fuzzy, black dogs

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

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dear Santa,

I realize that Christmas is practically upon us. While I realize this may be short notice, I wanted to give you a brief list of those items that I may want, or need, for Christmas this year.

First of all, you might want to know that I'm no longer working with kindergartners, Santa. I have my own classroom of third-graders now! I'm moving up in the world! Well, I guess you could look at it that way...

Regardless, I need seat belts. Lap belts, actually. It doesn't matter what car they go with since I'm going to specialty attach them to certain third-graders seats. I'll even take some old time-y ones that don't have a quick release mechanism.

I need a mute button, Santa. That way, after one student has said my name more than three times within the space of 10 to 20 seconds, I simply hit the mute button and, voila, no sounds!

As for myself, I think I need to replace the randomizer with an accurate scale, Santa. This morning it told me I was 191.3, then it told me 186.7. I went with the lower number, but I think accuracy may be required.

How about a little Christmas Santa magic and create MS LessonPlanner. All you have to do, MicroSoft, is create a software that all I have to do is plug in my students, their levels, the reading and the math standards and my daily schedule and... POOF! Your software spits out a daily lesson plan! Should be simple work for a computer geek, right?

Anyway, I know you probably keep a backlog of other requests previously sent. Feel free to pull from any of my previous lists I've sent.

Thank you,
Fuzzy, Black Dogs

Friday, August 4, 2017

Wrong Time for Wallet Cleaning

When vacationing, it's important to have activities available to kids for long car rides. It's just as important to have activities ready for spouses for those same rides. A bored spouse can be a dangerous thing!

Let's back up for a moment, however. What guy likes to drive five hours with a fat wallet tucked in his back pocket? Exactly! So I do what any normal guy would do. I pull it out and set it in the central cavity below the radio in the middle.

Approximately three minutes into our five hour drive, my wife says, "What'cha got in there?"
"Stuff," I reply.
"This may be the right time to clean out your wallet."

My entire body tensed. Shock and dread coursed throughout my system."Be careful," I said, hoping to distract her with my wit and humor. "There's no telling what you may find in there! You might not like it!"

She proceeded, regardless of my distracting wit and humor.

The "stuff" in my wallet.
"You know you have more than one insurance card in here," she asked.
"Yes. I keep an old one in case I lose the newest. It's good to have a back up, you know."
"So if you lose 2017, 16, 15 and 14, you'll still have 2013 to show? Ridiculous..."

This was not going well.

“Why do you have two Sheetz cards?”
“The small one is a membership card. The large one is a gift card. One saves money, the other has money. Get it?”
“Sure honey," she said with a brief pause. "How much is on the card?”
“Probably enough for three hot dog purchases,” I replied three thoughtful miles later. I may have been driving, but I think I heard her eyes rolling.

After what seemed like an hour of calls to 1-800 phone numbers, she figured out which cards had expired, which had money and how much money they contained.

Once completed, my poor wallet could best be described as an old man – a worn out, tired old man who’d lost a lot of weight and looked like a deflated shell of himself.

“What lesson have we learned here,” my wife asked, her teacher side coming out.
“That I need a new wallet. And never leave your wallet where your wife can reach it. And…”

Funny. I thought I heard that eye rolling noise again.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Weight Loss Made Easy

The struggle is real. Many people suffer the self-inflicted torture of counting calories or fat grams, choosing the South Beach, Atkins or some other diet plan, or just deciding on how many tasty freeze pops they can eat in a single night. I know I do!

Personally, I use a Fitbit Blaze to help me count calories in order to stay healthy and lose weight. So far, it has worked phenomenally well! Maybe a little too well. Recently, it told me four French twists, or cream horns (or whatever you want to call them!), contain 1,380 calories!

Beware, though, users of Fitbits! Large calorie items sometimes get deleted out of the Fitbit app on your cell phone. Perhaps my phone didn't have enough memory to store all those calories in my calorie diary. I'll be looking into that. Again.

Regardless, I've come to the realization that I've been going about this health kick, weight loss program all wrong. The true key to weight loss is your scale that you use!
The Randomizer, in all its glory!

I came home from a week long vacation the other day worried about my numbers due to all the junk I ate. I put off getting on the scale until the following morning. Imagine my surprise when I saw, displayed in the little screen, the number 188.6. Holy smokes! I was down about three pounds from my pre-vacation weight! Wow! How amazing am I?

That's when I made a serious mistake. I thought, 'I'll just step on it one more time just to make certain.' Imagine my surprise when the number 202.2 pops up. I stepped on it three more times within a two minute period and spied 197.8, 192.5 and 199.3.

I have since come up with a name for my scale. I call him the Randomizer.

My newest weight loss plan? I'll simply continue using Randomizer, my sometimes weight-friendly scale. However, I'll only enter my weight into my app when a number comes up lower than the previous number I entered.

I'm hoping for a good number tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fishing Guide for Hire

I love fishing. Just holding a pole and casting it out on the water gives me a thrill. Having a hook on the end makes it even better. Even MORE fun is actually catching fish, though that is not always the main reason for going fishing.

I recently got to act as a fishing guide for my good friend Nic. I took him to all my special spots, which will remain unnamed and unrecorded, of course, where I have hooked some amazing monstrosities! Nic did most of the fishing since I was essentially the guide for the trip.

We both hooked into a couple of monsters early in the day. They were crafty ones, though. Mine danced on the surface and threw my hook. Nic's monster just took his lure.

Now I know you're probably thinking 'what fishing guide loses fish and lures?' Well, it happens to the best of us. Professional golfers lose the occasional ball. Professional fishing guides lose the occasional fish. And lure.

Not an actual bream.
As the day progressed, we found some large catfish. We also chased some stinking, big carp. On top of that, we watched an osprey catch a fish, an eagle take off, a dead and a live snake, some loons catch fish, some fish jump, herons and egrets wading and fishing, and someone noodling at the side of the lake. I even procured a sunburn on the insides of my knees. It was quite a productive day!
Not an actual pumpkinseed.

At the end of the day, I whipped out my secret weapon, my trusty fly rod, and proceeded to catch a pumpkin seed and two bream. While not the actual fish I caught, the two pictures that I've included are mostly reasonable facsimiles to the fish I caught. Somewhat.

Regardless, I'm considering yet another career change. I may have a bright future ahead of me as a fishing guide!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fabulous NC Images

Ginga, the name my son and other grandkids affectionately used for my mother-in-law, passed away recently. Simply put, she was a great person and I feel like a better person for having known her.

Pictured below is some of the handiwork she left behind. Ginga loved flowers and, each Spring, landscaped her yard to the best of her abilities. Translation, her yard was beautiful, bursting with vibrant, happy colors!

I usually prefer funny posts, but this one's for you, Ginga. Pictured above is one of the daisies she had planted by the side of her driveway. This year, the side of her driveway is picture perfect, abounding with daisies.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Kindergarten Fashionista!

While kindergarten has been pretty good to me this year, I learned just how fashion-savvy a kindergartner can be today.

For the uninformed, I don't usually wear a tie to work. Due to outside events that would commence immediately upon leaving school, I wore one today.

It should be noted here that I don't own normal ties. Most of them sport some kind of children's drawings, kid themes or Beatles themes. And, yes, The Beatles were still a band when I was born!

"Mr. Haworth," said one of my boys. "Your tie doesn't match your shirt. It doesn't match anything!"

For nearly half a century now, I have been blissfully unaware of the fact that my tie is supposed to match something else that happens to adorn my body!

"Well," I responded. "My wife left earlier than I did this morning and wasn't able to help me match my clothes."

"You dress  yourself a lot, don't you Mr. Haworth?"


Monday, January 16, 2017


This may come as a complete shock to my readers, but I can sometimes be a little over-the-top. Trying is another word that has been used to describe me before. My wife came up with a new one this morning, but I have yet to discover it!

I attempted to wake her up. I jiggled the bed. I shook her. Then I jiggled both her and the bed. I pulled on her blankets. I even tickled her a little, all the while chanting, "Honey. Baby. Shnookie. Honey. Baby Shnookie..."

"I'm thinking of a word to describe you right now," she said. Her voice had a menacing edge to it. "It starts with a--"

"A!" I said quickly. "You're word is adorable! Right? Or perhaps audacious? With a touch of awesome?"

No and no. I quickly turned this into an alphabet game, creating a word to describe me with every letter of the alphabet.

Bumbling, or bubbly? Cute? Dependable? Effervescent? Fun? Grandiloquent? Happy, or humorous? Irrepressible? Jovial? Knowledgeable? Loquacious?

"Loquacious certainly works," she said, "but you haven't gotten the letter or the word right. I see what you're doing. Feel free to stop any time." She hid under her blanket as I continued.

Marvelous, or moronic? Probably marvelous. Naturally sweet? Obnoxious? Practical? Quick-witted? Remarkable? Stubborn? Tenacious? Unyielding? Vivacious? Wacky? Xquisite? (Yeah, I cheated!) Youthful? Zoostunder? (Not a word, but I explained to her that's what mortals would call me. If I were a god. If.)

She's got some nerve! She invited me to leave, immediately, and started her own list, as she threw pillows at me.

Annoying! Bothersome! Cretin! Dork!

I didn't hear what was next. I exited quickly. My wife is good with words too.