About a year

Yeah…It was somewhere around this time last year, that this blog started. I find myself at a seminar in Atlantic City again, but this time I'm not watching the hitting prowess of David Ortiz against New York Yankee pitching. The seminar was a bit later this year, so baseball's over, and the only sports I've seen down here are the Sixers, which I could do without.

A lot has changed in a year. I've lost a father and gained a son. I've gotten a crash course in estate taxation, tenant/landlord relationships, probate, and all other kinds of financial shenanigans. I've mostly resisted my urge to buck all responsibility, but these things have a way of following you around so that won't do me any good.

But it's my last night in AC. I'm only $ 50 in the hole. I've got a full stomach, and I'm staying at the Tropicana which I highly recommend. You won't go hungry or dry at this place. But I tire of posting, there are other matters at hand. Like calling for a wake-up call, packing, and arranging for room service breakfast.

tbimb post no. 4080

backpain. physical therapy. diaper changes. schedule changes. repairs. price quotes. recycling. cans to the curb. contractors. IRA contributions. empty water bottles. wistfulness. icepacks. ratchet sets. ftp sites. gas pump comparison. lack of sleep. anti-inflammatories. liquid glucosamine searches. deposit slips. balance transfers. space-saving techniques. short attention span. buyers remorse. prescription drugs. there's a dam in my stream of consciousness. it now flows like a 70 year old with prostate troubles. where's my lycopene?

Important Job

We had just returned from the local toy
store from our old town. Yes,
there are still a few left. There were actually two in that

My son issued a mandate and was quite adamant that it was top

“Daddy! This is an important job. You need to
this out on the computer to everybody in our

My son is 3 1/2, actually just about 4 years old, and in his world
trucks, dirt, and trains rule. Especially Thomas the Tank

And we had just purchased “Henry's
, which has been discontinued
for years. So you can understand my son's excitement.

Now I'm not one of those that buys toys for my kids to just look at.
You know, keep it in the box so it doesn't lose its value while it
on a shelf in a kid's room collecting dust. So yes, all Hess
fair game. Boxes are open and even discarded. If they brake…well,
they brake. The child only cries because they broke a favorite toy,
because Mommy and Daddy can't believe they broke that toy that in 20
years would have bought 1/4 of a college textbook for said

So “Henry's Tunnel” was apparently from the 1996 Thomas the Tank
collection. Which, to my son my as well be, the Bronze Age. My
“important job” as he put it was to share with everyone a picture of
the Thomas the Tank Engine lineup for 1996.

So here it is.

My son also told me how he's no longer going to include Q when singing
the alphabet. He wasn't clear about the reason why. Perhaps it has
something to do with that whole “U
always follows Q”
rule, which I'm
sure back in the day was as hotly contested as the designated hitter
rule in baseball. And since spelling to him, is not nearly as
as digging, I'll spare him the exception of proper nouns like Qatar
until he's older.

In fact, given recent events, I'd like to avoid any mention of the
Middle East to my son for quite some time.

I should mention that he also likes to jump from 11 right to 14 when
counting. I remind him of the existence of 12 and 13, but he tells me
he knows that, but just doesn't want to say those.

You'll know if my son has become an architect someday, when you report
to your office on the 17th floor, and realize you're only 15 stories

Save the Breast for Last

Actually, I'll lead with it.

Drop in for Tara Reid's  exposed breast. Stick around for political discourse.

That's Hategun. Not to be confused with Lovegun. No…wait…I actually meant the Kiss album. I swear. This blog needs to cut down on the NSFW.

Although, at least Ashcroft won't be bothering me anymore. But before we go celebrating uncovering those revealing, sinful statues in D.C., let's be sure it's not a case of the “The Devil You Know…”.

I figured you know the rest of that one, I don't exctly remember. But I
do know it's appropriate, and doesn't break any decency laws.

Who will it be? Alberto Gonzales? Officer Barbrady? Mr. Garrison? Chef? Jimbo? the 1989 Denver Broncos?

You know…Barbrady would probably slip into the Bush cabinet as
Attorney General just as easy as Tara Reid's breast slipped out of that
dress. (see above) Jimbo could take over as Secretary of Defense. And
I'm sure Bush could find a position for Garrison, who would support the
president's stance against gay marriage.


My son's 4th birthday party is approaching. In this day and age of
parental overindulgence, this is nothing short of organizing a small

The invitations: Do we make them? Do we fill out pre-printed? Do we order them custom?

The cake: Is it Thomas the Tank Engine? Is it Bob the Builder? Is it
Spider-Man? Yellow cake with chocolate icing? Chocolate cake with
yellow icing?

The food: (because it's mostly family and mostly adults, we can't just
throw a bunch of chicken fingers in the oven and be done with it) Do we
cook? Do we cater? Do we cook some and cater a few trays?

Then there's the themed plates and napkins and cups. The party favors
and goodie bags. You can't give the older kids the same stuff that's in
the little kids goodie bags? And the babies that come, well they get
goodies too, age-appropriate never gonna remember if they got anything
or not goodies.

And activities…hence the title.

Bouncy…Bouncy thing…jumper…big inflatable thing for kids to jump
on while parents cross their fingers that there are no skull cracking

Actually I didn't think about that part until now. I love bouncy things
the last time we were at a kid's party, it was my son's first time
seeing one of these contraptions, so dear old Dad spent a good portion
of the time in there, too. And, yes it is fun.

Now finding a rental place in our proximity with the day availabile,
and the type of bouncy we are looking for (a train theme) at a
reasonable price with a reasonable cancellation policy, has been a bit
trying. My wife has been starting to stress a bit, so I jump in and
turn to Google for help.

Search terms: bouncy (not sure what to call the thing, I figuree
“bouncy” is a good place to start), middlesex county (that's our
county), jersey (we live in New Jersey, the “new” would probably be too

The results weren't nearly as focused as I would have expected. I found
one bouncy company that looks like it will be out of our price range,
but plenty of bouncy companies in the U.K. Damn those bloody wankers.

After that, there were a few items on the list that I found odd and/or disturbing to appear on this page of search results:

Let's start with #4: Furries Meetup

Yes, furries.
You know, the kids who worked at amusement parks wearing those animal
outfits that never wanted to give them back, the acrobatic and/or
annoying mascots at college sporting events. A sampling of the furries
on this page included: a Purple Tiger, a Rabwolf, a Shaggy Reversed
Zebra, an Arctic Fox, and a Snow Leopard.

But, who am I to judge? Furries are moving from the edge to the mainstream. There's the now infamous E.R. episode. The excellent DJ Format video for “We Know Something…” directed by Ruben Fleischer.
The costumed mascot needed liberation from the college campus and onto
main street. It makes me wonder how tough things were starting out for
the Phillie Fanatic. He's like the Jackie Robinson of the
subculture. Maybe someday we'll have a world where all prejudices will
be washed away and we'll see Goths
(NSFW) and Furries walking hand-in-hand. But those Renaissance fair outfit
wearing people still kind of weird me out, and I've even played Dungeons & Dragons in
my lifetime. I've rolled the 20-sided die.

Now #19 is a bit more obvious:

It links to a page from the Breast Expansion Archive.
I saw the title and thought, maybe this is like a support group forum
for women thinking of upping a cup size. Discussing pros/cons,
before/after, prep/recovery and that sort of thing. But after looking
at the choice of icons in the messageboard, I started thinking that's
probably not the case.

Moving to the main page of the site (NSFW), it became clearer that the
site was more for guys that prefer some enhanced cleavage. although it
seemed that surgical enhancements weren't enough, and Photoshop
enhancements are the enhancement du jour. (I could have used synonyms
or metaphors just now. But I thought I would just repeat the word
enhancement until you wanted to beat me over the head with it.)

In the Top 30 links there was also a Discordians meetup site (another blog, another day) and The UK Face Painting Association page.

Face Painters of the U.K. Unite!

I wonder if they have a union. I'd paint my face for better and cheaper medical coverage. I'd probably don the fur as well.

but I still don't have a bouncy thing.

THE LAST WORD: My favorite new word is “fursona”. I suppose it would be
defined as your furry persona. Are you a chinchilla? Maybe an okapi?
Perhaps a lynx? Great bastardization of our language. I wonder how many
years before it's in Webster's.