Category Archives: Family

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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No longer a Taurus

Not that I even really believe in this shit, but….

Those people that know me and do believe (or at least partially believe) in the Zodiac have always told me that I was a perfect example of a Taurus.  So earlier this year when the signs were all mixed up and the 13th sign was added I was moved to Aries.  I have been informed that there is no way this is correct.  I am a stubborn bullheaded Taurus and will be until the day I die.

My Mother shared this little comic from today’s paper with me.  It made me laugh.

Guess I better set the DVR for Oprah.

Source: [Mother Goose and Grimm]

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Volkswagen Commercial: Darth Noah?

Angus and Noah: Stormtroopers

If you know either of my nephews then you would know that they love dressing up in costumes.  I don’t think I have ever seen two kids who enjoy to dress up and act the part of the superhero (or supervillain) than Angus and Noah.  When someone forwarded me this commercial today I was dying laughing.  Whoever that kid is in the Darth Vader gear was totally channeling Noah.

I have seen Noah get into a costume and completely take on the personality of that character.  If he had a full on Vader costume I am sure this would be him running around the house all day long.  The frustration this kid is displaying when his force powers are not working like they should is spot on Noah.

Enjoy the commercial.

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My Top 15 Pics of 2010

Now that 2011 is here I thought it was a good time to go through the pictures I took throughout 2010.  Here are 15 of my favorites in no particular order.  I do not claim to be a photographer.  These were all taken with my phone:

1.  Angus on his Birthday –  My nephew watching a DVD after opening the gifts I brought him.

2.  Noah playing with his Star Wars toys.

3. Ripley enjoying her spot of sunlight.  She does look like she is really pissed in this pic but she was really just kicking back and enjoying her little spot of warmth.

4.  Ripley on her perch at sunset.

5.  Newt relaxing on a lazy Sunday.

6.  Ripley and Newt chasing squirrels on the TV while watching their new Cat DVD.

7.  Deb enjoying a break during our hike around the Billy Goat Trail.

8.  P admiring his handiwork and waiting for the kids to show up for Trick or Treating on Halloween.

9.  At The Legwarmers show.  Woody was dressed as Richard Simmons and in this pic he was holding his girl’s purse.  Couldn’t resist getting this pic.  As if you couldn’t just tell from the pic…i was a bit drunk and really having a great time making fun of Woody here.

10.  While at the Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear I caught this pic of The Flash while he was taking a break from fighting villains just long enough to admire a view of the Washington Monument.  I think this is probably my favorite picture of the year.

11.  This one was from our last day at Dewey Beach during the summer.  Just held up the Iphone and snapped a quick pic before heading up and to the house to pack up and leave.  The pic turned out pretty good for the really lazy way that I snapped it.

12.  Another accidentally cool shot.  Deb and I were down in Del Ray just out to get a bit of breakfast and walk around at the craft fair when I saw the two women standing in the middle of the street with signs that cracked me up.  I was just trying to get a pic of the two of them when Jim Moran walked up and got into the pic.  Love it.

13.  On a hike around the trails at Fountainhead we came across this small graveyard.  It was kind of spooky but we hung out and took a bunch of pics.

14.  The Creeper visits the Manger.  While the nephews were up visiting at Grandma’s house I took this little sacrilicious gem.  Gotta love Scooby Doo toys.

15.  While I didn’t actually take the original pic of my brother-in-law and Angus flying a kite I did really enjoy chopping this one up.  Definitely my favorite chop of the year so I had to add this one.

I already have a few pics from the Winter Classic weekend for my faves for next year.  I hope I have a ton more to go through at the end of 2011.

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A Racist Christmas Surprise

This week my two nephews were up for a visit.  While Noah wanted to pile on hats and costumes…

… his big brother, Angus, wanted to play Scooby Doo on the Wii all day and night.

This afternoon, in between lots of chasing, fighting and the occasional tantrum, the boys were calm enough to sit down and watch a nice little Christmas special.  Since the boys were going with Grandma and Grandpa to see the Grinch on Ice and to sit on Santa’s lap we found a great little set of cartoons for the boys to watch:

I figured a nice and wholesome set of cartoon from the 50s would be just that…nice and wholesome.  Rudolph’s cartoon was pretty much that as we saw the story of the red nosed outcast and how he became the lead dog on the Christmas Iditarod.   But I was not expecting the second cartoon.

I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked seeing as the name of the cartoon had the word Surprise right there in big red letters.  But I was not really prepared for the cartoon I was about to watch.  The whole premise of the cartoon is that Santa is so tired and overworked that his place up north is just a pig sty.  So a group of kids, representing the different peoples around the world, get together and give Santa’s place a good cleaning.  From the looks of Santa’s workshop he should have been a candidate from the show Hoarders.  But the kids roll up their sleeves and really do a great job of cleaning.

What was so shocking to me was the total racism when it came to depicting the different kids.  The little black kid was all Sambo’ed out:

And while the little white girl and boy are cleaning up the dirty dishes, what do you think they have the little black kid doing?  Yep, he is shining shoes.

Seriously,  shining shoes.

And then they switched over to the Asian characters…anyone have a guess at what they were doing?  Yep, the laundry.

I was nervously chuckling while my nephews were just blankly staring at the TV.  I was sure glad they are too young to understand why I was laughing.

If you want to order your own DVD to have this treasure for yourself you can order one for under $10 from Amazon by clicking here.

Or you can just stream it from Netflix like we did.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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The Boy With The Broken Halo

Danger wrapped in a snug fitting costume.

That is Noah.

My nephew is turning 4 this weekend.  FOUR!  Time is really flying by as that kid and his big brother both grow like weeds.  It is like looking into some fairy tale mirror when I watch this kid play with his toys.  It is really freaky how much he plays like I did at that age.  He has an amazing imagination and had endless hours of conflict and drama with his growing number of action figures.

I have a big Halloween Bash of my own to go to this weekend so I am sorry I can’t make the little guy’s party but I went down to Richmond and had him all to myself for a few hours yesterday.  I really do prefer having him and his brother all to myself and not having to share their attention with all of their other relatives.  We really had a great visit too.

But since I can’t be there to help him celebrate his birthday I put together a little video for him.  Hope he likes it.

Happy Birthday Noah.  Hope you have a great party.

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Nationals Park: Cubs Week 2010 – The Second Year of Sweep

For the second straight season my Cubbies have come to town and delivered the hometown Nationals a series sweep.  I want to thank the three people below for heading out to the ballpark with me and helping me enjoy three beautiful August nights:

All 3 games were played on unbelievably mild August nights that just made sitting in the ballpark about the best place to be in the area.  For Games 1 and 2 our seats were almost in identical spots but on opposite sides of the field.  But for Game 3 we were right up on the field…4 rows off the field right next to the Cubs dugout.

The games were Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday games and both teams being in last place in their division so the park was only about halfway filled with fans…but at least half of those were there to see their Cubbies.  And we were surrounded by a sea of Cubs fans along that thirdbase line.  Everyone was having a great time…except maybe this security guard (seriously, click the picture and check out the complete lack of enthusiasm on his face):

It was good to see Ivan back on the field as a Cub.  Do you think that guy is gonna hate The Big Lebowski?  I mean, how many asshats like me will be yelling, “Nobody fucks with Dejesus!” at him during a game?

The 7th inning stretch appeared to mean something a little extra for good old Tom Jefferson during Game 3.

TJ with the BJ

The Cubs series every year always seems like such a blur and goes by so fast…especially when they win every game.  Next year can’t get here soon enough.

Thanks for all the fun this week.

Sweep

See you next year.

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My Little Sister Embarrasses My Mom at the Zoo

My mom and sis

Today’s Plinky Prompt is “What is the funniest thing you have ever heard a child say?”. As soon as I saw this prompt I chuckled and knew what my story would be….We were living in Berlin and I was a kid, not more than 5 or 6, when my class was visiting the zoo for a field trip. My mom was with the field trip as a chaperon and she brought along my little sister. My sister was a little hellion; somewhere in that 2 to 3 year old stage. You know, the stage where they are basically parrots and repeat just about anything they hear.

Sometime during the day, the chaperons decided to take a break. There was a kick ass playground at the zoo where the kids were having a blast while the parents and teachers were all sitting and chatting on the benches. My mom, a young woman in her mid twenties, was chatting with the other parents and teachers while keeping a close eye on me and my sister as we were tearing up the playground. I don’t know what was being said among the adults but I am pretty sure that every parent was sizing up their own parenting skills against everyone else. Isn’t that what parents do? They see or hear another parent doing something they would never do or someone else’s child misbehaving and immediately go into judgement mode. I am not a parent so I can’t speak from experience here but from what I have seen…this doesn’t seem to be an idea that is just in my mind.

At some point, a couple of older German kids started running around the playground with their fully loaded water pistols. They were squirting everyone they could and all the kids were running away from them screaming in faux-terror. That was about the time that one of the kids zeroed in on my sister. He apparently unloaded a big portion of his watery ammunition right into her too.

She was laughing hysterically as she ran straight over to my mother. She must have been cute as hell as she ran up to all of the waiting parents because they all stopped their chatter and all attention was focused on her. My Mom smiled and looked my sister up and down and noticed that she was soaked…but only in one spot.

My sister, between large gulps of air, pointed right to her crotch and shouted at my mother, “MOMMY!!! THEY SHOT ME IN THE DICK!!!”

Stunned silence.

My Mom’s eyes widened in shock and horror as the nervous laughter started with all the other parents. The nervous laughter turned into full on belly laughs as everyone recovered from the initial shock. Mom started laughing as well and pulled my sister in and quietly tried to explain that what she said was both inappropriate and incorrect.

To this day, still the funniest thing I have ever heard a kid say.

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Video Compilation from Angus’ Birthday

I was putting together my post last night about Angus’ Birthday and I really didn’t want to link all of the videos separately.  Instead, I played around with IMovie a bit last night and the outcome is below.  Pretty cool that I could do all that right on the phone.  The video looks much better in HD if you click this link or you can just watch the video below.

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Happy Birthday Angus! How Can You Be Six Already!?!

I really can’t believe that my nephew, Angus, turned six today.  It really does seem like just yesterday that this little guy came into the world and made me realize that I didn’t actually hate ALL kids.  I really do love the short stack and was glad to be able to head down to Richmond today to spend some time with him.

I got in the car and headed down there early so that I could spend the whole day with the birthday boy.  He was really happy to see me when I got there too.  I love how he can just sit and look at you as though he is drinking you in and taking note of every detail and filing it away in his special little brain to be able to go back there later.

Because his little brother was off at school we had a rare afternoon where Angus got to be the center of attention.  So he got to open his Star Wars and Avatar toys that I brought him without the little bro’s grubby hands grabbing at his new loot.  And he really can don the cheeseball smile when he sets his mind to it.

We got to hang out and watch a little of his new Justice League DVDs.

And even his Mommy, my kid sister, got to open up her birthday gift from me (Her birthday was on the 12th so…Happy Birthday yo!).

After a few hours Noah got home from school and the Birthday Boy had to share his new loot with his little brother.  There wasn’t even much of a struggle this time either.  Angus is getting really good at sharing.

Soon after the arrival of Noah and his Daddy, the rest of the guests started to arrive for the birthday party.  This was going to be the neighborhood kids along with his Grandma and cousin.  My sister setup the kiddie pool for the kids to play in…

And the Slip N Slide for them to try and injure themselves on…

I am not sure who had more fun with all the water toys though:  the kids or the “grown-ups”.  When the next door neighbors got in a wrestling match and both ended up in the pool that was a real highlight of the party.  But even though the kids were having so much fun playing…like every kid’s party…everything stopped when the cake was brought out.  This year Angus even let everyone sing Happy Birthday and he blew out his candles with no help.

It was really heartwarming to see how far he has grown over the last year.  He had meltdowns or just became really uncomfortable being the center of attention when everyone tried to sing Happy Birthday in previous years.  It was great to just see him so happy and smiling after he blew out those candles.

It really does melt my heart on days like this to see the Angus so beaming and happy.  Even more so to see him being so social and just having fun with his friends.  I know that a few years ago even something that seems so easy to most of us…like hangin’ with our friends…wasn’t a given for the kid.  So it really does make me proud of how far he has come already.  It really just goes to show how much care and love he is getting from his parents and his teachers.  Great job Holly and Tony.

Thanks for having me down to spend the day with the guys.

Happy Birthday Angus!

Oh..and I almost forgot…this toy that Angus got as a gift…Tell me the guy that designed it doesn’t drive a Porsche.

Ummm..yeah...Sorry about the penis.

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