Sunday, April 30, 2006


There are a few guys who come into the store where I work who are obviously hard-up for; a real date, a lunch date, a handshake or a conversation lasting more than two minutes - with a lady, girl or old woman...anyone of the opposite sex. I've decided to call these love-starved-romeo-wannabes The Desperados. There's "He-Man", a bald, overweight stud of a man who wears wife beaters and shorts everyday to show off his bulging musc...well, his bulges. He's very loud and not afraid to talk to any woman and pose his pushing-60 year old body to impress any and all females in the vicinity. What's the most impressive thing about him is that he is able to stand erect, seeing that his belly is so large that it enters the store half a minute before the rest of him. Then there's "Mr. Nice Guy". He's in his 40's, overweight, knows all about sports and chats with the guys about the latest Browns deal or Indians game, but when it comes to smooth -talking the ladies he strikes out. His usual approach is to stealthily slip beside the unsuspecting damsel and say something like "I use that kind of onion in the spaghetti sauce I make". The startled response is usually "Oh". I'm sure he'd like to invite her to try his spaghetti sauce sometime but he hasn't the nerve to ask, so the whole incident comes off as awkward at best. Number three is "I just want to be loved". He has his favorites that work there that he tries to build a friendship with, but he comes across (to me at least) as a very 'needy' kind of person, waiting for some nice girl to take charge and lead him to happiness. The last guy is "Hang-around Hank". He'll come in and talk to everyone. Like Nice Guy he knows his sports and talks to all the guys about the latest football or basketball happenings, hoping that lady passerbys will see that he's one of the guys and therefore must be extremely studdly. He's not afraid to go up to any of them and try to make a joke or offer unwanted advice. He's also short, bald and fat. Although not quite as confident as He-Man he will follow his quarry through every aisle until she manages to shake him by disappearing into the restroom.

I like to watch those guys go through their routines trying to score, but I'm reminded of a saying.."There, but for the grace of God, go I". I know that I could easily have wound up trolling for skirts in the local supermarket had it not been for the interjection of my beloved wife, forcing me into a life of marital bliss and family servitutde..... umm..yeah, something like that.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Wife did some checking around yesterday and it seems that getting a loan for vacant land is a lot harder to do than I thought. We might have to go through a broker to find someone. I didn't want to do that because we just refinanced through a broker and I wasn't very happy that we paid him quite a bit of money to get refinanced through our own bank, which I could have done myself had I known he wasn't going to get a better deal for us....oh well I guess that's a risk you take.

I'm cleaning outside today since it's a nice day and I have a lot to do. There's always work to be done around here, not the least of which is picking up after my 10 year old. Everywhere he goes he leaves a path of destruction and mayhem. If anyone out there is suffering from a too-clean house I think he can solve your problem.

Oh yes, I think I have a virus on the computer. My wife was on here yesterday and did something to it. Now everything is slow, I can't get to some places and my Norton anti-virus has shut down...I can't even delete it to re-install it. I think I'll have to reformat, which I hate to do.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Looking Better

Well, the realtor sent us a copy of the Platte map that the surveyor made and I was more than a little surprised. It seems the land goes not to the top of the hill, but to the bottom of the other side of the hill, which is a heck of a lot of real estate. The stake I found at the top of the hill the other day was the halfway point. I didn't realize that they measured through the hill when they did the survey...dummy me. The other side of the hill is all woods, so there is a lot of room to hunt and whatever else we'd want to do in the forest. We still want to see about getting a couple more acres so that it's spread out more and includes the land we wanted to build on. This is taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but if we get the land we want it will be worth it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I sooo need to win the lottery, but it didn't happen tonight. We got a call from the realtor about the land yesterday, saying that the survey had been completed and we could go look at it. The five acres is actually about forty feet narrower than the realtor told us it would be. There is an old house that has fallen in, and he had been told by the other realtor handling the sale that the property included that house. This would have been great because there is a terrific spot right above that house, about halfway up the hill, to build on and overlook the valley and opposite hill. That's what we planned, anyway until we saw the stakes marking the property line. It didn't include that part. I had to walk all the way to the top of the hill to find the last stake because it wasn't visible from below. A five acre strip about 200 feet wide goes a long way up the hill! But it would have been nice to have it in more of a square... that would have encompassed the part of the hill we wanted most. Now we are talking about trying to get another couple of acres to add to it. That's going to cost a lot more, and since we have to pay to have a house built yet it will set those plans back a ways, plus the seller might not even want to sell more land, or if we appear too eager he might jack the price up. I sure do love that spot though! This is a view from the top of the field part - the woods goes another few hundred feet up. You can't really see it well from this, but there is a pond right above the building in the picture. At night the only thing you can hear is the mating call of the frogs coming from that pond.... it's so peaceful and quiet. I would really love to get a few more acres and make this a real homestead....probably after the lottery win. LOL

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How Can I Tell Her

and thirty other hits from yesteryear, all on a three disc set! If I haven't mentioned it before I'm a bit of a music buff when it comes to the oldies. The title above is a Lobo song, one you might hear advertised on A.M. Gold, or one of those other music commercials they have every so often. I heard that song today at work and smiled to myself. Most of the other people I work with are a lot younger than me and have no use for the older music, especially if no one is screaming incoherently about sex, drugs or shooting somebody. I could listen to the "oldies" all the time. It's hard to believe that my 80's music falls into that category now. Until the last few years the 80's songs were kind of my specialty, but I started to realize how much the music from earlier times had embedded itself into my soul. I guess like most people I connect certain songs with what was happening in my life at the time. If I happen to hear 'Witchita Lineman' I immediately think back to when my older brother used to take me fishing a lot. 'West End Girls' was on the air when my oldest son was born, I rollerskated to Blondie's 'Rapture' in the early 8o's, and there are more than a few songs that remind me of special times I had on the computer when the internet was young and you could play music in the chat rooms while meeting a lot of interesting people. I guess I'm really dating myself when I say this, but I remember when FM radio was just starting to take off, rivaling the long standing AM powerhouse stations. Nowadays the kids barely know what a radio is, what with the MTV and MP3 and whatever else has come along that I missed. But that's ok, I just hope that when I'm old and senile that I can go back in my mind and replay all the great music I've been fortunate enough to have heard.

Friday, April 14, 2006

More Sadness

I told myself that I wasn't going to write about death anymore, after my last reflections when my high school friend died, but it has reared its head again, claiming one of my sons friends in an automobile accident. I heard the boy's name but it didn't register with me who it was until I was talking to my son and found out it was a teammate of his in little league. Then I remembered him. There were three brothers who played together on the team, the youngest wasn't really old enough to be on the same team, but since the age requirements were only loosely applied and since he was good enough to play with the bigger kids they let him play with his two brothers. Those three made up the heart of the team, all being fierce competitors who would grab a bat and glove anytime they had some free time and play and practice on their own. The oldest was the leader, more aggressive in the field and at the plate. The youngest one looked like he would follow his oldest brother's lead as being an aggressive player. The middle one was perhaps the most talented of the three, being as adept with the bat as the glove. But his lack of assertiveness in the first few years of league play might lead some to underestimate him. A quiet, polite, intelligent kid, he was a player that the team could count on for a solid game every time. He was the one who now, several years after little league and into his junior year in high school, would lose his life on this April day coming home from school with his younger brother. A tragic loss of a kid who impressed me with the way he carried himself and with the kind of person he was growing up to be. I can only imagine how his parents are feeling, and I hope I never have to face that situation.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Well it's been over two weeks since we made an offer on a piece of property and it looks like we're going to be waiting a couple more weeks before we can do anything at all. When we wrote the offer with the realtor we gave the seller two days to respond to it or it would be voided. Two days later the realtor called and said that the gas rights were leased out and so they wouldn't pass to us, which was one of the clauses we put in. A couple days later he called and said it would take another two or three weeks to finish the surveying that had to be done (which should have been done before it was ever put on the market). We haven't heard anything from him since, so I'm not sure if we still have a valid offer or not. The seller must have accepted it since they're having it surveyed, but I'm getting frustrated with the whole thing. Add to that the fact that a house that we looked at last year and both loved is now back on the market and I guess we have a decision to make: keep moving ahead on the property or try for the house. My wife says she wants to go ahead and get the land and build on it, and even though I like that property I really liked the house a lot. Plus it sits on over fifteen acres and the land we bid on is five. So I don't know... guess I'll play the waiting game and see what happens. I think the realtor we're working with wasn't very happy that we decided to bid on the land. He had been sending us emails about houses that - if we bought one - he would make a nice commission on. The land is something that he has to do a little more work with and won't be nearly as profitable for him. He's still sending us new houses that come on the market, probably hoping we'll forget the land and go for something more expensive. It would be nice to cut out the middleman - a.k.a. realtor- and do things person -to- person, but I guess those guys do serve a purpose when it comes to all the legal stuff. Oh well, it's a nice day out so I think I'll go work outside and forget the house hunting for now.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Messy Kitchen

is the sign of a gourmet at work, right? At least that's what I'm thinking as I look toward the kitchen with its array of dirty dishes and bowls after my latest attempt at culinary excellence.
Well ok, it was just a pan of brownies and a pasta dish but very delicious, if I do say so myself. Why can't they make disposable mixing bowls to toss out when I'm done? Maybe I'm just being lazy, but... yeah I'm just being lazy. The stuff I made is for a family get- together that we only have on rare occasions anymore. Since my wife is at work the cooking duties fall upon me. I don't mind, as long as my family survives after eating.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Go Tribe!

I got to watch the Indians' second game of the season yesterday and they looked great! Everybody got a hit and they trounced the White Sox to make up for their Sunday loss. I hope they have a great season again, only this time I hope they don't leave the fans standing with their mouths open in amazement like they did at the end of last year when they only needed
one win in the last week, to at least tie for the wildcard, and couldn't scrounge up that one win. Not that I'm going to fault them for that... teams can have streaks at any time through the season. In fact, I'm kind of an oddball about placing blame when things like that happen. Let me explain: You always hear about the play toward the end of a game that "cost the team the game"be it an error, or a pitcher making a mistake pitch. But how many times do you hear someone bring up something that happened in the second inning that lead to a run as being the game breaker? I know that toward the end of the game all the intensity and emotion comes into play, but the game should be looked at in it's entirety to be properly judged. I started thinking this way after one of my son's Little League games. His team had a huge lead through the first three innings, then the infield made six errors in one inning, allowing the other team to tie it up. In the last inning for their team my son misplayed a ball hit to him in the outfield and his team lost. All the kids on the team, and even the coach blamed him for losing the game, forgetting about the six errors in the earlier part of the game when they had that big lead. Since then I've come to look at things a little differently when it comes to close games and "almost" seasons. Actually, although I love the Tribe and hope they make it to post-season, I'll be happy just watching them play this year, win or lose. I love the "fun" of the game, not the competition... if that makes any sense.

Monday, April 03, 2006

It's the Third

Today is the third of the month..... ask me why that's special... go ahead ask. Why, you ask? Welll I'll tell you why. This is the day the Social Security recipients cash their checks and head to the store to stock up on much needed provisions to see them through the long month until the third of next month. "So what" you say? Well I can tell you aren't in the retail business.... or at least not the grocery business. What that means to those of us lucky enough to be toiling in the lower to middle class section of the country is.... funtime! Shelves of grocery product that get wiped out and needs refilled every few minutes, long lines and short tempers, groups of citizens who only see each other once a month congregating to block an entire aisle while minions of unnoticed clerks try to squeeze past them. Little old ladies who curse you out for always moving what they need so that they can never find it - even though it's been in the same spot since Adam and Eve shopped there. Expensive items that sit on the shelf going out of date all month are suddenly in demand. Cigarettes are sold by the cartload, to be distributed to those family members (teens and pre-teens) who are in dire need of the nicotine sustenance duly entitled to them. A parking lot with all the fire lanes jammed full of cars, parked there by people who ran in "for just a couple of minutes to get a few things" emerging with two dozen sacks in tow. Like I said... funtime!! :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I just read in the paper today that one of my best friends from school passed away. It's had me thinking all day about things. Things like the cruelty of death. No, more to the point, the unfairness of it. Here was a man who was a stellar human being, a Christian, star basketball player in his school days (and I do mean a star), husband and father, and his future is no more. No playing with grandkids, no more walks with his wife, none of the planning that everyone else does. It just all comes to an end. Someone who gave so much to others, but could have given so much more had there been more time. It's just hard to comprehend for me because I tend to dwell on things. I take some comfort in the fact that he had prepared himself - he had cancer for several years - and had put his fate in the hands of the Lord.

A lot of the idea of death being an unfair certainty comes from my own experiences. My mother died a week before my wedding, so she never got to see me - or my younger sister who got married two weeks after I did- get married, or see me have children. She loved children and my kids would have loved her. My father passed away before my youngest son was born, and my other two didn't have time to get to know him very well. My brother-in-law got killed while my sister was pregnant with their second child. I know things have been a lot worse for other people...murder victims or accident victims who are in the middle of the joy of life and suddenly they are no more, leaving behind a stunned family and dreams that will never come to fruition. I wonder why God wouldn't leave us with more knowledge of the certainty of ...something, an existence of some kind after we leave this life. After billions of years still no one knows where we go, or if we go anywhere, when we die. Wouldn't it ease our pain if we had just an inkling of what lies beyond? Or maybe that's the test... we have to have Faith... trusting that someone will be there to catch us when we are dropped into the ground. I know my friend had Faith, as did my father. I try very hard but questions and doubts keep entering my mind about where I'll end up.

Although I haven't seen you much these past few years I will always remember the good times we had. I will miss you Jeff.