Thursday, May 29, 2014

If All Goes According to Plan,...

...Castle Erickson will have a new owner on July 11. Acceptable terms were reached late yesterday evening, and contracts were signed this morning.

The funny thing about that is my colleague in the next office has had his house on the market for months with a realtor and no nibbles. I posted my house on Zillow under their "Make Me Move" option not too long ago and have sold it ahead of him. Ain't technology great?

It wasn't all peaches and roses though. I had a few realtors email me wanting to list it for us. Thanks, but no thanks. Back in March, we had a family come look at it. They apparently lost interest. Then, a week and a half ago, a realtor emails me and tells me he was a buyer who wants to see the house "right now". Right now turned into a few days because of family commitments (Niece Juju's college graduation and departure to a foreign land) and my business travel. The buyer and his girlfriend/fiance saw it, loved it and gave us an offer over the holiday weekend. A little back and forth over sales price, and we finalized the deal.

The good news for us is that this is an "as is" deal. In other words, we are giving up a little on the sales price in exchange for not having to finish painting, flooring, etc. and spending the money associated with those tasks. On his end, he gets a smoking deal on a house in a good neighborhood that he plans on redoing anyway.

The Queen and I are excited and looking forward to our adventures as temporarily homeless people. The plan is to sell what we can, trash what we must and donate what we can't sell and don't want to keep. Those things we will be keeping will go into climate controlled storage while we decompress from paying for our own prison home ownership, pay off some debts, hoard some cash and generally enjoy life for a while.

In the near term, we will be camping out with family while we scope out locations for rental property in the general vicinity of my office. Chances are good that we will wind up somewhere in Collin county since we both agree that we have no desire to live in Dallas county or on the other side of downtown Dallas from my office. The current search area is roughly bounded by I-35E to the west, 190/George Bush Turnpike on the south, Texas 78 on the east and US 380 on the north. We may fudge a little on the northern and eastern boundaries a little, but I refuse to go further south or west.

Renting will be a temporary solution while we decide whether we want to buy land and build or just chuck it all and become nomads living out of a yurt or a fifth wheel.

Right now...that yurt is mighty tempting.

In the meantime, anyone who wants to go dumpster diving through a few households worth of stuff...feel free to drop me a line.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Polite Request

I received a comment and follow up email on my recent post about the open carry brouhaha at Chipotle from a new blogger soliciting feedback on her take of those same events. Julie at "Julie on Politics" asked that I consider sharing her post here. She asked nicely, and I am happy to help a new blogger out since we were all new bloggers at one time or another. So, if you are interested in giving her a look, you can find Julie's thoughts on the Chipotle incident here.

Bob S., I think you will find my comment to Julie more cogent and less half baked than my original post. I've had my caffeine today.

Oddities: Lingerie

I present this without further comment:

The Queen, however, mentioned something about Pez dispensers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oddities: Billboards

I love cars as much as the next person does. I think it would be really cool if cars were delivered to the house by some kind of mechanical stork a few months after a couple of cars get drunk on 93 octane in the back of a dark parking lot, but I'm not sure that's what the ad agency had in mind when they came up with this billboard:

Is this considered Dodgie Style?

Friday, May 23, 2014

This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

So, here lately, the North Texas area has been getting a lot of attention, unwanted in my opinion, from aggressive proponents of open carry upsetting the apple cart by carrying rifles and shotguns in public.

I'm sure most of you have seen the Facebook photo of the two dweebs...mall ninjas...wannabees...fools attention whores standing in Chipotle with their EBRs (evil black rifles) on display. I'm not going to post that photo as I don't need those two preserved here in my digital home for posterity. Google "Dallas Chipotle Open Carry" if you really want to see it. Suffice it to say, they look silly.  The one wearing his mirrored shades and holding the rifle at low ready, other than looking like the rifle is bigger than he is, should probably have been arrested for disturbing the peace or brandishing of some other related offense. Maybe it's not too late. There is photographic evidence of the offense after all.

Add to that little drama, the events going on in Arlington where the city council recently passed a new ordinance preventing people from stepping into city streets to hand out literature. This ordinance was the result of a Tarrant County open carry group passing out copies of the Constitution at intersections while carrying rifles and shotguns to the apparent dismay of some if you believe the news reporting of the events. The open carry group is crying violation of their first amendment rights, and they promise civil disobedience when the ordinance takes effect at the end of the month.

And now there is this:

Little orange signs like this are popping up all over Granbury (southwest of Ft. Worth). When I asked the manager at Fuzzy's Tacos what gives, he advised that they were informed that an open carry group was coming to town Memorial Day weekend and wanted no part of that nonsense. So, essentially, what they have done since the sign does not comply with Texas section 30.06 signage requirements is create a reason for a simple trespassing charge. If someone entering the business with a gun is asked to leave and refuses, they can then be arrested for trespassing.

Frankly, I don't blame Fuzzy's for posting the sign. I don't blame Chipotle for their position either. Do I wish they had handled it differently? Yes. Then again, I wish the attention whores had stayed home to beg mommy for donut money or play video games too.

In the meantime, I will comply with the laws of the state of Texas while enjoying my burritos and tacos.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers and Others

The Queen and I were up late last night enjoying movies as we typically do on Saturday night. When we finally decided to call it a night/early morning, we checked in on M&M who was snoozing peacefully in her bed. M&M apparently didn't appreciate two adults flipping the hall light on so we didn't trip and kill ourselves. She rubbed her eyes and announced, "Please turn the light off." This after she had insisted that we leave the light on when we put her to bed several hours before. 

Anykiddo, The Queen asked M&M if she wanted to sleep in mommydaddy's bed to which M&M said, "Yes...I can't sleep with Daddy." 


Mommy picked M&M up, and we all trundled off to bed. Around about 8:00 AM this morning, I figured out what M&M meant as two very small feet planted themselves firmly in the middle of my back and pushed...hard. 

I can't believe it. I was literally kicked out of bed by a two and a half year old. 

Anyway, I needed to get up anyway to sneak off to the store to get The Queen some roses for Mother's Day and some apple juice for M&M. 

That got me to thinking though about mothers. We all have one (or two or three in some cases) otherwise we wouldn't be here in the first place. But we do we ever stop and think about what makes a mother? 

A friend and former co-worker posted something on FaceBook urging people to think twice when wishing people Happy Mother's Day to those who don't have children but are "mom's" to pets. Her point was that lack of children may be a sensitive subject for the person, and saying Happy Mother's Day to a puppy mom may come across as insensitive. 

I think she has a valid point. 

Some people are blessed with children of their own. Some have to work hard to get that blessing through adoption. Some people, through circumstance or choice, are not blessed with children. Some choose to take those blessings (and non-blessings) for granted. 

Popping out a kid doesn't make you a mom anymore than not having kids doesn't make you a mom. 

Being a mom is about setting aside your own wants and desires to put the needs of a child first. Being a mom is about being there day and night. Being a mom is about being a protector and guardian to whom a child can run and feel safe. Being a mom is about being someone who will listen to what a child has to say. Being a mom is about caring enough to set boundaries and rules AND enforce them. Being a mom is about loving a child unconditionally. Being a mom is about knowing how to make the child laugh, how to comfort them when they are sick or injured, how to get them to sleep and so much more. 

I've been blessed to know several great moms in my life. Not all of them have kids of their own. The Queen was one such woman until we were blessed with M&M. The Queen was more of a mom to her charges when she was a nanny than some of her employers. My mother worked and went to school after my parents' divorce, but she was always there for My Sister...The Devil and I. We didn't always have much, but we never went without the necessities. K3 has no children of her own, but she has been the mom for several God kids whose biological mothers didn't have their heads screwed on tight.

Go give your mom, whoever that may be, a big hug and thank them for all they do for you. 

Kids Say The Darnedest Things

A couple of quick vignettes to illustrate the title.

Whenever The Queen is ill, she has a tendency to try and do too much. Little cleaning the house. Or taking every herb, remedy or potion known to man. I respond by urging her to rest by saying kind things like "do I have duct tape you to the bed?" or "GET IN THE BED WOMAN!!!". So, I'm at work the other day when I receive a text from The Queen saying "(M&M) said to me when we were in the bedroom 'get in bed woman!' i wonder where she got that from hmmmm????"

I, for one, have no idea where she picked that up from.

Then, yesterday on the way home from church, M&M points at the sky and says, "That's the sky." I said, "Yes, that is the sky M&M." M&M then says, very profoundly I might add, "When I'm bigger, I'm going to touch the sky," 

She's two and a half. That's the most forward thinking and complex statement I think I've heard from a kid her age. It makes me very proud. 

Now, I'm going to have to get my pilot's license current so I can help her touch the sky.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Potty Humor

No, not the kind you think. Get your mind out of the toilet.

About a week or two ago, this sign...

...appeared in the toilet stalls in the men's room at my office. I have no idea why this sign appeared as it would never occur to me to put a paper towel in the toilet; but, be that as it may, said sign was apparently posted in all seriousness.

Well, someone (I have it on good authority who said person is), decided that the above sign could not go unchallenged. Thus, this sign...

...appeared a couple of days or three ago.

Well, apparently, the response was so popular that its creator was emboldened to add an addenda to the list which presaged the appearance of this sign...

Somebody needs a hobby, but I can't wait for the next installment.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Zombie Humor

Saw this...

...whilst stuck in the drive through the other day.

It made me laugh. Especially the zombie dog holding zombie kid's leg in his mouth.

Then, it made me want to grab this...

photo courtesy of Bowen Classic Arms' website

...and end the scourge of free range stick zombies killing of helpless stick families everywhere.

Then, I remembered the rules for dealing with the zombie apocalypse. If the stick family was irresponsible enough to leave their stick guns and stick machetes at home, then they deserve to be eaten.

I really need more caffeine.