Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Phos's Bad Knee Day

The knee is acting up again and no amount of painkiller seems to be working, even a couple of Motrin boilermakers didn’t seem to have much of an affect. Anyway, I am attempting to rest the joint as much as possible, between answering the phone and seeing what Yukon is barking about, that is.
Yukon and Austrella

I recently got Photoshop CS2 and have been puttering a bit - took some shots out in the yard and tried some different settings. The software is complex, so with me it is like a rhino trying to tie a shoe lace, if rhinos actually had shoes to tie.

Had a lovely lunch. As much as I love to cook sometimes I just need to go back to my roots. When I was young, right up until I was 11 years old hotdogs were a mainstay. They were safe food and never tasted like crap, unlike some of mom’s dishes. Her “Salmon Loaf” leaps immediately to mind. So I boiled up some franks. The package promised they were beef, but as we all know the sausage makers consider everything from asshole to moo beef, so you’re on your own. I had picked up this pack for my Chinese New Years party. I almost always have some hotdogs handy at these things because you never know when someone’s kid thinks anything out of a wok is gross. I did bow to the occasion and referred to them as “Dragon Tails” vice hotdogs. A little cheddar, some brown spicy mustard and I am good to go.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Phos's Very Lazy Post

Unanswered Questions

How can stock prices falling in China, affect us? What is a communist country doing trading stocks in the first place?

We have heard the statement we won’t negotiate with terrorists fairly often, so why does Condi Rice suddenly want to talk with Iran and Syria, two nations that run the “Terrorists are Us” franchise for the middle east?

If the Taliban want to kill Cheney, why don’t they just take him dove hunting? How come they got to move to the front of the line in the first place?

In the next election, how many people will care what Britney Spears thinks? Paris Hilton? Tom Cruise? Yes, I think the US has sunk that low.

Are you telling me the $15 bottle of anti-oxidant vitamins I bought is useless?

All right, you got me. I couldn’t think of anything to write today.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Leave Well Enough Alone

Why do companies feel it is necessary to continually tamper with their products packaging? I grabbed the wrong bag of dog food once because Purina nutzed with one of their brands making the bag look like the brand I usually buy. Not that there is a lot of difference since there doesn’t seem to be anything an animal puts in its mouth these days that Purina doesn’t own. Hell they even make Monkey Chow. The packaging confusion is worst for feminine products. The Pad Manufactures of America (feminine, not brake) change the wrapper design every couple of days, it seems. Phos goes to the store with “pads in the purple package” on his list. There is no purple package. I see yellow packages, red packages (Seems appropriate), pads with wings, pads with jet engines, and now I am in uncharted waters. My cell phone has no coverage in the market or most anywhere else come to think of it so now I have to guess. I learned long ago you never buy a dress or a purse for the wife without her input, this is even more crucial. I invariable guess wrong. Crap.

While I was up in the sanitary/quasi-sexual neck of the woods I noticed the prophylactics are back behind the counter. Hope parents aren’t wondering why teens are having unprotected sex. Think I have it bad wandering around the market with a huge bright pink package of feminine pads (undoubtedly the wrong ones, so I’ll be back), what about poor little Jonny Firsttime who wants to demonstrate his undying lust for little Mary Jane Rottencrotch and has to ask the druggist for a package of wiener-wraps? Ain’t gonna happen. Even when I was in college I was embarrassed to ask because you are admitting that you are fixin’ to compromise some young damsel’s virtue and the granny behind the counter isn’t going to take too kindly to that.


I wound up putting the word verification back on as I noticed a lot of “opportunities” for enhanced sexual performance, stock tips, and mortgage deals were creeping into the comments section of old posts. The spammers are trying to back door me, so to speak. Another interesting note, over the weekend I had a screen that told me I should update my shell so I could customize my blog. It promised that elements of my Blog would be saved. What it did not warning me about is that my list of links to fellow bloggers wasn’t one of those elements. Fortunately I was able to revert to the old list and saved the links. I have also added a couple links that I should have included before.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007


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The Stupid Virus Spreading Rapidly

TV is Evil

Allowing the same box that brings Wresting and the home shopping network into your home is probably not the best choice for a baby sitter. Now the dark side of TV is creeping into the nursery . How long before the TV industry realizes the marketing potential and starts pandering to the burgeoning infant market? I can’t help but think that allowing your two year old TV privileges is borderline neglect. Whatever happened to nurturing? The infant watching TV has just taken his or her first steps on the road to Stupidtown (this happens to be EL Mirage, AZ according to latest statistics). For the love of god, read to your child, hold him or her in your lap and read to them. I am going to publish a list of books in a future Blog that would be suitable for young kids.

The Death of Common Sense

“I never wear a seatbelt.” This statement was right out of the mouth of a young student in my wife’s pre-school class. After Mrs. Phos recovered she explained patiently to the child that aside from being against the law, not wearing a seatbelt could be dangerous. What kind of parents are those? I mean even our dogs are belted in when we drive anywhere with them. Ok, part of this is so Yukon doesn’t decide to come on up and help me steer the car, but in a larger sense it is so the pups are safe.

Hope everyone is having an ice weekend so far. There is supposed to be an eclipse of the moon on 3 March, so we have that going for us, which is nice. Never hurts to look up once in awhile during your busy day.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Grumbling from Tiny House

I read a Blog discussing the vanishing price tags in stores. It is expensive to tag each item so stores rarely do it any longer, relying on shelf tags or store scanners. This would be great if the scanners all worked and gave the correct information or the shelf tag is actually there and actually correct. Wal-Mart and AutoZone here in Phoenix were cited for giving the customers the old “carnival count” when it came to charging them at the register and ringing up a higher price then what was on the shelf tag. It is also exceedingly frustrating when unable to find out how much an item costs before buying it, the scanners are few and far between (when they work) and the shelf tags may or may not have anything to do with the item on the shelf. One suggestion was to carry a Sharpie and write the price, if you can find it, on the item and then watch the cashier like a hawk.

“No Child Left Behind” is a load of crap. Aside from the burden of testing, extra training, certification, and managing overcrowded classrooms falling on squarely on the shoulders of already overworked educators, the Special Needs kids are muscling the Typicals out of the classroom. While I agree all kids should get an even shake, when resources are scarce, i.e. classrooms and trained teachers, it should strictly be first come first serve. The hurdles placed before teachers to teach special needs are also exceedingly difficult to surmount. The state keeps upping the ante – soon qualified teachers will move on and the situation will become even more critical.

Nanuk has come up with a great plan for protecting the environment while keeping himself awash in booze. I left a tongue in cheek response regarding the disposal of tires and spent motor oil. Despite my callous attitude, I believe he has a good point and realize he has a vested interest. His world is literally changing before his eyes. It is worrisome to hear some of the effects of Global Warming first hand. His item was well written and very humorous. I have been even thinking of changing over from charcoal, which I love cooking over, to propane to help lower my carbon footprint and am using compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent in most parts of the house. I am still thinking about disposing of that motor oil in my neighbor’s garden, but just because I don’t like him vice an act of eco-terrorism.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Dont...

I am not feeling terribly clever at the moment, for whatever reason, but thought I would share some pictures from the day as the clouds rolled on out, more or less anyway...

Early Morning


Late morning


Late Afternoon

A Visitor to the Air Patch

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Old Gray Stallion Just Ain’t What He Used to Be…

Well our Chinese New Year celebrations I over, I am shoveling out the kitchen – seems every time I think I am close to done I find another empty wine bottle. Anyway, it was a lot of fun; we had a good turn out lots of food, fun, and drink. I think it was the drink part that got me – Ol’ Phos used to drink two or three liters of wine no problem. Ok, I wouldn’t get behind the wheel, but I was ok and felt fine the next day. I probably had one liter of wine, between bottles of Pinot and Merlot and am zombified today.

Good luck and prosperity have already shined down upon Yukon, who scored a cheese stick one of the kids left on the table as well as a bowl of fortune cookies that were left unattended in the dog zone, which explains all the paper fortunes lying in the backyard. He is off to a good start, but the rest of us might have a rough time in “The Year of the Pig”. According to what I have read, being born in a Pig year is very fortuitous, living to tell the tale may be another story. In other words, batten the hatches folks.

Well in the words of the bard, I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in, so out here for now, and happy New Year to all!!!

Tiny House at Full Capacity

The Boys Party Down

Yukon Plotting the Great Cookie Heist

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy New Year

I am afraid I am going to be incommunicado the next couple of days, I have a lot to do to get ready for the New Year. Happy New Year to you all, by the way. I hope you have a prosperous and fortune filled new year!

Before I leave you I have to share a letter my brother sent – I wasn’t sure he could even write, but once again he proves me wrong. He called me Winston – referring to the little kid that gets beaned in “Dodge Ball”, the kid that is always picked on and never chosen for the team. He sent me hot chocolate so I could warm up from the “terrible cold” – with mini-marshmallows. Some would take it as an insult, but I just laughed, and Winston laughed. Winston started drinking the six pack of Kiltlifters he was going to send his funny brother for St Patrick’s Day and laughed some more. Suddenly Winston didn’t feel so cold. Well, have to go check those ribs. I don’t grill in sub-zero weather because I am smart enough not to have to!!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Late Valentine's Greeting

Valentine’s Day is upon us, if you are reading this and you didn’t buy flowers or a least a crappy card for your significant other you are already screwed and probably just about to sack out on the couch or evict Rover for the night. Sucks to be you.

Ol’ Phos knows what the wimmens wants! I am treating my wife to a gourmet meal (Philly cheese steak sandwich and fries) at the local food court and then whisking her off for a fun filled evening of romance at the library with my book discussion group. It was just the curse of the calendar that landed our group meeting right smack dab on Valentine’s Day. I could blow the meeting off, but I missed it last quarter and we only meet once in a blue moon, so off we go.

I do have some shrimp and couple steaks tucked away and after our New Year’s celebration I will probably treat her to a more romantic evening at home – just her, me, and a couple of huskies eying up our plates.

Speaking of Love it appears the internet has lost its luster for mate finding, most likely because the market is awash in “Russian Brides”. That and one matchmaking site’s commercial that always shows the same red headed girl “Anna” being picked from their dating service, leading me to believe she is the only non-farm animal in their listings.

Congrats to “Diamond Jim” For taking Best in Show at Westminster, even though the Northern Breeds were once again disrespected.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Maybe Building an Ark isn't a Bad Idea...

Here I sit waiting for the delivery dude who will show up within the “window” the company set. The window boils down to all day of course, with and hour gap so the delivery dude can hide behind the local strip mall and do some lunchtime bong hits. No worries, plenty to do around Tiny House. Had to phone into the Vet to see what Yukon’s twitching whisker means, if anything. Got laundry going, and managed to step outside a bit.

Cold and rainy today. I was hoping to trot out the leaf blower, but wet leaves don’t blow very well, so that will have to wait for another day.

I did see a GBH or Great Blue Heron fly over noggin. I tried to snap a photo, but I only had my “walking around camera” and that doesn’t quite have the lens power to make it that far. It was nice to see nonetheless. Herons aren’t a real common sight in these parts, though I suspect with mom and dad moving here from Chicago, and stocking the backyard pond they had to have with yummy gourmet fish we’ll start to see more Herons.

Even found an old friend while doing laundry – Mussolini sock puppet. I suspect Mrs. Phos, might have accidentally worn him, though I have no proof. I do not know if Mussolini sock puppet will survive the rigors of the washer, but only time will tell….

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

11 Feb: The Kids Visit The Tiny House

Another weekend comes to a close at the Tiny House. Sad that, and to make things even more dreary a rain storm has passed through. Not a gully washer or frog choker, just a long slow dripping from sullen gray clouds. Great napping weather, but not good for much else. I shouldn’t complain because I know we need the rain, but I begrudge the lack of sunshine. I swear I am solar powered and cloudy days just leave me in the dumps.

We’ve waved good bye to the kids, hate to see them go because they and their pup bring some real life to the Tiny House. With the extra pup in the house the pack dynamic winds up and everything is a maelstrom of fur and fang – tough to catch the action so I only have pictures of one or two of the varmints at a time. Even then they were only caught still because my son-in-law had some treats in his hand.

It was a nice visit. The girls got out and did some shopping without the grousing male component, and the boys watched Jet Li’s Fearless and lamented the fact it is his last film. Braised some ribs, my last chance for a dry run before the New Year’s celebration coming up next week. Unfortunately I found them wanting. They were good but not great, some critical element is still missing. Maybe the addition of plum wine and some smoked paprika, or maybe I need to grill them a bit and then braise them, just to get some sweetness from the caramelizing. Oh well, I suspect it is going to be a come as you are kind of party as far as the food goes.

I have included some pictures of the pack, the clouds that prohibit the sun from shining down on Tiny House, and the skull. The skull once belonged to a beef, or steer if you will, and testifies to the harshness of a plains winter. I found the trophy while hunting agates near Scenic, South Dakota and it has followed me around the world. The totem now rests in our front yard and keeps any malevolent desert spirits that may be lurking nearby from doing us harm. Unfortunately the clouds are not impressed and continue to cover the sky over Tiny House.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Phos Disrespects the Dead

Well she’s dead and the news is all over it day in and day out, giving the great unwashed multitudes the up to the minute coverage they hunger for. Thousands are dying all over the world for noble causes, by the hands of oppressors, or disease and want, but she is the most important topic of the. My opinion, it is nice to see Natural Selection still works, albeit way too slowly. They are going to have to call in a HAZMAT team to bury her silicone/drug riddle body.

The reason she is in the news because Johnny Nascar and his lovely sister/wife Tanqueray can’t get enough of the star’s and sports heroes’ daily lives, never realizing they have been taken - they have chipped in their hard earned money to make these people what they are, even if indirectly. Politicians know Jonny and his severely inbred wife will vote for them if they have the nod from the screen actor’s guild.

That’s why I haven’t used any names here – I am tired of paying homage to a bunch of spoiled drug riddled skanks. So maybe it is time to stop buying Trim Spa, or going to see Mission Impossible movies or at the very least take a look at the amount you just shelled out to watch some thugs chase a ball around a field and stop the insanity.

Here’s the part where I hope Sir Elton Candypants doesn’t trot “Candle in the Wind” back out again…


Thursday, February 08, 2007

On the Fast Track to Easy Street

Just got a letter for my new best friend “The Donald”, Donald Trump that is. Seems Don wants to let me in on his financial secrets, sent me a special, special mind you, invitation to get the scoop. Ok it is some dude that has paid for the use of Don’s name giving the talk, but nonetheless before you know it I will be shitting skyscrapers and baiting lesbian TV hosts with the best of them!!

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Space Ho runs amok

The world has gone mad. When I was a kid we looked up to astronauts, no pun intended. I wouldn’t expect to read that Alan Shepard , Gus Grissom, or John Glenn had been apprehended and charged with burying the bodies of their rivals in back yard, ala John Wayne Gacey. But here is a space ho’ that decided her rival needed some schooling. Never mind the assailant is married, she is in love with a fellow astronaut and didn’t appreciate anyone cozying up to her imaginary lover. The homicidal Astro-nut must have been out with the flu when they covered the Ten Commandments at her Sunday school ‘cause I think she pretty near broke them all at least once. All she got for her trouble was a palce in the Media as Amercia's craziest person... this week.

Then we have steroidal ball jockeys and racecar drivers with road rage – even pro wrestling has gotten to the point where you can’t tell the good guys from the bad. When I was a kid you had Verne Gagne and Mad Dog Vachon – easy to sort out who the villain was. TV made it easy for kids – the bad cowboy always wore a black hat the good guy white. Now both are so blood drenched and wrapped in whores by the end of the show who knows where good ends and evil begins. And that is if you can actually remember what you are watching after half an hour of commercials touting feminine hygiene products or car insurance. As an aside, I really don’t need to see the pregomatic pregnancy test in use and neither does your child. You only see a stream of fluid, probably stunt urine, hitting the device, but disgusting nonetheless.

Anyway, it is no wonder kids are confused. Look what they have for role models. If some rapper on MTV drove a nail through his forehead, the kids would be tripping over themselves rushing the hardware store to buy a hammer.

I don’t have any answers, other then some parents need to be more involved, a tall order in a world were both parents usually have to work to make ends meet.


Monday, February 05, 2007

And the Groundhog Says:

Spring in Wisconsin is a wonderful time. I can remember running out to the playground at recess and the teachers scolding us for not wearing our jackets – it was only 45, but after a long cold winter it felt warm to us.

Spring is a season that titillates all the senses. There is the warm sun on your back, the smell, feel of the warming earth – you can actually taste Spring! Look close and you can see Crocus, Daffodils, and Tulips just starting to push through the sun warmed rich black soil along the side of the house, oblivious to the rim of ice still clinging to the cement.

As we grew older Spring became about the opening day of the fishing season The ice was off the lake, and it was time to get out and soak in the experience. Not the Johnny Bassboat kind of fishing where some hillbilly is trying to live out his dream of being the champion of the Bassmaster tournament by dashing from spot to spot guided by his trusty fish finder. No, this fishing was leisurely, filling the senses with sun, birdsong, the languid waters parting under the keel of the boat. Sure, once in awhile a pan-fishing derby would break out where my brother and I would try to out do each other catching small fry - The surprise of seeing a tiny fish dangling in front of my eyes as my brother notifies me this one gives him the lead. Life couldn’t get much better then a boat, my brother, and a six-pack. If the fish were biting that was ok, but the main reason for being out there was just being out there. No worries out on the lake, with the exception of hitting a snag and losing your favorite lure, or finding out that was your last casting bobber now hanging out of reach in the branch of a tree.

I still look forward to spring such as it is here in the Valley of the Sun. Tough to have much of a spring since we don’t have much of a winter. All said and done there is really no one to fish with; but no matter the fishing is sparse anyway. Sometimes I sit in the back yard, a Four Peaks Kiltlifters Ale in hand and just close my eyes and imagine I am back out on the lake and just let the world drift by.


Mixed Feelings or Time to Start the "Happy Pills" again

Only 9:16 AM and I am already on my third “Aspirin Fizz”, a lethal concoction of aspirin and Diet Dr. Pepper. New rule, no staying up past midnight watching Poroit, no matter how badly you want to see the culprit swing for his evil deeds. Now I can’t fully wake up and the parts that have managed to wake don’t feel so hot. They have Nyquil and Dayquil, what I need is Prequil – take it and it is as though the cold never happened. I wouldn’t care if it was the non-drowsy formula, at this point a little more drowsiness wouldn’t even be noticeable.

Fortunately for me, nothing really complex has come along, or I’d really be in trouble. I think all that is functioning at this point are basic life support functions, such as the “get into the bathroom now or suffer the consequences” kind of neuron impulses. Numb can be good, don’t get me wrong. Driving in Phoenix numb is a good thing. As I told the students in a tactics course I taught, relax, be happy, and don’t die tense. Sound advice.

Wx-wise it is a beautiful day. Sunshiny, bird chirpy, half-burned JP8 in the air kind of day. The office I live in is windowless airless and hot. Heating and air conditioning in gov’t buildings, when you have it, is strictly an on/off proposition. There is a thermostat on the wall, but its only function is to allow one the illusion that he or she has control of the situation. It is purely decorative. There are no windows so the best that can be done is run a fan to stir the stale air.

Hope everyone had a good weekend – it went by too fast for my taste, but then the not working times are always shorter and more enjoyable then the working times. I think we need to forget al the immigration and war talk in congress and focus on a shorter workweek and maybe mandatory siestas in the workplace - I know I could always do with a good nap after lunch…

Unabashed whining, you can skip this if you want...

Tough time of the season for me. It is Permanent Change of Station (PCS) time for the military. Military folks I work with are moving on leaving me behind. I had become used to moving every so often while in the military and it is tough for me being stuck in one spot. I will spend the next few weeks fighting the urge to leave for greener pastures. The advantage of the moving from one location after several years lies in the fact that every place one goes has some negative aspects. Before those negative aspects can become a real problem, one moves on. I, however, am permanently and indelibly stuck in Rauncho El Garbage where the problems are now my personal hell.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Virtual Card for FairScape

Please feel free to sign the card and leave comments for FairScape... She's been MIA for a while and is going through a lot. I know she is hanging in there and thought it would comfort her to know everyone is rooting for her. She is a strong person, an outstanding poet, and a wonderful Blog friend.




Saturday, February 03, 2007

If it Ain't Broke...

I have played with my links, so to speak – added some and rearranged. It is my futile attempt to organize the links, but it will have to do for now.

There is no rational to the order in which the links to the Blogs appear – I am not trying to prioritize or play favorites. Mostly the links are for me, so in my sleep addled state at 2:30 AM I can find you and enjoy your site. Likewise, I am not responsible for any of the content on other links. Well, ok, I’m responsible my posts of course, but if someone reveals a plot to rule the world I am not down with that, unless I get my share. I think I’d like Norway.

If you don’t want a link to your Blog displayed here I will remove it. I will be crushed, for minute or two, but I’ll move on. I encourage any readers to check the links out. That is half the fun of the Blogsphere, just toss the map away and go where your mouse clicks take you. There are a lot of wonderful interesting people with great stories or advice to share. I would like to think the links I have on the sidebar are a fair representation of the those people. And thanks to all who stop by, I really enjoy your company, even at 2:30 in the morning…

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Friday, February 02, 2007

The Upside of too Many Cars

One side benefit of the pollution here is some interesting photo opportunities. Yeah, we need more freeways, right.

Do yourself a favor check out these blogs: The Cursed Tongue Editorial

Blogger World Cooking

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Winter moon rides high

Peers through tatters

Cold silver desert

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