old golf balls

When I was a kid living in Ankeny, Iowa, living on Belmont Street, my dad had a yellow-ish plastic bucket of old golf balls in the garage. Get More Info about the best garage insulation services by reading this post. He kept them for golf practice, I guess – although I don’t know how good they were for that, given that they had gouges out of them and dings from being used. I think my dad must have collected them from the water hazards at whatever golf course he went to, because he also had a golf-ball retriever scoop on a pole. (Did you know there are people who run entire businesses scuba-diving for golf balls in water hazards? I did not.) Incidentally, my dad still retrieves golf balls, only now he lives on an exclusive golf course in the mountains in Arizona, and has trained the dog to pick them up while out on walks.

Paul and I and Todd used to try to steal one or two of the balls from the bucket and cut them open, because we’d been taught by the Schmidt kids (we were taught a lot of shit by those neighbor kids – all good stories for another day) that inside, nested in a tightly coiled bundle of rubber band-like threading, there was a rubber ball we could use as a superball – one of the small bouncy balls that came out of gumball/prize machines that we always unsuccessfully lobbied my mom for at the supermarket entrance. After you used someone’s pocket knife to cut through the white outer shell (or scraped the ball against the ground until you wore through the shell when you weren’t allowed to use a knife) you could cut the rubber bands and they would start to unravel, the bundle bouncing around until it had all come undone. And inside was a rubber ball. It did work – although we were also told by the Schmidt kids that in some balls, the center was a toxic gel that would burn your skin instead of a rubber ball. That may be true, (apparently, some do have gel, but not toxic) but I don’t recall ever running across a ball like that. To keep us from messing around, my dad put the bucket up on a shelf in the top of the garage.

When the tornado hit on 1974, and the swing set slammed into the back of the garage, (at least that’s how I recall it happening; I was six, I think, so my recollection is a bit dim and often I need to consult with my mom on these sorts of things) and the garage tilted over at half-keel, the bucket of golf balls fell off the shelf and spilled out over the garage floor and onto the driveway, mixed in with yellow fiberglass debris and wooden fragments from the roof of the Hy-Vee grocery store behind our house. That was one of the more helpful hints that made me realize that our garage was strong! I have a picture in my mind of that, but that may be informed or reinforced by photos taken of the storm damage on the day after, which I would have viewed much later on.

The other day, I was helping my mom retrieve for disposal some of the junk that had accumulated over the years in the attic above her garage, and I found that yellow bucket of battered, beat-up golf balls. Let me spell out why that was odd – it means that bucket traveled from Belmont Street to SE Fourth Street in Ankeny, where it resided several years, and then got packed up and traveled with the whole family to Canton, Ohio for a couple years, too. Then it got packed up once again and made its way to Noblesville, where my family moved in the early eighties, and its been in the attic for probably all of that time since. Why on earth did we pack a bucket of golf balls and cart it over the country? Maybe my dad and mom used them all that time and I just don’t remember it, but it seems odd. As soon as I saw them, though, I had the impulse to scrape one of them against the sidewalk to peel off the white shell and see the rubber bands underneath. Nevermind that I have a couple golf balls laying around the house that the dog plays with that I could do that to – it’s something about the familiarity of this particular bucket that made remember this long string of associations I’d forgotten.

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Colonoscopy Fun

So…… tomorrow I have to have a Colonoscopy. Woohoo! No, Katie Couric will not be there to film it. And yes, I am old. OLD. Just yesterday I was reminiscing about something that happened in college in 1987 – twenty years ago.

a) I’m reminiscing now? Great. People just love that.
b) I still think I’m a college student. I still have that “final in a class I forgot I signed up for and never attended” dream regularly. That counts, right?

This is a follow-up thing from my diverticulitis problem back in May. It’s mainly a precaution to ensure I don’t have colon cancer or polyps. Both are unlikely, given my age, but they want to shine a light up there to be sure.

So today I’m not allowed to eat anything but non-red jello (something about the dye) and clear liquids, and tonight I have to “prep” for the procedure. Not going into details; use your imagination for that. As I was leaving the pharmacy this morning after filling the appropriate prescription, the guy actually said “have a good day!” and then remembered what drugs I had just purchased and giggled. Funny guy.

I was going to add a funny picture to this post, but I made the mistake of searching the word colonoscopy on google images. Don’t do that. Instead, I’ll provide you with the obligatory unicorn chaser:

Mandala Unicorn
Mandala Unicorn
2022-03-17 Update:
In 2007 I was 39. Yeah. That was 15 years ago. So I’ve been out of college for 35 years. Yikes.
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Freshly Poured Concrete

I went to Bagel Fair this morning to get a bagel and coffee for breakfast. There’s a construction crew around the building on scaffolding working on the exterior, and they were also pouring fresh concrete on the sidewalk in front of the building. To get into the store, you had to walk across a wooden plank laid down over the concrete.
After getting my bagel and coffee, I turned to leave, but there was a guy standing on the wooden plank, blocking the way. He was wearing dress clothes, and he was surveying the work being done above — he had an air of authority, so I’m guessing he was a builder or project manager or something. I stood for a few seconds and waited for him to see me waiting, but he was completely oblivious. The lady after me was ready to leave also, and I realized there would soon be a traffic jam, so I cleared my throat and got the guys attention: “Excuse me. I’m sorry, I just need to get through.”
But rather than stepping backwards off the plank as I had expected, he stepped to the side. Into the concrete. He didn’t even realize what he did until I looked down at his nice dress shoes, now covered with cement.
He jumped back out really quickly, looked at his construction guys, and said, “Hey, someone stepped in the cement, there,” sort of jokey… like it wasn’t him that did it. And the foreman guy said, “um, yeah, I saw that.”
And I walked the plank back to my car in the parking lot, satisfied at my morning accomplishments; I had a bagel and coffee, and I ruined a guy’s shoes.

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McDonalds Employees Make Own Recipes from McD’s Ingredients

Boing Boing links to a Live Journal community of McDonalds employees that make their own recipes (for back room and after hours consumption) using the ingredients from McDonalds foods.
We did this back when I was in college and working at Mickey D’s in the summer time, and got in so much trouble for it when we got caught. You’d be surprised what you could make, especially with the ingredients from salads. We had a pretty healthy chicken burrito similar to what they’re describing, made from the diced chicken that went on salads, combined with lettuce and the tortillas from breakfast burritos. We also had a version of the “Orange Julius” (shake ingredients mixed with orange drink) that they’re making, too, and lots of variations on the McNuggets, because those were fairly new in my day.
They have a lot more specialty ingredients to choose from these days, lucky kids. Oh, wait. They work at Mickey D’s — they’re not that lucky.

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Remember when…

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Stolen from Scott, after seeing a couple places.
If you read this (even if we don’t speak often or don’t really know each other) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want — good or bad — BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. Leave me a comment and tell me what you don’t remember about us.

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Childhood Memories

Passed along from my friend Matt. Typically I add these to the big fat list I’ve compiled of quizzes about me, but right now I don’t have time to merge the two. I should also link a bunch of the answers below to pages on the site, but no time for that either.

1. What was the first car your family had?
A 1957 Chevy. It was blue, and I barely remember it. Then we had a succession of volkswagens which my dad drove, and my mom hauled us around in a Pontiac Bonneville. Then my dad drove a VW Rabbit, and my mom had a Ford Country Squire station wagon, brown with wood panel sides.

My own first car was a 1977 Audi Fox station wagon I bought in 1988 from my girlfriend Peg’s dad for $300.00. It was a stick and was a pretty good car for that amount of money. Nothing worked on it except the engine, the brakes, the steering wheel and the headlights. But it had tons of room that let me haul all my crap around, and I think I actually was stupid enough to drive the thing to Dayton, Ohio (to go to 1470 west) a time or two as well.

2. What was the name of your first pet and why?
We had a poodle named Puddles that I got when I was five or six.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A knight in shining armor. Yeah. I read King Arthur stories when I was really, really little and I didn’t understand that all that was in the middle ages. And that all the knights were boys.

4. What was the name of your elementary school?
I went to North East Elementary in Ankeny, Iowa for the first few years, and after we moved I went to East Elementary. I think.

5. Who was your first best friend?
Sherri Castle and Kay Kaufman, who lived on either side of us.

6. Are you still friends today, and if not, what happened?
They moved when I was still a kid.

7. What was your favorite board game?
Clue, as you can tell if you look at my board game collection.

8. Did you play house or other make believe games?
Yep, we played house. I had a tiny kitchen with a stove, sink and refrigerator, kitchen table, and even a kitchen cupboard my grandfather made for me. We also played cowboys and Indians and tons of other stuff.

My brother Paul used to dictate what the make believe games were all the time, and he always chose what he thought were the best characters. He had to be Bert, I had to be Ernie. He had to be Kermit, I had to be Grover. He had to be the Lone Ranger, I had to be Tonto. Looking back, I was always the cooler character, and he was the dork, so I guess he picked that pretty accurately.

9. Were you a Dungeons and Dragons geek?
Nope. That was after my time.

10. Did you sleep with stuffed animals as a kid?
Yep. I got a teddy bear for my first birthday, which I still have, and then later I got bud the bear, and mom made this corduroy dog that I loved, too.

11. Do you still sleep with stuffed animals?
Heh. I have an entire monkey collection, people. I don’t sleep with them, though. I occasionally will grab blue flat bear to lean against if my heart surgery pillow isn’t around, but that’s to support my sternum at night.

12. Who was the first person you looked up to when you were younger?
I’d say my mom and dad pretty much equally.

13. Who was your favorite relative?
My aunt Chris, who was young and really loved playing with us. She’s one of those people who is just genuinely good-natured and happy all the time and a lot of fun to be around. And she was hot.

14. Were you short or tall in elementary school?
I was pretty tall, and inconveniently, I was about six inches taller than my older brother, who I think still resents me to this day for it.

15. Were you teased in school?
I had a terrible time in junior high, especially the two years we lived in Ohio.

16. What was the name of your favorite teacher?
My kindergarten teacher Mrs. Forsythe was great, and I loved my fifth-grade teacher Miss Verban. My six-grade teacher Mrs. Wilson was cool, too.

17. What was the name of your least favorite teacher?
My second grade teacher, who’s name I can’t remember, was my least favorite. She yelled at me for reading ahead of the rest of the class in the reading workbooks, and constantly gave me a hard time about daydreaming. I was SO BORED in her class because I was so far ahead of everyone, and she wouldn’t let me move on. I remember she also yelled at me once when I was raising my hand in class, and I was goofing off snapping my fingers, because she thought I was snapping my fingers at her. She also threatened to shove my pen down my throat if I didn’t stop chewing on the cap. I chew on pens to this day. So there.

18. What was your best subject in school?
English, social studies, history.

19. What was your worst subject in school?
Probably math, because I hated it, although I did well.

20. Did you do well in Physical Education?
No. I think it was taught really poorly. I wish they hadn’t emphasized competition so much, because it didn’t allow people like me, who didn’t participate in sports, to find a physical activity that was appropriate. I was always so overwhelmed and dominated by the kids who had more experience competing that I never got in touch with my physical self.

21. Were you clumsy when you were younger?
Nope. I was pretty well coordinated.

22. Who was your favorite band as a kid?
Oh god. Do i got there? I loved Olivia Newton John. And the Bee Gees. And Barbara Mandrell.

23. What was your favorite movie as a kid?
The Wizard of Oz, because I was in love with Glinda. I also loved the Sound of Music, because I had a crush on Julie Andrews. For a long time, I thought I wanted to be a nun, because I didn’t want to marry a man, and that seemed like a good way out. (I know, I wasn’t paying attention to the plot of the movie, people.) Turns out I really wanted to be a lesbian.

24. Did your parents read to you?
All the time. You can see the results. My mom reading to us was one of the best gifts she could have given us, and I am so grateful for that. I love books.

25. Did you have a favorite book?
Way too many to name.

26. What was your favorite restaurant as a kid?
Pizza Hut, or Godfather’s Pizza.

27. What TV or movie star did you have a crush on?
This will take a while. Julie Andrews, Lynda Carter, Olivia Newton John, Carrie Fisher, the bionic woman, the chick who played Isis. Okay, I have to stop, because this will take all day.

28. Do you now wonder what you were thinking?
Hell, no, they were all hot.

29. Who was your first crush in school?
Jamie Reyhons, who lived down the street, and later her friend Shawn Hoffman, who lived a block over. I also had the inconvenient problem of having crushes on some of the same girls my older brother did. He didn’t get them either.

30. As a child, what kind of car did you want when you grew up?
I didn’t think much about cars as a kid.

31. Did your parents spank you?
Let’s not go there.

32. Did your parents fight a lot when you were a kid?

33. Did your parents get divorced or stay married?
They divorced when I was in college.

34. If they got divorced, how old were you when it happened?
20, 21?

35. Did you ever run away from home?
I wanted to. Growing up as one of six kids can get pretty unbearable at times.

36. How old were you when/if you first got glasses?
Second or third grade.

37. Did you need braces or a retainer?
Yep, in late high school and college.

38. If you’re male, how old were you when you had your first wet dream?

39. Both sexes when did you start shaving?
Who knows.

40. Girls when did you start wearing a bra?
Who knows.

41. What was your first kiss like?
It was icky, and with a boy. I made out with a boy named Rob Fox (?) in my friend Linda Griggy’s basement, in eighth grade, when I lived in Ohio. I was probably 13. Linda would have me stay over, and her mom worked the night shift (my mom did not know this) so we did whatever. I can honestly say it was the most boring make-out session ever. I was totally uninterested.

Linda was the one who later helped me figure out that I was gay (no, not THAT way) by explaining what it felt like to make out with her boyfriend. It dawned on me that what she was describing was the way I felt about girls.

42. What did you do on your first date?
Made out in my friend Linda Griggy’s basement. Yeah, fun.

43. How old were you when you first drank?
13 years old. Again, with Linda. Her boyfriend was 18 (!) and could get liquor, so he bought whiskey, and we’d walk around at night drinking and hanging out.

44. Where was your first house?
810 Belmont Ave, Ankeny Iowa. I visited in 2001 on a vacation and took pictures.

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Cheese, Peas and Chocolate Pudding

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Original publication “Cheese, Peas and Chocolate Pudding”, by Betty Van Witsen, Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine, Copyright 1955, Bank Street College of Education. Subsequently published in Believe and Make-Believe (Sheldon Basic Reading Series)

When I was in second grade, the following story was in my school reader, (which I’ve since discovered was called “Believe and Make-Believe (Sheldon Basic Reading Series)“) and I remember sitting with my mom at home listening to her read it out loud before bedtime. It was one of my favorite stories, and I was happy to stumble across it again out there on the internets. The credit I found was to “Caroline Feller Bauer” but I’ve since discovered (see comments below) that it was written by Betty Van Witsen.

There was once a little boy who ate cheese, peas and chocolate pudding. Every day he ate the same thing: cheese, peas and chocolate pudding.

For breakfast, he would have some cheese, any kind: cream cheese, American cheese, Swiss cheese, Dutch cheese, Italian cheese, cottage cheese, bleu cheese, green cheese, yellow cheese, even leiderkrantz. Just cheese for breakfast.

For lunch, he ate peas: green or yellow peas, frozen peas, canned peas, dried peas, split peas, black-eyed peas. No potatoes, though; just peas for lunch.

And for supper he would have cheese and peas and chocolate pudding for dessert. Cheese, peas and chocolate pudding. Cheese, peas and chocolate pudding. Every day, the same old thing: cheese, peas and chocolate pudding.

Once, his mother bought him a lamb chop. She cooked it in a little frying pan on the stove, and she put some salt on it and gave it to him on a little blue dish. The little boy looked at it. He smelled it (it smelled delicious!). He even touched it. but — “Is this cheese?” he asked. “It’s a lamb chop darling,” said his mother. The boy shook his head. “Cheese,” he said. So his mother ate the lamb chop herself, and the boy had some cottage cheese.

One day, his big brother was chewing on a raw carrot. It sounded so good and crunchy, the little boy reached his hand out for a bite. “Sure!” his brother said, “Here!” He almost put the carrot into his mouth, but at the last minute he remembered and asked, “Is this peas?” “No, it’s a carrot,” said his brother, “Peas”, the little boy said firmly, handing the carrot back.

Once his daddy was eating a big dish of raspberry pudding, It looked so shiny red and cool, the little boy came over and held his mouth open. “Want a taste?” asked his daddy. The little boy looked and looked at the raspberry pudding. He almost looked it right off the dish. “But, is it chocolate pudding?” he asked. “No, it’s raspberry pudding,” said his daddy. So the little boy frowned and backed away. “Chocolate pudding!” he said.
His grandma bought him an ice cream cone. The little boy shook his head. His aunt and uncle invited him for a fried chicken dinner. Everybody ate fried chicken and fried chicken and fried chicken, except the little boy. And you know what he ate. Cheese, peas and chocolate pudding. Cheese, peas and chocolate pudding. Every day the same old thing: cheese, peas and chocolate pudding.

But one day — ah, one day a very funny thing happened. The little boy was pretending to be a puppy. He lay on the floor and growled and barked and rolled over. He crept to the table where his big brother was having lunch. “Arf, arf!” he barked. “Good Doggie!” said his brother, patting his head. The little boy lay down on his back and barked again. But at that moment, his big brother dropped a piece of something right into the little boy’s mouth. The little boy sat up in surprise because something was on his tongue. And that something was warm and juicy and delicious!

And it didn’t taste like cheese. And it didn’t taste like peas. And it didn’t taste a bit like chocolate pudding. The little boy chewed slowly. Each chew tasted better. He swallowed the something.

“That’s not cheese,” he said. “No, it’s not,” said his brother. “And it’s not peas,” he said. “No, not peas,” said his brother. “It couldn’t be chocolate pudding.” “No, it’s certainly not chocolate pudding,” said his brother, smiling, “It’s hamburger.”

So the little boy thought very hard. “I like hamburger!” he said.

So ever after that, the little boy ate cheese, peas, chocolate pudding and hamburger.
Until he was your age, of course. Then he ate everything!

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This Sounds Hauntingly Familiar

From the ONION: “Harsh Light Of Morning Falls On One-Night Stand’s DVD Collection

The harsh light of morning fell on the terrible DVD collection of Marc Koenig Monday, when Traci Pearle discovered it upon waking up from their one-night stand…. Out of the thousands of movies you could own, why would you spend your money on this stuff? Don’t you buy a movie because you’re somehow passionate about it and want to watch it again and again?”

I’ve thought this same thing when I’ve visited some people’s homes and noticed their DVDs. Or sometimes their books. Fortunately, never after having awakened in their beds. However, somewhere on my site I remember writing about a date I had where the girl I was out with declined to visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art with me, saying, “I don’t like Art.” Of course, the first think I thought was “Vandelay?” (and so did my friend Karl when I told him the story) but I thought it would be bad form to make a Seinfeld joke, so I said “Um. Like, in general?” I thought maybe sculpture was cool, but not painting… She didn’t answer, and we never went out again. And I still don’t know quite what she meant. But I think I don’t really want to know. I think I dodged a bullet, there.

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Feller breaks collarbone in butch football play

Douglas E. Feller, 4445 Bevington Lane, Indianapolis, broke his collarbone this afternoon while playing touch football at Barb and Michelle’s cookout.
Displaying the butch, masculine qualities for which he is so well-known, Doug was going out for a pass when he swerved to avoid a tree, did a half-somersault in the air, and landed on his right shoulder, breaking his collarbone. The pass was incomplete.
After a spending several eventful hours at St. Vincent’s Hospital, (for drugs and x-rays), he’s now a home with a sling, icepack and bottle of Vicodin. Doug will be required to wear the sling for approximately four weeks.
With the help of the wrongful death lawyers for hire, Doug has stated that this is the last time he will attempt to play football due to his injury.  As stated by Maryland slip and fall attorneys, injuries are inevitable especially when we travel in vehicles and now a days it is easy to consult lawyers from law firm for slip and fall charges, But accident in games can make situation worse . Unfortunately, due to his untimely injury, Doug’s football team lost the game. You can hire car accident lawyers from here!
While there are no pictures or video of the injury occuring, there are pictures and video of Doug at play during the game. Just in case you don’t believe it. This evidence is enough for any experienced lawyers who can be found in this https://halelaw.com/sarasota-personal-injury-attorney/car-accidents site, to file a injury claim that will be very helpful for the athlete to recover soon and to see him back into the field again, playing for his team.

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At the Airline Ticket Counter

Author Unknown

During the final days at Denver’s old Stapleton airport, a crowded United flight was canceled. A single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS."

The agent replied, "I’m sorry sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks first, and I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out."

The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "Do you have any idea who I am?"

Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. "May I have your attention please?" she began, her voice bellowing throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to the gate."

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore "(Expletive) you."

Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I’m sorry, sir, but you’ll have to stand in line for that, too." The man retreated as the people in the terminal applauded loudly.

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