Friday, June 27, 2008

How to Build A Monkey Bars


* Because this post gets so many hits from Google, e-mail me and I'll be happy to send you dimensions and rough instructions for building your own set of monkey bars.

Step 1 - Draw up plans

Step 2 - Buy lumber (not lumberjacks, a common mistake of first-time builders)

Step 3 - Hire an Amishman

Step 4 - Enjoy your monkeybars

Step 5-(optional) - Climb monkeybars to take pictures of your garden from an exciting new perspective

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trolly Ride

Every year the Fort Wayne bus system treats people to free whiplash! Yep, from 11:30 to 1:15 each weekday during the summer you can hop onto a trolly and get churned around downtown. The kids (sans Tessa) and I had us a blast!
One Baby With Jaundice + One Rented Light Source = PULP BABY!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tardy 'Cause of Tessa

I haven't posted 'cause my wife had herself a baby. Here's proof:

Just born with the hospital staff still leaving the room.

All children should cry at the mention of their daddy.

More crying

This is what happens when infants get into the lemon ice chips.

Tessa Olive Hoffman, born on Father's day, 8 pounds and 5 ounces, 21 inches, 14 inch head, healthy lungs, night owl, somewhat jaundiced, perfectly perfect.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Life as A Soundtrack

Thanks to Indiana Jane.

Here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...
7. Include commentary

Opening Credits: Kevin Gilbert - When You Give Your Love To Me - light, fun, breezy, a great start to a romantic comedy

Waking Up: Fluid Imbibers - The Side of Town - kinda creepy... the comedy has a seamy underbelly?

First Day at School: Mos Eisley Spacesport from Star Wars - lots of clarinets, more restlessness and that famous motif. Reticence on the first day?

Falling in Love: The Flaming Lips - Race for the Prize - But of COURSE my love song would lean toward the weird. This song even has harps!

Fight Song: The Zombies - Remember You - If this is a fight song it's a very silly fight song.

Breaking Up: Rich Mullins - One True Love - An odd juxtaposition

Prom: A song from the Muppets Christmas with John Denver - If my prom had muppets it would have been a lot more fun.

Life's Ok: Einstein Savage - The Coming of Archy - If this is "Life's Okay" then "Okay" involves kooky cockroaches singing

Mental Breakdown: Tin Hat Trio - Daisy Bell - Another creepy song that definitely has an unnerving psychological frailty

Driving: My Bloody Valentine - What You Want - I'd better stop gazing at my shoes and put my eyes back on the road!

Flashback: Joy Electric - Colours In Dutch - hey, a retro analog synth song for a flashback! Wish I had a montage!

Getting Back: Orb - this is a local song from a CD I reviewed that I keep around because it was sooooo bad. Just awful.

Wedding: Cheap Trick - Wrong All Wrong - First Orb and now this... what's my shuffle trying to say?!?!?!

Birth of Child: Phil Keaggy - Simple Gifts - appropriate!

Final Battle: The Beatles - A Hard Days Night - ummm.... More silly battles?

Death Scene: Disney - Chim Chim Cheree - a jaunty death scene with a British accent!

Funeral Song: Robert Deeble - Billboards - All of Deeble's songs could be funeral songs... sobering with a sprig of hope.

End Credits: Self - Shelf Life - crazy massive guitars and a winding melody, great credits music - he's had credit music on both Shrek and Shrek 2

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mark Twain In The Blood

I don't know why but about five years ago I started getting a hankerin' (yes, a bona fide hankerin') to take a boat on the river. I'd seen inflatable boats at sporting goods stores but it wasn't until I found one on ultra-super-mega sale at K-Mart #3254 right before Christmas that I knew it was my destiny.

But of course one can't boat on the river in Fort Wayne in December... that is unless you are crazy, and not like a fox. More like an otter. Which I am not.

So this spring I started shopping for life vests... cheaper than you would think (but three still cost more than my boat which came with delightfully plastic oars, no extra charge) and we were on our way! That is until the car-lighter pump that I bought in December decided that being made in China and a two-year warrenty that involves pre-paid postage and certification and insurance meant that it didn't have to work ifn' it didn't wanna.

One more purchase later (a manual double-chamber pump that only cost a little more than one life jacket but less than one super-ultra-mega-sale boat) and my sons and I were back in business. Of course finding the hidden road to edge almost got us rear ended but that's another story.

Out to the river went the three fine men to finally inflate our five man boat! Five wee little men. Five teeny weeny wittle men. I would have fit comfortably in it by myself, all stretched out-like. With all three of us sitting cross-legged, though, there was still ample room where we weren't on top of each other. Not a lot of room to move around but still, not so close that kicking and bickering ensued. Had one more biped wanted to join us, however, and there would have been mutiny.

It was a delightful time! The sun was bright but not too hot, the bugs were away at a conference in Muncie, and I even got to give my pectoral muscles, abs and shoulders some beefing up.

A few days later it was time to take the girls out for a row (a boat trip, not an argument, silly). This time I was more confident... I was an old salt of the sea and I even knew how to use the pump correctly so the boat inflated in half the time! More sun, more ducks, more duck feathers on the water, more bugs at conventions (I think this time it was a government sponsored clinic on the best places to bite). Good times.

On the river you get to see things like this
<---- which look just like they do from shore, only closer. Both trips somehow managed to avoid the river monster that lives by the shore and not once did the boat get popped by underwater sticks or water snakes with Ginsu knives in their snakey mouths.

The girls encouraged me to go under the Coliseum Blvd bridges and what did we find there but...

Just kiddin'! A good time was had by all and Neil Carr gave a brief Bible message.
I'm sure this summer will involve many more excursions, possibly with picnic baskets and bug repellant and fine cheeses but I'm hopeful that one of these days I'll manage to slip off for a solo adventure. The river is great with kids asking a zeeellion questions non-stop and all but I have this feeling it could be really peaceful out there, just a man and his super-cheap boat.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Wish I Could Be Positive

The economy is tanking. Seriously hurting. If you calculate inflation how they used to (now they take out energy and food costs to make the numbers look better) you would see that we are experiencing the same double-digit inflation rates of the mid-70s.

We need a Reagan and all we're getting are Carters! All of the leading Presidential candidates admit that they have no clue on economics but that is exactly what we need. Our nation is so screwed.

In an effort to be positive, watch this video of happy bunnies:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sign Season

Warm weather is here and that means one thing: Illegal Signage.

My wife says I have a problem. You see, it all started fifteen years ago when I bought my first house and saw graffiti spring up on street signs in the neighborhood. Wanting to do my best to protect my property value I started cleaning it off with paint thinner or denatured alcohol. Since that time I've cleaned countless bits of spray paint, paint pens, and stickers.

A year or so ago a new foe caught my eye... those dreaded signs nailed to every tree, post, and slow moving geezer. Despite learning that I could be fined $500 simply for cleaning up an illegal public nuisance (I'm supposed to contact the city with an EXACT address of the sign) I simply MUST ACT!

Because these ne'er-do-wells sometimes stand on the tops of their trucks to nail their signs I've had to get creative... hence the Super-Patented(pending)-Sign-Removal-Device!

Just this past week it brought in a bumper crop!

In other news, can anyone tell me what to expect from this ping-pong sized egg attached to my garage? I'm kinda skeered.