Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Big Fat Wednesday

. . .that's what landed on me. So I'm a little pizz to tha' izzooped just now.

But last night was Max's second Pinecar Derby & I wanted to share the event. If you remember from last year, we did a lot of designing and pretty paint work on his car, but didn't have a scale to tune it with. So his pretty car ended up looking like it had a lead hemmorhoid and some other afterthought pieces of weight stuck to it. In his small Cub Scouts group (where we're very tepid on the whole competition thing. . .but still. . . Daddy's spent the last few years racing toy cars every weekend . . . ) last year he came in 3rd overall.
This year, I dropped the planning/designing ball pretty heinously, so we both spent much effort in the 24 hours leading up to the race to get himself a racecar built! He chose to go with a much simpler design this year, and that allowed us to focus more on the tuning. I did all the homework and guess what? There are a LOT of things you can do to make those things go fast! It was fun, kind of like RC racing but at a miniscule fraction of the cost. In truth, we didn't have time to do most of the (BSA-approved and completely legal of course!) hop-ups.

But in early practice runs, his car was straight-out slaughtering the meek who were fool enough to challenge him (in a very positive, sportsmanlike Boyscouts of America-approved way of course). So Daddy had his completely legal and sportsmanline hopes up :) Once racing commenced he worked his way through the braket, it was a much larger group this year. It came down to the the final race for the winner, between himself and the Bishop's boy. And all testosterone aside, it really didn't matter at that point, he was so high from the winning he got to do already and we'd had our father/son bonding & building already. So ANYway. . . . it was a TIE!!! Hoo, the suspense. They went down the track again, switching tracks this time, and Max's car lost by a half-a-carlength for a second overall. Everyone got "awards", and a patch, so no trophies. But Max did get to wait until second to last to get his. And even though the car didn't meet my exacting aesthetic standards, kids loved the LEGO bits and a couple of Dad's commented that it was a clean build.

OK, chest fully puffed now, making. . . hard. . . to . . .type . . .can't see. . . screen . . . under chest. Here are pix of the event. Last years car, the new car "Mad Max II", his humble medal ceremony (with the Mormon Boy Scout equivalent of trophy girls), and another shot that I thought accurately captured the excitement that is PINEWOOD DERBY!

Plans are underway for Dude-A-Palooza FIVE this weekend! AK will be going to go be a groupie for her favorite knitting blog rock star, The Yarn Harlot. She'll meet with her fellow knit groupies, who happen to be her doting aunts, so she's bringing Evil's Twin Minions of Chaos for them to dote on. With only a 10 year old and a 37 year old dude in this particular palooza, we may try to do some ambitious paloozing. Stay tuned. . .



Saturday, March 24, 2007

What You Learn When You Go Bowling

. . . at The Super Modern Mega Video Bowling Entertainment Center for the Terminally Short Attention Spanned:

-Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow are still hot. They show videos, see, at the bowling alley. This makes it very difficult for 10 year old boys to focus on bowling, but Max and I did alright on our little father-son afternoon. The videos are aimed at my generation, too, so if it's not from the 80/90s it's often modern works by those artists. Last time we were there I got to show Max The Commodores in their full spaceship-disco glory! He remembered that on the way there today, said about them "they seemed to be having fun".
-Despite the advances in adding bright flashy video clips and giant LCD screens to our modern bowling experience, blowling alley food is as toxic as ever. We should have learned our lesson last time, after the microwaved nachos that congealed into one solid nacho-rock. But no, I wanted to make our 2 games last as long as possible, so we perused the menu & chose quesadillas. Ouch. See what they did was take yesterdays nacho-rocks, and re-soften them with today's grease, and fold it up in day-before-yesterday's tortillas (if the tortilla is stale enough, you don't have to grill it to make it stiff).
-Many of the Bowling Manners my father passed on to me have been lost to the ages. I learned that you were to generally keep to your lane for seating/stuff stowage. I learned that You waited until each lane beside you had bowled, so you didn't run up to the lane distracting them. Now of course sometimes you need to make exceptions, as was our case, with the entire Penn State Korean American Giggling & High-Fiving Club in the lane next to ours. So we didn't mind their stuff overflowing into our stuff. But we did have to excuse our way to our lane most times & darned if I didn't get plowed by a Giggletractor or a HighFiveosaurus on my way up the lane a few times.
-Sometimes, watching the videos, you find the next. .

Today's Daily Muppet Thing of The Day for Sunday Well, it's Puppet Thing, but that counts. Especially if you've seen Being John Malkovich. It might be old-hat, as you know I don't find the cool things until they're 4-5 years past their drink-by date. But Max & I sure got a kick out of it . . .



Raisin Toots and The Poodle Stigma

Emily The Horsepoodle ate half a pound of organic raisins this morning. So now we have toxic green clouds lingering around the house like deadly land mines. And you know how even the mildest doggy toots smell raunchy and wrong? Because they came from a foreign intestine? From a whole 'nother species? Well these poodle toots will make a tattooed sailor scream like a little girl. But only for a moment -- the tattooed sailor will asphyxiate and collapse into a trembling, poisoned puddle of former human in only about 20 seconds.

And why is it that a real, honest-to-goodness not-a-girlyman Man cannot admit that he owns a poodle? At least not without qualifying it or making some explanation? So people won't think he's kinky or gay? Mostly this is not a concern for me. Heck I will freely admit right here that I'm all twinkle-toed since I found a DVD of the film (poorly adapted from the Broadway musical) "1776". It's not La Cage, but simply admitting KNOWLEDGE of a musical is enough to convince many men I've grown a vagina.

Well let it be known here and forever after than poodles are loyal, intelligent and wonderful family dogs. I don't HAVE to say it, because you're probably not a male with one eyebrow raised, slowly backing away from me, but I will say anyway that ours is a Standard Poodle and those are the original poodles so they haven't been bred for looks or miniaturized into yippy little nervous-around-the-hors d'ouvres dogs. Standard poodles are medium-to-large sized canines who will (ours will) take issue with any aggro dog at the dog park who picks a fight. But she'll be submissive and obedient for humans. I am not a pet person, but this poodle is turning me into a dog person, it's such a fine animal.

And she only ever has that look, the froofy Priscilla Queen of the Desert doggy look, for about a day and a half after she's been groomed. For the next 7-10 weeks our poodle resembles a Mongolian Camel from ""The Weeping Camel" much more than she does a poodle.

So there it is. I am a manly man, 6 feet, 3 inches tall, and I maintain a consistent panda-bear shape. And I own a poodle.



Thursday, March 22, 2007

Twinkle's Muppets

With many apologies to both of you who read this blog, I will now cease and desist with the apologies. And excuses. I'm just not so much the blogger lately :(


The Muppets.


Go on. . . .



Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Crucified for his WHAT?"

"INSURRECTION, Mom. He was crucified for IN SUR RECTION!" This was Mom and I watching the Jesus' Tomb show last week, right before I giggled and insisted she wash the peanut butter out of her ears. Interesting show, which was followed by a counterpoint program that should have been a structured exchange of ideas & facts that were not covered in the pseudo-documentary. Instead it was a televized 6th grade playground brawl between relatively-to-very educated scientists, clergy and entertainers. It made me sad.

I'm in Concord, working to get Mom's place ready to put on the market, that's why not so much with the blogging. And watching TV in the evenings has mostly reminded me why we don't buy dish or cable for our home. Although there have been some bright spots, and I suspect that if we didn't have the kids in the house it might be worth it to get service for a show or two. Especially if we could TIVO the show and skip the commercials, that would help a LOT. More than watching the same commercials 14 times in a one-hour span, it's the "Tonight at 11. . . ." news bits that fry my goose. In our culture more than any other, we are force-fed fear. All we get through the news and in our advertising is why we should be afraid and what we should be afraid of. How do you innoculate a child against that?

Anyway, some highlights I've witnessed in TV land this week:
-History Channel: I like documentaries, and mixed in with the half-reality shows are some real interesting & fun documentaries. The night before "300" came out they had a documentary on the battle with lots of facts & backstory that I know would make the film even more interesting.
-"House", a show about a group of emotionless but brillian doctors, led by a genius/jerk played by Hugh Laurie. I really could do without most of the show but the main character is something.
-I'm sure there are more worth-the-torture-of-commercials shows out there (though they can't touch "Firefly". . . *sniff*. . . ) maybe when kids are older & if my evenings are free & if I've run out of good films to watch and read all the books I want to read. . . .

Today's Daily Muppet Thing of The Day for Saturday is, while truly a Muppet Thing this time, another testament to how un-hip I am. It features what was about to become my favorite real current still a songs-on-the-radio rock band, Weezer. But just like Firefly, I'm several years too late. Weezer was hip 8 years ago, their last radio song barely cracked the top 20 and was played on XM Kids more than anything else, and sure enough I think I read they're broken up now. I'd go buy a Weezer album, but it might make me cry to know that there will be no more. And I'm still not over the Firefly/Serenity heartbreak. . .



Pupp Daddy Dog spends his days working as an entrepeneur and as a Dad. He is passionately in love with/obsessively neurotic about his family. Imagine Kicking Bird mixed with Albert Brooks. Oh, and throw in some Notorious B.I.G.


Alaska is the frustrated but caring cat at the center of our canine universe. All of us alternately worship, rely on and ceaselessly whine to her. Her need to control everything is confounded by the fact that she really pretty much does control everything, so in her few free moments, she knits and searches desperately for things to fuss about.



Max is smart and handsome, with a big heart. He is not only growing like a weed, but he has the attention span and concentration abilities of a weed. Despite my best efforts, AK keeps feeding him and he keeps growing. Our plan is to keep him so busy with school, sports & the arts that he won't notice he's a teenager and is supposed to hate us. T minus 2.5 years to teen launch, so far so good.



 Ben and Milo are phenomenal little creatures who remind us minute-by-minute not only how little control we have in this world, but why we should cease our controlling efforts and just laugh at all of God's jokes. Lately, Milo likes to dance and is good on the piano. Ben likes to mimic Max and enjoys manipulating adults and anyone else who has no idea how quietly brilliant he is. Both of them would love your full and complete attention. Really, stop reading silly blogs and join the fan club now. Ok? Ok.








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