August 25, 2007


Fast as an acorn’ll roll off a barn roof

We cruised along the windy two-lane road in the new-to-us sedan with the “touring” suspension and supercharged V-6. The car rolled the hills and took the turns like buttah. The conjunction of that with the bucolic scenery of backroads Tennessee and the pleasant conversation with Sweet Baboo, Mominlaw and Buddha Boy made it easy to lose track of the speedometer. You surely know by now where I am heading. Yes, a tiny little unincorporated burg, the proverbial “wide spot in the road,” sits just a few miles from our destination. “School zone, honey,” said the caring teacher of potential tragic roadkill.

“It’s Saturday, love,” I replied a second after tapping the brake in semiautomatic response to the yellow-trimmed sign, sans lights flashing. By the time she redefined the information as “Birchwood, 30 mph” (48 kph for our international guests), I was rounding a curve, the end of which revealed two county sheriff patrol cruisers parked in front of a boarded up something or other in that opposite vis-à-vis position convenient for conversation and the sharing of donuts and/or stashes of evidence for planting. The adrenaline surged my pulse enough to bug the eyes slightly while my throat did its little tourniquet act. They’re just hanging out, I unconvincingly told myself just a few seconds before the one that had been facing me flung a sprightly U-turn and engaged his blue light specials (didn’t I blog about that just a short time ago? Wow, I must be psychic, friends).

As I recall in most every instance of being pursued by the police, and I assure you that the majority of those times were for minor traffic offenses, there is this weird mental ritual I put myself through. It’s a kind of self-delusional surprise at realizing that the public safety employee is concerned with little old me, a sort of “Humdeedum deedum... What in the Sam Hill fiery brimstone tarnation of Islam?! Well bless St. Patsy (the patron of southern euphemisms)!! I better pull aside to facilitate this dedicated gentleman in getting to the emergency he surely must be responding to.” Reality sets in by way of that rather oxymoronic concept known as Fat Chance. I thought that perhaps by pulling into a church parking lot I could appeal to his sense of old-timey religion. Fat's evil twin Slim Chance, being more ironic than moronic, shot that one down right quick.

“Howah we dooin’ this mawnin’?” said the deptee as I held out my driving and insurance credentials.

“Not really so well. You?” I folksily replied with a sheepish grin. His look quickly reminded me that his type don’t take kinely to having any Yankee upstart pissin’ in their corn flakes on a fine summer Saturday morning. He had me dead to rights, 61 in a 30 (98/48 metric) – ouch. That’ll likely be a reckless driving violation and therefore a much heftier fine. If I’m lucky the Tennessee law enforcement computers won’t converse with Georgia’s and thus my insurance company’s to screw my premiums up for the next three years. The occifer took my documents and said he’d be back in two minutes. About 43 shakes of lamb’s tail later he returned with his clipboard and my citation mostly filled out. He leaned over and asked me few augmentary questions that didn’t seem to have shit to do with shit, then he raised up and started looking about from left to right with a “who farted?” look on his face.

“Ahm getting’ a STRONG whiff of...” in his pause I quickly thought, oil burning? “...Alkeehawl. Has anyone been drinkin’ recently?” The three adult occupants chimed in cheerfully incredulous unison in the negative. My mischievous brain devised a playful scenario in my head that was thankfully not forwarded to my mouth.

“Well sir, I’m the designated driver for our celebration last night (current time - 11:00 a.m. EDT). Yasee, mom here’s getting shipped out to Iraq on Monday, and we just wanted to take her and the grandkid out for a piss-up to remember before she goes. Now the little tyke got a bit crazy and so now he’s back there sleepin’ off a bastard behind the eyes, not to mention he’s teething, which I gotta be honest with ya was giving him NO trouble last night if ya’ know what I mean (insert knowing wink). Now if it’s all the same to you I’ll take that ticket off your hands. We’re a little pressed for time as momma and the boy still gotta go get their matching tattoos before she heads over to the armory.”

Now Sweet B is a smart little cookie, and she quickly surmised that since none of us had in fact been imbibing, the source of the smell was undoubtedly mom’s tin of Altoids, thoughtfully brought along to prevent her breakfastless stomach from giving the rest of us the supercalifragilipstickextrahalitosis weepies. Enter playful scenario #2, which twisted the curiously strong mint theory while zeroing in on both MIL's faithful hydration habit of carrying a water bottle with fresh lemons and B’s incorrigible germaphobia.

Sung to the tune of my best Foghorn Leghorn: “Well sir, I’m the designated drivah for our crew this mornin’ because momma here jes cain’t leave the house without her Absolut Citrontinis, and my luvly galpal in the back has a mild addiction to Germ-X, and I’m talkin’ the girl oughta just git a straw, if ya’ know whutta mean (insert knowing wink). Now I ain’t sure what the boy’s deal is. Hell I ain’t even sure he’s mine, but I will say that in the times I’ve had to watch him while his momma’s passed out, he’s sneaked off for a moment only to come back with a bad case of the bong breath. That’s um, from what I’ve been told the bong breath smells like, you see what I’m sayin’? So you’re prolly jes smellin’ them there furiously strong Altoids he’s all the time poppin’. But hey, that’s neither here nor there cuz he can’t drive anyway, right? Heheh. Say, can I go ahead and take that ticket off your hands? We’re a little pressed for time as junior, and that’s just a nickname since he’s really named after a negro jazz musician, junior’s got a Swim Babies session at noon, although I don’t see him doin’ much more’n staring at the sparkly water and drooling. Boy’s got what I call a cattywampus of the grey mattah, see? I mean the lad couldn't pour piss out a boot if’n the instructions was written on the heel, ya hear me?”

I signed it, he ripped it, handed it to me and said, “Don’t lose that now. Y’all have a wunnerful day, heaya?”

Playful scenario #3, The Courtroom. “Well Yeronner, I was the designated driver that fine summer morning...”

Aw, nevah you mind.

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August 19, 2007


Free and other things that freedom isn't


I was quite moved by this video* that D-Cup posted over at Politits. Viewer discretion is advised for some disturbing images included, but I heartfully recommend checking out her succinct post on what we as a nation may be facing for our children.

The actions of our government are unconscionable. They are a disgrace for a nation that considers itself the bastion of freedom at home and purports to be the defenders of the same abroad.

I hope the tide can be turned, and pledge now to act upon ways in which I can make a difference for my son. I hope it could be done short of revolution, but if not the most likely option for most of us not willing to kill (and preferring not to die) for our beliefs will be to shag ass out of this place.

"Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
Lay your body down"

* And if you are so inclined, embed this at your place and pass the word along. Thanks.

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August 18, 2007


A Double Milestone !

Here it is folks, with barely a minute to spare in the day, the moment for which I promised you'd be left wanting -




200th POST
! ! ! !

You may leave your accolades and salutations in comments, thank you.


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A little filler...

In honor of Blogovia's newest word*, we present a little

BLOG/STUR/`BA/TION n. Blogwhoring one's other blogs at one's own blog.


Kids! Parents! Bastards and Deadbeat Dads of all stripes get your butts over to the place Where The VIBE Is ! ! You say you want the deepest live, legal and FREE cuts from the downest dungeon archives? You say you want to know the newest and best CD releases WEEKLY? You say you want semi-regular music trivia fun? You want hip and humorous musical banter among folks who matter?

Well I can't help you with the last part of that last part, but otherwise your dreams are reality NOW at Where The VIBE Is, Jacks & Jills! Waste no more time, hear - GO NOW!


Need something to do on a Saturday night with your date? Look no further than Film Freaks Film Club, ladies and gents. Heck, stop by any old time to see what this exclusive group of learned Filminati are posting and commenting about movies you know, love and/or care deeply about. Recent titillating exchanges include:
What's your favorite line from a John Hughes film?
What are the merits of and detractions of Casablanca?
What are the 20 most perfect movie endings?
Don Hipman's reviews of Apocalypto, The Departed and Rocky Balboa

And much, much more ! Don't hesitate - go see sparks fly at Film Freaks Film Club (right after you spend several minutes at Where The VIBE Is, of course).


Quick blogministration update: To simplify life and provide peace of mind and create better blog time management skills, the "Every Kind of People" portion (aka "Blogroll") of the MTIH sidebar is taking a vacation. We strongly caution any concerned bloggers affected by this against feeling slighted, but would also cut slack to those who felt it only fair to reciprocate. Links to blogs of a chiefly political nature will be moved to the "Possible Po-jama People" portion of the sidebar, and blogs at which I have posting privileges will also be linked. At some future time EKP may be reestablished, but for now this just seems like the thing to do. I beseech your graceful understanding.

*Actually I think I coined CRAPTURE (Copyright 2007 O'Tim Productions, LLC.) more recently at Fabulously Jinxed, but what's a day between blogwhoremongers?

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August 17, 2007


Mr. Mom, vol. 1

Fear not dear readers, this will be an infrequent series.

As my first week of daddy day care comes to a close, I ruminate upon the experience with eyes and ears wide open. Wouldn’t you know it, Max just started cutting his first two little teeth, and to say it’s changing his sleeping/eating pattern, not to mention his disposition in general, would be an understatement. He’s still the lovable, adorable little sunshine boy, but man if the clouds don’t sometimes move in like thunderheads over a western mountain ridge. And from what I’ve heard and read, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Still, we have a huge time every day. We’re working on solid foods and practicing with the sippy cup, and I have just about mastered both. Meanwhile Max has got holding and putting the cup to his mouth down pretty well but has yet to learn the concept of tilting the head back to facilitate drinkage. He is very curious about what the gr’ups are eating and drinking.

I expect he will be crawling before long, and when that time comes it’s literally “Katy bar the door!” We have many of the child-proofing accoutrements like cabinet stoppers and outlet covers left over from the folks who previously owned the house. We definitely need one of the super boffo top-of-the-stairs gates as it would be a treacherous tumble from the hall to the front door. What else? I’m curious how his ambulation will affect the dogs, who have been pretty stand-offish toward the little guy. Of course the 16-year old male is nearly blind and deaf, so he may just think we’ve got another pal for him to lick and sniff. And depending on baby's bath schedule and/or diaper contents, what a gustatory and olfactory delight that could be! But I’m not so sure about the usually needy baby girl, whose horrible love mileage often causes her to be incapable of getting close enough to you. We surmise that she thinks she is a cat. She has sneaked a precious lick or two of the boy's toes and has even tolerated a few posed pettings, so maybe she’s mellowing in her older age, though it could be a ruse for special treats since she is on a diet (sneaky little bitch).

Have I bored you to beers yet? There is a reason for my droning post – I’ve got a deadline! More on that later...

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August 15, 2007


It's not the hell

Oh gawd has it been sweltering in the sultry southern states. We've had triple digits the past several days, and no rain in sight. It's neither a good time to be a farmer nor a farm animal. While my tolerance for my native northern cold has become totally wussified, my fortitude against the southern dog days has improved little if at all. I feel like Pvt. Jerome in Biloxi Blues - "Man it's hot. It's like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot."

Well here's fun little story for you. About a month ago our central a/c went kaput. We sent for a man to come peruse the situation and he determined that we had a "porous coil," and since the unit was 11 years old, both the inside and outside units needed to be replaced because all new equipment is on a higher efficiency rating. I was inclined to feel like I did when I took my first car in (1973 Chevy Nova Hatchback) for an oil leak and the mechanic said, "Weeell, you might need a whole new car..." without a trace of sarcasm in his drawl. Anyway, we called for a second opinion and upon inspection of the outside unit No. 2 says, "That's a big old hole in the side there." Porous indeed - it looked like it had been attacked with a hatchet. No. 2 confirmed the "whole new car" theory and backed it up with a quote of only $4,850, tax included. I asked him if the hole looked like mechanical failure. "None that I've ever seen," was his reply. So near as I can figure some neighbor punk came around whilst we were away or Mr. No. 1 was trying to upgrade his service call.

Long story shortened: homeowner's insurance say "okey-dokey," and after three weeks of no central air (we borrowed a couple of window units that barely staved off insanity) we're in the cucumber business once more.

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August 07, 2007


Supplies eyed

My good half went shopping recently for her teacher-provided-at-own-personal-expense school supplies for the upcoming year. Once again certain of Georgia’s teachers received a $100 “gift card” courtesy of the guvnah’s schmoozing in last year’s campaign. Yep, it’s a bona fide prepaid VISA card for one hunnert bones. You see, the guv knew that his 2002 upset victory over his predecessor, the incumbent Democrat, was on the backs of a huge chunk of teachers who were pretty pissed off that said predecessor said he didn’t need the teachers to get re-elected (that’s the short version anyway). So as ’06 loomed the first Republican guv since Reconstruction decided he needed a gimmick to stay on the teachers good side, especially after gutting the education budget (or to be nice I should say that teachers took it in the teeth with a budget that the guv and his team passed which whittled away at teacher retirement benefits and cut funding to local school districts whilst giving big business a billion dollars in tax relief aka “economic development” – fwoooh – and if you can believe it, short version). Yeah, hunnert bucks oughtta do it. Well I don’t know how many teachers bought the guv’s fancy charts and campaign BS – they got what they deserved if they did – but none of them are going to look a gift card in the, er, well they’re not about to complain about some cash for stuff that their school doesn’t provide each year.

Some schools had provided what must be considered a modest annual reimbursement, but once the guv stepped up to the plate to bunt many administrators saw the squeeze play was on and took it as a great opportunity to cut the reimbursements from their local budgets. Every little bit helps, right Mr./Mrs. School Board Member? Surfing about I came across this comment on one teacher’s blog:
“I wish we could call them school supply cards instead of teacher gift cards. I don’t think I was GIVEN anything. My class was given additional, state-paid supplies. I did not get any gift. Will we have to claim the $100 on our income tax?!”
Well put, and the sentiment is understood and hereby sympathized with. Here’s another:
“Why didn’t speech langauge pathologist recieve the gift cards? We buy just as many supplies as teachers do, and we dont have parents that send in ‘classroom supplies’? Our contract says that we are teachers, so why did we recieve what the teachers got?”
Please note I copied that comment verbatim, so while I don’t think this “langauge” pathologist was screwed out of “recieve”-ing money on grammatical grounds, in reading her missive I did have an “OY” moment for teachers everywhere. Lady, the south’s got a hard enough time as it is.

As an additional “benefit” (read adding insult to injury) the cards must be used during the spectacular state tax-free holiday, whereby a plethora of retail items have been seemingly flung up in a taxpayer bribe that could be best described as 52-minus-Three-Card-Monty-pickup. What does and doesn’t make the list is amusing, to say the least:
Clothes and shoes sold for $100 or less per item, INCLUDING helmets, jogging suits, lingerie, inline skates and sport coats BUT NOT umbrellas, cuff links, watch bands and ponytail holders.

Up to $1,500 worth of computers, computer accessories and nonrecreational software INCLUDING antivirus software, computer batteries, cables, database software, finance software, keyboards, monitors, other peripheral devices, personal digital assistant, modems for Internet and network access, scanners, Web cameras, zip drives, printers and storage devices BUT NOT action or adventure games, regular batteries, CD/DVD (music, voice or prerecorded), computer bags, computer games, controllers, copy machines, digital cameras, game systems, LCD/plasma televisions, MP3 players, personal digital assistant carrying cases, projectors, surge protectors and cell phones.
Oh, yeah:
SCHOOL SUPPLIES under $20 each INCLUDING appointment books, backpacks, book bags, book covers, book markers, calculators, CD/DVD/floppy disks, chalk, chalkboard erasers, glue, pens, pencils, protractors, rubber bands, scissors and wire bound notebooks BUT NOT books (except children's books, dictionaries and thesauruses), briefcases, envelopes, janitorial supplies, medical supplies or supplies used in a trade or business.
Now, if it's such a fabulous idea for a few days in August, why not the rest of the year? Better yet, why not follow the lead of Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon, which have NO state sales tax at all and are doing pretty well? Why the General Assembly couldn’t just pass lasting, across-the-board tax relief for the middle and lower classes that this ponzi scheme is aimed at is anyone’s guess. And if anyone is Alan Essig (aka “my hero”), executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, they could argue that “it would make more sense to invest that money in supplies and materials in schools than to give the minimal benefit to folks.”

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Proponents have argued that tax holidays are good for getting people into stores because shoppers tend to pick up products that are taxed on top of the items on their shopping lists.

But Essig said there's no evidence to support that analysis. Tax holidays are good politics, he said, but not necessarily sound fiscal policy.

He added that some stores may hold off on sales (on the tax-free) weekend because they know the tax break will draw customers in anyway.

“People think they're getting a great deal,” he said. “The real question is, if you shop the week after, do you get a better deal?”

So, back to school with the teacher-wife. What $100 bought:

Pencils - CHECK

Notebooks - CHECK

Copious amounts of sanitizing supplies - CHECK, CHECK, CHECK

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August 02, 2007


The Monthly Max

There was a lot of shutter activity in the past 30 days. Max was really workin' it, baby! Let's start with some of the fashion shots:

Showing some Hungarian pride in solidarity with his cousins Payton & CJ. Obey the Vizslas!

That, my friends, is how you nail a back landing. Thanks for the shirt Uncle Joe!

And now the artsy stuff:

See you in September!

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