Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Farting My Way to Better Mental Health

Farting is good!

Now there is scientific proof! The other day my wife saw a post on Facebook. It said:

"According to a new British study, passing gas may help you live longer and, in a surprise twist, smelling gas might prevent dementia.

Researchers found that when you pass wind, you're helping yourself out by lowering your risk of cancer, heart attacks, and strokes.

And, the main ingredient in it is hydrogen sulfate. Researchers believe inhaling it actually causes your brain to grow stronger and protects your brain from dementia."

See, there you have it: scientific proof! My farts are helping me live longer, and they're saving you from dementia.

You're welcome!

Of course, there are some who might be skeptical. After all, this is from a post on Facebook, and every once in a while Facebook posts contain information that isn't 100% accurate. (Although I am still holding out hope that Bill Gates will be sending me $100,000 for clicking "Like" and "Share" that one time.)

Is it possible that someone who was tired of getting complaints about all of his farts decided to make up his own "study" showing that farts are a healthy and wonderful thing? I know if I were making up a study, I'd probably cite British scientists because a) no one is going to bother to check which British scientists performed the study; and 2) everyone knows British scientists are awesome. (Just look at all the cool stuff they invent for James Bond.)

I can imagine some random dude saying to himself, "I'll make up a British study that will say that farts make me healthier and that my farts will keep you from going crazy!"

It kind of makes me want to make up my own "study." Here's one:

A scientific study out of Sweden finds that people who eat at least two strips of bacon a day are less likely to develop depression or other mental disorders, and are more likely to have a positive outlook on life.

Eating my way to better mental health!

Here's another one:

Researchers in Denmark have found that the more often men watch sports on television, the less likely they are to commit violent crimes.

And here's one for the ladies:

A Japanese study shows that the more different pairs of shoes a woman owns, the better her chances are of avoiding breast cancer.

Of course, it's quite possible that the fart study wasn't made up. It might be totally legit. And that is why I am going to keep farting. I'm not doing it for myself, I'm doing it to decrease dementia around the world.

I'm trying to keep people from going crazy, one fart at a time!

Friday, May 27, 2016

The 12 Children's Songs You Can Never Escape

When you become a parent, you open up your mind to an unforeseen invasion of children's songs. These are not songs you seek out. You don't buy these songs and you don't listen to them on purpose. These songs are insidious mind worms that invade your skull, dig in, and set up permanent residence. These songs are everywhere. They emanate from children's toys and children's television programs. (Seriously, go and try to find a children's toy that doesn't play one of these songs!)

There is no escape!

12. Five Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed--This is a cheerful little ditty about five monkeys who like jumping on a bed until, one by one, they fall off and crack their heads open. I think by the third time the mama calls the doctor to report the injuries, the doctor should probably be calling the department of social services and demanding an investigation.

Head injuries are hilarious! (Or are they?)

11. Rock-a-bye Baby--Let me get this straight--the cradle is in the top of the tree, and if there's any little breeze it will come crashing down to the ground with a baby in it? Between this and those bed-jumping monkeys, there's an awful lot of head injuries in these children's songs.

10. Row, Row, Row Your Boat--Row that boat gently. Row that boat merrily. And remember, life is but a dream. (Hey, at least no one cracked their head open!)

9. Frere Jacques--I don't know French, so I tried to look up this song by googling "Frair-uh-zhock-uh." Seven of the first ten links it pulled up had to do with the University of Houston. (How sad is it that the University of Houston is known as "uh?") The English translation is something about some bells, and a sleepy Brother John, but for all I know in French it could be about stinky socks and/or Hostess Twinkies.

8. B-I-N-G-O--Some farmer had a dog named Bingo, and apparently it's very important to the farmer that everyone should know how to spell his dog's name. Seriously, by the fourth time it's spelled out I think everyone gets it.

7. Old McDonald Had a Farm--Of course, it's possible that the farmer kept spelling out his dog's name (B-I-N-G-O) because his friend McDonald kept trying to spell it "E-I-E-I-O." My favorite verse of this song is the one about the cow, which could also pertain to the choice of clothing  at the nursing home: "With a muumuu here and a muumuu there."

Moo! Moo! or Muumuu?
6. The Farmer In the Dell--Hmm...that's three songs in a row about farmers. You don't hear a lot of songs about farmers on the Top 40 these days, do you? I have no idea what "Hi-ho, the derry-oh" means, but I have to like any song that ends with a verse stating, "The cheese stands alone."

5. The Wheels On the Bus--The wheels on the bus go round and round. So true. I once took a bus for several hundred miles on a vacation. And while it's true that the people on the bus might go, "Bumpity-bump," it's also true that most of them are also thinking, "I wish I could have afforded plane tickets."

4. The Itsy-Bitsy Spider--Those dad-gummed spiders sure are tenacious, aren't they? It's true, and it doesn't matter if they are itsy-bitsy, eensy-weensy, teensy-weensy, incy-wincy, or hairy-scary.

3. If You're Happy and You Know It--Clap your hands! Stomp your feet! Shout hooray! Because, as everyone knows, the best way to show your happiness is to blindly obey whatever the person leading the songs says to do. (It's a good thing your face will surely show it, whether you follow the maddening crowds or not.)

2. Pop Goes the Weasel--If you were to ask most people who would win a fight between a monkey and a weasel, I think the vast majority would pick the monkey. The weasel is always getting underestimated, but just when you think you can count him out...Pop!!!

The monkey thinks it's all fun and games until the weasel pops him one right in the jaw!

1. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star/The Alphabet Song--Most people don't even realize that "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "The Alphabet Song" use the same tune. Each song on its own would be popular enough to make this list, but put the two together and they're unstoppable!

Seriously! Any time you go out at night those stars are going to twinkle, and someone's going to sing about them. And the alphabet? It's everywhere!!! Heck, I know adults who, to this day, if you asked them, "What's the letter before M?" they would sing the alphabet song in their mind so they could get the right answer!

Face it, just by reading this, all of these songs have become further embedded into your brain. There is no escape! Sometime, when you least expect it, that weasel is going to pop you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Have You Picked a Name Yet?

"Congratulations! That's great news. So, have you thought about a name?"

A name? Nope. Haven't given it a second thought. You mean we actually have to give the baby a name? Come on, my wife is already carrying this baby around for nine months, then giving birth. Then we have to feed it, clothe it, give it a place to live, bathe it, and change its dirty diapers. Can't this baby do anything on its own? Let him pick his own name!

When you tell someone you are expecting a child, there are generally two questions that are asked:

1. Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?
2. Have you picked out a name?

In today's world of gender-neutral restrooms, that first question is running the risk of being irrelevant for some people. "Girl? Boy? It doesn't really matter. We're going to let our children decide their own gender at age 18."

And that leaves the naming of the child one of the last areas that parents have complete and total control.

Sometimes it's hard for both parents to agree upon a name. (My wife is a junior high teacher, so hundreds of names are immediately eliminated from contention because of the I-taught-a-kid-named-that-and-he-was-trouble factor.)

Some people have a deep, inner need to find out what you are naming your baby. They'll ask. They'll ask again. They'll offer several suggestions. They'll ask again. They'll offer several names that must be avoided. ("Whatever you do, don't name your baby Ethel.") They'll ask yet again.

It's like they think they're extra special if they're the first to know what you're naming your baby.

Noah? Do you really want your son to have to deal with ark jokes his whole life?

The problem is, it's hard enough for the parents to find a name they can agree on. If you then tell that name to more people, the greater the chances that someone will find a reason to shoot down your name.

You: "We're going to name him Jeff."
Them: "Really? You're going to give your son the same first name as Jeffrey Dahmer?"

You: "We're thinking of naming her Penelope."
Them: "Penelope? What is she, 85 years old?"

You: "We're leaning towards Hank."
Them: "I used to work with a guy named Hank. Biggest jerk I ever met."

You: "We've decided on Opal."
Them: "Opal? Sounds like a stripper's name!"
You: "Actually, Opal was my grandmother's name. We're naming her after my grandmother."
Them: "Are you sure your grandmother wasn't a stripper?"

So, to avoid having our chosen name torpedoed by naysayers, we will choose a somewhat silly nickname, and we'll give it as an answer to the name-askers.

You: "We haven't decided on a name yet, but for now we're going with the nickname of Hondo."
Them: "Hondo? That's the dumbest name I've ever heard! You can't possibly be serious about the name Hondo, can you?"

Ultimately, the naming of your baby is up to you. It really doesn't matter what people think of the name you choose. It's your decision, and your decision alone! (Just don't go with Roger. I had a boss named Roger and every time I saw him I wanted to punch him in the face!)

Friday, May 20, 2016

New Baby Day!

The day started early.

We had a hard time getting The Baby Girl (17 months old) to sleep. She had been down for an hour when she woke up at 12:01 AM, crying and fussing in bed. The Wife needed her rest, so I got up and got The Baby Girl out of bed. She didn't want to eat. She didn't want to drink. She didn't want to sleep. She was okay with watching some television.

So, I took her downstairs and I started to watch a couple of the late night talk shows. The screams and tears told me she was not interested in Seth Meyers or James Corden. So, I put on some Super Why. The reading adventures of Super Why and his cartoon cohorts appeased her, and after a half an hour of their antics, I took her back up to bed.

That's when she barfed and peed on me.

When I attempted to put her in her bed, she barfed on herself and on my hands. Enough of the barf got in her hair to merit a trip to the bathtub to wash it out. When I took her diaper off to put her in the tub, she urinated on my feet.

It wasn't the best way to start the day.

I got her cleaned off, then changed the sheets on her bed, put her in clean pajamas, and threw everything that had been touched by the barf and/or the urine in the washing machine. I put The Baby Girl back in bed. There was no more barf, and she managed to sleep through the rest of the night.

I got back to bed at 2:02 AM and eventually went to sleep, too. The Wife's alarm woke me up at 6:00 AM, and I slowly rolled out of bed and got moving. After a shower, I started getting the big kids ready for school. They both were pretty well behaved. They knew the importance of the day.

The Girl (eight years old) furrowed her brow and said, "I'm worried that the baby might not be healthy. I hope he's going to be okay."

The Boy (six years old) was much more enthusiastic. "I love babies!" he shouted. "I love getting babies here! I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so excited!"

We managed to calm the kids down to somewhere on the scale between sadness and euphoria, then sent them off for school. We spent the next hour and a half getting ready and packing the mini-van. We had to wake up The Baby Girl. She hadn't wanted to sleep at night, so she was trying to sleep all day instead. We dropped her off with the fantastic Auntie K, then took off for the hospital.

We arrived right on time, two hours before the scheduled surgery. We prepped and waited. (And by that I mean The Wife prepped and we both waited.) Just as The Wife was leaving the room to get her spinal, Auntie K and Grammy arrived with The Girl and The Boy. (The Baby Girl stayed away from the hospital because of her cough and barfing. PopPop tended her.)

As they gave the numbing pain meds to The Wife, I put on my medical garb and waited. For my first child I was given a white jump-suit and told I looked like either Elvis or a fat Ghostbuster. This time my coveralls were a light shade of blue. The Girl, a big fan of Frozen, said I looked like Elsa. (I wonder how many dads-to-be have been compared to a Disney ice princess?)

The fattest, ugliest Elsa ever!
They signaled for me, and I went to the operating room where they were working on my wife. Everything went well, and soon we had a beautiful baby boy! He was born at seven pounds and eleven ounces, which is a bit ironic considering all the runs I've made to 7-Eleven recently to satisfy Slurpee cravings for The Wife.

They brought The Baby Boy back to the room, where he met his older brother and oldest sister. The Boy, so hyper and excited in the morning, was exhausted, and after a quick look could barely keep his eyes open. Now it was big sister's turn to be hyper, as The Girl hopped around the room in hopes of getting a better view of The Baby Boy.

After a flurry of photos and phone calls, things settled down a bit. Auntie K took The Girl and The Boy home. Soon, all that was left were me, The Wife, and The Baby Boy.

Ten years ago I was a 40 year-old virgin. Now, I'm a father of four. Fantastic!!!

And that's when it hit home. Here is this tiny little human who is going to have such an impact on our lives. He wasn't here yesterday. He's here today. And now,  he's going to be one of the most important and influential people in my life for the rest of my days.

There'll be ballgames and bus stops. There'll be Playplaces and proms. He'll laugh at my silly jokes. He'll roll his eyes at me and tell me I'm lame. I'll kiss his boo-boos better. He'll make me smile in ways he'll never understand.

And yes, just like with his sister, there might be a night he refuses to sleep and instead decides to barf and pee on me. And that's okay. He's worth it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It's Spring In Utah

It's spring in Utah! The sun is shining. The temperature is nice. It's time to put away all your winter coats and gloves and boots. No more long sleeves.

Spring is here and it's beautiful. The grass is growing. Flowers are blooming. Popcorn is popping on the fruit trees. (NOTE: That's not really popcorn! Please don't eat it.) It's a wonderful day!

Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.


Snow? Really? Yes, snow. It's really coming down. Get out the snow shovels. We might get several inches, especially up in the benches. Hey, aren't we supposed to have an Easter egg hunt tomorrow? Whoever heard of having an Easter egg hunt in the snow? This is crazy.


It's nice again. All eight inches of snow melted off before noon. Put the snow shovels away, we won't be needing them anymore. It's about time to get the sprinklers ready. Where are my shorts?


It's just a little rain storm. We can use the moisture. [Nine days later.] Is it ever going to stop raining? I don't know if I remember what the sun even looks like. Everything is so wet. And why are that guy's sprinklers on? Nine straight days of rain and his lawn needs more water?


My, the sun has really dried out the lawn. 85 degrees in May? Wow, that's pretty hot. Why don't they open the swimming pools? Can't they see we need the swimming pools open? I have to turn on the air conditioner.


Snow? Again? I really shouldn't have my sprinklers going when there is snow on the ground, should I? (But those icicles sure are pretty!) Brrr, I think I need to turn off the air conditioner and get the furnace fired up again.


It's just a little breeze. Okay, that's not a breeze, it's a gust. It just blew over the swing set. I think the trampoline from three doors down just landed in our backyard. My sprinklers are on, but all the water is blowing onto my neighbor's lawn.


It's a beautiful day. The sun is shining. There's a light breeze. Gee, those flowers sure look pretty. It's not too hat. It's not too cold. Everything is perfect. Welcome to spring in Utah.


Friday, May 13, 2016

My Baby's Wardrobe Malfunction

The other day my baby girl had a wardrobe malfunction.

It wasn't her fault, of course. It was mine.

You see, The Wife just got out all of the summer clothes for The Baby, so now when I go to pick out clothes for her there is a drawer full of skirts and shorts instead of the long pants that I had been putting on her. The problem is, it isn't just skirts and shorts; skorts are in that drawer, too. (Until recently, I hadn't even heard of skorts. If you said the word "skort" I probably would have thought you were talking about one of those spoon/fork combos they have at KFC.)

The day before I had put The Baby in a onesie and a skirt. She looked very cute and there was no problem with her outfit. The next day I once again put her in a onesie and a skirt. Something seemed a little strange, but I couldn't quite figure what it was.

And then, as I was changing her diaper I pulled off her skirt and noticed a red indentation line on the skin of her upper thigh. It was then that I realized what I had done: it wasn't a skirt, it was a skort, and I had put both of her legs through one of the leg holes for the skort! Oops! (Luckily she only wore it like that for a short time before I noticed it at the diaper change. Thank goodness for frequent pooping!)

My excuse? I'm a guy. I really have no idea what I'm doing trying to dress a girl.

It's a nice excuse, but it doesn't really cut it. Maybe if The Baby was my first girl, but she's not. I've already been to this rodeo. The Baby is my second girl. I really should have mastered the "dressing a girl" thing with the first one.

Unfortunately, the fact that I have two girls contributed to another wardrobe malfunction last fall. The problem was I mistook the seven year-old's denim shorts for the 11 month-old's long pants. I put The Baby in The Girl's shorts thinking they were baby long pants. And the thing is, I didn't notice for the entire day! Yes, the pant/shorts were quite big in the waste on The Baby, but she only crawled her way out of them a couple of times.

In my defense, can you guess which is the big-girl shorts and which is the baby pants?
It's not so easy, is it?
(The big girl shorts are on the right.)
There are inherent differences between boy clothes and girl clothes that I've learned over the years. (Usually I learned them by messing them up somehow.) For one thing, with guys there is no such thing as a "right sock" and a "left sock." Socks are socks. They are interchangeable. But, with girls, sometimes it does make a difference as to which foot the sock is on because they have some froofy flower thing or design of some kind that is supposed to be on the outside edge of the sock.

Another difference is that girls sometimes have big, outlandish pockets on the front of their pants. They look like back pockets, but they're actually front pockets. So, of course, I have had my daughter walking around with her pants on backwards many, many times.

Seriously, does that look like a front pocket or a back pocket?

I thought I was getting better. And then I stuffed both of my baby's legs into one leg-hole of her skort.

So, all I can do is keep trying to do my best. And don't worry, I'm sure my daughters will get their revenge when I'm old. I'll be the one at the rest home with his pants on backwards.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Baby #1 vs. Baby #3

We all start out wanting to be perfect parents. With our first baby we all try soooo hard to do everything the right way. But, by the time a third baby comes around, most of us realize there isn't always a "right" way to do any of it. (Or, we're just too tired to care.)

Here are some of the differences in parental strategies between Baby #1 and Baby #3. (Some of them are specific only to mothers.)

Baby #1: Printed professional announcements sent out to friends and family to announce the pregnancy.

Baby #3: Call and tell one or two people about the pregnancy, then let the word trickle out from there. (At seven months pregnant delight in the fact that some people still don't know if you are expecting or just gaining weight.)

Baby #1: No processed, store-bought baby food for your baby! We'll take squash, avocados, bananas, peaches, and other real foods, blend them up in a blender, freeze them in ice cube trays, and then, when the baby is ready to eat, we'll thaw the food cubes and lovingly feed her one spoonful at a time.

Baby #3: Do we have any Goldfish crackers? Throw some on the baby's tray.

One spoonful at a time. (Sometimes she even gets the food in her mouth.)

Baby #1: Professionally taken infant portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot. Professionally taken 3 month portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot. Professionally taken 6 month portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot. Professionally taken one year portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot.
Professionally taken 18 month portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot.
Professionally taken two year portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot.

Baby #3: Occasional picture taken with a camera phone when she does something amusing.

Baby #1: Every significant moment of life painstakingly chronicled in journals and scrapbooks, including first smile, first bath, first word, first solid food, first tooth, first steps, first chicken McNugget, etc.

Baby #3: Occasional picture taken with a camera phone when she does something amusing.

Baby #1: Never placed directly on the carpet; a blanket is always put down first so the baby is on the blanket, not the carpet. Floor is vacuumed at least twice a day to make sure there is nothing that the baby will put in her mouth.

Baby #3: Baby placed directly on the carpet. Floor is vacuumed at least once a month, whether it needs it or not.

Baby #1: Top of stairs guarded more securely than Fort Knox.

Baby #3: Top of stairs guarded about as securely as a motel swimming pool. (No lifeguard on duty.) (Stairs? Eh, she probably won't fall down them.)

Baby #1: If baby puts anything in her mouth besides her binky or the food on her tray, every effort will be made to retrieve that object before it can be swallowed, including prying your fingers into her mouth to try to dig the object out.

Baby #3: If baby puts anything in her mouth besides her binky or food, shrug shoulders and say, "It'll all come out in the poop."

Baby #1: People react with congratulatory gifts, cards, flowers, letters, texts, and possibly even telegrams.

Baby #3: People react with a snide, "How many is that? I'm starting to lose count."

Baby #1: Given a baby shower by family and friends. Given another baby shower by co-workers. Yet another baby shower by the ladies in the neighborhood.

Baby #3: Baby gets "showered" with whatever hand-me-downs got put in boxes in the storage area under the stairs.

Baby #1: When the baby is hungry, you try to secure a private room where you can breast-feed her. No matter what, you always use a baby cover when breast-feeding. No one will be able to see even one square inch of your breasts! (Not even the baby, because it's pretty dark under that breast-feeding cover.)

Baby #3: When the baby is hungry, you feed it, no matter where you are or who is around. If they don't want to see your breast, they'll just have to look the other way.

Baby #1: If baby drops her binky it must be sterilized and cleaned with hot, soapy water before given back to baby.

Baby #3: If baby drops her binky it goes right back in her mouth. Maybe if you're feeling overprotective you might get the big chunks off of the binky by brushing it off on your pants or sucking on it yourself for a few seconds. (Those aren't germs, they're protein.)

Baby #1: Any possible babysitter is fully vetted with a complete criminal background check and at least four references. Also, a degree in child care or nutrition is a plus.

Baby #3: Over 10 years old? Never been convicted of a crime? You're hired!

Baby #1: Check reviews and buy only the safest, most educational toys.

Baby #3: Hey, here's a big box. Go play in that.

Baby #1: All baby clothes match and have a theme.

Baby #3: Do the clothes cover her bum and belly? Good enough.

Baby #1: All baby clothes washed separately on gentle cycle with special fragrance-free detergent.

Baby #3: Baby clothes washed with whatever load they fit with, usually with the towels.

Baby #1: Read and study every parenting book you can get your hands on. Join parenting focus groups online. Learn the pros and cons of every parenting technique.

Baby #3: Whatever.

(You may be wondering, "What about Baby #2?" Well, Baby #2 falls chronologically and philosophically between Baby #1 and Baby #3. This is the middle child. To be honest, Baby #2 is pretty much just a blur.)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Brussels Sprouts for President?

Brussels Sprouts are gone.

I didn’t really like brussels sprouts. They’re kind of a strong, acquired taste. Brussels sprouts would certainly not be my first choice for a vegetable. Or second. Or third. Or fourth. Or…you get the idea. But, I could tolerate brussels sprouts. It was kind of nice having them there as a last ditch option. But now, brussels sprouts are gone.

Ted Cruz was the brussels sprouts of this election.

Does anyone really like brussels sprouts?

I like to think of the entire field of presidential candidates as vegetables. There are very few vegetables left at the serving table. Most are already gone. Most were better than the options we have left.

Here is our presidential candidate vegetables table:

Ted Cruz: brussels sprouts—a strong, acquired taste that most people don’t like.

Marco Rubio: zucchini—people generally like zucchini, but it’s never their favorite vegetable. It’s always the second or third choice.

Ben Carson: artichoke hearts—I really like artichoke hearts, but I’m not really sure how to get to them, because I don’t have a lot of experience doing so. 

Jeb(!) Bush: canned green beans—safe, familiar, and about as exciting as….a can of mushy green beans.

Chris Christie: cabbage—you might be able to make a few good things with it, but in the end it’s just going to stink up your whole house.

Carly Fiorina: celery—bland and uninteresting, unless paired with Cheez Whiz or peanut butter. (I don’t know who Cheez Whiz or peanut butter are in this analogy, just that celery is apparently not popular when paired with brussels sprouts!)

John Kasich: parsley--it's there on your plate, but no one knows why. No one ever asks for parsley. No one ever wants parsley. It's just there. The parsley thinks you will be grateful for it when the rest of the food is gone from your plate, but the truth is even then you probably won't notice it. In fact, now that the parsley is gone, does anyone really care?

So, that leaves us with the candidates who are left in the field. Here they are:

Hillary Clinton: green peppers—people who don’t like green peppers really don’t like green peppers! (Personally, I can’t stand green peppers.)  But, there are plenty of people who do like green peppers. Green peppers want attention. They demand to be seen. They are desperate for power, so they often overpower the flavor of those around them. “I’m a green pepper, damnit! You will like me!” (“Or else….”)

Bernie Sanders: kale—kale is very trendy. Most of the hip, young, idealistic people like kale. They think it is the vegetable that will save the world. And while there are a lot of positives about kale, it is also pretty limited. There is only so much you can do with kale. As good as it is, kale can’t change the world. It will never take the place of all the other vegetables, no matter how hard the hipsters try to make it do so.

And, finally, there is:

Donald Trump: rat poison—I know I’ve been comparing all the other candidates to vegetables. And I know that rat poison isn’t actually a vegetable. But, Donald Trump isn’t like any of the other candidates. Rat poison gets all the attention. If you had a vegetable tray, and in the middle of it was some rat poison, well, the rat poison is all anyone would talk about, no matter how tasty or dynamic any of the vegetables might be. And, because most of the vegetables left are so bland, people might actually talk themselves into trying some rat poison. The justifications might include: “I’ve tried most of these vegetables, and I don’t like them. Rat poison has got to be better than them, doesn’t it?” Or, “Sure, it’s rat poison, but it probably won’t hurt me. I’m not a rat.” Or, “I am so sick and tired of vegetables! I want to try something different. I think I'll try rat poison!” Or, “Rat poison really tells it like it is! Who wants rats around, anyway?”

Not something you want on or near your vegetable tray.

Most of the signs are pointing to a showdown between green peppers and rat poison. I can’t stand green peppers. I really, really, really, really don’t like green peppers! And yet when it comes down to it, I’d rather plug my nose and go for the green peppers before I ever come close to the rat poison.

The green peppers might destroy my taste buds, but the rat poison might actually kill me.

Are these really the best choices we have? Where the heck is the broccoli when you need it? 

Is there asparagus anywhere???

What I wouldn’t give for a good pea pod!!!

"Donald Trump" and "Poison" pictures courtesy of the website Pixabay. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Movin' On Up (To the Next Pants Size)

This is big.

And by "this" I mean "me." I'm big. I'm as big as I've ever been.

It's been building for a while. I've been ever so slowly and steadily gaining weight. (I blame the donuts. And the fritters. And the quesalupas. And the triple cheeseburgers.)(But not the bacon. I never blame the bacon.)

I've reached the tipping point. I'm at the point where no one wants to be. I have to make a decision. I have two choices:

               A. I need to lose weight.
          Or 2. I need to go up a size in the waist of my pants.

It's a horrible feeling when you get to that point.

Oh, I've still got pants that I can wear. I've had them for a while and they are nicely worn in enough that I can always get them buttoned, as long as I suck in my gut as far as is humanly possible. The problem is that I've had these jeans long enough that they are on the verge of moving from "worn in" to "worn out." The other day I lost a pair when, while trying to get the button into the button-hole, the button ripped right out of the jeans.

Almost there! (Just need to suck that gut in a little bit more!)
[NOTE: This is the second time I've asked my wife to take a picture of my crotch. (Once more and I think it'll officially creep her out.)]

If I go to the store to get a new pair of jeans the size I am currently wearing, they don't even come close to buttoning. If I want a new pair of jeans, I'm going to have to go up a size.

Or, lose some weight. It is possible. I've done it before. (See: The Man With the Watermelon In His Shirt.) I know what needs to be done. Losing weight is simple. It really just comes down to two things: 1) watching what you eat; and B) exercising.

Basically, it's being motivated and disciplined enough to do those two things. I've started playing basketball in the mornings again, but that's only two days a week. I need to get something going on the other days of the week, too. And, I'll have to cut back on the donuts. (I should probably keep it to under a dozen a week.)

Time is running out. I've only got two pair of jeans I can still squeeze myself into. I've got to lose the weight now before I'm forced to go to the store and move up a size. And I don't care what George Jefferson says, this is one time that I don't want to be "movin' on up!"