Thursday, July 31, 2008


We've been holding it to one meltdown a day, and that's not so bad. Today, however, is rainy in the White Mountains...and that means outlet shopping for fall necessities (yeah, that's the ticket, necessities) instead of the usual itinerary. Could work out well, could be a nightmare, will definitely eat a hole in the wallet.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


The clan is headed out on a weeklong road trip, so posting will be light (if any). See ya!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


She just told me "I think I'll hit Wal-Mart with the kids tomorrow."

My wife hates Wal-Mart with the intensity of a thousand suns. Not for any political or labor-relations reasons, but just because it's a freak show. Me, I like freak shows because they're a fount of material for the radio show, but the kids really don't need to see the 250-pound tattooed woman in gold tights telling her troglodytic husband/boyfriend/rutting partner "Now this here aisle is the one I was in the last time I got kicked out."

How far off the bell curve of acceptable behavior do you have to be to get kicked out of a Wal-Mart?

And yet my wife is talking about going there tomorrow - with the kids, on a Friday, before a summer's weekend.

She will need a glass of wine tomorrow night. And a foot massage. I shall provide.

Monday, July 21, 2008


They don't know me from Casey Jones, but they did right by the kids and my wife this past weekend up there in Phoenicia. Kept the Noodle and Beast entertained, absolutely buried them with arcane trainy details whose importance won't emerge in Beast's world for another year or three when he will explain to me the specs of the typical E2 Class 0-6-0T locomotive. It was 90something down here in the valley, but up there in the mountains under the trees, rolling down the tracks, sitting...

Sitting was what made my darling wife the happiest. Just to take a load off and enjoy the scenery for once.

Anyway, up in the Catskills it wasn't the shvitzfest it was down here where the Pepere and I got about two-thirds of the way through installing a new floor for the master bedchamber. I am the Pergo freakin' king, man. And by the way I'm digressing all over creation with this post, being cooped up in the bedroom with a bunch of flooring planks has made me (more) hinky. Back to the train, now. is where they're at. It's a straight shot out 28 from Thruway exit 19. Just keep going, and you'll know you're close when the tracks cross the road. A more peaceful 90 minutes with kids you will not find while awake.

14 bucks for the grown-ups, eight for kids 4-11 (but they let Noodle slide even though she's almost 5), free for the wee ones like Beast. That is one tremendous deal.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Beast is beyond high-chair age now, but when we take the wee beasties to a restaurant we still have a look at their high chairs by way of divining how well they take care of kids and their general attention to detail. And if the high-chair straps suck eggs...we're outta there.
Restaurant owners and operators: if a high chair is broken, fix or get rid of it. Or at least get it off the floor and away from staff and customers, who will try again and again to use it. I know restaurant work can be fast paced and hectic, but it seems like high chairs get the shaft, if my numerous outings are telling. That missing seat belt is a real bummer, since the high chair is unsafe to use without one. A wiggly kid could squirm, fall or otherwise risk injury. Bussers or managers should regularly check that the chair has all parts, isn't wobbly, and that the belt fastens and stays locked in position. When high chairs are presented as dirty, sticky, and/or missing a seat belt, it sends a message.

Heck yes it does. That's a piece from San Francisco, but with so many Culinary grads sticking around our region I'm hoping our local restaurants get on the ball and stay there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"Yes, the Big Bad Wolf needed lotion on his butt after that."

"Sleeping Beauty was probably too old for night-time Pull-UpsTM."

"Prince Charming always shaved. Not like Daddy."

"They're fairies, so they can still fly okay even if they're a little chubby."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Diamond Dave says you roll at 11 in the morning. Not 8 at night when we're trying to put the kids to bed. You and your endless loop of Music Box Dancer and your bomb pops, you know where you can go, yes? Fie on thee.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The nearest Club Libby Lu to Boogerland is an hour away.

This, we found today, is a tremendously good thing, for the Noodle was invited to a birthday party today at the Club, during which there was two solid hours of ear-splitting girlish squealing with occasional intervals of cake, pizza and commerce. Me and Little Mr. Creosote temporarily decamped to the nearby Chuck E. Fargin's for a few laps with the stationary Bob the Builder bulldozer before returning to collect our better halves. So yeah, that was me at the Galleria this afternoon with the giant Libby Lu bag. Inside the giant bag were various containers of beauty products, all of them redundant in my mind's eye since sending Noodle in for beauty treatments is like adding blue to the ocean. And as if to prove she's still daddy's little girl, she ate a goodly quantity of the body glitter while attempting to use it as lipstick - thus the title of this post, in anticipation of things yet to emerge. For emasculating myself so by hauling all this Libby Lu stuff about, Her Awesomeness has granted me a moment or two with you before returning to our latest home-improvement project: namely, re-painting the bedroom, because clearly this shade of blue:

is inferior to this shade of blue:

The nuances are obvious to you, the casual observer, but not to me, the guy who's schlepping the paint. And the flooring. And moving the armoire, and hauling the nasty old rug off to the dump, and I do believe I have the vapors just pondering the task.
Wait, no, that's just the primer fumes.

Why is there a blue kitten in the scoop of the Bob the Builder ride's bulldozer? Is it some Tiananmen hommage or something, or does Bob have it in for the cat?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


It would not be good for the kids to see the Santas in a rumble:

The Amalgamated Santas, one of the nation's largest Santa groups, are dealing with a schism in their ranks. The rift has left burly bearded men accusing one another of bylaw violations, profiteering and behaving in un-Santa-like ways. Some Santas have filed complaints of wrongdoing against others in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.


The Amalgamated Santas will be on high alert at their Kansas City convention, which starts Friday. The schedule is lighthearted: Events include a "Santa, Baseball and Me" charity night at the Kansas City Royals stadium. But at least one of the splinter Santas has let it be known he plans to drop by.

And Mr. Trolli says his family has been threatened by breakaway Santas, who deny it. "My children have been instructed that, if anyone looks like Santa, to run," Mr. Trolli says.

So warm and fuzzy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


We finally had Noodle getting to sleep by herself, but last weekend she slept with Mommy for one night while we were away at the great-grandfather's big 90th birthday celebration. And now she's back howling at night and can't get to sleep without one of us there, or until she's completely fried from 90 minutes of bawling. So we're trying the pick-her-up don't-say-anything put-her-back-in-bed routine, and so far we have some very sore backs to show for it, but little in the way of success.

Beast, meanwhile, sleeps through all of this drama. We hope.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


22.6, but that incorporates most of last weekend's trip to see the kids' great-grandfather in Massachusetts, during which we discovered what a speed table is while driving through lovely West Hartford.
Me: "Hon? That sign says 'speed table'. What's a speed table?"


Me: "Hey, thanks. That cleared everything right up for me about those speed ta--"


A-ha, said my butt.

Because my speed table curiosity was still not sated and maybe yours isn't either, I found this here (PDF):

Speed humps and speed tables are both raised areas on the surface of roadways that are usually 3.7 to 4.3 meters (12 to 14 feet) long (measured along the travel direction of the street) and 7.6 to 10.2 centimeters (3-4 inches) high. (There are also much shorter humps, typically referred to as bumps, used at grocery stores and other locations where very low speeds are desired.) Usually they are installed in a series about 100-200 meters (300-600 feet) apart. The main differences between humps and speed tables are:

• The speed hump has a rounded top while the speed table is flat-topped.
• The speed hump is slightly shorter than the speed table.
• Tables frequently have two 1.8-meter (6-foot) ramps on each side. (Typical length of a speed table is 6.7 meters (22 feet) with a 3.0-meter (10-feet) flat section.)

Deep stuff, this. I don't know of any speed tables in New York, but I've come across the odd hump here and there.

Oh, stop snickering.