Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yard Sale

So my lovely wife decided we should have a yard sale. Yay me.

We spent a good week or so combing through our house, finding stuff we didn't use/want/need/care about. It all got piled into the garage, and at 7AM I was out there covering my driveway with stuff. The early birds showed up about 7:30, since we advertised 8AM. After the initial rush, things slowed considerably, and by 9:30 we were chilling in the shade on a couple of chairs, hoping SOMEONE would happen by and buy some of this shit. While sipping on a glass of lemonade my girls had been hawking (I get a discount - 50%! Nice, since I paid for all the supplies and set the damn stand up.) my mind wandered a bit, and three things occurred to me:

  1. It looks a lot like my house threw up into my driveway.
  2. I really don't like people picking through my shit.
  3. What lay before me was an interesting little snapshot of my life.
Focusing on #3, it really was a little glimpse into my last 7 years or so. Scads of computer parts and other electronic gadgets in varying levels of obsolescence. A smattering of books I didn't much like. Toys, books and clothes from when the kids were younger. Furniture and crap that all seemed so important at some point, now with a little colored circle with a price not 1/10th of what we paid. Cassette tapes from our teen years - metal, punk and rock from me, dance and rap from my wife. VHS movies the girls watched so often I wanted to stab my eyes out, now cast to the curb in favor of Sponge Bob and the evil Hannah Montana.

In some small way, it was fun to look back, and sad to see some stuff go, like books I read over and over to the girls years ago. It also puts into perspective a bit how time changes the value of the crap we surround ourselves with. At one time, I'd have punched someone in the eye for trying to make off with my beloved Suicidal Tendencies tapes, now I find myself telling my neighbor "hell, I'll give ya 11 for a buck". The stuffed fish my daughter could not sleep without for 2 years goes for a quarter, and she giggles with glee over the sudden windfall. I wanted this stuff so bad at one point, now I can't wait to get rid of it. What will I discard in 5 years that looks important today?

In the meantime, can I interest anyone in this friggin' fish tank setup? C'mon, I'll even deliver...

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Well, not really. Busy is more like it.

After 2 glorious weeks working in CT, I finally made it home. I won't bore you with the trials and tribulations of air travel in the US these days, but suffice to say that frustration mounts quickly. I was stranded in D.C. (Reagan) for several hours, which pretty much sucked. However, between text messages from my wife and calls from my Dad, I did have the rare opportunity to people watch for a bit.

We Americans are an amusing bunch, really. The mix looks funny as it babbles by my seat, and it takes on a life of it's own, a single being ebbing and flowing by me. Soldiers looking smart and neat, self absorbed corporate types who look like they stepped out of a Brooks Brothers catalog yammering into cell phones, hippie types meandering by in tie dyes. Folks in what appears to be pajamas, which is appropriate, because they look lost, like they just rolled out of bed, gripping a ticket like it is a sacred scroll, checking and rechecking their flight info as if it might change when they are not looking. Kids (shit, now I'm addressing teenagers as kids - old old old), clearly on some sort of group trip, camping out on the floor while they giggle, eat and play games to while the time away. Urgency and boredom all mixed into a basic roux, then dashes of confusion and anger added for flavor, backed with a gelling, flowing mass of a body. Interesting.

Anyway, you KNEW you wouldn't get away without a rant. Here we go...

So I'm sitting there, minding my own beeswax, listening to my phone (as in MP3s - I love that my phone plays MP3s). I was a bit rushed getting to the airport, so I'm still wearing my titanium toed safety boots (which also completely rock - check them out). So some guy comes buzzing by and trips on my foot. He looks at me all butthurt and says something profane about ME watching where I was going. I couldn't help but laugh. I was stationary, you douche. No need to get all pissed at me, you clumsy, pink pop-collar wearing clown (who the hell pops their collar anymore?) I'm sure it hurt and all, as he was wearing flip-flops. And so begins my rant...

Flip-flops. What the fuck, people? When, exactly, did these beachwear staples become appropriate footwear for everyday use? As I sat in the airport, I was appalled at how many people, particularly men, were wearing these things. STOP IT. PLEASE.

I'm sure you find them comfy, but dammit they are not proper footwear. First, men's feet in general are not pretty things. I have no desire to see your gross, cracked heels or your busted assed toenails. I don't wear a Speedo because I know a fat, hairy white guy wearing one is unattractive, and I am considerate to my fellow humans.

Second, they do not protect your feet from anything. An airport, for example, has scads of things to stub your toe on, and a bevy of people who can easily stomp your toe inadvertently. Wear them if you want, I guess, but don't get all pissed if you get hurt. Plus, they are not sturdy, and will break on you at the least convenient moment, leaving you shoeless (or, more shoeless, or something).

Finally, they make you look ridiculous. Seriously. I saw a guy wearing a decent summer suit and fucking flip-flops. What is that? Business casual? No, business asinine. The only ones who don't look retarded are the guys sporting surf shorts and a tee shirt, calling everyone "brah".

Anyway, a final note - I dislike sandals on men, and HATE flip-flops, but the one that really gets me is SANDALS OR FLIP-FLOPS WITH SOCKS. You. Fucking. Dolt. If it's cold enough for socks with your sandals, then it's shoe-time. Nothing.... NOTHING! Looks more retarded.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Action Packed Weekend

What a crazy weekend... lots of things going on!

First, I attended a friend's retirement Saturday. Lots of fun and homebrew, good food and good people.

Then, I get home in time to watch my beloved Flyers beat Montreal, sending them to a PA showdown with Pittsburgh. The Battle of Pennsylvania - it's ON! Now it gets weird...

My wife calls my attention to a car in our court. Acting kinda funny... circling a few times, pointing at my neighbor's house, backing up, circling again... strange. It's 10PM. I go to check it out, but it appears he's leaving. I walk outside and lean against my truck. The car does a U-turn and parks at the end of my street. The driver gets out and walks to my neighbor's house. He looks nervous. I watch him - he clearly does not see me. He starts up my neighbor's driveway, and stops next to their car, kinda doodling on the windshield with his finger (or something). I decide this is enough.

I approach him. He does not notice me until I am about 10 feet from him. I ask what he's doing.


I ask if I can help him. "No." I ask again what he is doing, and if there is a problem. "No." I ask who he is looking for. No answer. I ask why he doesn't knock on the door, if he's looking for someone. No answer. I tell him he's on private property. He says "Fine, I'll move." and walks into the street. I follow, and tell him I'll just hang out with him, since it's a public place. He is really getting agitated.

After a few more verbal exchanges, I go to my neighbor's door and knock. The stranger starts walking quickly to his car and drives off. Not quite gone though, he passes the court twice more.

By now my wife has alerted the whole street, and everyone is coming outside.


Anyway, Sunday we got free tickets to the local AAA team baseball game. Minor league ball is fun to watch! Hot and sunny. The home team loses a squeaker. Still, good times.