Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fifteen Years Ago Today.

Fifteen years ago today, I got up with a little bit of a hangover, and went to play a miserable game of golf with my two best friends, Scott and Bill. Y'all may have noticed that I don't talk much about golf on this blog. That's because it doesn't interest me to talk about. But it's a pleasant walk with a pair of good friends, and occasionally hand-eye coordination pays off. Also, it's an excellent way to polish your judgement of distance and wind.

After putting up a score well north of 100 (I never have seen the point in fudging my score, or adjusting the way my ball lies without taking a penalty. What's the point?), I went back to my house to get showered and changed. My fiancée was at the hairdresser's, getting ready. I was to meet her at the church.

We were getting married that afternoon.

I was muddy, and sweaty, and probably non-too-savory from the toxins that I was sweating out from the shindig that my friends had thrown me the night before. I got in the shower and drained the water heater, and then had to wait for the water to heat back up to shave.  Finally, I glanced at my watch as I put on my tuxedo. Ooh-- 3:20pm. Cutting it a bit close, for a 4:00pm wedding, with a 15 minute drive.

This was when I discovered that the vest was a size Small.

I'm not a Small. I'm not even a Large. I'm more in the range of XXL.

They had gone on and on about how the groomsmen had matching vests in one color, and the groom had another colored vest that complimented them but was distinctly different. I thought about where the tux place was-- 3.8 miles away, through town. I got my keys, and left at 3:30pm. Driving through town, there wasn't much of a way to speed up the drive. I arrived at about 3:40pm. I dashed in, told the girl at the counter the problem, and demanded a larger vest. She searched and found one, and then removed, if I recall correctly, about 19 straight pins from it before adjusting it to me. I was impatient, and told her that we'd have to make do with how it was. I fled the store, and hopped into my pickup, at about 3:53PM.

Google Maps claims that the 8.5 mile trip from the mall to the church takes 13 minutes to drive. Under normal conditions, I would have to agree, and on weekdays at drivetime, you can double that. But this was a Saturday, and I was wearing my wedding tuxedo and was en route to my own wedding. I decided that I would never in my life have a better excuse to speed.

The 1989 Ford F-250 extended cab pickup with full-length bed was a big old beast, somehow the same length as the King Cab that year. It's heavy, and handles like an ocean liner. Mine had dual tanks and a 7.3 liter International diesel engine, that put out stupid amounts of torque, and seemed to want to give me 12.5mpg no matter how I drove it. The speedometer only went up to 85, but playing around with a GPS, I had learned that it would do 103mph before the governor kicked in. I jumped the median from the access road, and floored it.

While en route up the hill to the church, I saw a slow-moving car tapping its brakes, as if the driver were lost and checking the house numbers. I blew past my friend Bryan and his wife, parked at the church, and walked in. It was 4:00:30 PM by my watch. My dad, who was standing in the lobby and looking anxious, laughed and shook my hand.

I joined the pastor and my two groomsman in the anteroom, off the side of the church. We sent someone to inform the bride that we were ready. And we waited. And we waited. For over 20 minutes, we waited. It turned out that my mother in-law, not content with the professional hair-do that my wife had just gotten, wanted to mess with her youngest child's hair some before sending her down the aisle.

Finally, the music played, and the pastor (a retired military man) led the processional to the alter. Interesting training kicked in; we all began on our left foot, and marched at 120 steps per minute in 30 inch steps to our places. Such is the so-called Quick Time march, which my friends and I had learned in high school JROTC. Thus, in very short order, we were in place, and watched the woman who presently would become my bride be escorted up to us by her elder brother. It seemed like that their march took several minutes.

The rest is kind of a blur. The pastor used his opportunity to give a sermon that I didn't want. We picked up candles and used them to light a single candle together, and I found that the candle wasn't really a 24" taper, but was actually a white-painted metal tube with a spring pushing up a small insert candle, to keep the "tapers" the same height. I grabbed the thing, and the spring shot out the bottom, and I somehow caught it, shoving up the wax insert just before it went out. I managed to light the communal candle without burning down the old church.

Then, it was over. I kissed the bride (as such she now was), and we turned to meet our future. A friend caught this moment with her camera. It was murky in that old church, so I hope you'll forgive the poor picture. (I think she only had 100 speed film.) 
The vest really doesn't matter much, does it?

We retired to my amazing friend Paula's house, and took some more pictures. My friend Blake served the most amazing barbecue and beans and smoked ham that I've ever eaten. My friend Kevin served the beer that he and I had brewed using his grain sparge system. (I got rave reviews on it, but of 10 gallons, I only got half a plastic cup. Figures.)

I removed my wife's garter, and flung it to the waiting bachelors before an amazing sunset. An hour or so later, I was told that it was time for us to leave. Apparently, the bride and groom are expected to leave while everyone else is still there, so that they can throw rice at the couple.

Friends, this makes no sense at all. Here I was, at a party with everyone that I gave a damn about in attendance, and I had to leave it early. What we SHOULD have done was go back to our house, changed out of our finery, and re-joined the party in blue jeans and flannel shirts. If you're getting married, do that, friends.

We went to a lovely bed & breakfast place that my best friend and his wife had provided for us, took care of a necessary formality, and watched Rowan Atkinson performing a stage bit, on the televisor. In the morning, there were chocolate banana muffins, and strada.

And we went home, a married couple.

My bride has borne me two amazing children. She has my love, and my loyalty. This is just the first multiple of 15 years.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Overheard at breakfast.

Wife: "Hey, does federal law say that I have to get a lunch break after only six hours at work? I've got a doctor's appointment, and would rather just work straight through before leaving early, than to go to lunch, come back for an hour, and go to the doctor."

Me: "You know what? I don't know, for sure. I've had it presented to me one way, but I've never laid eyes on the black letter labor law, myself."

Wife: "Well, how was it presented to you?"

Me, looking up the applicable web page: "Nope, I'm not going to be that guy who just quotes what he heard. Back in police academy, our coordinator would teach us Penal Code . . ."

Wife: "Heh."

Me: ". . . by making us read each law aloud in class."

Wife: "So she made sure that y'all had a good handle of all things penal?"

Me: "Oh, she felt we would know the long and the short of it if we dealt with it orally."

Wife: "There's something about having it come out of your mouth that just..."

Elder Daughter: "You two are gross."

I live for these moments.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013


"Do you know what today is?" asked my elder daughter.

"Uh, not really, beyond that it's 21 Feb 2013," I responded. "And a Thursday."

"No, it's more than that," she responded with teenaged smugness.

She took out a marker and a sheet of paper, and explained thusly.

So what's a father to do? Beam with pride? Deny paternity?

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Friday, October 12, 2012

"The Obligatory Cow Reference."

I had forgotten how well Stingray had written up a certain humorous-and-yet-tense moment, a couple of years ago, at Blogorado.

I just read it again, and laughed for a minute straight.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Random stuff.

--Last night, we drove my mother and my newly-minted 14 year-old to dinner last night for their respective birthdays. We went to a French bakery and cafe that, while a chain, still puts out some really great food. Mom got a Sacher torte, and moaned: "This is as good as the one that I had in Brussels." Mom had gone on a tour of Europe after graduating from SMU in the mid-'60s.

My brother's eyes shone. "My mother has been waiting over 40 years for just the right opportunity to say that!" he proclaimed. I laughed so hard the excellent coffee that I was drinking almost came out my nostrils.

--While checking out some city property on duty last weekend, I got stung in the right earlobe by a wasp. After finishing what I was doing, I found some Windex to spray on my ear, the ammonia in which actually did quell the pain somewhat. For the next several hours, my ear lobe was bright red and swollen, but it went down within the day. But for the next several days, there was a seriously sore nagging kind of itch behind my jawbone in the neck, ranging up to the ear. The venom must have managed to get to the mandibular nerve, and sat there.

Back in police academy, they taught us how to use the mandibular nerve as an effective pressure point for pain compliance techniques.  One technique was to place the thumb into the notch behind the jaw to activate the mandibular nerve, and the stiff blade of the hand rolled firmly into and across the philtrum to activate the infra-orbital nerve. This is called the "C-Clamp," and is pretty effective at getting an uncooperative person (especially if they are sitting, as in an automobile) to move where you want them to go, without causing injury. We practiced it on each other repeatedly in class, and the soreness behind my jaw felt a lot like it did after those pressure point classes, but with an extra kick. Today it finally feels better.

--The Subaru Outback that we bought had a lot of road noise in the rear. The salesman that demo'd the car to me assured me that it was a tire that needed replacing, with a broken belt in it. I didn't think so, and took it by my mechanic. He rode in the back seat, and pronounced the problem to be the right rear wheel bearing. He then got out his laptop, and I bought a new bearing for $79 and had it sent to him. I took the car to him yesterday. He chatted with me as he swapped out the bearing over a leisurely hour in his driveway. We hopped in the car to road test it, and it was silent. Success. I picked up some cash from the bank to pay the guy. This was undoubtedly why no one else had bid even $7k on a car that was about $30k six years ago. Success! The wife is happy (it's her car), which means that I'm happy.

-- The Outback has heated front seats, with a rheostat for each seat. This will be really useful for that weekend when the temperature drops below 30 degrees.

--I've signed up for a Public Administration graduate class this semester. Three hours. $1370. Good gawd.

--My old roommate Bill needs a gun to shoot his CHL class with. I'm borrowing Dad's Glock Kit, which is a .30 cal ammo can stuffed with a Glock 19, a loaded magazine, two spare magazines in a carrier, a Fobus paddle holster, a box of 9mm, and usually an oily rag to keep everything from rattling around. Dad keeps it as a quick and easy loaner kit, and frankly, I think that it's a great idea. It also would make a great car gun set, in its almost indestructible O-ring-sealed steel box. I need to set up something modular like that, myself.

--My 14-year-old daughter doesn't much want her picture taken. She's okay with her Dad, but she's aloof. Hugs are rare. The 10-year-old still loves to come hug Daddy. But I know that the time is coming when she'll be too cool for that, too. I expect these things. But it still makes my heart ache a bit when they come to pass.

--This weekend, I have to do some work on a state grant, and get a hunter's license, and get my text book, and install a new porch door for my mom, and get Bill his loaner gun, and speak to my university adviser, and... I better get moving.

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Sunday, July 08, 2012

A good run, but not far enough?

Ernest Borgnine died today, at age 95. Here below, he describes his quick and easy technique to retain his youthful longevity:
Men around the globe were really, REALLY hoping that he'd hang on until age 100 or greater.

Uh, we were all pulling for you, Ernie.

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thursdays are thursdays.

--Budweiser and Country Time lemonade makes a pretty good shandy.

--New link here: Ghetto Hikes. Funny, funny stuff. 

--My 13 year old went to see "Mary Poppins" at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth on a school trip. Think the kids have been wearing out their teachers this week with cockney accents and "Chim-Chiminey..."??

--It's okay if you don't like kids. Lots of good people don't. But if you're not a nurturing, caring person for kids, I implore you not to go into education, or any field in which you might be required to, you know, nurture kids. 

--I need to replace some shingles that got blown off the roof. 

--While going to visit my partner in Fort Worth last week, I got into heavy traffic at 65 mph, and had no place to go when I suddenly had a very large aluminum extension ladder appear before me in my lane. I struck it with my little Honda Civic. It blew the front right tire, broke the plastic front bumper, tore out some plastic shielding underneath, and there's an odd sound even yet that may be from a crack in my exhaust, and from a loose engine mount. I was on an elevated highway, and called Ft Worth PD to come keep traffic off of me while I changed the tire. There was another guy who stopped. I was hoping that the ladder had come off of his truck. He said that he had stopped to help pick up the ladder after he had seen it blow off of the red pickup with blue stripe, which kept going. Everyone be on the lookout for a red pickup with blue stripe. Bah. 

--We're celebrating my younger daughter's 10th birthday tonight. I'm about to take her out to pick a phone. It's sweet how they beg me to buy them tracking devices. 

--It's wrong that I laughed at this stuff. It's more wrong that I went through the site for 5 minutes, laughing harder and harder. The final straw was when I laughed at this

--I took my wife's car last night to a (SAE Certified) shadetree mechanic friend of mine last night to have him fix an overheating problem. (Needs a new water pump.)  While it was there, I asked  him to change the oil and brake pads. He quoted me an outrageously low price that would barely cover parts. I always overpay him by about 10% what he asks, but this time I may go closer to 100%. Ever since that time that I got him out of a tight spot, he's been overly-generous.  I'm trying to supplement his income. He's a good guy. 

--Interesting article about an interesting guy:
‎"'This generation is so dead,' he said at one point. 'You ask a kid, ‘What are you doing this Saturday?’ and they’ll be playing video games or watching cable, instead of building model cars or airplanes or doing something creative. Kids today never say, ‘Man, I’m really into remote-controlled steamboats.’ They never say that.'" 
Jack White via the NYT. I never said that, either. But suddenly, I'd like to find me one.

--When I was in my early 20s, I didn't really have a clue what women wanted. But one thing was for sure: I wasn't about to let them find out about my bizarre interests!


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Thursday, December 08, 2011


Last night my wife and I ran some errands together, and dropped by the local gettin' place.  When I say "local," I mean to say that everyone in town goes to this store, and that it's kind of an informal gathering spot. One of the cashiers made some light joke about "I wish y'all would quit coming by my house all the time unannounced. Last time I barely got the guns and drugs hid in time." For some reason, this guy brings up my job whenever I come in off duty. He knows that I know that he's a pretty straight arrow, and to the best of my knowledge he's not had any problems with the law.

His co-worker then teased me that she had seen my mother (who is my next door neighbor) the other day, and that Mom had all kinds of bad stuff to reveal about me. Also clearly a joke. She finished with something to the extent of: "Oh yeah. She and I sure brought up old times!"

Good-naturedly, I responded, also tongue in cheek: "Old times? I didn't know you were on her caseload from before she retired from CPS."

Instantly, she ducked her head into her shoulders, turned her back toward her co-worker, and said, wide-eyed and sotto voce, "Is that where I knew her from? You know, that was all a big misunderstanding, and we got that straightened out, and they finally closed that case on me, you know..."

I quickly said that I had just been joking, but she kept talking, "I never realized that, the whole time we were talking..."

Cue the crickets.

I explained quickly that my mother had never discussed cases with me, and I fled the store. I found my wife halfway to the car, already. She turned to me, and we exclaimed, in sing-song unison: "Awk-ward!"

And we left.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

It happened again.

In the sallyport at the jail, this time. The acoustics are great, in there.

Curse you, Phlegmmy.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Might want to check those stats....

According to the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, there are no cougars in the state anymore.
They have admitted that there have in the past few years been some sightings of bears in the eastern end of the state, but they're still not considered to be reintroduced.
My research, however, has found ZERO evidence that the O.D.N.R. is willing to admit the presence of Face-Eating Monkeys in their midst.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011


By which I mean to say that I barked loudly in a short fit of laughter upon seeing this.*

*Language warning.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Proving the Rule, yet again.

Leslie Neilsen died last night.

While I was looking up great old lines* that he had told, I found that even Leslie Neilsen, that white-haired octogenarian (R.I.P.), was proof of the validity of Rule 34:

* Frank: "I’m single! I love being single! I haven’t had this much sex since I was a Boy Scout leader!"
(Music Stops. People stare.)
Frank: "I mean at the time I was dating a lot."

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Sheltered youth.

~1983. I was hanging out over at the house of a neighbor kid's, and we were listening to his new "jam box," as we had been told it was called. Zounds! A radio, integral cassette player and recorder, with a pair of 6" speakers and, most impressive to my 11 year old self, a 3-band graphic equalizer. Wowie.

So, as we sat listening to my buddy's rock album, his older brother came in, and gave us a measure of crap for listening to "that gay band." We were up in arms. No, we didn't even play the "not that there's anything wrong with that" card-- we just denied that it could be the case. This particular song that we were listening to was tough! Edgy! The singer was talking about kicking some butt! How could you think anyone in that band was homosexual? They didn't even exhibit the classic gay features (whatever those were. I guess to wear a pink lace dress. I didn't exactly know what I was talking about.).

Looking back, I might have been in error.

The band? Queen. The song we used to defend their heterosexual chops with? "Another One Bites The Dust." Maybe I would have figured it out, if I had seen this live performance.

Ol' Freddy sure 'nuff was a showman, wudn't he?

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I've often said that a defining point in a couple's relationship* is the point where they agree to do laundry together. It's a mix of the mundane and the sweet. The couple is so enamored with each other that they will choose to accompany the other even during a stunningly boring chore that most despise.

There are of course division points within this Waterloo. One is: Laundry Together, Separate Loads. This is safest. It even makes sense: both have this task to do-- why not do it at the same time at the laundromat, and get it done all at once?

(This can pretty much only be accomplished at laundromats. Except for the expense and the hassle of loading up the car and unloading the car, I kind of miss laundromats. When I was a bachelor, I would wear every stitch I owned before finally loading up about five or six loads of laundry to the coin-operated laundromat, and getting it all done-- a month's worth at least-- in about two hours.)

But the Separate Loads method will inevitably evolve into Laundry Together, Shared Loads. Your laundry partner will have just a small number of whites, or delicates, and there you are with your own half-load, and it will make perfect sense to share a load, even if you never leave so much as toothbrush at your Significant Other's residence. Don't want to waste another buck. It's simple economics.

But that way leads to sorting laundry together, which involves sorting dirty laundry together. Friends, I've long advocated not living together until married ("if you're going to act like you're married, get married."), partly because of the issue of sorting dirty laundry. It's an intimacy that some people aren't ready to face, the first time they have to reach for the Spray 'N' Wash to get out a skid mark from their belovéd's drawers. A marriage contract can provide the necessary ballast.
So, back in October, 1991, I met this young lady, and we started going out. We spent a lot of time together, and by spring of '92, we were in that place in the relationship where we did laundry together.

One night, we were at the big coin laundry across the street from the university. My girlfriend and I had about 4 loads, and we got them all fired up. We decided to walk over to the grocery store and get some items for that night's supper while they washed. When we got back, we found that our washers were empty. As I looked around, I was approached by the laundry attendant. He was very direct, and slow. I put his IQ in either the Very Low Normal range, or the High Functioning Retarded range.

"You had not come back when your washers ended, so I took your laundry out," he said.

"Okayyy...?" I responded hesitantly. His shirt was buttoned to the top button and was tucked in carefully. His head was crew-cut with a zero-guard all the way around his head. His tone was initially a little bit accusatory, as if I had left a baby unattended. But he had done something nice for us.

"I put it in those dryers. Now you have to pay for that, and there is a bundling fee," he explained. "You can pick it up in an hour. I will have it ready." He wouldn't shift his gaze from my eyes. Most people don't look directly into your eyes like that.

"Okay... what, um, what's the price for this?" I asked. It seemed kind of presumptuous of him to have taken our laundry out and started up his "service" so quickly, as we had only just missed being back in time. The laundry was certainly not full, and there were machines idle. But something about his manner made us feel like he would snap if argued about. The laundry was kept neat, and he seemed to feel that everything was Just So.

"It is by the pound. I can not tell you how much it is until it is dried and weighed. There are the prices up there," he said, pointing behind him to a board with a schedule of prices for laundry done and folded, by the pound. It got a little more economical for each progressive weight by 5 lbs. Even as he pointed, he kept staring at my eyes. It was kind of creepy.

My girlfriend and I decided to just go to the video rental store next door to pick out a movie while we waited. We surely couldn't afford to eat out, now. (We were both so very poor.)

When we returned, my new simple friend was hard at work bundling laundry. We sat on some molded plastic chairs in a corner, and watched the inane show on the television hanging from the ceiling. Besides my girlfriend, me, and Our New Special Friend, there were only some immigrant ladies and their small children, who ran around unsupervised.

As I paid the guy to get our laundry out of laundry jail, one of the ladies that we had sat with began demanding of her children, in increasingly more frantic tones, "Felipe? Donde es Felipe? Donde es su hermano? Mi bambino!" (Where's Philip? Where is your brother? My baby!)

Everyone began looking around for the baby. I had earlier seen a very little baby sleeping in a car seat/carrier earlier, and was thinking of that kid. He had been mostly wrapped up in blankets.

At just this time, one of the laundry loads got off-center, and began to slam the drum against the housing. Thud. Thud. Thud.

My girlfriend and I looked at each other with wide eyes as we heard "Mi bambino! Donde es mi bambino?!?" and boom-boom-boom, as our New Special Friend stepped into my consciousness and said, "Sir, that will be nine dollars and forty nine cents."

"Boom! Boom! Boom!" went the off-centered washer. Someone must have put in a heavy blanket, or a quilt, or...


"Sir, I am going to have to ask you for correct change." I thought about that pile of blankets, with the baby in it.

Our jaws had gone a little slack before they finally found Felipe playing out in the parking lot. Turned out he was about three.

I married that girl on the last day of February, 1998. And even now, my wife of 12 years (as of Sunday) and I can still make each other laugh by exclaiming, "'Felipe!' Boom! Boom! Boom!"

See what doing laundry together can get you into?

* I almost said "relationship between a man and a woman," but I suppose homosexual relationships have this, too. But then, I'm not so sure. There are vast gaps in my knowledge.

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Remembering rough weather camping.

Over at Random Acts Of Patriotism, ASM826 recalls snow camping back in 1969.

I recall winter camping in the 1980s with my troop.

We had Kelty sleeping bags, and Eureka 2-man backpacker dome tents. Being mostly in North Texas, it was hard to achieve an honest-to-Gawd two-day freeze-out in the winter. Sure, cold snaps happen in Texas-- as I write this, it's 14 degrees outside-- but planning to have the whole troop camp out during one is difficult. Some Scouts never got a full weekend freeze-out. I honestly don't remember if I ever got my Winter Camping badge, which means that I probably didn't.

What I did get a lot of was rain camping. Texas in the spring and autumn can be mighty pleasant, which means that's when we did a lot of camping. But that's also when some impressive amounts of rain comes in.

I recall one campout where we arrived at our site two hours after dark. I was 13, I think, and was new to the troop. I had an 11 year old tent mate, who had used the dome tents before, and began to set our tent up in the very spot where he had come to a stop when we fanned out from the central part of the camp area (The chuck box and the van that had brought us that Friday night.). I looked at the ground, and saw that, while his spot was flat, it was also at the confluence of two mild depressions that came down a gentle hill above us. I vetoed the spot, and moved us to a low ridge a few feet above it, and we set up there. I further irritated my tentmate by stopping to take time to carefully pull and re-pull the ground cloth so that it perfectly fit the underside of the tent, and folded the excess under the ground cloth, pulling it back out and redoing it when I found that he han folded it OVER, unwittingly making a basin. I dug a shallow trench on the uphill side only, and left the dirt on the downhill side of the trench, to be refilled when we struck camp.

There were no clouds, and the moon was full, with a halo around it.

About 3:00 AM, all hell broke loose as a thunderstorm ripped above us. The lightning in the clouds above us seemed just a hundred yards away, and was clearly visible through the fabric roof of the tent and the fabric rain fly above it. The noise was deafening. The rain pounded our tent like golf balls poured from a great height, and before long, some small hail joined it. The wind vexed our little dome tent fore and aft. My tentmate was at first scared. I told him to be quiet, and watch, and listen! It was thrilling. Before long, he and I sounded like people watching a particularly good fireworks show, muttering "Ooh! That was a good one!"

Over the wind and the pounding rain and the thunder, we began to hear other sounds. Yelps of other unhappy Scouts, as the rain began to enter their tents. One pair of boys had picked our abandoned low flat spot, and they were experiencing a very, very swampy time. Others had seeping occurring at the edges, where their groundcloths hadn't been properly put down, or the land just pushed water into their tent walls. Howls of frustration filled the camp.

But in our tent, my bunkmate and I laughed from within our dry sleeping bags, and enjoyed the storm.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Laughing. Out loud.

My wife keeps a file on her email of things that genuinely make her happy when she opens them. Links to funny videos, digital audio recordings of our children when they were toddlers, and funny pictures and stories. We all trade these kind of things around on our email, but my wife actually keeps them in her Yahoo account in an Awesome file.

Today she sat down at the computer, and brought it up. She added the University Of Quebec's amazing single-take video (that would make Robert Altman proud), and then just picked one at random to read or watch. A few seconds later, she started howling. I mean to say that my spouse of almost 12 years sounded like a howler monkey as she read this.

Sure, I had read it 6 years ago. But damned if I didn't laugh again.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

This Just In:

Generalissimos Miguel Jackson and Francisco Franco are still dead!
Hat Tip to Tam.

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