Thursday, November 22

The Cat-astrophe of the Infamous One-legged Turkey

It was just another routine Thanksgiving Day. We had planned to sleep in (only a little), have breakfast, roast a wonderous 25 pound bird, and take said gobbler to the home of DL’s (my wife at that time) parents for a grand feast later that afternoon. Everything was going exactly as planned – until, that is, we awakened.

DL beat me out of bed and started down the stairs. Halfway down, she let out a scream that brought me running. A loud hissing sound could be heard and DL was certain we had a big gas leak – one of her greatest fears. I sped toward the kitchen to investigate, stopping only when my bare feet found the small lake in the dining room. Not a gas leak, but water; coming from…where? Following the flowing water upstream through a back hallway I soon discovered the source. Somehow, during the night, our aggressively playful felines had dislodged the supply tubing to a toilet.

As I turned off the supply valve I heard the second scream of the morning. DL had entered the kitchen.

Checking the turkey the previous evening, we had deduced two things: (1) it was pretty much frozen solid, in spite of having been “thawing” in the refridgerator for four days, and (2) it probably wasn’t going to undergo a miraculous change from its present state by morning. I placed it in the sink, filled the sink with cool water, and proceeded to booby-trap the area with an assortment of pots, pans, and baking sheets. The latter step was to protect the next day’s guest of honor from untoward advances of the aforementioned cats. I figured that if this assemblage of metal objects did not sufficiently fortify the turkey’s position, any breach would surely cause a tremendous racket certain to repel the invaders and alarm the cavalry sleeping upstairs. The reader may reasonably ask what I had been smoking to arrive at such a conclusion.

What DL had discovered was that during the night our previously beloved kitties, responding to their sixth sense – curiosity – had meticulously and very silently moved the baking sheets just enough to expose one leg so as to indulge four of their five other senses. After sight, touch, smell, and taste were adequately sated, only a bare bone protruding from the plastic wrap encasing the mutilated carcass bore mute testimony to the evening’s repast.

Fortune smiled on the grimalkins; there were two many other pressing matters demanding our attention; the triple feline execution would have to wait. Every towel in the house was employed in a valiant effort to save the dining room’s hardwood floor. I called my partner, R, for the phone number of a mutual friend with a janitorial service; I was soon on my way to procure the loan of a wet/dry vac. By the time I returned with that precious appliance, DL had pre-heated the oven, started to prepare the cinnamon rolls for baking, and welcomed the arrival of my partner and his thoughtful gift of an armload of champagne. Corks were popped, glasses filled and emptied, and the business of the morning continued.

R went to work with the shop vac. DL baked the rolls and kept glasses filled. I amputated the gobbler’s maimed appendage, prepared the bird for roasting, and got it into the oven with the cinnamon rolls. While I located a company that would come over to pick up our water-soaked Karastan dining room rug (a holiday miracle!), R finished the clean-up and DL retrieved the rolls from the oven. We opened yet more champagne. The cats purred as they witnessed this hubbub of activity. It was now 10:30. The day was back on track. All was right with the world. Sure.

R left to join friends and family. DL checked the turkey’s progress from time to time, commenting that it didn’t seem to be getting brown yet. I replied, in my vast wisdom, that it would get brown later in the roasting process, asking for her patience on this trying morning. When she finally prevailed on me to actually check the bird, I found…a cold carcass in a cold oven. The oven had apparently been turned off when the cinnamon rolls were removed therefrom. Did I mention that we had been drinking just a little bit?

The day’s third scream was followed by the sound of footsteps rapidly ascending the stairs. I found DL in bed, covers pulled over her head. “Don’t bother me until tomorrow!” I vowed we would be at her parents’ with the turkey – done! - on time. How, I did not know.

Returning downstairs, I found two open bottles of bubbly left on the kitchen counter. It is unwritten law in this household that once opened, champagne must be consumed. Besides, there was work to be done. I fired the oven up to 500 degrees and proceeded to baste our Thanksgiving beast every fifteen minutes or glass of champagne, whichever came first. The hot oven (and perhaps the influence of the alcohol) led to a rather nasty burn during the basting process. I could hear the cats laughing.

We eventually showed up about ten minutes late with the most beautiful one-legged turkey you ever saw. Everyone remarked on the wonderfully seasoned, moist meat. Even DL managed a smile or two as we regaled all those assembled with our saga. All’s well that ends well…right?

Not quite. The day’s true disaster did not rear its ugly head for another two weeks. I had not yet heard from the rug cleaners. They had come promptly after I called. I had helped them load the rolled-up rug into their truck. They would call when it was ready. No problem…except I couldn’t remember whom I had called and in the pandemonium of the morning I had not thought to request a receipt. I called every service in the phone book and was told by all that they did not have my rug. When I called my insurance agent to report the loss of a $1500 rug, I was informed that they “do not insure stupidity”. An expensive rug gone forever, but worth every penny if only as a footnote to the story of my most memorable Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20

Hello Kitty - Open Season!

Miz Minka has declared all-out war on dragonbug's beloved Kitty-chan. It being open season on that irritating beast (stronger language deleted to spare the afore-mentioned dragonperson's feelings), I felt it only fitting to fire off a small shot.

Wednesday, November 7

(High School) Spanish Love Song

For the romantically inclined; particularly if contemplating a rendezvous in Mexico...

Tuesday, October 30

An Anaesthetist of the Heart

Very much the same here in the good ol' US of A.

Thursday, September 13

Got Me Again!

Another chunk of time spent on a quiz found on Miz Minka's blog. When will I ever learn? says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

If it weren't for the math questions and my personal library (and a few comic books that I have had stashed away for a loooong time now), I don't think I would have scored anywhere nearly this high. My relatively low score on technology/computers leaves me somewhat mystified; I frequently find myself serving as a friend's tech support staff and my career is certainly chock full of "technology". Must be because I chose my books over a computer when asked which I would not do without...

Probably the most amazing aspect of this test is the close score agreement between Miz Directed and me in the areas of history/literature and technology/computer. Who would have ever guessed? I can't wait to see Dearest Dork's results; she'll most likely put us all to shame in ways we never imagined.

Tuesday, August 28

Did You Catch This?

Last night's (this morning's?) lunar eclipse was definitely worth the droopy eyes today. It came on, and left, relatively rapidly, but totality lasted quite a long time here on the left coast. During this phase, the subtle changes in coloring and "texture" were an absolutely amazing thing to observe. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have witnessed this event, but it's gonna take a mighty large cup of coffee to get me started today.

Thursday, August 16

Thursday Laugh

Sometimes it's not what they say, but it is how they say it ...

A lawyer arrived home late after a very trying day at work. He has spent his day trying to get a stay of execution for a client who was due to be hanged at midnight for murder. His last minute plea for clemency to the governor had failed and he was feeling worn out and depressed, as he felt certain that the man had been framed for the murder he had been convicted of committing.

As soon as he walked through the door at home, his wife started on him about, "What time of night is this to be getting home? Where have you been? Dinner is cold and I'm not reheating it for you!"

She went on and on and on.

Too shattered to play his usual role in this familiar ritual, he poured himself a shot of whiskey and headed off for a long, shower, pursued by the predictable sarcastic remarks as he dragged himself up the stairs.

While he was in the shower, the phone rang. The wife answered and was told that her husband's client, James Wright, had been granted a stay of execution -- Wright would not be hanged tonight.

Finally realizing what a terrible day he must have had, she decided to go upstairs and give him the good news...

As she opened the bathroom door, she was greeted by the sight of her husband, bent over naked, drying his legs and feet.

"They're not hanging Wright tonight," she said.

To which he whirled around and screamed, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WOMAN, DON'T YOU EVER STOP!?"

Thanks to Christie for this one...

Sunday, August 5

But Not My Belly!

Yet another of Miz Minka's quizzes. I don't know where she finds them all, but some are kinda fun...

Your Brain is Yellow

Of all the brain types, yours is the most intellectual.

You crave mental stimulation, and your thoughts tend to very complex.

Your thoughts tend to be innovative and cutting edge, though many people don't understand them.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about science, architecture, and communication.

Friday, August 3


If you've ever said that cops don't care about people, only writing tickets, go read this.

If you've ever wondered why EMTs waste resources on "lost causes", go read this.

If you've ever complained about the wait in an Emergency Room, go read this.

Followed a link on Miz Minka's blog that eventually led to this amazingly powerful trilogy. Same story told by three people, all of whom were deeply involved in the incident as it occurred. I would suspect that their involvement continues to this day. Go read this...

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Wednesday, July 25

Who would have guessed?

"...especially your little brother"

Thanks to Miz Minka for the quiz...

Sunday, June 17

How did they know??

Dragonbug is playing games that I've also seen in various other blog and MySpace posts...I decided to give it a try.

So....Google "(your name) needs" and see what the top ten (or thereabouts) responses are. Here's my list; I've commented on some.

1. Phil Needs To Help AT&T And Verizon (more than I already do every month?)
2. Phil Needs A New Act
3. Phil needs a blog. Well, an active one, at least (I'm sure Ms Minx will appreciate this one)
4. Phil needs more attentions than a "normal" boy (Alright; both of you can stop laughing right now!)
5. Phil needs Joan (M may have something to say about this one)
6. PHIL NEEDS AN ATTITUDE MAKEOVER (Were the caps REALLY necessary?)
7. 'Phil' needs to find more future
8. Phil needs to check for Mozilla promotion
9. Phil needs to die!! (not IMHO!!)
10. Phil Needs Help
11. Phil needs to get in shape (Round is a shape)
12. Phil needs a change
13. Phil needs a ruling (Is that spanked with a ruler?!? Just asking, of course...)
14. Philip needs to realize he isn't Claire's father and needs to start acting like it. .... If he wants what's best for Claire, he needs to be Uncle Phillip ... (Hit the jackpot here - 3 "needs" in one citation!)

Thursday, April 19

Hallelujah Nuns

A good friend referred me to this video on YouTube. It features The Turtle Creek Chorale, an outstanding men's chorus from Dallas, Texas comprised of over 200 singing members. It is my fervent hope that Brenda, or Ted, or Gayle will lead their choir(s?) in a similar presentation later this year.

...and I know some would say it's not the right time of the year for this (although it is still Easter) but early hints provide ample time for planning. Miz M and dragonbug please note: thou art not the only one's fond of the triple dot!

Click on the "play" symbol below or follow this link to a truly amazing performance!

Wednesday, April 11

Can't believe I had any score on the anime

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Science/Math Nerd

(Absolute Insane Laughter as you pour toxic chemicals into a foaming tub of death!)

Well, maybe you aren't this extreme, but you're in league with the crazy scientists/mathmeticians of today. Very few people have the talent of math and science is something takes a lot of brains as well. Thank whosever God you worship, or don't worship, so thank no deity whatsoever in your case, for you people! Most of us would have died off without your help.

Literature Nerd
Social Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Drama Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Thanks to Father Carioca for the link!

Monday, March 26

Vandalins in the Closet! part the first

I just wouldn't learn. No matter how many times karma kicked me in the arse for it, tormenting my brother was just too much fun. Especially late at night.

A tree grew outside the second story bedroom we shared. On particularly windy nights, branches would scrape the sides of the house and, if I was lucky, our bedroom window. It was on those occasions I would suggest to my brother that evil doers were placing a ladder against the house to climb into our room and beat him to a pulp before taking him away to sell him into slavery. To the gypsies. Forever. I would miss him.

"Can you hear them? That's their long, dirty fingernails scratching the glass of the window trying to get it open. I think I feel a breeze coming in!"

Of course, by the time my parents would enter the room to see why Fred was screeching, I was fast "asleep". I had long ago established myself as a very sound sleeper when the house across the street burned and I was the only person in the entire neighborhood not outside to watch the fireman battle the blaze; I had not been awakened by the sirens and shouting.

Over the course of time the evil doers acquired a name; my brother dubbed them "vandalins". And eventually, after so many false alarms, Fred had become complacent about my dire warnings; he was even so bold as to suggest vandalins didn't really exist. I could either give up on my efforts to scare the bejeezus out of him or prove to him the reality of his danger. I was his older brother; my duty was clear.

My father had told us wonderful stories about his childhood and the great adventures he shared with his buddies. One story had rooted itself in my memory particularly strongly. It involved a Halloween prank with which the guys had achieved great success. They would sneak onto their intended victim's front porch and tie nearly invisible fishing line to the storm door (for my California friends, this is a device similar to our familiar screen door, but with glass in the place of screen to provide an insulating barrier to the cold of a late October Midwest night). The line would be run down the stairs, out the sidewalk, and under the automobile parked in front. The pranksters would assemble themselves on the car's street side running board, hidden from the homeowner's sight. A strong yank on the fishing line would pull the storm door open, followed by the loud slam of its closing. The home's resident could often be baited into rushing to the door five or six times in an attempt to catch the trickster in the act before discovering the fishing line. 'Twas best to play this trick outside of one's own neighborhood lest you be recognized as you ran away.

I finally found it! Stored in a far corner of the basement was the fishing pole I used when our family vacationed every summer at Mitiwanga on Lake Erie. I quietly unwound what appeared to be a sufficient length of line, grabbed my baseball bat, and snuck up to our room. Waiting for the perfect time would prove a most difficult task.

It was a dark and stormy night. I had previously tied the fishing line to the baseball bat, which I now placed on a shelf in our bedroom closet. Closing the closet door, I ran the line around the perimeter of the room to my bed. All was ready. I went back downstairs to drink a nice cup of hot chocolate - with marshmallows - with my loving brother.

A short time later, we were tucked in for the night - teeth brushed, hands washed, and bedtime prayers finished. The wind and rain outside were raising quite the ruckus. A tremendous gust of wind smacked a tree branch against the side of the house. "Did that sound like a ladder to you?" I asked my brother.

Fred, of course, was much too accustomed to this to be really scared...until I yanked the fishing line. The noise was amazing as the bat fell from its perch and clattered to the floor past a few well-placed empty hangers. "They're in the closet!" I whispered across the suddenly quiet room to the wide-eyed figure sitting bolt upright in the other bed. A hangar fell to the closet floor.

The bedroom door flew open as my parents raced in; Fred was still screaming for help. I rolled over, slowly opened my eyes, and yawned. "What's going on?" I sleepily inquired.

Alas, I had not listened closely enough to my father's tales of youth. It was the fishing line, still tied to the doorknob, that always gave his jolly gang away. And so it was in this case, as well. The punishment was swift. My parents were not what one would call aficionados of Dr. Spock; spanking was a child-"rearing" option in their household.

That would certainly teach me a lesson! One would think.

Wednesday, March 21

Slowly Succumbing

Okay Dragonbug and Miz Mizchief, you have succeeded in getting me to post something! I'll work on the rest of the profile if and when time permits. In the meantime...

Dearest Dragonfly and Miz Minka suggested a website containing an "innerly rewarding" and "interesting" test; in a weak moment, I joined in their madness. Here's my Personal DNA. It was, I admit, an interesting excercise, although it reaffirmed much more than informed. As much as I hate to admit it, I feel the interpretation is reasonably accurate. Big question for the day is: did I somehow manipulate my answers while taking the test to conform to my self image?