Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Irish Al Capone

You know, there is much wisdom in the current trend to give children unusual names. I say that because my brother and his two sons have very straightforward White Anglo-Saxon Protestant names.

Which it turns out they share with Irish terrorists, so they are on the no-fly lists.

This was especially a problem as they tried to fly out to vacation in Palm Springs last week. The cranky NWA employee at the ticket counter (are they getting screwed on contract negotiations? on the merger with Delta?) was completely flummoxed by the fact that my 12 year old nephew was a child, and thus did not have a driver's license to verify that he was not some radical IRA member bent on making a point to the English. In Palm Springs.

So this cranky employee just kept typing away at her terminal, and not saying anything to my brother or his wife about what was going on. For forty minutes. As the time for the flight got closer and closer and they started to get panicky about actually making the plane.

"What's going on?" they asked.

Cranky NWA employee said nothing for a long time, then said she couldn't clear my nephew to fly.

This has happened before, and it has taken a supervisor to come over and input some sort of override, which is pretty easy to convince them to do, since my 12 year old nephew is short and wiry and looks younger than his 8 year old brother.

"It would take too long to send you over to the supervisor. You will miss your plane," says cranky employee. "Of course, you are going to miss your plane anyway."

Finally, someone gets wind of the situation, and a supervisor comes over, and the problem is resolved in 10 seconds. They manage to make the plane, but are NOT in the most relaxed mood. Except for my nephew, who has now dubbed himself "The Irish Al Capone," and demands to be treated with RESPECT!

Monday, March 30, 2009

End of the Trip

Message to Mom and Dad.

Do you hear that?

Yeah, that.

What is it?

Silence? Silence?

So that's what it sounds like. Hunh.

Actually, I bet your ears are still ringing from having the seven of us all at once. Thanks for having us.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All About Camoflauge

It is a well known fact that herbivores must remain active throughout the desert day, as they must constantly seek and consume grasses. Thus, the highly specialized herbivore, the golf ball, can be found in its natural grassy habitat throughout all daylight hours.

The wily golf ball, cautiously approaching a water hole.

This means that those who would prey on the golf ball must also be active, even when the sun is high and the visibility is good. The successful golfer must be prepared for many different terrains and exposures.

This explains the recently discovered (by me) and named (also by me) Distinctive Golfer Banding. Evolutionary science now has the answer to why so many retired men living in golf communities have developed banded legs. Current research is ongoing as to whether the age and handicap of the golfer can be calculated by the visible banding.

Some are noticeably banded around the ankle, with pale, soft colored feet, and a demarcation above the ankle bone.

A clearly marked ankle band.

A slightly lower line can sometimes be discerned below the ankle bone. It is not known whether this is inconsistent with an upper ankle band, or might even be limited to the female of the species.

Above and below the ankle banding.

More commonly found is the mid-calf band, which can be found both with and without the ankle banding. In the latter case, the mid-calf band is more striking when there is no secondary banding below the ankle.

Rarely is seen the below-the-knee band, although scientists are divided as to whether this is simply because Scottish golfers in their native land never experience sun, or whether they are genetically incapable of developing this uniquely male banding. Scientists from Scotland themselves insist it's because they are too manly, and too busy tossing cabers and drinking whiskey to develop this mark.

Traditionally, the knees are the epicenter for the darkest color of the banding, followed by a fairly universal stripe no more than two inches above the kneecap. Some researchers have reported the existence of another line as much as 4-6 inches above that one, although this mark is not universally observable during times of peak golfer activity.

Banding visible away from golf ball hunting grounds.

Similar to leg banding is arm banding, although this is not as unique to the golfer, and is rarely visible due to the golfer's sleeve length being statistically invariable.

Once golfer leg banding has been thoroughly studied, science can move on to other forms of this distinctive human marking.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Your call is important to us. . . .

Because I am stuck on hold after being transferred three times, I am recommending this as an improvement over what I am hearing this precise moment!

Extreme Sheep LED Art

Who says shepherds do nothing all day? This is definitely worth a look, an amazed shake of the head, and a pledge to do something with your own life that is at least as lasting as this video.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MP3 of Doom

I've been trying to maintain some connection to music created this century, and have occasionally leaned on Tonk's music to do so. Fortunately, she is incredibly tolerant, and has agreed to let me listen to what she likes on one condition.

That she never comes home to find me cleaning the kitchen while singing the Pussycat Dolls' "Don'tcha."

And who can blame her?

So, just for fun, she played Modest Mouse's song "Dashboard," which is a delightful little ditty about the destruction of an automobile being tolerable, as long as the radio still works.

I like this song, and liked it when she first played it for me about two years ago. It has taken the intervening two years to find out that the download from iTunes was saved on the old computer, which thereafter acquired OS Alzheimer's and had to be put out of its misery.

Well, I'm not to cheap to drop $0.99 on something I know I like, so I downloaded it. And got a look at the name of the album for the first time:

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

Now that's a cheery little pop title that's bound to get the kids flocking to the record store demanding to buy it! I'm thinking of making it my new motto. Useful in so many situations!

IRS: Why didn't you file your taxes for the last seven years?
Me: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank!

Police Officer: Ma'am, do you have any idea how fast you were driving? Have you been drinking this evening?
Me: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank!

Family: Ewww! We hate this dinner you cooked us! What is it anyway?
Me: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank!

See? Now I never be at a loss for words!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Headed for NYC

Clan Evil is headed to the Big Apple this weekend to watch Our Very Own Tonks sing with her school choir at Carnegie Hall. This is such an exciting opportunity for her, and she left today with the other 75 members. The remaining Evil Family members take off tomorrow on a 1:00 p.m. flight, so we are closing up the castle for a few days.

It's time to leave the horrible weather we've been having here. It got pretty warm over last weekend, with highs in the 40s, teasing us with the prospect that winter might actually be over for the year. HA! Because then we had two solid days of hazy grayness, followed by a freezing of all the slush generated by the warmer days, capped by snow. And bitter cold. Again.

It's pretty disheartening to drive the kids to school when the temperature is -4, with a predicted high of 10. I've literally gotten the inside of my nostrils frozen, which is a painful as it sounds.

Even if NYC isn't by any stretch of the imagination tropical, at least is it different. We fly back on Monday, and then back out on Tuesday to Palm Springs. Which I am really looking forward to, because I am TIRED of being COLD.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Confidential to Cpt. Sweetie

If it should happen that you arrive home tomorrow and find no trace of me, it might be possible to conclude that I have succumbed to temptation, jumped a flight to NYC, and am planning to live at the Ed Sullivan Theater to get the benefit of U2 on Letterman this coming week.

Oh, and you might have to post some bail. . .