Friday, May 30, 2008

Land of Wieners

Claire and I are in Louisiana for her youngest sister's wedding. We are having a lot of fun down here running around town with her family, eating over at Gran's house and shooting a round of golf with her father. We will be flying back to VA on Monday.


Wednesday night I had a very surreal/strange experience. We went to the New Orleans Museum of Art to see the George Rodrigue exhibit. I know y'all know him through his Blue Dog paintings like this one:

Anyway, after we went through that exhibit (it was really cool), we all sorta started meandering around the museum looking at other exhibits. I had made my way over to the Rococo room and got separated from everyone else. No problem, we were planning on being there until closing and I was sure I would find some of the others. So I kept wandering. Then suddenly IT HAPPENED.

I was in the World of Wieners.

No, not THOSE WIENERS. They were the kind of wieners I won't show cause this is a family blog...but imagine what this dude looks like turned around:

I was had wandered into some exhibit called "Gentlemen Callers". At first I thought it was interesting. Great drawings and paintings. Then I realized that everyone was naked. No problem. I like naked people. I may not be a "naked person", but I am kosher with naked people. People are pretty.
But as it progressed, there were not naked people per se, but rather only naked men...many of whom were disturbingly reminiscent of the "quiet guy next door that keeps to himself"…if you know what I mean.

I had found my way into the land of wieners and could not get out. This exhibit was very large, in many different rooms and, when being distracted by all the dongs, very hard to find the exit.


After writing that, I realize that I sound like a homophobic 12-year old...I am not. It was just an unexpected 10-mins in Donger-Land.


Claire and her sister Pamela were very excited to go get lost in there. We had to send in a search party to find them. I think their "getting lost" might have been intentional. Just say'n.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

PB & J

Growing up, I lived with my father and his wife for a good majority of the time. During one spring, his wife spent 4 months in Russia studying the language and politics. Besides getting Brinner on a regular basis, it also meant I got a chance to be another "man-of-the-house".

I relished this opportunity to act like an adult, help around the house, and be responsible. One of the things I would do with some regularity was make lunches for everyone to take to school (me and my sisters) or to work (my father).

I knew he had a love for Peanut Butter (which I also share), so I would make him PB&J, with a twist. In my 10-year old eyes, I thought an extra Peanut Butter surprise would be welcomed.

So I would spread out the PB on the bread, nice and thick like he liked it. Then, I would take a heaping table spoon of PB, splunk it right in the middle, then put jelly around it.

He never said anything about it, but did regularly thank me for packing the lunches.

I wonder if he ever noticed the extra dollop of PB in the middle...


Poop and Boogies once wrote about the proper way to make a PB&J...and I am with his dad...PB down, jelly on top, then a clean piece of bread on top of that. It is proper.


I have eaten PB&J toast most mornings for the past 5 years...something about good bread, peanut butter and Sarabeth's Peach Apricot jam that just goes so well with the morning cup of coffee.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Cussing Pastor

A couple Sunday's ago while in church Claire and I were listening to the parable about the talents. Maybe you know it...

Anyway, Pastor Hank is talking about the one that buries the talent (it was a unit of measure for money) and then brings it back to his master without trying to grow it. Hank wanted to make a point about why the servant would bury the talent so he said that we did not want to "focus on that", referring to the next verse...

Instead, what Claire heard was, that we did not want to "F**k with that"...she lost it. Tears coming out of her eyes. We were very close to the front. Yes, Hank saw her, and while he did exercise good judgement and not point her out, it clearly threw him off his game.


I don't remember the last time I heard a pastor say not to "F**k" with something...oh wait, yes I do, it was never.

I promise that when I deliver another sermon, so time in the future, I will NEVER use that!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Meet Bogart

Hi I'm Bogart...

This is Claire, the reason I moved to VA and I am madly in love with her...

Don't we look great together?

I am convinced that I am getting old before my time.

The biggest influence in my life has been my grandfather.

There, now we know each other. Thanks for stopping by.
Each colored line is a link to previous posts...I know it is a little bit of cheating, but this post is just a lot like those episodes of TV shows where they reminisce about previous things that happened...just consider this my "Dream Sequence".

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Of Technology and Championships

Irritation...that is the only word I have for the way I feel towards my cell phone right now. Since a server breakdown at work I have had nothing but this morning, I had to "Hard Reset" the phone. That means I now have to spend the next hour setting up my preferences, reconnecting to the email, and generally acting like this year-old phone is being set up for the very first time. Exciting, I know...


I have been thinking about the Florida Marlins.

The Florida Marlins? Yes, the Florida Marlins...the baseball team. The team that plays in that hot, humid state with great Cuban food and great beaches.

No, they are not my team. Not even #2.

But they are one of only 3 teams to win the World Series multiple times in the last 15 years. The other two? The Red Sox (Yahoo!!!) and the Yankees.

The Marlins do it a bit differently though...basically, they are uncompetitive, unexciting, and frankly bad for 4 seasons, then are able to put it all together for one magical ride, winning the World Series, only to have the team dismantled the following year and the process begin again.

I wonder if it is a good thing to be a fan of that team. I mean, I have been a Padres fan for my entire life...going to the ballpark and getting crazy for the better part of the last 25+ years. I have tasted appearances in the World Series twice and the playoffs 6 times...but my team does not have that trophy.

The Marlins have a couple of them...1997 and 2003. Outside of those two years, they have not been in the playoffs. But they have won the prize...TWICE.

Is it better for me to be teased, year-after-year (well, 6 times actually), only to be denied the prize...or to be really, really sucky, but to feel the joy of winning it all once in a while?

Anyone who reads this a Florida Fan? What is it like?
My Padres are depressing me this season...and after two major injuries last night, it is not likely to get any better.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mad Verbal Skilz

Back in college I gave up cursing...Through a series of events, I was convinced that I could do better than dropping an "F-bomb", shouting "sonuvab****", or yelling about stuff that comes out of a cow's backside...

So instead I have developed my own brand of expletives. Usually verbalized on the golf course or when I burn myself cooking dinner...

There is the ever present Fred Flintstone (stolen and adapted from my buddy Steve) "Ratchet fratchet fritzer fratz"...

The elevating of livestock "SonuvaMotherlessGoat"...

The invoking of religion "She-ite Muslim"...

Further use of the animal kingdom and their potty behavior "Mother Frog, piece of pooh"...

The old standby "doggonit"...

And my personal favorite "Fart knocker".

Go ahead, shout them...let it out with will see how nicely they roll off the tongue and how much more culturally acceptable they are...well, except the She-ite part, but it does fit nicely sometimes.


I have been known to sprinkle in a "bastard" or "rat bastard" from time to time.


My friend Jeremy loves to get me angry...he says it sounds like "Big-Bird Cussing".


It is interesting, however, how much power we give words. Are any of the above better than actually dropping some old-fashioned four letter words? Not really much difference, but our culture says so, so I must play the game. People at church appreciate it and it is a great conversation starter with others...


In Virginia Beach, Virginia (where Claire and I hang out), there is actually a No Cussing rule on the boardwalk...You can see signs, just like the one above, all along the waterfront. I love them!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rats & Guns

The doctor was perplexed. He seemed sane enough. He was too old for a gang member. He was too happy for a crime victim. Something was just not right. This man sitting in the ER, a bullet wound in his finger, smiling and comforting others in the waiting room. Who is this guy?

Then it was cleared up.

He got tired of seeing/hearing the rats. The final straw was sitting by the pool watching a rat run across the phone line strung across the backyard. It was time to take matters into his own hands.

So Gramps got his gun. A little .22 that was always trusty and true. He sat there, waiting for another chance. Then it came.

"There's one" shouted grandma...

Gramps jumped up and took aim...careful aim. Like when he would shoot the prairie dogs or the skunks growing up in Nebraska. But his hands were not quite as steady as they had been 40 years earlier. So he slid his left hand down the barrel just a bit to steady the gun.

Then the rat made a break for it...and gramps, not wanting to miss his opportunity, pulled the trigger.

His finger-tip did not stand much of a chance. The .22 went right through the end, blowing through the nail, and continuing on to drop the rat.

One bullet, two hits...unfortunately, the tip of gramps finger was one of them. He wrapped it up in gauze, got the dead rat out of the pool, and then drove to the hospital, where he ended up inviting a few other patients to church that Sunday. One of them even became a regular there was some good in the great finger incident of 1988.


If you have any interest, here are a couple other stories about gramps...

The Skunk Hunting

The Squeeze Box

Getting Married (Grandma even commented!)

Saying Goodbye

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Countdown

72 - Hours my work email has been down this week...ugh
61 - Times I laughed out loud while watching the office last night
32 - Years old as of Wednesday
22 - Phone calls wishing me a happy birthday
21 - Really nice comments left on my birthday post
19 - Birthday related texts
15 - Hours Claire spent flying on Tuesday to attend a 2-hour appointment on the West Coast and then back in time for my birthday.
12 - Homemade, birthday, chocolate chip cookies, no nuts, eaten in the last 10 hours.
7 - Friends at my surprise birthday dinner thrown by Claire
4 - Hours spent hanging out at the beach with Claire for my birthday afternoon
3 - Dozen oysters and wings we ate at the surprise birthday dinner
2 - Trips to the store on Thursday night for ingredients to make gluten free carrot cake for our Wii date on Friday
1 - Happy, happy man...with an upset stomach
Whew, after writing all that, I think a deserve a chocolate chip cookie, or two.


Did y'all see this?

It is about, a blogger that is getting 1 million hits a month writing about motherhood and everyday life. I have read her blog a few times and I can tell you that she is very well written.

I know that a lot of people will focus on the $40k per month she brings in due to ad revenue, but I would rather note that she has honed her abilities as a writer. Much like a good book, readers can get sucked in very easily and can't put it down.

While I am not one of dooce's regular readers, there are a couple of blogs that I check more often than I probably should. I would love to see them start generating a million hits a month. Have y'all checked out:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kids Growing Up

Ok, so 32 years ago today, there was a lady kicking it in a Southern California hospital, holding a new baby...

Since that time, the child she held has:

Bungee Jumped, multiple times...fallen in love, thrice...gotten straight A's...failed a class or two...been kicked out of a Denny's...interviewed by the police, twice...lit a forest fire...traveled some of the world...scuba dived...drove 145 mph...gotten 4 speeding tickets...graduated from HS...graduated from college...worked 3 different "careers"...owned 4-8 cars, depending on how they are counted...made the "Hall of Fame" for a body shop that repaired a badly damaged truck...eaten fried, boiled, and baked testicles...cried over beaten up...been a bully...broken all 10 fingers, some of them paid to play a sport...preached sermons...lead a HS group and 2 different college groups...said no to drugs...crushed pummeled by geometry...spent the night holding the hand of a person in the hospital...been very scared...experienced loss...broken someones heart...developed a personal relationship with God...started grad school...sat on a jury, twice...learned how to be slow to anger...forgot what it was like to be happy...remembered again how great life is...helped start a church...attended the World Series...cried at a movie or 10...moved away from home...moved across the country...chased a girl...sang in public...memorized a poem...took dancing lessons...written a poem...prayed out loud...conducted 3 weddings and a funeral...lost my hero...grew a beard...had surgery at least 3 times...voted in every election since turning 18...impersonated a major league baseball player in public...been a published writer...taken a "ride" in an ambulance twice...performed CPR...taken out sutures...smoked a Cuban cigar...crashed a motorcycle...lost a close friend...lost money in the stock market...bought and sold a house...owned a dog...wrestled cattle...planted and harvested corn...had too much to drink...dunked a basketball...been a teetotaler...ridden in a hot air balloon, small plane, and helicopter...ate food from a street vendor in 6 different countries...made someone else cry...learned how to cook...

And through all that, continues to love his mom. So yeah, I got that going for me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Merry Christmas...In May.

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel Born is the King of Israel!

The song above is what I caught myself whistling in the shower yesterday.

The First Noel.


Yes, I love Christmas...and I may or may not have been called the whistler at past job(s)...but, I think I have yet another problem. I mean, I usually wait until at least August to start whistling Christmas tunes.


Claire got an email last week from her good friend Vince...she has been in the Navy Reserves with him for a number of years and they served together in Iraq. He was going to be in town this weekend for the Little League Worldwide Challenger Jamboree. Little League launched its Challenger Division to give kids with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. Both of Vince's kids were able to play and had a great time. They stayed right on the beach, got to explore the area, and have a great weekend together.

It was the first time I had met Vince and he was really a great guy. As Claire and I left after having lunch with him and the kids, Vince stopped us and thanked me for being great to his best-friend Claire. That was was really cool.


If you want a first hand experience with Challenger leagues, check out this post from Missing J.T. Snow. You can find a great example of some of the touching writing she does here...Hey, us baseball fans need to stick together, not to mention, I enjoy her writing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Olde Fashioned Living

Claire came over last night and baked some fresh bread while I slaved away making homemade sausage (meaning I bought it at Costco) with home grown onions and zucchini (meaning I bought them at Farm Fresh).

She had a cute apron on (meaning she put on one of my t-shirts to protect her nice clothes...of course it was way to big for her), she hand kneaded the bread (meaning she put it in the mixer and turned it on), put it in the newly hand crafted clay pot, the one we bought at the craft fair on Sunday, and baked it fresh.

We slaved all day long (meaning about 45 minutes) for this home cooked meal. It was great!

Claire really did make the bread from scratch...3 cups of self-rising flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 can/bottle of room temp beer...mix together, then bake at 450 for 40-45 mins, topping with butter for the last 10 mins or so...not only was it great last night for dinner, but this morning, I spread some jam on top...woooweee.

We watched the Pursuit of Happyness this weekend. It was the second time I had seen it and I am glad I watched it again. It was much better the second time.

For the record, 6'5 and 250lbs is entirely too big for a shortstop. Even weekend warrior softball. Men that size were not meant to play that position...and no, Cal Ripken was not that big.


CONGRATULATIONS to my friends Jeremy/Amity and Katie/Derek...

In the last 5 days, both couples gave birth to beautiful baby girls...I am so VERY thankful that Ava Marie looks more like Amity than Jeremy and that Emily Jean looks like Katie!

Love all 6 of you!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Buddy Does Not Have The Clap

I have been in Nashville since Tuesday with my good buddy KP and his wife...We shot a round of golf yesterday morning and then did miscellaneous things in the afternoon. This included a visit to the doctor. See, he and his wife are going on a trip to India soon and he needed to get a referral for vaccinations. So KP says the following to me:

KP: Bogart, don't forget to bring the newspaper or the PSP to lunch...right after we eat I need to stop at the doctor's office to my vaccination for India.

In my mind, however, I heard the following:

KP: Bogart, don't forget to bring the newspaper or the PSP to lunch...right after we eat I need to stop at the doctor's office to my vaccination for Chlamydia.

I then asked him whether it was him or his wife that had the explaining to do. His quizzical look told me I had misheard.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Name is Biblical

I can neither confirm, nor deny existance of an email that someone's mother may, or may not have sent to me with the following video:


The thing that stands out in this video to me? White people dance funny.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What is that Smell? Pt. 3

It was just for a second. But in that carefully chosen moment, I darted out of the kitchen like a Ninja. Into the living room I went. I was in search of the worlds best finger paint.
Mom had turned away just for a moment and I took advantage. She was not really worried, there is really nothing I could get into. She had just cleaned the house. It did not take long for her to notice that it had been very quiet for a while and that she no longer had me in her sight.

As she began her search, she noticed a faint smell. "Is that dog crap?" she mused aloud. Then she saw it.


The cave paintings behind the ottoman were particularly artful. So was the new type of brown gel I was using. It was all over the chair, the walls, the curtains, me...yes, even in my mouth.


To this day, I don't think my father knows that she used HIS toothbrush to clean me up.


I still think the anger and frustration should have been directed towards the big Irish Setter that had left that present for me. I mean, c'mon, he knew better...and I did not even know how to walk yet. How can I be held responsible?


Monday, May 5, 2008

I am a Wuss...and My Favorite Song

I consider myself in decent shape. Can I play a major league baseball game? No, but I can play hardball in an 18 and up league...Can I play 4 quarters of basketball? No, but I can run in a pick-up game. I am not embarrassed when I go to the gym and I can run 2-3 miles, at a good clip, without dying. I don't even jiggle all that much.

So I can't figure out why I am sore today.

On Sunday, I participated in and E-cycling effort in Virginia Beach. Basically I spent 3 hours lifting computers, monitors, TV's, and other assorted electronics out of people's trunks and back seats then putting them in very large boxes on pallets so that they could be recycled.

I would have expected my back to hurt. It does not.
I would have expected my next to have been sun burnt. It is not.
I would have expected to have barking feet. They are silent.

My tri's, bi's and fingers hurt like a mother though. It strangely makes typing and pushing yourself out of a chair difficult.


What does that mean? Hurting like a mother? Why does "a mother" hurt? And why am I asking you? None of y'all could answer where "colder than a witch's titty" came from.


Top 50, Part 10

You have been patient as I proclaimed my love for my top 50 songs and kind with most of your words (April, I am looking at you!). Thank you for indulging me and my love of music.

So here is my #1 favorite song...

Windmills - Toad the Wet Sprocket...did any of you guess it? I did give clues on Friday. And forgive the video on the link...I know it is terrible, but it is the only copy of the song I could find that I could easily link to.

That entire album, Dulcinea, is playable. I often throw on the entire thing and work.


Thanks to YourBeardIsGood for the idea...he was right, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I am looking at the top 50 now and trying to figure out how some artists like U2, Big Head Todd and AC/DC did not make it. Also trying to figure out how two of the top 3 albums of all-time have no representation. (U2 - Joshua Tree and Pearl Jam - Ten)

I had a blast creating this list. Thanks for indulging me in this little pointless exercise. I hope you found a song or five that was new to you and you now love!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Great Saturday and Top 50, Part 9

Last weekend, Claire

and I

spent the day with our friends Steve and Luanne

on their lovely boat enjoying the water and some frosty drinks.

It was a wonderful day sailing around the river and up to the mouth of the Chesapeake bay. We were very happy to be spending a Saturday like that.

We did have to get back, so we did not make a night of it...I had a softball game...

My wonderful lady came, learned how to keep score, and got eaten alive by bugs...

It was a great day.


Top 50, Part 9

As a disclaimer, these songs are my favorite. I don't necessarily consider them the best songs ever, but they are songs that I turn the radio up EVERY TIME they come on. I sing them loud. I know all the words. They make me happy.

10. You Belong to Me - Jason Wade...Loved the movie Shrek...loved the song even more.

9. Walking in Memphis - Marc Cohn...Another baritone for my list...there is a trend! I have walked in Memphis with my feet ten feet off of Beale. Makes the song that much better.

8. Colorful - Rocco DeLuca & The Burden...I really enjoy a number of Rocco's songs. His music is fun.

7. Trouble - Ray LaMontaigne...I spent a lot of time on the Internet trying to figure out who wrote the original of this...then I discovered that it IS an original. This song seems like it has been around for 30 years, but in reality it was first released in September 2004. I think that speaks to the song's classic-ness. (Is that a word?)

6. Decoder Ring - Pufferfish...Got this song from a friend in LA. If you fall, I fall, we fall...the strange voices meld so well together. Just love it.

5. Camera One - Josh Joplin Group...I really wish the rest of his music was as good as this song. It isn't and I am sad. But he hit something with this one song and just about everyone I have introduced to it loves, here you go.

4. See the World - Gomez...Big fan of Gomez. They have 3 different "lead" singers and on any given song, one or all may sing. I love that they have so many different sounds on just one album and they are, for the most part, all good. This just happens to be, in my opinion, the best song they have done.

3. Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane...I hate the cover that came out last year, this version is so much better. 3 of my sisters have said that every time they hear this song they think of me...I might have played it a bunch since it came out...or I might just come across as happy and adventurous like the lyrics of this song. I am hoping it is the latter...

2. What a Good Boy - Barenaked Ladies...The live version of this song on their Greatest Hits album is so much better than the original and is simply amazing. I would like to know what a "Hairshirt" is...especially if it is "woven from your brown hair"...that does not sound very appealing.

Anyone notice that is two Canadian artists in the top 3? Well, I will have to redeem my Cali roots with #1...

And I will give you #1 on Monday...Here is a hint...Early 90's College Band that had a strange love for Don Quixote and came out of California. I guess the song would be embraced by the Green Party because of their alternate energy plan.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lazy Exercise and Top 50, Part 8

"Going for a run?"
"Exercise a lot?"
"Yup. I try to stay in shape."

That was the extent of the conversation. Why? Because the elevator doors opened and we walked off. It was all we had time for. He had gotten on the elevator just one floor up.

Dude lives on the second floor. Dude likes to exercise. Dude likes to "stay in shape".

Dude won't take the stairs...ever.

I have bumped into him on his way to work. Taking the elevator.
I have bumped into him on his way to run. Taking the elevator.
I have bumped into him going out with friends. Taking the elevator.

Did I mention he lives on the 2nd floor?

Really dude? Really? Something does not add up here.


The stairs are right next to the elevator. They are not inconvenient. I take them to my place on the 4th floor or even to Claire's on the 6th floor regularly.

He lives on the 2nd.


There seems to be some confusion about yesterday's post. That was not a "Hey, look at how great Bogart is. Don't you wish your boyfriend was hot like me." post.

It was a "I have a problem that borders on obsessive" post. It is a burden, not a gift. I will be the old man walking around the hospital, shuffling his feet, picking up everyone else's trash and murmuring something about slobs not pulling their weight. I think they medicate for that.


Top 50, Part 8

As a disclaimer, these songs are my favorite. I don't necessarily consider them the best songs ever, but they are songs that I turn the radio up EVERY TIME they come on. I sing them loud. I know all the words. They make me happy.

The rest of the songs are the top 15. As I chatted with my buddy Neil yesterday I mentioned to him that any of the Top 15 could be #1 on any given day. For the most part, the rest of the songs are not really that much better than the one another, but are ranked as best I can. If the sun shines all weekend, it will probably be the same Monday as it is today...if it rains or snows, there may be some changes. Anyway, without further are 15-11...

15. Collide - Howie Day...I know, overplayed. Does not mean that I can't love it.

14. Speech of Angels - Acoustic Junction...Another more obscure song, but it is quality! Since it is so obscure, I can't find a video or even a copy of the song online. The link is to a place you can preview music...but if you want to hear it, then you will need to download on iTunes...

13. She Talks to Angels - Black Crows...Two songs in a row about Angels. Guess the seminary thing did rub off a lot in my music too! All joking aside, as good as this song is, some of the acoustic versions that are floating around are even better.

12. The Riddle - Five for Fighting...I love the commercials that use the Five for Fighting songs. Did you know the band's name comes from a hockey penalty? Did you know that the lead singer for Five for Fighting, John Ondrasik, has visited troops in Afghanistan and Iraq multiple times?

11. You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban...When I first heard him sing on Ally McBeal (one of the best shows ever!), I taped it and played it over and over. I don't know of any guy singing today that has a better voice.