Thursday, July 31, 2008

The South Carolina Trip (Finally)

I have been promising to put up the pictures from Kate's South Carolina trip a few weeks ago (at the beginning of July). Well, finally I am putting the pics up from that trip.

First they went down to visit Abbie, Ellie, Nate and Jason in NC and stayed with them for a day or two.

This last picture is of Jack playing with a toy laptop, complete with his tongue out, much like Grandma Witchey when she is at her computer. Genetics are a weird thing.

These are from South Carolina, where they went to visit Battery Park and the Aquarium. There weren't any decent pics of their trip to the aquarium, but a few good ones of the Park.

Jack watching Papu cut the watermellon

Ahhhhh, Internet Access

We finally have internet access back again. We were out for a few days and had sporadic service for the days preceeding that because of a faulty cable modem(s). We got a new one only to have that one fail a few days later. Thanks D-Link.

The router has done fine through all this, so thank you Netgear.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Smile, BooBoo!

Kate took a few pics of the boy earlier this evening. She was trying to get him to curl his tongue, which is a genetic thing.

He sticks his tongue out when he is concentrating on something like working with play-dough or using a fork. His grandmother (Kate's Mom)is the same way, she sticks her tongue out when she concentrates on stuff, like driving.

Update: Lennon

Hey Koko, I heard you liked the Tootsie Pop Art, so here's an update of the John Lennon one I just finished. I heard about Lucky last year and was sad that he had passed. He was a good fella, I remember him from our trip to Atlantic City. :)

I'm a big fan of all the Beatles works, I have been singing some of their songs to Jack at bedtime. He says, "No Sing, Daddy!". Apparently I suck at singing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tootsie Pop Art (John Lennon)

The latest addition to my Tootsie-Pop series is John Lennon. I have still got some work to do on him by adding the hair highlights in the top-left corner to show his hair, but its about 80% done. I ran out of Grape wrappers, so if anyone wants to save them and send some more to me, I would like that.

I have some of the ladies at one of our library branches saving them for me and they have sent me about 20 wrappers so far.

The Hill Billy Soap Opera

I walked out to retrieve my trash can earlier this week when my neighbor across the street, a dude named "Rick", was just leaving. He is, in every sense of the word, a "Dude." He pulled over to my side of the road and gave me the latest news in the hood.

Apparently one of our neighbors doesn't live in his own house anymore, he decided to leave cause his wife got a boyfriend - that tends to put a strain on a marriage. The new fella is a friend of the new next door neighbors and they all like to "Whup it up", which is Hill Billy for drinking.

I don't like those new neighbors that moved in recently, they have about six cars which are all 4X4s and sit up high like Monster trucks. They rumble up and down the street which sounds like a NASCAR race. I don't trust these guys cause they are always out front just waiting around in the street. Even when its raining, I have driven by and there was three of them out standing in the light rain talking. Mind you, they have a covered front porch a few feet away.

Anyway, one of these FOHB (Friend of the Hill Billies) has taken up with the lady down the street. She is a regular as far as the city police are concerned, since she tends to get a little rowdy with her kids and regularly "Falls" on them during arguments. Never a punch thrown, but a lot of falling going on, this may be a side effect of the drinking. (The arguments and the falling)

If I get any more updates or developments, I will try to report back here the latest on the Hill-Billy Soap Opera.

Bottled Water Worse Than Cigarettes?

Yeah, I fell for it too. I was channel-surfing on the TV and came across this story on the local news. I thought, Oh, man, maybe its the plastic, or that some water may have been recalled or the found some horrific chemical in bottled water that gives you an extra eyeball?

Nope. Not at all. The story was about how if you drink from those water bottles with the smaller opening, you purse your lips, which, over time, will eventually give you wrinkled lines around your mouth. These lines are known as "Cigarette Lines" from the repeated process of closing the lips around the cigarette while inhaling.

I think the story was designed for maximum impact of life-threatening scare factor rather than to inform or educate. I also thought it was interesting for about a three whole seconds, then it wore off since I don't smoke.

I don't care much for little wrinkles around my mouth, but I am not going to fore-go being properly hydrated to avoid them; seems counter-intuitive. Refusing to drink water would really make you wrinkled, can you imagine?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Grandma (Witchey) Visits

Kate's Mom was here last week, so when we had dinner Wednesday night I took a shot of her, Kate and Jack just before he went to bed. I promised to put it up when I took the pictures off the camera.

Here ya go, Kathleen:

The Park with Joe and Beckett

We met Lisa, Joe and Beckett at the park in Falls Church today for a few hours of fun. We don't get to see them but every few months, I took a bunch of pictures as the official "documentarian".

Joe (big Joe) and Lisa had their house robbed a few weeks ago and they lost a few things, one of them being Joe's laptop which contained the last six weeks of pictures they had of the kids, so that is another reason I wanted to take a lot of pictures of Joe and Beckett.

Here are a few of the boys at the park:

A Mini-Golf Course

Thanks Mom and Dad for sending the mini-golf course!! We set it up inside and Jack played afew rounds, set it up in a different configuration and he played again. We can set up a one-hole course or a three-hole course, so its really versatile.

He likes the hole that has a funnel effect, so when it gets to the top, it goes around and around like its going down a toilet. When it goes in, he says "Yeeahhhhhh - its in the hole!"

Thanks Mom and Dad!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Velcro (Complicated or Not?)

So Kate and I went to the Library (or as some people refer to it, the liberry) today to get Kate and Jack a library card. It was interesting to see some of my materials and publications in the actual Library branch.

As we were walking in there was a display set up for the kids that finished the Summer Reading Program. Each child that reads 10 books over the Summer gets a coupon booklet and they also got to sign their name to a piece of paper shaped like a Duck (The Library branch mascot) and place it on the display.

To back up a bit, I noted this display because earlier in the week I got an email from one of the staff that asked if I could recommend some different way to secure the paper ducks to the display. I said that velcro is what we have used, but they said that their velcro was not working, some of the ducks just refused to stick and would fall off of the display at the slightest disturbance.

I sent them some new velcro and asked them to double the amount they put on the back of the ducks.

So today when I passed by the display, I noted that one of the ducks had come loose and fallen to the floor. I picked it up, the back had two small strips of velcro on the back. Unfortunately, the velcro was the positive side. So they were putting positive velcro to positive velcro and expecting it to stay put.

If you don't know how velcro works, this doesn't make any sense. But to me it was just something I took as a given, that people would know how velcro works and apply it correctly.

How many of you guys know how velcro works? I am interested to hear if I just took this piece of info about velcro as a given or if the staff is dense.

Just Blood - No Sweat or Tears

On Friday I went to work and gave blood since there was a blood drive going on. I signed up after reading our email newsletter. I have never given blood before and was impressed by how easy and painless it was.

I was in and out in less than an hour and the only part that I would consider painful was the paperwork. The FDA regulates blood products and they make sure that the blood donor services are regulated well.

The needle insertion was virtually painless and I got to watch about twenty minutes of "Live! With Regis and Kelly." And I got to have some Oreo cookies and a bottle of juice.

I have heard that donating blood is a good idea health-wise because your body actually rids itself of toxins through the blood such as those nasty free radicals. The body replaces that blood with fresh new blood, so its a lot like changing your oil.

Kate said that all the blood is replaced within a few hours, (She meant the fluids) but this didn't sound right to me, so I checked online and came up with some research and found out a few more facts:

According to

56 Facts About Blood and Blood Donation

6. One pint of blood can save up to three lives.

8. 94 percent of blood donors are registered voters.

32. A patient could be forced to pass up a lifesaving organ, if compatible blood is not available to support the transplant.

34. 17 percent of non-donors cite "never thought about it" as the main reason for not giving, while 15 percent say they're too busy.

And the fact I was originally looking for:
45. After donating blood, you replace the fluid in hours and the red blood cells within four weeks. It takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I never write about political stuff, but on this, I just had to write something.

I am disappointed to find that HR 6304 passed through the Senate and the President signed it today.

I have always voted, but never actually called my Congressman or Senator to let them know how to vote on a bill. On this one, I did. I called my Senator, Jim Webb (a newly-elected Democrat) the other day to voice my opposition to HR 6304, the renewal of the FISA Bill originally passed in 1978 that granted powers to run wiretaps on US citizens who get or call Internationally.

The part of the bill that really bothers me is a provision that grants immunity from any kind of prosecution to the Telco head honchos. That means that the people and organizations that wanted to sue the telephone companies won't get their day in court. They are quite literally, denied justice.

President Bush has asserted all along that the Telocos did nothing wrong, but refused to give-in and remove that provision, in fact he fought very hard to keep it in the original language of the bill, never seeing the irony that they wouldn't need immunity if they did nothing wrong.

The kicker to this whole deal is that Barack Obama and my own Senator, Jim Webb voted for the bill.

Jim Webb ran on being a new kind of democrat that would counter the Bush agenda, checks and balances. Seems like he isn't that much different than the other 47 Republican Senators that also voted for the bill. I didn't expect him to support the bill, but seeing as Verizon is in his district, he may have been swayed by other forces.

As for Barack Obama, he called the bill flawed and imperfect, but voted for it anyway. John McCain was one of only three Senators that did not vote on the bill and Hillary Clinton voted against it.

So in November, what am I getting when when voting for you, Senator Obama? A spineless Democrat that doesn't want to appear weak on issues of national security? That's not change.

Even McCain had the decency to not show up and vote.

Want to know more?
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Wednesday, July 9, 2008


We have been trying to show him how to make "Two" to show people how old he is. He has done it a few times, and I finally captured it a few weeks ago when we were at dinner. He has very dexterous hands.

My "How To Draw" Program

I present a drawing program at the library every few months that is called "Doodles & More" for kids to get them interested in drawing by doodling a little and teaching them how easy and approachable it is to draw.

It doesn't require an internet connection, electricity, TV or software, just a pencil and paper and their imagination and it can be done almost anywhere, even a car.

Since its Summer, I have signed up to do three of these programs. The first program drew thirty kids and there were 80 turn-aways. The next week, I will present my second program of the Summer and update how many kids showed up.

Here are a couple of the examples of the animals that I teach the kids how to draw: A Crab, A Shark and a Whale.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Carlinisms 2

Suggested Bumper Sticker
We Are The Proud Parents of a Child Whose Self-Esteem Is Sufficient that He Doesn't Need Us Advertising His Minor Scholastic Achievements on the Bumper of Our Car

I read an article that cautioned people against shaken-baby syndrome. Do people really need to be told this sort of thing? And if some people do need to be told, are these the kind of people who are very likely to heed the advice?

We have classifications called "legally blind" and "legally dead." What about "legally tired"? I think a guy should be able to declare himself legally tired, so he could get out of doing things he didn't want to do.

Things That Are Pissing Me Off
I don't think white people should be trying to dance like blacks. Stop that! Stick to your faggoty polkas and waltzes, and that repulsive country line-dancing shit that you do, and be yourself. Be proud! Be white! Be lame! And get the fuck off the dance floor!

When I was a little boy, if I got sick I went to a doctor, who sent me to a hospital to be treated by other doctors. Now I go to a "family practitioner," who belongs to a "health maintenenace organization," which sends me to a "wellness center" to be treated by "health-care delivery professionals."

I Like These Jokes:
Drug Traffic: Driving to your connection's house.
Sex Drive: Similar to drug traffic, but with a different destination.
Douche: A female duke.

I love this country. I wouldn't live any other place at any other time in history. BUT! BUT! Say what you want about America - Land of the Free, Home of the Brave - we've got some dumb-ass motherfuckers floatin' around this country. Dumb-ass motherfuckers.

I love my dog. I love all my dogs. Every dog I ever had, I still love 'em. And in my life, believe me, I have had me a bunch of god-damn dogs. Because you keep on gettin' a new one, don't ya? It's true. As life goes on, you keep gettin' one new dog after another. That's the whole secret to life. Life is a series of dogs.

The worst thing about e-mail is that you can't interrupt the other person. You have to read the whole thing and then e-mail them back, pointing out their mistakes and faulty assumptions. It's frustrating and it's time-consuming. God bless phone calls.

This country is full of nitwits and assholes. You ever notice that? Nitwits, assholes, fuckups, jerk-offs and dip-shits. And they all vote! In fact, sometimes you get the impression they're the only ones who vote.

I think many years ago an advanced civilization intervened with us genetically and gave us just enough intelligence to develop dangerous technology but not enough to use it wisely. Then they sat back to watch the fun. Kind of like a human zoo. And you know what? They're getting their money's worth.

Why do they bother with a suicide watch when someone is on death row? "Keep an eye on this guy. We're gonna kill him, and we don't want him to hurt himself."

Do you ever fall asleep in the late afternoon and wake up after dark, and for a moment you can't figure out what day it is? You actually find yourself thinking, Could this be yesterday?

Do you ever reach the top of the staircase and think there's one more step? So you take one of theose big, awkward steps that don't accomplish anything? And then you have to do it a few more times, so people will think this is something you do all the time. "I do this all the time, folks. It's the third stage of syphillis."

We take a lot of things. We take a lot of good things. We take time, we take heart, we take solace, medicine, advice, we take a job, take a break, take a vacation, a leave,a nap, a rest, we take a meal.

We take, take take until we can't take anymore. Maybe it's because our inner nature is not primarily one of giving, but of takin'. Even these things we take that should balance our lives and give us rest do not. We make work out of them. We do them aggressively, always in control. Take.

But when we give, we give a lot of bad things. We give trouble, heartache, sorrow; we give someone a hard time,a migraine, give 'em a heart attack, and give 'em a big pain in the ass.

Expressions I Question
Take the cake
"Boy, he really takes the cake." Where? Where do you take the cake? To the movies? You know where I would take the cake? Down to the bakery, to see the other cakes. And how come he takes the cake? How come he doesn't take the pie? A pie is easier to carry than a cake. "Easy as pie." A cake is not too hard to carry, either. "Piece of cake."

The Riot Act
They keep saying they're going to read that to you. Tell the truth, have you ever heard this thing at all? Ever?
It's especially a problem when you're a kid. They like to threaten you. "You wait 'til your father comes home, He's gonne read you the riot act!"
"Oh, yeah? Well, tell him I already read it myself! And I didn't like it! I consider is wordy and poorly thought out. If he wants to read me somethin' how about The Gentelemens's Guide to the Golden Age of Tongue-Kissing?"

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread
So this is it? A couple thousand years ... sliced bread? What about the Pyramids? The Panama Canal? The Great Wall of China? Even a lava lamp, to me, is greater than sliced bread. What's so great about sliced bread? You got a knife, you got a loaf of bread. Slice the frickin' thing!! And get on with your life.

Out Walking the Streets
This is another one you hear from men. Some guy sees a rapist on the news. Same rapist as before, only this time he's being released. The guy says, "You see that? You see that guy? They're lettin' him go! Now, instead of bein' in prison, he's out walking the streets." How do you know? How do we know he's out walkin' the streets? Maybe he's home bangin' the babysitter. Not evryone who gets parole is out walking' the streets. A lot of times they steal a car. We oughta be glad. "Thank God he stole a car. At least he's not out walking' the streets."

In Your Own Words
You hearit in classrooms. And courtrooms. They'll say, "Tell your own words..." Do you have your own words? Personally, I'm using the ones everybody else has been using. Next time they tell you to say something in your own words, say, "Nigflot blorny quando floon."

Fine and Dandy
That's an old-fashioned one, isn't it? You say to a guy, "How are ya?" He says, "Fine and Dandy." Not me. I never say that. You know why? because I'm never both those things at the same time. Sometimes I'm fine. But not dandy. I might be close to dandy. I might be approaching dandy. I might even be in the general vicinity of dandyhood. But not quite fully dandy. Other times, I might indeed be dandy. However, not fine. One time, 1978. August. For about an hour. I was both fine and dandy at the same time. But nobody asked me how I was. I coulda told 'em, "Fine and Dandy!" I consider it a lost opportunity.

Walking Papers
Some guy gets fired, they say. "Well, they gave him his walkin' papers today." Lemme ask you something. Did you ever get any walking papers? Seriously? Believe me, in my life I got fired a lot of times. I never got any walkin' papers. I never got a pink slip, either. You know what I would get? A guy would come around to my desk and say, "Get the fuck outta here!!" You don't need paper for that.

Popular Beliefs
Nice Guys Finish Last
Not true. Stidies have shown that, on the average, nice guys finish third in a field fo six. Actually, short guys finish last. By the way, in medieval times it was widely believed that nice guys finished twenty-sixth. You can see how limited those people were.

Every Child is Special
An empty and meaningless sentiment. What about every adult? Isn't every adult special? And if ot, then at what age does a person go from being special to not-so-special? And if every adult is so special, then that means all people are special and the idea has no meaning.

There is a tendency today these days to complicate speech by adding unnecessary words. The following phrases all contain at least one too many.

belief system
seating area
facial area
daily basis
blue in color
crisis situation
leadership role
rain event
peace process
intensity level
knowledge base
beverage items
emergency situation
shower activity
surgical procedure
boarding process
flotation device
hospital environment
fear factor
free of charge

That Boy Needs A Haircut

Jack's hair has been getting in his eyes and his curls were getting out of control, so we decided when they got back from Charleston that we would get him a haircut. He has some great hair, speaking as someone who is jealous that I have so little and he has so much to spare.

We took him to Cartoon Cuts and he settled in after getting to sit in Mommy's lap and watching the TV, Thomas the Tank was playing and he got mesmerized, mouth open, blank stare, general catatonic state.

He was also given a lollipop, which he ignored because he was so into the TV. He looked away once, when I asked him where his lollipop was. (last picture)

Back from Mini-Vacation

Kate, Jack and Kate's Mom rolled in Saturday evening, back from their mini-vacation down to see Abbie and spend some time with Papu in Charleston. I stayed behind so I could save my vacation hours up for later this year.

Jack was glad to see his Daddy and I was glad to see him and Kate (and Kathleen).

We spent Sunday the 6th over at Jim and Reet's and had dinner to round-out the weekend.

While they were away, I worked, but also did some "Honey-Do" jobs, like repainting the downstairs bathroom and recaulking the tub. I also thinned out some trees in the back yard.