Monthly Archives: June 2011

Newt, Some Reese’s Puffs and a Kung Fu Panda Toy

Yesterday one of my theories about Newt was confirmed:  she is exactly like a little kid.

Remember how excited you were to find the toy surprise in a box of cereal when you were a kid?  Well, yesterday as I poured myself a bowl a Reese’s Puffs (hell yea Reese’s Puffs…they are freakin’ delicious) the toy surprise fell out into my bowl and Newt was immediately curious and trying to get at it.

Oh and btw, do any of you ever remember the toy just falling out of the box into your bowl?  I sure don’t.  I remember having to dig around in the cereal…with my grubby hands…until I could find the toy.  This one had to be just sitting on the top of the cereal in the box because I had just opened the new box of cereal and was pouring the first bowl when it just plopped into my bowl.  That would have never happened when I was a kid.

Anyway, so I opened up the toy and it was a Kung Fu Panda shooting-spinny thingie (that is the technical name too).


Because I no longer have the brain of an 8 year old or an Engineer  it took me way longer than it should have to figure out how to get the toy to work.  But when I finally did, Newt and I spent the better part of the day playing with the thing.  I would shoot it and she would chase it down.  She is almost to the point of fetching it and bringing it back to me now.  I am gonna turn her into a dog yet.

She is scared of the sound it makes when I wind it up but she is slowly getting used to it and no longer running and hiding every time I start to wind the toy up anymore.  Ripley doesn’t really know what to make of the thing and is constantly looking down her nose at Newt.  Chasing shit across the house is way beneath her.

It always surprises me though that the simplest things are the cat’s best friends.  Not that expensive toy you bought…it is the box it came in that the cat will like.

So thank you Reese’s Puffs…both for being delicious and for giving me a few hours of entertainment with the cat.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Refreshing

Ahhhhh mojito on vacation for the challenge this week.

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Father’s Day Bird Eviction

Yesterday, while eating breakfast, I heard a ruckus just outside the kitchen window.  It sounded like a couple of birds were having a knife fight out there.  So I peeked over the shutters and saw that two little sparrows were trying to make a nest in one of the hanging planters on the porch.

My first reaction was, “Awwww…how cute.  They are building a little home together.”  But then I remembered the last time two cute birds built a nest out there.  Once they finished with the nest they became super aggressive and just trying to get out to the car was an adventure.  Nothing quite like running from your front door in a mad dash to make it to the car before you are attacked by an angry couple of birds trying to protect their home.

So this would not do.  At first, we just tried to drive them off by going out and yelling at them.  But they just kept coming back and continuing to build as soon as we went back inside.  Then we tried hanging some tin foil on the planters to there would be movement enough around the planter to scare them away.  But again, as soon as we went inside..they returned and just kept on building.

Then I got an idea.  We needed one of those fake owls that I see people put up in their gardens to keep the undesirables out.  But we didn’t have one of those.  So I had a plan that any other 40-year-old guy would have…I went into my action figure collection for a suitable “owl like” figure.  Yeah, I know…nerdy and not typical.  I found my Hurley and he just seemed perfect for the job.  He took over for Jacob as the protector of the island so surely he could keep away a couple of birds.

So I went out and shooed the birds away, rooted out the nesting construction and setup Hurley to be my little flowerpot scarecrow.   I stood in the window for a few minutes to watch and see what would happen.  I could see the two birds on a tree branch just about 20 feet away and they were pretty much screaming at our porch.  I don’t think they were happy but it seemed to work.

Seemed to.

So I went back to drinking my coffee, eating my bagel and reading the sports page.  Suddenly I heard wings flapping a bird screeching and a crash.  I couldn’t help but think that the Angry Birds had attacked Hurley.  And when I stood up to look over the shutters my suspicions were confirmed.  The hanging pot was Hurleyless.

I went outside to check and found poor old Hurley on the floor of the porch and it appeared like he a couple of the flowers that he was supposed to be protecting with him.  Those birds had not only knocked him out of the planter but had destroyed part of the flowers just to show me that they were the boss.  And, upon closer examination, they freakin’ hobbled the poor fat bastard in the process.

Angry Birds 1 Hurley 0

Poor guy.

But you know what?  I watched those birds for the next couple of minutes after that.  They came back a few times but they weren’t coming back to try building a nest in the planter.  They were just coming back to gather up the pieces of the nest that we had pulled out and thrown into the front yard.  They just wanted their stuff.

So I am pretty sure they just pushed Hurley out of the planter out of spite.  They had to have already decided to move on but they just wanted to show me that it was by their choice and not because of anything I did to chase them off.

Stupid birds.

Time to give Hurley a Crazygluectomy.

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Filed under Family, Funny Pic, Postaday2011, Postaweek2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Worn

For this week’s photo challenge from our trip to Tangier Island.  Deb took this shot as we walked around the island:

 

 

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The Glory of the Bitchslap. You Go Imp!

The Game of Thrones’ first season ends this Sunday.  This makes me sad. What can cheer me up?

10 minutes of Joffrey getting the pimphand from Tyrion is what.

Yep, I can watch and listen to this all day long.

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Filed under Music, Postaday2011, Postaweek2011, TV

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

This is one of my favorite pics ever.  I wish I had a better camera on hand when I took it but the shitty camera on my old phone was all I had.  This was how I woke up one morning.  It made me happy in a sappy “bring a tear to my eye” kind of way with both Ripley and Deb all snuggled up on me and dead to the world.

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Filed under DC, Deb and I, Photo Challenges, Postaday2011, Postaweek2011

Portal….Live

Unbelievable. You, *subject name here,* must be the pride of *subject hometown here.*

This is from some nerd convention, somewhere, and is just full of win!

All Aperture technologies remain safely operational up to 4000 degrees kelvin. Rest assured, that there is absolutely no chance of a dangerous equipment malfunction prior to your victory candescence. Thank you for participating in that Aperture Science Enrichment activity. Goodbye!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers

Capitals win the Winter Classic 2011

My favorite numbers from this year’s hockey season happened on January 1st at Heinz Field.

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Filed under Capitals, DC, Photo Challenges, Postaday2011, Postaweek2011, Sports

Memorial Day Weekend in Reedville and Tangier Island

It was early Monday morning, a little over a week ago, when Deb sent me a text asking if I would like to go down to her Aunt and Uncle’s place for the holiday weekend.  Their place was supposedly on the water and with Deb’s love of water I really couldn’t say no.  Spending four days with people I have only met a couple of times really had me a bit nervous.  I was afraid that we would run out of topics of conversation in the first couple of hours and then we would just be stuck there…amidst awkward silence…for the better part of 4 days.

Oh, and Deb failed to mention to me (until we were on the road down there) that cellphone service was spotty and/or non-existent there.  Oh great.  I had almost forgotten what it was like before I always had a cellphone in my hand and immediate access to the intrawebs.  And as we started out our long trek down to Reedville, Virginia I thought I was going to go through withdrawals.

Our weekend didn’t start all that well either.  On our way down there we were stopped in our tracks by an accident that completely closed the road we were on.  I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just a sign of things to come.  So we had to backtrack and take about an hour detour out-of-the-way to get back on course.  But we did get back on track and made it down to Reedville early in the afternoon on Friday.

I realized, within about 30 minutes of being there, that I had nothing to be nervous about.  Her Aunt and Uncle were very laid back and easy people with which to hold both fun and interesting conversations.  And their place was really amazing too.  Right on the water with a pier leading out to their boat.

Bob, Deb’s Uncle, offered up a cold beer and we headed out to their porch to just enjoy the beautiful afternoon and hang out for a bit.

It was during our time hanging out on the porch that I met Belle.  Belle is their little chihuahua.  Now I am a dog person but I have never been a big fan of the little yippy dogs.  But until a couple of years ago I wasn’t a big fan of cats either…so I decided to make friends with her.  But of course I was informed that she doesn’t really warm up to guys that much and I shouldn’t be offended when she doesn’t want to be my friend.  I took that as a challenge and by the end of the weekend she was my best buddy.

I have been around a lot of dogs in my days and I have seen just about every kind of dog personality out there…but I have never seen a dog go so batshit crazy for food as this little girl.  She absolutely loses her mind when there is food (or even just the prospect of food) around.  She just loses her mind and I have never seen a dog that begs quite like her.  It is the cutest thing.

Here…take a look at what I mean:

Deb and her Aunt, Kaylene, made us some great Jalapeno Margaritas and tasty Mojitos that first night.

They were so good that we kept having them make them all weekend long.  Mmmmm…I wish I had one right now.

Saturday was just a day for relaxing.  We went out to eat and got a tour of the area surrounding their place.  It is pretty country down there.  One of those places where everyone knows everyone else.  But we pretty much just relaxed on that big back porch and sucked down drinks until it got dark and we all got sleepy.

The next morning we got up bright and early and headed to the ferry to Tangier Island.  The island is about 15 miles out into the Chesapeake Bay and the only way to the place is by boat or plane.  The ride is an hour and a half just to get there.  The place is pretty tiny.  There are no cars (just lots of golf carts) and it seems that the only jobs on the island are in a couple of restaurants, a gift shop or two or you are a fisherman.  Not lots of career options in a place that small.

Once we got to the island it was really strange.  If there weren’t golf carts all over the place it would be like you stepped back in time.  All of the houses are small and close together like they were before you needed wide roads for cars.  And because the island is so small there aren’t any room for cemeteries.  So the kinsfolk are buried in their yards.

That was just creepy.  We started joking about how this tiny island was the kind of place that would be the ideal setting for a horror movie.  A movie where a small group of tourists come to the island and all the locals are all real friendly during the day.  But when those tourists miss their ferry back to the mainland and have to stay there over night everything changes.  Those once friendly Tangerines would don cloaks and head out to one of the marshy little areas of the island and start worshiping their pagan gods and sacrificing stranded tourists.  Those graves would then open up and their vampire/zombie relatives would spring forth to devour anyone caught outside after dark.

We were laughing it up as we walked around the island and throwing out all kinds of scenarios where these peaceful people were really evil.  I remember seeing this cute little girl sitting on her front stoop inside a yard that was surrounded by a chain link fence as I turned to Deb to throw out another possible movie twist.  When I turned back, and I swear it had to be just a second or two, this little blond and pigtailed girl was now standing right up next to the fence not more than a foot away from me.

“I caught a dragonfly,” she whispered to me in a way that just made my skin crawl.  And then she reached out her hands that had a hold of a dragonfly by it’s wings, “Do you want to see my dragonfly?”

I must have looked funny as hell as I started stumbling away from that fence, shaking my head and barely eeking out, “No, I am good.”

Everyone was laughing at me as we slowly walked away from that yard and the pouty face on that little girl.  I know, I am a big puss for being scared of that little girl.  But blame it on our conversation.  Or blame it on every scary movie I have ever seen with some psycho kid in it.  All I could think of was what would have happened had I reached for that dragonfly.  I pictured my arm reaching through that fence and suddenly that child’s mouth opening impossibly wide, her jaws unhinging to show 3 rows of razor sharp teeth.  And me only pulling back a stump.

The rest of the weekend, between snorts and chortles, all I kept hearing was, “You should have taken the dragonfly.”

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful.  We stopped at Hilda Crockett’s for lunch.

They serve up an amazing family style lunch.  The crabcake balls and the clam fritters were delish.  I am not a fan of cream corn so I didn’t really dig the Corn Pudding but everyone else was oohing and aahing about how great it was.

We wandered around the island for an hour or so after lunch before we had to take the ferry back to the mainland.  Here are some of my favorite pics that Deb took while we were there:

And then this one last pic from Tangier Island that we all found kind of funny.  Is there really a need for seatbelts on a golf cart?  I wonder if anyone ever got pulled over for not wearing their seatbelt.

Once we got back to Kaylene and Bob’s house I realized that I was sunburned.  And I mean really sunburned.  My face, arms and legs were bright red and almost immediately painful.  Of course I was the only one that had even the littlest hint of a burn.

“You should’ve taken the Dragonfly.”

On the last day of our visit we got to go out on the boat.  I even pretended to lend a hand and it even looks like I know what I am doing with that rope.

It was incredibly hot and I was in a whole bunch of pain from the sunburn but the day was lots of fun even though I had to spend most of it hiding from the sun.

As long as we kept the boat moving it was a comfortable trip into the Bay and up one of the many rivers in the area (I just don’t remember which one we traveled up exactly).  But as soon as we stopped it was like we were being cooked.  So the trip, while fun, was cut a bit short from the heat.  But Deb really had fun taking pictures.

It was a great couple of days down there in the Northern Neck.  Deb and I had a great time.

Many thanks to our hosts Bob and Kaylene…and of course Belle for a great weekend.

Oh…and I almost forgot.  When we got back to DC on Tuesday afternoon the AC was on the fritz.  It was 98 degrees outside and in the 80s in the condo.

I should’ve taken the dragonfly.

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Filed under Deb and I, Postaday2011, Postaweek2011, Vacation