Monday, April 26, 2010

We're on a 5, Everybody

Driver 8 is taking a break to concentrate on some other things for a bit. I'm going to try to write here at least once a week.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More Tales Of Fatigue

This is Sunday’s post and it’s still Friday. I’m no longer sitting in the seminar. I was really antsy and I made the executive decision to skip the next speaker. I don’t do REIT’s anyway. I’m writing this at my desk at home. My PC was out of juice and there was no way I was going to be able to have it with me and not be able to use it. When I got home the first thing I did was call my celly. It wasn’t in the car and I started to panic and have delusions of grandeur. I thought maybe somebody used some high tech car burglary tool to break in and steal my el cheapo phone. I was happy to hear my phone ringing when I called it, but that quickly turned into anger when I figured out the sound was coming from my laptop case, which I had all along. I didn’t forget my phone. I just forgot where I put it. I put it in a pocket that I never use for anything and I spent five minutes emptying my case looking for the stupid thing. I also found the Netflix video. It too was in a place that I never put videos. I have a specific place for them so I know where they are and I can drop them in any random mailbox I happen to pass during the day. I hate being tired. I stopped at Publix – instead of some fast food joint – to get something quick to eat. I got what I thought was a peanut butter Met-Rx bar. It turned out to be an apple pie Met-Rx bar, which wasn’t a bad thing but I didn’t notice what I was picking up because my brain isn’t working. I did notice that the worthless summbitches charged me sales tax for the thing. They never have before. It’s food. It’s processed but it’s still food. It’s not like I got a sandwich at the deli. I started to say something to the checkout lady but what the hell is she going to do? I’m clear-minded enough to know that throwing the protein bar at the assistant manager wouldn’t have gotten my question answered, so I’ll ask about it the next time I’m in Publix after I’ve had a good night’s sleep. On the bright side I’ve written for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so I can leave my computer at home while we go to Disney. Ha-Ha burglars. I’m scheduling this to post after we’ve gotten back. I win losers.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Southern Conundrums

I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be sir.

I’m still in the seminar and I’m writing this for Saturday’s post. Why not get it out of the way? I’m now surfing mommy blogs because the damn LFA network blocks all the gambling and porn sites. Dooce wrote a post giving her experience(s)/opinion(s) of calling people ma’am and sir. She’s from a conservative Southern Mormon family so that was the only way she was allowed to address elders. I grew up in a house full of hippies in communist Montgomery County so the automatic sir/ma’am was never stressed. I was more than a little bit shocked when we moved to the buckle of the Bible belt and every adult rated the automatic title. What I noticed was that since it was demanded it didn’t mean as much. Respect is earned not given. My first example of this was in my sixth grade class. On one end of the spectrum there was me. I respected Mrs. Greer by not being disruptive in class and allowing her to do her job, but she’d have needed something more vicious than anything I’ve seen on The Tudors if she wanted me to call her ma’am. That’s tied to the rebel gene in my DNA. On the other end of the spectrum were the future convicts and drug addicts who were the exact opposite. They thought nothing of Mrs. Greer or her time, but when they were getting handed their daily referrals “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am” were the order of the day. I’m going to try to play it by ear with LMJ. I know I’ll never make her call me sir. Daddy is just fine. I also know that “WHAT?!?” isn’t going to be an acceptable response when she’s called. She will respect my Athori-tah. I also don’t know what I’m going to do about the Southern familiar Miss or Mister [insert first name of adult]. Sometimes it’s just dumb. What if she needs to refer to ME? We’re doing tongue twisters now?

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm Tired And Hungry. I Wonder How This Post Is Going To Go

I didn’t sleep well for a number of reasons last night and I’m paying for it now. I’m sitting in a seminar listening to some dude talk about God knows what. The only reason I’m here is to satisfy a continuing education requirement. I could have gone to a session later in the year but I figured why not get it out of the way. I wish I had waited. The things I’ve forgotten so far this morning include the power cord for my computer, breakfast, and my phone. I left my phone in the car, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal but I brought my phone power cord to charge it and now I can’t. I remembered to drop off LMJ’s preschool application but I think I may have dropped my Netflix video in the drop box along with it. When this is all factored into my having to listen to a bunch of wholesalers drone on about statistical measures I don’t think they really understand for the better part of the morning just so I can get one hour of CE, my frustration level is being pushed to the breaking point and it’s not even 9 o’clock. These dirty summbitches didn’t even spring for decent breakfast. I don’t want crappy bagels from Einstein Bagel Bros. These a-holes want me to invest millions of dollars with them but they can’t spring for an omelet guy and a mimosa machine. Get me drunk in the morning, dammitt. This isn’t going to be a good day. I have that weird fatigue and caffeine buzz right behind my eyes. I’m sitting way in the back so my clicking away on the keyboard isn’t quite as rude as it would be if I was sitting up front. I’m thinking about moving up front. If someone has a problem with me, we can step outside.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Thursday At The Park With The Baby Girl

Grammy had to go to Georgia so I got the baby girl today. We went to an off-brand park on the Avondale/Ortega border, Stinson Park. I like to switch it up a little bit. Actually, the way we wound up at the park is kind of funny in a my-daughter-is-going-to-be-a-world-class-control-freak kind of way. I backed out of the driveway and headed towards downtown instead of towards the park. It’s just force of habit. I went a grand total of one block out of the way. I made a three right hand turns and got us to the park. No big deal, right? Wrong! She didn’t like how we got to the park. It was dead to her. I decided not to go to war with her about playing at a park. YOU WILL SWING ON THIS SWING AND YOU WILL LIKE IT! seemed just as irrational as her disqualifying the park as a suitable place to play because I pulled in the wrong driveway, so we moved on. Stinson Park was a lot more crowded than our neighborhood park, which was a good thing. My baby girl is growing up so fast. She was a little timid but she played well with other kids and put my mind at ease about her transition into school. There were a few funny spots. The first was when a little five or six year old girl was climbing a serpentine jungle gym while LMJ gave the play-by-play and the color commentary: “She’s climbing all the way to the top, Daddy. She’s very strong.” When the little girl climbed down LMJ gave her a round of applause. It was a little bit awkward for the little girl. LMJ figured if the little girl could climb this thing then she could too, and headed up. I had to put the brakes on because I couldn’t reach LMJ and if she fell she would bounce off this metal apparatus at least once and all I would be able to do is try to catch her before she fell the full ten feet to the ground. She thought I wasn’t doing anything but hatin’ on a playa. She also climbed a weirdly shaped ladder that I can’t describe (should have taken a picture) and got to the highest platform on a multi-plaything-slide-tunnel thing. She worked very hard to do it and was very proud of herself. The funny part was when a five year old boy was whining about not being able to climb this ladder that my not quite three year old just finished climbing, and his grandmother made him climb it. After he got to the top she thought he was fine and went to chase his more courageous brother who was headed for the river. The little bitch started to cry (I blame the Crocs). There was another little boy on the platform that had been playing with LMJ earlier, sharing an elephant ride, and when the little bitch started crying he tried to hug him. It was the sweetest thing. We had a fantastic day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Au Natural

My watch was magically out of juice again. I didn’t find out until I was downstairs and outside. I put my watch on top of the van so it could get a satellite sync and I saw “Low Battery”. I almost freaked, but then I thought about an article that I had read. It was about running without a bunch of techno-felgercarb. I didn’t go techno-naked. I still brought my iPod. I was a anxious not knowing all my current stats: how far I had gone, how fast I was running, how long I had been running, my direction, my heart rate, and the time of day. But all of that faded away after the first mile (I guess). It was strangely liberating to just go with the flow. I listened to my body and had a very comfortable run. The only differences were that I didn’t sprint the last 200 yards and I immediately ran upstairs to see how long I had been gone. I looked at the time on the cable box right before I left and I wanted to see if I had gotten back in less than an hour (I did). I think I’m going to run once a week without my watch, at least. Exact time is irrelevant unless I’m going to set a world record – and I’m not. I think my exercise life would be a lot simpler and a lot less frustrating if I stopped using my watch. I don’t need a heart monitor; I know how I feel, and whether or not I’m pushing myself. I’m going to try backing away from the tech stuff bit by bit and see if I can get rid of all of it, including the iPod. I don’t know if I’m ready to get rid of my shoes but that is a movement that’s becoming more and more popular. Running barefoot, or getting as close as possible, is supposed to help make the stride more efficient. We’ll see how long this natural phase lasts.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Blades Of Vengance Never Dull

This hasn’t been a good writing week for me. Nothing is happening. I’m working too much and so I’m not seeing anything. The most exciting thing that’s happened is that I can watch my Netflix through my Wii, and a bunch of Joss Whedon stuff is on. I never got into Firefly when it was on. I don’t think Fox pushed it very hard. It was a really good show and I’m surprised that Sci-Fi didn’t pick it up. I’m going to be done with it in a week or so and I wish that there had been more than the one season. Ron Glass is in Firefly. I don’t know if he worked between this and Barney Miller. I also found Dollhouse, which has been cancelled, but at least there are two seasons of it. I’ve always been an Eliza Dushku fan going back to True Lies – the Guvanator’s last good movie and the last time Jamie Lee Curtis was cast as a hottie. I know it’s not a good week when the limited amount of television I’m now watching is the highlight. Work has been keeping me too busy to exercise. I think that might be why I’m in a funk. I’m not releasing any endorphins. I would mention an event coming up but I read on the interwebs that I shouldn’t publish my comings and goings because burglars use the information to break in and steal stuff. Whatever, if the interwebs say so. If someone broke into our house it would be hard to distinguish between stealing and cleaning. This is all assuming this Ocean’s 11 team was able to get past the moat, the dragon in the moat, the Malaysian Tiger traps, and the gauntlet of hatred. And even if they were able to do all that they would never be able to sleep in the same place twice, lest they fall to my righteous revenge.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Not Ready To Wake Up

The baby girl has two distinct, vastly different waking up styles. One is beautiful. The other is kinda funny, and it makes it very hard not to mess with her. The first style is made of sunshine and butterfly kisses. She wakes up in the morning with this style. There are lots of hugs and “I love you’s” and “It’s a beautiful day, Daddy”. These make me happy and start my day off on a positive note almost every day. The second style is made of pure uncut Bolivian grumpy. This style appears after naps when she’s woken up instead of when she wakes up. I always keep it positive when I wake her up. I sing to her and I tell her how much I love her. Her response is always some variation of “STOP!” There’s “Stop! I don’t want to wake up” and there’s “Stop! That’s enough” and occasionally it’s “Go away”. Yesterday, I asked her if I could tell her that I loved her and she told me yes, because I should go back out there and stop talking to her. She dismissed me to the living room. It’s the cutest thing ever, and it’s really hard not to push her buttons. We need her to wake up so she isn’t going to bed at midnight, so I feel completely justified singing showtunes to her. She doesn’t like me singing “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” or “When I Take You Out In My Surry”. I have to be careful though. If I start singing too soon, before she’s given up on falling back asleep, she gets angry and starts kicking her legs. I feel bad that I think her feral rage is cute as a button, and I try to be empathetic. If someone was waking me up like that I’d have murder on my mind too. Oh well, too bad for her that I’m so much bigger than she is.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Protein, Carbs, Ruffage, and Conspiracies

Today was much better than yesterday and I didn’t even leave the house. I take that back. I did leave the house to make a Starbucks run for dessert. Other than that I puttered around like a shut-in. The day started with an ambitious breakfast effort by MJ and Grammy. I don’t know what got into them but they decided to make eggs Benedict for breakfast. We all showed remarkable restraint, only having two eggs a piece, except for LMJ. She’s on some kind of Ms. Olympia bodybuilder diet. MJ scrambled up the leftover egg whites from the hollandaise sauce – there were like four of them – and added one whole egg and put it all on a plate for the baby girl. She loves eggs but come on. She’s not Gaston. Or maybe she is because she cleaned her plate and asked for more. I can’t eat only egg whites. They’re completely tasteless with a rubbery texture. I guess LMJ is just hardcore. The womenfolk had just started on a walk around the neighborhood when my parents showed up bearing gifts of bagels and cream cheese (and scones). We sat around talking politics for a while, and an idea I’ve been having coalesced into a fully formed thought about our president, his predecessor, and global conspiracies. I don’t take conspiracy theories seriously (say that 5 times fast) but this one I’m pretty sure is true, and it scares the living crap out of me. If I have some time to think it through tomorrow I may write about it. And if something happens to me, I don’t launder money and I would never kill myself. After my parents left and LMJ fell asleep I was able to watch some NBA playoff basketball. I felt a little foolish that my dad may have been at home watching Kevin Durant (the DURANTULA) have one of his worst games of the season after I raved about how unstoppable Durant is. I ironed all my shirts for the week. I had a salad with grilled chicken for dinner. I’m finishing this post. And I’m going to bed ready for tomorrow.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

At Least It's Over

Today was completely and utterly unremarkable. We had a very full day of getting nothing accomplished. Anything we tried failed miserably and opened up a bunch of new problems. The highlight of the day was a late breakfast at Panera and LMJ’s first drive thru car wash, which scared her a little bit. After 10am the day went downhill. The fail started when I took the van to get the oil changed for twenty bucks and was informed by the clerk that I needed to get my 30k mile maintenance done for $400. Sorry dude, I planned on spending 1/20th of that and don’t appreciate you trying to increase my bill exponentially. Fortunately for everyone involved, he mentioned it to me instead of trying to sell it to me. I got home, complained about the car, and had a crappy lunch. I took a subpar nap, which isn’t really a bad thing; it just wasn’t a great nap. After my nap we played LMJ’s new game, High-Ho Cherry-O. It’s a counting game with a bunch of hard plastic cherries that just isn’t very engaging. I tried to fix my bicycle tire. I’ve been looking forward to getting my bike fixed so I could ride the Baldwin trail sometime next week. It’s a 14 mile bike trail with no cars around. I may have to wait a little longer because the new inner tube I put on my wheel popped before I could even get it back onto my bike. I don’t know if I over inflated it or if it was defective because the pressure gauge on the new air pump MJ bought doesn’t work. I don’t think I over inflated the tire. I could still squeeze it with my hand and it’s supposed to be inflated to 100 p.s.i. Finally, it’s 10:40 and I’m still waiting for Farm Bureau Insurance to call me back so we can start the process of getting Grammy’s car fixed. Oh well, on the bright side, tomorrow can’t be any worse than today was unless I get diagnosed with cancer, and I’m not going to the doctor.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Brain Is Pudding

This has been a seriously messed up day. We woke the baby girl up early to help get her on a more reasonable schedule. It ended in unmitigated fail. She patently refused to take a nap, and how do you make someone sleep who doesn’t want to sleep – barring techniques that are illegal to local police. She finally tapped out at 3:45pm – 45 minutes after her supposed wake up time. I let her sleep for about a half an hour before I woke her up. I wasn’t going to be reading stories to a little girl at 11:30 tonight.

While I was dealing with a very tired, very stubborn two year old, Grammy called and offered to go get pizza for dinner. There’s a picture of her next to the word Godsend in the dictionary. Unfortunately, on her way to Moon River some chick ran a stop sign and there was a fender bender. No one was hurt but now there’s a brand new pain in the ass that we have to deal with: a jacked up bumper, two auto insurance companies, and a car dealer.

LMJ is trying to kick her sleep habit. We woke her up early, she got a short late nap, and none of it mattered to her. She was still wide awake at 9:15, like she’s going to miss something. I’m writing a stupid blog post and nursing a beer. I’m Keith Richards. MJ is either sleeping or reading a stupid book. She’s Janis Joplin. Go to sleep little girl; there’s nothing to see here!**

**I’m not sure exactly who’s reading this, but comments pertaining to the alleged actions and attitudes of a boy between the years 1973-1981, irony, payback being a pedigreed pureblood female dog, or the cathartic humor that is a large part of being a grandparent are unnecessary and unwelcome - .ed

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Veto Leads To First Openly Gay President

Governor Crist vetoed Senate Bill 6 today and there aren’t anywhere near enough votes to override it. I’m not feeling a wash of relief roll over me, however. Maybe it’s because of cynicism or my belief that Jeb Bush will reintroduce it a year from now after Crist is gone and Thrasher is governor. I have no faith in the fine, fine people of Florida. I also don’t have any faith in Charlie Crist. I don’t buy that he was swayed in the least by the plight of the special needs teacher that teaches one of his friend’s kids. He was painted into a political corner and vetoing the bill was his only option. He’s a lame duck governor and he’s going to get crushed in his senatorial primary by Marco Rubio. Crist was polite and cordial to Barack Obama and must therefore be shunned by the Florida Republican party. Vetoing this bill gives him a shot at winning the general election as an independent – see Joe Leiberman. Public school teachers will vote for him. They owe him. Non-wingnut Republicans will vote for him. Rubio is running on a standard “Conservative Values” Florida Republican platform, but he’s relatively inexperienced as a politician, and this is for the United States Senate not the Florida 111th congressional district. His Cuban heritage won’t help him as much as it normally would in south Florida because the Democrat running is Maurice Ferre – borinqueño and six term mayor of Miami. There could be a split and Crist might be able to run through the hole. This is before we get to business done while the possum crawls. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if deals have been made to limit support to Ferre by the Democrats if they don’t think he can win, figuring a moderate like Crist who owed them would be better than a young right-wing psycho trying to make his bones and might be in the Senate for the next forty years. The goal for Crist, I think, is to keep Rubio from winning a majority in the general election and causing a run-off with Ferre falling by the wayside. Crist would win all the Democrats' votes and the moderate Republicans' votes. If it gets to a run-off he could even come out of the closet and still win.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stomach Knots

This has been an interesting day so far. My mind is heavy with thoughts. They’re coming from everywhere but they’re all ending up in the exact same place: where should we send the baby girl to pre-school. The pre-school issue is just a loose thread of my sanity that I can’t help pulling and it’s unraveling everything. Actually, I’m not really worried about the pre-school. I’m going to be happy with whichever one we choose. There’s no bad decision to be made. My anxiety starts two years down the road when we have to choose an elementary school. My experience as a mentor at West Riverside, our tour of RPDS, and Senate Bill 6 have brought into sharp focus for me that I cannot send LMJ to a Duval County public school. But I also desperately don’t want to send her to RPDS. RPDS is everything we want in an elementary school with one massive exception: its borderline unconscionable monochromatic nature. I’d be surprised if 90% of the student body isn’t related three generations removed and most of the teachers are alumni (cue the banjos). I don’t want LMJ being the one funny looking kid throughout elementary school. One of three in a class is fine but she can’t be alone. It’s 2010 for crying out loud. My anxiety was magnified by reading the comments about Ron Littlepage’s take on Senate Bill 6. That’s a thousand percent my fault, and worse, it sent me stat searching for teacher salaries just to prove a point (I didn’t comment on the Times-Union page). On average Georgia pays $1,000 more than Florida to start and jumps 42% over ten years as opposed to Florida’s 30% jump over that period. I also looked at a stat called “salary comfort index” which compares the average salary to the average cost of living. Georgia is 3rd in the nation. Florida is 26th. This is before the What Have You Done For Me Lately To Make My Pimp’s Brother Neil Rich(er) bill erodes job security and morale. Atlanta is full of families that look like mine. Leaving Jacksonville hasn’t entered the transom of my mind in fifteen years, but now I’m actively considering it for LMJ’s future. Although there are a myriad – a plethora, if you will – of other factors, I can’t come up with a concrete downside for her. Leaving town is an absolute last ditch effort like jumping off the Titanic, and while the hull hasn’t been breached we’re scraping the iceberg.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I wore myself out swimming this morning. It had been far too long since I had been in the pool. I cut my workout short because I didn’t want to overdue it, and there’s nothing interesting about my swim to write about. I looked at a black line on the bottom of the pool, I rinsed, I repeated.

Instead I’m going to write about stuff that I read in the New York Times today. An interesting note about Justice John Paul Stevens’s retirement is that he is/was the only Protestant justice on the bench. Everyone else is a Catholic or a Jew. I have no idea what that means – if anything – but I find it an interesting bit of trivia.

I read five opinions of academics on why educated people use bad words. I thought they were all pretty close to the mark. The opinions ranged from sometimes people need a little extra umph in expressing an emotion to profanity as a rebellious social bonding mechanism. The same word is used by two different vice presidents in both examples. Dick Cheney used the F-word to let a congressman know how angry he was, while Joe Biden used the F-word to share a victory moment with the president. Profanity is used more in places that have thrown off the yoke of imperial colonialism. Americans and Australians curse more than the English do. Mexicans and Cubans curse more than Spaniards. I love bad words. There’s a poetry to profanity. That’s why people have a much harder time cursing in a foreign language. That’s why everyone reverts back to their mother tongue when they need to let someone know what’s what. The Govenator has been here for forty years and speaks great, if heavily accented, English, but he has maybe three phrases he uses in his movies. I would be surprised if he didn’t slip back into some German when he talks to Maria about the California legislature. I’ve been trying to learn how to curse in Spanish for years. I’ve got a book specifically for it, but I have no idea how it flows.

Actually, the book is about how the same words mean different things in different parts of Latin America and how not to get embarrassed trying to get a taxi to the airport. They need to come out with a dirty Rosetta Stone. I’d buy them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Non-Spring Break Is Not As Much Fun As Spring Break

It’s hard getting back into the routine. I like waking up at 7 a lot more than I like waking up at 5. I had a bunch of work to do so I couldn’t get to the gym today. I hate that. It starts my week off all wrong. I need to look at my calendar before I go to bed instead of first thing when I wake up. On the plus side, getting into the office early helped me be efficient all day long, but that doesn’t make up for missing my exercise time (or my nap time). Tonight was the first time in three weeks that LMJ got a chance to go to My Gym. We arrived early, which is a minor miracle. Trekking out to Mandarin at rush hour usually has us showing up right as the class is starting. I was a little worried when we walked in because I saw new coaches. New coaches suck. These two weren’t as bad as some other first timers we’ve had, but they didn’t have the gymnasium control that we like. Our favorite, Coach Jordan, was there but we think she’s some kind of assistant manager or something because she tends to delegate and spends a lot of time in the office. Despite my trepidations, LMJ had a great night. She tried a whole bunch of new stuff – everything that we asked her to try. She had her best separation time so far, which I didn’t think was possible without Coach Jordan in the active mix. One of the new coaches was a little bit pushy – as opposed to encouraging – and I thought LMJ was going to melt down on her. It didn’t happen. She sat there like a big girl and played with some alphabet jigsaw puzzles and avoided getting hit in the head with a jigsaw cutout hammer. After the class and after the shock of how much lighter it is at 7pm now than it was three weeks ago, we stopped at Whole Foods to load up on fancy yogurt for the week. I’ve looked at my schedule, and unless something changes overnight, I’m all packed for swimming and running tomorrow morning.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Great Spring Weekend

Today was not busy but it was a hell of a lot of fun. We had bagels from Panera for breakfast and then headed out to the beach. The weather was just like it was yesterday afternoon so some members of the party were bundled up. A group of boys had dug a hole yesterday and didn’t fill it in (bad form). MJ decided to play hermit crab and move in. She and Grammy thought it would be a good way to get out of the wind. LMJ had a blast getting in and out of the hole repeatedly. I refused to get in because of my nostalgia from the Great War. I’m not getting in a trench. A po-po rolled up and asked us if we’d dug the hole. I said, “F**K YOU, MOTHEF**KER. I AIN’T GOTTA ANSWER A MOTHERF**KING THING!!!” and handed him my attorney’s card. MJ unzipped her sweatshirt a little bit, licked her lips, and asked “Is there a problem, officer?” He asked us to fill in the hole before we left because sea turtles are laying their eggs and it was more than deep enough for one to get trapped. This hole was dug by about eight boys between the ages of fourteen and sixteen with no females around. In other words there was a lot of energy available for the digging e.g. it was very deep and very wide. We started pushing sand back into the hole without a proper shovel. Grammy went to the van to get a proper shovel; I was using a bucket to pull sand into the hole, while MJ and LMJ enjoyed some Doritos. Damn, I want my union card. We did a fair job of making the beach sea turtle friendly, played for a bit longer, and then went home. We stayed at the beach a little bit too long because everyone was starving (despite the Doritos for some of us) so we decided on fried chicken for dinner and peel ‘n eat shrimp for lunch. I feel bad because all weekend long MJ wanted some peel ‘n eat shrimp but for some reason it never happened. We wound up having beanie weenies for lunch, but we did score with a proper brown and white Southern dinner with some fried chicken as the staple. I started this weekend as grumpy as grumpy can be, but no matter how much I try to hang on to it, my bad mood is no match for the beach. It’s been a great weekend and a great end to MJ’s spring break. Half an hour in the pool and an hour running tomorrow

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Run. Bike. Windy Beach

I’m pretty tired after a long day. It started with a run through Riverside – I’m back. I went early – for me, anyway – to take advantage of the cool weather. Running in 60 degree weather is a lot easier than 70 degree weather. I ran the same course this morning that I ran yesterday afternoon and pulled six minutes off my time. Basically, I took a minute a mile off my pace. I came home expecting to shower and immediately head to the beach but those plans got nixed. Instead of going in the morning we decided to go in the afternoon, after LMJ’s nap. To pass the time I ate hamburgers and watched a little bit of golf. Golf sucks. MJ said she wanted to go on a bike ride before spring break was over so I headed to the (new) bike shop to get an inner tube. It’s a miracle I didn’t walk out with a new bike. I started talking to the owner about my triathlon ambitions, and he gave me some really good pointers. It wasn’t anything I didn’t already know but it was stuff that I’ve pushed into the denial part of my brain. Stuff like road bikes are smaller, lighter, and faster than off-road bikes. He also took the time to insist that I show him my bike before he sold me an inner tube to make sure he was selling me what I needed. He wanted me to test ride some road bikes to see the difference, which was clearly a sales pitch but it wasn’t really. I like him a lot more than I like the other bike guy that I’ve been giving money to for the past three years. I can’t believe that I kept going to that jackass who always acted like I was inconveniencing him with my business. I kept going because he’s local and I try to support local businesses as much as I can. So is the new guy but I had to choose Riverside over Avondale – not anymore. We wound up skipping the bike ride so we could make it to the beach before the sun went down. It was a freezing 70 degrees so Grammy and MJ got bundled up and almost bought the baby girl some snow shoes. Seriously, they covered LMJ up in TWO sweatshirts and spent a fair amount of time on the beach making sure her ears were covered. We didn’t want her losing an ear to Jack Frost. It’s funny because I’m on the extreme opposite of the temperature spectrum and loved the windy beach weather. It was the first time I’d been comfortable all day. I really shouldn’t make too much fun of Grammy and MJ. Last winter I didn’t notice the baby girl was cold at the park until her hands turned pink.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bucky Katt Has A Guitar. Your Argument Is Invalid.


My computer is in Orlando getting fixed.  I'm tired.  I'm grumpy.  I don't feel like writing.  I may make up for this week ass post sometime later this year (or not).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just Because I'm Paranoid Doesn't Mean They're Not After Me

I’m writing this only to stop my screensaver from kicking in while a brand new virus scan runs – it also gets my post for the day out of the way. I’m thinking about blaming Steve Jobs and Apple for my computer woes. There’s some twisted mutant virus on my computer that my tech guy has been working on for more than four hours. The thing shutdown my virus software and Tom had to install some new program. I’m trying to resist asking him about this new program and if it’s better than the old program why it wasn’t installed in the first place. It’s not his fault. He’s even more at the mercy of large corporate bureaucracy than I am. I also ran the numbers for what I’m paying for this machine, and basically my own personal tech guy, and I don’t really have any room to complain. LFA gouges me on a bunch of stuff but not the actual computer. The advanced nature of the virus that’s infecting my computer is what’s leading me to blindly accusing Steve Jobs. I think Apple is flooding the interweb with these viruses to push people towards their products. I didn’t go to some freaky deaky website to get this virus. I only go to heavily trafficked sites that depend on that traffic for their income. If they don’t keep their site in order then people will stop coming to them. I know I’m cutting ties to one of my favorite sites because it’s the only one that I can think of that acted funny. It’s the premier MMA bulletin board. It’s a huge site with ties to ESPN, but it’s the only site that I frequent that even might be a little bit vulnerable to virus and spyware piggybacks, unless it’s the New York Times, ESPN, Fox Sports, Facebook, or Blogger. Those are the only sites, and sites within those networks, that I visit for non-business stuff. The virus isn’t even going after my passwords and personal information. It’s only dropping porno icons on my desktop. That’s why this has to be a conspiracy that involves some pretty sophisticated programming, and the only people who would gain from this would be Apple.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Broken Computer Day 2

I still have tech issues

  • long run
  • pool with friends
  • good day

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6 2010

Another day, another computer problem. I don’t know what it is about this machine. I’m making this post short. It’s only serving as a marker.

• I have another computer problem
• We got a new tire on the van
• I missed my chance to workout
• Today has been a really busy day of nothing.

Monday, April 5, 2010

First Good Sweat Of 2010

It got hot quick today. When I was leaving to go to the gym this morning MJ was headed back upstairs to get a jacket. That doesn’t really mean anything because she could be in Death Valley in August and if there was a breeze she’d want a jacket, but there was a chill in the air as I got in the car. That chill was gone after I drove two miles to the Y and got out of the car. When I finished my pushups and pull-ups it was hot. Just because the temperature was speeding towards 85 and I’m still getting over a cold and the air is four parts pollen, one part air doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do a couple of bridge loops. I had planned on running for 90 minutes and doing the elliptical for an hour. I would have gotten in the pool but geriatric aquaerobics dominates all but one lane between 8am and noon on Mondays. I decided on doing the bridge loops instead of going on a long run because I didn’t have any sun tan lotion. I figured that 45 minutes of bridges at least equals 90 minutes through Riverside. The 45 minutes turned into an hour because running up and down the Main Street and Acosta bridges is hard. Much, much harder than a long flat run. Thanks to the heat and the inclines I made the executive decision to skip the elliptical altogether. I wound up only running about five and a half miles but I’m about done for the day. I fueled up and hydrated the way I’m supposed to and I didn’t crash. However, Gu is disgusting. It tasted like orange marmalade (minus the bits of fruit) but finished like Triaminic. I ate it about two hours ago and I can still taste it. I have a strawberry banana one that I’m now afraid of. On the plus side my backpack dominates. I had room for three pairs of shoes, a change of clothes and all my gadgets. Now that I’m done, I’m glad summer is back.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Might Be An Alcoholic

Another Easter Sunday, another celebration of our Lord and Savior climbing out of Hell with family and friends and wine. (Side note: Word is telling me that whole thing is a fragment and I guess it is since it doesn’t have a verb, but it’s a complete thought. Maybe if I changed climbing to Savior’s climb Word would like it better.) Last year we had eggs Benedict and asparagus with my parents. This year we had steak and asparagus with my parents, and I had a bottle of Merlot. The reason I know what we had last year is because I looked at last year’s post. I’m doing that more and more. I’m using myself as a reference. Last year I wrote about building an animatronic zombie Jesus and Passover Land. I never got around to it. Grammy bought a bottle of Merlot to serve with Easter dinner. She also got some world class steaks. My mom playa hated on my dad and made him share his steak with her, something about red meat, cholesterol, and heart attacks. I wasn’t really paying attention. I was busy scarfing down my three pound steak as fast as I could before someone tried to take it away from me. I also was the only one to have any wine. It was a classic textbook situation. I had a two glasses with my steak and asparagus. The wine was surprisingly good. Everyone else had water or iced tea. Once we were done eating MJ and LMJ went to take a nap and Grammy, my parents and I sat around and talked about all kinds of things. We talked about politics and genealogy, and I had a third glass of wine and after that it would have been silly not to finish the bottle, so I did. Then I took a nap. I’m calling that a good Easter.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

This To Shall Pass (Not Too Quickly I Hope)

We let the baby girl sleep in today because she hasn’t been sleeping well and we were worried that it was starting to take a toll on her. She woke up at 9:30, just in time for a blueberry bagel. The late rise pushed the day back. We were planning to go the beach but instead of early morning, like we normally do, we got there in the early afternoon. Strangely enough, the beach was packed. When did the beach become popular on the first day of spring break? We drove around for an hour looking for a parking spot and we finally found one by ME’s condo. It’s in Jax Beach and we normally go to Atlantic Beach but it worked out for the best today. We were still looking for an open spot in the sand when we found (were found by) KI. What are the chances? This is where my day really started to pick up. KI’s husband SI offered me a beer. We sat there drinking on the beach, it was cool. The day got kind of funny in a schadenfreude way when a group of young guys started tossing a football in front of us. One of them had “This to shall pass” tattooed on his chest in big cursive letters. He was missing the second O on his “too” and there’s no room to add it. It was a tattoo. It’s permanent. We don’t know if anyone has ever told him. MJ blames the tattoo artist. I say buyer beware. It was a tattoo artist not an English professor. KI and SI left to dye Easter eggs with family but were quickly replaced by ME, her kids, and most importantly, her husband CE. My day picked up again when CE offered me another beer. We visited for another hour and a half before we reluctantly started home. This was a more than solid start to beach season. What began as a chore to find a parking space turned out to be one of the best beach days ever. Just like it always does, the beach reminded us of why we live here. I’ve always liked the sentiment of the proverb dude had on his chest, but I hope beach days will be an exception.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Yes I Want Some Cheese With My Whine

Today is supposed to be Good Friday. It isn’t. I don’t think Jesus would have named it that. I think he would have named it F**ked Up Friday, and that’s what today has been for me. I still can’t breathe and I had a crappy bike ride that culminated with a flat tire. It was truly providence that I didn’t lose my shit and smash my bicycle. I don’t know if flat tires are something that avid bike riders just deal with or if I’m something special. It seems that every third time I ride my bike I get a flat tire. I hate that. I didn’t even get to ride ten miles. It was just a giant waste of time and energy. If I was riding off road I don’t think the equipment failure would bother me as much or at least I would understand it. I’m riding on public roads and sidewalks in nice neighborhoods. I don’t know why but I get the real feeling that the dude at the bike shop sold me some defective tires. I’ve always gotten a weird vibe from him. I think it’s best for everyone involved if I change bike shops.

As for our Lord and Savior, he had a much worse FUF back then than I did today. He was flogged, stabbed and crucified. That’s a really bad way to go. You just hang there until your shoulder muscles fail and then you suffocate. You also have to carry your own cross up the hill.
I remember a couple of jackasses in the early UFC that carried crosses to the octagon to show their devotion to Christ. They both got crushed. The second got his gonads pounded into fine paste in the most brutal display of violence I’ve ever witnessed. He’s been the punchline for almost twenty years. He’s MMA’s version of the Wide World of Sports “Agony of Defeat” guy. A couple of years ago a breakthrough in DNA testing proved he was a sadistic rapist and now he’s spending the twenty-five years in prison.

I don’t know what any of this has to do with anything other than me being in a bad mood on a twisted holiday. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Can You See Yourself In My Classroom Next Year, Johnny?

MJ and KI worked themselves almost to death trying to be the best teachers they could be today. The first thing I heard from MJ this morning was “I’m so tired I want to vomit”. Good morning to you too, Sweetie Pie. When MJ got home she was on the verge of tears telling me about her day and the state of education. She and KI had spent the day planning the fourth quarter, which in my mind was dumb. When the great Senate Bill 6 becomes Florida Law Bend Over, the fourth quarter isn’t going to be for teaching the current kids anything new. They’ve already taken the FCAT. They have no further effect on their teachers’ incomes. For all intents and purposes they’re dead. The fourth quarter should be used strictly for scouting next year’s students and buttering up the principal or whatever administrator is in charge of next year’s scheduling. Teachers should stop doing the best they can with the students who walk through their doors, whoever they may be, and start recruiting like this was big time college sports. Sure, it may cost a teacher a couple hundred dollars in bribes to the front office staff. That money’s going to come back in blue chip test taking students, and blue chip test taking students mean ca$h. Now that I think about it, a smart teacher is going to make sure she’s the principal’s secretary’s favorite. I imagine it would just be a matter of time before there were a bunch of rules concerning recruiting students, and just like college sports; those rules would be circumvented or outright ignored, especially since money’s on the line. The fact that it’s going to be a relatively small amount of money – thousands of dollars to individual teachers as opposed to millions of dollars to corporations – will make the cheating much easier to rationalize. I’m so glad John Thrasher is on the job. /sarcasm