Archive for the ‘ general amusement ’ Category

rearranging the hierarchy

I’ve been holding off on doing this for some time because, if I were to blog about it, I know it would earn immediate honorary entry into Uncle Tim’s “Cats Are Stupid” blog sub-section. I like my cat – I wish him no disrespect. Oh well…

So Steph and I were hanging some pictures the other day… and of course, hauled out the old laser level to provide assistance. Gotta love the laser level – bright red beam shooting out across the wall. At the very least, if you don’t get the level setting correct, your pictures will all be hanging in a straight diagonal line going up towards the ceiling.

Linus (the cat) of course caught sight of the laser. We’re talking immediate change in life priorities here. There was a time when his ultimate goal was to escape through the front door during the brief few moments that it is open after we come home from work and take off beyond the bushes that inevitably block his path. However, he now intends to capture and hold captive the mysterious red dot which, apparently, lives in cracks in the floor and underneath appliances. This, he surmises, will give him new status in the social ranking and order of the house – maintaining a slave will obviously make him eligible for certain voting rights in the failed socio-political environment he is now an unwilling member of.

Anyways, so we’ve got the laser level out, we’re playing with Linus. Doing all those things you do when you’ve got a cat and a laser. He’s utterly bewildered of course.

My favorite part of the evening: I’m in the kitchen and I’ve got him spinning around in a tight circle, around and around, chasing this thing – 30 or 40 times around. Deliberately making him dizzy. Then I point the laser off into the living room and he attempts to go chasing after it, after which he immediately crashes into the dishwasher because he’s so tipsy. This makes me laugh (loudly) and as a reaction I slap my hand on the counter… this scares him even more, and he takes off across the living room in fear, tail puffy, and dizzy… and runs directly into the TV.

Today you should listen to:
The Hold Steady “Stuck Between Stations”

statutory trivia

So I was talking to a friend of mine from Louisiana a while back who revealed some interesting state trivia to me… If you’re from any of the states mentioned below and did in fact know this already… just let me have my fun:

If you study carefully the map provided to the right you will find a kind baker who has prepared a tasty treat for our national consumption. The state of Iowa provides the baker’s head, with his nose at the far right side. His body is provided by Missouri and Arkansas, his boots by Louisiana, and his baker’s cap by Minnesota. He holds in his hands a pie – the tin which is Tennessee and the overflow of scrumptious filling which is Kentucky

Kinda lame, I know… I didn’t want to have to require thinking today.

Today you should listen to:
Aqualung “Garden Of Love”
* This is, in general, a fantastic album by the way…

end of a glorious era

In 2001 I aquired a well-worn, much-loved light blue 1987 Toyota Celica. Quintessential 80’s car. I got it as a generous gift from our good family friends Neal & Lisa Blackwood who knew I was a broke college student in need of transportation. Prior to getting the car from the Blackwoods, the aptly named Neal-Mobile travelled some 100,000-ish miles, spent 10 hot years in Texas, and endured several sub-arctic Minnesota winters. But I was grateful to have her when she finally arrived in my care.

The Neal-Mobile was a fine piece of machinery – Japanese made, reliable, quick, had to hold the handles up as you shut the doors in order to lock it. In the six years I had the Neal-Mobile I only had one engine related malfunction, which required the replacement of the distributor… all in all, not that big of deal. Like any car it had it’s share of wear-and-tear, bumps, and rust, but was quite the trustworthy little thing.

I took that car everywhere. Made the trip from Nashville to Minneapolis at least 25 times. Drove it to Nebraska and back another 8 times. Drove to Coloroado twice. Took it to Ohio, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Kansas and probably a dozen other states. I drove it up and down every mountain road outside of Colorado Springs. Drove it as far as cars can go down the Mississippi River delta south of New Orleans, and I’ve got the picture to prove it. One time on one of my trips out west an Interstate bridge got washed out, so I had to go on this 80 mile off-the-beaten path detour. The traffic on the detour was so bad that I hauled out the old road atlas and forged my own road over cow fields, farm roads, and dirt paths all the way down to Colorado. The front struts going out was probably a result of that trip; my fault, not the car.

But all good things must come to end, so they say. One day the uber-reliable Toyota just kind of gave out. It wasn’t one of those big dramatic things with the smoke and fire and all that… rather, after 20 years of faithful service, the Neal-Mobile conveniently rolled to a stop, in it’s parking space in front of our house, and didn’t start up again.

After such a career, and in honor of the Blackwoods fulfilling my need, thought I would carry on the gesture with my little car. Called up a place that does car-donations and uses the parts sales to give to children’s charities. Filled out the form, the tow truck came, and she was gone.

Final Odometer Reading: 195,461.8

…yes, that was 95,000 miles in six years….

this post only to fill space

I haven’t felt like blogging much lately. Sorry to all faithful readers and blog-wanderers for leaving you hanging. All is well, I’m still alive. Check out this band I just discovered… pretty awesome:

Today you should listen to…
Four Day Hombre Three Years

night at the alley

Ah yes… Saturday night we all piled into the car and headed down to the local bowling alley to roll a few rocks. Good times. In truth I’ve never been that great of a bowler. I always feel very accomplished when I break 100, and topping out at 125 the other night made me feel pretty good. Steph has invented a style of bowling all her own… maybe we should call it “trot, hop, drop”. It’s kinda cute actually. I worked with her a little bit to smooth the release down a bit, but then she ended up doing worse, so I let her go back to “trot, hop, drop”. Whatever works right?

Of course this all leads up to me making fun of our favorite local blogger, Uncle Tim. Do you all know that he was quite the bowler back in his day? A competitive bowler I might add… the whole family actually! He was one of those guys who had his own bowling ball, along with it’s cute little bag and polishing cloth. He always harrassed me because my trumpet in highschool was so shiny – trumpets are supposed to be shiny – but I could actually shave in the reflection of his bowling ball. Amazing.

Tim the bowler. League and everything – had the jersey, had the shoes. Was even on the highschool team (and I’ve got yearbook photos to prove it). Rumor has it he was the anchor though. Tim was actually seriously considering bowling professionally. I remember sitting in physics class with him actually reviewing his college choices based on the performance of the school’s bowling league.

Oh what’s that Tim? You wanted me to update my blog? Ok, here you go.

Go Colts!

Today you should listen to…
Damien Rice “Grey Room

the day has come

I just want everyone to know that this is my last day at work before Christmas vacation… woo hoo!!!

Today you should listen to…
Chris Botti “
The Christmas Song

see george, you really have a wonderful life

Ok, fine, fine… FINE! I’m a sappy sentimentalist and I like “It’s A Wonderful Life”. I watch it every year during December. Last night was my annual viewing, and yes, I enjoyed it. So go on you naysayers, you cynicists, you apathetics, make fun of me… see what I care. I will continue to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” every year, and I will continue to be encouraged by it’s simple, yet profound, look at human nature and will be reminded once again that Christmas is a holiday to celebrate the higher things of love, relationships, and life. I happen to think it’s a fantastic movie, and it’s one of my favorites.

Today you should listen to…
Ray LaMontagne “Lesson Learned

please leave a message

Happy Post-Thanksgiving everyone – hope it was fantabulous. I called my parents to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving this weekend and got the answering machine… believe it or not, my parents finally changed the little message that plays on the machine prior to you leaving a message! I was shocked!! Please understand, my parents have had the same voicemail message since I was in, I don’t know, 5th grade. I guess since all the kids moved out of the house it was time to move on with the voicemail as well. Tim always used to make fun of me for the message that my dad said… he’d always recite it for me.

Timmy, bonus points for you if you still remember what the Burns Residence answering machine used to say…

a slight change of font

While guest blogging for Tim over the weekend, I realized that the font he uses for his blogs is Verdana, not Arial as I mistakenly once assumed. When writing emails at work I much prefer the use of Arial over Verdana… for some reason Verdana in emails just grates on me.

I’m going to overlook this however, because I have always liked the font presentation on Tim’s blog, especially with the “small” font size. Unfortunately Arial is ridiculously hard to read with the “small” font size. And because I would ultimately prefer a smaller font, I am going to bite the bullet on this one and make a slight change to my blogger fonting… I am now a Verdana blogger.

I am sorry for the time you wasted just reading this post. If you would like something a little more entertaining, check out the three posts I wrote on Tim’s site this weekend…

and the cat likes water…

So Steph and I got ourselves a kitten not too long ago. He’s black. He’s little. He’s cute. His name is Linus. And he’s an absolute terror when it comes to anything that is shiny, is made of fabric, or makes noise.

The plastic grocery bags fall in the “make noise” category. He likes to play in them after we’ve emptied all the groceries out and loves that they make a crinkly noise whenever he steps on them or bats them around with his paws. This is all fine and well until he gets his neck stuck through the little handle… then he can’t get away from the bag and it follows him through the kitchen as he tries to get away from it. Then it gets caught between his feet and the hardwood floor and he slips, and falls, and meows, and waits for us to help him out.

Today we’re in the bathroom and Linus jumps up, and into, the empty bathtub. So we thought, lets have some fun – see what he does if we turn the water on a bit… and he started to drink it. So we changed a bit to a lot and turned the water on full blast, threw the plug down, and watched him. And he just sat there, playing with the water, until it was all the way up to the top of his back. He started “swimming” around… so apparently the cat likes water. Crazy. So that’s our cat.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Linus in the tub while I go pull him off Steph’s face….