The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

June 26, 2008

"Old and Decrepit"



...Sent me this postcard from Greece.

I received it Wednesday.

She's in Italy again now, part of a 2 1/2-month trip through Europe with her best friend.

I tried scanning what she wrote on the other side of the postcard, but it didn't turn out very well. So here it is:
Hey Daddy what's up?
So we're in Greece now, which is amazing! Everything about it has been fun. The ferry over (from Italy, I think -- ed.) was like a cruise ship, the water is grogeous and we have a gorgeous view of the Acropolis right from the hostel.
When you get old and decrepit you should definately (sic) come to Greece, it's so peaceful.
Next we'll start travelling around the Greek Islands Crete and Santorini, so it'll be fun.
Love you Daddy, see you soon.
Love Monica
AHEM! Old and decrepit? We exchange emails about every day too. So this morning, I raised this point of contention with her.
Her response?
"Well seeing as how u won't be able to really travel until u retire, i called u old and decrepit, because well 60 is kinda old."
But I'm not 60. I'm only 52.
I'll just go buy my casket now.

June 21, 2008

I've lost all my red spots...


But is that any reason to for the blogging gods to be so harsh and wipe the slate so completely clean?



Dear ClustrMaps user,

Many thanks for being a loyal ClustrMaps user for the past year.
Now that a year has elapsed since your account was registrated or archived, we are writing just to let you know that an annual automatic 'archive' of your red dots has taken place, meaning that all your 'other' (previous) red dots are safely stored in the Maps Archive.

Although the map archive has already happened, your existing map will stay displayed until the NEXT update of your map. This helps to avoid displaying a totally empty map until there are fresh dots to show.

We sincerely hope this has not caught you by surprise, BUT we fully appreciate that it may have come at an unexpected moment! You may not have been aware of this.
We know that people always like to have ever-more-dots, but the regular archive is the only way we can avoid having the maps turn into a 'giant red smear', and continue delivering the scalable service that everyone has come to expect.

The good news is that all of your totals are stored correctly, i.e. the new maps include the old archived totals in the grand 'running' total.
If this has caught you out by mistake, then we apologise and will endeavour to make this action much clearer in the future.

In the meantime, here is wishing you all the best, and thanks again for using ClustrMaps!

-The ClustrMaps Team

June 19, 2008

Sorry about that, Chief...

I don't know if there was any one TV show or cultural phenomenon aside from the Beatles and rock n' roll that so left an impression on me growing up in the 1960's as the comedy TV show Get Smart.

Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, actor Don Adams, was the good guy special agent working for CONTROL to counteract the evil spy group known as KAOS.

He was a bumbling but lovable, incredibly funny fool.

He worked in concert with the lovely Agent 99, his sidekick in slapstick.

He had a shoe phone, for you neophytes who weren't around then.

There was something called the Cone of Silence that he insisted on using with the Chief (top pic, that's the portable version) to discuss top-secret assignments. The Chief and Max didn't get along.

Max screwed up so much, one of his best lines used almost every episode was "Sorry about that, Chief." His voice was ridiculously humourous in its nasal uniqueness.

He was the complete opposite of what you would have believed a debonaire top-secret agent to be.

He was James Bond gone wild and with absolutely no sex appeal like 007, but Agent 99 was still crazy about him.

I couldn't miss an episode. I never laughed at anything more and still have rarely laughed more.

I have died a thousand slow deaths waiting for Get Smart to start appearing in syndication again, but I haven't been able to find it.

So I've had to settle for watching Family Guy and a few other current shows I find funny.

But now, FINALLY, someone has figured it out. Get Smart is FUNNY. So they've made a movie starring Steve Carrel in the lead role of Maxwell Smart.

I never go to newly released movies. In fact, I don't watch many movies at all until I can buy them for $9.99 at the video store. But this movie, I will want to go to see.

While I loved Max and the Chief, my favourite character in the 1960's version of Get Smart was the robot special agent Hymie.

I haven't done a lot of reading up on the plot for the new movie, but I hope he's in it.

When I was a bingo caller (yep, a bingo caller) in my late teens for a charity group I volunteered for, I received two nicknames.
One of them was Basil and the other was Hymie.
I can't tell you how honoured I felt.

June 15, 2008

Beetle Juice and Cards with Mr. and Mrs. Escapeons


...And my mischievous relationship with him...

However, the former HE, who has now dumbed downn to Donn, is actually quite a domestic entity in his real life, when he's not over at my place creating havoc.

He has a gorgeous young wife named Alice who gives the best hugs ever and together, they are spectacular parents to their son, who I am fortunate to be able to boast actually calls me Uncle Chris.

Now Donn -- I'm guessing at Alice's request -- is inviting me over all the time, primarily to play a card game called Phase 10.

I usually decline, believing a family should have their together time and, well, because if I go, then I have to see Donn and listen to all the songs he likes to play from the 1960s, like the one I've got on my blog now.

But sometimes, if the work schedule permits and I want to see Alice and their son, I agree to visit and to purposely let Alice or Donn win at Phase 10.

As usual, the visit usually begins with big hugs from Alice and from the Ridman, their son. We play a variety of sports, he and I, while Mr. and Mrs. HE look on, sipping drinks. Often, they'll feed me.

Then it's time for bed for the Ridman and, after that, the card game...which in this case, Donn somehow won, when it seems to me that Alice almost always wins.

But that is not the biggest part of this story.

No, the most surprising thing I witnessed on this night was Donn, one of the biggest nature freaks and animal rights activists in all of Blogdumb, killing an innocent animal.

That's right. Donn, the former Homo Escapeons, would not allow me to pick up a beetle that was scurrying along his kitchen floor so I could let it go outside.

A common black beetle, something like the one above but with mandibles that can give a purported saviour like me a bite, ended up under the gigantic foot of the Dastardly Donn.


Donn's excuse? It was threatening his lovely wife. He will tell you it was more like this...

I'm just glad the young, impressionable son of Mr. HE was already in bed and not around to see this wanton, blatant destruction of a member of the animal kingdom.

Today, almost certainly, HE (I mean, Donn) will be outside on Father's Day, setting poison traps for the mice, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and forest tent caterpillars he will whine are leaving poop in his yard.

I've already reported him to PETA, so don't bother.

June 10, 2008

Unsolicited Invitations

I figured, with my son spending last weekend with me, that I, unsolicited by him, would buy some succulent ribs and try to cook them up all nice for him.

So that's what I did. But then, a problem. How the hell do I cook these things? I haven't barbecued in years.

I've never prepped a meal like this from start to finish, I always just threw stuff on the Barbie.

No more.

So I searched the WWW and came up with a recipe.

Ugh. I hate the boiling part when all that fat rises to the top. Of course I drained it, and then on to the sauce...

Well, there's the finished product. He didn't really like the sauce. It took me all afternoon, basically, but what can I say?
He and I both like more crispy stuff. The ribs were moist, tender and coming off the bone.

OK, so I was guilty of that unsolicited invitation, setting myself up for rejection.
But here's another one, sent to my work email, from or something or other. I did not join.
I was also asked to become the speechwriter/communications manager for the following, but I refused.

And then, of course, Jib Jab emailed me their latest zany videos, this time for Father's Day. For the first time in several years, I will have this Father's Day off and will not have to cover the Manitoba Marathon.
I would send one of these to my dad, but he doesn't have a computer. They ARE super funny.

That's all the recent unsolicited invitations I've received, although that could change. In the meantime, I need to start figuring out what I'm doing with my two weeks' vacation in August.
I know I won't be visiting, although the bikini part sounds quite appealing.