I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Monday, July 30, 2012

Punch Buggy, No Punch Backs.

So my kids are getting to that fun age when they are really starting to interact. They don't just eat, poop, and cry all the time, they actually communicate. They are 9 and 11, respectively. And they are really into this newfangled game called Punch Buggy. How the game works is: if you see a Volkswagen Beetle, you say the color of the car and the word buggy and then punch the nearest person in the arm, and then you quantify it by saying, "no punch-backs", thereby prohibiting your opponent from retaliating. I don't like it. I'm terribly unobservant and I am always the one getting punched. So I have invented several other games that I might actually, occasionally, win.

   Hansel and Gretel: This game isn't at all like it sounds. First I take the kids miles from home and then I abandon them. See? Not at all what you expected.

   Here's Johnny!: In our family's version, we act out our favorite scenes from Stephen King's, The Shining. Specifically the 1980 movie version starring Jack Nicholson. The family especially likes it when I spend the afternoon getting bombed and then grab the ax. Oh you, silly.

   Low Hanging Fruit: This game mainly involves me holding food over my head and telling my kids they can eat, if they can take it out of my hands. This game was pretty one-sided until they started  punching me in the crotch and forcing me to drop said food. Evil little cheaters.

   The Quiet Game: Sometimes when you have kids and you are driving around town, the noise is almost too much to bear. I have found that the best way to control the volume is to play the game where you look menacingly into the rear-view mirror and then run full speed into a wall. The ensuing few precious moments of post accident quiet are worth the cost of sky-high insurance premiums.

   Harry Potter: This is the one where we brew up some homemade butter beer, put on our wizarding robes, get out our favorite Harry Potter DVD and then lock the children in the closet under the stairs, just like Harry.

   Because I'm Bigger Than You, That's Why: And lastly but not leastly, everyones favorite game. I punch my kids at random and then add; "no punch-backs. If you know what's good for you." I have had people suggest that this might be child abuse, but I explain to them it is only a game... and then kneecap them with a tire iron. Mind your own business, meddling jerk! If my children grow to be larger than me, this game will be phased out in favor of Because I'm older than you, that's why.

   So, Hopefully this has given you some good ideas for fun activities with your family. Or your friends. Or your coworkers. Or that crazy guy under the bridge near your work. And by work, I mean the bar you hang out at. And by friends, I mean your court mandated psychologist and parole officer. And by crazy guy under the bridge, I mean Sam the Mouthfoamer, that crazy guy under the bridge. Duh.

*The quiet game is attributed to a comment by Birga Alden.

Friday, July 27, 2012

...And I Vote.

I'm not sure I understand what politicians really do. Judging by the bumperstickers I have been seeing lately, politicians spend a good amount of time reading bumperstickers and base policy on what is written thereon. Otherwise, why would people be so eager to declare they participate in some activity, or truly, truly believe in some philosophy, ...and they vote. 
   People own horses ...and they vote, People own guns ...and they vote, people don't like big oil ...and they vote.  (which in itself is an ironic thing to have on a non-electric car), people are for, or against, same sex marriages ...and they vote.
   Well I vote. And I have some things to say that my duly elected officials need to know. So here are the bumperstickers I have on my car. You'd better be paying attention. 

Those damn things just think they're so frickin' cute. Well, I'll show them.

Where else are you going to pick your nose? In private?!
How about we make a law where it's illegal to stare at me.
It's my constitutional right, I'm pretty sure.

It constantly surprises me that the world hasn't accepted me as their rightful leader.
I am possibly probably definitely the most brilliant mind the world has ever seen.
If you don't think the same things that I think, you are obviously a mental midget.

'Nough said.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Are These Mid-Life Crisis Thingies Supposed To Work?

I am feeling the pressure of decades of unrelenting responsibility and the crush of daily minutiae. (Minutiae always crushes, right?) I think I am going to have a mid-life crisis. I'm just not sure how it goes, I've never done this before. What do other people do?

   OK, first I need to buy a little red sports car. Hmmh. I can't really get all my crap into a sports car, there just isn't enough room in those things. Where are the kids and the coolers and the toys and the luggage and all my miscellany, supposed to go? And the guys driving those cars always look slightly desperate, like people that laugh a little too long and maniacally at a moderately funny joke. I'll just stick with my good old dependable mini-van.

   I'm supposed to get a twenty-something girlfriend. Seriously? I have nothing in common with those girls. I loathe all things LOL an OMG. (Gag me with a spoon.) I love my wife, and she loves me. What's more, I LIKE my wife. She puts up with my foibles, neurosis and outright character flaws. Our relationship has never been better. (Wink, wink, nudge nudge.) Besides, I've got almost teen kids, I have a feeling I'll get my fill of teen culture in the coming years. I'm not leaving my wife for some vacant young thing.

   Get stylish clothes, haircut and/or combover/toupee. I look ridiculous in baggy jeans. I look terrible in skinny jeans. Laughable in skinny jeans worn under my buttcheeks. Don't get me started on how heinous I look in expensive jeans with appliques on 'em. Or dragons. Plus I'm a good decade or so past getting frosted tips in my hair. (Hair. I remember hair.) And nobody really looks good in toupees or comb overs. To tell you the truth I kinda dig my Rasputin, channeling Don Quixote look. Nah, I'm not gonna try and be stylish.

   Quit my job and pursue my lifelong passion, that I just recently discovered I've always had. I kinda like my stuff. I like my house. And my car. And computers, TV's, books Nooks and Kindles, I like my big comfy bed, and my garage full of tools. I like being warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I like my microwave oven and my big maintenance intensive backyard. The time to be a starving artist has passed by a good two decades. When I retire maybe I'll start "doing" art fulltime, but for now I'll just show up to work.

   In order to fight off feelings of my impending mortality, I'll become a gym rat. Hmmmh. Nah. I'm in decent enough shape. I can keep up with my kids, and I am reasonably active. I weigh the same as I did 15 years ago; isn't that why people work out in the first place? I quit smoking years ago, but I like my beer.  I think I'll just watch some sports, I'll be athlete through osmosis.

   So, in conclusion: I'm keeping my wife, car, job, and appearance. If I have to change something, I'll change the amount of beer I drink. Phew, crisis averted. My life is much better already. Although that could just be my four beer buzz talking.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Maybe I'm Not A Idiot. Maybe Society Is To Blame.

People call me stupid. And dumb. And feeble minded. And borderline retarded. And... well the list just goes on and on. But I think that maybe it's not me. Maybe society is the stupid one, it can't even make it's own mind up. Just the other day I took my family to the local swimming pool, and the problem with inconsistent and hard to follow rules, reared it's ugly head.

   First my toddler son, who is very conscientious about using the bathroom, felt the need to empty his bladder. He got out of the pool and ran to a bush and emptied his wee little bladder. Everybody laughed and said how cute it was. But when I did the same thing minutes later I was a "freak" and a "perv" and a "frickin' moron". What?! Is it cute or not?
   My family calmed down the lifeguards somehow. (I think I heard that sounded something like "fleas a flocking Dumas, eat want happy a can.") The head lifeguard came up to me and let me know that I could stay, but the next time I would be banned for life. He also told me in a low whisper that next time I should just pee in the pool, like everybody else.
   LIAR! Several hours later I found myself in handcuffs being led away. When I tried to explain to the cops that the lifeguard had told me to pee in the pool, that everybody else did it, he didn't believe me.
The lifeguard told you to pee in the pool?
Then why did he call us?
I don't know. Maybe he hates me?
Do you think that maybe he didn't mean for you to pee INTO the pool?
He didn't say NOT to pee into the pool.
From the high dive?
Are they so different?
Well, one goes unnoticed and one gets you arrested.

   So you see, I don't think it's me thats stupid. It's society. And they're arbitrary rules.