Head First: February 2007

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Are you kidding me?

This is on an endcap display at CVS pharmacy in my town. Is it just me, or is this a little indelicate? Maybe the store manager just hasn't seen a television for the last couple weeks. Tasteless, nevertheless.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

From the White House to a black house.

I took the missus to our nation's capital for a dazzling Valentine's weekend. It's only a couple hours' drive from here. I wish we made the trip more often. If you haven't already, you must make a trip to D.C. a priority. I'll write more later about the specifics of the trip, because there's much to talk about, including a really cool insider tour of the West Wing (I stole paper towels from the White House toilet), and an equally interesting church service (yes, I went to church) at the National Cathedral. We capped it all off with a beer and a very excellent bowl of oyster stew at Martin's Tavern, in Georgetown (we saw the booth where JFK proposed to Jackie ::sigh::). All in all, a spectacular weekend.

Then we came home.

This isn't really my house
(my house is almost twice as large as this).

As soon as I smelled it, I knew we were in trouble. The whole housed smelled like a fuel truck had overturned and caught fire in the living room. I noticed a patch of black above every vent on my way to the basement. As I descended the cellar steps, I couldn't even see the basement floor for the smoke. It took a minute to get to the furnace and figure out what happened. While we were away, the stove pipe had come disconnected from the chimney fluestack. Every time the heater kicked on, the exhaust from the oil burner spewed into the basement, where the heater fan picked it up and distributed all that soot through the entire house. Every surface in my house is covered by a thin layer of soot. Curtains, carpets, linens, clothing...everything (Oddly, my iMac somehow repelled the filth, standing like a shining beacon of hope on my otherwise grimy desk. Bless you, Steve Jobs.). Every surface, even inside the closets and drawers, has to be cleaned by hand.

So here I blog, from my suite at the Residence Inn, where I will remain until sometime next week. Despite the roaring inconvenience, we recognize that this could have been much worse. No one was hurt, nothing of value was destroyed, and we get to live in a decent hotel for a bit (with a good free breakfast) while someone else gives our house the spring cleaning of its life. All I'm out is a couple grand for the deductible and repairs to the furnace. I'm pretty sure I can recoup my losses from the numbnuts oil guy who last serviced the system and didn't put any screws in the flue connection. I should also take this opportunity to plug State Farm Insurance. I've never had to file a homeowner's claim before, but while they weren't the cheapest guys in town, all that talk about Good Neighbor Service is way more than just talk. So far, I'm very impressed.

I have to go check on the cleaning crew and try to reassemble my wrecked work schedule for the next couple weeks. I'll talk more about the D.C. trip soon. Peace.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How Do I Love Ye (or is it Thee?)

Although we celebrate his day, it's unclear just who Saint Valentine was. Turns out, there were three saints named Valentinus, and they were all martyred. Judging from the tone of their holiday, I'd guess they must have gotten in trouble for getting a little action on the side.

But anyway, since we celebrate vitamin-enriched Eros-brand love today, I thought I'd offer some helpful hints to some of the younger fellows in the crowd and let you in on the secrets of showing love to your spouse. This is how we show love to Mrs. Dorsey in the Marshall household.

One day each week, my daughters and I gather in the living room. This is where we always meet to honor my wife. In fact, we don't really use the room for anything else. It's sort of "her" room, y'know? Here's how the event typically goes down:

• We start with a brief statement, thanking her for all that she does for us, and then asking her to do more.

• Then I break out my Strat and we sing some songs about her. We do two lively songs (the kids like to dance) and two slow ones. If I'm really getting into it, I'll break into some Barry White (Can't get enough of your love, baby...). There's a lot of talk about touching Mrs. D, but we never actually do it.

• Then I pass a basket around and imply to the girls that, if they really love Mommy, they'll certainly want to help out by kicking in to help pay for some new drapes for the living room. I mean, how can we say, "I love you, mom," when we make her live here with those ratty curtains? Well, that's the rationale, anyway. To be honest, I pocket most of the money myself.

• The girls and I take a short break and greet one another, and talk about going to a movie later.

• I deliver a prepared speech, informing the girls that Mommy loves them and that, if they'd be more committed to Mommy (by helping Daddy paint the living room and hang the new drapes), she would love them even more.

• We end the event by briefly addressing Mrs. D, thanking her for being with us.

After the meeting, the kids and I go out for a meal, usually a Chinese buffet. We leave Mrs Dorsey there, in the living room. Someone asked how we came up with this process. I don't really know. We've just always done it this way.

Seriously, if I showed love to my wife the way we often show love to God, she'd probably stop coming to the meetings, too. She's not about jewelry a couple times a year or vacuous displays of affection. She's more convinced that I love her when I fold some clothes or empty the dishwasher, when I take time I could spend elsewhere and spend it with her, when I read with the girls. Likewise, while I do not feel the need to question God's love for me, the thought of my love for Him worries me, sometimes.

Happy Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Finally, a reason to watch the Grammys.

That was freakin' awesome.
If you missed it:

Friday, February 09, 2007

Don't be afraid. We're from Google,
and we're here to help you.

Ok, so I thought it might be a good time to listen to Blogger and upgrade my template. I've always known just enough HTML to be a danger to myself and others, but I always managed to figure it out. Apparently, however, my pseudo-skill set is no longer sufficient to render my pensive baby blues at the top of the page. It also turns out that I am not in the mood to deal with it at this moment. Maybe it's time for a complete overhaul. At any rate, you're free to roam the halls until I can figure out what XML is about.

Meanwhile, click here to get saved at the Squirrel Revival.