Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Time is Fleeting

I was at Walmart the other day and as I was getting out of my car, I spotted two watches right on the yellow line of the empty space next to me. I got out of my car quickly to grab them before some crazed soccer mom on her Blackberry whipped in to the spot in a Yukon. I hurried over to the pair of timepieces that sat in tandem as though they were placed there intentionally.

I picked them up and noticed immediately that one was in the form of a lady’s watch and the other was perhaps a slim, smaller round-faced men’s watch or a slightly larger women’s watch. The decision was easy; take them to the lost-and-found. Someone was out there wondering where their tickers were.

As I walked in to the store, I looked closer at them; one appeared to be a Tommy Hilfiger with a “pearl” face and a prominent logo. It was ticking. The other, the smaller lady’s watch, was in the style of a Rolex in stainless steel with a diamond bezel. It was not in working mode, being about an hour and twenty minutes slow. On further inspection, I noted the famous name actually printed on the face, “Rolex” and with the words “Perpetual Day-Date” were in the proper location for the brand. However, as I waited in the line to turn in these watches, I looked at the “Rolex” carefully, and tried to pull out the stem to see if I could set the time. It was nigh on impossible and I nearly broke my thumbnail trying to pry the thing loose. I finally loosened it to a degree, but only by unscrewing it. That was when I re-read the face, wondering if perhaps the name may have been spelled “Rollecks”. The back didn’t bear the trademark crown on the stainless steel. The word “knock off” came immediately to mind.

For some reason, I stood in the Customer Service line for about ten minutes. There was a young couple returning some sort of electronical device with no receipt. I should have just tossed the wristwatches in the garbage, yet I stood there, time ticking away on the minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

Finally I got to the counter and asked the lady if these “watches” would be safe in the lost and found. Dumb question. I think they’d be pretty safe there. Forever.

I think they’d have been just as safe in the parking lot on the yellow line in section C.

So, to the venerable Rolex company; I apologize for not taking the rank imitation completely out of circulation. Maybe I should have saved it and let my daughter “durability test” this thing with a teaspoon full of .40 caliber lead at 1100 fps.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordy Guy: Long Awaited

The Wordy Guy has agreed to help me buy some time till I get a sufficiently great (mediocre) post up here on the Geezer Chronicles. The only thing is, he made me guess the answer before he completed the transaction. If you put your ear to the internets, you can hear him softly gloating; he made me guess the wrong one. He's good I tell ya.

So, no cheating, and everyone get your guesses in to the comments right away. Remember, this is for entertainment only, please, no wagering.


A. Leather straps used to secure items, especially on a dog sled.

B. Room for stowing goods, as in a ship.

C. The edge of woven fabric finished so as to prevent raveling.

Now is the time for all of you dogsledders, sailors and seamstresses to use you knowledge to gain bragging rights here. If you are well-versed in all of the above, then this should be a snap.

Good Luck, and thanks for watching!

Yes, Rob is a tricky one, he fooled me. For all y'all who chose "C", that's the one that got me, too. Again, Innominatus supplied a definition all his own that cracked me up. I almost blew milk out of my nose when I read it...and that's rough, because I hadn't even had any milk in days!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Brain Hurts

Sorry for the dearth of posting here; I am having a Mr. DP Gumby moment. I have some things cooking between my ears, but nothing ever takes full-fledged form and I get distracted.

Some funny thoughts have been roiling in the gray matter, but I can't seem to remember it when I need to. And some of it really requires some serious thought, such as how to type in the sound that my youngest daughter makes now that she has her braces on and the evil-torture-device of an "expander" in the roof of her mouth. And the time to park and actually type it is just not available. As in "I don't have time to write all this funny stuff...and sit on my butt as much as I want to..."

I will try to congeal some of the jello upstairs and put it down for you humor-starved souls. I appreciate the plaintive cries I have received from two of you (actually the only two that are taller than me!) for new material. I'll try to do better.

"ooooooooooh, my brain huuurts"

Monday, October 05, 2009

Guest Post from My Kid

Faithful readers of this blog (well, I guess the unfaithful ones that read here a lot would qualify, too) will know that my youngest has a talent for writing stuff, too. The other day, she was sick at school and since she is a freshman this year, the procedure is considerably different than in the past. Here is a short account of her experience:

Fresh from junior high, I am used to the nurse's offices being a small room with two, maybe three beds pressed against the walls, a desk for the nurse, and a hallway leading to the main office. High school is a whole ‘nother story. Today was my first visit and I couldn’t help but laugh with my daddy telling him about the mini-hospital they have running at my school.

When I walked into the dimly lit room, the first thing I noticed was a row of chairs lining the wall and a little glass window with a sign-in sheet. I walked on over to the window and was nicely greeted by a nurse's aide, and after I signed in, I walked over to a chair placed by the wall just for me. I waited for about two minutes and then was taken to a larger, brighter back room where I immediately took notice of the nice row of not two or three, but five numbered beds.

epilogue by Dad.
That was about the extent of her visit, the rest of the visit went pretty much as expected. She was just impressed at the lengths they went to to make it seem like a real doctor's office. As we discussed it, she hinted that she half-expected to see an MRI machine in there. Knowing Alvin ISD, I suggested that what they might have instead of an MRI unit would be perhaps the cardboard box from a water heater with a dump truck inner tube encircling the box, and the whole thing spray painted white. The MRI experience would consist of members of the band's drumline to provide the clicking and pounding sounds for the "test".

We laughed about that for awhile, then I encouraged her to write it down. Those are all her words, I didn't add a thing.

What a kid. I am kinda scared.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tall Boy

I have always liked to think that I am free of the deadly sin of vanity. Not that I walk around with my shirttail out and my hair unwashed, face not shaved and generally disheveled. I change my clothes every day and make sure that I look presentable, at least.

I have never been much of a prize to look at, as evidenced by my entire school career starting in second grade and my unrequited like of a certain girl. Happened a lot. I was always a lot better at bending an ear than turning heads.

And I am OK with that. No big deal.

In light of all these things, I determined that I was utterly devoid of narcissism. A fact that I was proud of.

One day, however, I was laid low. I was devastated to have a flaw pointed out shamelessly and unabashedly by the smallest person in the office. A mere lass just under five feet tall. Indignity.

The video guy for the college came in and said “howdy” to the Publications Office folks. He is a tall fellow, six feet, three inches or so. At least. He stood around and talked to us for a bit, then he bade us adieu and exited. Tiny little Diana, her real name, said casually, “You always stand up really straight when Keith comes in…and Kris and Mike, too, I’ve noticed.”

Thud. “WHAT? What are you talking about? No I don’t…” I knew in my heart of hearts that she was right. All of the guys she mentioned were at or above the 75 inch level, which is the exact height that I attained as a 15 year-old lad. Could it be that I was worried about someone being taller than me?

The answer came back, “Yes.” Since I reached my full adult height, I have liked the altitude that I carry around. People look up to me, whether they respect me or not. I am used to seeing over almost everybody’s head. I relish changing light bulbs without standing on anything. Being taller than 97% of the population puts you in a position that I happen to like. My cousin used to be the tallest in the family at six feet even. When I shot past him to my current 5 feet fifteen inches, his theory was that since I was from Texas City, the polluted air caused me to mutate and thus my overall height surplus. That’s OK, Mike, I’ll take the three inch mutation.

I also figured out that I am uncomfortable with someone being taller than myself. I have actually gone so far as saying that I don’t like people taller than me. That’s not really true; I am just not accustomed to looking up at someone. In reality I like hanging out with other tall guys; we can commiserate about small cars, low couches and ducking under ceiling fans the way people duck under helicopter blades.

So, I haven’t worried that my hair turns gray, or if my laugh lines show, or if my hairline recedes. Those of you who know me or have at least seen me are aware that I don’t really care that I have gained some weight in the past 24 or 25 years. I just don’t want to get shorter. Spinal compression is my enemy these days. And I don’t want to end up like this:

Twenty years ago, when I was an early employee at the college, there was an office party with everyone including the chancellor in attendance. He was the first basketball of the college and a tall old fella. He was over six feet tall, but had the older guy stoop to his shoulders and his neck was a little thrust forward. On greeting me, he asked me how tall I was, grinning. I answered that I was six feet, three inches tall. He replied, “Oh no, you’re taller than that! I’m six foot three…” I was smart enough to shut up and grin. I wanted to say, “No Dr. S—, you USED to be six foot three, spinal compression got ahold of you, and now you’re just shorter.”

I don’t wanna have to overestimate peoples’ height when I get old, I just want my stature quo.