Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Fighting Mr. Virus

I constructed this image using :image:Computer...Image via WikipediaHave I mentioned lately that I hate computer virus's and those who are evil enough to create such things?

Today when I went to check my e-mail, as the messages began to download from the mail server my anti-virus software began to sound alarms and display warnings that a message contained some nasty virus or another and would I like to delete it? Well, yes that would be a good idea. Unfortunately, that did not seem to be good enough for Mr. Anti-Virus software, it claimed that the in-box folder had been infected and the only solution was to delete it as well. Since I really hate it when somebody else opens a virus infected e-mail and unleashes it on others such as myself, I went with the safest approach and let Mr. Anti-Virus software do its thing. Problem solved right? Not exactly, this happened no less than eight times today. Each time I lost my whole in-box and all the messages that had not yet been read or replied to. Since my e-mail program checks for new mail every few minutes I kept getting hit with a new virus infected message before I had finished reading what had come in since the last attack.

Keep in mind that this was as the messages were downloading from the server, before I had the chance to look at the messages or foolishly open some stupid attachment. I think that Mr. Anti-Virus software may have been over reacting just a little bit, but with some of the poorly written and evil virus's that are currently running around I could not take a chance on losing more than just my in-box full of messages.

So it any of you nice folks have been kind enough to send me a message or joke in the past day or so, I seem to have lost them in my quest to remain virus free. If you would be so kind as to send them again I would be most grateful, and if any of you happen to come across one of those morons who write and send out virus's, if they somehow came up missing, I will gladly tell the police that you were at my house the whole time.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Florida For The Holiday's

As the holidays began to approach, my mom began to ask if I was going to come to visit for Christmas. Well, I already had planned my recent trip to Las Vegas, so a trip to Florida in December seemed like a bit much to pull off, so I was noncommittal but did like the idea of spending Christmas with the folks.

During a call to mom a couple of weeks later, she mentioned that my sisters were thinking of going to Florida for Christmas and it sure would be nice if everybody could come. Well, my sister, Suzanne lives in Southern California and sister Leigh Ann lives in  Alabama, so if they were going to go, then it would be nice to see them and it has been a long time since we all spent Christmas together.

On the next phone call, I was told that both my sisters were definitely going to Florida for Christmas and were making plane reservations or other travel arrangements right away. Well, if my sisters were going to find a way to go to Florida and since I certainly did not want to be the selfish, ungrateful sibling who could not make the trip, I committed to going to Florida for the holidays. All of us in the same house at Christmas would be great fun!

All was fine and dandy, and everybody was happy until .... my sisters and I began to call each other to talk about the trip. Each phone call between us seemed to go the same way. "I am so glad we are all going to be together for Christmas! I really can't afford to go to Florida right now but when I heard that everybody else was going, I did not want to miss out on the fun or be the bad child who would not go." Well, we may all be morons but it did not take long to figure out what had happened. We had been scammed, played off each other by our very own parents to get us all to go to Florida for the holidays. Each of us had received the same phone call informing us that the other two children were coming and how it sure would be nice if we all came. I am not sure who the mastermind of this plan was, but I'm putting my money on dear old Dad, it seems to fit with his style. I don't know who was the first of us to figure out what was going on but will credit it to Leigh Ann. She said that when she confronted Pop with the accusation he did not deny it and let out an evil little laugh.

So the whole family will be together for the holiday's, but some form of retaliation must be done for the blatant manipulation from those nice people I call my parents. We are still working on a plan but so far the best we have come up with is to go and eat all their food and leave the house messy when we go.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

My Seafood Feast

Living in a small town in the middle of Nebraska has a few benefits, but if you have ever lived someplace with a few more things to offer you can find yourself shall we say hungry for something else. Well, that is exactly the problem, I am hungry for some decent food! In my town, you can get a great steak but outside of that unless Pizza Hut is your idea of fine dining you are out of luck. So my little vacation to Las Vegas was a big thrill for me in several ways. Yes, I got to visit with family, but the chance to eat some good food was what kept me awake for the 18 or so hours it took to drive. 

Las Vegas may be in the middle of the desert but they go to great lengths to accommodate millions of visitors with anything they want and that includes some great food. I ate large quantities of great food in several fine restaurants and even a couple of fast food joints that are not available in my area. The highlight of my eating binge was the night my stepson Dave and nephew Kevin took me out for seafood! 

Raw fresh oysters are a favorite of mine and Dave had found out which casino the "Oyster Man" was working at, so off we went. This casino was having a seafood buffet that included fresh oysters, crab, shrimp, several types of fish and other assorted seafood selections. I was in heaven and quickly filled a plate and ran back to my seat to enjoy. At the table next to us was a nice couple who seemed as thrilled as I was at the selection of goodies. On my second trip to the buffet, I was standing next to the man from that table as we both were deciding where to start next. This man was a foot taller than me and was easily twice my size, he commented that he would try and leave a little food for me. I took this as a challenge and told him I thought I could keep up with him. This got him to laughing so hard that I was able to get a head start on the oysters before he noticed I was gone. When he got back to his table he was so busy laughing and pointing me out to his wife that I was able to finish and get back to the buffet for visit number three just ahead of him. I managed to match his plate for plate for some time, but to be honest he was piling more stuff on his plate than I was. After many visits to the buffet, I had eaten all that I could handle and went over to acknowledge my defeat to the big man. He was working on a large plate of crab legs and was very entertained by my effort. He told me I was a worthy opponent but better luck next time. Yes I was defeated, but full and happy, and there WILL be a next time.

Monday, November 12, 2001

Making Fun Of The Son In Law

On my little trip to Las Vegas, I got to spend some time with my son in law. The 10 or so days I was there was the most time I had ever spent with the guy. In fact, this visit may have included more days around him than all of my previous time with him combined. It's not that I don't like my son in law, but just that he lives far away and my trips are normally short and focus more on my daughter than her husband. So far I like Ryan and as long as he keeps my daughter and granddaughter happy and healthy I will let him live. He was very polite and generous to me and my wife while we were visiting, as he should have been keeping in mind my protective nature towards my girls (wife, daughter & granddaughter).

The entertaining part of our visit, at least to me, was that my son in law is very into his new daughter and tries to do as much as possible to care for her. I know that sounds like a good thing, but in his overly ambitious effort to be as helpful and nurturing to his daughter as possible, he was asking for some serious trouble. Poor Ryan had failed to notice that the house also contained a new mother and grandmother who were in full on mommy and grandma mode respectively. The worst of which is a grandma who has to go home far away in a few days.

Being older and wiser and having lived with these women for some time I played it safe and held my granddaughter when she was handed to me, looked after her when asked, feed her when requested, but otherwise kept safely out of the mommy and grandma's way. Ryan, on the other hand, was taking his daddy role seriously and on several occasions walked right into the danger zone. Well, he is young and loves his daughter so I could only watch as he set himself up for the verbal abuse dished out to him after both mommy and grandma had reached their limits. Some things must be learned first hand.

So the fact that I found some entertainment in his getting yelled at by my girls and did nothing to prevent it, I will just consider it a perk of being the grandpa and hope I can be smart enough to avoid the same.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Getting Ready To Go To Vegas

I shot the picture myself from the 108 th floo...Image via WikipediaMy wife has been in Las Vegas for the past week or so playing Grandma to our new Granddaughter. So Ted the Wonder Fuzz Ball and I have been making use of our time alone at home by doing guy stuff like sitting around in our underwear, OK so Ted still sits around in his fuzz coat but you get the picture.

We go for long walks (three times around the park), eat fast food (Ted decided French fries don't agree with him), watch TV and only do laundry when I run out of clean underwear. It has been fun, but this week we have to get ready to make the trip to Las Vegas ourselves. Ted and I both have new haircuts, I got a new pair of shoes and Ted got a new retractable leash, the underwear is in the washer as I write and the suitcase has been brought up from the basement.

Just a couple more errands to run and we will be ready for our journey. Hopefully, my 1100 mile drive with a small fuzzy dog will go well and by Friday I will be in Vegas and doing happy Grandpa stuff.

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Thursday, October 11, 2001

Details of Rachel

It is official, the stork has made a delivery. My daughter Caroline gave birth to the lovely Rachel a little after noon Las Vegas time. Both mother and daughter are doing fine and the proud dad is wearing out his new camera. Hopefully, they will share some of the photos soon as I am not scheduled to go to Vegas for another week or so. Anyway here are the details. Rachel is nineteen inches long and weighs in at seven pounds six ounces.

The whole family is thrilled and excited as you can understand but I still have not seen the child yet so my excitement level has not yet peaked. I tried to get one of the engineers from work to build me one of those Star Trek transporter things so I could get there sooner but he claimed to not have all the parts. So I will just have to wait a little while longer. Since I have some time before my trip I will do what any self-respecting grandpa would do. Look for some really loud toys, ones that make loud and continuous sounds that make little babies laugh and drive parents mad. After all, isn't that my job now, to do anything to make Rachel smile and laugh regardless of what her parents think?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Rachel's Birthday

Hey folks, by the time you read this I could be a Grandpa.   
As I write this note, my daughter Caroline, her husband Ryan and my wife are on the way to the hospital. Caroline and her doctor have decided that today is the day for her to have that baby. I don't know exactly how or what they intend to do to make that happen but they have a plan and they are sticking to it. 

Since I can't even watch a doctor use a syringe on TV and have been known to pass out at the sight of one in person it is probably just as well that I am over a thousand miles away from this wonderful event. The downside of being so far away is that I can not do anything except wait for the phone to ring and let me know everything went well. 

Hopefully, I will be able to provide you with the details tomorrow and when I get to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks I might even have a picture or two to share.
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Friday, October 05, 2001

Ice Maker

Laziness and the desire for comfort are the true mothers of invention.

All the truly great inventions are the direct result of someone trying to make their life easier or more comfortable. The guy who invented air conditioning was just tired of being so dang hot all summer. The guy who invented heaters was just looking for a way to avoid chopping wood for the fireplace. Whoever thought of building a house was probably tired of sleeping under a tree full of birds. A bed is better than the floor, a chair is more comfortable than a rock, and we can't forget the most important invention of all, in-house plumbing. How comfortable would your life be without running water and toilets? 

Comfort and laziness inspire people to create remotes for my television so I can flip through dozens of channels, my microwave can cook a potato in a few minutes, I can have a pizza delivered to my house in 30 minutes or less. The creative and lazy people who come up with these wonders are never satisfied, they are always working to improve everything to make it better and easier to use. Laundry detergents promise to make your whites whiter, light bulbs that last longer, faster computers, safer cars, stain resistant carpet, viagra. Every day somebody somewhere is working hard to make some part of your life easier and more comfortable.

So here is my question, why does the ice maker in my refrigerator still put out quarter circle shaped pieces of frozen water that are the same shape as the sides of my glass. This makes drinking from my glass a challenge. Every time I lift my glass the liquid is blocked from my lips by these poorly designed semi-circles of ice. After all the advances in every other part of my life, why has the shape of my ice not changed to a more useful shape? You would think that by now we should have ice cubes that are cubes or at least a shape that does not impair the consumption of a cool iced beverage in your own home. Lazy people who seek the comfortable demand more from our home appliances. I would invent a better way of making ice in my own home but I guess I'm just not lazy enough to come up with a better idea.

Saturday, September 22, 2001

The Great And Mighty Hoover

The Great And Mighty Hoover died Friday afternoon (September 21, 2001).

His tremendous spirit and that wonderful heart of his were just no match for joint problems and cancer.

Hoover and I shared and celebrated the same birthday of December 5th, this December would have been his 9th birthday.

When my wife and I hug, Hoover would stand up on his hind legs and join in, he always wanted to be included.

My wife gets out of bed earlier than I do and as soon as she left the bedroom, Hoover would come in, get on the bed and lay his head next to mine on the pillow. He never woke me up, he just would lay down like he was human with his head on the pillow and sleep next to me.

Hoover was not very tall and so to pet him or rub his head you needed to squat down. If you did this he would lower his head and press the top of his head into your chest and then lean into it. This became known as a Hoover hug. Once while we were at the doctor's for a vaccination shot I was trying to comfort him and get him to calm down so the Doc could give him a shot. I asked Hoover to give me a Hoover hug so that I might have better control of him. The doctor asked what that was and when I explained and Hoover demonstrated, the poor doctor got so tickled at this he was unable to proceed for several minutes.

A few years ago my sister, with her husband and two small children came to visit. This was the first time Hoover had met any of these people but he wasted no time in making friends. He never does. My nephew was just a toddler at the time and he and Hoover stood pretty much eye to eye in height. Justin was standing in front of Hoover munching on some snacks when he held out a snack and gently put it in Hoover's mouth. We all watched in wonder as Justin then just as easily reached in and took it back. Hoover never moved, he just calmly accepted whatever his new friend wanted to do.

Hoover loved everyone he ever met, with the possible exception of a couple of salesmen at work. Everywhere we went he was always on the lookout for someone new to visit with. When he went to work with me he would go around and say hello to everyone he could find before crawling under the desk to sleep on my feet. If we went to the park he would gladly welcome groups of small children rubbing and patting him for as long as they wanted. I never saw a child who was afraid to come right up and start petting. His entire being radiated warmth and love to the point that even small children knew they had nothing to fear and so they would run right over and pet the little puppy. They always called him a puppy, he looked like a puppy his whole life.

Hoover loved to play with anyone that was willing but he did have a favorite playmate. My buddy Marty worked with me in Alabama when we first got Hoover and they hit it off from the first day they met. When it comes to a just plain love of life and hearts the size of their bodies, Marty and Hoover are made from the same mold. Hoover and Marty played hard, so hard you thought they were going to hurt each other but they never did. When we moved to Nebraska, Marty and his wife moved with us. While Marty and I were busy building a TV station, Hoover would go to work with us every day and always had his favorite playmate handy. I know that a couple years later when Marty returned to Alabama, Hoover took it as hard as I did. We both had to make do without our favorite buddy.

He loved to go for a ride and it did not matter where we went, across the country or just to the office, the passenger seat of my truck was Hoover's seat. I could not tell you how many miles that Hoover traveled with me but to say it was thousands. Many more than you would expect of one truck or one dog.

Hoover loved to go for a walk so much that if I simply opened the drawer where his leash was kept it would result it what has come to be known as the "happy dance of joy". Once the "happy dance of joy" has begun there is no other option but to take him for a walk, whether that was your plan or not.

Hoover has his own chair. Some dogs have a doggy bed, Hoover has a recliner. When Hoover came to live with us the furniture from our previous home would not fit in our new house. One of the recliners was put in the second bedroom that I used as an office next to my desk. Hoover would sleep in this chair next to me while I worked and the chair has remained his ever since.

I can not explain the bond that I had with Hoover or how I knew what he needed or how he knew what I needed. We just understood each other.

My heart is broken.

Monday, September 17, 2001

Butterfly Rest Stop

We have all heard plenty of bad news & seen countless horrible images in the past few days. I would guess that like myself you could use a little happy news, so today I would like to share with you a happy little event that happened in my very own yard. 

Sunday afternoon I walked out of my back door to the sight of hundreds of monarch butterflies fluttering about and covering the trees in my backyard. It was a truly wonderful sight to see. These beautiful creatures had apparently selected my yard as a rest stop on their southern migration.

To me, there is nothing more delicate or graceful than a butterfly, kind of like flying flower petals. Groups of them covered sections of trees in clumps like orange leaves on a branch. The rest fluttered about from plant to plant around the yard. My visitors only stayed a couple of hours before moving on but I certainly enjoyed the visit. I am hoping this means that my house has been added to the butterfly travel guide and that I can expect more visits in the future.

Saturday, September 08, 2001

Beloved TiVo

I've had kind of an odd day. Thunderstorms and lighting caused the power at my house to be out for a hour or so today.

The good news is that it was still daylight and I did not need to wander around in the dark. The bad news is that the several quick bursts of power on and then power off as the electric company attempted to fix the problem killed my beloved TiVo video recorder. If you are not familiar with a TiVo, it is a DVR device that records television programs to a hard disk, and those of us who use such toys become very spoiled by the features and use of said toy. Needless to say I was distraught by this loss and after a very long phone call to customer support, who tried every trick they could come up with to bring my toy back to life, the verdict was that a power surge had ended it's life too soon. 

Well at least the computers in the house survived and I will be shopping for a better surge protector and back-up power supply for the other toys I can't live without tomorrow. While I was on the phone with customer support I noticed a cricket crawling across the floor. Lately we have had a couple a day of these little creatures enter the house and roam about until I caught and removed them. You would think that Ted the mighty hunter would attack and dispose of such intruders, but he just looks the other way and offers no help. I find this odd since I watched him chase and catch a fly in mid air only this morning. That was a sight to see, the Mighty Ted running from room to room in pursuit of a fly! I was amazed when he caught, chomped and then dropped to the floor his prey. He left the disposal of his catch to me of course.

Friday, August 17, 2001

A Trip To The Park

It cooled off a little the past couple of days and it was pretty nice this evening so I thought the dogs would like a trip to the park. I opened the drawer where we keep the leashes and before I could pick up the first one, the Hoover & Ted Happy Dance Of Joy had started. Bouncing, jumping, yelping, dancing on their hind legs, racing to the door and back, wiggling and doing everything except stand still long enough to put the leash on. This goofy dog pre-walk celebration goes on every single time we go out and would be entertaining if I wasn't the one trying to hook a leash to their collars. 

Ten minutes later we were finally out the door and headed toward the park. When we got to the park I looked around to verify that we had the place to ourselves and I let go of the leash. This is my favorite part of our visits to the park because both dogs have to find out what other dogs have been there since their last visit. They rush off, noses to the ground, running in some random pattern following every scent. To me it looks like a kind of fast paced furry vacuum cleaner dance. It was still pretty hot outside so after they had run around a while we headed back home where they emptied the water bowl before flopping down on the kitchen floor to rest. 

A half hour later I had cooled off, the dogs were snoozing, the house was quiet, everything was fine, then as I was looking for a battery in the junk drawer I opened the wrong one. You guessed it, the Happy Dance Of Joy drawer. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

What Kind Of Name Is Hoover?

I had heard the name as given to a dog a some point in my life and thought it sounded like the perfect name for a dog. If you have ever watched a dog in the kitchen or around the dinner table, most dogs are watching the floor with great concentration for anything that falls. Since Hoover is the brand name of a vacuum cleaner, and just mentioned floor cleaning skills of dogs, what better name for a happy dog? So this would be the short version of why I named my dog Hoover, but you know that's not the whole story. Any dog cool enough to get a web site named after him has to have a better "How did he get his name" story than that, right?

Way back in the years before we meet Hoover, I had mentioned to my wife once that when we lived in a place where it was reasonable to have a dog, that I wanted to get a really great dog and that I wanted to call him Hoover, for the above mentioned reasons. She agreed that it would be nice to have a dog when we had a yard and thought the name was cute. A few years later we moved into a nice townhouse in Alabama where I had accepted a job with a local television station. One of the things I did at the station was to set up a program with the local animal shelter to feature a couple of animals each week in commercials to encourage people to adopt pets from the shelter. Every week a nice lady from the shelter would come by with dogs and cats to be used in the commercials. One week as we were watching the production team try to get the puppies to sit still long enough to take a picture, this nice lady told me that they had just received a litter of Lab/Rott mixed pups. That combination struck me as a wonderful mix and that it would make a good looking dog with many nice qualities. So I called the wife and asked her to meet me at the animal shelter to take a look at the puppies. 

When we arrived we were led to a pen that was full with no less than twenty puppies of various breeds. The only way to examine the ones we came to look at was to get in the pen with them. So I knelt on the floor surrounded by puppies all playing and running about while I tried to get a good look at the new batch. From the moment I touched the floor this one little dog was all over me, climbing up on my legs to get at my face, jumping, bouncing, barking and using every cute puppy move in the book to get me to notice him. He was not one of the Lab/Rott mix that I had come to see so I tried to ignore him, but this little guy with the short legs was not giving up. I could not get a good look at any of the other pups with this puppy climbing in my lap and doing everything he could to get as close as possible. He was a Labrador/Basset mix and he had decided he was going home with me. Unable to resist his charms, the wife and I decided he was right. We went back to the front desk to fill out the adoption forms and take home our new friend. While filling out the forms the nice lady from the shelter asked what we were going to name him. Now that long past conversation with the wife on this subject had all but been forgotten by me, but without a second of hesitation, my wife answered "Hoover, we are going to name him Hoover". 

So there you go, now you know about the day Hoover adopted me, how he got his name and you probably have a good idea of why I married my wife.
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Monday, August 13, 2001

What Is A Hoover?

I have a web site is called Hooverdog.com, the jokes are Hooverdog Jokes, so just what is a Hoover? 

Hoover is a Labrador Retriever/Basset Hound mix born in December of 1992. He is black in color to the casual observer, but actually a very dark brown, short version of a Labrador. The size of a Basset but the look of a Lab. Kind of a permanent puppy, the best kind of dog to have around! With his short legs and muscular body he is amazingly fast and strong enough to pull you or your car down the road. I have been tempted on several occasions to tie him to the truck for help getting out of the snow. All I would have to do is throw his ball and off he would go, pulling along whatever was tied to him. I learned this the hard way by holding onto his leash and then not letting go fast enough after throwing his ball in the park one sunny afternoon.

From the day we met he has been my best friend and constant companion. Loyal, attentive and completely unaware that he is too big to be a lap dog, he has accompanied me to work, occupied the passenger seat of my truck for thousands of miles, entertained countless friends and business associates, and offered anyone he thought needed it, a comforting Hoover hug! His favorite way to greet people is to stand on his hind legs, walk toward you front legs open until he grabs you around the waist and says hello. He likes long walks, romps in the park, small children and belly rubs. His favorite food is the last bit of whatever I am eating, it matters not if it is steak, pizza or salad, he figures that if it is good enough for me it is good enough for him. His favorite beverage is water but he does enjoy a little milk every now and then, and he does not care for Kool-Aid. Hoover does like to get e-mail, he seems to really enjoy hearing the comments folks send in regarding his latest joke. So if you wish to let him know anything just drop us a note, he is usually laying close by whenever I am at the computer and I will pass along your thoughts.

If you would like to see what Hoover looks like there is a photo of him.

Sunday, August 12, 2001


This afternoon I was in the kitchen digging through the fridge when I heard a really odd noise. I looked at Hoover, who was of course sitting at my feet waiting to see if I was going share whatever I found but he was not the one making the noise. I heard the sound again and this time I decided it was coming from outside. So as I walked over to the back door I noticed a second sound, this one I recognized as the siren from a fire truck. 

Standing on the back porch with his head in the air was our Pomeranian Ted doing his version of a howl. Now I have seen him howl at sirens before, but they were always just a short attempt. This time he was going for the full on tiny wolf impression. He had the stance right and his little nose was pointed toward the sky but the sound was just not right. His howl went something to the effect of whrooooo, whrooooo, which if I can explain this properly sounds a lot like a high pitched electric can opener but not as loud. Next time you use your can opener, try to picture that sound coming out of a small dog who thinks he howling like the big dogs. 

Ted's normal barks are loud and sharp enough to hurt your ears but this howl was low and soft and just plain funny. I stayed at the door to watch his entire performance wishing I had a video camera to catch this so I could share the visual instead of trying to put it in words. The show only lasted a couple of minutes but I think Ted was pleased with his performance, when he finished he turned to face us and gave a little bow.

Saturday, August 11, 2001

Kool-Aid Days Part 2

Yesterday I was telling you about the little town I live in having a celebration in honor of being the birthplace of Kool-Aid. In my rambling I forgot one important piece of information. We send out e-mail to people living in forty or so countries and only a few of them sell Kool-Aid. So many of the nice people who received my little babble fest had no idea what I was talking about or why I thought it was mildly amusing that my town was throwing a Kool-Aid party. First of all, thank you to those of you who kindly pointed out this error on my part, and I do mean kindly! If I am to ramble on about some goofy drink, I should have been nice enough to explain what the heck Kool-Aid is. So, lets correct that error right now.

In 1927, Mr. Edwin Perkins invented a flavored powder that when you mix with some sugar and water you get a nice pitcher full of fruit flavored drink. He created several flavors of his product and proceeded to sell the powder in pre measured packets from his home and through mail order. It was from these humble beginnings that the product known as Kool-Aid was born. With it's low cost and the fact that it is so easy to mix that a child could make it, Kool-Aid has become a staple of many American families. For children the added bonus is that if you chugged a glass just right it will stain the area above you lips the color of whatever flavor you are drinking, giving you a nice colored mustache, or Kool-Aid smile. So there you have it, Kool-Aid is nothing more than a inexpensive fruit flavored powdered drink mix popular with children and those still young at heart. Since I was so careless as to babble on about our Kool-Aid Festival and then not explain what Kool-Aid was I hope to redeem myself by offering to those who live someplace where Kool-Aid is not available a sample. If you would like, you can send me your mailing address at hooverdog at hooverdog.com and I will mail you a free packet of Kool-Aid. 

Friday, August 10, 2001

Kool-Aid Days

Every town does their best to celebrate some event or special date by throwing a big city wide party. New Years Eve, 4th of July, Mardi Gras, or maybe it's a wine festival or even a garlic festival. Well those kind of parties my be fine for your town, but around here we wait with great anticipation for Kool-Aid Days! That's right - Kool-Aid Days. Starting today, three days of fun, frolicking and all the Kool-Aid you can drink!

Hastings, Neb. - The birthplace of Kool-Aid is hoping to become a tourist hot spot by holding it's third annual Kool-Aid festival. 3 days of fun including the largest Kool-Aid stand in the world where you can purchase a commemorative mug or bring your own glass and get free Kool-Aid all day. Whoo boy, I don't know about you but that sounds like a party to me. You know I'm not gonna slow down until I have sampled every flavor they got. I may even get a little wild and make some Popsicles!

Yes its not exactly Times Square on New Years but it is something to do and when it's really hot and humid outside, I guess wandering around down town drinking Kool-Aid is better than nothing. I do love the little facts you can pick up at these events, stuff like. More than 563 million gallons of KOOL-AID® are consumed each year, with more than 225 million gallons in the summer. In other words, 17 gallons of KOOL-AID® are consumed every second during the summer season! That is a lot of colored water folks.

So I'm gonna dig out a big mug and grab a bowl for Hoover and my weekend plans are set. I will let you know on Monday which flavor Hoover likes best.

Sunday, July 01, 2001

Ted The Wonder Fuzzball

My wife has been out of town for a few days on vacation to visit with family. So this means that the dogs and I have the run of the house!

The mighty Hoover and his little sidekick Ted have no one but me to follow around the house, or the yard or into the bathroom. This has had the largest effect on Ted. Ted is my wife's shadow, wherever she goes, he goes, if she sits down, he jumps in her lap, if she goes to bed, he snuggles up next to her .. you get the idea. The past few days he has had only me to shadow and I am afraid that I am just not as entertaining to him as my wife is. 

Boring as I am to this small fuzzy dog he has had much more time to devote to his only other interest .. patrolling the perimeter of the yard. To Ted, this is his domain and no one shall enter his domain nor shall they walk near or for that matter fly over his domain. He is diligent in his duty to bark sharp high pitched yelps at whatever he can see or hear or imagine is within his area. Anything that dares enter his yard (and is smaller that he is), will be dealt with in a severe manner. 

Over the past few years this tiny terror has caught and attempted to eat a large number of creatures foolish enough to enter his yard including 3 or 4 bunnies, a dozen snakes, several birds,  a squirrel, and at least three possum. The bunnies I understand, our neighborhood is home to dozens of little rabbits and when one comes into the yard, sometimes they just can't get back through the fence fast enough to avoid capture. The same could apply to the possum, but what I wonder about is how does he catch the birds? Are the birds in my yard just so full from emptying my feeders that they can't escape a small dog? Or does Ted have some form of stealth shielding that allows him to sneak up and attack without warning? I may never know for sure, but I can offer that if you wish to rid your yard of small vermin or you just want to keep your lap warm, get yourself a Pomeranian. If you are lucky, yours won't carry a dead possum into the living room.

Sunday, June 17, 2001

Father's Day

Father's Day is your chance to say or do something nice for the one man you can always count on, Dad! The guy who taught you how to ride a bike, throw a ball, or drive a car. The guy who looks forward to a nice mushy card and a tie for Father's Day. 

Yea right! I don't know about your dad, but that is not mine. My dad never taught me to ride a bike or throw a ball and he doesn't want another tie. My dad had more important lessons to offer. Lessons such as a garden hose, a power nozzle and a bedroom window are perfect tools to wake up teenagers who try to sleep in on the weekends. If you ask your kids to sweep the driveway or patio, that sweeping up dry dirt and leaves is just too easy, get it wet first to make it more challenging. If you have an attractive daughter you can get several teenage boys to volunteer to help you do just about anything. If we are not catching any fish, it is because I am not holding my mouth right. Putting small bugs on your kids hamburger while it's on the grill and then waiting for them to ask what the crunchy stuff is, can be fun for the whole family. 

He also taught me that if I did not sleep in his house on Christmas Eve that Santa would not know where to find me. This was a fun one to explain to my wife. He is the kind of dad who will wake you up at 5:30 on Christmas morning to tell you Santa had been there and if you did not get up right now he was going to play with all your stuff. If you were too slow in getting up or made the mistake of going back to sleep, he would get out your stuff and play with it. I don't think many kids had to try and beat dad to their toys on Christmas, but that's the way it was at my house. You may have guessed that my dad is not short on a sense of humor. In between teaching us how to take on the world he had quite a bit of fun giving us a hard time. I can only hope that your dad did just the same.

Happy Father's Day

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Happy Butt

My daughter Caroline and her husband Ryan as well the whole family are looking forward to the arrival of their first child in a few months.

Caroline called us this last night to inform us that the doctor had determined that she going to have a little girl. This being the case Caroline has been pushing family members to suggest names for this little bundle of joy. Anybody that knows me is well aware that this is not a question you wish to ask if you are looking for some sort of reasonable response.

While I am one of those who think that a person's name has a great influence on how they turn out, (how many great, talented people do you know named "Wilbur"?) I could not resist of offering up my suggestion and stating that my choice would come with the nick name of Happy Butt. That I would call the little girl Happy Butt and perhaps on her 12th or 13th birthday I would explain this nick name to her. Much to my dismay they have chosen to go with something else not having the foresight to allow me this well planned event. So, you want to know my choice in naming this child? It is all explained in the following joke.


Happy Butt

This lovely little girl was entering class for the first time. A friendly little boy said his name was "David, what is yours?"

"Happy Butt" she says.

"Don't lie to me, that isn't your name! What is your name?"

"Happy Butt" she says again.

"I'm going to tell the teacher on you for lying!" he shouts. He gets the teacher and says she is lying to him about her name.

"What is your name?" asks the teacher.

"Happy Butt" says the little girl.

"No, no," says the teacher. "What is your real name?"

"Happy Butt" replies the little girl.

"Shame on you for lying." says the teacher. "You go straight to the principal's office right this minute!"

"Why are you here?" asks the principal of the little girl.

"They think I'm lying when I tell them my name is Happy Butt." said the little girl.

"Your name can't be Happy Butt" says the principal. "I'm going to call your mother right this minute and straighten this out. You mustn't lie to us about your name." The principal calls the mother and says, "We have your little girl here and she keeps telling us her name is 'Happy Butt.'"

"Oh, that must be Gladys," says the mother.

"Well, little girl, your mother says your name is Gladys," says the principal. 

The little girl replies, "Happy Butt, Glad Ass, what's the difference?"

Monday, June 11, 2001

A Night at the Movies

Not having anything better to do for the evening, the wife and I decided to go see a movie. 

No, that's not completely true. A few weeks ago I had told the wife that I would take her to the movies more often than the twice a year I have done in the past. My wife claims that I had offered to take her to the movies every weekend and I fear that she may have been actually listening to me in one of my more generous moods.

Whatever the details of my offer might have been it has been a few weeks since I took her to the movies and she requested that we go. So I checked the listings for the local theaters and we did not have enough time to make it to the next show but there was a later showing available. 

I like to go to the later shows as there are usually fewer people in the theater and I have better chance of getting a good seat. As it turns out, getting a good seat was not a problem. After we purchased out tickets and the required refreshments we found the correct room at our local multiplex, strolled down the aisle and realized that the entire place was empty. We had the whole place to ourselves and nobody else ever showed up. Kind of a private viewing so to speak. We are not talking about some midnight movie, this was at 9:00, and while it was nice to have my pick of seats, sitting in an empty theater is a little strange. Makes the mind wander and it crossed my mind that since we were the only ones there, that perhaps the projectionist would pause the movie for us if a bathroom break was needed?

Sunday, June 10, 2001

The Yard Sale

If you want to meet your neighbors, have a yard sale.

That is just what we did at my house this weekend, we had a yard sale. All the folks who live on our street wandered down to see what kind of junk we were trying to sell. Whole families, dogs and all showed up to poke through the strange collection of stuff piled on our yard. If everybody that came had bought something it would have been a great success, but unfortunately they did not. After all was said and done, much remained for me to carry back into the basement or shed. 

The sale was not a total loss as we did sell a car to a young couple three houses down and several of the larger items did sell. Yes I know most folks don't sell cars at a yard sale but I had a Oldsmobile that I had purchased as a backup vehicle several years ago and I no longer have a use for it. So I thought I would park it out front with a sign in the window and see if anyone expressed interest. Sure enough it was one of the first things to sell. It is however hard to bargain for top dollar when a very young couple walk up to your house pushing a baby carriage with two little ones inside and another youngster hiding behind mom while holding a small dog. They needed a car and I had an extra, you know how this works out don't you. They got a car cheap and I got more space in my driveway. All things considered, a fair trade. 

So I'm tired and sore from dragging stuff from my basement to the front yard and back again, a little sunburned and few dollars richer. The guy who bought my old speakers is blasting music loud enough to hear several houses away, my old car is parked down the street and somewhere someone is trying to figure out why that beanbag smells funny. So how was your weekend?