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Doggie Wars

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.”

- Langston Coleman

I got a pretty good racket going here.

Every Wednesday, we invite friends and family over to watch TV.

OK, ONE friend and ONE family.

But we are consistent and it’s like a standing date every week. It all started with bringing people over for American Idol and the one friend, Paola…

… started coming and bringing her schizoid dog, Kuku over. Yes, the famed Kuku who beshat my trampoline last Thanksgiving.

Anyway, they are a weekly guest and as Paola walks through the garage door every week, I hand HER a cold Coors Light in a bottle and KUKU a hard kick to the side of the head. Just one more thing to look forward to every week.

A few months back, my cousin moved into town to go to college so we started inviting him. He’s been pretty consistent and since he is only 19, he gets handed a Gatorade.

He has no schizoid dog so there is no story there.

What happened tonight needed to happen for a long time. You see, Kuku is a Sheba Inu which means he is:

- Small
- Fox-like
- Hyper
- Skittish
- Stupid

That last one is evidenced because he will pick fights he cannot possibly win.

Now it’s my contention that until he gets his little ass handed to him, he will continue in this behavior.

Paola, on the other hand, chooses to protect him from his own idiocy and will break up any fights and then cuddle him, reinforcing the bad behavior.

Now, you all know my dog Buster. Despite him being half pit bull and half Rhodesian Ridgeback, he is as vicious as a goldfish. Unless you are a cat, you will never be harmed by this beast. He is usually very friendly submissive to any other dog he comes across.

Even Kuku.

To a point.

They get along and as a testament to Buster, Kuku has shown amazing self-control by interacting with Buster. Every once in awhile, Kuku will pick a fight and Buster will put up with it to a point until, oh yeah, it’s showtime (especially over rawhide bones) but Paola will break it up before they establish their dominance like THEY NEED TO or this will just continue.

Paola thinks Buster will kill Kuku. I don’t think that would happen but I think Kuku would learn a little lesson in ass-handiness from Buster that would forestall future conflicts.

So tonight I’m sitting on the couch and Buster is on the chase (yes, he gets the chase) gnawing on a rawhide bone. The ladies are in the kitchen and Kuku comes inching up to Buster, just under my feet. He spies the rawhide bone and inches closer.

Buster lets out a warning growl that says “Look, bitch, don’t even THINK about it.”

Kuku, being the retard that he is, chooses to ignore this and starts inching closer, baring his teeth.

Buster gives another warning (which I thought was admirable of him) but Kuku continues his aggression by inching forward.

Here is where I get involved, much to the dismay of the ladies later.

I couldn’t help it. Tensions were high and each was on a hair-triggger. It was just too god to pass up.

I slyly pull my foot up and nudge Kuku in the hamstrings while making a loud “SSSSST!” sound.

ALL.

HELL.

BREAKS.

LOOSE.

Kuku lunges forward toward Buster to get away from my nudge and Buster interprets this as an attack. Buster opens his huge dog mouth and bears some intimidating looking teeth while letting out a roar that sounded amazingly like Simba on the top of Pride Rock.

Kuku goes forth with the attack proving he is utterly retarded.

In a flash, I have two very irate dogs in my feet-space discussing the politics of the day at a very high volume. I pull up my legs and let them make their various points.

Carrie and Paola come running in and Kuku is backing up, finally realizing his ass is about to get served sunny-side-kicked but he is still making a show of his toughness.

Buster has broken open the second case of whoop-ass and was busy opening each can therein with Kuku’s boy-parts.

The ladies get them apart and I don’t immediately admit my involvement in the festivities. That was saved until later when I told Carrie and then she goes and tells Paola.

Women.

Anyway, it needed to be done and hopefully Kuku will learn once and for all that Buster can eat his lunch any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

But something tells me that Kuku is too stupid to realize nor remember this.

My evidence?

Free Advice for Today: “Never buy a piece of jewelry that costs more than $100 without doing a little haggling.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Day Zzzzs

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “To my embarrassment I was born in bed with a lady.”

- Wilson Mizner

I have discussed this before but I will revisit this: I am a napper.

I mean, I am a napper like the Pope is Catholic. I would nap EVERY DAY if I was able.

As it is, I nap every Saturday and Sunday, even if only for a half hour. (My usual is about an hour to an hour and a half, longer if I ran big.)

I normally will catch a short catnap after dinner.

My mother is a napper. My brother isn’t. I don’t think my father is. My wife is not (although she will sometimes join me for 15 minutes or so until I move my pinky toe and then like a disturbed cat, she will get up and leave). My kids DEFINITELY are not nappers.

I used to think it was a stigma to admit you were. As though it represented some kind of weakness but I’ve come to discover that it’s just one of those things that you are or are not. Kind of like being pregnant.

That feeling went away when I started running because just about anyone could use a nap after a hard run. Was it an excuse to justify my naps? Highly doubtful but it’s so nice to fade away in my bed after a long run, a shower, and some food.

I was thrilled when I read this from the Marine I’m replacing in Saudi Arabia. I asked him about his typical day and he threw this in his timeline:


- 1300 – 1400: Mid day nap, yes I have adopted the Saudi mid-day habit of taking a nap, plus during the summer heat (summer lasts 8 months here) you won’t want to do much during this time of day.

Duuuuuuuuuuuude!!!!!!!

A year of sanctioned napping? I’m as happy as a little girl.

Oh, and I also found this the other day which spawned this entry.

So I’m going to take a fully justified nap now, if you’ll excuse me.

Free Advice for Today: “Order a Sundance catalog. Write to Customer Service Center, 1909 South 4250 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84104.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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The Truth Is Expensive

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.”

- O. Henry

See, now I’m pissed.

Awhile back I got it into my head that I wanted to watch all of the X-Files while I was deployed.

That probably had something to do with seeing the entire series at Costco for $260.

Then I forgot about it.

Then I remembered and looked on Amazon.com where the price had dropped to $169 and I about lost my mind. But it still wasn’t low enough to convince the wife that we needed to buy it RIGHT AWAY.

So I forgot about it again.

Until tonight and when I checked, it had shot back up to $230 which, of course PISSED ME OFF!

How can it go up like that again. It’s like a conspiracy!

And the final insult?

Carrie: “Oh, Babe, I was going to buy it for you. I really was but then I forgot.”

The truth is out there but the price to find it is still a bit too high.

Went to bed in a funk over this.

Free Advice for Today: “Get your name off mailing lists by writing to: Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Play Ball!

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “In all large corporations, there is a pervasive fear that someone, somewhere is having fun with a computer on company time. Networks help alleviate that fear.”

- John C. Dvorak

Time is getting short so I am trying to do as many things as I can with my family before I have to go away.

Like scratching “Wash Me” into Killjoy’s trunk and ruining her car just for kicks.

Actually, on today’s agenda was taking my family to the Padres game.

They lost. (The Padres, not my family).

This all came about because I was contacted by my fellow Presidential Classroom volunteer from way back in 2004 who is now also stationed in San Diego. She’s Navy but we were paired up as the volunteer leaders for our group of students. Her name is Katie.

Anyway, she emailed me last week and suggested we all should go to a Padres game together. The “we all” I’m referring to includes a fellow Marine Corps Major who was in the program with us and who also happens to be stationed in SOCAL. She is actually a fighter pilot stationed at Miramar and has flown combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, she has more combat missions than any other female Marine pilot in history. Her name is Amy.

Well, we set it up but Katie’s husband had a family emergency and they couldn’t make it but we went ahead with the plan even though the one that started it all had to bow out.

I then decided it would be fun to take the family so Amy got the tickets and we planned to meet at the ballpark.

It kind of stung to pony up $152 for tickets but we went to so many free games last year, I guess we can still count ourselves lucky. Plus, we were in the shade the whole time.

Beer for $9 a bottle?

Ouch.

We had a good time and I’m glad we spent the day at the ballpark with family and friend.

Today marks the anniversary of two important days for me.

As morbid as it sounds, it’s my favorite cat’s deathday. I loved Sid and I still miss him even though it’s been 11 years since he got leukemia and we had to put him to sleep. I was holding his head and was looking him in the eyes when we did it.

It also marks the 5th anniversary of the first marathon that I cracked 4 hours. On this day in 2003, I ran the Big Sur Marathon and ran a 3:57:57.

It was my 5th marathon overall (not counting the 50-mile ultra I ran in 2002) and I was absolutely stoked to break the 4-hour stone wall.

Free Advice for Today: “Never eat liver in a restaurant. Some things should be done only in the privacy of one’s home.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Wash Me

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.”

- Ellen DeGeneres

One week before my annual trail marathon in Lone Pine so what do I decide to do? Skip the run.

Eh, it was just a 12 miler anyway.

It just felt sooooo good to sleep in so that’s what I did.

When we got up, finally, we decided we should return the Weez to her rightful owner and set up a meeting place with Killjoy at a mall halfway between us.

I don’t know why but I was looking forward to hitting a mall because I had a very chick desire to buy something I didn’t need. I didn’t even know what, I just wanted to buy something.

Well, I didn’t buy anything. Just wandered around a mall throwing a bouncy ball to Weez and basically acting like a child.

Especially when we left before Killjoy and I drew “Wash Me” on her trunk.

This actually took place in the parking lot and it was on her car, just in case you misread that last part.

I then took my family to see “Baby Mama” which I thought was pretty funny since I like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Then I got to thinking and (spoiler alert) the “feel good” ending was that two women had babies out of wedlock.

Awww, how sweet.

After the movie, we went over to Best Buy so I could feed my geek and feed it I did. I was having a grand old time buying a Logitech headset for when I’m using Skype in Saudi Arabia and a 350 GB external hardrive to store my files until it was all ruined by a phone call to Killjoy.

She earned her name.

She basically accused me of scratching “Wash Me” into the paint of her car and how she can’t get it out so she is going to have to get her whole truck repainted.

I think she was exaggerating just a little (OK, a lot) and told her to just send me the bill.

Of course she said she wouldn’t but was still pissed.

My joy was officially killed.

At least I didn’t write what I really wanted to: “I wish my wife was this dirty.”

(saw it once on a car and laughed uncontrollably).

Free Advice for Today: “Carry a list of your wife’s important sizes in your wallet.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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The Return of Killjoy

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.”

- Faith Whittlesey


(Killjoy’s comment as she snapped this: “Aww, look, Ian gettin’ some man-love.” She is just wrong.)

I tried to get out of work early today so I could go to the DMV and get my license renewed (and to hang out there because that’s always the cool thing to do) but I was a little late. Oh well, I got out relatively early for a Friday (4:30) and headed home.

What do I find?

Some redhead in my house with an adorable little girl and a baby.

So I guess we were entertaining the pitiful Clifford for the evening.

We decided to make a run to Fudruckers because it’s only the best place in the world to eat when you are really hankering for a good burger.

Rant ALERT!

OK, now people, listen up. You are not supposed to take the big corner booths that seat 8 when you are only a party of TWO!

You selfish sons of bitches.

Not only did TWO out of the FOUR booths contain such sons of bitches but not even me standing there holding a BABY (see pic above) mattered to them.

You self-centered, discourteous, ass-clowns.

Anyway, we were forced into the drafty part of the restaurant and tried to enjoy our meal. Just me, two women, two teens, a girl, and a baby boy.

Killjoy ate like a full pounder, about a bale of fries, and washed it down with a jumbo Oreo shake.

OK, maybe that was me (only the 1/2 lb burger and I shared the shake with the Weez) but she did do a pretty destructive job on a big plate of nachos. I was scared to get my hands near the plate and when I did, I counted all my fingers on the return.

When we got home, everyone wanted me to see Juno that we had just bought on DVD so we sat down and watched it. I have to admit, it was pretty friggin’ funny and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

The boy in the movie is almost exactly like my son in looks and personality. It cracked me up in every scene he was in.

Killjoy ended up taking off and abandoning her daughter so we took her in and made sure she had a place to sleep.

I’d like to say that was the first time this has happened just like I’d like to say it will be the last but I’m afraid that both would be a dirty lie.

Almost as dirty as the car Killjoy drove off into the night.

Free Advice for Today: “Add to your children’s private library by giving them a hardback copy of one of the classics every birthday. Begin with their first birthday.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Staying Clean

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.”

- Arnold Toynbee

I could never be a drunk.

Or a drug addict.

Why? Because it’s wrong? Socially unacceptable?

Well, not exactly. I mean, it is those things but…

I don’t think I have the endurance. I’ve thought about this and I know how it feels to be drunk. It takes time and effort to get that way, you can’t get anything done when you’re in that state, and you are pretty much out of it the next day(s).

I don’t think I would have the strength to keep that up. I mean, I’m exhausted at the end of each day to the point that I basically pass out. To heap on top of that poisoning my body (even for the euphoria) and dealing with the consequences is unimaginable.

I see bums every time I run around San Diego and they look so utterly exhausted that even after my most trying running efforts, I don’t even compare. And this is just “another day in paradise” for them.

Plus, I would go nuts. To sacrifice my concentration, focus, and ability to read books or blogs, to write, plan, or organize … good God what would I do? Wallow in the false euphoria? Wouldn’t last.

I can go out and run 20 miles, sure, but I’m done for the day. And the next. But to continue that cycle….no way.

And that’s not even a good analogy because distance running helps your body in the long run (excuse the pun). I mean, you are getting healthier while enduring the physical and psychological stress. Being drunk or high moves you in the opposite direction.

But back to my point, even though I enjoy tearing my body to shreds through running, I question my ability to endure the ravages of alcoholism or drug abuse.

I don’t respect addicts or alcoholics by any means but I do pause to marvel at their endurance.

Free Advice for Today: “Once every couple of months enjoy a four-course meal–but eat each course at a different restaurant.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Welcome Back Chrissy

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Quote of the Day: “The computer is a moron.”

- Peter Drucker


(OK, not really the Pretender chick but I have no pic of the person I’m about to talk about)

Today I got a visit from an old friend.

She was the character in this story.

Short explanation of a lot of drama: She used to work on the Depot but then moved away to Virginia where her deployed husband was going to return to after his tour overseas. But they had problems and in the end, divorced, leaving her stuck in Virginia.

She works on the base at Quantico and was here for a conference. Since we had run together a few times, she contacted me and wanted to know if I was up for a run. So we did, today.

Worked out perfect because I still was not fully recovered from the big run last Saturday and even though Chrissy is a triathlete and could kick my buttocks in the other categories, I had her on the running front. Therefore, we ran just a little slower but still covered the 7.5 miles in a respectable time.

I know I made a few of my Marines curious about who the woman not-my-wife was doing going in my office in PT gear, seen leaving with me, and returning all hot and sweaty. They could figure out we went out running but none of them had the stones to ask who she was and I didn’t feel the need to explain.

They have all seen my wife and they should know I’m not trading in what I have. I mean, look at me.

And look at her.

Does anyone really think I could do better than that with the additional requirement of putting up with my sheeeeeeeet?

I think not.

Free Advice for Today: “Do 100 push-ups every day: 50 in the morning and 50 in the evening.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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The Non-Murdering Simpsons

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Quote of the Day: “What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expected generally happens.”

- Benjamin Disraeli

My face hurts.

From laughing and smiling.

I was bumbling around the net tonight and somehow ended up on YouTube where I searched out videos of people doing famous cartoon voices.

I have always been enthralled with this and love seeing real people do the cartoon voices they have made famous.

The most famous I have NEVER seen: Fred Flintstone.

Until now:

Anyway, I came across a 5-part episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio where the guests were the cast of The Simpsons.

I about laughed myself silly.

The great thing was that they had them all which is really only 6 people and they interviewed them both as real people and at certain points, “interviewed” the characters. The actors would seamlessly transition to their character’s voice and it was so weird to see such familiar and dead-on (of course) voices come out of these people.

Highly amusing.

Here are all five episodes:

You have to watch Bart and Moe do the prank call bit. It’s the best.

The guy who does Smithers and Mr. Burns cracks me up. I had seen all the others before but he was new to me.

The chick who plays Bart is the strangest to me. That voice coming out of a women: the most visually/audibly disjointed of them all.

Enjoy, I did.

Free Advice for Today: “Keep your private thoughts private.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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What a Twit!

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Quote of the Day: “Your theory is crazy, but it’s not crazy enough to be true.”

- Niels Bohr

I was not really all that eager to get a Twitter account.

I thought it was just one more of those Internet fad time-wasters for teens. Hell, I’ve resisted Facebook and only did a MySpace account so I could go to friends and family who insist I look at something on their page. NOT to be Chester the Molester which I feel like every time I log in.

Anyway, I was similarly forced to look into the world of Twitter today which, if you don’t know, kind of a microblogging site. The name is apt because you are supposed to flit in, write what you are doing/thinking at that moment, and flit away. The idea is to keep it short and sweet which, as you know, is quite difficult for me.

To help keep down the verbosity, they limit each entry to 140 characters.

Ouch.

So how did I end up there? Well, I found this and not only did I think it was a great concept, I realized I had already done something similar by taking a picture of me and my brother with the knowledge that we had taken the same picture at the same spot when we were kids. The result was this:

So I thought that I would send the pictures into this contest and see what happened.

(I also sent in these sets…)

Back to my story, well, to send the pics and track the results, you have to do it through Twitter so I had to create an account and voila, there I had it.

I was an official Twitter guy.

I feel so violated.

I tested it at work and they don’t block it so in theory, I could Twitter at work but I’m much too busy for that.

To enter the contest, I had to “follow” the group which is just like “friending” someone on other sites. It basically means you track them and they normally track you. Buddy, friend, whatever. Means the same thing: cyber-stalker.

Anyway, I ended up with the group, a woman who is part of a group I was asked to join (the contest rewards points that you get and if you are part of a team, they get the points too. Since she asked first, I joined that team), and the new team itself.

So yeah, I know have a blog, a webpage, a MySpace account, and now a Twitter account.

I’ve resisted AOL, Yahoo Messenger, and FaceBook but I feel the gravitation.

I’m waiting for reps from the Man Club to come knock on my door and demand my testes any day.

Free Advice for Today: “If you’re treated unfairly by an airline, contact the Consumer Affairs Office of the Department of Transportation at (202) 366-2220.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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