So after some missteps, some extra driving around, some frustration, some yelling, and some returning, Angie and I finished the majority of our Christmas shopping this weekend. In all, it wasn’t too bad, thanks to online shopping, but I am glad its over; one big check box, checked. But alas, I have numerous topics to cover so, more subtitles:
Our local mall has a play area for small kids, so parents like us can take turns watching the little one while the other gets some shopping done. Its a great idea and for the most part, I don’t mind letting Will play around for awhile, but it can get a little dangerous. There is a fuzzy brown bear that stands next to the entrance with his arm in the air clearing indicating that kids taller than his arm are too big for the play area (I would also suggest they add a bear with his arms stretched out to indicate how “narrow” you have to be to enter the play area). Most of the parents are fine and their kids are fine, but then some tool will bring his 10 year-old in and let the 150 pounder just run crazy through the area. The kid is clearly crushing the high density foam structures, which he thinks is cool, and scaring the crap out of all the parents and the kids. You’re not fearing for your kid’s safety, you’re fearing for their life. I just hope Angie isn’t around when the little brat knocks Will down. Words will be used and embarrassment will ensue. This is a completely separate issue from the parents who bring their 27 kids to the same area and let them just go freaking nuts.
While I am ranting about kids, what the heck is up with those stupid roller shoes? I have only seen one kid that looked smooth sliding around on the shoe, all the others are half falling down or just letting their parents pull them along. I wonder if the mean kids ever knock the roller kids down?
A Little Heat Please
I knew my truck had a block heater on it when I bought the truck, I didn’t know I would like it as much as I do. Not only does it make startup a snap, but the truck warms up so much faster and generally doesn’t act frozen during the first few miles after startup. Its pretty easy to plug it in at home, a simple extension cord out of the garage and the problem is solved. At work though, its a different issues. The particular lot I use has multiple levels and there are many covered parking spots for people that have been here for a really, really long time. All of these parking spaces have these 4′ outlets above them, making the empty lot look like some kind of charging station.
Anyway, it turns out that by parking on the ground level, I can easily reach the outlets from the lower parking level. In all the years I have parked and walked through these parking garages, I have never once seen anyone using the outlets, for a long time I couldn’t understand why they were there. So I decided to test the waters and snag and outlet and plug my truck in while I was at work. I figured someone would get bent out of shape because people pay for those spots and the outlets are not for general use. So far though, the closest anyone has come to saying something has been a guy talking on his cell and staring at me while I unplugged the truck and drove off. Now I generally try to be a little more sneaky about it and not make it obvious that I drive the big red truck.
What the hell happened to Abercrombie and Fitch? 12 or so years ago my brother-in-law introduced me to the outdoor-type store where one bought flannels and waffle shirts for a little more than your average bear would pay. The trade off was that the shirts, esp the flannels, would last forever (I still have some at home). My senior year of high school, I am sure I never wore anything, but the AF. It was all understated clothing too. A few shirts said Abercrombie on them, but generally people in that small town didn’t know what it was (let alone how to pronounce it). Now it is something completely different. Angie had to buy something for her niece and I could only bear to be in the store for about 3 minutes. Not only is the store in near darkness and about 100 degrees, but the pump the music up so loud you can’t hear yourself think. As Will and I walked out of the store seeking some quite area so our hearing could come back, the greeter said something to me. I thought he said “thanks for stopping,” but I wasn’t sure. Before I could say we were waiting on my wife, he said “does the music pump him up?” referring to Will. I was still completely confused, and just said he likes to dance to it, which Will promptly did for the greeter. The the greeter said “sorry its so loud, its suppose to be part of the experience.” I mentioned how much the store has changed, and he just nodded.
This brief encounter made me wonder, if I can barely stand to be in the store for five minutes, how do employees work there for hours? How do they not have hearing loss and how are they not covered in sweat from wearing those layers of AF clothing? I am also surprised that kids don’t see through the noise and enlarged explicit photographs everywhere. The store clearly doesn’t want you to think or speak, they just want you to be silent and look cool in their clothes, like the models.
A few days ago, I turned 27. Will ended up and had strep throat, and I had to stay home with him and try to work. I tried to not make a big deal out of my birthday, like I usually do, because I knew Angie wouldn’t have time to do much, if anything. She got a nice North Face jacket and baked some cookies, which was all I really needed. Oh, and she got Will to say Happy Birthday Dad, which was pretty cool to hear. I got a ton of cards too, and Angie’s sisters sent me a few things, although I am still waiting on one of their gifts.
Speaking of Angie making cookies, its rather ironic that she has become extremely good at making chocolate chip cookies (I mean really good). Growing up, I made my fair share of baked items, and my siblings rewarded me with the nick name “Bob Crocker” (it wasn’t a term of endearment either). So it is somewhat fitting that I am basically married to Betty now. I will also say that it is no surprise to me that Angie is very good at making cookies. I have told her for years that if she really applied herself to something she would be far better at it than most people. Unfortunately, she chose medicine for a career, so she doesn’t have ample amounts of free time to master all the baked goods I enjoy. Maybe someday though.
So after two trips to the mall yesterday, I finished buying gifts for Angie. On my first trip I went out on a limb and tried to pick out clothes I thought she might like. I knew it was going to be hit or miss and rather than wait until x-mas morning, I made her look at them when I got home. In short, it was a miss. We decided to go back and have her point some things out that she might like and then I was left to decide what to buy. I ended up and strayed again and bought her this really heavy and warm top and bottom. I am not sure what the feminine term is, but its fleece line and mostly meant for lounging around the house, which she always complains is too cold. Anyway, I can safely post this because again I was too excited to wait until x-mas for her to see it that I gave it to her last night.
More Heat Please
Even though it has been in single digits for the last few weeks, I have attempted to work in the garage to finish a project for my dad. I have an little electric heater that just can’t crank out the heat fast enough and I end up freezing my finger tips off every time I touch the cast iron tools. So I have decided to try a propane heater, in hopes that it will crank out enough heat to at least make it comfortable to work. The garage has plenty of air leaks, so I am not concerned with passing out from lack of oxygen, but more concerned about burning through a 20lb propane tank in a few hours. The last thing I want is to have to run to the store for propane every time I want to dink around in the garage.