fuzzy, black dogs

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

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Effective Interrogation Techniques

This is a special emergency broadcast alert and a dire warning to all men -- beware of the chick car!

I took on the monumental task of helping my parents move sofas, furniture and other miscellaneous household items from house to house... To house... To house. Instead of riding in the truck, I got stuck driving the chick car.

What, you may be asking, is the chick car? Well, let me tell you.

The chick car is the car relegated to transporting wives, mothers, sisters, girlfriends (for those that are not married) and other persons that, basically, are not male. The car I drove should not have been a chick car for the simple fact that I was in it. However, once a vehicle has been dubbed "the chick car," there's no changing it. Trust me, I tried.

And what goes on on the chick car? Talking. Chit-chat. Q&A time. Non-stop, until the vehicle reaches its intended destination.

As the driver, my job was to focus on the road ahead and get us safely to the next house. I strained and concentrated on driving as questions and comments were hurled, flying like super bouncy balls ricocheting off the insides of the car.

At some point, I made the monumental error of invoking the "bro code," announced such and shut up. The car went deathly quiet as my sister and mother stared at me, sizing me up.

"The chick car overrides the 'bro code,' as you call it," my sister said eerily.
"Start talking, bucko, or the consequences will be dire," my mother said from the back seat.

I swallowed hard. I nearly wet myself. I also nearly ran off the road! You could have cut the tension with a knife!

The government really should look into this. I've heard waterboarding is an effective interrogation technique. The chick car, while also inhumane, may be a bit more effective.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Massive Winter Storm Coming!

My wife and I have taken drastic measures to bring on the forecasted onslaught of horribly cold, snowy weather that is supposed to pummel the east coast.

Snow dance? While I've joked about that one, nope. Cloud seeding? Darn, no pilots license, so I guess not. Pagan weather ritual? I'm a simple Quaker. I've got no time for silliness.

Instead, we decided to go for the gusto. My wife and I broke out the summer clothes!

Already sporting shorts, too, as you can see by my hairy leg.

As you can see in the above photo, I'm already sporting my flip-flops around. Man, that feels good... Next thing you know, I'll be out flailing at some golf balls with metal poles, known as 'clubs.'

"Correlation does not imply causation," is a scientific phrase my son picked up off the Internet that he is fond of saying. 

Whether that's true or not (I suspect it is), there has always been a cold snap that has followed the switching of the clothes ritual in my house.

I've saved everyone the trauma of wondering if we'll get that snowy weather that has been predicted.

Consider yourselves warned. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lights Out in High Point!

That was some ice storm we had last week! While my neighborhood and I am still recuperating from it, the beginnings of the next one are coming down just outside my window... Great!

All things considered, I suppose it wasn't really all that bad. After all, I told my son, I went more than a month without power once when I was his age! And I didn't have hot water like we did through the ice storm because we didn't have a gas-powered hot water heater with us.

Being the wise 16-year-old that he is, my son informed me that being on Outward Bound and camping for a month doesn't count. Minor technicality, I say.

Regardless, I have chronicled the events of the ice storm so my readers can understand the harrowing predicament we were in and how we survived.

Day 1
We lost power around 3:30am Friday morning. I know because I have a timer on an appliance, and that was the time frozen on its face.
Regardless, I awoke to a frozen tundra in my bedroom. My wife and son seemed concerned, but I told them there was no real cause for alarm since our power would be restored soon.
Soon, however, didn't come. I told them this would be a fun adventure. No worries!

Day 2
My wife is in school. She needs power and internet. We packed up and left in search of both. We got there and couldn't get the TV working, but the internet worked! I even took a fishing rod and got in a few casts.

Day 3
We left paradise late and came back home. No power. No lights. And nearly no way into the neighborhood. Many trees, telephone poles and power lines were down. Oh, yeah. And no internet, as my son reminded me. And reminded me.
"My gosh, Dad," my teenager said. "You were born before the internet! What did you do all that time as a kid?! I can't take it!!"
Luckily, there were some food places open in High Point that could take a credit card. I was ready to get the camping stove.

Day 4
I was ready to kill my son and wife. My wife had plans to take me out and utilize child labor. My son had no internet and was crumbling fast. Three fuzzy, black dogs were ready to eat the human faction in the frozen house. The basement was flooded.
And at 9:30pm, magic struck and power was restored!

Let's pray we don't have to go through THAT again.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

Great things happen on great days. It was 25 years ago today (today being March 12, 2014) that the World Wide Web was born. It was 46 years ago today that the creator of Fuzzy, Black Dogs was born.

According to my mother, I was "born at 4:30pm; weighed 9 (lbs) 51/2 oz with blue eyes and light brown hair.  Your head was 22” as was your chest.  When we looked at you, all we could say was 'I wonder what the other guy looks like'?"

Umm... Gee, thanks, Mom!

Having told you that, I feel the need to tell you of some other things I have learned about that took place on March 12ths of previous years.

On this date in 1894, Coca-Cola had been born and began selling its first bottles of fizzy pop in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Also on this date, but in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his first Fireside Chat. If I remember my history correctly, the chat was about the fail of the banking system. If I don't remember it correctly, my son and my father will both enjoy pointing out my erroneous memory.

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low gathered 18 girls and registered them as the American Girl Guides in Savannah, GA. The next year the name was changed to the Girl Scouts of America. The cookies came much later!

Just a mere nine years prior to my birth, congress approved to admit Hawaii as the 50th state in our grand United States of America!

One year after I was born, the police searched George Harrison's (you know, of The Beatles) house for drugs. On that exact same day, Paul McCartney (of the same 'boy band' as George) married Linda Eastman.

I feel the need to apologize to my readers simply because I share the same birth date (but NOT year) with the 2012 presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney.

On a brighter note, James Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Barbara Feldon, Al Jarreau, Aaron Eckhart and Jack Kerouac all share my birthdate. 

At my 'advanced' age, I'm keeping this post short. No, not because I'm tired and ready for bed. I'm keeping it short so I can be sure to post it before March 12th becomes March 13th! Good night.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

God Vacations in New York?

It seems that I have taken a wrong turn in my life. Instead of being a first grade teacher assistant, I should have been a fourth grade assistant, or perhaps teacher. Or, perhaps not.

My wife recently got a job as a fourth grade teacher at a somewhat local elementary school. Every once and again, she'll bring home papers to grade. Ultimately, I will end up helping with the grading process.

They recently read the book "Dear Mrs. LaRue" by Mark Teague. The assignment? Each one had to write a paper by finishing the sentence "If I was Ike, I would have escaped to..."

In the book, Ike, the dog, escapes from obedience school. He travels all over the place before coming back home. These fourth-graders, though, have some better ideas than Ike of where they would go and what they would do.

Several kids hearts were in the right place and said they would escape to go back home and be with their families. Several others, however, looked towards food first. Two of them would have escaped to Burger King. One would escape to Biscuitville and another was planning to get to Cook Out.

There were several places mentioned, like Chicago, New Jersey, New York and Mexico. And from there, it only gets better. Or worse, depending on your point of view.

After the initial layover in New York, one fourth-grader planned to find a space ship. Why? Well, as he said, his problems would be a planet away. Besides, he planned to meet aliens, get a job and find a house somewhere out there.

One boy simply made a list of all the places he would visit. They included, in this order, the beach, Mexico, the moon, New York (to meet God), the past and the future. The last, of course, would be with the time machine that he made himself.

The best response, though, was the sweet little one who would have escaped to Hawaii ("Howaye"). Why Hawaii? Basically because "almost nobody lives thier and thiers is no police..." He goes on to mention something about surfing and cool cars available to steal. I'm beginning to understand the interest in the lack of police presence!

Police or no police, he said he will take -- my word, not his -- the fastest car he can find so no one will be able to catch him anyway. That way he can get to his secret house that no one knows about so he can live happily ever after, or so I assume.

Nice plan. I have seen the future generation, dear readers. I am scared.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Message From Fuzzy, Black Dogs

Dear Readers,

I realize some of my old posts are showing up as new posts. I am working on a new post to be published soon. However, I am also updating some of my older posts and fixing them as I go along. As I do that, some may reappear at the top like a new post.

Regardless, bear with me and the staff here at Fuzzy, Black Dogs and we will have everything running smoothly once again.

Thank you for visiting our site and your patience is very much appreciated!

Fuzzy, Black Dogs

Family Wedding Traditions

My family has a well established, time honored tradition concerning couples about to get married. We like to honor the sanctity of love and marriage by embarassing the bride- and groom-to-be through good-natured fun.

Take my wedding, for example. I may have forgotten to mention this aspect of my family to my wife. So the bulletin board at our rehearsal dinner came as no suprise to me, and a complete suprise to my wife. One side of it contained pictures of me and the other side those of my wife, and all were taken before we ever met. I will tell you one photo was of me when I once sported a mohawk, but I won't describe any of the others.

Regardless, I had a niece get married recently and, being a Haworth, I felt the need to follow our long established tradition. Since the wedding came quick, my son and I performed our little presentation at their informal wedding reception. Keep in mind that by family standards, this is rather lame and not nearly embarassing enough. With that in mind, this was our presentation.

As you go through life
you'll discover many facts.

Some may be obvious,
some may cause cataracts.

First thing you'll learn?
Life is a great big mess.
(The paper towel roll was pulled out here. Other items were pulled out as mentioned.)

One roll of paper towels
can sometimes clean this.

But there are other messes
paper towels can't touch.

Toilet paper fixes THOSE.
I'll tell you that much!

Have something to remember?
A pencil might do,

like this wood and graphite
yellow pencil -- number two!

Relationships are sometimes
like paper... Made of crepe.

When it starts to rip,
you'll need some duct tape.

Watch out for those times
when you'll both feel worn down.

Just change out your batteries,
then reverse your frown.

When all else just fails
and you just need some spice--

Atomic Fireballs
will do very nice!

Whether you lose power
or end up in the dark.

A candle -- preferably lit --
might renew that little spark.

"Don't put your eggs in one basket,"
a good word to the wise.

This reminder Easter egg
may prevent your demise!

But life is not simple.
It can be so very short!

So here's one piece of advice
of the poetic sort.

When you're REALLY upset --
Don't get angry... Don't be cross...

Just stand up and scream,
"Butternut Squash Spaghetti Sauce!!"

Permit Proves Hard Work

My son recently turned 15 and is nearly finished with the process of obtaining his driving permit. It doesn't seem like it's been as long and arduous a process as it was for me at that age. Also, he simply doesn't seem nearly as excited about it as I was.

I had been working up toward that permit since I was six years old! My Dad used to put me on his lap and let me drive through the cemetery of the church we attended. I would tell him to gun it so I could show off my mad driving skills. Needless to say, my mad driving skills went unnoticed.

I never did understand why the cemetery drives just stopped. Perhaps it had something to do with the proximity of my grandfather's grave to the one sharp turn within the cemetery. Now that was a rough turn. And it's not like I destroyed the gravestone or the car or anything.

Regardless, there was a few years lull before I was to get behind the wheel of a car again. Before my next stint, or stunt, occurred my Dad would let me practice changing gears in the truck while HE drove. That turned out to be good timing since my next driving adventure would be behind the wheel of that same truck.

My Dad and I still laugh about that one. Actually, I suspect he laughs about it, although he pretends to not want to talk about it. He wasn't seriously hurt. He came out with only a few nicks and scrapes.

Luckily, I am a very fortunate father. My son seems to be naturally cautious and careful where I was rash and foolhardy. I don't foresee him following in my driving footsteps.

Thank goodness for that! I wouldn't want my son to get hit by a school bus being towed on the same day he gets his permit! Trust me when I tell you, it's pretty frightening.