fuzzy, black dogs

fuzzy, black dogs
All three of my fuzzy, black dogs -- Bob, Ace and Lilly.

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Christmas Shuffle

Christmas may be over, but we aren't finished with it yet! The truth is, I've put it off for four days. It can't wait any longer. I started with the flat screen tv box in the living room and took it to the curb. The flat screen tv is in place and the old one is in the dining room. And that is where the trouble begins...

If we keep it, then we'll use it to replace the small one in the sunroom. And of course the shelves holding the small one aren't big enough for the larger one. Now, those shelves are where I was going to put the books I got for Christmas, so now those have to find a new home as well. That means the books may have to go to the bookshelves upstairs and the shelf will replace the jewelry chest of drawers that currently hold everything but jewelry.

Now the jewelry chest of drawers is homeless. It could be a great place to store cd's, dvd's, and Wii games, but there is no room for it with the new, rather large television set. The only logical place for it to go would be the office. Now we have the jewelry chest replacing the antique entertainment system (I call it an antique because it's a radio/record player/eight-track tape player!) that is as big as a sofa and takes up an entire wall. Why? Well, that's the only logical place for it to go.

Now we have to move the entertainment system to the only place it can possibly go -- the hallway. However, I have a credenza in the hallway that holds knick-knacks, a slightly damaged antique repro mirror and even more books. I won't even mention the books and other assorted items stored underneath the credenza. Some of the underneath "stuff" could go on my newly cleaned desk. The on top of "stuff" might be distributed amongst the bookshelve tops that are nearly brimming full with other "stuff," and the credenza could go to the dead space behind the sofa.

Now we have to figure out what to do with the chest full of more "stuff" currently residing in said dead space. The chest is stacked on top an antique card catalog. One day, I will convert it into an butcher's block island for my little kitchen. I could conceivably put the chest into the dead space behind the exposed chimney upstairs which was hidden by the jewelry chest.

That also means I'll have to follow through with the butcher's block island by putting a top and legs on it. My next obvious move will be to add on to the back of the house so I can enlarge my kitchen to hold the butcher's block island.

Voila! Problem solved. And rest assured I'll jump right on it after I test out my new flat screen tv with a Wii game or two. Oh, and lunch. And after...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My 2012 New Year's Resolutions

That time of year has come again. The end of one year and the beginning of the next. Duh. Regardless, I always feel compelled to follow the generally accepted New Year's traditions, which includes eating certain foods and making my own personal list of resolutions.

It seems I always follow the food tradition of pork, cooked greens and black-eyed peas. I didn't even know about this tradition until after I got married and my wife told me about it. Her mother and her mother's mother backed her up, so I knew it had to be true. However, I've found the stomach aches I've given myself over too much cooked greens every year for the past eight years hasn't brought me financial prosperity. Maybe this year will be the year. I'll eat 'em again this year.

I'm already taking stock of my successes and foibles; my attempts and failures; and my life in general throughout the past year. While I haven't come up with any grand pearls of wisdom, I have come up with a grand list of resolutions. Here is a sampling of my New Year's Resolutions for the year 2012:

1. I resolve to NOT collect any more fuzzy, black dogs (or any other color or type of dog). Three is enough!
2. I resolve to try to be nicer to my son's friend Ann. And I really will try...
3. I resolve to not use the same resolution I've used now for approximately five years. That would be "I, Phillip Haworth, resolve to take the New Year one day at a time, striving to do my best daily by compounding upon the knowledge I've gained in the days previous and adding to it the knowledge I acquired more recently."
4. I resolve to quit being goofy. Okay, I'm lying on that one.
5. I resolve to try to quit manipulating the English language for personal gains. (The fish I caught *is about 10 pounds!)
6. I resolve to never again used an electrical food processor.
7. I resolve to try not to make fun of Kat's odd little dog, Bear.
8. I resolve to take better, more professional photos than my 14 year-old son!
9. I resolve to continue to be the wonderful, loving husband I think my wife thinks I am.
10. I resolve to outcook (or try to, anyway) Ann's mom in the next chili cook-off!
11. I resolve to try to be the amazing person Frannie, my mother-in-law, believes me to be.
12. I resolve to have a personal photographer on ALL my fishing outings.
13. I resolve to drink... Not drink... Drink...  Nevermind. We'll come back to that one.
14. I resolve to try not to get into any more gift wrap tube duels with my son. He's quick.
15. I resolve to be nicer to the woman at the drive thru at the KK who can't audibly undertand the difference between the words "coffee" and "mocha."
16. I resolve to not collect any fuzzy, black cats, or fuzzy, white cats, or even the fuzzy, black and white cats who seem to have taken up permanent residence on my front porch!
18. I resolve to try to make shorter blog posts throughout the next year.
19. I resolve to make shorter lists that don't go on so long.
20. I resolve to never... Oh, yeah -- shorter list

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

*Note the use of present tense. I catch and release. It was probably not quite a pound when I originally caught it and I am going under the assumption that the fish in question is still possibly alive and thriving.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Phillip's Holiday Eating Guide

I'm a man of many hats... Father, husband, son, uncle, in-home sick care provider, cook, bill payer, lawn maintenance provider, home maintenance provider, general car fix-it guy, chauffeur... Okay. You get the picture. However, today I'm going to try on a new hat -- self-help diet guru!

What better way to try out my newest title than to help my readers through this troubled time (known as the Holiday Season!) with my vast and incredible knowledge about food and general dietary needs. Let's start with a brief quiz.

The food you are eating these days...
1. Is it sweet?
2. Is it salty?
3. Can you eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner?
4. Does it come individually wrapped?
5. Do you inexplicably crave it at seemingly random times of the day and/or night?
6. Does it contain chocolate in any way, shape or form?
7. Is it fun to eat?
8. Would your (or any, if you don't have one) ten year-old son eat it?
9. Would dogs, cats, ferrets, parakeets or iguanas eat it if it is left out?
10. Can it be described as yummy, tasty or "Mmmmm-that-is-heavenly!"?

If you answered 'Yes' to any of the questions above, it's probably not something healthy to eat. If you answered 'Yes' to all of them, then I know it's not something healthy to eat and might cause you to gain a little holiday weight.

In years past, before I was married, I listened to my mother and 'stuck with green stuff.' In light of my holiday diet in years past, however, she has since rescinded that comment. Apparently, she was not referring to the little tree-shaped cookies with the the green icing, or the green M&M's, or green gummies, or green jelly beans, or... Well, you get the idea.

Keeping all this in mind, you have only two options open to you as far as what you can eat throughout this holiday season. The first would be plain, uncooked oatmeal straight out of the box. That means you can't put butter, salt, syrup, sugar or any flavoring on it. The second would be Brussel sprouts. They're green AND supposed to be healthy for you, though I've never actually witnessed anyone besides my mother consume one.

And there you have it! Just stick with Phillip's Famous Holiday Eating Plan and by the time January 1st rolls around, you'll be a leaner, meaner and more fit you! Happy eating and happy holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Translators: A Game or a Tool?

Vrolijk Kerstfeest en Gelukkig Vakanties naar al mijn toegewijde lezers! Het was een leuk jaar posting op mijn "literaire" plaats, Fuzzy, Black Dogs. Ik heb posting diepe gedachten, literaire stukken en kleine stukjes van de poëzie voor bijna een jaar nu. Ik hoop te blijven onderhouden en het maken van glimlacht nog minstens een jaar.

Счастливого Рождества и праздники для всех моих преданных читателей! Это было весело год размещения на мои "литературные" места, нечеткие, черные собаки. Я отправлял глубокие мысли, литературной части и кусочки поэзии почти год. Я надеюсь продолжить развлекательного и сделать улыбки, по крайней мере еще ​​на год.

God Jul och Gott Semester till alla mina hängivna läsare! Det har varit ett roligt år att publicera på min "litterär" plats, Fuzzy, svarta hundar. Jag har varit posta djupa tankar, litterära bitar och små bitar av poesi i nästan ett år nu. Jag hoppas kunna fortsätta underhållande och göra ler i minst ett år till.

Hopefully, that little message I wrote in Dutch, Russian and Swedish translates properly into the following:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my devoted readers! It's been a fun year posting fun things on my "literary" venue, Fuzzy, Black Dogs. I've been posting deep thoughts, literary pieces and little bits of poetry for nearly a year now. I hope to continue entertaining and making smiles for at least another year.

There's just something fun about translators. I've been playing with them since my son first started taking Spanish. The only Spanish I know I learned from a Mexican fast-food chain's mascot dog from their commercials! So it stands to reason that I would end up utilizing an online translator in order to offer useful help to my son struggling with a foreign language.

However, I don't get to help him as much these days. So now I just pop onto the translators from time to time and translate whatever comes to mind. Sure translators are a great tool, but if someone turns them into a game, I'm sure to be one of the highest scorers!

Perhaps it's time for me to get serious and quit goofing off on the translators...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Christmas Wish List

Here we are nearing the end of our second week in December. I've had a number of people ask me what I want for Christmas. Tell me, what does anybody really want for Christmas? However, I've thought long and hard about it and have come up with a Santa list... Well, kind of. Some of the items on my list may be unattainable without some secret Santa magic, or just plain priceless. Regardless, here's a small sample of my list:

I want a diet suppressor. Not for me, but for fuzzy, black dog (fbd for short) number three! He's trying to eat the house down, Santa. For real.

I want a dog grooming box. The dog goes in and, presto, comes back out clean and groomed!

I want fbd number two to not be afraid to poop in the yard when it rains.

I want the (big) brown trout back that I nearly caught on my guided fly-fishing trip. I really wanted a picture of THAT fish.

A clue. I want a clue so everybody will stop telling me to get one.

I want the 300 pound tuna I caught back too. Out of season my hiney!! That captain should still be on your naughty list, Santa.

I want some vertebrae for my lower back. The ones there now aren't working so well, Santa.

How about a self-cleaning house. I want one of those, or the kit to install to convert my current house into
 a self-cleaner.

I want an endless supply of rawhide bones. When fbd number one doesn't have any, he gets bored and goes for the blankets on my bed.

I want more books. The million or so I have are simply not enough.

And a chainsaw. I've wanted one since I was 10 years old, Santa. You should know that. A real gas-powered chainsaw. You're my only hope, Santa, since no one in my family seems to think it's a good idea for me to own one. Go figure. I'll leave a spot open for it for you.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Groeten ann Alle/Greetings to All

Gegroet, mijn Nederland vrienden! Ik wil u bedanken voor het bezoeken van mijn blog, Fuzzy, Black Dogs. Afhankelijk van het aantal pageviews die ik heb ontvangen van uw grote land, het lijkt erop heb ik wel een volgende ontwikkeld. Ik hoop dat u mijn schrijven te fris, schoon en verkiwikkend te lezen. Zo niet, ik hoop dat je in ieder geval vind ik gek tirades te vermaken!

At the risk of chancing any further offense, I'm switching to English. It's my native language and, obviously, the only language I really know. With the previous paragraph, I've taken a great leap of faith with an online translator.

I don't know Dutch. Period. I really don't know any foreign language. I took three years of French in high school and, shortly after graduating, found myself in Mexico. As part of a program, I taught first aid in several small villages, as well as hiked two volcanoes there. Needless to say, my language skills didn't do me much good while in Mexico. The most foreign language I know I learned from a Mexican fast-food chain's mascot dog from their commercials.

All this having been said, I hope I haven't said something stupid in my opening paragraph. I hope my faith in my translator program hasn't been misplaced. And, in case I did say something outlandish, the opening paragraph should be translated to say the following:

Greetings, my Netherland friends! I want to thank you for visiting my blog, Fuzzy, Black Dogs. According to the number of pageviews I have received from your great country, it seems that I have developed quite a following. I hope you find my writing to be crisp, clean and invigorating to read. If not, I hope you at least find my crazy rantings to be entertaining!