28 January 2012

(W)horseshoe to the Head

When Jim Irsay says that Peyton Manning should "keep it (his comments) in the family", he does remember that it's a family that moved a football team under darkness of night out of the City of Baltimore, right?

His comments specifically were, "The horseshoe always comes first, and I think one thing he's always known, because he's been around it so long, is that, you know, you keep it in the family. If you've got a problem you talk to each other, it's not about campaigning or anything like that."

Jim, look, I know it was your Father but it was YOUR family who screwed over loyal fans in one of the most fantastic cities of the world.  Your family isn't as pristine and clean as you'd like it to be bub.

Peace, out!

19 January 2012

Reason 532 why I love...

...working on the same floor as all of IT support:

Hearing the rolling of the track wheel and pressing of keys on a Blackberry from INSIDE the stalls in the bathroom.

Added bonus when an alert tone goes off for a text message or a new email.

Dudes, drop your deuce and leave the crackberry at your desk.

09 January 2012

Striking fear in the hearts of married men...

are the words "Honey, I've lost my engagement/wedding ring".

And those are the words I heard on Saturday night around 6:20pm.

We had finished dinner at one of our favorite pizzerias and had walked down the street to one of those custom popcorn shops that are popping up now as quickly as cupcake joints.  As MK was paying for our indulgences, she looked at her hand and noticed that the "rock" was gone.

I almost wish we were psych patients at the time and someone was monitoring our brain waves and activity.  I imagine that it plays out something like this:
  • The woman thinks about all the sentimentality, the meaning, the love, flashes to the moment she was proposed to, about how she's let down her husband, how it is irreplaceable
  • The man thinks, "holy cr@p, that's a shedload of money down the drain, thank GOD I have it insured"
Now, that's the funny me making that up but I'm probably not far off.  I can tell you with hand on heart that I thought the following:

First, I thought about what MK was feeling and how she was freaking out and THEN, I started retracing all the steps and where we've been for the last 2-4 hours.  I think it's truly how men are programmed.  We're functional beings and given a task we immediately put our brain into full-on process mode to "solve the problem". 

To be honest, for the first 10-15 minutes I didn't think once about the emotional part, it was hunter-gatherer "must find ring, must re-track every step until found" caveman mentality.  Sappy enough, but this is what "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" basically tells us.

Yes, I read that thing 12-13 years ago but at some point it's pretty accurate for most.  But didn't anyone other than me think that there was no way John Gray was heterosexual?  It's probably what gave him the insight into both genders, but I didn't see him trot out his own wife to give credibility.  That said, it's still pretty accurate.

So that's what we did.  Backtrack through the popcorn shop, then on the sidewalk all the way back to the pizzeria.  I was amazed at the kindness that the two couples showed at the table we sat at in that they all jumped out of their chairs and were on the floor with me looking under our previous table.  Along the way, my caveman instincts were mentally marking places we couldn't see/were tough to see so that at 7:00am when I was back in downtown Geneva on my hands and knees I would pay special attention to those "high risk areas"

All shop owners took our name and number in case they or their clean up crews were honest, found it and would call us and everyone was sympathetic and willing to help however they could, which is nice to see in this age of self-importance.

We spent probably twenty minutes looking around our car using a flashing light/glow wand (thank you large circus that was recently in town) to look around the car on the sidewalk and grass with no avail.

After resigning ourselves to move on to the next part of our search, the car and then Walgreen's and all other places my wife stopped during the day as well as ripping apart our house, my wife decided to look in what has affectionately been called "Momma Bag".

Momma Bag is the amalgamation of coloring books, sticker sheets, crayons, markers, pictures, paper, you name it to help occupy the little man's mind and hands when we're out at dinner or wherever.  She had been in the bag several times during dinner.  She decided to go through it all in the car before I pulled away.  I was nervous because it was dark and emptying bags can create further problems.

and there, at the bottom of the bag, was the ring.  Several thank God's were exchanged as well as a few Hallelujah's.  My wife was relieved.  My brain was still categorizing the places I still needed to search (yes, men are a bit slower).  I was relieved as well and it made the drive home a lot more pleasant than it could have been.  Even on the ride home, I was thinking about how that discussion goes with your Insurance guy.

Every year I curse that "special rider" on our home owners insurance that's covering that specific piece of jewelry as I don't always feel the premium justifies the item.  Yep, color me part of the converted.  Happy to pay that premium this coming June and for every year afterwards.

The upshot to all of this is that my wife has been shedding pounds like I eat chicken wings (uh, maybe that's not a good example of how we're exhibiting opposite behavior) and I'm so extremely proud of her and her dedication to getting to a healthier life.

With all that is good about that, one has to remember that things like rings and pants don't fit the way they used to.  If the pants fall down around your ankles, you're just em-bare-assed, but when a ring falls off, it strikes fear into the hearts of men and women.

06 January 2012

Missed Opportunity!!

Now I wish I had paid for our Cubs 2011 Season Tix with a check last year.  The autographed ball we would have gotten with Tyler Colvin, Andrew Cashner and Starlin Castro, the young superstars of the Jim Hendry era truly would now be a collector's piece.
In the 2010 year-end summary from Tom Ricketts an entire paragraph was this:

The 2010 highlights revolved around our home grown talent.  Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin and Andrew Cashner developed into budding stars, with Castro and Colvin in the NL Rookie of the Year discussion.  That young group was enhanced by the August promotion of Casey Coleman, who went 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last four starts. All need to take the next step in 2011, but we are very encouraged to have a group of young, home grown players emerge as regulars in 2010.

Colvin is now in Cincinnati (12/8/2011 trade), Cashner is off to San Diego (1/6/2012 trade), and Castro might lose his work visa if convicted of felony rape.

Oh well, lost money.  Maybe next year.

04 January 2012

Funny Work emails: Episode 1

I think we all would love to reply-all to a company-wide email with smart ass remarks, but then, in this crappy economy we all need our jobs more than we need food.

Here's today's gem, which, we get every two weeks throughout the year:

     A reminder that Housekeeping will be cleaning out both the 4th and 6th floor refrigerators this coming Friday.  Please see to it that all your personal items are removed before then.

I would love to reply with:
     "Oh, thanks so much for the reminder.  I need to get that severed woman's head and hands out of there before the authorities find them."

02 January 2012

The genius of "Nana"

From very early in my life, I always knew that my Mother was extremely creative.  After all, since she was a teacher of 1st & 2nd graders, she needed to show mad skillz at getting them to pay attention and learn something so that they didn't end up being a bunch of tools later in life.

I've been amazed at how, even after 30+ years since early retirement, she continues to use those skills to help teach and open up a world of knowledge to her Little Prince, her grandson, my son, Aidan.

Two years ago, I laughed out loud at seeing the appearance of construction paper cut out into cars, airplanes and other creative shapes for Aidan to put stickers onto or to color or to do whatever he wanted with them.  They were the exact same cut-outs that she used with my brother and I when we were little and with her students.  The templates were originally cut out of manila folders and she STILL has them.

But she's also had some "new tricks" up her sleeves that update methods she used back in the day.

The newest one takes the cake though:

We've already instilled a strong sense of "saving" into Aidan.  He has his own savings account at our local bank, he has a piggy bank that he puts spare change into weekly, and he participates in the "bank at school" program that our bank has with The Goddard School which he attends.

My parents are also headed back to Florida tomorrow and so their contact with Aidan will now be limited to phone calls and/or Internet video calls on the weekends.  He has made it infinitely clear that he didn't want Nana & Papa to go back to Florida because he was going to miss them and all the fun that they have together.  He said that he was going to be sad about it.  It's always a teary time for my Mom when she says goodbye to Aidan when they won't see each other for more than a week.  Waterworks flow.

It's with all of this in mind that she's created a nifty counting/savings/calendar technique to help ease the pain of the distance between she and Aidan.  She gave him a roll of pennies last night.  She told him that when he got home, to put 6 pennies into his "money bank" and then each morning thereafter, to put one more penny into the bank.  Not only does he make some money but when he gets down to the last penny left and he puts it into his bank, THAT is the day we pack up the car and head off to Florida on vacation.

Today was the first morning and he ran right to the bank and reminded me to help him get one penny out of the roll.  It's going to kill him to still wait 43 more days, but at least he'll know we're getting closer.