Thursday, September 30, 2004

That grinding sound you hear

Is my nose.

Be back tomorrow. (I hope)

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    Wednesday, September 29, 2004

    Another first

    Did something today that I've never done before.

    I filed a complaint with the FCC.

    Let me start off by reminding you, I don't have cable. If you can't broadcast it to me over the public airwaves for free, I'm not interested. TV is a big enough waste of time as it is - no way am I going to PAY for it. Besides, I don't have an extra $600 a year to spend on it. (Yeah, I'm cheap.)

    I think it's safe to say that I am not a prude and I'm certainly not easily offended. But when your channel surfing brings you to a music video with topless women simulating sex with each other and close ups of their bikini clad behinds all while the "artist" (and I use the term loosely) is rapping about how he wants to "stick it in her ***", I think that's over the line.

    So I did something about it.

    We'll see if anything comes of it. (I'm not holding my breath)

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    Blame Canada

    Well, perhaps not the WHOLE country. Maybe you should just blame Lee.

    After all it WAS him who issued, in the comments for the previous post, what I like to refer to as "a double-dog dare"... (Double-dog. Hee hee. I crack me up. Really.)
    The psychic dog story is most excellent.

    I'm very close to asking you to write a poem about them.
    Which we all know (at least on Planet Aardvark) is his way of asking for a poem without, you know, ASKING for a poem.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it ... at least until I can think of a better one.
    Man's Best Friends?
    Once I had two psychic dogs -
    Their doggie thoughts they'd beam to me
    And I would write them up in blogs
    To save them for posterity.
    Though most of what they thought was not
    The kind of stuff I want to know -
    Like who win the seventh race?
    Who will place and who will show?
    They're really not much use to me -
    Spending their time on politics
    And channeling such boring stuff.
    Why can't I teach these dogs new tricks?
    "Bush by 15 - will be the score"
    They told me telepathically
    You know, I'd like these dogs much more
    If they'd focus on the lottery.
    Thank you...thankyouverymuch. I'll be here all week.
    (Don't forget to tip the waitress)

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    Tuesday, September 28, 2004

    Hmph!

    Well, since Terry seems to be hogging all the GOOD material, it looks like I'll have to use the dregs. (karmic balance and all that) In other words, business as usual.

    Don't bother to vote, the fix is in.

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Psychic dogs belonging to actor Sylvester Stallone's mother have projected President George Bush the winner in November, the Los Angeles Times said Monday.

    The paper said the dogs foresee the president will beat Democratic challenger John Kerry by 15 percent.

    ...

    Jackie Stallone has said her dogs channel messages from the spirit world and send them to her telepathically.

    No need to comment. Nuff said.

    -----------------------------------------------

    Maybe I'll just take my chances.


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Stroke victims being treated at a Louisville hospital may benefit from the lessons of the vampire bat.

    ...

    An experimental clot-busting drug modeled after bat saliva is being tested at University and 16 other sites.

    Nothing says "good health" quite like bat spit...

    ------------------------------------------------

    Is he bi-polar? That might explain a few things.
    Kerry: Americans Don't Want Jokes From Their President

    Kerry Learning to Wield Humor As Weapon
    Maybe he should work up a good Herman Munster imitation. That'd be a crowd pleaser for sure.

    ------------------------------------------------

    From the police blotter in the Arcata Eye:
    8:05 a.m. Morons stole a family’s tortoise from a 10th Street yard and painted groovy designs on its shell. That can be fatal, but wasn’t in this case, and the tortoise was eventually returned to the owner in a no-questions-asked handoff in an F Street parking lot.
    "Oh, sorry dude. I didn't know it was YOUR turtle..."
    1:52 p.m. A ponytailed man walked up and down Valley West Boulevard, and from his beard issued a stream of obscenities. He was tracked down by the car wash and advised to stop yelling.
    How did that car wash track him down anyway?
    8:17 p.m. Someone stared at someone else a little too long in the 1000 block of Seventh Street, triggering mammalian territorial responses. A confrontation and yelling followed.
    No word on whether or not feces were flung.
    12:33 p.m. Yelling? Moi?
    Oui. Vous.

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    Monday, September 27, 2004

    Weekend? What weekend?

    I just looked at the calendar and it says I had two whole days off...

    I wonder what happened to them?

    I need to get me one of those jobs where you work 2 days and are off 5. (do those exist?) Or better yet, one where I can miss 75% of the time and not get dinged for it. But we don't have a senate race in Texas until 2006.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Went to the TCU game Saturday. Turned out about like I expected. (We lost in 2OT 45-44) I know we have a lot of defensive players banged-up, but you'd think the coach, being a "defensive genius", could figure out some way to stop the pass with the guys he has.

    I was less than impressed with his decision to "save" his timeouts for the second half. The clock was at 1:19 in the second quarter when the Frogs stopped the USF Bulls around their 30 yard line, forcing a punt. We had two time outs left and would get the ball with decent field position. Naturally, coach Patterson let the clock run. They ran it down to 30 seconds and took the delay of game penalty. We got the ball on the 35 with 19 seconds left and took a knee. I'm developing a bald spot from scratching my head so much.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    What a week to have Peyton Manning in fantasy football. Almost 400 yards passing and 5 touchdowns. SWEET! And Tiki Barber came through for me too. I have a wide receiver in tonight's game, but my opponent this week is done. I'm going to win by about 40 points, moving the Rabble Rousers to 2-1 on the season.

    I liked Jim's idea, I think next year the AoW should have a league. (using the FREE Yahoo service, of course)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    The EAC and I saw the Michael Vick Nike commercial yesterday. We both liked it. But not enough to run right out and by Nike shoes. But then again, that's not the point of a lot of advertising anyway. Name brand advertising is more geared to leaving you with a good general impression of the brand so that the NEXT time you're purchasing, you'll be more inclined to purchase their brand.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Two commercials I currently despise:
    1. The Honda commercial where the woman leaves to "go slip into something more comfortable" and then crashes her car through the window, skidding sideways and rolling down the passenger side window to beckon her date with a smirky smile.
    2. The Cadillac STS commercial with all the other cars "dancing" in the ballroom.

    Why do I despise these two? They both have (at the insistance of their lawyers, I'm sure) the disclaimer, "do not attempt". Ya think? Why I routinely crash my car through the wall of my house! Who do they think they are, telling me not to? And of course, I have a huge 3 story, 4 acre ballroom out back where my friends and I hold regular car dances. Why wouldn't I bring my new STS to show off?

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of people who insist I'm stupid.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    And just to make the rest of you feel old (er), today is teen heart-throb, Shaun Cassidy's 46th birthday.


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    Friday, September 24, 2004

    Earth Girl

    She keeps an online journal where bits of her peek through
    She has a loving husband and a teen-age boy ( X 2! )
    She left behind her corporate job and the luxuries it afforded
    To spend her days in other ways (for which she's been rewarded)
    She likes to bake and cook and sew and always seems to think of others
    Playing 'monster tag' in the dark, I know she's not your boring sort of mother!

    She often tells us of her pond
    And other things of which she's fond
    Like sunrise and the morning dew,
    Lilies, butterflies, blackbirds, cherries
    Fireflies, iris, fresh blueberries
    These are just to name a few

    The way she writes of growing things
    Displays the inner joy they bring
    Creation in its verdant glory
    And as they grow up all around
    You sense with sight and smell and sound
    The things she tells of in her stories

    I'm glad she lets us tag along to see the world through eyes so kind
    When Earth Girl's in her garden, contentment isn't far behind

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    Thursday, September 23, 2004

    Well...since you asked

    The other day, Jordana asked how Mrs. A's Mom was doing.

    Mom has been at our house for 12 days now. I think our expectation was that she was going to be much weakened when she arrived, but with the TLC and round-the-clock care provided by Mrs. A, she would steadily show some improvement and regain her strength.

    We're still waiting for that to happen.

    I'd say over all, that she's not much better than when she arrived. A little maybe, but not much.

    Before this recent round of hospitalization, Mom had her share of health issues: Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diverticulitis, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, high blood pressure, etc. Not to mention the broken hip she had last year. So even when she was "well", it was a relative thing. She took handfuls of pills every day. And saw three or more different doctors. Which is all part of the problem. Each doctor had her on a different pill regimen and didn't really try to look at the overall picture. Another part of the problem was that Mom didn't tell each doctor what was going on with the others. Whether that was on purpose or not is hard to tell.

    So, she'd take one round of pills for her pain and then another round of pills for the nausea caused by the first round of pills and then another round of pills to deal with the side effects of both of the first two rounds. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    She has always been a picky eater and claims that she cannot eat bird of any kind, refusing to eat things if she even suspects a chicken or turkey walked close to it. In the last few years, she has steadily eaten less and less healthy food and relied more on crackers and candy as the staples of her diet. A couple of weeks ago, she was experiencing a bout of severe nausea and hadn't been able to keep anything down for several days. Which left her dehydrated. Upon visiting yet another doctor for her stomach problems, he prescribed Phenergan, which she dutifully took. Turns out she's allergic to Phenergan. So between the allergic reaction, the lack of nourishment and the dehydration, she wound up passing out and hitting her head. She managed to get to the phone sometime later and call 911. It's not certain how long it was between when she passed out and when she called 911, but our best guess is two days. Needless to say, this has left her weaker than ever. When the body is dehydrated and lays in one place for an extended length of time, the muscles deteriorate rapidly. So, to say she is weak is an understatement.

    To round out the picture, though, you have to know that Mom loves to play the martyr and guilt and manipulation have always been part of her arsenal. Add to that a large dollop of depression and self-pity (all completely normal considering the circumstances) and you begin to see what Mrs. A has been dealing with. Not to mention the passive-aggressive ploy of just ignoring things you don't want to hear. Did I mention she's hard-headed and strong-willed too? She wants to go home and resents not being able to, but hasn't seem too interested in doing what she needs to do to get better.

    Mom still won't eat much, though Mrs. A has fixed her everything she's even hinted at wanting. Probably less than a cup a day of solid food. And she won't drink enough fluid either, though not because Mrs. A hasn't tried. Mom uses a walker to get around, and is slow getting up and down, but once up seems to move ok. The trouble is she won't get up. One day you're convinced she could do more if she wanted to and the next you're convinced that she's doing the best she can. And all the time there's a nagging suspicion that in some twisted way, she's thriving on the extra attention and might not want to get better too fast lest it end.

    Yesterday was a particularly bad day, ending with a bout of nausea and this morning looks like it took up right from where it left off. An added difficulty is that Mom's insurance is with a regional HMO and we are out of the designated territory, so getting her to the doctor up here is next to impossible. This morning, Mrs. A was talking about driving her back down to Houston so she could see one of her doctors there. She was going to call her brother to talk it over.

    Mrs. A is about at the end of her sanity, so any prayers you may want to lift up on her behalf would be appreciated.

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    Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    IT'S A BOY!!!!!

    John Sebastian Baxter to be exact. Born yesterday by C-section at 9:25 AM. He weighs in at 8 pounds 15 ounces (yikes!) and is 20.5 inches long.

    Y'all make sure to go here and/or here and leave lots of nice comments. (Pictures. We want pictures!!!!!)

    And the winner of the pool is ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    Earth Girl!!!!!

    Earth Girl's scores were:
    Baby's sex - first place (3-way tie)
    Baby's weight - second place
    Baby's height - fifth place (3-way tie)
    Baby's birthdate - first place (3-way tie)
    Baby's time of birth - first place

    Total combined score: 10

    The rest of the scores were:
    LittleA - 13
    MarcV - 14
    Francesca - 20
    Mercy - 22
    Jordana - 25
    Malta Girl - 26
    Angie - 27 (sorry Angie...I'm sure you'll do better in Jordana's pool!)

    Earth Girl can expect to see her poem published here in the next few days. (You can't hurry genius, you know)

    Congratulations to Paul and Lenise and a big welcome to John Sebastian!

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    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    Insert title here

    This is just one of those days that I can't think of much to say. (Yes, believe it or not, it does happen from time to time)

    I usually never let that get in the way of posting, but today for some reason I can't even work up something to complain about. (I hate when that happens)

    Maybe something will inspire me later.

  • |

    Doh!

    Madonna Calls for World Peace at Meeting

    Of course! It's so simple!

    Now why didn't I think of that?

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    Monday, September 20, 2004

    Baby Watch - 2004

    Lenise is scheduled to go in tomorrow to deliver by C-section. See here or here for the latest information.

    Keep them in your prayers please.

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    Football thoughts

    Here's an assortment of various football thoughts from this past weekend.

    Friday night's homecoming game was played against the Yellowjackets. And of course, their colors were black and ... orange. Go figure. A hard fought game which could have gone either way, but thanks to a holding penalty negating a Lion's touchdown went the wrong way. There's always next year.

    Saturday's TCU game in Lubbock saw the Frogs give up 7 touchdowns ... in the second half. Ouch. The secondary has been their weakest link for several years now and after surviving last year's shootout with Houston (62 - 55), I more or less feared Saturday's end result.

    Did pull for the Auburn boys to win, and that turned out ok.

    Saw the ad for next weeks game between Bama and Arkansas. Is it still possible to root for a tie? If not, Roll Tide.

    Watched the Cowboy/Browns game yesterday, and felt the first conflicting tugs of Fantasy Football. I wanted the Cowboys to win, but kept rooting for Kellen Winslow to come up with a big play or two for the Browns since he's one of my guys.

    As for the FF outcome this week, that's still up in the air. I'm currently leading by about 12 points, but all my guys are done. My opponent has the Viking's kicker and Donovan McNabb from tonight's game. I'm thinking I lose this week. Unless McNabb plays tonight like Garcia did yesterday. (not likely)

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    Rocket Science

    Some things are harder than they appear. For instance, I donated platelets on Saturday. No, wait a minute. That's not the hard part. (unless you count sitting still for two hours, 'cause that can sometimes be a challenge)

    Whenever you donate blood (or blood products like platelets or plasma) you have to answer about 50 or 60 questions. It doesn't matter that your answers don't ever change, the blood center folks are still required to ask them anyway. It used to be that you filled some out and they verbally asked the rest, but nowadays they just hand you the whole sheet and you're on your own.

    The second question on the list is: Are you allergic to latex or iodine? (the first is: Are you feeling well today? in case you were curious)

    And since I am allergic to latex AND iodine, I always bubble in "Yes". About 50% of the time when the phlebotomist is looking over my answers, I have to prompt THEM about this. "Uh. Excuse me ... I don't know if you noticed, but I'm allergic to latex and iodine." "Oh." they say. It's not like I'm extremely allergic and will blister or go into shock or anything. My allergies show up about two days later as a rash that itches like the dickens (whatever THAT means). So, I always tell them it's a mild allergy, which they note on the back of the form AND in big letters on the front - "NO LATEX OR IODINE."

    About 75% of the time, I still have to remind the phlebotomist who's hooking me up. "Oh." they say and look at my form. "You sure are." And then they get the pretty purple gloves instead of the boring old white ones. Saturday, the tech already had purple gloves on so I didn't say anything until she tore open a package and removed a swab. "Uh. That's not iodine is it?" I asked. "Oh. Are you allergic?" she says, looking at my form. She tracked down a couple of the antibacterial scrubbers they use instead and then we were good to go.

    The last obstacle is when you're all done and they wrap your arm to keep the gauze in place (supposed to leave it on for six hours after apheresis procedures). The stretchy wrap is made of ... you guessed it: latex. I usually reminded them again before they wrap me up that I don't want the latex (which causes them to change what they were going to do about 25% of the time). The past couple of times, though, they told me that they had gone to 100% non-latex wraps, so I didn't have to worry any more.

    So, on Saturday, I didn't even mention it.

    What are the odds that I'm sitting here scratching my arm as I type this?

    Thank goodness for Benadryl's Itch Relief Stick - once again proving the sentiment: better living through pharmaceuticals.

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    Friday, September 17, 2004

    Come on in, the water's fine

    Just a reminder to those folks who haven't guessed yet in the baby pools. There is still time to enter both pools, but I'm cutting off the "Lenise" pool after today. (With only seven days left til her due date, it wouldn't be fair to keep it open too long) Jordana's pool will be open for several more weeks.

    It costs nothing to enter, and remember kids, the prize IS worth eating the CrackerJacks ... er ... or something.

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    Funniest? I don't think so

    Watched the 9 o'clock news last night as is semi-normal. At 10, rather than watching yet another regurgitation of the day's events, we switched to the UPN station to catch an episode of M*A*S*H. At least until I saw that the episode was one written and directed by Alan Alda, which prompted me to turn the station.

    It's not that I hate Alan Alda. He (and Mike Farrell for that matter) IS a rabid wingnut of the radical left, but that was a plus for his role as Hawkeye, since he didn't have to do much acting other than acting natural. But when he had a hand in writing the script (which usually meant he directed), the ensuing episode wouldn't be the usual "Funny, with the occasional 'war is bad' point made" instead it was "'War is BAD' with an occasional funny point made". All in all (or Alda in Alda), his plots were way too heavy handed, preferring to bludgeon the viewer over the head and drag them along instead gently nudging them in the desired direction. What, with the state of politics these days (someone needs to make "I'd Rather be forging" bumper stickers), I just didn't have enough patience left in me to sit through an Alda episode.

    So, instead, I flipped it over to PAX where they were showing old Bob Saget episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos. I liked Bob Saget ok when he was on Full House, but there he was just part of a larger ensemble. Watching him on AFHV, on the other hand, is just painful. I can't believe this guy was a stand-up comedian...and I'll laugh at almost anything. As for the videos, while I don't find most of them "funny", they are usually at least amusing or cute, and so it's a mindless way to spend a few minutes while letting the day's cares drift away.

    What struck me (again) last night was when they panned the audience right before going to a commercial. The audience is ALWAYS laughing as they cut away. Yeah, I know they light up the "Applause" and "Laughter" signs. But these people are not smiling in amusement, or laughing with a few short "heh, heh, heh's" like regular folks. They are engaged in full-scale, open-mouthed, dementia-induced laughing fits.

    It's always kind of creeped me out. What could possibly make these "normal" people laugh like that? (It certainly couldn't be the clips they were showing us.)

    Last night it came to me. I finally figured it out.

    AFHV must hire some goons to come in and slap Bob around right before the commercials to ensure the crowds are properly entertained. That's the only possible explanation.

  • |

    When the parade passes by

    The homecoming parade was last night. Both chillun's were in it, riding on different "floats". I put floats in parenthesis because anyone who's watched the parades on TV at Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years would be hard pressed to recognize them as such.

    Let me back up a little bit and explain.

    The Aardvark's live in Fort Worth. Big city, big ISD, big schools, right? So you'd think. But...

    We live between two small cities: Sansom Park, which borders Fort Worth on the NW side, and River Oaks, which is completely surrounded by Fort Worth - a city within a city - it's unusual, but not unheard of. These two cities share an ISD and we live in the narrow corridor between them and so we are in their ISD, not Fort Worth's. The combined population of Sansom Park and River Oaks is somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 people, and like most small towns in Texas, there is a preponderance of Bubbas and Bubbettes. Not that there's anything wrong with that - for the most part they're decent, hard-working, salt-o-the-earth types that make good neighbors and good friends. But they certainly don't have huge wads of loose cash lying around and as a result tend not to spend what they do have on frivolities (like floats).

    So, most of the floats in the parade consisted of a truck pulling a flatbed trailer, with some hay bails thrown on it, carrying a group of kids holding up poster board signs and banners and such, and throwing candy to the crowd. Toss in a police car or two (and every piece of fire equipment owned by both cities) and add a half-dozen convertibles carrying the homecoming 'royalty' and that pretty well sums it up. I think I can safely say, I've never quite seen anything like it.

    What really tickled me, though, was the fact that the parade seemed to be in such a hurry (total elapsed time - less than 15 minutes). I was standing on the corner where they had to slow down and turn and even with that, I would swear that the average speed was 20 MPH. I barely had time to pick my urchins out before they were around the corner and out of sight. When the Eldest Aardvark Child went by on the band float, they were playing "Eye of the Tiger". (even though we're the Lions...) I can't recall ever hearing a band with a noticeable redshift before.

  • |

    Thursday, September 16, 2004

    Poetry

    Since the first (and only) prize for the baby pool(s) is an original poem, I thought maybe I should give you a sample of what you could expect.

    So, here's an original limerick. (a low form of poetry, I know, but poetry nonetheless)

    There once was a newsman named Rather
    Whose reporting was useless palaver
    He thought he'd caught George
    But the memos were forged
    Now everyone calls him "old Blather."

    Or we could go with the alternate ending if you prefer, (and I do)

    There once was a newsman named Rather
    Whose reporting was useless palaver
    He thought he'd caught George
    But the memos were forged
    Now everyone calls him "a partisan hack with a long history of slanting the news who wouldn't recognize the truth if it mugged him and called him Kenneth."

  • |

    Truth is Marching On

    Terrible Swift Word has moved. Adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

    Oh, and Brian? Ditch the Blogger comments and go with Haloscan or some other free service. I hate having to log in to Blogger to comment and then having to go back to the Blogger homepage afterwards in order to log out again. Way too much hassle for my typical trite comments. (Unless of course it was INTENTIONAL on your part in order to keep me from cluttering up the place, in which case it's a good plan.)

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    Wednesday, September 15, 2004

    Everybody out of the pool!

    Ok, not really.

    Since there are a couple folks on the blogroll who are "great with child", I figured we ought to start a pool to guess the vital stats. Then I got to thinking (a dangerous thing that I don't attempt too often) about what sort of incentive I could offer to the winners.

    Hmmm. I don't have any money, so that's out.

    I DO have plenty of nothing, so that's a possibility.

    But there HAS to be something ...

    AHA!

    I have it.

    The winner will receive a poem in their honor, crafted by yours truly. (I see you went with the nothing after all)

    So, here's the deal.

    Pool #1 - Lenise is due in 9 (that's NINE) days! This is her first. We'll have to hurry for this one!
    Pool #2 - Jordana is due in 55 days. This will be her third.

    Guess the baby's sex, weight, length, date of birth and time of birth by either emailing me or leaving a comment below.
    Each of the five data elements will be judged separately (closest to furthest away) and then the scores combined to yield an overall winner. So even if you got the date wrong, you could still be the closest on time, etc.

    The winner will be announced following the birth (I'm assuming Lenise and Jordana, or their representative, will give me the relevant info) and I will publish their prize poem shortly thereafter.

    Are y'all in?

    And my guesses are:
    Pool #1 - Boy, 7 pounds 5 ounces, 20.5 inches, September 20, 3:00 AM
    Pool #2 - Girl, 8 pounds 3 ounces, 21 inches, November 2, 6:00 AM

  • |

    Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    Just because, that's why

    You know, being a parent isn't always easy. In fact, I think it's safe to say that it's RARELY easy. But every so often, you get the chance to lighten up a bit and ease back on the reins.

    This past summer, the Youngest Aardvark Child (who is approaching 14) made quite a dramatic turn-around in attitude and action. Don't get me wrong, she's still thirteen and acts like it, but that stubborn, belligerent streak seems to have narrowed some and it didn't seem like everything was a power struggle. Of course, once school started and the pressures of peers and homework came back, she backslid some, but even with that, things are still better than they used to be.

    Take Saturday, for instance. Mrs. A and the EAC had already left the house to go set up the concession stand at the TCU game. The YAC was supposed to be practicing her oboe (30 minutes a day), but had managed to dawdle and drag and put it off for the better part of half an hour. I had been doing yard work and was headed for the shower. As I passed her, I once again urged her to go play her oboe. "Yeah, Dad. I will."

    I came out of the bathroom about five minutes or so later to find her standing in the doorway between the living room and the hallway, watching TV.

    "Why aren't you playing your oboe?"

    "I have been."

    "You haven't played very long. I was only in the bathroom for five minutes. Don't make me fight you on this, just get it done."

    And surprisingly, she went into her room, closed the door and played her oboe for another 25 minutes without complaint or even a put-upon attitude.

    That scene would have played out very differently last year.

    For the past few days, she's been working very hard on a Social Studies project. She had to pretend she had formed her own colony and develop the charter, outline the climate and geography, make a flag, and put it all nice and neat on a poster board. Once again, unlike last year, she has worked more on her own without a ton of prodding and prompting. Last night was a late night getting everything together. She decided to make a flag from cloth instead of paper and so Mrs. A had to help her figure out how to mount it on the stick she had selected. Hot glue to the rescue. Anyway it was after 10:30 before she could go to bed. And since it was so late, we ix-nayed the dessert issue and told her just to go on to bed. And again, she did it without complaint or attitude.

    So what did she get for breakfast this morning?

    A big bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate sauce on top. That's what.

  • |

    Those cats were fast as lightning

    Had weird dreams last night. I was in a restaurant, sitting in a booth with Ah-nuld, Chuck and Jean-Claude. I don't remember anything else specific, but we were having a good time.

    Any ideas on what my subconscious mind might be telling me?

  • |

    Monday, September 13, 2004

    Miscellanea

    The Star Mangled Banner. Somehow it's just not the same when the guy singing can't or won't pronounce the words correctly. "O'er da Land of da Free and da Home of da Brave" just doesn't cut it, Chester.

    Chicago X, track 3. Lady, I don't care if you were just popping across the street to get something from the store. And yeah, maybe I wouldn't be complaining so much about the skimpiness of your outfit if you didn't weigh 250+ pounds. Perhaps, though, I should thank you - the sight of your belly hanging out over those skimpy fleece shorts will give me sufficient motivation to skip dessert for quite some time.

    Almost. Having sat through some lopsided TCU/SMU games back in the early 80's, when SMU had Eric Dickerson and Craig James in the backfield, aka The Pony Express (aka The Best Backfield Money Could Buy), I almost felt sorry for the four SMU boys sitting right in front of us as the TCU Horned Frogs demolished the Mustangs 44-0.

    Cheesy. Mrs. A and the Eldest Aardvark Child worked the concession stand for the first half of the TCU/SMU game. Mrs. A managed to drop a big glop of nacho cheese on her tennis shoe. (Mmmmm...cheese) One of the other parents working hadn't done it before and had to be shown the ropes. He managed to drop a big glop of nacho cheese on his glove and couldn't figure out what everybody was fussing about when he licked it off. And was then incredulous that he actually had to change his gloves before continuing. (We bought our nachos at a different stand)

    ET. Went to Sam's yesterday afternoon and left Mrs. A home doing laundry (!!!), helping with homework and waiting for her brother and Mom to arrive. I only called four times, either asking about items that were not on the list (which should have been) or getting a clarification (Honey-Baked ham or regular ham?). What did we do before cell phones? Made two trips, that's what.

    Mom. Brother and Mom showed up a little after 6:00 PM. Would have been there earlier, but Mom insisted he take the same circuitous route she always takes instead of the straight line we'd given him instructions for. (her way has fewer turn offs, but consequently you have to go around your elbow to get to your thumb) He was too tired to argue with her. Mom is now ensconced in our bedroom and will be here for an indeterminate length of time. Mrs. A is experiencing a little stress over this for some strange reason.

    Hab or rehab? Last week, Mom got transferred from a normal hospital room to the rehab floor for a ten day to two week rehab schedule. Then she got worse, so they moved her back to a hospital room without actually doing any rehab. Then she got better. So where did they send her? Home of course. How is it that as of Monday she needed two weeks of rehab, gets worse and then by Sunday is good enough to go home? It couldn't have anything to do with her managed healthcare plan, I'm sure.

    Goldfish bites woman. Mrs. A had some goldfish (the cracker kind) with her lunch yesterday. One of them was especially crunchy. Only it wasn't the goldfish, but the top off of one of her porcelain crowns. Of course, now that her Mom is here it is 100X more difficult to schedule things like dentist appointments and the like. Add to that Mrs. A's aversion/dread of tooth/mouth pain and it's not a pretty situation. Ironically, the only jury she's ever been on was for a dental malpractice claim. She still doesn't like to talk about it.

    Fun with headlines. Well, maybe considering the subject matter it's more like grim irony with headlines. Yesterday's paper had two articles on North Korea on an inside page. The article at the top of the page was a news article and had a headline (I'm working from memory here, so they may not be exact) saying, "Explosion in North Korea - Mushroom Cloud Sighted" and the article at the bottom of the page was an analysis piece (normally written well before hand) and had a headline of, "Does North Korea have Nuclear Weapons?"

    It's just a fantasy. I am participating in a Fantasy Football league for the first time this year. A bunch of guys from church got together and formed a league using Yahoo's free service. Pending the outcome of tonight's game, LittleA's Rabble Rousers may actually win one. Of course, I've spent only slightly more than zero time on this thing, and it didn't help that I started a guy who didn't even play yesterday... but my opponent had one of yesterday's best performers benched, so right now I'm leading by 6 points. He's got a WR in tonight's game though, so I'm not counting my eggs just yet.

    Polaris. Woke up yesterday morning and discovered a unicorn's horn trying to sprout from the middle of my forehead. It was a little less red (but still sore) this morning. Maybe nobody will notice, I thought. Mrs. A looks at it and says, "You gonna put a band-aid on that?" Of course, we've rearranged everything in the hall bathroom to free up our bathroom for her Mom. And as a result, I cant. Find. The. Stupid. Band. Aids. And I'm out of time, so it's out the door without one. I get to work and sit down and the lady in the next cubicle says, "What's the matter with your forehead?" ::sigh:: Maybe someday I'll outgrow puberty.

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    You might be a blogger if ...

    Y'all need to go check this out. I only needed the links on a few of them.

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    Friday, September 10, 2004

    Ready, set ...

    One of my employees fielded a call this morning from someone trying to figure out why their bank account had been debited. This person was obviously only semi-coherent based on the side of the conversation I could hear. Evidently the bank told them that the debit came from some company that started with the letters "AB" (not the real letters) and this guy had called Information and got the first company in the book that started with the letters "AB". That was us. Needless to say, we weren't much help to the guy.

    But that incident reminded me of my retail days working for Marconi Hut (not the real name). Working retail, as anyone who has done so can attest, allows you to come into contact with all kinds. And I mean ALL kinds. Marconi Hut was one of those small narrow stores in the mall. Not real wide from side to side, but pretty deep front to back. Way in the back of the store we had a separate "computer department" that really operated as a store within a store. It had its own manager and did separate paperwork and even had its own phone line. If the computer manager was out, we were allowed to write up sales, but we had to make sure they were on the correct forms.

    The computer manager was a guy named Jeff, but we mostly called him El Jefe (the boss) because he could come across as really arrogant at times. We were just retail drones, but HE was a Computer Guy and he Knew Things and he always made sure he was dressed to the nines, strutting around like a peacock. I liked him ok when he wasn't acting all condescending. ("That boy," we'd say in our best Italian accent, "He's a Madonna.") Jeff set his own hours and though we were in the mall and were open until 9 PM, things were usually pretty slow after 7 PM, and so he usually started his paperwork about 6:30 and tried to tear out of there by 7:00.

    One Saturday night right about 7 PM this little short guy comes into the store and starts asking about computers. He had a really gravelly voice and had evidently been drinking pretty heavily before he came in because you could smell this guy before you saw him. Since Jeff hadn't left yet, I walked him to the back of the store and called Jeff out of his paperwork to tell him he had a customer. Jeff must've had plans because he wasn't real happy about sticking around, but he came and started talking to the guy.

    Not only was this guy drunk, but he was dumber than a bag of rocks and belligerent to boot. Jeff talked to this guy for over an hour and every time he would suggest a computer to buy, the guy would balk and Jeff would have to back up and start over. It was pretty obvious by Jeff's body language that he was ticked-off, but after showing this guy every computer in the store, he FINALLY got the guy to buy the cheapest computer we sold ($39.95). It didn't have a screen and the keyboard was like a label maker keyboard is today. The whole thing was about 6" X 8" X 2". This was about 1984 or 1985. You couldn't get very much back then for $39.95. You hooked it up to your TV and could do some simple BASIC programming. If you wanted to save anything, you had to buy a cord, a cassette recorder and special cassettes to save it on (which more than doubled the price). This guy decided that he just wanted the computer and nothing else.

    By this point Jeff was just wanting to get rid of the guy, so he got the guy's name and address, wrote up the sales slip, handed him a business card and practically shoved him out of the store. Of course by this time, the rest of us were laughing at Jeff's misery, and he had to vent a little about how belligerent and stupid and abrupt this guy was. He also ground his teeth when he got mad. Turns out the guy's name was Larry Bonk (I'm sure of the last name and reasonably sure of the first) and he was a trucker and he'd been hearing on the radio that computers were the Next Big Thing and decided he needed one so he wouldn't get left behind. Only he didn't see why they all had to cost so much and just what were they good for anyway?

    We were closed on Sunday, but on Monday, Jeff got a call from Mr. Bonk and spent at least an hour talking to him on the phone. Gravelly voice, teeth grinding and all. Over the next few days Jeff had several more similar conversations with Mr. Bonk and it got to the point where he was scared to answer his phone for fear it might be him. Jeff swears that each time he called he was just as drunk and belligerent as that first night. He kept complaining that the computer Jeff sold him didn't work right, and no matter how much Jeff talked him through it, it was all to no avail.

    Once Jeff started ducking his calls, Mr. Bonk started calling on our line. "This is Larry Bonk. I want to talk to Jeff...grind, grind, grind...ARE YOU GOING TO HANG UP ON ME!?" Pretty soon, Jeff wouldn't take transferred calls from us unless we swore to him it wasn't Larry Bonk. Of course, we lied. "Jeff! Line one. No, it's not him, it's some other guy."

    Finally, Jeff told Mr. Bonk to just bring it back and they'd hook it up in the store and try it out to make sure it didn't work. The day Mr. Bonk came in, he was hammered to the gills. Being naturally curious, I kind of hung around close enough to hear what was going on, but far enough away not to get sucked in. Jeff did a good job keeping his cool and setting the thing up at one of the displays. Jeff typed in a simple two or three line program and the thing seemed to work just fine. He turned to Mr. Bonk and said, "It seems to work just fine, maybe it's something you were doing. Show me what you've been doing so I can figure out what's wrong." And Mr. Bonk walks up to the TV and says ...

    "GO!"

    Fully expecting the computer to work all sorts of miracles and signs and wonders of the modern age.

    "See! It doesn't work. I can't get the *&^*&% thing to do anything!" Grind. Grind. Grind.

    I had to literally run out of the store to keep Mr. Bonk from hearing me burst out laughing.

    By the time I had regained my composure and came back, Jeff had written up a refund ticket and was handing Mr. Bonk his money back. "What'd you say?" I asked. "I basically told him he was too stupid to own a computer and if he promised never to come back, I'd give him his money back."

    Of course story doesn't end there.

    For the next couple of months, when the store got really slow, one of us would call the other line and when Jeff answered say, with as much gravel as we could, "This is Larry Bonk...ARE YOU GOING TO HANG UP ON ME!?" Of course, we'd all bust out laughing and then when Jeff would slam the phone down and start cussing, we'd laugh again.

    Ah, those were the days...

    (may they never return)

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    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    Soundtrack by Don Henley

    Mrs. A's post I referenced yesterday talks about doing the Aardvark's laundry. Jordana thinks I might be a little bit spoiled (I am, but not by a little bit - rather by a lotta bit) and EarthGirl was nice enough to point me to a site with instructions on how to do my own. (along with a pointer to an EBay auction for fabric softener coupons so I wouldn't be so clingy! Heh.)

    I want it to be known that I used to do the laundry, and in dire need could do so again. It's just not as simple as it used to be.

    When all you owned were blue jeans and T-shirts, the laundry was fairly simple. Towels, jeans and dark T-shirts over there and socks, undies and light T-shirts over here. Sheets were a load by themselves unless you had just a few socks and things and then they got thrown in with that load. Everything got washed and then went in the dryer, which back then just had one setting: Nu-Q-lar®.

    Now it's oh-so-different. Half the clothes nowadays get some sort of preferential treatment. This shirt gets washed with this load, unless that shirt is in there and then it gets washed with THAT load. And it needs to be hung to air dry unless it's one of the YAC's, in which case it can go in the dryer, but you have to have the dryer set to Sup-R-Fluff-O-Rama® and then listen for the buzzer to pull it out and then reset the timer for another 10 minutes, but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Sunday afternoons. Otherwise the dryer can be set to Scorch-O-Matic®, but the shirt must be pulled out after 5 minutes and shaken to the four corners of the room then placed flat on the drying rack.

    And that's not even talking about which pre-treat-soak-n-scrub-n-scour-alpha-hydro-deterge-a-mide-a-softener to use and when. I kid you not (well...maybe just a teensy bit). It takes a PhD to do laundry these days.

    When Mrs. A got home on Saturday she called for The Great Laundry Migration to gather all of the dirty clothes from their various far-flung exotic locales and form a single mound in the middle of the garage (which if you remember, is NOT a garage any longer). And then she proceeded to sort it into smaller piles which were then prioritized according to how desperately we needed the clothing of that particular type. She brought me in and explained what was in each pile.

    "This is a dark load and most of your work shirts are there, except for the dark green one which goes over there. Oh, and the purple one and red one go in this pile because I wash all our purple and red things separately in case they bleed. This is the white load and over here are the jeans and towels, except for the kitchen towels because they go here. Now my underwear goes in this pile, because it gets washed in cold, but the kids underwear goes over in that pile. If we have enough, I separate this into two loads, otherwise they get combined together, or you could put this half with that load and the other half with that one."

    I found myself nodding and trying to back slowly out of the room. "Uh, yeah. I've got it ... uh ... I think. Why don't I just stay out of your way?"

    A little while later I came upon a pair of my unmentionables and proudly took them into the garage and deposited them on the correct pile. "Heh. What a good boy am I." Or so I thought.

    The next day Mrs. A informed me, "You put your underwear on the white pile, but they don't go there because I wash the white load in hot water and your underwear only get washed in warm."

    You know, if it's all the same to you, I think I'd rather stay spoiled and clingy.

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    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    For the record

    I'm ALWAYS clingy.

    UPDATE: Mom has been moved out of rehab and back into a normal hospital room. Tests, tests, and more tests, but still no indication of what is really wrong. So, whether Mrs. A will be back tomorrow or not is still up in the air. Your continued prayers are appreciated.

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    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    WWTMI - The Next Generation

    First there was Too Much Information.

    Too Much Information was united with Completely Clueless and they begat Way Too Much Information.

    Way Too Much Information married It's All About Me and sired Way WAY Too Much Information.

    Who made an appearance in my office cubicle this morning.

    Over the years, I've learned (the hard way) not to ask certain questions.

    When an employee tells you that they need to take off to attend a doctor visit,

    You DON'T ask: "What's the matter?" Trust me, you don't want to know.

    You DO say: "I hope everything is all right." Which requires no detailed description of EXACTLY what's wrong, how long it's been there and all possible courses of treatment with their concomitant side effects.

    In spite of that easy out, some folks have already rehearsed the conversation in their heads and expect to give a full accounting of their problems.

    Trust me when I say I do NOT need to know about:

    Your sexual history
    The status of your reproductive organs
    The regularity of your bowels
    The location of any ingrown hairs
    The occurrence of bursting pustules.

    I will let you take time-off to see the doctor without ANY of this information.

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    Friday Night Follies

    Got a call form the EAC Friday afternoon asking if K could ride to and from the game with us. She didn't sound too happy to be asking, which makes sense, since K has not been afforded "Most Favored Classmate" status, but evidently his ride backed out at the last minute and he was desperately trying to find another. And since K knew me, he decided to beg the EAC to ask.

    K was Cornelius in My Fair Lady Hello Dolly [need to fire that copy editor](which is how he knows me) and is really quite a talented actor. But like a lot of actors (and non-actors, for that matter) he has a big ego that he needs to feed on a regular basis. Which is why he's not on the EAC's list (see Horn, Tooting One's Own). His self-promotion for the title of Mr. Fine Arts has worn thin (one of the reasons he wanted to go the game so desperately - since he's not IN the band, he can at least say he was there SUPPORTING the band). I told the EAC that it was fine with me if he rode with us. I got his phone number and called him once I got home to find out where he lived and tell him what time we (the YAC and I) would be there.

    The YAC brought a book and rode in the back seat. I put K up front so she wouldn't have to deal with him. K is really quite a likeable kid once you get past his front. I think most of his self-promoting bravado is really a mask for some deep seated insecurities (having your own makes them easier to recognize in others). I don't know what his home life is like, but it struck me that he could really use a male role model. He seemed to soak up the conversation and became less self-promoting the longer we talked. Like he realized he didn't have to draw my attention because I really was interested in what he had to say or something. I think that surprised him a little.

    Anyway, it was a good trip to Corinth, TX and back (with the EAC added into the mix on the way back). About a 45 minute drive North and then Southeast (proving once again, you can't get there from here). I really think the folks in Corinth (NW of Dallas) missed an opportunity by forming the Lake Dallas ISD. They were THIS close to being the Corinthians...then again they probably just didn't want to hassle with the folks from the ACLU. So instead of facing the Corinthian Centurions or the Corinthian Phalanx or the Corinthian Legion or the Corinthian Guard, we faced off against the Lake Dallas Falcons. Just doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

    The Falcons moved up a classification this year to 4A. We're a 3A school. And then there was the whole thing with the Falcons making it to the State Playoffs last year...let's just say it wasn't the Blue and Red's best night, ok? Oddly enough, I predicted the final score midway through the second quarter. The Falcons finished at 12 under par and we were just set to tee-off. Too bad we weren't watching them play golf. Final score 60-0. Ouch.

    And the band didn't have a great night either. Not that I could tell, since at the last minute, I got roped into taking pictures of someone's little darling with their digital camera. So, instead of being able to watch the show, I spent my time trying to figure out where this kid was and then trying to catch him standing still so the picture wouldn't be all blurry. I took about 20 shots by the midpoint of the show and I decided I should check to see how they were coming out. (it being a totally foreign camera to me up until fifteen minutes prior) I was not real happy to see that only the first two shots were in the memory.

    Here's a hint. When you want pictures of your child's performance and your memory card holds 142 shots, perhaps you should clear off some of the old shots from April and May so you don't already have 140 shots on the card before you hand it to me. Just saying.

    So, I didn't really get to see much of the halftime show. I did hear later that the low brass had really created a mess when they all came in two beats early at one point. When all your formations depend on everyone having the right count, well...

    The Lake Dallas band's half-time show was music from the Pirates of the Caribbean and their flag corps were dressed like pirates. Being pirate freaks, the EAC and the YAC both had to purchase a pirate bandanna at the concession stand. Then they didn't understand why I wouldn't let them run around afterwards with them on. Hello? Gang activity? Anyone? Maybe I'm just too protective, but I don't need some punk-*** thug driving by and mistaking my kids for rival gang members. Not that Corinth is a hot-bed of gang activity, but you never know these days.

    Anyway, there's nothing quite like Friday Night Football in Texas, unless it's Friday Night Football in Alabama, or Georgia, or Tennessee, or Florida, or ... well, you get the point.

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    Friday, September 03, 2004

    Post-Game Wrap-Up

    Couldn't have asked for a nicer night to watch some football. Temperature at kick-off was a breezy 83 degrees. The game was broadcast on ESPN (which I still say sounds like the call letters for a Univision station) and so the cameras were set up. One just to the right of where I sit, blocking most of my view of the South end-zone. Grrr. But it was interesting watching the cameraman work. Having run the camera for the wedding of Mrs. A's niece, I have a greater appreciation for just how hard it is to do it well.

    The band came out before the game and played a couple of songs. I just don't get why band directors pick guitar-heavy pop/rock songs (as opposed to Pop Rocks songs - which are mostly percussion and can't be heard further than a couple of seats away) that are arranged for brass-heavy bands. If you're going to pick a pop/rock song that's been arranged for bands, at least take one from folks like Chicago, Gloria Estefan, or Earth, Wind & Fire who have a lot of brass (take that how you will) in their songs already. Instead, we got an arrangement of Journey's Any Way You Want It. Bleah. And I don't know how many years now they've played a jazz arrangement of Deep In The Heart Of Texas, but it's too many. Just because the Assistant Band Director is the one who arranged it, doesn't REQUIRE it be played. Every. Stinking. Year.

    Played the Alma Mater (ONE song that I do know the words to, Jordana!) and then we had the invocation. There's a new Minister to the University this year, but the invocation was the same treacly mustn't-offend-anyone-ever community/faith/comradeship/brotherhood/unity mush that's been doled out for years. (I half expect to be told that we should take a minute, turn to the person sitting next to us and talk about our feeeeeeelings. Gah!) I don't know who or what was being invoked as there didn't seem to be a Deity involved. It just goes to show you that when you water everything down to not offend you still do 'cause I'M offended. It's Texas CHRISTIAN University. Is it too much to ask that Christ is actually referenced every so often? Evidently.

    The Big Dog showed up right as the Star Spangled Banner was beginning (another song I know the words to), so he had to wait until that was over before making his way to his seat. TCU's mascot (SuperFrog - this is what he used to look like) made it on camera, and this year's incarnation has him showing a lot of teeth in some sort of grimace. I think they're trying to make him look tougher, but the Big Dog and I agreed it looked more like he was suffering from gastritis or trying to pass a kidney stone. (or maybe one too many bowls of Super Colon Blow)

    The Frogs took on the Northwestern University Wildcats (although, with a name like Northwestern I'd expect them to be, you know, from the ACTUAL Northwest, but who am I to question?) and it was a pretty good game with some big plays on both sides. The first half saw three kicks (a PAT for the Frogs and two FGAs for the Wildcats) hit the goal posts and fall back. Can't remember ever seeing that many in one game before. I thought the Wildcats played well and TCU played ... well enough. They had moments of brilliance and moments of ineptitude and never really seemed to take control of the game, even when they were up 28-14 early on.

    TCU wound up winning in 2OT, but I didn't see it. Or hear it. I decided I'd leave at 11 PM (still the 3rd quarter) so I could at least get SOME sleep. I don't think the game ended until close to 1 AM. In my ever-so-humble opinion, it shouldn't have been nearly as close, but it's hard to overcome the disadvantage we had in the 2nd and 3rd quarters when Northwestern played 17 men to our 11. At least it seemed like those guys in stripes were playing for Northwestern. I understand officials making mistakes (I don't like it, but I understand) because those things happen. (Me? I never make mistakes **cough**cough**) It's when there are a series of mistakes that only seem to go in ONE direction that I begin to get irritated. There were five big calls (actually three calls and two non-calls) that tipped the scales in Northwestern's favor to the tune of about 24 points.

    First call was a pass interference call in the end-zone against a Frogs DB - the contact wasn't blatant and the ball was knocked away by the safety in front of the play, so whatever contact there was didn't affect the outcome of the play at all. Led to a Wildcat TD.

    First non-call was on a Frog pass play where the Wildcat DB tackled the receiver before the ball even got close. The ref ruled that the ball was uncatchable so there was no foul. It didn't look exceptionally high from where I was sitting or from the replay on the scoreboard. And, yeah the ball is going to go over the receiver's head when he's on his back when it gets there. Led to a TCU punt.

    Second call was a roughing-the-passer penalty against TCU, negating an interception that would have left TCU with a 1st and goal on about the 7 yard line. The contact was made just as the ball was released and it wasn't a vicious hit. I'm still scratching my head over that one. Led to a Wildcat FG. (I count that as a 10 point swing)

    Second non-call was again a Frog pass play where the receiver was taken to the ground before the ball got there. Again it was ruled uncatchable. Led to a TCU punt.

    Third call was as I was on my way out. I was passing close to the end-zone and had a great view of the play. Again there was incidental contact by a TCU DB on a Wildcat pass. I saw the pass go at least 8 feet over the receiver's head. Surely that would be ruled uncatchable too? Not a chance. 15 yards against the Frogs. The Wildcats scored a TD on the next play.

    (I understand I'm partisan about the Frogs, but I started to think maybe there were two sets of rules the refs were using - one for the Wildcats and one for us. It was almost like the Wildcats were Democrats and the Frogs Republicans...)

    When I got home, I had to laugh. The kids had (horrors!) put themselves to bed. Which means that all of the things Mrs. A and I do to "put the house to bed" didn't get done. The light in the kitchen, the computer, two lamps in the living room and the light in my bathroom had all been left on. I guess it never occurred to them to turn anything off when they went to bed.

    And no, I don't think it's because they were scared, I think it's because they're teenagers and as a result are naturally a little brain dead. It's no accident that their nicknames used to be "Oops" and "I forgot".

    Tonight? It's HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL!!!!!

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    Thursday, September 02, 2004

    Quit picking on me...or I'm telling.

    I got this inquiry in the referral log today: Do A Aardvark have A Backbone?

    STOP QUESTIONING MY PATRIOTISM!!!!

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    FOOTBALL!!!!!

    It's here at last! TCU's home opener is tonight and I've got my ticket in my pocket!

    Since Mrs. A is out of town, I'm taking along a buddy of mine - the Big Dog. The game doesn't start until 8:30 because it's televised. Yikes. I don't think I can make it throught the whole game. Need my beauty sleep and all that.

    And don't tell Child Protective Services, but I'm leaving my kids HOME ALONE! At seventeen and almost fourteen, they should be able to behave for a couple of hours without supervision. Plus I'll have my phone with me.

    I'd take them with me, but it is a school night and with Mrs. A gone, they've been getting up earlier than usual to make their own lunches and so they're already dragging without me keeping them out late.

    I rationalized that well, don't you think?

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    Decisions, decisions

    Caught a couple of interviews on the radio yesterday. I can't remember which program it was. Sean Hannity's I think.

    Back to back were Bob Mulholland - a Democratic operative from California, and Terry McAuliffe - Chairman of the DNC.

    I have come to the realize that there are only two choices:

    1. Either these guys are incredibly stupid and believe everything they say

    or

    2. They're not stupid, but they think I am.

    My money's on option 2.

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    Wednesday, September 01, 2004

    Texas soul

    The reason I was out driving last night is that the Youngest Aardvark Child had an oboe lesson. In Arlington. Which is where I work now. Which means I had to drive the 24 miles home to get her just to drive back.

    She brought a book along (shocking! (not really - it'd be shocking if she DIDN'T)) to amuse herself, and I had the radio with convention coverage to keep me entertained. One of the breaks featured a commercial by Nolan Ryan. Y'all know Nolan Ryan, right? Big goofy guy who made big money playing catch? Nolan is Texan to the core. When he talks there's no mistaking where he's from.

    He was shilling for Olshan Foundation Repair (that's houses, not girdles, bras, panties and slips (I just wanted an excuse to say "girdles, bras, panties and slips" if you must know)). Foundation repair is a big business in Texas due to the heat and type of soil we have here. It's a good thing I knew what the commercial was for or I might have thought Nolan had become a preacher the way he kept talking about the Texas soul.

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    Driving me crazy

    I don't know if it's just the lingering effects of the last full moon or there is something in the water locally (another reason to only drink cokes (as in the Southern generic coke-as-catch-all-generic-term-for-fizzy-drinks, not as in Coca Cola (although that certainly is an option))) or the mind-control satellites have gone slightly out of alignment or what...

    But I think I've seen enough bad/scary/weird driving things in the last 24 hours to last me for quite a while.

    * Like the guy in the old Econoline van who was drinking SOMEthing straight from a gallon jug while traveling at 10 MPH below the posted speed. (although with the Econoline that part is understandable)

    * Or the two cars that were bumper to bumper traveling 60 MPH - an older model Mercedes in front, a really old Ford Galaxy (or similar behemoth) behind. I first noticed them when the Mercedes started swerving violently from side to side. I thought the Ford had rammed him. Then I noticed the Ford had it's hazard lights on. Hmmm. The Mercedes must be towing the Ford. They need to slow down if the Mercedes is that difficult to handle in this situation. As I sped up and moved over another lane to pass them with as much room as possible, I realized I was wrong. The Ford HAD rammed the Mercedes, but only because the Ford was PUSHING the Mercedes bumper-to-bumper! A dangerous maneuver at slow speeds on lightly traveled roads.

    * Or the car that zipped from the far left lane to the far right lane right at an on-ramp with yet another car at full speed ready to merge. Both of them hit the accelerator and had to be doing at least 90 before the on-ramp petered out and that car edged his way in front of the other car.

    What's really freaky is that these three incidents were within 3 minutes and 3 miles of each other! I was just glad to make it safely home.

    Then this morning, there were at least half a dozen jerks who felt it necessary to zip in and out of lanes like madmen, braking and accelerating with wild abandon.

    I'm telling you, my next car is going to have steel plating, rocket launchers and a tranquilizer dispenser. (not necessarily in that order)

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