Archive for May, 2013

Our Tropical Season Preparedness

We endured a rather horrific series of three-day weekends in the recent past with the grandchildren present when it was pouring rain outside and the pitter patter of energetic little feet racing around was confined to the inside. We all survived due to the occasional distraction of computer games and television. I believe we watched 99 episodes of Dora the Explorer in a row. Even now, I spontaneously burst into singing the Dora the Explorer song.

The old school clunky television died after a lightning strike a couple of weeks ago. SwampMan watches tv on his computer, so he didn’t suffer too much. I don’t get to watch tv since I never get control of the remote, so I certainly didn’t.

We were lazily discussing getting a replacement. We looked at them in a few different places. SwampMan wants a big screen flat television that costs somewhere around the GDP of a small African country. I pointed out that we actually don’t HAVE the GDP of a small African country. “I will get it and make payments!” he said confidently. “LIKE HELL YOU WILL!” I counter offered. “FINE. I’ll pay cash at Walmart.” Well, that was fine with me, I told him. “After all, we can both get by just fine without eating for six to eight weeks.”

So, that was how the situation was in television land. A complete standoff between both parties with no possibility of victory for either side. Then the unexpected occurred. SwampDaughter called and said that SwampSon-In-Law had been promoted at work! “Woohooo!” I said. Then I heard the downside: He’d be working every Saturday except for drill weekends, so the kids would be here every weekend (and on Thursday) in perpetuity and, of course, the boys want to be here for three weeks at a time in the summer. Rain was in the forecast for this weekend. And there’s possibly a tropical something brewing in the gulf that could impact us in @ a week.

SwampMan and I looked at each other. “Oh, CRAP!” we uttered nearly simultaneously. “We need a television NOW!” Yes, we’re awful for using the television for a babysitter during stormy times. It saves wear and tear on the furniture and young bodies, for the kids will jump off the furniture onto each other to entertain themselves when they are stuck inside. It also distracts them from loading viruses onto my computer in their covert search for computer games that MeeMaw Would Not Like. SwampMan lets the boys play things like Call of Duty, games that neither I nor SwampDaughter approve, so the boys are not allowed to use his computer. Devious bastard.

So, we made an emergency compromise. SwampMan has a bigger screen than previously, but not ginormous. It also has a much better picture than the late old television. However, it’s an old school clunky television, which means that we nearly got double hernias carrying that sumbitch into the house. However, it only cost us $30.00 at a thrift store. He’s happier with the bigger screen, better picture, and that only he knows how to operate the (universal) remote that isn’t universal. I’m happy that the month of July may include food.

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Remember The Fallen

From one of my favorite movies:

Introducing Sergeant Major Plumley

Any o’ you sumbitches call me grandpa, I’ll kill you!

And the real men they were based on:

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Happy Birthday, SwampDaughter!

Jenny's Bday 2013Happy Birthday to a most beautiful and talented daughter. You are loved very much!

I’m afraid this is actually more how SwampDaughter feels this morning after working the night shift:

Booboos SwampDaughter helps with on the night shift:What SwampDaughter does on her birthday

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Dylan’s Kindergarten Graduation

Jenny and Zoe and Dylan's Kindergarten graduationDylan's kindergarten graduationDylan’s kindergarten graduation was this morning, so naturally the ol’ Ford truck and I traveled somewhat beyond the speed limit in order to make it on time.

Little Miss Zoe was a lil’ tired grumpy girl this morning. We were glared at from under lowered brows with a little pooched out bottom lip several times. She dressed herself in a pink camouflage skirt and a black, pink, purple, and blue shirt. They did not match in any way, shape or form. She threw a hissy when Mommy wanted to change her clothes, so off we went. She immediately fell down and skinned her knees as soon as we went out the front door. Yes, she inherited my grace in movement.

If you wonder at Zoe’s lack of fashion sense, wonder no more. MeeMaw here was wearing a green camouflage shirt, pants of a slightly different yet not matching green hue, and white tennis shoes with pink and white socks. It was not a pretty sight. I ran into the house after SwampMan left and I’d let the sheep out to graze and fed the lambs, some of the chickens, ducks, and rabbits, and ran into the house shedding clothes on my way to the shower. The clothes I was planning on wearing had gotten crumpled in the closet, so I grabbed what was hanging near them, dressed hurriedly, and ran out the door without so much as drying my hair or putting on any sort of makeup to ease the eyes of my fellow humans.

Mommy looked down at Zoe’s hair flying wildly in divergent directions. She looked at my hair. She sighed, and said “She REALLY DID get your hair!” Hunh. I guess my hair was doing its Albert Einstein look-alike thing again. Dang. Poor Zoe’s hair is curly in some places and absolutely straight in others. It flips up over her ears. Daughter used to absolutely HATE that in my hair. “WHY in the world do you fix your hair like that?” she would ask. “I don’t. It just DOES it on its own!” I would protest. “Well, you need to DO SOMETHING!” she would say. “It looks HORRIBLE!” Grin. The ONLY THING to do about it is to either let it grow so long that the weight of it pulls the weird curl out, or cut it off. This is why my hair is about an inch long (Look! No curls!) yet STILL unruly.

Mommy just lets her hair drip dry out of the shower, probably didn’t even brush it, and it fell in soft beautiful waves. Perhaps one day Zoe and I will get together and shave her head when Zoe gets older.

Dylan (in the blue shirt) was his little mischievous self albeit on his best behavior after the 911 call last week. I am so proud of our little first grader! Well, we assume he’s going to be a first grader. I anxiously asked that very question of his Mommy when we were there. She said “Well, he’s with the rest, so I guess he’s going to first grade!”

“Um, would they tell little kindergarteners ‘No, you can’t participate, because YOU FAILED?'”

“I would think probably not!” she said, after reflection.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t think so, either.”

We pondered that for awhile until I realized that they would have sent Mommy a notice of retention if he were being held back. We do not doubt his intelligence; it’s just that it is very hard to be five years old, filled with energy, and to have to sit inside and be quiet and work for very long.

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Happy 9th Birthday, Jacob!

Jacob's 9th birthday

Happy 9th Birthday to my oldest grandson! I can still remember his daddy and mommy bringing his little self (well, okay, BIG self) home from the hospital. Where does the time go?

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Prayers for Moore, Oklahoma

I’ve been watching the local news channels (via computer) out of Oklahoma. Like many of you, I watched the tornado touch down live via stormchaser camera yesterday.

I thank God that so many people survived what looked to be an unsurvivable event.

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Why Won’t My Keyboard Button Thingamajig Work?

SwampMan was complaining loudly to himself. “This button USED to work, but NOOOOOOO. It doesn’t work now. It hasn’t worked for a long time through different computers, and I’d like to know why the hell not!” STABSTABSTABSTABSTAB at the button because physical abuse always makes electronic things work.

“Did you look it up online?” I asked, rudely interrupting his soliloquy cuss session.

“No. What good would that do? It has been a long time since that thing worked.”

“So I heard. Is it your new keyboard?”

“No, damnit. The button hasn’t worked for YEARS. This is a new keyboard.”

“So, what version of Windows you got?”

“Windows XP.”

Ah, yes. He’d ordered a refurbished computer for his shop because he wanted to keep XP; his house computer also has XP. It makes moving things back and forth easier. I’d been typing into the search engine while we were speaking and had the answer in about ten seconds. “Well, there’s your problem right here. That button doesn’t work directly with XP.”

SwampMan muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “bullshit”.

“Humor me. Hit the button, then press start, then all programs, then accessories….”

He stabbed the keys with unnecessary vigor following my directions, then there was a muttered “Well I’ll be a (very rude and offensive expletive)!”

Ah, apparently we were successful in our endeavor.

“Isn’t it interesting”, I continued, “what we find out if we actually look it up?”

More muttered rude words. Not to worry, though. Tomorrow he’ll probably be saying something like “Isn’t it INTERESTING how much money we can save if we do not hit things with a hammer when they malfunction?” to me, unless he recalls in time that his knees have been malfunctioning for years.

Ah, well. He may still be a little aggravated at me from earlier today. He was worrying aloud about the CNC not working with the new (refurbished) computer, mentioned how he had checked settings several times, and was just about to start checking all his connections to make sure he had power to all of them.

“Oh!” I remarked helpfully, although he had not asked for any. “Did you check to see if you have enough RAM?”

He actually rolled his eyes at me. “What, do you think I’m stupid? Of COURSE!”

“Did you reconnect everything to see if it worked with the old computer again after you got everything disconnected and reconnected to the new computer and it didn’t work?” I’m definitely not a repairman, and I am lazy, so I like to make sure that what I’m putting forth a lot of effort and brainwork into is actually the problem.

He blinked. “Well, no….”

“It’s just me, but I’d like to make sure that the computer or a cable isn’t the problem first before I go tearing things down.” SwampMan likes to tear things down. Well, so do I, but all that is left are teensy little molecule-sized pieces when I do it. He actually takes things apart and puts them back together in working condition, and I just gaze at him adoringly because he’s my hero.

“I never even thought of THAT because everything is supposed to be new. Good idea!”

It turned out that it was a dead parallel port in the refurbished computer. Not to worry. SwampMan throws NOTHING away because he may need it someday. He’s got eight or so old computers sitting around to strip parts out of. He’s very happy that he gets to tear down things after all.

Crossposted at Nuke’s.

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