Monday, June 29, 2009

My Sister Is Trying To Upstage ME!!

So, after months of reading my worthwhile and very, very intellectual material on this great little page of mine. My sister, Becky, has decided to use a lot of her free time at home in a manner that makes her seem more productive than she really is. Yep, she's blogging too.

Apparently, her pregnancy and being a stay at home wife (soon to be stay at home mom) left her in a rather odd predicament. While her husband slaves away at his cool, but VERY DEMANDING job at NASA, she fools around online looking at meaningless websites..well besides mine of course..and she eats weird combinations of food. Well, finally she got a crisis of conscience. She realizes that her home does not look like your average made for TV home of neat and tidy. So the dilemma presented the true fashion of our family, she asked herself, "What can I do to avoid actually doing housework?"

So yes, she started a blog. All to avoid housework that lays there waiting to be done all day long while she does. What is it that she does? Oh yeah, nothing!

You can find it in my blogs of note on the left hand side of this page under Becky's Blog of Randomness

There you will find a blog about her gender-mentality crisis, her explanantion of why she is blogging (if i remember correctly she takes a shot at me in this one), and a new recipe she and her husband tried out the other night.

So yeah, go check it out..and if you don't like it blame Jay. He got me started, and I got my sister going (she's even wondering if she'll ever have any readers besides me), ergo Jay made Becky blog....he's an evil monkey like that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Life- Illustrated Through Calvin & Hobbes- Part 1

This post is to illustrate the basic understandings of life through a child's eyes. I have chosen my favorite childhood comic strip of Calvin and Hobbes as the visual aid.

Looking back on life, photos always provide us proof of our existence that was either prior to our ability to remember, or has merely escaped us.

While Mom may be the nurturer who we turn to for comfort, the lessons of life and the knowledge it contains, we glean from our all-knowing smart fathers. While they try to sound smart, their answers often leave us more confused than before we asked the questions. And of course, Dad is always one to try to push his antiquated values into our impressionable minds.

As you can see, Dad's values may have entered our minds, but they forgot that the steel trap that is a young child's mind, often releases the fruits of their labor in a different form!!

As more and more questions come, sooner or later Dad's Wisdom starts to come into question....usually after we mention something to Mom. Thus a more balanced, almost common sense approach, enters our growing minds.

At a young age, we accept Dad's wisdom blindly. Seed of doubt enter our minds through the years as we become more enlightened, and eventually we begin to question, if not outright deny, our Dad's intelligence (or his sanity for that matter). He should be thanking his wife, first and foremost, for such undermining of his authority. And yet, somehow it will be us children who will pay later for challenging his stances on life. I'm sure it has nothing to do with HOW we go about it all.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No Monopoly On Adultery

It used to be a lot simpler for the conservatives who lived moral values to see the Republican party as an ally. It was always the Democratic members of the polity that were hedonistic and immoral. Afterall, you had JFK, known to be a bit of a playboy, albeit strictly rumors, not to mention another President, Bill Clinton who was caught and admitted extramarital sexually-related activities. Throw in former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, and a few others.

Nowadays, we have the Distinguished Bathroom Toe-tapper from Idaho, Larry Craig, and that other forgotten fellow from Florida who messed with not only disgrace their families with extramarital affairs, but call into question their participation in the very sexual orientated ways they claimed to be an abomination.

Now in the last two weeks, we have two new philanderers: Senator Ensign from Nevada and Governor Sanford from South Carolina. Both were looking to be the ones we shouldered the hope of the GOP on. Well, so much for those ideas.

Maybe I'm a bit biased here, but when certain democrats were getting caught with their proverbial pants down, it only served to bolster the conservative argument of family values and the like, and we could always say, "Look! Look at those guys over there. You dont see that kind of stuff happening with OUR guys!"

And while these new revelations of conservative "christian" men falling prey to the same temptation in life would normally just cancel it out and make things even, it seems to me to be an even bigger blow, as the hypocrisy of it all makes a much bigger splash on the Republican side of the aisle, at least with the public perception of such transgressions. Who knows, maybe it's just me that this bugs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Full Day

Yesterday (Wednesday) marked the beginning of my "weekend". I started it off with Laundry Duties, after getting home from work.

Note to readers of my previous blog- I did in fact do it right each and every time instead of wasting to money by running the washer and dryer without clothes in them like I did the other day.

After awhile, the nice albeit VERY humid day summoned me outside. After making it about 3 steps outside our apartment door, the gates of hell opened up, and I began sweating very profusely. So, the first stop was down to the local C-store to get some ice cream and gatorade. Having nearly succumbed to a heat stroke some years back, I wasn't about to push myself without some extra cooling and hydrating agents in my body.

Then it was off to the basketball court. I performed pretty well, but the heat caused us to take a break, and then we decided to play some football (YAY!).
Keep in mind, I am playing with kids half my age who are in really good shape and constantly active. On one of the first plays, a guy from the other team nearly runs a kickoff all the way for a touchdown. What he did not count on was a 30 year old experienced player of the old Neighborhood Football League to show the young kid what real footbal was all about. I did not tackle him, I did not trip him. I merely reached in over his shoulder and came down hard on the football and gently eased it right out behind him and into my other hand. Now the hard part came. I had the entire length of the field and 3 other guys to beat. Like the days of old, I ran with everything I had...1st man gone, 2nd man gone, but the third had the angle on me. Suddenly, as if I was 15 myself, I turned on the afterburners, and my short little legs propelled me as though I was the roadrunner leaving Wile E. Coyote. The tall, athletic boy with much longer legs, a size advantage and the angle to take me out, suddenly found himself staring into the trees looking for his jockstrap. That burst of speed, left him dumbfounded and totally surprised that an old man like me would blow past him like a hurricane. Only one problem....I had stepped out of bounds at one point, with the loosely defined sidelines I might add. But, not an issue.

After having used up enough energy for 2 days, I went into the quarterbacking mode, and made a quick strike to one of my teammates for a one play score. We battled back and forth for awhile, but eventually the heat and humidity got to us, and we decided it was time to hit the gatorade bottles, and the ice in the makeshift cooler (an empty Corona cardboard box), which I promptly dumped on my head. We hung out for awhile just chatting and enjoying the freedom of a summer afternoon.

Then, around 5:45pm it was time for me to go home. I figured I had better shower, or my wife wouldn't want to be too close to me at any point, and we had a date that night. The kids were away with family, so we wanted to take the rare opportunity to spend some time together that was just us. We went out to a nice little steak house, and then off to a park because she wanted to swing for a few minutes. After that, we went downtown for a bit, walking around enjoying our own time together. A little time overlooking the Des Moines River from a pedestrian bridge, followed by a stop at Nollen Plaza, to just sit under a tree on a bench and watch the water fountains that shot into an amphitheater-shaped shallow pool, with a divided waterfall as the backdrop.

Capital Square in Des Moines

Then we set out to get back to our car and back home, as the dark night approached. On the way I was stopped by some sort of vagrant man. He hit my wife and I up with a barrage of compliments...I have seen this routine before, and knew the money asking was coming. However this guy had a different approach than most.

"Hey man, I aint gonna lie to you," he said. " I'm not out of gas, I don't need anything to eat, I just wanna go over here to the Plaza Pantry for a beer."

Well, I am a sucker for honesty. So my good deed for the day ended up being me reaching into my pocket, grabbing a wad of cash and handing over. Then we were off to home.

OH. I almost forgot to tell you. My wife is a cheater. Not in the marital sense, mind you, but she's still a cheater. For years, she has kept Christmas presents for me, away from this house. I have an uncanny ability to guess what is inside any given wrapped present. In fact, to date, my sister is the only one with enough genius in her to fool me...and she did it twice. Well, my wife got tired of this, and no longer leaves any possibility of evidence for me to go to my super-awesome sleuthy (is this a word, or have I been overcome by the spirit of W?) ways. Well, last night, over dinner, Dani was mentioning how funny she thinks I am. She made the mention of the phrase "let me count the ways", so being a naturally sarcastic fool, I made her. She mentioned my ability to mirror speech patterns of whomever I am around and talking with. I already knew this one.

But then she mentioned how I talk in my sleep. I am convinced that I do not, but then again, being asleep, how would I know? So I asked her if she ever got any juicy information out of me. She replied yes. Anything that could get me in trouble? She said no. However, it was at that point that she made the mistake of letting me know that is the way she used to fnd out what I was planning for our anniversary 2 years ago.

We had come out of a particularly rough patch in our relationship prior to our 7th anniversary(we're staring down the barrel at #9 on July 1), so I wanted to do some special stuff. All planned out, spa day for her, followed by a very fancy restuarant that night, and then just some other random activities about town. And somehow, despite my secrecy from a LOT of people, and those who did know were sworn not only to the death, but to the very attachment to them of a certain set of body parts they held dear. (If you don't think I'm serious let me tell you a great plan of mine, and then betray will live to regret it!)

So two years later, while she is able to withhold things against my abilities, I am stuck at her mercy with my great ideas. This irritates me. Not so much that she has been able to do this, but that there really isn't a defense against this. She caught me in a situation where her tool is using one of the natural tools of my survival against me, sleep. What else irritates me, is that her deceitful ways are truly awesome, and I can't help but be impressed. THAT is really irritating.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Why Women Should Be In Charge Of Housework


Now, before anyone goes and gets all riled up, let me introduce the Me of Today:

Hi, I'm an idiot. Nice to meet you.

There, now that we have the introduction out of the way, let me explain just why a woman should be in charge of the housework. Most of you know that I am the parent who is home all day. I work overnights, and then I come home in time for my wife to go to work. So, naturally, since I'm here anyways, some housework gets put on me. The vacuuming I get. I just stand there pushing a machine around and the carpet is mysteriously clean. That is, if I remember to plug the machine in and then turn it on.

The dishes are easy. We have a dishwasher (I call him Josh), who loads dishes into that machine under the counter and VOILA! Clean and sanitary dishware!, we don't know anything about that. Being elitist snobs, once dust collects, we throw it all out. Okay, maybe not, but it sounds nice to have so much money I could afford to do this...despite the irony that hauling all the old stuff out, and hauling the new stuff in would be more work than actually dusting. But then again, if I have that kind of money, I would surely have people to do it for me....just like I would have someone to operate the fancy remote and change channels on demand.

Then there is laundry. Sure, seems like a mundane and easy task to perform for anyone with an IQ over, oh lets assign the arbitrary IQ threshhold at 5 (that'd be 6 in Canadian measurements).

But is laundry truly THAT simple. Today, apparently it is not. I only had to wash and dry 3 loads of jeans and shorts. This way the boys would have a sufficient amount of clothes while they go out with my wife's side of the family camping for the remainder of this week. (its been rainy, so they need all the clothes they have)

I made it through loads 1 and 2, both successfully washed and dried. My oldest son, Dishwasher, had asked me if I wanted him to check on the laundry. Of course, being the lazy father that I am, said sure, and I handed him the quarters to take load #3 out of the washer and transfer it to the dryer. He came back and informed me that all the laundry was completely done. Amazed, I thought to myself "How could this be?"

Both Dishwasher, and myself of course, looked over to see the pile of jeans and shorts laying in the corner. It looked eerily similar to the pile that was load #3. I looked over to the stacks of quarters, and sure enough, the first three loads worth of quarters was completely gone. It appears to you're favorite and most revered genius (that would be me) that I washed the inside of the laundry machine instead of the clothes I supposed to put in there.

So now, instead of having the capability to wash and dry 7 loads of laundry, I can wash 7, but only dry 6 of them. My wife would NEVER have made such an egregious error. Which is why I think SHE should do the housework, instead of the idiot she lovingly refers to as ME. See, not a chauvinistic attitude here, just merely accepting the reality that is my own reckless stupidity left unleashed. However, I think instead of taking away such a privilege as doing the laundry, she will continue to make me do it until I get it right. And once I know how to do it, I will be stuck doing it for the rest of my life(kind of like all the chores I had to do as a child growing up). Well, maybe not for the rest of my life, but at least until I'm so filthy stinking rich that I can just throw dirty laundry away, anyways.

Monday, June 15, 2009

18 Days to Go!!!

Only 18 days to go before the first Annual Lovell Family Vacation is underway. Not that we're counting or anything...

The first couple days will be more easy going. We will leave here once I get off work (and down a few cups of wholesome sugar-laced coffee, of course!), and head up to Sac City to my parents house. This will be the first time I have seen my sister and brother-in-law since their wedding last October. I have been a gracious older brother and decided they can use the guest bedroom. My sister is expecting her first child, a daughter, in the fall. So, she will need a nice place to rest comfortably after I make fun of her for being fat. (Love you sis!! HAHAHAHA)

Then the night of the fourth, I will be assisting in blowing up hundreds of dollars worth of neatly packaged explosive devices for my own entertainment. Sure, other people will be entertained by the light and sound show, but I revel in blowing things up, especially when its explicitly condoned by my parents. Over the last several years I haven't heard my mom say anything at all about being careful not to blow my fingers or head off. Rather refreshing considering my childhood was dominated by her freaking out about crossing the highway on my bike (I never managed to get run over even once), but being fine with the sure physical abuse accompanied by pain and suffering brought forth by the Evil Duane's Right Hand of Spanking Death!

Early on the morning of the 5Th we will hit the road, just my wife, 2 sons and I, as we head for South Dakota. A quick stop at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, then on to the Badlands and Black Hills. All the touristy things there are to see: Mt Rushmore, Wall Drug, the Cosmos, Deadwood (place of Wild Bill's death), and a few other places. Then onto Wyoming. We will stop off at Devil's Tower, then move further west, making a stop at the town they named after me, Lovell, Wyoming (I am a very important person and all, you know!)

And from there we will press on to see my best friend Jay, and his wife, and spend a few days doing the whole Yellowstone tour, and a variety of other things.

The idea of doing some Horse riding has come up. I have yet to ever actually ride a horse, if you don't count being led around in a circle on one by someone with the Saddle Club Summer Recreation program when I was very young. My oldest son Josh, again has more experience than me at a few things. He has, for instance, caught more fish in one day than I have in my entire life, when he was 3. I recently found out that my mom's boss, who is a horse vet, has let Josh loose in an arena atop a horse or two. So now, naturally, in order to maintain my awesome manliness in the eyes of my son, will have to take advantage of the opportunity to end a day with a sore and/or numb hind end. We'll probably catch a rodeo, do some rafting, some shooting...

and of course I look forward to some one on one time with Jay, as we go out and attempt to play chicken with some Grizzlies. To tell the truth, I'm less worried about running into a bear, which at least we'll be able to see and hear with some distance between us and them. And as my wife told the kids, I only have to outrun Jay should we get caught trespassing by a grizzly!!! My real concern is accidentally upsetting a resting rattlesnake. If I go and get bit by one, well let's just say I know Jay. The idea of him sucking the poison out of a bite wound probably won't appeal to him very much. Something to do with my unclean nature of only showering every third October or so...

But I am sure, he'll read the last rites over me as he informs me of my imminent death. And then he will be off to Lovell, WY to inform them that their town namesake died being an idiot. And of course, being the important personality that I am, they will hold a funeral procession through the town in my honor, despite the fact that I have perpetually turned down their offers to be the Grand Marshall in their annual parades. Lots of crying and weeping...lets hope they keep a few scouts out on the edges of town though. I'm sure once I am dead the animals will surely form a coalition to take over the town and make it their own, enslaving the local populace...much like what happens in a home with a cat. Speaking of, its time to scratch the Colonel's belly and then escort him to his food dish where I will be expected to provide fresh food and new water.

Monday, June 1, 2009

To Those of You Born 1930 - 1980

Click on the image to enlarge

1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads..

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 15 0 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

I Don't Know How They Do It!!!

For years I have watched sports, mainly football. You see the hot new rookies showing off their speed and talents, but you also have a large contingent of older veteran players, sometimes in their early 40s, out there showing their talents, their experience, and their sheer power.

You watch these guys, in any sport getting banged up pretty good, day in and day out. And every game, there they are again, putting out their best effort.

Then there is me. This last weekend, I played some basketball, mostly with teenagers. The athlete in my heart is alive and well. All the trash talk, all the pure love of competition, all of the extra weight, all that extra pain, it's all there.

I am feeling muscles in my legs I forgot existed. My back is tight and sore from top to bottom. I'm walking funny and slow. This morning, while running from my patrol car, through a heavy downpour into the gas station after fueling up, I ran like I imagine a crippled girl would look like running. I played basketball, and a little bit of tackle football last year, and I don't remember feeling it as much as I do now. What happened between 29 and 30?

There are full grown old men playing much harder than I am right now who feel "great" despite beating themselves up or getting beat up much worse than I probably ever have in my life. I don't even think I played nearly as hard as I did last year, yet I hurt much much worse.

Sure I was sweating like a soon to be heart-attack victim, and sucking wind like a guy having an asthma attack, but that's nothing new. I did that even in the best shape of my life when I was in the military and in high school football. I lost a few games of "21" on saturday to a teenager, and one of the kid's dad. But I took on an unknown teammate and dominated the games of 2 on 2. Sunday, I played "pig" and "21" winning every game I played. I played through the pain and slow moving syndrome I was suffering. And then last night I went to work. Getting in and out of the patrol car to check houses and commercial properties was pure hell on my legs, and the walking around wasn't much better.

It's supposed to rain off and on today, as well as tomorrow, so I'll have a couple days off to rest from the increased physical activity. Hopefully the next time I play it wont hurt as much. I have plans to do hiking up in the mountains of Wyoming later on this summer, and I would like my legs to be able to move and operate normally without it killing me.