Showing posts from 2012

Thundery Thursday

This is almost here so I will be brief.We used this staycation day to visit two major shopping malls and a place called Cheekwood which is a botanical garden and museum. They had a very brief program tonight featuring the Nashville Ballet. We also took a tour of the treehouses that have been built to commemorate different works of literature.Lindsay had no idea that I was posing with my natural look instead of my typical fake smile.Both Lindsay and Sara enjoyed the rubber band ball treehouse thingy.That’s all I have time to do. I need to shut the laptop off since the lightning is getting insane. Hopefully I will still have a roof, siding, and a shed tomorrow.

Staycation Wednesday

We spent our staycation day at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville. The kids have been there on field trips. I went there on field trips when I was a kid. After almost 30 years, I still recognized a few things. For example, this used to be on the first floor and was pretty fascinating back in ‘79 or ‘80. I didn’t see anyone go near it today.Unfortunately, the old lunar lander game is also gone. Kids today probably wouldn’t have the patience for it.The kids did enjoy the moonwalk.So did this crazy guy. Every time he was pulled up, he made all sorts of karate kick moves and furthered stereotypes in the process.I discovered a solution to my fat problem. I just need to move to the moon.We also saw a perfect use for an old Pontiac Fiero. How many people does it take to lift a lemon?The kids convinced me, yet again, to climb of a tower on nonsense and slide most of the way back down. I’m getting too old/out of shape/fat for this stuff.How will we top today? Tomorrow we are planning on…

Outside Workday

I spent this hot and humid day off marking things off of the “to do outside” list.Mowed the yardRepainted and renumbered the mailboxRepainted the wheelbarrowTo top it off, I grilled pork chops for supper. The poor wheelbarrow was needing the paint job quite badly. I bought the paint four or five years ago and it has sat in a cabinet in my garage all of these years. Today it went from white and rust to green.The wheelbarrow was a hand-me-down from our neighbor at a house we were renting about 10 years ago and it is supposedly over 50 years old now. The tire appears to be at least that old.I blame years of band camp for my continuing inclination to voluntarily work outside even on the hottest days. No one else was out mowing at noon when it was 93 degrees with a heat index of 103. I’m obviously the craziest person on the street. I’m glad there are no yearbooks in adulthood because I would probably be voted “Most Likely to Die of Heatstroke While Performing Yard Work”.Tomorrow we resume …

I watch TV: Miami Vice

I find it hard to believe that I have never written a whole entry here dedicated to Miami Vice.I find it harder to believe that it premiered 28 years ago this September. I had never seen a show like it and every time I travel to Miami I think about it. Some people don’t like it. I have every episode of Season 1 just about memorized.There are a lot of comparisons to music videos and the “MTV effect” is pretty prevalent. I did also love MTV at the time back when they actually played music videos. However, the stories were gripping also. At times, they were downright scary. It was hard for me to believe that a world like this actually existed but in reality the stories presented each week were not that far fetched.The oddity of Miami Vice is how quickly the show sort of fell apart. It became gimmicky. Glenn Frey was good the first time. Phil Collins should have never been on there and I love Phil Collins. Don’t even get me going on G. Gordon Liddy and Willie Nelson being on there.For the…

Ben Franklin’s Virtues in the Internet Age

I just started reading “The Happiness Project” mostly because it has been recommended time and time again on a podcast I listen to but also because I need to get out of this bored, unmotivated, uninterested rut that I have found myself in for the last few weeks. At the beginning of the book, the author talks about Ben Frankin and his list of virtues:
Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation
Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversations
Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve
Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing
Lose not time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions
Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; speak accordingly
Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that …

Hump Day

Since my Sunday entry where I whined about all of the dry weather, my rain gauge has been filled with six and a half inches of rain.Here was the rain as it approached the house this afternoon:This looked particularly nasty:The rain arrived with full force and everything quickly filled up with water again:Aside from the rain, the word for this week is “frustrated”. I can’t explain exactly why but I have been on edge all week. I’m not sleeping well so maybe that is the problem. Next week is another vacation week so maybe I can make it to then and all will be well.

Mother Nature comes for us again

I remember the good old days when it would rain and we wouldn’t get 60 mph wind to go along with it. We just had the finishing touches on our house from the last big one and I thought we were spared today when I noticed that something in the back yard looked a little off.This is not normal. The shed normally sits on level ground. The door normally opens to the side and not from the side.Mother Nature had lifted the shed off the ground and threw it back down when it gave up on flipping it.No, I don’t usually store everything like I am on “Hoarders” so this is also not normal.It was more of an annoyance than anything. My lawn mower survived and that’s really the only thing out there that has any value. I emptied the building and sat it back down and fixed the door. We’re ready for the next line of storms which, unfortunately, should be here in about 15 minutes.

A break from the heat?

Our almost two week run of 100 degree-plus weather (105 yesterday) is supposed to start coming to an end today with a high of just 98 followed by a week of rain and highs in the 80’s. It will feel positively like fall here. We need the relief quick. I’m not sure how much longer the AC unit can handle this. I also have fans running in every room of the house trying to keep the cooler (barely) air moving around.

As hard as we have worked to keep the house comfortable, there is nothing I could do for the yard.

I could have watered every day but that is a huge waste of water and it means I would be the only idiot on the street mowing when it’s 110 degrees.

I did water the tomatoes often so we have a green patch in one part of the yard but they basically have stopped producing anything so I guess it didn’t help much.

That tiny sprinkler in the picture came from QVC and it is amazing. It is adjustable beyond belief – notice how the right side is watered more than the left side?  It also has a…

Yes, I love technology…

…but I cannot get used to this:That’s why I am still writing in one of these:I don’t like “typing” on a touchscreen because it feels clumsy. I do like having a permanent record available that I can flip through that does not require charging and won’t run out of memory and won’t get lost somewhere in a backup on an external hard drive. Once I fill up a notebook, I can put it away for a while just in case I need it.I usually buy these little notebooks in 10 packs but it takes me forever to use one up. I don’t write a whole lot, just a word or a sentence here and there with a date beside it. Blog ideas, work scribble, etc. – it’s all in my notebooks.

I go to the movies: Moonrise Kingdom

It’s been quite a while since I have been to the movies, partly because they are crazy expensive and partly because I have lucked out and not had to see any kids movies lately (there is only so much animation I can take). I have been wanting to see Moonrise Kingdombecause I really enjoyed Rushmore and because the trailer for the movie looks so surreal.

I’m sure there are better words than surreal to describe the trailer and the movie but I just can’t think of one right now. The movie is set in 1965 but it’s not the 1965 portrayed on “Mad Men”. It’s a 1965 that we might have wanted 1965 to be if we were sitting in 1965. It’s an incredible mix of fantasy, potential, and reality. It’s much more than a first love story centering around the two junior high aged main characters. The adults certainly have familiar problems and they sometimes react as we would expect them to and they sometimes react as we would like them to. The kids fulfill fantasies we all had as kids – escaping whatever sit…

Looking back at Canada Day over the years

This Canada Day is quite unique due to this:It’s been 105 or higher every day since Thursday. This is why, for just the second time I can remember, we are not having a cookout tonight. It’s insanely hot so there will be no volleyball, swimming, etc. In fact, cooking outdoors is part of the burning ban we are now under. Amazingly, fireworks is not. I plan on guarding my house Wednesday night with a garden hose.I do intend to get the flag out sometime before sunset (as soon as it cools down to 100). We will be watching the Canada Day celebration on TV as we always do via the power of the internet. I hope we have much better weather next year so we can do this up right and eventually make it up to Canada to see all of this in person.Since we’re stuck indoors this year, here are some pictures from our previous Canada Day cookouts. Oh, if you are wondering why non-Canadians celebrate Canada Day way down here in Tennessee, I explained it once a while ago.This from last year on Canada Day. L…

Still gaming after all these years

June 1, 1982 was a landmark day in my life. It was the day I got my Atari VCS. Yes, we were probably the last house in town to get an Atari and the video game industry would collapse the following year. Up until then, all of my video game experience was with the Pac-Man machine at Kroger, the tabletop Galaga at Pizza Inn, and assorted other games at Barrel of Fun in the mall and Showbiz Pizza Place.The VCS came with Combat and but my parents also bought me a copy of Pac-Man. We plugged into the old floor model RCA tv in the living room and I wasted an entire summer. It wasn’t long until I had a variety of games. Some were new, like Pitfall! and some were old like Night Driver and Breakout. The $9.99 games were just easier to come by than the $30 games like Defender.I didn’t own another system until I got a Super Nintendo. For the better part of 10 years, my home gaming was all Atari except for the games I had on my wonderful dual disk Amstrad PC that ran DOS. It couldn’t handle Window…

New FM Radio : Tecsun PL-118

I have travelled with a lot of different radios over the years. Some were too big (Kaito KA-1103), some wore out too fast (Kaito KA-11, Grundig G8), and some just plain sucked (Grundig Mini 400). I’m not really looking for anything fancy but most radios have way too many features like hundreds of memories and shortwave. Shortwave isn’t going to work worth a flip in most hotels. I just wanted a digital FM tuner, automatic tuning (ATS or ETM) and a simple to use alarm clock.I finally found the best of all worlds with two minor issues in the Tecsun PL-118:Unfortunately, you can’t just run over to Walmart and pick this up. I bought it directly from a seller in Hong Kong on eBay. It took about 2 weeks to get it and I paid right under $20 for the radio and the shipping combined. I bought mine from ANON-CO and was very happy with the transaction. It runs on 2AAA batteries. It has one touch ETM (Easy Tuning Memory) which scans the FM band and automatically adds a preset for each station. Hold…

Almost 4 months after the storm, the repairs are complete

On March 2nd, our house ended up in the path of a tornado-producing thunderstorm. The funnel cloud went right over the house and ended up touching down two counties away. The wind (estimated by the Weather Service) at 70 mph was bad enough but the hail it drove into the back of the house and the roof was what caused all of the damage. They don’t look that bad, right? Consider standing outside as thousands of golf balls fall from the sky. In a windstorm last year, an area of shingles was ripped off the roof. This storm was far worse. Not only did more shingles get ripped away, but I also had holes and cracks (that you really can’t see in the picture) all over the back of the house. It’s odd but none of the other sides had any damage because the wind was blowing straight back to front. Also, everything that was sitting outside (including the poor Ford Contour) was dinged up.Right after the storm:Today:Right after the storm:Today:It looks like a new house thanks to Mid-Tenn Exteriors. Se…

Songs of Summer

My iPod is filled mostly with music from about 1975 to 1990. I can’t help it. I’ve turned into Harold from “The Big Chill”.Michael: Harold, don't you have any other music , you know, from this century?
Harold: There is no other music, not in my house.
Michael: There's been a lot of terrific music in the last ten years.
Harold: Like what? Even I need to hear new music from time to time. So, where do I hear new music? I hear most of it on a local station here in Nashville - Lightning 100. I highly recommend them.Here are some of my latest iTunes purchases that I am enjoying as we bake this summer. One note – I never see videos anymore so the first time I have seen these is while writing this: 1) It’s Time – Imagine Dragons What a cool song. This is my favorite song right now. I’m just not sure why they were inspired to set the video in some sort of end of the world wasteland. Odd. 2) Tongue Tied – Grouplove Finally–a video that captures the mood of the song–but it’s backwards and i…

Lights Out! (or the lengths I’ll go to trying to beat the heat)

If I ever buy another house, I am going to remember two things. First, I need a dining room and not an “eating area” that is part of the kitchen and way too small. Second, I need to consider the amount of shade around the house (hardly none here) and which way the sun will be coming in the windows at which time of the day.The sun comes in directly through the back of the house I did buy in the late afternoon during the hottest part of the day. This turns our kitchen and living room into a toaster oven due to the higher ceilings. Another part of the problem was the $4.50 blinds I put up in a rush when we bought the house. We moved in very fast considering that we were renting and had a short window to move. This was also while I was travelling all of the time for work. And, I was cheap.I have replaced many of those cheap blinds with newer, still cheap, blinds over the years. I’ve also resorted to using newspaper to cover the kitchen windows on 100+ degree days so that the AC does not h…

It might be time to move north

I wouldn’t mind it if summer hadn’t started in February this year or if it had rained in the last month. At least I no longer have any grass to mow. It’s strange having to water the trees every night. I’m too lazy to set up sprinklers and do the whole yard but I might do that right ahead of the 4th so the neighborhood hoodlums don’t burn down the house with fireworks.

The good news is that relief is in sight. We’ll be back down to 99 on Tuesday if the forecast holds up.

Thank you, Nora Ephron

“I’ll roll down the window.”

Blog Vacation!

Remember when I was on actual vacation and blogged everyday through it?

Now I’m not on vacation but I am taking a break from the blog for a few days. The last week was a real energy drainer so I am taking some time to NOT THINK!

I should be back by the end of the week unless we all melt before then.

The Mid-Week Report

If you’re expecting an exciting tale from the pages of my life, it’s not going to happen. The highlight of my week was when my office chair suddenly imploded on Tuesday. After three years of propping up my doughnut-filled rear end, it gave out. It now sits on the deck awaiting its trip to the recycling station.

Oddly, I had felt like I had been leaning to the left most of the day. I found myself leaning more to the right to offset it and had just started to accept this as normal behavior when – BAM! – the left side gave out and I was suddenly at an angle.

I can’t blame the chair. It had enough torture.

There is not much other news. The week after vacation always drags and this week has been no different.