Monday, February 19, 2007

Old Yeller and lost Innocence

Recently, and I mean as in within the last week, my kids were listening to Old Yeller on tape as their mammy drove them around town. Now someone should have placed a forewarning label on the book or the “book on tape” cause there is no mention of the possibility that your kids might not know what the word “castration” means.

So there was my wife just driving along, listening to the narrator telling the story when much to her surprise, he tells the listener that it was time to go castrate the pigs. Stop. Rewind.

Mommy, what does “castration” mean? There were all four kids in the car: ages 2, 5, 8 and 10. The two youngest couldn't really care all that much about the story, but the other two certainly were engrossed enough to ask and listen for the answer.

The way my wife tells it [I hope she’ll forgive me if I get it wrong], she replied that males have the little ball sacs on either side of their “pooder” [call it what you will]. Those little ball sacs have the boy part that helps make babies. If they let the boy pigs grow up with them, then their meat gets all tough and isn’t very tasty so they cut them off [upon which my oldest boy exclaimed, “Ouch!”.…and then she resumed play. However, my wife mentioned that she could literally see [through the rear-view mirror] the wheels turning inside the head of our 8 year old boy, as he was trying to figure out the whole “boy part that helps make babies”. Much to her relief, that was enough of an answer to satisfy their inquiry and then they chose to keep playing the tape and found out that Old Yeller dies and that was sad...a double wammy.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Philosopher of One

An Observation:

For those who may be unawares, I spend way too much time in the building posted above. This is the English building at Texas Tech University. Alright so I shouldn’t refer to is as just the “English” building because it also houses the Philosophy person. If you were to divide the building into eight sections [two sections for each floor] the Philosophy department occupies two of the eight sections [the east side of the first two floors].

Because I spend so much time in this building, I find myself regularly taking my mini “Australian” walk-a-bouts through the building as a way to get up and stretch my legs [the torture rack at home is broken]. At any given moment during my jaunts through the English turf, I can see and hear the commotion of students all day long. Pick a floor, doesn’t matter. If it’s on the English side of the building [divided my masking tape] there is life to be found.

Whenever I cross the boundary [through whatever wormhole stands before me]. I am transported to the silent “serenity now” quite and desolate halls of Aristotle, Cicero, Kant, and Charlie Chaplin. Ha! Bet you didn’t know ole Chaplin philosophized anything did you. One of his more famous quotes is, "The silent picture is a universal means of expression. Talking pictures necessarily have a limited field, they are held down to the particular tongues of particular races... There is a constant demand for a medium that is universal in its utility." How much more philosophical can you get than that?

But I digress…are philosophers a dying breed? Judging by first hand evidence of walking those halls, it is indeed a dying breed and someone has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Provost into thinking that they need ¼ of the building when they could get by in a custodial closet.

So do I have an ethical responsibility to convert the last poor soul over to the light of English so we can just have the rest of the building to accommodate the overflow of the true seekers of truth and light?

Am I destined to be like Martin Luther King Jr. who answered the siren call to carry the gospel of freedom across America? Does anyone have some poster board and a sharpie to spare? I’ve got a soul to save.

♫ Onward English Soldiers! ♫

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Four for Four Fridays

Four Fridays in a row we have had snow and my fellow Lubbockians are all on their knees a tremblin and a fearin that the end of the Earth is upon us.

So in a fine tradition of eat, drink and be merry, I present to you the eating part [the rest you’ll have to work out on your own]:

Oatmeal Chocolate Caramel bars

2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Oats
½ tsp. Salt
1 ½ Cups Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda

Mix all together

Melt 2 ½ sticks of butter

Add to mixture
(should be about the consistency of graham cracker crust used for cheesecake)

Place ¾ crust in 9x13 greased pan (press/spread out evenly across the bottom)
Bake at 325° for 17 minutes
Sprinkle 1 bag of chocolate chips
Drizzle one jar of Caramel sauce on top (enough to cover the top)
Crumble remaining crust over the top
Bake another 17 minutes
Allow to cool for two hours
Enjoy....cause the end is near