May 312013

My relationship with my answering machine has changed quite a bit during my adulthood.

When I first got my own place, I was delighted, of course. For the first few years of mine and Lea’s marriage, I was ambivalent about it.

Now I hate it.

Anyone contacting me for any fun reason will have done so another way. No, if the answering machine light’s blinking, it’s generally something that’s at least mildly irritating, and might even be a big pain in the ass. Only about a quarter of the time, it’s a push.

I’m not generally in favor of dropping the land line completely. I think the events of April 2011 underscore why keeping it is a good thing. Cellular service was essentially nonexistent for two days, and dicey for a good ten more.

But I would love to turn the ringer off, stop giving the number to people, and check the answering machine once a week for folks we’d forgotten to inform of our new approach.

There was a time during which Lea and I seemed to be the only members of our various circles who had married, but hadn’t yet had children. So we got called less. So we had fewer answering machine messages. Our inside joke catchphrase for a messageless state was, and is, “universally hated and detested.” It’s a question, roughly translating to “no messages?” To wit:

Lea: “Universally hated and detested?”
Bo: “Yup.”

I never thought I’d feel that way about the machine itself. Funny world sometimes.

Have a good weekend.

 Posted by at 11:15 am
May 302013
  • The boys are excited about seeing a live woolly mammoth.  Wanted to know yesterday if I thought I’d see one in my lifetime.  I told them yes, I thought I probably would.
  • I’m trying to encourage, as best I can, an old high school friend who just quit smoking.  Folks, think of and pray for smokers in your acquaintanceship who would like to quit.  Of all the problems they’ll ever face that are entirely under their control, this is the biggest one.
  • You’d swear “Neil Diamond” was a stage name, wouldn’t you?  It isn’t.  Neil Leslie Diamond is the guy’s name.
  • Please listen to me, fellow interstate travelers.  I don’t care if you’re faster than I am.  I don’t care if you’re slower than I am.  But can you please pick one or the other?  There is really no excuse for varying your cruising speed any more than 3 mph or so, whether you have cruise control or not.
  • Speaking of, saw a very faithful Bluesmobile on the way to Indy this weekend.  I pointed it out, and Nathan said, nearly immediately and quite authentically:  “We’re on a mission from God.”
  • TLC, if you can get Paige Davis and Genevieve Gorder back in the same half-hour, I’ll watch.  I don’t even care what they do.
  • It’s amazing how therapeutic someone’s given minutes can be.  Stop and appreciate that when it happens.
 Posted by at 10:10 am
May 292013

The National Corvette Museum is a special place for me and my family.  It’s a loud, brazen, very American place.  And, Dad’s had several ‘Vettes over the years.  We stopped by for a couple of hours on our way back from Indy.

This is Roy Orbison’s ’67, on loan from his widow.  Clearly it’s been painted, but it has a lot of original bits on it too.  The seats look good, but also look 45 years old.

c131   This is the first C6 ZR1 I’ve ever seen in the ‘glass.  I have healthy respect for this car’s performance, but the surface details are over the top, even for a Corvette.  The clear window in the hood, overlooking an utterly nonfunctional plastic shroud,  is just silly.


This has emerged as my favorite car in the museum.  This is a ’72 big block convertible in Steel Cities Grey.  I absolutely love it.  There is a dignified brutality about it.


Here is another ’72.  This is a survivor.  This unrestored car has just under 25,000 original miles on it.


Until fairly recently, a car like this would have been meticulously put back to showroom-new condition.  I’m glad we’re more appreciative of graceful aging now.

It was a great trip with my boys and my dad.  As he’s fond of saying, we’re “making memories.”

 Posted by at 9:59 pm
May 272013

indyboysblogDad, the boys, and I went to the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend.

I’d have said breezily that it was the first one for all of us, but Dad stepped up and said “no, my dad, my friend’s dad, my friend, and I flew in a Beechcraft Bonanza and landed in the infield for the 1958 Indy 500.”  So, my first one, the boys’ first one, and Dad’s first one in 55 years.

I said “hey, I think that’s the same plane Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in.”  And so it was.  But that’s another post.

We picked an outstanding year to go.  This race set new Indianapolis 500 records for most lead changes (68), most different leaders (14), and highest average speed (187.433 mph).  We sat in the Northwest Vista, in Turn 4, eleven rows up.  I had attended two IndyCar races before this one (Nashville, 2008; and Barber/Alabama, 2010).  I had also attended multiple superspeedway events in my youth, mostly at Talladega.  This was the first time IndyCar and a large track had converged in my experience, and…wow.

Did I mention that our favorite driver, Tony Kanaan, finally won this damned race on his 12th try?  “The best driver never to win the Indianapolis 500” is now someone else.  Congratulations, TK.  We were absolutely thrilled to be there for it.  It’s poetry, really.  Leading late, and showing you our view to the left:


Kanaan is a disciplined and fair-minded athlete, an articulate spokesman for his sport and his values, and a devoted father.  I’m sure all of these things contributed to the raucous cheers and hat-tips we heard and saw all around the track when he led and finally won.  I was proud to be there, but I was also so pleased to see so many other people getting it.  You deserve it, sir.  Welcome to the club.

Here’s one I haphazardly snapped on his victory parade lap.  He’s maybe 50 feet in front of us here.


Again, congratulations, TK, and thank you for a marvelous time, Indy.  I suspect we’re not done with you.

 Posted by at 9:44 pm
May 242013

When last I left the shed, I had counted five black widows in it.  Three of them were guarding egg sacs.  One of them might have been the biggest widow I’ve ever seen.

I went today to take care of them.  No one has been in the shed since I left it.  All of the egg sacs are intact, but four of the five spiders are gone.  (I looked for them, too.  I’m confident they’re not somewhere hidden like this one was.)  The only one I found was dead.

How does that happen?  I mean, I suppose I’m somewhat relieved that I don’t have to deal with pissed off and dangerous arachnids today, but I’m also disappointed, because I was going to get a macro shot of that big girl for today’s blog post.  Instead, you get this lame lament.

(You can enjoy that I still have the creepy-crawlies on my skin from being in the shed and moving things around those webs.  Also enjoy that there’s a non-negligible chance I’ll dream about spiders tonight.)

Enjoy your weekend.

 Posted by at 4:09 pm
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