December 13, 2013

The free blogging platform is dead; long live the free blogging platform!


Yeah, I think I’m done with WordPress; giving Medium a shot.


Losing the Battle, Losing the War

July 2, 2013

For the last twenty minutes of the ride to day-camp today, youngest son insisted that “my knee is broken!”

I calmly, rationally, explained to him that his knee was working when he got into the car, and that nothing had happened since then, and that if his knee were in fact “broken” that he wouldn’t just be sitting there discussing it casually, because it would “hella hurt.”  He seemed skeptical, but willing to hear me out.  At the end of my spiel, though he retorted, quite simply:  “Knee.  Broken.”

In a sudden flash of inspiration, I realized I could just have him test his knee, to prove that it wasn’t broken.  “Give a quick kick”, I said.  “You use your knee to bend your leg,” I said.  “If your knee is broken, you can’t kick anything,” I said.

For the last seventeen minutes of the ride to day-camp today, youngest son insisted that “my knee is broken” while kicking the back of my seat hard enough to bounce my head a bit.

…and thus concludes today’s master seminar in advanced tactical parenting.


dream a (stupid, stupid) little dream…

April 30, 2013

Since I haven’t actually been writing my dreams down at all for the past 37 years, I’ve only got a couple of fragments to get started with. Thus begins the totstroc dream journal:

Several Months Ago
Woke up in the middle of the night, last night, convinced that there was something truly important about the dream I had just had in which I was watching a bar band with actor Ron Eldard playing a really mean baritone sax, and a very young Morgan Freeman on rhythm guitar. We’re not talking “Lean on Me” Young either; we’re talking “Brubaker” young, and dressed like a cross between Jimmie Hendrix and, well, Morgan Freeman.

Analysis: I (might) just watch too much TV. Read the rest of this entry »

he’s all outta bubble gum

April 20, 2013


I haven’t even had Youngest Son watch John Carpenter’s “They Live” yet, and he’s already got a stone-cold Roddy Piper impression going (as demonstrated in the photo to the right.)

Click play on the video after the jump to see the Roddy Piper bit he’s impersonating.

And yes, when they’re a good bit older, I do hope to convince the two of them to star in a re-enactment of the epic back-alley fight scene from the same movie.*

Read the rest of this entry »

“nooooo! not like that! you have to push your guts!”

April 20, 2013

 fullmetaljacketSee if you can choose the correct context within which the title of this post was uttered:

1. Oldest Son (perched on toilet) to youngest son (perched on training toilet) as he demonstrates (and narrates) his mastery of the defecatory arts.

2. Yeah, right.  Option two; who am I kidding?  It’s always a poop joke!



apophenia, or “why i’m ‘small government’, but not (just) an unbelievable asshole”

April 19, 2013

I learned a fantastic word a few weeks ago.  “Apophenia” is commonly understood (according to Wikipedia), as “the human tendency to seek patterns in random information in general.”

When I read the definition of apophenia, I (of course) immediately pictured Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”, with an office full of newspaper clippings, blackboards full of weird scribbles, and miles of red yarn strung up connecting them all together, stumbling around in his boxers looking all inspired and demented.  Upon further reflection, I recognized this same image as the one I had previously assigned to my schema for “human engaged in political thought.” Read the rest of this entry »

pressure washer / nutshot

April 9, 2013

Two big firsts this past Sunday!   After owning my own home for almost nine years, in the span of four hours I completed my two greatest achievements as a member of middle-class to date.  Specifically, I managed to:

  • Buy (and use) a pressure washer for the first time.
  • Shoot myself in the nuts with a tennis ball launched by a lawnmower that I was operating (also for the first time.)

EDIT: “also for the first time” refers to the nut-shot; not first-time using a lawnmower. Read the rest of this entry »

in which i decide that writing about state politics is too much for my delicate constitution

April 6, 2013

outline-31326_640This is the proposed voter-ID law for North Carolina.  The highlight (for me) was mandatory photo-ID when voting, which the voter must pay for (or swear under oath that financial hardship prevents them from doing so.)

I’ll keep it brief and say that:

  • This is obviously a functional poll tax, unconstitutional under the 24th amendment.  (You can’t require people to pay money to exercise their right to vote.)
  • This will obviously cost millions to implement, and millions more to defend in the courts
  • Taken in the best possible light, this is an attempt to fix a problem that doesn’t even exist.

Read the rest of this entry »

in which my kid gets a pioneer times plague and my faith in humanity is restored

April 5, 2013


Prior to last week, the last time I heard the words “Scarlet Fever” was when I got suckered into watching the film version of “Little Women” (I was quite a Samantha Mathis fan for a few years after I saw “Pump Up the Volume” at an impressionable age.) Read the rest of this entry »

rock bottom

April 4, 2013


I have a great affection for the movies that Jason Reitman has made so far. I assume that at least part of this is because his father’s movies were such an integral part of my personal pop-culture iconography as I was growing up. That being said, I think that they’re good (sometimes bordering on great) movies in their own right, regardless of who the director’s dad is. Thank You For Smoking is probably my favorite, but I’m writing tonight because of Young Adult, and the disturbing moment of clarity it induced in me. (Spoilers ahead, but incredibly inane ones.)

Read the rest of this entry »