Monthly Archives: August 2009

A close one!

It’s almost never good when the phone rings at ten o’clock in the evening. The other night, it was our son, Poolboy, reporting that he had just had an automobile accident and was calling for a pick-up and sympathy.

Poolboy and his girlfriend had just left our house a little earlier in the evening and were heading downtown for dinner. It was a rainy night. Apparently an oncoming driver didn’t see them and tried to make a left-turn right in front of them. Poolboy’s Explorer t-boned the other car. The official word isn’t in yet, but it looks like both vehicles were totaled. Airbags went off all around and both vehicles were seriously distorted. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Poolboy was holding it together, but just barely when we arrived. He was seriously angry. He had just bought the Explorer from a friend a couple of weeks ago and he was still deeply in love with it.

He didn’t want to be reminded of any silver linings in the incident, but there was a big one. Poolboy’s Explorer struck the other, smaller car square on the passenger door. The car was crumbled all the way to the center console between the seats. If the other guy had a passenger with him, I have little doubt some other family would be mourning the loss of something more precious than a car.

It doesn’t take much.  Be safe!

X-rated gardening

I have to confess. I have not been faithful to my wife. I have been spreading the pollen around to ones other than Mrs. Poolman. Funny thing – she doesn’t mind. The secret is out. I have been having sex with my tomato plants. Tomato 1

It’s been more than 20 years since I had a serious garden, but this year, I thought I would try some tomatoes. I planted these babies in mid-May. They have had plenty of water and fertilizer. I think I’m still missing two key ingredients. The first is enough strong sunlight. I thought I picked a good place to plant them, but I may have been wrong. Too much shade. Right now I’m looking at five plants, all a leggy five to six feet tall, but with only a few blossoms and maybe six small, green tomatoes.Tomato 2

The other thing that is missing is bees. We haven’t had a bunch of them this summer. I’m not exactly a horticultural expert, but as best I understand, the tomato plants need the bees to cross pollinate the plants. Otherwise, you get all flowers and no fruit. That’s where the tomato sex comes in. I don’t know if it actually works, but the idea is that you use your finger to rub the flowers from one plant to another, spreading the pollen among the plants as you go. Tomato 4

I hope it works, because Mrs. Poolman and I dearly love home-grown summer tomatoes. She’ll even forgive the temporary unfaithfulness for a fresh tomato sandwich.

Was it good for you my darling?

“Filthy whores” and “Super Sperm,” the “Tifanny Network” at its best

We watch a lot of TV, probably too much. Last night we were watching our usual Monday night comedies on CBS.

How I Met Your Mother

Rules of Engagement

Two and a Half Men

While I was chuckling over the jokes, I was also feeling very happy I didn’t have any small children watching with me. The shows were full of humor – very adult humor. And those were shows that aired at 8 o’clock eastern time. That’s 7 pm in central time. In either case, it was plenty early enough to expect droves of younger children to be watching.

I’m not a prude. I do remember when the network censors wouldn’t allow Lucy and Desi or Ozzie and Harriet to share the same bed. I remember thinking how weird that was. “Aren’t married people supposed to sleep in the same bed?” This wasn’t Ozzie and Harriet or My Three Sons by a long shot.

The main plot of How I Met Your Mother revolved around one of the main characters confessing to his friends that he and his girlfriend had not had sex yet, although they had been dating for five months.

The drought ended at 8:25 pm.

The drought ended at 8:25 pm.

Then it turned out that the girlfriend had not had sex in five years. The dialogue all revolved around the disbelief of the group of friends that anyone could go that long without sex. Not a very sophisticated plot, but it was cute — for adults. I can imagine a six year old asking “Mommy, what does it mean when somebody hasn’t had sex for five years?” (I won’t give the obvious bad punch line.)

Or to draw off of another line from the show, “Mommy, what is a filthy little whore?”

The second show is one of my favorites,“Rules of Engagement.

Rules of Engagememt

Rules of Engagement

The main plot revolved around one of the key couples undergoing fertility testing. There were lots of jokes about guys’ “junk.” At one point, the husband of the fertility pair discovers he has “super sperm” and that becomes the focus of the last half of the show. It was a funny script and well carried by the cast. I laughed, but I’m looking at it with adult eyes, not those of a five, six or seven year old.

“Mommy, what’s super sperm?”

I would look to say that these shows were some kind of anomaly, but that isn’t the case. You see them all the time.

I won’t take any shots at Two and a Half Men. That would be too easy. the entire premise of the show is a running series of sex-related, sophomoric jokes and skits. (That may be why I enjoy it!)  At least it airs at 9 pm on the net. However, in this market the Fox station has picked it up in syndication and airs it at 630 pm. So much for what used to be called “the family hour.”

I don’t suggest that we should revert back to the early ‘60’s. Nor am I advocating any kind of censorship.  My concern is not with the shows’ content, but the early time slot they are aired. How about a little discretion in the early evening?  It makes you wonder; would the CBS network execs like to sit and watch those shows with their young grandchildren? It might be interesting to ask.

A little mountain get-away

Well, we’re back from our short mini-vacation/family get together with some elements of my side of the clan. Mrs. Poolman and I headed to the North Carolina mountains near Waynesville to meet up with my sister and brother-in-law, and my father. Mrs. Poolman’s sister and her husband built a second home on Cold Mountain, of book and movie fame, several years ago, and she graciously offered it to us for the visit. It’s a great house and perfect for multi-family gatherings. House

The view from the deck.

The view from the deck.

They also rent it out. If interested, check out their Web site.   The plug is a way of thanking SIL for the use of her house.

In any case, we had a great time. Although we drove from coastal Georgia to Western North Carolina, we took the long way there. We passed through Denmark…


Norwayand Scotland (aka Scotia).


We call it the Northern Europe route through South Carolina and are always sure to pack our passports.

We spent one afternoon cruising “downtown” Waynesville.Waynesville

The next day, we took a drive to see some of the countryside, including…

A waterfall...

A waterfall...

A water slide...

A water slide...

And the view from the Blue Ridge Parkway.Mountain

The rest of the time, we hung around the house, doing what my sister claims our family does best, eating, drinking and talking.

Sister and BIL introduced us to a new card game, “Hand and Foot,” and I have to confess, we spent entirely too much time playing cards at the kitchen table.

I did run into one issue. We stopped at a local farm and bought some fresh vegetables. I love summer tomatoes, but I really had trouble getting my taste buds around these heirloom tomatoes.

Purple and orange tomatoes???

Purple and orange tomatoes???

I guess they tasted great, but I couldn’t get the image of orange and purple tomatoes out of my brain. They are supposed to be RED!

It was a nice late-summer break. We have three “off weekends” before the fall football season begins along with lots of additional activities. Back to work!


We’re taking a few days R&R so I may be “off the grid” for a few days. I’ll try to check in, but I’ll definitely be back after the weekend.

It’s not that tough

When I arrived at work this morning, I found my office was the victim of last night’s rain storm. This is the second time this week, this has happened. CeilingI should have learned, but I thought the problem had been repaired. Fortunately the damage was limited to the area immediately adjacent to one wall, so it wasn’t too bad. Our IT guys are getting tired of drying out my printer and told me to take better care. Good thought!

The source of this problem is the on-going re-roofing project on our building. Until the leak, the only problem associated with this project is the lovely aroma of hot tar that has permeated our building for two weeks. There have been days when the tar-smell hit you in the face and knocked you back a step when you walked through the door. One of our scientists stuck his head in my office the other day and said, “Now I know what a mastodon felt like when he got stuck in the LaBrea tar pits.”

My office is behind the fan, which, fortunately, is blowing away from the wondow.

My office is behind the fan, which, fortunately, is blowing away from the wondow.

Before I started feeling sorry for myself, I thought – I am sitting here in an air conditioned office, doing a job that doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting. Why am I complaining? I could be one of those guys who are up on the roof on a 93 degree day, spreading hot tar. This isn’t so bad.

All of which brings me to my two points:

1. Everything is relative.

2. I think most people are about as happy as they allow themselves to be.

In the grand scheme of things, I am extremely blessed. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that. You can focus on the “what could/should have been,” or you can step back and realize how good you have it.

I don’t want to discount legitimate causes of unhappiness. There things that happen in life that cannot help but adversely affect any normally functioning person – a serious illness, a death in the family, a job loss, a divorce, and so on.

There are lots of folks who don’t need a life-catastrophe, to destroy their karma. They do a pretty good job of it all by themselves. They have a pretty good life by almost any standards, but they are never happy. They walk around with a little black cloud hanging over their head. Sometimes people like that make me crazy. At first, I want to commiserate with them and try to cheer them up. Then I realize – what’s the point? No amount of external influences will improve the disposition of someone who is determined to be unhappy.

Note to self: shut up and stop your whining! To quote Terri, Terri, “Life is good!”