Friday, November 28, 2008


No longer can I gorge on Thanksgiving as in days of yore...not with child-hoisting and mom-corralling and order-taking and whatnot. So before you go believing any urban legends, it's not the tryptophan that'll make you sleepy, and it's not the Detroit Lions. It's just plain old garden-variety exhaustion, added to in my case by all the new-job-running-around-filling-out-paperwork behavior.

You: go to Boogershoppe. Me: go to sleep.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


My wife's apple pie is that good.

I am full as a tick and will resume semi-coherent posting some time Friday, if I'm fortunate.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


And having thrown some of my favorite movies up on my profile, apparently I am the only blogger within Blogger to appreciate the subtle joys of Piranha II: The Spawning.

As such, it's going to have to go into the Boogershoppe as a holiday gift the whole family will love.

(Many other items have been added as well! Anything you buy from Amazon via Boogershoppe, whether or not it's in the shop itself or at Amazon in general, means a little extra stocking-stuffer for the family here. Much obliged, as the Stranger would say.)


Landed, a new gig I have.

Details to follow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


...the Boogershoppe is now up and running! Only a few items in there at the moment, things which my family already has and has found favor with, with the exception of that Genesis box set, for which I am furiously lobbying Santa Claus. You buy the stuff through me, same as you would through Amazon, at the same price regardless, and Amazon shows me a little bit of love. And therefore...

If there's something you'd like me to track down, drop a line via knockatize --at-- gmail --dot-- com and I'll try to find it and post it.

Also, for those of you trying to shop local, I'll be trying to get as much local stuff listed as possible in a local version of Boogershoppe, things that you can track down by heading to a Hudson Valley locally-owned store near you instead of to a jam-packed mall full of the sort of people who don't know better than to not walk three abreast in a mall corridor during the holiday shopping season. I'll have the local stuff up soon as I can teach myself the relevant geekery - and again, if you're a local merchant yourself drop me a line and I'll list you. If you've got graphics, what the heck, send them along and I'll try to fit them in. Free, at least until Xmas, while the space lasts.

ONLY THING MISSING IS THE CAKE LEFT OUT... the rain that's falling. My least favorite weather, this cold blatting rain. Six or seven degrees colder and we'd have a proper snowstorm with wife and children all home from school and rolling around in the snow before snarfling down some hot cocoa. But this? Bleh. And just 25 miles away as the crow flies, up on Slide Mountain in Ulster County, there's 10 inches of snow so far.

Why of course this would be the day the minivan door refuses to shut when I'm trying to get Beast out of the car at the doctor's office. The good thing about this is that while I was trying to figure out what was stuck in the door, Beast was madly stomping through puddles and getting his pants soaking wet, which would not normally be a good thing except that he had just had an accident (#1), and by The Guy Code we can consider the puddle-stomping a pre-rinse.

We shan't breathe a word of this to the lady of the manor, mmkay?


Dislodge stuck toy from door, finally get Beast inside, change pants, check in with front desk, into the bloodletting chamber to show son how brave Daddy is when he gets a needle pinch, back out the door, into the car, stop at the CVS, of course the vitamin/fluoride pills the boy needs are common as dirt everywhere else in the universe but here they're on six-month backorder as they are at every other pharmacy in town, back to the car, oh NO don't fall asleep YET little guy...

The heck with it. Beast and I are both feeling vaguely coming-down-with-somethingy, and that cinches things. It's officially the kind of day to veg on the couch - and we'll be making that cocoa anyway, snowlessness be damned. Take us away, Backyardigans!

Monday, November 24, 2008


The Beast has drifted off for his afternoon nap on his new day-care-center-style cot. Flawlessly. Soon as I find the cot on Amazon it'll be the first item up for sale in the Boogershoppe.


While distracted by one thing or another, I came across something called, where you can cobble together your photos with their music and geekly magic, and produce a mighty slick video - or at least slick by my old-man-chasing-you-off-my-lawn standards:

You get a 30-second freebie to put together, or you can pay $3 a pop for additional length.


How a five-year-old girl can pick out random items of clothing from her closet, put them on, and it looks adorable.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Very cool:

Moore, a ninth-grader at Warwick Valley High, is believed to be the youngest person to identify a supernova, which is a little more impressive than your ability to find the Big and Little dippers on a clear summer night.

Moore can take astronomy next year, but she should probably teach it. "Maybe when I was four I realized there are things out there you have to explore or you're missing out," she said, surrounded by most of the 10 telescopes she keeps in her
backyard observatory. "I feel like I'm making a difference in the scientific community. That's really special."

Moore found her supernova as part of a research team led by Tim Puckett in Atlanta. Puckett has 28 people in five countries looking for subtle changes in images of the night sky taken by his telescopes. She started looking with her father, Robert, in April and spotted a dying star in September. The find has been confirmed by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams at Harvard, which named it the very uninspiring UGC 12682. Still, her dad's over the moon about it. He bought Caroline her first scope four years ago and built the observatory with a retractable roof.

Oh, man. I can barely hang a coat hook and this guy's building an observatory for his daughter. More cool stuff here, and if you're an über-astro-geek the particulars from Caltech are here.

THE TRICK... to make the purpose of the mission plain before going into the toy store.
"We're strictly checking out what Santa might be able to bring you and your brother this year, so please don't ask for anything in the store - okay, my sweet noodle?

O-KAY, daddy!"

And it worked. She was saintly. There was even an amazed "she's so good!" from one mom at the toy store. I wish I could put it down to my superior parenting skills, but please. Far as disciplinary skills go, I'm the anti-Great Santini. For once in my life I just happened to be lucid enough to lay out the situation to my daughter at the right time. At any rate, it's a small success, and now I need to chase down a Santa right quick to keep her on the beam.

Speaking of Santas, I'll be rating them locally and you are free to pitch in with your own observations of local Santas you see and I don't get to. Just drop a line, a photo, whatever to knockatize -=at=- and we'll see how this works out.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


In other words, not quite a mental health break.

Watch this. It starts off adorable, then sad, then weird, then...well, just watch and prepare to laugh your buttocks off.


Been wondering if taking care of Cousin Lil for two days entitles us to an extra 1/184th of a child dependent credit for the year.

Wife and I really need time off when thoughts like that go gamboling through our heads.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Noodle and her cousin Lil are finally asleep in their bed, as is Sweetness in his room. You could shoot an insurance-company commercial with them right now, they look so content.

Hope the poor girl doesn't get to find out what an active sleeper Noodle is.


"Son, you can't play the guitar with your butt."


Beast and Noodle were up for random reasons repeatedly last night - I can't find Ramone! says the boy, I had a bad dream Daddy and now I need a dream about feeding a baby calf says Noodle, and so on and so forth. Me, I can skate by vegging with Beast during the day, but my darling wife has to go to work and grocery shop what with Cousin Lil coming by for the weekend. Thus the title of this post, with apologies to the Car Talk guys.

Couple new tracks from The Kids' Playlist, though.


Strike The Bell and House Party - both Dan Zanes


Home By The Sea - Genesis (the "sit down, sit down, SIT DOWN" part in particular)
Rock Steady - Aretha Franklin

Thursday, November 20, 2008


"Don't lick your purple rock."

"Don't lick the wall."

"Don't lick the cat."

"Don't lick the driveway."

"Don't lick the chalk."

"Don't lick your brother."

"Don't lick the mailbox."

"Don't lick the countertop."

"Don't lick the earthworm."

"Don't lick your toes."

"Don't lick the pumpkin."

"Don't lick the camera."

"Don't lick the refrigerator."

"Don't lick your paintbrush."

"Don't lick the bottle of glue."

"Don't lick the bowling ball."

"Don't lick my keys."

And the pièce de résistance :

"Don't lick your name into the dust on the car. You can't spell it yet."

THATCLOSE 1000 profile views, I am. And only a few of them are me checking to see how many profile views I have. Thanks to everybody for your continued readership, and do become a Follower if you appreciate whatever it is I'm offering here.

UPDATE: we're there! Woohoo! Alert the international press and get the Grucci Brothers here stat for some fireworks!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Just got home from the doctor's and Beast's annual checkup and flu shot. Not a peep out of him when he got the needle. Ah, but tell him he's got to turn off the Yo Gabba Gabba for lunch and watch the waterworks commence.


Hooray for insanely cold weather. Bring it on, straight through April - because when it's freakin' cold out, Noodle and Beast drop their arguments with Mommy and Daddy over what to wear, and right quick they do. I get them hustled out the door right on time and looking like a couple of Fargo extras; Noodle has even taken to talking like a little Marge Gunderson on mornings like this: "It's cold, oh yah, Daddy..."

Spent a moment wondering what'll happen if she tells her kindergarten teacher "prowler needs a jump, hon."

And here we are, and it's a beautiful day.


Tremendous job by the Krebs family of White Plains, who have adopted three boys from the Ukraine. Read the whole story here, and here in the Journal-News, and also note that in the same day's paper is a story on adopting foster kids currently living in Putnam County, with similar events taking place locally in Dutchess and Ulster as well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Classy name, yes?

Once it's up - target date will be the Monday before Thanksgiving - the way it should work will be pretty typical: if you're buying holiday gifts online, do so through this site and I get a little kickback at no extra cost to you. It'll be an expansion of the three-item shop I've got here now - so if you're in the market for a certain Britax child safety seat, you know what to do.

Tell your friends!


And in yours now:


This new blog segment will be devoted to those items which you allow your children to bring into the house reasoning that oh, they're harmless enough. And then you find out the truth.

We begin with a seasonal item: the humble acorn.

No, not the ACORN we heard so much hollering about during the campaign season, merely the ones that fall from oaks and their relatives this time of year. And are collected by youngsters around the nation, especially certain five year old princesses who shall go nameless here.

And are brought into the house and kept in an old coffee can until such time comes as Daddy can dig a hole or two in the yard and plant them.

Except for one.

Which will roll into a quiet nook or corner of your home, there to rest until the cats find it at two in the morning, at which point a hockey game breaks out. Old time hockey. Lily in particular was doing a credible impersonation of Joe Kocur at Herman's expense, and that's what dragged yours truly out of bed to locate the acorn at the root of all this. Good luck finding a dark-brown object less than a centimeter in diameter at two in the morning. I had no shot at success, and so went back to bed after separating the combatants.


Looks like Herman found the acorn, and is eating it.


And is sending it back up. Joy. Oh sweet sweet joy, to be cleaning acorn-studded cat-barf at 2:15 in the morning.

(with apologies, sound-effect-wise, to the late Don Martin of Mad Magazine)

Monday, November 17, 2008


No, I haven't gotten a new job yet.

Wallace and Gromit are coming back!
The new film sees the pair open a bakery - Top Bun - only to find a 'cereal killer' is targeting all bakers in town. As Wallace is busy wooing a new love interest, Piella Bakewell, it is left to Gromit - who doesn't speak - to uncover the killer.

And now, I am going out to the living room to do the Happy Dance with Sweetness.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A sensor. Someplace. I'm sure of it. I sit down, start typing, really get into a groove, and within seconds either the phone rings, the internet connection craps out, the cats start kvetching, or Noodle wants to show me the new material she's trying out for her bedtime-stalling routine.

I shudder to think what would happen if our doorbell actually worked.

UPDATE: She's added a fourth trip-to-the-potty request. Hoo boy.


Supposedly, allegedly, these are the top ten last lines of movies of all time. Bleh.

Omitted, the real top ten:

"Oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like home!"

"Well...I'm back."

"And like that...(poof)...he's gone."

"That'll do, pig...that'll do."

"As you wish."

"Say, friend - you got any more of that good sarsaparilla?"

"This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

"They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen. And won their freedom."

"I'm known to locate certain things from time to time."

And my #1...




You said to bang on the roof when I was done cleaning the gutters and you'd steady the ladder while I climbed down. So I'm done, and I'm banging.


Sure is windy up here today. Gutters look sweet, though. She must be watching the game.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


The clock read 4:28 when I put away the swiffers and the vacuum cleaner and explained to Noodle and Beast please! don't trash things tonight...

Which they didn't, not at first.

4:33, from somewhere in the kitchen: hurrrrrrk. hurk hurk hurk GACK splat.

Thanks, Herman.

Friday, November 14, 2008


It better be good, right? Something memorable, yes? Okay, here goes:

My son just wiped something moist and strange-smelling on my face, and I really don't want to know what it is.

(5 minutes later)

Okay, just chocolate milk. All is well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Bloody hell, I'm going to have to accost Jann Wenner if he ever shows his face in town. Rolling Stone's list of the Top 100 Singers of All Time starts out very well indeed with this fine lady atop it:

And then Ray Charles is at #2, Sam Cooke at 4, Marvin Gaye at 6, Stevie Wonder at 9, Orbison at 13, Al Green at 14...and then it falls to bits.

Snubbed: Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Teddy Pendergrass, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Philip Bailey, Levi Stubbs...and one Francis Albert Sinatra.


Noodle loses her first tooth, as noted earlier:

That will be the cover of Noodle's first solo album, Fathe Value.

After that blessed dental event it was rather quickly downhill.

(Update: things as described below were not quite as lurid as had originally been perceived, thus the edit.)

Wife loses her first car - hooray for Route 9 traffic lights that operate when malls aren't even open, and double hooray for people who don't know what to do at said lights, especially when an emergency vehicle is trying to get through. Hint: panicked leaping on the brakes and screeching to a halt when everybody else is expecting to slow down and pull over is NOT the move. The oil slick on 9 didn't help matters any. So, bye-bye to Ol' Red. New Red (the minivan) becomes Ol' Red. For reasons known only to them, the rental-car company has provided Her Awesomeness with an enormous truck she needs a step-stool to climb into, and as we speak she's at Ruge's in Rhinebeck lining up a new ride. In the meantime, we're going to use the truck to pick up a few day laborers and threaten to turn them in to La Migra unless they come across with some scratch for Beast's nursery school.

All this leaves me working on the best doggone cobbled-together spaghetti-and-meatball combo you ever did see, but I'm trying to time it out so that it'll still be warm when my beloved comes back home.

Barring a deer jumping out in front of her truck, that is.

Please eat tonight, kids. And no throwing fits at bathtime or bedtime. Daddy's begging. Give us three hours of Stepford-Child behavior and for you, dear children, it's ponies and Camaros and all the Yo Gabba Gabba you can handle.


Happy birthday, Dad.

Just to get you up to speed quickly, wherever you're at: my wife's still beautiful, Mom's still talking people's ears off, and your grandchildren are still adorable. And smart! In fact, the grandson you never got to meet at this very moment is walking around with his toy cell phone stuffed into his underwear, and if that's not a sign of incipient genius I don't know what is.

Turns out you were right about that broadcasting career not amounting to much, although it did take 20 years. Tenure, good benefits and a government pension is sounding mighty sweet right about now, although those last two are about to get chewed up a good bit up in Albany.

I just wish you'd laid off the True Greens sooner, y'know?


Her Awesomeness has been in a bit of a vehicular scrape on Route 9. She's fine; her car, not so much.

UPDATE: totaled. And off we go to shop for a car, because it's not like money's tight or anything.


Noodle's first tooth has fallen out. Pics to follow!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Don't Bite Your Friends?

Did that really have to be said? But again, it's going to get stuck in your head after the first couple of listens. And then you'll have the munchies.


Is there anything more satisfying than rummaging through the fridge looking for leftovers to cobble together for a lunch, and finding a beer from a six-pack you'd thought was long since consumed?


This also concides nicely with my planned post-kids'-nap trip to the grocery store to bring back cans and bottles, and frees up garage space for a while seeing as beer is going to be strictly a luxury item until such time as the financial picture becomes clearer.


As you can see from this blog's new RSS feed from Noodle's school, we have an Idiot at large in town who has jammed up an entire town's schedule and wasted tight public resources with his manifest dungforbrainsedness. We have in our midst a certified Drooler. A knucklehead. A moron. Was I supposed to say something more sensitive like troubled youth instead? Feh.

On the other hand, should our perp be caught and brought to account for his bogus threat, I'm not sure it helps matters to add to his street cred with a quick trip through New York's criminal justice system.

And then the pumpkins quietly decaying on our front porch gave rise to an idea. A modest proposal, if you will...the stocks:

One hour, in the middle of town, pelted with whatever's gone bad from the fall harvest - and then a clean slate. Nothing on the juvenile record, nothing in the DNA database, no anger-managment or idiocy-abatement sessions. Just a taste of humiliation and then all's square and we move on. It's cheap, it's quick, it's cathartic, and it unmistakably ties actions to their consequences.


So far she has wanted to be a princess when she grows up, a veterinary instructor, and now she aspires to be a Yo Gabba Gabba cast member or writer or something.

Say what you want about the entertainment business, you cannot watch "Party in My Tummy" and keep a frown on:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


"Real pirates don't pee in their pants."

"No, we can't clean the floor with your pee."

"Even Herman goes in his cat box, and he's not too bright."

"Either we're going to run out of pants or we're going to run out of pull-ups, and the only thing we'll have left is the princess pull-ups Noodle used to wear."

"Toilet paper is NOT for bowling."

"There's no such thing as too tired to pee."

"...and they're called kidneys. No, no, not there, those are kid knees."


Appropriately, "momoffive" has joined our ragtag band as our fifth follower. Welcome!

And incidentally, if you've got your own parenting blog and want a bit of linkage, just ask and ye shall be hooked up.

Monday, November 10, 2008


It's available in just a few hours as of this posting. Want want want want want:

Daddy promises Santa he will be an extra good boy this holiday season.


I have been informed, in a constructive way, that this blog's color scheme would put Hieronymus Bosch off his lunch.

Yes, I've had a design tweak in mind, but when I spend my days thinking like a three-year-old it's hard to upshift into geekliness, especially when said geekliness hasn't gotten a serious workout in decades.

I'm also pondering a way to set up podcasts here, for those of you who simply can't do without the sound of my voice after 19 years of having it inflicted on you at the top and bottom of every hour every weekday morning.

But for now, zonk-time.



We've been having one of those evenings where I sit down to the computer thinking finally there'll be a nap or at least a bit of down time, but what winds up here on the screen is the letter A and then I have to get up and attend to business, three hours go by and the A is still sitting there.

Mocking me, because I no longer remember what I was going to write after the A; however one of the interruptions was most pleasant, as a local person of some standing (and that's as specific as I'll get) actually took the time to come by the house and tell me in person how much he appreciated my radio work.

Good thing he didn't come by on one of those days spent doing housework in the nude. (KIDDING, he said in capital letters, knowing that there are some things that should not be envisioned let alone depicted in reality. Of course I don't do all that much housework.)

At any rate, my recollection of the encounter is available over at my sibling blog, Brian's Bag-Letter Bonanza.


...although I wish it wasn't necessary after every simple walk in the woods.

November rules. At least when you get a nice day it does. The tourists are giving it a rest until after Thanksgiving, the nights make for comfortable sleeping, and I think the kids and I could have just have taken our afternoon naps out there in LeafPile 2.0, if it wasn't for the outside chance of a deer tick stopping in for a late-season nibble and a bit of the old Lyme-disease vectoring. Instead every trip out to jump in the leaves has to end with a thorough checking of little ears and scalps and rumps and such for ticks. And if we ever find one? Why, we'd extract it and eat it as if we were mommy and daddy baboons and Jim Fowler was watching us from a tree stand in Botswana.

And so here's wishing our area's deer hunters all the best this fall, especially at a time when a larger number of them really do rely on the venison to keep their larders full for the winter. I sure do wish the next administration in DC would repeal the hundred-year-old federal law banning market hunting, but even as is it's a win-win-win-win-win-win: it's free venison (or at least venison purchased with one's own sweat), it gets people outside, it's better for the deer population, and it preserves young trees and plants in the forest undergrowth for all the other animals that live in the forest. And of course fewer deer mean fewer deer ticks, although the little buggers can hitch a ride on other animals if need be.

And it's one less hundred-pound rat suddenly jumping out in front of my car.

Stupid Walt Disney and Bambi with that "MAN had entered the forest" crapola, raising a generation of boomers on the overweening cuteness of the forest world and how hunting was awful and scary and mean to the poor widdle deer. Obviously the Disney people of the day had never seen deer starve to death over the winter, or it's relative the moose, in rut, trying to make sweet love to a Volkswagen (safe for work). If I ever make a movie I'm going to be sure some melodramatic set of pipes intones "DEER had entered the southbound lane of Route 9-G" somewhere along the line.


Both of them. On time.

Will wonders never cease?

Beast is usually no problem at all, being the low-maintenance relaxed Dude he is...wish he wasn't so relaxed about getting to the potty on time, though. Noodle, on the other hand, has a brain that operates on a whole 'nother level. No way is she sleeping when something interesting is happening in the house, even if it's just one of their hair-trigger toys switching on for no reason. This time she went right out without kvetching or stalling or anything. I tried motivating her by saying the only way she'd get to give mommy bye-bye kisses before she left for work was to go to sleep early, so we'll see if that works in about 33 minutes. There's also the second motivating factor of her Mémère coming over after lunch so I can take Her Awesomeness to the podiatrist. All that distance running has left my darling with an owie that requires expert attention, and because she may have to be off her feet tonight there is a possibility we will splurge and...order a pizza.

And that will be its own drama. Beast pulls the cheese off his pizza and then doesn't eat much of the remaining slice before demanding another, and Noodle likes hers cold. Weirdo.

29 minutes. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Awww, yeah. There is nothing better on a Sunday afternoon in November:

And to make it sweeter still, for once My Gigantic Pasty White Bald SpotTM isn't in the picture. My dermatologist told me I'd better get something done about it before helicopters try to land on my head.

My head is not the sort that would be aesthetically pleasing without hair. I'm the anti-Ed Harris in that regard. First, it's huge, my head. A virtual planetoid. Asymmetrical, also. And then there's blotches and uneven bits and flat areas and a chickenpox scar shaped exactly like the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, only just a little smaller. Put me and my cranium over in the category "Put That Away, Would You? We're Trying To Eat" with Don Zimmer and Uncle Fester - and remember, at least Zim can wear a cap when he's on the job and Fester's supposed to be horrifying.


No pics, but if the kids' Sunday morning play session needed a narrator, it would've been this guy:

If the name eludes you for the moment, maybe the voiceover guy on this video will help:

In other words, the kids are fourth-quarter-at-Soldier-Field filthy. One layer of mud, one layer of driveway chalk, another layer of yard mud, one layer of last week's Halloween candy, one layer of puddle schmutz, a third layer of mud, topped off with a dash of stinkfoot.

Perhaps the village firehouse has enough water pressure to get them presentable for lunch.


If it's seeming more incoherent than usual around here, that's because Noodle kept us up for a couple hours in the middle of the night with the full gamut of five-year-old stalling tricks: Potty. Water. Scared. Fan on. Fan off. Can't find one of the massive phalanx of stuffed pugs she sleeps with. And potty again. Lather, rinse, repeat, from 1:30 until 3:30 this morning.

Let's see what the National Sleep Foundation has to say:
Some children learn that saying they are afraid is an effective stalling tactic or a way to avoid bedtime. On the other hand, some children and adolescents with sleep issues really have an anxiety disorder...

Nice straddle, guys. Either it's stalling or it's a visit to another doctor? (eyeroll) Thanks. (/eyeroll)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Neil Finn is a genius, and I am a big sap, but I defy you not to fall for the hook on Split Enz' "Message To My Girl".

Friday, November 7, 2008


Not that I want to brag, but we just had our first teacher conference -slash- report-card review for Noodle, and saving for college is going to be tougher for us than we thought because we've got maybe six years tops between kindergarten and RPI/MIT/Caltech/Starfleet Academy.

Noodle does have her occasional attention-span issues -- those of you who know me or my mom are saying no, really? Do tell right about now -- but so far we couldn't be happier with her progress in the classroom and can't wait until next year when she she cures cancer, finds bin Laden and singlehandedly kills him with a Wuxi Finger Hold, whips Tiger Woods at Augusta, picks up Nobel Prizes for physics, chemistry, literature and bowling, solves the Kobayashi Maru scenario and wins the World Series for the Cubs.

Okay, yes -- with that last one we're seriously overreaching.


Any more followers out there? My fiendish plan to have every humanoid in this galactic sector reading this blog by Thanksgiving finds itself becalmed. Commenters are welcome as well, of course. Who doesn't enjoy a little dishing?

Both the wee ones are home today, and we've got Noodle's first teacher conference this afternoon. Our initial indications are that she's a complete angel at school and saves the hellionosity for mom and dad and little brother. Although right now she and Beast are quietly watching Monsters, Inc. after a remarkably sane breakfast.

Please don't let it rain all day. I really need to get the little varmints outside.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


So the bus with Noodle on it is scheduled to arrive home at ~3:43. It's her first time riding the bus home instead of to the day care center to be picked up by mom, and I do NOT want to screw this up.

At 3:00, I set the kitchen timer for 33 minutes to allow myself enough time to get myself and Beast out the door to greet her with ten minutes to spare, and set about swiffering the kitchen and living room floors.

At 3:25 I notice out of the corner of my eye my neighbors walking back into the house. Thinking I'd gotten the time wrong and they'd just gotten their son off the bus himself, I metaphorically soil myself and run outside. HEY, DID I MISS THE BUS? And the flop sweat pours forth. I've gone and screwed up the simplest and most important thing to get right all day.
From across the street: NO, EVERYTHING'S OKAY. JUST BE OUTSIDE AT 3:43.



Then it was the sweet sweet scent of cleaning chemicals that must've (additionally) addled my brain. 3:33 comes, the beeper beeps, I gather in the Beast to take him outside to meet his big sister and

Between the cleaning fragrance, me shvitzing like Patrick Ewing, and now the fresh and copious wizzination, it's getting here. Run to his room, get fresh pants, forget fresh underwear, go back to his room, get the underwear, forget the wipes, go back to his room for the wipes, and ohlordohlordohlord why is he fighting me now?
(s0b) BAYBAW (s0b).

His baseball. Back to his room yet again for the ball, throw open the front door to listen for the bus (and to get some fresh air in here), off with the moist, a flourishing of the wipe, a bit of the old how's-your-father for the undercarriage, on with the fresh underwear, the fresh pants, the fresh socks and shoes, and out the door we
It's raining.

Of course, since it was raining he didn't want his raincoat, oh no. Had to have the winter coat. On goes the coat, out the door and down the stairs to the driveway to go, here comes the bus and
Why is there a baseball rolling out into the road? (Let it go, man, 'cause it's gone.)

Oh, so it's my son who's got that arm. Nice to know, what with the Yankees not picking up Pavano's option and all. So the rain stopped the moment we unfurled the Barbie umbrella, we got Noodle off the bus and into the house safe and sound, and

And nothing, finally. We crashed on the couch in front of some Yo Gabba Gabba and that was that.


I am totally bringing a camera with me next time I take Beast to the Rhinebeck dump.

Transfer station, sorry. Even after all these years I'm not used to bringing my garbage - recyclables, sorry - to someplace that's clean and dry and paved. I grew up on trips to the old town dump next door to the transfer station, where my dad would attempt to get the Ford Fairlane wagon down the rutted dirt one-lane road to the dump, where there'd be fascinatingly colossal piles of reeking garbage on one side, mountains of scrap metal on another, and maybe a small trash fire burning in the back. Everybody take a deeeeep breath now!

Nowadays it's a whole lot neater and cleaner. The regular garbage goes into special bags in one place, the cans and bottles go over yonder, the newspapers and coupons and flyers and such go into this bin...but it's the cardboard that Beast wants to see, because cardboard goes into


Wrong crusher, obviously, but a worthy excuse for some classic WB. This is the cardboard crusher we're talking about here. Beast helps me toss the cardboard in the collection box, the contents of the box go into the crusher, the man flips the switch and WHOA. WHOA DADDY WHOA WHOA WHOA THAT'S COOL DADDY! WHOA.

Obviously I'm going to have to find some massive construction site for this kid to visit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Congratulations to our next president, Barack Obama, and I hope I'm wrong about him and his party. We really need leadership in Washington to not suck right about now, but I look down to DC at the Rangels and Bachmanns and Murthas and Icebox Bill Jeffersons and think...

...we gave THEM the power too.

And as for here in New York, the Democrats will control both houses of the legislature as well as the governor's office. This is bound to work out wonderfully for all concerned.

Looks like we'll be flying into some turbulence shortly.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Herman's dietary routine, translated into pidgin BASIC, which I haven't used since 1982 so forgive the lapses:

1 REM V=the amount of semidigested cat food that'll be coming up Herman's esophagus if he keeps eating stuff that is obviously NOT a food any other cat on the planet would eat
2 REM B=our budget for nice things
5 LET V=0
7 LET B=50
10 INPUT "Has Herman eaten his insanely expensive veterinary cat food?", F$
20 IF F$="Y" THEN GOTO 40
30 IF F$="N" THEN GOTO 10
40 INPUT "What else has Herman eaten?", E$
90 IF V<20 THEN GOTO 40
110 LET B=B-10
120 GOTO 10
130 END

Next week I'll get to work on a subroutine to calculate the free time lost to cleaning up the copious by-products of Herman's reverse peristalsis. Which brings me to the meaning of the title of this post.

Like many three-year-olds, Beast is a most observant little tyke and is absorbing information every waking moment. Her Awesomeness and I are aware of this when it comes to things like obviously blue language and behave accordingly, but when it comes to descriptions of digestive matters we revert to collegiate form.

Result: Beast now knows several synonyms for "vomit", including gack, puke, hurl, barf, boof, and toss cookies. Which I maintain is as it should be for the lad, because a young fellow is not considered eligible for a Guy Card unless he knows at least 50 synonyms for praying to the porcelain god, and at six Beast is well on his way.

Heck, I just added "Cantar Oaxaca" to my extensive synonyms list this very evening.


First one follower, then two, then four...thank you and welcome to "FlinchOnce" and "mbunt13".

I told you we were going to grow exponentially. Let's keep it up!

(This post brought to you by the Department of Exaggerated First-Down Celebration Dances On One's Own 14-Yard-Line With Twelve Minutes Left In The First Quarter.)

Monday, November 3, 2008


Just got back from Albany Medical Center and heard mostly excellent news about Noodle's HSP. The blood pressure's just a hair high but there doesn't appear to be any sign of relapsing. Also, as expected we learned she's still way way tall for her age. 3' 11" at just a couple months past five years old. How's the weather up there, kid?

Also, as the hed alludes, one of her front teeth is wobbling about a bit. Just in time for a nice round or two of "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth".

Tooth fairy's a bit skint this time 'round, luv.


So this morning it was time for my initiation into the tragicomic world of Daddy Tries Making His Daughter Presentable For School All By Himself. Not quite all by myself. Her Awesomeness and the girl-child wisely consulted the night before and got her clothing picked out in advance, so that's one hurdle jumped for me already. Degrees of difficulty for the rest of it, mainly hair care: 1) I'm a guy, 2) I've had pretty much the same low-maintenance haircut since I was four, and 3) never has their been anything placed in my hair as decoration other than sticks and mud, and that was also when I was four.

And nine.

And this one time in college when I inhaled.

Noodle's new schedule means she gets an extra hour or so of sleep, so there wasn't hardly as much not-a-morning-person hell-on-wheels behavior to muddle through as when she had to be awakened at six.

It went...fairly smoothly. We were all done more than half an hour before the school bus arrived, she didn't look a bit like an escapee from the mines, so there was even time to make myself presentable for the bus-stop crowd. I hadn't noticed this since these hours used to pass at the radio station, but since September the end of my driveway has become the new neighborhood hangout, where all the hoods and greasers go to be seen.

Off to Albany with Noodle after this is done, and then tomorrow comes the true test.


I doubled my total, so at this rate I'll have the entire world reading my blogs by New Year's.

Thanks to new follower "e.f." for coming on board!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We are hoping that maybe this will be our last trip up to Albany Med for quite some time, seeing as Noodle's Henoch-Schönlein purpura appears to have been in remission for a good six to nine months now. We haven't seen any fresh weirdness in quite some time, but there are still questions we need to ask of her nephrologist.

You can find out more about HSP and related diseases at the Vasculitis Foundation.


Me, some time in the distant past, to Beast and Noodle: "Food that has green in it is good for you!"

(Fast forward to the present.)

Beast: "I eating my booger, Daddy. It green, so it good for you. That what you said, Daddy."

Me: "But boogers don't count as food."

Beast: "But they taste good, Daddy!"

Me: "Can't you just gorge on Halloween candy like a normal kid?"

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Managing that one follower I have, that is.

Won't you look over to the right for a moment, click in the appropriate place, and join whoever it is in getting regular updates on whatever this is?


The more your child has to go to the bathroom, the farther you will be from a potty.

When on the road, your child's need to go potty varies inversely with the speed of the driver immediately in front of you.

When searching for the nearest public bathroom, the most direct route to the potty will be blocked either by a gaggle of teenagers or somebody on crutches.

The first public bathroom you find will be filthy.

The second public bathroom you find you will only be able to use once at best, because the sound of the flushing toilet will be audible in the next time zone and will so thoroughly freak out your child that the third, fourth, fifth and sixth public bathrooms you find will be deemed unacceptable if they look anything like the one with the big scary loud toilet.

If the big scary loud toilet in the next stall over flushes before your child has done their business, they will be freaked out and refuse to use the toilet they're at. Proceed directly to the seventh available toilet as alluded to above.

Auto-flush electric eye toilets will either be terrifying and unusable, or your child will delight in repeatedly setting off the sensor and completely forget the business at hand until such time as the toilet overflows.

If the toilet in the next stall over is being used by somebody whose most recent meal appears to have been burritos and Utica Club, again there will be a freaking out and a potty refusal.

If all else fails and you pull over to make a dash for the nearest tree, within one minute a police officer will arrive at the scene to investigate the situation. Meanwhile, seventeen meth dealers, half the Gambino family, and one recently-indicted member of the state legislature will insouciantly blaze by in the opposite direction.