Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Finding treasures at "The Cut"

On the final day of our Memorial Day weekend at the lake, we anticipated smaller crowds overall, so we all piled into the boat and headed for the sandy beach area known as "The Cut."

We could spot our destination at a great distance as we motored towards it. Silver bullets, and lights of many types and brands twinkled on the approaching sand bar.

Silver bullets as in Coors lights cans.

Lights as in Bud Lights, Miller Lites, and Amstel Lights.

Piles and piles of empty beer cans and bottles greeted our beachhead landing.

People are so disgusting and disrespectful. Some people even went through the trouble of putting their trash into plastic bags, but still left them on the beach area.

We found a semi-clean area a little ways down the beach and settled in. The girls swam, floated, played in the sand, while I fished with my trusty Sonic Rooster Tail. My wife and her folks treasure hunted along the shore for arrowheads, pieces of pottery, lures, and what not.

Non ill-gotten booty
C found an HP 5 megapixel digital camera floating in the water, along with a Motorola cell phone. Neither were functioning, but I did remove the battery from the cell phone (works fine in my wife's work cell phone). The digital camera was trashed, but it did have a 512 meg SD storage card which I removed, cleaned up and inserted into my storage card reader. It booted right up onto my desktop in iPhoto.


Alas, there were no photos on the SD card of families happily enjoying the lake, of dogs with bandanas tied around their necks, or of drunken coeds in various states of undress.

Either the freshwater bath "cleaned" it of images, or the owner lost the camera overboard before they had a chance to get some digital memories recorded. So, I reformatted it and plugged it into C's digital camera for an additional 1.5 hours of mpeg4 movies. Color her happy.

Party at "The Cut"
There must have been quite a party at "The Cut" the day before we got there, indicated by the number of single guys in boats and jetski's that came bombing into the area, only to turn around disappointed at the site of our solitary family among the empty beer cans and burnt out bonfires.

Sorry guys, no party here today...yet.

Sure enough, a boat full of young turks showed up, with the token bikini-clad girlfriend and token dog, who chose to don a doggie-visor instead of the neckerchief bandana.

They pulled in, stereo blaring, beers in their hands, whooping and hollering as only young Spring-Breakers (or Memorial Day breakers in this case) do.

We chuckled as they drunkenly stumbled out of the boat and into the water.

We started to packed up our gear as they pulled their cooler of beers onto the beach.

We stared in amazement as they pulled out and unfolded 40 gallon trash bags and began to pick up all the bottles and cans on the beach.

Wait, what was wrong with this picture. These young, party-animal, beach-going, sunburnt, beer-koozie carrying lakesters were cleaning up OTHER PEOPLE'S TRASH!

We all climbed in our boat and as we struggled to get ourselves pushed off the sand, one of them came over and gave us a push, saying, "that's all right mate, I got it for ya," with an unmistakably Aussie accent.

They came from the land down under to enjoy our shark-free lakes, drink our watered down beer, and clean up our good old American trash.

Take a hint, people. This world wasn't made for you to trash it up.

G'day mates.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A fisherman, I am not

We spent Memorial Day weekend at my in-law's lake house.

It was a fun-filled American weekend of seadooin', fishing, exploring, digging in the sand, looking for pottery and lures, swimming, boating, cooking out, and napping.

I fought the fish and the fish won
After securing a license at the local bait/tackle/gas station/convenience store for a double sawski and a fin, I grabbed a 6-foot rod donned with a Sonic Rooster Tail and headed for the boat dock for a some alone time with my finned and scaled friends.

Bluegill was the fish of the day, even though a black bass and a channel cat paid my pole a visit.

I also witnessed the tenacity of a fish who didn't want to be caught, nor would stay caught.

After an amazing fight (I'm not much of a fisherman, remember), this big old bluegill refused to give up the ghost, even after being pulled from the water and plopped into my 5-gallon bucket.

That bugger stuck his head out of the bucket, gave me a look, and jumped right out of the bucket. He flopped around on the boat dock for a few seconds, only to find his way back into the clear of the open water beneath the boat dock.

I swore at him for just a second, but laughed at the realization that his will to live his life on his own terms was a lesson to us all.

I wished him well.

C prepares for her first fishing tournament
C and her grandfather will be taking on the local ankle biter anglers in her first fishing tournament a few weekends from now. She's determined to get her picture in the paper holding up a big string of small mouths and crappie out of our local lake. This weekend was her first opportunity to "practice" for the upcoming tournament.

Using her new Zebco 33 spincast reel and Made in Taiwan Angler rod, C caught a huge appaloosa catfish with her first cast.

The rod and reel was her kindergarten graduation present from my in-laws.

The catfish was longer than her leg.

She followed the catfish with several small bluegill, a black bass, and a channel catfish.

Now if I can only get her to remove the hooks, I can get some quality fishing time in as well.

The view
The view at the lake improved by ten fold this weekend as the neighbor's college aged daughter brought a bevy of her friends down to the lake for the weekend.

I'm happy to report that bikini sizes are still shrinking in direct proportion to my nearsightedness.

Why we don't like the lake on holiday weekends
We cursed the moronic boaters and jet-skiers who came too fast and too close to the boat dock, ignorant to the damage and discomfort their wakes can cause.

Too many teens behind the wheels of watercraft, too many watercraft in the water, too many uncorked exhausts on rumbly V-8's. While I enjoy the sound of an uncorked exhaust on a radically cammed 4-stroke internal combustion motor, my enjoyment level goes way down when that motor is on a boat instead of a hot rod, and it's rumbling by at 2 in the morning.

I don't get how the government boys can put restrictions on how loud we can make our cars on the streets, but there are no restrictions on decibel levels on the lake.

Later, we took a quick cruise over to the beach area known as "The Cut" but the crowds of "Girls Gone Wild" partiers on small boats tethered together chased us back to the safety and quiet of our boat dock.

More on "The Cut" later...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Battle scars and the secrets they reveal

Yesterday I had an early morning appointment to have a "procedure" done at my small town hospital.

We left the house at 6:40 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. appointment.

I was 15 minutes.early.

So, I found a comfy chair and waited around in the front receptionist area for 10 minutes.

Who happened to walk by but the CFO of the hospital who S and have spent time with at auctions around town. We met him and his family when he first moved to town a little after we did. He lives just down the block from us. We talked for 5 minutes, then he walked me over to the patient check-in window.

The receptionist was one of the office workers from my doctor's office and didn't take long to gather my information. She then walked me over to where my procedure was to be done, just down the hall to pre-op/recovery.

The nurse who brought me my gown was the mother of a girl on C's softball team. We talked about their first game taking place that night while she inserted an IV and took my BP and vitals.

She handed me off to two other nurses who prepped me further, made me comfy on the table and talked me through the procedure. One of the nurses was a mother/parent I knew from PTO. The other was the grandmother of the girl who babysits for us on occasion.

The Doc came family practitioner. He got settled, started in on the procedure and I was out.

Woke up to the kindly face of yet another nurse. Wait, something was wrong. I didn't know her nor did she know me.

Nevertheless, she gently guided me to the recovery room next door. We chatted while she pulled my IV out and I feasted on a delicious blueberry muffin, juice and coffee. You guess it, the muffin was homemade.

After I started to feel human again, I told her that I had planned on walking home, since I only lived two blocks away.

She insisted on driving me home and a few minutes later, I was sitting on my couch, drinking ice tea and trying to remember everything that just happened.

9 hours later, I was siting on the front porch, eating 50/50 bars with the girls and enjoying the cooling evening temps.

My doc had come jogging by on his nitely 5-miler and stopped to talk and visit with the girls. He told me how well my procedure went and then warned us to get inside before the bugs got too thick.

Glass is half-full people are now thinking, "wow, what a friendly and neighborly medical experience that was in your small town."

Glass is half-empty people are thinking, "now everyone in town knows what procedure you had done, the results, and about that little scar you have on your butt."

Such is life in my small town.

Least they don't know how I GOT that little scar on my butt.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

For whom the roads toll, it tolls for thee

Coming from the land of CalTrans, 4-level interchanges and miles and miles of freeways (that's FREE ways), I'm somewhat stymied by the idea of a toll road.

I get it, sorta.

People want to build a road.
People don't want to be taxed to pay for the road.
People agree to a toll road.
People think, "once the road construction is paid for, the toll will drop considerably since road maintenance is cheaper than initial construction."

They why does the toll on toll roads never go down?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Good Looker, Bad Looker

My wife is a conundrum when you seek to define the word "looker."

To me, she's a looker. Meaning to say, she's an attractive woman.

A hottie.

And she's getting more attractive with age, developing that classy air that women get (the lucky ones with good genes) as they leave the tethering bonds of youth behind (good riddance).

But, she's also a bad looker. Meaning, if she is looking for something, I will always manage to find it before her, after her (when she's left the room in a huff), in spite of her, and much to her dismay, sometimes sitting right in front of her.

For all you pessimists out there who think I'm writing this post to get myself out of the doghouse, or trying to butter up my darling wife to convince her that I really do need that Tig welder, back off slowly and carefully.

Surprisingly enough, S very rarely reads my blog and then, only when I forward her the link. If you were to ask her what the name or url of my blog was, she'd draw a blank.

Sure, she's bookmarked it, but don't ask her to find it in her endless list of her browser's bookmark menu. That would extort her to call upon her looker skills.

Taking us right back to square one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bathroom reading and beyond

Normally, my day is pretty packed and the only book reading I can fit in is while T.C.B in the throne room or during the few moments between having just climbed into bed and entering REM sleep.

My wife can tell when I'm really into a particular book as I disappear for longer periods than usual behind the bathroom door.

I'm into Guy Kawasaki's book, The Macintosh Way, right now.

In a nutshell, the buddahhead brother spells out his views on the zen of evangelism and the values needed to produce a great product.

It 's a great read, Macintosh fan or not.

I developed a deep sense of respect and awe for the Senior Software Developers I had the pleasure of working for and with at my last job. The things they could do with the jibberish that is computer code language was an artform of an anatomically nonsensical but wondrous level.

These were all software engineers who could and would write code for many different platforms, and many different program applications, but for whatever reason, they made the conscious and educated decision to write Macintosh software.

Me, being an avid Mac user and enthusiast, fit into the Mac evangelism efforts within their world with little discomfort. I applauded them at their passion for the platform. I envied them for their knowledge and skill with the multifaceted levels of the operating system. I enjoyed their good humored joking at the Windoze developer's expense.

They shared a passion for the platform and for developing software for our users to extreme levels at times, and sacrificed their time, pay raises, promotions, sanity, and ultimately, their positions, for their convictions and belief that they knew what was best for our Mac customers.

They did it the Macintosh Way and taught me a valuable lesson about doing what you feel is right, no matter what the consequences may be.

To Dave, Stu and Herb, the OG Mac Team -- thanks for letting me play software engineer all those years.

I'm a better person for knowing you.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Man - taking names and kickin' some tail

Fire up iTunes and play your favorite summertime songs while you read this article.My iTunes summer list includes the following:
Summertime Blues - Brian Setzer
Summertime - Fresh Prince / DJ Jazzy Jeff
All Summer Long - Beach Boys
Summer (Summertime is here) - War
Summer Lovin' - Grease Soundtrack
Summer Breeze - Seals and Crofts

Yep, even out here we got the cars that go boom, the kick-the-can mufflers on rice rockets, diesel pickup trucks with 4" open exhaust pipes, and skater dater teenagers hanging out in front of the Catholic Church until midnight on a weekend.

A few violations I would add to the list in the article:
  • Maximum visits to the all-you-can-stuff-in-your-already-bursting-OU-teeshirt-Chinese-Super-buffet will be limited to 42 trips, after which, you will be cited for public nuisance.

  • Lane changes without signalling or warning of any kind by an elderly person in a Lincoln Towne Car or similiar tank-like vehicles shall be limited to 22 within a 2-block distance.

  • Any cowboy hat wearing individual that is found to have more than 18 packets of Skoal, Copenhagen, or any form of smokeless tobacco wedged between their gums will be taken into custody and questioned. Their spit cup will be confiscated, after the suspect is forced to drink down it's contents.

  • Any homeowner caught outside their home before 5 a.m. working on their yard or firing up their mowers/edgers/trimmers/hole diggers/rototillers or any other garden appliance will be subject to both public envy and ridicule from their neighbors. See also under "Tailpipe exhaust noise ordinance for single-stroke hand-held devices."

  • Friday, May 19, 2006

    Online eyewear

    I lost my third pair of glasses since moving here.

    I'm not a full time glasses wearer. Mostly for driving at night. But occassionally I will wear them during the day when I'm going some place where distance vision is imperative. Car shows. Automotive swap meets. The dump.

    This last pair disappeared off the fender of my Father-in-law's trailer that I used to haul a load of house restoration debris to the dump with.

    While unburdening the trailer of it's load, I took my glasses off, put them on the fender, and went about my business.

    Never to be seen again.

    Off to google I went. Input "discount eyeglasses"

    Found several sites. One or two looked promising.

    Selected one because they had Asian models on their "select your glasses" page. Relevance is important.

    I entered my prescription figures, my pupillary distance, selected a frame style based on my head shape, facial dimensions (I even had the option to upload a picture of my face to give me a "virtual picture" of what my selected frames would look like), chose a color (black), material (metal), lenses (single vision,polycarbonate), tint (none), option (springy hinges), selected Paypal to pay for it, chose expedited shipping, clicked "submit" and I was off.

    That was late Monday night. They arrived first thing Friday morning.

    They fit perfect, look decent, came with a nice case and cleaning cloth, and work just fine. Best $40 (includes overnight shipping) pair of glasses I ever bought.

    Heck, it's the only $40 pair of glasses I've ever bought.

    If I'm cross-eyed in a month or two, I'll let you know as well.

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Pop Quiz

    C brought this school work / art work home the other day. It was apparently part of her critical thinking curriculum, but I thought it was more appropriate to her art-in-15-minutes curriculum.

    Take the pop quiz and see how you score.

    Morning - Does C's illustration depict the following:
    A) Her eating breakfast
    B) A Hermoine Granger clone making the opposing chair dance with her wand

    Afternoon - Does C's illustration depict the following:
    A) Her being driven home from school
    B) The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile making a surprise visit to an organic farm in Oregon

    Evening - Does C's illustration depict the following:
    A) Softball batting practice with her slightly annoyed Daddy
    B) A reenactment of the scene in The Warriors between the Baseball Furies "sissies" and the Warriors.

    Night - Does C's illustration depict the following:
    A) C having a wonderous dream of being a mermaid
    B) An episode of Extreme Makeover gone bad as the patient dies and leaves her body as a she-fish beast.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Can take the boy out of the city...

    Growing up in the city hasn't worn off of me and I've still got my radar turned up on high. More so, I think because I'm very conscious of letting my guard down due to my growing perception that it is safer here.

    I still look around the parking lot before getting in or out of the car.

    I still do a perimeter check around the house at night before going to bed.

    I still don't have our phone listed in the telephone directory.

    I still am shocked when perfect strangers make eye contact with me on the street.

    I installed motion sensor security lights around the house, put some lamps on timers, and still use Vinnie and Mandy as window dressing when were not around (our mannequins).

    The other night, I took C to the Escape School Seminar which was taking place at our local high school gymnasium.

    By habit I took a second to make sure the "coast was clear" before getting into and out of a car.

    This entails a quick scan of the parking lot for potential baddies or jackers lurking about before leaping into the car and strapping down the kiddies. This had become a habit since realizing how vulnerable parents are when preoccupied with securing their brood in the vehicles.

    Mind you I don't always do it, but most of the time, in a wide open area of public access, I will perform the perimeter check.

    The other day C mentioned to me that her friend Kori noticed my parking lot ritual when we took her to the movies awhile back. Of course, C asked me why did I do it.

    Kid's don't miss a thing.

    Wonder when my instinctual need to do so will wear off...if ever.

    Monday, May 15, 2006


    S started seeing her Grandmother's items posted on eBay by her relatives last week.

    I don't know how she figured out that her relatives were starting to auction off her Grandmother's stuff, but somehow she did and ended up adding many items on her "Watch List."

    While eBay is the perfect place to make a few bucks on stuff your Grandmother left to you, or stuff that you "claimed" you wanted after Grandma died, it's pretty pathetic to get caught doing so.

    My wife is not a confrontational person by nature, so she quietly bid on a few items to get them back.
    Pretty sad.

    The majority of the family was relatively decent and courteous with the divying up of Grandma's stuff. It appears to be the small "trailer park contingency" that was causing the most trouble. Nothing against people who live in trailer parks, mind you. Some of my best friends live in trailer parks....okay, that's a lie. But I'm sure trailer park living has it's own benefits.

    The garage sale to sell whatever was left of my wife's Grandmother's belongings after the vultures -- um, I mean relatives descended like locusts -- um, I mean claimed their momentos, took place a few weeks ago.

    The one collection that not one familly member claimed as their own, was Grandma's collection of plastic container lids.

    Margarine containers.
    Cottage cheese containers.
    Spreadable honey containers.
    Egg salad containers.
    Potato salad containers.
    Tupperware tops to long gone containers (the lids always outlast the containers).

    Lids of every shape, form, color and design, that all formed one function.
    They kept a lid on things.

    In contrast, when we cleaned out the kitchen cabinets in my Gram's house, we found dozens of sushi-to-go foil trays, plastic yogurt lids, and about a thousand of those little green pieces of plastic cut and shaped like a sprig of grass that you get when buying made-to-go sushi.

    Must be a Grandma thing.

    About Grandma's lid collection...

    No, S didn't take them home.
    Yes, they sold at the garage sale. $5 for the entire 18-gallon bin full.
    No, the 18-gallon bid didn't have a lid.

    How's that for irony.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Roof diving

    I've done it.

    You've done it.

    We've all watched it happen to other people as they do it.

    It has happened since mankind invented the to-go drink and the moving vehicle.

    Heck, I bet even Pa Ingalls did it with a cup of joe in a tin cup placed on top of his buckboard.

    I'm speaking of the dreaded "putting-your-drink-on-the-roof-of-your-car-then-forgetting-that-it's-there-only-to-remember-it-as-you-drive-off-and-hear-the-sound-of-it-splashing-down-the-back-window-of-your-car" syndrome.

    For short I'll acronym it as "pydotroyctftitotriaydoahtsoisdtbwoyc." Yes, that's much simpler and easy to remember. Sort of rolls off you tongue, doesn't it?

    I've done it more often as a parent than as a non-parent. Hustling to get the kiddies inside, strapped in, settled down and secure is no small feat. It's the distraction level of the moment that gets you every time.

    In addition to drinks I've seen dayrunners go flapping off a roof, important papers and business cards heading south for the winter.

    Have also witnessed backpacks go booking, Palm Pilots go plummeting, 3-ringed binders bounding, and the very rare but always worthy of a huge "oh crap" full-on-open briefcase explode in a shower of office supplies as it catches some air and looks for the hardest place to land.

    While embarassing and inconvenient these experiences may all be in the anonymity of a busy, bustling city street, the level of humiliation goes up 10 notches when the dreaded pydotroyctftitotriaydoahtsoisdtbwoyc occurs on Main Street, downtown in my small town.

    Nothing much happens downtown, but at lunch time the restaurants and shops are abuzz with activity as locals, visiting workers from the nearby businesses, and just passing through folk stop and nourish their noon time hunger cravin's. About 1 p.m., people start heading back to work and meet and greet familiar folk as they get back into their cars, trucks, work vans, etc.

    This is not the time ot allow pydotroyctftitotriaydoahtsoisdtbwoyc to enter your life.

    I did. It happened. I heard about it later that day.

    From several different people.
    On several different occasions.
    At several different stops during my days routine.

    At WalMart - "How's that car wash doing for ya?"
    At the grocery store - "Well, ain't you got any drink holders in yer car?"
    Dropping off C at her Wed. night activity - "Dr. Pepper makes a good car wash, does it?"
    Picking up C at her Wed. night activity - "Heard you had a little accident."

    And my favorite one, from the Chief of Police himself, whom I ran into at the recent Escape School for Kids seminar - "You know, I could have given you a ticket for littering." Cop humor. Funny.

    I'm standing by, watching the local paper to see if the incident turns up in the Daily Doin's section.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Fake ID and the Curse of the Munchies

    Lesson # 1 - No matter how steady your hand is and no matter how sharp the point on your Sharpie is, changing an 87 to an 82 is not possible.

    Lesson # 2 - When you get the munchies and have to stop for a Snickers bar, put your money in your front pocket, and your stash in your back.

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    Why I'm afraid to drive at night

    Back in LA, I loved to drive at night.

    Windows down, sunroof open.
    Elbow resting steady on the side.
    Cooler air temps chilling your brain.
    FM blaring tunage.
    Traffic is light.
    Reflections of oncoming headlights performing unknown balletic movements on my windshield.
    The glow of the millions of lights in the city illuminating the night sky for miles and miles.

    The only time I would be afraid to drive at night is when I was with my family, and we had to pass through some questionable areas of the city.

    Having a reliable car helped.
    Having grown up in So Cal and knowing where to avoid at night helped.
    Having a cell phone so I could instantly call 911 helped.
    Packing some heat helped (kidding).

    But driving out here at night, on the lonely deserted country roads, with spotty cell phone coverage and miles between farmhouses, generates a primordial ooze type of fear in me, much different than anything my past experiences of driving in the city has prepared me for.

    This particular scenario scares me to the core...

    If it were up to me, all cows would be genetically engineered to produce a leather that displays the same qualities as highly reflective paint. Bet they'll taste better too.

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Turnpike from hell

    Here in the land of the Red Man (the natives, not the tobacco), we have many much needed, well maintained, and enjoyable to drive 75 m.p.h. toll roads. They are fast, relatively empty, and due to the cost of building toll booths at each entrance/exit, they are virtually void of on/off ramps.

    Last week was C's kinder field trip to the OKC Zoo. The 5 classes of kinder kiddies rode the buses. The parents, grandparents and assorted relatives caravaned behind the diesel spewing black and yellow transports.

    We left enmasse from the school parking lot. I stopped for gas, figuring I could easily catch up to the rolling kinder road show with ease, even AT the speed limit.

    Mistake count, number 1.

    Those buses and soccer moms hauled A*S.

    In the 20 minutes or so that I stopped for 8 gallons of dino juice a complete window wash and squeegie, pee break for PK, and a Propel water for me, the hellonwheels caravan covered enough ground to disappear from site -- and site here in the flattest state in the union is quite a distance.

    No problem. I was informed by the school before we pulled out that the buses would be taking the Turnpike (toll road) to save time. Bonus was that I knew they would eventually end up at the zoo, and I knew how to get there, having been there many times before.

    That's 2.

    Long story short, I ended up going 20 miles out of my way, due to the fact that the toll road heading to Tulsa that I mistakenly merged onto had no nearby exits. Well okay, it had one.


    I arrived at the zoo to find my steaming mad 6-year old, her arms crossed and foot tapping an angry showtune, standing with her concerned looking teacher.

    She was the absolutely last and final kinder student from her school to enter the zoo.

    I tried to make up for my tardiness by buying her one of those "machine-made-wax-sculptures-pressed-instantly-before-your-eyes-into-the-shape-of-a-gorilla" zoo souvies, almost immediately upon entering the zoo.

    That's 3, and he's out.

    Wax cracks. Wax breaks. Wax melts. Wax gorillas should be purchased upon exiting the zoo, not entering.

    Darn toll roads.

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Bass Pro flyer outtakes

    Taken from the pages of a recent sales flyer delivered to our door courtesy of the nice folks at Bass Pro Shops...

    A nice attempt to get me to shell out some big bucks (or at least apply for Bass Pro Shops credit card) and buy a boat. But look carefully and the comedy will reveal itself...

    Let's play,, "who doesn't belong in this picture?" Hmm. Nice looking tanned and toned fellow in the back. Good hair, pretty boy face. Pretty lady next to him, nice body, good tan, good hair, great smile. Up front sits an attractively tanned and coiffed young lass as well.

    It's the driver who bugs me. I know it's for safety reasons (may even be the law), but he's the only one wearing a life jacket, is pastie white in complexion, not toned, not tanned, borderline geeky, and definitely an outsider to this snapshot of lakeland pleasure.

    And now, let's scroll back up and examine the happy family enjoying some frolicking fishing fun in the top photo of the flyer. Everyone seems to be having fun, but something struck me odd about little Junior at the back of the boat.

    "Take that, ya darn fish."

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Is not a fish, a pet?

    The other day, C came home all bummed out.
    I asked her what was up and she showed me a drawing she had done in class. It was a 3"x3" square portrait of her pet fish.
    Is that Choo-choo?


    It's a good picture of him.


    Why did you draw a picture of Choo-choo?


    Was that for a class project?

    Nods -- a tear starts to form and the bottom lip quivers in painful, 6-year old agony.
    Later we got the whole story.

    The class was learning to draw a bar graph. Each student drew pictures of their pets on a square and then put them bedside their names on the large bar graph running left to right on the back wall.

    This being a relatively rural community, kids drew pictures of their cows, sheeps, pigs, goats, horses, chickens, snakes, assorted rodents and marsupials to go along with the typical family pets -- dogs and cats.

    Some kids "pet bar graphs" were as long as the panhandle.
    Some were colorful, and vibrant, and full of farm and ranch living.
    Some were exotic and strange and as multi-faceted as a Petco in the city.

    C had this solitary image in her pet bar graph...


    Dave E -- even though I LOVE my new magnetic pickup too, do not, I repeat, do NOT send an animal of any kind my way....unless it's dead, frozen, and edible.

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Harder than it looks

    I'm not going to say much here, since I can't draw a straight line to save my life, and I know this must be a harder job than it looks. All I can think of is that ODOT must use the back country roads to train their new line painters.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Pew-wee vs. Pee-yew

    My wife claims to have grown up saying "pew-wee" whenever her or any member of her familly ran afoul of a foul odor.

    I told her recently that until I met her, that expression hadn't been a part of my vocabulary vernaculer. Instead, we always said, "pee-yew." She didn't and couldn't believe it.

    Course, my overly educated and walking-thesaurus Mother, would never use slang if she could avoid it. Her phrase when confronted by odiferous odors was, "oooh, stink!" Sometimes a smell would be so egregious to her senses that it would make her speak the dreaded J-word for such things, muttering "Kusai!" beneath a covered nose.

    C prefers "pew-wee." She's a momma's girl. PK copies her. Course, since my teen years, my one and only phrase that covers this situation, and many others has been a simple, "duuude."

    So will the "pee-yew" varaint of my youth become extinct in my family unit's lexicon of linguistics?

    Pee-yew vs. Pew-wee -- what's it gonna be?