Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Would You Do?

Let's say you were in the restroom of a large public facility. Maybe it's a church. You've finished your business and you have wet hands (you do wash your hands, don't you?). You need a paper towel to dry off. You see this automatic paper towel dispenser. What do you do?

You'd probably wave your wet hand underneath the little hand/arrow icon on the right side.

You'd be correct.

It took me about three months to figure that out. Every time I tried to get a paper towel I waved my hands underneath the dispenser. I tried the left side, I tried the middle, I tried the right side. Sometimes I got a paper towel and sometimes I didn't. It was very frustrating. I didn't know the arrow was there for a reason.

I barely finished college. They might want their diploma back.

And, yes, I do like to take photos in restrooms.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Prediction Comes True

A soothsayer once said to his wife upon the contemplation of having children, "I'm worried I'll never have any privacy in the bathroom."

I'm not often right but I was right on this one.

Friday, May 23, 2008

That Tastes a Little...Odd.

It was a little rainy today when we got home from school. I decided to make a Bisquick Cinnamon Struesel Coffee Cake because I like sweets. A lot.

I grabbed the cinnamon from the cupboard and measured out a heaping half teaspoon. I like cinnamon. The cinnamon looked a bit grainier than usual but I thought it might have been a special type. I dumped it into the bowl with the brown sugar, butter, and Bisquick. And then I took a good look at the spice bottle. "Cumin."

That's not cinnamon.

I scooped out most of the cumin, found the cinnamon, and dumped in a heaping half teaspoon.

It's pretty good but you can definitely taste the cumin. Not really how Betty Crocker intended coffee cake to taste.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

And Then The Heavens Opened...

Around 4:30 this afternoon, the rain and hail started falling by the bucketful. Our yard was soon covered in icy little balls and the streets were high-top deep. Lightning lit the sky and thunder frightened the kids.

It was so cool.


My scary dreams are about rattlesnakes. There are rattlesnakes in my yard, on my porch, and in my house. I find rattlesnakes in a field, under a rock, and under my bed.

I hate rattlesnakes.

Actually I hate to be surprised by rattlesnakes. If I'm not surprised, no problem.

If you grow up in Southern California and spend any time in the hills you'll come across a rattlesnake. I was camping with my dad and a couple of friends. We were sitting on rocks around a fire cooking breakfast when I stood up. Out slithered a baby rattler about 14 inches long. He coiled up on the warm rock and looked us over. I wanted to take a shovel to him but my dad stopped me. We shooed him away and then broke camp. I couldn't get home fast enough.

I still shiver when I think about it.

Those Southern Pentecostal snake handlers are crazy in more than one way.

It's not just rattlesnakes. I read about a family in India who had work done under their house. They found hundreds of cobras living in the crawl space. I know cobras are shy, relatively placid poisonous creatures but I don't want to live with them.

I watched a video of a TV animal botherer who was trying to get a good photo of a cobra in Africa. He teases the snake, grabbing its tail and poking it. The snake bites him. They rush him off to the hospital and dose him with anti venom. Then he goes back, finds the same cobra, and starts over.

I'm not the smartest guy in the world but I know not to tease a cobra.

I Love "Snatch"

Once upon a time there was a young movie director from England. His name was Guy Ritchie. He made funny, violent movies about the English criminal underworld. And then he changed his last name to Ciccone.

He hasn't done much since.

His masterpiece is "Snatch" a caper film about an unlicensed bare-knuckle boxing promoter named Turkish (Jason Statham). Turkish needs to buy a new caravan to replace his broken down old one so he sends his partner, Tommy, and boxer Gorgeous off to a Pikey encampment to buy a newer one.

Things fall apart.

Did I mention the diamond heist in Antwerp? Did I mention Bricktop, a pig farming gangster? What about the Russian? Or Brad Pitt as the incomprehensible Pikey bare knuckle boxing champion. What about....?

I could go on and on.

The plot twists and turns as it eventually comes together. People get hurt. People die. And who can forget the unforgettable line "All... bets... are... off."

I love this movie. I saw it with Tabitha in the theater and I have watched the DVD at least a dozen times. I have seen this movie more than any other.

I'm waiting for Guy Ciccone to make its equal. I have a feeling I'll be waiting a long time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Glory, Glory Man United

Congratulations to Manchester United Football Club, winners of the 2008 UEFA Champions League and Premier League Champions.

It Just Bubbles Out of the Ground...Right?

Today I used over 12 gallons of gas to drive just 57 miles.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No Thanks. I'll Drive.

When I was a kid flying on an airplane to a far off destination was exciting. I would think about it for weeks.

The stewardess (that's what we called them in the old days) gave me a little set of pilot's wings. I got to sit in the cockpit with the pilots. And they gave me a plastic coated souvenir bag. It was so cool. Even the food was good.

Flying is not so fun anymore.

Since my family moved to Montana I've flown up there a couple of times. In October 2006, Tabitha was away at a conference so I decided to take the kids to Montana for the weekend. We booked our flights from Ontario, through Denver, to Missoula.

If you ever need sympathy from fellow travellers take a plane trip by yourself with two small children.

Our flight into Denver was delayed due to a blizzard. Our flight to Missoula was cancelled. We diverted to Spokane and drove a rental the rest of the way. I paid $300 to drop the car off in Missoula. And then the TSA Nazi asked me to remove Aidan's shoes when we went through security.

What the hell?

I know airline security is mostly BS. I know the TSA knows airline security is mostly BS. Did he seriously think I had placed a bomb in my 10-month-old son's size three sneakers? Having the ability to read a situation and decide upon alternative courses of action is a sign of intelligence. Removing shoes from an infant for "security reasons" is not.

Why should I pay good money to arrive 2 hours before my flight, pad through the security screening in my socks, explain why I have a bottle of formula in my carry-on, cram into a torture device disguised as a seat, eat soy nuts and drink half a bottle of water, hope my luggage made it, and then do it all over again to come home?

Missoula is about 1200 miles from my house by car. It should take 3 hours at the most to fly there. Instead, I usually have to devote 12 hours.

I can drive to Pocatello, Idaho in 12 hours. I can drink the biggest bottle of water my bladder can handle. I can eat as many bags of Doritos as I want. And I get to drive through the Virgin River Gorge, past the Wasatch Front, over Moneida Pass, and into the open spaces of Montana.

And now I can stop at the In-N-Out just outside St. George, Utah.

No thanks. I'll drive.

Friday, May 9, 2008

You Spent How Much...?

Tabitha and I sat down to look at our finances last month. It was an eye-opener. We figured out we spend over $200 a month at Starbucks. And that was only the purchases on our debit card.

So we cut out trips to Starbucks.

It's killing me.

But it's not killing me as much as it's killing Tab. She is only buying a morning chai three times a week instead of everyday. She's making her own chai at home but it's not the same. I do admire her sacrifice.

I miss my afternoon vanilla latte. There's nothing like a late afternoon shot of caffeine to ensure a restless night's sleep. I've been brewing my own cup of coffee every morning and taking it to work in a travel mug. The darn mug leaks a little. Not cool.

On Tuesday a co-worker bought me a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I had a grande Pikes Place. It was good.

Real good.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Today was "Messed-up Teenage Girl Day" at work. There is no crazy like teenage girl crazy. I'm just sayin'.

I successfully completed week 2 of training. Only 18 to go. I've been writing a lot but unfortunately not on my blog.

So many stories that can't be told. At least not on the blog.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What Would You Do?

Let's say you've been sitting at the bar drinking all day and your blood alcohol is almost 3 times the legal limit. You have also been arrested for drunk driving within the last month. Your step-daughter calls and asks for a ride home from the Mall. She's 17 and has a driver's license. Do you:

A. Let her drive.

B. Insist on driving yourself.

If you answer "A" you get home to sleep it off. If you answer "B" and your step-daughter calls the cops from her cell-phone while you are driving erratically, you get arrested for DUI, felony child endangerment, and have your wife's brand new Escalade impounded for 30 days (she probably won't be very happy).

I hope you swallowed your pride and answered "A".