Dec 7, 2009

let's talk billion

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the politicians spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend but putting that figure into some perspective:

(A) A billion seconds ago it was 1959
(B) A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive
(C) A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age
(D) A billion days ago no one walked on the earth on two feet
(E) A billion dollars ago at the rate our government is spending was only 8 hours and 20 minutes ago

Nov 11, 2009

working thru my inbox

My penpal Dewey sends me the  very best stuff, but sometimes it takes me forever a few days to catch up with my emails when things get particularly busy.  And they've been crazy busy lately.  We worked until 8 PM last night if that's any indication of how crazy it is around the office these days.  Crazy. 

Anyway, he sent me this one a couple of days ago but I only got around to watching it this morning at 4 AM.  How cool is this?

By the way, he currently has a video posted on his blog of a singer named Iris Dement whom he introduced me to a few months back (her music, not her personally) (just thought I'd clarify that).

I got hooked on her music in general and in particular the song she's singing in the video. It always reminds me of England--not because she's English or the song has anything to do with England, but because I heard it for the first time just before we went to England back in the Spring and the song was stuck in my head the whole time we were there.  Listen to Iris sing "Let the Mystery Be" .

Nov 4, 2009

Angel Earl - Part 1

After we left the marina a few weeks ago as we headed to our favorite cove to spend the weekend, we got an urgent phone call from one of our dock friends.  He wanted to let us know we had discharged some diesel fuel into the water when we pulled out. And when I say "some" what I mean is "quite a bit".  As in, a lot of diesel fuel. As in, so much diesel fuel that some people had to leave the dock because they couldn't stand the fumes.

This was bad news on a number of levels: not only do we have an instinctive aversion to throwing away diesel fuel at $5 gallon, but it is generally considered bad form to asphyxiate your dock neighbors or to leave a layer of pink petroleum on top of the water. Clearly something really bad had happened with our engines which meant something really bad was getting ready to happen to our checkbook.

To make matters worse, one of our dock neighbors decided to make a stink ("a stink", heh) over our unintentional fuel discharge. He just happens to be in law enforcement and thus just happens to know that discharging fuel into the water can get you slapped with a fine of up to $10,000. And over the course of the weekend while we were away he (allegedly) repeated this several times to other neighbors and (allegedly) vowed to personally insure we received the maximum fine. And he (allegedly) complained so much that everyone on our dock was (allegedly) ready to cut his lines while he was asleep so he would drift off to some other dock where unneighborly types might be better received.

Anyway, when we were ready to come home at the end of the weekend a friend made the 45 minute trip to meet us at our cove so he could follow us home to make sure we made it okay. Our engines started just fine and there was no more fuel discharge, and as for the mood back at the dock, we returned to find our neighbors had sorted themselves into two camps: (1) the one guy who thought we deserved a $10,000 fine and (2) all our other neighbors who thought the guy in category #1 was a jackass.

So, on to the point of this story. Engine trouble. We immediately got our friend and mechanic Steve on the scene, and over the next week he replaced all our fuel lines--all 100 feet of them.

In addition, I posted a cry for advice on an internet forum for people who own boats like ours. I got several immediate responses, almost all suggesting we needed the tender loving care of a guy called Earl International. Earl is a mechanic who specializes in our specific brand of diesel engine and travels all over the country working on them. In the world of diesel mechanics, Earl is a rock star with a large number of very devoted groupies.

Lo and behold, a day or two later Earl himself contacted me.  He said he'd be in Atlanta in early November and would be happy to figure out what the problem was, and of course we immediately said yes for the same reason you'd say yes if Chet Atkins offered to tune the guitar you bought at a yard sale for $5.

Last Wednesday Earl International showed up right on schedule and immediately started digging around in the BUB examining the engines and the hoses and other important looking pieces-parts that I have no idea what they do or what they are for.

He had the calm self-confidence of a surgeon and I had the sensation of being the distraught, worried family member watching a loved one being biopsied right before my eyes.

To be honest, watching Earl root around in the bowels of the BUB gave me the exact same feeling I had during Morley's rectal tumor scare a couple of years ago. Now that I think about it, the process was very much the same except the BUB didn't make those funny faces when Earl stuck his hands up its sensitive bits (if you know what I mean) and there was a lot less limping afterwards.

Anyway, the patient is now resting comfortably and next time I'll give you the report from Earl.

Oct 19, 2009

Brrrr and BUB progress report

It is cold here in Atlanta. Before I could come to work this morning I had to dig out a sweater and long slacks, and man up with some pantyhose--oh wait, wrong expression--and some shoes other than sandals, and top it off with a trenchcoat before I could brave the cold air between the garage and my car. This is wrong, so very wrong. It isn't even November yet.

This global warming is a killer, man.

In other news, it just occured to me that we've now owned the Butt Ugly Boat for a bit more than a year. A fifty gallon drum of teak oil and who knows how any dollars later (actually I know how many dollars, I just don't want to think about it right now), things around the BUB look a little different. I've posted some "then" and "now" shots on my website here.

PS And if you don't know the history of our Butt Ugly Boat, a good place to start is here.

Oct 16, 2009

You peeps are joking, right?

Memo to the President and Members of Congress:

  • The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
  • Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
  • Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
  • War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and nothing has changed since the so-called War on Poverty started. It is broke.
  • Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and both of them are broke.
  • Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
  • The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have failed in managing every government program under your control, while overspending our tax dollars and wasting our money on pork programs that do nothing more than help with your next reelection.

And now you want Americans to believe you can be trusted with a government run health care system?

Uh, not so much.

Oct 14, 2009

One a day is all he can handle

I'm not sure everyone knows about this, but recently Morley volunteered to work with a local animal rescue group intent on saving the rare Georgia antelope.

He had his first day of rescue work last week, and of course I went along to video him in action:

Sep 9, 2009

we're groovy, baby

One of the guys at the office had this waiting in my email this morning. How did he know that's what we did last weekend? Eerie...

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Sep 4, 2009

marital flashback

Every morning this week I've awoken thinking about what I was doing on the same day one year ago.

It was wedding week and things were hopping around here--the main thing hopping being my nerves as I scrambled around taking care of final details such as caterers and flowers and ministers and bagpipers and out of town guests.

Which I could have taken care of sooner except we had gone on a mission trip to Nicaragua the week before our wedding.

Because my nutjob husband-to-be had pursuaded me was a fabulous idea.

Because there is nothing that says "romance" like cleaning rats and chicken dookie out of barns, or standing in the scorching sun in a third world country ten minutes from the Equator painting a building instead of doing something lame like staying home and having someone paint my nails.

At the time I had murderous thoughts towards my beloved groom, but now I'm over it. Now I look back on it and laugh. Hahahahaha. See? I'm laughing.

Anyway, in the year since our wedding the events of that crazy week have formed a blurry memory of laugher and family and friends, and being insanely busy from morning until night. It was utterly exhausting and totally exhilarating, and we loved every single moment of it.

My BFF Carol was never more than ten feet from my side all week. She made sure the wedding train ran on time all week long and just about wore herself out in the process. (I later thanked her with All About Carol Day during which I had her pampered senseless at the spa, and being the good friend that I am, I had the exact same treatment just to make sure the quality of service was up to snuff).

There was a group shopping expedition where we accompanied my darling sister in law Carol to Nordstroms so she could stock up on cute shoes which she can never find in England. Watching someone else spend a butt load of dough on cute shoes was almost as much fun as us doing it ourselves.

There was the day that the two Carols, my girls, my son in law, and my grandsons helped clean up the Butt Ugly Boat. We had bought it just days before we left on the mission trip and it needed a serious defunk-ifying before we could spend our wedding night on it.

Then there was my bachelorette party and wine tasting on the Butt Ugly Boat which was a total blast as best as I can remember. Mommy had way too much medicine that night.

And there are so many other unforgetable memories packed into that week:

Like the memory of picking up the shipment of flowers from Hawaii that made the whole boat smell of orchids, and converting our friend Mike's houseboat into the world's largest floating florist chiller so the reception centerpieces wouldn't croak in the ungodly heat.

And the memories of our dock friends scurrying about taking care of endless last minute errands and making Morley and me feel like a million bucks.

And the party at Big Creek Tavern the night before the wedding where we partied like rock stars with our out-of-town family and friends. Our friend Tommy performed for us and we stayed up way past our bedtime that night. Also, we had way too much medicine.

And memories of Dennis being the greatest Best Man who ever lived. And being with family and friends on such a joyous and much anticipated occasion. And so on. And so on. And so on.

But mostly we remember this moment:

Aug 31, 2009


This ad isn't in English but you'll understand it anyway.

PS. Once again, my penpal Dewey comes through with the best stuff.

Aug 26, 2009

why crackheads shouldn't sing at funerals

Let's just say after this performance--especially that big finale--the deceased was probably grateful to be dead.

Aug 21, 2009

Elvis and MJ are ALIVE!!

PS Once again my penpal DEWEY comes thru with the very best stuff.

Thank you, thank you very much.

nicaraguan birthday

Morley's birthday is Monday, which reminds me of this time last year when he talked me into not rescheduling our mission trip to Nicaragua the week before our wedding. Ahem.

Anyway, here's a little home movie at his 60th birthday party in Chinandega, Nicaragua:

Happy birthday, Morley. Love you long time, and I promise not to torture you this year give you a pinata for your birthday. This year.

Aug 14, 2009

Ronald Reagan on socialized medicine

We need another one just exactly like him.

Aug 10, 2009

ninja deer

For weeks we've been looking forward to this past Friday when Bratley and Tammy would arrive to spend the weekend with us on the boat. I phoned him Thursday evening as he was driving home from a factory tour in Kentucky with one of his dentist clients to make sure he remembered the schedule, so when the phone rang early Friday morning I figured he was calling to tell me they were on their way.

But the news was the schedule had changed and he was going to be several hours late because he had gone deer hunting the night before. He had some things to do before they left.

As I administered an imaginary thrashing upon my brother--the preferred method I had employed during in childhood to communicate to him my dissatisfaction with his behaviour--he cheerfully asked if I wanted to buy some cute little deer antlers. I responded with something along the lines of him being an compete idiot, followed by a demand to know why for the love of God he'd decided to take up deer hunting on the very night he should have been home packing.

His response was to helpfully inquire if I wanted him to bring deer meat for weekend grilling and an offer to throw into the deal two deer eyeballs about as big as saucers. I responded with something along the lines of him being in desperate, desperate need of a thorough psychiatric evaluation.

Finally, after wasting more of my time and patience he explained he'd hit a deer with his car the night before and needed to file the insurance report and drop the car off at the repair shop before he left town. And not that I don't take everything Brad says as gospel truth, he offered to email me photos to prove it:

He assured me it was not an ordinary deer, but a Ninja deer that one moment was nowhere near the road and a nanosecond later transported itself right in the middle of the road where it richoted off his fender and bounced down the entire passenger side of his car.

That deer was fast, he said, but not fast enough.

I immediately made a snarky remarked about him brutally murdering Bambi in cold blood expressed my deep condolences over the damage to his car.

And it was right then that I noticed some writing in that last photo. So I zoomed in to see it better:

My brother needs meds. Seriously, seriously strong meds.

Jul 28, 2009

Me and Bratley

We grew up together, me and Bratley, the two youngest kids in a family of six. The age gap between the two of us and our four older siblings was such that the older kids weren't interested in playing cars or cowboys and Indians with us--they were more into activities such as dating and driving---so Brad and I pretty much had each other for company for most of our childhoods.

Brad had a speech impediment when he was little. Although I understood him perfectly almost no one else could, so I was not only his playmate but also his interpreter:

Stranger: "Why, what a cute little boy you are! What's your name, little one?"

Bradley: "Bbbwwwaaawwwey"

Stranger: "Huh?"

Bradley gives me an elbow to the ribs

Me: "His name is Bradley"

Stranger: "And how old are you Bradley?"

Bradley gives me an elbow to the ribs

Me: "He's three"

Stranger: "Well Bradley, you sure are cute with your blue eyes and those big dimples"

Bradley gives me an elbow to the ribs

Me: "He says thank you"

Stranger: "Would you like some candy, Bradley?"

Me: "He says no thank you and please give his candy to me"

Bradley gives me an elbow to the ribs followed by a karate chop to the throat

Brad eventually got his speech fixed thanks to a nice speech therapist at the university, but it took me another fifty years a little while to get used to not doing all his talking for him.

Bradley says thank you for all the birthday wishes*.

And he says he forgives me completely for forgetting his 50th birthday.

Also, he says I'm the coolest sister ever and way smarter and funnier than he is. Also he says I can have his new car, his uber cool Bluetooth headset, his GPS that does more tricks than mine, and a $30,000 check.

* Bradley: GO HERE to see what the heck I'm talking about. And you really should get in the habit of checking my blog more often, you know.

Jul 21, 2009

A sad tale about brothers and birthdays
Also, I need a favor, bad

As you may have guessed by the lack of riveting new material posted here, I've been working long and hard lately. And because I've been working so long and hard I've let a few things slip.

Things such as remembering my youngest brother Bratley's, er I mean Bradley's, fiftieth birthday for example. I can't believe I let such a big event slide by me, but I did and I let it slide BAD. It was last week.

But as you can see, he has maintained his boyish good looks (look at that, will ya? his leather jacket from high school still fits!) so you can understand why it just didn't dawn on me that the dude is getting old*.

*he's not as old as me, but still.

Anyway, so here's where I really need your help. I'm sucking up throwing a little belated birthday party here to make up for my forgetting I even had a brother the rather subdued 50th birthday festivities of last week and I would really appreciate it if you would leave Bradley a happy birthday comment.

Don't worry if you don't actually know him--he'll never figure it out and besides, he can't afford to be all that picky about who his friends are. (Oh wait, that didn't sound right. I wasn't referring to you, my dear and faithful readers, all four of you).

What I was trying to say is that it doesn't matter who wishes him happy birthday just so long as somebody does since his own durn sister forgot all about it. The goal here is to have 50 people wishing him a happy 50th Birthday.

My brother Bratley is special *cough* *cough* to me and I love him dearly. And I'm really truly deeply sorry that I forgot all about his 50th birthday. Also, I'm really banking on this shameless act of sucking up to get me out of his dog house. So lay it on thick, okay?


PS. If you think you might actually know Bratley but aren't sure, here is a photo of him back when he had hair:

PPS: And while we're at it, I'm also really sorry about last year when we left him stranded all night on a disabled houseboat with no food or water or luggage in 100 degree weather. But I can only make up for one Bad at a time.

PPPS: When you leave your Happy Birthday comment, can you please mention where you are from so he won't accuse me of leaving 50 anonymous wishes myself? (and if you happen to be in Tucker, Georgia just make up some another city--he'll never know the difference.) (He's so suspicious, that guy. I can't imagine why.)

Jul 15, 2009

Coming Soon to this Space:
Something I Actually Write Myself

In lieu of me posting anything that remotely resembles original material or otherwise filling this space with something--anything!--that requires more than a nanosecond of my time to slap up on the internet, here's an uber cute commercial to entertain you.

(I'm not slacking, I swear, just working.)

Jul 7, 2009

ObamaCare explained in Legos

My penpal Dewey (who always sends me the best, most thought provoking stuff) sent me this video. You really need to watch it.

Seriously, watch this short video and then think long and hard about what those out of control politicians in DC are trying to shove down our throats sign us up for.

Jul 4, 2009

Independence Day

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Jun 24, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho

No matter what your calendar says, all the calendars in this family say this is Christmas week--time to spend a few days with the whole family eating too much delicious food, talking, laughing, hanging out with each other, and playing the diabolical games that I've laid awake at night plotting for them (more about that later). *evil laugh*

An adventure somewhere fun is what we now give the girls and their families instead of the video games, pajamas, sweaters, and other terrible (and utterly forgettable) gifts we used to come up with back in the days when we were trying to be "normal" with our Christmas gifting.

Once I figured out we were clueless in guessing what teenage boys really want or in keeping track of everyone's favorite color and/or current clothing size, we decided to bail on the concept of being normal. Instead we now give them a one-size-fits-all present: good memories of being together.

It has proven to be one of my best ideas ever....well, except for last year when we rented a houseboat that lost it's power in the middle of a stifling hot night and left the kids with no running water, working toilets, lights, air conditioning or human comforts of any kind. That year we had more of a Survivor/Gilligan's Island type adventure than the kind of adventure we had in mind. But that's beside the point. We made memories. It's all good.

Anyway, here's the video we sent them last Christmas announcing where this year's adventure would be:

You'll note that the video said we were going in July, but getting these kids together is like herding cats. We had to switch the dates around so everyone could make it--everyone, this is, except Kurt and Julia who learned at the last minute that they had to stay behind due to work obligations. Wahhhh! *sniff* *sniff*

So we're in the woods for the next few days. I'll tell you all about it after we get home Sunday.

Jun 18, 2009


Who loves you more--your husband or your dog? Here's a simple way to find out:

Lock your husband and your dog in the truck of your car, then leave them there for an hour. When you open the trunk, which one is really happy to see you?

Jun 10, 2009


I was looking through the 1,496 photos I took last weekend (okay, I'm exaggerating but not by much) and this one caught my eye.

I took it early one morning when I was sitting in the cockpit sipping coffee and soaking up the tranquility that comes early in the day before the lake came alive with activity. Who wouldn't want to wake up to see a sunrise like that?

Unless you are more into sunsets, in which case you'd see this:

I took that one while I was sitting in the cockpit sipping a glass of wine, grooving on the tranquity that comes late in the day when most boats are back in their slips and things settle down to a peaceful, slow pace. You can smell the delicious aroma of distant charcoal grills and hear the soft sounds of far away laughter and easy conversations as they come floating across the water.

It's addicting, this boating thing.

Jun 8, 2009


Seas the Moment officially has new owners. Or more precisely, she'll have new owners as soon as the buyers' marine surveyor looks her over to make sure there are no ugly surprises (there aren't) and a few minor details--such as a somebody handing over a check--are taken care of.

Not only are we looking forward to owning one boat instead of two, we're glad she will have new owners who will take her out to play. She hasn't really been happy playing second fiddle to the Butt Ugly Boat these past few months and is excited to be Numero Uno again.

Jun 6, 2009

*tap* *tap* Is this thing on?

Contrary to what you would reasonably think, there's no need to collect up money to pay our ransom. We have not been kidnapped by aliens. We are alive and well and still among the living, we've just been deep in the weeds and half nuts.

We came home after our two week trip to England to find business finally picking up after a few months of eerie, worrisome calm. Everything--and I do mean everything--demanded our immediate and undivided attention, which, of course, means nothing got any more attention than we could throw at it on the fly as we careened from one screaming priority to the next. May was a blur around our house.

Here's what we did the entire month of May: we worked. A lot. Thanks for asking.

But it wasn't just ordinary work, it was in-your-face, frustrating as the ever lovin' bejeebers, GET OFF MY BACK ALREADY kind of work where one annoying thing after another happened.

This past week is the perfect example: we dragged home Monday after a rare night at the boat followed by a particularly frustrating day at the office to discover our fridge had gone to Appliance Heaven over the weekend. The timing couldn't have been worse either because for once it was crammed full of newly purchased groceries (vs our typical food supply which would pass for a light lunch in Somalia). Ack! About $600 worth of fresh food and frozen meat went straight into the dumpster.

So Tuesday we peeled ourselves away from the chaos and mayhem we fondly refer to as "our jobs" to go appliance shopping, and by Thursday this baby was sitting in our kitchen:

I love it. It has lots of room inside too, mainly because all that's inside it at the moment is a bottle of steak sauce and a shaker of parmesean cheese, the only food items we could salvage after the tragic demise of our old fridge.

So back to the one-thing-after-another bit, yesterday (Friday) we had to be at the lake by early afternoon to meet a delightful couple who were driving up from Alabama to look at the boat we're trying to sell. Yes, alas, the Carver is still floating two slips down from our new boat, flying her "for sale" sign and patiently awaiting a new owner while feeding off our bank account at an alarming rate and with a loud sucking sound. But I digress.

When the time came to head for the lake Friday afternoon , I had to stay behind to finish off a couple of proposals so Morley went on without me to keep our appointment with the Alabama couple.

He arrived at the boat an hour or two before me. And he found the fridge on our new boat had accidentally been turned off.

For a week.

In hot weather.

And it was at that exact moment that our official family motto became "Son of a #$#%, what next!?!?"

So we cleaned out that fridge too, tossing out another $200 or $300 worth of food and frozen meats. And now we have two perfectly clean refrigerators, each containing precisely one bottle of steak sauce and one shaker of parmesean cheese.

On the brighter note, there are signs that our month of mayhem is finally petering out: we have not one but two potential buyers for the Carver, one firm offer in hand, and high hopes that another offer will follow any minute from the couple from Alabama. Bottom line, it appears the Carver will soon have a new family to love and our bank account will finally get a break from too much boat love.

And we have two immaculately clean refrigerators and all the parmesean cheese we could possibly eat, plus the looming adventure of the Mother of All Grocery Shopping Trips to look forward to.

So that's what we've been up to. And now don't you feel bad about all those disparaging things you thought about me when I was a bit remiss in posting to my blog? Heh.

May 14, 2009

Q & A

I can't believe a whole week has flown by without an update here. To answer your burning questions:

(1) No, it wasn't worth it. Taking off for a two week vacation is absolutely fabulous, but coming home to a two week backlog of reality and a desk covered with paperwork screaming for attention is brutal.

(2) Heck yeah, we'd do it again. Probably next year at the same time.

(3) The wedding in England was wonderful. Actually it was more intimate and sweet than the original, and getting hitched in a castle is romantic beyond words. Plus it was fun meeting all of Morley's old college buddies--I only wish we'd had more time with them.

(4) It was a blast. Hanging out with our pals Les and Roz was toooooo much fun. We stayed with them for two days and ate like pigs, had too much wine one night, and laughed our heads off the whole time we were there. We came home determined to trick out our backyard to look more like theirs, which looks like it ought to be the centerfold in an English gardening magazine. At this moment our garden definitely does not look like something out of an English gardening magazine--it looks like something out of a farming magazine, specifically the issue devoted to out of control weed infestations. We'll start whipping it into shape after we slay our desk dragons (see item #1 above), but by all means will have made progress with it before they come visit us this Fall.

(5) Yes, I have. My cellphone which wandered off into oblivion the week before we left for England has now been replaced with an identical model, except the new one is red so I can see it without my glasses on. I still believe with all of my heart the old one is lying around here somewhere and will someday be returned to me by the merciful angel of Lost Cellphones.

(6) (a) No, I haven't. I'm still missing about 200 telephone numbers (literally) that were stored in my old cellphone so I'm collecting phone numbers like crazy. Actually I'm a phone number ho. I'm jones'ing real bad for some phone numbers. See that? My hands are shaking--that's how bad I need a phone number fix. So sad.

(6) (b) Yes, I so totally agree that only a dumb ass would fail to keep a back-up of all the phone numbers stored in their cellphone.

(7) Well, yes and no. The Butt Ugly Boat is looking pretty good on the inside, but now that warm weather is here the outside demands some serious attention. A good buffing and waxing session--or two--or ten--is in order. Y'all come visit, okay? And don't forget to bring your buffer.

(8) No, not one ounce. My earlier resolve to weigh less than a Buick station wagon by the time swimsuit season arrived was temporarily put on hold so I could stuff as much English food as humanly possible down my throat enjoy our vacation without being picky about my diet. Thus, not only have I not lost weight I think may have gained about fifty pounds an ounce or two.

(9) Nunyer business, thank you very much. Didn't your mother tell you it wasn't nice to ask a lady's weight? Sheesh, the nerve of some people! And while we're at it: as a matter of fact this is my natural hair color. Sorta. Kinda.

(10) Yes, I will. Photos of England, Les' and Roz's garden, Kurt's wedding, our wedding, the Butt Ugly Boat, and our beautifully tended *ahem* England-inspired garden will be posted as soon as possible.

May 8, 2009


Okay, I realize I've been a little slack in the blogging department since we returned from vacation, but hey! I'm busy. Fortunately, my penpal Dewey sends me some of the best emails which I post here for your amusement:

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: getting laid

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

May 4, 2009

Children's Books That Didn't Make it...

You Are Different and that's Bad
The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables
Dad's New Wife Robert
Fun Four-letter Words to Know and Share
Hammers, Screwdrivers, and Scissors: An I-Can-Do-it Book
The Kids' Guide to Hitchhiking
Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her
Curious George and the High Voltage Fence
All Cats Go to Hell
The Little Sissy Who Snitched
Some Kittens Can Fly
The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator
The Pop-up Book of Human Anatomy
Strangers Have the Best Candy
You Were an Accident
Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will
Pop! Goes The Hamster, And Other Great Microwave Games
Your Nightmares Are Real
Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things
Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

DR. SEUSS Category:
One Bitch, Two Bitch, Dead Bitch, You Bitch
Herbert The Pervert Likes Sherbet
Fox In Detox
Who Shat In The Hat?
Horton Hires a Ho
Your Colon Can Moo - Can You?
Zippy The Rabid Gerbil
The Cat In The Blender
Marvin K. Mooney, Get the Hell Out!

Apr 30, 2009


We're back home after two wonderful weeks in England, the highlight of which being the fantasy wedding at Banwell Castle that my darling sister in law conceived, planned and implemented to perfection.

I highly recommend getting married in a castle because it is indescribly romantic and comes as close as you can get to feeling like Cinderella, or Cinderfella as the case may be. Since this is our first day back I don't have time to tell you all about it because I have to go to work and see how many inches of paperwork are covering my desk. However, here are a few photos to show you what a beautiful day we had.

Here's a shot of the castle--exactly as advertised, except better. Much, much better:

And here's a photo of the wedding party. You'll note that the groom is not wearing a tie or belt. This is because the groom forgot to pack them which he didn't realize until he started to get dressed an hour before the ceremony:

We had a pre-ceremony reception in the castle's drawing room so everyone could mingle and get to know each other. We also enjoyed a pre-ceremony cocktail which went a long way towards calming Cinderella's and Cinderfella's nerves:

By the way, the drink we call "mimosas" are called "Buck's Fizz" in England.

I highly recommend Buck's Fizz. Buck Fizzes. Whatever.

After the reception we moved to the gatehouse which had been beautifully decorated with flowers and candles and had our ceremony. I would show you photos of the ceremony but I was too busy at the time to take any; however, I can report that it was touching and romantic and my groom read a very sweet reading to me that made me all misty eyed.

And after we were hitched for the second time--two ceremonies on two continents makes us good and truly married I reckon--we enjoyed a feast:

Later on our wedding night we got the opportunity to try out the English health care system. The groom started running a fever early in that morning which only got worse as the day went along, plus he started having a hard time catching his breath.

Since there are no "doc in a box" clinics in England we called the local health service and they sent a very nice English doctor around to pay us a housecall castle call. He arrived at Morley's bedside a little after midnight, and after examining him the doctor loaded him up on antibiotics and recommended that he rest and stay warm for a day or two.

"Staying warm" is easier said than done in a castle--that stereotype about castles being drafty and hard to heat? True. Here's the groom the next day camped out in bed waiting for the meds to kick in, wearing all the bedcovers we could find plus his sweatshirt.

I might mention that if you have to put in a couple of sick days while on vacation, you could do worse than spending them holed up in a suite in an English castle with a guy named William bringing you trays of hot tea and freshly baked scones all day. I'm just saying.

And in case you are wondering, we don't believe my groom has swine flu. At least I hope it isn't swine flu because I started coming down with the same thing on the flight home last night.

And now I'm off for a shower and the office to uncover my desk, and unless a nice English doctor rings my doorbell, visit a "doc in the box" to get some meds of my own.

More soon.

Apr 26, 2009

Married. Again.

We're getting married again today at this place, Banwell Castle, in a traditional English service.

I believe the way it works over here is first an evil knight locks me in a tower and throws away the key. Then I cry out for help and Morley hears me and vows to rescue me. So I let down my golden tresses and he climbs up my hair, squeezes thru the little window in the tower where I am being held captive, and we share a passionate kiss.

Then we suddenly realize that now both of us are trapped in the tower forever and ever, with no possible means of escape. Allegorically speaking.

Or maybe we just have a nice ceremony followed by a big lunch and a few drinks. I'm not exactly sure how it works but I'll let you know.

Apr 25, 2009


Morley's hometown has a very special relationship with the Concorde: the facility where these amazing aircraft were built is just minutes from Morley's mum's house and many people in the area, including Morley's dad, worked there.

After one of the Concordes crashed outside Paris in 2000, the decision was made (by the wimpy French) to retire the entire fleet. On the last day of service every Concorde in the world made one last flight, arriving in London at the same time to land one right after the other. One of them paid special tribute to Bristol on its way to London by flying over the facility where they had been built and wagging its wings in salute to the Bristolians gathered below to pay their last respects.

Morley's mum is very attached to the Concorde. She tells great stories about the days when she would stand in her back garden watching it in test flight overhead, but she had only seen them from afar, never up close and personal. So on her 80th birthday we fixed that--we arranged for her to tour the Concorde that had been donated to the Bristol area for a museum that is in the works (it might be open by now for all I know).

She had no idea where we were taking her but as soon as we pulled up to the Filton facility she guessed what we were up to. She was delighted.

The volunteers who gave her the tour made a big deal of it being her birthday. They ceremoniously waved her onboard where she had it all to herself for a few minutes to soak up the swanky leather smell and luxurious interior, then they invited her to have her photo taken in the seat by the Mach 2 sign that used to light up when the airplane broke the sound barrier.

The volunteers who take care of the Concorde keep everything exactly as it was when the plane was in service, right down to the fine linens and china dinnerware. There was no "first class" service on Concorde--every seat was "supersonic class".

By the way, the bathrooms looked like normal airplane bathrooms except for fresh flowers and marble countertops--but how often do you get to take a whizz going faster than the speed of sound?

Apr 24, 2009

What I'm craving by now

Ordinary, nothing special, drip grind American coffee. Don't get me wrong--English brew is delicious but it just isn't the same.

By the time this post shows up we'll have been in England for over a week and I bet I'm craving a pot of plain old American coffee.

Also, email.

Also, the internet.

Also news, most especially the Drudge Report.

Also, Survivor and American Idol.

Also, you.

Apr 23, 2009

middle of nowhere

Once we were driving aimlessly through England as we typically like to do when we spotted this ancient footbridge out in the middle of nowhere.

We pulled to the side of the road to take a closer look and to walk across a stone bridge that untold generations of Englishmen before us had crossed.

Then we found a rock to sit on and so we could enjoy the peace and quiet and watch this bird admire himself in the stream...

...and make plans to have watercress sandwiches with our afternoon tea.

Apr 22, 2009

Doors, and houses with names

Every house in England has a beautiful front door and every house has a name.

When we get home I'm going to give our house a name.

I think I'll call it Rodney.