He’s still talking about ice?

Disappeared for a week into the wilds of Rhode Island. I survived and even managed to return. I have things to write about, so check back later if you are inclined. While I was in RI I was rewarded for my 10 years of service with APC. I can’t believe I have been in another career for 10 years. I won’t bother to write about the “reward”, but by doing some math I have figured out that if I stay there for 50 more years I should get a really cool bonus. I have some pretty standard airport observations that might be worth refreshing the screen for later, but I’ll leave you with this. Some people can measure the amount of time they have been away from home by the excitement of the people that greet them….I can tell how long I’ve been away by the lack of ice in the freezer and the garbage bags that can’t go from the side of the house to the curb without my superman like ability to heft a can on wheels 15 feet. Check in soon.


Yes suh! – Look out Rhody

So this weekend I’m off to re-visit my former home in Rhode Island. The island itself is not large and the ferry to get there is always on time. I will be spending time at the worldwide headquarters of American Power Conversion, a subsidiary of Schneider Electric. APC, as we like to call it, sits smack dab in the middle of the sod farms of Rhode Island and frankly, if you could find the exact middle of nowhere in such a small state, APC is there.

Rhode Island is a strange place. I love it for a lot of reasons, my son was born there, my daughter was born there, my wife is from there…the list goes on, but I gotta tell you the place drives me crazy too. In Rhode Island there is an entirely different language, culture, and driving rules. Let me share with you some of my observations so that you don’t ever have to go there yourself and if you do, you have a heads up.

Language – There is an entire book devoted to the idioms and craziness of the Rhode Island dialect, but I was actually confused the first time I heard some of the terms, such as.

- Bubbler – One day a kid walked up to me in the halls of the APC world headquarters and asked me where the bubbler was. I thought he was looking for the CEO’s office, but as it turns out he meant the water fountain. Bubbler? (Correction – the pronunciation is “bubblah” as pointed out to me by long time RI resident obgram. I put it in the other way so you could figure out what the heck I was writing)

- Carriage – Yet another day I went to the grocery store with Jen and Sara and Jen yelled at Sara to get a carriage. Sara spoke the language, so she returned with a shopping cart. I thought to myself…well isn’t that dumb.

- Hot – I know what you’re thinking. I know this word, what’s the problem with that one? In Rhode Island this is the thing in your chest that keeps your blood pumping.

- Wicket – The spelling of this word can be seen a thousand ways, but it is a exclamatory statement put in front of other words to punch up the importance of what you just did or saw. “Dude….that was wicket cool!” Sometimes it can come after the event. “Them forttajuly fyahworks was wikkit!"

I could go on and on…check this page out. (Rhode Island expressions) I literally heard almost every one of of these expressions. There was a commercial on the radio for the first 6 months that I lived there that I could never understand what they were saying until I drove by the place at the exact same time the commercial played…something like “Supah quiky maht” I’ll take a picture of it when I’m there for you.

Driving -  Since this post is already quite long I’ll give you my single favorite RI maneuver and pick this up later if anyone is interested.

- Since Rhode Island is in New England and New Englanders are rude, then you will understand why this happens. There is no turn taking in Rhode Island. If you want to join the flow of traffic in any location you basically have to keep edging the nose of your car into that traffic until someone either hits you or chickens out. I would never join this game while I lived there and sometimes had to sit and wait for an opening for what was possibly hours. I’ve never seen anything like it. Oh…New Englanders aren’t necessarily rude, they just can’t be bothered.

This is my first trip to Rhode Island since starting this blog, so I will share with you yet another strange land. More later. Send ferry money!

Swede child of mine….(I know, lame)

It occurs to me that I said I was going to try to write something here every day since I have struggled to do so lately, so here you go.

Medical updates

Larry is doing ok.

Jen is doing ok

Probably neither one of them would agree with my assessment.

Life updates

I think someone is trying to send us a message or send us back to Sweden. Overnight, it seems, all of the fire hydrants in our sub-division were magically painted. What colors do they choose to paint them?

IMAG0032Curiously I went looking for some vague memory I have of our time in Sweden…lo and behold, Sweden is invading! This is the first step…taking over our fire protection services!

DSCN2924  DSCN2961 DSCN2921

They sneak the old Blue and gold into your life and next thing you know it’s Tusen Tak for your country, we own you.

Cars on the ground, cars on the ground…

Here are a couple of pictures of the people who think they are beating the “Don’t park on the road” rule here in Valencia gardens. I’m pretty sure our founding fathers did not have this in mind when they constructed our beloved Home owners association rules.

IMAG0029Here is another one of my favorite moves. I love going for a nice relaxing walk, but I have to bring my pole vaulting equipment with me.

IMAG0030and just in case you think it’s just the one guy in a white truck.


I’ll stop going on and on about it now. I’m sure everyone shares my anger and hurt over this topic.  

Oh, the long and dreary Winter! Oh, the cold and cruel Winter!

Ok, so it’s cold. People in Florida are really starting to get weird about it now. It’s been about 3 weeks of “Florida cold” weather, at times around 32 degrees or so, and these people are actually starting to get mad. At first they all think it is cute and when they get together for conversation they trade the old “Boy it sure is cold huh?” and then eventually someone says, “Yeah, I’m glad it doesn’t last 3 weeks”, or “Nothing like they are feeling in Chicago”. Now it’s like “What the #$%^& if up with this weather?” You know who is really mad though? The nudists. I wrote an post about Land O Lakes, FL being the “Nudist Capital of the WORLD!” a while back and those people are freaking out. First, there is no way that their wardrobe can withstand this kind of weather. I think they usually just stay inside when it is cold here and figure that it will pass. Second it is causing some of them to re-think their lifestyle choice. I’m pretty sure I saw some of them buying NEW clothes the other day at the mall and I hope they don’t get too attached to them…it could cause a second recession here in Land O Lakes. Pray for us.

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

This is for all the germ conscious folks that worry about using cold water to clean.

John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Saskatchewan

After spending a great evening chatting the night away, the next morning John’s grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking, ’Are these plates clean?’

His grandfather replied, ’They’re as clean as cold water can get em. Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!’

For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates, as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, ’Are you sure these plates are clean?’

Without looking up the old man said, ’I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don’t you fret, I don’t want to hear another word about it!’

Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather’s dog started to growl, and wouldn’t let him pass.

John yelled and said, ‘Grandfather, your dog won’t let me get to my car’.

Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted! ’Coldwater, go lay down now, yah hear me!’

Gripe and grin

I’ve decided that if I’m going to keep this blog going that I have to write something every day. Sorry if the content suffers due to this, but I’m trying here.

Today’s list of annoyances

- People who bring their dogs everywhere. When did this start? Lowes is the latest place that I spotted this. Jen told me that they had to kick a person out of the restaurant because they brought their dog in to eat with them.

- We have this rule in our little gated community that you are not supposed to park on the street. I like the rule, but like any rule people simply take it and twist it enough to make it seem ridiculous. The latest maneuver is to park on the grass between the sidewalk and the street, technically within the rules, but c’mon. Some people have even taken to parking in their yards. I’ll find a good picture of this stupid thing later.

- Buy one, get one free. Ugh. I didn’t want to get two, but I can’t get past the guilt of not taking the free one. Plus I know that if I hit the checkout lane without the free item the checkout person will give me grief.

- People who are buying gas, but only pull up to the back pump. I know this is silly, but there are rules people!

That should about cover it today. If I sit and write a really long list I’ll be here tomorrow wishing I had something else to write.

Bob Barker called…

I thought this was mildly amusing, so at the current level of standards I’m running, it gets its own entry.


Spay – Neuter Fathers? Wow….this is either a Urologist or a really angry mother.

On “E”

I am really running on empty here lately. Between heart doctors and medicine, and certain 14 year old children who will remain nameless, I’m wiped out. Maybe it’s the cold weather or the time of year. I think that January and February have got to be the most unglamorous months of the year. Every once in a while I spy a humorous event or situation and file it away in a place in my brain that apparently is not equipped with the latest long term memory technology.

On a Larry note things are doing ok. He has some tests that need to be further investigated, but I’ll just continue to think that things are ok until told otherwise. I talk on the phone with him every couple of days to make sure I’m not missing anything, but all I hear about is how he is going to send me the piano and a load of snow. This is a long running joke with us. He’s been trying to get rid of that piano for a while now.

Lets see if there are any pictures to share…

IMAG0004Sam has me trapped with some of his Xmas “toys”


Train ride at the local mall.

Looking through my pictures I see a picture that has a post of its own. Stay tuned.

I feel like dancing, dancing…

Ok, I’m on a roll, might as well post twice today.

I can’t take credit for the photography in this one, but one of my favorite sources of humor is our local rec. center and their info. sign. I’ll let the joke write itself and if you don’t think it’s funny, that’s ok.


Really? Dave again?

Since I have very little to write about lately, I have to re-visit topics and dig deeper.

I promised that I would provide better detail on the Late Night with David Letterman experience, so whether you like this topic or not, here it is.

We were under strict orders to show up outside the studio by 2:00 pm or we would never, under no circumstances ever be allowed near Dave again. Being the orderly, timely Midwesterner that I am we were there about 20 minute early freezing our asses off. We stood in line and showed our “Government issued ID cards” more times than we did on the flight to get there. It was a super efficient operation, color coding, ID cards, single file lines, all handled by what appeared to be 20’somethings with WAY too much energy. I like Dave, but cheering for him and proving that I AM EXCITED 50 times was a bit much. Oh…by the way..plenty of people showed up AFTER 2:00 and it didn’t seem to be a problem. Eventually we were ushered into the theatre and another 20’something dude proceeded to scream at us for about 20 minutes about “the rules”. No gum, no hats, no WOO HOO noises, no whistling, no photography, no yelling out, the list went on and on. The last rule was, whatever Dave says you were to laugh at it like you thought it was the funniest thing you ever heard.  Laugh first and think about it on the way home was the admonishment. We went inside, I popped a piece of gum in my mouth, put my hat back on and took a couple of pictures of the stage just to test how diligent everyone was. They didn’t find it amusing. Here are the remaining highlights of the taping.

- Dave must hate his suit jacket. Every time they cut to commercial he whipped that thing off and dropped it to the floor. Of course there was someone there to pick it up, dust it off and get it ready to put back on.

- The band was killer and they played the entire time. When there wasn’t a guest or a monologue going, on the band was playing. I couldn’t figure out how the crew was getting anything done with it so loud.

- The cue card guy was a genius. This dude was writing cue cards on the fly the whole time. I could smell the smell of marker from my seat the whole show.

- The announcer dude has the cushiest job on the planet. He plopped himself in the chair near me, did a couple of Daaavid Letttermannnn!!!!’s and called it a day.

Once the show was over we got kicked out quick. Funny thing is they shut down the bathrooms so nobody dawdled on the way out. Good call. Oh and NO PHOTOGRAPHY!!! – The couple snapping souvenir photos on the way out must have arrived at 2:16 and missed that part.

They aren’t booing! They’re chanting, “Dave”

So after all of the drama from last week the doctor insisted that Jen should keep our plans to visit NY intact and just take it slow…so we did.

I’ll write some “Behind the scenes at the Late Show” entry later because it was very interesting. For now here are a couple of pictures.


In case you couldn’t tell…it was COLD!