Monday, December 31, 2012

Flashback Friday #217

Hey! That's MY Magazine!

Welcome to another post of trivial minutia. Have you ever purchased reading material, gotten half way through it, and lose/misplace it, never to see it again? Frustrating, isn't it?

I wish that had happened in this situation. I would only be able to blame only myself. As it is, I know exactly what happened to my reading material and exactly who took it. It was Miss Hubbabubba.

In Flashback Friday #213, I told of the first of three things that turned me totally against her. This story tells of the second. While in her cloister, er, study hall, we were to remain silent. It didn't matter what you did, as long as it was silent. Dissect road kill? Sure, as long as you did it silently.

But I digress. Seeing that I knew of this hardship period in my school day, I came prepared. While at the store with Mom the previous night, I picked up the newest issue of "MAD Magazine". This particular issue has a spoof of "The Muppet Movie" in it. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I love the Muppets.
Anyway, I was sitting silently reading this magazine when someone snatched it from my hands. There way a triumphant "AHA!!!!" as it was snatched. I turned and blurted "Hey, That's MY magazine!" I then realized that Miss Hubbabubba was the snatcher.

"This is one of those magazines that's not supposed to be at school", she bellowed. There had been a rash of sightings of "National Lampoon" throughout the school. The teachers were alerted to be on the lookout for them. If you've never read them, they can be rather racy. I explained to her that there was nothing at all wrong with MAD and that she should give it back.

She wouldn't be moved. Away my magazine went. Later in the day, I saw her and asked if I could have my magazine back. She said "That was a really funny magazine, but you're not getting it back. In fact, I threw it away." Great, just great. I didn't even get to the Muppet spoof.

At a later date, I'll expound on the third event that sent me over the edge and put her on "My list" forever.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Since this is December 22, 2012, I'm Assuming the Mayans Were Wrong

There were many people concerned because the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. The end of the world was predicted by many (probably some of the same people that prophesied about Y2K). Then there were a couple of things that happened to strengthen the apocalyptic threat.

First, Dick Clark died in April. Without Dick Clark, can we usher in a new year? Secondly, Hostess filed for bankruptcy protection. Hostess makes Twinkies, the only food that could survive an apocalypse.

All that worrying and hand-wrnging has come to naught. I'll bet this is why the Mayan calendar ended at December 12,2012:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Flashback Friday #216

Building A Garage

Hello. It's good to see you here on this Friday (can you believe that I got this post out on time?). Today my discussion rests upon a garage that Dad was planning to build. We had plenty of land, so why not build a garage/workshop on it?

What's the first thing you need to do? Um, Digging a hole for the foundation would be nice. Do you think I was going to volunteer to dig it? Idon'tthinkso! That's the nice think about having lots of friends. Dad knew someone that not only had a backhoe, but also was skilled in using it. That just happened to be Uncle Phil (Aunt Shelly's husband).

Uncle Phil drove his backhoe over and began digging. If we had lived far away, he would have put the backhoe on a trailer and brought it over. Since we only lived about three miles away, he felt like driving it. He was making good time until he hit an obstacle. He had run into our "basement home" that we had lived in for a year before we purchased the adjoining property (and house) we currently abode (this is where I lived when I had my teeth ripped out). Once we bought the new property, we abandoned the basement home and moved into the house. We filled the basement home up with trash and buried it.

Anyway, Uncle Phil's claw had snagged an old freezer that we had tossed. He asked if he could have it for scrap metal and Dad said he could. Now that he knew he was traversing a "mine field", he was a little more careful.

Once the footer hole was dug, cad called the local concrete company to come out and pour concrete. He made sure he took the day off so he would be there to make sure nothing went wrong. Perhaps he should have gone to work instead.

When the truck got there, Dad motioned it into place and the concrete came pouring out. I had just gotten home from school when the truck began. Dad grabbed a shovel to smooth out the top of the foundation. It was difficult to do from up top, so Dad took off his socks and shoes, rolled up his pants legs and hopped into the wet concrete. He was smoothing it out for about five minutes and he jumped out and ran over to the garden hose. He sprayed his legs off just as fast as he could. He didn't realize that there was a type of acid that was in the concrete to help it cure. It burned his legs something terrible.

Well, by the time he got patched up and was able to put weigh on his feet again, the concrete had hardened enough to make smoothing out the top impossible. He got the foundation laid, but never finished that garage.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Just What Have You Been Doing?

Things have really been busy around her this month. Recently, "The Boy" had the lead role in our church's Christmas musical "In a Galilee Far, Far Away". He was Commander James T. Church of the starship Emmanuel.
Here's the rest of the bridge crew:
Navigator Polo
                                                  Communications Officer Sparky

Information Tech Info (the resident Vulcan)
                                           Security officer Zip (the resident Klingon)
And Chief Engineer Otto (who I must add did a great James Doohan impersonation)
The kids were fantastic. the props were out-of-this-world (no pun intended). "The Girl" got to play one of the animals at the manger scene. At the Sunday morning performance, she tried and wandered from the manger to the friendly lap of her dad, "The Woodsman"

We also had a Middle School band Christmas concert. Here's "The Boy" playing the marimbas:

Once the 6TH grade band finished, "The Girl was finished too. Since she no longer could watch her brother, she found other ways of entertaining herself.

Last night we did our annual Christmas cantata. We've been practicing for months. Our director was a wreck. She kept saying "Christmas has snuck up on me this year." She even cut a song from the list, which we would belt out at different times during lulls in practice. At the end of the cantata, when the thanks yous were being said, we belted it out again. On a related note, my wife watches the directors youngest a couple times a week and once they were watching a Veggie Tales movie with said song in it. Her eyes got big and she exclaimed "That's the song my mommy doesn't like!" ROFL

Flashback Friday #215

Non-Canine Pets

A warm welcome to all who have ventured this way.

I Have written about the dogs I had when I was growing up. I've also written extensively about a certain dog named Peanut. I think the only other pet that I've discussed was my guinea pig named Whooper. There were a few more, but not enough to do separate posts on each one.

After Whooper passed, I talked Mom into getting another guinea pig. I had the cage, water bottle & food already. There was no reason not to use them. I think she agreed because she didn't want me to catch another rat (see the guinea pig link above for more info). We went to The Westerville Mall and bought another one at Petland. I remember that it cost $4. I picked one out that was the spitting image of Whooper and named it Whooper Jr. (creative bugger, wasn't I?). Like his predecessor, I trained him to squeal whenever I would holler out "Whooper!".

Alas, he also passed and Mom said that we were buying no more. Luckily, Dad had a friend that was moving and looking for a home for his son's guinea pig. This one looked nothing like either of my Whoopers. They were both dark brown while this one was all white. He had been called snowball, so I continued to call him that. Once he passed, Mom made sure the cage left so there would be no more rodents in the house (at least domesticated anyway, we had mice galore).

Seeing that we had mice, perhaps that's how a cat came to adopt us. You don't own a cat, it owns you. This cat found a hole that it could squeeze into the basement through (we had a dirt basement and Dad was always going to finish it with cement blocks). It made it's way upstairs and hid in my walk-in closet. Since everybody in the house had stuff stashed in my closet, the cat went unnoticed. At least it did until the sounds of several tiny mews emanated from the closet.

Upon closer inspection, I discovered a litter of five kittens. I'm sure momma didn't have to venture far for food seeing the mice problem that we had. My folks allowed them to stay for a while, but then found a home for all of them down the street with a crazy cat lady. I think she must have had at least three dozen cats.

The only other non-canine pet that I haven't spoken of is the tank of Sea-Monkeys that I had. I bought them through an ad in a comic book. They had grown to a good size when an accident befell me and them. When I hurt my ankle skating , I was on crutches for a while. One day while hobbling across my room, the tank was knocked over and my Sea-Monkeys perished.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Flashback Friday #214

My Girlfriend's New Neighbors

Hello. Good to see you again.

When I was dating Toni, she had a family move next to her. This was the typical family with two parents (Mom & Dad) and two kids (a daughter one year younger than Toni and a son that was 2 1/2 years younger). I talked to them a few times when I saw them out, but I didn't see them a lot. I found out why.

These folks have moved from Columbus. Nothing too odd there. However, the parents had to take their son to Columbus frequently because he had a job there. This is a kid in middle school that had a job in Columbus that his parents drove him to. What was I missing here?

I found out what that job was one day. Toni & I were outside hitting a softball around and he asked Toni if she'd like to see his collection. He had found out from his sister that Toni was a baseball fan, so he thought that she might be interested in what he collected. We went into his house and she led us to his room. It was too cool.

His room looked like a wing of the baseball hall of fame. He had a shelf filled with autographed baseballs. By his door, he has a barrel filled with autographed bats. Autographed pictures of players were on his wall. How did he get all this stuff? Getting autographs is easy when you're the bat boy for the Columbus Clippers.

He was the bat boy for the visiting team. Some of the players (that later became major leaguers) that he had the privilege of meeting and getting autographs from included Don Mattingly of the Clippers, Cal Ripkin Jr. of the Rochester Redwings,Wade Boggs of the Pawtucket Red Sox, and Howard Johnson of the Tidewater Tides. How's that for dropping some names?

Friday, November 30, 2012

It Works

I just figured out how to blog from my phone. I figured out how to post pictures too.
Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Flashback Friday #213

Lying To Dad

Welcome to all my faithful readers and the poor misguided souls that happen to stumble upon my drivel.

As I have said in many posts past, my "Dark Years" were some of the worst years of my life. I had sunken so far that I even tried to get away with lying to my dad. What was even worse was that I almost got away with it.

I had told you earlier that I would tell you more about Miss Hubbabubba. She was the new choir teacher, and she was most disagreeable. It truly was "Her way or the highway". I wasn't in choir, but i had the misfortune of being in a study hall with her as the warden, er, overseer, er, person in charge. In study halls, they encourage you to study. In her study hall you were to sit absolutely quiet. Read, study or sleep, whatever, as long as you were silent. This study hall was in the cafeteria, next to the library. There was more noise in the library, and that was no exaggeration.

We were given some math homework a few classes earlier and I decided to work on it during this time. However, there was a problem. I didn't remember the page numbers that were assigned. Bart was also in this study hall with me, but since we were all sitting alphabetically, he was across the aisle and up a table. We both sat on the end seats facing the center aisle. I tried to write big on my notebook to ask him the assignment. He couldn't read my message, so I raised my hand to ask if I could ask Bart what the assignment was. You would have thought I had ask if I could fill her car up with cow patties. She twisted her face and bleated that nobody was to talk.

Well, I came up with another way to communicate. I took the large message that I had written, crumpled it up, and rolled it across the floor to where Bart was sitting. She bellowed "I saw it fly! Head to the office Mr. Nottaguy!" First of all, it rolled, therefore it didn't fly. secondly, I thought we were supposed to do homework in study halls, what gives?

I went down to the office where I sat in the company of five others that had offended her in some way. At the end of class, she came down and gave us all detention slips. I don't know how your detentions worked, but ours meant that you had to stay after school for an hour. Hello, I ride the bus and live several miles away. How am I supposed to get home? That wasn't her concern. I shouldn't have been throwing paper wads in her class. Trying to reason with her was like trying to pick oranges off a walnut tree. It was fruitless.BTW- I got the assignment from Bart in the following class, so I had something to work on during detention.

After the end-of-school bell rang, I dutifully marched down to the detention room where I once again met the five others facing the same punishment as me. I had an hour to come up with a way to get home. The I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea. i was in so many clubs & groups that met after school, I could tell my folks that I had forgotten to tell them about one and they would come and pick me up. That's exactly what I did.

Dad picked up the phone when I called. I told him that I had forgotten about this meeting and needed a ride home. He said he'd head right out to get me. When he picked me up, he asked about the meeting. I gave him details from a media club meeting earlier in the year. I got home, did my chores, and figured that I had gotten off scot free. Seeing that this was during my "Dark Years", I didn't feel bad about it. The end justified the means.

That weekend, One of Aunt Shelly's kids, Skeeter, was spending the weekend with us. In Mom's hearing, he asked how I got home from detention. Mom wasn't pleased at all that I had gotten detention and then lied about it. i got quite the lecture from her. She gave me an ultimatum, "Either you tell your dad what you did, or I will." I confessed to him what I had done. He simply said "You disappointed me." and walked away. I think I would have rather had a beating.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tales From Black Friday & Beyond

Those of you who know me well know that I was born with a birth defect. I am a guy that likes to shop. That's one of the reasons that I look forward to Black Friday. However, I got a jump on things this year. I went out on Gray Thursday.

While my wife was showering, I made a run over to a local general store and snagged some great deals. After we had our Thanksgiving, and were heading home, I dropped my wife off at the house and went out to K store for some items that I saw in the paper, Barbie dolls. Not just any Barbies, but Disney princess Barbies (The Girl is really into princesses right now and if I can get them at $3.99, I'm going to do it.)

When I get to the back of the store, the display that held the Barbies was empty. Nuts, I should have left earlier. I figured I'd take a look at the other Barbie princess dolls (the deluxe ones that weren't on sale) and see if there was anything in my price range. While searching the regular Barbie aisle, I spotted  what looked like one of the dolls I saw in the ad paper. I picked it up and continued searching. On another shelf, I spotted another one. After making sure there were no more, I went to the price scanner to verify that these were the dolls that were on sale. BOOP $3.99 YEEEESSS!!

After getting the dolls, I got a couple other items and headed up front to check out. I think every person in central Ohio was waiting in line. I decided to head over to electronics and check out there. Big mistake. i couldn't even get up the aisle that led to electronics. So back to the front I go. When I get there, I'm behind a wife & husband that's undecided about their purchases. She sends him back to toys to get a different doll. he sends her to get a sweater. Once he told her that he was heading to electronics to check out the DVDs. I told him that he needed to stop at hardware first to get a crowbar so he could get in to electronics.

I stood in that line for a long time with little movement while watching the next line over move at a fairly brisk pace. I told myself, "Stay where you are." Watching that line move got the best of me. I moved to the other lane. Everyone knows when you move to the other lane, it will slow down and the line you were in will move faster. That's exactly what happened. I think the guy at the head of the line I was in was buying explosives or guns and was undergoing a background check. After waiting an hour to check out, I was on my way back home. It was 11:30 PM.

The alarm went off at 5AM to do more shopping on Friday. The Ogre stopped by, dropped off the kids and away we went. The first store we hit I was hoping to score an $8 crock pot but wound up holding The ogres purchases instead because there were 2 crock pots in the store.After hitting a couple of smaller stores, we ventured back to K store. The great crowds had dispersed and we were in & out in 10 minutes with the items we were seeking.

The Ogre needed some toys for gifts so we hit a BOGO toy sale then went out for breakfast.Since the buffet closed, we went to a different restaurant (we have gone to the buffet for many years). At breakfast, everyone that ordered an entree got a free $5 gift certificate. Cool.

After breakfast, we downloaded my stuff from the car to the house and set off for Columbus.The Ogre wanted to stop at JoMungus fabric store. Once we got there, I went to get a number for the cutting table. A lady that didn't want to wait offered me hers. it was 43. I looked up at the sign and it said "Now serving 54". Did I miss something? No. We had to go all the way to 99 and start over to get to 43. The ogre said to ask for a number from the employee handing them out, so I did and got a 50. We kept the 43 and gave the 50 to a lady who came in after we did. I wandered around, picked up a gift and went back over to wait with my daughter. We waited for two hours, but she got over $100 of material for $30.

After stops for lunch & the mall (which wasn't as crowded as we anticipated) we headed home. By the time we got home, we had been out for 12 hours.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Flashback Friday #212

The Text Book

Greetings all. Yeah, I know. I'm late. Real late. This has been a crazy weekend. Nevertheless, the post needs to be written, so here it is.

In 10th grade, I had a history class. It was a normal history class, except there was one exception. This was the final year that the particular history text book was being used. Next year, new books would be purchased. Our teacher told us that as long as we turned in the cover, we could do anything we wanted to do with the book.

This created a world of possibilities for someone with an imagination. Paper airplanes would be one thing I could do with it. Toilet paper? Nah. Then Bart & I came up with the greatest challenge. We would caption each & every picture in the book and compare them to each other to see who had the funniest caption.

I know this happened during my "Dark Years" because some of the words used in the captions wouldn't make it in a "G" rated film. "PG or PG-13" perhaps, but never "G". There were also a lot of captions that wouldn't be considered "Politically Correct".

Well, by the end of the year, every picture had been captioned (some twice) and in the head-to-head competition, I had more winning captions than Bart did. We turned the text books in, captions & all. There were a couple of guys that did just as the teacher asked. They brought him the cover, and nothing else.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday #211


Hello. Welcome back (unless you're here for the first time, then technically you're not back, but here for the first time). Today, I'm discussing what I did in my spare time. When I was in High School, there was no Internet (was that an audible gasp I just heard from the younger members of the audience?). When I had some extra cash, and it was in between baseball & football seasons, I spent it on models. Not the type that walk down a catwalk at a fashion show, the plastic kind (come to think of it, some of the models that walk down the catwalk have quite a bit of plastic in them too).

My brother, Sir Gattabout, got me started. I remember that we were at a store and he saw a model that he wanted. Mom said she'd get it for him. Well, if he was going to get something, I wanted in on the action. He bought a Pinto, since we had one in real life. I got a Gremlin (what was it with us liking cars that were bad?) Mom said he had to share his supplies until I got enough money to buy some of my own (HA!). Grumble, grumble, oh all right.

He painted his chassis yellow and the hood & hatch black. He also had a black strip along the side. I  painted mine red with a white strip running from the rear roof to the front wheel well. I thought it looked like the car on "Starsky & Hutch". When Gattabout moved out, he was working on a semi from the show "Moving On". I finished it plus about three or four dozen more.He left all his supplies, which I gleefully added to mine.

I displayed them on a shelf on my desk that once belonged to a kitchen hutch that was downstairs. It was supposed to hold plates. Our plates went into the cupboard, and I got the shelf.

I not only has car models. I had trucks, vans, tanks, airplanes and was working on a large ship untilsomeone lost or took several key pieces from it. As soon as I finished one, I'd want to start another. I know it wasn't because I was getting off on the glue fumes. At that time, they had such a difficult time with kids sniffing the glue, they made it kid friendly. It was lemon scented and had no harmful side effects.

The models found a different home after I was grown. Our house had become a glorified storage unit after the house trailer was moved onto our lot (more about that in the future). My brother was showing his son around when he spotted the models. "Cool. Who did all those?" the youngster asked. "I did", said my brother. "Can I have them?", his son asked. "Sure. Lets see if your grandma has some boxes or bags to put them in. "Mom, do you have any boxes or bags we can put my models in to take home?", my brother asked. "Your models? You didn't put those together, your brother did. Those are his.", she told him. I got a call asking if his son could have them. I let him.

Do you think he spends a lot of time in the restroom?

This sign was posted in the restroom at work. The small print says "If needed, text me". LOL

Friday, November 9, 2012

Flashback Friday #210

The Walls of MY Room

Hello. It's good to see you again. In my last post, I was describing my room. It this post, I'll describe what was on the walls of my room.

Seeing that I was a teenage boy with raging hormones, there were all the posters you would expect to see in that time period.What teenage boy didn't have the Farrah Fawcett  poster on his wall? Millions of them were sold. I got mine at the county fair by throwing darts. I got most of my large posters that way. I also had posters of Cheryl Tiegs, Bo Derek, and Linda Carter.

I also had several non-swimsuit posters on my wall. Sir Gattabout left several posters hanging, and I didn't bother to take them down. Among these was an Elton John poster depicting "Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy" from the album of the same title. There were also several black light posters. He also left his black light, so those were really neat. Since this was my "Dark Years" I had snuck a couple of posters in the house that were drug related. Since my folks rarely came up to my room, and when they did, didn't pay attention to the decorations, I felt safe. One said "Roll Your Own" depicting a guy rolling another guy in a tire(Yeah, right). The other had the Jolly Green Giant puffing a doobie. The elves that worked in his vally were rolling joints for him and the caption said "I Get High With A Little Help From My Friends".

Gattabout had also had sketched out the British flag on the sloping ceiling. He was big into British music for awhile. He intended to paint it. It never happened. I didn't bother painting it either, I just left it there.

In addition to the big posters, there were several smaller pictures. There was a "TV Guide" type magazine that we got every week that had good pictures on the cover. When it was ready to go in the trash, I would cut out the picture and hang it on the wall. I had about 20 or so of these. I also had several pictures that were lifted out of magazines. I also had an Artex (fabric paint in a tube) picture of a fluorescent pink caveman holding a flower that said "I Wuv Yu". There was also a framed picture of the Batmobile that I had gotten many moons before at a car show.

I had mentioned the black light, but there was also another interesting light. I had my grandfather's shop clock hanging on the wall. This clock also had a fluorescent light. The timer in the light needed replaced, making the light to flicker incessantly when on. Turn the black light on, then turn the shop light on and sit back and enjoy the mind-blowing light show.

I wish I still had that shop light. Not only because it belonged to grandpa, but it would be really useful in my basement. And yes, I would replace the timer. I'm not into mind-blowing anymore thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You Might Want to Think About What You Put on Facebook

I saw this today, and thought it was hilarious. Those of you who have a Facebook profile know the following is true.

Thank you for the laugh.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Had A Horrible Nightmare Last Night.

Last night I had a nightmare in which President Obama won re-election and we had to endure another four years of his presidency. You mean it really happened? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Flashback Friday #209

My Room

Greetings. Yes, I know I'm late. Sorry about that, I'll try to do better in the future.

I have spoken many times about things that happened in my room, but I've never given you a description of the decor (or lack thereof) I intend to rectify that with this post.

As you walk up the stairs, you come to a small landing. There you see the openings to two rooms. The room on the left (which had no door) lead to my old room. This is the room I shared with the pool table, and slept on a hide-a-bed couch. When my brother, Sir Gattabout left for the military, I abandoned this room and commandeered his.

His room (which I will refer to as "My room" for the rest of this post) had a door.This meant there was a small amount of privacy. Although it had a door, it had no door knob. There was a hole cut into the door for one, but no knob. If you wanted total privacy, you had to stuff a sock into the hole, and put something in front of the door.

As you walk through the door, you notice that there is a gray, Berber carpet on the floor. There was no padding under the carpet. You'll also notice that there was a strange cut-out near the door. This came from the previous room the carpet was in. Dad knew someone who was putting down new carpet, so he brought the old carpet home. Even though it was second-hand carpeting, it was much nicer (and warmer) than the linoleum in the other room.

As you look into my room, to the left sat my desk.On top of it was the shelf from the kitchen hutch. This held the many models that I had put together. The right top drawer contained all the supplies needed to model building (paints, brushes, glue, exacto knives, etc.). The other drawers contained a hodgepodge of this, that & the other.

Clockwise from there was a six-foot coffee table that held my stereo. My records & tapes were stored in the doors on each end. I kept a couple boxes of books & magazines under it.

Next you come to my bed. This was the greatest bed that I had ever had in my life. Sir Gattabout had slept on a roll-away bed. Not me. I rolled his bed away when mom & dad got a new mattress & box springs and I got their old ones. I didn't have a bedstead to put them on, so they rested on the floor in the corner. The head was at the corner of the room where the ceiling sloped down. I had slept on at least a dozen different beds up until then. None of them as comfortable as this one.

In addition to the mattress & box springs, I also got their old pillows. I added them to the other pillows I slept with. There were about a dozen or so pillows on my bed, and I used all of them.

Near there area of the foot of the bed was my window. This was the window that Gattabout climbed through while home on leave and nearly scared the life out of me. This was also the window that he would sit in front of on the roof and pelt me with walnuts. This window never had a lock on it until the Crook boys moved in. After that, we put a lock on it and it stayed locked whenever we weren't home.

Around the corner from the window was my closet. It was a walk-in closet that took up the majority of the wall on that side. Since I didn't have a dresser, everything had to be hung up, or piled up on the floor of the closet. Mom didn't venture up very often, so I could get away with that. As long as she got her basket back, she was happy.

Between the closet and the entry door was and end table that my TV sat on. I could lay in bed, prop myself up with the pillows and watch TV in comfort. I was even allowed to take snacks upstairs as long as I saw to it that the trash was thrown away, which it was (at least monthly).

My next post will go into depth about the decorations on the wall.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flashback Friday #208

Our Song

Greetings, One & all. I know you've all been to the place where I'm heading in this post. You've met a dreamy person and through the haze of love, a song comes  on the radio that you tab as "Our song". This post will explain the significant differences between what Toni and I considered as "Our song".

In my previous "Flashback Friday", you got to see the Polaroid snapshot of me on my 16th birthday. I was holding two albums that my folks had bought me for my birthday. During my "Dark years" I was big into Rock & Roll and Pop music. I loved the "Get the Knack" album (by The Knack). But the Kenny Rogers album? Country? What was that all about? Here's the explanation.

While riding in the car with Mom, she would let me tune in to WNCI FM (our Pinto had an AM/FM radio, one of the first cars we owned that did). Dad wasn't so kind. When he drove, it was always WMNI AM (old Country & Western). But I digress. While driving with Mom one day, the song "You Decorated My Life" by Kenny Rogers came on. It was a "crossover" hit as it was popular with the Pop crowd as well as the C&W crowd. I told her that Toni had decided that was "our song", therefore she purchased the Kenny Rogers album for my birthday. Here are the lyrics:

All my life was a paper once plain, pure and white
Till you moved with your pen changin' moods now and then
Till the balance was right
Then you added some music, ev'ry note was in place
And anybody could see all the changes in me by the look on my face

And you decorated my life, created a world where dreams are a apart
And you decorated my life by paintin' your love all over my heart
You decorated my life

Like a rhyme with no reason in an unfinished song
There was no harmony life meant nothin' to me, until you came along
And you brought out the colors, what a gentle surprise
Now I'm able to see all the things life can be shinin' soft in your eyes

And you decorated my life, created a world where dreams are a part
And you decorated my life by paintin' your love all over my heart
You decorated my life

Toni may have considered that as "our song", but I didn't. In my mind, our song was Billy Joel's "You May Be Right". Here are those lyrics:

Friday night I crashed your party
Saturday I said I'm sorry
Sunday came and trashed me out again
I was only having fun
Wasn't hurting any one
And we all enjoyed the weekend for a change

I've been stranded in the combat zone
I walked through Bedford Stuy alone
Even rode my motorcycle in the rain
And you told me not to drive
But I made it home alive
So you said that only proves that I'm insane

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for
Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

Remember how I found you there
Alone in your electric chair
I told you dirty jokes until you smiled
You were lonely for a man
I said take me as I am
Cause you might enjoy some madness for a while

Now think of all the years you tried to
Find someone to satisfy you
I might be as crazy as you say
If I'm crazy then it's true
That it's all because of you
And you wouldn't want me any other way

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for
It's too late to fight
It's too late to change me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for
Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right

It's funny, Mom bought me the Kenny Rogers album, but not the Bill Joel. Could it be that Mom was taking sides in the disagreement?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flashback Friday #207

Sweet 16

Welcome to all. Grab a party hat and a noise maker because it's party time. My 16th birthday.

The day started out like any other day. I had to go to school (I tried to convince my parents that I should be able to take my birthday off, but they wouldn't agree). I came home and did my chores. When my parents came home, they had a surprise for me.

They had stopped at Gold Circle (a department store in Westerville that no longer exists) and bought me a couple of record albums for my birthday. I was hoping for a car, but that didn't happen. Mom commenced to make a "garbage cake" while also fixing supper.

While digging through some stuff at my parents house, I unearthed an actual picture taken that day.
Quite frightening, eh? I'll bet you didn't realize that this was a costume party. Just check out that ridiculous wig. Oops, my bad, that's not a wig, that's my actual hair (circa 1980). The sweat shirt was given to me by my brother, Sir Gattabout (who was in the Army at the time). He decided he wanted it back on one of his trips home. In my hands are the two record albums that I got for my birthday. The first was "Get The Knack" by The Knack (you remember "My Sharona" don't you?) and the second was "Kenny" by Kenny Rogers. Seeing that I'm not a big country fan, the second selection may seem odd to you. More about that in next week's Flashback Friday.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Flashback Friday #206

Baseball Cards

A hearty Hi-Ho neighbor to you. Welcome to another post about people you probably don't know.

In today's post, we discuss how my new girlfriend Toni turned me on to an activity that I've enjoyed since then (no, not that, gutter mind). She introduced me to baseball card collection. Lady Nottaguy-TYG, you can thank her the next time you see her.

I was over at her house, and she had to get something out of her closet. As long as the door was open, her folks didn't mind me following her there. When she opened the door, she moved a grocery bag out of her way. I asked what was in the bag. She pulled it over andshowed me. It was chock full of baseball cards. Most of them were 1979 Topps, but there were a few older plus a smackerling of the current year's offering (1980).

I was intrigued. I told her that I has some of those around the house from years past. I had purchased a few packs here & there, but never really got into collecting. I asked if I could look through the bag. I was smitten. I hadn't followed baseball but with a girlfriend who was a BIG Cincinnati Reds fan, I figured this was as good as a time as any to become a fan.

After Dad picked me up, I asked hom to stop by the store on our way home. The store had a display box of cards. They were 25 cents per pack. I went ahead and dropped a couple bucks on them and headed home.

Before I opened the new packs, I went upstairs and dug out the shoebox that had the older cards in it. Once I gathered them, I went back downstairs and opened the packs. In the first pack I opened was this card:
I looked at this card and looked at it again. Blue Jays? I had never heard of the Blue Jays. I later learned that they were an expansion team that started playing in 1977. Hello, where had I been? Obviously, not in the sports section of the newspaper.

The next time Toni was over, I showed her the small cache of cards I had. She flipped. "Wow, you've got some good players there", she said. I really didn't know anything about the players I had. I picked her brain about the cards I had.

These are some of the oldest cards I had. These are 1971 Topps. These are Ron Santo, Julian Javier, Dave LaRoche, Steve Carlton (pre-Phillies) and Al Kaline. My cousin gave these to me.

These are 1972 Topps. I remember purchasing these from our local drug store. Top row (L to R) Chris Spier (Topps Super Rookie), Willie Davis, Clay Carrol (In Action) Sparky Lyle (Pre-mustachioed Yankees), Joe Niekro. Bottom row- Pat Dobson, Ed Kranepole, Bobby Tolan, Tim McCarver (Yes, the famous sportscaster) anf Chuck Tanner.

Here are some more 1972 Topps. These guys are a bit more famous than the first lot. Top row (L to R) Joe Morgan (he of the mid-70's Big Red Machine), Roberto Clemente, Jim Palmer, Vida Blue, Billy Martin (managing the Tigers). Bottom- Rollie Fingers (pre-handle bar mustache), Tommy John (the guy the elbow surgery is named for), Tom Seaver (Boyhood Pic), Frank Howard and Dave Kingman (the only guy to hit home runs for 4 different teams in one year).

Here are some 1973 Topps. Top ow (L to R) Rollie Fingers (with mustache), Richie Hebner, Ceasar Gerinamo, Bert Campaneris, Harmon Killebrew and Davey Johnson (bottom, the current manager of the Washington Senators).

I still have all these cards plus a few (thousand) more.

Monday, October 8, 2012

OSU Halftime against Nebraska

on Saturday, OSU (GO BUCKS!) pasted Nebraska 63-38. The halftime show was phenomenal. Here it is via YouTube:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Flashback Friday #205

The Striptease

Greetings, Sorry I'm late. Lots of things going on around here.

I'll bet you're wondering about the title. Did I go to a nudie bar? Nope. See a dirty movie? Nope. The explanation is this. When Dad would come home from work, he was hot & sweaty. Since it was HIS house, HE could do whatever he pleased in it.

As he walked through the door, off came the shirt. Three steps into the house, the undershirt came off. A shoe was kicked off as soon as he sat down. socks immediately thereafter. He'd then stand up and drop his drawers and plop down on the couch in only his underwear. This happened on a nightly basis. He'd eat his supper on the couch, watching TV in his skivvies.

This wouldn't be so bad, but back then, folks stopped by without calling. "Just driving by and decided to stop in and see how you were doing." You wouldn't believe how fast he could sprint off that couch when he heard someone pulling up in the driveway.

I may have told this part before, but I couldn't find it in the archives, so you'll have to bear with me telling it again. One evening, Dad was all sprawled out and I was sitting in the chair beside the door. I leaned slightly and gave a quick rap on the door. Dad sprang from the couch and I nearly busted a gut laughing. He looked out from the kitchen and said "That was dirty." He then went back to the couch. Not more than three minutes later, there was a rap on the door. Dad figured it was me again, so he didn't move. At our house, you knocked a couple times, then walked in.

Since Dad thought it was me, he didn't move. At least he didn't move until he saw Aunt Shelly walk through the door. Boy, did he ever move then. You would have thought he was shot from a cannon. I busted whatever guts I hadn't busted laughing the first time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Flashback Friday #204

The Little Spaced Out Girl

Hello. It's good to have you back.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I grew up in a rural area. Being in a rural area, and not yet having a driver's licence, meant that I had to ride the bus to & from school. This post is about one of the other kids that rode the same bus.

Her name was Megan Kendrick (I don't use real name to protect the innocent and to protect myself from potential lawsuits). She was a petite, slightly built girl who was a Freshman when I was a Sophomore. She lived about two miles from my house, so we rode the majority of the route together (seeing that there were only two more stops after mine).

Personally, I thought she looked like the little rooster on Foghorn Leghorn that liked to read those long-haired books.She even wore the big glasses, too (After all, it was the 80's). One of the Seniors on the bus came up with the nickname that stuck. The Little Spaced Out Girl. He called her that because she aways had a far-away look. I have to wonder if she was just wishing to be somewhere else.

She always sat about middle-of-the-bus and preferred to sit alone. Some of the guys (myself include) would sit nearby and ask her questions to try to get her to talk, seeing that she rarely said anything. Sometimes, when she was tired of the attention, she shout "Stop it (insert name)". Our bus driver would then holler back for us to leave her alone.

On my last bus ride from school ever, I tried to apologize for being such a moron. She sat in her seat looking far-away, and said nothing. I still feel bad after all these years.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The NFL didn't want another black eye like the last Monday night game. The regular refs are back and the replacements are gone.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flashback Friday #203

Meeting The Parents

Hello, one & all. Welcome back to another post of re-hashed memories. They're kind of like left-overs, but most of you have never heard them before.

Anyway, in my last FF, I told of finding a girlfriend (check that, she found me because I wasn't looking).Going with someone is one thing. Meeting her folks are totally different.I hold to the standard that a guy must love his significant other's mom and fear her dad. It wasn't like this at all with Toni's folks.

Toni's dad, Clete, was an easy-to get-along-with type of fellow. If he was any more laid back, he'd be laying down. His job was repairing stereos and other electronic equipment. He even had a small workroom in the basement, where he would work on things he brought home from work for rush jobs. He also had spent time in the Army during Vietnam.

Toni's mom, Fran, was totally different from her dad. Three gallons of crazy in a two gallon bucket. High strung doesn't even begin to describe her. One time she totally freaked out because a fly got into the house.She also was very critical about everything Toni and her dad did. She wasn't at that happy about moving from New Carlistle to Marengo. She let her husband know about it any time she could.

Toni also had a little brother, Chip, who was six years younger than her. There were times you didn't even know he was around. Other times, he channelled his mom. When he and his mother were both strung out at the same time, things were quite boisterous. He also was the spitting imagine of his mom, but in in the male gender.

I spent a lot of time at Toni's house. The best times were when her mom was away, which weren't very often because there was nothing to do in Marengo. Many time Clete offered to take Fran to Columbus with him. Her told her that she could have the car while he was at work. She told him that she hated driving in the city and would rather just stay home.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Which Way Do I Go?

I see this sign when I pick "The Boy" up from school. I chuckle every time I see it. I can just imagine a conversation like this: "Do I turn left to exit?" "Right." "Right?" "No left." "I'm so confused!"

Friday, September 14, 2012

Flashback Friday # 202

The New Girl

Welcome back. Once again we look back over my shoulder to the things that happened 30+ years ago.

Recently, If you've been paying attention, you've noticed there have been many posts about my love life as a Sophomore. It really much to talk about, but it had been the subject of many posts. When I finally decided to stop worrying about having a steady, the most amazing thing happened.

It's not unusual to have kids move during school. However, being a rural school like we were, we didn't see a lot of it. There was a girl who moved from New Carlistle (over by Dayton) and became fast friends with Carol. I guess Carol felt sorry for me, because she talked me up mightily. I had seen this girl, but I hadn't spoken much to her (seeing that my self-esteem around females was in tatters). She was in a few of my classes.

I guess this girl kept her eye on me, checking out if I was all Carol had made me up to be. I had gotten to know her name (it was Toni) and she was easy enough to talk to. I still wasn't planning on asking ANYONE to be my girlfriend. Then I got a huge surprise.

One day in Home EC, Carol asked me a question. She wanted to know if Toni asked me, would I go with her? I replied "I've never been known to turn down a lady's request." I didn't realise that Toni was just around on the other side of the cabinet (there were six cooking areas in our Home EC room). She was pleased with my response.

So, when I stopped trying to get a girlfriend, one got me. There will be many other stories about Toni in future posts, since we were boyfriend/girlfriend/best friends with benefits throughout High School.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


The other day, I overheard a co-worker discussing a MMA fighter. "I can't think of his name, but it begins with a "W" at the end." Ooooh Kaay!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Girl Can Be Funny

Being all of 3 1/2, my granddaughter, "The Girl" has quite a sense of humor. Perhaps she doesn't know it's funny. Perhaps she does, and this is only a precursor of things to come. Anyway, here are some of her gems:

While riding in the car with my wife,
The Girl-Where we goin'?
My Wife-To pick up your brother
The Girl- I tan't Nana. He's too big.

One day she went bug hunting and picked them up just to hear another little girl scream.

While watching the movie "Spirit" she said "I wuvs horseys so much. I need to get in dat moobie & ride."

One day she said "I all tired" and put herself to down for a nap in my big recliner.

While eating pizza rolls she was systematically cracking them open and sucking out the filling. She then ate the crusts. (her mom used to eat pizza one layer at a time; cheese, peperoni, lick off the sauce, eat the crust).

Her momma was also pretty clumsy, as is her daughter. I received a text from my wife saying that The Girl had fallen off of two chairs, fallen off the couch, tripped over her own feet, tripped over the dog and run into the corner of the stove (all in one morning). My wife put her down for a nap for safety reasons.

She really is a lot of fun as long as she doesn't live up to the nickname her family has given her,"The Monster" (that's only fitting, after all, since her mother is "The Ogre")

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flashback Friday # 201

At Least It Wasn't A Horse Head

Hello, Welcome to yet another post of stuff that happened years ago.

I had rambled recently about my love life (or lack thereof) as a Sophomore in High School. I recently remembered another story along the same lines that I have to add to the mix.

There was a girl that I was fond of, but she had no idea that I had feelings for her (what, you think I'm just going to walk up to her and tell her? Idon'tthinkso). I thought that perhaps a small gift might announce my feelings. We had some flowers growing in our yard, so I picked the prettiest one , wrapped the stem in a damp paper towel and placed it in a brown paper bag (so it wouldn't be conspicuous).

When I got to school, I purposely tarried at my locker until about 60 seconds before the bell rang. The hall was deserted, so I opened this girl's locker (nobody had locks) and put the flower in her locker. I was hoping she would find it and begin inquiring who may have left it.

What I didn't know was she took all of her books with her and didn't come back to her locker until the end of school. When she finally found the flower, it was rather limp and wilted. She said to her friend "Eeew, someone put a dead flower in my locker. Gross"

I figured that some things were better off left unsaid. She never discovered that I had feeling for her.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Flashback Friday # 200

Bart Has Been Acting Really Weird

Greetings one & all. As you can see from the title, this is FF #200. Who would have thought that I would have hung on so long? I had to. I haven't told all my stories yet.

Anyway, Those who are familiar with FF know who Bart is. He was once my enemy, who became my best friend. I had been best friends with him for over two years, at this time. Just when you think you know someone, they change.

I had been to Bart's house once (remember, I didn't have my driver's license yet). We walked there from the school. His Mom had agreed to take me home. We goofed around his room, and I got to meet his older sister & younger brother. When little brother had gone outside, big sister asked if I wanted a drink. She had a bottle of Boone's Farm hidden in her room. I took a big swig and I think she got mad because I had taken such a big one.

That was then, this is now. Bart had told me that his parents had gotten "all religious" on him. He wasn't sure that I would be welcome at his house. He said things were really going down and there were lots of serious discussions going on. I didn't know what he meant.

One day, I found out from Carol that Bart had a new girl friend. I wondered why he hadn't said anything to me. Then Carol told me who it was. Dawn Pages! She had been our instigator since 7th grade. We both loved to torment her. Now my best friend is going with our favorite target. Something really strange is going on. I wasn't sure I was liking where this was heading.

Those of you who know Bart & I personally know exactly what happened to Bart. But that storyline is to be continued later.

The Lego Building

We have a rather large turbine manufacturer in our city. They recently expanded and needed more office space. An old gas station across the street was demolished to make a parking lot for their employees. The lot that they used to park on became the space for the new offices.

The asphalt was torn up and foundations were lain. I figured that a normal beam & joist construction job would take place. Was ever wrong.

On the way to church, there appeared several semi-trailers (with what we assumed were the building materials) in a field owned by the city. They sat there for about a week and we noticed that some were missing. They must have started construction.

Those semi-trailers didn't contain the building materials. They were the building. Yes, you read right. As I passed by the construction site I saw a crane lifting the trailers and stacking them up like big Legos.

I couldn't figure out how they did this because each trailer had wheels. Wouldn't the axle assemblies get in the way. Nope, each axle assembly came off like snapping the wheels off a Lego car.

It has been a really neat experience watching the boys play with their "Big Legos".

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flashback Friday # 199

Forget It, Just Forget It.

Greetings one & all.

For the last month or so I've spun the epic story of my love life (or lack thereof) in the 10th grade. It seemed like I went from walking on broken glass to licking a light socket. Either of those would have seemed to be more favorable to a young man spurned by Cupid.

I was never a leader in High School. Always a follower. I wanted so desperately be be "Normal". I later discovered that normal is a setting on a clothes dryer. Life is never normal.

I came to the realization that being normal just wasn't in the cards for me. Fine! Be that way! Forget it, just forget it! I didn't need to be normal. I needed to be me.

I made up y mind that I was going to stop chasing skirts. Don't get the wrong idea. I still liked girls A LOT, I just figured that if I couldn't find someone to go steady with me, I'd wait until someone asked me. What's the worst that could happen (other than graduating High School with a total of two girlfriends). Normal or not, my mind was made up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Sunday was my MIL's 92 birthday. We took her to a Mexican resturant that makes a big deal over someone's birthday. Doesn't she look dandy in that sombrero?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Flashback Friday # 198

I Hated That Commercial

A big "hello" to all who have stopped by.

If you've been reading this post for the last few weeks, you've read of a frustrated 10th grader who has girl troubles. It was like a sitcom, minus the laugh track. Only, to me, it wasn't funny.

It was bad enough being ostracized at school for not having a girlfriend. Anyone who was anyone had a "steady". Then a commercial would come on the TV and rub salt into my wounds.

Close-Up toothpaste ran a series of commercial that began by shouting out "Close-Up wants to know HOW'S YOUR LOVE LIFE?" I dreaded those commercials. When they would come on, if I was alone, I would scream at them "Thanks for (expletive delete) reminding me!" Go ahead, Close-Up, kick a man while he's down.

Since we didn't have TV remotes (nobody did because they hadn't been invented then) When I would see one of those commercials start up, I'd spring from the couch or chair to turn it off. I never made it before being screamed at "How's your love life". Oh for a mute button back then.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sometimes, You've Just Need To Laugh

There are times when bad things happen to good people. There are times bad things happen to bad people. And then there are times when bad things happen to stupid people. If the camera is rolling, it will catch them all. Here is a hilarious video that I recently spotted dealing with "Treadmill Fails'. II hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Great Honor Was Bestowed Upon Me

Yesterday, We were all abuzz because "The Woodsman" had consented to allow "The Boy" to get baptized. He said when The Boy could explain why he felt he needed to be baptized, he would allow it. In times past, The Boy would freeze up and his mind would go blank. Thanks to Bible Quizzing (which he participated in this year, covering Apostolic doctrine) he was able not only to explain why he needed to be baptized, but he was also able to reference verses to back his argument up.

When the Pastor asked who The Boy wanted to baptize him, since there are many licensed ministers in our church, my wife sent a text to "The Ogre" to find out. The answer came back that he wanted ME to baptize him. I'm not a licensed minister, but Pastor has taught profusely about the man being priest in his household. There have been other men who got to baptize their children, now I was going to get to baptize my grandson.

He had already repented and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, being baptized in Jesus Name would complete his spiritual birth.