Monday, September 10, 2007

Update Your Links!

I've moved!! I got tired of fighting with Blogger formatting, so I've moved over to "WordPress."

I think it will offer me better worry-free blogging, while providing you with the same high level of intellectual stimulation you've come to take for granted from this blog page :)

My new home is:

See you there!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Me Time

My youngest son has been sick and running a 102 fever for about three days now. On Saturday, his fever broke and then came back a few times, but overall he seemed to be improving. As much as to myself as to anyone, I said, "I should go hit some [golf] balls today." My wife, upon overhearing this said, "You should try and play tomorrow."

While I will admit that oftentimes, my wife is extremely generous with things like this, she also recognizes that yet again this week, she gets to travel out of town and stay in a nice hotel with uninterrupted sleep, while I stay home with the kids. And for this, she recognizes, I deserve some "me time."

So, I made a 9 a.m. tee time, called a buddy and I was off.

Now, for the unitiated, let me explain this "day of golf." It generally involves all men, hopefully men of the same general age group, and copious amounts of beer...and swearing. Today was no different. It was a sweltering 91 degrees out on the course and by the 9th hole, the other three gentlemen I was playing with were all purchasing beer three at a time in a bag full of ice. I, on the other hand, knowing I had to come home and take over watching sick children, stuck to one beer and a pain pill (which easily equals two beers really).

While I'd like to say that as the sober one of the bunch, my game was a shining example of what "to do," that was sadly, not the case. My game, while oftentimes inspiring, suffers from the occasional mediocrity. Mediocrity, in the amateur golf world, is pretty bad, so you do the math.

At any rate, a good time was had by all. We talked about work (sparingly), joked each other about our poor shots and even discussed what "might have been" involving some past love interests. All in all, a good day with 'the boys'.

Darn good thing too, because when I got home, I had one still partially sick child, who didn't want to nap-only stay awake and complain-and one super-hyper three-year old who couldn't understand why daddy didn't want to play trains for the umpteeth trillionth time.

I gotta be honest with you...sometimes, I'm glad tomorrow is Monday.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

For my own edification (apparently)

I'll admit that unless I wanted to provide the world with a play-by-play of my child's daycare experiences, my own lack of going to the gym due to an aggravated back injury, or a continuous storyline about how boring my job is, I really don't have that much to tell people about. So, my daily life would fall under the "pasttimes" portion of my blog title.

On the other hand, there's the "postulates" part. A Postulate, if you skipped 10th grade math (in the Mobile, AL public school system, Geometry was a 10th grade subject) is basically an assertion--a starting point for other ideas if you will. And it is the postulate side of things that I personally feel makes for a better read. Some of my best mental meandering comes from an idea about something else. The mind starts thinking about one thing and before you know it, you're six degrees of separation away from the original thought, onto something completely different, yet strangely connected.

As I was perusing my usual cadre of Web sites this morning (AKA: wasting time), I came across an article on MSN where the author discussed which was better: boxers or briefs for men. It wasn't so much the article that piqued my interest as much as it was my response to it. The author completely ignored Boxer Briefs, which combines the best of both boxer and brief worlds. And it is these very undergarments that I prefer 2:1 over the other leading national brand. In response, I left note in the forum regarding boxer briefs, and I also left my personal brand preference, Calvin Klein; noting however, that they are very expensive, but oh so worth it!

Hence...a Postulate.

It's no secret that my wife and I do well financially. We have a nice house, our children attend a good daycare. We don't live extravagantly, but we also don't want for much either. We drive moderately nice cars (I drive a 3 year old Dodge Dakota and my wife drives a 6 year old Hyundai Santa Fe with 100K miles). But, having money through a dual-income family comes with a price of course...which I won't go into.

But this whole underwear thing got me to thinking about money--having money specifically, and what the benefits are. And I came up with a thought that I feel was slightly profound.

Having enough money to live comfortably allows you to enjoy some of life's little luxuries and it is often these "little" luxuries that make the biggest difference.

Case in point: Calvin Klein boxer brief underwear. Now, I've tried a lot of different types:

So, for those out there who think I'm just a brand freak and only buy expensive clothes because I can, you can see that's not the case. It's just that the Calvin Klein brand trumps them all with the perfect combination of cloth material and weight, snugness, durability, length and stylish good looks and I can thankfully afford to indulge in a personal preference department rivaled only perhaps by a woman's choice of hair dryer.

I hope that having an underwear preference (fetish even?...nah!) doesn't mean that I now fall under a "metrosexual" label or anything, because I still wear pleated pants; however, I do know how to decorate and coordinate colors. Hmmm.

Whatever! That's my Postulate for the day and perhaps TMI to boot. But the truth is, nobody reads this anyway, so mostly this was for my own edification and oh look, it's now time for me to leave for my Dr.'s appointment where I get to strip down to my shirt, dress socks and an XXL pair of paper boxer shorts so I can traipse down the hall of my orthopedic surgeons office only to stand in front of an x-ray machine operated by some 20-something year old hottie who probably thinks, "He's cute, but my Lord he's decrepit!" Yaaah!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Beauty and the...Idiot

As part of my new duties as "The Highest Paid Administrative Assistant in the World," I have been tasked with sending out a particular kind of announcement for my company using a piece of software by a company in Atlanta called Silverpop. Now, this software basically lets you craft spam e-mail and send it to a huge list of people, and then it does some nifty things like track how many people actually read the e-mail and other fun stuff marketing people think is really cool.

This fun little project was once owned by a lady in my department who joined the company as an intern a couple of years ago and has somehow worked her way into the good graces of the boss, while I, the highly paid "Writer" for which my company has no counterpart, get her crap-work with little to no instruction.

So, for nigh on three weeks now I've been trying to get this lady to train me on the use of this application...well, actually I don't need training on the application really, I need training on who all to send the e-mail to; how to pull the list out of the database, etc. And for two weeks she's put me off and put me off. Twice now I've had to scramble to send the announcement out on my own because this former intern is too busy to give me an hour in training.

Oh, did I mention she's kinda hot? Well, in a used-up biker kinda way, but still...kinda hot. And even though she has the looks, I've really been trying to give her credit and pretend like maybe she's actually kinda smart, but the more of this project I learn about, the more I figure she really didn't know how to teach me, so she avoided it at all cost. And the thing's not rocket science...but if you don't know which option to check here, or what to type there, it won't come out right. So, you just have to know the particulars. And even this is apparently beyond her expertise.

This only tends to prove the old adage that you generally can't get brains and good looks in the same package. You can have one or the other, but not both. Sorry.

What? You want examples? OK.

Just last week, she was giving me some instruction for a very important announcement I had to send out today and she wanted me to get with another person in the company to help me send it because she was going to be on vacation. Me, still trying to get her to actually train me says, "Let's pretend the worst case scenario occurs and this person is hit by a bus and it's up to me to do this on my own. Can you walk me through it so I know how to do it?" Her answer, "No, I don't have time."

Oh, but I bet you can imagine what happened today can't you? No, the person who was supposed to help me wasn't hit by a bus, but she really didn't know what to do today when there were "special instructions" for the announcement that didn't fit into the mold of the one other time she had sent the announcement out.

Well, we figured it out for the most part, but perhaps the most important part of the e-mail got boogered up...the personalized saluation. See, my boss thought the software pulled the person's name from the database and entered it in the salutation, but it didn't. So, the e-mail everyone received, warmly started with:

"Dear ,"

Wow! That's the level of expertise you expect from one of the largest companies in the world. And I was part of it.

Sniff sniff...I think I'm gettin' a little teary eyed over the whole thing.

Nah. Hey resume is on and Check it out and then call me.

Monday, September 03, 2007

This past weekend we once again packed the kids into the car, filling both the back of the SUV and the roof-top carrier to capacity, and headed to one of my families' house in Tennessee. This three hour trip was a much more doable trip than the nine-hour mega-drive we did earlier this year, but still, it was no picnic.

To make it even more fun, after I drove the dogs over to the in-laws house where they were staying while we were away, and as I was trying to get them situated, our 85-lb Weimaraner decided to set up shop on the futon despite my repeated admonitions to "Get down" and "Come here!" which really only served to scare her causing her to hunker futher down on the futon rather than doing what I wanted her to do. In a fit of testosterone-laden anger, I grabbed her by the collar and yanked her off the futon and in doing so, pulled my back out! Crap!

As you may know, I've had two back surgeries and I have so little cushy disc left between four of my vertebrae that if anything major ever happens again, I'll need to either have them replaced, or have my spine fused. The only way I get through a day of sitting in an office chair is through prescription medication (just one thank you very much) and sometimes it takes something as asinine as pulling a dog off a futon to turn me into a leg-dragging zombie look-alike from "Dawn of the Dead." The really fun part is that right when I pull it, I only know that I did "something," but I'm never sure how bad it is till that evening or the next day.

So anyway, I came home, made sure my drugs were packed and hit the road. The next day (Saturday) I was in an excruciating amount of pain, but managed to make it through the Ripley's Believe it or Not Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN. Later, I languished on the couch and watched football, which wouldn't have been bad if my mom and her husband had not insisted on carrying on a conversation rather than allowing me to actually watch the game.

But, we're home now and I just took my last pain pill. I thought I was doing better till the baby woke up last night and as I was just bending over to pick him up out of his crib, I felt my back separate again and I almost busted my chin on the edge of the crib as my knees buckled. I luckily caught myself and managed to get him changed and back down. But tonight, I have a Labor Day get together and I'm praying there are plenty of places to sit down because I probably won't be too sociable while grimacing in pain. I'd hate for people to think I'm making strange faces in response to, "So, what do you think about this new picture we purchased for the dining room?"
My wife would never forgive me if I got us taken off the "A-list" of social invitees. Actually, we're probably more like the "C-List" if there were such a thing...for family gatherings...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Frighteningly Validating

I'm not sure how I found it, but there is a series of Web sites where one can anonymously post "confessions" about things. There's one for moms (, one for dads (, one for people who toil in an office environment ( and for whatever reason, there's one for tree huggers (

Now before you jump over and check them out, let me warn you: THEY ARE ADDICTIVE.

One might immediately read about these sites and think to oneself, "Well, that's nothing but a way for mental voyeurs to get off," but in reality, the idea is genius, and of course as a reader, it's interesting to see if other people are thinking the same things you are thinking.

But there is a dark side to confessing one's secrets...sometimes your worst fear is realized--that you are alone in your situation. Sometimes when you post, such as the guy who wrote, "Dear Daughter, I'm sorry I ever hurt you," other people are either too ashamed to publicly empathize (by clicking the "me too" button) or they want to distance themselves from such an obvious confession that they pretend not to see it at all.

Overall, the dad's confessions are pretty obvious--not enough
sex, tired of paying child support, I want to have non-missionary style sex, etc.--so for me, the mom's confessions are the real cream of the crop.

Primarily, you have
SAHM (stay-at-home-moms) complaining about how much their kids drive them nuts or how much they hate their husbands. Some days the vitriole is really almost too much. I don't know how far reaching this site is (I have seen posts with decidedly British language used), but a college student looking for thesis fodder would be in hog's heaven as you get women from all walks of life socially, physically and mentally. Among the daily confessions, one can find women with eating disorders and (lots of) women having affairs. There are also lots of women who have had it up to here with being home all the time and years of jealousy and anger towards their families has built to extreme levels.

But while most of the confessions would tend to leave this writer saying something like, "Put down the prozac or bottle of wine; get off your ass and get a job," every now and then a true gem of honesty comes out...

"I miss the passion in my marriage."

In such a simple, yet touching confession, so much is expressed. It is these confessions that I admit may have changed my life. We are all guilty of "the rut." You know what the rut is right? It's doing the same thing over and over and over until it's ingrained in your day-to-day to the point that you don't see anything else. You don't see that while you're very helpful around the house, maybe you could hug your family more. You don't see that even though your job sucks the life from you every day, your spouse is going through the same thing and needs someone to talk to about it. And perhaps...just perhaps you see that maybe you should spend a little more quality time with someone in your family even if it means not going to bed at a decent hour.

For these things I would like to thank all of the miserable women who have posted on Whether their husbands ever read their fantasies, dreams and desires; this one did and I am eternally grateful.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Oh pointy bird, Oh pointy, pointy bird" and other memorable quotes

I'm not sure what I miss most about the pre-children days. Is it the financial freedom that comes from not paying $1,600 per month for childcare? Is it the independence to just get up at random times throughout the day and go do something without having to pack for an entire flotilla of people and possible potty scenarios? Perhaps it's the sleeping in on the weekend rather than the "up at 5:30 a.m." scene we have going on every morning now with the baby (I'm trying to train him to go back to sleep, but when you walk in his room, he looks over at you and cracks up, it's hard to just walk away). There are so many things that I miss that I'm just not sure.

But you know when you're in the middle of something, that thing right there is always the worst "thing" or the most exciting "moment?" Well, that's how it is with me and movies right now.

Before our second child, I had joined NetFlix. If you're not familiar, it's an online movie ordering system and for various price levels, you can rent a certain number of movies each month. The differentiator used to be that you kept them as long as you want...but of course you're still paying a monthly fee (I pay around $15 p/month and I can have out 3 movies at a time) so it behooves you to return them for your next batch. I say that used to be the differentiator only because BlockBuster and others now offer similar programs, but I'm avidly anti-Blockbuster and Hollywood video because both of them employ low-paid teeanagers who apparently cannot scan in a movie correctly and for some strange reason, their corporate execs tend to believe their highly churned, low-paid workers over a long-time customer when it comes to figuring out what the hell happened to "Memoirs of a Geisha." Like I'd want to keep that movie???

Anyway, I suspended my NetFlix account after our second baby was born because I rightfully figured I wouldn't have time for movies. But then I started it back up a month ago because I suddenly had this hour of time from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. --the time between when we normally have all the kids in bed and the time I know I have to turn the lights off so I can mentally and physically be prepared to wake up multiple times in the night AND still function like a normal person at work the next day.

Finally, I got a movie in that I'd really been wanting to see, "Smokin' Aces." It's a 100% shoot-em-up guy movie and figuring I'd be able to get in a good bit of it last night, I threw on the headphones and kicked back. Unfortunately, my wife decided to hold off on her shower tonight (cuz going to the gym in the a.m.) and was sending out "the vibe." You know what I'm talking about--the vibe--don't pretend like you don't. So, I dutifully turned off the movie and gave my relationship the attention it deserves. Of course, by the time we were both ready for bed, it was 9:54 p.m. and I have to assume I'll be getting up at least once in the night AND again at 5:30 a.m. so I turned the lights off and went to bed.

On the upside, I was right and I did have to get up at 5:30, so at least I made the right decision in that regard.

But that got me to thinking...movies. Man, what I wouldn't give for a full day of doing nothing but catching up on movies that I've missed. Spider Man 3, Transformers, Smokin' Aces even. This 1-hour I sometimes have can't be counted on and there are few entertainment annoyances worse than having to stop and start a good movie. Especially when you think there's a twist in the movie that you've somehow missed.

I don't know...this too will pass I suppose. Maybe I'll have to take a vacation day and force myself not to do work around the house and instead, load up on good movies I've missed--sans family! It's sounding better by the moment!