Archive for January, 2011

Dressing for Dummies

Last weekend I splurged on some new cold weather running gear at our local running store, Fleet Feet.  Chances are that you have a local Fleet Feet in your neighborhood.  You should check it out.  Despite the fantastic deal I received, it was painful when the bill was presented to me.

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Retirement

A great dad.

Tomorrow, my dad will retire.

This will be a great day.  He is going out when he wants and, more or less, on his terms.

He passed along a piece of advice to me that he had picked up from a mentor: When it’s time, you’ll know it.  Don’t be noble or stupid.  Go when it’s time.

Pretty good stuff.

My father happens to be a wonderful guy and a great dad.  He is devoted to his job.  Unfortunately, over the past few years, this love has gone unrequited by his employers.  Oh well, their loss.  In their shortsighted and nepotistic manner, they are missing out on something good and true. Continue reading

Alphas

A battle for domination rages within the bosom of Kay Nou.  There can only be one winner.

Island Boy and The Major continue to duke it out, seven days a week.  No time off for federal holidays.

The Major wins.  He has to.  Sooner or later, Island Boy is bound to figure that out, right? Continue reading

Conversations with Island Boy

Island Boy is going through a charming stage of telling on everyone.  We’re slowly trying to break him of this habit.  Today I got home from the gym and IB greeted me with this.

IB: Papa, not let me watch a movie.

The Major: Yes, Mama.  IB wants you to yell at me.

Me: Okay, Papa.  Thank you for making good choices while I am gone.  All decisions you make while I am gone are good ones and are to be followed.

IB:  (in a “take that” manner) YEAH, Papa.

Hmmm, I’m not sure the right message got through on this one.

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Papa took IB through the Tim Horton’s Drive Thru.

Papa: Do you want a bagel or a doughnut?

IB:  Spaghetti.

Papa:  They don’t have spaghetti. What do you want?

IB:  Spaghetti.

Papa:  They don’t have spaghetti.

IB:  Yes, they do.

Papa chose a delicious chocolate doughnut for him.  IB loved it.

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Our boy is an English speaker.  He gave this command to Papa while they were brushing teeth:

IB:  Papa, scootch over, please.

–Running Girl

Freedom: Real and Imagined

Americans use words like “freedom,” “liberty” and “democracy” all the time.  These words are so ingrained in our culture that they roll off the tongue almost without thought or appreciation as to what they really mean and stand for.

Americans use “freedom” and “liberty” to express aversion to governmental concepts as diverse as: the requirement for motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding;  forcing people to submit to enhanced security measures at airports before boarding planes; and a law ensuring that all Americans have access to health care.

Does the use of “liberty” and “freedom” in this context devalue the terms?  I’m not sure about the answer to that one.  Continue reading

Counselor’s Tales: 27 Jan 11

Today’s depositions lasted many hours.

Fortunately, there were two lighter moments.

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Lawyer:  Sir, the court reporter needs to be able take down all of your responses.   So your answers need to be verbalized in the form of a nice, clear “yes” or “no” where appropriate.  This means no “uh-huhs,” “uh-uhs” or head nods or shakes.  Do you understand?

Witness: Uh-huh.

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Lawyer:  And what did you say at the scene right after the accident?

My client (a bus driver):  I said that I never should have taken out that vehicle.

At this point, my other clients (the vehicle fleet supervisor and the owner of the company) and I started to sweat.  We were thinking to ourselves, “What is he going to say now?  Will he testify that the brakes were bad?  Will he state that the bus had severe mechanical problems?

Lawyer:  Why didn’t you want to take out that particular vehicle?

My client:  You see, that vehicle is #13, and I’m superstitious.  I knew something bad was going to happen.

You could hear a collective sigh of relief uttered by three men, followed by a fair amount of giggling.

— The Major

Of Francs, Marks, Drachma, Lire and Pesetas

Going through some possessions recently, I came upon a box of coins that I had collected as a kid.  The items in the box resembled a graveyard of currency.

Since 2002, the euro has been the monetary unit for most of Europe.  It is the official currency of 17 states, and the unofficial, daily monetary exchange for five other, smaller countries (such as The Vatican and Monaco).

French francs, Italian lire, German marks, Irish punts, Spanish pesetas, Dutch guilder (and many other European currencies) are now all obsolete.  They are nothing more than collectors’ items.

However, if economic conditions continue to trend negatively in parts of Europe, we may see the reintroduction of some of these defunct currencies. Continue reading