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Monday, September 28, 2009

Please Stand By

El Comodoro, Ladies and Gentlemen, has been sitting at the Cinnabar Mines tweedling his thumbs, drinking dodgy-tasting coffee and reading George Will's* latest column, hard copy. More after the jump.

OK, we're back. The A/C in our usually polar server room blew a sprocket over the weekend, so for a few hours this morning I was reduced to using a ribbon typewriter and buying War Bonds. It makes for somewhat difficult blogging, I can tell you. But that's not your problem, it be all mine, mon.

We went over to the Houston Children's Museum on Saturday. It was GREAT to get out of the house. And I've got to give some high praise to that place. It's awesome. The bottom floor's main attraction is "Kidtropolis," a city where there are kid-sized, Lysol-wiped versions of daily fixtures: a grocery store, a bank, city hall, the police station, a vet, a diner, whatever. I found it interesting that both the bank and city hall were deserted. There were no bankers or politicians-to-be in Kidtropolis that day. Probably all on biz trips to China or junkets to Maui, respectively.

Jack was still a bit too young for this particular flavor of crazy, so we headed up to the second floor, which is more tot-friendly. Squeezed into about the area of a tennis court, neato stuff is everywhere, including a get-inside truck with a working dashboard, a 3'x3' Lite-Brite with pegs the size of sidewalk chalk, ramps, big foam blocks, and toy car sets. It's like the Marine Corps built a boot camp obstacle course for the under-three crowd.

The Skip's favorite by a wide margin was the little working door that opens to a mirror**. Kudos to whoever thought up combining two of his favorite things: cabinetry and vanity. Jack trained his maniacal (and a little OCD) focus on opening and closing the door. I kid you not, we had to tear him away after probably 50 times. There was a line.

Don't have time to go into details, but The Masked Tooter strikes again (twice!) at church last night. Sheesh.

*Reading GW without a dictionary nearby is like gunfighting with a butter knife.

** The truck was also immensely popular, as you can see from the pics.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Violation of Rink Policy

I haven't set foot... er, skate on an ice rink since February, when during a hockey game, a 260 lb. thug decided to earhole me into November 2027. In the 13 minutes it took for my head to roll back to my body, a thought occurred to me.
I've got to quit this nonsense.
And I did. But Saturday, thanks to my great neighbor/enabler, Bob, I was back on the rink, if only for a light skate. With no thugs. Or out-of-body experiences.

And the Captain did his first turn on the ice with old dad! People, it was great. The cold breeze in our faces, gliding along effortlessly, with the red and blue stripes falling behind us. I cherished all 3 seconds of it.

SIRPUTTHECHILDDOWN! THECHILDMUSTBEONTHEICE! PUTTHECHILDDOWNNOW! SIR! IMMEDIATELY! ONTHEICE! PUTTHECHILDDOWN! NOW!
It's really a great way to end a beautiful memory, isn't it? I thought so, too. The more-latitude-than-longitude, frizzy haired skateguard Cindy Lauper trampled that moment to death. Y'know, for about a millisecond, I thought, "We can outrun this gal for at least 20 minutes while they get the guys with tasers, right?"

Oooooooh, we are CRIMINAL!

Yes, OK, it was slightly risky. Slightly. No, I probably shouldn't have done it. Did I think the lady allowing sugar-high kids to play full contact ice-rugby would go all Nurse Ratched on me? Nah. But it makes sense.

Interpersonal inhibitions go to zero when there are children involved. Yelling, screaming, ordering, rudeness, anything's acceptable. There's a kid screaming in Wal-Mart? Threaten mom, or worse. Think someone's environmentally "irresponsible" by having lots of kids? Call them a "breeder" and give them an earful about carbon. See a pregnant lady at the pharmacy with a herd of little ones? Give her the hard time she so richly deserves. Tell her about this thing called birth control. Have we lost all our civility? Our couth?

Guess I should have told Ms. Lauper (and her whistle) I was the only guy to ever take off his skate and try to stab somebody. That's couth, right?

Condensing some other news of our great and illustrious Captain of men:
1. Outfitted Jack for football season with Cowboys and Crimson Tide t-shirts
2. Outfitted Jack for hockey season with Dallas Stars t-shirt (MODANO on the back)
3. Jack's looking around the house calling "Beh!" for Belle. Even at church. Fruitlessly explained that FMB doesn't "do" church.
4. Hit REI for a no-fooling-around backpack baby carrier. Think elephant harness, here.
5. What is WITH Tony Romo?
Gotta run. Adios, amigo.

Monday, September 14, 2009

There's a DAY for That?

Today We Salute You, Mister...
There are phenomena in this world that are beyond explanation. To wit, every 19th of September is hallowed by being International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yes, friends and neighbors, you read that right.

I'll wager you didn't know there was an International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Me either. But, ohhhhh, there is. The ship's Research Department was really enthused about this one. They dug up obscure links. Glossaries. Books. Excruciating how-to's. Too-embarrassing-to-watch YouTube instructional videos, bantering about with flimsy coined terms, like "Pirattitude." To yours truly, these links represent concrete proof that there are some ultrastrange folk about, adrift on veritable oceans of strangeness.

Wait, You're Serious?
Don't believe me? Watch this!



Truth be told, the Captain and crew can barely understand these people. Maybe it's their regional dialect, we're just not sure.

So this coming Saturday, when you find yourself parked in front of the 84" HDABCXYZTV, watching Pro League Over-35 Iranian Lacrosse, lift your iced tea (for these purposes, that's grog) and give 'em a muted, ever-so-quiet ARRRRRRGH!

'Cause, y'know, people will talk. And not like Pirates, either. About you. And not in a good way.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stairway to Heavin'

Labor Day. It's Jack's 1st 2nd official holiday. I can't for the life of me remember what we did last Labor Day, other than changing diapers, staring holes through our newborn, and absolutely not expecting a direct hit from the 3rd most costly hurricane in US history.

I got to play the role John Lennon so eloquently described as "househusband" today, while my sugar mama went and scraped up some legal tender. I think the Cap'n and I watched about 6 SportsCenturys and a Maria Bartiromo roundtable on the healthcare debate. Distillation: Walter Payton was the MAN.

Jack waived off his morning nap, and was in there pretty much throttling Barack the Bear when I barged in. Yep, the bear's name is Barack (Barry for short). Look, he ran as this polished centrist but went nutsy hard left as soon as he hit the nursery. There's nothing I can do. Betcha didn't know there are terms for teddy bears, huh? Just to keep things straight, the bear pictured above is Mr. Clancy, our boatswain. He runs a tight ship, and has great posture as you can see from the pic.

The wifey got home and since her back muscles were holding her spine at knifepoint, she decided to do that crazy hippie yoga, yo. I joined her. You heard me. I'm in negotiations with a nasty flareup of plantar fasciitis (think terrorism for your feet) and it's about all I can do on my aerobic day. Back off, dude.

The Skipper has been a funny guy lately, with my favorite being the one with Jack and the stairs. Unsupervised for a good solid 4 seconds, Majesty hears the trademark "No no no!" and turns to see Jack at the top of the stairs. I know, trust but verify. Fine. Here's proof he can go the distance:

Happy now?

Jack also packed it off to Friendship School this past week. It's like a pre-preschool. So if your kid flunks out here, they've got to go to preschool on a football scholarship. Although I still maintain the name makes us sound like Quakers. But that's cool. Jack LOVES it. He parades around in a wagon, waving at everyone that will look his way, and spent his first nap time (very much awake) trying to give sleeping kids his sippy cup. Y'know, I felt a little guilty unleashing him on those kind folks at the school.

And then the guilt passed and we did it anyway.