Friday, August 27, 2004

Clean Your Glasses, Folks

So, my daughter Camie and I were at Wal-Mart yesterday, getting some school supplies, when we decide to stop at McDonald's inside the Wal-Mart for some iced-tea. While we're in line, Camie says she wants a Hot-Wheel car. I didn't realize she was talking about the Hot-Wheels that come with the Happy Meal, so I'm telling her, "why do you want a Hot-Wheel?"

She says, "cuz they're cool."

I say, "Whatever, you don't need a Hot-Wheel. How much do they cost, anyway?"

She says, "I don't know! pleeeeeease can I have a Hot-Wheel."

I tell her, "we'll see." I was thinking we'll check the toy section later, and see what Hot-Wheels are all about.

So, there's this lady in line at McD's, in front of us, and she orders a Happy Meal, and turns to me and says, "she can have the Hot-Wheel from my Happy Meal."

At this point I realize McD's has Hot-Wheels, and that is what Camie was begging me about. Well, I blush and say thank you, how kind of you, you really didn't need to, etc. This lady is just as sweet as a glass of punch. We got to talking, and she told me about how her kids are off in college now, about how she can't wait to buy things for grandkids some day, and that she doesn't often buy toys anymore, so Camie can have her Hot-Wheel. Camie and I both tell her thank you very much, etc, etc. We talked a moment longer, and I told her about my kids; that Emily is 18 now and graduated from High School, I had another one in High School, and how my youngest daughter, Camie right here, was just starting 8th grade.

It's at THIS point that things became awkward. When I mentioned that Camie was in 8th grade, the lady looked at me for a moment, then to Camie, then back to me, and very sheepishly (with a crimson glow rising in her cheeks) says....

"......Oh, she's your daughter?"

I blinked.

The lady says, "the way you were talking, I though you were married. My husband and I go on about stuff like this all the time when we're shopping!"

At this point Camie blushes quite nicely with a look of utter horror on her face. If you can imagine pride and repugnance being cast from the same expression, you'd have a good idea of the face she made. It was hilarious. Pride at the lady thinking she was even old enough to be married, and utter, complete revulsion at the fact this lady thought she was married to ME!

In the end we all had a good laugh. It was just awkward for a moment, and the kind lady apologized and went her way. Camie and I chuckled about it quite a bit as we walked toward the shoe section.

But I ask you... although Camie is growing into quite a cute young lady, does this young lady

look anywhere near old enough to be married to this old fart?

I rest my case.

In the lady's defense, she did have rather thick glasses. They may have been coated with some sort of grime. And she had lots of tattoos, and we all know how THOSE people are. (J.K!!!) ;-)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Why Boys Need Dads

My daughter Camie is in 8th grade, and takes the bus to junior high school. There's a boy in the same grade that lives next door to us, and also takes the bus, so naturally my daughter winds up walking home with him on occasion. He's a nice enough boy, usually. He's not the type to shoot BB's at cats, or cut off rats heads, but like most teenage boys, he's a bit awkward. He has some serious issues with "verbal brakes" and is sometimes very crude in his speech. He has had, off and on, a reputation as quite the little perv, and as a result, doesn't seem to be able to connect with the female population at school. Young girls don't often respond well to being called a hoe, nor do they respond well to wolf-whistles and cat-calls from other than their boyfriend of the moment.

Well, this is a new school year, and right now, being the first week of school, this young man is behaving pretty well, so Camie, being Camie, forgives and forgets (she's been on the receiving end of several of his crude attempts to gain attention) and is more than willing to be nice to him, because she's just like that. Not girlfriend nice, just friendly, social-norm nice.

So, today the boy asks Camie, "How can I get a girlfriend? I don't know what to do to make girls like me." Camie says "Try being nice, not a perv. Try to be charming." Good advice, right?

The boy says, "I wear Dickies, and I sag. What more charming do they want?" Sigh. Good advice, clearly not understood.

Boys today seem to be missing the concept of kindness and compassion, and.... well.... charm.

Charm has nothing to do with how you look, but how you act. Charm is getting up and grabbing a straw for the girl who forgot to grab one in the lunch line. Charm is offering a pencil if someone forgot their own. Charm is telling a girl, "You look nice today", even if they really don't. Charm is being kind for it's own sake, not expecting anything in return. Kindness with an agenda is manipulation. Kindness for it's own sake is charming.

But boys today just don't understand that. They see feelings and compassion as failings and weakness. I wish they understood that it's not. It's actually strength in it's best form.

Think about it. Remember Happy Days, the TV show? Fonzi was the toughest tough on the block. But he was never mean to anyone. The best episodes I can remember usually were when Fonzi, the toughest guy on the block, did something very kind for someone much weaker. And he didn't do it with an agenda, he did it because, in the end, it made him feel good about himself, and because it helped his friends. We liked Fonzi because he was charming. He was strong, but kind and compassionate. We liked Richie Cunningham for the same reasons. He was kind and compassionate, and developed a strength of his own as the series wound on. Granted, this is a TV show, but the concept remains valid. Good TV characters reflect the values we cherish.

I hope the neighbor boy can learn to be charming some day. Clothing is NOT the key. How he acts is.

Although, in Fonzi's case, the leather jacket didn't hurt.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Big (oh)Brother

Paid Comcast yesterday with a hot check. Payday is tomorrow, so it should be all good. I read an article recently, explaining how the "float time" (the time it takes to process a check) very soon will be one day, or even less. No more check kiting. Has to do with a new federal law called "Check 21". It authorizes banks and institutions to accept a "substitute check" that will be submitted electronically by the banks to the check processing centers. Your original paper check will be destroyed, and you won't get it back. The new law goes into effect on October 28th, 2004. It's going to revolutionize how banking is done, and outside of running into it on the business page of the Sacramento Bee, I'd never even heard of this law. Its amazing how quiet such a huge change can be kept. Dang Feds, always mucking things up......

I'm in the market for a 12'x12' cabin in the deep woods. And an old manual typewriter. And lots of paper. And stamps. And gunpowder. And, uhm..... C4. Anyone selling?

Dang dishwasher isn't working right. Well, it actually started acting up about 2 months ago, I'm just such a procrastinator that I only yesterday called the manager to have the maintenance guy come look at it. Now I gotta clean up the apartment so I don't look like a slob when the guy comes in to check. Why can't they just fix it with mental telepathy and leave me alone? Is that too much to ask?

I think my cabin should be a little bigger, maybe 14'x14'. Need space for my gun cabinet.

Kids are off to school, and the apartment is really quiet. Lindsey left her alarm clock radio on, which would be annoying, save for the fact that it's playing classical music, which I like. But that leaves me confused. Why is my daughter's radio playing classical music?

I'm checking her room for space-alien bean-pods now.

And if you don't understand that reference, put down your beer because you're probably not old enough to drink. And if you are old enough to drink, and STILL don't understand the alien-bean-pod reference....well.... you need to get out more. Or maybe stay in and watch TV more?

I just don't know. But I decided my cabin will to be at least 16'X16', because wherever I wind up, I taking a freakin' queen-sized bed with me. Sleepin' on this twin-sized bed is for the birds....

Monday, August 23, 2004

Comcast Conundrum

Yeah, yeah, Troy, my e-mail doesn't work cuz I didn't pay the cable bill! LOL It'll get paid Thursday after payday. The suprising thing, though, is that although they blocked my e-mail, they didn't turn off the cable (internet or TV). Very odd... usually the way I know I didn't pay the cable bill is, when I get on the computer, web-pages won't load up. But everthing is working fine right now. Just keep yer fingers crossed that it works fine till Thursday.

Until then, e-mail me @ In fact, I just might start using that more, because yahoo won't turn it off for failure to pay!


So I'm up at 5:30 this morning, to make sure my kids wake up for the first day of school. That's right, August 23rd, and school is starting again. When I was little I remember dreading Labor Day, because school usually started the Tuesday after that. What's up with starting 2 weeks before labor day!?! Anyway... Kids get up and get dressed in their new school clothes, and I realize just how much they are growing up. Emily is already 18 and working, Lindsey is a Junior this year and turns 16 in a few weeks, and Camie is going into 8th grade. No wonder my hair is getting grey. LOL

I'm cooking bacon. I've had it in the 'fridge for a while, but the package says sell by August 28th. I think I'm safe, but I've had it in the fridge for a least 6-8 weeks. Hmmmm .... let ya know if I get sick.

Anyone know what E-coli looks like?