Thoughts

Thought of the Day – 5/27/2014 – Screen Cleaning

Parenthood is full of firsts, full of things you’ve never done before, sentences you’ve never thought you’d say*, and questions you never thought you would need an answer to.

*Today’s example:  “Cameron, please do not lick the towel”.

We did some heavy household cleaning this weekend.  Well…I say “we” loosely.  I was mainly in charge of distracting children and moving heavy things.  Anyway, one of my tasks was to clean the windows, which led me to ask the following question:

“How do you get crayon off of a window screen?”

I had never thought this before.  Hell, in all my crayoning days, I never even considered a mesh window (or door) screen as a canvas for my artwork.

Thankfully, the friendly algorithms at Google were there for me in my time of need.

A healthy spritzing of WD-40, followed by a paper towel does a surprisingly good job of removing crayon from a screen.

Now, I need to find out how to remove WD-40 from the hosta below the window.

Thought of the Day – 4/30/2014 – Umbrellas (U)

Now that springtime has officially (and finally) arrived in Nebraska, we have been getting a lot of rain.

Yesterday, I was out running errands over lunch when it started raining hard.  I almost always have an umbrella in my car for such a situation, but for some reason I could not find it.

This left me with two choices:

1) Use my daughter’s mini Hello Kitty umbrella that is very pink and definitely not designed for use by a grown man.

-or-

2) Do a mad dash through the parking lot, knowing that my afternoon would consist of sitting in meetings with damp clothes.

Besides, if you don't have the galoshes, what's the point?

Besides, if you don’t have the galoshes, what’s the point?

24 hours later and I think my jeans have almost completely dried.

*   *   *

(Author’s note:  Wondering why there is a random letter in parentheses in the title of this post?  Not sure how this post corresponds to the daily letter in the April A to Z Challenge?  Like clicking on links?  These questions are all answered here.)

Thought of the Day – 4/8/2014 – Goodnight Gorilla (G)

The watchman/security guard/zookeeper in the children’s book Goodnight Gorilla is one of the most oblivious characters in literary history.

A gorilla steals your keys, lets out all of the other animals, follows you home, gets in your bed (next to your wife), and you don’t notice?

I get being tired and wanting sleep (which, coincidentally, happens pretty much every time I read it), but seriously dude there is a lion on the floor in your bedroom.

Get it together.

*   *   *

(Author’s note:  Wondering why there is a random letter in parentheses in the title of this post?  Not sure how this post corresponds to the daily letter in the April A to Z Challenge?  Like clicking on links?  These questions are all answered here.)

My 2 Cents: Jeopardy Champ Arthur Chu

There has been some controversy* over the playing style of current Jeopardy! champion Arthur Chu.  Essentially, instead of the “traditional” method of going top to bottom of a category then moving to the next one, he bounces around the board, seeking out the Daily Double questions, and trying to keep his opponents off-balance.

*And the fact that this is a “controversy” should tell you one of two things:  Life is either pretty good right now if how a guy plays a game show constitutes controversy, or we really need more to do.  Your pick.

I won’t argue that Chu’s style is unconventional, and I guess I could see how jumping from category to category may screw with the concentration of his opponents, but there is one irrefutable fact that nobody has brought up:

Chu’s strategy only works if he controls the board.  If you (as a competitor) don’t want him doing that, there is a simple solution – answer the questions yourself and don’t let him run the game.

Thought of the Day – 12/30/12 – Chopsticks

I have an irrational disdain for chopsticks.

Not the beginner’s piano song (although that is kinda annoying too), but the stick utensils people use when they eat Chinese food.

I think the practice is dumb.  Why?

You don’t use chopsticks any other time.  Why not whip out the ol’ sticks at your favorite Mexican place?  Or when mom makes her meatloaf with mac & cheese?

Why is that?  Is it because the utensils you normally use are superior for the task of transporting food from plate to pie hole than chopsticks?  Yep, they sure are.

It is incredibly impractical.  For the non-dexterous among us, eating with chopsticks is very tough (unless you employ the “stab” method).  Even if you can catch a fly in midair Miyagi style, good luck cleaning your plate without using your hands.

Chinese food does not taste any better when eaten with bamboo (or plastic) sticks than it does with a metal (or plastic) fork.  Now I can understand if you are actually IN CHINA, or maybe even the Chinatown* area of a major city that you would use chopsticks to get the full cultural experience.

*In my travels, Chinatown districts still have a fork waiting for you on the table.

It begs the question:  If I’m in China and I go to a restaurant that serves Italian, Mexican, or some other non-Chinese cuisine, do they provide forks for the locals to use?

Thought of the Day – 9/12/13 – Swaddle Me, Part II

(Apparently, swaddling is on my mind today.  Here is Part I).

I really suck at swaddling our daughter.

Despite my best efforts, tips from my wife, and watching YouTube videos, my attempts are usually a train wreck.  I either cover her up like a mummy or make it so her arms break free in 12 seconds.  In general, my swaddles end up looking like I wadded up a blanket and threw it at my infant daughter.

This made me think:  certain businesses should offer swaddling assistance to new parents.

Think about it:  You and baby head down to the neighborhood burrito place (Chipotle, Qdoba, etc).

Baby gets wrapped up safe and tight by a professional with thousands of hours of experience.

Daddy gets a delicious carnitas burrito.

That, my friends, may be the ultimate definition of win/win.

Don’t call the authorities – this is not my kid (thanks Google!)

 

Thought of the Day – 9/12/13 – Swaddle Me

The idea of swaddling babies is odd to me.

I understand the benefits (maintains their temperature, helps them feel safe, comforts them, leads to longer, better sleep, etc.), but the concept is so foreign.

You know that old joke about the first person to milk a cow (and specifically, what the heck were they doing?) – I find swaddling to be in that same vein.

Who thought:  “You know, we should take our precious and incredibly fragile baby and put her in a straight jacket while we sleep.”?  This is the kind of logic that can only come from sleep-deprived new parents.

Nighty, night, Baby! Sweet dreams!

This leads me to a follow-up question:  when is it no longer appropriate to swaddle a child?  I know that I’d like to keep my 4-year-old from waking up a 6:30 on a Saturday morning.  And a good swaddle will probably be really important during her teenage years.

Thought of the Day – 08/11/2013 – Money for Naked Ladies

Did the Barenaked Ladies ever earn a million dollars?  Given their long careers and success, I’m guessing they did.  So assuming they have made at least a million bucks, did they buy all of the things they said they would get (such as a nice chesterfield, pre-wrapped sausages, a Garfunkel, or a green dress*)?

*But not a real green dress, that’s cruel.

I truly hope they did.  And not just because they’d be hypocrites for not doing the things they said they’d do from the very song that helped them earn a good chunk of their money – but seriously, why tell me you’re going to buy a monkey if you’re not going to do it, unless maybe your lease doesn’t allow pets.

Stack O'Money!

No, I hope they are enjoying fancy Dijon ketchups and such, because those of us who are not millionaires expect those of you with money to do the things we cannot – enjoy the finer things that your hard work (or your cheesy pop song) helped earn.

Besides, haven’t you always wanted a monkey?

Thought of the Day – 7/25/2013 – Do You Believe in Magic?

Top hat as an icon for magic

Hey Rocky!  Watch me pull a post out of my hat!

 

There are five different types of magicians in the world.  In order of least to most impressive, there are:

 

1.  Stand Up Magicians – That lame magician at your kid’s birthday party who pulls rabbits out of hats.  (Hopefully while the rabbit is still alive).

 

2.  Street Magicians – The guys like David Blaine who perform various tricks and illusions out on the street while their “assistants” pick your pocket.

 

3.  Stage illusionists – Performers like David Copperfield who do grandiose stunts like making an aircraft carrier disappear.

 

4.  Escape Artists – Put Harry Houdini in a straight jacket, wrap that up in chains, put that in a box, and toss the whole works in the ocean.  Fifteen minutes later, he walks on stage, perfectly dry, eating a ham sandwich.

 

5.  Women* who are capable of folding a fitted bed sheet into flat, uniform shape that looks like it just came out of the package.  In other words, anything other than the jangled wad of Egyptian cotton that I shove into the drawer on laundry day.

 

*Call me sexist for assuming that only women are capable of properly folding a fitted sheet, but I have never met a man who is capable of such sorcery.  Or at least one who is willing to admit it.

 

Thought of the Day – 6/28/2013 – Your Baby So Ugly

Here’s a thought that’s been bouncing around in my head for a while:

Do you think there are parents out there who look at their babies and think “Gosh, my baby’s kinda homely lookin.”?

I ask this not to be mean (or because I have encountered any ugly babies recently*).  I’m asking honestly and sincerely.

*Seriously, your baby is very cute.  Just not as cute as mine.

Not at all relevant, but it cracks me up.

Look:  I truly, honestly believe that my daughter and my son are the cutest kids in the history of children.  They were extremely cute babies, and they get cuter every day.  My guess is that most parents feel the same way about their babies.

But I also truly, honestly believe that there are some uggo babies out there (again – not your kids.  So very beautiful!)  Do their parents look at them and truly, honestly believe they are the absolute cutest babies around?  Or do they have a spot, deep down in the depths of their unconditionally loving heart where they think “I sure hope this kid is smart/rich/good at sports, because looks won’t be enough.”

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