“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Honey, I shrunk the jeans
Monday, November 30, 2009

I was at my parents' house in Colorado for Thanksgiving when I realized I had not been sitting down for two days. I would stand during conversation, or I would lie/lay (I NEVER get that word right) on the floor.

"Funniest thing," I said to my niece. "My jeans seem to have shrunk."

Not missing a beat, my very-smart niece threw me a lifeline: "Oh, it's the altitude, Uncle Ad. Jeans shrink in higher altitudes, especially around the waistline."

At any rate, I got home to Florida and immediately changed into my one-size-bigger jeans I normally wear when I'm doing landscape work outside. MUCH BETTER! I've always called them my landscaping jeans. Guess I'd better change the name to "fatty jeans."

Post from the High Plains of Colorado ...
Friday, November 27, 2009

where we are at my parents' house (and my hometown) of Burlington, Colorado for Thanksgiving. Best things so far:

1. The Mexican food. My mom's friend, Mireya, made us tamales and chili Colorado, which is a spicy red soup with pork and dried red chilis....AND DON'T FORGET THE HOMEMADE TORTILLAS!

2. The post-dinner Elvis impersonation show by my cousin Debbie, who brought down the house with "My Teddy Bear." Elvis tossed a stuffed bear into the audience at the end of his (her) act, and my daughter caught it! We managed to get Elvis to sign it before he ... left the building.

Today I'm going down to Orth's Department Store ("Big Enough to Serve You, Small Enough to Know You" ... in downtown Burlington), to check out their cowboy boots.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and that you enjoyed family as much as I did.

Update on the Cat Vomit ...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The reader who sent us the photo of the strange hairy blob (featured in this blog post a few days ago), actually sent a picture of it to the University of Georgia extension agent in her hometown. She heard back and sent me their response:

"Hey Gena,Your poop pet is interesting. Apparently whatever Spot threw up or pooped out was a good substrate for fungi to grow in. Take a look at the stream of comments on this website:http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=34791 This sounds like the fungus in your photo. Nothing to be worried about - just something to marvel at. Sorry for the slow response. Hope y'all are doing well. Karol KellyBibb County Extension Agent 736 Riverside Drive Macon, GA 31201-0378"

Whew! Mystery solved!

Stereotype of the Week: #553Q
Monday, November 23, 2009

Florida men who drive Corvettes adorn themselves with gold jewelry.

Maybe the Grossest Thing I've Ever Seen ...
Friday, November 20, 2009

From a reader, Gena in Georgia:

AD: Here's a photo to go along with the 'decomposing rat in the front yard' story!

The attached photo is what is growing--not decomposing--growing on my lawnmower. Yes, growing. Last week, Spot the Cat, threw up giblets (he hates Friskies) onto my lawnmower. It looked gross by Friday, so I didn't remove it. Sorta hoped it would disappear.

By Sunday, the mass of giblets starting taking on an odd shape, and it was getting furry. Soft downy fur. Photo taken yesterday! It now has the shape of mouse, an eye, fuzzy fur underneath long shiny hairs! Long shiny hairs! Truth - stranger than fiction. I sent our "Poop Pet" photo to Bibb County Extension Office, University of Georgia extension, but they haven't responded. If it starts to move or squeak - I am either OUTTA HERE or WAY RICH! Update later.

Ad again: OMG! Do you think this might be a cure for cancer or something?

Question for the Biologist: #457TY7
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How long does it take for a rat to decompose in a subtropical climate?
Yep ... he's in the front yard. I usually pick them up, but for some reason I'm leaving this one alone. Kinda big.

I thought some carnivore would come in the middle of the night to whisk it away, but three days have passed.

Birds of prey? Hello?
Neighbor dogs?

Where are those maggots when you need them?

Someone, call the ASPCA!
Monday, November 16, 2009

I went to Houston this weekend to visit my brother's new-serious girlfriend, and this is where she made me sleep:

I was, however, allowed to take my meals in the kitchen, but that was only because they made me cook for them!

It's a small world after all
Friday, November 13, 2009

When the very-cool professors at Macon State College asked me to contribute something to their fundraiser auction for their Crossroads Writers Conference, I hesitantly offered up the tool belt I'd worn for my latest publicity shot. This one:

I love that belt, and I was reluctant to part with it, but I also love how the Macon State professors are working their butts off to help the writers of middle Georgia. So I kissed it goodbye and dropped it in the mailbox.

Now ... guess whose wife, on her way home from business in New York, stopped in Macon/Atlanta to visit friends ON THE NIGHT OF THE AUCTION? Yep, my sweet Carol ... who is even sweeter now because she outbid everyone and is bringing the belt back to Daddy!

We will celebrate the reunion. Martinis for everyone! And I'm thinking maybe a little striptease with the toolbelt for the Mrs. .................What do you think?

Rant #4464R4: Kids on Leashes
Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spotted in an airport recently: parents who had strapped a harness/leash thingy on their way-too-active toddler. Seriously, just like a dog.

How demeaning is that?!

Safety? I think not.

Lazy? Definitely. A sign that we are DEvolving instead of evolving. Soon we'll be monkeys again because we are getting so lazy.

Parenting isn't easy, people. It requires CONSTANT vigilance. You're gonna have to look beyond yourself sometimes, okay?

Supermarket Sleuth, Post #248484T5
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You know how all the docs say we're supposed to be eating whole-wheat pasta instead of the normal, much-more-palatable semolina variety? Well, I don't know about you, but I can't stand the texture of whole-wheat pasta. It feels like you're eating chewy licorice coated with fine-grade sandpaper.

But I have finally found an awesome alternative:

Barilla Plus, which comes in all sizes and shapes. It looks like whole-wheat pasta, but it's largely made from lentils and flax seed and oats and chickpeas (garbanzo beans to my older readers), which means ... drumroll here ... EACH SERVING ACTUALLY HAS 17 GRAMS OF PROTEIN! And while the texture doesn't exactly replicate the slick white pasta it is a far cry from the awful whole-wheat product.

Cat problems on Coconut Drive
Sunday, November 8, 2009

Okay, so here's a problem we did not anticipate with our newly emptied nest: Cat From Hell.

The very-expressive Mitchell, who usually slept all night with our daughter, has taken to roaming the house in the early mornings, meowing loudly and waking us up. This starts anytime after 5 a.m.!

At first, we started waking up and letting him outside to shut him up. But then ... DUH! ... the cause-and-effect thing? He learned that by waking us up he could get exactly what he wanted, WHENEVER he wanted it. So ... I've changed tactics. Instead of letting him have his way, I scoop him up and put him in the small half-bath adjacent to the library. Hopefully, he'd get the message: Wake the Master of the house, and I get thrown into this little dark room with a cold tile floor. hmmm.... Guess I'll be quiet.

Problem: The little bastard reaches beneath the door with his paws and, as if they were hands, starts ratttling the door to see if he can get it open. Again and again and again and again . . . . My wife woke the other morning, thinking someone was trying to break into the house.

It's just like having a newborn again. Parents: Remember how you had to force yourself NOT to run to your baby's side every time she cried? And then the crying eventually stopped because baby knew it didn't work?

But I'm running out of patience. I'm thinking of another tactic: Dimetap or Benadryl in the kitty food.

Conspiracy Theory #557389343RD3
Friday, November 6, 2009

Methinks facebook was actually invented by Fidel Castro and Chavez to eat away at American productivity. Who's going to be making widgets and gadgets when they're spending all their time dreaming up clever status reports?

A word about those who text while driving ...
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I don't know about you guys, but I'm afraid to drive places these days because of ALL THE CRAZY PEOPLE WHO ARE TEXTING WHILE DRIVING. I had a near miss the other day because a woman behind me was engaged with her keypad, and she didn't see me slow down to turn, and she had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting me.

I find myself tapping my brake lights more often these days, in hopes of alerting drivers who might be texting. But now I have a better idea.

The horns in cars all point forward, so the noise projects in front of you. We need to start equipping cars with REAR horns as well, to keep those texters on their toes.

And here's a befitting punishment to anyone who kills or seriously injures another motorist because they were texting: CUT OFF THEIR THUMBS.

Put the damn phones down, people! Cars are dangerous things. Texting while driving is a selfish, stupid thing to do.