Friday, May 31, 2013

Capital Letters Indeed

Saw this building in St. Louis, Missouri.  The curve of the interstate at this point requires you to go super slow, and in the crook of that ramp, is this town.  I wasn't driving, so I snapped this picture.

The graffiti - CRIME - all in capital letters, says all you need to know.

This is a seedy area and one look tells you to keep away.

I don't need it spelled out for me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Look For The Sign
2011: This Is My Life
2010: The Power Of Liberty
2009: A Day At The Park
2008: A Body Temperature Of 98.6 – The Only Requirement To Work AT McDonald’s
2007: Laughter Is The Best Medicine
2006: Homeless Shelter
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hold The Vodka

We're leaving the country on Monday (more on that later) so I made some Vodka Sauce for the trip.

Well, Vodka Sauce minus the vodka since  I can't carry that firewater in the truck.

This is my best friend Vicki's recipe.  It's easy and delicious.  I made this in less than thirty minutes and had two quart containers to freeze.  You can do it too.

Get the recipe here.

You don't even have to leave the country to have a reason to make it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Forging America In The Holy Land Of Steel
2011: Captivating
2010: Not That He’s Insensitive Or Anything
2009: Ode To Milk
2008: Eddie On The Rocks Friday
2007: The Unintentional Beating Of A Red State Child
2006: Sorry, no post for this day.
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hours Of Excitement

We went from sitting around Houston for two weeks to being busy every day since.  We've been working steadily, so I don't have much to write about. 

So I took this picture of evening rush hour traffic in Ohio (near Cincinnati).

See how exciting life on the road is?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: Earl Is The Only Grey In My Life
2011: I Gave The Tatooed Behive A Chance And I Liked It!
2010: A Diet Coke With A Squeeze Of iPod, Please
2009: Eddie In The Creepy Sailor Mask Friday
2008: No Wonder Sailors Came Up With A Special Knot
2007: Bridge To The Gate Of Heaven
2006: Summer Staples
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No Stack Security

Here we're settling in as the sun sets for our night spent at the base of a coal plant.  We'd be unloading in the morning.

I don't usually like being so close to "industry" - huge stacks billowing smoke - makes me a wee bit nervous since you never know what can happen these days.

But we made it through the night unscathed and I even got to sleep late when Ed went in to unload.

I love places don't have security checks. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: My New Obsession
2011: FANtastic
2010: You Won’t See These Giant Feet In A Museum
2009: Semantically Speaking
2008: He Fought The Ed And The Ed Won
2007: Electric Fence
2006: You’re Such A Pansy!!
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Monday, May 27, 2013

One Pan Eddie: Five Steps To Paradise

BREAKING NEWS:  I don't like to eat "real" breakfast in the morning.

By that I mean what most people consider a real breakfast:  Eggs, Bacon, Country Potatoes, Toast, Pancakes, Ham, etc. 

I may eat like a bodybuilder the rest of the day, but my breakfast is almost always light:  yogurt and fruit, oatmeal, cottage cheese and cantaloupe, a bagel and a latte.  Small, non-greasy, refreshing, breakfast-y.

Ed is the exact opposite.  He wants a lumberjack breakfast.

I rarely cook breakfast in the truck for him because a) I don't like doing that much work ten seconds after I open my eyes (which is exactly how long it takes Ed to claim he's starving after the light of day hits his cornea), b) the smell of bacon grease makes me want to hurl so early in the morning, and c)  I hate the cleanup.

If I were to make this breakfast, there would be at least two pans, three knives (butter, jelly, cutting of potatoes), a whisk, a fork, a spatula, a bowl for the egg yolks, two plates, two juice glasses and two coffee mugs. 

When Ed was done, he had one frying pan, a spatula, a bowl, a coffee mug and a fork.  I should put him on kitchen duty all the time.  And in four steps he was done.

STEP ONE:  He started by making his country potatoes - one potato, cubed, sautéed in butter with onion flakes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Look how golden brown they are.  When they were done, he set them aside.
STEP TWO:  Same pan, four strips of bacon (one was for me).  They're a little fatty looking here, but let me tell you, he crisped them up like he was going to enter them in a bacon beauty contest.  I've never had a more perfect strip; even crispness, not a burnt edge in sight.  When they were done, he set them aside. 
STEP THREE:  He whisked the eggs with a little milk, poured them into the same friggin' pan, and started the makings of his omelet.  Once eggs are set, he placed a few jalapeño slices in the center and covered them with two pieces of cheese.  He took this picture to specifically show the truck parked next to us through the kitchen window. 
STEP FOUR:  After the cheese melted, he folded the egg in half, and voilà!  An omelet.
STEP FIVE:  He piled all of his food on a plate (notice he used a paper plate, meaning fewer dishes to wash, damn his genius!), added two slices of toast, grabbed a cup of coffee, and began to indulge.  Paradise.
I was done with my breakfast at this point, but I finished drinking my latte and nibbled my slice of bacon and I watched the five-year old joy in his eyes and he chowed down on his restaurant quality, Memorial Day meal.

AND, he cleaned up all his dishes when he was done.

Why oh why am I not letting him in the kitchen more often??

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Crossing The Hackensack
2011: Don’t Hate On Me On This Lovely Golden Day
2010: See You At The Curb
2009: A Blaze Of Crotch Sniffing And Licky Kisses
2008: Going To Market
2007: Lazy Sunday
2006: Can Someone Define Their Purpose??
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Miles Of Sky And Some Reading Material

Just a view of some mountains in Maryland, nothing special.

But if you're looking for something special, check out my second Guardian article HERE.

And if you missed the first one, and the story of how it came to be, check out this post HERE.

Now go on, you've got reading to do. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Calling All Questions
2011: Rolls-Royces, Sun Kings and Teardrops
2010: Less Is More
2009: A Look At An Oil Baron’s Lookout
2008: Spring In The Maritimes
2007: Evisioning A Huge BLT Sandwich
2006: Eddie’s New Passion Friday
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lattes And Love Stuff

LoveCraft in Baltimore, Maryland.  It just so happens that this "love" store was located right next to a Dunkin' Donuts.

No wonder Ed was so eager to go in and get me an iced latte!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get
2011: Feeling Great About Hands And Breasts (Even If They’re Drooping)
2010: It Pays To Blog About Life On The Road
2009: Bringing A Little Tropical And Some Pretty In Pink To The Trucking World
2008: My Kind Of Festival
2007: Happy Memorial Day
2006: Closing The Age Gap
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Doubling The Gold In Wyoming

We seemed to be following the storm in Wyoming.  First hail in Fort Bridger, then this.  Right in the center of the interstate, a rainbow.  The Super Vivid setting on my camera came in handy, intensifying the colors in the stormy sky.  We were driving right into the end of the rainbow.
Then, as if by magic, it multiplied.  At the other end.
And isn't that where they say the gold is?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: Down Louisiana Way, Where The Blue Dog Resides
2011: Crossing The Park To 5th Avenue
2010: All Work, All Play
2009: Was My Mother Hot, Or What???
2008: The Fiddleheads Of Maine
2007: Fifteen Dollar. We Make Nail Nice. No Probrem.
2006: Road Testing The Girl
2005: Ed Time

Thursday, May 23, 2013


As we sat on the fuel island in Fort Bridger, Wyoming, the truck was being gently pinged by hail during a brief hailstorm.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Adventure To Adventure
2011: The Mixing Of The Bitter And The Sweet
2010: A Great Start To A Weekend In New York
2009: Sing Sing Singin’ The Incarceration Blues
2008: Flame Sandwich
2007: Contradiction
2006: Every Eight To Twelve Seconds
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Under All Is The Land

You know how you always hear people say, "I've got two words for you...." and then they give you the two words to describe the situation, the person, the product, the feeling, the whatever?

Well, I'm hard pressed to come up with two words to describe realtors.

Lazy and incompetent?

Unprepared and inept?

Lackadaisical and feckless?

Useless and worthless?

Doesn't matter which words you use, they generally all mean the same thing and they all increase the level of frustration when having to work with somebody who displays those traits.  

Did you know that the National Association of Realtors has a Code of Ethics? It turns 100 years old this year.  I wonder if any realtors have actually read it.

Over 70 years ago, the National Association of Realtors president, Cyrus Crane Willmore, declared in a speech, "Property ownership is fundamental to our way of life.  The first five words of our Code of Ethics should be impressed upon the minds of every man, woman and child in our country. They are, ‘Under all is the Land.’"

Under all may be "the land", but deep under the exterior of many realtors seems to lurk "the universal character flaw".

And if I had to pick one word to describe that flaw, I'd go with LAZY.  Yes, in capital letters. 

If you're trying to sell a house, or a piece of property, let me fill you in on a couple of things.  I'll count 'em down for you.

10.  It would be nice if you've actually been to the house you're trying to sell.  When I call on a house or piece of property and the listing agent says, "I've never actually been to that property.", it's all I can do to not hang up on them mid-sentence.  In case you're not aware, there are a bazillion real estate agents and all I need to do is pick up the phone to find another.  If you're not interested in selling houses/property, find another profession. Maybe a night shift security guard where you can sit on your ass for the fifty-eight minutes of each hour you're not walking the property you're "guarding".

9.  You should never list a house without a photo.  Never.  Ever.  Seriously, people?  You're trying to sell a house on the internet without a picture??  It's bad enough I have to do 80% of your work by researching online, looking at listings, narrowing my options and presenting you with what I want to see.  If you didn't have the keys to these places, I wouldn't even need you.  So take a fucking picture.  It's the least you can do.

8. While on the subject of pictures, since almost everyone has a camera phone and/or an actual camera on their person at all times, why don't you take a few minutes and walk the property and take a few more pictures of the place?  And while you're doing that, keep in mind that I don't need to see eighteen pictures of the backyard patio.  I'd like to see the kitchen (from various angles), every bedroom, every bathroom, the living room, family room, garage, laundry room.  You know, the parts of the home I'll actually be living in?

7. If you're taking a picture of the exterior, try not to let me see the side view mirror of your car in the version you post on the listing.  Try to create some illusion that you weren't so lazy you couldn't be bothered to get out of your car.  Because if you're too lazy to get out of your car to take pictures, I'm guessing you're not going to be much of a fireball when it comes to looking for property for me.

6.  Listen.  Listen.  Listen.  If I tell you I hate kids, don't take me to a house next to a playground.  If I tell you I don't want a trailer, understand that I also mean I don't want a "manufactured" home.  That's not a home.  That's still a trailer, just without the wheels.  I will answer any questions you have, so try to have some questions.  You know, the kind you learned how to ask in all those real estate seminars you go to?  You can't determine my needs from a ten question survey your secretary hands out.

5.  I'm not your friend.  Even if I am your friend.  Because in this situation, you're working for me.  And as your friend, I do expect some special treatment.  Because I'm essentially giving you special treatment by choosing you to represent me.  You know, since we're friends and all.  But that doesn't mean you get to kick back and do less.  You should be using your pull and hopefully your knowledge, to get me the best deal.  Nothing is going to suck more than for me to know you're taking it easy because you think I'm so easy going.  Or because I'm fun at parties.  Or because I'm an awesome cook and you know you'll be getting some eggplant parmigiana out of the deal.  If you can't do the job, I'll be happy to go with someone else.  Because I'm capable of resisting your "c'mon, let me be your realtor" pout.

4.  If you can't provide the service I'm expecting, tell me up front.  Don't waste my time.  I'm very specific when it comes to what I'm looking for.  If you're not up to the challenge, don't take it.  And if you are up to the challenge, don't be surprised when I send you a list. 

3.  According to a joint study conducted by the National Association of Realtors and Google, real estate related searches are up 253% over the past four years and 90% of home buyers search online during their home buying process.  Try to remember that when you're crafting your ad.  Describe in detail - and if possible with correct spelling and grammar - the features of the home.  A garnite counter top is not as appealing as a granite one.  And if you can find someone in your office who's smarter than you, ask that they proof it before you post it.  And don't forget about the photos. In my case, 100% of my research is done online prior to looking at a place in person, and I want to feel as if I'm standing inside that house before I even get there.    

2.  Come prepared.  The first thing you should do is send me listings via email so you don't waste my time showing me stuff I've either looked at myself online, seen via drive-by, or walked through with another agent (yes, there have been others before you).  Then, once you know that I haven't seen what you have up your sleeve, come with print-outs.  You should have at least ten, but it would be nice if you did some of your own homework and presented me with a surprise or two.  Show me you really know your stuff.  Show me that your "I've been a realtor for 10, 25, 30 years and know this town like the back of my hand" statement is really true.  And don't try to bullshit me, because I do my homework.

And the most important, utterly essential, monumentally crucial and least utilized action of all, is the one I've saved for the number one spot.

1.  RETURN PHONE CALLS.  RETURN PHONE CALLS.  RETURN PHONE CALLS.  Is that clear enough?  And how hard is that to do?  If you did just this one thing, you'd probably have more business than you can shake a stick at as some country folk might say.  Seriously though, if there's a realtor out there who can give me a good reason - not a shit reason, a good reason - as to why it's so hard to return phone calls on listings with YOUR name on them, I'd love to hear it.  It's bad enough you're not available when I call on a property you have listed, it's even worse when you don't call me back.  Or you call me back so many days after that I've forgotten which property I even called about.  If you can't handle the number of properties you have listed, perhaps you should decrease your workload.  

Most people have a limited amount of time to dedicate to the endeavor of looking for a place to live, they have jobs, families, responsibilities.  Maybe they have one or two days a week to go out and look at stuff.  Or like me, has to make time to travel to the place I want to look for a home or piece of property.  You should be making our search easier.  And instill confidence in us by showing you can help.  Returning a phone call can do that.

House hunting is not a hobby for most people.  They're not shopping for shoes.  It's a big financial obligation, it's an emotional process, and it's stressful.  If someone is looking for a house, it's a safe bet they need that house.  Don't fuck with their time.

And don't forget to post photos, dammit.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: Squinty Eyes? Check. Big Smile? Check. Ed, Happy? Check.
2011: The Last Great Italian
2010: That’s So Cherry
2009: Crouching Eddie Hidden Lamb Friday
2008: Help Me Understand
2007: Take Two Lattes And Call Me In The Morning
2006: It’s Never Too Late For A Good Sale
2005: The Original Goldfish

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two Telephone Poles And A Cloud

I took this photo somewhere along US Highway 191 between Moab and Green River, Utah.  I'm not really a fan of the western United States, as the landscape is usually too barren and stark for me, but there are places like this that have really picturesque scenery. 

And I took this from the window of a moving vehicle. 

Imagine what one could do with a tripod and perfect lighting.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: I’ve Yet To Make Lemonade
2011: Alien Ribs Of The North
2010: White’s Bastard Cousin
2009: Jake
2008: I Might Have To Be Put In Restraints For Our Next Conversation
2007: People Who Are Happy To Help You Drown In Debt
2006: I, I, I
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Super Smooth Ride

Yesterday we took this bridge...
Across this river...
To ride this trail...
The pedestrian bridge at the north end of Moab is where you'll find the pedestrian/bicycle bridge that crosses the Colorado River, which is where you pick up the Moab Canyon Pathway you see in the photo above.

The pathway runs thirty-five miles to Canyonlands National Park, but we only rode it a little over two miles to the entrance of Arches National Park.  We didn't go in the park - we're saving that for another trip - but the ride was nice because just as we began, the sun went behind the clouds and the temperature dropped dramatically.  As if they knew I was coming.
This photo of the park entrance was taken with the super vivid color setting on my camera, but the dirt and rocks really kinda are this red. 

With this five mile round trip plus the mile or so we did in town before this, we rode about seven miles.  I can't even believe I just wrote those words, because they mean I traveled a distance of seven miles propelled by my own legs.  Who'da thunk?

So, uh, you know, someone really should call those guys over at Guinness, because I'm sure there's a world record in here somewhere. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Handling Meat For Over 144 Years
2011: Investing In Your Investment – Part Two

Here’s Your Sign
2009: A Mini And Me
2008: Wild In Tennessee
2007: Isn’t There A Third Evil?
2006: What The Hell Is This??
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'd Follow Him Anywhere

Here's my Eddie taking the lead.  He rides faster than me, but really I just like him in front so I can yell to him from behind. 

"Turn left up there!"

"Slow down!  I'm falling behind!"

"Where are you going??"

I have this theory that my voice projects better in front of me, rather than having to turn my head - risking life and limb - to holler over my shoulder behind me.

Sometimes I think he pretends not to hear me.  But I have a bell.

And I'm not afraid to use it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Yes! We Have No Bananas
2011: Investing In Your Investment – Part One
2010: A Tank Full Of Freightliners
2009: The Sad, Sad Future Of Our Young People
2008: Sighting The American Idiots
2007: Orbiting Out Of Control
2006: Passing Through Life
2005: Texas Pride?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

So Serene, Even Serial Killers Would Be Drawn To It

Parked on the edge of town, today we took our bikes and explored Main Street and its surroundings in Moab, Utah. We must have ridden ten miles.

We rode the Mill Creek Parkway trail several times - to and from one of our destinations, and then another time because it was the only way we knew how to get to a particular street - throughout the day we went to a bike shop, a bakery (the BEST oatmeal cranberry cookie I've ever eaten!), for lunch, another bike shop, and to the grocery store. 

Ed rode back with a watermelon in the backpack - tied to the bike rack, not on his back.  I didn't trust myself with it because it was pretty big and I thought the weight of it on the back would throw me off balance.  I'm just getting used to the bike, you know.

The bike path cut through a lot of these places, and where there wasn't a path, the streets - with the exception of Main Street - were wide and devoid of traffic.  On Main Street, which is essentially a state highway and traveled fairly heavily - including those pesky 18-wheelers - there are some areas that have a bike lane or a wide parking area on either side where bikes can ride.  There were some areas where we had to snake around parked cars, but we made it work.

Although it's almost always too warm for me, the weather has been relatively nice and riding the bike creates a nice breeze.  I only seem to get hot when I stop.  Thankfully, there were a lot of trees on the bike path and the streets are tree lined, so I had many shade spots.  And there were no serial killers, which is always a plus.

Let me explain.  The Mill Creek Parkway path was pretty well-traveled, but there were a few areas obscured by trees.  I joked with Ed saying "and this is where the killer comes", which is a running joke between us about the places people go which would seem the most obvious areas for a killer to emerge from.  That's when he said, "Yeah.  Like The Mill Creek Killer." 

"Oh my God, yeaaah." I said. 

The Mill Creek Killer is a serial killer from an episode of Criminal Minds

Super creepy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Time To Lounge
2011: You Can All Stop Complaining Now
2010: This Puss Doesn’t Have Bots
2009: Milling, Spinning And Bleating
2008: What Happens When You Have Too Much Time To Think
2007: Eddie Rides A Polar Bear Friday
2006: Lite Brite, Making Things With Light
2005: Texas Pride?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Escape From Texas

Today marks two full weeks in Houston.  And we're finally gettin' out!  The weather has been surprisingly nice, not too hot, and after buying the bikes we were able to get some riding in and I finished up with the bike bags. 

Here's a small sampling of the buttonhole I made for the straps, which are going to secure it to the wheel and then the underside of the trailer:

I will post more pictures of the bike bags when I get a chance to photograph them on the truck.  We'll be taking the bikes out at our next stop, so I'll try to remember.

We have a team run that's taking us west, and another after that that'll send us back east.  Finally.  I briefly mentioned in a past post that we're going to Montreal in June with our friends Marlaina and Greg.  Greg is a huge Formula One racing fan and the boys (Greg, his brother, and Ed) are going to the Montreal Grand Prix

Marlaina and I have other plans.  I bought some new clothes, I have a tentative menu planned for the week, Marlaina and I have hair appointments that she made for us, and we'll be doing stuff like shopping, lunch at cafes, maybe a spa day, and working on the book project we've been talking about.  She even has a sewing project lined up for me.  Anything but car racing.

Next stop, the high desert of the Colorado Plateau.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Like Cattle In A Penn
2011: Another Day In The Trucking Life
2010: Ed Prepares For The Italy Trip
2009: Strolling Along The Atlantic
2008: Eddie Chatting It Up Friday
2007: The ABC’s Of Me
2006: After The Storm
2005: The Essence Of Me

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cinco Canciones I Love

I listen to a lot of music, and some of my favorite songs are Spanish and Portuguese language songs.  Check out the videos of the five songs (cinco canciones) I like best, all of which are sung in Spanish.

Quisiera Ser
Alejandro Sanz
I don't know when I discovered this song, but I've loved it since my first listen.  My favorite part is when he pronounces "silencio" the Castilian Spanish way, with the "th" sound, so it sounds like "silenthio", how they do it in northern and central Spain.

Luis Miguel
I discovered Luis Miguel in the early nineties when I was working for the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, AZ. He was staying at the hotel and I was given tickets to his concert that night. I had no idea who he was, but I went anyway and the concert was fantastic. This song is from the album the year of that concert and it's still one of my favorites.

No Me Ames

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez
I happen to think Marc Anthony is skinny-creepy, but I really like this song. And Jennifer Lopez can make anyone look good.  When she's on the screen, who cares about the other person?

Mi Tierra
Gloria Estefan
This song just makes me wiggle my hips, even when I'm sitting. And because I know almost all of the words, I feel so cool singing it, like I actually know what the hell I'm saying.

Oye Como Va
Tito Puente
Most people know this tune done by Carlos Santana, and his version is just fine, but I happen to love the sound of the original.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: The Path To Christopher Street
2011: It Was A Dark And Stormy Night
2010: More “Holy Crap!” Than “Oh Dear”
2009: Eddie So Hot He’s Cookin’ Like Guy Fieri Friday
2008: Maybe She Should Hold Off On The Pet Ownership
2007: It Must Be A Sign
2006: Keeping Time With His Ticker
2005: Yo! Yo! Yo!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Real Way To Save The Planet

Recently my friend Vicki was telling me about some of the behavior problems in the middle school her kids go to.  Seems 90% of the arguments, out-and-out fist fights, bullying and teasing starts out on Facebook outside of school hours, and then continues in the classroom and on the playground (or whatever they call it these days).

She said she was talking to one of the teachers the other day and told her, "That's why my kids aren't on Facebook and will never be on Facebook as long as they live in my house." 

"How does that work?" the teacher said.

"How does what work?" Vicki said.

"How do you get them not to go on Facebook?" the teacher said.

"I tell them they can't be on Facebook." Vicki said.

"And that works?" the teacher said.

"Yeah.  Why wouldn't it?" Vicki said.

The teacher seemed perplexed.  As if telling a kid what to do and expecting him to do it was a foreign concept.  Vicki said it took restraint not to say, "Are you kidding me??  You're a teacher, and a parent, and you don't know how to control a kid??"

That's one of the biggest problems with parents today.  They have no control over their children.  Kids don't listen.  They're not afraid of getting in trouble because the parents don't discipline them, so there are no consequences to face.  They rule the house.  They throw tantrums.  The refuse to do what they're told.

Too many mothers are more worried about how they'll look to other people if they flat out told their kids to shut up, sit down and listen.  They don't want to "bruise" their child's self-esteem.  They don't want their kids to think they aren't "loved".  They don't want to punish them for fear of what it'll do to them when they grow up.

WHAT???  If you're lucky, your discipline will help them be a decent adult.  They won't grow up to be bigger versions of the little brats they are now. 

Every once in a while, your kid needs a good smack in the mouth.  Shit, nine times out of  ten, I want to smack your kid in the mouth.  I'm appalled at what kids get away with these days.  There are too many mothers who are worried about the reactions of a kid they already know is a problem and one they already have trouble controlling.  In general, parents today suck.  They certainly aren't the same quality as my parents.  Or my grandparents.

You might not be able to control your kid when they're eighteen or twenty-five, and you can't be held responsible for what they do or say when they're thirty or forty years old.  Hell, I know that first hand - my mother is often not thrilled about what I say, do or even write on this blog, but I'm FORTY-FIVE years old.  I can essentially do what I want. 

But when I was seven, ten, sixteen?  Living under her roof, eating her food, using her electric and generally living life as a kid?   Getting smacked in the lip was a regular occurrence if I stepped out of line.  If my mother said I wasn't talking on the phone for a week, I wasn't talking on the phone.  If she even looked at me funny, I knew how far I could go before getting in trouble.  And you damn well better believe my parents controlled every aspect of what went on in our house.

If you think telling your kid they can't have a Facebook account isn't possible when they're in seventh and eighth grade, you not only have big problems, you're likely a shitty parent. 

For the sake of others, grow a pair and take your responsibilities seriously.  Try not to send another little asshole out into the world.

There are too many out here already.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Lunch At The Park
2011: I’ve Got A Crush On You
2010: The D’Angelo Bros. Outfit The Navy
2009: One Day A Revered Indian Chief, The Next Day Wagon Train Eye Candy
2008: Not Exactly The Best Way To Reach Out To Your Community
2007: Carny At The Junction
2006: Mother Superior
2005: Great Expectations

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cottage Industry

Hotel room, sewing machine, scissors, my project materials, and CSI Miami playing in the background.

The makings of a modern day sweatshop.

I have been sucked so far into Ed's "let's-mount-the-bikes-all-I-need-is-a-cover" project, that last night I felt as if I were making t-shirts in Bangladesh.  I was up until five in the morning, creating a bike cover crafted from weatherproof canvas material sourced from auto accessories.

Ed was up too, watching TV and playing video games, and every once in a while he would look over and say, "Done yet?"

At one point I got up to refill my glass with Diet Coke and he said, "What are you doing??"

"Please, sir, I want some more." 

"Get back to sewing!" he barked.  Joking, of course.

It's not as if he could have helped at that point since only one person can sew at a time, but when I was done, he helped me lay it out so we could take a look at it.

I have to say, I'm pretty damn spectacular.

Today we messed around fitting them on the bikes to see how they'd secure to the trailer.  I still have some work to do - grommets or buttonholes or something to thread the 1" straps through.  Tomorrow I'll hit the fabric store to see what they have. 

Then I'll sit back down with my sewing machine and finish what I started. 

It's like Project Runway:  Trucking Style.

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2012: The Whole World
2011: Weekend Retreat
2010: I Might Even Give It An Academy Award
2009: Two Poles, One Man, No Fish
2008: When You Don’t Have Time To Make More Than One Trip
2007: A Mother Of A Mother
2006: Could You Love William Perry?
2005: Herding The Blogger Sheep

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mommy And Me Kickin' It At The Yacht Club

My mother and I at the Mamaroneck Yacht Club in Mamaroneck, New York.  Even at seven months old, I knew the cool places to hang out.

My mother is four months pregnant with my brother.  Are you diggin' that maternity dress and those mod shoes? 

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!!  Hope it's a wonderful one!

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2012: Dinner At The Diner
2011: My Guitar Hero
2010: The Competition Is Getting Fierce
2009: A Little Smooch Makes Everything Taste Better
2008: The Greatest Spectacle In Racing
2007: Jalapenos Basking In The California Sunshine
2006: Millions Of Miles Of Knowledge
2005: Midnight Snack

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Does Anyone Have One Of These I Can Borrow?

Typical Swiss Mountain Cabin with the Wetterhorn in the background.  Photo courtesy of Grindelwald Tourismus
I would give my left pinkie to be sitting in this chalet, in this snow, at the foot of this mountain, right this very minute.

I don't know many people (maybe two) who prefer cold weather to hot.  If I were to post my desire to be here on Facebook, I would probably be in the 1% of people who feel the same way - the only time I'll be in the 1%.

I never look forward to summer.  Ever.

The only thing I like, is that I can wear flip-flops on a daily basis.  Other than that, not looking forward to the sun, the sand, the heat. 

Once June 1 hits, I will be counting the days until Fall.

PS:  If you have a ski chalet, shoot me an email.  I'll leave baked goods when I depart.  :)

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2012: Built Like A Mack
2011: Luxor-ious Seating
2010: Sharing A Moment
2009: When Sunny Gets Blue
2008: Putting The Friendly Back In The Skies
2007: White Squall
2006: Free As A Bird
2005: The Heat Is On