Monday, August 29, 2011

Spin Cycle: The next day of my summer vacation

When I heard that this week's Spin Cycle is on "What I did on my summer vacation." all I could think about was the Cheech and Chong Sister Mary Elephant sketch and the following lines:

What I did on my summer vacation.
The first on my vacation I woke up
I went downtown to look for a job
I hung around the drugstore.
The second day on my vacation I woke up
I went downtown to look for a job
I hung around the drugstore.
The third day…

(Get the picture)

Isn't it funny how we tend to go through our summers as a child and never remember a thing. It is only when we are asked to tell everyone about it that we tend to recite the day in day out routines that makes up our summer.

I could tell you about all the amazing places we went to, but alas I just recently started a new job and can't afford taking a week off without pay. We did go camping, but we always go camping— besides I already have two posts about camping here and here that you might enjoy.

For more exciting summer vacation stories, see Sprite's Keeper's Spin Cycle.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I am the Pupster Dog

In honor of our beloved Spike (01/??/2002 - 08/22/2011)

As many of you may know I am a Radio-head— and being such I tend to make up my own lyrics to popular songs.

I must admit that our Dog inspired many songs— one of which I will attempt to convey to you so you have a better understanding of how special he was.

If you are familiar with the Smurf's Theme Song, then you can sing along with the lyrics to one of Spike's Theme Song:

I am the Pupster Dog
the Pupster Diddle Dog

I am the Pupster Dog
the Pupster Diddle Dog

My wife took this song one step further by singing it in the style of Doris Day— which gave it a sultry yet funny quality.

We both will miss our companion. I do not know of any other pet who has inspired so many different songs and nicknames. Our pack feels a bit emptier now and we'll just have to remember all the things that he did to inspire us to keep us going.

I have collected some pictures of Spike so that you can look at them and perhaps see how great a dog he is to us:

Even though a picture is worth a thousand words, no words can express our grief.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Take Me Back

Take me back to my thoughts of old
to the days of good times devoid of pain and cold

Where smiles flourish and love grows
where all are happy… and it shows

So show me those loving smiles
and we all can walk for miles through that story that is told


Monday, August 15, 2011

Spin Cycle: Multiple Personality Traits

This Week's Spin Assignment is Nature versus Nurture. Rather than go all out and give an entire Theseus on the subject, I thought I would give you a personal example of it:

No, I'm not Sybil…

I must admit that I am my parent's child. Looking at some of my physical traits you can tell that I am genetically related to them— my flattened nose from my Dad, my crooked bottom teeth from my Mom, etc., etc. But I also know that I have inherited other things as well.

Besides the fact that Mom likes cream in her coffee— Dad likes sugar… and I like both cream and sugar, I know that I have inherited some distinct personality traits. The interesting thing is that these inherited traits seem to be opposite of one another:

Sophisticated — Sarcastic
I get my sophistication from my Dad. He's the one who taught me how to order in a restaurant, how to tie a tie, and how to think logically. I think that he also influenced my "old fashioned" nature and my desire to wear hats, shave with a straight razor, etc. Not to say that he's a stuffed-shirt— he can also be quite funny— but this is what I notice to have gleaned from him.
I get my sarcasm from my Mom. We were always trying to top one another and usually wind up saying… "you won the smart alack of the year award". Not to say that she's always goofy, but she does have an interesting wit that I also have in abundance.
Personal — Professional
My mother is very personable. She's the one I always had those heart to heart talks with when in my formative years and I always appreciate her care and concern. I believe I got most of my parenting skills from her and know that I am thoughtful and loving towards others because of it.
My father— though retired now— has a lot of professionalism that I greatly respect. It's his work ethic that I admire and I try to emulate his dedication to the task at hand in the work that I do.

"First impressions are everything" they seem to say… but it may be that if I lean towards one of my traits, I do not get the acclamation or respect that I think I deserve. I may be quite sarcastic at times which seems to effect my being personal because people don't take me seriously. Or, I may be acting quite professional and later tell a very subtle joke that nobody gets. If you understand that I am a combination of these traits, you should be able to understand me better in the long run.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Spin Cycle: Summer Senses

This week's spin is an open spin and all I could think of is the open air of summer.

And all the world is biscuit-shaped
It's just for me to feed my face.
And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste
And I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime1

The other day my wife started listing all of the sights and sounds that remind her of summer. We then went the extra mile and decided to try and relate summer to all of the senses.

Rather than list all the ones we came up with, I would spin it up a bit and ask you what you come up with. Here are the categories:

What are the…
…of summer to you?

1 Excerpt from the XTC song: "Senses Working Overtime" from the album English Settlement.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


… blame it on the school for having lunch periods that were as long as the other periods throughout the day.

In high school our band director kept the band room open so that we could "practice" during our lunch periods after we ate (right, like we were actually going to practice). What wound up happening is that two of us made up a game we called Nay-Gun-ye.

If any of you are familiar with horned instruments such as a trumpet, you might know that you can change the sound by covering the end of the horn. This is called Muting— and there are several different kinds of mutes. One mute in particular is simply the rubber part of a plunger… but we didn't use the plunger head to mute our instruments, but something else entirely.

What we used to do was line up at the two ends of the instrument storage room and throw the plunger head and try and make the plunger head stick to the floor. At the time, there was a lot of political turmoil in such places as Lebanon and Libya, so we made the game more interesting by pretending the plunger was a bomb and we were indicating what was being targeted. Just before we threw the plunger, the thrower would make an announcement like "Lebanon", then throw the plunger. Depending on what the plunger did would determine what the person at the other end of the room would say. If the plunger landed on the floor and stuck, you would say "Gone"— and if it didn't you would say "Not Gone Yet".

Perhaps it was laziness, or because we were mentioning foreign countries and foreign leaders that "Not Gone Yet" got blurred into "Nah-Gun-ye" with a heavy foreign accent. Even gone got accented into "Gan".

Many times, my friend and I would talk about a foreign leader with the phrases used from the game. For example, at the time Mummar Gaddafi had several assassination attempts that were in the news. We would say to each other "Gadafi…Na-Gun-ye" to indicate that he wasn't successfully assassinated. What I find interesting is the fact that this statement that we were saying to each other over 25 years ago, still holds true today.

With events like 9-11 and all of the shows about terrorism that followed, I was watching one of the shows and thought to myself "Bin Ladin…Na-Gun-ye". I immediately thought of my high school friend, but never bothered to let him know this. After the Bin Ladin was killed I couldn't help myself by saying "Bin Ladin…Gan".

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