Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summertime odds and ends....7/24/14

I swear, the house WAS clean......

I think I have it figured out.  It takes hours to clean a house but only ten minutes to destroy it.

Kids in school:  Karla comes home and tells me that the house looks great -- (even though I clean like a man.....She will never hear the end of it)

Kids on summer break:  "Dear, I swear, the house was clean like an hour ago....I don't know how this could have happened."

Frustrating.......Very......Frustrating......

Do you think if I put a backboard on the laundry hamper that everyone's clothes will actually go IN it and not all around it?

I think attempting to keep a house clean with kids in it would give you much the same feeling you would get if you were being sent into a tank battle with a bicycle and a slingshot.......Freaking hopeless.

And the toilet.......why can't a certain teenage boy hit the damn toilet?  You can kick a field goal from twenty five yards away but you can't stand over a toilet and hit the mark?  Should I put a bullseye in the bottom of the bowl?

Although, I have to say, that every time I see a yellow stain on the side of the toilet I can't help but smile and remember the tale of the wide left bandit.....

My brother Tony and I used to work in the same factory and, let me just throw this out there --- factory work sucks.  Every high school freshman should be made to work in a factory for a year. I'm willing to bet that you will see more kids going to college or learning a skill after spending a year working on an assembly line.....But, I digress....

For those of you that have been subjected to the monotony that is factory work; you will completely understand the bizarre behavior of the story I am about to tell.  For those who have not worked on an assembly line, it's many, many, MANY long hours of repetitive motion and lack of mental stimuli has a way of rotting your brain. If I were to ever ask some stranger out in public why he is talking to himself and he says, "I work in a factory" I would nod and say that I completely understood....Carry on....

Anyway, Tony became obsessed with finding out who the individual was that kept missing the toilet in a certain bathroom and leaving a stain on the floor. In his mentally deranged state it totally drove him crazy.

And so, young Sherlock began a long, painstaking investigation in search of the wide left bandit.

He would "stake out" the bathroom from the adjoining break room.  He would carefully monitor all who entered and departed.  He managed to narrow down the "time of incident" to around two hours.

"It's clean before two and stained before four.....Dammit, I'm close."

Sadly, the investigation was brought to a halt.  The plant shut down and Tony had to relocate to a new facility....The case went cold, tucked away with the DB Cooper and the JFK assassination files....Some mysteries are just not meant to be solved.

But Tony does have his theories........(And, no, it wasn't me)

Ok....enough complaining....It's time to do my job....

My Science Project:
I was digging through the freezer when I found a brand new bag of bagels.

"Booyah!" I said as if I had just struck gold, "Why are these in the freezer?"

I get no answer from Karla because she has her nose buried in a book.  When she is reading she hears absolutely nothing......a perfect time to come clean should I ever need to.

"You know I'm having an affair with an elderly woman from the senior center?"

No answer....

"She's loaded and promised to leave me a tidy sum of money in her will."

Silence.

"Beauty is only a light switch away. That's how I rationalize."

"Ugh."  Karla looks up from her book, "What?"

"Never mind."

I throw the bagels on the counter so that they will be thawed by morning.  I remember that I had three different flavors of spread in the fridge...I think I'll have strawberry for breakfast.

I get up the next morning and dig the strawberry spread out of the fridge:





Whoa!!!!  That got an involuntary gag.......Cough....Oh, god.  How on earth did I miss that?

You know, peanut butter goes good with bagels.....Let's do that.....


Working towards a goal....


This is the patio before....(Yes, I've been terrible about keeping the grass out)




This is the patio -- work in progress:









What I love about this project is that the kids worked hard and never complained.  What I love even more is that they impressed their granddad -- and when you can impress a farmer that is saying a lot!!!!

Toby has been through these kind of projects enough times that it's all just part of the gig for him.  Early on I put Toby into my own version of the "scared straight" program.  It has nothing to do with juvenile delinquency, instead it has everything to do with finding ways to encourage him to get more use out of his brain than his muscles.  I have put him on any kind of low wage shit job I can find as a way to enforce the value of an education.  At the very least, if college isn't his thing, I would like for him to at least learn a skill.

For every doctor and lawyer out there, the world also needs a plumber, an electrician, a welder.  Just stay out of the factory, son.  Don't put yourself in a situation where you are fifty years old with a bad back and are suddenly forced to start over at minimum wage because the factory work you did for thirty years didn't provide you with any "skills"....

 I have to admit, I would love to see him get a degree.  There aren't many members on my side of the family that have a college degree...In fact, I can only think of a few.

But, he has to do what makes him happy....and I will support him in whatever he decides to do.

Tera is just getting started, but I have found that she is totally motivated ------ for My Little Pony figurines.

Any job that is not considered normal household duties is a job that comes with an hourly wage.  Wait, scratch that....How about "extra allowance"?  God forbid I violate any labor laws here.

Tera has become obsessed with My Little Pony and she has been busting her tail trying to earn as much as she can so that she (after she puts a percentage away in savings, of course) can buy up as many My Little Pony figurines as possible.

(When I told a friend of mine about this obsession she told me that all the ponies had stripper names with tramp stamps on their asses....LOL....I have to admit, though, I think tattoos are cool.)

Tera pulled grass out of the old patio, hauled and laid paving stones, spread sand and wet down the patio.  All the while dreaming about all the ponies she could cross off her want list; a notebook filling four pages.

Tera spent time online researching websites and finding the best bargains.  (She didn't acquire that tendency from me.....If I find what I want at the first sight I buy it.)  She figured out what she could afford, submitted her purchase requisition to mother, and the two sat down together to buy ponies.

There was a tense moment during the online purchase when Tera learned about sales tax and shipping and handling.  She was livid when she found out that she couldn't buy as many ponies as she thought she could.

"THAT'S STUPID!!! WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS?"

Ah....Life lessons....

She also learned how to track her package, which I hope gets here soon......She's starting to drive me crazy.

At the end of a hard work day, Tera gets out all her ponies and lines them up in front of the television so that they can all watch My Little Pony on Netflix.  Normally, I'm not big into letting her marathon watch, but the little blisters on her hands suggests that she had earned it.  I only wish I had a couple of shots of whiskey to make this unfortunate event a little more tolerable.

Is she obsessed?  Yeah, just slightly.  But I was a kid once and I remember being obsessed, too.  For me it was Star Wars; for Tony it was He-Man.  We both tried to collect action figures and we both ran into the same problem -- we had little brothers that took great joy in beheading our action figures.  Needless to say our collecting days were over before they even began.

But for Tera there's hope.  I'm not into My Little Pony at all, but I understand the desire; it's something we all go through as kids.  And Tera won't have a little brother around to behead her ponies.

And besides, annoying ponies and all, it's does this dad's heart good to see his little girl happy.....

Now, if you don't mind, I have to go dig the paint scrapers out of the shed.  Tera will be looking for another project.