in culture / writing / blog

Diary, 2017/07/29

  I just went down the road to the quickie-mart and got coffee. It's something I do most every weekend morning since throwing away my home coffee maker to keep me from drinking too much of it. On the way there, I saw what I thought was a dead turtle in the road. I hate that. Poor things just can't move fast enough. Half way there, up ahead, a mama deer and her baby were crossing the road. I slowed way down in plenty of time as the little fawn tried to catch up with her mom, which she di ... read more

Please patronize me

  Check out my Patreon page. Patrons get free stuff! Well, not technically free since you do have to pay at least $1 to get anything. Still ... ... read more

Awkward

  So, I'm walking back from feeding the neighbor's dog while they're on vacation. I see my wife and daughter in the car up ahead, just about to turn onto our street. I'm looking at them. They're looking at me (or at least it feels like it). They're still about a hundred yards away, so I'm not entirely sure. To be silly, I pretend to try and hide behind another neighbor's mailbox. Then I "come out of hiding," smiling like an idiot (because that's how I am). Now they're REALLY looking at me ... read more

Dare to be nice

  Dare to be nice (or friendly, even) once in a while instead of "cool."As my brother-in-law says, "Jus' sayin'." ... read more

Cereal

  "I think I'm addicted to cereal," I said. "Addicted?" she asked. "Yeah, I'm gonna hit the street looking for my latest fix." "And by 'street,' you mean Aisle 3 at Kroger, right?" "Don't question my street cred!" ... read more

You saying I'm ugly?

  I was explaining to my 9 year old daughter what "networking" is, and that I'm not very good at it. She opined, "That's because a lot of people judge you by your looks. And you're not ..." "You trying to say I'm ugly?" "I don't think so," she said, "but other people do, yeah." Don't you just love kids? ... read more

One too many cats

  I was up a little earlier than usual this morning, which apparently surprised one of the cats in our house. The thing is, we only have one cat. Any more than that is too many. This one — either a stray or just one of the neighbor's cats, I don't know; either way, it's apparently our cat's buddy — was just coming out of my bathroom where we keep the cat food, and I was just coming out of my bedroom. It saw me and casually strolled back into the bathroom. It probably then thought be ... read more

Parents code of ethics

  Signing my daughter up for softball, I just had to laugh at this (stripped down) Parents Code of Ethics: I will encourage good sportsmanship I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my child ahead of my personal desire to win. I will remember that the game is for the youth — not adults. I guess they got sick of parents yelling and screaming and getting into fights! ... read more

Cold day in November

  It was cold today in Nashville! The high for the day was only about 45. I guess that'll feel warm if we get that in January, but still.... It's supposed to get down to the mid-20s tonight. I know, I know. You all in Chicago and Moscow are saying pfftt!But that's why — among other reasons — I don't live in those places! ... read more

This is deep

  I just had to share this comment someone left here on FriendsNews.com. Read it, absorb it, digest it, lather, rinse and repeat it. Then let me know what the %$^# it means! Here it is: I comprehend that is genuinely uninteresting and you're merely skipping to the next comment, nonetheless i basically preferred to toss a sizable several many thanks — a person resolved the main factors individually! ... read more

Lost a friend

  No, not that kind of "lost" (knock on wood). So get that lump out of your throat. No, I just noticed I've lost a friend.Don't you hate it when you're walking along talking to someone, it's crowded, you hear a muffled scream but think nothing of it, only to realize several blocks down the street that your friend is no longer walking beside you; you've been talking to a homeless person for the past ten minutes without realizing it?Well, that's never happened to me. But I did notice that my Faceboo ... read more

Dinner and a show

  After stopping at Tara's sister Stephanie's house in Smyrna to pick up a newly-refurbished Kindle Fire that Todd had put together, we had dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant, Mi Tierra. Elizabeth was "dying for refried beans!" Whatever. She's eight.Mi Tierra is usually good, as it was tonight. What was different this time were its patrons. We sat eating our Burrito Loco, vegetarian fajitas, and enchilada with rice and beans, as what looked like a band of pirates came into the resta ... read more

Just another Sunday

  Wife and kid are off at this thing called "church." Maybe you've heard of it. I'm not familiar. Not sure what to make of it. :)I'm basically just hanging out waiting for the new mattress to be delivered. We told the delivery guy, "Anytime!" He sounded foreign. I hope he shows up before 10pm! Never know with "these dang ferners!" Anyway, we went ahead and spent the money on a much-needed new mattress, along with that "under" part that used to be called the "box spring," though that's not what it' ... read more

Father's Day

  I'm just writing this post to get something new on the blog other than that free ad for Windows 7. :)We drove up to be with my wife's side of the family today for Father's Day. An "extra special treat" upon returning home was to discover that our 8 year old Elizabeth had decided to trim her hair — to give herself bangs — on the drive home. I should have known she was up to something by how quiet she was the entire trip. Her mother was not happy.And now I think they're back from the gro ... read more

House cleaning

  Doling out who would be doing what for today's house cleaning project, my wife Tara assigned the following to me: Strip and make the bed. Knowing me, she then felt the need to clarify this. "That means strip the bed."I'll just let that sink in for those who don't immediately get it. During the chores, Tara told Elizabeth she could take 15 minute breaks now and then. I think Elizabeth was confused, though, because she seemed to be taking a break every 15 minutes, not just every once i ... read more

Holiday World

  I rode a rollercoaster for the first time in I don't know how long. It was a blast! The Raven has been voted "most awesome [or whatever] wooden coaster" several times in the past ten years. The Voyage, now the reigning champ of wooden coasters, was temporarily unavailable. Surprisingly, it was good therapy for my back. When the bottom falls out from under you while the lap bar holds you down, it is, in effect, a couple seconds of traction. It helps stretch out the spine. I was so proud of mysel ... read more

Not pulled over

  Had a very brief, mundane, realistic dream the night before last in which I was pulled over by a traffic cop. I didn't think much about it until the next morning when I was going down Antioch Pike to a client's office. That particular stretch (as you pass the sports fields) is infamous as a speed trap. The speed limit is 35, but there's really no reason you can't safely go 45 as long as there are no kids, which there weren't. Anyway, I was going about 45 when some Bubba coming the other way in ... read more

Cinco de Mayo

  It's Cinco de Mayo, so we tried Moe's Southwest Grill. After ten minutes with very little movement (the line was so long), we left. Next we tried Las Palmas, a very good local chain. Same problem there. We didn't even bother standing in line. Now we're at Taco Bell. No lines! ... and apparently, no service, either. After placing our order and sitting down, they forgot about us even though there was no one else here! Crappy food and crappy service. Tara texted, "Even McDonald's would have been b ... read more

Saved a life today

  Probably. You never know about these things. Anyway, I had forgotten to buy cat food and that is what allowed me to be there in time to save a life. Taking my daughter to school this morning, I had to turn south on Nolensville Rd because Old Hickory was backed up. I was running late, and there'd be no way to make up time taking my usual route.I cut through the Bradford Hills neighborhood — they're having a community yard sale this weekend, by the way — and I was careful to keep ... read more

Great suction!

  In preparation for the much-anticipated Comcast installation (Internet, not TV), I do as they suggest and clear out a space where I want them to put the cable wall jack. Once I have that space cleared, I decide to vacuum the area. It's almost an instinctive reaction: You clear out a space that hasn't seen the light of day in months, then vacuum the spot while it's exposed. As part of this "clearing out," I disconnect the phone that's plugged in near there, leaving its cord on the floor. I did a ... read more

Doing the dishes

  So, my wife tells me most people do the dishes every day. I don't believe her. "Every day?" I ask."Yes, every day," she says."Every single day?" I persist. She nods. "You don't mean," I search for clarification, "it's something that is an 'every day' thing, but in reality is not done literally every single day, do you?""No," she insists. "What I'm saying is that most people, or at least someone in the house, probably a woman, does the dishes, literally, every single day ... unless they're on vac ... read more

Shaking while braking

  Three and a half hours in the Pep Boys waiting room is always time well-spent, wouldn't you agree? :) I'm home now, appreciating the comfort of my office chair, but Pep Boys seriously needs to consider putting more comfortable seats in their waiting area. I did get some things done while waiting, at least. I knew it'd be a while so I brought my laptop. Luckily, they provide free wi-fi. Who doesn't these days?I focused on my book-related online chores like updating my Amazon Author's page, figuri ... read more

Denied again

  This is the second "denial" in as many days.Yesterday it was the life insurance company.Today, I got one of those job application denial emails: Thank you for your interest in our [recent] opening. We have had a chance to review your resume ... Unfortunately, we have decided to pursue other candidates who match our requirements more closely. Should something change ... we will not hesitate to contact you. Yeah, right. I felt like replying, "Oh well, your loss. It would probably be an incredibl ... read more

Insurance companies

  Good news: SunLife Financial sent me a refund check! Bad news: It was because they denied my policy for, according to them, failing to send all of my paperwork in on time. Um, I think faxing it in at least a couple days prior to the deadline qualifies as "on time!" I guess it doesn't count until one of their "customer service" people waddles up, picks up the fax, files it in my folder and inputs it into my account. Good news: On the same day as the refund check, they sent me a new pre-appr ... read more

Tried to mow the lawn

  Well, I tried to mow the lawn, but the lawnmower wouldn't start. I swear. :) It's probably all clogged up from sitting there unused all winter. It was a hand-me-down mower, anyway, probably in need of replacing, but that's just not in the budget right now. Actually, the yard looks better au natural at the moment because it's full of purple flowers. Sage? Lavender? I don't know, but most yards in the neighborhood have them. Their owners are probably thinking the same thing I am. ... read more

Contentment

  Contentment is lying in bed, social networking on my laptop, listening to my wife and daughter "fight"/tease each other in the other room, while I've got the cat cuddled up on my left and two out of three pugs cuddled up on my right. ... read more

Diary, 2012/07/02

  It almost rained today. I know, exciting. Apparently, it did rain pretty hard in some places, but not here on "the south side." Hopefully, by this time next week it will have rained several times. The possibility is in the forecast, anyway. Just trying to keep my "crops" healthy. As Mark Twain said, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!" Of course, that may soon change if it hasn't already, thanks to HAARP, which is an open secret. Conversely, the Russi ... read more

Diary, 2012/06/30

  It's supposed to be record heat again today. Yesterday was 109F degrees, which is unheard of in Nashville. Today is supposed to be 107F. I've already watered my fruit trees and vegetable garden in the backyard this morning. Yesterday when I came home from work, the garden was literally wilted from the heat. I have never had an entire garden wilt before. Inside the house, I'm still trying to get used to our new hardwood laminate floors. I was not happy to get them in the first place, but ... read more

Monkey Joe's again

  This could get expensive coming here on a regular basis at $9-$10 every time, but Tara had a coupon that made it half price. We're at the new one in Brentwood/Cool Springs. Much better than the one north of town near Rivergate. Much more professional-looking. For one thing, all the bouncy houses have the Monkey Joe name, etc., all over them. Even the wireless connection is better. And being in a much closer part of town helps.I just changed seats because I felt like people around me were rea ... read more

Couch potato

  I've been a couch potato all day. Well, most of the day. I did finally pull up the dead "crops" in the vegetable garden at one point. And I did do some recycling, taking the paper, bottles, cans and plastic bags out of the trash cans and putting it into the appropriate recycle bins in the garage. I tried to accomplish a few things on the computer(s), but everything's so damned slow, I usually said screw it before it finished whatever it was doing. Oh wait, how could I forget, I starte ... read more

Winter has arrived

  It's been snowing all day, at least an inch and a half accumulation. Earlier, I put some de-icer on the driveway in preparation for tomorrow morning. Before that, I had to walk the dogs in the snow. You know, pugs don't like snow. It just really throws them off, having to go potty on something white instead of green. Lying here now, blogging and watching Sunday Night Football. I've got two of the three pugs and our only cat with me, asleep.I'm happy to see NBC has at least ONE h ... read more

New washer

  The new washer was delivered today. I let them take the old one away even though we'd just bought it (used) a week ago. That's right, it lasted just one week. Oh well, we didn't really need that $200 (after tax and delivery), anyway. </sarcasm> I say "let them" take it because I could have had the repairman from the store, DT's Used Appliances, come out and try and fix it under the 90 day warranty. But we decided "screw it, maybe he'll fix it, maybe not, maybe they'll replace it, maybe ... read more

Yesterday

  Tara had a busy "day off." Her basic schedule consisted of: 1) taking our pug Chandler back to the vet (for the fifth or sixth time the past month) to check on his ulcerated cornea; 2) awaiting delivery of our "new" used clothes washer; and, 3) picking up Elizabeth from school. Underlying all of this, she's been sick with a cold … or whatever it is. Mid-morning, I was at work typing an email to her about Sunny [see previous story] when Tara called to update me on Chandler. The vet, Dr ... read more

Lucy's birthday

  Today's my sister Lucy's birthday. She must be having a good one, because she has not replied to anyone's email birthday greeting.The previous weekend was our nephew Daniel's 2nd birthday party in Smyrna.That kid partied until it was almost dark!In other birthday news, we drove all the way to Smyrna again (15 miles away) to get a free birthday dinner for Tara at a new-ish Mexican restaurant called Mi Tierra. It was Tara's birthday on the tenth and they give you a week's grace ... read more

Diary, 2010/07/25

  Just got back from an all day shopping excursion. I don't know how Tara does it every week. I told her that was harder work than going to the office all day. She said, "So, you appreciate me more now?" Of course, I said yes. First we went to "Tara's" Kroger, the one almost in Nolensville city limits, for bread and something else while Elizabeth and I stayed in the air-conditioned car with the motor running. Then we stopped at Walgreen's a hundred yards down the road because Tara for ... read more

Diary, 2010/07/24

  We all went to the Nashville Zoo today. My God it was hot ... and sticky. Luckily, Blue Bell Ice Cream was handing out free cups of vanilla ice cream, which we grabbed upon arrival and at departure. I think today was literally the hottest day yet this year. When we got home I felt sorry for the vegetable garden and watered it with the "elaborate" hose system I've got connected to my three rain barrels. I had to empty one of them, anyway, so I could move it back in place after it had slid of ... read more

Diary, 2010/07/23

  I'm lying here on the couch — with the pugs asleep next to me — getting my "new" laptop just the way I like it. A customer was supposed to show up and drop off their laptop today at 3, but that never happened. Shoulda guessed that, but I had to be here in guess they did show up. Anyway, this "new" laptop is much older than the new Acer netbook I bought in October (for just $290), but the keyboard is much bigger which makes it SO much easier to type. I told Tara (my wife) she can ha ... read more

Aetna reverses its decision

  My insurance company, Aetna, which denied a $10,000 medical claim last year, has finally reversed its decision (after my second appeal) and decided to "process the claim" again.Woo-hoo!Let's see how it actually shakes out, though, before I get too excited. ... read more

Bird in the house

  Woke up this morning to a bird in the kitchen. I had a hunch the cat Sunny had brought something inside because, while still half asleep, I heard her banging around outside of the bedroom somewhere.Anyway, I walked into the kitchen, and there was a bird perched on the curtain rod over the back door. I couldn't get the door open fast enough. The bird's wing hit me in the head as it flew back outside. :)Sunny brought in a dead bunny rabbit a couple days prior. I really wish she'd stop doing that, ... read more

Installed the new dishwasher

  I finally got around to installing the new dishwasher that Tara's sister Stephanie mysteriously bought for us. Not sure why, but I never look a gift horse in the mouth. Seriously, if anyone ever feels like giving me something, feel free! :) Anyway, taking apart the old one (and its hoses) released the most foul stench into the house. When Tara got home she immediately asked about it, I told her, she opened every window she could reach, then took Elizabeth and left! I had suggested it, actual ... read more

McDonalds wi-fi

  In Nashville, anyway, it seems you can get around their proxy system (those outlets that use it), simply by using Google Chrome and maybe Firefox. It might be as simple as using any browser other than Internet Explorer. Using Internet Explorer, I tried to be a good boy and sign up for a "free" account. The only problem is that you have to put in your email address, they send you a confirmation, and you have to click on that verification link in your email. They didn't stop to realize you don ... read more

Happy spring!

  I am sooooo glad winter is over ... here in Nashville, anyway. I'm also glad we're not getting any flooding like North Dakota. Now, I need to make up for last year in my vegetable garden. Last year was a wash-out because of the late freeze warnings, combined with my back and knee problems. Speaking of my knee, the hospital is still trying to collect payment for that operation because my so-called "insurance" company, Aetna — more like unnecessary middle man — refuses to pay them (a ... read more

Thawing out

  Hopefully. It snowed a good 5-6 inches Friday in and around Nashville. It wasn't good snowman/snowball snow, though. Not in our neighborhood, anyway. It was too crusty because of the freezing rain that came after the snow. It made for great sledding, though, which Elizabeth and I spent several hours doing over the past few days. The pugs hate the snow. The past two nights now, with the temperature only briefly rising above freezing on Sunday afternoon, the sidewalks and grassy areas are s ... read more

A day without my car

  I'm just testing this Windows Live Writer software. It was a dark and stormy night … No, it was an unusually cold day … yeah, that's it … for the first week of December when I was forced to go without my beloved — well, maybe not beloved, but much appreciated car. It's in the shop because it's running roughly, "missing" is the technical term. I hope to get it back tonight. Just last night, seeing some people at a bus stop, my daughter asked what they were ... read more

Diary, 2009/10/28

  We had a "Fall Festival" party at Elizabeth's daycare/preschool tonight (called that because some parents don't like Halloween). Elizabeth went dressed up in her Minnie Mouse costume. She was very cute. But then, she's cute no matter how she's dressed. :) They had a "magic" show that was cute, but I've seen better. :) Actually, Elizabeth really enjoyed it. She sat right up front and interacted with the magician, though she was never asked to be one of his volunteers. After the show, he made ball ... read more

Diary, 2009/10/17

  Been trying to learn Cisco (network routing equipment) online through skillsoft.com, which I was given access to in my severance package. Maybe I need to just move out in order to get everything done that needs getting done. My 4 year old daughter thinks just because I'm working from home right now, that means I can play all the time. It makes it hard to concentrate, and some of this computer stuff takes some serious concentration.I love my daughter, but she is easily the most demanding child I' ... read more

Diary, 2009/10/15

  Two weeks shy of my birthday and I'm still looking for a job. I don't know why. I never really fit in at these corporate soul-sucking places. Oh that's right, I need to pay the mortgage, daycare, grocery bill, utilities, car payment and its insurance. And don't forget the exorbitant health care premiums. You ever tried buying health insurance when your employer didn't get you a HUGE discount? It's ridiculously expensive. It just occurred to me: Maybe the corporations actually sorta LIKE havin ... read more

Too many doctors lately

  I had knee surgery the other day. They removed my bursa sac that kept filling up with fluid due to an injury. The only thing I can figure is that it happened when I helped this neighbor kid stop his bike as he was coming down the hill, scared and saying, "Help!" I jumped in front of him and stopped him, but he and the bike were heavier, with more momentum, than I anticipated. The pedals or something smacked my knee and scratched my other leg. He hit the street and got scraped up, anyway, but a ... read more

Haircut

  Got a haircut today. Finally! What little I have left — after all the stress at work and the stress of the recent back pain — was getting pretty long and goofy-looking unless it was wet and slicked back. Anyway, I was sitting there in my chair getting my hair cut by the same middle aged woman who cut it last time. I had my head down as I usually do — because I'm tall and have a big head and the person cutting my hair is not always tall enough. Maybe that's not really necessary. I ... read more

Holiday World

  Tara just brought me back from the pharmacy where I'm having a prescription filled. We used CVS pharmacy because Tara had a coupon. She is the coupon queen. Doesn't buy anything without a coupon these days. It's a hobby. You should check out her blog at tarasfavorites.blogspot.com. Anyway, the reason for the prescription is because my back went out again. It happened Thursday at Holiday World (Santa Claus, Indiana) as Elizabeth and I were getting out of a raft at the bottom of a water slide ... read more

Christmas 2008

  It took five months, but here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-IBFQsYpuw ... read more

New fence

  I forgot to mention that I built a fence last weekend. It only spans about 12 feet from the side of the house to the retaining wall dividing us from our slightly-uphill neighbor. I've still got to cut a gate into it. Hopefully, I can pull that off. [I pulled it off. See below.] Then, maybe next weekend I'll get the other side of the house fenced. That's just a 9 foot section between a neighbor's existing fence and the back corner wall of our house. This is all just to keep the neighbor kid ... read more

Thought for the day

  I was noticing how I'm not as good of a speller as I used be, or at least not as quick. Old age, I figured. Brain deteriorating. Oh well. Then I decided it's not necessarily that big a deal when certain brain synapses or pathways/habits die or just get worn out. It just forces me to use other mental processes, other brain routes, sending me in new directions, mentally. As long as I still get there, mentally, who cares how? It reminds me of one of my pet peeves with corporate life. Thos ... read more

Diary, 2009/04/02

  Today is Dad's birthday. 90 years old! Amazing. I'm 48, in case you're wondering. Amazing ... ly disgusting! Oh well. Anyway, back to Dad. Longevity runs in his side of the family. His mother lived to be 101. His father made it to 81 or so, as did his oldest brother and only sister ... I think. I didn't really pay attention to their age when they died. Sorry. His younger brother is still kicking. A year or so ago, my dad emailed an article about his brother, titled something like ... read more

Our first outside Christmas lights, ever!

  That's it. No story. Here's the link: Our first outside Christmas lights ... read more

Diary, 2008/11/10

  Parents all worry about how well they're raising their kids; how they will behave; what kind of people they will grow up to be. Well, tonight I discovered a sad truth about our youngest daughter, Sunny. She likes to hang out in gutters. You heard me. Gutters! Oh, the shame of it all! Sunny is a cat, in case you didn't know. She was apparently hanging out down the street and around the corner from our house when the pugs and I walked by tonight. I wasn't aware she ever wandered that far from hom ... read more

Diary, 2008/11/07

  Well, I had a hell of a day. It started off normally enough, though it was raining, which is increasingly rare around here. I dropped Elizabeth off at school on my way to work, and from there my day took a wrong turn. I took side streets the rest of the way to work instead of the main Old Hickory Blvd route. The side streets are just faster, usually. On Nolensville Road across from a new-ish development combining houses, condos and businesses, Lenox Village, there's this no-name gas station tha ... read more

Diary, 2008/04/26

  I took Joey to the vet this morning for a routine follow-up. I volunteered because I thought his appointment would conflict with Tara's plans to take Elizabeth to meet up with her Auntie, Tara's sister Sandy, at the Franklin Street Fair. Tara conveniently allowed me to think that. When Joey and I got back home, Tara and Elizabeth were both still just lounging around the house, not even out of their pajamas! Anyway, the vet, Dr. Paula, was glad that Joey had lost one pound, but he needs to lose ... read more

Good Friday

  It WAS a good Friday. There was nothing religious about it. If you know me at all, that wouldn't surprise you. I was just reading my previous post and wanted to have something more positive this time. We're all still adjusting to each other and getting better at it every day. That last post was three weeks ago and feels like months ago. She almost never makes me mad now. Don't get me wrong, she still irritates me sometimes, as I probably do to her. But that's rare now. We generally get along ve ... read more

Bill and Tara's excellent adventure

  It started out as an innocent attempt at "dinner and a movie" on a Saturday night. It turned into ... Tara's nightmare! Well, okay, so maybe it wasn't quite that bad. But still ... We had dinner at Schlotsky's, each of us ordering one of their 8" "personal" pizzas. Tara got her usual barbecue chicken. I tried something new: the so-called Thai chicken pizza. It was okay, but there was nothing particularly "Thai" about it. Yes, we like chicken pizza. Some peopl ... read more

A day at the races

  [from 1994] by Bill The first Saturday in May. What does this date mean to you? Probably nothing, except that Spring has finally arrived, unless you live in California where it's been Spring already for two months or more — real Spring, not calendar Spring.But ask any horse racing buff and they will tell you without hesitation the first Saturday in May is the day of the Kentucky Derby! Well, this story isn't about the Kentucky Derby or the first Saturday in May.This is about the B ... read more

Regenerated Dec 11 2017
copyright © 1998-2017 · friendnews/friendsnews · all rights reserved worldwide