Friday, December 26, 2008

Betty & Walter

Betty was the oldest of the five girls in Momma's family. She was an x-ray technician when I was very young, then moved into administration and something to do with insurance for a private hospital for children. Work was always a big part of who she was. She was a career woman in an era when everyone was a stay-at-home mom.

She married Walter when I was in first grade. I remember because everyone came to school--the Catholic church next door to school to be exact. It was a big deal to see my aunts and uncles all dressed up. Some of my older cousins got to skip class to attend the ceremony.

Walter is a postcard from the late 40s and early 50s. He smoked a pipe, sported thick glasses, and always wore a white shirt, short-sleeved or long depending on the season, pleated pants, wingtips, and a skinny tie. He was a higher up in the county tax commissioner's office--a career bureaucrat. He had a amazing train track set-up with mountains, bodies of water, small towns, and farms. When we were very young, he would sometimes put on his conductor cap and run the trains for us. He also fed the ducks and other water birds that hung out at a city pond in the park behind their house.

Betty and Walter never had children. As the oldest girl in single-parent family with eight kids, Betty probably had her fill of raising children well before she married. Betty was the typical oldest sister--a bit bossy and quick to point out to her siblings the error of their ways. She was also the one everybody ran to anytime they needed anything. She always helped, and rarely said a word about it--to anyone.

Betty and Walter often hosted potluck picnics, especially around Memorial Day or Labor Day. These were much more sedate than the big Fourth of July blow-outs, but similar in that the aunts and some of my uncles would sit at card tables in the shade playing bridge. It was not unusual to have as many as three tables going at one of these family picnics. From time to time they'd call out for one of us to come sit in for them while they took a break from the game. Most of the cousins know the fundamentals of bridge.

These bridge games were often loud and boisterous, especially as time went on. None of the aunts was ever wrong about anything. Consequently, arguments would break out about proper bidding, what somebody should have done, and the best way to play the hand. The language would be enough on occasion to make a sailor blush. Everybody smoked. Given that the get together was associated with a holiday, alcohol flowed freely, too.

Betty was an avid supporter of University of Kentucky basketball and football. She was thrilled to have nieces and nephews with UK degrees. She praised us for our accomplishments and was quick to offer support to anyone that was struggling for whatever reason. She bought more interview, funeral, and wedding suits for various cousins than you could count.

I don't recall Betty or Walter ever saying a word about me being gay. They knew. Everyone did. My partner and I hosted the annual Fourth of July blow-out at our house for several years. They always came, and they always treated my partner like he was one of the family. Actions speak louder than words. They died, fairly close together, of cancer and were very well cared for--by my cousins--up to the very end.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Momma's Family

Being born in to Momma's family was about the best thing that ever happened to me. Growing up in this huge clan of close-knit people meant I was surrounded by tons of people who loved me like a brother or son. The relationships I had with each and every one of the members of the clan left an impression on me. With so many of them gone, I've decided that I want to devote a future posting to each one. This is the introduction to those stories.

Momma is the baby of eight kids. Her father, a son-of-a-bitch in her view, died at 38 when she was still young. Her mother died while Momma was pregnant with me. Becoming an alcoholic if she wasn't one already seemed a rational choice for a single mother with eight kids to raise in the 1940s. All eight kids adored her. Most of them believe she died trying to dry out so she could stay with Momma for a while after I was born.

Grandma sent the kids away to boarding school. All five girls attended Cardome--a boarding school for Roman Catholic girls run by a group of cloistered nuns. The three oldest girls (Betty, Mary and Peggy--all now deceased) graduated from Cardome in the 1940s. Momma graduated from the Catholic High School in Lexington, KY in 1956. Toodles (also deceased) never finished high school, though details about that are fuzzy, by design.

The three boys attended military school, where they joined a cousin with the same last name. Throughout their years at the military school they were A-sir (the cousin), B-sir (Bobby--the oldest), C-sir (Gene) and D-sir (Ervil Melvin). Bobby died in the Korean War. Uncle Gene is in poor health now, and with Momma, the only ones still living. Uncle Deezer (derived from D-sir and a big improvement over Ervil Melvin) died of cancer many years ago.

Growing up, Momma spent hours and hours on the telephone each day catching up with each of her four sisters and via their wives, her two brothers. Everyone knew everything about everyone else--instantly. It was that way my whole life and remains more or less that way today thanks in no small part to Momma.

Mostly because she could get by with it, Momma was afraid to stay by herself overnight. When Dad got a job as a firefighter, he worked 24 hours and was off for 48. So every third night for all of my life to age 18, we either packed our bags and stayed with one of the aunts (or my godmother--Momma's best friend from high school) or one of them came and stayed with us. Momma didn't start driving until long after me and my sister left the nest. We spent a lot of time waiting for rides to get us home, to school, or to wherever we were spending the night.

Like that wasn't enough, all the cousins were forever being herded together to celebrate various and sundry holidays, birthdays, weddings, and an unfortunate number of early funerals. Fourth of July was the single biggest family blow-out of the year. Deezer hosted a potluck cook-out at his house with plenty of room for the kids to play, an above-ground swimming pool, and a row of tall shady trees at the back of the lot. Between all the cousins and guests, Uncle James (Peggy's husband) could always pull teams together for any sport. Each kid was assigned to the various teams based on his or her strengths which Uncle James was always able to identify. We were all stars.

Christmas varied from family to family. With Momma's fear of staying alone, we got to experience Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the home of each of our many aunts and uncles. We even had our own Santa--Uncle Gene, another firefighter in the family--was the official Santa Claus for Lexington, KY from before I was born until long after I no longer believed. I and my cousins all believed much longer than was the norm. After all, we had home visits from Santa ever year, were waved good-bye to at the end of his letter-reading show on TV (and he always read our letters), and he knew if we'd been naughty or nice and could cite examples.

It was a crazy way to grow up. We had a blast. But it also made it almost impossible to participate in any extracurricular activities. For years I swore I'd never forgive Momma for subjecting us to it. I've since had reason not only to forgive her, but to thank her for what turned out to be an incredible gift. My sister and I spent so much time with our aunts and uncles that they know us as well as they know their own kids. I love them like they were my own parents, and I want to share them with those of you who maybe haven't been so blessed.

That's my gift to you this Christmas and for 2009. I hope you'll enjoy reading as much as I'll enjoy the writing and reminiscing. You'll find, if you haven't figured it out already, that there's absolutely no reason for me to be....

The Crotchety Old Man
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wild and Free

The BF is off visiting family this weekend. He took the baby with him, so I've been left to my own devices. They'll be back tomorrow, so I'm pretty sure I'll survive.

What have I done with my time? I spent most of the day Saturday deep cleaning half the house. This was one of those take-everything-out-of-the-room cleanings that has been long overdue for quite a while now. Sunday I tackled the other side of the house. Feels good to have that behind me. Shoot, I may even clean out a couple of drawers.

I also went shopping for a bit yesterday. First I went to the grocery store for some essential items. Of course, being footloose and fancy free for the weekend caused me to buy some doughnuts (my personal weakness), a frozen pizza (hey it's cheaper than ordering for delivery), some frozen fried chicken steaks (that come with gravy!), and a half-gallon of one of my favorite ice creams (maple nut--and it was not a half-gallon, just made to look like one). I ate two (of six) doughnuts in the car on the way home from the grocery.

I had two more doughnuts at home then ran out to the mall. Didn't need to do any shopping so much as I just wanted to be out there in all the holiday splendor. I bought 90 percent of my gifts online this year and was missing some of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Ran in to Best Buy to take a look at a wireless surround-sound system. Gave up pretty fast due to information overload.

But mostly what I did all day all by myself and with great abandon was eat. I had my usual morning yogurt with blueberries and a banana while I was cleaning the house Sunday morning. Had one of every free sample at the grocery store (it's one of those things--they're free and regular exposure to all those germs keeps my resistance to colds and flu high). Couldn't resist a cup of cinnamon pretzel bites at the mall. Have you seen these? Yum! They have powdered sugar ones, too. I found out they had a smaller size right after I received my mega cup full. Oh well. Too late.

Since I was on the far end of town anyway, I decided to pick up some Bojangles fried chicken for dinner. I selected the 3-piece (all white meat), with dirty rice and for my health, some coleslaw. It was great, and the last two doughnuts were an excellent dessert. The only problem was I had that around 3 which meant I needed to eat again around 7.

I wasn't hungry, mind you. But fearful that I might wake up hungry in the middle of the night, I opted to do some preventive eating. I popped my frozen pizza in to the oven after I added the last of a pack of pepperoni to it. I cut the finished product into fourths with the idea of leaving half for t0morrow night. Once I ate the third piece, hardly seemed worth saving the last piece, so I ate it, too.

I've been looking for maple nut ice cream for weeks, so I had to have a little bit before going to bed. Just two little dips--and I didn't add the chocolate topping I purchased to go with it. Call me the very picture of self-control. Then I went to bed.

I didn't sleep so much as prayed not to explode. It was close a few times. But I made it through the night and lived to eat again. Today, however, I think I'll stick to salad. I'm kind of partial to the house salad at Zaxby's--grilled (not fried--more of that self-control) with honey mustard dressing. I'll try not to enjoy the Texas Toast, fried onion rings and cheese that come with it. I could ask for them to leave that stuff off--but you pay for it anyway, and in this economy, I hate to waste a dime.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Rush to Judgement

I remain convinced that Barack Obama is the most intelligent man to be elected to the Presidency in my lifetime. His campaign was not only effective, but brilliant. Not since Lincoln have we seen a President comfortable enough with his own ability to govern to surround himself not with those to whom he owes a favor, but with individuals that are *gasp* among the most capable in the nation. It's a new era--an awakening--and it's long overdue.

Clinton is smart--actually both of them are smart. But Bill doesn't always think with the right body part. Hillary is widely recognized as one of the most partisan politicos around. President-Elect Obama is too smart to make either of those mistakes. Obama is a new political animal--one with the goal to bring people together from all walks of life to solve the problems we face together as a nation.

So to all my gay brothers and sisters that have exploded over the invitation Obama issued to Rev. Warren to offer the invocation at his inauguration, I say relax and give the man a break. Believe it or not, what other people do isn't always about you. And in this case, making nice with the new Billy Graham and one of the nation's most popular and well-respected ministers is quite likely to help more than hurt in the long run.

Frankly, I find the reaction from the gay community to be disappointing. The gaystapo marches again. It's us engaging in the same ugly tactics and behavior that we've seen from 'the other side' all these years. We have become them, and it's ugly.

Give our new president a chance. Don't rush to judge in light of one little incident. Yeah I've read all the posts about what an affront the Warren invite is to the gay community. If you're that mad, take it to FoxNews or talk radio. Join the rest who will jump on every single perceived slight and are doing whatever they can to bring the man down before he even takes office. But me, I'm going to support the man that I believe is the best hope we've had for equal rights in the history of the United States.

Change I can believe in. What about you?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things I Should Have Blogged About

The holiday season is always a busy time of year. Even though I'm not traveling and I got all my holiday shopping done early, this year seems busier than ever. I've been so busy that I have missed out on the chance to blog about several items of importance.

I'm thrilled that Michelle won The Biggest Loser. She was an early favorite for me and it was great to see her stick it to Vicki--the nastiest bitch that's ever needed to lose weight. It was also fun to see Ed selected by America over his wife, Heba. They both made impassioned pleas last week for we the public to vote for Heba. Ed got the most votes--86 percent. That made me laugh. Heba won the competition among those sent home early, so I guess it wasn't too hard on her given the $100,000 prize.

Drew Peterson, borderline pedophile and wife killer, has a new girlfriend. They're engaged. I bet she has a collection of pen pals doing time in various institutions around the country. Some women are crazy that way.

While much of the rest of the country is experiencing abnormally low temperatures, here in Athens we're flirting with record highs. Last night it was so warm in the house that I ended up turning the air conditioning back on. Today I have been driving around with the top down on my convertible in a short-sleaved shirt. This kind of winter weather I can live with.

UGA starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, a junior, is acting like he's seriously considering another year at UGA. I hope he and Knowshon Moreno both stay another year. However, with both being first round draft choices, and Stafford looking at something like a $35 million signing bonus, I'm not holding my breath. You can talk all you want about pride and the desire to redeem themselves for a disappointing season. I'm willing to bet that the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day will be the last college game for both Stafford and Moreno.

The BF is heading out of town on Saturday to spend a few days with his family. Tico is going with him. At first, I wasn't real happy about both of them being gone and leaving (needy old) me here all by myself. That little chihuahua has been tap dancing on my last nerve the last few days. It's hard to stay mad at him because he's so adorable. But I do find myself ever so slightly looking forward to a few chihuahua-free days.

Guess that's why they call me...

The Crotchety Old Man

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Inquisitive Toddler

Our little baby long-haired Chihuahua is 11 weeks old today. He went to the vet this morning and he's gained a full half a pound since we got him. Now he weighs in at a whopping 2.4 pounds.

His training--of us--is progressing fairly well. He was regressing on his housebreaking. We evaluated our behavior and determined he needed to be taken outside more frequently. Now as long as we remember to take him out every hour or so, there are no accidents. Well--let's just say the accidents are fewer and further between. It's all about progress.

He doesn't have any problems getting in his crate when it's time to go to bed or when we leave the house. He makes it through the night without crying now, but is definitely an early riser. That's OK. We are too, rarely sleeping past 7.

Now he's at the age where he is very inquisitive with a tendency to get in to everything. Keeping him out of the Christmas tree hasn't been too bad. Keeping him out of the presents proved impossible--we've now placed them under a small tree on a table where they are out of his reach. He adores the felt tree skirt, however, and would love to rip the felt appliques from it. He completely ignores "no" when he's attacking the tree skirt which caused us to pull out a new discipline tool--the time out. The first time we put him in time out, we opened the crate after about 3 minutes but he didn't come out for more than two hours. I think his feelings were hurt.

He's a smart little pup. My partner is click training him. You click the clicker during the training practice when he does what you want him to do. This is supposed to make it easy to teach him difficult tricks when he gets older. Seems to be working as he's already got "sit" and "lay down" mastered. Now we're working on roll-over. You can see how he's doing here. You can also see the aforementioned tree skirt.

He definitely adds a lot to life around here. When he's at his playful best, it's awfully hard to even pretend like I am...

The Crotchety Old Man

Friday, December 12, 2008

Guaranteed Delivery

I got my Christmas shopping done early this year. Don't judge me--I'm not one of those people who always have their shopping done weeks or months ahead of time. In fact, I kind of enjoy getting out in all that mess just days before the holiday.

This year I've dramatically pared down my list. No, it's not about the economy. It's due primarily to a lack of gratitude from the recipients. My niece (8) and nephew (10) are the primary beneficiaries of my holiday largess. He called me twice this year, and sent me several e-mails, including two expressing his desire for me to get well after my surgery and another procedure. Sweet kid. She called once to confirm that we had in fact got a dog. I threatened to send her a lump of coal a few years ago. She informed me that if I did, she'd send me a rotten potato.

I sat down on Thanksgiving Day and ordered most of the gifts I'm giving this year online. I sent a lot of gift baskets. My parents don't need anything, so food or spa gifts are always appreciated. I ended up canceling quite a few orders when I got to the screen where the delivery charges showed up. I don't support highway robbers. Period.

My mother had several Christmas Cacti before she moved to Virginia and was thrilled when they spontaneously bloomed each winter. So being the thoughtful son that I am, I decided it would be nice to send her one for the holidays. Jackson & Perkins had exactly what I was looking for--for $39. I bought two lovely specimens from Lowe's for $5 each a few days earlier, but was willing to pay 8 times as much to have it shipped properly. Then I discovered it was going to cost $15 more for shipping. No thanks. I'll send her $10 and tell her to go to Lowe's.

My nephew is a Pokemon freak. He's been obsessed with all things Pokemon for more than three years. I really don't understand the attraction, but it has made shopping for him for Christmas and birthdays fairly easy. Last year I had a hard time finding Pokemon crap, so when I ran into a new display of all things Pokemon at Kmart a few weeks ago, I loaded up. My niece got a load of crap from American Girl. That stuff never goes on sale, but at least they offer free shipping.

I got all the Pokemon stuff wrapped last weekend--no easy task as it all comes in odd-sized packages. Took it to The UPS Store on Monday. The sales girl was sweet and other than the stud in her nose, a pretty little girl. I can say that because I'm old and gay. She informed me that UPS no longer guarantees regular deliveries to arrive before Christmas. Guaranteed delivery cost twice as much. Given that it was December 8, I told her I'd take regular delivery and if it didn't arrive by Christmas, I wouldn't be using UPS any longer. He got it yesterday.

Sometimes, it's downright fun to be...

The Crotchety Old Man

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Personalized Electronic Greetings

Yesterday I wrote about holiday greeting cards. You'll see in the comments some claptrap about saving the environment and sending personalized electronic greetings. Let me address the environmental crap first.

There are plenty of opportunities to purchase cards made from recycled materials. And at the end of the season, any cards you don't want to save for sentimental reasons can be returned to one of many programs that recycle them for various purposes. Yeah, the postman drives a truck and that uses gasoline and pollutes the air. So sue me.

Nothing says "I'm a cheap and lazy bastard" louder than a personalized electronic greeting. Jesus. It's Christmas. A box of cards is $5 or less. Yeah, stamps are kinda pricey at 42 cents each. If you can afford your high speed Internet access, you can afford a few stamps.

"Personalized electronic greetings" is an oxymoron. There's nothing the least bit personal about an electronic greeting--even one containing naked pictures. Anyone that thinks otherwise has a thing or two to learn about what is and isn't personal.

There's something very precious about Christmas and other greeting cards in my possession from friends and family members that are no longer living. Maybe you have to have lost someone to appreciate the value of a greeting that is truly personal. The value isn't in the words. It comes from knowing that this card was selected, signed, and mailed by the person I knew and loved.

The cards I have from my grandmother contain one word: Grannie. There are no notes, no "I love you's" or other embellishments. Just that one word, written in her distinct hand-writing. I have an entire collection of them and I wouldn't trade them for anything--especially any personalized electronic greeting.

I have a big stack of cards from my Aunt Toodles. She frequently wrote little notes of appreciation, encouragement, and/or support, and usually included some witty or clever remark to make me laugh. I can't read them today without tears in my eyes. If my house was on fire, I would grab them first.

You can keep your personalized electronic greetings, thank you very much. I'll keep my ungreen archaic greeting cards. That's just another reason they call me...

The Crotchety Old Man

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Greeting Cards

I send a ton of Christmas cards out every year. It's something I've done for as long as I can remember. Not only do I send cards, but for years and years I typically wrote long letters in each and every one. Throw in all my friends and former coworkers, and at one point my Christmas card list was bigger than the phone book of some small towns.

Most of my cards go to family. Both of my parents have (or had) eight brothers and sisters. Nearly all married, had kids, and lived in and around Lexington, KY. Not only do I have a very large extended family, but we saw each other very frequently. I practically grew up with my mother's siblings and their children. I'm closer to many of my cousins than most people are to their siblings.

Before I left Lexington for greener pastures in 1996, my long letters went mostly to friends and family that lived out of town. Once I left town, I needed to write a letter in every card. My annual Christmas card became my only contact with many of the aunts, uncles, and cousins that I grew up with. These annual letters were something that I enjoyed writing, and I've heard from many of the recipients that they looked forward to receiving them.

I stopped writing letters in every card several years ago. Those that send me a card are more likely to get one of my letters in return than those who never send cards. Some of my cousins that never send cards have been dropped from my list all together. Friends and family that simply sign their names to a card without even a "hope you are well" are less likely to get a letter from me than those who write at least a sentence or two. One must have standards.

My card list is much shorter now. I've lost touch with some of the friends and former coworkers that once received cards from me. My gay friends are so bad about sending cards that I gave up sending them cards years ago and stay in touch via e-mail and the occasional phone call--if at all. Frankly, with very few exceptions the gay people I've encountered in 30+ years of being out haven't been very good friends--especially when you or they move away. Out of sight, out of mind. With only two exceptions (2 guys that were in the circle of friends I had when I first came out), I get tired of doing all the work to maintain those connections.

In Mom's family, all my aunts and all but one of my uncles have passed away, along with two of my cousins. Most of Dad's siblings left Lexington long before I did. All but one are still living though they are getting really old now--the youngest is in his late 60s. I haven't seen or heard from some of my cousins for decades, and it's been a couple of years since I've seen most of the rest. Time marches on.

The day will come when my card list will be short enough that I'll be able to write my cards in an afternoon. While I have sometimes felt overwhelmed by the quantity of cards that I had to do, it's always been more a labor of love than a chore. Maybe I should reconsider some of those I've crossed off because I am, as always...

The Crotchety Old Man

Friday, December 5, 2008

Real Housewives of the Ghetto

OK. I admit it. I absolutely love watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta. It's almost like a sketch you'd see on Dave Chappelle's show. Housewives reminds me of the Chappelle sketch about slavery reparations. I'm guessing that's why the Atlanta version of the Housewives franchise has been the most popular. We've all seen noveau riche white trash, which makes the Orange County and New York shows just retreads.

Not since the Jeffersons have we seen African-American women moving on up in a television show. The Jeffersons had class without ever seeming pretentious or like fish out of water. They got out of the ghetto through hard work, and never pretended to be something other than what they were. Well, George did now and then, but the joke was always on him. By contrast, the women featured in Real Housewives of Atlanta climbed out of the ghetto on the backs of their husbands and are totally preoccupied with hiding who they really are...or used to be.

Lisa is hand's down the most likeable woman on the show. Smart, beautiful, energetic, industrious and until the reunion show, the peacemaker. On the reunion show she was ready to kick Kim's ass, which only boosted her appeal in my book. She's the most real to me, and the most comfortable with who she is. She has apparently reinvented herself after a failed marriage, two children (now with the daddy) and a bankruptcy.

DeShawn has got a lot of things going on, with nothing really happening with any of her endeavors. Her foundation and real estate business appear to be more concept than reality. Though she is not the brightest bulb in the Housewives chandelier, she's at least smart enough to know that it's better to let people think you're stupid than to open your mouth and prove it. By the reunion show she had distanced herself (literally and figuratively) so much from the other housewives that she hardly appeared on camera. She just sat on the sofa as far away from the other women as she could get without saying a word.

Kim is like a Nashville streetwalker, with money. A New York Post article does offer some evidence that Kim is, in fact, only 30 years old (29 when the series was taped). As they say back in Kentucky, that girl done been rode hard and put up wet. Quite a few times if you ask me. According to the Post article, she was boinking a police sergeant at the tender age of 16 or 17. Lucky for her it wasn't Drew Peterson. What is it about cops and under-aged women? If you can believe what you read on the Internet, Kim used to call herself Barbie when she dressed up as a nurse and stripped at the Cheetah Club in Atlanta. I'd be willing to bet that's where she met Nene and Sheree.

At the tender age of 19, the Post article says Sheree was busted--twice--for theft. They also report that her attempts to steal a fortune from her exhusband have apparently been thwarted. Once a thief, always a thief. I guess she'll focus on stealing ideas for her new line of clothing now.

And that leaves us with NeNe. I have to admit that I like NeNe. She's a riot. If you search the Internet you'll find rumors that she isn't all she's cracked up to be. She was allegedly evicted from their big fancy house--a rental--and now resides in a condo in a zip code much farther down the economic ladder. On the reunion show, I thought she was going to kick Kim's ass, but Lisa held her back.

The good news is that they're already working on a second season. Given the "we'll never be friends again" feelings of most of the costars, next season promises to be even better than the first. Who knows, maybe Lisa or NeNe will finally get what they've wanted for a while--the chance to kick Kim's ass. I hope so. I want to know what she looks like without that big polyester wig.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And Baby Makes Three...

Regular readers (both of you) may have noticed that I haven't been posting as much for the last couple of weeks. The reason is that we added a third member to our household two weeks ago. After much deliberation, debate, and research, we decided it was time.

All the research helped. In the end we opted for a long-haired Chihuahua. He's teeny tiny and about the cutest thing I've ever seen. At 9 weeks old, he weighs just under two pounds. He's got two modes: full on, or sound asleep.

Having a baby in the household changes everything. Our well-established routines are in a shambles. There just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs doing. In addition to all the standard chores and responsibilities, along with getting ready for Christmas, we're now doing tons of additional research. We know the formative weeks are important, and we're trying to raise him to be well-mannered and well-behaved.

We learned right away that socialization is important. The more people, places, and things he's exposed to now, the more mellow he'll be when he grows up. So we take him just about everywhere with us. All of our coworkers are crazy about him (at least to our faces!). He's perfectly content to be carried around--especially if he can burrow down into a coat or something so that only his nose and ears are showing.

If you want to see him, check him out on YouTube

Maybe one of these days I'll figure out how to get that to show up on here! Until then, I'm still...

The Crotchety Old Man

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cursed Robo Calls

As an early voter, the best thing about election day was the end to the multitude of campaign ads. Unfortunately, we in Georgia weren't so lucky. With the run-off between Saxby Shameless and Jim Martin, we've been inundated with ads. In fact, on several occasions we've had to endure back to back pro Shameless ads.

These ads, as in the case of most TV ads, are easily ignored. Much harder to ignore are the cursed robo calls. I check my caller ID before answering now, and have my phone set to ignore calls from unknown callers. Even so, I still end up answering a lot of unwanted calls.

With the run-off being held tomorrow, today I've received several robo calls encouraging me to vote for Senator Shameless. The thing that pisses me off the most about these calls is that they deprive me of the satisfaction of telling the caller I wouldn't vote for their candidate under any circumstances.

Beyond that, I can't imagine that anyone listens to these stupid messages. As soon as I know it's a robo call, I hang up. I've checked around and the same is true for everyone I know. Is there any evidence that the damn things make any difference? I can't imagine that they're enough to persuade an undecided voter, much less one intending to vote for a different candidate. If anything, I'd guess they rub people the wrong way enough to get them to vote against the candidate making the robo calls.

Anyway, the robo calls and the nasty ads will all be over in a bit more than 24 hours. Until then, I'm going to be...

The Crotchety Old Man
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