I did with fire was. When I was young, I was invincible, a stance that many kids have. I caught my oldest playing with matches when she was about seven, and I wanted to show her just how dangerous that could be. We had a couch that was totally worn out, and we were going to get rid of it. I took it to Dad's and put it on the burn pile with my kids watching at a safe distance. I lit a match and dropped it on the old couch. Within two minutes the couch was engulfed in flames. I then sat down and had a very frank discussing about the dangers of playing with fire. I think the demonstration spoke louder that I ever could.

Did you ever play with fire? If so, did you get burned?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Great Deal?

The day after the day after Thanksgiving, Lady Nottaguy-TYG and I were at Largest-Retailer-In-The-World-Mart. As we were heading to the checkout, we overheard this conversation between a teenage boy and his dad:

Boy: Wow, Dad. Look at that price. How can you pass that up? That's a great deal!

Dad: For that, a great deal would be free.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What's that word again?

The Washington Post has submitted it's winning submissions to it's yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

Here are my favorites:

Coffee (n.): the person upon whom one coughs.

Flabbergasted (adj.): appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Abdicate (v.): to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Gargoyle (n.) olive flavored mouthwash

Balderdash (n.): a rapidly receding hairline.

Lymph (v.): to walk with a lisp

Flatulence (n.): emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Negligent (adj.): describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

The Washington Post's Style invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Again, here are my favorites:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows no sign of breaking down in the near future.

Giraffiti (n.): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm (n.): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Inoculatte (v.): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Hipatitis (n.): Terminal coolness.

Decafalon(n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you are eating.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Flashback Friday #63

Black Friday Edition

A cheery "hi" to all. If you are reading this, you have either finished your Black Friday shopping, or like my wife, refuse to go out into the madness. I'm just nuts, what else can I say.

In today's post, I will relate to you some of the mishaps that occurred with me while shopping when I was young. These are things you DON'T want you child to do to you on Black Friday, or any other day.

Once while shopping with Mom, I split away from her, and told her that I would be in the toy department. I didn't realize that we weren't planning on spending the day at the store. On the way to the toys, something distracted me (a TV in electronics or something. I'm still easily distracted, just ask my wife.) What ever it was had me mesmerized. I never made it to toys. My Mom came up behind me, grabbed my arm and said "I've been looking everywhere for you." I wasn't allowed to wander off for a while.

Another time, I did make it to the toy department. Mom had finished her shopping, and came to get me. She looked down each aisle to no avail. What she didn't know, was that I was indeed in the toy department, but I was looking at something on one of the end caps, and you couldn't see me just by looking down the aisle. When I finished, I moved on, only to have Mom pounce upon me again with the "I've looked everywhere for you". I tried to explain to her that I was in the toys all along, but she wouldn't have any of it, seeing that she had looked down all the aisles.

The last story deals with buying something sight unseen. We were looking for a new pair of gym shoes for me in elementary school. Mom spotted a couple boxes up top of the shelf and stretched up to get them. Both were my size. She asked if I wanted blue or black. Blue was my favorite color, so I picked the blue. I never saw them, just the outside of the box. When I got home, I was horrified. They were light blue GIRLS shoes. Guys canvas tennis shoes always had the rubber that covered the toes, girls shoes didn't. I had to wear them because mom wasn't driving all the way back to Westerville. I painted bats with black fabric paint on them to make them more manly. It didn't work, I still got teased about them. Whenever we picked out any more shoes, I had to see and approve of them.

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping were super.

Did you ever do anything at the store that caused your parents consternation?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Baching" it

That is bach as in "bachelor", not Bach as in the composer. Lady Nottaguy-TYG left Saturday afternoon to lend a hand at Lady Lemon's house. She's been hanging out with our new grand baby and the rest of Lady Lemon's clan. Here's a picture of "Pinky" (Lady Lemon has determined that "Sprite" was a boy name, hence "Pinky") that I was sent recently:

Here's another one on a quilt that My wife & daughter made this week:
Here's a pic of Lord Lemon assisting Zesty while he holds his baby sister:
While she's been hanging with the gang down south, I've had to hold the fort and keep an eye on the grand kids here. "The Ogre" worked 12 hour shifts both Monday & Tuesday, so I had to pick up "The Boy" from school and "The Girl" from daycare. "The Ogre" instructed me to head straight to her house and wait there for "The Woodsman" to get home from work. This worked well. In the familiar surroundings, "The Girl" took a bottle and napped until her daddy got home (meaning I didn't have to change any diapers ).

Tuesday after "The Woodsman" got home, I raced home and shaved, hopped through a quick shower and raced off to church. Our church changes mid-week service days for Thanksgiving week so the ladies could have Wednesday for cooking.

Today after work, I didn't have grand kids, but I had to pick up my MIL's laundry after stopping at the bank. Once I got it, I made a small grocery trip. Even though the lot was full, I got through the lines rather quickly. All of Mil's laundry is done and I'm about ready to turn in.

The problem with that is that half of me (my better half) isn't here. I've been staying up later so I won't toss & turn with only Sparky the wonder dragon to keep me company. My wife is coming home tomorrow so I will be very thankful on Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hail To The Victor...

Is a song that the Michigan marching band cannot play unless they are serenading the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Go Bucks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flashback Friday #62


Greeting my friends and welcome back for another glance to the past. I was going to write this post last week, but since it was Friday the 13th, I decided to wait a week, because it is bad luck to write about superstitions on a Friday the 13th (or so I've heard).

My Mom was (and still is) very superstitious. Her family has roots in the Pennsylvania Dutch, and many of the sayings and beliefs she has have been passed down to her. She explained the reasoning to some of them, other I still wonder about. Here are some of them:

If you find a penny on the ground, check if it's heads. If it is heads, it's lucky. If it's tails, you must either give it away, or put it in your left shoe for the day. I tried the shoe thing once. After that, I always gave them away because I hate having something in my shoe other than my foot.

If you give someone a purse or a wallet for a gift, always put some money in it first (even if it only a penny). Money will never stick to an empty wallet or purse.

See a pin and pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck.
See a pin and leave it lay, bad luck for you the rest of the day.

If a bird flies into the house, someone you know will die shortly.

If you drop a knife on the floor, look at the direction it is pointing. You will have company from that direction soon.

Don't open an umbrella in the house.

Breaking a mirror is seven years bad luck, unless you gather all the pieces and bury them at night.

If a pregnant lady sees a disfigured or broken doll or figurine, it may cause a birth defect in their unborn child. (Real story- I was getting some stuff out of our attic and handing it down to Mom. In the box, was a barbie-type doll that had been in a cake. it fell out of the box and Mom let out a gasp, and said "It's a good thing I'm not pregnant". A mouse had chewed on the face of the doll.)

Horoscopes are real. Pay close attention to them.

Everyone had to pat the head of her stuffed animal before she goes to bingo for good luck.

If two people are walking together, and an immovable object comes between them, one person must either retrace his/her steps and go the same way as the other person OR one person must say something that goes together (like "bread & butter"). That way nothing will come between you.

Don't drink milk while having fish for dinner. The milk will sour in your stomach.

She could never get into the Christmas mood until she first saw Santa in person.

How about you, are the any superstitious or old wives tales that you believe?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

U of M jokes

Q: What's the difference between a University of Michigan fan and a carp?
A: One is a bottom-feeding, scum sucker, and the other is a fish.

Q: How many University of Michigan students does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: One, but he gets 3 credits.

Q: Why do University of Michigan fans keep their diplomas on their dashboards?
A: So they can park in handicap spaces

Q: Did you hear about the power outage at the University of Michigan library?
A: Forty students were stuck on the escalator for three hours.

Q: Do you know why the University of Michigan football team should change its name to the "Opossums"?
A: Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.

Q: What does the average University of Michigan student get on his SAT?
A: Drool.

Little Johnny runs up to his mother ...and says, "Mommy, mommy! I want to be a Michigan Wolverine when I grow up!"Mom answers, "Now Johnny, you know you can't do both."

One day in an elementary school in Ann Arbor Michigan, a teacher asks her class if the Michigan Wolverines are their favorite football team. The whole class says yes except for Little Jimmy.
The teacher asks, "What's your favorite football team Jimmy?"
Little Jimmy says, "The Ohio State Buckeyes."
The teacher asks, "Well, why is that?"
Little Jimmy says, "Well, my dad is a Buckeyes fan, my mom is a Buckeyes fan, so I guess that makes me a Buckeyes fan."
The teacher angered by his reply says, "If your dad was a moron and your mom was an idiot what would that make you?"
Little Jimmy says, "Well, I guess that would make me a Michigan fan."

Coach Rich Rodriguez is only dressing 10 players for the Michigan game against Ohio State. The rest of the team will get dressed by themselves.

Ann Arbor News Report: Football practice in Ann Arbor was delayed on Monday for nearly two hours. One of the offensive players, while on his way to the locker room, happened to look down and notice a suspicious looking, unknown, white powdery substance on the practice field.
The head coach, Rich Rodriguez, immediately suspended practice while the FBI was called in to investigate. After a complete field analysis, the FBI determined that the white substance unknown to the players was the goal line.
Practice was resumed when the FBI decided that the team would not be likely to encounter the substance again.

Do you have any good (and clean ) Michigan jokes?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Official Start to OSU-Michigan Week

Yesterday everyone was still abuzz with talk about the OSU overtime win against Iowa. Today, that is past. Let the OSU-UM rivalry chatter begin. Last week everything came up Roses (as in Pasadena) for the Buckeyes. I can't think of a better ending of the regular season than a win over the boys up north this Saturday.
On a somewhat related note, the dreadful Cleveland Browns will be playing the equally dreadful Detroit Lions on Sunday. I heard a guy on the radio say that it would be the first ever televised game between the OSU-UM junior varsity.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flashback Friday #61

Gattabout's Motorcycle

Greeting one and all. In today's post I will discuss an affliction that strikes many a teenage boy. It is called motormania. The main symptom is the insatiable urge to operate anything motorized.

My brother, Sir Gattabout, was severely afflicted. He started with the riding lawnmower. Then, after he got his driver's licence, the family car. Once he saved enough from his work after school he made the plunge into vehicle ownership. He bought a motorcycle.

Mom wasn't real happy about this. "You'll get hurt." was one of her favorite arguments against his ownership. "Gattabout would reply that her dad owned and drove a motorcycle up until the day that he died of a heart attack on the way to bingo. Finally, she relented and he was off on adventures one could only imagine.

He owned a blue Kawasaki with a matching blue helmet. Shortly after he acquired the motorcycle, the law was changed and helmet wearing was made optional. He told mom that he would still wear his helmet. He lied, too. Once he was beyond her sight, the helmet came off, and the wind blew through his long red hair (this was the 70's).

I would like to say that he was always safe and law-abiding while riding, but I can't. He would come home and ask me, "I'll bet you can't guess how fast I took my motorcycle tonight." Not only did he ride it on the freeway to work, he also rode it to Westerville to Grandma's house. It was at Grandma's where tragedy befell him.

He was across the street in a field owned by the Catholic school that was up the street from Grandma's. He had several of his Westerville buddies with him, and he was showing off on his motorcycle for them. While he was trying to pop and ride a wheelie, the bike flipped and landed on him, breaking his arm.

He was taken to the hospital, and the doctor set his arm and put a cast on it. The doctor told him that he wouldn't be able to ride his motorcycle for at least six weeks, due to the position and severity of the break. Dad put his Motorcycle in Grandma's garage until Gattabout could ride again. I don't think mom or dad ever got the real story on how he wrecked and broke his arm. Mom simply looked at him and said "I told you that you would hurt yourself".

He owned that motorcycle several years, and sold it after he was in the military for awhile (which is a whole different set of stories which will come at a later time).

I've never owned a motorcycle. Have you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Introducing the newest member of the clan: Sprite

Lady Lemon showed off her superpowers today by bringing a new life into the world (what superpowers do you have?). Our newest granddaughter was born today at 2:48 pm. She was 7 lb. 11 oz and 20 in. long. I can't wait to see her

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Book Review: The Encyclopedia of Immaturity

Just because I turned another year older last Sunday, doesn't mean that I am one step closer to being a fuddy-duddy. Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. (Sing with me "I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys-R-Us kid")

A while back I was at Jo-Mongous Fabric With Lady Nottaguy-TYG. She was buying fabric for a dress she was making, so I wandered the store to look at all the non-fabric offerings. I wound up at the books (Imagine that!) In the books, I found a book that was most delightful. It is published by Klutz Press (And who doesn't LOVE Klutz Press offerings?). It was called The Encyclopedia of Immaturity.

It is the complete guide on how to never grow up. In the introduction, it states "The information in this volume was gathered over the course of a misspent and lifelong childhood. The sources were extremely diverse and, given the long time frame, many will have to remain nameless. In most cases they would probably insist on it anyway".

This volume contains things you did when you were a kid, and things you would have done if you had thought of them. Here are some of the offerings:

How to make noises under your arm. Hanging a spoon from your nose. How to make an air puff annoyer. Backseat rituals. Homework excuses. The wolds finest paper airplane. How to make a soda gusher. Squeeze bottle thrill machine. The paper cup honk machine. Smash a grape through you head. Marshmallow death matches. Trash talking like Shakespeare. There are about 300 others also.

The price at Jo-Mongous was in excess of $20 for the hardback edition. As much as I liked the book, I couldn't do it. However, "The Boy" recently had a book fair at his school, and guess what I found there in the paperback edition for $12. He wanted me to buy it for him. I told him that I was buying it for me, but he could read it. He got to purchase other books that he picked out.

And read it he did. I should have recorded the cackling and belly-laughing that he did while reading the book. There were time he had to excuse himself to go to the bathroom. He didn't just skim over it, he devoured it, every page.

To show how much he retained, one Sunday, a few weeks ago, we went with "The Ogre" & her kids to Columbus after church. After we ate lunch, we went to Polaris shopping mall. My wife was taking "The Ogre" and "The Girl" to find some good shoes for learning to walk. (only "The Girl got the shoes). "The Boy" & I asked to be dropped at a large bookstore on the other side of the mall. There was an impatient driver behind us who didn't take kindly to someone taking 30 seconds to let someone out. "The Boy" turned and said something to the driver that was unheard by him, and Not fully heard by my wife & daughter. I knew what he said, and nearly doubled over in laughter. When they picked us up, they wanted to know what was said. My eight year grandson had said "Thou art a dankish, idle footlicker. Shakespeare would have been proud.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Flashback Friday #60

Munchkin Socks

Greetings all, It's good to be back with all (or both) of you again. Since yesterday was Mom's birthday, she gets to be the focal point of today's Flashback Friday.

She has always had a love for little ankle socks. I'm not talking about the footie style that has no sock to it. Buster Brown makes these. All they lack are the ruffles and/or bows and they would look like frilly little girl socks. The ones that she bought looked like child socks when they came out of the dryer. That's how they got the nickname around our house as"Munchkin Socks".

Mom wore these to work every day, and when she would get home, she would slip her feet out of her shoes, and dangle her shoes on her toes as she watched TV. We played a game. Sometimes I would spring from the couch (where I was generally laying on my back) and snatch one of her shoes. She would try to snatch me before I made it into the kitchen and claim victory.

One day her shoe was dangling, and I had my eye on it. In a flash, I scooped up her shoe and made a dash for the kitchen. She was expecting it, and very nearly grabbed hold of me before I even had her shoe. I made it to the kitchen, and exclaimed "I got your shoe". She then said "That's OK, I've got munchkin socks". The only problem was that when she said it, she was talking really fast, and I heard "That's OK, I've got my chicken socks".

I looked at her with puzzlement in my eyes, and asked, "Chicken Socks? How did you get chicken socks?" "Chicken Socks?" she questioned back. "Who said anything about chicken socks?" With that we both broke out into a fit of laughter that left us holding each other up and crying. From that time on, she wore chicken socks.

Needless to say we were quite amazed when we saw this a few years ago:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my Mother's birthday. There are three of us that have birthdays within two weeks of each other. Gattaout on Oct. 26, Me on Nov. 1 and Mom on Nov. 5. She turned XX this year. (No, that's not Roman numerals, it's a nice way to say a lady's age, since the two things you never ask a lady are is "How old are you? and "How much do you weigh?")
That's Zesty, Mrs. Lemon's son, that she is holding in the picture.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Daylight Savings Wasn't Very Nice To Me

As I went to bed last night, I set the clocks back. This morning when I woke up, even though I had set the clocks back an hour, I was a year older. Made me think of Rip Van Winkle.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scary Stuff

In the spirit of the day, I present to you some frightfully scary pictures that I found at ESPN. The following pictorial is not intended for young viewers or those who are pregnant or have heart conditions. You have been warned.

Here it is. Frightfully ugly professional sports uniforms.

This is Nate Colbert modeling the San Diego Padres' all yellow uniforms of the early 70's. He looks like a stick of margarine or a bananna wearing a batting helmet.

This is Thomas Gradin of the Vancouver Canucks wearing the uniform that they wore during the late 70 & early 80's. They should have called themselves the Vancouver Ew-Yucks.

This is Doug Williams wearing the original uniform of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nothing says "buccaneer" like blaze orange. I wonder if Blackbeard ever wore something like this?

Here is Frank Robinson wearing the all red uniform of the Cleveland Indians of the mid 70's. That's almost as difficult to look at as the current team.

Here is Cameron Odam of the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs. They wore Don Cherry (announcer of Hockey Night in Canada) inspired jerseys for charity. Perhaps the charity will buy Don some new sports coats so he can throw out his collection of hideous blazers.
Chicago White Sox outfielder Ralph Garr models the ghastly uniforms worn by the team during the mid to late 70's. They even teamed up the collared uniform tops with shorts for one game. They should have blown up the uniforms during "Disco Demolition Night".

Brroks Robinson's face shows his pleasure in wearing the all orange uniforms of the Baltimore Orioles of 1971. Those uniforms look more suitable for picking up trash along the highway. What is it with teams making future Hall of Famers look ridiculous? (see Frank Robinson above)

Jose Cruz and the Houston Astros made a fashion statement that is admired today as the Astrodome (demolished) and Astroturf (should be). Does this scream "polyester" or what?
Just to prove that ugly uniforms weren't subject to the 70's, the Seattle Seahawks wore this "alternate" jersey recently. Seneca Wallace isn't running from the defensive pass rush, he's running from a mirror.
The Denver Broncos recently wore these uniforms as a a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the old AFL (which later merged with the NFL). Here D.J. Williams (left) and Champ Bailey remind every about the frightening consequences of vertical striped socks. According to legend, the first year Broncos operated on a shoe string budget and were offered the uniforms from a college all-star game. After the first year, they socks were replace, except for one that was framed, and hung in the owners office.

I hope I didn't blind you, or emotionally scar you for life with these pictures.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Flashback Friday #59

The Pool Table

Hi all, and welcome back.

Have you ever had a piece of furniture that you really didn't have room for? A piece that just didn't fit in? We had such a piece with the pool table that Dad bought at a friend's yard sale. Can you pass up a pool table for only $20? Dad couldn't. It came complete with sticks, balls, chalks & rack. It was a fantastic bargain, but just where did we have room to put it?

Let's see, how about the living room? It has a couch, two arm chairs, and the rather large console TV. It won't fit there.

How about the eat-in-kitchen. Stove,check. Refrigerator, check. Dinette set, check. Could we substitute the pool table for the dining..., oh never mind. No room here.

Bathroom? Um, No.

The only other room downstairs is Mom & Dad's bedroom. Unless Dad is willing to sleep on the pool table, that's not happening. Note, I said Dad, not Mom.

Where can it go? I know, let's put it upstairs in Nottaguy's room. Gattabout's room has too much stuff in it. So the pool table was carried up the stairs (ever carry a pool table up the stairs? It's not easy), and set up in MY bedroom. Who doesn't fantasize about having a pool table in their bedroom?

With the pool table in my room, my single bed had to go. (Actually it was a fold-away frame with no mattress, just a folded quilt for a mattress)It was replaced with a hide-a-bed sofa. When I wasn't asleep, the bed was put into the sofa so folks could play pool. The sofa was put into the side of the room that had the sloping ceiling. Don't get out of bed too fast or you'll crack your head.

Did I mention that the room that now held the pool table had a sloping ceiling? This meant that you had to create some interesting angles due to not having enough room to properly hold the cue sticks. The walls were somewhat close too. Many a time cues were held almost vertical (that's up & down for those of you not in the know) to take a shot. If a piece of furniture was in you way of shooting, you either tried a different shot, or moved the furniture. My room was never the same two days in a row.

In addition to the guys of my family playing pool, just about everyone who knew us played at least one game on it. Aunt Shelly's kids were over several days a week to play. Gattabout had friends over. I had friends over. My bedroom became a regular pool hall.

One thing Dad hadn't anticipated about putting the pool table in my bedroom was the weight distribution on the old floors upstairs. Our house was over 100 years old, and the floors weren't intended to take the weight of something as heavy as a slate pool table. The floor began to sag in the middle, and the balls would tend to favor one side of the table over the other. The pool table was going to have to go.

Dad told a friend of his about the dilemma we were facing. He said that he had a very large garage and would love to have a pool table. Dad sold it to him for the $20 that he paid for it.

Did you ever buy something, then wonder what you were going to do with it once you got home?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Amish Online Dating

I stumbled across this site and thought the concept was hilarious. An online dating social network site for the Amish? How would they get online? Is the modem wind-up? The ramifications are mind boggling.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy 50th Birthday, Gattabout

50 years ago today in Columbus, Ohio, an event of cataclysmic proportions took place. I used to tell him that when he was born, the doctor took one look at him and slapped our Mom. When I was little, I always thought that one day I would be able to catch up to (and perhaps pass him) in age. Now I am content to let him blaze the trail and test the waters.

For his bithday, I bought him a new red Ferrari. Seriously. ("The Boy" helped me pick it out. Largest-Retailer-In-The-World-Mart has quite the selection of HotWheels)

Happy Half-Century-Birthday Gattabout.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday #58

It's Only A Game

Hi, and welcome back. You're just in time to take another trip into the past by way of my memories.

When I was young, video games hadn't been invented. There was no Nintendo, X-box or Wii. I was nearly a teen when we got our first video game system, known to the world as "Pong".

To those of you who don't have the faintest idea what Pong was, here it is in a nutshell. You have two lines (one on each side) and a little square. The object was to keep the square bouncing between the lines like tennis. It also had a one player option that kept you bouncing the square off a wall on the left. No color, no intense graphics, just lines & a square. Sounds like fun, eh? I'll bet that it couldn't keep one of today's kids occupied for five minutes.

So what did we do for games? Board games were the rage. Everything I know about board games, I learned from Sir Gattabout. He was a take-no-prisoner player. Here are some of the strategies he (and later I) employed against anyone willing to take us on:

Monopoly: The key to this game is to buy anything you land on. It drives you competition nuts. We always put $500 in the middle of the board to start off. Anyone landing on "Free Parking" got the cash. Any fines to be paid also went into the middle pot. This gave you extra money to buy properties and/or houses. You could also trade property to obtain the one you were missing. these deals always came with the disclaimer that "I get to land on the set X number of times without paying". Invariably, the free ride came to an end, and you were reduced to a pauper by having to pay the rent with motels on the property.

Battleship: Start a diagonal line down the board (A1, B2, C3, etc.). When you get a hit, call out all surrounding locations. When I caught on to what my brother was doing, I began arranging my ships in clumps or straight lines. I even spelled out the word "HI" with my ships. It drove my brother nuts.

Stratego: My brother always surrounded his flag with bombs. I, on the other hand, set my 1 (the Marshall) and 2 (the General) next to my flag, and sprinkle bombs throughout the playing field. Gattabout would inevitably lose his 1 or 2 to one of my hidden bombs. My brother always wanted to be blue, because , as I later found out, you can see through the red if you have your back to a sunny window or a bright lamp.

Yahtzee: This was a favorite of Mom's, and if she heard us starting to play, she would jump in. I liked it when mom played, because Gattabout couldn't cheat. When Mom wasn't playing, one of the dice would always roll off the table and miraculously land on the number he needed (he was faster picking the dice up than I was a getting a glimpse).

Chess: I never understood during international chess competitions how they could call a draw with each player still having 9-10 pieces on the board. When we played, it was to the death. There were matches where someone only had only their king left, and the other chased him around until checkmate was achieved.

We had great times playing each other, but had even more fun when some of Aunt Shelly's kids came over. That always gave Gattabout fresh blood to spill on the board of combat.

The problem is, when you have been taught to go for the jugular when young, it leave few people who want to play you when you get older. My wife refuses to play anything with me because when we were first married, I was unmerciful. I have mellowed with age. My grandson, "The Boy", and I play games by times. He has taken me to the shed in Chutes & Ladders, Aggravation & Uno.

Did you play board games as a child? If so,which ones? If not, why?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Great Chicken Wing Shortage

The global financial crisis may have claimed another victim: the Buffalo wing. The city of Buffalo, NY--the birthplace of the spicy chicken wing--and other parts of Western New York appear to be in the midst of a Buffalo wing shortage.

Local food suppliers say that the Buffalo Wings supply has dropped, causing the price of wings to skyrocket. A 50-pound supply of hot wings has increased as much as $20, a cost that restaurants may soon pass on to the customer.The wholesale price per pound of chicken wings has exceeded the price per pound of chicken breast for the first time in history. It has become more cost efficient for restaurants to offer "boneless wings", chicken breasts that have been cut up and covered in sauce. The price increase is so frustrating that restaurants and consumers have had enough and are calling for a Chicken Wing Boycott on January, 26th.

The Buffalo wing shortage is being caused by two things: supplies were reduced after Pilgrim’s Pride, a huge poultry farm in Texas, filed for bankruptcy protection last month. Also, this time of year is usually when chicken wings are most in demand due largely to the holidays and the Super Bowl. Football and chicken wings go together like baseball and apple pie.

Simply put, decreased supply and increased demand equals one big Buffalo Wing shortage. No word yet on the state of the nation's supply of celery and blue cheese dressing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kitty Litter Brownies

In order to be a full service blog, I have a recipe for you. I've offered marital advice, and decorating tips, so here goes a shot at a recipe that is fun for kids & adults alike.

My Sunday School lesson deals with the story of Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 4:32-37, 5:1-16). Their pride and lying got them killed. In the lesson, I'm trying to get across to the kids that there are some things we shouldn't do, be a part of, or touch.

That's where the kitty litter brownies come in.

For the tasty treat, you will need:
1 new kitty litter pan or dishpan
1 new kitty litter scoop
1 package of brownie mix (and the ingredients it calls for on the box)
1 box of Post Grape Nuts (or store brand equivalent) (personally I use two boxes)

Pour Grape nuts into pan. Prepare brownies as directed on package. While brownies are still warm, scoop out enough with a spoon to make "a dropping", and form such in your hand (I don't recommend using the edges, as they don't form too well). Roll the "dropping" in the Grape Nuts (or sprinkle some in you hand and crush them in). Scatter & bury the brownies in the Grape Nuts " kitty litter. Serve with new kitty litter scoop.

The edges can be cut up as bite size brownies for you & your family to enjoy.

This "treat" can also be used as a creepy addition to your halloween party, or some sick humor when the guys come over to watch the game with you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flashback Friday #57

Mr. Barker's History Class.

Hi, folks. Welcome to another look over my shoulder to what used to be.

Some kids hate school all together. Some just hate certain subjects. Until I moved to Jr. High, all the classes were taught mostly in the same classroom by the same teacher. In Jr. High, some kids hated certain teachers. It was hard to hate Mr. Barker's class.

Mr. Barker taught 7th grade Ohio History and 8th grade American History. In his class you just didn't study rote dates and facts, you became them. Let me explain.

There used to be a TV show called "You Are There", a quiz show called " In The Know"and a game show called "To Tell The Truth". He incorporated these shows into his teaching style to put us in the history we were learning.

In "You Are There", he would give a small group (3-4 people) an event in history and have that group study it. They would then brainstorm and create a skit to act out the event for the rest of the class. These often times were a hoot.

When we played "In The Know", the class was divided into three person teams. The teams were then set up on a matrix and played one another like college basketball's "March Madness". All the material that we had studied during the chapter was included, so you always needed to review to keep sharp. The team winning the bracket was given a small prize.

With the game "To Tell The Truth", a group of three people were given a historical person to portray. One of the people in the group would actually be the famous person and give only correct answers to questions asked of them by another group. The other two would give answers that weren't quite right, but not wrong enough to be obvious. At the end, the question panel would vote on who they thought was the real person. The real person was then asked to stand.

I had always liked history, but Mr. Barker made history come alive for me. I guess that's why I teach Sunday School like I do. Many times I will have the kids act out the story and the kids have a lot of fun learning.

Did you have a class that you enjoyed?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Redneck computer terms

I'm not the most computer savy person in the word, but I know that these don't sound quite right:

BACKUP - What you do when you run across a skunk in the woods.
BAR CODE - Them's the fight'n rules down at the local tavern.
BUG - The reason you give for calling in sick.
BYTE - What your pit bull dun to cusin Jethro.
CACHE - Needed when you run out of food stamps.
CHIP - Pasture muffins that you try not to step in.
TERMINAL - Time to call the undertaker.
CRASH - When you go to Junior's party uninvited.
DIGITAL - The art of counting on your fingers.
DISKETTE - Female Disco dancer.
FAX - What you lie about to the IRS.
HACKER - Uncle Leroy after 32 years of smoking.
HARDCOPY - Picture looked at when selecting tattoos.
INTERNET - Where cafeteria workers put their hair.
KEYBOARD - Where you hang the keys to the John Deere.
MAC - Big Bubba's favorite fast food.
MEGAHERTZ - How your head feels after 17 beers.
MODEM - What ya did when the grass and weeds got too tall.
MOUSE PAD - Where Mickey and Minnie live.
NETWORK - Scoop'n up a big fish before it breaks the line.
ONLINE - Where to stay when taking the sobriety test.
ROM - Where the pope lives.
SCREEN - Helps keep the skeeters off the porch.
SERIAL PORT - A red wine you drink with breakfast.
SUPERCONDUCTOR - Amtrak's Employee of the year.
SCSI - What you call your week-old underwear.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Girl just wants to have fun

Our youngest grandchild "The Girl", has been a hoot lately. She cut her first tooth and has learned to pull herself up. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

This is her at the hayride last Saturday in the church gym. She was having a ball.
Here she pulled herself up by using her toy hanger. She really likes her toys.
She was giving me razzberries at the restaurant. Unfortunately, she stopped as I was taking her picture.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Flashback Friday # 56

The Royal Castle

Hello all and welcome. It's good to have you back (and it's really good to BE back). Hopefully I'll get caught up with everything you have posted in the very near future. But for now, we take another look back at the remembrances of my childhood.

When I started seventh grade, Sir Gattabout (my brother, for any new readers) got to start an after school job. Since he was 17, and in the 11th grade, my parents allowed him to get a job on the next exit from ours on St. Rt. 71. If you get off at the Deleware/Sunbury exit, there used to be a small truck stop across the street where the current McResturant is. The name of this truck stop was "The Royal Castle". Sir Gattabout got a job here as a short order cook. This enabled him to have spending money that he didn't have to beg or borrow off of Mom & Dad. It also gave him the wherewith all to pay or his own cigarettes (they cost an astounding fifty cents a pack back then).

My favorite story of his employment there dealt with a very fussy customer. This man came in, and ordered a steak cooked rare. My brother took the steak out of the cooler, seared each side, and sent the steak out to the customer.

The customer sent the steak back because it was overcooked. My brother really didn't know what to do.All the other rare steaks he cooked were just like the one he just served.

He took another steak out of the cooler and quickly slapped it on each side in the hot skillet. The steak barely had and cooking marks on it. He was sure the customer would like this one.

The customer once again sent the steak back because it was overcooked. My brother was at his wits end. How do you cook a steak without it touching the hot skillet and leaving cook marks? He then came up with an idea. He took another steak out of the cooler, held it in the air, and held his cigarette lighter under the steak. When he thought the steak was warm enough he tossed it on a plate and exclaimed, "Any more rare and it will be raw".

The waitress took the steak out to the customer. The man exclaimed that finally, someone figured out how to cook a rare steak. He ate it and complemented that it was perfectly cooked.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who doesn't like Mad Libs

Mad Libs. We've all done them. A story with blanks in certain places. The person you are playing with gives a noun, verb, adjective, etc. when asked. At the end the completed story is read to hilarious results.

Here's a Mad Lib for you about our recent troubles:

Computer virus makers are ______ (adjective). If I ever got my hands on one of them I would tear off their _____ (body part) and feed it to a _____ (an animal). I would then tie them to a _____ (noun) and _____ (adverb) ______ (verb) them. I would then shout _____ (exclamation)! The whole event would be filmed and then posted on _____ (website).

If you haven't yet figured out, I don't care much for those who spend their time disrupting the computer use of common folks like me. Hopefully, our virus problems are behind us.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I just don't understand.

Here in Ohio, when Winter hits, you generally have no reprieve until Spring.

Yesterday, I was preparing for winter by going out to the yard waste site (that's the place where you drop off your tree branches and other yard wastes and the county grinds it up into free mulch). I bag this mulch up to add weight to the back of my pick-up truck so it doesn't slide all over the place during our snowy Winters (needless to say, there is still a lot of prayer involved while driving that truck in the snow & ice). When Spring comes, the mulch goes on my landscaping.

When I was heading out to get the mulch, a fine mist lay in the air. When I got there, I was the only one there. As I was bagging, the mist became a sprinkle and someone else arrived. A little later on the sprinkle became a light rain and a couple more people showed up for mulch. I had two bags left to fill when the light rain became a heavy rain. I hurried as fast as I could, knowing that I might not get a free Saturday to come back out for a while. The heavier the rain became, the more people came out to get mulch. There were about eight trucks there when I left, cold & soggy.

What some people won't endure for something that's free.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flashback Friday #55

Shirts vs. Skins

Hello once again and welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday. In today's post I'll cover one of the things I hated most about Jr. & Sr. High.

In my last Flashback Friday post I mentioned that in Jr. High we had separate gym classes for boys and girls and we changed for them. The gym lockers were at the back of the stage in the auditorium/gym. Everyone had their own locker and kept it locked. Anyone who didn't lock it was likely to find their gym clothes missing. It was nothing to be changing for gym and have a gym suit or a pair of shorts come flying over the lockers and land on your head. This, in itself, wasn't too horribly emotionally scarring, it was what happened during gym that was.

Having always been a "fat boy", one of my most hated things was going without a shirt. Now my dad used to do it all the time. I think a shirtless guy looks revolting. There are very few guys that can pull off the look and I have never been one of them.

During gym, sides would be chosen for flag football, basketball, soccer, etc. One team would be "Shirts" and the other team would be "Skins". How do you determine which team gets to be "Skins"? I have a theory. In the twisted mind of every gym teacher is the "embarrass" mode. How can you embarrass these kids in front of their peers? In general yelling, and occasional swat can get to a few, but the number one way is to see which side has the most "fat boys" on it. That side is ALWAYS "Skins". Maybe I just have a super sized modest gene to go with my super sized body. Whatever the case, I dreaded gym for this reason.

While we had gym, the girls had health class, and vice-verse. The girls would wear blue pinnies (a strip of fabric with a hole for the head that tied at each side) over their gym suits to differentiate sides (we could see them out the Health room window. They were more interesting than the teacher). When someone (It wasn't me, thank goodness) asked our Gym/Health teacher why the guys couldn't wear the pinnies, instead of "Shirts & Skins" the teacher mocked him and asked him if he also wanted to wear the gym suit too. He was utterly humiliated. Nobody in any of my gym classes ever questioned "Shirts & Skins" ever again.

Was there anything you dreaded about Gym ?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another corny song

At my house, if momma is happy, everyone is happy. If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Since she left a hint hint in her last comment, here is is the song she has asked for. It's sung to the tune of "The Ballad of the Beverly Hillbillies" . This is the song I got to sing on the main stage with "The Muleskinners".

Listen to this story 'bout a little ear of corn
minding his own business early one September morn.
Then a fella passin' by, plucked that little ear,
and hollered to his buddies "Hey, Come on over here."

I've got an idea for ya and I think ya might like it.

That ol' boy told his friends "I've got a joyful thought."
"'Bout a big time carnival where corn is being bought."
His buddies all agreed his idea was quite feasible
and now it is the Millersport Sweetcorn Festival.

Sweetcorn it is. Hot & sweet and buttery.

Now it's time to say hello to the town of Millersport.
We all hope your stay with us will not be cut short.
You're all invited back this year to our locality,
to see how much sweetcorn you can put in your belly.

The corn sure is good this year. Take a dozen home with ya. Ya'll come back now ya hear?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A sweetcorn song for you

Being a dad, I can decipher clues like the one my daughter (Mrs. Lemon) sent via the comments on my last post. I also can't miss and obvious pat on the back by Ninja John, so here is one of the first sweetcorn songs I wrote. It is to the tune of "Achy Breaky Heart"

You may like chicken,
Fresh roasted chicken.
You might like ol' greasy french fries.
You might like battered fish,
or ice cream in a dish,
or onion rings that bring tears to your eyes.

But don't ya love sweetcorn,
Hot buttered sweetcorn.
The only place to get it is this stand.
So come on over here,
And grab 'em by the ear,
And fill up on as many as you can.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Millersport Sweetcorn Festival

Usually when post about someone, something, or somewhere, I will change the name to protect the innocent (or to protect me from a lawsuit). The Millersport Sweetcorn Festival is a real event. Unfortunately, it was almost three weeks ago (when our computer was down), so if you want to go, you'll have to wait until next year.

Our church has been working for the Millersport Lions Club in their corn booth for 20 something years. This is one of the major fundraisers in our church. (The other major one is cleanup & parking at the County Fair). For four days of hard labor, we get paid in excess of $5000. That makes up for a lot of car washes, bake sales & bazaars. It is quite the operation to clean, cook and serve nearly 100,000 ears of sweetcorn.

The festival starts on the Wednesday before Labor Day. A semi trailer of sweetcorn is set in place by the husking machine. By the time the festival is finished, this trailer is emptied an the majority of another one is used too.

These guys are running the husker. This machine is over 60 years old. All replacement parts are hand made. You put the corn in the top here...

...and comes out the bottom here. (It was a machine similar to this that claimed my Grandpa's fingers in Flashback Friday #52, part 2)

The white buckets are dumped onto a table where we brush silk off with brushes.

From the brush table, the corn goes into a large soak tank, where more of the silks come off.
The corn is then dipped out into wire baskets with lids, and taken to the cooler.
When they are needed, the baskets are taken from the cooler and set two at a time at the roaster. A 2x4 is place through the handles so it can be lowered into the boiling water.

Once the corn is removed from the boiling water, the lids are taken off the baskets and the baskets are dumped into the butter basket. The corn is then submerged in melted margarine. The corn is dumped onto the serving table where it is served up to the massive throngs who act as they have never eaten corn before.

This may be the biggest, little festival around. Not only do they have the local talent playing & singing, the have brought in some fairly big name performers as well. Some of the Nashville performers that have been at the festival include Helen Cornelius & Jim Ed Brown, Grandpa Jones, Tom T. Hall, Loretta Lynn, and this year they had John Conlee and Tracy Lawrence.

Several years back, I got my five minutes of fame by singing on the big stage with the country comedy group "The Muleskinners". I had written several "corny" songs and would sing them over the microphone at the corn booth. They were delighted with them and invited me to sing one on stage with them. Perhaps in a future post I will introduce the world to the song that I wrote back then.