Archive for the ‘insanity’ Tag

08-02-2016 Journal – Adventures in Babysitting!   1 comment

thDX9N2CWG

Have you ever had the pleasure of watching the movie, Adventures in Babysitting?  I’ve loved that movie for years but living through the actual thing isn’t quite as satisfying. This past week has been an adventure for sure.

thT8SX465X

I’m officially awarding my better-half my version of the Medal of Honor.  She was the main caregiver for two short and lovable little terrorists. I was involved as well but to a lesser degree and thank God for that. Just picture the situation. Both parents left on vacation and were off to LA LA Land. It was the first time that the two boys aged 1 and 3 were separated from their parents and someone had to pay and it was us, the grandparents. OMG!

thUFQQUQNU

My better-half may need a week or more to recuperate because they absolutely wore her out, took a short nap, and then wore her out again. She has the patience of a saint but I do not. She made a point of getting me involved as much as she possibly could and I’ll never let her hear the end of that. They drove me to the edge and when I wasn’t looking they kicked me into the abyss.

thKHE2XQVB

Diapers, noise, fighting, throwing stuff, and that was on the good days. I never thought I’d see the day when a one year old maniac would bean me with a toy truck as I sat and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks with his big brother for the umpteenth time. I know it’ll take weeks to get that damn theme song out of my head again.

 I never realized that walking from my bed to the bathroom in the middle of the night could be so treacherous.  It was like trying to tiptoe through a Lego minefield. I’m sure the pain in my foot will fade in a few weeks and I really do believe I look pretty cool walking with a slight limp.

thZ2BVU1PD

Thank God their parents returned home last night and my better-half did what could be called a family drive-by.  Drive to their home, dump the kids, jump back into the car and escape. I had a cold beer waiting for her and our living room had been cleared of most of the debris left in their wake.  Two huge sighs of relief and a much needed moment of silence to thank the Gods this week was over.

We slept in this morning, had our delicious cups of coffee, and paused to enjoy the quiet.  All in all the week was a success with no injuries, sicknesses, or fatalities.  I saw my cat this morning and unfortunately he may have been traumatized permanently.  We’ll have to wait and see about that.

IT WAS A GREAT WEEK

07-27-2016 Journal – Unexpected Vacation Days!   Leave a comment

thVGTJEDMS

I’m still on my first cup of coffee this morning. I’ve been awake for an hour and only left my bed once. I’m relaxing and preparing for my day which I hope will remain calm and restful.  I’m trying to decide what I’ll be doing with my unexpected few days of  vacation I’m on. Anyone who is in a lengthy relationship knows that any day your spouse or partner is away doing something is a free vacation (mental health) day. We certainly never tell them that’s how we feel but facts are facts.

thAYG0Z9JX

My better-half has once again volunteered to help out her daughter and son-in-law by babysitting their children for three days while they’re on vacation in Los Angeles. I volunteered to stay at our home while she travels to their residence to be with the kids.  She’ll be staying there until the weekend and it’s my job to arrive in a timely fashion with takeout meals and moral support.  That’s the kind of job I really like.  For a change I’m able to avoid a total commitment of my time and energy to others and to enjoy my alone time   Hooray for me.

thV8XTE80B

I get to spend my day working on a painting I started a few days ago for which I need real peace and quiet to do.  I hope to make serious progress over the next three days while listening to music that soothes me instead of hurting my ears.  It could be as close to heaven as I can get these days  and I intend to make the most of it.  It will end soon enough.

thFKLMMNA2

My biggest chore for today is to decide what food I need to buy for their dinner and  when to deliver it to her and the kids.  I suspect she’ll be damn glad to see me after chasing the two toddlers, two dogs, and two cats around the house for half a day.  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy but she seems to love it. I’d better remember to throw a couple of cold beers into the food bag as well.  It’ll be just like tossing a life vest to a drowning man.

th

Well, I’d like to keep writing but my stomach is rumbling and wants to be fed. I’ll make us a delicious breakfast, drink another cup of excellent coffee, and count my blessings once again. I can picture in my head my better-half, the two little boys, two dogs, and two cats all snuggled together in bed for the next two nights. I can’t help but smile a little and when no ones around to hear I can laugh my ass off.

Special Note to Self: Be sure to give her a thorough flea and tick inspection upon her return. We don’t need any tiny livestock catching a ride to our house.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE VACATION DAYS

12-06-2015 Journal– Red & Green Insanity!   Leave a comment

thSI3QTAQR

‘Christmas Eve in Maine.’

How is your holiday season progressing?  Are your preparations ahead of schedule or behind? Is your Christmas tree real or artificial? Are your kids driving you crazy yet? Has your alcohol consumption increased progressively with the holiday pressures?  All really good questions but as we all know they’re rhetorical. 

The drumbeat of Christmas is getting louder each day. I go to sleep thinking about what I’ve accomplished that day and wake up thinking about all of the stuff that I still need to accomplish today.  I am so full of Christmas cheer I could scream out loud.  After rereading this paragraph I think I discovered something else I must be full of.  You get my drift, right? I’M LOSING IT MAN!

Here is my kitchen table as I found it this morning:

DSC_0005

Trust me when I tell you the entire living room and family room look exactly like it as well.   I’m knee deep in Christmas and there’s still 18 shopping days left. It could take us until sometime in February to repack all this stuff and I can’t wait.  At least the damn cat seems to be enjoying himself:

DSC_0012

I haven’t had my breakfast yet but since I can’t eat in the kitchen I may retire to the deck and eat there. That’s right, the sun is shining and it’s still warm enough to sit outside and have breakfast. It’s madness I tell you.

Even Mother Nature appears confused by the weather. I took a stroll around the property yesterday  for no other reason than to get a little sun on my pasty white body.  I found this lonely little flower in the side yard. One stupid dandelion that’s decided it’s really not December but April. I can officially say this is the latest I’ve ever seen any flower growing and blooming.

DSC_0007

‘The all-time dumbest flower on the planet.’

I’d like to continue on with this post but I’m getting the evil eye from my better-half. It’s time to get back to my Santa duties. Everything has to be just perfect for the grandsons when they arrive (in two and a half effing weeks). Sorry about the language but all these red and green colors are finally getting to me or maybe it’s just my requested Christmas aneurism finally showing up.

I hope someone tells Santa just what a good boy I’ve been this year. He owes me big time.

11-16-2015 Journal– X-mas Insanity Begins!   Leave a comment

thEFLKOGSQ

This post will probably be confusing for some of you because there isn’t any rhyme or reason behind what I’ll be writing.  I’ve been very busy of late with a lot of little stuff that needs to be handled before the holidays officially arrive. Just keep your hands and feet inside the car, this ride may get a little bumpy.

My life has changed dramatically in the last month due to my elimination of  live cable television.  I’m happy to announce that I haven’t watched more than ten minutes of commercials, ads, or television shopping channels for over a month.  It took me a few weeks to get the hang of streaming and I’ve been able to locate and avoid those few channels that still insist on running commercials. It’s truly a game changer.  I have more freedom to watch what I please when I please and no scheduling of my time in order to watch a specific program.  No more waiting for commercial breaks to make  bathroom runs, I just hit the pause and Ta Da.  I also like watching what once was an hour long show in 43 minutes, minus all those damn commercials.  Life has gotten seriously better.

The better-half’s birthday has come and gone and was a great success. She loved her gifts, the wine, and that big, fat, medium rare T-bone steak. I tried to be as romantic as possible and I think I pulled it off rather well.  Here’s my lame attempt at a table setting on our crazy retro dining room set.

DSC_0015

I’d like to officially thank the cow that made the ultimate sacrifice for our meal. Tender and soft as marshmallows washed down with a semi-sweet Merlot.  Yummmmm!

I’ve been diligently working towards having all things Christmas, purchased, wrapped, and hidden away by Thanksgiving.  That will free up my time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be the better-half’s decorating slave. First the tree, then the lights, then tinsel, then motorized talking and singing toys scattered throughout the house.  I can only pray that my first gift will be a noise-cancelling headset. 

th1I616VSU

Here’s some bad news. Last night I was strong-armed into watching the first Christmas movie of the season.  That’s right, a Christmas movie on November 15.  Please just shoot me now.

Three days ago I was dragged kicking and screaming to the Mall. It was a typical mall trip which bored the hell out of me. I ended up sitting in the middle of the mall surrounded by herds of screaming kids being chased by their parents. Thank God for my Kindle.  The best part of my visit consisted of my standing near a small kiosk and allowing a really hot young lady to place heat packs on my neck. I let her go on and on with her sales pitch and finally walked away without making a purchase. My neck felt a lot better and so did my morale. thBVIZQLLU

I have a few more gifts to wrap today and I think I’m  be totally finished with Christmas preparations.  With that goal being met I think I’ll then deserve a tall, cold, and refreshing Gin and Tonic later this afternoon. 

I hope your holiday craziness isn’t too overwhelming.  Before you know it 2016 will be here and we can start preparing for next Christmas. Are we all insane or is it just me?

03-07-2015 Journal- A Spring Tease!   Leave a comment

The ice and snow is finally melting.  It would appear that we’ve seen the last of the big Winter storms for this year.  While the temperatures are in the mid- forties during the day the nights remain cold as hell.  It’s a great trade off as far as I’m concerned. We still have tons of snow and ice on the roof of the house but it’s already been reduced by at least twenty percent.  The remainder should fall this week as it appears to have moved a few inches with this minor thaw.

DSC_0002

‘When this ice hits the ground the entire house will shake.’

DSC_0003

I made a trip to Lowe’s in preparation for the rebuilding of my mailbox for the third year in a row.  If I had the extra money I might even consider a small yet annoying lawsuit against the town to demand repayment for all of the mailboxes they’ve destroyed over the years. From the looks of things as I drive around I’m just one  of thousands who have the same complaint.

DSC_0009

‘I know this looks almost usable but the door won’t close and the pole it sits on is missing. Take away the snow and it will be sitting on the ground.’

I’ve come up with a creative solution to the mailbox problem which will require me to spend a bit more money than I’d like.  If it works I won’t be buying any more mailboxes in the future.  As that project proceeds I’ll post some photo’s so all of you that don’t suffer from this problem can have a chuckle or two.

DSC_0010

‘This is a sample of one of the many Maine seasons. We have Summer, Snow, Snirt (Snow/Dirt), Mud, and Black Fly.  This is SNIRT.’

The sun is shining this morning and I’m anticipating a decent day where I might actually get out of the house and into the woods.  This year has been one that made it difficult to get out and about even with snowshoes.  I tried it once and was exhausted within minutes.  With three feet of snow on the ground even snowshoes can’t help.  I think today I’ll get my car desalted, take a few pictures and celebrate seeing actual pavement for the first time in months.  I may have to be retrained to drive on real dry asphalt.

C’mon Spring!

02-23-2015 Journal–Bottle Snatchers!   Leave a comment

DSC_0009

Today is that day that occurs every six weeks or so and honestly it’s not one of my favorites.  Let me explain.

First, regardless of what you know or think you know I’m not a fanatical environmentalist. I’m a former Greenpeace member who bailed out on them when they decided  to turn their attentions to banning nuclear power. I’m a former Sierra Club member who decided that any organization that puts the needs of animals before humans regardless of the consequences is too extreme for me. I’m also militantly against organizations like PETA and the idiots that  run them.

DSC_0011

Now let me confuse you further.  Up until 8 years ago I NEVER recycled anything.  It wasn’t that I didn’t care about the environment but I just didn’t see any long term benefits that required an investment of my time.  I understand the need for it now but for the most part I didn’t take it seriously then.

When I met my better-half and after we decided to be together FOREVER my brainwashing began.  In any relationship it’s mandatory that each participant be willing to compromise on certain things to maintain harmony.  My better-half is convinced that by recycling she will save the world. Totally naïve but understandable. Unfortunately the town of Saco, Maine where we live apparently agrees with her.  We’re now forced to recycle by the local government  which in turn  gives her even more ammunition to use against me.  Separate the paper and plastic into the brown container and all of that good old fashioned trash into the green container.  If you don’t obey the rules the town will refuse to pick up your trash. Heil Hitler to you too.

DSC_0012

All of my working life experiences and accomplishments have now been turned on their head.  Every six weeks or so I’m required to make a trip to a local recycling center to cash in bags of bottle and cans.  I was coerced into maintaining those containers at our residence where each days bottles and cans can be collected and stored.  Now part of my garage smells suspicious like that dumpy recycling center. If you like the smell of stale beer and garbage you too can be an environmentalist.

DSC_0002DSC_0003

We live in a rural area and use a well as our primary source of water.  Unfortunately well water is notorious for heavy mineral content and the occasional smell of rotten eggs.  So for cooking, coffee making, and normal consumption we use bottled water purchased from local retailers.  My new career as forced upon me by my better-half has reduced me to the level of a homeless guy wandering the streets collecting bottles and cans to save a nickel or two.

DSC_0013

So every six to eight weeks I bundle up bags of bottles and cans, put the stinky crap in my car, and head out to collect my seven dollars. It supplies me with just enough money to pay for my cat’s needs.  His food, treats, and litter are now paid for by my endless recycling efforts.  To tell you the truth I’d much rather just pay for it myself and stop all this madness but this is the compromise I must make to maintain this Garden of Eden we live in and all of the benefits it provides.

Oh yeah, I’m also saving the freaking world too. Brother !!!

05-02-2014 Political Correctness–The Death of America   Leave a comment

thI91PV800

I was cleaning out some old boxes of papers a few days ago attempting to rid my home of old junk and a host of bad memories.  These boxes contained books, papers, and other assorted BS from one of the worst employment experiences of my life.  It was two years of hell on earth for me and went a long way to making me the confirmed cynical SOB I’ve become.  Even after all the time that’s past it still pisses me off as much as ever.

Most people don’t like to name names when talking about their past bad experiences but I have no qualms at all.  Some of you’ve never heard of the Hechinger Corporation and I’m happy to let you know that it no longer exists. It was a small family run hardware business that grew into many hundreds of stores across the country.  The company’s  philosophy, as directed by the Hechinger family,  seemed to be more interested in liberal causes and making political contributions  than actually making money or being successful.

I then worked for a big-box home improvement company called HQ (Home Quarters Warehouse).  It was a small, dynamic, and a fun place to work.  It was expanding slowly and steadily across the US and everything was coming up roses.  That was until the failing Hechinger company made a hostile stock buyout in an attempt to keep their company afloat. Instead of absorbing everything good from HQ and eliminating the bad from their own company they decided to go the PC route. That decision was the beginning of the end for both HQ and Hechinger. Hechinger began attempting to change the way in which HQ did their business, eliminated many of HQ’s talented upper level management members which began the slow and painful process of killing a vibrant and successful company.  At the same time they acquired Builder’s Square Company and proceeded to destroy them as well.

I’m getting off my main point which is this.  Political Correctness has always been in my cross-hairs since the day I started blogging. Experiencing it first-hand is not fun and not something I’d wish on my worst enemy (well maybe on my worst enemy).  It’s a dangerous tool when used by people who care more about being PC than caring about people. I was one of the unlucky few who survived the slaughter and the Hechinger brainwashing machine kicked in almost immediately.  I was forced to attend a steady stream of team building seminars, personality testing,  and spent hundreds of hours  getting my head filled with their liberal PC BS.

For over a year they attempted to change my approach to my job and how I did business. I wasn’t about to change because I’d been very successful for years at what I did and they had not.  They kept the pressure on me with all of their PC crap until I simply lost it.  While getting my first annual evaluation from my new bosses, I stood up from the table, told them I thought they didn’t know what the hell they were doing, and begged them to just fire me.  Being the PC idiot’s that they were, they spent the next hour trying to convince me that I should calm down and relax.  I ranted and raved for most of that time and again begged them to fire me.  They wouldn’t do it and abruptly ended the session. 

I think they felt they could save my non-PC soul,  convert me to their way of thinking, and lead me to the promised land.  The next day I was given a better than average evaluation, a decent raise, and sent on my way.  Any good businessman will tell you that if an employee begs you to fire them and you have just cause, JUST DO IT.

Anyway that’s why I continuously bitch and complain about PC issues.  If the minor issues are ignored by intelligent thinking people more will follow.

“All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”  Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

So as I’m delivering these books and papers to the trash what falls at my feet but a book I hoped never to see again.  “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey.  He was god almighty to the Hechinger Company and they beat me over the head for more than a year with his books.  If I never hear the term “paradigm” again it will be too damn soon.

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED Once AGAIN

04-15-2014 Journal Entry – A Spring Swim   Leave a comment

In my last posting I was whining a little about not having much beach time here in good old tropical Maine. Being the bonehead I am and living with my boneheaded better-half we decided not to wait any longer to hit the beach. The snow had just melted and we were ready.

After a visit to one of our favorite watering-holes and after toasting a few glasses of cheer we made a bee line for the nearest beach. You need to understand that the temperature was in the forties with a twenty mile an hour wind making it feel like twenty degrees.  Alcohol can do a lot of things but it doesn’t help a person stay warm and toasty on a windy beach in Maine in April.   I was freezing my ass off almost immediately after leaving the car but the better-half was off to the races running around the beach like a German Shepard chasing a stick.  We both were snapping pictures the entire time but that ended rather quickly.

It was then I spotted a herd of totally insane people running free and unfettered among us normal and sane folk. The waves were roaring in and these fools in their wonderfully uncool wet suits were trying to surf in water that was only just above freezing..  Surfing in Maine in April is like running naked through a nudist colony in February.  It’s just nuts.  I watched them for a while but was forced to return to my car so I could once again feel my fingers. 

DSC_0011

“Out of His Ever Loving Mind”

DSC_0010

The better-half finally returned of her own volition all excited and happy about the entire evening.  She coerced me into driving another few miles up the coast to our favorite beach. It hadn’t gotten any warmer and I argued loudly about getting out of the car at all.  As usual she strong-armed me out of the car and down to the water.  There we were once again watching another insane human being wind surfing like he was in Key West and it was August.  Here are a couple of shots I took of that young idiot.  I’ve been known to don a wet suit to frolic in semi-warm water occasionally but no matter what people tell you . . . . it’s still freaking cold with that suit on.

DSC_0017DSC_0015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just Nuts”

We made our way home, turned up the heat, and discussed what mental illness could be responsible for such bizarre behavior, both ours and the surfers.  We never figured it out but we really didn’t care anyway. We snuggled into our bed under our wonderfully warm and overused electric blanket that’s become the best thing about these Maine winters.

12-22-2013. Journal Entry   2 comments

Well, we have two more days of this Christmas insanity to deal with.  The pressures seem to be building among the family members with minor bickering and annoyances taking over.  It’s the  typical holiday syndrome suffered by hundreds of thousands of families over the years and has actually become a rich traditional part of the American Christmas holiday experience.

As luck would have it, today is my day off.  My better-half, her son visiting from Raleigh, her daughter, and the grandson are preparing for their last shopping foray north to L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine.  I was asked to go but there was no way in hell I was leaving the house to visit a major retail area just two days before Christmas.  I may look stupid at times but not today.

I’ll be  posting this blog and then relaxing for the rest of the day with a good book and a glass or two of brandy.  The house will be quiet and that will be perfect.  Starting tomorrow and for the next two days we’ll be running here and visiting there until we finally reach Christmas Day and the dinner at our home.

My shopping for this year is over, my gifts are wrapped, and I’m done with all of that.  Now a couple of family gatherings and two excellent meals and we’ll all be worrying about and preparing for the next holiday.

In years past I was all about New Years and I celebrated it with a vengeance.  It was by far my favorite holiday after Thanksgiving.  But “time wounds all heals” and the fascination of drinking and carousing all night has long since past.  Rushing out to spend the night in New York City with millions of others or attending one of any number of local boring parties has lost it’s charm.  A quiet night with my soulmate just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company is enough.

I remember all of those crazy years with crazy people doing really crazy stuff.  Our group suffered a few minor arrests and once or twice we spent some quality standing along a snowy and icy highway while our driver was put through his paces by a stern and business-like police officer.  Nothing like a gigantic sobriety check point to start off the New Year.  Ahhhh, sweet memories.

TWO MORE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

05-14-2013   Leave a comment

Spring has finally sprung here in Maine.  That cold nip that’s been in the air for the last few weeks seems to be disappearing and sitting on my deck actually feels warm instead of just in the sunny spots.

Something else is an excellent predictor of warm weather and that’s road construction.  We’re just a week away from the beginning of the tourist season which under normal conditions is a huge pain in the butt.  Add the influx of tourist to the unbelievable amount of road construction and what do you get? You get madness.

I spent a portion of my day yesterday riding around the area,  running errands, and just enjoying the sunshine.  I saw a few things I found more than a little disturbing.  I once lived in the Boston area and there we were required to suffer through traffic jams which are a way of life.  I spent more than seventeen years sitting on Rte. 128 in gigantic traffic jams and logged more time sitting on that highway than I did in my office. It was one of the many reasons I felt a move to Maine was a good idea.

Maine is a very large state with a reasonably small population and under normal circumstances we have a difficult time even finding a traffic jam.  Unfortunately that appears to be changing this year.  I spent more time than I’d like sitting in construction traffic yesterday and I swear I must have seen at least sixty percent of the state’s population.  They were all jammed into one of the main intersections in Scarborough, Maine which has been under construction for at least two months.

It takes a real genius to begin a large road construction project just prior to tourist season at one of the busiest intersections in the area without being absolutely certain it will be completed before the tourists arrive.  It’s not the town officials that are to blame but the idiots from the state government in Augusta.  They bitch and complain about the poor economy and then do their level best to screw things up.

The perfect example to make my point was this scene.  You have two large intersections within a couple of hundred yards of each other.  There are no less than fourteen lanes of traffic merging into and out of this area which unfortunately is the direct driving route to the beaches and the marsh areas where tourist love to visit.  Every lane except for two was closed.

I sat and watched some poor schmuck standing in a shallow hole spreading asphalt with a wooden paddle.  He was sweating his butt off as he pushed and pulled the material around to get it level.  Standing right next to him were four supervisors in their pretty white hard hats, reading their clip boards, and watching the poor guy working. Making a rough estimate I would calculate that more than $100.00 an hour was being spent to supervise one guy making $20.00 an hour.  I really appreciated that the entire group of supervisors were proud enough to wear their official State of Maine, Department of Transportation  jackets.  It’s the perfect way to advertise to "We the People" where our hard earned tax money is being spent.

Shortly after Memorial Day that intersection will be an even bigger nightmare.  I’m certain that all of our Canadian visitors will really appreciate spending a good portion of their vacation time sitting in the heat at that intersection.  You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a road rage incident where someone is screaming obscenities at you in French.  At least I won’t understand what the hell their saying.

%d bloggers like this: