Rats …


Rats do not live in my back yard … they die in my back yard.  Rats must think they’ve found an oasis when they come over, or under, the fence.  Scuttling towards the pool or resting beneath the lush greenery, they must think their life is grand, that they have been rewarded by the very heavens for their “ratness,” that they will reign over this oasis forever.  Perhaps they have time to get comfortable for a short while, to take in the sights, munch on fat insects or fallen seeds, and take little rat baths in the pool (ok, that’s just icky…)  Little do they know that a murderer is lying in wait, just inside the brick mountain.  Little does the murderer know either, that outside the brick mountain he will be so lucky as to find an unsuspecting rat in HIS yard.

I have found two dead rats in my yard lately (one of them I found today).  These were not rats dead of old age, or rats that were injured in battle and crawled off to a shady spot to lick their wounds and die.  No, these dead rats I found in the middle of the yard, like they had been in mid-stride running for their lives … and didn’t make it.  It’s a war zone out there!  Now tell me, is this the face of a killer?

Not a great picture, my real camera is not well … will replace this picture at the first opportunity!  How do you like that?  Rat gets a better picture than beloved doggie!

Just for the record, I’ve never seen him kill a rat, I just know the terrier’s reputation around little animals.  In spite of his murderous tendencies, he’s a sweet, sweet boy …


I’ll have the Kung Pao Enchilada Combo, please …


Now, here’s a concept.  I have no idea if this place is still open – there were cars outside when I drove by today.  As my daughter says, maybe these two things should never go together.  While I admire the owner’s creativity, what in the world would I order? 

…oh, maybe I’ll have the Peking Duck instead, and please bring me a side of refried beans with that …

If I catch you out again, Sonny Boy …

Call me irreverant, or call me a rotten parent.  My son was cited for violating the town’s curfew, and I have a bone or two to pick, and a picture or two to post.  Yes, I appreciate the risks that the good men and women in blue take, and the thankless jobs they do every day in my little community.  I just think they tend to wax overzealous once in a while … ok, more than once in a while.  The curfew regulation in our town states that all kids aged 16 & under must be home by 11:00 p.m., except on Friday and Saturday nights, when curfew is extended until 12:00 a.m.  That’s the rule year-round, school days or summer.  The curfew regulation also states that the officer may use discretion regarding whether to issue a citation or not.  Now, I’ll just come out and say that, at least in theory, this curfew regulation is a positive thing.  It’s bound to be a deterrent to kids who might otherwise, in immature and misguided moments, deface public or private property, vandalize cars, etc.  I also believe that these types of crimes are mostly committed by teenagers … usually late at night.  I have to believe that this is the type of kid that this regulation is aimed at, because a “bad” kid just doesn’t care about violating curfew.

Ok, he hasn’t been perfectly behaved all the days of his life, but Alex is just not that type of kid.  He was definitely out after curfew.  He was, in fact, outside talking to friends at the park across the street less than 200 feet from our front door (yes, we measured).  We knew exactly where he was, but we lost track of time (I know, not a good excuse).  They weren’t being loud, drinking, smoking, throwing bottles, cussing, well maybe cussing, but if so, they were quiet!  It was the first time that the officer had ever laid eyes on Alex, but can’t send him home (that unfathomable distance) with a warning?  Irreverance alert … whatever … but this is the same town in which my daughter received a similar citation/punishment at the tender age of 15 for jaywalking in a former crosswalk which still had visible lines, but that’s another story … as I said whatever …

So, son gets a citation and has to go to Court, with parent in tow.  Below he is paying his Court fee. 

Not such a conciliatory expression, is it?  Likely, my fault for my incredulous response to this whole process.  The process, by the way, is that Alex could have taken his chances with a real jury, whereby if he were to lose, he would have to pay a $243 fine and the offense would remain on his record … or go to Teen Court, where the minimum sentence will be serving several teen jury terms and 24-38 hours of community service.  Obviously, can’t take the chance that he would lose a jury trial, and it’s not like the community service will kill him.  It’s just that the system is set up so that you have no choice but to go to Teen Court and accept at least the minimum punishment.  Even if he wasn’t guilty (which, by the book, you know he was), it’s still not much of a choice.  You’re deemed guilty whether you’re guilty or not. 

I will say that, smart-ass expression aside, son is WELL aware of the curfew hour now.  He turns the magic age of 17 in about a month, so soon it won’t be an issue.  A month older and he can stay out all night and it’s okay with my little town, just not with his momma and dadda. 

Here’s the kicker.  While at Court, we saw other teens that live in our area present for their own hearings regarding their own curfew violations.  One friend was cited at 11:07 p.m., desperately trying to make it home in time.  Well, at least Alex had a respectable time of 12:15 a.m.!  Bad mommie!  Apparently our diligent officers are out in force after 11:00 p.m. issuing these citations, because that’s just the letter of the law around here. 

Son has a date at Teen Court in about a month where he can plead his case.  Guess we’ll see if a jury of his peers throw the book at him, or let him off with the “minimum.”

Irreverance alert … after appearing in Court, we took these pictures with his accomplices in crime in front of the Courthouse …  

… in front of the security cameras.  Yep, they’ll probably throw the book at him …

A Wicked Cast of Characters

Think of all the places you’ve worked and all the people you’ve worked with.  Since this is my blog, I’m thinking of an office, any office, and here is my sample cast of characters:

  • the oh, I might as well do it, I do everything else (aka the whole world, it’s-a on my shoulders)
  • the I’m the lowest paid but I do the most work (aka poor pitiful me)
  • the if you had only done YOUR job then I wouldn’t have to do it (aka you moron)
  • the I will complain until you can hear my whiny voice in your sleep (aka tiny whiny, closely related to poor pitiful me and you moron)
  • the power tripper (no aka needed here)
  • the perfectionist (would describe most people in a legal department)
  • the slob (no aka needed)
  • the I don’t care, I’m just here for the money (aka half-ass effort)
  • the I don’t feel so well (aka I’m out of sick time)
  • the lecherous (aka winky pinchy)
  • the helpless (aka I don’t know how)
  • the helper (aka ladder climber)
  • the much too busy for your problem (aka I’ve got my own job, you know)
  • the doer (aka the perfect employee)
  • the gossip (aka dirt digger)
  • the who are you again? (aka have I met you more than 20 times?)
  • the suck-up (no aka needed here)
  • the screw-up (no aka needed here)
  • the I’m in charge (aka large and in charge)
  • the it’s not my fault (aka it’s your fault)

Sometimes you have a two-fer or even a three-fer in one single character!  For instance, you could have a half-ass effort winky pinchy, or the loveable large and in charge have I met you more than 20 times you moron.  That’s a popular combination!  The combinations are endless, similar to a large assorted gift box of Jelly Bellys.  How about the it’s your fault I’m out of sick time dirt digger, and my favorite combination, the world, it’s-a on my shoulders poor pitiful me tiny whiny.  All of them charming characters!

Actually, I work with some nice people, so I’m not suggesting that every single employee out there is on this list.  Face it, for the most part it’s just not an attractive list.  I’m starting to wonder where I fit in … oh yeah, I created this, so yes, I’ll be the perfect employee …

You know you want to …

Not to be outdone by Fritz’s cutesy poses, here is Zoe, trying to convince any passersby that they ought to stop by for a long and satisfying belly-rub.  That would be her belly, and you rubbing, just so there’s no confusion here.


If Zoe were human, and actually, if she could only talk I would argue that she just might be, I believe that she would actually be the shy type, in spite of this scandalous pose to the contrary.  She is protective and a little guarded around strangers, but once you are in her good graces, you’re just as good for a belly rub as the next guy. 

Same pose, different angle:

It’s hard to ignore, for how can you ignore a dog who, when you come near, does a total flip-flop, legs all askew and eyes directed squarely at yours … rub my belly, please??  You know you want to … and you know if you don’t you will just feel guilty for ignoring me … and if you don’t feel guilty, I’ll just follow you into the next room and do the belly beg again … so you might as well just get it over with now …