Cogito Patris

Random Thoughts for Random People

Snake’s on the…

A few weeks ago, I saw a snake in my shed as I was pulling out to cut my grass.

I hate snakes.

I told my wife that if she ever wanted me to go back in to the shed we had to get someone to come out and take a look.  She called a company and they sent someone out.  He couldn’t find the snake, but from my description he said that it was a non-territorial non-poisonous black snake.

Last week, my wife found it again under my back porch (deck).

I hate snakes.

We called the same company back and they were quite rude.  We thought we were getting an annual contract with them when we paid $100 for the first visit.  But they said that was just a service fee.  So, I went out there with a bucket to try to trap it.  If I could trap it then I would pay money to have someone take it away.

I hate snakes.

I hit my target heart rate (from fear) after hunting the thing for a few minutes, then it found a hole in my house and went in to the crawl space.

I hate snakes.

I am supposed to be moving my Tivo from one room to the other, but in order to do so, I would have to run some cable under the house.  That ain’t gonna happen.

I hate snakes.

Now, I have a pathological fear of snakes, and a snake under my house.

As it turns out, when Angel found the snake, she was out back with our kids.  My 20 month old daughter grabbed a plastic baseball bat and went over to “play” with the snake.  My wife grabbed her and brought her inside so that I could go out to catch it.  Maybe I should have Melody try to catch it next time.


May 23, 2008 Posted by | The Kids | Leave a comment

Howler Monkey

Melody has started a new game.  We were watching an episode of Clifford where the dogs were howling to scare away the scary sounds.

She started to howl.  It was soooooo cute.

Now, I will howl and she will howl in response.

May 19, 2008 Posted by | Random Thoughts | Leave a comment

Simple Pleasures

Across the street from my boyhood home was a field that had been overgrown with small trees and bushes.  Needless to say, this was a favorite hang-out for the neighborhood kids.  Among the poison ivy that tormented my brother and I were a few sparse honey thistle bushes (I think that is the name anyway).

The flowers on these bushes are not really pretty, but they give off a powerfully sweet smell, and their pollen tastes slightly of honey…another favorite past time was to suck out the “honey Juice” from the flower.

Well, I had mostly forgotten about this simple pleasure until yesterday, when I went in to work.  The honey thistle is in bloom and there is a large quantity of bushes right near the door to my office.  The smell took me back to those boyhood days…a welcome reprieve from the stresses of adulthood.

May 16, 2008 Posted by | Random Thoughts | Leave a comment

My Sweet Little Puppy


He really is a huge wimp, but you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. 🙂

May 14, 2008 Posted by | Matt & Angel, The Kids | Leave a comment

Tag Line Suggestions?

OK, so I get about three people visiting this site every day.  But I thought I would send this out to the intertubes to see if anyone had a suggestion.  I am thinking of changing my tag line from “Random Thoughts for Random People”.  Although it is pretty descriptive, I think it is time for a change.  Anybody have any thoughts?


May 14, 2008 Posted by | Random Thoughts | Leave a comment

Whose Hotter?

I am going to preface this by saying that this will not be a rude, crude and socially unacceptable comparison of women based on measurements.  Note: I am not posting any pictures for fear that my discussion will descend in to the vulgar.  What I am looking at here is to evaluate my own taste in women.  Glean from it what you will.

Now, whether they admit it or not, all traditional men evaluate every woman they see and put them on a scale of attractiveness.  before I go on, I am going to define my terms a little here. 

  • Hotness – Physical beauty.  Nothing more, nothing less
  • Attractiveness – While hotness is certainly a part of attractiveness, attractiveness goes beyond the skin-deep interpretation.  This term would include things like intelligence, “kindness” and maturity.  It may also include approachability (inverse of intimidation).

I have a great example of the difference between hot and attractive.  In my high school were a pair of blond identical twins.  If they wanted to, they could confuse anyone.  They purposely wore different clothing and a different hair style to be unique.  But I still couldn’t always tell the difference.  Physically, they were both hot.

But I could tell the difference if one of them spoke to me.  You see, Vanessa would always say “Hi” to me, while Valaree would not.  Further complicating things, Valaree was smarter (shewent to UVa, though I don’t know if she graduated).  But in my opinion Vanessa was both approachable and kind.  That made Vanessa more attractive in my book. 

One of the fun things about the “Whose Hotter?” question is that it is totally up to the individual asking to define the rules.  While certainly individuals can obviously be compared, I am more interested in generalities at this point.


Whose Hotter:

Supermodels or Professional Cheerleaders?

My Answer: Cheerleaders. 

Not because of the outfits (though that doesn’t hurt). 

Have you noticed that cheerleaders smile?  For reasons that I do not comprehend, models no longer smile.  I know that smiling is one of the simplest and most effective ways of improving a person’s looks.  Yet the models don’t smile.  In fact, I think they look unhappy and unhealthy (the words “Eating Disorder” always comes to mind). 

While Cheerleaders are smiling, physically fit, and athletic women. 

Really, when I think about it, it isn’t even that close.


Whose Hotter:

Pony Tails, Pig Tails, Short Hair or “Free”?

My Answer: Free*

I prefer long hair, there are very few women who look better with short hair than with long (the only one I can think of is Nana Visitor from Star Trek: Deep Space 9).  So, that is at the bottom of my list.

At a distant third place I have to put pony tails.  I love my wife’s pony tail, it bounces and sways when she walk…she has a certain spring in her step I suppose.  And it is quite cute.  But there are certainly better, and hotter, hair styles.

OK, In my opinion there is something quite sexy about pigtails.  Actually, I have to preface that further.  I prefer Pigtails that are kind of “up” on the head (rather than back along the neck) and not braided.  I am not sure why I find pigtails so attractive.  To my recollection I have never had a crush on a girl who wore her hair like that.  For those of you who who subscribe to Freudian analysis, my mother has short, permed hair, so don’t even go there.

But far and above is the almost unkempt look that my wife has when she gets out of bed.  A little brushing and her hair is just perfect.  I think this may be because I do prefer a “low maintenance” woman.  Maybe the way the hair frames the face accentuates her gorgeous features.  But as I said, this discussion is not supposed to be specific to a single female of the human species.  And it isn’t.  Most women look better with their hair down.  I just can’t put my finger on why.


Whose Hotter:

Blonds, Brunettes or Redheads?

My Answer: Not Blonds

I have never found blonds particularly attractive.  Especially repellent are the women who bleach their hair to be blond.  I just don’t understand.

As for the other two options, my conscience (or maybe my sense of self preservation) is telling me that answering the question could get me in to trouble if my bride read it.  So I will remain silent on this one.


That is all I have today, but I may return to this discussion at some point.  I’m not sure why it is important to me to evaluate my own taste in women, but I find it quite entertaining.

May 14, 2008 Posted by | Random Thoughts | Leave a comment

I know I said I would try to be unbiased, but…

Previously I posted the list of issues that I thought were important.  I still have not gone through the list, but I have already eliminated one of the three presidential hopefuls.

Hillary Clinton thinks voters are idiots.  Therefore, I will not vote for her.

As you may have heard, the primaries came to North Carolina recently.  As a result, we have been surrounded by advertising for Hillary or Barack.  Barack is annoying.  He (or his representatives) called me six times on Tuesday asking if I had voted yet.  I think I have realized why he ends up so close at the end of elections.  People get so tired of hearing from him that they vote for the competitor.

But I couldn’t vote for Hillary because she thinks I’m an idiot.

I was in the doctor’s office and I heard a Hillary commercial that I couldn’t help but laugh at.  I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of making the gas companies pay the gas tax instead of the consumer.

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

I have several, and I will take them in order of inverse obviousness:

Lets say that we eliminate the gas tax.  In NC I pay 48.6 cents per gallon.  With gas prices approaching $4 per gallon, that is an expected savings of about 12%.  My 1998 Dodge Durango gets a whopping 14 miles to the gallon.  So I should benefit “a lot” from this plan.  I also drive “the normal” annual millage of about 12,000 miles per year.  So, in one year I use 857 gallons of gas.  At $4/gal, I would spend almost $3,500 in gas/year.  Without the gas tax ($3.514/gal), that price goes to $3,000 (incredibly, I rounded up on the first calculation, and down on the second…so the difference is actually somewhat less).  For a total savings of $500 for the year; or about $10 a week (rounding up again).  Is this really Hillary’s big plan to save me, the consumer, money?

Well, no.  She wants “the gas companies” to pay the taxes.  Now, my father was an accountant.  I never took anything he said for face value; he was always too concerned with cost and not concerned enough with happiness.  But when he talked money I never found fault with what he said.  One of the things he said is that companies are tax collectors, not tax payers.  Why?  Because every penny a company has, comes from the consumer (duh?).  So if “the gas companies” pay the taxes, then they will simply pass the cost on to the consumer.  Meaning that I wouldn’t even save that $10/week.

If she thinks that voters can’t figure out the flaw in this reasoning, then she thinks voters are stupid.  I will not vote for someone who thinks I am stupid.  Hillary is no longer in the running as far as I am concerned.

May 12, 2008 Posted by | Thoughts on Politics | Leave a comment

I Gilk!

My bride told me this story:

Just as a pretense, Dante’s speech therapist has been working on combining two words.  That is something that every 2 year old should be able to do easily, and Dante is nearly four.  But I digress…

Dante has gotten in to the habit of finishing his own drink, then taking his sister’s drink for his own.  We are pretty sure that he has Diabetes Insipidous.  Especially after reading the notes from his Urologist, even though the urologist isn’t suggesting treatment for some reason that is not apparent from his notes.

Most of the time, Melody doesn’t mind that he takes her drink because she doesn’t drink nearly as much.  One symptom of Diabetes Insipidous is the physical need to drink a massive amount of liquid.

But this time, Melody pointed at her recently stolen drink and said “ehhh” (which is about the only thing she says).  My wife said “Melody, use your words. Say ‘My Milk'” (she also did the signs).

Dante, not Melody, said “I Gilk”.  At least he combined his words.  Angel got Melody a new drink.  Speech is more important than enforcing ownership.

May 2, 2008 Posted by | The Kids | Leave a comment

A quick rant, then I will move on

You may have noticed that I did a lot more posting today than normal.  I got a nasty-gram from my boss that said that I was spending too much time on projects that were not directly related to my job (though they are somewhat related).  I took this to mean “Don’t innovate”.  I know this is a childish response on my part, which is why I am not telling him, instead I am telling all the interwebs (or at least the two or three people who read this blog).

So, today I was childish and decided to spend the day in blog-land.  Tomorrow I promise to work again.

May 1, 2008 Posted by | Random Thoughts | Leave a comment

Football Hiatus and 2009 Superbowl Predictions

OK, I may be looking forward to football a little.  Last year I predicted the winner of the Superbowl before the season even started.  This season I am going to try to do so again.  But this time, I am going to do it much more quickly.  In fact, it is all in this one post.  Not only that, but I am getting bolder this year and putting them in order by probability of winning the Superbowl.  And, just to press my luck, I am going to estimate the final regular season record for each team.

I recommend that you not do the math, I’m pretty sure that the wins and losses don’t add up.

0) Washington Redskins (16-0) – I don’t need a reason.  But, since you asked:  The great Joe Gibbs retired.  If this coming season goes well then nobody will talk about how he did in his second stint.  I can hear the pundits now “The game may have passed him by, but he can still evaluate and develop talent like nobody else.”  This season is for Joe.
1) Detroit Lions (14-2) – Think I’m crazy? Yeah, me too.  But every year there is a sleeper that comes out of nowhere to surprise everyone.  I also think that the AFC Domination is coming to an end, which is why I picked the least likely NFC team as my #2.
2) San Diego Chargers (14-2) – They have trouble in the post season, but they are a talented group.  They have also had the misfortune to be good when the Colts and Patriots are great.  Personally, I think they are due.
3) Minnesota Vikings (13-3) – The return of the Purple People Eaters…but this time, he is running the ball.
4) Indianapolis Colts (13-3) – Sibling rivalry is a big thing.  That that Manning the Younger has a title just like his big brother, Manning the elder needs another one.
5) New England Patriots (11-5) – Surprised at how far down I sent this team after an undefeated season*?  Me too. This is a combination of a “downer” after losing the Superbowl after an Undefeated Season* and the fact that I think the AFC domination is coming to an end.
6) Washington Redskins (11-5) – I know I already put them down as my #0.  But that was my heart speaking.  This is where my head thinks they actually are.
7) St. Louis Rams (10-6) – Chris Long is a Beast and a Leader.  The defense will do well under his guidance.
8 ) New York Jets (10-6) – Good team, lots of talent, especially on the offensive line, good coach.  They showed flashes last year.  And now, they have cheerleaders (sorta)!
9) Cleveland Browns (10-6) – They signed a Bridgewater College, my father’s alma mater, graduate to the team as an undrafted rookie.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – The NFC East is tough.  As a result, the teams in the division end up losing more games because they have to play each other twice a year.  That is one of the reasons that I have the NFC East teams so low on my list.  Each team is essentially stuck at going 3-3 in the division.  The Eagles are in a time of transition, so they probably should not be this high on the list.  But, it is amazing what people can do when they think their job is on the line.
11) San Francisco 49ers (9-7) – They are still playing catch-up.  But they are on their way.
12) Arizona Cardinals (9-7) – They are due, right?
13) Houston Texans (9-7) – Actually, these are the guys that are due.
14) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8 ) – If Rathl-, Rothlis-, Rorog- the guy who plays QB does well, this team could hit a new high…if not, new lows may be in order.  Either way, they should be entertaining to watch.
15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8 ) – I just can not get over the pirate ship at their stadium…that is just awesome.
16) Carolina Panthers (8-8 ) – My new home town team.
17) New Orleans Saints (8-8 ) – Marti Gras! 
18 ) Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) – Have you heard of snow blindness?  Well, their jerseys give me red blindness.
19) Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) – What kind of football team wears Teal?
20) Tennessee Titans (7-9) – Something about Nashville.  I don’t have a joke yet, but I know it is there.
21) Seattle Seahawks (7-9) – There is no such thing as a ‘Seahawk’.
22) Denver Broncos (6-10) – Home of ‘The Ultimate Leader’ who hasn’t made the playoffs in a loooooong time.
23) Chicago Bears (6-10) – They cut Thomas Jones.
24) Buffalo Bills (6-10) – I can’t find anyplace good to have Buffalo Wings in Charlotte.
25) New York Giants (6-10) – The Giants played above themselves last year.  Look for a return to mediocrity this year and for more questions concerning Manning the Younger.  But they know how to win and they know how to win close games.  For that, optimism will surround the team…until their first loss.
25.5) Washington Redskins (5-11) – I know I already put them down as my #0 and #6.  But that was my heart and head speaking.  This is where my pessimism thinks they actually are.
26) Oakland Raiders (5-11) – There is no tomorrow for this team.  Unfortunately, there is no today either.  My brother and I have been calling the Redskins and Raiders “Sister Teams” for the past few years.  Both have enthusiastic fans (to put it mildly).  Both owners will pay anything to win.  Both teams have storied histories but haven’t done much recently.  Those similarities are why I think they will win the Superbowl.
27) Baltimore Ravens (5-11) – Ray Lewis is old. 
28 ) Green Bay Packers (4-12) – They played way above themselves last year.
29)Cincinnati Bengals (4-12) – Who?
30) Atlanta Falcons (2-14) – I Love Dogs.
31) Miami Dolphins (0-16) – Pundits the world round will pick Miami to go to the Superbowl.  Why?  Because it is warm there.  These pundits want to go to the warm Miami beach and write about a team on the verge.  Personally, I think they are more likely to lose every game.
32) Dallas Cowboys (0-16) – I am including them this year, what else do you want from me?

* Excluding the Superbowl

Now, for giggles and grins, I have decided to see what would happen if I applied the Isaacson-Tarbell Postulate to the entire season.
This is from Tuesday Morning Quarterback from 2/15/2008): Best Record Wins; If Records Equal, Home Team Wins.

Here is what I came up with:

1) Baltimore (16/0)
2) New Orleans (16/0)
3) Buffalo (15/1)
4) Green Bay (15/1)
5) Philadelphia (15/1)
6) San Diego (15/1)
7) Tennessee (14/2)
8 ) NY Giants (13/3)
9) New England (12/4)
10) San Francisco (12/4)
11) Atlanta (11/5)
12) Jacksonville (11/5)
13) Carolina (9/7)
14) Indianapolis (9/7)
15) Miami (9/7)
16) Washington (9/7)
17) Cleveland (7/9)
18 ) Oakland (7/9)
19) Chicago (6/10)
20) Dallas (6/10)
21) NY Jets (6/10)
22) Minnesota (5/11)
23) Seattle (5/11)
24) Kansas City (4/12)
25) Pittsburgh (3/13)
26) Houston (2/14)
27) St. Louis (2/14)
28 ) Denver (1/15)
29) Detroit (1/15)
30) Arizona (0/16)
31) Cincinnati (0/16)
32) Tampa Bay (0/16)

It will be interesting to see if the simple algorithm is closer to reality than I am.

May 1, 2008 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | 5 Comments