I’m still a viable husband. But I’m a freaking scaredy cat.


Last week, Tina was bemoaning the time it took for her sink to drain. She’s been dumping gallons of Drano products down it to try and get the water to move like kids on X at a rave.

It’s bugged her for a while. I don’t use her bathroom, so usually I don’t give a hoot.

But Tina’s bemoans became bah-bitching. So I sprang to action.

First, I went underneath the sink and unscrewed the elbow joint, which is the plastic PVC tubing that I think is not recommended or illegal in 49 states. There were three pieces in all that make up the joint. And once separated and cleaned, I couldn’t remember how to put the damn thing back again.

I was expecting to find a gunky load of crap at the bottom, but nothing was there.

Before I replaced the joint, I jammed a wire hanger into all the holes like a 15 year old trying to give herself a home abortion.

Then I replaced all the PVC and ran the water. Except for some new leakage, my efforts weren’t successful.

I got out from under the sink and looked at the drain when a light went off in my noggin. On lots of sinks, that little drain plug comes out. Not on Tina’s. So I set out to get that thing out. I had to unscrew a few things underneath the sink.

When we finally pulled out the plug, there was a mouse-sized ball of fur attached. If lightning struck it, it would probably re-animate into a living Frankenstein creature.

Tina gasped when she saw it. “THAT was in my drain!” Oh my gosh!” she screamed.

When she woke up from fainting, I conducted a short funeral for the beast, and I spent another eight hours replacing the sink plug.

I’m happy to report that the water now drains like a champ. There’s something validating about successfully fixing something that, should we have called a plumber, would have cost $250.

If I had to pay $250 for some crack-assed dude to produce, I would have probably fell into a slump of bitter depression and given up the ghost of a decent husband.

Fast forward to last night. I was laying in bed, awakened after a trip to the bathroom. I had tea before bed, and that inevitably gets me up at least once. Talulah had already made it into the bed, and I was petting her head lying on my hip when a light went on in the house.

Usually Tina doesn’t stir when I get scared. But she looked up for this one. Then she put her head back down as if to go back to sleep.

Holy crap! My biggest fear came true. Someone broke in our house. He (or she!) was in my office  just next to the bedroom, and I needed a blunt object to hit them with. I’ve thought this a thousand times, and like the boy who cried wolf, Tina doesn’t even believe me anymore.

But this time, they took the time to turn on the light.

So I stood at my bedroom door looking at the bright light looking for a jewelry case, one to throw and one to hold on to.

In my worst scared voice, I called out, “Who-who’s there?”

And then our cat Zoe scurried out and ran into Tina’s bathroom across the hall. I think she ran in there to get the re-animated hairball still in the trashcan from Tina’s drain.

Even after seeing Zoe, I still had to go in the office wielding a jewelry box and flexing my muscles.

Happy Halloween everybody. I hope you have to change your pants at least once from being scared.


Finally! A religion more ridiculous than the others

Being a Jedi, it seems, is not as easy as it looks in the movies. But these folks in the basement are giving it their best shot. A small army of them—15 grown men, three grown women—have congregated in the remote town of Norris, Tennessee (population 1,493), for the 11th annual gathering of people who practice Jediism as a real, honest-to-goodness religion. Yes, they’re followers of the faith from Star Wars that helped Luke Skywalker pilot X-wing fighters with his eyes closed and Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader, choke people from across a room. The Force. The Dark Side. The divine wisdom of a 900-year-old backward-speaking puppet. These pilgrims believe in it all.

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piercing beauty


While in New York a couple weeks ago, part of our job is to capture the essence of bridal designers and their exhibits. Most of the designers hire models to try on their gowns for buyers.

Often, the models are marble-mouthingly gorgeous. Tina and I will pass a few and lose all ability to make intelligible words come out of our mouths.

I’ve been going through my photos, which is where this one came from as well.



the inferiority and low expectations of disbelief

The “good” book says “[B]e transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

There’s lots written about how belief transforms you. It changes you. It makes you better than those dirty, filthy disbelieving assholes.

Aligning with Christ is a win for jamming a larger, wavier flag in the land of awesomeness.

I grew up in this faith tradition, and it perplexed me. As a believer, no matter how hard I tried to follow all of god’s precepts and all the things I was taught in school, church and home, It was always disappointing to keep waking up a regular human being with the same potential downfalls as I had the previous day.

There are no transformations. Belief doesn’t alter/improve your ability to stave off “sinful” behavior.

Just ask anyone who has failed and is begging for forgiveness. They’ll hide behind another set of verses and explain that just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I’m perfect.

But then believers claim to have a supernatural power on their side. They claim that there’s a power in the universe that will one day allow them to live forever. They claim this power created everything and intervenes in miraculous events. He sends angels when cars are crashing or steers the hand of science to give second, third and 80th chances.

He does it for some … but not others.

This whole “connection to the supreme being” generates a pompous/not-pompous attitude, and believers play dumb as to why people expect more of them than they can give.

I recently read this blog where one John Piper tells Christian parents that they better damn-well teach their kids to be obedient. They better not fail, because Christians should have perfect kids who shut up when told and stop kicking airplane seats stat when asked.

It’s as if somehow Christianity empowers parents in a way that disbelief cannot. It’s a claim that Christianity creates super parenting and super Children, and if you don’t have superchildren, you’re doing it wrong.

Why do I say this? Because of this line:

The defiance and laziness of unbelieving parents I can understand.

The “defiance” and “laziness” of unbelieving parents?

See, Christians are transformed from laziness and defiance. But disbelief causes parents, and nonbelievers in general, to be inferior.

That means believers are superior beings with a supernatural being on their side that should — but sometimes doesn’t — promote perfect behaviors.

John Piper and people like him are why I retired religion. Perfection is unattainable. Unreachable. And anyone who tells you that you can reach a higher state of being through the supernatural powers called out of heaven are full of shit.


Finally! study shows that toddlers are worse than terrorists!

toddler (Photo credit: fionnaigh)



From this article:


Should the Feds put cameras in every house to make sure toddlers aren’t going to kill their playmates? Such absurd questions are raised by a study that says toddlers killed more Americans than terrorists in 2013.

In the first part of this year, 11 people were killed by children aged three to six years old — more than the four people killed at the Boston Marathon bombing. Here’s the list via Stacie Borrello, and let it be said that each one of these cases is an unfathomably horrific tragedy.

Jan. 10: 6-year-old playmate shoots and kills 4-year-old Trinity Ross, Kansas City, Kan.


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