Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The "Quit Smoking" saga continues...

Ok, I've been done with smoking this time around for a bit over 4 months now. I tried a week cold turkey like I did last time I quit but I became very mean and obnoxious so I decided to go with the nicotine gum to ease the transition.

I did some research (ok, I really had Amanda do it since she loves Googling things) and found that an average cigarette delivers 1mg of nicotine when smoked. The 4mg gum delivers the same amount due to loss from a less effective delivery system. The kicker here? With a cigarette you get that 1mg in about 4-5 minutes. With the gum you get it in 30 minutes. A big discrepancy, if you know what I mean. That would be like stretching your Big Mac meal over 6-7 days instead of eating it during one lunch hour.

Anyway... the gum has been doing well for the most part. The cravings are still a real bitch at times but I can pop a piece of gum and feel a bit better. After four months of the 4mg gum I've stepped down to the 2mg gum. BIG difference! I still chew the same number of pieces in a day, but I can feel the edginess in my mood. I'm quicker with the smart-ass responses to things that normally wouldn't even cross my mental radar, and I'm less tolerant of things that would normally not bother me in any way. But I know that it's the lessening of the nicotine levels doing this, so I try to keep a lid on it until my system settles into the 2mg routine.

I'm guessing that I'll do this for about 2 months, then go a month with alternating regular gum with the 2mg pieces and then eventually move over to only regular gum. I should be able to wean myself from the nicotine without alienating everyone around me if I do it this way:)

And I don't know if this counts as a relapse, but last night I dreamed that I smoked TWO cigarettes. I could FEEL it as I inhaled and exhaled. I could FEEL the rush as the nicotine entered almost directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. Unfortunately, or may not so unfortunately, the brand I smoked in my dream was Salem. My last round with smoking was with Marlboro Lights- I haven't smoked a menthol cigarette in probably 25 years. So it wasn't as good as it could have been. But it was a cigarette, dammit!

Just a note for any of you out there that have quit and may be considering picking up the habit again: The second time quitting is exponentially more difficult and miserable than the first. Just leave it alone, it really isn't all that.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ru @ hm?

For the record, I'm fairly tech-savvy. I can rip apart a computer and rebuild it with the lights off, I can install RAM, cards, drives, operating systems, etc. I use a Palm Treo as my primary phone and while it's not the latest in phones it's equivalent to a Blackberry for the most part. I'd be lost without it and due to experience I keep everything for my phone backed up on a removable storage drive on the home computer so that if I have to change phones again I can simply load it via USB cable back onto my new phone.

I added texting to my phone plan for two reasons- the kids will *always* answer a text even when they won't answer the phone, and my boss is a text-maniac. With those things in mind I really don't understand why people insist on carrying entire conversations on in text messaging instead of simply calling. I don't keep my phone on my side unless I'm out in public. And if I'm out in public I usually don't have time to stop and text a conversation with someone. So any communication of significance that I am forced to carry on via text usually takes several hours, when a simple phone call would take all of two minutes.

Add to that the fact that I'm a stickler when it comes to writing out words. I can't stand the texting shorthand that is so prevalent. It's difficult enough to convey innuendos, emotions and insinuations via written word without having the added "lack of vowels" to the menu. Guess I'm just "old fashioned" in that respect:)

Merry Christmas to you!

For those of you not used to reading complete words:

Mry Xmas 2u!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The joys of Christmas with a house full of *&$)(&%#@$%^ cats...

We brought home the Christmas tree today, and even as I was tightening the screws in the stand the cats were sizing up the potential scratch pole. After a brief bout of cursing under my breath and some minor adjustments the tree was finally in place, plumbed, leveled, and perfectly perpendicular to the equatorial meridian.

Fortunately, it does not yet contain lights or ornaments.

I stepped out into the dungeon to check my email and about 10 minutes later Amanda says "Honey, look at that!" I look over to the tree and I have one cat getting prepared to meet the other two already perched on the highest point in the tree. I honestly don't see how cats that fat can manage to maintain any sort of balance on the tiny limbs at the top of the tree, but they were looking like malignant angels up there.

While Amanda is fussing at the cats to "please get out of the tree" I did what any red-blooded American male would do: I grabbed the compressed air:)

One squirt was all it took. Bob rocketed straight through the branches to the bottom and disappeared around the corner, Emily splatted herself against the far wall, slid down, and followed Bob, and Daniel decided that he really didn't WANT to climb the damned tree anyway.

I'm currently plotting to pillage the guts from one of the motion sensing Glade Air Fresheners and rigging it to spray compressed air anytime there is motion near the tree. Shouldn't be that hard to do:) Besides, it will be even worse when we add ornaments... the cat's can't resist those.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Only in Meth-land

The county I live in is listed as "The Meth Capital of the World". My particular work location also happens to remind one of scenes from deliverance, as explained below:

I opened the doors for business at 10am. (Remember, this is a fast-food place!) An older couple walks in, looking like they just came from plowing the fields. The woman looks up at the menu board with open mouth and a blank stare, orders some food and says (with a drawl like Elly May from the Beverly Hillbillies)

"Has anyone here seen my pig? We was at Winn Dixie and he's gone. He never jumps out of the back of the truck but he ain't there!"

We assured her that we hadn't seen her pig, she paid for the food and they left.

About 15 minutes later a crack-head looking guy walks in, orders and pays for food to go. And, I kid you not, he says before he walks out of the door:

"Does anyone here want to buy a pig?"

Only in my part of the world, I tell you. Only in my part of the world!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Modern Marvels


The wonders of modern day technology are absolutely awesome:)

I was having issues with the cats invading my space a couple of nights ago. Bob was running amok in the dungeon and wouldn't allow himself to be captured and removed. He even went so far as to go behind the couch so that no one could reach him. The other two cats aren't that bad when they come in, but Bob bounces around like a pinball and destroys things without a care in the world.

I looked around for something to convince Bob that he needed to leave when my eyes lit on a can of compressed air we keep at the desk for keyboard cleaning. Perfect!! I aimed it behind the couch and gave two quick shots, and WHAM!!!!! Bob jumped straight up from where he was hiding, bounced off of the ceiling and hit the glass door trying to get out!

Amanda opened the door and allowed his escape. It was a thing of beauty!

Then the other two cats decided that they just HAD to be in the dungeon. They waited poised by the sliding door, ready to dash in the moment it was opened. So I grabbed the canned air, opened the door just enough for the little red straw to poke through and gave them a blast of air. And then I laughed for fifteen minutes:)

They ran like there was a pack of pit bulls after them! And to top it off, all three avoided me, actually moved away, anytime I walked near them for the next day or so.

So effective, yet so harmless:)

I love it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Karma :)

I haven't laughed this hard in ages, so let me share...

We went out to a restaurant last night while the children were at the grandparents' house. I happened to be off and it's not often that we get alone time so it was a nice break from Amanda having to spend time in the kitchen. And food usually tastes better when someone else has to cook and serve it to you.

The waitress brings out a basket with bread in it and a plate full of olive oil with the crumbled spices floating around for one to dip the bread in. In the process of placing the plate (while balancing bread-and-oil combos for two other tables on her other arm) she manages to spill a nice little trail of oil from the edge of the table all the way to where Amanda was sitting. No big deal, right? Except for the fact that Amanda was having a rough day and started stressing out about it.

"I haven't taken a single bite and people will think I'm a slob with this mess in front of me!"

"Honey, the other people here are eating, not judging you by the condition of your table cloth."

This went on for quite a few minutes while we waited for the appetizer to arrive. Once that came out and we consumed it the conversation went straight back to the dirty table cloth. Finally the main course arrived and the large plates covered the mess quite well so there were no more repercussions until the dishes were removed and we had to wait for desert. With the oily spots once again revealed and Amanda fussing about it again I finally told her to place one of the cloth napkins on the table between us to cover up the issue, which she promptly did. Now understand- this huge cloth napkin was jet black...

Things seemed to be under control until desert arrived. There was a mint leaf and three blueberries in the whipped cream on top of the desert. I took the mint leaf out and in the process of tossing it to the side managed to get a fleck of whipped cream on the napkin in front of Amanda. She glared at me in a severe fashion while I took my finger and cleaned up the offending spot and tried not to burst forth in laughter. Seeing me about to lose control, Amanda dips her spoon into the whipped cream and reaches over to my side and taps it in several places, leaving whipped cream spots all in front of me. She then takes her spoon and goes for a blueberry with a "Ha!" look on her face since it was now my side that looked sloppy.

As she picked out one of the blueberries, you would NOT believe what happened! The other two blueberries (covered in whipped cream, of course) jump off of the top of the desert and roll down the whipped cream and across the table to Amanda's side, leaving a nice dual trail of whipped cream all across the jet black napkin:)

I started laughing so hard I almost spewed creme brulet (a fancy name for burnt pudding) all over the table. It was karma at its best!

Ok, maybe you had to be there. But trust me, it was hilarious:)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Post

I was messing with Amanda because she hasn't posted in a few days and she told me "I have nothing to say right now". I was just about to respond when I decided to take the idea and use it for my own post:)

I love my Amanda dearly. She is the most wonderful, caring, giving and understanding person that has ever been in my life. I never truly knew a depth of love and happiness toward anyone that I now know with her. I would not change a single day of my life if it meant that I wouldn't be where I am today.

Thank you Amanda, for showing me what happiness truly is. I love you!

Note: This post doesn't include the love a parent has for their children:)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I should know better, I really should.

I had the back yard pretty well escape proofed. Before we let Hound run outside with no supervision I went around and patched all potential escape routes under fences, through gaps, etc. But of course, I forgot to tell Hound that he wasn't allowed to dig.

My schedule is a weird one. I work days, nights, mid-shifts and a host of other odd hours. Never the same schedule for any given week. It all depends on the needs of the business and my desire to remain employed and effective. So today Amanda left the dogs with me so that she wouldn't have to use her lunch break to drive to where they are kept on days that I can't watch them and let them out for a potty break. I got up about 9 am to get a cup of coffee before I laid back down to nap since I work 5pm to 3am tonight and I let the dogs out (we're babysitting her parents' dog right now) to do their thing. Dora (the parents' dog) came right away and I put her inside. Hound, on the other hand, didn't come when I called.

Now this is not unusual. He likes his outside time and often he'll be around the corner doing his Guard Hound (tm) duties and properly patrolling the perimeter of the yard. Most times I try to call him in he'll pop his head around the corner and lay down to indicate that he isn't ready to come inside yet. I'll then leave him alone until he barks at the door to let me know that the compound is secure and he is ready for his treat.

Today I called for them and only Dora came to me. So I called for Hound and he didn't appear which left me to assume that he was still on patrol. About 15 minutes later I went back out and called for him again, to no avail. I went out and searched the yard only to discover that Hound was nowhere to be found. I was panicked.... Amanda would likely kill me if I lost Hound, or allowed him to become lost.

I got properly dressed and went searching in the neighborhood. After about 25 minutes I finally saw this little blur of brown zooming toward me at the back gate- It was Hound!!! Yay!

Of course, it wasn't that easy. He refuses to let me near him because usually when I bend down it is to play with him or work on his Guard Hound (tm) training which involves me swiping at him and growling at him (which he thoroughly enjoys). After another 5 minutes he finally agreed to listen to the command "down" and laid down so that I could pick him up. After putting him inside I searched the entire fence line and found a spot behind a stand of almost impenetrable bushes where he has been digging out to get the to squirrels in the yard next door. (They often run across the lawn to tease him when he goes out.)

So I then had the privilege of spending the next hour patching any possible dig spots, low spots and other avenues of escape.

A great way to spend my morning considering my schedule tonight:) But it's worth it to have Hound secure at home.

Little mutt *grumble*

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A fossil on fossils...

Today I had the wonderful experience of a trip to "Dinosaur World" to meet some of Amanda's extended family. It was a very interesting day. They have literally dozens and dozens of replicas (most of them to scale) of various dinosaur types. It was very interesting and educational.

They also offer a "fossil dig" for the children. It's a HUGE sand pit where the kids gather at various times of the day to 'dig for fossils'.

Now I don't know about you, but I can't imagine that they could supply enough fossils for the children to find one every time without some real ingenuity. I began to wonder, and then I figured it out.... they use the sand pit as a litter box for cats! That way, the kids will always find a fossil! They simply claim that it's a dinosaur egg or some-such and the children leave happy and the litter box gets cleaned every couple of hours. It's a win-win situation:)

I think I may propose the "fossil dig" idea to the local animal shelters as both a public service for the cleaning of the litter boxes and to assist them in raising additional money for maintenance. It could also help the adoption rate... the child with the most "fossils" at the end of the dig gets to bring home an animal of their choice at no additional charge.

I'm not one to brag, but the term "marketing genius" comes to mind when I think about this plan ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Source Identified

Well, both boys and Amanda have come down with Swine Flu. Mild cases, but H1N1 nonetheless.

I was wondering where it started- until tonight. I was feeding the cats and being somewhat sarcastic by yelling "sooooo-ey!" quite loudly so that they would come to get the food. And then I realized that the pig-like actions of the cats stimulated dormant Swine Flu virii in the air and caused the family to get sick!

So not only can you get Swine Flu from swine, but you can seemingly get it from any animal that acts in a swine-like fashion! Darwin would have been proud of me.

Personally, I've opted out of getting sick this season. I simply don't have time nor do I have the desire to do so. Perhaps after the first of the year when I have some vacation time I'll get sick and relax for a week or so but not at the present.

On a side note: If Amanda says that I actually cooked something... she's lying!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Ha! I won this one!

There is this weird thing that goes on in the household. The cats all love to eat the dog's food, and the dog would rather eat cat food when given the opportunity.

So tonight, I'm putting the dog in the kitchen for the evening and I fill up his bowl with cat food because he's been good all day and he deserves a treat. Besides, when I fill it with dog food the cats all gather around the bowl and eat until it's gone, rarely letting Hound get in to grab a bite. No sooner do I finish filling his bowl than the cats come running in to gather 'round to eat. I brushed them away and filled their bowls (which are on the other side of the gate that keeps Hound off of the carpets) with cat food..... and they refused to touch it! Instead, they all head back to Hound's bowl. So I put them all on the other side of the gate, only to have them jump back across into the kitchen. I stood in front of Hound's bowl to keep the cats at bay so he could get a bite, but they kept outflanking me since it is three to one and kind of hard to head off one cat without the other going toward the open side.

Now I couldn't stand there all night so I had to think.... and it finally hit me. I put the cat bowls *in the kitchen with the dog bowl*!!

Ha! That really messed with their heads! Now, no matter if they all fed from one bowl or each their own, Hound would still have a bowl to feed from! Ha! Double Ha!!!

Funny thing though.... the cats now refuse to eat any of the food:)

I felt a great sense of pride in outsmarting the cats..... while Amanda seems to think that I'm a wee bit crazy for bothering in the first place.

It's the small victories that can be the sweetest:)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I really should have said something to her!

You really have to be out of touch if you don't realize how much danger children face in every day life. I saw something a couple of days ago that really upset me and the more I think about it, the more I realize I should have been an "asshole" and spoken my mind.

I went to the drug store a couple of days ago and parked in a space across from the front door. I did my shopping and when I exited I noted two things:

1: A younger woman with an infant in a buggy and a three/four year old girl standing next to her was parked in the space just in front of the door.

2: An older (60-65ish) man was pulled up behind her causing the vehicles to form a "T" and his trunk was in line with her tailgate.

First off, I was ticked because the old man was just sitting there with the car running (probably waiting for someone to come out of the store) and blocking the exit walkway. Anyone coming out had to go around his car to get to the lot... which I did.

Secondly- the little girl walked to the far side of the van where it was impossible for her mother to see her. This put the little girl right in line with the driver's window/door of the old man sitting there in his car.

Having raised quite a few children my parental instinct kicked in and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I went to my truck, got in and started it but did NOT pull off. I watched as the little girl looked curiously at the old man, then wandered closer to his window. He waved and smile and she giggled and waved back, then began to walk a bit closer. She wandered back to side of the van (mom was STILL oblivious to what was happening) and the old man waved and she smiled, waved and walked back toward his door. This went on for a good minute or two while mom loaded crap into the van.

The old man noticed me watching them and pulled his car up about 5 feet, then stopped. The little girl moved toward him once again with a curious look on her face. It was obvious that she didn't know him. The man looked over at me and I'm guessing since I wasn't leaving it bothered him because he freakin' LEFT!

It wasn't until 20 seconds or so after he pulled off that the mom came around to that side of the van, where she could now SEE her child. She opened the door, put the child in and they left.

I may be paranoid, but I don't give a damn. I was ready to slam my truck into his car and pin him against the curb if he made a move to grab that little girl. The situation may have been totally innocent, it may have been nothing. But damn it all! That mother could have lost that little girl in a heartbeat and the man would have had a good minute to two minutes to get away without the mother knowing that something had happened. And in that amount of time given the area we were in he could have disappeared without a trace.

I *almost* went over and said something to the mother. I probably should have.

If nothing else, my paranoia may have saved an innocent child. I could only hope that someone would do the same for mine if I were ever stupid enough to put my child in that kind of situation.

All I can say is that it felt wrong. And I'm glad that I did what I did. I wish I had stepped up and done more. I won't be there next time her mom isn't paying attention.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I'm tickled. I received an award today for being in the top 100 in the nation for positive Customer Service scores in the third quarter of this year.

That kind of made my day:)

Monday, September 28, 2009


I won't tell all
Suffice to say
The wife and I
Swapped DNA ;)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Physics Experiment

I was doing my chores yesterday, and my mind was wandering. I tend to think about random stuff while I'm paying for upcoming sex by doing my chores, you see.

Anyway, I was vacuuming the walls in the dungeon (Yes, the walls. Don't ask- you would have to see it to believe it) and I had the most curious question pop into my mind, which I will share in a moment. First I need to explain that while we are in no way prudish neither do we have an actual dungeon on the premises. It's actually the room that's used as our computer room and a place to escape from the children and animals at any given point in time.

So I was vacuuming the walls and it came to me that cats always land on their feet, right? If one was to fling a cat against a wall, would the cat land on it's feet on the wall? Or would it SPLAT like any other animal that one might fling against a wall? Not that I fling animals against walls, but I think it's a valid question.

BTW: Amanda was not amused that I even posed the question. I guess she doesn't appreciate the scientifically inquisitive side of me;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The cigarette saga continues....

I smoked for 25 years, then quit. For several years I had quit. Seemingly with success.

Then I met Amanda, who smoked like a chimney. Between the constant exposure near her and the stress levels at work I started smoking again. Dammit! I should have resisted.

The second time quitting is not nearly as smooth as the first. After having not smoked for several years, I had somewhat hidden the memories of the pure pleasure of that first drag in the mornings, the swift delivery of the nicotine to your system after a particularly stressful moment or time frame, the satisfaction of stopping whatever you might be doing for a minute to "have a cigarette". The smoking really gives you break periods in life when things are hectic.

I had quit when Amanda did, only to pick it up again for a bit. I haven't smoked since we married.

And it's killing me.

It's been 5 1/2 weeks and the urge to smoke is no less now than it was after I had my last cigarette. Problem is.... I don't WANT to quit. But I need to so I've committed to never smoking another cigarette for as long as I don't smoke one. That may sound questionable, but I take it a minute at a time right now. And I'm sure that some time before I die I'll have one more smoke for whatever reason.

The gum helps a lot, but it's almost as expensive as the cigarettes. I started running again today, so that should make things easier. You don't really crave a cigarette when you're panting for breath and your lungs are about to burst from breathing harder than you have had to in the last 2 years. On a good note: I jogged 2.1 miles in just 20 min 30 seconds. Not bad when you consider that I haven't really done regular running since November of 2007. I'll be glad to get back into shape enough to be competitive in a 5K or 10K run. I've done the 5K thing before so the 10K is likely my next target once I'm at least back in 5K shape:)

Besides... I'll be damned if I will allow Amanda to outrun my ass;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A new miracle!

Ok... I know this may sound crazy, but I think I've found a Reese's product that is just as good (if not better) than the Reese's Peanut Butter Easter Eggs.

For the record I must say that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are my most favorite food in the entire world, second only to BlueBell Homemade Vanilla IceCream. Until tonight there was no better taste than that of the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs available only at Easter time.

While shopping for snacks, I came upon Reese's Pumpkins. This is the first time I've seen these! So I bought some, as any good Reese's fanatic would do. My expectations were that they would be like the Christmas Trees.... good, but not nearly as good as the Easter Eggs. I know that these are all made of the same stuff, but the Easter Eggs have just the right ratio of chocolate to peanut butter that even the Christmas Trees and regular Reese's Cups don't have.

Dammit all if the Pumpkins aren't just as good as the Eggs!!! The bad thing about this is that now there are TWO seasons where I'll be pigging out on Reese's products. Like I need another time of year to put even more lard on my ass.

And with all of that being said? I just finished a 6 pack of the damned Pumpkins.

I could eat more.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Miffed about lunch.

I've been in foodservice for many years, as my profile states. So naturally I'm fairly lenient when it comes to gaffs in the food industry regarding service, etc. I truly understand that sometimes you just have a crappy day where nothing goes right no matter how hard you try. But that's the key.... you have to keep trying.

Yesterday I took Wife to lunch. We went to a coffee shop that is nationally known ( I won't use names) and purchased coffee for me, tea for her, and a couple of sandwiches to snack on. We arrived at about 12:05 and we were the only customers in the building. The young lady behind the counter was extremely pleasant and the service was quick for which I give them kudos.

But when I went to the counter where you add sweetener, etc. to your coffee I noticed that the trash can which is located beneath a hole in the counter was actually full to the point of trash spilling ONTO the counter. There was also a bus-tub with trash in it on a shelf at the counter.

After looking around we finally located a table that was much less covered with food crumbs than the others in the building. We sat down (after brushing off the chairs which were also covered in crumbs) and began to eat.

I can't help but to notice things when I go into a food establishment. I probably notice more than the usual Joe since I've been in the management end of things for so long... but this was ridiculous. The tables, chairs and floor were filthy and the trash was over-flowing as well. I would chalk this up to a bad shift or whatever except for a couple of small facts that just irritated the hell out of me.

1: The Drive Thru wasn't busy (I was watching)
2: In the 30 minutes we spent there only ONE other person walked into the store
3: There were three employees on duty that I could see
4: Even though there was time to lean on the counter and laugh at whatever they were sharing with each other, not ONCE did any of them even step out into the dining area to wipe a table, sweep, or empty the trash.

Now item #4 is the telling item- If you had a crappy shift, you'd be busting your ass while it was slower to get things back in line.... unless you really didn't give a damn. In which case you'd leave the place looking like it did. The fact that no one even made an effort just pissed me off and told me that they don't give a damn...

That's a cardinal sin in serving food. If you don't care how you represent your company, you shouldn't be working there. If nothing else you should have enough pride in yourself to make an effort, even if no one else gives a damn.

It just infuriated me. It really did. If even one of them had walked out with a broom or a damp towel to wipe a single freakin' table I would have applauded them. Instead, I ended up writing a letter to the company right along the lines of this blog post and made sure to let them know I don't want anything free and I don't want to be contacted, I just want them to make an effort to do things right if they're going to bother doing them at all. If they don't care any more than that they should close the place down.

Which would make me sad.... I like the coffee there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Guard Hounds, Inc. (tm)

Oh! The travesty of it all!!! (sobbing with head in hands)

I was training Hound the other day in respect to some behaviours that all good guard hounds should have. I happened to be eating a sandwich (if you can call it that) made with wheat bread. Normally I would not eat wheat (bread) for a couple of reasons...

a: The texture of wheat (bread) is that of a kitchen sponge sprinkled with a liberal helping of sand.

b: I don't actually consider it to be bread unless it's bright white on the inside and fully processed.

Anyway... I was eating this faux sandwich with wheat(bread) because that's the only thing resembling bread that we had in the house. We were even out of paper towels or I'd have used some of those instead. There was a piece of crust left that I just couldn't force myself to eat so I decided to test Hound and tossed it his way. To my dismay, he ate it without a second thought! I was devastated!

"Hound!" says I. "That's freakin' POODLE FOOD! Not something a real Guard Hound (tm) eats!" Hound, not grasping the gravity of the situation (he was likely exhausted from nibbling on my fingers during his high impact viciousness training earlier) looked up and acted like he was waiting for more! I think he was just messing with my head.... even the cats know that a real Gaurd Hound (tm) wouldn't voluntarily eat wheat(bread).

Hopefully that was just a one time thing. I took him outside and we ran several laps around the yard and peed on trees and stuff like true Guard Hounds (tm) just to make sure that he remembers what his actual role in the household is. And just to be safe? I bought two loaves of white bread. The real stuff.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The cats extract revenge

Ok, so I taught the cats not to scratch on the bedroom door. Today they got even in a way that only cats can do.

I was working outside today cleaning up the yard and taking care of a lot of the "not-for-sex chores" that guys are supposed to take care of and as a result I was soaked to the bone in sweat and covered in dirt. Since I was home alone I decided to strip down in the garage on the way to take a shower so that I wouldn't have to handle the sweat-soaked clothing again after I was clean. My mistake.

It seems that cats have the power to make you understand exactly what they are saying when they choose to let you in on a conversation. I walked into the kitchen where Emily happened to be sitting and she began to laugh. Then she yelled "Hey guys! Come and see THIS!" (still laughing hysterically).

At this point Daniel runs in (with Bob the kitten right behind him) and begins to chortle uncontrollably. Then he proceeds to say "He's round like a Christmas ornament! Look at that belly!" To which Emily responds "Yes, and it seems that someone didn't hang him too well" and proceeded to roll on the floor laughing. To which Bob responds through uncontrollable giggles "My god! I might even have him beat!"

Damned cats. Of course, you know, this means war......

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Circadian Rythms

First off, I thought choreplay was a novel idea. I've been proven quite wrong. It's actually a feminst plot to undermine the "non-working-at-home" men of the world. Follow the link below, and you'll see what I mean:)


While it may seem original on my part, it's obviously nowhere near truly original.

My body is rebelling against me at the moment. These past couple of weeks I've had to work straight nights to cover for one of my assistants that is on vacation. Normally even if I close I wake up by 10am and start my day. Lately though? I've been craving sleep until 2 or 3 pm. But I have to get up at noon to let the dogs out so that I don't have additional chores to do before I leave for the next shift. It's making me crazy but it's almost over. I'll be back to a normal schedule shortly.

The kids were gone last week on vacation with the grandparents. That really made my workload so much lighter. I only cleaned twice and the place stayed immaculate. As soon as the boys got home the kitchen table was suddenly hidden under mounds of various foodstuff and artifacts, and there was no way you could even see the floor in the living area due to the huge quantities of toys and miscellaneous crap pulled from the bedrooms to be reunited with the children.

I broke down and got a suit for the wedding. There is no way I was going to lose enough weight to get my fat ass into the suit that I have. I suppose it's time to relegate it to the Salvation Army or some such so that a person of "smaller stature" can use the thing while it's still good. It seems that dieting and I simply don't get along in any way. I've been too long not worrying about what I eat and grazing all day to be held to a strict intake of calories. Besides, the dieting is brutal at best, extremely painful at the very least.

Amanda swears that you can't teach a cat anything.... I disagree. One of the cats liked to scratch on the bedroom door (the bedroom is a cat-free zone) any time one of us went in there. Her solution was to kick the door from the inside at which time the cat would usually stop scratching until it decided that she wasn't coming out, then it would start up again. My solution was a bit more elegant and straight-forward: I put a towel down under the door with the majority of it on the outside where the cat would be. When the cat started scratching I walked over and yanked the towel into the bedroom causing the cat the slam against the door and probably scaring the crap out of it. I haven't heard it scratching at the door since. I think cats can learn:)

Hound, however, doesn't seem quite as bright. I can't help but to love the little mutt though.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Definition of Cooking

There is an ongoing debate in the household: The definition of cooking.

I work 10-12 hours a day preparing food for others. Even though I am a manager, I spend copious quantities of time making food for someone else. I rarely eat at work simply because there is no time to sit and enjoy a meal. You grab a quick bite here and there as you can, if you can.

She works in an office environment. There is a languid lunch hour that can be used to dine out or microwave something quick depending on the work-load at the moment. I've never heard of her preparing food for the rest of the office, or anyone else for that matter.

That forms the basis of the great debate:)

When I get in from work, I'm usually famished and looking for something to eat. Her answer is often "why don't you just cook something?". My reply is always: "I hate cooking".

My definition of cooking is anything that involves the preparation of food to be consumed. This includes microwaving, toasting, spreading mayo, and opening cans. Her definition is spending an hour or more over the stove.

Once when I came in I went into the kitchen to get something to eat. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was cooking a sandwich, to which she replied "Making a sandwich is NOT cooking". I argued the point that it was. After several minutes of back and forth over the issue, she worked toward getting the upper hand by saying that "cooking" was the application of heat to something.

Ha! Then *I* am right!!!! You see, if you take a slice of bread out and spread mayo on it, the mayo gains heat from the surrounding air since it's now out of the fridge. If you open a can, the friction from the can opener actually applies a minute amount of heat to the surrounding food item contained within. If you think about it, any handling of food items causes a rise in temperature, no matter how small. It would take a sterile lab environment with special equipment to avoid any heat transfer when something is handled. So making a sandwich, technically, is cooking (according to the given definition).

She, of course, disagrees. That is her option:)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Dog, Myself

I'm not sure who should be writing this.... me, or the dog.

I was thinking tonight (I'm dangerous when I think, just ask Amanda) and I came up with a list of things that the dog and I have in common:

  • I'm extremely happy and excited when Amanda walks in the door in the evenings.
  • If I look at her with puppy-dog eyes she'll always give me a hug and a kiss.
  • When she gets that look in her eyes I know that I've been bad.
  • When I have been bad, she makes me sleep with the cats.
  • She doesn't like it when I lick her nose.
  • The cats are out to get me at every opportunity.
  • She feeds me, since I can't cook.
  • I eat all of the leftovers and scraps in the fridge.
  • I'm not allowed on the furniture until I've had a bath.
  • I am strongly encouraged to only pee in the designated area.
  • I love it when she scratches me all over.

There are likely more areas where we match perfectly, and there are some where we just don't jive by any stretch of the imagination (I can't lick my own balls.... and even if I could reach I doubt that I'd lick my own butt.)

There are definite advantages to being the human in this equation...it just amazes me how much like the dog I am;)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Is it raining?

It's the 4th of July and we go to brother-in-law's house for a family gathering. The children love to go because he has a swimming pool which they enjoy greatly. They also have a 2-year old cousin that the kids enjoy playing with as well.

Today the 2-year old was swimming naked because sometimes children that age just don't want to wear clothes. And as long as they aren't fussing, why not?

The 6 year old decided he would swim the great divide- in other words, swim from one side of the pool to the other. So he starts on the side across from the ladder. In the meantime, the 2 year old heeded the call of nature, and was making a pretty good fountain display while standing between the hand-rails of the ladder. Right about this time the 6 year old makes the arduous crossing and pops his head up right under a warm yellow stream eminating from the obvious source above.

I wish I had a camera. It was one of those priceless moments:)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Helping around the house

Last night, I'm sitting down watching "Say yes to the dress", well, because that's what she wants to watch so that's what we're watching. Then the notices come in......

"Honey, we have to put away the leftovers, fold some clothes, and make the bed before it gets too late." To which I replied in the standard format "Yes dear." Considering the fact that the episode that was showing on TV was one that we've seen close to 9 times already I went and washed the dishes, took out the trash, put away the leftovers and made some coffee.

Then it was time to make the bed.

I've been through this process before, and I have yet to figure out why my presence is required when it's time to make the bed because "we" don't make the bed. She makes her side, and then comes over and remakes my side. So last night, after layer two of my side was remade, ironed, pleated, tucked just so and waiting for layer three I ask "Can I at least put the covers on the pillows?" After some pause and consideration her reply was: "Yes, but only on your pillows." It seems that there's a specific methodology involved in properly tucking a pillow into a pillow case that most men simply aren't aware of.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't get the whole "bedspread centered to within 1/64" tolerance on each side" and some of the other minutia involved in making a bed. Hell, you're just going to mess it up again anyway, why bother?

But we do what we must to keep the peace:)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Life as a plant-man...

Life has been strange over these last few years (weeks, to be honest about it.) I've been watching every calorie that I take in and it's driving me absolutely mad. I never realized that I subsisted on approximately 4.7 billion calories per day in my normal mode.

On the brighter side? I've lost about 10 lbs already. I weighed myself and came in at 178 the other morning, down from 190 when I started. That's a good thing, right?

Then I look at the other side of the dieting effects. After living on dill pickles (0 calories), mustard greens (5 calories per serving for the "off" brands) and sour kraut (10 calories per serving for the "off" brands) my skin now has a light green tint and I smell slightly pickled- even straight out of the shower. I honestly believe that I could produce my own nutrients with enough sunlight due to the chlorophyl that I've taken in to this point.

Not that the green skin tint bothers me so much, except for the fact that my hands are still a brilliant white due to washing dishes. It seems that even as a plant I have chores.

The only other thing that I find strange about all of this is the fact that I have a strong craving for Miracle Grow diluted in water instead of coffee now. I can only hope that my tap-root grows a bit during this process ;)

Monday, June 22, 2009

A glimpse from the other side...

I know most everyone has utilized the convenience of fast food at some point. For the most part many establishments have good service and the product is fair as well. Most people understand that not every visit on every day is going to be perfect, no matter how hard we (as employees) strive to provide that very aspect. Then you have the people that call to complain if they have to wait two minutes extra for the food, regardless of the fact that:

a: They had to search for a parking spot in order to stand in line because the place is packed


b: The drive-thru line is backed up to the street and beyond because the place is packed

I'd like to share an actual (and unfortunately common) drive-thru transaction as seen from the inside of the food-service business:

Cashier: Hi! My I help you?

Customer: Hold on... (then the phone call starts) Hey! I'm at (insert restaurant), do you want anything? No, I'll go by there when I'm done here. What?? He did NOT! No, and tell Keisha that she can't use my laptop. Ok, put her on the phone...

Cashier: Can I help you find anything?

Customer: Just a minute, I'm looking!! Ok, they have (insert menu items, usually 90% of the menu being read into the phone). Ok, so you want (insert items) and you want them without (insert condiments) and add (insert condiments)? Miss??? MISS!?!?!?! (like it's us keeping them from ordering)

Cashier: Yes? Go ahead with your order.

Customer: Ok, I want (insert items, sans condiments).

Cashier: Ok, would you care for anything else?

Customer: Yes, just a minute. (another call: Hey! I'm at (insert restaurant), what do you want? Reads off all menu items again. Ok, yeah, yeah, I went to the grocery store already. No, I didn't get milk, but I got some yogurt. Oh! I forgot about the candy bars! No, I'll have to get those later. Who? I paid that bill! No, I paid that! Look on the counter, right by the cookies, I have the receipt. No, that's the other one. Look right there. Yes, that's it. Ok, I'll call them when I get home. Ok, what do you want? Ok. Miss? MISS!?!?!?! (again, like we've made her wait).

Cashier: Yes?

Customer: I have another order. I want (insert items as needed).

Cashier: Ok, your total will be (insert amount).

Customer: MISS!!! I have another order!

Cashier: Go ahead.

Customer: Just a minute, let me see what I want. Ok, I want (insert items).....

I swear to you this actually happened, and happens on a regular basis at my location.

And people call to complain to me about service times? It's amazing... absolutely amazing. Then of course when they get to the window the debit card is denied, or they don't have enough money, or they want to add several items to each order, etc. etc.

Ok, rant mode off:) I just wanted to let you see what WE deal with each day, every day, time after time.

And for the rest of you that know what you want, know how much you have in your wallet, and don't use the cell phone to order for the neighborhood in a drive-thru? I thank you ever so graciously and with profound appreciation. I also offer my sincerest of apologies if we muck up your order at times. Again, thank you!

Disclaimer: I've been doing this for 28 years. I am no more jaded regarding customers and the actions thereof than the average guy on the street. I've seen great customers and I've seen some that you don't even want walking into your store because you can never please them. I truly appreciate the good customers, and the average customer that has some degree of understanding. We do screw up things on this end, just give a chance to make it right. The good managers always make it right. On the whole, I really do enjoy my job:)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Business As Usual

A typical day (i.e. today):

Wake up, turn on the coffee. The filter promptly falls over and fills the coffee pot with grounds (which I find later during my first cup of coffee.) Grab two donut stix to kick-start my (sic) metabolism for the day. Try to check email and computer needs to be rebooted yet again.

Go the to kitchen, wash the dishes from last night, grab a cup of coffee which now contains all of the fiber from the coffee beans that I could possibly require for the day. After cleaning up the coffee/grounds on the floor and counter where I spit it when I discovered solids in my morning beverage I vacuumed the carpets. It seems that Bob (the latest addition to the family) considers anyone vacuuming as fair game for shredding practice. I surmised this from the fact that before I was done with my inside chores he had removed everything below the ankle on my left foot, including the skin that I have so carefully cultivated over the past 48 years.

After applying the tourniquet to staunch the flow of blood I hobbled to the dungeon (also known as the computer room) to answer my cell phone which was ringing non-stop. Amanda was reminding me to get the tarp from the front yard where she made me put it during the thunderstorm the day before. (Don't ask... just go with it.) This was something I was going to do anyway as soon as I didn't feel faint from the loss of blood, but I appreciated the fact that she called to make sure I was doing my job properly.

My next few hours were spent unpacking boxes, of which we have many. The boxes that I was unpacking were some of my own. I was arranging my tools and equipment out in the doghouse.....errrrr.... shed. I was originally going to get a spot in the garage (which wouldn't require going into the weather to get to my tools and equipment) but that was vetoed by the fact that every available space in the garage is taken up by boxes and boxes and boxes. And did I mention boxes? So anyway, I made myself a second home in the shed. On the bright side- since there isn't any air-conditioning in the shed I lose about 2 pounds of water weight for every hour spent out there:)

At this point I was really craving a cigarette... so I braved the treadmill. Now remember, this is the first time I've done any running in the last year and a half. I was doing pretty good. I had that thing up to 6 miles per hour, comfortable pace, no worries breathing, and thinking: Hey! This isn't so bad....

That's when I made my second mistake. The first mistake was not holding the little string which was tied to the key that stops the machine if you fall too far back or pull it out. The second mistake was trying to look at the TV at an acute angle to the right while I was running 6 miles per hour on a machine that doesn't automatically slow down so that you can stabilize your balance. And running at that speed while looking to one side just isn't that intuitive. The mind rebelled, the feet stepped wrong, and the treadmill didn't slow down even though I did.

I really am a dumbass. You see, I have the back of the treadmill against a wall. So when I fell and failed to take the little key that stops the machine with me, I was balled up against the wall while the treadmill continued on and rolled me like a towel in the dryer. NOT as fun as it might sound.

So after 15 minutes of running, 3 minutes of tumble-drying, and several more minutes of wailing in pain I look at the display and learned that I burned a whopping 50 calories from fat. In dieters terms? That means that I am allowed to have a Hershey's Kiss, assuming I don't want to just leave those calories off of my body.

You know, cigarettes as a form of dieting don't sound all that bad.

Just saying.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weight loss vs. Waterboarding

Ok, so the cigarettes went away again and the weight immediately climbed back upon my bones.

Last time I quit smoking (for seven or so years) I gained about 20 pounds over the course of a year. I was counting on the same time frame this time around. But of course there's a catch- last time I began jogging as soon as I quit. In fact, the exercise is what aided me in staying smoke free through the roughest part of quitting. This time? I haven't started the exercise yet, and every fat cell in my body is rejoicing at being constantly nourished to the point of gluttony.

A bit of background: Many in my family are over-weight to near obesity. I have always been on the skinny side (taking after my mother's family.) The largest I have ever grown to is a whopping 194 pounds. That's not too bad on a 6'1" frame except for the fact that it all sits around my midsection. Being near 50 doesn't help matters either. I tried on a suit that I bought when I was "fat". To my horror, it was too small!

After running in to make sure that I wasn't in mortal danger (which was a possibilty considering the mournful wailing I was emitting) Amanda suggested that I join Spark People and use the site to monitor how many calories I take in daily so that I can fit into my suit properly by August.

Let me tell you.... dieting is NOT for the faint of heart!! After going through this process I have nothing but the greatest of respect for those that can stick to a diet.

It started out like this:

Her: How much do you think you need to lose in two months?
Me: Oh, 10 pounds should do it.
Her: Alright. Then you can have 1690 calories per day and meet your goal in weight loss.
Me: No problem!
Her: What did you have for breakfast today?
Me: My usual- two donut sticks, two small items at work.
Her: (after much calculating) That's 1543 calories. You have 147 calories left for today.
Me: Ok, great! It's 6pm and I'll just have my two sandwiches and be done for the day.
Her: Nope.
Me: Why not?
Her: Each sandwich is 546 calories. That will put you over.
Me: What can I have then?
Her: Water.

And so it has been going. I've found that eating -anything- puts me over on calories. WTF????

After much griping and complaining she dragged me to the store to find things that I could "eat". So I read some labels.

Canned Pineapple: 180 calories per serving.
Canned Chili: 290 calories per serving.
Mustard Greens: 15 calories per serving
Peanut Butter: 190 calories per serving

And on and on. What's that? Not bad you say? Ha!!!

That's where they get you, because when you read the fine print you find the following:

Canned Pineapple: 477 servings per 6 oz can. You can have 1/4 of a tidbit today, that's it.
Canned Chili: 800 servings per can. You can lick the lid, but it will likely put you over the limit.
Mustard Greens: 12 servings per can. You need to be a hamster to fill up on this stuff.
Peanut Butter: Serving size is 1/2 teaspoon. You don't even dirty the knife with that little bit.

And when they say teaspoon? They mean ONE LEVEL TEASPOON of something. Hell, you don't even have to wash the spoon when you're done! Not like you'd be willing to leave any residue if you dared brave the calories anyway.

All in all, torture would be preferable to dieting in regards to weight loss.

People complain that waterboarding is bad... but at least they don't make prisoners diet.

Your wife, or mine?

I just realized how ambiguous the title on this blog could be. Let me state for the record that I encourage you to seduce your own wife, since I'll be working on mine and not yours. I suppose it could have read "The Art of Seducing My Wife" but then that would leave the door open to anyone who cared to try.... we'll just not go there:)

Choreplay is the new black. I have figured out that if one takes the time to contribute to household chores on a regular basis not only does the wife appreciate the assistance but she's also more relaxed, rested, and open to suggestion when it comes to doing "other" things:)

Let me warn you though: There is a fine line that you must walk so that she doesn't come to expect you to do the chores. Once that happens you inherit the tasks for the rest of your life and instead of being rewarded appropriately for a job well done you only stand the risk of being blacklisted for not keeping the house clean. Each wife will be different regarding how much you can do without becoming a Choreboy, so be careful!

There are other downsides to doing chores for sex. Such as the Pavlovian response of getting aroused every time I hear a vacuum cleaner on carpet. Dishes clinking as they are being rinsed do a fair job of stimulating the senses as well.

Legal Disclaimer: If you cross that fine line and the chores officially become "your job" I will not be held responsible nor will I come to your house to assist you. The quantity and depth of work that you need to do to be successful in Choreplay depends strictly on your wife, as each one is different. It's up to you to find the limits and tread carefully so that you aren't sucked into the never-ending vortex of housework without reward!