Friday, September 30, 2011
While some of the videos are mind-numbingly complex and/or boring, most of the ones I've watched have been nothing short of fascinating, motivational, thought-provoking, mind-bending, thought-altering and absolutely worth the 20 minutes it takes to watch one.
If you are in the field of education and are not watching some of these videos, I would strongly recommend that you give them a try. Most are absolutely usable in a classroom. Some will be more appropriate for older kids, but there are certainly videos on here that will appeal to elementary and middle school-aged students.
Give it a try and let me know what you find.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I wish I had something witty to write, but I don't at the moment...unless, you find my headache and the fact that I'm attending a sales conference funny. Some folks might.
My company has a sales conference once a year. This year, we are in St. Louis, Missouri. According to the folks who've been with the company for 15+ years, this conference blows in comparison with previous ones. After our breakfast offering this morning, I'm going to have to believe them. We had fruit and little muffins, some juice and coffee. Really? We're in meetings from 8:ooa.m. to 8:00p.m. and we have fruit and mini-muffins?!
Enough with the griping.
I'm just letting you know that my posts will be sporadic at best this week. After I'm done here, I'm traveling home and getting ready to celebrate my niece's wedding. I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about after that. My family usually does things big and there's usually a screw-up in there as well.
So, check back when you can. I'll post when I can. The world will be a better place. Promise!
Friday, September 23, 2011
Me: How was your day TGC?
Her: Okay. We had to sing at a funeral.
Me: You did? Why?
Her: Different classes get picked to sing at funerals. We had to go today.
Me: Whose funeral was it?
Her: I don't know. Some old dude named Leo. He was like 68.
Me: Some old dude named Leo, huh?
The Boy Child: 68! That's actually not all that old.
Her: Well, let me tell you, there was a LOT of crying at that funeral.
Me: I bet. People were probably sad because he passed away.
Her: Yeah, those people, too, but I'm talking about in my class!
Me: Your class? Kids were crying?
Her: Heck yeah! Jebediah (not his real name) was crying because his dog died.
Her: No, a long time ago. And, he was crying because some relative died.
Her: No, I don't think so. I'm not sure. But he started crying, then other people started crying and more people started crying.
Me: Did you cry?
Her: Heck yeah! All those people crying made me sad and I cried too!
Me: Well, I'm sorry about that. That sounds tough.
Her: Yeah. What's for supper tonight?
And another conversation:
The Girl Child: Do you know who Lulu (not the child's real name) is?
Me: I'm not sure. Why?
Her: She's adopted.
Me: She is?
Her: Yep. She's from Taiwan.
The Boy Child: How do you know about Taiwan?
Her: Duh, because Lulu is from there!
Me: Wow. She's fortunate to have been adopted by a nice American family.
Her: Yeah. I think her parents are rich or something.
Me: Really. That's lucky for her.
Her: Elizabeth Ann (not the child's real name) is adopted, too.
Me: Yes, she is.
TBC: How do you know? Did this come from other kids or from her?
Her: It came from Elizabeth Ann.
Me: She is adopted TBC. Her parents talk about it openly and she knows it.
TBC: So...Elizabeth Ann is from Taiwan?
Me: NO! She is from the United States.
Her: And, her family is RICH!
Me: I don't know about that. Her family does very well and she's very lucky to have been adopted by them.
TBC: I think they're rich and she is lucky. She could have been adopted by someone who made her a slave.
Him: Well, you know, a lot of kids are adopted out and the people who adopt them make them into slaves. You know, to work around the house, on the farms, in factories and stuff like that.
Me: I don't think that happens here in the United States. Maybe in other countries.
Him: No, I'm pretty sure it happens here too. A lot of kids are adopted and turned into slaves.
Me: Okay. Whatever. Too bad you kids weren't adopted out.
TGC: How much longer before we get home?
Me: Not long (thank GOD!).
TGC: Good! I'VE GOT A POO CRAMP!!!!
And people wonder why I'm on Lexapro?!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
And here's another post regarding the Fair experience and my fascination with roosters.
This rooster caught our eye, or rather, our ear as we wandered up and down the aisles of the show barnes. He laughs instead of crowing. I swear it's true! This is just a snippet my wife recorded. Earlier, he was crowing/laughing loudly and incessantly.
I love this guy! He laughs in the face of adversity. He is a scoff-law or a scoff-rooster. He defiest the very nature of nature itself by laughing instead of crowing. This rooster is the Fonzy of roosterdom!
I mentioned to my wife that this rooster was my hero.
"Your hero? How can a rooster be your hero? He's a stupid rooster who can't even crow." she said.
"WRONG! He's a rebel rooster! He stands before the rest of roosterdom and laughs in their faces! This rooster is tired of being pigeon-holed and stereotyped! He defies the laws of nature to make his statement and to mark his place in the world! He's a lot like Winston Churchill!"
She looked at me with that one look. The one where her left eyebrow trembles a bit. It's the same look she gives The Boy Child when he talks back to her and acts like he's some angst-ridden, down-trodden, bereft waif who has to make his own way through the world selling pencils and apples for pennies while his evil parents sit at home and drink cheap booze and watch reality t.v. (Part of that statement is true. I'll leave it up to you to figure it out. And, Faulkner would be proud of that sentence!)
Then, with the look still in her eye, she said, "That rooster has NOTHING in common with Winston Churchill. How could a rooster have anything to do with Winston Churchill?!"
I had her! "Winston Churchill was a male. Winston Churchill laughed in the face of adversity. Winston Churchill did what was necessary to prove his point. Winston Churchill visited Missouri! So, there! They have a TON in common but you are too blind to see it!"
The Spouse just stared at me. I think she knew I was right but she was too proud to admit it. I'm totally like this rooster, Fonzy and Winston Churchill too!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Actually, that's a metal rooster. The Spouse (that's her up above in case you were wondering) and I have developed a fondness for big metal roosters and chickens. It's all because of that crazy Bloggess and her posts about this big metal chicken she bought and wrote about. You can read about it at http://www.thebloggess.com/ (Warning: She uses the "F" word and all of its known and unknown variations A LOT!)
So, we were at our local fair Saturday with the kids. In between riding rides and waiting out the rain, we visited the animal barns. We saw lots and lots of chickens, roosters, turkeys, ducks, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, cows, cows, cows and donkeys.
Sometimes, I get all wistful (not really but I'd like to think I could) and wonder what it would be like to live on a farm and have all of those animals around. They seem so cute and sweet. My little walk through the show barns cured me of that yesterday. It may also have infected me. I'm not sure but I'm watching for signs of bovine fever! (If you remember from an earlier post, I studied medicine at one point. For like 25 minutes. So, that pretty much makes me an expert on some medical things.) The smell was horrendous and the worst part is, most of those animals had been scrubbed and shined to within an inch of their lives! How can anything be clean and smell that foul? I am NOT cut out for farm living.
Like most fairs, ours has its share of people selling homemade things. The dude who made this rooster had them in small, medium and large sizes. He also had some cute little piggies. I wanted to buy this rooster but The Spouse (aka The Money Nazi) thought it would be a waste of money. How could buying that be a waste of money?! That thing's magnificent. You can see that my kids love it and even The Spouse was enamored of it.
She's relentless on the money issue, though. She was all like: "You just broke your arm. We have medical bills that will start coming in. We've already got some medical bills from when I had my procedure earlier this year. We can't afford to waste money on that!"
So, I was like: "Well, maybe you could get a better job that paid more money and I could buy stuff like that! You're so selfish!"
And then she said, "Come again?!"
And I said, "Nothing. Can I at least have some cotton candy?"
I was going to write about how the fair always makes the weirdos come out and I took some pictures of people who were like "dressed up" for the fair. One lady had this huge velvety shirt on with gigantic roses all over it. She had on purple velour pants and these white fur-trimmed boots, too. She was decked out! It was something to see.
Then, I saw this really heavy set girl in her 20's. She had thick, long blonde hair down her back and she was wearing these light blue jeans that were ripped on the right leg from near the bottom hem up to the top pocket. All of her white fatty flesh was showing and that cut piece was flapping back and forth like a sail in the breeze (there was A LOT of fabric!). She had on a top that showed her ginormous boobs and her fat roll, too. I couldn't take a picture of her, though. She kept looking my direction every time I raised my phone. I was afraid she'd beat the crap out of me. She had that mean, pitbull look about her.
I was going to post pictures of those people and more, but I just looked at the middle picture above and noticed that my son got all dressed up. He's wearing my old water shoes. They are like three sizes too big for him. Then, there's The Girl Child. Take a look at that mismatched ensemble. She looks like a rainbow vomited on her. The Spouse looks good and I had on nice jeans, a white shirt and tennis shoes. So, looking at those heathen made me realize that my kids looked like everyone else at the fair! The Spouse and I were completely out of our element! I bet some carnie or somebody is posting pictures of us on their blog right now.
And that top picture, the one with The Girl Child...remember how I told you earlier that she's the Thelma of Thelma and Louise fame? Do you doubt me now? She was totally supporting me in my attempt to get The Money Nazi to loosen her money belt and fork out the cash for that rooster.
Alas, we came home without the rooster and I didn't get any cotton candy. That's okay though, the kids had a good time and that's all that mattered.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
On to the things about which I'm disgruntled:
1. I don't have enough money to buy all the things I want/need. For instance, I need a big black Mercedes. I really do. Think of how cool I would look! I think people would be less likely to notice that I'm overweight a bit. They'd all be saying stuff like, Who is that cool guy? He's freaking HOT!
2. Watching people come to Starbucks and order non-fat mochas and then fill them with six packets of sugar. Really?! Who are you fooling?
3. I'm fat. That makes me disgruntled. I need to lose some weight. I was totally on that path until I broke my arm! I was getting ready to start this incredible body building routine. I was going to sculpt myself into the next Adonis. Really! It's all under there just waiting to come out. Then, Satan reached up and snatched that dream right out from under me! I'm totally kicking his butt if I ever see him!
4. Wearing this arm brace while my arm heals makes me disgruntled. I have to put on this little gauzy sleeve and then the splint/brace thing comes on. The sleeve makes my arm itch and the brace totally limits my range of motion. Think of all the things I can't do: bodybuilding, row a boat, climb a mountain, box, karate or any badass form of martial arts, turn my hand over all the way, pick my nose with this hand... It's really limiting my ability to excel!
5. Realizing that both of my kids are probably smarter than me. Do I need to explain this one?
So, if any of you would like to send me money so I can buy that Mercedes, please send me a message. That would totally make me gruntled!
Saturday, September 17, 2011
1. Baby Kate and her Family: Kate made it through her big surgery just fine. It was rocky for a bit but everything seems to have smoothed out and now she is home and recovering quite nicely. Her Mother and Father continue to be some of the most inspiring and incredible people I have ever had the pleasure and privilege of knowing. I have sat in my chair and sobbed silently as Ashley describes what was happening during Kate's recovery. I have marvelled at their faith and trust and absolute belief in the power of prayer and God. In almost every single update on the CaringBridge site, in the midst of her descriptions of Kate's surgery and recovery, there would be mentions of miracles and of their undying faith in the healing that would come for their sweet child. Last night's entry broke my heart and renewed my faith at the same time. Here's a snippet from her post:
A couple of days before we left for St. Louis, he (one of Scott's coworkers) asked if he could pray for Kate. He asked her if she knew that the Bible was a book of promises. She nodded her head "yes". He then asked her to stand on his Bible. I just loved that. What a powerful, tangible thing to do to remind a 3 year old of God's faithfulness. Right before we walked out the door of Children's, I snapped this picture. God fulfills his promises. Hebrews 10:23
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Yeah, that Epic Fail CT Scan.
I thought some of you might be interested enough to take a look at the image. I blew this image up so you could see the six screws and the broken plate. Pretty gnarly, right? If you look just below the arrow I've drawn, you can see where the plate is broken. Nice, huh?!
I also happened to notice that they have me listed as "F" for female. Who knew?! When I saw that I pulled down my pants to check.
It puzzled me because it appeared that all of my male parts were still there. Then, I remembered something that I'd read about when I was studying to be a doctor. I studied to be a doctor for about 25 minutes one day. I found out you had to take classes like calculus, chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, anatomy and other really hard classes so I gave that up and pursued other interests.
Anyway, I remembered that sometimes, when a person's leg or arm is cut off they will be convinced that it's still there. It will "hurt" and they are convinced that they still have whatever was cut off. They call that "phantom pain".
So, I must have "phantom male parts". I Googled that and came up with a LOT of interesting porn sites. I couldn't find anything scientific on it, though. Again, I'm a modern medical mystery! I may be the first person on the planet to have broken his arm and have changed sex at the same time. Chaz Bono went through all of that surgery and hormone therapy and all kinds of really painful stuff. All she/he really needed to do was break her/his arm!
I broke the news to The Spouse this morning. Here's how the conversation went:
Me: Honey, I need to tell you something.
TS: What is it? I'm in a hurry. The kids are going to be late for school.
Me: It's kinda delicate and I don't want you to be upset.
TS: Did you put something on the credit card?!
Me: No! Well, maybe some $5.99 porn for "research purposes" for my latest blog post.
TS: If there's a charge for porn on the credit card, you're going to wish you weren't born. Remember the flying monkeys? I'll bring in the clowns if you bought porn!
Me: Back up Godzilla! I'll get a refund. Sheesh! Besides, that's not what I wanted to tell you.
TS: What is it and don't waste my time with stupid stuff.
Me: Ummm....honey, I just found out that I'm a lesbian.
TS: What? You're wasting my time. What is wrong with you? Did you double up on your medication again?! Do I need to count your pills?
Me: NO! Look, see, it's right here on my CT Scan!
TS: Your CT scan results say you are a lesbian....you're such a moron.
Me: Look at the scan! Right there! It has me listed as "F" under "Sex". I know this is hard for you but I want you to know that I'm cool with it. I love you and I'm glad I'm a lesbian and not a regular girl. I don't want to like other guys. I like girls, and since I apparently changed sexes as a result of my fall, I'm proud to be a lesbian and I'm proud to be married to you.
TS: The person who entered your information miskeyed it. You are NOT a lesbian! I have to get the kids to school and go to work.
Me: Ummm...honey, these people are medical PROFESSIONALS! They don't really make mistakes very often, and, when they do, insurance companies pay out megabucks! Either way, we win! I want you to think about it today. We can talk more tonight. I think we need to come out to our families pretty quickly, though. I'm assuming you'll want to be a lesbian, too. I mean think about the advantages. Lots of people will invite us to their parties because we'll be the only lesbian couple they know. They'll want to show everyone that they are down with us! We'll be the most sought after couple in town! Free food and booze!
TS: I'm leaving. Kids say goodbye to your father. Don't get near him, though. He's having one of his episodes this morning.
Me: I love you! I hope you'll still love me. We'll talk more when you get home. Let it sink in for a bit.
I've gotta go prepare my "talk" for my kids. I need to let them know that they are now living in a same-sex household. The Boy Child will have to have the next phase of The Talk pretty soon. The Girl Child will be cool with whatever.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
My previous post about "The Talk" with The Boy Child mentioned her minor role in the whole affair (wonka, wonka).
She emails me after I posted it: "Funniest post yet! However, if any part of that talk about me is true, you will suffer!"
I responded, "If you love me, you won't even care."
She replied, "If you said any of that to him about me...I will send flying monkeys after you!"
I emailed back, "You wouldn't dare!"
I got this back, "You totally know I would!". And, I do know that she would. She's scary sometimes. You would think she'd be appreciative of the comments. Some people are over-sensitive though. And, by some people, I mean The Spouse, mostly.
That's just cold-blooded. She knows I can't watch "The Wizard of Oz" because of the Munchkins and those damned flying monkeys! Who in their right mind even imagines evil flying monkeys? I know it's just an old movie and I know that the flying monkeys aren't real. However, that won't stop the flying monkey nightmares from coming!
They are the predecessor to the Evil Clown! Clowns got evil in like the 1970's. I don't know what tipped them over but it happened. Look at some 70's movies and if you see a clown, you'll see the beginning of the creepiness. Before then, it was flying monkeys, the Blob, The Creature, some crazy Aliens trying to take over the world and a swamp thing or two. Bozo was pretty much the end of the "friendly" clowns. I think he took it pretty hard that clowns had turned evil. He was probably just getting all boozed up toward the end of the series. That's what would have happened to me.
Back to the threat...she knows how I feel about those things. That's a serious threat. So, I have to have a quick talk with The Boy Child to make sure nothing I said about The Spouse gets repeated. I'm thinking a $15 iTunes gift card will do the trick.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Pawpaw (The Spouse's Father) came to get me this morning. We started out by eating at The Chick-Fil-A. I call it "The Chick-Fil-A" because that's the super cool way of saying it and because it's the GREATEST CHAIN RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD! Just saying...
I moved on to the radiology place. I walked in with my arm in a cast, ketchup and mayo on my shirt and a smile on my face. They took my information and I was soon escorted back to the luxury suite that houses the gigantic round scanner machine. Everyone was so nice. It helped that I knew the woman who came out to get me.
As I was sitting on the little table she began by asking me a bunch of questions. Here's a sample of the questions:
1. Do you have any allergies?
Me: Yes. I'm allergic to morphine and chocolate. It's a deadly combination.
2. Are you allergic to shell fish, eggs, strawberries, or polk salad?
Me: No, no, no, possibly.
3. Do you have any of the following conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney issues, hang nails, toe jam, chronic halitosis?
Me: No, no, no, no, no, yes, possibly.
4. Are you now or have you ever been a member of The Democratic Party?
Me: No comment.
5. When was the last time you had something to eat?
Me: Hmmm...well the ketchup and mayo stain on my shirt are still sticky. I'd say about 30 minutes ago.
Her: You weren't supposed to eat for four hours before this.
Me: Nobody told me that and I ain't giving up this chicken sandwich. We're going to have to work around that little rule.
Her: She just looked at me like my wife does when I do something she considers "Stupid."
Me: Next question, please.
There were no more questions. Let this be a lesson to you all. Take your medical care into your own hands! I had a chicken sandwich, waffle fries and a large iced tea before that scan and I've yet to suffer any side-effects. There're too many rules in this world. I may have just eliminated one for the rest of you.
Once that was out of the way, she said, "Okay, I'm going to have to start an I.V. because the doctor wants some dye injected for a contrast."
Me: "Ummm...hold up. What's this about an I.V.? Dye? I'm not following you right now."
Her: Didn't they tell you they would want to do the dye? You can refuse if you want.
Me: NO ONE told me about an I.V. or dye! We need to think this through for a minute. I'm not sure what to do. Do I need an attorney or something?
Her: It's up to you. Do you want it or not? (She really wasn't mean. She was quite nice about it but that's pretty much what she said. I think, because she knows me, she consulted with my wife before I got there. She was NOT having my foolishness.)
Me: I guess we will go ahead with the dye.
Her: Okay, I'll start the I.V. You're going to feel a little stick. (If you can go to Hell for lying, I know someone whose name got written down in the book today! That sucker hurt!)
Then, this dude comes strolling out of Central Command and says he's going to be the one getting my images for me. He starts looking at my cast and arm and says, "I'm not sure how we're going to get all of you in there." I let that "...all of you..." part slide. This guy is, after all, the dude who's going to be controlling the amount of radiation pouring into my body.
After much discussion and mulling it over, I figured it out! I turned myself so that we could get the view he needed and said, "Turn this puppy on and let me ride!"
I'm pleased to report that "all of me" was able to fit in the tube.
After a bit of watching lights flash and hearing whirling sounds, the machine stopped and the woman came in and said they were getting the results and putting everything together for the first part of the scan.
She came back a bit later and said they were going to begin the scan with the dye. Here's what she told me:
1. I'm going to hook you up to the I.V. now.
2. I'm going to push this dye through and you may feel the following:
a. Warmth spreading through your body.
b. The need to urinate.
c. A metallic taste in your mouth.
3. Here we go. (Like I'm about to get on a ride at the carnival or something.)
So, I'm laying there. I start to feel the warmth going up and down my arm. I'm thinking Okay, this is alright. I kinda like this warm feeling. It's cold in here and this is kinda nice. HEY! What the ....?! I think I just lost control of my bowels! Did I just poop on myself? No, wait a minute. I don't smell anything. I think it's just the warmth of the dye has spread down there. It's kinda nice feeling now that I know I haven't pooped on myself. She said I might need to pee. I don't feel that at all. Maybe I should tell her about the "loss of bowels" feeling. They could write that up and put it in a book or something. That could totally be my claim to fame!
"Okay, we're all done. We'll be getting you out of the machine in a few minutes. Just lay there and keep resting."
Once I got up, I double-checked myself, found that I was, indeed, clean. Score one for me!
I got the little CD, grabbed Pawpaw from the waiting room, and headed to the Ortho Doctor.
We arrived a few minutes early. I brought a few baked goodies for the nurse and the doctor. They had both been so good to me. The nurse, especially, since she totally rocked out getting my scan appointment and doctor appointment just a few hours apart.
I was called after a short wait (bribery DOES work) and placed in a room. I gave them my little CD and started texting The Spouse, my mother, and random people who I think have blocked me. After a short wait, a male nurse type dude comes in and says he's going to remove the cast!
As he's finishing that, the doctor, his nurse and a physical therapist all walk in. (Sounds like the beginning of a nasty joke, doesn't it?) The doctor has this brown bag in his hand and hands it to me. I'm thinking Sweet Lord! He's brought me a prosthetic arm in a brown bag! I KNEW I should have chosen a better insurance company! He's going to cut my freaking arm off and give me this cheap prosthetic in a brown bag...
He says, "I thought you could use this." I open the bag carefully and glance down inside. I'm NOT going to scream if there's a some manequin arm in there! I see green. I see green glass. I see a green glass bottle of Tanqueray Rangpur!!!! This ain't no cheap liquor! Why is he giving me liquor? Is this the anesthesia? Good God! He's going to have me drink this while he "operates" on me! Damn that insurance company!
He then starts offering me suggestions on making lime ice cubes and tells me how the cheaper tonic water is as good as the expensive stuff. We both agree that Diet Tonic Water is one of the worst ideas ever. (I weigh 225lbs. Diet tonic water is NOT a weight loss solution I'm going to consider right now.) Finally, I asked him how he knew Gin and Tonics are my favorite drink and that Tanqueray is my favorite gin. (I swear I'm NOT an alcoholic. Yet.)
His nurse starts laughing and said, "We read your blog!"
I know my mouth hit the floor! I'm seldom at a loss for words, but I was completely and totally stumped and confused. It turns out that my Physical Therapist friend passed my blog along to the nurse and she shared it with the doctor. So, now, I love my doctor. In a Bro-to-Bro kinda way. He's my Bro. He's got my back and I've got his gin.
After much discussion, we decided that the CT scan was absolutely worthless. I endured all of that so I could write this. I'm especially glad I didn't lose bowel control just to find out that the scan was an epic fail because the metal in my arm caused too much something-or-other that made the scan not very good. (I'm getting really good at my medical terminology.)
We also decided that, yes, there is a broken plate in there and that the bone appears to have a break as well. HOWEVER, I'm not in pain and it might just heal up on its own if we keep it imobilized for a few weeks. If I wasn't so manly, I would have leapt up and kissed him! If I'd had three or more gin and tonics in me I would have done it anyway.
So, I have a new REMOVABLE splint! I can shower! I can rinse my arm off! I can be clean!
The Bible says to claim your miracles. Don't ask me where because I don't know. I'm not a Bible scholar. I just write this little blog and sell stuff for a living. I'm claiming mine and rebuking all that talk about possibly having surgery later!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make lime icecubes and make myself a gin and tonic. I'll raise the first sip in a toast to my doctor and his staff.
Let me give you a little background on this male off-spring of mine.
- First, he's male.
- Second, he's 11, soon to be 12, which means he thinks he's like 30 something and already knows everything...except about this topic.
- Third, he's very, very, very bright. (The Spouse claims this is from her genetic contribution.) We had his I.Q. tested and he scored 141. This Boy would just as soon watch "Into the Worm Hole" (I have to giggle every time I say or write that) on the Science Channel as he would any episode of Spongebob. So, I figured, he's probably got it all down and I'll just have to give him a refresher course. You know, like the first few weeks of school...when you relearn in about three weeks everything it took you nine months to learn the year before.
- He's very analytical-minded and very serious about any topic involving science, physics, architecture, cars and video games.
- He sometimes lacks the attention span of a fly in a barn full of manure. (He calls it "short-term memory loss" because he's smart and he watched something on one of those medical channels.)
- He lacks common sense on many occassions. The Spouse says that was my contribution to the genetic makeup.
So, one evening a few weeks ago, I decided it was finally time to have "The Talk". He had asked me earlier in the Spring when we would be having it. I can only gather that the Catholic school I'm paying my hard-earned cash to doesn't check the bathroom graffiti regularly. Thus, the questionable drawings and or comments must have spurred this.
The Girl Child was spending the night with her friend. I'll call her Louise. As in, Thelma and Louise. That's another post for another day, but my daughter would be Thelma in this friendship. The Girl Child is 9. I'm pretty sure she already knows all about sex because she gave me some pointers one time.
I sent The Spouse to another part of the house. This was man-talk and I didn't need her putting in her crazy notions on the topic. The Boy Child and I gathered in the living room. He on one couch and I on the other. I muted the television and began the conversation:
Me: So, what do you know about sex? (I swear I didn't giggle when I said "sex"!)
TBC: Nothing, really.
Me: Surely you know something. Haven't the other boys in your school said anything, talked about it, made jokes?
TBC: No. I'm a nerd. They don't talk to me much.
Me: You're not a nerd. You're just smarter than those idiots and it scares them. They fear that which they don't understand. You could totally dominate them some day. Especially if you could build some type of mind-control device. That would be freaking awesome...
TBC: Dad. THE TALK!
Me: Okay, but don't let that mind-control device idea get away. So...where to begin? Do you know about the changes your body will go through?
TBC: Yes, we had an anatomy discussion last year in one of our classes.
Me: So, you know about the extra hair and all the changes you'll go through. The hair part is the scariest. If you're lucky, you'll be like me and have a manly pelt on your chest and stomach. It drives the ladies crazy when they see you. It's how I wooed your mother. I totally rocked out my manly fur and she flipped!
TBC: Uh-huh. You and Mom met in a nursing home and you asked her out. She's already told me the story. I'm not sure why she fell for you though. Could you please go on? I want to watch something on the Civil War on The History Channel.
Me: Whatever. Your Mom lied to protect you. So, you know that a girl's body changes as well. She gets boobs and she will eventually start to menstruate. I'll explain all of that later. There's so much to that. I'll tell you this now...it's NOT just one week per month that you have to tread lightly and be careful about what you do and say! That's a lie perpetuated by the feminazis!
TBC: Look, if you don't want to discuss this, I can look it up online. I'm sure Wikipedia will have it covered.
Me: Wikipedia?! Really?! I need to look at that. I wonder if they have pictures and everything. Would that be porn?
TBC: Hello?! I'm right here!
Me: Okay, so here's the deal. When a guy likes a girl, things start to happen. The guy gets all amped up and starts thinking that he "loves" the girl. The girl, if she's into the guy, starts to get all amped up too. They might start out kissing...
I explained it as best as I could from there. I know I left some things out. Especially that crazy stuff my wife tries to talk me into! Sheesh! Wacko!
Me: Okay. So that's what "having sex" is. Do you have any questions?
Me: Okay, so, there's also gay sex. Do you want me to cover that with you as well?
TBC: No. After this, I don't think I'm ready to know about that.
Me: Alright. When you are ready, just ask. I'll tell you all about it.
TBC: It'll be a while. Now, can I watch my show on the Civil War?
Me: Sure. Let me know if they have any parts about the soldiers having sex with the women in the towns they march through. I could probably clear up any misinformation.
TBC: (He gave me the same look his mother does when it's time for me to find something else to do.)
I found The Spouse folding laundry in our love nest.
TS: How'd it go?
TS: You told him everything?
Me: I think so. Do you want me to recap for you?
TS: No! I just hope you helped him understand that it's not something he should do just because it feels good or because he's pressured into it.
Me: I totally told him how you are a freak in the bed.
TS: I will totally kill you and collect every penny of life insurance! Accidents happen, you know! You better be lying to me!
Me: Ease up Godzilla! I'm just kidding. I told him what he needs to know and I think I freaked him out a bit.
TS: Why? How? (She gave me that look that says, "If you jacked up our kid I'll take you out!")
Me: It's just a feeling I got. He just sat there...nodding his head...saying, "Hmmmm" the whole time. It was weird. I almost felt like he was making sure that I knew all about it.
I think I'm going to go look something up on that Wikipedia.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Like most of you, I remember where I was, who I was with and what I was doing at that time. Like most of you, I watched in disbelief as the planes crashed into the towers, and discover that another plane had hit the pentagon and yet another had crashed in a field. Like most of you, I watched as people leapt from 110 story buildings to certain death because the thought of burning to death was too much for them to handle. Like most of you, I prayed, I wept, I cursed, and I wanted revenge!
Ten years later, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those who lost their lives. My desire for revenge is still strong but a desire for peace has come along as well. I don't want my kids to inherit a world built on a desire for revenge. I want them to remember and understand the meaning of this day, but I want them to live in a world of peace.
I don't think I will watch much television today. I don't want to relive those moments. I don't think I can watch that footage over and over and over again. Instead, I think I will spend some time praying for those who lost their lives and for those who knew them. I'm also going to spend time praying for peace.
How will you spend your day? Will you spend it seeking revenge or peace?
Saturday, September 10, 2011
This is not the first time this arm has been in a cast. In 1999, I had surgery on this arm that involved shortening my radius by 5mm and putting in a six inch long titanium plate. The surgery went well but the recovery was HELL!
I spent six months in a cast or splint, had occupational therapy three days per week and physical therapy 2 days per week. It seems that my bones are not fond of regrowing quickly. I had to wear a "bone growth stimulator" every night. I had an at-home ultra-sound thingy that I had to use and I developed adhesive capsulitis because my arm was immobilized for so long.
Adhesive capsulitis is basically when your ligaments and tendons begin to stick to each other and form a bond.
There was one way to get rid of it. Go to a physical therapist who lifts weights regularly and worships Satan daily. That Satanic individual lays you on a table and cranks your shoulder back over our head. The adhesions have to break apart.
Have you ever torn a ligament, tendon or muscle? The pain is excruciating. I believe I cussed and then passed out. I vaguely remember someone yelling, "He's passing out!" and then I remeber them sitting me up slowly and feeding me ice chips.
Ice chips! Really?! How about some Vicodin or Demerol?! Hello, is anyone listening?
I had the pleasure of having multiple sessions of this treatment. I wanted to put a hit on the PT, but The Spouse wouldn't let me.
I learned to do a lot left-handed. I could cut my food and use a fork and spoon proficiently. I learned to write left-handed and continued teaching through all of this. I could write notes on the board and I learned to type fairly fast with just my left hand. I also learned, very quickly, how to take care of personal hygiene issues left-handed. (Try it some time with the opposite of your dominate hand. There's a learning curve!)
After almost a year of therapy, I was released to live a "normal" life. I was able to do all the things I used to.
Now, I find myself facing a similar time. I'm not looking forward to the possibility of having surgery, a new plate and therapy. It seems that I've broken the titanium plate in my arm. I'm not sure how and I'm not sure why I'm not in pain. I'm grateful for that part. I'm smarter than I was then and the good doctor and I are going to have a LONG talk about all of this before I undergo the knife.
My current job involves a lot of travel. I can't travel with a broken/casted arm. It seems that Missouri has a funny law that designates that anyone in a cast is considered an impaired driver. My company takes a dim view of folks like me driving, too. I've worked it out with my boss that I'll just have to work via phone and email for a bit. She's been incredible about this incident and has offered to drive me to our sales conference in the next few weeks.
So, I would ask you to keep me in your thoughts and prayers for a while. I just need to make it through the surgery and NOT have the recovery complications.
Thanks for reading and I promise to post more funny and educational items in the near future!
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Math is the bane of my existence. I can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and even handle simple fractions. However, when you start giving me word problems, I FREAK! I also do not understand algebra, geometry, trigonometry, or calculus. Calculus is that nasty stuff that builds up on your teeth no matter how obsessive/compulsive you are about dental hygiene. What does that have to do with math? Does my dentist count up the little calculus pieces for some research project? I have no earthly idea what Trigonometry is.
Here's an example of a problem The Boy Child needed help with: Bob bought 41 apples and oranges. He bought 14 more apples than oranges. How many apples and oranges did he buy?
Before we try to solve this, I have some questions:
1. Why does Bob need 41 apples and oranges? Is there an impending fruit shortage?
2. Why does Bob favor the apple over the orange? Is Bob secretly prejudiced against the orange but bought them because he wanted to look like he's not an anti-orangite?
3. If Bob is making fruit salad, that's a hell of a salad and it's going to be a boring fruit salad!
4. Why was some dude who writes math problems stalking Bob in the fruit aisle? Somebody needs to get a life!
5. When Bob checked out at the grocery store, did the checker question him about his excessive fruit purchase?
6. Is Bob attempting to make some form of new meth that doesn't require pseudoephedrine?
7. Will state and federal lawmakers begin discussing placing fruit behind locked doors and limit the number of apples and oranges you can buy?
8. Why is it anyone else's business what kind and how many apples and oranges Bob bought?
Bob needs to watch his back! People are stalking him and reporting his fruit purchases. Personally, I think Bob needs to make a public statement explaining his behavior!
Now, on to solving the problem. I took one look at that problem, rebuked it, and called The Spouse in!
Here's what I don't get...when will I or my children ever give a fat rat's tail about how many more apples than oranges some man buys? Bob bought them. He knows how many he has of each. Just ask him and move on. When will I or my children ever be in a situation where figuring out something like this will matter? I defy you to give me a real life instance where this is applicable.
I think we need to focus on adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing! Leave Bob and his apples and oranges alone! (After he issues that public explanation!)
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Today (Tuesday) has not been the best day for The Boy Child. I received a call from his school letting me know that he'd neglected to do his math homework and that he would need to stay today or tomorrow after school to complete it. The call was not that big of a surprise, really. He's notorious for "forgetting" bits and pieces of his homework.
Not being a fool, he claims that he "has short-term memory loss".
I told the office that I would prefer that he stay today so he could get the work done and, hopefully, learn his lesson.
When I picked him up, he walked out of school with his head hanging low and a quiver on his lip. He was certain that The Spouse and I would be furious with him.
Instead, I greeted him with a smile and told him to get in the car. As I drove away, he asked if I was mad at him. I told him that his mother and I were not mad and that we understood that things happen once in a while. I also explained that we did not want this to become a habit and that we felt he would probably learn his lesson from this. (Just so you understand, I was trying to play mind games with the little bugger. It's best if you keep them confused and guessing. If you fall into a predictable pattern, they will learn it and use it against you in their darkest hours!)
Before I pulled away from the curb I specifically asked him if he had any homework. He assured me he only had a Literature worksheet. Foolishly, I pulled away from the building. (I should have continued to use some warped form of psychology but I dropped my b.s. radar in a moment of weakness.)
Fastforward to 7:00p.m....The Boy Child, forced to open his backpack because I took the iPad away from him and told him he HAD to work on his Literature, announces in a quaking and wavering squeaky little voice, "Oh no! I had Math homework and didn't bring home my math book!"
It's a good thing I watched my wife go through labor. I learned the breathing technique and, in a pinch, it helps. I practiced the breathing method that one should do as they are trying to pass a 10lb living child through a straw. I was seething. I'm not going to say for sure, but I'm pretty sure a volcano erupted inside my head. I promise I didn't cuss...out loud...but I assure you I let my feelings be known.
At one point, I think I stripped him of every privilege except breathing. If I could have kept him alive and done that, I would have! (If I can figure that out, I'll do a detailed post later.)
Once the dust settled, we called a friend and I had the sweet child read the word problems to me on the phone and I typed them out. The sweet child's mother, a dear friend who shall be rewarded richly with multiple Diet Dr. Peppers, even took pictures of the last few problems and texted them to me because they were longer and a bit more complicated.
Through many tears, gnashing of teeth, wailing, crying, screaming, and head-banging moments, we worked and worked. I even phoned a couple who are both Math Teachers (one is a former Math teacher and is now a principal) and asked for assistance on solving two problems. They, too, shall be rewarded, only they will receive some form of liquor because I know they will like that much better than Diet Dr. Peppers.
Right before bedtime, The Boy Child announces that he has completed his math homework. We all breathed a sigh of relief and scurried him and his sister off to bed. Of course, we kissed them both, prayed with them (and, I'll admit I prayed OVER him with a hand on his forehead, and asked for the Holy Spirit to come down and remove this "short-term memory loss" issue from the child. I've always been intrigued by the "laying on of hands". If it works, I'll let you know and I'm going to hire myself out to parents in my area. I could make a killing!)
Shortly after the kids were in bed I received a text message. It seems that the sweet child who helped us out with the Math problems had forgotten his Literature homework. I'm contacting his Diet Dr. Pepper drinking Momma if that laying on of hands thing works! She'll be my first "client".
I think there's a moral to this story somewhere in here. Maybe it's something like: "Turn adversity into opportunity." or "When in need, phone a friend." or "Laying on of hands and praying over the child will prevent you from harming him/her and will keep you out of trouble with Child Services." I think it's that last one...
Once I realized, it was only The Spouse with a nasty sinus infection, I rolled over and said, "Uhhh...that's not good." She croaked something in response. I'm not sure what it was but it gave me pause and made me squint my eyes to make sure JEJ was not in my bed. She crawled out of bed and went into the bathroom without another sound. I took that as my cue to get up and get moving.
I started the coffee and took the dog out. When I came back in, The Spouse was already making the bed and getting ready to start packing. The goal was to be on the road by 8:00a.m. I began rousing The Heathen at that point. The Boy Child leapt out of bed and was ready to go. The Girl Child was less than happy but stumbled into the living room.
Once the coffee finished brewing and I had my obligatory two cups, we made the mad and frenzied dash to pack up and get on the road. The Spouse declined the opportunity to go to an immediate health care and opted for a drug run at the local Wally World.
The 2 and a half hour drive passed pretty quickly. We found the lake house with no trouble and began unloading my SUV. As The Spouse came out of the house to get another load of crapola from the the truck, she raked her foot across a rebar stub that was sticking out of the ground. I'm not exactly clear on what she said but I think it involved some naughty words that would have made JEJ blush. She then turned to me and said, "do you think I'll get the lock jaw?" This is how she speaks sometimes..."the lock jaw." I may have muttered something like, "It would be a blessing if you did." I didn't say it too loud but the look I got reminded me that I have a larger life insurance policy than she does and that one simple "accident" on the lake could make her and those heathen very wealthy. I made up my mind to have witnesses around all weekend.
After the unload was done, we loaded up in my cousin's truck, hitched up the boat, and headed off to the marina. We unloaded the boat without incident. The Cousin asked me to pull his truck and trailer up the ramp and park it for him. I tried. Turns out, his trailer had a sudden love interest in another trailer. As a result, the other trailer had a broken taillight. I won't go into details, but there was a note on the windshield asking my cousin to contact the sherriff's office. (More on that after the issue is settled.)
We headed for their favorite spot on the lake. Boats were lined up, tied off and the fun was underway as we pulled up. Kids were pulled on tubes, dads drank a little beer while floating on noodles. (Note: the inventor of the floating noodle is a genius and should have a huge shrine erected in his/her honor). I was a bit worried about having my man card pulled for straddling a noodle but all of the really manly men were doing it too.
Eventually, another boat pulled up and wanted to tie onto ours. The Cousin attempted to help on the front end but ended up falling between the boats. Flesh was ripped off from his calf up his thigh. Luckily, he'd had a little liquid anesthesia so the pain was not intolerable.
We continued to float and sip from our cups of nectar. More tube rides were given and all was well. Then, a little rain came. Most of the women got out of the water and the men stayed in. I'm no sociologist but I think there's a doctoral thesis in this somewhere. We chided the lady folk and they, rather rudely, called us idiots. We, in turn, asked them to pass out more beer. Again, I'm thinking there's a sociological doctoral thesis in here.
The rain subsided, jet-skis pulled away with kids on tubes and everything went back to normal. For about 15 minutes. A second line of rain came in with some strong winds. Women got out of the water and men stayed in. Until...it began hailing! At that point, the men folk reverted to their primal need to protect the women and we all got out of the water and into the boats. It was NOT because of fear!
Everyone untied and began to make their ways back to the marinas. It was, after all, close to dinner time.
At the boat dock, The Cousin's boat died and wouldn't restart. He walked up, got in his truck, found the aforementioned note from the sheriff, and backed down the ramp. His Boy Child and I maneuvered the boat over to the trailer. At one point, I got out of the water, walked across the wooden deck and down the boat ramp. As I was nearing the water, The Cousin hollered out, "Be careful! It's slicker than owl shit out here!". As the words, "Okay!" came from my mouth, my feet slid out from under me. I landed with my right hand out and down. As I slid down the ramp, I was contemplating whether my wife and children had possibly snuck up on me and pushed.
I got up, helped get the boat on the trailer and we headed back to the house. The throbbing and swelling of my wrist was of little concern to me. I had a bottle of Tanqueray Gin, two limes and several small tonic water bottles.
Sunday morning, I ached a bit and The Spouse thought the wrist might be broken. I scoffed at her, took two ibuprofen, ate some breakfast and asked what we were doing that day.
The rest of the weekend was fairly uneventful. We arrived home on Monday mid-day and my arm was much better. The Spouse kept insisting that I get my arm checked out, though. I think she was worried that my earning potential would be affected. So, on Tuesday, I contacted a friend who is a Physical Therapist. He took some measurements, made me squeeze a handle, should his head, muttered to himself and said, "Dude, I think your arm is jacked. You need to get an x-ray and see an orthopedic doctor." This is professional therapist lingo for, "I believe you may have broken your radius and you probably need surgery."
Today, I went to see the doctor. I swear this guy was like 17 and looked like he had just come in from a GQ photo shoot. He walked in and said, "What did you do to your arm???!" The tone of voice was the same one my mother uses when she's pissed at me. I told him a shortened version and he said, "Well, it's broken and nothing in there looks like it ought to." He then began speaking in a foreign language or maybe I checked out for a minute or two.
I've had a surgery on this arm before and have a six inch titanium plate in there. The plate is broken in two and it appears that the bone is broken at the previous incision site. So, I'm in a cast up to my elbow, I can't drive and I think I'm sinking into a depression that only copious amounts of gin and ice cream can fix.
I'll post a picture later. At least I can still use my iPad to post on here and The Spouse and The Heathen can't profit off of me yet!
(Please forgive typos and errors. I tried to correct them but who knows if I got them!)
Saturday, September 3, 2011
In December of 2009, I went to the doctor a very sick individual. I had a severe sinus infection, laryngitis, a swollen big toe, whooping cough, you name it and I was suffering from it. The worst part of the visit was that, in my delirium from being so ill and near death, I looked at the scale when the nurse weighed me. I almost fell over dead right then and there. I weighed a whopping 242lbs! That's not bad if you're a teenaged walrus trying to make your way through the world. I, however, am not a walrus, nor am I in my teens.
The nurse practitioner came in and I remember saying to her, "First, I need you to take care of this (I pointed to my swollen forehead, puffy eyes and blood red nose). Then, we gotta talk about my fatness!" She agreed and, to make a long story short, I began to go to the gym five days a week at 5:00a.m. I checked in with her once a month, she weighed me, took my blood pressure, charged me my co-pay and charted my progress. In about a year, I lost around 50lbs! I felt great and I looked good. I went from a size 42 pant to a 36 and I was loving life.
When I changed jobs, I slacked off on going to the gym and didn't keep an eye on my eating. Not because I'm basically lazy...well, okay it WAS because I'm basically lazy. In the past week or so, I finally admitted to myself that the new washer and dryer were not responsible for my clothes fitting tighter. Indeed, I stepped back on a scale and weighed in at 230lbs! I'm 5'7" tall (I was 5'8" tall but, evidently, someone put a hex on me and I've lost an inch somewhere...that's a post for another day. I'm really curious as to where that inch went and if I'll ever be able to find it again. Maybe a chiropractor could stretch me back. I digress.)
So, I've started changing my eating habits again. I'm eating smaller and healthier meals. For instance, last night we went out with The Spouse's parents for dinner. I ordered the 2 piece fish dinner instead of the 3 piece or the AYCE plate. Okay, that's not a good example but it's just part of what I've done. I've also stopped eating eggs every morning and have switched to oatmeal with dried cranberrys.
You get the point. I'm back to being a tubby bubby and I don't like it. I may splurge this weekend and drink a few beers and eat some unhealthy stuff, but I'll eat less than I would have and I'll be back on my new health kick next week. Wish me well. Now, I've gotta go pack the Twinkies before The Spouse sees them!
Friday, September 2, 2011
1. A poll -- (I wish I could make this flash in rainbow colors, but I can't so I'll settle for posting it in bold and red.) About once a week, I'll put up a new poll question for you to respond to.
2. A suggested reading list. This, too will be an ongoing list. Feel free to send me recommendations.
3. A follow by email spot. You'll receive email notifications of my most recent entries.
Stick around, I'm sure I'll add more as I continue to learn how to manipulate this site and make it better. Please feel free to leave me suggestions in the comment boxes of any post. I'm open to almost any ideas.
Update on Little Kate: as of the last report I received mid-morning today, Kate is doing well. The surgery was deemed a success and Kate has been awake and asking for something to drink. The doctor finally came in and relented. This kid's a fighter and she's one feisty little lady. Many, many thanks to all who've prayed for her and her family. Please keep them coming!
Update on Kimberly: Kimberly received some good news yesterday! No chemo for now. The additional testing they did recently did not indicate the need for more chemo at this time. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she goes back to the hospital on October 3 for more testing.
Update on The Heathen: They continue to be heathen, though not as bad as they were. School has settled them down some and "the chart" has been revised and posted. Basically, for every requirement you fail to meet, you lose a DAY of technology. For instance, if the boy fails to exercise and fails to wear his retainer for an extra hour one day that would be two days with no technology. Technology, in this house and as defined by The Spouse, "...is anything that plugs in!" She's a tough bird, that one!
This Weekend: I'll be out of touch this weekend. I'll be chillin' at a lake house with a cousin and his family. No t.v., no internet. We will have power and A.C. though! I'm dragging my iPad along and may compose some entries while I'm relaxing. If I do, I'll update the blog on Monday or Tuesday. Until then, have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend!