Monday, September 25, 2006

Neighborhood Dispute

Aren't adults wonderful??

Here's the story. A city councilman, Mark Easton, lives in this neighborhood. He had a beautiful view of the east mountains, until a new neighbor purchased the lot below his house and built.

Apparently, the new home was 18 inches higher than the ordinances would allow, so Mark Easton, mad about his lost view, went to the city to make sure they enforced the lower roof line ordinance. Mark and his new neighbor had some great arguments about this as you can imagine great feelings. The new neighbor had to drop the roof line - no doubt at great expense.

Recently, Mark Easton called the city and informed them that his new neighbor had installed some vents on the side of his home. Mark didn't like the look of these vents and asked the city to investigate. When they went to Mark's home to see the vent view, this is what they found...
(see following pictures).

The big man

Last night we had to go to the airport to pick some people up. We had some time to kill before the flight arrived, so we ate at TGIFridays in the airport. The windows of the restaurant look out onto one of the long wide concourse hallways, and you can watch the people walking by. People watching is one of my favorite pastimes. I saw a man exit the restaurant adjacent to us. This guy had to be in excess of 400 pounds. He was pulling one of those popular suitcases on wheels. He was so big that the suitcase just swung along behind him, not able to stay in a straight enough line to keep rolling on it's wheels. I felt bad for this man. He was alone. I thought about how tough life must be for him. Everything must take an extra effort. He struggled just to walk. Did he have to buy three seats on the plane? He would have had trouble even walking down the middle aisles of most planes that I have been on. I am sure that people would turn away from him, rather than consider him disabled and help him. How about going to the bathroom? It would be difficult for him even to fit through the door of the handicapped toliet, much less keep himself clean. I am sad for the people who are the outcasts of our society. They just want to be treated like everyone else. They must think, "Who will love me?" They must be so embassassed when people point, whisper, stare and laugh.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I don't "really know Mickey Mouse either.

This past weekend the moms & the boys went to Disney World. The working mom had a conference to go to there during the week, so we took advantage of time to have a weekend together. We stayed at the Contemporary Resort on the Disney property. Most of the resorts on the property are connected to each other and to the theme parks with a system of boats, trains and the monorail. You don't necessarily have to go to the amusement parks to have fun, there is plenty to do at the individual resort hotels. The Contemporary Resort was one of the first hotels built at Disney (in the 1970's). It is a large A-frame hotel, with a monorail that goes right through the building. You can catch the monorail in the fourth floor lobby and travel to most anywhere in Disney. On Saturday night the boys ran off to explore the hotel game room, and the moms had some alone time. We strolled out by the pool and talked about various subjects. I talked about all of you and blogging in general. Matt's mom was amused that I knew so much about the lives of strangers. That's when I knew that you cannot explain blogging to a non-blogger! I could not really convey that I consider you my friends even though I don't know your real identities. Most of us could pass on the street and not even know it, yet I know more about you than I do most of my "real" friends. Anyway, I am telling you, DON'T try to explain this to a non-blogger or you might get some funny looks (like I did)!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Thanks, Susan! I went to another blogger's site who experienced the same beta blogger mess that I am in. Apparently if you want me to comment on your blog, you must make your settings to include "anybody" or I cannot comment. Eventually, everyone will be switched to beta blogger, but in the meantime, only beta bloggers can comment on other beta bloggers - and not on regular blogs. How screwed up it that? Well, anyway I did figure out why they named it BETA -
it is because you are like a Beta fighting fish - all alone in your tank with no one to play with! (I will still comment on your blogs under "other", so please change your settings to include all.)

beta blogger

I made the switch to blogger in beta - but now I cannot comment on any of your blogs, blogger won't let me, says that I am not signed in. If any one knows a solution to this, please let me know. As I have told you before, I am quite computer stupid. Let me just say this about blogger in beta - ^ &%$#f.u!7$&(?@ m.f.%4#@!!! I am still reading & enjoying your blog posts!

Friday, September 15, 2006

In case you haven't heard, DON'T EAT SPINACH! Oh, thanks, I already ate some last Wednesday night!!!! If you don't hear from me you will know why! (I had frozen spinach, so I hope that doesn't count)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pretty funny

(I got this via e-mail, so you may have already read it)
If you are 30 or older : When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways ... through year 'round blizzards. Carrying their younger siblings on their backs ... to their one-room schoolhouse, where they maintained a Straight-A average, despite their full- time, after-school job at the local textile mill ... where they worked for 35 cents an hour just to help keep their family from starving to death! I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!! There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there! There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! And talk of about hardship? You couldn't just download porn! You had to steal it from your brother or bribe some homeless dude to buy you a copy of "Hustler" at the 7-11! Those were your options! We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister! We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics sucked a$$! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! ... Just like LIFE! When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed! Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your a$$ and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little brats! We didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up ... we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire ... imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid JiffyPop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot. That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ransome's dog

You all know my Airedale, Ransome. What you may not know is that I have three dogs. That seems like a lot to me, too. Let me explain. First, in 1997, I got Ransome. When I went to work, Ransome was SO lonely. I had to get him a dog of his own. I got Buddy, he is a Jack Russell terrier. Buddy was about a year old when I got him in 1998. He was already trained and a wonderful dog. His owner was gone all day, and couldn't care for Buddy, so I took him. He was so excited to have a big yard to play in; sometimes he still stays outside all day. Now Ransome is happy; he has his own dog. Then came Hemi, my third dog, a Miniature Schnauzer. I had no intention of buying this dog. I made the mistake of picking him up; then he owned me. How could I resist?

These dogs are great and they live like kings. Now that I am retired, they consider me "part of the pack". I have to remind them daily that I am the pack leader. Just like the kids, they know I am a push-over. I love my dogs even though they are a lot of work to take care of. They are worth it. They are my "fur kids"!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Guess who's in Florida?

where do you think I emailed from?
I woke up this morning to the sound of the dogs barking at something. I discovered a travel weary bird with big hair in the living room. Buddy dog says, "Where did you come from, little bird?"

P.S. Cucoo likes to sleep in the drumstick sleeping bag!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Friday night lights
the director scrutinizes the drumline at our away game in Sebring, Florida - September 1, 2006. (that's our boy Matt fourth from the right)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Steve Irwin

The Crocodile Hunter was a big influence in our lives. Steve Irwin taught my children that all animals, no matter how unpopular or predatory, live in this world with us, and deserve to be respected and protected. Irwin entertained us while teaching us conservation. Additionally, he taught us about being enthusiastic and passionate about life; and the importance of family. We will miss you Steve, rest in peace.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Dad

My Dad's birthday was September 2nd. He died in the 70's; a long time ago. I still miss him. He died quite young (58) of heart disease; a condition that began when he had his first heart attack at 48 years old. Back then, if your arteries were clogged, you were just out of luck. In 2001, when I began suffering from similar symptoms, I was hospitalized and angioplasty was performed, unblocking some of my arteries. My Mother, who also has coronary artery disease, had bypass surgery in 1999. She is still with us, and will turn 87 years old next month. We think she will outlive all of us. My Father was one of 13 brothers and sisters, the son of a poor Georgia share cropper. He only went to the seventh grade, but he was the smartest man that I have ever known. My Dad taught me some valuable lessons. Some of this knowledge came from his awareness that his life might be short. The most important lesson he taught me was to be kind to people, especially people less fortuate. He would tell me that it was the responsibility of the strong to take care of the weak. He would tell me to "pass along some kindness to everyone you meet." Dad would say, "If you love someone, tell them, they have a right to know - and furthermore they would love to hear it!" So many things that he told me, so many years ago, have guided my life so far. Now I understand, more than ever, the urgency he felt to pass on these life messages as I in turn pass them on to his namesake, Preston - my son!

I don't "really" know Mickey Mouse either!

Over the past weekend the moms & boys went over to Walt Disney World. The working mom had a conference over there this week, so we decided to go a day early, and spend some time in the nice hotel. We stayed at the Contemporary Resort at Disney. Disney has several hotels right on the property. Many of the hotels and resort attractions are connected together with the monorail, boats, and trains. The Disney property is a nice place, real clean and I feel like it is really safe there. The boys went to explore the game room, so the moms had some alone time. We went down and sat by the beautiful lake, with the man-made beach and pool. It was quite picturesque there, and actually cool enough to sit outside comfortably. We talked and I began to explain to Matt's mom about my blog friends. As I talked about all of you and your blogs, she was quite amused about how much I knew about you strangers! (I guess you have to be a blogger to understand about blogging!) Even though I don't even know most of your real identities, I still think of you as "friends". I would not recognize you if we passed on the street, but I know more about you than I know about most of my "real" friends. Since I retired and I don't get out much to meet people, blogging has been a real enjoyment for me. I just wanted to let you know that you might get some funny looks (like I did) when you try to explain blogging!