Thursday, June 29, 2006

Widows of the World Unite

This week I hosted a fellow widow and her three girls for two days. Originally from Holland, and now living in Phoenix, they were four lovely people.

We hung out at the bay on Tuesday, went on a speedboat dolphin watch and spent the afternoon on the beach swimming and playing in the waves. It was all a lot of fun, although I have a lot sheets and towels to wash.

Tomorrow, I am heading to Baltimore to meet up with another group of widows for a social get-together. How did people get by before the internet?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Kurt's lucky it wasn't a seagull

In Massachusetts, you have to be a bit more careful when blasting with your power washer.

A Window Washer was recently arrested then fired from his job for beating an annoying seagull to death.

For Kurt's sake, hopefully the Norfolk SPCA and his architectural firm aren't as militantly tree hugging as the ones in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
I walked out on my third floor deck yesterday to unfold the chairs and straighten things up a bit out there. I hadn't been out there since last fall, and my bedroom faces east, so I keep the blinds closed to keep the sun from baking me in the morning. So I pretty much had no clue what was going on out there.

I walked to the corner and reached for the stairs, to discover a pigeon nest underneath, with two chicks in it. I have never seen a pigeon nest before, and can now say with some authority that they are not very ambitious nest builders. In fact, they don't "build" nests at all, just kind of pile up some twigs and grass. And what a mess they leave behind.

I pressure washed the chicks off the edge (no, they couldn't fly yet, but they did sail quite well from the third floor under 1500 psi). After shoveling up the droppings, I proceed to pressure wash the rest of the deck.

Of course, all the dirt and grime I blasted off the third floor ended up on the second floor deck, so I had to do that, as well as all the furniture: eight chairs, two tables, and a swing. That done, of course I had the driveway to clean as well.

All in all, it took over 6 hours to get things straightened away. And my mother-in-law was horrified that I hadn't tried to save the birds. As if I would carry live baby pigeons into my house and feed them with an eyedropper. I don't think so.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

6 Months without My Suzy

I took my motorcycle in for its 7500 mile service this morning. While they were working on it, I walked about a mile to Krispy Kreme for coffee and the paper. People came and went, old couples, moms with kids in tow, people buying donuts by the dozen and taking them who-knows-where for who-knows-who.

After finishing my coffee, I walked back to the dealer, but they weren't done yet, so I walked to a nearby discount store to get a coke from the machine in front. As I stood there leaning against a post with nothing to do but wait, It really struck me. I. Am. Totally. Alone. There is nobody to pick me up or drop me off when I have my vehicle serviced. I have a cell phone with me, but I have nobody to call. And nobody will be calling me, either. After I pick up my bike, I will ride it home alone to my empty house.

With thoughts like that running around the old noggin, it wasn't long before I broke down. There I was in the parking lot at Value City, in my Harley riding gear, leaning against a pole and sobbing like a baby while trying to drink a coke. What a scene.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dispatch From the Religion of Peace

The RoP strikes again:
"We give the good news ... to the Islamic nation that we have carried God's verdict by slaughtering the two captured crusaders," said the claim, which appeared on an Islamic militant Web site where insurgent groups regularly post statements and videos.

"With God Almighty's blessing, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer carried out the verdict of the Islamic court" calling for the soldiers' slaying, the statement said.

The statement said the soldiers were "slaughtered," suggesting that al-Muhajer beheaded them. The Arabic word used in the statement, "nahr," is used for the slaughtering of sheep by cutting the throat and has been used in past statements to refer to beheadings.
Filthy barbarians.

Hurricane Names

With hurricane season upon us, I thought it a good time to post this list of alphabetical names I found a few years ago on the internet. This is what hurricanes might be called if we named them realistically.
Obviously, since my mom passed, language sensibilities have been relaxed around here.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Overheard At the Ballgame

I'm in line for a beer. Behind me are three young sailors.

Navy guy #1: "Man, look at that girl. She's cute!"

Navy guy #2: "She can take a swing around my pole anytime."

Navy guy #3: "Short ride, though, huh?"

. . . Long Pause . . .

Navy guy #2: "Man, I am trying for a comeback here, but I got nothing."

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The New Cars

I was in my car at work at I sat in the parking stunned to here a song called "Not Tonight" by what I thought was the group "the Cars."

Well it sounded pretty damn good, but it didn't quite sound like Ric Ocasek. Well, back home I've finally hit the internet and found out that the band doesn't have Ocasek or Benjamin Orr.

Side notes: Benjamin Orr was the bass player who used to sing "Drive" and some other songs. It seems he died young. And Ric Ocasek was the really goofy looking lead singer, who became every man with a big nose's idol when he captured the heart of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Babe Paulina Porizkova.

It turns out this is "the New Cars" now fronted by Tod Rundgren. According to the Boston Globe they're pretty good. According to the Boston Herald, a wrinkle Debbie Harry is better.

Would I pay 99 cents for the new tune? Probably not... But I probably won't change the radio station when it comes on either.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

They sent me a tree.

I went out and collected the mail today to discover a long, oblong box. It was marked "contains a live tree." Say what?

Opened it up, and sure enough, there was a little arborvitae in a little canvas root ball. The note inside read:
Mr. David B. Feeney and the staff at Feeney Funeral Home sent you a memory tree. We feel that this is a gift not only to you in memory of (Suzanne), but also to the whole world for generations to come.
I hadn't planned any yardwork for the weekend, but I guess I can plant this little thing. It came from a company in West Virginia that apparently exists soley for the purpose of mailing little sapplings to be planted in memory of somebody.

I guess I will put it out next to the driveway, since Suzy loved this house so much. By the way, is anyone else's dear spouse still managing to put brand new tasks on the to-do list?

It's also kind of nice that the funeral home remembers me after 5 1/2 months. Although for what that service cost, I guess it's not really surprising.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Now this is a Problem

Normally, I laugh in face of "government shutdowns." I figure if they ain't working, they ain't in my wallet. But this is another problem altogether:
RICHMOND - Lights out at the liquor stores? Limited visiting hours at state parks? No paychecks for state workers?

The possible fallout of a government shutdown became a little more clear Thursday as quarreling lawmakers were warned that they must agree on a budget next week or prepare for an unprecedented crisis in state government.
Now I can put up with a lot of bullshit from politicians, but when their incompetence threatens to shut down the liquor stores, they have simply gone too far. Why is the state running a monopoly in liquor retail anyway?

A pox on all of them!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Too Much Fun

Stolen directly from Right Wing News (who nabbed it from the freepers), this is too good let slide by for a Star Trek geek like myself.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dispatch From the Religion of Peace

If nothing else, the practioners of the Religion of Peace are consistent. Here is a report of their approach to the oppression of Muslims in Canada:
Spectators and family members of some of the 17 Muslim men accused of plotting terror attacks in Canada were stunned Tuesday when they heard allegations of plans to storm Parliament, take hostages and behead the prime minister. [...]

The details of the charges _ notably the purported plot to take political leaders hostage and behead them if Muslim prisoners were not freed in Afghanistan _ added a chilling dimension to a case that has led U.S. authorities to toughen security along the border and unsettled Canada's large Muslim community.
Let's get this straight. A group of Muslims plan to attack the Canadian government and cut off the prime ministers head, and the report characterizes the large Muslim community as "unsettled?" The rest of the western world is looking for outrage, indignation, condemnation. And the best the Muslim community can muster is "unsettled?"

In a related development, the Muslim lawyer community has sprung into action:
Arif Raza, who represents Saad Khalid, 19, said he had never been allowed to speak to his client and was not even allowed to slip him his business card so Khalid could attempt to call the lawyer from the Maplehurst Correctional Center outside of Toronto.
That's right folks, a man accused of threatening to behead the Prime Minister of Canada has been denied his right to a business card!! Oh the horrors of oppressive western regimes!

Monday, June 05, 2006

I rode my motorcycle through the rain Saturday morning, to visit with a high school (and elementary school and junior high school) friend now living in Northern Virginia outside of DC. We connected Saturday afternoon with a college buddy and a friend of his, and the four of us attended the Yankees-Orioles game at Camden Yards.

I would estimate the crowd at 60-40, Orioles fans to Yankees fans. The Yankee fans were much more vocal, though, and had no trouble overwhelming the O's fans. Let's go Yankees! rang through the ballpark all afternoon. I noticed that O's fans seem much more interested in hanging around eating crab cakes and gourmet barbecue than they are in watching a ballgame. I wonder if that is because the O's aren't playing well or because all the fine food and distractions at Oriole Park attract a fan with less inherent interest in baseball. At any rate, you don't hear them talking much baseball. I didn't see anybody with scorebook and a fistfull of sharp pencils

The contrast with Yankee fans is startling. Yankee fans don't just like baseball, they understand baseball. A batter hitting behind a runner is applauded for doing his job, even if he makes an out. The conversation in the stands is about whether 2-0 is a good count to send Jeter, or if they should wait for a breaking ball count. And Yankee fans keep score.

While I was able to talk some baseball with my friends, you didn't hear much of it from the other orange and black faithful. Yankees won, 6-5 in ten innings. The Orioles fan behind me declared it a "classic" game, in spite of the O's committing three errors and the Yankees leaving a dozen men on base.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Still Here

I am still here, but have been very busy with work. This weekend I am off to Northern Virginia to visit friends from high school and college, catching the Yankees and Orioles Saturday night. Too much going on for blogging right now. Hold down the fort, Cuz!