Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, January 25, 2009

" Shut up! Or I'll wound your inner child!" - Beavis, Beavis and Butthead


The Astrodome, which, while being very dome-y, is not very astro-y. Heck, I don’t think it’s suited to travel in outer space at all. I checked, and the darn thing has a lot of concrete in it. I know the Russians experimented with concrete spacecraft, but I just don’t think this is a good design for a spacecraft.

Many times I sit down at this keyboard on Sunday night, Internet, and I wonder just exactly what might be interesting to chat about from the previous week. Oh, sure, sometimes you might get a long diatribe about the potential pitfalls of being near a wild Pugsley during a spaghetti dinner, and how it turns out that ear wax is relatively soluble in tomato sauce. Maybe it’s the acidity of the tomato?

Instead, Internet, this week I have tons to tell you, and have the luxury of picking and choosing. I guess I’ll start off with The Call.

I’m at work, happily doing whatever it is I do when I’m not using my body as a chemical treatment plant for coffee, when the phone rang. I suppose the phone is supposed to ring from time to time, but rarely does The Mrs. call me later in the afternoon. The conversation was short and clipped.

“Minor emergency center. Now.”

I made it there before her.

I could tell that The Mrs. wasn’t on top of her game, since she parked in the lot due east of the parking lot she needed to be in. The Mrs. walked cross-country across an open lot holding Pugsley’s hand, and I saw The Boy clutching a blood soaked rag to the back of his nugget. If only Pugsley were playing a drum, The Boy a fife, and The Mrs. carrying a thirteen-star US flag, the picture would have been complete.

“What happened? Did the neighbors finally launch an invasion?” I have been predicting that the neighbors, who claim they need something called “lebensraum,” would cross the border, perhaps with tanks, or more likely a Mad-Max style lawn mower. Perhaps it was the Home Owners’ Association venting on our lawn care practices?

No. Turns out that it was much more mundane, since The Boy was playing with The Mrs. (she was ticking him) and he took a step back. And fell. Backward. Into the concrete divider stones that prevent the invasion of the lawn into the flower bed.

Ouch. Turns out that’s worth fifteen staples. When they indicated that they were going to staple his noggin shut, The Boy decided that wasn’t at all what he wanted. “No, you can’t do that.”

I calmly explained that these weren’t normal staples, but that, in fact, they were mechanical closure devices that depended upon the use of mildly deformed metal to hold multiple surfaces together. Which, of course, is exactly like a regular staple, but it shut him up.

We explained to The Boy that every Boy ends up with something sewn up – if you get out of childhood without a good wicked scar or two, you simply did it all wrong.

So, since the medical folks were worried, he was put on a liquid diet for the next 24 hours. Which meant – shakes, pudding, yogurt, Jell-O®, but, sadly, no Pez™. I can inform you that nothing cheeses off a little brother more than watching his big brother eat pudding for the main course of lunch, followed by pudding for desert, and ice cream if he was good.

Thankfully, The Boy was able to go to Pinewood Derby©, wherein his car finished respectably (faster than last year, but not enough for a first place, though two of his runs were wicked fast).

His mechanical fastening system closing up his noggin wound will be removed sometime next week. The Boy was philosophical about his rough week.

“I’m going outside to play.”

It’s nice to be eight.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Don't let it smell your fear!" - Artie, The Adventures of Pete and Pete


Pugsley, wearing glasses with enough magnification to let him see through walls. His goal? To find all of the cookies in the house.

After Christmas, we took a trip to go see The Mrs.’ parents, on their 34,324 acre ranch somewhere in Zanzibar or Tanganyika. Sarah Palin has no idea where either of these places are, but Joe Biden is pretty sure they were our main opponents in WW IV, when Franklin Roosevelt defeated the Klingon Empire.

Anyhow, we got in the car and headed out of Houston. Sixteen hours of tough seventy-mile-an-hour driving later, we’d nearly made it out of Houston. Thankfully, traffic was light that day.

After driving over the river and through the woods to Grandmama’s house we went. Unfortunately, Pugsley had ingested approximately 83 ounces of unapproved Super Big Gulp®. We discovered this when every five minutes he would frantically indicate that his youthful bladder would explode with the force of a hurriquakanoado (a hurriquakanoado is the simultaneous combination of a hurricane, earthquake, volcano, and tornado, or, every news network’s dream come true).

After finally getting our passports out at the Texas-New Mexico (or was it Oklahoma?) border, we finally drove through another state or two and reached our ultimate destination.

There is no love more pure than that of a three-year-old for his Grandparents, primarily because those bonds don’t involve nearly as much standing in the corner as the parent/child relationship, and a whole lot more, “Well, if you eat all of that broccoli, you won’t have any room for cookies.”

For my part, this part of the vacation was exactly that – vacation. I slept, ate ham, slept some more, ate more ham, and then watched people cooking ham on the Food Channel™. Occasionally, I’d nap on the couch. The Boy and Pugsley basked in the glow of Grandparental attention, which culminated with Pugsley disassembling Grandpa’s television and then reassembling it so it was now an HD version, and could pick up signals from intergalactic sources. My Father In Law can now watch the Andromedan version of “Two and a Half Zxclormecks.”

We took The Boy and Pugsley out to the park on a glorious (and fairly warm) New Year’s Day. They hit the swings, slides, and other various kid-powered playground toys with youthful vigor. Until it came time to slide down the fireman’s pole attached to one of the toys.

Pugsley, with all the bravado that a three-year-old can muster, indicated that he wanted to slide on down. It’s a drop of about 10 feet, so, knowing that he just might forget to hang on while in mid-slide, I said, “no.”

The Boy indicated he’d like to ride. I told him, “Yes.”

The Boy climbed to the top part of the structure and then looked down into the gaping chasm that was the 10’ from platform to ground.

“I don’t want to do it.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I’m scared.”

“Well, that’s not really a good reason,” I responded. “You’ve seen other people do it. It’s your turn.”

“Do I have to?”

“Yes. You have to. Otherwise you’ll be even more afraid next time. You don’t want a fear of playground equipment chasing you around forever, do you?”

Eventually, after much cajoling, threatening and outright blackmail, he slid down the fireman’s pole.

On the way to the car, he said, “That was fun. I’ll have to do that next time.”

Not sure when we’re heading back, since the newscasters have me scared to drive during hurriquakanoado season . . .
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Sunday, January 04, 2009

"This Millennium Group, they really believe all that stuff; Nostradamus and Revelations, the destruction of the world?" - Bob, Millennium


Nostradamus The Boy bringing you our creepy New Year’s prediction page. I wandered in and asked him why he was dressed like that, but all he would tell me was, “Ask not, Father, and yea, verily, ask not why the cat is missing half of its hair.” Typical.

Predictions are very tricky things. They require insight, guts, and, for the really good ones, at least some consumption of beer. As rumor has it, Nostradamus would get plowed on Natural Light® and then write his quatrains down, which explains why they sound like something a drunken Frenchman would write.

For the record, I am not French.

So, here, Internet, are my predictions for the future. I may (if I remember next year) score myself and see how I did. Do not take these too seriously, and sell your house, and then hole up in the woods with 17,000 rolls of toilet paper and enough ammo to make the Chinese army blush. Unless you were planning to do that already. If you were, add some jerky to your stash.

January will be a fairly boring month:

I think (going out on a limb here) it may snow, someplace in the lower 48 (53 if you’re Obama) states.

GM will likely show up at Congress and say, “When we said we needed $15 billion, we really meant $15 trillion. An intern in accounting made the mistake on the calculations for what our power bill would be for that hot tub we’re putting in that will seat all of Michigan.”

After getting confidential briefings from the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank, Obama will immediately demand a recount of the 2008 election, and claim that he cannot serve because, well, he’ll think up a list. McCain will decline the recount, and then ask a bunch of kids to get off of his lawn. Joe Biden’s hair plugs will be unavailable for comment.

February gets more interesting:

I get used to my bifocals, and begin chasing kids off my lawn. The Super Bowl™ ends at halftime with the crowd rushing Bruce Springsteen after he shows off one of his nipples in a wardrobe malfunction. He claims it was all Justin Timberlake’s fault. Then Al Franken shows up, and they make out. Remember, prophecy isn’t an exact science.

Deflation¹ begins to really mess with the economy, starting with “The Price is Right®”. Drew Carey will have to admit that the new Corvette, trip to Acapulco, and personal space shuttle is only worth $1.78, and that’s at MSRP. In related news, a seventeen year old will be depositing his check from delivering pizzas. He banks at a Citibank and accidently sign a contract and find out he owns Citibank. Citibank will not let him out of the transaction.

March comes in like a lion, but goes out like a small Key lime pie. Al Gore demands seconds, then explains with a whipped-cream covered lip, that the pie is a sign of Global Warming®. He then chastises the rest of the country for using Redi-Whip©, since, “it’s scienfificalslsdfy proven that it kills polar bears. Manbearpig!”

In April GM, Ford, and Chrysler determine that they can no longer manufacture cars and maintain a profit, and instead focus on the newly lucrative Pez® dispenser market. This requires a $123 billion injection of funds from the Treasury for retraining of their workforce using magic beans they bought on the way to market and solid gold Etch-a-Sketches®.

In May, all major banks determine that their model of “lending money to just about anyone who has a pulse” may have had a small flaw. Given Federal government pressure, banks now begin lending to the dead. George Washington buys a condo in Miami, right next to Thomas Jefferson’s.

In June, people who live in Blue States determine that all the food and gasoline are produced in the Red States. They protest that they are the leading producers of “smug” and have the lots of investment bankers.

In July the Wilder family goes on a slightly humorous vacation. I may stub my toe, or, more likely, nearly sever a non-essential limb and perform slightly humorous home surgery. Who can say?

In August, I will write about how darn hot and sweaty I am, no matter where we live.

In September the NFL© will resume play. To save on money, they will only play local games. The Houston Texans® lose to the Ft. Bend County Junior High All-Stars 48-23. But it was closer than that. Houston then demands a new stadium, to keep up with Dallas.

In October, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches a high of 12. I’ve saved enough spare pocket change that I buy the New York Times©. Circulation goes up 2300% my first week as editor, with the “All Dilbert” issue being the highest selling newspaper in history, right after my “Moose and Swimsuit Issue” featuring Drew Carey.

In November, many turkeys will be unpleasantly surprised. (Dang, that nice farmer guy fed me for months. I didn’t see that coming.)

In December, with a near 100% certainty, I believe it will snow somewhere in both the Eastern Republic of America and the Southern Hegemony of America. The Western Kingdom will have snow in the Duchy of Washington. King Arnold the First will proclaim a day of eel fishing and free gruel for all.

¹Deflation is where Paris Hilton’s becomes even less valuable than previously.

I’ll leave you with this from Fred Thompson. Love him, hate him, he’s absolutely right in the following (apolitical) message, and if you’re interested in the difference between Keynesian and Austrian economic thought, drop me a line. I encourage you strongly to listen. It made me chuckle, and, it’s safe for work.

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