Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Refinance Loans Suck

My head right now
"Getting a refinance loan for your home doesn't have to be hard."

Yes it does.

Why on earth does it cost so much to get a refinance loan when I have to do so much research and document finding?

So far all my loan officer has done is send me a shit-ton of paper work asking for redundant information and signatures. Oh! He also called an appraiser.

Title companies. At first I had thought that these people were the biggest thieves in the real estate business. But now that I've had time to cool off a bit and see what they do and the legal burden they bear, I can see their need. Their prices are directly reflected by the fact that the light fixtures in their offices cost more than my car.

I was in one title company's main office down in Sugar Land one day. Apparently their owner is a huge fan of big game hunting. He had enormous dead creatures all over the place. He prefers the African varieties. In their main conference room was a zebra and a freakin' huge motorcycle that I thought was a display. Lady said nope, it's just where he likes to park it. Right.

I think they dealt exclusively in the oil & gas business.

Today I'm dealing with a more mundane title company that does residential properties. They're nice and professional and everything. They skipped past most the bullshit I was expecting, so I started liking them. And then today I get the call that they need to order a document from my home owners association. This document basically says we've been paying our dues on time.

That's it.

I'm like. Fine here's my credit card, go ahead.

Then the lady at the title company calls me back saying, "Oops! Turns out that document isn't $45. My bad. It's a $105. And it takes two weeks to get."

Ten business days to generate a document. The one document that is now holding up the closing for our loan. Get this:

"They can get it to us tomorrow for an extra $100."


There's a word for that, isn't there?

Hey pal, I got what you need right here. Yeah, it's kinda expensive but who else is gonna get it for ya? Huh? That's right. Nobody. Pay me now, I'll have it to you maybe two weeks. What? You want it sooner? Well, now. That's gonna cost you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I hate lists.

They are tiny little ultimatums that sneer and snarl at me all the time.

When I left home for college I heard this phrase about once a week: "Make a list!"

Thanks Mom. Yeah. I know what I need to do. I'm pretty sure I can find things to eat. Right! Bank, gotta go there. It's 1993. I'm going to the bank. Every week.

Both a chore and a pleasure. That is until "DIRECT DEPOSIT" was invented. No. More. Bank. Hells yeah.

So anyway, my wife is a list maker. Always has been. Me, my lists tend to be wish lists.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Lone Ranger!

I wrote a movie review! Woo hoo!

You can find it here, where I occasionally guest post because the lady that runs that blog has seen me naked and figures I owe her recompense.

Or something like that.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Craig's List Is KILLING ME!

Oh holy crap snacks.

I've spent the last couple days on Craig's List just cruising around, looking around, seeing what the deals are and where. As I live in the Houston market, they are scattered everywhere.

My favorite section is the FREE section.

I'm laughing right now... hold please.

This is the section you visit for listings on free dirt... there is always free dirt...[1]

Free boxes... the odd thing here is that there are ads for people looking for boxes... that they can't find each other is kinda hilarious in and of itself.

Of course there's all kinds of free crap, free dogs of unknown origin, a finger monkey...

A finger monkey. A FINGER MONKEY.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Yes... This Post Has Tomatoes

First things first.[1] The light in the oven went out about 20 minutes after we installed the oven. This was like 8 years ago or so. I've never really thought having a light in the oven was a big deal, so never replaced it.

Last night the light bulb in Sara's Hello Kitty lamp went *pop* and Stephanie went to the light bulb stash[2] to find a replacement. She chose the package that had a bulb that looked like the one she was replacing.

Stephanie: "Huh. Package says it's an appliance bulb."

Me: "Ovens too?"

Stephanie: "Refrigerators and ovens."

Me: "Sweet. Guess I'll change the bulb then."

She proceeded to choose another bulb and I proceeded to turn changing an oven light bulb into a challenge. As about 2.6% of you might already know, these bulbs are protected by a thick chunk of glass held in place by the most high tech means possible.

It's a wire clip that not only pops off pretty easy, but also comes completely off falling into the racks below. The glass chunk then can fall completely unsupported on to the light bulb itself tearing the bulb from it's screw piece and shattering it into a dozen pieces. I can only assume it's designed to to do this as that is what happened to me.

Well, the filament and mount were still solidly connected to the bottom of the bulb so I thought to just use that to unscrew it.[3] FYI folks, ovens are designed for the light to turn on when the door opens. Now I needed tools...

Anyhow, the bulb got changed, there were no injuries, and I didn't feel like it so I still need to vacuum the oven.

On to the REAL post!

My wife told me I was ready to graduate to the next level of couponing. I had promised her about 6 years ago I'd start helping and she called me on it Tuesday.

My journey was to take me to Dollar General, Target and Walgreens.[4]

At Dollar General I was on a recon mission. I can do recon.

Stephanie: "Find the Head & Shoulders. If they have the 8-ish oz., take pictures, buy two. Use the coupon."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And It's Only June

We still got July & August to go.
Yay! Summer VAY-CAY!


See this pic to the left? Yeah, says it's 92ºF outside. That's the air temp folks. The RealFeel? That's the heat index. Yup, over 100º. You think it's only 100º though?

Try walking barefoot on the sidewalk.

Yeah, the temp coming off the street can melt your souls.

Soles, I mean. Shoe bottoms. Whatever.

It's hot and only going to get hotter. Last year we had like 565 days in a row of over 100 degree heat index. It sucked.

Today I picked up the girls from their gymnastics summer camp. This place is pretty awesome, which is why we keep going back. This year they installed A/C in the gym. Things just keep getting better!

Heads up folks, Sara wants her birthday at Iron Cross Gymnastics[1] again this year. Some of you will be invited. You know who you are. Some of you won't. Sara says you can just drop off your gifts for her at the door.

Monday, June 17, 2013

No Trust

Today was the first day of gymnastics camp for the girls. After dropping them off I stopped by Ye Olde TSO to pick up my new glasses and Stephanie's contacts.

The day passed way too quickly.

And then it was time to pick the girls back up. When I got them seated and all buckled up Zoey notices a little white bag in the passenger seat.

Zoey: "What's that?"

Me: "Mom's contacts. See, I'm wearing new glasses too!"

Zoey: "Hm."[1]

As soon as we get home she jumps out of her seat and opens the bag to find.... Mom's contacts. Two boxes.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Today I Almost Died

The real victim here.
Today I followed up on my garden garlic experiment. As I was three days behind I felt it should probably happen soon as I had garlic bulbils that had been soaking in a cup of water for over a week.

Man did those things stink.[1]

Anyhow, I grabbed the stack of peat pots, put the 14 bulbils in the top one and headed out the door.

And then I was attacked.

It was so damn fast! Something small flew right by my face and started beating against my chest. It skittered up and down and around. I thought it was a wasp attacking me. Normally, I wouldn't panic in this kind of situation but it started heading for my face.[2]

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Yeah... Right.

This right here is an example of how retailers believe people are perfectly utterly stupid.

Stu. Pid.[1]



Serves more what, exactly?[2]

I mean, I suppose I could cut them all in half and serve EVEN MORE!!

I could cut them up into teeny tiny itsy bits and serve THOUSANDS!!!!

Of pieces. I'm sure that's what the sticker means: THIN CUT Serves More pieces. Not people. Unless you have a bunch of people that aren't really hungry.

Wait... this is America![3]

Hold on... Jesus... is this how He did it? Fishes and loaves. He cut them thin! Oh my God. The only miracle here is that He had a deli slicer 2000 years ago.[4]

The only real truth here is that anyone actually feeding a family with this is going to need to buy more food.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blog Update

I updated my blog to have tabs. I heard somewhere that people reading blogs like to see tabs. So I tabbed my blog with TABS!

So far all I got are Home, About Me, and Elephant Garlic...

I'm planning a Space Fort tab, but I'm not sure yet how to put that together.

She spends 75% of her time right here.

UPDATE: Just realized this was my 100th post. Damn... Thinking I shoulda' went with my space fort idea.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Thoughts Going Into The Weekend

Just some random crap:[1]

1. Where are the vast hickory forests we are burning down to smoke all our meat, cheese, sauce & dog chew products?[2]

2. Every house I visit has nice beautiful windows with the blinds pulled down and closed. Maybe an idea for new houses or renovations could be to close off those openings, have faux windows on the outside with either wall eyes on the inside or high def monitors showing what's on the outside... Oh I'm on to something here.

3. FYI, butter explodes.[3] In other news, the microwave needed cleaning anyway.

4. Watching a child sleep can be a heartwarming experience. And when they dream, priceless! Until you watch them go through REM with their eyelids open. Then it's creepy.

5. My children were introduced to Nutella this week. So ends my time as a "good" parent. But lunch time did get yummier. It's a word, leave me alone.

*GASP!*  *droooool*

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Alive And Well

I was introduced to the idea of my own mortality at an early age. Ten to be specific. Don't get me wrong. I knew things died. I knew people died. It had just not occurred to me that I would die. And then I started wasting away...

I suffered from a childhood illness that, at the time, very nearly could have killed me. As a matter of fact, I was so impressed with my illness, the name[1], and the conversations that happened around me that I was certain my death was imminent. I lived each day just letting life happen around me. I immersed myself in fiction to escape the certain knowledge that ultimately nothing real was going to happen to me. But I was unexpectedly cured by the time I turned 18.[2]

Monday, May 27, 2013

On Friendship

Somebody need a friend?
Last Saturday morning we needed to get moving pretty quickly as Zoey had a soccer game to get to. 

Because I'm the cook, I typically eat last.[1]

By the time I sat down to eat the girls were done and sent to get dressed. It was still early enough Zoey didn't need to be in her uniform, but when it comes to doing anything she is the slowest human being alive. So we tried giving her a sense of urgency.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Miss Having A Job


Yeah. You heard me. The other day I confessed to my wife that I actually missed having a job.

She said, "You can have mine."

I'm not impressed.

Here's the thing. I've been a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD), homeschooling, child-caring, random-crap-doing, guy for two years now. I've enjoyed damn near most of it. Don't get me wrong, there have been those moments I'd rather someone else had dealt with, but all in all, I wouldn't have gone back to work for anything.

And here I'm missing it. Why?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Zombie Turduckens 2!

That's right folks. THEY'RE BACK! If you didn't catch part one... go here.

This time the "Madden Special" comes in a somewhat different form. You see, John escaped the fiasco in California and shambled his rotting carcass all the way to Miami.

Ohio. He relocated to Miami, Ohio. In all seriousness his goal was Florida, given how it seems to be the final resting place for an awful lot of formerly living people, but he took a wrong turn.

No, not in Albuquerque. It's impossible to take a wrong turn in Albuquerque. Have you ever been there? There's like two highways. One goes left and right, the other up and down. He was going right. No, he took a wrong turn in Dallas. His already muddled and now deceased brain got confused by the fact that there are two Interstate 35's in Texas. And then there's the whole IH 20, 30, 40... by the time he stopped spinning he was already through Kentucky and decided that he was done traveling.[1]

Friday, May 24, 2013

I Got Plans And Zoey Is Still Freaking Out About Germs

Blog Enhanced!
I've discovered that I got a lot of things I want to write about. I've started several posts that need work, pictures, and completed "enhancements".

That's what I'm calling those footnote thingies you see that are not clickable. If you hold your mouse over the blue footnote thingy, you get a hover note! That's right. Bonus brain goo that just oooooozes out of the normal post.

If you are reading my blog on a phone or tablet, they don't work. Sorry, but no mouse, no enhanced goo.

In other news: Zoey is still freaking out about germs. Booger and poo germs are a thing and she's a very careful observer.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eww. Gross.

This story is going to take a minute. Think of it as a literary version of "found footage".[1]

It all began at the park Monday. [2] We go to the park for park-day every Monday at around noon. The whole homeschool group shows up and and a couple dozen kids all play while the grown-ups (a bunch of ladies and me[3] have grown-up conversations. You know, mostly how lessons are going, the condition of public schools today, and lactation. (That last one was really more them than me...)

Zoey, the nine-year-old, comes to me with extremely wet and soapy hands.

Z: "I need a paper towel."

Me: "You need to wash your hands."

Z: "I did."

Me: "Well, you apparently aren't done yet. Go rinse those hands off and I'll give you a towel."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Week End

And another weekend has suddenly, abruptly, and mysteriously disappeared. I have no idea what happened. It was Beer:30 Friday and then BOOM! it's Sunday night.

Why is this not a QWERTY keyboard?
So I tried signing up for Hulu Plus Friday night. Why? Because Netflix doesn't have Duck Dynasty. So I found that Hulu Plus had it on their list. Awesome, right?

I signed up online. Then I downloaded it for the Wii because TV is always better ON TELEVISION. I'm weird that way I guess.

After 20 minutes of signing up, logging on, downloading, installing, logging in again, we finally are ready! And we get the error message, "HAHAHAHAH! SUCKER! We're so sorry, but the show you spent 20 minutes trying to watch, we're not going to let you because that's one of the shows you can only watch online. Who the hell watches TV on television? You are SO not in our demographic. Losers."

Everyday I'm shovelin'
And then we ended up watching the ONE EPISODE out of four they had available on my laptop. Then I killed our account. Call me a loser will you...

And check out this little lady over here. A few years ago[1] I wrote a piece that was all about Sara being a big girl. At the time she was three years old and wanted nothing more than to help me turn the compost. Saturday she was finally big enough to actually use the shovel! Woo hoo! She lost interest pretty quickly.

Sara: "This is kinda boring."

Me: "Yup"

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Back To Blogging

So, I've decided to start blogging again. Well, ten days ago anyway. I don't know why. I'm not entirely sure why I stopped. I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing about it right now.

I just am.

In some ways I use this medium as a simple means by which to just air out the crazy in my head. Not that what I write is crazy, I call it crazy because that's what happens to me when I don't let it out. Like today. I just kinda feel like I need to spell it out on paper.

Or electrons. Whatever.

So yes. I'm back to blogging for however long I feel like it.

I joked with another blogger that had suddenly decided to hang up her hat. She had what I had thought was a successful blog and I did enjoy reading her posts. She made an announcement that she was leaving her blog behind to spend more time with her family. It almost sounded like an unpopular politician quitting before being voted out of office. I told her that I didn't quit so much as just stopped showing up.

I'm pretty sure that how most blogs die.[1]

I have in my mind a vision of lost blogs, abandoned blogs, lost and alone. And unlike polydactyl cats[2][3], there's no one to pick them up and see that they are cared for. But they don't really die either. They just hang out there, collecting random spam comments.[4]

So I'm back to blogging for a while. Read or don't. Leave a comment, or don't. I've mentioned it before when I blogged about blogging, I'm really doing this just for me.

I'm going to go watch Duck Dynasty now.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cupcake Love

Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I do hereby announce my candidacy for DAD OF THE EVER!

Dad. Of. The. Eh.Ver.

As in, I did this because I'm... well... awesome. If I had to choose a word it would have to be "awesome".

"Why?" you ask. Because this, right here.

Awesome doesn't quite capture it.
 I had, over the day, developed the best headache ever. As It was a perfectly nice day, of which I am extremely allergic to, I, of course, collapsed into a gel of goo.

I do so love my goo. Eww.

Zoey, my ever so loving and nap interrupting 9-year old, decided that in an effort to cheer me up and make me feel better she'd make me a cupcake with her Girl Gourmet cake thing-a-ma-jig (TM).

The Red Velvet expired in March. 2011. While it was cooking our house smelled like decade old Wheat Thins found in the back of the back of the warehouse where old army surplus clothing was stored until "New Management" took over.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I started writing a part two to my Zombie Turducken story the other night. Today I was going to work on it some more and instead thought to actually Google zombie turduckens. I found my old post, plenty of turducken pictures and this![1]

When I seeTurducken Slammer, I
think Turducken Correctional Facility.
 I so want credit for this. There's this show that comes on CW called Supernatural. Apparently it's pretty popular. It's been on for eight seasons now!

This episode originally aired a whole month after I wrote my story. So they can't claim it was me copying them! Granted, their story has more to do with zombies and turducken sandwiches than zombie turduckens. In either case, I'm going to just assume my story gave the seed kernel and they ran with it.

Dear CW,

You're welcome.



I got on Netflix and watched this episode. Here's a recap with pictures!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When Did They Start Selling Bacon In Troy Ounces?

Bakin' bacon
For Mother's Day this year I baked bacon for the first time. Well, second time. In either case I took the package of bacon out and started pulling it apart and placing the strips on the baking sheet.

First things first. Stop frying your bacon three or four strips at a time. Put it all on a baking sheet and find something else to do for 20 minutes.[1]

I don't do the shopping in my house. Many of you already know this. If I'm in a grocery store it's because I was sent there on a mission. I'm either buying ice, beer, wine or some combination of the three. I really haven't paid much attention to packaging since I actually worked in a grocery store which was 14 years ago.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Zombies: Fast & Slow


Fast zombies! Slow zombies!

I've read a few articles that discussed the entertainment value of each and found that people are way too serious about discussing this topic. [1]

This seems to have been a topic of conversation pretty much ever since zombie movies started being made.

The first zombie movie as far as I know was White Zombie in 1936 starring none other than the famous Béla Lugosi. This movie portrayed zombies in the most traditional sense. Using a magic potion Lugosi's character, Murder Legendre [2], a white Haitian voodoo master, kills people, revives them as zombies, and uses them as slaves in his sugar cane mill. [3]

These kind of zombies are just like normal people in that they can walk, talk, and do things as any living person might with the exception that they are enthralled by the voodoo master. Soulless beings, they have no sense of self.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

For The Love of Mike

I've heard this phrase a few times over the course of my life and never knew what it meant.

It's been stuck in my head for a while now and I finally got around to using this "internet thingy" to find out what it means.

I'm kind of a word nut in that I really like knowing what words and phrases mean. I mean, really mean. I know what Thing here means when he said "Oh, fer the love of Mike." He's swearing an oath. But since swearing is bad, you've got to turn the phrase.

Like when people say, "Oh for Pete's sake." They are avoiding saying the word "God". I imagined that was the reason for the Mike substitution. But who the hell is Mike?

Well, I'm gonna tell ya!

I found out that this phrase is actually between 600 and 800 years old. It was a soldier's oath. And since swearing is bad, saying the word "God" in your swear is even worse. It's one of the Big 10 ya know. So rather than risk an eternity in Hell, they started swearing to Mike. As in St. Michael, the patron saint of warriors and the Archangel that sent Satan to the hot seat.

Linguists and etymologists have a term for this. It's called a minced oath. Like when you step on a Lego in the middle of the night and feel like screaming, "Jesus Christ!" you instead bite your tongue and squeak out, "Cheese and rice!" See? You get to turn an eternity of damnation into a delightful side dish.

I learned all this by visiting Bill Casselman's website where he explained this in well written detail. I absolutely love that there are people in this world that study this stuff for my benefit. I'm not sure how long he studied in order to know this, but it only took me three minutes thanks to him.[1]

Saturday, May 11, 2013

GAAAAAHH!! Cockroach!


It all started with toast. Zoey wanted a toasted sandwich for lunch so I popped a couple pieces of bread in the toaster oven. As we were waiting patiently Zoey screamed and pointed.

“GAAAAAAH!! Cockroach!”[1]

And sitting there on top of the dish towel next to the toaster oven was this big ol’ ugly cockroach.

Big. Ol’. Ugly.

It was staring at us like, “Dude! I was totally dozing off under there and BOOM! on comes the sauna. A little warning next time?”

So I grabbed the frying pan sitting on the stove and went after it like Conan the Barbarian. I wanted to hit it hard, but we had just installed granite counter tops. I was a gentle barbarian. So it skittered across the stove where I really started scaring it. It slipped beneath one of the burners and under the drip pan.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nature Walk!

This entrance is at the back of the church parking lot.
That's right folks, it's NATURE TIME!

For a  field trip we went with one of our homeschool groups to the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. It was an ideal day too. Although we were under trees most the time, the constant cloud cover was nice too. The temperature was nominal if the humidity was not. What to do? It's Houston.

If you want to go there, there are a half dozen entrances from the surrounding neighborhoods. There isn't an actual entrance entrance. You gotta know somebody. I drove around before finally stopping to ask somebody.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Giant African Land Snails... IN HOUSTON!

And not in a "at-the-local-zoo" kind of way. Holy crap snacks folks. Here's the local broadcast from KPRC where they tell you not to touch them, and then show people holding them.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

And a link to the story: LINK!

And now I totally want one...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dinner! Bacon! Beer! Wednesday!

I'm back!

So I decided to make dinner. Well, I always make dinner, but I didn't want to tonight. So it was an active decision to do it anyway. I decided to make hamburgers. We don't have hamburger buns and I'm forbidden to go to the grocery. So they are going to be more sandwich-ish than usual. I saw a thing online some time ago where the dude made a hamburger patty, cut a hole out of the center with a glass, and then fried an egg in it. He claimed it was the best burger ever.

I also ran across a link while twittering where some lady made beer candied bacon. She obviously had some weird desire to be the most popular woman on the internet. Key words here kids are as follows:





And then I got the notion that this delicacy could quite possibly make the egg/burger even better. Hell, I got the notion it could make anything better. Eating this bacon could make Cheerios better. It could make the last Ghost Rider movie better. Well... maybe. It might even make me a better person! I dunno... It's in the oven RIGHT NOW.

Ok, while it cooks here's a link to the some lady. She's at Tide & Thyme. Here's a link to the drrrooooool.

Sorry, no links for the egg/burger thing. You'll just hafta live with the pics I make. Just know that I make no claims to credit for this fabulous idea. Unless it completely rocks my world. Then yes, it was all me.

Ok, first things first... I cooked the bacon. PICTURES!