In-Depth Analysis of Super Bowl XLIV

Well, Super Bowl is just hours away and I as am excited about this year’s game as ever. It promises to be a thrilling classic match-up between…uhhh…hold on just a second while I Google that. Okay, looks like it’s going to be the New Orleans Saints against the Indianapolis Colts.

Okay, you got me. I am not a pro football fan. Not in the least. During the regular season, I’ll watch for a little while since it seems to be something I’m supposed to do as a man. But after not too long, I’m looking for something to read or something else to do while The Wife watches the game (messed up, huh?). Now I know that this post will be submitted as prosecutor’s exhibit #1 when the Man Club takes me to court to revoke my membership, but I just don’t care.

Super Bowl is a different story, but it’s not about the game itself. Every year, we get together with several other families and make a day of it. There’s always lots of food, fun, and laughs. As for the game, I’m all about the commercials. As we all know, the advertisers turn it up a notch and really try to entertain us to keep our eyes glued on what they are trying to sell us. We get to find out which sappy Budweiser horse commercial will make The Wife cry; how close GoDaddy will go to the edge of FCC regulations; and see the creative jabs that Coke and Pepsi take at each other. Of course there are always a handful that make you ask: “They spent $3 million for that?”

You’ll catch me nodding off in complete boredom during actual game play, so I just ask that the others wake me up for the commercials and maybe the half-time show. I’m going to see if I can con the clan into TiVo-ing the game. Then we’ll start watching about 2 hours into the actual game and (pause for genius moment) fast forward through the game to see only the commercials! I love it! That’s what needs to happen to create a completely perfect Super Bowl event–at least from my standpoint.

Passport Fiasco

The Older Daughter has been invited by her grandma to take a 15-day European cruise this summer. (I am very jealous, but that’s another story.) Her passport expired a few weeks back, so we needed to get it renewed. We went to the State Department’s website to find the requirements. It said that we needed to bring her old passport or her birth certificate, and that we could pay by cash or check. Knowing how the government operates, I asked The Wife to call the local office to make sure the details from the website were correct. She did and they confirmed everything. Great, right? Not so much.
 
When they got to the office, they were told that she needed her old passport and her birth certificate. Well that sucks. My worst fears were realized in that no matter how hard you try to make dealings with the government easier, they always go awry. Anyway, they headed back  home to pick up the birth certificate. They made it back to the office, got all the paperwork filled out and processed. Then it was time to pay. The Wife forked over the $100 fee in cash. That’s when they told her that they don’t accept cash. You’re kidding me right? This after they said that was an acceptable form of payment on their website and The Wife double-checked over the phone? Not to mention that every Federal Reserve Note says “THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE”.
 
I just wanted to rant about this to you and I hate to turn this political, but think about this for a moment. Think about this experience at the passport office; think about what a nightmare the DMV is; think about the IRS. You may have had other experiences interacting with the government. It’s nearly always a nightmare. The crush of massive bureaucracy and rampant incompetency is staggering.
 
How can anyone out there really think that the federal government can do a better job with health care? Universal health care would be an unmitigated disaster. Think of your DMV experience…that’s what going to the doctor or hospital will be like. We’ve got to stand against this.

My Wants

Okay, I couldn’t resist creating a “sister” meme to the previous one I just posted. This one addresses wants instead of needs.

Here’s how it works: Google “[your first name] wants” and share the first 10 results. That’s it: it is that simple. But be honest! I’m not going to formally tag anyone, but if you read this consider yourself tagged anyway.

Bryan wants..Pringles (very, very true…I love them)

Bryan wants..to be teacher (not really, the pay kind of blows and I don’t have the patience)

Bryan wants..Congress (only if I can add “to burn in hell” to the phrase)

Bryan wants..my penis (no, I’ll kindly thank you to keep it to yourself)

Bryan wants..to be an MLG pro (Major League Gaming pro? hmmm…now that would be a fun job)

Bryan wants..to buy you some boots (wrong again…buy your own damn boots you freeloader)

Bryan wants..whisk Amy away (quite true, but The Wife would not take too kindly to it)

Bryan wants..your gas money (so hand it over or I’ll beat you up)

Bryan wants..his “Eleventh Hour” back (actually, I didn’t even know it was gone)

Bryan wants..to Bond with films (okay)

Girl Germs

I knew it. According to an article on cnn.com, women have more germs than men. Finally, a reason to brag about being a man.

“The researchers aren’t sure why women harbored a greater variety of bacteria than men, but Fierer suggested it may have to so with the acidity of the skin. Knight said men generally have more acidic skin than women.

Other possibilities are differences in sweat and oil gland production between men and women, the frequency of moisturizer or cosmetics applications, skin thickness or hormone production, he said.”

See, it’s all that darn makeup and other crap you put on your skin. Try the natural look. I like it.

Now you might think that this would give me pause when considering kissing a woman. Nope. It is simply too much fun–I’ll take my chances. I guess I could just restrict myself to family members though. In fact, The Wife would probably prefer that. 🙂

Halloween Night Wrap-Up

It seemed that the night had such promise. After all, it was Halloween on a Friday night. No need to watch the clock and worry about getting to bed at a certain time. Just party and watch scary movies as late as we want, right? Not so much. In the end, it was a pretty big letdown on all fronts…

Of course, the Older Daughter is too old for trick-or-treating. Instead, she spent the evening/night at a friends house. No surprise there.

The Younger Daughter also went to a friend’s house and her mom took them trick-or-treating.

Now that we live out in the country, we don’t get any trick-or-treater visiting the house.

Our best friends have traditionally joined us for an all night scary movie marathon when Halloween is on a weekend. However, they were unable to join us this year.

The Wife and I stayed home and watched some horror movies. Unfortunately, we chose movies that we had already seen multiple times, so we found ourselves actually laughing at the movies rather than being scared.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice quiet evening together. However, this was the first time since we became parents that we didn’t take kids out trick-or-treating. It think we were both mourning the passage of yet another parenthood ritual as we watch our girls grown up much faster than we would like. Sure, the Younger Daughter still has probably 1-2 years left, so we’ll probably be able to enjoy it at least one more outing. However, the writing is clearly on the wall.

I’m a Dork in the Kitchen

As you learned in an earlier post, for the safety of human life and property, I really should stay out of the kitchen. But, alas, I cannot resist the occasional urge to try and cook something.

Several weeks ago, I was at a friend’s house. We made up sandwiches and they warmed them up in a toaster oven. I was amazed at how much better it tasted warmed up with the cheese melted…mmmmm. Last night I was home alone (perhaps a dangerous thing just by itself) and decided to duplicate this yummy concoction. We don’t have a toaster oven, so I thought a normal oven on broil would probably accomplish the same thing. I turned on the oven, then went over and slapped some turkey and cheddar on a couple of slices of bread. Then I placed it in the oven. I then took about 5 minutes to check out some of my favorite blogs. I mean, what else would I do right? When I opened up the oven, I found the bread on top burnt to a crisp. Then when I actually ate the sandwich, I found the meat on the bottom side still cold. Sheesh…I should have just stuck with an entirely cold sandwich. Oh well, The Wife brought home pizza and saved the day!

Birthday Concert Addendum

Despite the tsunami of negativity in my previous post (Concert Rants), the concert was actually awesome. I didn’t include the most awesome thing of all that happened. It’s a long story, but we had to take separate vehicles to get there. While waiting for the rest of the family, the Older Daughter dropped by the sponsoring radio station’s booth and signed up for a contest to win an upgrade to front-and-center seats.

Well, as we were about to be seated, she got a call that she had won! So she and The Wife sat in the front row and had a great time. It was an added treat for The Wife on her birthday.

Concert Rants

Several nights ago, the whole family took The Wife to the Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson concert at Taco Bell Arena. This was to celebrate her (mumble)th birthday. It was a great concert. We’ve have been Reba fans for years and Kelly Clarkson is also quite a talented performer.

However, attending this concert reminded me of some of the things that really bother me about the whole concert experience. Mostly, I’m reminded that people suck. Anyway, here are a few of the things that bug the heck out of me:

  • Okay, does the security check really accomplish anything other than slowing me down, driving ticket prices higher, and giving the ignorant a false sense of security? The Wife had to open up her bag, but the revolver I had in my jacket pocket went completely unnoticed. (No, I didn’t really have a weapon. But I would have gotten through with no problem with one.)
  • What’s with these people that have to leave their seats like 57 times during the concert? They paid $60 to see this thing and they are leaving every 5 minutes for food, drinks, potty breaks, or whatever. Sit your butt down and watch the concert. I’ll give you just one courtesy coupon to leave your seat over and above intermission.
  • Then there’s those three gals (yes, call me sexist but they usually are of the female persuasion) sitting behind me at every concert that talk and giggle the whole time. Again…you paid $60 for this experience. Shut up and watch.
  • Oh, and then there’s that guy that can do the really loud fingers-in-the-mouth whistle thing. He always seems to do it as I turn an ear his way and it is so loud that it physically hurts. I’m always tempted to break this guy’s fingers. But maybe I’m just jealous because I don’t know how to do it.
  • How about that one lady? You know her. She’s in her late 60s, maybe early 70s. She has her fingers in her ears the whole time and is scowling over how loud it is. Hellooooo. Concerts are loud. Get over it. It wasn’t a good concert unless your ears rang for several days.
  • Okay, let me reiterate an earlier point. You paid 60 hard-earned dollars to attend this event. You’ve gone through the hassle of parking, long walks, security checkpoints, as well as the other pinheads I’ve already discussed above. After all this, you decide to leave before the concert is over? What form of insanity are you in the grips of? For $60, security will be dragging me out at about 2am after the place is all cleaned up and they are trying to lock the place up and go home.
  • Finally, what is with this stupid encore fiasco? What a stupid, contrived little game we all play. I imagine that in the early days of concerts (whenever that was) that the crowd loved a performance so much, that their excessive applause genuinely made an act decide to sing a few more songs. But now, we all know that it’s a given. The house lights don’t go up when the act says goodbye. More importantly, they have not yet played the 2-4 songs that we really want to hear. Cut the crap and just do the concert. Let’s end the encore game.

It really was a good concert, but I had to get these things off my chest. They’ve been bugging me literally for decades. Thanks for listening!

It’s My God-given Right…

It’s my God-given right to:

  • Empty every last little bit of trash out of my car when I get gas
  • Try every sample at Costco and walk away during the sales pitch without feeling any guilt
  • Get new sheets and towels EVERY day in a hotel and not feel guilty about the environment
  • Look at all the hot chicks I want to. If they’re displaying it, I can look as long as I don’t touch. The Wife and I have an understanding on that.
  • Rudely end a sales call…particularly if they won’t take no for an answer when I’m nice
  • Pee outside. I live on a 20-acre ranch. I can find plenty of places to fulfill this primal need without exposing myself to the public.
  • Get 27 refills of my soft drink if the restaurant offers free refills

It’s my God-given right.

Insanity on Wheels?

Using our Ford F-250 as a commuter vehicle is killing us. Plus, we will soon have a licensed teenage driver (run for cover folks!) So, we decided that it was time for a third vehicle. The third vehicle will become The Wife’s primary commuter vehicle, but will also be driven by the Older Daughter quite a bit. Unfortunately, there has been no agreement on what type of vehicle is wanted. Here is what we were basically looking at:

  • Me: I’m the household accountant, so I want one of those coffins-on-wheels that gets like 67 miles per gallon.
  • The Wife: She wants a 4-wheel drive pickup. Wait, that’s what we are trying to replace as her commuter vehicle. What the heck? Okay, maybe a smaller truck would get slighter better mileage. That’s not very helpful.
  • Older Daughter: It has to be cute and/or hot…preferably both.

You can probably see that this is a very difficult situation to resolve. However, after much weeping and gnashing of teeth, we settled on the Toyota RAV4. It’s a 4-wheel drive (Wife: check), it gets great gas mileage (me: check), and according to the Older Daughter it’s cute (someone kill me now please).

Our budgeted price range put us at about the 1997-98 model year. We couldn’t find any locally, so we widened our search to places within a day’s driving range from home. This evening, we found this one in the Portland area:

I spent some time on the phone this evening with the salesman. He test drove it for me and checked it out. Of course, the report back is that it’s a great vehicle. Fortunately, my brother-in-law lives in the area and is going to check it out for us tomorrow. If he gives the green light, we’re going to buy it. Yes, Sunday morning I may be flying to Portland to buy a vehicle that I have never seen in person, touched, or test driven. Is that complete insanity? Stay tuned. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Little Boys and Matches

It really was with the best of intentions that I set some piles of used animal bedding on fire last Wednesday. It was burning along quite nicely. Then along came the wind. No sweat though. I was ready with a shovel and the water hose. I actually spent a couple of hours dousing it. It seems that the pesky fire didn’t want to go out. Finally, it seemed to be out. However, to my surprise, it was smoldering again Thursday morning. No biggie. I doused it again for awhile. Then when The Wife got home from work, she turned the sprinkler on it.

She went to bed and asked the Older Daughter to keep an eye on things. In the mid-afternoon, the Older Daughter told The Wife that there were some flames. No problem. She was instructed to move the sprinkler over to water that hot spot. Well, thing starting going bad really fast from here. Now it seems that the Older Daughter simply had to take a shower as The Wife went back to sleep. Oh yeah, and Mr. Wind decided that this was a good time for him to blow.

The Wife was awakened to the kids screaming about the field being on fire. Looking out, she saw 5-foot-high flames and a racing fire. She called 911 and then headed out with the kids to do what they could while waiting for the fire department. She first stopped the flames heading toward the house. Then she raced over and put herself between the flames and the pasture fence to prevent it from spreading into the horse pasture.

Several hours and several fire trucks later, the fire was under control. Probably about 4 acres were charred. Here’s a small section of the burn:

Now I was at work when this all started. When I got the call from The Wife, she had some choice words for me that I really can’t repeat here. Also, I believe there was some sort of mention of homicide or something like that. Somehow, I survived and am able to report to you. (In other words, she didn’t break my fingers to prevent me from setting more fires.)

Hey, here’s something you don’t see everyday. Where else can you find a cow, a fire truck, and a fire fighter dousing flames…all in the same picture? This may by an Internet first.

By the way, thankfully no humans, animals, or property were harmed in the making of this fire.

Punday, June 15th

The other day, The Wife and I were getting ready to do some watering outside. Just out of the blue she asked me to go get the hos. Wow, I never realized that she was so open-minded. And don’t overlook that fact that it is plural. I have an amazing wife!

It’s a Boy!

You may recall from a previous post that we acquired a very pregnant miniature donkey a couple of weeks ago. We had anticipated her giving birth any day, but it had drug on almost 2 weeks. Well, The Wife and I went out to feed the animals this morning and she remarked that it would be funny if we walked around the corner and saw a new baby. I poo-pooed that thought and I questioned if the donkey was really pregnant rather than just very fat–maybe we were duped by the people we bought her from.

Well, sure enough, Cleo had given birth to a bouncing baby boy overnight. Judging from the birthing scene and the fact that he was still a little wet, we think that we only missed it by a few hours. We were bummed because we really wanted to capture the birth on video. Anyway, behold the cuteness:

As you can see, he is quite healthy and already on his feet–though he is understandably unsteady on them. The kids have anointed him Eeyore. Here he is grabbing a quick snack from mom:

Mid-week Groaner

Okay, it’s not Sunday (Punday), but I sprung one on The Wife today that I have to share. She was rooting around her truck looking for something. When I asked her what she was looking for, she said her gloves. So I replied “You are looking for gloves in all the wrong places.”

I nearly got hit for that one.

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Bar Hopping Time?

The Older Daughter wraps up her Driver’s Ed course this week. She passed her written and behind-the-wheel tests with flying colors. She is extremely excited to move to the next step. Now she will need to rack up 50 hours behind the wheel with us before she gets her license.

The Wife had a fantastic idea: We’ll let her drive us from bar to bar. That’s right, no more playing rock-paper-scissors to determine who will be the designated driver. Heck, she might be able to complete her 50 hours in 1 weekend! And I can’t think of anything safer or more responsible than leaving our teenage daughter alone in a car outside of some seedy bar.

My Soul Mate

Sorry honey, but according to this highly scientific quiz, my soul mate is Cameron Diaz. I made a “till death do us part” promise and I’ll keep it. But just thought you might like to know.

Take this test!

There’s always funny stuff going on in the script when you’re on the set. Whether you’re pranking your crew, telling a funny joke, or injecting an element of the absurd into a situation, you’ve got a way with making people laugh. It’s only fitting that your celeb soul mate is someone who’s silly and quirky, too!

A celeb who’s good looking and good at enjoying life like Cameron Diaz is just right for the role. No matter if you’re playing mini golf or shopping at the mall, you’ve both got the comic talents to have loads of hilarious hijinks wherever you go. And if your celeb soul mate is on location in some foreign country, someone who’s funny and closer to home would be perfect for the job. And that’s no joke!

Dorky Humor

We had an enjoyable Saturday afternoon/evening. The Younger Daughter is over at a friend’s house for a sleepover and the Older Daughter didn’t have any plans. So, we convinced the Older Daughter to join us for dinner at the Olive Garden. We had a great time and enjoyed some great food (as always, too much, but hey…) and great conversation. It was a rare treat that we enjoyed. However, the Older Daughter quickly grew tired of the puns I kept throwing out. She finally said, “Mom, make him stop.” Sorry, I’ll never stop with my dorky humor. It is just a part of who I am.

My Contribution to Science

We were having tacos a few days ago and I decided that I wanted some sour cream to go with it. I grabbed the container out of the fridge and opened up this:

Isn’t it purrty? I guess that I need to pay more attention to the expiration dates. Then again, I’m an “expiration disregarder” according to Matt. Check out his funny post on expiration dates. For the record, I’m an expiration disregarder while The Wife is an expiration heeder.

Good Fortune Ahead?

It’s a rare treat when The Wife and I are able to meet for lunch during a busy work day. Yesterday was such an occasion. We met for lunch at a Chinese place not too far from where I work. It was a nice break from a hectic day. We caught up on life, talked about the kids, talked about the new business, etc. Alas, the time passed much too fast and soon we were cracking open our fortune cookies and paying for lunch. My jaw dropped when I read my fortune:

Ok, I know you are like: so what? Those that follow this blog know that I am being laid off this summer. My last day happens to be July 18th. This is exactly 3 months after our lunch date: April 18th.

How freaky is that?

Picking Up Chicks

I have the greatest wife in the world. Check this out: She went out this afternoon and picked up 5 chicks to bring home to me! No kidding. Not many couples have such an open, understanding relationship. I am very fortunate, indeed.

Check out the newest members of our petting zoo below: day-old chicks. They were huddled up and not interested in looking at the camera. I’ll post a better picture when I can get one.