fuzzy, black dogs

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

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Nice'n Easy Ain't so Easy

"Ok, honey," my wife said. "This is real easy, as long as you follow the directions and do exactly as I say."

Loosely translated, this means run for it! This is NOT going to be easy, nor will it be fun! You are entering female territory, so check your testosterone at the door.

Don't let the product name fool you.

Yep. We colored her hair. It's times like this that I absolutely adore my mother-in-law, more so than usual, of course. (Please come home, Ginga!)

Anyway, we started by mixing the bottles. Easy enough. Then, I had to slip on the little plastic gloves. Allow me to emphasize the word 'little.' They didn't fit.

"Don't worry about them," she said. "Now, part my hair in even strips. Apply the contents, then you're going to work it into my hair."

I was doing a great job. Two parted strips later, I was plugging along.

"If you take much longer, you'll reach the expiration date on the bottle, honey," she said.

I immediately picked up my pace. However, it's hard to color hair and hold your nose at the same time. Man, that stuff can burn holes in your sinuses!

"Be careful," she said. "My hair, not my scalp. You have to do it evenly all over. When mom does it, she piles my hair straight up on my head. Please don't get it on my skin."

First of all, careful is my middle name. Secondly, I've never been able to part my own hair evenly. Third, I'm not her mother. And fourth... Wait!

Skin? It's dangerous to skin? I began worrying about my hands. Now where did I put those gerbil-sized gloves?

After 10 panic induced minutes of frantic (but thorough) hair wetting and coloring activity, I washed my hands, set the timer for 25 minutes and ran.

The timer went off approximately 14 hand washes later. Luckily, my wife seemed to have no more use for me in coloring process.

Hair color, $12
New rubber gloves, $9.50
Replacement hand soap, $3
Ginga coming home early from vacation, priceless!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thoughts on How Life Is

I recently read a post on a 'serious' blog called 'Thoughts on how life should be.' While I am unable to relocate this particular blog, I can tell you it was about growing up. It was also about raising kids.

Like the author, I, too, was kicked out the door in the morning and told to go have fun. My mother even told me to stay out of trouble, for all the good that did me.

But I didn't grow up poor. I did, however, have a most pleasant childhood, living and playing in my own little bubble, sometimes separate from reality. Like the author, my Dad taught me to ride my two-wheeler and bought me my first BB gun, as well as taught me how to fish.

"I know things are different," this author says. Umm, yeah. They sure are.

"Wouldn't it be cool if you got a BB gun for Christmas, son," I remember asking my son one year.
"What," my eight year-old son exclaimed. "Do you want me dead? You know how dangerous those things are, dad? I'm gonna have to tell mom..."

I initially tried to teach him how to ride a bike without training wheels.
"I know how this works, dad," he told me. "You hold the bike up and let go when I'm not paying attention and I just start riding. I'm not falling for that one."

As I remember, his grandmother actually taught him how to ride his two-wheeler. Thank you, Ginga!

The author went so far to say that dads should teach their kids how to fish. Yep. I attempted that one, too.

One of my first attempts led to the "liberating" of all my minnows back into the lake. Believe it or not, that was my four-year-old son's choice of words. 

I broached the subject with my son a few years later, getting a completely different response.
"That minnow is not going to survive being impaled upon that hook, dad," he said. "So, basically, you're murdering one fish with the hopes of murdering a second fish. Where is the logic behind that?"

Logic aside, I still manage to enjoy fishing, despite my son's bleak outlook.

Maybe I should start a new blog. It'll be all about parenting. In fact, I already have a name for the new blog -- Thoughts on How Life Is.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Hangs Around

During the holidays, Happy is followed with the word 'Holidays.'

Approximately five years ago, as I was taking down the Christmas decorations, my son spied me taking down the words on the door frame above the French doors.

"Do we really have to take 'Happy' down," he asked. "Just because the holidays are over, does that mean happy is over too? We should keep 'Happy' up all year round."

I scoffed. I told him how ridiculous that was. 'Happy' belonged with the Christmas decorations.

Like I said, that word has been on the door frame as a gentle reminder for a little more than five years now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Like most of us, I suffer from many maladies. Some of them are real, but a large majority of them, I've been led to believe, probably are not.

During my youth, for example, I suffered debilitating, nearly fatal, food allergies to anything that could be misconstrued as healthy. Boy, that was rough period of my life!

My latest malady, however, seems to go in a different direction entirely. It seems I suffer from a chronic case of needtamaykalistitis.

This disease has managed to integrate itself into almost every aspect of my life. On my iPhone alone I have lists of potential blog posts, songs I want to download, books I want to purchase, my ongoing Christmas list, my gluten ingredient list and my 'to get' list for items I need from my little pharmacy.

On my computer, I have a running, continual list of all the novels I've read since my teen years. Yes. It's long. I have a notebook with a numbered list of countries that have viewed Fuzzy, Black Dogs. (It's 62, in case you're wondering.)

My strange need for lists has seeped into other areas of my life as well. The first thing I do upon arriving at work? I make a list, of course. There are few things as gratifying as a checked off list of things to do.

I can't even walk into a grocery store without a list in hand. There's no telling what would come home if I didn't have my list.

My wife recently sent me to the store for three items. I pulled out my ever present pen and began to write them down, but she quickly stopped me.

"You don't need a list for three items," my wife said. "Butter, baked beans and bedding. Three things. Remember B-B-B. You can do this! Butter, beans, bedding!"

I went to the store chanting butter, beans and bedding. Butter, beans and bedding. I grabbed a cart. Butter, beans, bedding. I rolled into the store. Butter, beans, bedding.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived home with butter beans, beer and bacon nestled innocently in my grocery bag! My cashier must have switched bags on me. Pretty sneaky.

I think the lists are due to the massive amounts of knowledge I've crammed into my brain. By writing down the nonessential things, I make sure there's room to cram more important things.

My wife, being the awesome woman she is, seems to have figured this out as well. That would explain the "butter beans bedding" text I received on my second trip to the store.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

No Explanation Necessary

This is one of the newest products that we carry in the little pharmacy in which I work.

This may be a first, but I'm at a complete loss for words. Sometimes, however, no explanation is necessary...

In case you can't read the fine print, it's called The Snotsucker. It includes features such as "easy to clean," "non-invasive," "hypoallergenic" and "completely hygienic thanks to the filters."

Feel free to message me if you need any further details.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Customer Service? What's That?

I tried to pay my cell phone bill today. Please note the word 'try.' I may have been successful, but the customer service was a hindrance and the technology robbed me. Literally.

It started as I walked confidently into our local AT&T store to pay my phone bill. I smiled and looked around, noticing several employees lumped together. They stared back at me as though I had a cow on a leash at my side.

I walked up to what I perceived to be the friendliest face in the bunch.

"Who do I make my payment to," I asked.

"We don't take payments," the young girl said with obvious disdain in her voice. "Sir," she added after a brief hesitation. At least she was attempting courteousness. I think.

One of the gentleman in the group jumped to help me. He pointed out the payment kiosk, explained it and showed me how to get started and what to do.

The uncaring payment kiosk.

So I went through the motions. I input my account number. I hit electronic screen buttons. I verified my identity to the machine. It verified that I owed it money. And then... Problem.

Apparently, the payment machine takes credit cards, debit cards and exact cash, and perhaps checks. Of course, I had none of these with me. I had cash, but not the exact amount.

"Who do I get change from here in order to complete my payment," I asked that same 'friendly' face. I am a sucker for punishment.

"You have to bring yer own change," she said (another brief hesitation). "Sir."

I looked at her. I looked over at the kiosk. She made it clear she was finished with me. I figured the kiosk didn't care one way or the other.

So, as of today, I am a proud investor of AT&T. I now have an investment equaling the grand total of $3.98! Is that what they mean by pay it forward?

Thanks AT&T! Another happy customer (insert nasty grumble here)!