fuzzy, black dogs

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

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Monday, May 28, 2012

Psst... I See Groundhogs

I should probably warn you that this may sound a little bizarre, but I seem to have developed a new gift kind of late in life. Come close so you can hear my dramatic whisper, "I see groundhogs."

I had a conversation recently with my brother-in-law about this strange phenomenon. It seems like no matter where I go, I see groundhogs somewhere close to the roadside rooting around, or just simply sitting and eating. I've seen close to 10 just in the last four weeks. That's nine more than I've seen my entire life up until 44 years of age. Oddly enough, though, I only see them when I'm driving.

So anyway, there we were chugging down the road chatting about my newfound talent. When I first told him that I see groundhogs, he said nothing at first. I glanced to make sure he hadn't jumped out of a moving vehicle.

"Where do you see groundhogs," he asked carefully, emphasizing the 'where.' He watched me like one watches a dangerous person.

I see them all over the place. I told him. Well, not all over the place, literally. They are always by the side of the road, obviously, as I'm driving to and fro from work, running errands or going places.

"You mean dead ones," he asked. "As in... Roadkill."
"No," I said. "Thes ones I see all are very much alive."
"What do they look like?"
"I know what a groundhog looks like," I nearly yelled. "I've seen 'Groundhog Day! They look like Punxatawny Phil!"

Coincidentally, there just happened to be a groundhog by the side of the road at that very moment.

"Look," I nearly yelled, pointing wildly at the side of the road. "There's one now!"

He didn't look in the direction I pointed until we were nearly past it.

"Dude," he said flatly. "That was totally a stump."
"No," I yelled. "No, it wasn't! Stumps don't have fur! Stumps don't eat! Stumps don't move!"

My new plan of attack is to slow down and try to get a picture of the next one with my cell phone. That way, I'll have irrefutable evidence to back up my claim of seeing small, furry woodland quadrupeds rooting around and eating by the road sides.

I made the mistake of telling his sister, alias my wife, and my son about my newfound talent for spotting groundhogs.

To date, my wife has yet to comment on the situation. And my son? Well, this is all he had to say on the matter.

"How convenient, Dad. You seem to be developing a neurological disorder. And Papaw (my father) just happens to be a neurologist. I think we can fix this."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Test in the Works for American Children

It's that time of year for schools and students alike. That dreaded "T" word that makes kids tremble in their shoes and feign all sorts of illnesses. Testing. No matter what you call them, or what initials they go by, a test is a test is a test!

While I am not allowed to talk about my school's testing that we are currently undergoing, I can certainly tell you about mine! It's a special test. I created it myself. It's a non-specialized, specialized test whose sole purpose is to rate students' skills in real life situations.

Here's a brief sampling of my little exam:
1. You purchase a combo meal at a fast food restaurant drive-thru. You pay for it with a $10 bill and you:
a)get $5.37 change.
b)get a cold soda/hot coffee spilled in your lap within five minutes.
c)get a $5 bill and some change which will end up dropping somewhere onto the floorboard where you will never be able to reach without turning off the car, getting out, sitting on the ground and reaching in through the open door.

2. Three fuzzy, black dogs are:
a)two dogs too many!
b)three times the love!
c)fine, as long as they have been trained to NOT jump on you and lick your face the minute you sit/lay down to relax.

3. Your 4 year-old child dumps your fishing bait into the lake, then proceeds to tell you that he "liberated" the minnows you purchased to fish with. You:
a)tell him through a forced smile how incredibly proud you are that he used such a big word correctly.
b)punish him severely. Those itty-bitty minnows cost good money!
c)realize that it's hopeless due to other family members cheering and congratulating him and simply try to move forward.

4. Your car breaks down by the side of the road in a torrential downpour seemingly in the middle of nowhere. After you pull your vehicle safely to the roadside, you then:
a)begin cursing immediately, then call your brother/significant other (or insert any other car-knowledgable person of your acquaintance here) to come and save you.
b)calmly assess the situation, then proceed to fix the flat that has placed you in this nasty, wet predicament.
c)call AAA, then wear the battery down listening to your favorite cd to the accompaniment of a lovely rainfall while waiting for the tow truck.

As I said, this is only a small sampling of what will be known as the PEIAT (think car company Fiat, only with a hard P), aka Phillip's Everyday Important Answers Test. While, technically speaking, there are no wrong answers to my test, there are some answers that are simply 'more correct' than others.

I feel supremely confident that you will see more of this test in the future. THIS, in fact, is sure to be the test of choice for all educators across this great nation of ours. Look for it soon!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Good Slogan Makes a Business Great!

I have made a decision. I decided that I need to start my own business again.

While everyone knows that a good product and service are important, few seem to realize that it's the slogan that makes a business great! A good business has to have a catchy slogan. Here are a few ideas I've come up with for what will surely be wildly successful businesses, judging by the slogans, of course.

One idea I have is Phil's Water Delivery Service. The slogan? Want better, wetter water? Try Phil's Water! It's the better, wetter choice of a better, wetter water!

Why split wood? We could and would split wood for you! Or...  We'll split and spit the wood to bits for you! This would be ideal for Phillip's Wood Splitting and Mulching Company.

Perhaps I should go into the general repair field. The slogan for Phillip's Fix-it Service and Shop? Why, that would be -- If we can't fix it with duct tape, you probably need a new one.

Phillip's Mirror Sales and Service will simply have a one word slogan -- Demure.

One business I could take on with my eyes closed and with no extra training would be Phillip's Creative Writing and Resume Services. Words & Witticisms That Work might be a good slogan. However, I like my alternative which would be as follows: English and Experience Both Begin with 'E.'

I've been in the food delivery business before. I'm simply not too enthusiastic to jump back into any kind of food service. If I do, though, Phil's Personal Food Delivery Service cannot not be successful with the slogan -- Fee Fi Fo Food!

Should none of these work, I do have one fail-safe plan. The business will be called Philbud's Daycare and Taser Manufacturing Company. I have three slogans for this one: What's the worst that could happen?; So much fun it's shocking!; or Shockingly fun, and now with complimentary espresso machines!