July 24, 2008

100+ Spams in one day

Screw this.

Posted by: Ted at 08:09 PM | category: Square Pegs
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July 15, 2008

First Half / Second Half

Our Potomac Nationals handily won their division for the first half of the season.  Unfortunately, that means more than half of the team (and practically every starter) has been called up to AA or AAA ball.

This second half is gonna be interesting.

Posted by: Ted at 08:17 PM | category: Square Pegs
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July 09, 2008

Visiting Mookie

Liz and I are headed to West Virginia this weekend for our 27th anniversary and to see Rachael.  She's working with a professional theater company for the summer, so we're going to see a couple of shows during the run.  This weekend is West Side Story, and we'll see The Producers in a few weeks.

Since Rachael is one of those starving college kids who's way too busy to eat right, we're taking some goodies to her.  Liz made an enormous pot of Maryland BBQ last night, and a goodly portion is freezing solid as we speak, ready to do double duty as ice block for the rest of her comestibles.  I made some banana nut bread and a batch of rum/apple biscotti, a container of home made pasta salad, some curry rice, plus we're packing assorted canned fruits and good-for-you snacks.  She's been living off of carrot salad and sandwiches, so this will make for a nice change for her.

Dang, now I'm hungry.

Posted by: Ted at 11:56 PM | category: Square Pegs
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July 08, 2008

Reach for the Sky, Pardner!

Taken from a moving car during our trip to Arizona this Spring.
The Saguaro only live in a limited range of elevations, so as you move further north into the mountains, they suddenly disappear from the landscape.

Also, they're protected.  Any new road construction features several of these cacti transplanted and being supported by 2x4 frameworks.   It's illegal to dig one up or kill it, even if it's on your own property.

Posted by: Ted at 10:21 PM | category: Square Pegs
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July 07, 2008

Bunnies or Politics

Bunnies are better for my blood pressure.

Long-time readers know that we have three house rabbits.  Fred and Java are a bonded pair, and Ozzie is a confirmed bachelor.  Over the weekend we decided to rework the living arrangements.

Under the old way, we had two two-story cages stacked on top of each other (on stilts, so there was a hideaway underneath too).  Fred and Java lived in the downstairs cage and we left their door open all the time so they could run around.  They were confined to a large pen that was connected to the cages.

Oz, on the other hand, has the run of the floor, except that we have to pick him up and put him down outside the pen to run around.  We also had to pick him up to put him away at night.

It all worked well enough, but we seldom saw Fred and Java because they'd spend most of their time chillin' under the cages in the hideaway.  They don't need much in the way of human attention because they have each other.  Another problem was the large pen area, Liz wanted the floor space back.

So far, everyone seems to like the new setup much better.  Fred and Java now have the top three floors, connected by ramps.  They've got more room for toys and can get away from each other for alone time, plus we can see them now.  Pets aren't much fun if you can't enjoy their company at least once in a while, and we're hoping the more frequent socializing with us will make them less aloof.

Ozzie has the bottom floor to himself, and we just leave the cage door open during the day.  He's got the hideaway if he wants it, but so far he's just been running around the floor lovin' life, or sprawling in front of his favorite A/C vent.  He's still getting the hang of jumping in and out of his cage though.  We keep the hay bin in the front as a kind of porch or balcony.  Fred and Java were Gazelles when they jumped up or down, they had long experience at it.  So far, Oz is more like an Ostrich landing in a birdbath.  Loud and clumsy, but getting it done.  He'll improve with practice, I'm sure.

Yep, beats politics, at least according to the fuzzy goof who's snuggling my foot, begging for attention.  I think he's got something there.

Posted by: Ted at 08:12 PM | category: Square Pegs
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July 06, 2008

Unattended Children Will Be Given An Espresso And A Free Puppy

Announcement at tonight's baseball game.  Heh.

Posted by: Ted at 04:25 AM | category: Square Pegs
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July 04, 2008

If This Were Ted's Universe...

All Jehovah's Witnesses would be required to sell Amway.  That way we would only have to slam the door once on weekend mornings.

Posted by: Ted at 02:02 AM | category: Square Pegs
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June 27, 2008

I Just Realized

Apparently, the migration script Pixy used to move Rocket Jones over to Minx from Movable Type removed some punctuation. 

Honest, I do know what an apostrophe is!

Posted by: Ted at 11:00 PM | category: Square Pegs
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June 24, 2008

From a forum I frequent:

Some people hear voices in their heads.
Writers take dictation.

Posted by: Ted at 03:02 PM | category: Square Pegs
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June 21, 2008

Two Out, Man on Third, Bottom of the Ninth...

Pitcher throws a wild pitch that's only partially blocked by the catcher.  Ball goes almost to the backstop and the man on third breaks for home.  Pitcher covers the plate, catcher slides on his knees, spins and throws.  Ball, pitcher and runner arrive simultaneously.  Slide, plate blocked, pitcher tags, falls...

Out.  Game over.  Our guys win.

Posted by: Ted at 06:03 PM | category: Square Pegs
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June 16, 2008

Cue World's Smallest Violin

On a forum I frequent, someone started a thread about how bad things are with the economy in the tank.  Why, the poor dear even noticed that there were less people at the oil-change place when he took his car in to be serviced!


Posted by: Ted at 10:01 AM | category: Square Pegs
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The Spam, It Gets Tiresome

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Ted at 10:00 AM | category: Square Pegs
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June 14, 2008

I'm Probably Not Welcome There Anymore

Daughter Robyn and husband Henry are in town for the weekend for a family occasion.  Tonight they wanted to go to IKEA. 

Part of the fun of IKEA is the Swedish names that the designers give everything.  I assume they're real Swedish and not just made-up pseudo-English, although some of the smaller items seem kinda contrived.  Myself, I love to go through and make up my own names.

In the kid's furniture section I loudly announced that this particular series was call "Preestbate", and was my favorite until I saw "Shakmee".

I got plenty of dirty looks, and a few snickers hidden behind hands.


Posted by: Ted at 01:51 AM | category: Square Pegs
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June 09, 2008

That's Not Supposed To Happen

Gettin' hammered with spam here on the new Minx platform.  It's easier to delete than on Movable Type, so between that and the Dalai Llama, I've got that going for me.

Posted by: Ted at 08:34 PM | category: Square Pegs
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May 31, 2008

Survivors and Ex-Survivors

It's time, boys and girls, for this year's installment of "let's look at Ted's purple clematis" (which sounds dirty but really isn't).  Anyway, here 'tis from just a couple of weeks ago:
Note the haziness of portions of the picture.  I used a softening filter for romantic effect.  (Translation: I discovered a finger-smear on the camera lens, which has since been cleaned.)

Last year, I wrote this:

It's scraggly and chewed on and spotted with fungus, but damned if it doesn't keep stretching upwards and weaving its scrawny self through the trellis bars. After all of that, it even managed to pop out a single pretty bloom. I hope it makes it through the winter, because this is a tough little plant and I admire its deterimination to survive.

This year, here's what that wee beastie did:
And right after it pushed out those beautiful flowers, it died.  As a doornail.  It's not obvious, but it's replacement is already growing next to it, in the photo it looks like part of the same plant.

That plant had personality.

Posted by: Ted at 10:06 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Last month Liz and I flew out to Arizona to visit my Dad and his girlfriend, Beverly (more about that in a later post).  Now, just a few months ago we got a call from Bev letting us know that Dad was in the ICU and the doctors didn't expect him to make it.  I started to make plans to go and then, hours later, Bev called back and said Dad was out of the woods and would be fine.  I called Dad a little after that and he sounded amazingly good.  Good enough that we decided that I could wait until our already scheduled vacation.  He was going to need dialysis for a short while (everyone hoped), but other than that and the usual "old people" problems he was gonna be fine.

I prepared myself for the worst when we saw him.

I come from tough stock!  His kidneys had gotten going again almost immediately, so no more dialysis.  I knew he used a breathing machine, but didn't know it was only at night because of his sleep apnea.  He used a walker, but only when he was really tired and he never did during the week we were there (nor did I ever think he needed it).

In fact, he was the same old Dad.  We moved furniture from their old house to the new one, including a massive metal workbench that weighed a ton.  We hung two flat-panel TV's on wall mounts.  We put up a new television antenna on the roof, and ran the wire inside.  He showed me the extension he built to his workshop.  It was just like old times.

At one point, we were working on two different projects right near each other, and I told him that he was working too hard.  His reply caught me by surprise:

I don't work hard.  I work steady.

And it's true.  Dad gets more done than most people half his age, and he does it by methodically taking it a step at a time.  There are no frantic bursts of energy, no show-stopping surprises in mid-project, he just thinks things through and then follows his plan.  Give the man a hammer and a two-by-four and he'll build you a spiral staircase.  He's amazing that way, and his secret is as simple as "don't work hard, work steady."

I've been going through some fundamental changes in my personal life over the last year or so.  Call it a midlife crisis (like Liz does) or just finding myself (whatever that means), I've done a lot of thinking about and tinkering around the edges of my life.  Examining everything closely and figuring out what I really want and how I can change things to make it better.  That's part of what the new "Lifetoys" category is about, where you're gonna see some of the things I've looked at and experimented with.

Those five words, distilled down to their perfect essence, explain perfectly a huge part of what I've been trying to do.

Thanks Dad.

Posted by: Ted at 06:04 PM | category: Lifetoys
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May 29, 2008


Date:  Saturday, July 5th

Place:  Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, Virginia

Event:  2nd Annual Blogger's Baseball Day and Destruction Derby*

The game starts at 6:35pm against the Salem Avalanche.  There will be a fireworks show after the game, and believe me, it's a good one.

We have two options for tickets.  For $8.00 a seat we can get grandstand seats, which will be easier to get in a block.  These would be directly behind the green boxes 4, 5 and 6 on this seating chart.  These seats are next to 3rd base.

For $10.00, we get reserved seating.  Think section 6 in the red area on the seating chart.  Up higher, but still bench-style seating.

Emails will be going out over the next couple of days.  Let me know if you'd like to come, and the more the merrier.  Drop me a line letting me know, and I'm going to check with the stadium about seating availability.

See ya soon!

* Destruction Derby courtesy of Buckethead and Dawn, if past history serves. **

** No, it's not the 2nd "annual" anything... hell, it's not even the "2nd".  Don't be so literal.

Posted by: Ted at 10:53 AM | category: Square Pegs
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May 26, 2008

Blogmeet A-Coming!

Liz and I met with Nic and Victor yesterday for a Potomac Nationals ball game.  It was "bring a dog day" or something, so there were several fuzzy buds in the seats with us.  By the end of the game, I had a husky-something mix named Mookie curled up under my seat, with his head laying across my feet.

Good friends, good game, good times.

I'll be checking the schedule and we'll see about setting up a date for a baseball game blogmeet.  Check back over the next couple of days for details.

Posted by: Ted at 10:41 PM | category: Square Pegs
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May 21, 2008

Officially Summer

Dinner tonight:  grilled brats, potato salad and cole slaw.

Posted by: Ted at 11:29 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Observations at a Minor League Baseball Game

Did I mention that Liz and I bought season tickets to the Potomac Nationals?  I think we got the 15 game package, but when you include all the freebies and such, it comes out to 21 games.  Add in the "dollar night" every Monday and it's conceivable that we might catch 30 games this year.  Oh yeah, field level box seats.  Third base side.  Closest to home plate, right next to the visitor's dugout.  Check it out.

Way up on top of the lights on the right field side, a hawk sat quietly and watched, as if waiting for some edible critter to panic and make himself known.  Or, more likely, he was looking at the people and wondering what kind of crazy creatures would behave that way.  Suddenly, the hawk was attacked by a sparrow or some such tiny bird, maybe a quarter of the hawk's size but absolutely fearless as he dived and twisted and drove the hawk away from what I presume was a nest.  Most of the crowd watched and cheered, and I was reminded of a Mig fighter going after a DC3 Gooney Bird.

In the several years that we've been going to P-Nats games, one constant has been a certain outfielder who shall remain nameless.  I posted last year about his poor choice of music when he came up to bat, because the loudspeakers invariably blasted out Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing".  He tries hard, but every play to his position is an adventure and potential disaster.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that he's the Geronimo Berroa of the P-Nats, and if you watched American League baseball in the 90's you'll get the reference.

One of the between-inning events at the games is a race between a youngster or two and the team mascot, "Uncle Slam".  They start off at first base, round second and third and home plate is the finish line.  Uncle Slam has a record of 0-23 this year (as usual), but what's funny (to me anyway) is that they're now sponsored by the Baker Funeral Home.  I now refer to it as "The Race With Death".

A couple of games ago, the entire row behind us was occupied by a group of yuppie larvae who were attending the game so they could put another little checkmark on their list of "life experiences".  Not a one of them knew much about baseball, and it wasn't long before everyone else ignored them.  I could tolerate the cries of "foul tip" when the batter ripped one 200 feet down the right field line and into the bleachers there, and I rolled my eyes when they all jumped up and cheered for the "home run" when the runner at third scored on a wild pitch.  But I had to go for a walk when I heard them talking about Hurricane Katrina and how they all wished that they could've done more to help.  That part wasn't bad, but one actually confided that she'd checked to see if there were any federal programs that would pay her mortgage for a year or so while she volunteered in Louisiana.  She was deeply hurt that she couldn't feel good about herself on the taxpayer's dime.

She's lucky it wasn't souvenir bat night.

Posted by: Ted at 12:31 AM | category: Square Pegs
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