Monday, July 30, 2007


Around 6 years ago, I quit my job to stay home. At the time of my self inflicted dismissal (tried hard to get a Layoff Package but that didn’t work out), I hadn’t yet felt the gravity of losing umpteen hundred thousand a year, or the lack of sleep, or the fact that a small child will yell at me daily for what seemed like the rest of my life. It was the month of May 2001.

I moped around in boredom. Cleaned my house 18 times too many and learned to crotchet. I threw a fit when my MP3 player quit working (that’s another story altogether) and questioned hourly “why on earth have I chosen to do this?!” I had become a Freak on a Leash.

May turned to June, then July, then August, then September, then October, then November, then December, then January 2002, then the Olympics, then February, then March, then April, then May, then June and then finally July came. (I realize I could have used some concision in the representation of that year, but saying “until July 2002” or “finally July 2002 came” doesn’t exactly show that it was a very, very long year).

In July 2002 something magical happened. It wasn’t a new magic. It was an “old been around almost 100 years” type of magic. The clouds parted and the sun beamed through with warmth and feelings of fuzziness. I finally began to see how important it was that I stay home – I could watch every last stage of the Tour de France! Have I found the joy that so many around here speak of?

Every July since that enlightening July of 2002 has been filled with it all. The drama, deceit, excitement, disappointment, pain, and suspense of the Tour de France has given new life to my daily routine. Here’s what happens every day: I run early in the morning and bore my running mates with names, statistics and tactical arrangements of riders in the stage from the previous day. Then I go home, turn on the TV and watch/listen to the current stage live as I pretend to pay attention to the yahoos and do my “jobs.” If it’s a flat stage, I squeeze in a shower. If the stage is in the mountains, I usually wallow in my filth until the winner presents himself. After the stage is over, I get a phone call from my dad where we discuss what happened. He watches the internet broadcast of each stage. If the stage is exciting enough, I might get a call from my dad before the stage is over to comment on tactics, crashes, doping and cracks. It’s so exciting! Half of the time, I tape the prime time coverage and watch it again.

I’m pretty sure most of you are questioning my entertainment choices. I will proclaim loudly that it beats the snot out of watching a bunch of cars drive in circles for hours, or watching a bunch a guys in ball caps stand around waiting for a tiny ball to come their way or watching other guys throw a diamond shaped ball around (balls are ROUND! Sorry Winder).

Anyway, the whole thing gets me going. But something slightly terrible happens after the final stage into Paris… it’s called PTDFD or Post Tour De France Depression. It’s dreadful and I might need more medication until I recover or next July (whichever occurs first).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Birthday Present

It’s been about a month since my last birthday and I think it’s time to report. I turned 35ish in June and was pleasantly surprised with a birthday party. All (well, mostly all) of my finest friends were there. As usual, the food was magnificent, the atmosphere divine and the kids were with a babysitter.

Towards the end of the evening, I ended up with a pile of presents at the base of my chair and everyone said “open ‘em! Open em!” This is awkward for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love presents. I love giving them and I’m not going to lie about loving to receive them. But it’s more fun to open them in the privacy of your own privacy. This way, you don’t have to fake that you love what was given (KIDDING!)

I was spoiled this year. Spouse bought me Photoshop CS3 (which has by far turned out to be THE BUGGIEST piece of software crap that I’ve ever used – more on that later. Nevertheless, it is still necessary and much appreciated). Daughter o’ Vera (aka Elvie) gave me a shirt from India. The tag in it reads “Free Size.” Funny! The Barfusses (yes that’s their real last name) brought some cilantro lime air refresher stuff that reminds me of Mexico. My former office-mate and guardian angel for life gave me a shirt with a giant hibiscus on it and flip flops. This was wrapped in a bathroom garbage can. Funny again! My sister is going to make me a portfolio for my photographs (if I ever get my photos to her), my dad gave me a giant towel and cash, and the parents took all of us to the Indigo Girls and Brandi Carlile. The Winder and her love interest (aka Spouse of Winder) gave us a rockin’ tube to pull behind the boat. I received flowers from my SAHM friend across the street (I must come up with a name for her), and as is the case with all of my birthdays, I received foot care products from two different people. I wonder why this happens every year? This might shed some light on that.

EWE! Yuck!

There is one present that stood out significantly. Not because it was the best present (unless of course you are Vera), but because it is relevant to the rabidrunner. Vera had all of my blog entries bound into a book! She added photos and fun fonts. Fantastic! It’s now sealed for all time of 200 years for my posterity.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Colloquialisms Continued

After weeks of colloquialism research, once again Vera has outdone herself. She made a profound comment on the original Colloquialism post. Assuming that most of you lack the time and/or boredom to review previous posts for comments, I’ve taken it under my right wings to provide you with the luxury of reading her research drunken – I mean driven - epiphanies.

Vera Says:
Rather than finding the meaning of these, since we all know “We hear what we want to”, let’s see how they are slightly modified:

Old “All gone to Pot”
New All the pot is gone

Old “Am I my brothers keeper”
New You can keep my brother

Old “Pros and cons”
New Cons are pros

Old “Pull the wool over one’s eyes”
New Take off that sweater, there’s coffee on it

Old “Put your shoulder to the wheel”
New Push my motorcycle so I can start it

Old “Have a bone to pick with you”
New TD&H has some ribs to share with you

Old “Need to see a man about a dog”
New Vera’s got to IP

Old “Out of the pan into the fire”
New The frying pan is on fire

And one for Loreena Bobbit:
Old “Go off half cocked”
New I have half his cock!

End of Vera Says

Another addition to the Colloquialism comments came via e-mail from Jay (we really need to come up with a new name for you… Leisure Suit JW? dirXML Giant? Microphone Monkey? Others…?) Here’s what he says:

“I have a couple of colloquialisms that I'd like to add to your list for investigating.
1. Not worth a tinkers dam
2. I don't give a rat's @ss
3. I'm sicker than a dog

There is no rush to investigate these. From your blog I can tell you are very busy honing your Photoshop skills. I don't mean to be critical but your efforts to remove red eye could use some refining.”

Alright "Jay" - red eye is part of the creative process. With that said, here’s my report:

Not Worth A Tinker’s Dam
The Term “Tinker” refers to a tin smith. I was born in the 70s so any reference to a tin smith is new to me. It is my understanding that they did away with tin smiths in the 60s when a fellow by the name of Morrissey was born. He subsequently dropped the “tin” and became the “Smiths.” Anyway tin smiths made dams out of clay to pour their molten tin into so that they could work with it. After the tin had cooled to form a solid, the clay could no longer be used and was therefore worthless. Not Worth A Tinker’s Dam means that you cannot recycle whatever you say is not worth a tinker’s dam. “Thou Shalt Not Use Tinker’s Dams” should really be added to the Green Commandments as documented in post “Green.”

I Don’t Give a Rat’s @ss
Rats are pretty nasty and the @ss of the rat is even worse. We can all assume this unless of course you want proof, then you can go get your own rat’s @ss and draw your own conclusion. I’m pretty sure this term came from the Navy.

Sicker than a Dog
It’s common knowledge that dogs barf when they eat people food. Its makes sense then that when we become sick, we’d be sicker than or at least as sick as dogs because OUR food makes THEM sick. I couldn’t find a specific history on this one. I’m going to expect that this phrase originated during the bubonic plague – with the number of wild dogs running around back then, you can bet that if you were barfing, there’d be a dog barfing right there with you.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Wisdom of Fraggle Rock

July 19, 2007

My sister aka, "the McMillans" blogged her love for Fraggle Rock. Reading this sent me on a frenzied search for the words to the theme song. They are genius!

Dance your cares away,
Worries for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.

Work your cares away,
Dancing's for another day.
Let the Fraggles play,
We're Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red.

I get to be Boober.

Monday, July 16, 2007

To Quit Or Not To Quit


That is the question.

To make a long story short, my so-called ideal stay at home mom job isn’t so ideal. Sure it’s flexible, but there are some hefty requirements. I must provide my own computer (I’d have one anyway so maybe this isn’t such a big deal), I must provide my own internet connection (again, I’d have it anyway – how else would I blog? The Library? I don’t think so). In addition, they are paying me less than ½ of what I’m worth? Worth, however, is in the eye of the beholder, subjective, a matter of perspective, etc, so maybe we should scratch that one. Anyway, there are many annoyances right now. Too many to list because then it would cease to be funny and that is not what this blog is about, right? For crying out loud, I’m doing taxes in the basement with my own resources!

The most annoying of requirements is the fact that I must have a static IP address. You might not think this is so annoying but it is. First of all, it will cost an extra $220 a month (I made that number up because of the highly emotional nature in which I am living in). Second, it’s just asinine to ask an employee who does taxes for the likes of Robert Plant, Syd Vicious and Peter Gabriel (to name a few) to provide these services without the employer having to provide me with anything short of law mandated social security. As noted in previous posts, the tax returns I do for the above mentioned clients are FICTIONAL so please relax and know that I am not famous (or do taxes for the famous or the famously dead – although I have had my picture taken with two of the Dandy Warhols and Brandi Carlile - and oh look here's the photo with the Dandies. Where did that come from?)

And back to the static IP address thing. For security reasons, they won’t let anyone authenticate to their servers unless the IP address of the machine logging in is in their list of approved IP addresses. I have been able to get around this by leaving my modem on forever and ever. As long as the modem has power, it has the same IP address. However, within the last couple of weeks, the folks at qwest have thrown a fast one at me. After a few days of testing, I can conclude that qwest is TAKING BACK MY IP ADDRESS AND GIVING IT TO SOMEONE ELSE after a period of inactivity. So now, I have a few hours to work, I attempt to log in to the employer’s web site and receive an access denied message so harsh it feels as if I’ve graduated from a low budget hacker college. I’ve paid a babysitter to work and I can’t work. Lame!

So the process goes like this: I find someone who is logged on and I send them the “my IP address changed again” message. Then they say okay, what it is. And I tell them the new address and then it takes 12 to 24 hours for the dang data center to replicate the change. Is there another word for lame that I can use here? Let’s see: faulty, flimsy, inadequate, gimpy, insufficient, feeble, broken, askew, bent. Have you had enough? How about dunce!

I called the Winder. She told me to make a list of pros and cons. There she goes again with her intellectual logic. I should really take her advice on this one. But before I do, I'd like to wallow a while longer in the above mentioned emotional nature. It’s kind of cozy here.

Monday, July 09, 2007



Today I have added another adjective to the list of many that describe me. It’s “vulgar.” Is it because I have a trashy mouth? Is it because I find rank and gutter-esque humor in most things? Is it because of the dress I wore to church yesterday? No. No and no. It’s because I’m a runner.

Shall we have a side of history with our adjective salad? Okay.

On May 6, 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy was elected president of the French Republic. He was leader of the right wing party called the UMP and defeated the socialist giant Segolene Royal. (Three cheers for our Right Wings! The Nemo of birds?) Let me begin by stating clearly that I only follow French politics when they involve running or the Tour de France (Viva le Tour! Dull mornings no more! By the way, you can watch the tour live EVERY MORNING on the channel called VS which is 151 if you have dish network. If you have direct TV or one of those other two-bit operations, I cannot help you). Anyway, some Frenchie newsperson by the name of Alain Finkielkraut described as “a leading French intellectual” (what makes one a leading French intellectual? I wanna be a leading intellectual! Is there a test somewhere that I can study for and take?) Anyway this Finkielkraut person has declared Mr. Sarkozy vulgar because he runs every morning. I’ve heard running described in many ways… stinky, crazy, insane, boorish, nutty… but vulgar? Wow.

I guess the lefters believe his jogging is some type of right wing conspiracy. From the Washington Post, President Sarkozy responds with, "I am not deterred . . . by the accusation that jogging is right-wing. Of course it is right-wing, in the sense that the facts of life are generally right-wing. The very act of forcing yourself to go for a run, every morning, is a highly conservative business. There is the mental effort needed to overcome your laziness.”*

Is running vulgar? I’ll let you decide. Let me remind you, however, that there isn’t a movie called “Debbie Does the Dallas Marathon.”