Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eric Shea

This was really funny. Enjoy.

I'm Irrelevant! - So Says Target

"Target to the blogosphere: you're irrelevant." According to an article written by Michael Barbaro, from the New York Times, January 27, a member of the PR department at Target responded to a fellow blogger in a less than cordial manner. As reported in the article the bulls eye retailer missed the mark on this one. The representative of the company, a talking head, indicated that Tar-ja doesn't respond to non-traditional media outlets.

Okay, so the beef was over someone who wanted to point out to the Big Red Retailer that they diagreed with some pictures in an advertisement. Okay, disagree and thank them. End of story. But, to take a dump on the bloggers of the world? Show me that someone based in Minneapolis doesn't understand that electricity, the wheel, fire, and the internet have been invented and used! OH! Mr. Gore, you need to let Tar-jay know that right after you invented the internet that Tipper invented the Blog.

With retail sales not going well I don't think the "red one" understands the power of the irrelevant. I plan to let my local store manager know that I'm irrelevant as I take my sales elsewhere. I've even asked my spouse, and other fellow irrelevants to shop elsewhere.

Irrelevants of the world unite!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Book - There is lots of Frog Outside

Again, under the heading of from the mouth of babes, we have a new entry into The Book. This tomb that is being used to chronicle the words, events, and items we will want to share with our children once they are older and our memories are not as sharp.

This Sunday morning started with a discussion with our youngest, who provided the weather report. Outside it was another cold January day, gray with low clouds. Princess Daba reported, there is lots of Frog, outside, everywhere!"

This prompted the others getting ready for Sunday School and Church to poke good natured fun about the amount of Frog. All had a good time then began the process of pronouncing the word, Fog.

Yet another entry for "The Book"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Proud Parents and Manners

Lieber and I had the opportunity to experience the joy of being parents and the recognition of the fruits of hard labor. Maybe I didn't communicate the hard labor part correctly, not the making big rocks into little rocks kind or the agony of a tough delivery. Sorry, focus!

We took the whole crew to dinner at the Olive Garden in town. This is the place the kids love. They can have all the salad they want (yes, my kids love salad and veggies), hot breadsticks, and Princess Dabba can have all of the Par Jon cheese ( her pronouncement of Parmigiana Cheese) ground onto her plate.

As we sit at dinner the kids do a fine job of saying please and thank you to the wait staff. Each orders their meal and gets to pick their drink. Doesn't sound like a big deal. Each are conversing about school, friends, topics of interest, and just being family. Lieber and I noticed the positive behavior of the crew.

This was also easy to spot because there was a poor couple in the restaurant having to but up with the Exorcist! I couldn't see the youngster because he was about 15 feet behind me. But I could hear him! We have all been there with a little one that wasn't on the top of their game or parents that didn't want to take the field of battle due to prior war wounds, but this kid was a piece of work.

Anyway, as our crew dined and talked a few glances were taken by our littlest angel who mentioned that she was being very good. I acknowledged her positive behavior and thanked her for accompanying me to dinner. This prompted a mention of nearby activities. (I could see the message in her eyes. Anyway, nothing was said to loudly!) The family with E departed and things calmed down.

As we continued to dine a nice elderly couple came up to say hello. The lady leaned toward Lieber and said, "you have well mannered children." This prompted a polite thank you ma'am. As she walked away the gentlemen comes and repeats the same message to both Lieber and me.

Now I have to tell you there are three things happening in my head:
First, the happy dance with a chest bump, is playing in the old noodle. This is the parental version of scaling Mount Everest! You know it, who's your daddy, I mean parents?

Second, Oh thank you Exorcist, you beautiful bundle of terrible toddler more like middle schooler! (I didn't say I was proud of what I was thinkin, but I was thunkin it!)
Third, please, oh! please let this sibling detente continue until we are out of sight of the general public. Then we can go back to stop touching me, she's to close to me, he called me a......

But the kindest most humble thank you came from my mouth. I do love my kids, even on days when things aren't the most peaceful! Dinner was very pleasant. I could tell even the crew did their mental version of a victory lap.

We had a wonderful time. This evening was a lot of fun. The comments were nice for all involved. It is nice when others let the crew know they were noticed.

Proud Busy Dad and Busy Mom

Promotion cuts into Blogging

My fellow bloggers I am officially about to mix happiness and wine. I mean whine. Yep, my employer in its infinite wisdom has seen fit to promote me. You know, bigger title in lieu of salary, well not really, but, there is some duckets that accompany the larger title and more responsibility. That is the happiness part.

Now the whine! This new gig is cutting into my blogging time! Let's get our priorities straight.

Since my employer actually expects me to have some level of competence in the job, even after just over a week, at the new role they are expecting some return on their investment. How is it that I keep getting promoted into jobs. I want to be promoted into a position. You all know the type of role I am talking about; where there is lots of entertaining, golfing, trips to cool places, over sized paychecks and overstuffed offices, that is on the days the jet can get me there. (My dream!)

Okay, okay, you see all work and study has made Busy Dad really mumble.
I'll stop the whining. The new job really has been fun, exciting, challenging, and a nice change of pace.

So, no more whining. I'll get my posting groove back. I have to live up to the expectations of my blog coaches, The Egle's Nest, Nap Warden, Chris in Oxford, Because Mom Said so and all the others who fueled the fire to blog with comments. Your indulgence is appreciated.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Man of Winter

Meet Uncle Noel!

This is the jolly man of the north. On our recent trip to the north Noel, or Noelie as we call him, introduced my southern born children to snowshoes. They had never seen them in anything other than in a book 0r pictures.

Noel and his wife Laura hosted a wonderful holiday event with the northern relatives. My kids had the chance to spend time with Aunts, Cousins, Uncles, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and multiple generations of the family.
We had a grand time sledding the hills around thier home. With the temperatures we have today that was warm in comparison.

Political Bumber Sticker - Suggest yours

The following bumper sticker has been making the rounds on the Internet. It made me laugh.I'm now thinking up references for the others running in the race for President that can be used. (i.e. Vote for the Law & Order candidate, Fred "08)

Let's keep it clean. Use the comments to suggest your bumper stickers for the folks in the 2008 Presidential race.
If we have to keep hearing about the primary process that doesn't make a difference let's at least have some fun. Comment your ideas today.

Baby Its Cold Outside

The thermometer is reporting the temperature outside of 3 degrees, Fahrenheit. Now that is cold! That number is without the wind chill. Can you imagine?

This is weather neither fit for man nor beast. This takes cold to a whole new level. When you get to zero or no temperature outside that is cold!

Old Man Winter is giving us a taste of the deep freeze this weekend. There is even talk of snow in the state of Alabama.

Good luck to all this weekend in the battle to stay warm.

Friday Night at the Movies - Pillow Talk

I don't know how I have survived this long in life without seeing the 1959 movie Classic - Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Lieber recorded the movie when it ran in the middle of the night. So, we decided to watch the movie this evening. It was actually pretty funny.
Tony Randal did a nice job as the best friend in the movie. I also thought it was interesting to see how people dressed in the movies and talked with each other. My how things have changed in 50 years.

I couldn't help chuckling when there were jokes in the movie about he potential sexuality of Rock Hudson's character, Rex Stetson or Brad Allen. They were very subtle.

Doris Day was something else. She was, in the words of my seven year old, a sharp looking lady.

My kids watch the show and were enamored by the formal dresses, the fine restaurants, the big cars, and the rotary dial telephone. We even tried to explain the concept of the party line. You wouldn't have thought I didn't understand the value of a Nintendo DS the way my son looked at me during that discussion. Almost like I was speaking a foreign language.

Imagine a movie where no one was killed. The language wasn't objectionable, and the worst thing in the movie was the characters smoke and drank. The smoking and drinking was pointed out as a unhealthy life style.

If you haven't seen it rent it or find it on a movie channel near you. It is corny and predictable but worth the 105 minutes of comedy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

20, A's, 1, B and a "Jack Ass"

Yep, that sums up the report card season in our house. The crew came home today with the quarterly reports. Lieber and the crew were very excited. All that hard work and study is paying off.

The fun part of getting to hear about the grades and seeing the teacher comments is the joy on my wife's face. She works very hard with the kids on preparing for school. I constantly joke that the second time through school makes the work much easier.

So, the final tally is twenty A's, and one B between three kids and a very proud spouse. Pretty impressive. I am thrilled to see the level of accomplishment and it was fun to discuss the results.

Then we get to hear about my handy work with the kids. Our youngest, in a fit of rage at the seven year old used her new word for the day in a sentence. Of course, this is where I am credited with the development of our children. Not the good looks, the athletic ability or the academic prowess.

Yep, that is what she said! And yes, when asked by her mother where she learned that word. You guessed it, "Daddy". Kids say the darndest things! Yes, I did use that word in a sentence as I drove a few days ago. And my sweet darling was riding in her car seat behind me. I explained that is not a word she or I should use. Lesson learned.

A great evening was had by all.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Can you Say SEC - Congratulations LSU Tigers

SEC Baby!

Congratulations to the LSU Tigers, the SEC team in the Bowl Championship Series. Now, can we hear some props for the teams that play in the toughest conference in America?
It was a tough thing to watch Ohio State take another one in the Chops as the Big Ten representative. 38 to 24 I hope the pollsters and the BCS computers decide to remember the SEC next year.
Also, if you don't have a conference championship game your conference should start out with one tie on your record. Maybe this would keep imposters like Hawaii out of the polls.
Congratulations to the LSU Tigers and the fans!
I can't wait till next August when we get to start all over again.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Movie Afternoon - National Treasure, part 2

National Treasure the Book of Secrets. We did family time at the movies this afternoon. What a great action packed, fast moving movie. It even was a tad bit educational.

Our family was part of the 20 plus million dollars spent this weekend on this movie. The kids enjoyed the show as much, even more than the first one.

If you haven't seen it. I would recommend it. Especially, if you liked the first National Treasure.

Did you Really Go to Niagra Falls At Night?

Are you kidding me? Since me and Lieber shared the pictures of our trip to, through, Niagara Falls we have continued to get the same question over and over again. Did you really go to the Falls at Night?

Okay, I live near a very small town that many people say the place folds up the sidewalks and goes home at 6:30 p.m. So, this is not the first time I have heard this reaction from people when we tell them where we went or explain that there was an activity that took place in the near by town after dark. But, come on. Are you serious?

It appears the straight answer is that there is a believe that people of Buffalo actually turn off the water each night. Calm the rapids, mop up the water, and wait for the sun to shine. You, know, to save this wonderful natural resource for the next day.

This is great. I have found a way to make millions. The business people, the concession stand owners, the hotels, restaurants, etc. can have a greater patronage if they would advertise that the Falls are open at night. New York is not just for lovers, its actually open after dark!

As we shared our trip I was truly amazed at the number of people who live in the area that have never been to see the Falls. Maybe it is a geeky tourist thing to do. And, it is in a somewhat cooler climate than some care to venture into. But, you should plan a trip just to experience the awesome beauty and power of nature.

Steelers season blows up on 3rd & 7

With just 3 minutes in change on the clock the Pittsburgh Steelers had a one point lead, they had momentum, and they had the ball. All it would take would be one maybe two first downs to run out the clock and survive to play another day. Not that the play up to the end had been spectacular but it was enough to survive. Then the offense went brain dead.

On 3rd and seven, Steeler's Offensive Coordinator, Bruce Arains, must have had a brain cramp. Just get the first down, cause the Jaqs to use up their time outs, get another first down and the game would be Pittsburgh's.

The Steelers run "The Slowest Mammal" play. This can be the name of the caption under the picture describing the play. Needing 7 yards, mind you, 21 feet, of football field to a first down, the ball is snapped to Ben Roethisburger to run! He heads left with the speed of the tortoise. Give Mr. Arians, credit, on paper, with a movable Quarterback this might be a possible solution. Something broke down. The left tackle decides he is blocking for a QB that can be timed in the 40 yard dash with a stopwatch not a calendar. Ben, looking like the number of letters on his jersey are causing him to run in slow motion heads to the left. His tackle decides to run past two Jaguars who put the Steeler's QB on his can. The clock is stopped and the rest, as they say, is history.

Mr Arians, please go find that page in the playbook and remove it unless you find someone in the back field with greater foot speed than a three toed sloth. Being an Alabama fan I have seen your play calling before. I somewhat recognized that play that I believe ended with a similar result in Bama. But, no. He couldn't have gone back to the same bag of tricks?

Let's get rid of the play, 3rd down and seven, Run the slowest Mammal on the field.

Rant over. Steelers go home until next fall. Oh! so sad.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Lost in Translation

On the list of top 10 most embarrassing things one of mine happened to me in March 2007. Back in March? Why do you write about it now?

Well there is a corollary to the story that was discovered on my December vacation.

Based upon my lovely wife's girls weekend trip to New York City, in February '07, she had been introduced to a blend of French Vanilla coffee. Her cousin's coffee shop sells the exact same coffee as a fast food restaurant. Upon her return to the midlands we heard about the desirability of this beverage on a number of occasions.

On a road trip to Dallas, Texas, over the St. Patrick's Day weekend, my lovely wife tells me the story about the beverage again. So, as we pull off the highway for gas and rest rooms in rural Oklahoma, I decide I will acquire one of these drinks for me and my wife. Now, the story about where to get this french vanilla coffee substance, is relayed to me, to be sold by none other than McDonald's.

So, I pull up on my car to the order speaker. Following my request to acquire the wonderful beverage I can still hear the laughter coming from the drive-in microphone. There was even the request to repeat your order.
I I drive away I see the 3rd shift McOkies in the window looking out to see what planet I was from..imagine a french vanilla something or request such a coffee drink...from McDonalds. It was humiliating.

So, after months of having time to forget the story and go through the 12 step "I'm A Loser" process...I thought, quoting Pumba, from Lion King, I had put my behind in my past." Oh! Contrair!

In a nice location in Brooklyn Heights, New York, my past comes back. Lieber begins to discuss the Oklahoma incident about the beverage with her cousin. There is laughter. I start the chant about I am not a loser, I see a mental picture of the McOkies, then I hear the following. "Oh, maybe the french vanilla coffee really comes from Burger King! Oops! Being back at step 5 of the process is okay. I snapped back quickly. How in the world do you mix up those two locations. Maybe there was something lost in translation. Anyway, I haven't gone to see if the beverage exists. Just can't do it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Have You Ever Seen Niagara Falls

During our recent travels we were cruising on the Interstate between Erie, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York. We saw direction signs to Niagara Falls. Only 20 miles? Well far be it from me and Lieber to deprive our children of an educational opportunity. Here is a chance for my crew to see a foreign country, Canada, and to see an impressive natural wonder. We consulted the map and bingo.
Seeing the rapids above the falls and then seeing the impressive power of the falls was lots of fun. Notwithstanding the 30 degree temperature and the 8 inches of snow on the ground, the sights, sounds, and facilities in Buffalo were awe inspiring.

The crew were very interested in the natural wonder. There were many questions, a couple of snowballs tossed into the rapids, a few over the falls, and some quick pictures and we were back in the warm car.

If you haven't been to Niagara Falls you should make the trip. It is well worth it.