Category Archives: random accounts and musings

Waging War with Bubble Wrap


I gave the boys a box of bubble wrap and the blow up bags Amazon uses to pack things in.  Amongst all the loud and small pops we have this dialogue:

“Fire in the hole”

“These ones are light artillery”

“The really loud ones are air strikes”

“I wanna blow stuff up, too”

“Here’s some cannon fire”

“Take cover”


“Bubble wrap is machine gun fire”

“No, the bullets come out of your eyes… super weapon” (should I seek therapy yet, you think? For them, I mean… maybe me, too.)

“Cover the secret passage by the fridge”

“I just deleted the fridge” (um, what?)





Random Thoughts inspired by industry news


Most mornings I start out reading headlines and summaries of industry news.  I work in P&C insurance which can be more entertaining than you think.  Maybe it’s just my mood, but this morning’s selection inspired a few thoughts.  Blogging is as excellent a procrastination tool as any, so let me share.

There are no phonics rules to cover this
The surname of the commander of the North Dakota National Guard is Sprynczynatyk.  I bet he was in 4th grade before either he or any of his teachers could spell that w/o having to stop and think about it.  Or look it up. And I’m thinking there’s a better than average chance that, if he’s married, his wife chose to keep her name.

Well that’s good news for everyone
At the end of the 70’s there were only 44 breweries remaining in the US. The 2010 version of Best’s Underwriting Guide has that number at 1,759. Now that, people, is what progress looks like.  Clearly, in some ways at least, the world is a much better place than it used to be. Half full, people, half full (of a finely-crafted microbrew).

It’s because we have the Google now
Three out of four people don’t always follow doctor’s orders and one in three don’t fill prescriptions. They say that like it’s a bad thing.

Exhibit A: When DS2 was 2, I took him to a Dermatologist for a skin condition. We weren’t sure what was causing it but the Dr. prescribed a cortisone / steroid cream and gave a regimen for its use.  Googling of a reputable source of established medical protocol info showed it to be a prescription and regimen that was *far* more aggressive than the starting protocol for adults. He was 2. That was the last time I followed any doctor’s orders w/o checking first.

Exhibit B: When DS3 was 3 I took him to the walk-in clinic because his neck hurt. I was pretty sure he’d just slept on it funny or something and it was just a sore muscle. But since it was his neck and he wasn’t that great a communicator yet, I just wanted confirmation there was nothing more serious going on. He was uncomfortable and didn’t have a full range of movement but not in actual pain. The examination confirmed what I thought (nothing serious). For a parting gift, they gave me a Tylenol 3 w/Codeine Rx for him. “To keep him comfortable”.  Who gives a 3 y.o. Codeine for something that is barely troublesome enough to slow him down?  There’s no reason to fill that.  Well, OK, maybe one.  Like if I wanted to have some around in case *I* needed it – to save me a trip.  But since a purse-size bottle of Advil expires before I take it all I didn’t see the need.

There’s a lawsuit for that
A MI woman is suing a WA man for damages because a romance sparked on Facebook didn’t work out. Hey, why stop there? Why not sue Facebook too? Maybe your internet service provider, as well? Whatever happened to vandalizing his vehicle (yeah, Carrie Underwood, I’m looking at you. You and your Louisville slugger), then getting drunk with your girlfriends so you can bemoan the general lack of quality male members of the species till the wee hours? I wouldn’t have had time to hold down a job for my entire 20’s if I went about suing every dude that turned out to be guilty of “misrepresentation”. Do you have any idea how many “Navy Seals” I met in my dating years?  I’m thinking not too many lawyers are gonna take that one on a contingency basis.

Milestones and Denial Math


For purposes of this post, let’s say I’m 26 since it’s something I somewhat habitually state as fact (in spite of the fact that no one has believed me for at least 15 years other than small children who really don’t have any frame of reference for that sort of thing and would believe 126 just as easily as 26.  It’s all “old” to them.)

On my DH’s last birthday, he turned 52.  Today is our 13th anniversary.  So, by my denial math, he is twice as old as me and I’ve been married to him for half my life.

When I shared this math with him, he was a lot less amused by this than he could’ve been.  As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I detected some eye-rolling.

The unsustainability of MST


I have a tool in my parenting survival toolkit that I call MST.  MST = Mommy Standard Time and, basically, involves me moving the clocks in the kitchen (the only ones my boys look at) ahead by whatever amount of time I deem necessary (but still within the margin where it’s plausible) in order to unilaterally enact an earlier bedtime.  MST is used sometimes because they need it and sometimes because I need it.

Now all the time I’ve used it I’ve known that it’s days were numbered if for no other reason than that eventually someone will wear a watch.  They have already been through watch-wearing phases.  Fortunately, they were always kid watches that never stayed accurate either and we could hardly figure out how to set them.

Now there are 2 looming threats to the ongoing use of MST.  Its imminent demise is a bit sad for me.  First, we have DST.  When it doesn’t get dark till nearly 8, making 7:15 be 8:00 is a bit tricky.  Fortunately, the whole daylight thing has, so far, evened out by the time it’s actually time to go to bed (on MST).  (8 is bathtime)  Of course, we still have 2 months of day lengthening to go yet so…

Second, and more troublesome, is DS3’s newfound obsession with the Miami Heat.  Has memorized the schedule and knows what times games start.  And he is enough of a planner to actually get himself showered and ready for bed on game nights before 7:30 so that he can watch the game until bedtime (when he would otherwise be showering etc.)  It’s great that he takes this initiative himself.  But, it’s a problem when the 7:30 game isn’t on @ 7:30 (on the kitchen clock) because the whole rest of the world – which is not on MST – is @ 6:45.

I would appreciate it if the Heat would adjust their schedule in the future to make games fall on our soccer nights when MST is not an option anyway.  I don’t suppose they are likely to do that for me, though.  Luckily tonight, when I became aware of the Heat game after MST was already in effect, there was a fascinating Pokemon battle raging with DS1 so DS3 was distracted enough to forget to get his showering etc. done ahead of time.  He still got to watch some but not till the game actually started.  And he failed to notice that even though, at our house, it was 8:15, the game had just started.

But it’s only a matter of time before the gig is up.

He speaks Beagle-ese and understands English


Rex the beagle (who I may also refer to as TDD or TFD from time to time) usually stays in his bed while I’m home during the day working.  But now and then (and always when there is a thunderstorm approaching) he decides to come into my office and resume his strenuous napping under my desk or in the nook created by the wall, my file cabinet and the daybed that is  in my office.  (And no, I can’t recommend having a very comfortable bed in one’s office but… there wasn’t really anywhere else for it.  And given my husband’s spectacular capacity for snoring, my wedded bliss (/husband’s welfare) depended on keeping it.  But I digress…

So, he wandered in here a bit ago and plopped himself down and quietly took up his napping again.  Then he starts with the licking.  And goes on with it.  I’m trying to compose something that requires a bit of concentration and his licking has surpassed the kids-chewing-with-their-mouths-open level of crazy-annoying.  And that falls pretty high up there on my personal make-me-crazy scale.

I finally snapped and say “OMG, will you stop with that or leave.  You’re making me crazy.”  He looks up at me, looks at his leg where he was so strenuously self-grooming (or whatever he was hoping to accomplish with that) looks back and me and gets up and slowly walks out of my office.

Funny.  When I tell my kids that they don’t even hear me.  And English is their first language.

How do you lose that, exactly?


I’m riding my bike home from dropping off the boys the other day through my semi-rural neighborhood.  By “rural”, of course, I mean the yards warrant riding mowers vs. a lawn service.  Having grown up in the prairies, it’s rather laughable to me to call it rural.  But whatever.  I digress.

I notice a homemade cardboard sign while turning a corner.  It says “Lost: 80 lb male tortoise. Reward”

I spent the rest of my ride home trying to figure out how one loses an 80 lb tortoise.  First, they’re really slow.  Even so, though, presumably one wouldn’t leave it “free range”.  So, it’d take a pretty huge hole in the fence for an 80 pounder to get out through since I’m thinking they don’t dig out like my beagle is prone to do.  Or maybe they do.  And wouldn’t someone notice?  I mean, you just don’t see 80 lb tortoises amongst the local wildlife which doesn’t really get bigger than an armadillo.  So, even if it wandered of, unnoticed its continued wandering almost certainly would’ve caught someone’s attention.

Maybe it was kidnapped.  Or tortoise-napped.