Tuesday, December 12, 2006


This one comes from my son's family, enjoy:

so we were on our way home saturday night when we heard it.

we'd spent the better part of saturday rushing around like crazy people and unfortunately, it all culminated with a dreaded (but necessary) trip to The Mall to purchase ezra's big christmas present: a buzz lightyear doll. I should also preface this whole thing by saying that the ez has been a little out of sorts lately. nothing major, just the usual toddler stuff-- super wiggliness, extra grouchiness and a whine that makes you to want to pull your eyelashes out one by one. by saturday night, we were all on the verge of something big and ugly, but somehow, we made it. we made it through without any major meltdowns and with the dignity of the family fairly intact. I think I even had some eyelashes left. most importantly, buzz lightyear made it to the car with ezra none the wiser. doesn't seem like a major feat, but not too much gets by the kid and ward and I were basking in it. we were feeling pretty cocky, ready to celebrate. best of all, we were finally in the car and headed towards home. the crying and the wiggling and the whining had finally stopped and when I caught sight of ezra's heavy-lidded eyes, I felt the sort of relief that only comes at the end of this kind of day. the car was silent. dear readers, it was a thing of beauty.

and then we heard it. loud and clear and from the trunk:


ward and I looked at each other with great horror. we looked back at ezra-- his eyes immediately popped open and he was wild with excitement. as if the rescue he'd been waiting so long for had finally come, as if he'd always known it would happen this way. his mouth made the tiniest little 'o' shape and his eyes were wide as silver dollars, he could barely speak. ward abruptly stopped the car. we kept looking at each other, waiting for some sort of divine intervention. then ezra began to scream for buzz, pointing upwards and backwards, laughing and struggling to turn around in his car seat.

we made a quick decision to play dumb. what else could we do? we pretended we had not heard the Voice From The Back. we turned the radio on, spoke to him soothingly, pleaded with him to go back to sleep. but the child, he knew. HE KNEW WHAT HE HAD HEARD. and he was not about to abandon hope. he kept screaming, "MY BUZZ! MY BUZZ! MY BUZZ!" and I'm sure he was thinking I KNOW I'M NOT CRAZY, I KNOW WHAT I HEARD. but what else could we do? nothing to do but keep on driving. we were desperately hoping he would fall asleep and forget. and he did (finallly) fall back asleep. but he did not forget. at three in the morning, he remembered. at six in the morning, he remembered. by eight o'clock, he was trying to put a set of car keys into the hands of his very groggy father, pulling him towards the front door. buzz! buzz! buzz! in back, he'd say. slowly and with great emphasis, just in case there was any confusion as to the exact location of the beloved buzz. still, we continued to feign ignorance.

and it broke my heart just a little, but it had to be done. come christmas morning, the pay-off is going to be monumental. cameras will be charged and ready to go.

unless we pull another rookie stunt and mess that up too.

Ward's add-on to the story:

When I was wrapping Andrea's birthday gift today, Ezra sauntered into the room and after taking one look at the wrapped present, he looked up at me, pointed at the gift and said, "My Buzz? Yes, my Buzz."

And later on in the evening, we were at one of our favorite restaurants and after eating, I walked outside with the boy so he could get all his wiggles out. There were some short bushes in a nicely landscaped area near the front of the building and it wasn't before long when I found Ezra going through each one, peering into the shrubbery looking for his Buzz.

Kid's got a ONE TRACK MIND.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Marriage has made me even busier than before. I spent most of the week raking leaves in the morning, running around noon, and playing golf until dark in the afternoon. I know that I should not complain about my mostly goof-off retirement lifestyle, but I could use a few more hours in the day to go online and check my email, write a book, look up some relative that lived long ago or update my blog like now. Being a software guy for all those years it feels strange to have to ask one of my kids how to do something on the computer. The laptop has slowly crept into their daily lives like the TV did in my day. I rarely visit either of my children when they are not multi-tasking, cooking dinner or watching TV while they photoshop a picture, make an entry to their blog, or update their website using their laptop. My son is always asking me about how it was in "my day." The urge is to tell him that it still is my day, but he means no malice so I let it go while at the same time realizing that
technology is changing our lives at a record pace. And speaking of records, It was 78s, then 45s, then tapes, then CDs and now iPODS. What will it be tomorrow? Do I need an MP3 player? My cellphone is outdated because it won't play music, though I can reach the Internet and take pictures with it. Everyday it is something new. That's what makes life exciting though. Think I will go recharge my batteries.


How was Thanksgiving? I did my usual routine. I got up at four in the morning, took a showerand drank a quart of fat-free chocolate milk. I was then "race ready" and drove to theChamblee MARTA station to take advantage of my preparations. After sitting in my car forabout 30 minutes watching the early arrivals prancing around in the nippy morning air, Igot up the courage to leave the warmth of the SLK and proceed up the hill to the Clairmontbridge where the starting line for the half-marathon is. I had a good gauge on what to wear from my previous observations of what the early bird arrivals were attired in. I usually pick something a little on the warm side of the middle wear. Too old for the cold. I had a good race strategy as it turned out as I ran within a minute of my 2000 time. Kind of erased 5 years of slowing down in one race. My plan was to push it early as the first 7 miles are mostly down hill while the last 6 miles contain some really steep hills including the one by Piedmont Hospital that the Peachtree Road Race runners grumble about each year. It went so well that I was 2 minutes ahead my planed split time at the 7 mile mark. I just tried to hang on the last 6 and beat last year's time by 16 minutes. I think the new neighborhood has helped because it is so huge compared to my Snellville neighborhood which only had one main road that was about a mile long. You had to get out on a major highway in order not to feel like a gerbil.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The last movie we saw was THE DEPARTED. Does Scorsese know anyone that doesn't use profanity? You will think not after watching this plane crash. Seems everyone in the film has a problem identifying who they are. Any good notions soon go sour as people are being blown away and their blood splattering everywhere. The whole premise of the film is unbelievable. There is this preoccupation with rats, in this case one has infiltrated the mob, while the other is a mole in the police department. Leonardo is a good cop who goes undercover to get the goods on the rat with all the cheese, Jack Nicholson. Meanwhile, Matt Damon is a rat in the police department with ties to the Nicholson rat that go back to his childhood days in sunny Boston. We know that it is Boston because everyone talks like JFK. It was like winning an Oscar depended on who could produce the heaviest accent. My nomination goes to Mark Wahlburg. Why is it that Nicholson could not figure out that the new guy in his organization might be the rat? And it would have taken Columbo about 15 minutes to catch the rats scurrying about the police department. Matt and Leonardo both have a thing for this department psychiatrist. This little mouse is so dumb that she can't figure out that Matt is bad pretending to be good while Leonardo is good pretending to be bad. Not only do we have two guys both having an identity crisis, schmoozing the same girl who doesn't have a clue who they are even though she gets paid to do just that, but we also have the whole police department and every mobster in Boston that can't figure these guys out. Anytime the dialog goes south, the guns come out and bullets fly everywhere causing more blood to splatter. After they kill everybody off, they have to end the film, which is a good thing, at last.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I heard this on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started and never finished." So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished Off 23 Bud Lights, a bottle of Absolute, a package of Oreos, the remainder Of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos and A box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel.

Friday, October 20, 2006


In Honor of Stupid People . . . .
In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods. On a Sears hairdryer -- Do not use while sleeping. (That's the only time I have to work on my hair.)

On a bag of Fritos -- You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside. (the shoplifter special?)

On a bar of Dial soap -- "Directions: Use like regular soap." (and that would be???....)

On some Swanson frozen dinners -- "Serving suggestion: Defrost." (but, it's just a suggestion.)

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom) -- "Do not turn upside down." (well...duh, a bit late, huh!)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding -- "Product will be hot after heating." (...and you thought????...)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron -- "Do not iron clothes on body." (but wouldn't this save me time?)

On Boot's Children Cough Medicine -- "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication." (We could do a lot to reduce th e rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5 year-olds with head-colds off those bulldozers.)

On Nytol Sleep Aid -- "Warning: May cause drowsiness." (...I'm taking this because???....)

On most brands of Christmas lights -- "For indoor or outdoor use only." (as opposed to what?)

On a Japanese food processor -- "Not to be used for the other use." (now, somebody out there, help me on this. I'm a bit curious.)

On Sainsbury's peanuts -- "Warning: contains nuts." (talk about a news flash)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts -- "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts." (Step 3: say what?)

On a child's Superman costume -- "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." (I don't blame the company. I blame the parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chainsaw -- "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals." (Is there a lot of this happening somewhere?)

Thursday, October 12, 2006


In California (especially Silicon Valley), they don't gripe about the weather-- they gripe about the high cost of housing. For those of you just starting out (or for those of you who have already been there), allow me to offer you:

The Complete Guide to Apartment Ad Deciphering by Justine Ehlers

What They Say vs. What It Means
Spacious - To anyone living in their car. That's why we're charging $200 above the going rate

Easy access to transportation - Particularly in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, this can mean:

(a) in the flight path of Moffet Field
(b) next to the railroad tracks
(c) next to a major road/freeway/highway
(d) a&b, b&c, c&a above
(e) all of the above

Friendly staff - Doberman pincher mentality
Free utilities - That's the only way we can entice people in this dump. Would you pay this high rent AND the water and garbage?
Heated pool - Only when the sun's out and there's water in it
Workout room - Four walls, some free weights, a machine or two and a clunky stationary bike
Great views - Overlooking the garbage dumpster, overlooking the pool, overlooking the cute guys/gals apartment
Affordable - to:

(a) anyone with an income of $100K
(b) anyone with wealthy parents
(c) anyone who is wealthy
(d) anyone who wants to spend $$$ on housing

Please fill out our marketing survey - "What?! You didn't fill out the annual income? We can't show you anything until you fill that out. You won't? I'm sorry, but we can't show you anything."
Pets welcome - Kids aren't, we just never got the odor out AEK - All Electricity Kancelled W/D - Will be Disgusted or Worried/Depressed people AC - Atrocious Carpeting
WWC - Wall to Wall Crap
Great rent bargains! - located in East Palo Alto (Complex insurance does not cover bullet holes in car, self-protection devices, frequent theft and/or life insurance)
Light and airy - Built as cheap as we could, cold and drafty
Secure parking - The manager's apartment overlooks the parking lot, no one's been robbed on the street
Move in bonus! - No one else wants it, it hasn't been rented in six months, includes last tenant's stuffed parrot
!!! - Desperation is directly linked to the number of "!"s used
Rustic - Classic 60's decor, nothing has been fixed since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake outhouse is in the back, only one heating vent

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Question: If you could live forever, would you and why? Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever," --Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've ! lost a very important part of your life," --Brooke Shields, during an interview to become Spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body," --Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country," --Mayor Marion Barry, ! Washington, DC.

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it,"! -A congressional candidate in Texas.

"Half this game is ninety percent mental." --Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." --Al Gore, Vice President

"I love California! I practically grew up in Phoenix." --Dan Quayle

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"--Lee Iacocca

"I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version." --Colonel Oliver North, from his Iran-Contra testimony.

"The word 'genius" isn't applicable in football A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." --Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.!

"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people." --Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas." --Keppel Enderbery

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." --Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

"If somebody has a bad heart, they ! can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record." --Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

Friday, October 06, 2006


We had a crazy day at the golf course. A person was hit on the head with a golf ball. He seems smarter now. A cart ran into the end of an open gate almost killing the guy on the passenger side. Fortunately, he managed to avoid a direct blow to the head, but he did suffer a glancing blow to the chest which cracked a couple of ribs. Just before going home, I took a walk in the woods to look for golf balls, stepped on a fallen tree limb which flipped up and tripped me. I thought I was okay except for some bleeding from a small wound on my right shin. I took out the first-aide kit and bandaged it the best I could. It seemed to bleed a lot for such a small injury, my sock had turned completely red by the time I patched myself up. That night, I cleaned and re-bandaged this small in my leg and went to bed. Not wanting to bloody up the bed in case it started bleeding again during the night, I took some old sheets and a couple of pillows and camped out on the kitchen floor. To my surprise, in the morning I awoke to something much like that horse-head-in-the-bed scene in Godfather. I was lying in a pool of my on blood. After cleaning myself up once again and miraculously only getting blood on tile floors and not the carpet due to my adept new skill of towel walking, I woke my wife and told her that she needed to drive me to Emory Emergency. Sunday morning is a much better time to have an emergency than Saturday night. We were in and out in two hours. After deciding whether I was a pumper or a leaker (I was the latter), they stitched me up and I'm as good as new except I couldn't run for a week. Turns out I had punctured a vein (leaker) not an artery (pumper). It wasn't going to quit bleeding until I got stitches or stuck a hot knife into the wound like they did on Gunsmoke.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I went to see Barnyard one evening, but it had to overcome some serious gender-bending going on. This animated venture just might be the Transamerica of computer-generated family films. It's a mildly funny movie that entertains young audiences, but one aspect is utterly mystifying: The two main characters, father and son bovine creatures, have large, distracting udders. If you can get past that hurdle, the movie has some funny sequences. While still trying to fix my brain's broken logic circuits from seeing that Barnyard flick, I watched Fight Club on TV. I thought this movie was about fighting not a film about masculine identity in the service class. It was dark, yet funny, inspiring much laughter, both nervous and hearty, with one of those Sixth Sense endings. Just what I needed. Think my brain has suffered a severe blow to the logic matrix from viewing these two films. Where did I put that book that I was going to read?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I was putting out signs for a golf outing the other day when
I came upon a huge hawk stalking a squirrel. The had just
shot up a tree, leaving the hawk on the ground who was now
glaring up at him trying to figure out his next move. I thought
I would do the squirrel a favor and shoo the hawk off. I tossed
some ice cubes from my drink at him, but all it did was switch
his glare from the squirrel to me, the ice tosser. He was only
ten yards from me and when I went eye to eye with him, I
thought that the the ice strategy might have been a poor plan
of attack. The hawk seemed to grow larger by the minute. I got
out of my cart to maybe join the squirrel in the tree, but the
hawk didn't come any closer. This gave me the chance to pick up
some pebbles to throw at him. It became abundantly clear why I
never pitched in the major leagues as the rocks sailed to the left,
to the right, in front of, and over his head. None them phasing the
hawk. I don't think he has any natural enemies and, therefore,
didn't see me as a threat to him, especially with the inaccuracy of
my "wild thing" arm. He starts walking down the cart path to get
a better look at his next meal while I'm scrambling to find something
more intimidating to throw at him. I go into my lunch bag and pull out
a couple of grenades (cokes) and fling them at him. One flies over his
head, but the second coke lands at his feet, spraying him with
carbonated cola and sending him soaring off into the wild blue yonder
in search of a local bird bath.