01

That One Magic… Thing

You have seen the ad, I’m sure, for Prevnar, that makes fun of people who might think a single sit-up or a single piece of kale is going to help them to live forever, right? There are a couple running now, here’s one: But I’ve always been impressed by this kind of thing because there is a magic sit-up. There is a magic piece of salad. There has to be. Think about it for a minute. Of course if you roll out your mat and do a single sit-up and then roll the mat up and never do another you are not going to get any healthier. But if you roll out your mat and do a hundred sit-ups a day, every day, for ten years, it’s going to have to have some kind of an effect on you, right? Well, somewhere between that first sit-up and that 365,000th one, is the one that’s going to make the difference. Twelve today? Thirty? Seventy? Hey, you’ve still got diabetes. You’ve still got all of the signs of heart trouble. You’ve still got a sixty-inch waist or whatever. And then somewhere along the line you pass that one individual sit-up that actually does make the difference. If you had quit that morning, at 357, or 1126, or 26417, you would still be […]

08

I Loves Me Some John Henry

I loves me some John Henry. That’s an unusual thing to read, or to write, about your plumber. I know. But they have been a great comfort, pardon the pun, to me and my family through the years. When Kathie and I first bought Castle Pretentious, five years ago as I write this, we were scared. We had both lived in some kind of rental housing the whole of our adult lives. If anything ever broke, we sent a note to the landlord or called the manager and it got fixed within a day or so. We went on vacation and found our refrigerator had given up when we walked in the door with our luggage. One phone call and we had a new one—with an ice maker that worked, too! The semi-convenient laundry facilities would cash-out from time to time and a quick call would bring a trained professional with a box full of tools and ideas to monkey with it for a while and then it would be fixed. But we had no idea how to do most everything involved in home ownership. How much is a toilet seat, anyway? How much is a really good one? How much is a, pardon me, crappy one? What if we needed a new window, or a new water heater? How […]

28

Class Reunion

Or, How Did We Get So Damned Old? So, I went to my high school reunion a couple of weeks ago. I never saw so many damned old people. Bald heads and bellies and wrinkles and old hair styles as far as the eye could see. I fit right in. One thing I noticed right away was the hotties back in high school are hot grammas, now. I see the gray hair. I see the wrinkles. But when I look at these ladies, I still them as seventeen years old! It was great to reconnect with old friends. Some of them I keep up with almost daily, via Facebook. But some I hadn’t seen for years and years. We picked up like we’d never been apart. I love that. I love them. Someone once told me that you don’t go to reunions for yourself. You go for the others. Someone there will be glad to see you; they’ll come up and tell you something about a time you shared, something you said that meant a lot to them through the years, they’ll want to apologize for something they said or did. I’m always glad I went, when I get home. One thing that struck me was the list of classmates who were gone. I came from a big school, and […]

18

I Want A Car, Damnit!

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a cool car. And for as long as I can remember, the definition of cool car has shifted (pardon the expression) and changed depending upon what I have seen last. One of my earliest memories is of riding with my Dad in an Austin-Healey BugEyed Sprite. I can remember “helping” Dad work on this little car out in the garage one evening, holding and handing him tools. It was a cool car, no doubt. But Dad sold it when it was modernized with sleek new headlights and roll-up windows and… well, things were never the same after that. The first I remember falling in love with was a Triumph Spitfire. There was one on Michigan Avenue in Norfolk and when I would be out riding my bike I always made a point to cruise past. It was so low, and the whole front end lifted up from the windshield like one of those LeMans racers. You could see nearly every mechanical component and work on all of it if you had to (and you had to, given the state of the British car building art in that day). I considered the MGB for a good long while. It was slightly bigger (safer?) and the originals had that perfect proportion and […]

18

Martin’s New Nails

This is what has been taking up so much of my time, recently. I never really knew that having a dog would be so fun, so rewarding, so much work, or so much comfort. But it is and I am glad for all of that, and more. About the time that we start to call Martin “Stink Dog!” we start thinking of taking him in for a shower and a pedi-pedi. I clipped a dog’s toenails as a child and hurt the animal and scared myself to death. I clipped my own nails short—right up at the finger. So that must be the way you do a dog’s nails, too, right? Uh, no. So since I am deathly afraid of hurting Martin, we take him to PetSmart and have Alysson or Nathan work him over.  A pedi-pedi is about $10 or $12, I think. For that kind of money, I’d just as soon not have to worry about it. I mean, even when you’re dead broke you have $12, so let a professional do it. Share This:

23

I Loves Me Some Dog

I have wanted a dog for years. Dozens of years. I always knew that one day I would have an animal of my own. I never knew it would be so fun, so rewarding or so much work. Share This: