Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Brick in the Wall

KG's new boyfriend apparently came over today to do some more work on the wall. I must say I'm impressed, especially considering the weather was not pleasant today. From the forked tree to the left was all rebuilt today:

He knows how to stack stones:

This part of the wall was intact, but loose on the top. He cemented smaller stones to make a nice, stable top:

It should look pretty darn nice once it's done!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Pluck of the Irish

So, KG had the day off on Friday. She took her car into the shop for a much needed oil change. While she was waiting on said oil change (and repair/replacement of faulty oil cap) she came to the aid of an elderly Irishman looking for a car rental office. He had a thick accent and couldn't understand why U-Haul didn't have any cars.

At any rate, she hooked him up. He was so grateful, he returned a while later to thank her, and offer his services as a stone mason. Turns out he's from County Kerry in Southern Ireland. And he's a stonemason!

He showed up this morning, and sure enough, for $1250, he's rebuilding our stone wall, with Old World skillz! I'll be sure to take more pictures as it progresses. Hopefully during the day:

In other news: I bought a 42cc 18in Homelite chainsaw today. My stepfather and I managed to fell one of the offending trees along our perimeter. Three more to go. It didn't take long, and there was only one hairy point when the tree decided it wanted to fall through the fence and into the church's playground. Thankfully, we managed to talk it into leaning the other way and getting caught on one of the other trees. An hour later, we managed to get it to fall into my yard, where it literally exploded. It appears carpenter ants had eaten out the entire center of the tree.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Fall of Troy

I had one of those rare, weird moments on my drive in this morning where a song suddenly reaches out and throttles you, for no apparent reason.

I was listening to "Orphans" on the ride in this morning, the Bawlers disc. "The Fall of Troy" has been a favorite of mine for years, ever since I discovered it on the Dead Man Walking soundtrack. It's a melancholy song of loss and pain. There's just something about it that has always stirred me.

At any rate, as I was alone in the car I was singing along with Tom. I hit the second verse, and all of a sudden I was overcome by a hitching sob and tears sprung into my eyes. I couldn't keep singing. I had to stop for fear of actually breaking down. The song went on, and after it ended the feeling went away. When the song had started, I was feeling slightly groggy. When it ended, I was wide awake and refreshed.

What the fuck?

Over tired? Perhaps. The mention of a young boy named Nick going bad having a different resonance in my life now? Likely. I don't know. I think, for a brief moment there, I connected with the heart of the song. The emotion Tom was attempting to convey. It's kind of the flip side of one of those neck snapping moments. The one where a song makes you sit up straight and pledge allegiance to a particular musician. I've passionately loved Waits for many, many years. But today, he reached out of the speaker and made me feel something. Pretty damn cool.

It's the same with men as with horses and dogs
Nothing wants to die
Evelyn James they killed in a game
With guns too big for their hands
Just off St. Charles in No-Mans Land
And you'll have to find your own way home, boys
You'll have to find your own way home

The oldest was Troy, an eighteen year-old boy
Shot dead in March with a robbery
His brother started out to hell and to ruin
Troy's killer was never caught they say
Young nick he just went bad that day
Now he'll have to find his own way home, boys
He'll have to find his own way home

Why cook dinner?
Why make my bed?
Why come home at all?
Out the door and through the woods
There is a world where nothing grows

It's hard to say grace and to sit in the place
Of someone missing at the table
Mom's hair sprayed tight
And her face in her hands
Watching TV for answers to me
After all she's only human
And she's trying to find her own way home, boys
She's trying to find her own way home

My legs ache
My heart is sore
The well is full of pennies

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Farewell, jalopy

7 years, 62,000 miles spent together. In the end, you were a textbook example of a POS car, but that was mainly due to my neglect.

I have many fond memories. Driving around with KG, carrying my first born child home from the hospital. Sitting in traffic for 8 1/2 hours (Never forget: 12/13). You were a good car. A reliable car. Now you're gone.

$300 cash. That's what I got for you. Here's hoping the guy who carted you off breathes some life back into you. His verdict: Blown head gasket. Amongst other things.

Although I have a history of neglecting them, I'm fond of my various automobiles. This one was a trooper.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008


While surfing the internets today at work, I discovered a nifty virtual makeover app on Tazz.
I had some fun with it, and here are the horrifying results:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rock the Vote

Saddest lawn on the street #2
The saddest lawn on the street

DIY Network is having a contest to give a makeover to America's worst front yard. I submitted two pictures in the hopes of getting on and getting some much needed help with landscaping. Get your butt on over here, and help us out by rating our lawn the worst!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Definition of "WTF"

Sheriff: Woman Sat on Toilet for 2 Years

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Deputies say a woman in western Kansas became stuck on her boyfriend's toilet after sitting on it for two years.

Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman's skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.

"We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital," Whipple said. "The hospital removed it."

Whipple said investigators planned to present their report Wednesday to the county attorney, who will determine whether any charges should be filed against the woman's 36-year-old boyfriend.

"She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body," Whipple said. "It is hard to imagine. ... I still have a hard time imagining it myself."

He told investigators he brought his girlfriend food and water, and asked her every day to come out of the bathroom.

"And her reply would be, `Maybe tomorrow,'" Whipple said. "According to him, she did not want to leave the bathroom."

The boyfriend called police on Feb. 27 to report that "there was something wrong with his girlfriend," Whipple said, adding that he never explained why it took him two years to call.

Police found the clothed woman sitting on the toilet, her sweat pants down to her mid-thigh. She was "somewhat disoriented," and her legs looked like they had atrophied, Whipple said.

"She said that she didn't need any help, that she was OK and did not want to leave," he said.

She was taken to a hospital in Wichita, about 150 miles southeast of Ness City. Whipple said she has refused to cooperate with medical providers or law enforcement investigators.

Authorities said they did not know if she was mentally or physically disabled.

Police have declined to release the couple's names, but the house where authorities say the incident happened is listed in public records as the residence of Kory McFarren. No one answered his home phone number.

The case has been the buzz Ness City, said James Ellis, a neighbor.

"I don't think anybody can make any sense out of it," he said.

Ellis said he had known the woman since she was a child but that he had not seen her for at least six years.

He said she had a tough childhood after her mother died at a young age and apparently was usually kept inside the house as she grew up. At one time the woman worked for a long-term care facility, he said, but he did not know what kind of work she did there.

"It really doesn't surprise me," Ellis said of the bathroom incident. "What surprises me is somebody wasn't called in a bit earlier."

-Associated Press

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Toy of the week

Maximilian from Disney's The Black Hole. Funny story: I used to pretend the figure of Dr. Alex Durant was me, code named Lightening, when I played with my GI JOE guys.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Well, no matter how hard we tried, it didn't look like my Saturn was going to pass inspection. We received an unexpected donation to the Human Fund yesterday, so this afternoon KG and I went out and bought a new car:

We'll be picking it up on Tuesday. It's a 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan. Yup, we're suburbanites now.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Going out on a limb

TK8103 and KG
123 Fake St
Abington, MA

Re: Trees located on the property at 123 Fake Street Abington, MA

Dear TK and KG,

As you are aware, the trees bordering the property at the HD playground are in need either of removal or cutting back. We realize you have been cooperative with our Sexton, BC, in the past and we will gladly help in any way we can to remedy this situation.

Our first concern, of course, is that this is the play area for the nursery school and soon the children will want to come out to play and we can not safely allow this due to the current amount of limbs, both small and large, that have been dropping. Please call one of us at your earliest convenience to talk over the situation.

Thank you for your continued cooperation.

The Trustees of the
United Followers of Some Bearded Guy in Abington

Umm, go right ahead and remove the offending limbs, my friends.

To be fair, I went out and took a look at the trees in question as soon as I read the letter. There are 4 rather large trees bordering the property. One is dead, and looks to have dropped some sizable limbs. Another one is half dead, and in need of removal. I had actually been thinking about taking all 4 down at some point, as they are old and gnarly, and ripping the shit out of my little stone wall.

The folks at the church next door have been nice enough, and I appreciate their concern. Hell, I share it. If my precious snowflakes went to their daycare, I wouldn't want tree limbs falling on them either. I don't really anticipate a problem here, except for one thing. The trees are friggin huge. Half the cutting will need to be done on their side. It's either going to be a joint effort (which I'm all for), or we're going to have to split the cost of a tree removal service.

I noted to KG tonight that tree limbs only really fall in bad weather, when kids would not be outside playing anyway.

Whatever. We'll see how this develops.

Sweet dreams are made of this

Partial list of ingredients for Reese's Peanut butter Eggs: Nonfat milk, milk fat.

Wait, what?

Friday, March 07, 2008


I'd be happier if today's lovely weather was going to last. But, tomorrow we're getting a deluge.

I'm still waiting on my car, though the mechanic called and it should end up being under $300. Not bad. There's a major oil leak, but all I care about is getting it sticker worthy. I'll be upgrading in the near future.

Did some yard work, which was nice. I'd still be at it except for the fact I now have several huge piles of leaves and no where to put them. So, time to take it indoors, have a bite to eat and do some laundry.

I made a few changes to the blog, mostly updating the template and adding the "Call Me" button to the right. If you want to call and leave a voicemail, just click away. I haven't played with it yet, but apparently I can post voicemails on the blog. Cool.

Congrats to EG. Her and Vic secretly tied the know this week while on vacation. Looks like all the G girls now have new surnames.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hurm, indeed

364 days until Watchmen hits the theaters. To mark the occasion, the official Watchmen site released some character pics today. Sweet Jesus.

From what I've seen and heard so far, the only way Snyder can fuck this up is if he throws in the Max Rebo band and his intergalactic jizz blower. Since that's in the unlikely category, I'm fairly confident that this adaptation is going to be awesome.

Color me excited.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Blue light special

It's no secret my poor car has suffered neglect. The roof leaks, oil leaks, the brakes are squealing, the shocks are shot.
It runs, but not well.

We'll be retiring my trusted Saturn in the near future.

At any rate, my current inspection sticker expired at the end of the month. I took the car in Saturday, and much to my dismay (but not surprise), it failed. The "Check Engine" ( or in my case, "Service Engine Soon") light has been on for some time. The place I used to take it never noted it.

Apparently, it has something to do with the O2 sensor being slow to respond. So, the mechanic slapped a rejection sticker on it and suggested I make an appointment with them to look at it. I have 60 days to resolve the issue.

I made an appointment for Friday, requiring a day off from work.

Well, this morning, I pull out on to RT 18 and passed a cruiser. I silently counted 3 mississippis in my head, and sure enough there were the blue strobes in my rear view mirror.

I pulled over, got out my license and registration, and waited for Ms Cop to finish running my plate and come talk to me.

I wasn't surprised to get pulled over. Yes, I have 60 days, but the fuzz doesn't know that until they stop me. What did surprise me was the following exchange after the copper looked at my registration. (Note: the car is registered in KG's name.)

Cop: Is this your daughter's car?
Me: ?!?!?!

Yes, officer. The car is registered to my 2 year old daughter. Christ on a cracker, I know I have some gray hair, and this morning I was looking a little grizzled. But for fuck's sake, she had my license in her hand that clearly shows my birth year as 1973!

I must have given her a look, because she quickly said "Your wife's car?"

Damn, man. Color me pissed.

So, as soon as I got to work, I called the autoshop. Friday is as soon as I can take a day off. Here's hoping I can make it through the next two days without getting pulled over again.

Monday, March 03, 2008