Friday, April 30, 2010

Summer Came Early at 6710

Tyler: Nancy’s pizza for dinner or sushi?
Me: I’ll do sushi if you're buying. I'm not buying you sushi anymore. You can eat more $5-a-bite raw fish at a sitting than Free Willy.
me: har har har just keeding
Tyler: har har....
me: is this a double date or just u n me?
Tyler: just us!
me: oh oh oh ho!
me: Are you workin hard today or hardly workin?
Tyler: It's a mix. Are you smelly just today or all of the time?
Tyler: Har har har!
Tyler: Oh just happened to think, there's a new restaurant called Cantina at Terminus where lola used to be.
me: Perfect. That’s a 35 minute walk. I’ll have to eat on the way over and on the way back to make it.
Tyler: Umm, its probably a 20 min walk, max.
me: Well, we can probably cut thru somewhere anyway.
Tyler: Ooh adventure!

When I got home that day I found this in my yard:

Its just another day in paradise.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Had It Coming

It seems that about once a year I have an absolutely terrible day - a day frought with pain, destruction and travail wherein the fates conspire against me.

I can accept it because: I guess I've got it coming.

Take Sunday for instance:

After church I grabbed my two brand-new-upholstered boat seats, sat them up on the deck of my boat and went downstairs to grab a screwdriver. I walked back outside just in time to see a gust of wind catch the driver's side seat and blow it off the rear of the boat; landing upside-down on the top right corner, ripping the upholstery, piping, and seam.

I stood there for a minute in apopleptic fury at the wind not doing what I wanted it to, grappled with my emotions, subdued them, stuck the screwdriver handle-first into my pocket, and jumped in the boat to install the now-damaged seats.

Forgetting I had left the seat-installation-screws in a cup on my dresser, I went back inside, dumped the screws out of the cup into my hand, then dropped them in my pocket.

Back in the boat I lay down on the floor to screw the seats in, jammed my hand into my pocket for a screw, and immediately buried four shirtpins 1/4" into each of the first three fingers on my left hand.

Whoops! I forgot I put the screws in the cup with the shirt pins, but it really hurt - which reminded me.

I shifted my weight onto my right side to extricate my hand from where it was, literally, "pinned" inside my pocket...and managed to roll over on the screwdriver - crushing my $275 cell phone into useless oblivion.

Bleeding profusely, I attempted to arise and, as I straightened at the waist, four more shirtpins buried themselves in the top of my left thigh. The shooting pain from the thigh-pins threw me back down into the floor of the boat where I landed again on the screwdriver...raising a lovely blue-black bruise on the top of my right hip.

I managed to flop out over the gunnels and into the driveway, panting and bloody, only to land directly in front of the running hose - which soaked me.

At this point Tyler came outside and offered me an Arnold Palmer in a nice cool glass and a BLT sammich; both of which I accepted from my position on the driveway. She did not seem curious as to why I was laying in the driveway, instead she looked down at me with one raised eyebrow and said "you about ready to go?"

After finishing my sammich I managed to successfully install the (brand-new, ripped, torn, seats) and get underway without further incident or damage, other than to the Arnold Palmer glass; which I accidentally broke.

We put the boat in the water on Lanier and motored across the bay to John's house where I immediately ran the boat up on his dock, gouging it (see previous post).

I motored back across the lake below max RPMs, then made Tyler back the trailer down into the water to avoid further interaction with calamity.

We made it home in one piece, but I consider it a miracle.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Have a Good Cry

I have a very dear friend who will periodically cry in public; and I don't mean slam her thumb in the car door, leaving it dangling by a shred of tissue, then cry. I don't mean she'll stub her toe, or experience great emotional trauma of some sort; and as a result: cry.

I mean, she'll literally just cry - for no apparent reason and for an extended period of time - much longer than you might expect for say, a funeral attendee, a newborn birthing, a "cotton: fabric of our lives" commercial, or even a wedding. She'll start crying, then continue to cry for so long that she'll be forced to go about her daily tasks whilst weeping profusely.

No kidding. I have no idea how she keeps a job. In my opinion you don't want to walk into your attorney's office and find the staff weeping profusely on a regular basis -it erodes the confidence.

One day we went to dinner and mid-way through the meal tears began absolutely streaming down her cheeks. Everyone sat for a moment in stunned silence, mouthing "WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HER, YOU ASS?" to each other and looking down suspiciously at the fish. Noticing that a pall had fallen over the table, she looked up from the small puddle that was forming in her plate, smiled bravely and sobbed "P P P P leease p p p p p paaassss the p p p ppeppper."

She then continued to weep and sniffle throughout the remainder of the meal while periodically looking over at me to say "WHAT?! You've never seen a woman cry before?" like I am the unstable one.

I didn't follow-up further on the nature of her, ahem, "disorder"; mostly because I lack faith in my ability to completely divine what might cause such a confluence of conflicing emotions to arise in a person. I just haven't quite grasp what it is that could reduce an otherwise healthy person to such a state.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I managed to run my new boat up against the corner of John Willis' boat dock and scratch the living devil out of the nice, totally un-scratched, sparkly paint. Its not just "scratched," its gouged. The boat has been gouged and I did it.

As it happened, I felt a giant heaving sob well up inside of me.

Fortunately, I managed not to cry on the outside, but I finally understood what Sobbing Samantha goes through on a daily (yes, daily) basis.

As the gouging incident occurred I suddenly felt very ashamed of myself for comments like "damn it; she's ruined another shirt", "lookout! she's sprung a leak", "heads up on the mascara migration" and even "Oh man, you can't make a sammich in this place without somebody sobbing all over you."

So, my apologies. Grace and peace to you, Sam. May your nose never redden, may the wind blow-dry your eyes, may plentiful supplies of Kleenex and Visine follow you wherever you may go, and may your emotional boat go forth un-gouged.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Find Me a Two-By-Four

Today I would like to exhibit for your edification a series of in-depth graphic drawings depicting proper utilization of a Home Depot Aisle.

.....Unfortunately, that graphic depiction does not exist.

Know why? Because nobody in the world is dumb enough to seriously be unable to properly handle a Home Depot aisle. I mean, right? It’s an aisle. You walk down it, staying out of everyone’s way, moving with the flow of traffic, until you pause - just long enough to swoop into the bins and collect your kill.


No. Scratch that – it’s true.

I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon inside Home Depot tearing the store apart inside my head while waiting on a collection of mental-ward-escapees to incompetently scrape about directly in my path. It was absolutely painful and Home Depot, God bless them, does their dead-level best to make sure there is no way to segregate the idiots.

What you really need is an idiot-area where the incompetent can congregate, but that’s not going to happen. Instead, Home Depot is happy to provide each and every one of you with a big damn orange cart gigantic enough to see from the air - complete with casters that don’t turn, broken wheel bearings, and no rub-rail; then send you careening down any one of 30 narrow, concrete, steel-walled aisles directly at me.

I had to wait 2 minutes (2 FULL MINUTES) for a big fat idiot to get off his 1990’s- vintage-Powertel with some other idiot who was absolutely no help in picking between two $3 boxes of nails; all the while Home Depot employees fairly streaming past him un-questioned. Buddy, whoever you are - I’ll give you the $3 for the extra box of nails plus an extra $48 just to get the hell out of my way.

And for you folks out there who don’t know who you are, but perhaps vaguely identify with the individuals in this narrative - let me help you identify yourselves; if you pulled up in a 1999 model Camry expecting to get a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood in it and you don’t own a quality hammer – go immediately to customer service. Please do not call in a lifeline from mid-aisle in the fasteners section; you are not the kind of person who has friends that can help. Instead, go to Wal-Mart and call whoever you want from the “gaming” aisle and forget about building a doghouse – it’s not in the cards.

If you’re the woman in the gigantic wide-open plywood aisle wearing flip flops and a Bluetooth device; and your phone rings: DON’T ANSWER IT – NOBODY IMPORTANT IS CALLING YOU, I PROMISE.

No matter who you are – please; by all means - do continue to consult everyone except the Home Depot employees – that makes the most sense given your options.

I can find nearly anything in Home Depot in the dark and completely by feel. Do you know why?

Because I can read....And BECAUSE I can read – I know where the flashlight aisle is.

There is no excuse for you to stand under the Home Depot aisle marker sign clearly stating “LUMBER” in BLAZE ORANGE and ask yourself, me, your wife, or anybody else where the 2x4s are. It’s just not reasonable. The sign is 15 feet wide and ORANGE for crying out loud. Look up occasionally, and watch out for falling pianos.

In spite of my rant against all things shopper-related I am occasionally impressed by a fellow shopper or store employee. This time it’s White Porsche Guy.

White Porsche Guy: God Bless You for going to the furthest spot in the parking lot to park in order to save the finish on your sparkly white, very gay, Porsche. And God Bless You for parking so close to me – literally the only other car in that row - that I couldn’t open my passenger door. White Porsche Guy: May the road rise to meet you.

….And may that road be a road fraught with potholes that ultimately terminates in an ocean.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Breaking The Ice At Wal-Mart

This weekend Eric Hagen, Anslee Murdock, Tyler and I kicked off our first (and only) Voyage De Credit Limitaire Sailing Trip planning party at a Wal-Mart in sky Valley, Ga. As an ice-breaker we set out to brave the wilds of Wal-Mart. The challenge was to come out with exactly one item as close to $3.99 (with tax) as possible.

An hour later we found Eric asleep outside the bathrooms and were able to determine that Anslee had never actually gotten out of the car.

Unfortunately, they had a great fishing stuff section, so I accidentally spent $62.57 on lures and a can of Silicon Spray Lubricant that had fancy packaging, while Tyler a.k.a. “Scrooge McDuck” spent $3.98; saving a whole penny for the win.

Not a great start, but it turns out the trip was entirely worth it because at some point during Tyler’s focused search down the “Hardware” aisle, she absentmindedly leaned in and patted me on the rump, then gently ruffled the back of my hair as she walked by.

And by “me” I mean: a total stranger dressed in shorts like mine.


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Tyler: HEYYY JIMMAAYYYY - wanna take me to a mooooveee? Huh? Do ya?! Huh?
Me: Ok. Whats out?
Tyler: "How to Train Your Dragon" in 3D!!!
Me: What ELSE is out?
Tyler: Nothing. Thats it. Slow month for Hollywood.
Me: Seriously, what else is out?
Tyler: Seriously - nothing.
Me: How about we go see "How to Train Your Dragon?"
Tyler: That is a great idea! See you at 7!
Me: Ok.

Box Office Lady: Two tickets? That will be $39.
Me: HOLY CRAP. What is the promise of a first-born child worth these days?
Box Office Lady: A Little White Boy? Not much.
Tyler: Pony up, biggins - we're missing the previews.
Me: How's 2 twenties sound?
Box Office Lady: now we're talking.
Tyler: heeeheeeeeee!!!(playing on the escalator)...


We enter the theater and sit down then I turn around to comment briefly on the average age of attendees...and this is the sight that greets me:

Grouchina Marx.

Just a Quick Dip

Just a short few weeks ago I was surprised (and quite pleased) to receive the following photograph on my handheld from Charlton M. Bouchemeyer:

He included the following pop quiz:

The following picture depicts (select one):

A. Seth sneaking up Loch Ness-style on Buster.
B. Seth hooked the big one, Buster is not impressed.
C. "Boat noodling"
D. Busters rescue operation after Seth sinks the boat. Who knew you
had put that plug in?
E. Rectum? Damn near killed him!

I think you have a general sense for what is actually going on here; but in case you don't: Buster has forgotten to put that pesky little drain plug back into his boat. Consequently - it immediately began to sink.

My favorite part of the whole fiasco though, is this - Buster's one and only legible comment: "Seth, you're going to have to get in the water."

Seth wasn't even on the boat - he was on another thats not sinking.

My thanks to CB for the quick thinking and the snapshot; and many thanks to Seth for being the only person willing to get wet and naked in front of two other men at noon on a blue-sky Saturday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crappy Fishermen

The Magnificent members of the Huntfish Adventure Club (and Charlton M. Bouchemeyer, Pledge) took a field trip to Lanier one lovely spring night recently in search of Crappie. That's "Crappie" as in: the fish, not "things that are Crappy".

Before you get too excited and start pronouncing the fish "Croppie" - let me help you: it IS pronounced "CRAPPY" as in the word "Crap" with an "EE" on the end. Sorry, crappie fishermen the world over; you can try to distance yourself from the word "CRAP" all you want, but the letters just don't lie. You are, in a nutshell "Crappie Fishermen" and thats all there is to it.

The big idea on this trip was to pull up to a bridge piling about 10PM, tie off, set the lanterns out, grill out on the pontoon boat, fish 'till we got worn out and generally tell loud, riotous, soul-scorching lies until the wee hours of the morning.

Even with 12 rods out, I managed to not catch a single fish; but everyone else did (even CB who immediately fell asleep on a cushion with the dog, but woke up periodically to holler "I GOT ONE!").

We had a great time until we realized Fred, who had been nominated to clean all the fish, had been stealthily slipping them all back into the water to avoid the chore.

Consequently, we have very little to show for our troubles other than some dark circles under our eyes, an empty bag of Cheetos, and, in Judson's case, two fresh new scars from an absolutely beautiful double-finger-hook-set incident (he actually put a treble hook into each thumb, effectively handcuffing himself - something I've heard about, but never actually seen done before). Fortunately Hank is handy with a set of needle-nose, so we stayed out of the hospital.

I reckon maybe we're just Crappy fishermen after all.

Friday, April 09, 2010


I managed to scoot away from work at a reasonable hour the other night and slip over to Lanier to spend a few hours on the water before dark.

George met me at the ramp, boat in tow, and we were underway in no time at all. I got the boat up on plane for just a few seconds, then we dropped down to a fast idle and shut her off to fish an outgoing point in the mouth of the creek. The sun was setting, the water was smooth. It was perfect.

And, at that point of complete calm and serenity; things began to unravel at an alarming rate.

1. First cast on my new reel - massive (MASSIVE) backlash. Un-pick-out-able. Rod retires to rod locker, 5 minutes re-rigging.

2. Second cast - bait hung up in tree. Broken off, $5 lure lost.

3. Ski boat nearby hails us in distress. We motor over good-natured-ly and the two men in the ski boat (already suspect) say "can you please tow us over - the motor died".

Too kindhearted to say no - we hook up his cheap tow line and say "where to?" Both slackjawed ski-boaters indicate "just over there" pointing at a huge marina..barely visible...and clear across the lake.

"You mean right here?" I responded, wistfully, gesturing vaguely at the bank 300 yards to my right.

"No - over THERE" the idiot pointed excitedly. "WAYYYY over there!!! Thanks so much for the tow!"

I should have been suspicious when the driver immediately shook out an entire newspaper, put his feet up on the dash, and started reading; but when, a full HOUR later, we arrive across the lake with the stupid ski boat in tow the man said "here's $20; I told the last guy that towed us we'd pay the next guy;" I nearly fell out.

George looked over at me and said, incredulously "THE LAST GUY THAT TOWED ME??? I guess this is par for the course then, huh?"

IWA - the idiots win again.

The HuntFish Widows' Whine Club

It seems the The Magnificent Denizens of The Huntfish Adventure Club have come under attack, once again, by several insanely jealous members of the (somewhat) fairer sex.

Thats right; Tyler, Christie, Kelly, and Janet have created a competing organization entitled "The HuntFish Widows' Whine Club" wherein the 4 women conflabulate together; daintily sipping various cheap whines poolside while generally downgrading their absent significant others, ahem, i.e. - us.

Although I'm generally in favor of HuntFish Widows maintaining healthy friendships amongst themselves, I've noticed a general sense of injury and malaise seems to pervade the attitudes of Whine Club Attendees subsequent to attendance at a Huntfish Widows Whine Club (hereinafter "HWWC") event.

I have, therefore, decided to attend the next HWWC gathering of the deserted, injured and emotionally maimed quasi-sportswomen this Sunday (unless Fred and I have gone fishing) and report back on their no-doubt distasteful and unseemly activities.

If I find anything particularly disturbing or otherwise damaging to my delicate sensibilities taking place therein; I will report back immediately.

Humbly Yours,

James G. Ewing, Jr.
HFAC Co-Chair

Monday, April 05, 2010

An Easter Defeat

I’ve spent a fair amount of time lately wandering around Lake Lanier trying to figure out how to catch fish. You’d think with a body of water as large as Lanier – your options would be fairly limitless.

That’s not the case.

I can say that definitively and I should know – because I’ve mostly found some great places where fish aren’t.

So, despite owning a bass-fishing-techniques book signed by Kevin VanDam; I think my strategy has been overall flawed. I prefer to drive around very fast until I see an area that looks “fishy”, then shut off the power and coast directly at it. Apparently that’s not the way to go, but you’d think even with a somewhat-flawed strategy you’d still meet with some success – or run over a fish and kill it or something. I ran through a portion of the lake that actually SMELLED very fishy last week and I got very excited about that, but I only caught one fish.

So far I’ve caught exactly 5 fish this month, and we’re not talking whales here either. It’s a good thing I wasn’t catering the Sermon on the Mount because I doubt these 5 fish would turn into much - even with 5 loaves and some divine intervention.

I have, however, managed to amass an immense quantity of tackle that I don’t quite know how to use and drive around very, very fast – I’m pretty happy about that.

Which brings me to my point: Easter has come and gone and, in addition to a stunning lack of success on the water, I’ve also managed to magnificently underwhelm everyone with my complete and utter failure during the Easter Egg Hunt. Not only did I not conquer the Golden Egg, but I also managed to shame up my family by not knowing either

A. Gma’s middle name (Clara – not Lillith, Lillian, Claire, or Clarke)
B. the name of the street in Macon on which my mother first lived.

I also have not been successful in continuing to love the Blue Team of Cousins who beat me so ignominiously during the competition. I loathe them - all of them, and I will be forced to carefully consider many elaborate pranks of retribution in the coming weeks to soothe my wounded spirit.

I also intend to loudly elaborate on the many grievous ways in which Team Blue Cousins cheated and otherwise behaved in an unsportsmanlike manner. I will begin with this:

1. Thomas cheated during the Blindfolded-Pinwheel-Pickup event by peeking out from under his blindfold while my completely discombobulated partner (Tyler) blindly wandered around the front yard uprooting handfuls of grass at sporadic intervals and laughing uproariously.
2. I saw – CLEARLY SAW – Sherry mouthing the word “CLARA” to Ashley during the infamous Not-Knowing-Of-The-Grandma’s-Name trivia situation.

Clearly, I cannot be expected to perform at the upper limits of my capabilities under such extreme duress.