fuzzy, black dogs

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

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It's Off to...

It's that time of year for my family's annual beach pilgrimage to Kiawah Island. We usually partake this trip under the guise of a vacation.

I always look forward to these trips, but I'm even more excited about it this year than usual. Due to strange events that have happened previously, certain precautions will be taken.

Take the beer, for example. Last year, the Coronas I purchased shrunk down to Coronitas at the North/South Carolina border (see the related blog post from July last year!). I've switched cars and put a safety aura around my Volvo. That should fix it!

There was an issue with a large pack of peanut M&M's I tried to sneak in the house, too. Originally, it was determined they disappeared about the same time that the beer shrank. Then there was a question concerning pilferage within the family ranks.

Those M&M's did finally appear after the vacation. I don't quite recall where they were located, but, having spent the better part of a hot week in a vehicle, they were NOT in good shape.

Also, this crazy group of individuals I call my family simply doesn't understand the true wealth of knowledge I possess. I diligently try to impart this knowledge upon them, but they don't listen.

One year, a bag of chips went missing. I told them it wasn't me, but they didn't listen. I told them they could cool the pool with the faulty heater with ice. They either didn't listen, or didn't believe me. Funny, it was never determined who mistakenly cut the pool heater on that July.

I've even told them -- for years -- how to repel mosquitoes naturally. It's simple. You just don't shower.

I took it a step further one year and demonstrated how well this worked. I am happy to tell you that I was the only family member who didn't complain about the mosquitoes.

Not only did my family not listen to me that year, they wouldn't sit near me either! Unless I was immersed in the pool. Or a steady breeze was blowing. Such an ungrateful bunch, my family.

However, they are my family. No matter how crazy or bizarre they are, I love the whole big, prickly pack of them!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Flea Eradication or Entertainment?

Flea season has been pretty rough this year. Multiply three fuzzy, black dogs by 100 fleas. Now multiply that number by 50, the number of eggs each flea can lay a day during it's lifetime. Now multiply... Never mind. You get the idea.

For some reason, fleas seem to be more attracted to my wife and my teenage son than to me. While this is puzzling, we won't be conjecturing as to why this is.

Regardless, I'm the lucky one, or unlucky one (depending), who gets to treat the floors and house for the fleas!

I started out with friends and family, soliciting any advice and helpful tips.

Someone told me to treat the dogs, then keep them in the affected area. The idea is that the fleas will be attracted to the treated dogs, jump on them and die. It doesn't get much cheaper and easier than that. However, the fleas thus far have refused to cooperate. Next!

Having received nothing helpful or useful, I turned to the Internet. You know, you can find anything on the Internet!

Refocusing on the eradication of pesky, tiny, jumping insects, I found a plethora of information on the subject. After reading about the life cycle of a flea, as well as a few close-up photos of these itchy creatures, I read that fleas are hard to kill. Terrific.

However, I also learned that if you mix dishwashing liquid with water, fleas can't swim in it and, ultimately, will drown. Now, if you use an upside-down flying disc, it will be easier for the fleas to jump into the solution.

How do you entice the little pests to jump into it? Why, thank you for asking. You use a bright light! We placed a small spotlight lamp directly over the small, shallow disc of water and dishwashing liquid.

It's proved most entertaining watching the pesky little buggers jump to their doom! My wife, however, seems concerned with the speed and efficiency of this plan. Next!

If you would like to hear my son's opportunistic views on the same subject, you can visit his vlog below.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Parenting Advice for Fathers: Part II

So you think you're ready to have a child, or children.

Considering the fact that this post is directed towards fathers, you're going to be a bit limited here, unless you are all ready married. This is also assuming you and your... Significant other have discussed the topic of offspring. Babies are not like fishing rods. You can't sneak them in past your wife.

First of all, don't worry about the number. You might say you want six kids now. But at approximately 3am one night, when the first baby has finally gone back to sleep and you're still mopping throw up off the walls and floor, that projected number will decrease considerably and quickly!

Of course, next you have to ask yourself why you want to have kids.

Perhaps you're hoping for someone to perform yard work, or someone who can drive you around town. Sadly, you have a lot of work and a long time before you get to that point. And besides, by the time the get to that point, they go through a phase where it's not cool to be near their parents.

Maybe you just want a reading buddy. Or you might want a little one, or a few, to round out the family. Maybe you even like kids and enjoy watching them learn, grow and develop.

Regardless, children of all ages get sick. Prior to 13 years old, they don't care who or what they toss their cookies on! You have to change diapers, or else they get smelly. Really smelly. Babies cry. They cry in planes, trains, cars and anywhere else morning, noon and/or night. Keep in mind that is how babies communicate.

There is much more that can be said, both positive and negative, about having children. If I've already scared you or sown serious seeds of doubt for you, then you're not ready for rugrats in your life!

If I haven't scared you off yet, then stay tuned for my next installment. We'll either chat about prepping for the baby or coming up with names, two very important topics for expectant parents!