Month: June 2007

Mr. Clean

Posted on

Quite out of the blue, my wife recently said to me, “You should start doing a “guy vacation” to go play golf or something every year. A lot of guys at work do it and they have a lot of fun.”

While interesting, I’m not quite sure how to take this. I have several thoughts on it though:

  1. My wife, realizing that I’ve been quite on edge since the baby was born, is truly concerned about my snapping at an inoportune moment (such as at the beach in two weeks when one of the other in-laws says something annoying to me) and desires that I get away and do something selfish for a while
  2. My wife really wants to go have a “girls vacation” and is using this as justification at a later date

So let’s think about these two things. Option 1, is very plausible. My wife has become astute at reading my moods over our near 8-year marriage; probably because when it gets to be “my time of the month” I just clam up, stop talking and start cleaning. Been doing that a lot lately. But as any concientious father will tell you, this whole “go do your thing” idea is fraught with guilty perils. Were I to go on said trip, I would constantly worry about how my wife is getting along with the boys. And then when I returned, I would constantly be trying to “pay her back” by allowing her to go do all sorts of things on her own. Which I wouldn’t mind doing, except that I neglect things around the house enough as it is. If I’m suddenly watching the kids all the time…the house, and yard will go downhill fast.

Then there’s Option 2…the idea that she really wants to go do her own thing. There are couples I know who do everything together, and there are couples I know who do nothing together. I feel bad for both. Too much of a good thing…well, isn’t a good thing. On the flip-side, if you don’t spend some time together away from the rigors of daily life, what kind of relationship are you building…and believe you me, marriage is never a done deal…you must always be working at it.

At 34, I’d like to think that I’m above naked jealousy, but the fact is that I’m not. When guys go out, they go out with a purpose: I’m going to play golf, or I’m going to have a beer, whatever. But you ask a group of women what they are going to do, “We don’t know. We just want to get out and have fun.” When a guy hears this, he hears, “We don’t know…all we know is that we’re bored with staying home with our man and we want to go out and do something different.”

Trust me when I say that “doing something different” conjures up all sorts of wild and crazy ideas in a husband/boyfriend’s mind…and not in a good “wild and crazy” way that involves kinky going’s on when she comes home.

So, I’m not sure I’m kosher with this “guy vacation” idea, as much as I long to get away. Not to mention, it’s financially unfeasible. I mean, we barely have the money to get away as a couple, so I’m not sure how I’d justify dropping $500-$600 on a guy vacation.

Even at 34, we still play games. Good? Bad? Who knows…alls I know is that I had better find a good, cheap replacement housekeeper before I rub a hole in the carpet trying to get out out my frustrations at nobody and nothing in particular!

Advertisements

Today’s Bible Lesson Brought to Us by…

Posted on

Ecclesiastes 7: 15-18

7:15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.
7:16 Be not righteous over much, neither make thyself over wise; why should though destroy thyself?
7:17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish; why shouldest thou die before thy time?
7:18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.

Having grown up in church, I pride myself on having at least a working knowledge of the Bible. So imagine my intrigue when I read the above scriptures the other day that when paraphrased in the New Living Bible, basically said, “I’ve seen good people die young, and wicked people live to a ripe old age. So don’t be too good or too bad because if you love God, he’s going to take care of you either way.”

Wow! Now doesn’t that just fly in the face of “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because your are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16 NRSV Bible)

This is what drives me nuts about the Bible, and about churches. They take one scripture and translate it literally, and then they take another and try to translate it into a metaphor that they live by. Either the Bible is literal or it isn’t.

At any rate, I’ve decided that this is how I live my life–not too good, and not too bad. If I were to put my life on a balance, I hope that I far outweigh to the Good side, but who knows?

However, lately I might be adding to my Bad balance because I’ve been sneaking out at night watering my yard and bushes even though there is a complete watering ban in my county during the week. I get it that we all share the water and if I take more than my share, others suffer, but Dangit! I just spent $2K on new bushes and such and I’ll be darned if I’m gonna let them die. Plus, if my grass dies, my home owner’s association says I have to immediately fix it. And then what? Put new grass down, water it with a 30-day permit, which might take me through middle-August, and then it dies again because I can’t water it but one day a week.

Ya know…just sue me…cuz I’m gonna water my yard. I just hope God doesn’t hold it against me.

Random Thoughts

Posted on

I was up later than normal last night (11 p.m.) because I got hooked on a movie and didn’t want to turn it off. The problem with this is that by the time my brain shut off and I drifted off to sleep, it was nearly 11:30 and “that baby” woke up at 4:30. So now here I am, with about 5 hours of sleep, and I have a crap-load of creative work to do at the office and my muse just wants to go back to bed…
So, today’s blog will be more like random thoughts that I couldn’t stop thinking about last night:

A. A hacker named “Gabriel” claims to have penetrated Rowling’s publishing house and has leaked the details (here) to the last Harry Potter book. A couple of thoughts here:

  1. I find it interesting that this so-called hacker chose the same name as the antagonist in the new Bruce Willis Die Hard movie due out any day now. And I SO wanna see this movie.
  2. Whoever this “Gabriel” hacker is, he’s either nearly illiterate, or English is not his native language because even having read the ending, I’m still not 100% sure I know what happens. This might also be because I’m not totally into the franchise and don’t know all the characters.
  3. Due to the fact that I work at a network security company, the way he claims to have gotten this info is totally plausible. All it takes is one village idiot in a company to open you up.

B. The movie I was up watching late last night was “Mindhunters.” I watched it because I recently re-watched the movie “Hackers” both for it’s relation to what I do for a living, and because it’s actually an enjoyable flick (and you get to see what Angelina Jolie looked like with about 15 extra pounds and pixie-short hair). Johnny Lee Miller plays in both and he’s a good actor and when I saw he was in Mindhunter, I checked it out. Surprisingly, Val Kilmer is in it, as is LL Cool J and Christian Slater. How did this movie NOT do well? Probably because it’s a bit of a horror flick, but a very good one actually. I highly recommend if you’re bored.

C. I’ve thrown out all the hard liquor in the house, and since having done so, I may not have lost any weight per se, but it looks like I have. My skin is clearer (course, I’ve also gotten over a sinus infection and that does wonders for the old complexion) and I’m not retaining nearly as much water. But I have to admit that there are times when I long for a nice night-cap. Especially at times like last night when I can’t sleep.

Well, must get ready for the old job. Have a great day all!

You Know You’re Getting Old When…

Posted on

We bought the house we now live in late last year and when I first toured the house with the Realtor (I’m not sure she’s an actual REALTOR) one of the first things I did was look at the backyard. After walking out on the deck and peering over its edge onto a backyard that had a severe slope that started right after the deck supports and ended up about 12 feet down the hill, I immediately said, “No way!”

But after looking at a dozen more houses and finding nothing comparable for the price, I did what we all do when we REALLY want something, but when there are valid reasons for not getting it…I rationalized.

I rationalized that I could plant grass and shrubs on it and it would be beautiful. I rationalized that I could build steps down the side leading to the flat area down by the creek. And indeed, all these things have come to pass (well, I wouldn’t call it “beautiful” at this point just yet).

However, having had to weed-eat this hill (since it’s far too steep for a mower), while trying to keep from sliding down the hill at every step, I finally decided maybe it was time to re-think my idea. And again…I rationalized, except this time I started thinking about this hill and my caring for it when I’m in my 50s. It went something like this:

“Do I really want to be trying to cut this grass without breaking my neck when my body is 15 years older and more beat up than it is now? Will I be able to afford some kid to come do it for me? What if they don’t do a good job? What if he hurts himself while trying to cut it and he sues me?

So, I finally decided that, while I could leave the shrubs and small trees, perhaps I should just lay down a thick carpet of pine straw and be done with it. And so, I headed to my local Mega-Home Upkeep Mart and bought 12 bales of pinestraw.

It didn’t even cover a 1/3 of it. And have you ever tried to walk on pinestraw? It’s very slippery, especially on a 15 degree slope. There’s apparently some trick to laying down pinestraw on a hill and as far as I can tell, it’s basically that you put the bale on your left, grab some in your hand and throw it on your right. Forget trying to do it uphill/downhill. As I found out, you’ll only sliiiide down the hill every time.

So now I’m considering having someone drop me off another 30 bales and finishing the job. They wanted about $5.50 per bale (spread) for someone else to do it and I can buy just the bales for $3.49 at the Mega-Home Upkeep Mart, so that’s a good bit o’ savings. My only question now is how I’ll refresh it every year. I won’t be able to climb all over the hill to lay a new layer like I did this time. I might just have to stand at the top and toss it down. I’m sure the coverage would be excellent (NOT!).

Moving Day!

Posted on

It has been really hot here in Atlanta the last few days. Friday was 94, as was yesterday, and today is supposed to hit near 96 degrees. That said, doing anything outside requires planning, and even then assumes a bit of risk.

I took Friday off and scheduled an early-morning round of golf. I was partnered with a lovely retired couple who lived just down the street from me; which was kind of neat because the course we played was nearly 30 miles from our house. Small world.

After golf, I came home and worked outside in the heat for a couple of hours and despite drinking lots of fluids AND keeping my head wet, I still managed to get too hot and spent the next few hours feeling as if my head was stuffed with cotton and my body moving through cold molasses.

Having recovered, I kept the boys Saturday from 9-2 while my wife and her sisters and mom threw a baby shower for her sister who flew in from Oklahoma, and who just barely made it after her flight got canceled requiring her to drive to Dallas in order to catch the next flight that would get her here in time for the shower.

And THEN there was Saturday afternoon. My wife’s brother and his wife just bought a house and of course we all pitched in to help move, except as it always happens, at least half of those who said, “Oh absolutely, I’ll be there,” either don’t show at all, or show up after half the hard work was done. All told, there was probably 20 of us, but in truth there were only about 3 strong bodies. The “dads” were just too out of shape, or had torn ligaments or some such excuse…the women…well, can’t expect them to carry heavy stuff, so it came down to really three of us, and one didn’t show up until the “unload” leaving two of us carrying all the heavy stuff. Did I mention it was 94 outside?

The apartment was on the third level (or course), and also of course, the master BR and laundry room in the new house was upstairs as well and whoever designed this house, didn’t do it with “moving” in mind. Needless to say, by 8 p.m. when we finished, I was whooped.
And not that you expect it, but the only person to actually thank me for helping, was the wife. Not MY wife (“Thanks honey for helping my brother move”), not the wife’s parent’s, (“Thank you for saving our kids a ton of money on movers,”) not anyone but the wife.

I guess I’ve been part of the family for so long now that it’s just “assumed” you’ll help. But you know, it’s sad when you stop saying please and thank you…even when it’s your family.

Oh "ME" Oh my!

Posted on

I have a friend–let’s call her “Tammy Faye–who, after recently complaining of needing a vacation, and my telling her to take one and leave the kids at daycare, asked, “What would I do without the kids?”

crickets…….

What would ya do, you ask? Why any or all of the following:
– clean your house (when I said this, she just laughed…)
– take a nap (because she has sleep problems and doesn’t get enough normally)
– vege on the couch
– anything NOT related to chasing after children

In the end, she decided NOT to take my advice, which baffles me because I take this opportunity as often as possible. In fact, I generally try to hold onto at least 3 days of “me” vacation each year. What happens on “me” vacation days? Oh, all kinds of things, like:
– have a long workout, as opposed to a fast one
– go play some golf, or at the very least, hit some balls at the driving range
– clean the house and/or catch up on some home maintenance stuff I’ve neglected

…the choices are endless. I just don’t get these parents who have children and lose their own identity. Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I forgot to have fun. I think a lot of parents feel that having children means they have to give up every part of thier life that doesn’t included the children, when in fact, I believe the opposite is true. You must keep that part of your life that makes you happy; because if you’re not happy, you won’t be a good parent.

That said, I’m getting up tomorrow…I’ll help my wife get the kids off to daycare…then I’m playing golf here. And I feel like it after playing golf and drinking a few beers in the 92 degree Georgia sun, I’ll go to the gym.

I’m gonna have fun–sans kids–and I’m not gonna feel guilty about it.

SignificantOther v6.8

Posted on

My wife forwarded me an e-mail joke (aka “spam”) yesterday and prefaced it with “Not that I’m saying this about you, but it is cute.”
The joke can be found here (I would recommend reading it so my blog entry here makes sense).

In rebuttal, I offer the following (and I preface it with the same sentiments):

Dear Customer Support,

I recently upgraded from SignificantOther6.8 to Spouse1.0 with the “Wife and Mother” add-on and I’m having nothing but problems.

To start with, none of the premium features that I purchased for SignificantOther 6.8 migrated over. I spent a lot of money on add-ons such as “Menu Planner,” “Money Matters” and “Movie Guide 1.5” and now when I try to access them, I get an error message.

After only six months of use, the interface has completely changed too. What used to be a fairly clean and resource-lean GUI (graphical user interface) is now a cluttered mess that requires frequent manual cleanup. My recycle bin fills up faster than I can clean it out!

I tried to import my preferences but the import program somehow screwed up, corrupted the database and now anytime I want to do something, it asks me, “Are you sure you wish to make this change?” And of course the “Do not ask me this again” checkbox doesn’t work.

The Time Manager feature is equally flawed. The only tasks it allows me to input are those that fall under the “Work” and “Family” category. When I try to access the “Free Time” and “Leisure” headings, they either appear blank or refuse to allow me to block off more than 15 minutes at a time.

And I swear, if this damn thing asks me one more time to install “Personal Makeover 5.2” I’m gonna uninstall it and throw away the disk.

I’m really about done with this application. Were it not for the SignficantOther 6.8 application nagging me for the last 8 months about upgrading, I would have stuck with the tried and true.

Please respond with patches, or else an offer of a refund.

_XX

Dear valued Spouse 1.0 customer,

We apologize for the inconvenience your new software has caused you, but it is our policy not to refund the purchase price of the software unless the application is defective in some way. From what you’ve described, your application is operating as designed. It’s true that many of your premium features from Significant Other 6.8 will not work with Spouse 1.0, but that is because the code is completely different.

Due to some core Operating System requirements, Spouse 1.0 required extensive overhauling in order to operate in today’s newer computing platforms. Whereas all versions of the SignificantOther software were built on the less stable but faster “Gen X” platform, “Gen Y” is now the industry standard and we were forced to modify the codebase in order to remain competitive.

However, we can offer some workarounds. If you go to our Web site at:
YourNewLife.com and access the “Support” page, you can download the following patch: – LearnToLiveWithIt 1.2

This patch includes several “updates” that should help you navigate your new software with a minimum of fuss.

As a valued customer, we want to ensure your satisfaction, so we are also offering you the “Family Pack” at no additional charge. It includes the following:

  • an upgraded personal dictionary with “family approved” vocabulary words
  • an easy to follow home maintenance guide
  • investment guide, including “living will templates” pre-formatted with everything you need to take care of your family when you’re gone
  • region-specific maps pinpointing the closest soccer fields, shopping malls and mini-van dealers
  • porn blocker software

If after installing these updates, you still feel that the software is not living up to your expectations, please contact one of our helpful representatives who will work with you to ensure your satisfaction.

Thank you,

Customer Support