Band-Aids needed

So for Sam’s 6th birthday the collective geniuses that = me and Jen decided to buy Rock Band for our Wii. This may eventually go down as one of the biggest mistakes ever. Interestingly PLAYING Rock Band is quite similar to being IN a Rock Band. Here’s why:

1. – All of the band members think they are better players than they really are.

2. – The latest gig ended up with the drummer freaking out and kicking the other members out of the band. (That was me)

3. – The guitarist / bass player is moody and can’t get along with the lead singer.

4. – Don’t even get me started on the manager…she is strung out on all sorts of medication.

Here are some promo shots of our band – Lorax


This photo is staged. No way would I look like that unless I was trying to look goofy.

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Since the economy needs all the jobs it can get these days I won’t take my latest observation to the CEO’s of Target, Wal-MArt, or (insert favorite grocery store here). Why do we have an army of people dedicated to the collection, organizing and returning of shopping carts? I was at a large Wal-MArt the other day and there were carts everywhere. Up on curbs, piled high in the parking spaces…everywhere. This may be becoming an overused phrase in this blog, but I wonder why we don’t do things the way they do in Europe? Maybe there are places that do things differently in the states somewhere, but I’ve never seen it.

The concept is simple. All the carts require a coin to use and you get the coin back when you return the cart to the line of other carts. Here is a picture:


The only downfall I see to this here is that our coin of choice would probably be a quarter. In most places in Europe it was a Euro. (Dollar’ish) I think a lot of Americans would decide to leave the quarter behind for the laziness of not taking the cart back. I also think that a clever person would know this and make a pretty good chunk of change in a large parking lot chasing those lazy Americans quarters for them. I guess it would achieve the same goal. Some of the grocery stores even would give you a slug coin with their logo on it to carry around with you so you would always have “the coin” Just trying to help America.

Taking the plunge

As mentioned, Sam wanted everyone to jump in the pool with their clothes on for his birthday. Why? Who knows. This kid is the product of some very goofy genetic code. We will likely be repeating this next year. Better to preserve a relatively tame tradition than to leave it open to his creative imagination to come up with something that might be more daunting. As promised, here is the video.

Will you still need me?, will you still feed me?...

Today is Sam’s birthday. Grandma and Grandpa Carroll are here. The weather is great. I think Sam picked a perfect day to join us 6 years ago. This is also the 1 year anniversary of my dad finishing his chemotherapy. It’s already been “one of those weeks”, but as I type this I know that things are ok.



Stay tuned because one of Sam’s wishes for his birthday is that everyone is to jump in the pool with their clothes on. I’m not kidding. I think this is best served by video.

All aboard!!

I only have myself to blame. “What does Sam want for Christmas?” they asked, all innocent and grandparenty. “He says he wants a train set” I replied ignorantly and without foresight. It even seemed ok Christmas morning when he excitedly opened the train set and rejoiced that someone was actually paying attention to him when he asked for a train.


So now here it is May and I’ve discovered that you can’t really have a train set without a proper place to set up the train. Grandma and Grandpa #2 (You know who you are) complicated matters by chipping in for some train “accessories” and lo and behold we are now about $4,159.23 into this hobby of mine. Yes…my hobby. Sam just wants to turn the dial and watch the train roll around for 5 minutes and then it’s on to the next thing. I’m about 80 man hours into building Sam a table to run OUR train on and I thought I would share this adventure with you. Here is some early construction photos.

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Okay, so they are both the same picture really. You get the point. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know how the lake turns out. Yes. Lake.


Why was the dyslexic kicked out of the bar?

He was spitting in the TIPS jar

Ahhh. I get him now.

I should have posted this before my last post…it would explain things.


A litter bit of this, a litter bit of that…

Ok only two things to post tonight. Late night idiotic things that probably only occur to me.

#1 – I’ve always had this fascination with the “no littering” sign. Here’s my stupid logic. One does not litter, one throws their shit on the ground, at which point it becomes litter. Where the heck did the word litter come from anyhow? I like my straightforward approach better. “Don’t throw your shit on the ground!” They probably use the word litter because they pay by the letter.

#2 – We walked by a place tonight called “The Pretzel Twister”. I remarked that is really should be called “The Dough Twister”. Why would someone twist a pretzel? It’s already twisted. See? I told you my mind is kind of whacked. I didn’t catch Jen rolling her eyes at this observation, but I’m sure it happened.

imageThat’s really it for now. Just be happy I posted something two days in a row. I was inspired that I received a renewal notice for “” and figured I’d better step it back up. I’ll keep trying. It’s not as easy as you think to observe. Larry is visiting next week. I think I’ll ask him for some ideas.

Heat miser is coming to town

It’s getting to be that time of year here in Florida. Bizarro time. Most of the country waits until summer to have fairs, beach days, vacations to the theme parks, but in Florida we treat it like the rest of the country’s winter. Everyone waves goodbye to each other for the summer and disappears into the air conditioning. When fall rolls around we all gather back out in front of our houses and talk about what a hard summer it was. We don’t trade stories of shoveling snow or skidding our cars into ditches. We talk about when little Timmy thought it would be funny to pull the thermostat off the wall and we had to wait 4 hours before the air conditioning man could make it. We almost lost poor ma. We tell the funny story of how dad still has steering wheel marks on his hands from the third degree burns he received when he forgot to check how hot it was inside the car. Oh sure we sometimes run into each other at the super market, but instead of parkas and snow boots we walk quickly across the parking lot to avoid having our shoes melt, or picking up a quick forming melanoma. Well it’s been nice getting back to writing here, but I have to go throw some freon in the old AC. Don’t want to get caught in the scorcher of ‘10 without some planning ahead.

I don’t like spiders and snakes

I’m scared of snakes, mice, frogs, all slimy things and probably some things I don’t even remember. The kids think this is funny and so does Jen. Why do I have to be cool with everything? Why can’t a guy or a dad be freaked out by the occasional rodent or amphibian? Here are some events that have really helped cement these fears.

-  Opening the pool skimmer and finding a snake, or in Rhode Island I would find a dead mouse about once a week. It gave me the creeps to simply scoop them out of the pool with the 20 foot pole.

-  Picking up the toy snake off of my tool bench only to find out that it was the real thing. I didn’t go near the tool bench for a week. I still give it a good look before I reach for anything.

-  The other day when I was checking the pool equipment I stepped on a frog. There’s nothing like the squish of raw frog between your toes to signify that summer is just around the corner.

-  I used to run over garter snakes when mowing my parent’s lawn in Orion. The Lawn Boy spitting snake parts across the lawn will also give you lifetime heebie jeebies.

There. I wrote it. The next person who tries to hand me a cute lizard is going to get smacked…once they put it down.

Hell’s bells

I was riding my bike this week to get my daily average above 2/10ths of a mile per day, when I encountered an interesting cultural clash. Being the polite and informed bike rider that I am, I gave a friendly and safety minded “ching ching” bell ring to a couple that was walking ahead of me on the sidewalk. In Europe I found that this was meant with complete indifference, a friendly wave, or even a “here’s some more room” maneuver by the warned party. In Land O Lakes, apparently, the sound of a bicycle bell means “Look out I’m going to kill you by running over you with my bike” because that is the reaction that the lady closest to my bike at the time, had. She must have jumped 20 feet and likely peed her pants. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out, I just gave them a wave and yelled, “Sorry!”. Curiously this reminded me of a similar issue the last time I gave another walker a bell warning on the same stretch of sidewalk. Basically the same circumstances, but I could only make out a curse word or two after I zinged by. It didn’t occur to me at the time that I was the recipient of the curse words. If these people think it’s an affront or a scare tactic to have a bike bell aimed in their direction, just imagine their surprise when they get a load of the air horn I just bought. If they are going be all freaky about getting warned off I’m gonna have a little fun with them.