Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Throw him under the bus

Last Saturday was our son's birthday. Deb scored some Admirals tickets (a local AHL Hockey team and a farm team for the Tampa Bay Lightning) and we went to get our hockey fix. It was a good game and the Admirals won. Despite the poor officiating.

We received good natured ribbing because Deb wore her Penguins shirt, Dearth had his Redwings jersey on and I had one of my Sabre shirts on. One comment came from a lady in front of us. With a puzzled look on her face "Just who are you guys cheering for?".

"The Admirals of course." I replied. "We only disagree on the NHL teams." I grinned.

When we left the Scope a man was chasing his little boy. The boy ran towards Dearth and he told him "Don't run towards him. We have higher standards than the Redwings.".

I laughed out loud for that comment. Dearth gave me a dirty look, but laughed good naturedly.

After the game we went to Friendly's for a bite to eat and dessert. Our waitress was young, pretty and had a voice that would put a megaphone to shame. She hurt my ears when she talked. Despite this, she was very attentive and an excellent waitress.

Shortly after ordering the wait staff came out singing their birthday cadence. They headed up our isle. Dearth got that "deer in the headlights" look and the entire entourage walked by us and to another table. We had a good laugh at that.

All three of us ordered a meal that included a sundae for dessert. Dearth wanted one of the specialty sundaes and the waitress told us that it would cost a little more.

This is where it happened. The set up was beautiful. Deb grabbed Dearth, by the scruff of the neck and the seat of his pants, and chucked him under the bus (metaphorically).

She said "I suppose we could splurge. Just this once. It's his birthday after all."

She did this with an absolutely straight face and with just a slight twinkle in her eye. The waitress looked like we had just handed her a $50 tip. "Really? Thanks for letting me know." There was a huge smile on her face. Dearth was slowly sinking in the booth. He looked like the witch in the Wizard of Oz. "I'm melting!"

I was reduced to tears. I have not laughed that hard in ages.

Five minutes later the entire staff shows up at the table led by the enthusiastic waitress. The cadence was loud. It was embarrassing (for Dearth) and to top it off they handed him a couple of balloons. I think they do this to erase any doubt of who all the fuss is over. If you ever want to see a teenager just melt away from embarrassment that is the way to do it. Especially when they are trying sooooo hard to be cool.

My sundae was half melted by the time I was able to eat. I was laughing that hard.

The waitress received a generous tip and we laughed all the way home.

Happy Birthday Dearth.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Step away from the humans

We had a cat named Topaz prior to moving in to our current apartment. At the time they did not allow pets and Topaz went to live with friends of ours. The pet policy changed a few years afterwards, but Topaz was comfortable with our friends so she stayed. That was when we adopted Athena.

Our friend’s are now moving and they can not take Topaz with them so she moved back with us yesterday. The next week is going to be interesting.

Deb was upstairs about 30 minutes after Topaz came home with us. She was attempting to pet Topaz and Athena was watching. I was downstairs.

From the noise I thought Deb had stepped on one or maybe both of the cats. I guess she tried to pet Topaz without petting Athena first. Athena is a very docile cat, but if you try to take attention from her humans she will throw down. She drove Topaz under the futon and then kept her there for about an hour. The rest of the day went by without major incident.

This morning (about 15 minutes to 6AM) I hear the cats and then Dearth shouting. Good morning and happy Friday to you. From what I gather, Athena walked into Dearth’s room and saw Topaz sleeping next to the bed. It must have been too close because Athena had Topaz hiding in the closet this time.


They should get the pecking order straight in a few days. Until then it will be exciting.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Monday

It is 9am and I am enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee. I have laundry in the dryer and the washer. I am still catching up on the wash from last week. The dryer died and I was too cheap to go to the coin laundry.

The doorbell rings. It rings again. It was the kind of ring that speaks to you. “Answer the door now or there will be a price to pay”. I scowl, get up and answer the door. Two firemen are standing there. By the white uniforms I guessed that they were probably officers.

Officer 1: “Good morning sir.”
Me: “Good morning.”
Officer 1: “We had a call from a person, driving by on I164, of a possible structure fire here.”

It is 45 degrees and has been raining since last Thursday. My dryer vent is just above my door and is billowing warm exhaust. All three of us look up at it.

Me: “I’m doing laundry and I’m pretty sure I haven’t burned anything up yet.”

Both of them are grinning now.

Officer 1: “Ok. Have a nice day.”

All three of us laugh.

Deb had an appointment and saw them on her way out. She said there was a rescue truck and fire engine parked out by the entrance to our apartment building.

Part of me is grateful that someone was concerned. Another part of me is annoyed because some person (sitting in traffic) decided to waste the time of the fire department.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


We went to our first Thai restaurant last weekend. This was a bit of an adventure for us because Debra does not eat spicy food. I love it and Dearth likes it, but not quite as spicy as me. Thai food is spicy.

The place was called Bangkok Gardens and is located in Virginia Beach. None of the dishes are over $15 and the staff was very friendly. The friendly staff is a treasure all by itself. I've found that customer service can be a bit lacking in this area.

When we entered Bangkok Gardens it had a very relaxing effect on me. The decor was dark woods and reds. It was warm without being uncomfortable and the staff greeted us quickly. They were busy, but not packed and we were ushered to our seats without feeling rushed.

It was pretty obvious that English was the second language for many of the staff. This enhanced the experience for me (their English was very good). Drinks were brought to us and we were given enough time to browse the menu.

The menu gives you the Thai name for each dish and a description of the dish under it. They also have a pepper symbol next to the dishes that are spicy. At the bottom of the page they show the various degrees of hot with 1 to 4 peppers (mild, spicy, hot and Thai hot). Oddly, none of the dishes had more than one pepper next to them. I read some reviews later and found out that each dish is seasoned by the cook and the spiciness may vary.

Deb ordered crab fried rice and Dearth played it safe with shrimp fried rice. I tasted both and they were excellent. Both dishes were presented, "upside down bowl shape", in the center of a white plate. The fried rice was not spicy at all and was basically rice, meat, onions and soy sauce. Neither Dearth or Deb could finish all of their meal and I had it for lunch the next day.

I couldn't even tell you the name of the dish that I ordered. It was a shredded cucumber and sliced tomato salad with a dressing of some sort. It had one pepper next to it on the menu. My first taste of the salad was eye opening. The cucumbers were freshly shredded and very crisp. The tomatoes were very ripe and complimented the cucumbers nicely. I dream about this kind of salad on a hot summer day. The salad was ice cold and very refreshing. I was about a third of the way into the salad when I was reminded of the red pepper symbol. My mouth started to burn, my nose start to run and my eyes teared up. Holy crap! What was that? The tip of my tongue was burning enough that I asked Deb to look at it (there was a big red spot on it). I took a closer look at my salad and I saw pieces of red pepper in it. That was sneaky. I had been ok until one of those little buggers stuck on the end of my tongue. I'm as human as the next person so when my mouth began to burn I took a drink of the nearest liquid. I was drinking hot tea. Ouch. Hot drinks increase the pain of a spicy hot mouth. I took a sip of ice water. That helped until I swallowed the water. I took another sip and held it in my mouth. Better. I'm still suffering a little bit here. Maybe a bite of nice hot fried rice will help. This was not my day of Einstein like thinking. This was much worse than hot tea. I had to chew and swallow. It made a good attempt at burning my tonsils out as I accomplished this. Everyone had a good laugh. Debra and Dearth being everyone. I'm glad someone enjoyed it. I did finish as much of the salad as I could. It was huge and I was full before I could finish. It was still spicy, but I was watching for those pieces of pepper now and I was ok. I would order that again.

For those who have never been to a Thai Restaurant I recommend going. There are plenty of none spicy dishes if that is what you are worried about. If you like spicy food you will enjoy yourself. Go easy though. The Thai people like their food spicy and Thai hot will make you cry.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Yep. It's officially cold.

I blame my friend John. It seems like we get snow/cold weather whenever a person from up north (that I know) visits. Technically he lives here with his family now, but he makes a good scape goat. So I'm running with it.

Yesterday it snowed. As usual all of the schools closed and anyone not used to snow called off due to the natural disaster. All one inch of it.

Virginians are funny in the snow and not in a "ha ha" sort of way.

There are two types of drivers. The first one is terrified of driving in the snow and you will probably see this person doing 25mph in the passing lane (65mph zone). I think they are hoping to cause a serious accident and not have to go to work.

The other person drives a four wheel drive vehicle and is indestructible. What they forget to realize is that the four wheel drive helps move the vehicle, but does jack to stop it. This person is not trying to cause an accident, but is the one who will ultimately hit the first type of driver.

I didn't look up the numbers, but I'm sure the accidents in the immediate area were over 100 for yesterday. I would have called off from work, but I could not do it in good conscience.

I left an hour earlier than I normally do for work. They had closed the tunnel I usually take to work and I had to find another way in. I wasn't sure what the traffic would be like so I ended up getting to work about an hour earlier than I normally do. Oh well, better an hour and a half early than half an hour late.

At least the customers were their normal rude selves. It is always good to be appreciated when you have a shitty drive into work.