fuzzy, black dogs

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

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Telephones and cell phones offer an infinite amount of entertainment and fun. If it wasn't for our phones, how else would we 'reach out and touch someone?'

I love to answer other people's cell phones. My wife, my family or my friends, it doesn't matter who. There have been times when someone handed me a ringing cell phone because they were just too busy to answer.

"Thank you for calling so-and-so's cell phone," I would say to the caller, using my friend's name. "This is so-and-so's personal cell phone answering service. How may I assist to you today?"

Growing up, I had a friend who would answer his home phone with, "It's your quarter." When cell phones became more common and cheaper, he answered that the same way. As cell phones became prevalent, I think he realized no one was getting the joke and he finally stopped.

One of my favorite neighbors likes to answer his cell phone with one of three responses. Those responses include "Federal Bureau of Investigation," "Homeland Security" and "Internal Revenue."

No one, and I include myself in that, can top my son's answers on his cell phone. Here is a brief list of some I can remember.

"Where's my money!" he shouted to a number he didn't recognize once.

His responses to family and friends are generally more fun and light-hearted, luckily.

"Roadkill Grille," I heard once. "You kill it, we grill it! What kin ah do fer ya?"

"Frank's Daycare and Taser Emporium. What could possibly go wrong?"

One of my favorites, however, was when his Ginga, as he calls his grandmother, called. He answered, "Don's Octopus Removal Service. Removing cephalopods from your home since 1906."

Friday, March 22, 2013

What a Long Strange Trip it's Been

We've reached a milestone. In fact, it's really quite an accomplishment. This writing marks the 100th post for Fuzzy, Black Dogs! While I'm not a Dead fan, what a long strange trip it's been. You know what? It's only going to get better from here.

Here's where we stand after the first hundred posts...

Still have just three fuzzy, black dogs, check. Not two and not four (thank you Lord!) and no plans to change that any time soon.

The children in all three of my first grade classes are still keeping a close eye on me and my daily clothing choices. I have one shirt in particular that's garnered the first grade seal of approval. I'm careful not to wear it too much, though.

Speaking of school, I've not battled any more giant, child-eating spiders.

I'm still dreaming of my 20-car garage and the fleet of cars I will own. While I'm at it, I'm still dreaming of removing the decimal in my current six-figure income.

I still haven't purchased or received my own personal brewery or wine-making kit. But that's a future business venture for another post.

The hot tub project still remains a proposed project. I have not prepped for the zombie apocalypse. I also haven't prepped for my next presidential run. No worries, though. There's still time for each, I think.

I'm still in the process of perfecting the freeze pop diet. My family convinced me to give up the greens diet. Other diets in the works include my popcorn diet, carnivore diet and marshmallow diet. That last one is showing some promise.

I'm honestly hoping that at 45, I wont be getting as sick as I did at the young age of 44!

The holiday I tried to create fell through. I certainly have NOT seen a groundhog since writing about the little critters. I still have a full complement of ice scrapers for my car. I barely used them!

Above all else, I'm getting better at being a passenger in my own car. I'm handling my son's driving pretty well, too. Now, if I could just figure out how I got this nervous tic.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Little Drawer of Horrors

I recently started a project of immense magnitude. A project so deep with far-reaching ramifications that it could shake the foundation of mankind. I actually attempted to clean out "the drawer."

You all know what I'm talking about. We all have one. Some people don't like to admit it, but it's there, lurking in the kitchen or the living room. It goes by many different names such as the 'catch all' drawer or the 'junk' drawer. Personally, I call mine the little drawer of horrors.

For some reason, I actually have two of these drawers in my house... No, make that three. Perhaps that means I have too much junk in my house.

Regardless of how much junk I have, I began the cleaning process on the little drawer of horrors, which for me is my nightstand drawer.

I predicted that the cleaning process would uncover layers, like as in geological sediment layers. Instead, it came out more like a poorly mixed soup. The heavier items, it seems, simply sank to the bottom just waiting to be discovered.

I found all sorts of neat items. I found a Father's Day card from my nine year-old son (he's now 15!). I found a loose knife blade, a kids pencil sharpener, an earring (what?), and my Fisher Space Pen made from a .375 caliber bullet shell, and a couple hundred other various cheap and expensive pens.

Three hours later, my wife came and found me reading a pamphlet I found in the drawer. In another 15 minutes, she had the drawer nearly cleaned.

I say nearly because I intend to fix that broken knife one day -- you know, in my spare time. And some of those cheap, plastic pens that don't work have fond memories attached to them. And my Father's Day cards...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Birthday Wish List, Replete with Addictions

Here it comes again. Just like taxes, death and fuzzy, black bleck-up hairballs, it's one of life's inevitabilities. It's my birthday. My 45th birthday. And I'm facing it head on.

I've come up with a birthday wish list, as a matter of fact. As anyone who knows me will attest, I don't do subtle. So here is my list for my family, friends and readers. Feel free to pick and choose from the list.

If you don't find anything in my list that appeals to you, I always appreciate a fine, expensive fountain pen. Waterman, Mont Blanc, Pelican or otherwise, I'm not picky.

Books. Lots and lots of books. I love to read and I now have a small list of authors of whom I've read all their books and am impatiently waiting for new ones.

I need a tuxedo. And a shoulder gun holster. And a Walther PPK. And a British accent. Then I think I could give Daniel Craig a run for his money as the next James Bond.

While I'm at it, a new car would be cool. You know... The "dream scream machine" that I have described on more than one occasion. I'm not picky, though. I'd take an Aston Martin as well.

A light saber would be cool. A real light saber, not one of those clever fakes. I could think of some good uses for a real light saber.

I'd like caffeine in a new form, please! I've quit drinking colas and sodas. Since I've quit, I've come to realize how dependent I have become on my 11:45am Diet Coke fix. Now I feel like a junkie... Give me a Diet Coke or die, bleep it!!

Speaking of addictions, I want 15 more levels of Angry Birds! At least! And Star Wars Angry Birds! And Angry Birds Space! I just need my Angry Birds and nobody gets hurt!

No worries, though. It's a healthy addiction.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

First Grade Writing

I think my kids look forward to Guided Reading with me. I have them writing all sorts of fun things. I don't generally get to write along with them.

They write things like "If I were the tooth fairy, I would..." "My favorite book is... And here's why..." and "If I were the gingerbread man, I would..."

"Why don't you have to do this, Mr. Haworth," I've been asked before. Duh! I'm the teacher, that's why! More interestingly, I was asked recently "Why have you always got to know about our business, Mr. Haworth?"

One of my favorites was the gingerbread writing assignment. I started it last year, but have expanded on it this year. I certainly don't allow my kids THAT much time for their writing assignments!

With that being said, if I were the gingerbread man, I would start a guitar band and I would name it Gingerbread Stud Muffins.

My band would be four guys and, being the gingerbread man, I would play the bass guitar and be the cool one. Everyone knows the cool bassists get all the chicks.

Which would be pointless since we would have concerts at elementary schools, starting with the one I work at now.

For our first concert, we would invite all my first-graders to hear us play in the gym. Of course, they'll all get A's just for showing up and knowing who that really cool gingerbread bass player is. And then...