Category Archives: Life

Smoke Detector Technology

Tired this morning.

Was up last night playing the battery shell game with our smoke detectors. Not my favorite after midnight activity to be honest. We had windows installed in the house about a year ago. When they installed the windows they also installed smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Lots of them. One in every room and in every hall.

Apparently that’s the “code”.

Code shmode. Prior to the windows we didn’t have any smoke detectors anywhere. We did have a couple CO2 detectors. Not sure they were plugged in.

When we bought the house in 1995 there were several smoke detectors that came with it. They were actually hardwired into the ceilings. Means you don’t have to change the batteries apparently.

Funny thing about smoke detectors, they sound alarms when the batteries die. Or, when the sensor goes bad. Or when some random time comes up on the “check the alarm” randomizer chipset that makes even hard wired detectors chirp away after midnight for no reason. That chip BTW, works with an ambient light sensor that allows random chirping only when the light sensor detects total darkness.

You’d think they could come up with a “Battery is dying chirp that’s different from the “house is on fire” chirp. My stupid phone 6300 different chirps and alarms and it’s way smaller than a smoke detector. Come on clever folks.. this is a serious issue.

I would bet anyone that the vast majority of Americans, when woken up by the scream of a smoke detector, do not automatically activate the home evacuation plan and get outside. I bet, like me, they sit up and bed and think “what the fuck is wrong with the damned smoke detector?” I’d even suggest that they, like me, would probably walk through a cloud of smoke and rip the detector off the wall to shut it up and go back to bed before they’d even notice the downstairs was on fire.

That, by the way, is why until last year, we didn’t have any. We had spots on the ceiling where they were mounted at one time. But years ago, rousted the middle of the night, I knocked them down with a tennis racquet. Side note, only thing I ever used that racquet for.

The other reason we don’t have any left is because the ONLY time I’ve ever heard one go off during the day, is when Mrs S uses the stove or the oven. And then they all go off so…  I think uses smoke detectors as a kitchen timer to be honest.

So last night, 2:00am, chirp. Chirp. CHIRP. Thought it was the carbon monoxide detector. Slightly more concerning as if I am going to die here tonight, there’s a chance I wouldn’t even know.

That being said, I can totally picture stepping over the dog, lying dead in the hallway, to hit the CO2 deal with a tennis racquet, and then going back to bed.

So there we are, Mrs S and I, standing in the hallway in our PJ’s, baggy eyes and all, trying to figure which of the three detectors in our immediate vicinity was making the chirp. You know what, those things might have motion detectors in them too. Because the ONLY time it chirped is when I turned my back to head back to bed. Seriously. 15 minutes of “I think it was this one” and “Nope it came from over here”. Sheeit I’m not my best at 2:00am.. Just freaking CHRIP…

Screw it, I took them all off the wall and disconnected the batteries. “We’ll deal with it in the morning.” “But Sank, what if it really is carbon monoxide? Aren’t you worried?” She has more to live for than I do. “Open the windows if you’re worried and don’t cook anythng.” I kicked the dog fast asleep at the foot of the bed, he groaned and rolled over. “Dog’s still alive, we’re fine”.


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Soccer And Stadium Big Time Fun Time

Well, I found my way into the new Vikings Stadium last night (US Bank Field) . If you’ve read this space over the years you know was a huge opponent of using tax dollars to pay for the stadium, and I still am. But hey, since I’ve already paid almost $100.00 from my personal tax dollars, I figured I might as well check it out.

Mrs S and I paid big bucks to see a practice game between couple European soccer powerhouses. On a side note, there’s a whole ‘nuther story about that money grab. (Thanks to a coworker who hipped me to all that nonsense)

Soccer. Football. European Football. The Beautiful Game.. Call it what you want, it’s on the rise here in the good old USA. I still find it sort of odd. Backward game timers, games that end, well, honestly I’m not quite sure how they figure out when they end. I suspect it has something to do with the flight status for the refs. Then my favorite part of the game, perfectly healthy players who spontaneously collapse on the field grabbing ankles or knees despite having no one around them. They roll around looking like they’re in so much pain that you wonder if they’re even going to survive the next 10 minutes, only to pop up perfectly healthy when the ref delivers the yellow or red card.

Truth be told I once coached the beautiful game and have attended more than my share of high school games (3 actually which is 2 more than my share). The game I saw last night was nothing like soccer match I’d ever seen, it was actually really good. Incredible ball handling, actual strategy that was way past the “follow the ball around the field” strategy I see here. Even Mrs S looked up from her smartphone once in a while. It was a good time and I get why the game is popular.

The New Stadium

The venue is spectacular. Probably not a bad seat in the house. Not that I’d know, I was in the lower bowl in row 20. My seats were particularly fantastic.

Announced attendance at the game was something around 65K. A sell out as far as I could tell. Of the attendees 64,900 were hard core Chelsea fans. By hard core I mean fans with a long history of supporting the Blues, in most cases a tradition of support that goes all the way back to early summer! And 99.9% were enthusiastic. The lady next me however, not so much. She was my back up date as my son decided to book a trip to Israel after I purchased the tickets and therefore was filling in. She doesn’t like crowds so much, doesn’t like public transportation  (more on that later) and doesn’t watch soccer. Thank goodness for smartphones.

The event was announced as the largest crowd to ever see a soccer match in Minnesota. I’m sure it was. It was also the largest gathering of pretentious millennial hipsters in one place in Minnesota. Ever! Even bigger than Friday Nights at Surly Brewing.

My favorite overhead conversation of the evening (and perhaps all of 2016). Our section was 99% Chelsea jerseys and one AC Milan Jersey. Nice kid, obligatory beard and horn rim glasses. Based on his accent I don’t think he was actually from Milan, probably couldn’t find Milan on a map, but on this night, he was a passionate fan. Of course his credibility would go up if he could pronounce Italian names correctly but I digress.

At the end of our row were a couple extremely die hard Chelsea fans, also in beards and horn rim glasses. These two decided to stand the whole game, which might be the thing to do at Stamford Bridge, but here in Minnesota, when you’re the only two doing so, it’s a little obnoxious. But not nearly as obnoxious as chanting “Here we go Chelsea, here we go”. You know the chant.

Mr Milan after 8 beers about 45 minutes of this, looked down the aisle, across 7 blue Chelsea jerseys, and yell at them to “Shut the hell up”.

Hmmm this is certainly going to be more interesting then the game match.

The woman next to him “Let them cheer”. Ooo Game On NOW! I love a free floor show.

Banter back and forth, highlight was:

Milan “That’s so American, they sound like dumb Americans”.

Lady “um.. we’re in America, they’re American’s.” and so on. Finally Milan threw up his hands and let us know what his real problem was:  “This is a EUROPOEAN sport, and they are ruining it.”

Gawd I love arguing with drunks, better than the phone company.

Well, I ain’t gonna miss this, so I tagged into the match and chimed in, in a very helpful way “you know”, left the “jackass” part out in deference to Mrs S who had already complained about my language that evening, “Last I checked those dudes paid ‘American’ dollars for their seat, they can yell whatever they want”.

Put that in your Scooby snack Mr Shaggy wannabe! His beard was a little light, even for a millennial.

After that exchange, and second Chelsea goal, I figured we could call it an “experience” and we bolted.

But how was the stadium you ask?

Here’s the my review of the venue:


  • Can’t deny gorgeous. The sun coming through roof was spectacular. For football, (gringo football) it’s going to be fantastic.Really fantastic.
  • Not bad view in the place, there are no obstructed seats anywhere. Well maybe around the giant Viking horn up on the second deck but that’s it.
  • Scoreboards are spectacular, and unlike the Cowboys monstrosity, they’re neatly tucked into the end zones. No massive house sized thing-a-bob hanging from the ceiling. Which also means no punter will ever hit the roof in that place. Which is good.
  • Skyway connection is very nice. And easy to navigate.


  • Concourse Congestion. When you walk in the main gates, the first thing you see is the entire field from the end zone. And these days that means that the first thing literally every single person will do when they walk in, is stop for a selfie. The line for selfies was out the door, which caused traffic around the concourse to come to a massive halt.
  • Concession miss- The only and I mean ONLY concession item that was sold in the stands were Miller Lite tall boys. No food, no pop, no water, no Chelsea hats.. nothing. Just Miller Lite. Tall Boy. $9.25. Gets most vendors a .75 tip. While the price is objectionable, I’ve been to the Twins now so nothing surprises me in the stadium food game. What surprised me is that in a town with fantastic beer, the only offer in the stands was lightly flavored grain water.
    Millennials have a lot of things I can harp on them about, beer choices are not one. So, everyone who wanted a beer with beer taste had to get up and go to the concession stand which was, you guessed it, right where Selfie Park was happening, adding to the congestion.
    BTW Concession line, a mile long.
  • Men’s Room. A mile long line was short compared to the men’s room line. Frankly men are not a gender who are used to waiting to pee. As a matter of fact, when you make us wait, often alternatives are sought and nothing good happens when that happens. Women’s line, non-existent. My take, the bearded hipsters didn’t bring their opposite sex dates to the match. Not sure what the dude to betty ratio will be at a Vikings game. At Metallica in two weeks, might have the same problem.
  • Light Rail. Getting to the game from scenic Bloomington was pretty easy. Getting home….
    OK the line for the train after the game… Holy smokes. It was MILES long. MILES.
    Seriously Met Transit- y’all knew about the game, you had docents at the inbound ticket hubs helping confused old farts like me by a ticket.  That’s was my first cuss words of the evening BTW, for despite my having purchased 1000’s tickets for the light rail in my  life, somehow it becomes impossible when people are trying to help. So embarrassing. Made me fill like checking into assisted living facility since obviously I can’t fend for myself anymore.
    Thing is, light rail works on the way in, as traffic inbound is staggered. But on the outbound, it’s pretty much a bum rush for the train when the match is over. Probably better than 10,000 folks took the train. My estimate comes from the size of the line waiting for the trains, I was 9,395th in line. Mrs S was 6th, another story there. Lets just say I had some serious frustration in my heart watching trains come and go and the line only moving inches, or rather centimeters for the soccer crowd. 45 minute wait. Unacceptable.
  • The Fans. Minnesota… sometimes it’s embarrassing to be from the Midwest. Last night it was at 4 minutes into the game when the stadium broke in to the Wave. *sigh* I swear to Gawd, it’s like it’s 1995 out here on the prairie. The damned place still has the new stadium smell and you’re acting like it’s the Metrodome. On national TV, hell on international TV. If it weren’t for tater-tot hot dish,  Bob Mold and fancy donuts, we’d be Nerd Central. Come on hipsters, what the heck, you know better. 
  • Finally and this is sort of serious, the Emergency Evacuation Plan. Before the game the scoreboard did an announcement to talk about a “plan” for evacuating the stadium in case of emergency. Video ran about 5 minutes I think. I think they need to revisit that video.
    • It was impossible to hear well enough to understand what the plan was.
    • It was specific down to the section level. But if you did find a way to hear it and really wanted to know where to go, you had to A) remember what section you were sitting in, not a big issue but still, and B) be able to frame a reference point with what the map on the screen showed. and triangulate with where you were sitting. And by the time that happened, they were on the next section, and I couldn’t remember where I was supposed to go. Which meant, everyone is going go to the closest door. Which if that’s the plan they were talking about, they don’t need the PSA.
    • I think it was confusing, hard to hear and in the end will not accomplish their goals. Felt like something someone wanted to check of a list.


So the Vikes have some things to work out. I think the big debut for them is in mid September. Not sure how to fix the concourse issue, me thinks that was a design that looked better on paper than in reality.


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Neglected Space


Long overdue update on the blog-

Was a big Spring at the old Casa-Del-Sankary. Three graduates in one season. The girl graduated from highschool, she’s off the Wisconsin-Stout in the fall. Excited for her as she was admitted to their art and graphic design program as a freshmen, based on the strength of her portfolio. Good on her.

The middle son graduated from Auburn with his degree in microbiology. That sure went fast. He’s now looking for an internship the bridge the time between now and grad school. Good on him.

The oldest had a half-grad deal in Israel, he was awarded his master’s degree. I say half grad because he’s in the PhD program there so we’ll hold out on the full graduation deal until that point in time.

Summer is tooling along, I travel pretty consistently for work. Spent 9 days in sunny San Diego last week enjoying the sights and sounds of the convention center. The work schedule was 9 full days, be at the center at 7:00 am, leave most nights around 7:00 pm. Using Uber and Lyft I had a chance to see a number of scenic routes between my rented Air B&B and the center, and little else. Did make a zoo the last after noon as the event closed down at 1:00.

Blah Blah Blah…

The rest of the summer looks quiet. The kids are travelling to Israel for almost three weeks in August. They’ll be going on their Birthright trip and spending some extra days visiting with their brother and his girlfriend and visiting the Kibbutz. The thought of three weeks of empty nesting so frightened Mrs S that she booked a couple weeks in California with her sister and mother. Something about Indian Wells spa?

Summer is not my favorite season any more. Too many distractions, too many folks enjoying time off and to much time in airports watching people take trips for “fun” as opposed to the trips I take “not fun”.

Enough whining. I have work to do.


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Graduation Humbugs

Graduation Season.

This year Team Sank-a-Ray is celebrating observing three graduations! Trifecta of academic excellence if you will. #3, the Girl is graduating from high school on Saturday. Congratulations on meeting the minimum viable product in your educational development. We are celebrating by attending the ceremony, which is a lot for us. I mean frankly we don’t really do celebrations over here. BTW, for those of you didn’t get the announcement, stop looking for it, we didn’t send one out. Since there’s no party seems disingenuous to send out an announcement, feels like a thinly veiled money dance for graduating high school.

Didn’t do a Senior Picture either so we don’t actually have anything to put on the announcement.

Amazing the state didn’t take those poor kids away a long time ago.

The Duce, #2 graduated from Auburn about three weeks ago. Where did those four years go we’re asking ourselves. And can I still fly down to Auburn every fall for a football game, which is a pretty important question in my mind. Still 4 years start to finish is a nice accomplishment and we’re happy for him. I can still go to Auburn games right, that was kinda the point of sending him there.. oh congrats and all.. um do we have to move tailgate spots now?

And finally the First Born, he’s walking across the graduation stage at the Technion in Israel in a few weeks, he earned his Masters in Engineering. Being the oldest and having the most experience with me he knew better than to tell me about the ceremony until it was too late for me to go over for it. Not that I was going too, but at least I have an excuse. Besides his ceremony will be in Hebrew, and I can barely sit through grad ceremonies in English. Seriously.

OK that’s a bit of exaggeration. True fact that we weren’t going over for his Masters this year regardless of lead time. Also true that we (mom and I) didn’t know that he was graduating until about a week ago when he posted a picture of his robes. But really we never planned for the Masters, we’re holding out for the PhD in a few years.

So all these graduations has old Sank a little overwhelmed, that’s a lot family time and chores for a lazy old fat guy. Mrs S is wearing me out. Makes me want to up the Elopement Bonus significantly because frankly a wedding sounds really complicated. It’s pushing $50K. Unless you get married in Vegas, then I want to come. Don’t even have to go to ceremony, just need an excuse to go to Vegas.

I’ve long thought that this grad thing has really gotten waaaaaaaaaaaay out of hand.

In California, I’ve been told the niece had three separate practices for her grad ceremony. Unless I’m missing something I would think all you need to know is where to sit and where in line you need to stand. Apparently they’re releasing doves at hers. I’m surprised given the number of super expensive cars I see with California plates that I’m certain will be in school parking lot right after the release. That’s a lot of glorified pigeons crapping on really nice cars. Maybe it’s different when doves do it.

In Minnesota we won’t be releasing doves, just graduates, off to work, school or gap years.. gap year, quelle hell?

Speaking of doves, we couldn’t release doves in Minnesota anyway because their aren’t any left. I’m pretty sure they were all released during the unending month of Prince memorials around here, because you can’t have doves cry without a dove.

I’ve never been a huge fan of massive high school celebrations. Here in Minnesota, by my calculations, the typical high school grad party costs somewhere between $45,000 and $50,000.


$100 for the cap and gown

$500 for the food

$90 for prom

$49,310 for the home improvement and landscaping projects that have to be done to get the here-to-for neglected family garage and yard up to snuff to host relatives you haven’t seen since the Christening 17 years ago. Just say’n peeps, I see it all the time.

No doves though.

All this for a fake milestone. Personally I say give the big party for the college graduation. Then we’re all celebrating. The kid is really and truly done with school. The family is probably really and truly done with the kid, at least from a financial support standpoint.(Please Lord)

We can call it the “Graduation and Off the Payroll Party”. Now that’s something worth celebrating. I realize not every kid goes to college. For them lets do a you got your first job party, meaning you successfully transitioned to real life.

But to the contrary we now have Eighth Grade Graduation, Fifth  Grade Graduation, Kindergarten Graduation Montessori Graduation, Hospital Nursery Graduation, Emrge from the Womb graduaton.. I guess thats a birthday, scratch that, but I you know what I mean!

I told Mrs S that in the unlikely event we have grandkids in future who live nearby, come Fifth Grade Graduation I’m not going. On principal. She remarked “I’m going to whatever I want too.” “well that’s great, and when you’re there tell them grandpa isn’t there because he thinks this is dumb.” My son chimed in that he’s not going either, even if it’s his kid because, and sit down for this one.. “Dad is right, it’s dumb”. Maybe a “First time Dad is Right” celebration is order. I predict more of those in the future.

Kindergarten Graduation I’m willing to give pass too because basically at that point it’s a trained poodle show with five year olds. Dress’um up like grads, prance’um across a stage. Give ‘um a rolled up certificate and a candy and take lots of photos. it’s cute. Super cute. Sells lots of cameras and makes Grandparents smile. We can keep that one.

But what are they really celebrating I asked. “Congrats on not crapping your drawers anymore, welcome to first grade.” My wife is an elementary school nurse, she has experience with kids “unfortunately that’s not really true, I have kids in every grade of elementary school who crap their drawers.”

Yikes!  Ok the kindergartners who don’t crap their drawers get cords at graduation, the kids who don’t pee their pants are the valedictorians”.

Seems about right. My mother in law noted that “there might be more than one valedictorian in the group.”

Which reminded me, “valedictorians”, we’ve gone overboard there too.

Back in my day.. wait for it.. I honestly think we had a 4.0 student about once a generation or so. Certainly not every year. Kids with 3.7’s were often valedictorians; they were certainly salutatorians. And BTW one of each. Now.. holy cow.. at my daughters prom photos I learned that about 4 of the girls there were valedictorians. And that there like 10 total this year. Their GPAs? 4.7. Yah.. 17% higher than what I thought was the highest possible score on the academic scale. Lets call out the overachievers.

Grade inflation or Tiger Moms.. not sure.

Well, congrats to all the grads, except the fifth and eigth graders, they just need to go find their new lockers.


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Chicken Limbo Doggie Doo Two Step Palooza

Am reposting this one from February 2014 because frankly, it cracked me up this fine morning. Enjoy.

Chicken Limbo-

Once again Chicken Limbo is one of the top search terms that leads folks to his site, chicken damned limbo. I’m half inclined to change the name of this blog to Chicken Limbo, has a nice ring to it.

Mrs S has been after me for the last 30 days or so to go out do an early harvest of recycled reprocessed dog food, which my lil’ buddy is nice enough to leave for me all over the lawn.  Lawn Sausages as we say. In year with a “normal” winter the yard is covered with at least several inches of snow. This means that when the dog craps in the snow, the turds melt down into the snow only the refreeze. This is good and bad. Crapsiciles are far less annoying to deal with than fresh turds..  they don’t stink, the don’t fall apart and when you step on them, nothing happens.

The downside of the winter shitfest is you have actually chip the things out of the snow.

This, I won’ t do. The other problem is during the week it’s dark when I get home and, as I’ve said to Mrs S on numerous occasions; “You will not find me outside in the winter wearing a headlamp, holding a long handled screwdiver and a plastic bag hunting for poopsicles. At some point I gotta ask “who owns who” around here. ” “Well, do it on Saturday”. To which I reply, in a way that husbands from the dawn of the marital institution have replied to unreasonable requests from spouses,a firm and committed:

“Ok”. Short for “I’ll get right on that.”

Right after I finish reading entire Internet.

This year however the remarkable lack of snow has left my dogs bowlbombs exposed to the elements as they say. Unburied by the great yard equalizer snow, snow that makes everyones yard look the same, those turds stand out like rocks on a beach. They’re everywhere, you can’t miss them, even from the friendly confines of the porch, where Mrs S sees them, counts them and records their number so later when she says “go pick up the crap” and I say “I already did” she can expose my tale of deceit with statistics.

And, although we haven’t had the snow, we have had freezing temperatures, so instead of melting in the grass like they do in the summer, when I also ignore them, this year they’re sticking around, frozen reminders of what happens when you feed your dog cheap dog food, he lays a lot of pipe.

I’m not all that interested in cleaning up dog poop. In snowier years one of the problems is all that dog waste, 4 months worth sometimes, is frozen in freshness all winter long and with the thaw comes, all that crap comes fresh all at the same time. The annual assault on Mount Crapmore usually occurs the second weekend in April, right before the morel season. The rhythm of life in Minnesota goes about like this; Shovel Driveway, chip ice dam, reseed lawn, harvest poop, pick morels, enjoy lilacs and finally go to the lake. Pretty much takes you from January to May. The rest of the year is; go to the lake, go to the lake, light fireworks, go to the lake, go to the lake, go to rehab, repent on Yom Kippur and then shovel the drive way. The theatre of the seasons.

Yesterday I happened to get home a wee bit before the sun had gone down, a sure sign of better times to come that the sun was even out, and I happened to notice that the front yard is also covered in dog shit. As a matter of fact Mrs S was mostly worried about the front yard, which I dismissed until I saw for myself what was going on out there. There was a lotta crap, but it couldn’t be my dogs crap, he’s never out there.

I grabbed my trusty calipers, my weight watchers scale and my magnifying glass and went out to check on the droppings. According to my calculations there is no way in hell that those dookies came out of my dog. It was too big, to heavy and the barrel twist didn’t line up. I suspect poodle. Tasted like poodle…

No seriously, not my dog. Saturday afternoon I happened to be out on the stoop on a phone call when I observed a large black standard poodle coming down the street towards the house. This is the same poodle that has come after my fat ass every morning this week on my 6:15 am walk to the bus stop. Growly, barking, threatening, I recognized it in the daylight. The dog slinked down the street, crossed over to my lawn and quick as can be, he climbed up on his toenails and left another insult to my person, a nice big pile of poodledoo. And, fast as he came down, the bolted back up the street.

*&%#@ $%^&* #$#

I can live with a dog that barks at me, my own dog barks at me. I can live with a dog that occasionally craps on my lawn. I still have kids at home to pick up dog shit. I cannot suffer a dog that attacks me AND craps on my lawn. That… is rubbing it in. Something’s gotta change.

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Spring of my discontent

I hate spring.

I hate spring in Minnesota.

I especially hate spring in Minnesota.

It’s unreliable for one thing. Roller coaster of temps and weather, 90 degrees on Monday, a foot of snow on Wednesday. (Actually happened about a month ago)

Last weekend it was snowing at the lake. This weekend we didn’t go to the lake as I’m traveling tomorrow and guess what, the weather this weekend?






Next weekend is Memorial Day, I’ll predict it will be rainy and cold.

Common spring activity, standing on the dock watching sleet and ice bounce of the boat.

Have the suicide prevention number handy for those mornings.

Snow melts in the spring. When the snow melts the yard is exposed. Exposed is a good word for this, implies that something embarrassing is showing. In this case, that would be the lawn. Spring reminds me how much I hate my lawn.

That’s not just a spring thing BTW. I’ve hated every lawn I’ve ever had responsibility over. I can’t get grass ranching right. I mean come one, it’s just grass. Grass is simple stuff so why is it so damned hard to make it look nice. I’m not even going for Scott’s ad plush and green. I want city park acceptable. Over the years I’ve done it all. I’ve poured chemicals it, punched holes in it, trimmed it, patched it, picked at it and dumped a third world countries supply purified city drinking water on it, all in vain.

The problem with my lawn can be summed up in one word, diversity.

In every other circumstance I embrace diversity. In the lawn… not so much.  Comes down to this, I don’t want 34 species of plants growing in my outdoor carpet. I want one, hell I’d be happy with two or three if they all came for the grass family. Poaceae for you biology majors.  And in my efforts to get to one species of plant, I’ve employed an assortment of techniques for botanical cleansing. And nothing has worked. As a matter of fact, in my back yard, you have to get the Phylum level to describe the diversity of plant and plant “like” life back there. At least in the front we’re only dealing with vascular plants, we got moss growing in the back.

It wouldn’t be so bad if people didn’t, at least on some level, judge the validity of my man-card by the state my front lawn. A guy with an emerald carpet surrounding his castle, that’s a guy who has it all together baby. Lawn like mine indicates a lazy no good sloth of a man. Or a raging alcoholic, take your pick.

I try to be as egalitarian as I can. I don’t really care about gender roles or what boys or girls should be doing to be gender appropriate. Except, for some strange reason, when it comes to lawn. I’m perfectly happy to let Mrs S paint the house for example. And makes sense I freeze up at about four rungs up a ladder, embarrassing to have to be coaxed down from step stool. And it didn’t even phase me in the least when she took a course to learn how to do home electrical projects. Mostly, I would admit, to correct the mistakes I’ve made around here over the years. That being said I will point out that despite all of our attempts to fix the hallways lights to this day, no one knows the exact combination of on and off switches on the two three way switches it takes to turn on the downstairs hall light. That light only comes on by accident and trial and error. Been that way since I “fixed” it in 1997.

But lawn? Can’t get past the idea that if you see a wife out mowing or fertilizing, no better indicator that the dude that lives in that house is no longer worthy of the name.

Too bad too because I hate mowing.

This dumb season hits me at the core of my very being. My body physically rejects spring on a cellular level. Spring is when all the amorous trees around here shoot their pollen into the world indiscriminately. The air around here turns into a giant genetic soup of tree spunk most of which settles in my sinuses. I loathe the idea of using a public hot tub and loathe the idea of breathing in the spring, and as I write this I realize, for basically the same reason.

The good news is spring is short here. Minnesota tends to flip seasons dramatically and this weekend has a summery feel, I think we may have turned the corner on spring. And in summer, there ain’t nothing to complain about. At least not today.

Thanks for listening.

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Honey Where’s my ….

This blog is not dead. Far from it, I think about it all the time and when I think about it, I keep it alive in my mind.

Say, does this happen in your house?

I’m calmly sitting down in front of the TV, laptop on my lap, smartphone on the arm of chair, because today, one screen just isn’t enough. I am minding my own business and in comes the Warden. Mrs S.

It’s a shakedown.

“The girl needs $90 for school tomorrow, do you have $90?”

I rarely have $5 on hand at any given time much less a grand sum like $90.

She stared at me, studying. I avoided eye contact… “You do.. lets have it.”


And tell me again how guys pull off affairs?

I protested… with a very brave and very assertive “but..”

“It’s for her prom ticket.”

“WHAT? $90 AMERICAN for a prom? Why back in my day…”

No cares about my life experiences around here. I was cut off.

“I’ll pay you back”.  “Before Puerto Rico?” Slipped out.

I stared at her, she started back.. Honestly I was really hopeful that I would escape the high school kids experience without having a one participate in prom. I got two kids through without it, and she’s a senior. I was sooooo danged close.


I got up. Walked to our built in wine rack, pulled a bottle out of the top left cubby hole, reached in and pulled out a $50. Handed it to her. I walked to my office, she was close behind, watching my every move. I opened up my cigar box, the one with my clandestine cigars and Winston’s. I don’t think she knows about those. “I know about those”, get outta my head woman “just get the money we’ll talk about your bad habits later.” The bottom of the box is false thanks to a cedar plank. Under it, a $20, gave it to her. Next stop my pen cup, dumped it out, pens, pencil leads, ghost turds and three $5’ and a $10. Gave her $20 more. “There you go.”

Her eyes narrowed a bit, “I have to start cleaning better”.

Followed with “For a guy who asks me five times a day where his assorted crap is you seem to no trouble finding you cash stash.”

I do what I have to do.


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