Tuesday, May 28, 2013


For the past several days, My Beloved and I have been enjoying some restful time in the sand and sun of Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. It is a relaxing time away from the drudgery of our work-a-day world. I had come down for a conference and she was able to join me for a couple days afterward. It's a quick trip, Friday through Tuesday as we leave tomorrow afternoon.

As is our normal procedure on such a junket, a quick trip to the grocery store was needed; pick up a few supplies for breakfast and some snacks. What we returned with was just the essentials: a half gallon of milk, a half gallon of juice, a gallon of her favorite tea, beer for me, a six-pack of water, an eight-pack of small bottles of Coke. It seemed natural at the time, but let me tell you, I'm floating in fluids right about now.

We are down to the last day and we have just enough milk for breakfast (a good call), half of the juice is still left (bad call), the tea won't last the rest of the day (good call), the beer is likely one too many although I will suck it up literally so as not to leave any behind, five of the Cokes are still in the fridge (bad call) and three of  the waters are still left (bad call).

Now, I am usually not one to over-think things but perhaps we did in this case. Oh, I forgot to mention coffee for breakfast. The condo didn't have coffee so add that to the list. Normally I am not one to buy bottles of water as I already pay handsomely for what comes out of the tap, but I bowed to reason as we are in a state where the temperature routinely hits 90 deg this time of year and cars are hot. 

As I look back it seems we have over-thought the hydration issue and if I want to get my moneys worth, I'll be chugging about a gallon of fluids before the day is done and wallowing like a walrus on the beach. And you know what that means; what goes in must come out. (sigh).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Whitisizms of a four year old

It is an adventurous weekend for My Beloved and myself. We have been charged with watching our grandson, Ragin' Cage. It is much more taxing on my wife as I am relegated to work for most of the weekend. Other than that, it has been fun. He is such an explorer; he gets into everything. He is making the transition from toddler to little boy and it is something to see how much different he looks at the world now at four than he did even six months ago.

One of the things I chuckle at are the 'out of the blue' sentences that simply pop out of his mouth. Most are completely random:

This is my power Thor arm

We need beets. We don't have any beets.

That's a Jew bug (I think he meant June)

That spider doesn't have any legs

Oooohhhh, carrots!

I need some Mr Wormy food.

Patches is pregnant

Can I have a puppy?

The raccoon did it.

I want the kind you eat with your mouth.

Can I have a Toys R Us gift card?

Okay, that's really just from day number one. I'm sure he'll have some other completely random thoughts before the weekend is over.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Moving forward

Since I became a grandfather four years ago, my views about children, their world and how they are affected by it, have changed dramatically. Never having toddlers and very young children of my own, seeing how their world and their parent's world is affected through their eyes is somewhat, eyeopening. I am now a much softer person when it comes to relating to children. I am also influenced to a great extent that I am routinely around North's grandchildren on a regular basis.

Given that background, a recent news event has given me pause. The tragedy of the shootings / massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School is in the news once more. School officials are recommending tearing down the school and rebuilding on the same site. After much consideration, I find that recommendation ridiculous. I know this is a hot-topic issue and many will likely disagree with my opinion, but keep in mind, it is my opinion and I am removed from the situation by a thousand miles.

I understand what teachers and parents see when they look at this school. They are reminded or relive the events that took place. Tearing down this school will not remove the memory. In my view, replacing one brick wall with a different brick wall in the same place does nothing. The children will move to different classrooms as they pass from grade to grade. It is likely that the setting of a school will be as much a hindrance to their growth as any other setting.

In this day and age, it is expensive to tear down a school and rebuild it. I don't know if the school district has the money to do that or not. Whether they do or not, shouldn't be the issue. It is not feasible to tear down every building where some horrific action occurred. Neither am I advocating that the school should be held as a historical monument for what needs to be fixed in our society. I think it would be proper to cordon off the area where the event occurred; there is no need in my view to raze the entire building.

I know it is a delicate situation and many parents no longer want to sent their children to this school. I also believe they shouldn't be required to, nor should any teacher or school employee be required to work in that location. If they are going to tear it down, tear it down, but if you are going to do that, nothing should be built in its place.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A week of baseball

Well, so it ends this evening, the great baseball experiment. If you read my last ramble you know I have been sans-wife now for seven days. During this time, I was attempting to get back in touch with my boyhood roots and watch a baseball game every night.

Well, that happened most nights. I do work nights on occasion and there were two where I wasn't able to complete the lineup. The other five, a good sampling. I saw a slug-fest, a couple pitcher's duels and a couple non-descript games that were good games. I saw both American and National league games; several teams I had no past interest in watching.

I would classify the experiment as a guarded success. I enjoyed the games, mostly the pitcher's duels, as being a pitcher in my younger days, I tend to gravitate to those. I think they tend to put me on edge more than a slug-fest. Well pitched games for me build tension. That's one of the draws of sports; tension. I was also able to squeeze in a hockey game. Unfortunately my Montreal Canadians are in a bad way at the moment.

I discovered I did enjoy watching baseball again, however there is a catch. To be invested in the sport, or perhaps any sport, one must have an active rooting interest. If I were to truly rekindle my past affair with the game, I must reinvest in a team.

My Beloved is returning tonight and with that, I once again will yield the remote.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tinkers to Evers to Chance

As a young lad back in the day, baseball was my game. I played it in the back yard, in the driveway, on the street and yes, on a actual baseball diamond a few doors away. We lived three houses away from an elementary school that had an actual diamond. That's where I learned the rules and how to play the game.

When I arrived at high school, that was really the only sport I wanted to play. It had been infused into my being. North of 50 and I played many varieties of the sport, just the two of us. We threw rubber balls off the steps and played 'infield'. We played 'first bounce or fly' for hours at a time. We played simulated games where we took turns as pitcher and catcher in the driveway. Fortunately for us, we never broke a window in the garage. Father would have been highly 'PO'd'.

As life moved on and my throwing shoulder gave out, the game I grew up with fell into the background. It has become so 'back burner' there is no team I routinely follow. North's love of the hated Yankees was about the only thing that actually kept me 'in' the game at all.

With the beginnings of the baseball season, I have time for an experiment this week. My Beloved is out of town for a week and I control the remote. Bwahahahahahaha. I have decided that I will attempt to watch a baseball game every night to see if the interest can be re-kindled. With the advent of cable and the proliferation of sports, it should be easy to find a game every night. I won't even be picky about the teams, even though we all know American league baseball isn't real baseball.

Geesh, who bats for the pitcher anyway.... it's the bottom of the seventh...we'll see how it goes.