Monday, May 31, 2010

Who, me? I don't think so!

The Obamedia went ga-ga over the Obamessiah saying that he "was wrong" in how he's dealt with the Gulf Coast oil spill.

But that's not what he really said. What he really said is this: "I'm sorry that I'm dealing with morons," and this from an AP puff piece:

- "He was wrong, he said, to assume that oil companies were prepared for the worst as he tried to expand offshore drilling."

- "His team did not move with "sufficient urgency" to reform regulation of the industry."

- "In dealing with BP, his administration "should have pushed them sooner" to provide images of the leak, and "it took too long for us" to measure the size of the spill."

More blame, more passing the buck. Classic Obamadministration.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cooper playing with someone his own size

Saturday night was Cookout Time for the Burks - Val's Mom's side, and Cooper got to play with his (second?) cousin, Audrey, who is just two weeks younger. They had a grand old time, and now that they've slobbered over each others' toys I think that cements a friendship for life!



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Down on the ground

Val and I were really enjoying tonight's Netflix pick, "Up in the Air." George Clooney is dashing and charming, Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga are delightful. The style of the movie is slick, the subjects are topical and modern. George deals with the very personal job of traveling to fire people, and stays impersonal by devoting his life to the travel itself. When he works with young up-and-comer Kendrick, and starts a relationship with fellow traveler Farmiga, you see a transformation, a redemption. I was going to recommend "Up in the Air" on every level.

And then, 90 minutes in, WHAMMO, game changer, balloon deflated, something happens that I actually said as a joke would happen, except they actually did it and you're like, "What the heck?" It's like the director fired us from the movie. The last 15 minutes proceeds to be super depressing.

Blech. No thank you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Friday, and Cooper is 7 months old today!

WHAT'S WEIRDER: That my favorite part of the Baby Mozart DVD is the green dinosaur that walks and bobs its head, or that I have a favorite part at all? I tell ya what, though, if Cooper's in a bad mood, that DVD will almost always do the trick in calming him down and changing the subject, especially if he's also playing in his entertainer saucer. The two combined, for Cooper it must be like sitting on the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
 
MOVIE TIME: Did I ever mention that Val and I caught the IRON MAN sequel in the theater last Saturday? Don't listen to the critics, who spent most of their reviews saying that it wasn't as good as the first one. Part two is very entertaining, and you won't have time to compare. Just sit back, let your mind drift, and enjoy some good acting, rough and tumble action and plenty of 'splosions. This may be sacrilege to comic book-movie fans, but IRON MAN stands out above all the dark brooding that became SPIDER-MAN and BATMAN. Entertain me, don't depress me, thankyouverymuch.

COOPER UPDATE: In the comment section in this week's earlier post of pictures at Chili's, Dad asked about the bandage on top of our mini Cooper's head. I said it was due to eczema, but Val corrected me that it's something called "cradle cap," a common skin condition in babies and infants. Most are mild, but we have been dealing with Cooper's since his birth. It was so bad at times that you couldn't tell if there was any skin at all in a big patch, just full of yellowish pus. (I know. Eww.) We tried all kinds of lotions with little effect, either because they didn't work or because Cooper likes to reach his left hand up top and scratch (and we all know, scratching feels SO GOOD, even if it makes things worse). The last couple of weeks Val decided that we should just put big band-aids on his head, which seems to be working. We're now only dealing with little spots here and there.
 
Still, Cooper also has to deal with eczema, sometimes pretty bad outbreaks, other times okay. Someone in the nursery at church must use sandpaper for clothing because every time he gets back home there are new red splotches on his body, and we start over again. At home we seem to have limited exposure to whatever causes him to breakout all over his body by using dye-free detergents and 100 percent cotton outfits, and Val has a basket full of every cream and lotion imaginable that might help. (Val does an AMAZING job keeping up with all of this; if it was just me, Cooper would sit around all day naked on a sheet, covered with skin irritations while I pointed a fan at him to try and distract him). 
 
Meanwhile, sleeping is going SPLENDIFEROUSLY. He doesn't fuss a peep when I put him down between 8:30 and 9, and except for one time this week, he sleeps without waking until at least 6, and even 7 a.m. this morning. I'm getting to sleep at a decent time, Val gets to sleep later, and Cooper even takes his three naps a day without complaint. It's like science-fiction, some Bizzarro World compared to just three weeks ago. I don't want to jinx it, but HALLELUJAH and pass the hot dogs! Have a happy Memorial Day weekend, y'all! 

Snuggle Baby!

Mommy and Cooper get their snuggle on ...



His Red Sox bib looks like a "wife-beater" t-shirt when we don't have a shirt on underneath ...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Trailer Park - Summer Blockbusters - June

Killers - The only question is, will the makers of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" sue? (June 4)

Get Him to The Greek - I'm not sure I'm into this kind of comedy any more. (June 4)

The A-Team - As long as Liam Neeson as Hannibal says, "I love it when a plan comes together," I'll be peachy and the rest doesn't matter. (June 11)

Toy Story 3 - Smiling and goosepimply. (June 18)

Grown Ups - Yeah, I laughed. Sue me. I'm hoping it's like "Old Dogs," only with jokes. (June 25)

Knight and Day - If the IMDB listing uses the words "no one is who they seem," it makes me nervous. Cruise get his spy on = good. Cameron Diaz = bad. (June 25)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Proud to keep my record of reading, seeing and paying attention to nothing of this series intact. (June 30)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dinner at Chili's

We all met Sunday night at Chili's for Cody's birthday, but Cooper had a lot more things to do than eat some cheesesteak or boneless wings...




I take it back. I take it all back.

Even since my premature "Red Sox are doomed" post on May 18, the Sox have won 7 of 8 against the likes of the Dang Yanks, Twins, Phillies and Rays, all of whom are among the best in baseball.

I know, I know, no backsies, but seriously, starting pitching has rocked my world. Over the last seven games, Sox starters have a 1.44 ERA. Over the last four, they’ve been even better, with just one earned run allowed, total, among Dice-K, Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Big Papi is resurgent, hitting 10 homers in 34 games, batting over .350 this month with about 25 ribbies.

So I'll go the other direction, and announce that not only will Boston catch the Dang Yanks, but we're catching the Rays, winning 110 games and winning the World Series in four straight, outscoring the NL opponent by 400 runs.

What can I say, when it comes to the Sox, I'm a bit bipolar.

TV season wrapping up

Another season comes and goes and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is in limbo more than the Lostaways in the alt-L.A. universe. Ted colored his hair. That's it. No advance on the Mother front. Robin gets an out-of-town anchor job offer? Seen it. Marshall and Lily are going to have a baby, which will surely be the focus of next season, which is bad because this show has jumped the shark already, and usually shows wait to have a baby when they run out of things to talk about

Tonight's the night the next AMERICAN IDOL will be named, and it seems everyone thinks Crystal deserves to sing the annual Worst Song Of The Year by the winner. Alas, it will be a sad finale, the end of an era. Simon is leaving after this season, and I think I'm done, too. The '00s were a fun decade, but now I have a son and I'd rather watch him play while random cartoons are on in the background.

Meanwhile, on DANCING WITH THE STARS, a Pussycat Doll came out victorious, beating out an Olympic champion and an ESPN reporter. No one was surprised. Meanwhile, Kate Gosselin's return dance was just as awkward and uncomfortable as before.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More on the Lost finale

A couple of points from The Live Feed blog that I thought were good:
"At the conclusion of the show's pilot, Charlie asked the central question of "Lost": "Guys, where are we?" That's it. That's the spine of the show: What is this place?"

"Did we need to spend half the final season explaining what happened to all the characters after they died? The problem with the flash-ultra-forwards was they arguably zapped the final season's island story of suspense and emotional impact -- when Sun and Jin perished, we didn't even know if they were really truly dead or not. In the finale we're told what's happening right now matters and there are no do-overs. Well, this was news to us, and it came pretty late. Think of how much more intense the entire final season would have been without the flashes made us question the reality and permanence of the story we were watching."
Here are the "alternate endings" on the Jimmy Kimmel aftershow:



And here's a video of "Lost" as told by cats:

Playing with Mammaw

Val's mom came over Saturday to spend time with her grandson, much to his entertainment.



Seriously, getting that boy to smile when he sees the orange light on the camera isn't easy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cooper at play

He gets so serious about getting things to work the way he thinks they should!

LOST series finale

HECK YEAH THERE ARE SPOILERS. HOW CAN YOU DISCUSS THE SERIES FINALE TO LOST WITHOUT ALL THE DETAILS? FOR REAL.

So let's talk! What did you think? Did you waste six years of your life watching this show? Are you happy with the results? Have you been visiting a million sites looking for a way to convey your feelings?

It was as good an ending as I expected, I suppose, although it also feels like a copout. We do know that The Island reality was indeed reality, and Alt-L.A. was merely a limbo of sorts.

I expect a lot of T'ed off fans today about how the creators duped them with this whole sideways L.A. and how they promised that The Island was not purgatory and they weren't dead. It was true, the Lostaways weren't already dead on the Island. At least not yet.

The parallel L.A., at least, was a good way to make us get goosebumps as all the main characters "remembered" their Island past. So yeah, all those folks still died only to be reunited when it's time to "move on." Val wasn't sure she could accept the ending, but she did cry at least a few times during the finale, so they got her. My only disappointment was that we didn't get to see Desmond and Penny reunited off The Island. I choose to believe that he made it, was transported off by Hurley and Ben and he and Penny lived happily ever after.

I think your opinion overall depends on how literal you are; do you prefer solid answers, or are you okay with some spirituality that leaves things open for interpretation?

My thought is that the show could never have a simple ending, like catching the one-armed man in The Fugitive, or Battlestar Galactica when humanity became pre-humanity on Earth. A show like Lost, or The X-Files, is so full of mystery that to reveal it all is almost a letdown.

So if you were looking for answers to questions, this wasn't the finale for it; the only answer was about reality vs. non-reality.

For instance, what was Jack saving when he re-sealed the Island's Soulet Drain Plug? Did the folks on the plane head home, living long lives? Why those folks? How cool would a spinoff show be with Hurley and Ben as Island Protectors Nos. 1 and 2? How long did they last? How did they get Desmond off The Island? Why didn't we see Frank or Richard in the parallel L.A.?

Unfortunately, our ABC affiliate didn't air the Jimmy Kimmel special last night and won't until next Saturday, so we didn't see the interviews and "alternate" endings. But how would you have resolved the show's mythology? What were you looking for? Happy? Mad? Sad? Content?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday night linkage

- A soundboard for the Budweiser Real Men Of Genius radio ads.

- Compare the Hawaii Five-O trailer for next fall's remake versus the original. Bravo!

- FROM THE "WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT DEPARTMENT":

"Why doesn't my wife respect my DVD collection?"

"New Heinz Ketchup recipe shakes up fans of the condiment"

"Boo Boos in the Bedroom Are More Common Than You Think"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cooper's sleeping all night!!!!!!

"Think it'll work?" "It would take a miracle." - "The Princess Bride"

What I had planned on being a long, sleepless week has turned into a near-miracle for Team Valfrey. And I'm knocking on all kinds of wood in an attempt to keep from jinxing it.

Last week we decided that for Val's sanity and both of our sleep, we had enough of our mini Cooper waking up all night long, and it was time to let him "cry it out," a.k.a. The Ferber Method of sleep-training to get him to fall asleep by himself and sleep all night.

We weren't looking forward to it, that's for sure. I figured Val and I would be collapsed by the door outside Cooper's nursery like in "Mad About You" when Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser were letting daughter Mabel cry it out all night, shedding more tears than the baby, in what I was sure back then was hyperbole to the max.

What happened? Sunday night I put Cooper in his crib when he was tired about 8:30. He cried for an hour, an angry, accusing, I'm-very-disappointed-in-you-Daddy cry that broke my heart every ten minutes that I went to check on him and pat him some more. And then ... silence. He was asleep. Eureka! Rainbows, puppies, birds singing, heavens opening, glory, glory day!

Even though he was off in a corner, Cooper's face was buried in the sheet facing sideways with his butt sticking up, just like his Daddy used to do, at least until, oh, two years ago or so. I didn't dare move him, but I think he was fine. Little dude likes to roll around in his sleep.

Cooper proceeded to sleep all night long, over 10 hours worth. Val started him on naps on Monday, worried as much that he wouldn't want to sleep on his own during the daylight hours. With little fuss, he went to sleep. Monday night, he slept all night except for one brief time of reassuringly patting him back to sleep about 2 a.m. He may have some fitful sleep sometimes, but he's not crying or complaining and lasts 10 hours thus far, four nights in.

He's waking between 6 and 7, so I guess we're going to have an early bird. He doesn't get that from his papa, I can guarantee that. Looks like he'll be settling into a three-nap schedule during the day as well, plenty of time to play and eat in between, and Val gets a couple of hours to herself.

Next we need to get ourselves sleep-trained. Me, because after Cooper falls asleep I tend to stay awake for another hour watching TV, reading the paper or on the computer, and Val because she still hears on the audio monitor every grunt and whimper he makes and can't get into a deep sleep as a result.

But if that's all we have to worry about, I'll take it for now.

Dare I say that prayers and good fortune are working in our favor? We don't want to get too hopeful since, after all, if you rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.

C'mon, Buddy!

Trying to give Cooper a boost to crawl!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sox comeback, Lost semi-finale, Idol top 3, HIMYM

Delay that Red Sox Pity Party. A day after they blew a two-run lead in the ninth, the Dang Yanks returned the favor, coming back on closer Mariano Rivera after an error by the guy named after London's river who won the game the night before. Hero to goat in one day. And that's why I don't gamble. Must always be reminded that this is a 162-game season and freaking out one day doesn't last into the next:
 
Okay, now for TV land, starting with the second-to-last episode of LOST. Remember how everyone has been complaining that nothing was happening back in April? Oh yeah, stuff's happening now!
 
SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
So Ben kills Widmore. Blammo! Just like that. Before that, Not Locke threatened Penny, and heck no, he has to be destroyed something fierce.
 
In Alt-L.A., Danielle Rousseau is Alex's mom, and very pretty when not a disheveled loon. Desmond is getting tossed in the pokey on purpose to get Kate and Sayid out, courtesy rogue cop Michelle Rodriguez in a cameo.
 
Finally, Jacob gets Hurley to bring Kate and Jack and Sawyer to SEE HIM. Yes, actually get a visual on the dude who has controlled their every being for so many years. Jack doesn't even hesitate to drink Jacob's magic water-into-wine and take over as The Island's protector, which sets up a match up between he and Locke that's been coming for five years.
 
Now that stuff's happening, there's barely enough time to explore questions or the mythology of the show, although I'm sure there will be some crazy stuff in the 2 1/2 hour finale on Sunday. Can't wait!
 
SPOILER OVER!!!!!
 
Meanwhile, on IDOL, can it be hereby agreed, that no one on Idol is ever allowed to sing "Hallelujah" or "Falling Slowly" ever again?

What a wasted season of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. On Bill Simmons' ESPN Podcast last week he was interviewing one of the Lost producer/writers. The guy said that it's always trouble when a show doesn't know how long it will last because you're unsure what to do with characters, and the actors don't know, either. That's precisely what happened with HIMYM this year. None of the characters had any growth, we're not any closer to getting on with the title of the show, and Barney is such a foolish character now as to be meaningless. Set an end date, meet the future mother and let's get going, show! That said, this week the stuff with Marshall being too nice was  hilarious.

Give up now!

Congratulations, graduates, your world sucks. Al Gore delivers the most depressing commencement speech ever.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not too old to like Daddy's kisses!

Red Sox go all explodey

Holy Frakamole. You have got to be kidding me. Did the Red Sox really blow a two-run lead in the ninth to the Dang Yankees last night after I went to bed?
 
What could have been an awesome comeback - Dice-K allowed five runs in the first to dig yet another early hole - instead looks more like the blown five-run lead to the Tigers over the weekend, except this time it was after daggum' A-Rod hit a tying two-run jack and then some dude named after the river in London wins it with another blast off Papelbon.
 
Nail, meet hammer: The Red Sox have lost 14 of their last 17 games against the Yankees, including five of seven this season.
 
Not to get all Chicken Little on y'all, but there's no way in heckydoodle that the Sox are catching the Rays or Dang Yanks this season to make the playoffs again unless someone starts sacrificing chickens. Hey you, Ramon Ramirez, you stink, so at least do some good and round them up for the rest of the team.
 
Could someone at least petition Bud Selig to play home games the rest of the year, because these road games aren't working out. Even better, can we get them out of the East, where they're 9-14, and play in the West the rest of 2010 (6-1 against those guys).  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Probably still a big fan of Pong

- YOU CRAZY KIDS AND YOUR iDOOHICKEYS. All these newfangled technological thingamajiggies are confusing the Obamessiah:
"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter. And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations - none of which I know how to work - information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it's putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy."
Go easy on him, he's just an unfrozen caveman president, our world frightens and confuses him. Heck, he's only now figuring out these magic voices coming out of this strange modern invention called a "telephone."


- NOT RECOMMENDED TODAY. Memphis Memories from May 9, 1885:
Attention of Memphians wondering how pure the water is that they are drinking is called to the tests of the water from Wolf River made by Fahlen & Kleinschmidt, chemists. The tests indicate that in general the water from the Wolf is suitable for drinking purposes and that it is clearer than the water from most Memphis hydrants.


- ONLY DORKS READ. Attorney General Eric Holder hasn't read the Arizona immigration law that is only 10 pages long, but he's got a clear opinion of it, because, as he told Congress: "I've been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, television, talking to people who are on the review panel, on the review team looking at the law." No word on if he also consulted the E! Online blog. That Joel McHale is HIGH-larious!

Got my geek on

Anthony "C-3PO" Daniels came by the studio this morning, and oh yeah, I got my geek on. Even after 9 years at CNN, he is by far my favorite guest to meet, and just the absolute nicest guy. He stuck around the studio chatting and signing anything anyone wanted. He's in town for Star Wars In Concert tomorrow night at FedExForum, although I won't be attending. (Bummer.)

Yay, Grams!

Mom came for a much-needed visit this weekend with Aunt Lynn, and Cooper (and his parents) were very pleased!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This little piggy went to Memphis

Hundreds of teams gathered to put some pork on your fork at the 33rd annual Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and there's no shortage of creativity when it comes to team names. My top 5:

1. Slab Yo' Mama BBQ Team
2. Aporkalypse Now
3. The Count Bastie Porkestra
4. Shameless Meat Rubbers BBQ
5. Suspicious Rinds

Honorable mention:

Hogapalooza
Contempt of Pork
The Good, The Bad & The Swine
Smokers Anonymous
The Swinos
Swine-o-Mite BBQ
South Pork
Barefoot in the Pork
Piggy Stardust
Natural Born Grillers
Reservoir Hogs
Tipsy Pigs
Magically Piglicious
Love Meat Tender
Smoke 'em If You Got 'em
Conquistaboars
Optimus Swine
Kill 'em & Grill 'em Que
Any Pork In A Storm
Bushwood Country Club
Sweet Swine O' Mine
Church of Swinetology
Butt-oh-Dacious

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cooper's starting position

He's so ready to crawl! He just ... needs .. a little ... motivation! Although, once he starts, we'll never keep up with him again!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bumlookers!

You cheeky monkeys!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Makes bath time lots of fun!

Cooper loves his rubber ducky bathtub!

More shenanigans

- Good job, Strickie!
"Though his agency was charged with coordinating the federal response to the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Department of the Interior chief of staff Tom Strickland was in the Grand Canyon with his wife last week participating in activities that included white-water rafting, ABC News has learned. Other leaders of the Interior Department were focused on the Gulf, joined by other agencies and literally thousands of other employees. But Strickland's participation in a trip that administration officials insisted was 'work-focused' raised eyebrows among other Obama administration officials and even within even his own department, sources told ABC News."
Is anyone else wondering where the Katrina comparisons are lost on the mainstream media? National Review Online's Jim Geraghty wonders, too:
Day by day, the Katrina comparisons get a little bit less outlandish. If a liberal wants to argue that the president can't be held responsible for every decision of every underling while dealing with a massive crisis spanning several states around the Gulf, fine, but that standard wasn't in place a few years ago, was it?"

- One could almost think that the Obamessiah, Pelosi and Reid The American Spectator were trying to hide something:
"The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama's health care "reform" law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius's staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Picturesque day by the river

Hello from Memphis in May BBQ Fest! Setting up for our remote shows airing this Thursday and Friday mornings.

Freaky, Lost, Idol, HIMYM

- Normally LOST is the quirkiest thing on my Tuesday nights, but instead it was Red Sox baseball. Why? Because Dice-K allowed just one run on three hits while fanning nine over seven innings in a 6-1 Red Sox win over the Blue Jays. Freaky. Gives me the goosebumps.
 
- Remember how LOST claimed that this episode would clear up the good vs. evil argument of what we now know are twin brothers? I still don't think so. There were all kinds of interesting and compelling tidbits on LOST, detailing the origin story of Jacob and Not Locke, a.k.a. The Man in Black, who spent much of the episode as the Child in Black, still nameless. And while there weren't many questions answered, at least Allison Janney guest starred as the woman who raised the brothers after killing their mother right after she gave birth to them. Then she told them that there wasn't anything off the island, and that people were bad, and then killed all of the people, and really, she sure did a lot of bad things while handing off the reins to Jacob to protect The Light, the essence of the island that turned Not Locke into the smoke monster.
 
- Over on AMERICAN IDOL, the individual songs were pretty weak, and only one of the duets worthy of a top four, that of Lee and Crystal in "Falling Slowly," and Lee was overpowering her to try and make up for stinking it up earlier. What do I care? All the contestants I wanted out are out, and I won't be watching next season, so let's get this over with.

LEE - "Kiss from a Rose" not his style.

CRYSTAL - I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to add or deduct points for her take on the song "I'm Alright," from "Caddyshack," you know, the song where the gopher's dancing. Stay classy, Crystal.

BIG MIKE - Michael Jackson's "Free Willy" song should have more drama, more gospel, than Big Mike had.

CASEY - Not bad with "Mrs. Robinson," just no oomph.

- The makes of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER had better, by the end of the season, have Ted mutter the words, "And that's how I met your mother," because if not, this show is listing and in danger of sinking fast. I mean, really, this week all the friends make fart noises whenever Ted talks about things that bore them? So now they're childish and immature? The fact that the FRIENDS never grew up after five seasons is why I stopped watching that show, and HIMYM had better redirect attention to the whole point of the show, and it's not having Barney being a whiny caricature of his former fun self. Now that we've seen Ted's doppelganger, only Barney's remains. Any guesses? Maybe a woman? An identical guy with impeccable suits, only gay? A lumberjack?

 - Derek had better get a 75-year-old woman next year or DANCING WITH THE STARS is confirmed as completely choreographed, so to speak

Stretchy Baby!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our healthy boy!

I think we've stopped wincing when people call our mini Cooper a "big" baby. We understand that they don't mean that he's a big fat roly poly, which he's not, just that he's above-average for a six-month-old, and he is. He's our healthy boy!

That, and I might be touchy because I think they think with a Daddy who is 6'4" and 300-plus pounds that he'll be "husky." The funny thing is, I wasn't a big boy, though. I was short and skinny until I hit my teens, when I shot up 10 inches and only then did I stretch out my pants. Hopefully Cooper will get the up, and we'll try to prevent the "out."

Don't believe me? Here I am in 1985, 4th grade, front row, second from the right:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cooper giving his Mommy his Mother's Day card

He even signed it for her! Good boy! (Actually, it was his handprint, but hey, he's too young to write his name. Maybe next year.)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

To my Darling Valerie, the mother to our super awesome son, and how she loves spending time with him and taking care of him and even when we're thankful that our parents have taken Cooper for a little while to give us a break, she still gets that crinkle in her smile and misses him so.



And to our mothers, a very happy Mother's Day as well! God bless you Mom, and my Mom-in-Law, as we transition from mother-child relationships to mother-child-child's child relationships, because we're going to need all the help and advice we can get!


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Saturday notes

- Valfrey Estate's lawn is flat, my in-laws have Cooper, and it's time to take a deep breath and get ready for a long week next week with the morning show at the Memphis in May BBQ Fest.

- Memphis Memories from April 27, 1910:
With tonight's concert, the Music Festival, which has been the greatest musical and social event in the city's history, will come to a close. Fritz Kreisler, the famous violinist, and Corinne Rider Kelsey, soprano, will be soloists tonight with the Thomas Orchestra led by Frederick A. Stock.
That was then. Last weekend's Beale Street Music Fest included bands such as Yo Gotti, Puddle of Mudd, Alice in Chains and Earth, Wind & Fire.

- The Memphis Commercial Appeal had their notoriously left-wing religious cynic Beifuss review a movie, "Letters to God," made by Christians for Christian audiences, such as the very successful "Fireproof." His idea of the movie's "more realistic moments" includes an angry mother of a sick child saying "I just wish everyone would stop quoting the Bible to me. It's not curing my son." Beifuss also thinks it's a turn off to viewers when a kid faces down a bully by asking him to "Pray and open your heart to Jesus." In other words, every bit of Christian witness that the filmmakers are intending, offends Beifuss, who because he had to see it, was just mad that he had to get proselytized to.

- Does it make me an old fogey that when I read Facebook status updates from 20-something whippersnappers talking about how they're "tired" or "worn out," that I roll my eyes and think, "If they only knew what it was really like to be tired!"

- GREAT MOMENTS IN GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE: "Britain's transplant authority said it was investigating several hundred thousand errors in its organ donor list stretching back a decade."

Another: "A doctor denied vital cancer treatment said yesterday that she had been betrayed by the NHS. Becky Smith, 30, has been refused a breakthrough treatment which could prolong her life by up to 20 years. The drug refusal came after her breast cancer was missed four times. Without the treatment she may only have 18 months to live, the NHS surgeon has been told."

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Cooper discovers spittle

Jeff The Puppetmaster

It's like everyone is trying to please me today!
 
First off, the Angels are kind enough to let the Red Sox win three in a row so far this week, including a 17-8 shellacking on Monday. So the boys from Fenway are back to .500 and hopefully gaining momentum for this weekend's set against the Dang Yanks. And because the TV networks are in my favor this week, too, the Sox are on MLB Network tonight and Friday night, on our local Fox Saturday, on ESPN Sunday night and back on Monday. You may get tired of seeing them on your cable system; I will not!
 
Thank you for doing my bidding, IDOL voters! See, together I knew that if we worked together that we could get rid of the Bieber wannabe, Aaron! That leaves Crystal, Casey, Lee and Big Mike in the top four, which is precisely how I decided it should be when the top 12 started way back when.
 
Congratulations to the University of Kentucky and your purchase of Coach Calipari last year at the expense of our Memphis Tigers, signing him to what he called his "dream job" at the time for 30 gazillion dollars, only to see him flirt with the Chicago Bulls' NBA job now. Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!
 
Only one negative today, and that's a leftover TV note. Hey, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER producers, get on with it already! Sheesh, I think they take a step forward with Ted buying his future house, and then this week nothing happens, and nothing seems to be going to happen, and could we just meet the "mother" already? You used to be my favorite comedy, but now, alas, I think you've been surpassed by COMMUNITY in terms of laugh-out-loud funny ha-ha moments. Although, Val and I did get a laugh out of the B story of Marshall and Lily buying twin beds to get more sleep. Of course, we would rather sleep in the same bed, but on the occasion that we get a hotel room with only double beds, yeah, I can say that we haven't lacked for restful nights. That's not so bad, right?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cooper's Pooh book

Cooper loves this Pooh storytime book, because it talks and sings and he can chew on it, too! (Okay, he can chew on anything, but he really wants to eat this.)

Immigration nonsense, typical terrorist

As a protest to the new Arizona state law dealing with illegal immigration (you know, in the way the federal government has failed to do so), the Phoenix Suns will wear jerseys that say Los Suns because, I don't know, the owner thinks it would be brilliant if Arizona was overrun by Mexican illegal immigrants?

Meanwhile, the left is trying to corner Bud Selig into moving next year's All-Star game out of Arizona to protest the law. Considering how many other states are thinking about going for the same law and the majority of Americans are okay with it, exactly where is Selig supposed to move the game? Mexico City?

Mary Katherine Ham on today's "If it was a Republican or Tea Partier update:
"In other news, a white powdery substance was sent to the Arizona governor's office today, requiring a lockdown of the building. There was a hazmat team on site. It's unknown what the substance is or from whom it came. ... But if it weren't liberals who are mad at the Arizona governor, you can bet this incident would make it into all the networks' "Republic is crumbling" montages and lamentations about the loss of civility, false alarm or no.
But hey, no one said immigrants and immigrant supporters can't smear swastikas on windows with refried beans or break some windows during a protest, they're just trying to speak for the little man!

Check out that Reuters blog on the swastikas, by the way. Can you imagine something so friendly being written about Tea Patiers if they had ever done something like this:
The swastika made of refried beans smeared onto the glass doors of the Arizona State Capitol this week captured the anger of Hispanics at the law authorizing local police to question anyone reasonably suspected of being in the United States illegally.
Yes, that's clearly a reasonable reaction to the law. What you expected tacos?

Speaking of blaming right-wing "crazies" for everything, did you see what D-bag New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg hoped before we found out that the attempted Times Square bomber is *yawn* another Islamic terrorist?
"If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that. Homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything," he said.
Yes, another one of those wacko Presbyterian Republicans we have to worry about.

Of course, the real suspect is anti-Bush and the Iraq war, but the media won't like that since it means they're all suspects for the next bombings.

LOST - losing fans

SPOILER WARNING!!!
 
Watching last night, I knew that as soon as Val saw it this morning and Jin and Sun died in the sub that she'd let me know that this was a stupid show and I'd have to let her know how it ends. Sure enough, she texted me and let me know as much.
 
Hey Lost producers, you can't kill off our favorite couples! Don't get all sweet on us and then stomp on our hearts! I swear, if Desmond and Penny don't end up happily ever after, and if Sun and Jin don't end up together in the Alt-Universe at the end, I will besmirch your show's name from now until the end of time. I will tell Cooper when he grows up, "Oh, that Lost crap? Wasted six years watching that drek. Don't bother. Go watch that reality show where people are stranded on the moon for a month and have to fight for oxygen."
 
The Alt-2004 Universe had better be the result of all the stuff going on the Island right now, because at least in that world all the good people seem to be benefiting and the bad folks are getting their just due, such as Locke's dad, who is a vegetable in the Alt-Universe.
 
So NOW can we officially call Not Locke the bad guy between Jacob and the Man In Black? He did try to kill all our hero Lostaways, right?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

In Mommy's Lap

It's a little blurry, but a good example of how Cooper likes to sit in Val's lap and play all day!

Memphis the redheaded stepchild of Tennessee again

I was going to complain about how, as usual, the Nashvillains get all the national media attention during this week's statewide flood emergencies, at the expense of Memphis and West Tennessee, and how Gov. Phil Bredesen never even bothered to fly over in a helicopter. But Nashville has the most dramatic pictures: a flooded downtown, the Opyrland Hotel under 10 feet of water, LP Field with water up to the fourth row, homes drifting past cars flooded on I-24, and yeah, I would show that over and over again, too. All we can show are flooded bridges, washed out roads, and watered-down homes. *Yawn*

Besides, how is the national attention supposed to matter to us when the Memphis and Shelby County governments can't even muster some information on their websites? But hey, if you need an update from April 28 on a funding initiative, you're gold.

Now check out Nashville.gov, with multiple links, updates and phone numbers on the flooding. And we wonder why the Nashvillains get all the attention.

It's Sinatra week on AMERICAN IDOL, with Harry Connick Jr. as the mentor, and frankly, I'd rather just listen to him sing for an hour. I think Sinatra's great, but to listen to the top five Idol contestants sing it was just sleepy and dull.

My ranks:

LEE - The only one who came across as any kind of cool and in charge of his arrangement.

CRYSTAL

BIG MIKE

CASEY - The judges saw the writing on the wall from being in the bottom last week and threw him under the bus this week. They have wiped their hands clean of Casey.

AARON - At the same time, they've not only hopped on the Aaron Train, they're the daggum conductors now, overpraising him now so it will seem like they've always been on board when he's in the finals.

Wait, I love this part!

Cooper will roll around on the floor and play in his saucer, but still takes a moment to make sure he catches his favorite moments on the Baby Mozart DVDs!

Jeff's Top 5 Soft Drinks

Even though I'm trying nowadays to stick with water, sugar-free Kool-Aid or iced tea, sometimes it just feels good to wash down some hot wings or cheeseburger with a cold cola. So here are my favorite soft drinks, or, as we say in the South, my top 5 Cokes:

 

1. Diet Dr. Pepper - Val introduced me to this one. Has a kick, doesn't taste sugary.

 

2. Root Beer - Favorite soft drink to wash down a meatball sub. Has texture.

 

3. Sprite - The only soft drink that doesn't feel gloopy or sticky when you drink it after spending time outdoors.

 

4. Caff. Free Diet Coke - The caffeine-free part at least makes it drinkable with meals on work nights.

 

5. Tab - This one's for nostalgia reasons. It's Mom's favorite, and every time I visit her or she visits and I pick up a pack for her, it feels like home to drink up that red can.

Monday, May 03, 2010

What's going on in the front seat?

Trailer Park - Summer Blockbusters - May

Iron Man 2 - I was surprised how much I liked the first one, and Robert Downey Jr. is probably the main reason I have hopes the sequel will continue to please. (May 7)

Robin Hood - "Gladiator" meets "King Arthur." Russell Crowe in this is a must-see, even if Kevin Costner won't make a cameo. (May 14)

Shrek Forever After - Do you need to see the trailer? You pretty much know what to expect by now: Fart jokes, Shrek and Donkey make witty banter, good ogre wins in the end. (May 21)

MacGruber - Hmm, an SNL sketch that barely sustains interest for 30 seconds, now a 90 minute motion picture? What could go wrong? (May 21)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - Can't buy into Jake Gyllenhaal as part of the action hero sword-fighting club. (May 28)

Sex and the City 2 - Heck no. (May 28)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Reading with Cooper


Babies in these United States

More funny baby stuff from Grif.net and Reader's Digest ...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We brought our newborn son, Adam, to the pediatrician for his first checkup. As he finished, the doctor told us, "You have a cute baby."

Smiling, I said, "I bet you say that to all new parents."

"No," he replied, "just to those whose babies really are good-looking."

"So what do you say to the others?" I asked.

"He looks just like you."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Bring a newborn on a plane, and you get "The Look." Not one of "Oh, what a cute baby." It's more "Please, God, don't let that mom sit next to me." So when our baby began to wail just after takeoff, you could have cut the tension with a Tickle Me Elmo doll. Was my wife rattled? Not at all. She lullabied our daughter with, "I'm teething, on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be calm again."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Our catering manager lacks certain social skills -- like knowing when to keep her mouth shut. While discussing a baby christening party with a young couple, she told the mother, "You look like you've lost most of your pregnancy weight." "Thanks," came the clenched-teeth reply. "We adopted."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Even though we were on a shoestring grad-student budget, my wife insisted we pay off the hospital bill when our son was born. Now we had to figure out how to meet our other financial obligations. We were discussing this one night when the baby began crying for a diaper change. As my wife picked him up, she sighed, "He's the only thing in this house that's paid for, and he leaks."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My baby-sitter knows not to bring my one-year-old daughter, Ami, into the supermarket where I work. One glimpse of me at the checkout counter and Ami will scream until she's in my arms. But one day, with the fridge empty, Maxine had no choice. And, as predicted, when my daughter spotted me, her wailing could be heard throughout the entire store. Unsure what to do, I just smiled and continued scanning a customer's groceries. "That's right, honey," said the woman I was waiting on. "You just keep smiling and thank God she's not yours."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A friend and her husband were participating in a blood drive, and as part of the prescreening process, an elderly volunteer was asking some questions. "Have you ever paid for sex?" the woman asked my friend's husband sweetly.

Glancing wearily over at his wife, trying to calm a new baby and tend to several other children milling around her, he sighed, "Every time."