Tuesday, July 31

Been A Busy Morning

Today started early, though not because I was waking up early by accident. I had to arise early as the oldest son had HS registration today. The band students (and a few other groups) were allowed to start early today rather than the regular assigned times and days per grade level. Though a slightly later start than what was posted, we made it through it all in about an hour.

Then it was off to pick up the two younger boys from the MIL's for their 6-month check-up at the dentist. Both got good reports, though the middle son needs to brush better on his gums. A quick trip to the store before heading back to pick up the oldest, and now I am trying to cool off. It is muggy and hot here in Phoenix today.

I flipped the calendar page to August this morning, even though I know that today is still in July. Already I see several dates having something penciled in that we need to make sure gets done. Most of it looks to be school related - 'Meet the Teacher' night at the elementary school, 9th grade parents meeting, start of school.
I know soon the Fridays will start filling up as we get the HS football schedule (oldest being in band playing at half-time) plus all the other competitions and trips they will be doing over the next 3 months.

I am taking it easy today. Play a bit, read a bit, and try to stay cool.


Monday, July 30

Getting In Some Practice

It's not quite 4am here this morning. I've been up for over an hour already. At least, out of bed I have been. I won't add in the 45 minutes or so I tried to fall back to sleep with failed results. I guess I shouldn't go to bed at 8pm since it seems to make me want to wake early. I will be so looking forward to a nap later today.

I had an idea of a topic today, but once I got set to sit and type it out, the complete idea disappeared. I even physically got up to retrace my steps to see if I could re-enact whatever I was doing to get back on that train of thought. It didn't work.

I realized that I really don't care about the Olympics anymore. I watched some while out with some friends yesterday (yee haw, basketball - feel my sarcasm) but never got into the fever some people seem to get. I have noticed friends just going bat-shit about it, trying to make their viewing schedule around as many evens as possible to see on TV. I don't get it. Sure, it would be nice to see the USA teams bring home the most medals (and gold ones at that) but I just don't care anymore.

Joe over at "Fat in Indiana" had a post the other day that made me even more apathetic to the whole Olympics thing. Check it out here. Just thinking about it again gets me feeling angry again.

I just don't get it sometimes.


Friday, July 27

Hello To Early Mornings (Coming Soon)

Yesterday, my oldest son started the second phase of this year's Band Camp. It consisted of a morning session (starting at 6:30) and ending at 2:30. Next week would begin with the first four days being the same, and add in evening practices from 7-9pm. I tiredly sigh, as I know I will be the one that has to be up early to get him up, ready, and to practice on time. Somehow that all changed yesterday. The morning session was stopped 2 hours early, and all next week was changed to evening practices from 4-9pm. Whoa! I don't have to get up early! WooHoo! Then I caught myself. He still has early registration on Tuesday, so that will be an early morning. As well as school starting 8/13, which means four days of the week I will be taking him to school for early hour band, which entails getting up early. I am so not looking forward to doing this the next 12 years. I say 12 years, as the oldest son, as he graduates, the next son starts HS. So if they all continue playing instruments, it looks to be 12 straight years to get through the three boys.

Not that it is such a bad thing.

It is Friday, and today all the boys are home with me. It's already after 8am, and I am surprised the middle son is not up begging to play on the computer. He is the early riser of the three of them. The other two, well, they would sleep until noon if I let them. No major plans this weekend. The Daughter is coming up to visit, and I have made plans for Saturday night to go out to eat with her boyfriend invited along. He made the paper in Florence (a small town). It was an article about him doing an internship at the local mining company.

What else I got for you today? Hmmm.... The middle son has a birthday coming up in a week and a half. He'll be turning 10. I have no clue what to get him for a present(s). I am thinking a bicycle, as he has asked for one. I think the one he has now is getting a bit small for him. I'll have to see if I can find a good price on one.

Think that is all I got for now. Middle son just woke and gave me my good morning hugs. He's off to get the animals fed and get breakfast before playing on the computer.


Wednesday, July 25

Bringing Up Some Good Times

I have been going through many memories the past few days. Mostly of the past 15 years or so. It seems such a short time that I have known several of my friends. I mean, between trips to Rocky Point, and OTL in San Diego, get-togethers, poker parties, Church of Holy Beer and Softball, and just hanging out. I went back through my photos over the years, and tried to find some good ones worth sharing.

This was one of my favorite years: 2008 in San Diego for OTL. Here was the team that we took from Phoenix: myself, Pat (in the back), Smitty, Eric, and Jimmy. Beautiful Saturday morning on the island, just outside the Circle of Champions, where we had bracelets for free food & booze all day. I manned tha table, so they would have seats anytime they weren't playing, or walking around.

Here's one from the day before, with Don, Smitty and Joe, playing some Golden Tee video golf. Way back near about 2000 I remember getting Don, Smitty and another friend, Jeff, into playing this video game. We have played several times a week until earlier this year. Throw a little dollar on the side for a winner's pot, and let's swing them clubs!

Good memories!


Tuesday, July 24

Down in the Dumps

Don't be surprised if I fail to be humorous, if I fail to post anything, if lack of content bothers you. I'm just not feeling well. No, I am not ill, just still feeling sad about my buddy that passed. I am sure within the next couple days I should hear of when services are going to be held. I am so not looking forward to that.

Don't feel like saying much more.


Sunday, July 22

Are the Good Time Over?

I lost a friend today.

Sometimes, even at my "young" age of 40, it has been hard this year. I think I have been to the services for several good people, that I would call friends, over the past 12 months. It is hard every time. Today, and later this week, things will not be different, though they will be harder.

I almost want to pontificate about more, but not really in the mood. I am headed out this evening to do some karaoke to remember my buddy; my softball pal, roomie from San Diego OTL; fellow golf player; fellow book fiend; and almost like a Dad. Johnny Cash will be in the house tonight.

Miss you already, Pops.


Friday, July 20

I Just Forget Sometimes

It seems as people age, the majority start losing a little bit of their memory. Not everyone mind you, just, I would say more than half. Sometimes it is due to medical illnesses, as I see in my FIL with his Parkinson's. Though, I am not sure about that one. It may be just his inability to communicate orally or written with us, and his mental acuity may still be there. But mostly, I think I am referring to myself.

Granted I am not "old" as many of us would use that term. Of course, I say more like middle-aged. I'm forty. No qualms about anyone knowing it. But I have noticed things slip my mind easier these days, than maybe they would have ten or more years ago. Much of it I blame on the whole "out of sight, out of mind" scenario. Other things I personally (and not aloud, especially with the Wife around) I chalk up to just not being important in my viewpoint to remember.

Everything else that gets forgotten, I believe is due to our capacity to recall information. Duh. Well, I was going to say maybe it is the 'storage' area gets full, but I don't think that is true. I have heard scientists constantly say we are only using a small portion of our brain's available function, and I am sure that a more complete way to recall things, be it memories, or lists of things to do, one of those functions.

So, either way, I forget things. Today, I am taking care of getting Daisy, aka Damn Dog, licensed. I had her in for her shots back... oh, I think it was late May, and they gave me the paperwork needed to complete the online licensing with the city. Somehow, it all got chucked to the side, and just last night, I came across the paperwork again and thought maybe I should get that done. It's not like it is tremendously expensive, though I do think it is higher than it should be to just prove she had rabies shots, and get a little metal tag. At least if she ever gets loose, and they catch her, they can charge me up the ying-yang to get her back.

Other than that, the only things I tend to remember are trivial facts, that never seem to apply to any situation. Like a regular Cliff Clavin from 'Cheers'.

I mean, c'mon. Who cares if the pig is the only other mammal to have orgasms?


Tuesday, July 17

End Results

All my kids have attended public schools, just as I had growing up. Mainly because we could never afford any private schools, or even those Montesorri ones. I always looked at it as public schools are good for preparing them to be around all sorts of people in life, rather than those that are better off financially, or that strive to achieve perfection constantly. Yeah, I am stereotyping somewhat, but that is just the way I am.

Anyways, due to the area of Phoenix we live in, the elementary school the two younger ones attend has been   doing the 'free lunch' program for the past few years. Many of the families in our district area are financially low enough (myself included it feels at times) that the school just made it available to all students, and not just ones that were approved via some financial form to be filled out. Last year they included a free breakfast as well. One other thing they added, was every 3-4 weeks, the school sent home what we call a 'snack-pack bag'. Basically a plastic grocery bag that contains usually a couple granola bars, fruit or pudding cups, about 4 cans of miscellaneous vegetables, maybe some crackers. It is all part of the program to help make sure the students are eating well in these hard times. How we ever got signed up for this part, I have no clue. Maybe the Wife did it. But not all students get these bags. Since I have two boys there, they both get one. I am not complaining. It's nice to have a few days of extra snacks for the kids, and the canned goods always help in dinners. It helps us save a few dollars in shopping.

The other day, the Wife was looking through our cupboards, trying to find something to fix for supper. I think she said she was going looking to throw together a stew, or something fairly close to that idea. One can she located, looked to have sliced carrots in it. Should go good in a stew. Only, she couldn't read the can. The label was written entirely in Spanish, though there was a picture of the sliced carrots on the front. Obviously, it was a can that had been sent home in one of the snack-packs, as we would never had bought it ourselves with it being in Spanish. The can was opened, and she decided not to use it. Turns out the sliced carrots also included onions, and what appeared to be some jalapeno peppers. She tried a carrot slice, and decided it was way to spicy for her, let alone the boys. Being the frugal person she is, she dumped the contents into a tupperware container, in hopes within the next day she would be able to figure out something else to be able to cook this with. She showed it to me the next day, where I tried some of it, and determined it was fine for me (I like spicier foods than the rest of the family). The Wife decided to make some chili with it, and I said I wouldn't mind the carrots in some chili.

Needless to say, she made the chili with the carrots, onions and peppers. Threw in some ground beef, tomato sauce, and pinto beans. At which point, she stated it looked too watered-down, and asked what she should do. I told her to add some pasta noodles. Now I know chili doesn't traditionally have pasta in it, but to make dinners stretch to feed everyone, I grew up with the Reverend Mother always adding some elbow noodles to chili. So, to me, it's chili even with pasta. Heck this wasn't really chili anyways, since it had carrots in it, too.

End result was a huge container of this concoction (as I have no idea what to call it) that I have been eating the past couple days for lunch. I am only about halfway through the container, and am debating freezing some of it, so it won't spoil, and I can eat at a future time, since I am starting to feel a bit tired of the same dish. Pretty good stuff too! I remember now, the Wife also had found an old seasoning packet called 'Cuss Bros Chili Mixings' that she had added. The directions on the seasoning said to add 1/4 packet for spicy, 1/2 for hot, and the whole bag for ... well, Cuss Bros means something! I had told her to put in the whole bag. Needless to say, I don't need to add any additional spices to bring the spiciness to the level I like. The odlest son, he tried some of it, and decided he liked it as well. Makes me a bit proud to see him actually trying some spicier stuff, rather than complain it is 'too hot' like the younger ones. He's even been using a little bit of Tapatio sauce on occasion.

So, the Wife's experiment turned out pretty good, as tow of us males are eating it down pretty good. Though, I do admit, the Wife ain't entirely happy about it. Though we both enjoy eating this new dish, our digestive systems have been having a blast (almost literally). If only we had stocks in Glade air products, we could be a little richer this week, if ya know what I mean?! 

I gotta head out. Doing the regular Tuesday morning trip over to the MIL's to sit with FIL so she can get out and do some grocery shopping. It's been nice with the boys out of school, as I send the oldest one to help Mom. Then we all help unload stuff. I know it helps her out tremendously.


Monday, July 16

Odds and Ends

Comment Spam. In the past two weeks, I have gotten 2 of them here. I guess that would be an advantage to not being so widely read around the globe. Though, I do admit, it is a mild irritant in the way that when I see there is a comment made, I get all excited that someone had something to say. Then realize it is some ad spammer. Oh well. Could be worse somehow I am sure.

Rusty, aka Crack Kitty, aka Spawn of Satan, is due for his yearly shots. I suppose I should call and set up his appointment. The boys have appointments coming up for their dental checkups as well before school starts up.

The weather has been muggy of late. Being in the monsoon season here hasn't been too terribly bad this year, though I do admit I wish we had more rainfall. Doesn't seem like there has been enough, even if it has sprinkled a bit off an on the past few days.

OTL was this weekend. A couple of my friends did get out there this year. I am a little disappointed I could not make it. One friend texted me several times over the weekend telling me how much they were missing my presence. That, and to rub in how much fun they were having. Maybe next year I will be able to go again.

It's Monday. Get your week started.


Thursday, July 12

Bloody Knuckles and Losers

There's a game out called 'Bloody Knuckles'. Nope, ain't a board game. No, it doesn't require a board, cards, dice, or actually anything else, except a minimum of two players. I guess the hardest part, is finding another player as dumb as you to play it.

But excuse me, I jump ahead of myself a little. From what I remember, this game has been around for MANY years, with many variations. I think, about 20 (or so) years ago, it was done by using them little black combs (that boys got) being rubber-banded to one's knuckles and hitting the opponent, the goal being to 'draw blood'. When I was in Junior High, that was the thing to do to show you, as a male, was "cool". Of course, me being the fat bookworm (not to mention other issues) I wasn't challenged but once. And that one time, there was more than just bloody knuckles (all I will say is that it was not my fault he moved his hand to suck on his knuckles when I swung my fist).

Based on that, those many years ago, the line is that I have done too many stupid other things in my life (I have some people, that will attest to this). I played this stupid game Sunday night. I know, I know. A man my age, doing this with some young, twenty-something punk, that was prolly only doing to try to impress 1) his friends, or 2) a girl. Is this where I mention, I did it to sort of play Devil's Advocate, to ruin his chances of impressing anyone? Well, no matter. My mission got accomplished, and after only 2 (yes TWO) exchanges, he quit.... though neither of our knuckles were bleeding. We weren't using combs, it was just the bare-knuckle thing. Problem is, at my age, with signs of arthritis already starting, I did that. Going into Thursday morning now, that hand still hurts, though, today I can function better than I could on Monday.

Yeah. Stupid shit. I know.

It gets worse, but maybe I can save that part until later.


Wednesday, July 11

When It Rains, It Pours

I was up early this morning, probably about 6am. When I went to bed last night, I inoked that small talent I have, of being able to tell myself to wake at a certain time, and to think of one thing first. Last night's "alarm" was to check the Wife's fluid in her van. She mentioned it had spiked up towards the H on the temperature gauge. In AZ, that is not a good sign. My alarm went off well, and the first thing I did (following regular wake-up procedures) was find out her radiator was low on fluid, so I fixed that problem. Then I came in and did put up the clean dishes, and did the dirty ones. By this time, the Wife was up and getting the younger kids ready to go to Grandma's (as the oldest was staying home today with me).

The Wife brings to my attention, while I am up to my elbows in washing dishes, one of her tires evidently was low, so she needed to know how much pressure to fill it up to regular. I told he I thought it was like 65psi, but to check the 'tag' on the driver door frame. It was actually 36psi, but she wasted the time to come back in to correct me, instead of getting out the compressor and filling it. It took her several minutes to inform me I was wrong, and that I must have gotten the 65 number from the tire size because it says such-n-such. I started to snap. Fine, fine, whatever. as long as you know how much to correctly fill it to, it doesn't matter. I cannot do it this minute, and since you mentioned it has been showing low pressure (on the sensor light on the dash) for several days, and you mention THIS morning, it isn't going to hurt to wait til you get back home tonight, unless you get off your ass and do it yourself, I am busy at the moment.

Needless to say, I was like, 'OMG! Does she not see me up to my elbows here?'

I finish up the dishes, and decide to take my morning shower, and I thought the Wife had left. No. Now she comes to me (right after I stepped into the shower) and tells me there is metal rubbing on the wheel hub, and that is what has been making a noise she has mentioned (several weeks ago) that we could not determine. So now, I have to get out of the shower, dry off, get dressed, grab a couple tools (pliers to twist it, screwdriver to bend it) just to get her on the way to work. Turns out, it is part of the metal tab (not sure what else to call it) that is part of the brake pad, which my friend and I replaced weeks ago. It evidently wasn't seated completely down, or something, and has worn a 1/4-1/2 inch partial grove in the 'spokes' of the rim about an 1/8 inch deep. I couldn't see it several weeks before, and attributed the noise being heard to "breaking in" the new brakes. Now I can see it, but she doesn't have the time to have me work on it. I told her it has been several weeks, and a few more days is not going to kill anything now.

So now I am frustrated, a tad bit pissed off, still damp from the quick rinse in the shower, dripping sweat as it is already in the upper 90's it feels outside, tired from all the dishes and other stuff I have done this morning.... to walk back in to find the oldest son sitting on his ass playing on the computer. Granted, that is what I let the boys do a good portion of the day when at home, but c'mon! He got snapped at, too. This needs done, and this, and you haven't even gotten breakfast before getting on the computer, which you didn't ask permission to do in the first place....

Now, about an hour later, I have had my full shower, some breakfast, some cool down time (literally and figuratively) and things are better. Especially now that I bitched about it.

Pool league tonight, though, I am not really feeling like it right now. I usually look forward to that, having some beers, shooting some pool...just not in the mood. I hope that changes today.


Tuesday, July 10

What Others Think

I don't know why in today's society, that people raise their children to be concerned about what others think. I admit, we do that at my house though. It was done when I was growing up, and who knows how far back it goes in my families. I just don't understand it sometimes. I know this isn't a perfect world, and I honestly have no clue what life would be like, if it were. A utopia. An eden.

The other day, I spent way too much time out at the pub(s) hanging with different friends throughout the time I was there. I even put up a post that I thought to important, which of course just plain was drivel, and I had no idea what I was trying to say. Beer does that too me. Well, it sometimes is helped along by other liquors, too. Either way, once I awoke, I took it off. What was I thinking? What are others that actually read it going to think about me? Yeah... that was the second thought. And here we are, a day later and it still bothers me somewhat, though I can't understand or explain why. Just one of those things I was raised to be concerned about I guess.

"Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one." A quote I think from a Clint Eastwood movie. If it was before that, or from someone else, I don't know the source, and right now, I admit I am not too interested in looking it up. Maybe I am just tired of hearing others opinions, especially if they don't match mine.

Yeah, it's turning into one of them types of days.


Friday, July 6

Feeling Words

I have quite a bit of angst today. Like how I used that big sounding word? I even looked up the definition so I would know what it meant, and to use it properly. The only sad part, is that I did use it properly.

My buddy Smitty has been having medical issues this year. He has been in and out of the hospital, back and forth between there and the rehab facility, for seemingly months on end. Seems every time he is close to being released to go home from rehab, something happens and he is returned to the hospital, then back to rehab a few weeks later once everything is "cleared up" and whatnot. He returned to the hospital again last week, not sure why, but he was back in the ICU and on a ventilator. I got an update from his partner that he is still there, with double pneumonia. He seems to get that every time he gets returned to the hospital.

Anyways, to my angst... Another buddy of mine, and I, are supposed to meet up today to go see Smitty. Probably around the noon hour, depending on his work schedule. Either way, I have not slept good last night, and this morning my stomach is churning with dread. I don't do hospitals well. I think much of it is the memories of seemingly being there all the time when Dad was ill, and of course, he passed away while in the hospital, too. Even when my kids were born, I never stayed for a long time in the room with the Wife. I would leave and come back a couple hours later. She knew my feelings about hospitals, and wanted more rest anyways, so it worked out. I had been to see Smitty a couple times while he was in the rehab facility, and that doesn't bother me 'as bad', though both times I didn't stay much longer than 30 minutes or so. Maybe it is that whole.... environment... that bothers me so.

I don't know. I just been trying to make excuses all morning to NOT go, and keep arguing with myself that that is just being selfish. Sometimes I wish my morals/ethics weren't where they are.


Thursday, July 5

Swimming In The Rain

We had a pretty decent holiday yesterday. Excluding the fact that the Wife had to work all day (at double overtime thank goodness), the kids and I had a fun afternoon. A nice, typical 4th of July lunch at Reverend Mother's consisting of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and watermelon, followed by some water fun out in the pool. Phoenix actually got some rain, as it had been a light, steady rain most of the morning and into the afternoon. Everyone got in the pool for at least a good half hour or so, even with the rain still coming down. The Wife did get to have a bit of enjoyment after working an unexpected full shift for the day, as the Daughter took her out for a quick bite and to see "Brave".

This morning finds me feeling a bit sticky. Our AC has some issues when the humidity is higher (for AZ) so I have it off this morning to help give it a rest, and 'unfreeze'. So the front door is open, and the humidity is just making me feel like a have a layer of sticky sweat all over. I would go shower, but not sure that would help alleviate anything. Today the youngest is at home, though he is still asleep at the moment. I am sure he will be up and wanting to play on the computer within the next hour or so. Daughter will be heading back to Tucson shortly. My calendar is pretty much empty of anything for the next couple weeks, which is nice.

Got a free $3 voucher from Amazon for an MP3 purchase, when used by July 12th. I think I am going to go see what's available.


Wednesday, July 4

Independent Thought

It is Independence Day. For those of you that can't figure out, and voted for Obama, that means it is July 4th, the day our nation has picked to celebrate its birthday, even if it isn't the true actual date. A day that most Americans have off from employment. Of making memories taking the kids out to watch the night sky for fireworks, after a day filled with family, hot dogs, and just good old plain fun.

No, I am not doing all that for my kids. The basic plan is to head over to Reverend Mother's around the noon hour, have some hot dogs/hamburgers cooked on the grill, and a couple hours of swim time in the pool. Though, I do need to call RM to verify what needs to be brought over for our contribution. For being almost 9am, I am ready to head back to bed.

Only one kid awake so far this morning, and it is the youngest. I have set him up with breakfast, and now he is playing on the computer, whilst I try to organize any remaining thoughts I have. The Wife has to work this morning (thanks Medicare) so will not see her for at least a couple more hours.

Have a great day, make some memories.


Tuesday, July 3

How Long Until the Collapse?

I know today's post sounds political, but it's not. Though, in all honesty, I wonder that same question when it comes to most things political in our current times. The true meaning of today's heading, is more related to me. Considering yesterday was going to be a nice day of relaxation, and yes, you caught it - was going to be.  

For those unaware, this desert state I live in has a 'wet' time of year, called 'Monsoon Season'. Somehow, some so-called weather-person calculated some weird formula, to determine an actual start time to this season, and presumably, an end time, though truth be told, I think neither really actually matter, nor ascribe to this reasoning. Needless to say, I think the season actually 'officially' started like June 20th or thereabouts. Yesterday seemed to be sort of our first real day of humidity, though, I personally saw no rain, or even hints of, though admittedly, it was cloudier than usual for AZ. The humidity was felt though. Since normally we are a 'dry heat', even a small amount of moisture is felt easily, and affects many, many things. The main one being, our air conditioning.

In AZ, many people have two types of coolers that are used at separate, effective times of the year, to help stay cool. Obviously, the standard air conditioning system most homes in the US have, is the most used in the summer. The other type is a an evaporative, or commonly called, 'Swamp' cooler. This one uses water to cool air that is then blown through the system. During times of high humidity, the swamp cooler is ineffective, and only seems to add to the 'sticky' feeling from the humidity. In monsoon season, using regular A/C works best.

Sometimes though, a home only has one type, as our hoe does, which is the regular A/C. Unfortunately, I am not sure if it is due to the age of our heat pump, or size, or what, but during times of higher humidity, it likes to 'freeze up' and stop blowing cool air. Usually, shutting it off to thaw out is in order, and can take up to an hour at times. An hour that leaves one open to the elements of heat, and humidity, normally during the hottest part of the day, as happened yesterday. It was an on going issue for me last year, and I believe I shall start getting back into the system I used last year. Basically, getting up early, shutting the system down for a couple hours, before the heat builds up of a morning, then using the A/C like normal through the hot afternoon, with an hour to "rest" come evening time (dusk'ish). It seems very much tolerable, and probably helps the system run better as a whole. I just need to remember to shut it off at proper times when it is a bit cooler, and be able to tolerate a little bit more uncomfortableness before turning it back on, for best results.

So, this morning, I was up early. Actually, I was up most of the night. Just not being able to get comfortable from the lack of cooler air (because humidity is up) and just not sleepy. I played on the computer to after 2am, before spending the next few hours tossing and turning, catching a few moments of nap time. I wonder how long until I feel the need to take a nap comes....


Monday, July 2

A Day for Relaxing

Considering today is Monday, it is starting off in a good way. The boys have gone over to their grandma's for the day, so I will be relaxing a bit, and taking some time I need for me. Not that I have anything in particular planned out, just not having the boys around to argue and nitpick with each other will be nice.

My mind just goes blank when I try to think of anything of interest today. The only two things that come to  mind is that I need to pick up my prescription at some point today, and that breakfast sounds good right now. So I guess I am off to get something to eat.