Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day (You Don't Know Jack!)

Tradition: Flowers, Candy, Dinner Out

Tinney: Breakfast Out, You Don't Know Jack quiz, No prize for you!

It started out innocently enough - honestly (you don't know me well enough to blame me!). Two years ago I started the tradition of making a list of questions about my lovely wife, asking them of the children, and recording our three answers. I would then ask my bride to tell me who supplied which answer.

For every correct guess of who said what, she gained 10 points. Add the points up and win prizes. The first year looked something like this:

50 points - Foot rub
60 points - Back rub
70 points - Dinner Out
80 points - $25.00 spending money
90 points - another $25.00
100 points (total possible) ALL prizes

Sample question: If Mom was a car, she would be a _______?
Emma: Van (what we had at the time)
Jacob: F150 (what mom wished we had at the time)
Dad: Sexy Mustang (brownie points for Dad)

Mom would venture a guess who gave each answer, doing pretty good throughout... we would share a laugh... she would earn some prizes. The 2nd year, the tradition continued. Today is the 3rd annual Mom's Day Quiz... but something has changed. Evil has entered the process.

I'm not sure if it is the daughter being seven now or the son entering teen years, but they are suddenly on a mission to 'stump the Mom.' Our questions are evolving, at the children's urging, from "If Mom was a car..." to "The square root of 1.5788993 divided by .004 resembles what ancient Egyptian rulers name if coded numerically."

I had to remind them WE answer the questions, so making them harder will not stump Mom. This is when the brain trust starting kicking in (is that smoke I smell?) and they began changing their answers. In example, the following dialogue occurred:

Me: Question: If mom were a Transformer, what type would she be? You know, like car, etc.
Emma: Volkswagen
Jacob: No! She will know you said that - say something crazy like Taco
Me: No... just answer honestly
Emma: Taco Panda
Jacob: I say T-rex - she'll never guess I said that!
Me: No - what do you really think...
Emma: Taco Panda T-rex! (insert child fight here)

So, this year, I am praying that Von enjoys the festivities without feeling like a contestant on You Don't Know Jack - though I doubt it. I can see it:

Me: Who said "Slap Happy Jolly Pig Vomit" to the question "What is Mom's favorite food?"
Von: er, huh?
Emma: Wrong!!! Ha! I said that!
Jacob: No points for you! Yes! (high-five with Emma)
Von: Perplexed look, followed by side-bar where I get in big trouble

I may have to throw the contest and pitch in a couple of extra prizes just to get through this one... after all... it is Mom's Day even if she doesn't know which one of us said "Flying Stinker Oink" to the question "What special message do you have for Mom on mom's day this year?"
0 points on that one for sure.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Great Outdoors *or* I am NOT touching that worm!

One of the great pleasures of being a dad, whether you are city folk or live in a place called Bumpass like we do, is taking your kids fishing.

That's right! The great tradition of loading your fishing poles and fully stocked tackle box into the family wagon and heading for the lake! Unless you are in our house, where you grab your fishing pole, a dozen night crawlers, and throw it all into you 1997 Probe for the 2 minute drive 300 feet up the road to the pond.

The pond is a local sensation that thrills child and parent alike. You see, the owner, a very nice old gentleman, not only keeps it fully stocked with tons of fish, but he also has the fix in. Every single day at 6pm, he throws handfuls of fishy food into the pond and it literally comes alive as hundreds, perhaps thousands, of fish have a feeding frenzy. So... if you want to catch a fish, just go to the pond around 5 - 5:30 pm and throw a hook with anything on it in the water. The kids walk away thinking their father knows all about bait and technique, when really I just know about timing.

As you can see, my son brought one in right away. My five-year-old daughter was a different story. She had the following problems, in order:

1. Hot

2. Worm Sympathy (doesn't it hurt the worms to go on the hook, Daddy!?)

3. Cold

4. Tired

5. Bored

6. Bugs! Bugs on the ground Daddy! (Yes - I explained they live there).

7. Bored again (or was it still?)

8. Fish Sympathy (I don't want it to die - I just want to catch it!)

9. Jealousy (Her brother pulled in two in a row and all she got was some stupid weeds and then a tree limb due to no fault of her own - except the part where she wildly flailed around with her pole screaming "Bug on me! Bug on me!")

10. Anxiety Separation (I miss Mommy! - who was home 300 feet away)

The good news is that she finally overcame all of her issues and was able to hold onto a pole I cast out for her long enough for a fish to latch on for the ride. Please note her brother holding the pole with her big catch while she symbolically touches the rod. Right after the photo shutter snapped she ran away screaming not to let the fish get her.
Oh yes... these are the days we will always remember. Next time she wants to wear gloves and full body armor. I say why not.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Our Independence Day Story - Sort Of

There are so many of us who really don't understand our history, including me, so I did some in depth research in order to provide us all with the story of our country's independence.

It all starts with an alien spaceship threatening an ex-stripper, who is saved by Will Smith... er... wait. That's the movie! Duh! Here, in a concise format, is the history of the July 4th Holiday, Independence Day:

Once upon a time, there was group of people who didn't particularly enjoy being British so they decided to face death and cross a gigantic mass of water and land right here in America. Well, they died a lot, but not all of them, and the ones who survived made some colonies. These 13 colonies would one day become the United States as well as have some of the largest real estate taxes ever known to man simply because they were in the North East. Anyway...

There was this dude with the totally unoriginal name of "George III" (come on, like George I and II couldn't say "let's try Tom this time!"?). George was the King of England, where a bunch of people with red coats and guns lived. Well he decided to do two things that really pissed off these new colonist, and, of course, they had to do with taxes. This started the American tradition of "Tax Bitching" that still continues today, but I digress. Here is what he did:

1. Tax the crap out of the 13 Colonies (Yes - He was a Democrat), and

2. Fail to allow the 13 Colonies to be represented in the "English Parliament" (this was the 18th century version of the U. S. Congress with fewer crooks, but only because they had fewer delegates).

Well, this "taxation without representation" (currently modernized to read "we took a screwin' there boys!" here in Bumpass, VA) did not abide. George was getting that itchy feeling you get on the back of your neck, you know, the one where you are about to take a butt whoopin' and you figure you ought to do something. So... he started massing up troops in the 13 colonies from 1774-1775 or so in case the folks there decided to get all hot under the collar and open up a can of whoop ass.

In April of 1775, George through a hissy fit, and against the advice of those around him (nobody listens to their wife anymore!) he sent the troops off after the 13 Colonies to get them under control. Now, this is where it really gets harry.

You see, I always forget if Paul Revere road around shouting "The British Are Coming!" or if it was that Ichabod Crane dude.. but I looked it up on Google today and I'm 100% sure it was Paul Revere because that Ichabod Crane fellow would have had hell in a basket doing any shouting with the whole "headless" thing going on. Anyway...

Paul Revere road all over the place shouting about the British coming, and some other buddy of his had a couple of beers and climbed up in a lighthouse or something like that and the next thing you know: bam! There was that can of whoop butt.

To make a long story short, we declared our independence from England on July 4th, 1776, beat the living daylights out of them, and have been blowing stuff up every 4th of July since then. This signing took place in Philadelphia, the "City of Brotherly Love" and the "Most Viscious Fans Alive," but that would come later.

So, today, celebrate your independence! Happy Birthday America... and F U George.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Age Is Just A Number -or- Happy Poopday!

Age is just a number... Old people always say that. Really, though, my son's 11th Birthday made me think about this for the first time in a while. I mean, if you really think about it, the same central theme surrounds most of our birthdays. Life IS like a box of chocolates after all Forrest!

Someone said, you know you are young when you can still laugh. I don't know who that genius was, but that is my rule of age. When the laughter dies, well... you get the idea. Take for example my five year old daughter and, now, eleven year old son. Stopping them from giggling like a couple of completely insane people is nearly impossible once they get going. It usually starts of with the most basic and simple of statements and then just gets worse (or better, depending on your perspective) from there.

My daughter usually starts it with a statement similar to the following:

"Hey, Jacob!"
"Yes, Emma?"
"Chicken Poop!"

Then they are off to the giggling races. A small giggle the size of, say, a pebble, quickly "snowballs" into a roaring laughter complete with tears as the "Poop" exchange begins. Before long we have, what I affectionately call a "Poop-a-thon" and my wife lovingly refers to as "make them stop it-a-thon" that includes:

Bird Poop, Dog Poop, Harry Poop, Henry Poop, Henry T. Poop, Harry Poop the 3rd etc.

The level of Poop continues to rise, as does my lovely wife's insistence that they stop immediately if not sooner... which I am unable to hear over my own contributions, such as:

Mr. Poopity Pooper, Sir Poops-a-Lot, and (my personal favorite) Poooooo-rific!

There is just something, you see, about the giggle of a five year old girl that ruptures the senses and goes straight to the giggle box of a father. It is, in a word, inexplicable. It is also, to choose another word, awesome. Once I hear that laugh... I am done for.

After some cajoling, and near laughter of her own, my dearest wife finally convinces me that I should put a stop to this as it is getting out of control (Poop is now being added as a prefix to family member names with hilarious results... I mean really - who can resist dear old Grandma Poo?) I must attempt to stop the laughter.

"That's enough!" I say, almost too sternly, adding stupidly, "no more Poop!" Which, for some unknown reason, has the opposite effect. Now Mom has to jump in and put the proverbial foot down with:

"Ok - nobody say "Poop" anymore - that's enough!"

Ultimately, the three children settle down a bit, but then something odd occurs. Mom, having settled the group gets the slightest tickle, followed by the smallest grin, that is caught by the eye of the littlest girl... and we are off again. Boy... there is just something about that little laugh!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Scrapmaster J - or - Scrap Booking Lingo Gone Mad

As I write this post, there are thousands upon thousands of men across this great land scratching their heads and peering into their nearly empty wallets with one question in mind:

"How the heck can paper and glue cost so much?"

Men. Grab your favorite drink (having a beer right now folks!) and sit down. I'm going to debunk the scrap booking phenomenon for you right here. As the husband of a scrap booking business owner, I have been exposed to the secret side of scrap booking. What I will reveal here may put me in mortal danger; however, the truth must come out!

The answer to the above question is, "Paper and glue do not cost that much!" Well, unless the scrap booker buys them in packs of 25 contained in boxes large enough to hurt your back and fill up a small U-haul - but hey, my wife sells some of it!

You see, men, the expenses only begin with paper and glue. You can make a pretty decent looking page by taking your favorite picture (look! this is the one where Uncle Jack got naked and re-enacted the entire first act of "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" at Jenny's tenth birthday party!), then gluing it to a colorful piece of pattern paper. This, however, is just how the scrap booking retail industry gets your lovely lady started.

It is similar to drugs. First, it's just a piece of paper (this would be like a small hit from a joint if you will). Next, it would really spice things up if there were just some ribbon and an alpha or two (yes - this is like her first snort of the hard stuff). Finally, your den or home office begins to slowly resemble the local scrapbook shop and dinner on the table may or may not occur after "just one more layout!" This is full fledged addiction my man!

So, you ask, what can we do about it? How can we slow it down? What the hell is a "Thicker" and can it be used to harm me during an argument?

The first step is... get ready because this is hard... understanding! Several of you just walked away, I know... the truth hurts.

Remember that power saw she let you buy last year? You know, the one with the laser guided accuracy, compass, and turbo-charged four-wheel drive auto air coolant driven blade guard? To you, that was a necessary item. After all - you were meaning to build that tree-house! Let me tell you what that same purchase meant to your lovely lady:

25 sheets of pattern paper (two-sided)
25 sheets of Bazzill (not the flat stuff - oh no! - textured only)
A new Cricut cartridge (this has nothing to do with bugs)
Some scissors (the kids stole hers and made them dull cutting plastic cans. Again)
Stickles (lots of stickles!)
Two of my wife's kits (Please!?)

Our power tools can fell large trees, build small buildings, and fix a stopped toilet (hey - that sucker wasn't stuck after I cut it out of the floor with my jig!). Their tools can save a memory forever. Who wins? If you just said "We do!" ... the couch is open tonight sir.

No - the best away to "battle" this addiction is to learn more about it. I promise - you don't have to actually make anything (unless it's out of wood), but you will be a hero if you learn some of the lingo. I am no expert, but I assure you, learn some of the following and use the terminology when confronted with the scrap booking addicted lady and you will earn points:

1. First, when you are asked if you think "this layout is missing something" or, the dreaded, "does this layout look okay" be warned!!!! This is 2nd only to "do I look fat in this dress," which has killed many men! Here are some safe, and perhaps impressive, responses:

a. I like the texture of the alphas, it blends with the pattern paper to make the picture stand out! WARNING: An "Alpha" as used above is a letter of some sort - not something in camouflage with a gun!!! If you don't see any, just talk about the paper matching the pictures and the colors being great... then watch for the incredulous look. Don't move! Eventually she will give you a hug. Breath now.

2. Know that a rub-on is NOT something related to the bedroom. These are items "rubbed onto" the paper to look hand inked or drawn. However... if you are astute to notice her rub-on in a layout, you are closer to the bedroom than the couch.

3. It's not "stickers" (as in - your five year old daughter is using stickers -how cute) but "stickles" (as in - the artist is using stickles to brighten, outline, or otherwise rev up her creation). Don't say stickers or you will be stuckled... on the couch.

4. Pattern Paper is the thin stuff with all the art. Card stock is the thick stuff that is usually all one color. The couch is where you sleep if you call it "just paper," "thick paper," or "too expensive!"

5. This is a big one: A Crop is where a group of addicts, er um... scrap bookers, gather together to share ideas, create together, and drink. Some of the terms you will hear flying around will include:

a. Scrap Lift - this is using somebody else's layout or design to create your own - not stealing supplies or anything involving a plastic surgeon.

b. Punch - these nifty little things actually cut patterns into paper, like a hole punch, but with flare. This is also what you get if you say something like "couldn't you just do that with scissors?" - although I wouldn't know

c. RAK - this stands for Random Act of Kindness. Although we don't have a clue why, your spouse will give away some perfectly good items to a complete stranger for no reason at all during a crop. This is common. My only advice is lock up your power tools during a Crop just in case.

Finally, I have the following sage advice. Never, ever, ever call it any of the following:

Crap booking
That Craft Thing
Too Expensive
A Wast of Money
Playing Around

Yes: that would be couch, couch, couch, couch, and couch.

No - if you have a lady addicted to scrapping, just be supportive. Tell her how much you appreciate her creatively storing your family memories. Walk up to her while she is scrapping, peek of her shoulder, and softly whisper in her ear: "Wow... I love watching you do that," as though she were on the beach rubbing in lotion.

This will not only increase the chances of you getting that new work-bench with automatic grip guides, but you just might end up winning the best dude award and other benefits.

PS: Tell her to buy another kit from Von: I have my eye on that work-bench too buddy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Micheal Jackson

Micheal Jackson – 1958-2009

His lyrics say it all. Here they are from a variety of songs over the years.

It's Out Of My Hands It's Out Of My Hands

Tired of injustice Tired of the schemes The lies are disgusting So what does it mean Kicking me down I got to get up As jacked as it sounds The whole system sucks
So Just Leave Me Alone Leave Me Alone Leave Me Alone-Stop It! Just Stop Doggin' Me Around

'Cause this is thriller, thriller night And no one's gonna save you from the beast about strike You know it's thriller, thriller night You're fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight

All I wanna say is that They don't really care about us All I wanna say is that They don't really care about us

Do You Remember Back In The Spring Every Morning Birds Would Sing Do You Remember Those Special Times They'll Just Go On And On In The Back Of My Mind

There’s a choice we're making We're saving our own lives its true we'll make a better day Just you and me

But They Told Me A Man Should Be Faithful And Walk When Not Able And Fight Till The End But I'm Only Human

Another day has gone I'm still all alone How could this be You're not here with me You never said goodbye Someone tell me why Did you have to go And leave my world so cold

Can you tell he wrote his own lyrics? You and I, we are not superstars. Neither was he, we saw him that way, but he was just human… whatever pain, tragedy, and fear you feel – so did he. Fame and money buffer the senses of those who see it – not those who have it.

Rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The J. O. B. -or- Help! I'm Employed!

I just realized today, only a few short hours ago, that I actually do not have the worst job on the entire earth. It comes in 2nd. Right behind "Personal Vomit Remover To Paris Hilton," but the voting was extremely close.

Have you ever had a "job" that you hated? I don't mean hate like "I hate when I get a splinter!" No - I mean hate like the type of loathing you might have for, let's say, somebody who you learned just murdered your best friend. Extreme you say? I think not! I really like my friends. Well, some of them.... but I digress!

Take for example the following actual phone conversation from my day this afternoon. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and extremely stupid.

Me: Hello Mr. Customer - how are you today?
Mr. Customer: I hate you.

So I have elaborated slightly, but you get the general idea. You see, I work at a very large bank (and by that I mean they have sixty two gazillion dollars in assets, and that's just what the VP's use to light cigars!). My job is - and you may want to sit down before reading this - is:


That's right! I am the dreaded person who has to say the following things to unsuspecting customer on a daily basis:

1. You don't qualify based on income, sir, "Hit man" is not a taxable profession!
2. Yes, Mr. Customer, we received your home appraisal and in the field that reads "Home Value" the appraiser simply wrote - "Good Luck"
3. I don't know when I will be able to close your home loan, Mr. Customer, but I am quite sure if you curse at me several more times I will probably move faster!

Now, I am obviously all for a nice conversation. I consider myself outgoing and approachable. I have found, however, that my job has made me somewhat "gun-shy" with the general public. After having several dozen people each day complain, yell, or otherwise insult my mother I have become a little jumpy.

I was standing in line at a fast food restaurant just yesterday taking a break from my busy day of declining loans when the man behind me spoke to me. I put him in a strangle hold and began yelling, "I don't care what your current interest rate is sir! I have to charge points on your loan!" before being pulled off by several bystanders.

"What in the heck is wrong with you," one lady screamed at me, "all he did was ask you what time it was!"
"Yeah," said another guy, "and why should you be charging points on a loan anyway? What kind of person are you, you sick bastard!"

All I've got to say is: How bad is your suck job? Make a comment about you job or the job of somebody you know, or just a job you think might suck.

By the way, if you are a the Personal Vomit Remover to Paris Hilton, please accept my apology... I just turned your refinance down.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

You Talkin to Me Mister?! Happy Flugging snarkoffen Day!

Isn't she adorable! So cute! So cruel, er huh?
Ok parents... please tell me this is common. Please tell me that my beautiful little sweetheart of a five-year-old is just going through a "stage" as in "she won't scream at the top of her lungs NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for an hour her whole life" stage.

Children are so darn cute and adorable... and then they learn to talk. Whose idea was this anyway? Emma, my little five-year-old, is having a major case of Drama Queen meets Godzilla which causes her to:

1. Not listen
2. Go absolutely insane when she gets in trouble for not listening
3. Go completely boneless when being picked up to be taken to her bed where she has Exorcist level contortion fits that both scare and entertain (bring popcorn!)

Look - I'm telling you I didn't even know vocal ranges like that existed until I put this child in bed for not behaving. So - the question is - will this stop at some point or do I have to call Madonna to come and adopt this child.

It starts out very innocently. So that you fellow parents can help me figure this out, I give you the following nearly verbatim recent example:

Von: Emma, go get your shoes on please. We are leaving.
Emma: Don't leave without me!!
Von: We are not leaving with out you but you need to get your shoes on. Please hurry up.
Emma: (who is now laying flat on her back on the floor flailing as though she is fighting off some unforeseen demon) I CAN'T FIND MY OTHER SHOE!!!!
Von: Calm down - it's right beside you!

Now: Here is where it gets really bizarre so follow closely (I don't know, ready slower here eh?). The offending shoe is, indeed, right beside my daughters actual foot which is, as of that moment, still attached to her actual body. She looks at the shoe - looks AT the shoe - and amazingly says: Where?

Did you know, ladies and gentlemen, that under the proper circumstances (see the last paragraph please) that the face of a Mom can actually explode without causing her own demise? At this point Von's face turns the color of red usually associated with fire hydrants and horror films. I am, at this moment, the calmer of the two, so I do what I know is best in such a heated situation: I take three paces backward to avoid being injured.

Von: Emma - are you trying to tell me (insert sound of gritted teeth here please) that you don't see that shoe sitting right next to your foot?
Emma: (Who is now playing with the shoe that only her parents can see): No

Remember that verse in the Bible, something like "spare not the dismembering of your children, lest the live longer than you"? (Hey - I didn't say I had it memorized). We now reach the point where the following, inevitable, things occur.

1. My ten-year-old son, who stays out of trouble 99.9% of the time, says to his sister: "You are being ridiculous!" The most untimely 100% accurate comment of all time.
2. The five-year-old, using the non-existent shoe as a weapon, attacks him.
3. Von gives me "the look" - you know guys, the one that says "you did this to me!" and "do something before I kill all of you" at the same time - and I realize I must spring into action.

Let it be known that I have a college education. I am a military veteran. I have survived multiple, severe lacerations including the loss of small body parts, many stitches, compound fractures, and some completely bizarre injuries that would make the reader blush. None of these facts help in dealing with a demon possessed child in the least. In fact, I don't sound like a college educated military veteran who can handle whatever comes my way. Instead of actually speaking, the following statement comes out of my face as I grab the child and, very literally, peal her off of her brother.

"Flugging snarkoffen dingle brats!" I yell. There are actual words in there, but they just won't come out as I carry the now boneless and screaming child up to "the bed."

Here is an interesting fact. Did you know that "the bed" has two distinct features and not just one? Have children, and you will find that "the bed" is:

a. Used for sleeping, pleasant dreams, and sound rest.
b. Used to torture small children

This is a fate so horrible, so unbelievably painful that the child must resort to yelling for help. Evidentally, anyone that might come to her rescue is a minimum of 10.5 miles from our home, thus requiring EXTREMELY LOUD PLEAS for asstance. We have two basset hounds. They actually sit at the front door with suitcases when she starts screaming. Yes - it is that type of pitch.

This goes on for quite a while until, finally, she falls fast asleep. This is the time I usually go upstairs and find that, once again, my real child has returned. Minus the tussled hair and the redness under her eyes, she almost looks like a little angel. And by the way - she has both shoes on.

Someday I'll look back on this and laugh.... so why not today?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

22, 4, 1

Today Vonnie and I are celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary!!!! :)

I am very excited that we have made it 22 years - and it feels like just one I SWEAR it has gone so very fast. 22 years, 4 of us now (two kiddos) and she's still my number 1!

Here is my list of top 10 reasons we have made it 22 years:

10. She did all the work - I just kept showing up!
9. What? Like anyone else would put up with me!?
8. I told her I was in line to inherit millions 22 years ago... she's very patient
7. Stimulating conversation... not with me - I give her plenty to talk about with her friends
6. Two words: Duct Tape
5. As she says - I sure beat a sharp stick in the eye
4. I do laundry - that's right ladies - feel the power!
3. My buff bod - I know I left it around here someplace...
2. Fear - If she throws me out I might leave the children behind
1. I let Mrs. Tinney pick the number one reason and she said: "Because you put up with me"

That's my humble, but mistaken, wife.... she put's up with me!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blog - what Blog?

I was surfing tonight and looking at other people's blogs and I got a huge case of OPPJ - Other People Posting Jealousy. The Idiot will return.... or maybe I'm just going to post this and then kick myself for six months again because I am too busy... who knows?! (I sure don't)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Is that hair gel?

Today I am incredulous. First, that I haven't been writing on my blog as I promised myself I would, and second, because we are about to become a Socialist society and waive goodbye to Capitalism... at least for now.

I don't have the time to blog, I have realized, what with three private business ventures between my wife and I. However, I am left with this thought: I woke up today with that scene from "Something About Mary" where the guy greets Mary at the door with "something" in his hair that is definitely NOT hair gel. Mary says takes the offensive goo and rubs it in her hair, never aware it is not hair gel or what it actually is.

Well, America, if you just voted with the group that elected our new President, let me be the first to let you in on the joke: that is NOT hair gel. If you don't get it, don't worry, you'll figure it out over the next four years or so. The jokes on you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pigs, Politics, and The Real Issues

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. This comment from Obama started a spiral staircase to crazy town only a mere number of hours before the 7th anniversary of the horrible attacks of 9/11/2001. It is fair to assume that the only reason this all calmed down so quickly was because of the observance of that anniversary.

Otherwise, we'd probably still have pundits speculating over the lipstick color and daring to predict what eye shadow might match. Thank God - we never got to the blush (I'm horrible with blush!). Anyway... I would like to take some time here to breakdown the political issues that we are facing and line-up, truly, what these candidates, McCain and Obama, are showing us with just a handful of weeks before the big vote.

I would like to thank both camps for focusing on the issues as we draw close to a vote. It would appear the issues that voters are most concerned about, such as economic turmoil, energy crisis, and the housing slump, are not “the issues,” however. How stupid of us, the voters, to be completely off base in what we are focusing on. Here, just to set you straight and get you ready to vote on the actual issues, are the candidates issue focuses:

Is John McCain going to die immediately upon taking office? This is a top issue for the Obama campaign. I concluded this because their entire strategy seems to center around proving that Obama is a stronger candidate for President than Sarah Palin. They have attacked her record, her experience, and her nasal tone while giving speeches. Well, maybe not her nasal tone, but everything else. So, voters, the real issue according the Democrats is: When John McCain croaks during an acceptance speech, will we wish we had gone for Obama or be happy with Palin?

What would Jesus do? Obama supporters and/or staffers have compared Obama to Jesus and Sarah Palin to Pontius Pilot. For those who are Bible phobic, Jesus died for our sins a sinless man and Pontius Pilot decided, in party with other influences, to kill him. The comment made was that Jesus was like a community organizer, like Obama, and Pontius Pilot was a governor, as is Palin. So, when you go to vote the simple issue here is this: Do you vote for the McCain/Palin ticket, that includes a person that, according to Democrats would kill the savior of the world and greatest community organizer of all time, or do you vote for Obama/Biden, a ticket that includes a man who is just like Jesus? So – the real issue here is do you elect an old guy and a possible executioner, or do you elect a Messiah and an old guy. If you take the old guys out of the equation, it’s pretty lopsided in favor of the Democrats. Another benefit is that if something happens to Obama, he would, presumably, just rise from the grave and resume governing. At least we don’t have to fear Biden then, right? Thank you Democrats for bringing this issue where it belongs in the forefront. This is why you people keep me around: To explain the hard stuff.

Is Joe Biden Invisible? The only way you can find Biden on this Democratic ticket is on Google. We haven’t seen a candidate this elusive and unseen as a Vice President or candidate since James S. Sherman who was a sitting Vice President up for re-election. Sherman, however, was actually dead, thus explaining his relative absence during campaign stops. The only thing I am relatively sure of at this point is that Biden is not actually dead, so, the theory that he is physically able to make himself invisible except when speaking is viable. He appeared briefly to give a talk to a small group on the topic “Hilary Clinton Should Have Been Picked Instead of Me!” This rousing speech included references to Hillary being more qualified and a better choice for VP on the Democratic ticket than he himself was. Word has it Obama has requested “continuous invisibility” from the VP candidate until after the election.

The real facts are unimportant – just ask the news media. If you judge what is important about this election based on their expert feedback, then we should elect the candidates who have the best one-liners, zingers, and accusatory tones. I mean, it’s getting very confusing. Consider this:

Obama was for Change and Hope. Now McCain is all bout Real Change. Obama, sensing his Change and Hope was absconded by McCain, has now decided it is about Change, but not McCain’s kind of Change, which is really More of The Same. So McCain is about Change Now, Real Change, and Changing Some Stuff. This is forcing Obama to be about a Different Kind of Change and Hope has completely dropped off the radar. I’m guessing Hope is with Biden who is Hoping he doesn’t get dropped from the ticket in favor of Hillary Clinton, who is Hoping he does because the Change means she’s back in it. So now we are all just Hoping that somebody will Change something so we can get our mortgage caught up, but I’m starting to believe the lipstick pig thing applies all the way around.

You see these candidates, as we all know, are no different than the sets that have come before them with the exception of some groundbreaking facts about their race and/or sex. They want what we want! They are just like you and me! Biden rides the subway all the time and Palin has a big family to care for. McCain is going to croak really soon, so he understands our fears, and Obama was a community organizer just like Jesus – so he knows we are all sinners and we need him.

Folks – as the day to decide draws near, I will continue to bring some insightful information about all of the candidates and the issues. Let’s make an informed decision. Let’s get the best of the worst, er. I mean the best candidate we can.

By the way… if anyone sees Joe Biden, tell him not to be so hard on himself about that Hillary Clinton thing. It’s not like we expect him to be perfect or anything – after all – he was never a community organizer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Two things:

1. Today is dedicated to the memory of the 9/11 tragedy - the victims, family, and all who felt the pain of that day.

2. Dedicating to writing on my blog on a regular basis. If you are checking in and reading this on 9/11/2008 - keep coming back - the funny is coming...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

“Dear Constituents” or “Hey you”

My desire to stay out of the current race for President of The United States is fading. As I watch the actions, in-actions, re-actions, and other-actions of the current candidates, I am left with one prevailing thought:

“Should I have worn this tie today because it doesn’t seem to match my shirt very well?”

Wait. Sorry. That’s the wrong thought. Here it is:

“How can we avoid going to hell in a hand-basket if any of these possible nominees actually win?”

The answer, as I’m quickly discovering, is only by way of a miracle, such as during the general election in November, everyone forgets to show-up and we are left to pick straws, thereby giving me a pretty good shot because I have a lot of straws. I really like the bendy ones with stripes on them. I have tons of those!

In all seriousness, however, I have pulled some strings and managed to get an off-the-record debate live via satellite into my studio office and spouse’ scrap booking room (*shameless plug for wife’s blog: Here, if it had actually happened, might have been the transcript of such a debate:

Moderator: “Hello everybody and welcome to Von’s scrap booking room,” (moderator interrupted by Candidate Frank, who whispers something to him over the cutter and nearly knocks off the Craft Robo), “sorry about that folks, from the Campaign Office of Candidate Frank Tinney. This debate is sponsored by:”


Moderator: “Welcome back. Our first question is from an undecided voter in Wilmot, Kansas. He asks: What should I have for dinner? I can’t decide?”

McCain: “Have the Roast Beef. NO! Make that the Soup. Yes. Soup is good.”
Romney: “There you go again, flip-flopping.”
Clinton: “Let me just say, when I am President, I will tell everyone what they should eat and how they should eat it. I plan on heading up a government task force on diet control and putting 1.5Gazillion dollars into a fund and signing a bill into law enforcing diet control.”
Me: “Food”
Obama: “I stand for change. Now let’s change the subject ‘cause I’m starving.”

Moderator: “Our next question is from an elderly woman in Florida – What do you plan to do to fix social security?”

Obama: “I’m going to bring change to social security. Yup. All about change, people.”
McCain: “I bet you can’t even change a light bulb. Have you ever shot a man and watched him die? You aren’t qualified to be President.”
Romney: “I’m proposing a tax cut. Wait? What was the question?”
Clinton: “Let me just say, when I am President, I’m going to give old people, like this lady right here, money. I mean lots of money. Blazing piles of burning cash exceeding 25.5Gazillion dollars on day one.”
Me: “Social Security is broke? Already? I’m not even fifty yet.”

Moderator: “Thank you all. Our next question comes from a caller outside the United States who has asked to be identified only as O.B’Laden, an undecided voter, who is calling from “a cave in the middle east” – He asks - If you are elected as President, will you stop chasing suspected, but not confirmed, terrorist leaders into caves and bombing them until they are deaf?”

Clinton: “Let me just say, when I am President, I plan to bomb everyone with money. I mean just crazy, money falling from the sky, money bombs where everyone is as filthy rich as I am and all the poor people won’t have to live in caves anyway because the United States government will just bleed money on them. From day one of my Presidency. At least 987.5Gazillion in money bombs Daily.”
Obama: “I am going to change the way we bomb terrorists because America, we need change now.”
Romney: “You always talk so quietly. How is this deaf guy in a cave half way around the world going to hear you? I WILL BOMB YOU TO DEATH SO DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR HEARING ANYMORE!”
McCain: “You bunch of wimps. You’ve never stabbed a man in the face seventy-two times, danced the jig on his corpse, and raised the American flag by using his ribs for a stand in your lives. I’ll bomb terrorists so much, we’ll exceed that 987.5Gazillion Clinton over there is talking about in explosive device purchases alone. Wussies”
Me: “Bomb? Are you sure he didn’t say “Bong” ‘cause he sounds really high?”

Moderator: “We just got word that our first caller is no longer undecided and has picked the Frank Tinney campaign, the second caller has decided to support doctor-assisted suicide legislature in her state, and our third undecided caller is ready to vote for Ms. Clinton or any other Clinton on the ticket.”

“Are there any parting comments from any of the candidates?”

McCain: “I’ll arm wrestle anyone of you weaklings for the White House right here and now.”
Romney: “Vote for me so you don’t get the nutcase.”
Me: “Which nutcase?”
Clinton: “Let me just say, when I am President, I will be the best nutcase of the bunch. I will setup a trust of 999Gazillion dollars to look into nutcases, improve nutcases, and make America the top producer of nutcases. Thank you.”
Obama: “I think we should change the word nutcase and spell it n-u-t-k-a-s because change is important. I’m going to go change my socks right now.”

This debate makes several things clear and obvious:

1. I am THE best candidate if you consider sanity.
2. McCain is dangerous in a cantankerous neighbor who chases kids out of his yard with a shotgun sort of way.
3. Romney is scared, physically, of McCain. And of Clinton, too. So am I.
4. Clinton is going to spend some money, but at least she is letting us know how she plans to pay… oh, never mind.
5. Obama stands for change, change, change, and women on buses because he’s really polite.

So, for those of you who have not yet voted in a delegate election, remember how to spell my name for a write in. Just be sure and use permanent marker if you are voting on one of those touch-screen things so the guy behind you doesn’t erase it.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

“Super Tuesday” or “We need change (does anybody have a dime?)”

With Super Tuesday finally here, and I say finally so the ads will cut down until the general election run starts up, we can now get an idea who might be each party’s nominee.

With that in mind, it is time for me to make my announcement, that I might someday announce, a run for President of The United States of America on a write-in basis during the upcoming general election. I stand on a firm platform of the following key ideas and another platform made out of wood and stuff so people can see me when I talk:

Religion: I believe everybody should have some. If you don’t have some, go get it. It’s intoxicating, but not in a “can’t operate a motor vehicle” kind of way. It’s just really cool.

Abortion Rights: I stand firmly on the side you do. That’s right. You are reading this and I believe whatever you do. It’s ok. Don’t be confused. It means you are thinking about it way to hard. This works for every other candidate so let it go.

Same-sex Marriage: I believe that we are getting off the subject with this issue. The actually, original bill introduced to Congress was to ban “Some-sex Marriages” and was written by a legislator who was 92 years-old and near death. I understand why he would want to band some sex in marriage: he might croak. However, I am firmly against banning “Some-sex” in marriage and am backed by my running mate (*shameless blog plug for wife:*). Unless, of course, she is mad at me. Then, she flip-flops on the issue and is a part of the “No Sex In Marriage” caucus who once introduced the “Don’t Even Speak To Me” bill in 2004.

The National Deficit: We have one at my house so why not at the White House? Seriously, though, this is important stuff. I have developed an economic stimulus plan to get this rough economy back on its feet. If you would like to read more on my plan just go to Don’t be intimidated by the “now searching your computer for banking, credit, and immigration information” pop-up window. Unless you are here illegally, then I would recommend you run away screaming.

Illegal Aliens: This is complete bunk. We are spending millions, if not billions of U. S. Taxpayer money on stopping these so called “Illegal Aliens” from entering the United States. I am appalled. First, how do we really know they are here illegally? Just because YOU didn’t invite them doesn’t prove anything. Second, how are we supposed to stop them, huh? Do you KNOW how very fast those flying saucers are? Geesh.

Healthcare Reform: Let me just state for the record that this is what I believe to be the most important issue out there today. After a careful viewing of “Sicko” by Michael Moore, I am convinced that the U. S. Healthcare System is in trouble. I was especially disgusted by the scene showing how expensive a simple surgery can be. I guess all the blood was bothering me or something. Anyway, I believe the U. S. Government should provide healthcare coverage to every single American citizen. Now, you may be thinking, “Wow, Frank, that’s got to be expensive. How are you going to pay for all that?” Well, dear friend, I’m glad you asked. Please send ideas on how to pay for it to: cause I don’t have a clue.

My fellow Americans, as we approach the November election, please let me clearly state my position: I am sitting down. If I stand when I type, I get a terrible back-ache.

Furthermore, I promise to promise often. I’m all about change. I want to bring change to America. Not the kind of change you don’t want, but the change you probably might like. Change is good. Change is what we need, and I promise to bring change. I promise to change my promise so that we can keep change alive. Damn am I confused, are you? Good.

Anyway… when you go to vote, either for Super Tuesday today or in November, just remember I am running. Well, I’ll probably be mostly walking, but I promise to do it really fast. I am a candidate for the people, by the people, and who is a people. A vote for me is a vote for change, promises, and other really neat stuff, like making all DirecTV Pay-per-view events free and banning nude sun-bathing in retirement communities.

I further promise never to make stupid remarks and fumble over my words during a press conference unless I am blazing drunk. Hey, the current guy does it sober, so that’s a change, right? Say yes to change.

God bless each and every one of you (except those of you who drive really slowly on the freeways and the guy who cut me off yesterday morning).

Now get out there and vote.

Monday, February 4, 2008

“Please Choose From the Following Menu” or “Press One to Die Holding”

I am a patient person. If you don’t believe me, just ask my lovely wife (*instant blog plug!*). I have, however, of late met my ultimate match. Just when I thought surviving some of the big, blockbuster patience tests of life assured me a place in the “Can’t Rattle Me Hall of Fame,” I met:

Duh duh duh!!!!!!

I have endured many patience tests in my forty years, including, but not limited to:

1. The United States Military Service – well known for making us stand in line for two-hundred hours in order to obtain anything lasting last than 13 seconds, including complete meals. Also known as the “hurry-up-and-wait” system.
2. My three-year-old daughter – yes, believe it or not, hearing “no!” six-hundred times per hour does try the staying power eventually.
3. The Neighbor War of 2006 – another blog in itself, but suffice it to say that the neighbors army of dogs are still camped out in my front yard and my wife’s criminal record remained clean, though it was a close call!
4. Flat tires – multiple
5. Bad drivers – daily
6. Life in general

However: I may have met my match! I have discovered the one thing that can, and will, cause me to actually yell at someone through the phone. I have found that one particular call where you are relieved that you cannot actually physically reach the person on the other end of the line because murder is illegal in most states and India where they actually are. DIRECTV HAS ASSAULTED ME WITH:

THE $4.00 OVERDUE BALANCE, PHONE MARATHON, EXTRAVEGANZA! (movie rights are available for a fee)

To make this easy to understand, I have setup the following short list of events leading up to this overdue balance so that we can concentrate on the actual effort taken to remove it:

1. Ordered expensive paper view MONTHS AGO
2. Didn’t come on television despite phone call actually lasting longer than the event itself with “tech support” person who kept saying “are you sure you can’t see it?” over and over.
3. Promised credit to account for amount.
4. After not receiving credit two months in a row and being told it was “pending” by operators’ number 1034, 4458, and 8288 respectively, was charged late fee for not paying the “overdue” amount relating to said “unapplied” credit.
5. Whopping overdue fee? $2.00 per month

I have spent approximately one day of my life, if you count all of the calls, hold-times, and tech support from the actual first night, trying to basically avoid this $4.00 fee. Why not just give in you ask? Why not just pay the stinking $4.00 you might wonder? I have an easy answer: I don’t know.

Anyway, I digress. The menu system when you call DIRECTV is a typical one where you can choose “one of the following options” at any time. However, it is worthy to note that:

1. You cannot, at any time, actually choose good ‘ole zero for an operator, and
2. You cannot, at any time, breath or otherwise make a sound because the system is also a “speak to me” system.

What this means, for those of you who are not mute, don’t have zero children, no animals, or never breath out of your face, is that some noise, cough, or scream from any neighboring house causes the voice activated system to take over. The following is what occurs when this happens:

System: “Hello, and welcome to…”
Me: Small cough
System: “OK. You said you want to order Girls Gone Wild? Is this correct?”
Me: What? Hello?
System: “OK. Can I help you with anything else?”
Me: No! I mean Yes! I don’t want that!
System: “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that?”
Me: Operator!
System: “OK. But before I connect you with an operator who can assist you, please provide the phone number of the billing account”
Me: 540 872-4596
System: “You said 334 892-0099, is that correct?”
Me: Huh? (Three-year-old screams something about chocolate milk in the background)
System: “OK. That’s Hot Chocolate Babes on channel 150 for $69.95. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

After saying “Operator” four hundred twenty two times in sixteen different call attempts during which everyone in my home is playing “freeze and shut up,” I finally got Otto on the phone. Good ‘ole Otto! My buddy from, as he said it, “cruchtomer serbice”:

Otto: “Tank you for calling DirecTV, how may a chelp ju?”
Me: You guys keep charging me an overdue fee even though I have a credit pending.
Otto: “Ok. Let me look at your achount Mr. Trimey, sir. Can I am pleasing to place you on hold pleasing?”
Otto: “Ok Mr. Trimey, it appears dis credit has been akplyed to chor achounting. Is there anything elsing I can service to you this day?”
Me: Huh?
Otto: “The credit has been akplyed to chor achounting. OK?”
Me: Are you sure, because the last seventeen people have told me the same thing.
Otto: “What?”
Me: Huh?!
Otto: Click

Otto did not get the credit applied. Neither did “Robert”, who’s accent was so severe he confused himself, “Susie” who’s English resembled someone running on a treadmill set on nine while talking, or “Bill” who understood only the word “credit” and hung up on me in frustration. Sorry about that Bill.

I ultimately, just today, got Oliver. Oliver spoke clearly. Oliver did not put me on hold. Oliver credited my account within one minute, and in a language I could understand, apologized on behalf of DirecTV, and presumably, Otto, Robert, Susie, and Bill as well. I’m not sure how I got Oliver. I fumbled through the “speak” system to get him by continually chanting “Billing Department” for several minutes and hiding in my office. I found if you yell “Billing Department” intermittently while placing your hand on and off the receiver speaker you will:

1. Get through eventually and get an “Oliver” vice a “Susie”
2. Get a hand cramp
3. Get interesting looks from your co-workers

If I have learned anything from this experience, it’s these three things in particular:

1. I hate DirecTV’s automated system and the person who created it
2. Their stance on outsourcing U. S. Jobs overseas is now one of my major gauges for picking candidates in any political race
3. I have a headache

So.. the next time you call one of these automated systems and hear the “speak” system take over, remember this important fact…

… you are screwed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pride is an Ugly Red Car – or – How to embarrass your children on a budget...

Some people who read my beautiful wife’s blog ( already know we have had what we are affectionately calling “Financial Challenges.” In private, I often refer to this as “The Budget Massacre of 2007” which is rapidly being followed by the hit 2008 sequel “The Budget Massacre of 2008 – Part Duex

Well anyway… along those lines the family has inherited a new vehicle for secondary transportation purposes such as:

· Quick run to the corner store
· Drop kid at school
· Repair shop
· Repair shop
· Other repair shop until first repair shop is paid up

Actually, I exaggerate (get used to it!). We haven’t really gone to the second repair shop just yet because the first one has an intravenous line hooked into our bank card… just in case. We have affectionately named this 19 year old automobile “Red Thunder,” as a tribute to its color, barring a few ‘minor’ abrasions, and the AC/DC tune “Thunderstruck.” We didn’t actually choose the name after any careful examination of the car or the song lyrics. I, however, in my unstoppable curiosity (meaning: nerdy investigative habit) found the lyrics, which include:

I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track (Thunder)
And I knew there was no turning back (Thunder)
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do (Thunder)
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you (Thunder)
Sound of the drums
Beatin' in my heart
The thunder of guns
Tore me apart
You've been – thunderstruck

AND…perhaps more importantly

Said yeah, it's alright
We're doing fine
Yeah, it's alright
We're doing fine
So fine

Like the first part of those lyrics, we’ve been Thunderstruck, financially speaking. Like the chorus, though, we are, indeed, doing fine in our little red car if you don’t count my son. Short of asking his mother to be dropped five miles from school rather than be seen in Thunder, he’s doing just great.

You see, we bought this car for just hundreds of dollars out of someone’s front yard. My son was one of the first to ride in the then unnamed red car. On the way back to the house, my wife tried to reason with him and explain the financial benefits of having a paid for car rather than a car payment, the frugality of this particular approach, and the faith she had in his father’s ability to fix (duct tape) the interior door panels as well as other small (missing pieces, non-working/functional items, and wind noise from various locations not intended to have wind noise) problems (duct tape again). When that failed, she told him he could walk instead. I’m not sure, but riding behind them at 35 mph, I could have sworn his door opened a little.

My son is growing more accustomed to the car. For example, I’ve noticed a few subtle differences showing this, such as him:

1. Actually getting in the car.
2. Complaining quietly enough during rides to not be heard over the wind noise.
3. No longer acting like he doesn’t see my wife in the parking lot waiting after school until everyone else is gone; and
D. Recently calling “the car” by its proper name, Thunder, with some enthusiasm (like the enthusiasm of someone acknowledging taxes or death, but enthusiasm just the same.)

All this aside, Thunder has been a blessing to our family, as well as Tuffy’s Auto Service in town. Hey.. .why not share the love, eh? Remarkably, she only needed some tires, brakes, and a few bulbs to pass inspection. All told, though, our total outlay for this beauty is less than some people’s monthly payments! So, I say to hell with pride! People with no car payments who have those bumper stickers that say “Don’t Laugh, it’s paid for!” UNITE!

Let’s just be careful where we meet… our children might see us.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mice, Hamster, Guinea Pigs – Come one Come all - Just bring ear plugs dude…

Well, it’s been a little while since my last blog posting so let me bring everyone (that means the one person who reads this: My Wife) up to date.

Unemployed (not great)
Christmas (great)
Unemployed some more (panic attacks, fear, dread, various self-imposed guilt-ridden illnesses)
New Years (ok, except still unemployed and now drunk)
Got a job… sort of… just doesn’t pay for, oh, 45 days. Is that bad?
Got a part-time job (hey! Why have just one! Besides: I love Pizza)

Wow… that sure felt a lot longer in real life. Anyway…

If John Steinbeck re-wrote “Of Mice and Men” he would probably have to call it “Of Mice, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs and other Assorted Screaming Adults” in order to capture the overall picture at my house.

We have a hamster to care for (We here meaning: Adults Clean up/Kids laugh and point). Not a big deal. She doesn’t bite unless provoked (I have extremely small boxing gloves for this and it takes a while), eats very little, and generally stays to herself.

Recently, however, we added a couple of new occupants. Not by choice, mind you, yet here they are hanging out and eating brownies (more on the brownies later). Their arrival has been documented in detail on my wife’s blog (; however, as usual, I have my own version.

Whilst hard at work in her office/scrapbook/therapy room, my wife heard a faint scratching sound. It is my belief that God has built into women an innate, yet hidden until needed, ability to hear a mouse chewing/scraping its way into any house within 400 miles of said woman. Therefore, even with a three-year-old as loud as any ever heard, washer running nearby, two basset hounds panting around, one spring spaniel fiddling around somewhere, and other general household noises going on simultaneously… My dear wife heard a ‘scraping sound’ that any man would have mistaken for ‘complete silence’ given the same situation. Being the mature, experienced, and controlled adult that she is, she immediately called me, 35 miles away, for assistance from a safe location (chair).

What happened next will forever go down in the annals of history as the “Screams Heard Round the World.” In fact, for those of you somewhere on the east coast of the United States or Canada, let me be the first to apologize: that was not a herd of 1,000 smallish animals being simultaneously stabbed with a sharp object in a mass attack the other day. It was:

My spouse screaming into her cell phone – and consequently – my ear,
My three-year-old daughter screaming when she didn’t know why yet, and
Two small mice making a different noise than they have ever made upon being confronted by the decibels described above. I would imagine they made a small poop, too.

I had the misfortune of being on the phone when the ‘scratching sound’ became ‘a running across the room’ mouse, followed by a close friend or relative who, no doubt, ran because of the screaming though he/she/it had originally intended to hide. One can only imagine, even in the brain of such a small creature, the shear panic that ensues when you are simply out for a warm spot to sleep or a bite to eat and you are confronted with such a situation. It might have gone something like this:

Mouse 1: Hey, is that light up there? Let’s go up through there and see if there’s a warm place to sleep or some food.

Mouse 2: ok

Mouse 1: (Upon making it through the hole behind the bookshelf with his friend, safe from view) I’ll go this way and you look that way.

Mouse 2: ok


Mouse 1: Small poop and near heart failure.

Mouse 2: (To Mouse 1 once they reach the relative calm of the closet together): I hate you for this!

Anyway… many screams, of varying pitch and duration, have followed (again: see wife’s blog; however, I am happy to report that one of the attackers was recently caught in a non-humane (read here: dead) trap and disposed of (yes… my wife truly makes killer brownies).

I would imagine it was Mouse 1 only because after multiple confrontations, and screams, Mouse 2 actually pulled a revenge murder on Mouse 1 for getting her into this situation and stuffed the body into the trap in hopes of appeasing my wife. Note to Mouse 2: Homicide did not appease screaming person with broom, but thanks for the help.

So there you have it… oh… and in other news…

My wife and daughter, who have been living in fear of these small mice for days, went out today and picked up some new pets: Two big, hairy rodent-like Guinea Pigs. Go figure…

Until next time… Average Joe

Sunday, September 2, 2007


A bat flew into my sunroof and tried to kill me the other day. It's not everyday that a bat attacks you in your own car... or, if it is, you may have more serious problems than I.

I should have felt this coming, in some cosmic sort of way (like people who forget names easily can be sure they will be introduced to twenty people at a gathering of ten... "Oh, hey Todd" "it's Becky, dumbass!"). It all started several nights ago, while driving home at night with my sunroof open and windows down. I was accosted by something that resembled a flying roach yet had the girth of a small land animal. This "creature" (creature here meaning "man-eating bug") flew, plummeted, or otherwise found it's way into my passenger window and proceeded to attempt an escape through my windshield with little success. This, in itself, is probably not remarkable. What occured from here forward may be. This large buglike imposter then did the following:

1. Hovered resiliently in front of my face
2. Selected several possible targets
3. Flew into my mouth

I know what you are thinking... my mouth was open, and all men forgive me for admitting this, in part due to stunned amazement and part yelp. Either way, I ended up with more protein in my diet than I was looking for and nearly wrecked. I did survive this incident by spitting out the attacker who, with great confidence, proceeded to exit through my sunroof with no apparant damage and some complimentary saliva. I could have sworn he sneired at me. Yes.... I saw lips.

Now... you may be wondering why I would drive with my sunroof open and windows down after such an incident. If you figure it out, let me know because several nights later, under similar circumstances, the bat attack occured.

I initially considered lying and stating that the bat attacked by breaking through a side window or squeezing through an air vent. However, upon further consideration, these both sounded obsurd and would match my life all too well. Ater recovering from the prior incident, which I had chalked up as bizarre, yet understandable, since I drive mostly country roads at night on my way home from work ("work" here really meaning "free money for time served" but we'll get into that later) I decided it was a lone incident. Little did I know that this flying ground mole from the other night was simply sent in for recon to see if the bat could safely approach. Don't laugh it off until you've been attacked, ok!

The bat entered, having the benefit of the recon efforts of it's flying forerunner, through the sunroof. I believe that the first visitor learned that coming in through the side window created too much turbulence, thus advising the bat to come from the top down. The major defect in this thinking was this: people panic more when a bat flies in their car than when a large bug flies in their car. Having only recently been through a similar war I began having a brief series of flashbacks. Thoughts ran through my mind, such as:

1. Bat
2. Rabies
3. Did I shut my computer down when leaving tonight?

With deft precision and quick reflexes I did absolutely nothing. This confused my attacker who, obviously forgetting the information provided by his predicessor, attempted to escape through the windshield. Stunned, he/she/it bounced back toward me and collapsed on my chest. Exhausted from my lack of effort I quickly pulled off to the side of the road, the beast hanging by one claw from my seatbelt (Virginia! It's The Law! Buckleup).

When faced with a preditor, albeit small, strapped to your chest in the dark your mind tends to overthink the situation. The bat was NOT moving, but I could FEEL it just BEING alive somehow regardless of the windshield induced concussion. I struggled with the several choices available as I sat, parked, on the narrow side of a county road with NO lighting.

1. Push it off onto the floor and hope it was too dead to bite. Yes... too dead vs. mostly dead vice actually dead.
2. Unlatch the seatbelt and hope that the bat was launched out the driver side window due to velocity.
3. Flail.
D. All of the above.

I went with D and ended up with me standing in the road, the bat lying on my driver seat, and the occasional passing car honking at the idiot in the road. It was, indeed, quite dead.

I bagged the beast in a Walmart bag from the passenger area (who doesn't have one of these trusty friends! Walmart has it all: groceries, shoes, bicycle helmets and extremely low wages with resulting service.) and proceeded home to tell my story to my supportive, loving, and understanding family.

"A bat!" my son said excitedly when I held out the bag excitedly and opened it for viewing like the great hunter I was.

"Wow," pause "sure is tiny." With this, the dismissal of my greatest battle, I end this blog entry. Without the proper respect of my peers (not to mention my 9-year-old son) I ended this horrific experience the only way I could.

"Yeah," I acknowledge in the proper light, "pretty small."