Monthly Archives: September 2009

Truth in advertising

On the way to work this morning, I was listening to the radio and came across, what is probably the cheesiest piece of radio advertising I have ever heard – and that is saying a lot!stripperREX_450x250

The ad was for a strip-joint (Surprise!). Most of the copy in the ad talked about the “club’s” Monday night football specials, but in between each line, another announcer broke in with “And boobs!”

So it went like this:

We have four big screen TVs…

And boobs!

We have dollar draft beer specials…

And boobs!

A free buffet…

And boobs!

And so on.

At first I thought I was they were overdoing it. Then, I thought about their target audience. And when I thought of what happens to many of my brothers’ brains when confronted with the very thought of “boobs,” maybe they weren’t so overboard after all.

Tasteless? No question.

Too obvious? Maybe not.

Palace or prison?

Over the past six months, we have developed a problem with Casey, our chocolate lab. He is no longer trustworthy to be left in the house for any extended period of time.  If you have read the book or seen the movie “Marley and Me” you’ll know our problem. Casey HATES thunderstorms. When we are home, he clings to his “people” and moans and whines. If he is alone in the house with just his fellow pets, he goes a little nutso.

Last spring, Mrs. Poolman and I were in Atlanta for a weekend. Poolboy was house sitting, but a storm came through when he was at work. Casey destroyed one of our couches. Then he got on our bed and ate through the comforter, blanket, sheets and a down mattress pad. Our bedroom looked like the aftermath of one of those TV sitcoms where the characters have a pillow fight, the pillows burst and feathers go everywhere.pillow fightIt looked like someone had thrown an armful of chickens into the ceiling fan.

Our partial solution is a large crate we got from a friend. Crate 1We’ve only had to use it once, when we were out overnight for the homeless ministry last month. Casey does not like his prison cell. However, after the incident last spring, Mrs. Poolman has been in no mood to worry about Casey’s feelings.

While Casey doesn’t like it, his pet cats have decided it’s pretty cool. Crate 2Maybe they could get together on this.

A busy weekend

Mrs. Poolman and I took off to Florida again this weekend. Poolboy and GF stayed at the house to keep the mutts company and make the house look lived-in.

Our first stop was Jacksonville. Friday was Mrs. Poolman’s birthday. I won’t give away her age. Let’s just say she started counting backwards a few years ago and she is looking forward to her 40s.

Both her sisters, brother in law, niece and husband and nephew and girlfriend met us at Outback Steakhouse for a birthday dinner.  That was fun. Youngest sister baked a cake and brought it for dessert. We got very lucky. Mrs. Poolman had driven the last hour into Jacksonville. When we went out into the parking lot after at least an hour and a half in the restaurant, the headlights on her CRV were on. Ninety minutes of burning the headlights and it still started up without a problem. I need to check to see the brand of that battery and stick with it. That is much better performance than we deserve.

In past years, we have spent at least one night on football weekends at a motel. This year, youngest sister has offered her house for overnights. The reason this hasn’t happened before now is too much to go into. So we spent Friday and Saturday night at her house.

M2NB9991Saturday was game-day with our nephew using the third ticket. The crowd was markedly different from the week before. Just a lot more people. I think there are a bunch of people who come out to tailgate for big games but stay home for the easy ones. We were on campus by 9:30 am for a 3:30 pm game and got there just in time. As it was, the general area of our tailgating was so crowded with cars, we had difficulty even getting to a good spot. It turned out, we ended up right back in the same spot we were last week.

The game was good – crowded and hot. The Gators played poorly but won anyway. Better than playing poorly and losing.

We went back to Jacksonville after the game and watched Georgia and Arkansas try to set an all-time no-defense scoring record. Georgia came out on top, but with no credit to their defense.

We’re back in Savannah. Our children are taking us out to dinner for Mrs. Poolman’s belated birthday. Should be fun. They are taking us to a tapas restaurant. Mrs. Poolman and I have not been there before, so we’re looking forward to it.

A little football talk

The “U” hammered Georgia Tech last night. I was sorry to see that. I turned the TV off in the third quarter and went to bed.  Besides not liking the “U” of Miami very much, I am also a big Paul Johnson fan.

Florida kicks off the SEC schedule with a home game vs. Tennessee tomorrow. UT LogoThe Gators were favored by 29 points the last time a looked. I got a call from my stock broker, Steve, who handles my IRA. He is located in Nashville and is a Tennessee grad. Most of the times he calls, we end up talking college football. He was really pretty funny about the point spread. “Well maybe I can turn off the TV half time and get some things done around the house.”

In honor of tomorrow’s game, here is some UT trash-talk. (I didn’t use any of this on poor Steve. He was despondent enough as it was.) By the way, full credit goes to the various fans who contributed these jokes on message boards. Feel free to borrow the material and insert your favorite opponent as appropriate.

Q: What is the most frequent line heard from graduates of Tennessee’s business school?
A: Would you like fries with that?

Q: How do you get a Tennessee grad off your front porch?
A: Pay him for the pizza and tip him well

Q: What do you call a Vol with half a brain
A: Gifted

Q: What are the toughest 6 years in a Tennessee students life?
A: 3rd Grade

Q: What’s the difference between a Vol and a dollar bill?
A: You only get three quarters out of a Vol

Tennessee grad was hunting in the woods. He came upon a beautiful woman laying naked in the grass.  “Are you game?” He asked. The women said “yes”. So he shot her.

Orange Scrub 2Q: Why do the Tennessee Vol fans wear orange and white?
A: They can wear it to the game on Saturday…They can wear it hunting on Sunday…and they can wear it to work on Monday when they’re picking up garbage during work release!

Q: Why are homicides so difficult to solve in Knoxville?
A: There are no dental records and everyone has the same DNA.

Q: How can you tell if a Tennessee fan is married?
A: There are chewing tobacco stains on both sides of the truck.

images Q: What’s one hundred yards long and has six teeth?
A: The front row at Neyland Stadium.

Q: How does someone from Tennessee convert a dishwasher into a snow plow?
A:  He hands his wife a shovel.

Q: What do you call a beautiful woman on the arm of a Tennessee fan?
A: A tattoo

Hello, CCD class and Good Bye, Mary Travers!

We had our first CCD class of the year last night. In the Catholic Church, these are religious education classes for the kids who go to public or non-parochial private schools. This is my fifth year teaching 5th grade in our parish. I have a co-teacher in our friend, Susan. Last year’s class was very large by CCD standards, 29 students enrolled and about 25 showing up each week. However, they were a great class and we had a lot of fun.

This year’s class should be interesting. It is much smaller, around 16 students. Classroom control is always an issue, especially at the beginning of the year. Many of the students don’t consider having to sit through an hour’s worth of extra education on Wednesday evenings a part of their job description. For some kids, their Ritalin wore off around 5 pm, and they can be seriously wired. My answer to this is to start out as somewhat of an SOB. It’s much easier to start out tough and then let up than the other way around. By the second or third class, I usually have all but one or two stubborn cases converted. Then I can revert to my normal, charming self. (Ha!)

It is interesting though how quickly you can ID certain stereotypes.

“Miss Chatty Cathy” — You hardly ever see her face because she is always turned around talking to the girl in the desk behind her.

“Mr. Center of Attention” — He really wants to be on-stage and likes to make smart aleck comments about everything. He is the first cousin of “Mr. Stand-Up Comedian.”

“Mr. ADHD” – He is so wired that he falls out of his desk several times each class.

“Miss Question a Minute” – Her hand is always in the air with a question, whether it pertains to the subject at hand or not.

It should be a fun year!

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I heard this morning that Mary Travers died yesterday. That is sad. For those not familiar, she was the “Mary” in “Peter, Paul and Mary.” I realize I am dating myself, but I really enjoyed that group and their music. We even went to one of their concerts in Jacksonville just a few years ago. Mary’s rendition of the John Denver song, “Leaving On A Jet Plane” is one of my all time favorites.

The boys are back in town!

Well, actually at least one of them is probably not a boy. As long as we are on a nature kick this week, take a look at this impressive couple!Eagles 9-09

There has been a nesting pair of bald eagles near our campus as long as I have worked here. Until last winter, they only made rare appearances. Then, last January, they decided the cell phone antennae on top of our water tower made for good perches. They took off again sometime in the late winter, and just reappeared this week.

Unfortunately, the birds were not very interested in posing for photos the afternoon I took these shots, hence the only angle I could get was pretty much shooting up their butts. Sorry, ‘bout that. I’ll try to do better next time. Meanwhile, most of us here just think having bald eagles hanging out on our water tower is pretty cool.

Who painted this guy?

When we got home around dusk the other night, I was playing with the mutts in the front yard when I saw this guy on one of our trees.Moth a

Look at the camouflage on this guy! His wings look like leaves. On the leading edge of each wing, it looks like someone had carefully painted a design to look like a branch, complete with little “seed pods.”

Amazing!

Of course, while evolution blessed this guy with camouflage, it apparently short changed him in survival skills. Instead spending his Saturday night among the leaves of a bush, where he would be invisible, he was hanging out on the bark of a tree, where even I could see him 20 feet away. As far as I know, he may have become some mockingbird’s dinner right after I took this picture.

Let the games begin!

As I have mentioned before, we are big fans of the University of Florida and have three season tickets to the home football games. We missed the home opener last weekend due to my niece’s wedding, so yesterday was our first football game and tailgating of the season. The kick-off was scheduled for 12:20 pm.  For an early kick-off, we usually drive down to Jacksonville and spend Friday night so it gets us close to the game in the morning. However, in this case, we decided to just go ahead and drive down and back on the same day. This meant the alarm went off at 4 am (about six hours earlier than I typically like to get up on a Saturday) and we were on the road at 5:15 am for the three and a half hour drive to Gainesville.

We didn’t have any “takers” for the third ticket in our bunch, so it was just Mrs. Poolman and I. We didn’t plan an elaborate tailgating set-up. We picked up some sub sandwiches, a bag of chips and drinks from Publix the night before. We have been doing this ever since we moved back to Savannah in 1992, so we have it down to somewhat of a science. Our tailgating spot has evolved over the years. We like to park on-campus. Football Arch

Several years ago, we found this spot, on the north side of the architecture building. It provided shade, an overhang in case of rain, and, most importantly, close proximity to bathrooms. When we first started tailgating here, no one else knew about it. Or, rather, they didn’t know how to follow the paths to get there. Then several years ago, a group of students and their friends “discovered” our spot and moved in. Football 1

We moved just a couple of yards to the side and have “adopted” a site adjacent to one of the many sinkholes on campus. (Anywhere else, it would be called a pond, but here they are sinkholes.) Football 2

It is scenic, relatively quiet, and still close to cover and bathrooms. When we arrived yesterday, we had only a couple of hours before heading to the stadium. Mrs. Poolman stuck her head in a book and I took a sitting-up nap in one of the bag-chairs. After lunch, we walked the 10 minutes to the stadium. Football Staduim

Our seats aren’t the greatest in the world, but they are in the bowl. Some of the folks who sit near us have also had the same seats for years. Each September, we greet each other like long lost friends, and then say “See ya next year” in November. The weather did not cooperate with us yesterday. Usually this issue with these early-season day-games is the heat. Mid-afternoon in Gainesville in mid-September can easily mean 90 degrees of hot sun. Combine that with being crammed cheek-to-jowl with 93,000 of your closest friends, and it can be slightly uncomfortable. Yesterday was cloudy, which was nice, until that turned into rain. Football rain

We didn’t bring our rain ponchos, although, at this time of year, they can be stifling hot. Sometimes, it’s just better to sit and get wet. It’s not like you get cold. As expected, after a slow start, the Gators rolled over Troy. We actually did something we have NEVER done before. We left early. We took off at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who got tired of sitting in wet clothes.

Here is a street outside the stadium as we were leaving. Football early departureThe early departure allowed us to get off campus before the traffic built up. We were home by 7:30 pm.

We have another game next weekend vs Tennessee. That should be interesting. The new UT coach, Lane Kiffen, did some early trash-talking last winter, including accusing UF’s Urban Meyer of cheating. That was not really a smart thing to do. Urban won’t admit it publicly, but he has a long memory. Just ask Georgia Coach Mark Richt. Next Saturday should be fun!

“Bend over,” a treasure trove found, and a small success

I had a physical exam yesterday. There was nothing wrong, just something you need to do from time to time. My family physician is woman in her 30’s. As I am no longer a youth, of course the exam included the dreaded prostate exam. Prostate 3I guess most guys would rather die a thousand deaths than have a prostate exam, let alone one by a woman doctor. Actually, it didn’t concern me much one way or another. My doc does have a sense of humor though. As she was gloving and lubing up, she said.

“You know, there are advantages to having this done by a woman. I have small hands!”

Ha! She was right.

*    *    *    *

Both Mrs. Poolman and I are avid readers. I read fiction for entertainment and occasional non-fiction, usually history or politics, for knowledge and stimulation. The problem is that I am basically cheap. I want to read the new bestseller, but I hate dishing out $30 for a new hardback. My solution is the library. We have a branch of the county library system around the corner from us. I won’t say I’m there often, but when I do walk in the door, the librarians know me by name. The problem is that the county library has only a very limited selection of what you would consider popular selections. Usually you have to order them and get on a reserve list. You can’t really “browse” like you might in a Barnes & Noble or Borders.

In the past few days, however, I have struck readers-gold. Library aI discovered a community library near where I work that is stocked with tons of the popular authors. Some background – the research lab where I worked is located on a coastal island, most of the rest of which is taken up by an upscale, gated golf community with roughly 8,000 residents. This community library is located in the little shopping area near their front gate. I believe that most of their collection is comprised of books donated by the community residents. And it is well stocked. For example, our neighborhood library may have three or four volumes of John Grisham’s novels. This library has more like 30.  Plus, they have a great selection of audiobooks on CD which I like to use on road trips.

I think I’m in love.

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We have finally achieved tomatoes! Tomatoes aThree and a half months after planting them, my tomato plants have finally put forth some edible fruit. There aren’t many of them and they are small, but they are fresh from the garden. Next year I really do need to find a planting spot that will get more direct sun.

This will make you laugh!

I am sitting at home on a furlough day with nothing better to do than surf around some blogs. Over at “Ordinary But Interesting” I found a link to a great video. Sound of Music

No, it’s not the whole movie, or even part of it.

The Sound of Music is not one of my all time favorites. However this video is fantastic.

Here is the set up.

This video was made in Antwerp, Belgium Central (Train) Station on 23 March 2009.

With no warning to the people passing through the station, at 08:00 (am) a recording of Julie Andrews singing ‘Do, Re, Mi’ begins to play on the public address system.

As bemused passengers watch in amazement, some 200 dancers begin to appear from the crowd and from station entrances. They created this amazing stunt with just two rehearsals! (Keep in mind Flemish (and some French) is the local language in Antwerp.)

Here is the link. Enjoy!