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PHOTO (permalink) 05.31.2013
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
APRIL 2013

KIDS (permalink) 05.30.2013
ward, i need you to talk to beaver
marty, the boys, and i (and a dog we were sitting) were on our way to a weekend hike. during the drive, i told the boys i'd seen the latest star trek movie and it was awesome. and as soon as we finished watching the original series (we're currently on 32 of 82) we could work our way through the movies (and then onto subsequent series).

after a quiet moment, anthony asked how spock was able to pinch people's necks and make them knock out. alex explained, circuitously, that it had to do with the way they, vulcans, were made and similar to the mind meld trick. marty reached across from her seat and feigned a mind meld on me while i drove. through a highly focused face she slowly relayed the words, "i ... wish ... i ... had ... a ... gigantic ... penis". hysterics were grand and since bella opted to hang back at the house, our groin-centric foolishness came without a severe group chastising from our twelve year old.

marty's comment sparked a memory in anthony of a dream he had a few nights back where he was being chased by hundreds of running penises (running as in jogging, not running as in dripping with disease). they tried to drown him in a lake of pee but he woke up before they succeeded. i told him i thought i remembered seeing an episode of leave it to beaver where the beaver talked of a dream like that. both marty and alex looked at me suspiciously. i shrugged my shoulders saying i've been trying to convince anthony to watch leave it to beaver but he's never shown much interest. he's still not asking to watch the series but i think i have him closer now that he thinks beaver too may have done combat with an army of rampaging, urinating penises.

LIFE (permalink) 05.29.2013
it's all relative man. it's all relative.
yesterday's definitive call to summer's start can be attributed to marty having completed her first year of teaching. to the astute eye, this means of course i also completed my first year with marty back in the classroom. and while summer for me may not equal sleeping in or lazing poolside or reading stephen king into the wee hours of the night, it does mean that for the next three months i don't have to share marta with others from 6am to 3pm every weekday which equates to a lower impact experience for troy and when you're in your forties, lessening life's expectations and responsibilities upon you is every bit as good as waking at noon, napping on a drifting pool raft and reading suspense stories through the night.

LIFE (permalink) 05.28.2013
best summer ever!
the schedule says it all but in case you don't read "schedule" what it says, namely, is that (A) i have fully made the switch to being a morning guy and (B) lots of good things are going to come out of this summer, like the best things ever.

or view the six year evolution...

click to enlarge

HEALTH (permalink) 05.23.2013
thought you were having a bad day?
the brother of a girl i know was in a car accident. his injuries proved quite severe, namely below the waist damaging a hip and mangling one of his feet. after a few days observation his doctors presented his options in regard to his pulverized foot:
  1. replace the heel and rebuild the foot as best as able. this would be followed by a year, and probably more, of intense therapy. in the end, the procedures and subsequent therapies might prove a failure.
  2. or, amputate the foot and learn how to use a prosthetic device. end to end this would take less than a year and almost certainly have a more positive outcome.
what would you choose?

VIDEO, LIFE (permalink) 05.22.2013
lots of dinner question fodder in there
i'm a bit of a commencement address junkie. i reckon i've admitted this before. last year my employer put forth one of the best of the year. remarkably, they've come through again with what i'd say, even though others aren't, is again one of this year's strongest offerings. and i'm told by someone on the stage during the talk, the man didn't have a single note or scrap to reference through his thirty plus minute address. remarkably good.

each year as i spin through the selections i'm struck by how good the good ones are (and surprised that the bad ones aren't better--c'mon people, if given the platform you gotta get your obsess on).

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 05.21.2013
ohhhh! you got faced.
you look good in those pants troy.


yeah, too bad you chose to wear that jacket with them.

ohhh. nice one bay.

thanks. i try.

you can thank the bus for that quick wit.

for all of the hours bella spends in the classroom and on homework, marty and i have found the bus to be one of the most truly educational spaces she occupies, and especially on afternoons when she stays late for some extracurricular affair because then all the club and detention kids ride together. for her age and given the diverse world she occupies, i'd say it's near equivalent of doing post-graduate work.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 05.20.2013
give me a sign
we received this message from a neighbor mom while anthony was down playing at her house.
Ben and Anthony were trying to decide what to do. They didn't like my suggestions, so Anthony decided to call upon God for advice. He yelled, "God! What should we do?"

Not sure if he or she answered, but they are on the trampoline now!

LIFE (permalink) 05.13.2013
computer-free week
Last Tuesday my laptop stopped working. Signs pointed towards hard drive failure. Being a faithful user of the wondrous and reliable Time Machine, I feared not for my data making the situation merely inconvenient. Being the middle of the week I didn't have free cycles to give to the repair so tabled it until the weekend.

I mentioned my downed machine to a friend later in the week. When he proffered the expected 'bummer' I replied it surprisingly wasn't much of a bummer, and it was actually kinda nice. Without a machine to mindlessly, magnetically be drawn to in the evening, I found my time at home sedate, like the most sedate I can recall (caveat disclaimer-an iphone allows me to see I have no pressing email and/or issues (which I never really seem to have, like ever)). Wednesday night after dinner and getting the kids down, I finished a book. Thursday night after dinner and kids I visited a bookstore walking the aisles for over an hour considering candidates for my next read. Friday night we were out but when I came home I was spared the usual draw to my machine to just check on 'the state of the world'. Instead I made ground on the much more personally relevant book I had bought and actually slipped into bed at a sane hour like a sensible human instead of wrecking my weekend, the crown jewel of my week, before it really got underway by starting if off bleary and unrested.

Saturday evening, aleo and I ran out for a replacement drive. Upon returning, aleo, looking at directions, fully completed the repair-- opening my machine, pulling the bad drive, installing the new, and closing up his titanium patient--pretty dang neat to watch. I planned on using my post-kids Saturday evening to restoring my machine from backups. Upon firing it up the machine still struggled. Further inspection makes the culprit look like, not the drive but the drive cable. Another night without a computer, which translated to another night of reading and enviable quantities sleep. In fact, after we discovered it was the cable I told aleo drats and confessed we might need to pull the drive he just installed. He said, "That's alright dad. But maybe we should do it in the morning. We don't want to be tired and crabby on mother's day." Rock star!

The good news is I scored a few more days without my digital crutch, which aside from chatting with you all I find I don't really require much these days outside of work hours. In the same conversation mentioned above with my friend I told him of a local business-owner here, like one of our city's most successful and creative and certainly the modern-day architect of my community, does not and never has had an email account. If you want to do business or interact with this fella you call him or make an appointment for a live conversation. I find myself regularly thinking of this man's choices. My friend put it best when he assessed his chances for such a lifestyle by saying
Technology has become nothing but a tool to me and I'm no longer excited by its offerings and just get annoyed when it doesn't do what it should. But, it is admittedly my only viable skill that I can offer people so I think I'm stuck with it for the moment.
His sentiment pretty accurately describes my boat as well. And let's be clear, I'm not angsty about my situation. Without the technology boom of the late 90's I can't imagine what I'd be doing for a living but I can near guarantee I wouldn't be enjoying it as much as I do. If I've learned anything this week, it is that not only can I manage with less digital minutes in my life, but that my life would be more pleasant and sedate without them (this realization is no kinda good news for my kids as I was already a bit of the amish-style dad on the street). Now if I could just find the strength to break the hold my computer has on me without using a hammer to do so, i'll have more restorative evenings and proper nights of sleep in the time ahead.

note: the astute eye will see the above post uses punctuation. worry not. this does not mark a new and conforming troy. just a troy that doesn't have his usual tools at his disposal and given the temporary nature of his plight doesn't feel like losing minutes with an amazing book he stumbled upon to correct the annoying side effect of an auto-correcting word processor.

WIFE, HEALTH (permalink) 05.10.2013
i didn't know "in sickness" meant mangled toes
marty's toe continues to be a foul and wretched mess. that is i think it does as i'm still unable to look at it. i do want to still love her when this is all over in thirty six months after she's shed the busted toenail, has grown a new one and her toe returns to a proper shade of human color.

if you're wondering if i knew when my well of empathy ran dry, i did. it occurred the day after when we were eating dinner on the porch and she propped the throbbing nub up on the railing, sans sock, while she ate. i kept shifting in my chair looking for a position where the thrashed toe wasn't in my sight-line, but human peripheral vision rocks and you can kinda see everywhere that's not behind you and i'm not a big enough ass to, like, turn away completely. and like they say about car wrecks and our flawed human nature, my eye kept being drawn to her deformed digit. i tried not to say anything but without checking with my mature side, a runner got by the checkpoint and blurted out, "so, does it hurt to wear a sock?"

and that, for the record, is the moment my well of empathy ran dry.

and for any worrying about marty's delicate disposition, she's plenty numb to her husband's squeamish insensitivity which can be seen in her reply, "no, i don't need a sock. i'm good. but thanks."

p.s. x-ray's showed the toe thankfully wasn't broken.

p.s.s. the athletic director at marty's school drained the toe on the second day with some medieval sounding contraption that burned a hole in the nail so the blood (and stuff) could be released, taking the pressure off the nail. he told her if she'd come sooner, he might have been able to save the nail. her description of the procedure for-sure tested my thirty-plus year puke-free streak.

WIFE (permalink) 05.07.2013
and it avoids a possible punch in the jaw
some have asked about the reference to the line "marty had the best answer to this" from last week's gallery posting about our dinner-time questions. i intentionally did not include it there to give folks some time to think about what they might do.

to repeat the posed question:
let's say you were walking home. you were still a full mile or twenty minutes from home and someone stopped you. they told you that if you could remember this international (long!!!) phone number and call it the second you got home, they would give you $50,000. you don't have a pen. you don't have any digital thing to make note of it. what would you do to remember the number?
if you wish to think on this a bit further, stop reading. if you want to hear marty's solution, read on.

the kids answers involved repeating the series of numbers and running home as fast as they could. i confessed that i'd surely bumble the string so instead would take a rock and scratch the number into the hood or fender of a car, run home, get a pad and paper, run back (hoping the car hadn't driven off or the police hadn't been called) write the number down, and leave a note on the windshield for the car owner to call me. marty, after scolding me for giving the boys bad ideas about scratching things into the paint jobs of cars produced the most elegant answer saying she would place rocks, twigs, grass or anything she could collect and count into her pockets. the first number would be high on her body, like in a shirt pocket and the numbers would travel down her body. so if the first number was five she'd put five pebbles in her shirt pocket. if the second number was seven, she'd put seven pebbles or twigs in her front pocket, working her way down and around her body to her shoes or even her socks if she still needed counting receptacles. upon arriving home, she'd empty her pockets, inventorying the contents, make the call, and collect the jack. i thought it an ingenious answer, even deeming it superior to my "buy a new hood or fender" option.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 05.06.2013
takin' care of bidnez
a neighbor boy came over to play with anthony. he's a little older but the two boys visit one another often and without invitation. they will at times play for hours and hours without supervision or issue. during the boy's visit this last weekend, he and anthony were butting heads about something. in response, anthony took the initiative to call the boy's home where his mother answered.


ben is being mean.

oh. anthony. hi. uhm. well i'm sorry.


i guess you should maybe send him home.


without as much as a goodbye, thanks or grunt of acknowledgement, anthony hung up the phone and yelled out, "ben. you have to go home."

that is the sort of self-sufficiency marty and i can surely get behind.

PHOTO (permalink) 05.02.2013
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
MARCH 2013

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