Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home Decorating To Suit Your Personality

In an attempt to be a full service blog, I offer you this home decorating tip. Being a manly man, I may not know what I'm talking about, but here goes anyway. Only so many homes can be featured in "Better Homes & Gardens" or "Home Beautiful". Let your house reflect your personality.

Case in point, when My wife and I first purchased Castle Nottaguy, one of the main concerns we had was the stairwell leading from upstairs. The upstairs bathroom is over the stairwell, with the tub sitting on the stairwell ceiling. This makes a height of 5' 6" from step to ceiling, where the tub is at. You can't raise the ceiling without taking out the tub.

I have no problem because I am just short enough to feel my hair touch the ceiling in the stairwell in this trouble spot. The grand kids are the only other ones who have no problem with the height. I suggested putting a poster of Daffy or Donald Duck in the stairwell to remind people what to do. Lady Nottaguy-TYG shot that idea down (it must have been duck season).

The solution came at an auction I attended (I am now grounded from going to auctions by myself). I purchased these ceramic duck wall hangings for $1 and had the Ogre letter the sign.

The sign says "DUCK or you'll QUACK your head!". One person nearly fell down the stairs because she was laughing so hard. At least she wouldn't have hit her head on the ceiling.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Save The Flag

On April 25, 1976, during a game at Dodger Stadium, two protesters, a man and his son, ran into the outfield and tried to set fire to an American flag they had brought with them. Rick Monday, then playing with the Cubs, noticed they had placed the flag on the ground and were fumbling with matches and lighter fluid; he then dashed over and grabbed the flag from the ground to thunderous cheers. He handed the flag to Los Angeles pitcher Doug Rau, after which the ballpark police officers arrested the two intruders. When he came up to bat in the next half-inning, he got a standing ovation from the crowd and the big message board behind the left-field bleachers in the stadium flashed the message, "RICK MONDAY... YOU MADE A GREAT PLAY..." He later said, "If you're going to burn the flag, don't do it around me. I've been to too many veterans' hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it."

In today politically correct society, could Monday have done the same thing? Would the flag have been given back to the protesters? Would he have been disciplined? I still applaud his action.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Flashback Friday #35

The Butcher Boys

Hello friends. Hello. Can you say it's time for another edition of Flashback Friday? Sure I knew you could. I've told you a few post back about some of my wacky neighbors I had while I was growing up. This post covers some of my favorites.

When I was in fifth grade, Mark & Rose Butcher moved into the house that the biker dude and his sister used to live in. They had four children. The oldest was a boy who was two years younger than me. Next came another boy who was four years younger. These boys became the little brothers I never had. They also had a sister who was four and a little brother who was two.

Doug (the oldest) and Billy (next oldest) were at my house every day. We made too much noise to be inside their house much , with the younger siblings napping and such, so if we were at their house it was generally outside. We never ran out of things to do together.

My brother even liked the fact that they moved in. Not because he liked playing with them, but because they had an aunt who was hot. She was also my brother's age. Whenever she came to visit from Columbus, he found himself next door. We teased them a lot.

We found our way back to the creek nearly every day after homework & chores were done. Sometimes we would wade, float boats or catch crawdads, other times it was to just watch nature. It didn't matter what we did, it was always doing it together that counted.

Mom thought Billy was the sweetest thing. He even got me out of a grounding because he told Mom it just wasn't any fun if I wasn't around to play with. He melted her heart and she reduced the grounding to time served.

One of the most frightening things that ever happened to me, happened while I was talking to Doug. Billy didn't like the WWE family's kids too much. They always teased him because he talked with a bit of a lisp. One day Billy was chasing one of the kids back across the street with a handful of gravel. When they reached the other side, she picked up a rock from the pile that her folks gathered up to throw at each other. Since this rock was bigger than the gravel Billy had, he decided to retreat back across the street. One problem, he didn't do what you always tell a child to do when they come to a street. While I was talking to Doug in the side yard, we heard the screech of brakes and the sickening thud of a seven year old bouncing off a two thousand pound automobile.

Time stood still. For a moment, there was a stunned silence. The lady driver flung her car door open and jumped out. She was screaming "I tried to stop!" over and over. Rose must have been outside because it was only moments until she was screaming hysterically and running for the crumpled form of her little boy that lay by the side of the road. The emergency squad and sheriff were there within minutes. The sheriff took a report from the driver, and from Doug, who had seen it happen (my back was to the street). The squad strapped Billy to the gurney and raced off.

Later that night, we got news that Billy had a broken arm, and stitches in his head. He had run into the front passenger door about where the mirror is attached. Luckily he wasn't faster, or he would have been in front of the car, and possible killed. We played a lot of board games with him while he was recovering because it wouldn't be fair to go to the creek, and leave him behind. He recovered well, and always watched crossing the street after that

We were inseparable until the time I went into seventh grade. I no longer rode the same bus they did, and I got home earlier than they did. Near the end of my seventh grade year, they moved away. They may not have been there in the flesh, but I still had the warm memories of the times we had together. Some of the adventures are whole Flashback Friday posts in themselves.
It was nice having neighbors who were normal for a change.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Like Cartoons

The other day,I had picked up both of my youngest daughter's kids, one from school, the other from day care. "The Boy" is seven and easily entertained. "The Girl" is two months old and not so easily entertained. She had getting a little fussy when an idea struck. I popped a cartoon in the DVD player, and the music and colors enthralled her. I snapped this picture with my phone while I held her in the recliner.

Any excuse to watch cartoons is a good one for me. I like cartoons.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My New Co-Worker

At the American Metal Gadget factory where I work, I recently got a new co-worker. The department next to my metal cutting department (also known as blocking) is called circle shear. They take the metal squares I cut and make circles (hence the name). It's like running a giant can opener. Marcy, the regular worker in that department, was needed in another department to help get out a hot order. When she returned, she found that she had been replaced:

She doesn't talk near as much as Marcy does, and never gets up from her machine to wander around. Someone told Marcy that she runs almost as much per day too. Marcy calls her "My evil twin", which is kind of funny, because she isn't much bigger than Marcy. The last time Marcy got on the scale I use to weigh metal, it registered in double digits. I told her I weighed more than that in 5th grade.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Flashback Friday #34

Rotten Eggs-Beautiful Rotten Eggs

Greetings, One and all. After I posted my last Flashback Friday, I got to thinking,"Dude, You had the perfect Easter post, and you list something about being a CEO? What a knothead." I know Easter is over, so you get this version of Flashback Friday at the clearance price of 50% off.

When I was a kid, I loved to color Easter eggs, and what kid doesn't. I took my eggs a little more serious that the run of the mill child. I loved to look at the decorated eggs from Holland, and I would try to incorporate the designs onto my eggs. One year, I outdid myself. The eggs were virtual Van Gough's, practically Picasso's, and remarkably Rembrandt like. In a word, the were gorgeous.

As much as I liked to decorate eggs, I also had a strong dislike for eating them. I could choke the whites down with plenty of salt, but there was no way I could eat that yolk. ICK! To me, it tasted like old socks smell. To this day, the only way I can (and will) eat an egg is scrambled with ketchup, or in an omelet.

Getting back to the beautiful eggs, they were so lovely, nobody wanted to break them to eat them. Everyone marvelled at how pretty they were. Soooo, what do you do with hard boiled eggs after two weeks? Mom told me to throw them out. Throw them out!!! They were too pretty to eat. How can you just throw them out?

I couldn't just toss my masterpieces. So when I took them outside to the burn barrel, I hid them in the tall grass beside a tree stump. And I promptly forgot about them.

A few weeks later, Dad had cut the grass with the riding mower, and needed me to do the trimming with the push mower. All was well until I began to mow around the stump. The mower ran over "my masterpieces" and cut them into pieces. The air was then filled with the most disgusting aroma this side of a roadkill skunk. I almost hurled.

It has been many years since I decorated Easter eggs. When the grand kids suggest doing it I think I will encourage them to use plastic eggs and Sharpie markers. Did you ever have and Easter egg mishap?

Check out more stories at the Flashback Friday carnival at "My Tiny Kingdom"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Redneck Remedy

Monday night, when I was leaving the doctor's office, the receptionist told me that someone noticed that my rear tire was very low. As I was putting air in it, (at 75 cents for four minutes) I see the reason why. I had picked up a nail. Everything is now closed. What can I do until tomorrow when I can get it fixed?

As I could hear the air slowly escaping while the truck sat in my driveway, I got desperate. I slapped a glob of mud on the offending leak. The next morning. The tire was still up.

I drove it to work and slapped the mud glob back on. The tire stayed up until I could take it to be repaired

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pirates, SEALs & Marshmallows

Hats off and congrats to the naval commander who gave the command to fire, and the highly trained SEALs. who carried it out. In the days of Blackbeard, Long John Silver, Brute Larson, etc. the penalty for piracy was capital punishment. Should it be different now?

I am surprised that the President didn't fall all over himself apologizing to the pirates and call our Navy arrogant for dispatching the trio of pirates. After all, we don't want the pirates to get mad at us.

Where's Ronald Reagan when you need him.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Flashback Friday #33

I was a sixth grade CEO

With the recession, the clamour about Wall street, and the financial mess that is our economy, I thought it good to reminiscence about my days as CEO. That was the days before golden parachutes. The only parachute we ever came in contact with was the one you played with in gym class (remember that?)

My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Zodiac (her name was one of the zodiac signs, you've got 12 guesses), planned a lesson on finances and how companies run. Our class was going to make snacks and sell them to the rest of the school after lunch. We needed to determine what we were going to make, how much to sell it for, how to package it, and even what to call our venture.

All of our class was to bring in a recipe for submission. After all the recipes were read, two were chosen. We would be making fudge and caramel corn. Now that we knew what we would be making, what would we call our "company"?

Most everyone had an idea, with some of them incorporating their name into the company name. Mrs. Zodiac wrote all the names on the board, and we would vote on which one we liked best. After she had written about 20 names down and we were getting ready to vote, inspiration flashed through my head. My arm shot up, and she asked me if I had yet another name to write down.

"How about we call it the acronym C.A.N.D.Y. which stands for Classy And Neat Delicious Yummies?" She was impressed. The rest of the class was impressed too because that name won in a landslide.

Our company had a name and products to make, but no cash. Where do a bunch of sixth grade kids get money. No, we didn't go digging through the furniture or ask our parents, we went to the bank. Our teacher must have called ahead, because Mr. Bankmanager was waiting for us with the loan papers in hand. He asked my teacher, who co-signed , who the CEO of the company was. The CEO needed to sign the papers too. She said since I had come up with the name, that I should be CEO. As I signed, he said, "Now you know that if you don't make enough money to pay off the loan, you are responsible for paying back the rest." I thought"What have I gotten myself into". I had visions of the bank coming to my house and shaking Mom & Dad down.

Well, we now had "capital" to work with. We walked to the grocery store to price the ingredients and packaging. Since I lived in such a small town, we were able to walk everywhere. The class was split up into groups to get prices of various items. you needed to find at least two different prices for each item. When we returned to the class, we discussed the pro & cons for each item. The one that sticks in my mind is the baggies in which we were going to put the caramel corn. One young man was a Ziploc zealot. "They would be better because if a kid is bouncing the bag like ball in the air, it won't come open", he said. The Ziploc bags were twice the price of the "generic" sandwich bags (remember when ALL generic products came in black & white packaging?). Much discussion ensued. Mrs. Zodiac ended the discussion by saying, "I don't really care how durable the bag is AFTER we sell it. What they do with it is not our concern." Ralph Nader would not have been impressed.

All ingredients were purchased, and we began making the goodies in our classroom. (gasp) You know how sterile sixth graders are. I'm surprised we didn't give the school dysentery or something. Everybody took part. Some stirred, some popped, some packaged, while others worked in advertising. Posters were hung throughout the school announcing our endeavour.

The big day finally came. Those wishing to drop a dime (yes, a real dime, not the slang) on a piece of fudge or a baggie of caramel corn formed a line at the art room. Since the art room was one of the few rooms that had two doors, kids would go in one door, choose their product, and pay at the other door. It was a smashing success. We sold out everything.

We had lots of money, but now we had to take out what we owed to our creditors. I got to personally pay off Mr. Bankmanager in cash. (I'd love to do that now) The money that was left was our profit. We voted to buy some new games for the class to play during recess when it was rainy outside (a sixth grader can only play "Chutes & Ladders" so many times in his life).

I've never been CEO again. In this day and age, that seems to be a perilous occupation.

Check out the Flashback Friday Carnival at "My Tiny Kingdom".

Thursday, April 9, 2009

For The First Time Ever On The Planet Earth

Last night the Columbus Blue Jackets made the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They were the only NHL team to have never made the playoffs. I've had my picture taken with Lord Stanley's holy grail, here's hoping my hometown team gets to take it home with them. (For those of you who don't know, every player on the Stanley Cup winning team gets to take the trophy home with them for a day.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April comes in like a lion...

I thought that March was supposed to come in like a lion, but I found this last night on my truck:

It is still snowing this morning. It must be that confounded global warming.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Flashback Friday #32

There once was quite a prankster...Who me?

Greetings my friends, and welcome to to the insanity that I refer to as Flashback Friday. My daughter, Lady Lemon, requested a few months ago that I tell some of the stories that happened while I was in college, and with April Fools being this week (and a happy belated birthday to the Woodsman) it is the perfect time to tell of some of my favorite practical jokes. Fasten your seat belts because were going to jump the time line from last week about 10 years. Are you ready? Here we go! Wooosh.

I attended a small business university in Columbus after I graduated from high school (that is where I met Lady Nottaguy-TYG. Thank you G.T.J.). The college placed me in a work study job at the Community Health & Nursing Service located on the Ohio State University campus (Go Bucks!) This was quite the culture shock for me. Everyone I worked with was from inner city Columbus. Coming from a rural town without a stop light, this was as different as night and day.

Since I came from "the country", my co-workers wanted to know what kind of animals we raised on our farm (everybody who lives in "the country" lives on a farm, don't they?) Remembering a joke I had heard from the FFA members in high school, I told them that we raised dairy hogs ( I actually owned a hutch of rabbits). One of the guys who worked packing the milk & orange juice recognized that the word dairy = milk. "Milk from a pig?" he asked, "Who would want milk from a pig?" Thinking fast, I replied"Many people are lactose intolerant. They have to have something to take the place of cow's milk." He was satisfied with that answer.

Over the next few weeks, I collected carrot peels, outer cabbage leaves, and slightly wilted salad mix to "take home for the dairy hogs" (the rabbits ate well). One day one of my co-workers wanted to know if I could bring in a picture of a dairy hog. I told him "With film and developing as expensive as it is, we don't waste film taking pictures of livestock, we reserve it for family, but I'll see what I can do." (this was before digital cameras).

That night we had a tremendous storm system tear through central Ohio. We had high winds, hail, thunderstorms and a few tornado sightings in the surrounding counties. When I got to work, I told the co-workers that a tree had fallen across a section of fencing, and that the whole herd stampeded through the fence and drowned in the rain swollen creek behind our house. They were devastated. "Won't this put you out of business?" they asked. "We had our livestock insured." I replied. "The insurance company will cut us a check and we will buy a new heard in the spring." Nothing more was said about dairy hogs the rest of the time that I worked there.

The other joke I will tell you about deals with the worst sunburn that I have ever had in my life. My faithful readers know that I can't swim, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying myself in the water. I was in a friend's swimming pool, floating with my arms draped over an inner tube. I was in that position for about two hours. The sun blistered my back, shoulders, and arms. I couldn't wear a shirt for three days (when you are working food service, it is a good thing to wear a shirt) so I had to call off work.

When I returned to work, one of my co-workers who had recently arrived in Columbus from Ethiopia was one of the first to see me. As I was walking up the outside steps, I was peeling great hunks of skin from my arms. He walked over to me and asked "Hey, Why is your skin falling off?" I looked at him straight faced and replied "Oh this? It's just a mild case of leprosy." His eyes grew as wide as saucers and he exclaimed "You are unclean! You are going to die!" With that, he scurried off as fast as he could. (Did I mention that he was also Jewish, therefore knowing the biblical implication of leprosy?)

I just couldn't let a golden opportunity like that get away. All the rest of the day, any time I entered a room that he was in, he exited quickly. At the end of the day, I was to mop the cooking area. As I went to fill my mop bucket, I spied my unfortunate co-worker spraying off serving carts. The noise from the water covered my approach. I snuck up behind him, covered his eyes, and sang out sweetly "Guess who?" He let out a blood curdling scream that would have fit into any Steven King movie. He turned to me and said "You are unclean, I will clean you". There was a sign on the wall that said "DANGER: WATER TEMPERATURE 270 DEGREES". Realizing that he was going to spray me off with 270 degree water I figured I had taken this prank a little too far.

"Wait!" I cried out, "I don't have leprosy!" "No leprosy?", he asked, "Then why is your skin falling off?" I explained to him that because my skin was light, if I stayed out in the sun too long, the sun would burn my skin, and then it would peel off like it was doing. It was called a sunburn. He had never seen a sunburn before. "No leprosy?" he asked again. "No leprosy." I replied. "Not contagious?", he asked. "Not contagious." I explained. He then cussed me out in Ethiopian. What can I say, I deserved it.

How about you? Did you ever play a prank on someone? Did it backfire?

Check out more stories at "My Tiny Kingdom's Flashback Friday carnival.