Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So I went to the Mens Wearhouse to buy a suit....

Before we begin, please note that I am colorblind. I think my new suit is either brown or gray. I think the shirt and tie are sort of blue, but don't hold me to that.
The last time I was fitted for a suit jacket was February of 2006 after I had my right hip replaced. I was around 330 pounds (or more) at the time.
I'm at 232 now, so you can guess that nothing I own dress clothes wise looks good on me.

Last night as the tailor at Men's Wearhouse was putting my suit together, it became readily apparent that I look good. I let Mrs C pick out the color coordination, because I have no clue. If the U.S. goddamn Army hadn't issued me a standard military green dress uniform way back in the early 1980's, I probably would have fouled that all up.

we started out by trying on about 478 different jackets, trying to find just the right fit for my wide shoulders, broad chest, and slim waist. Thank god we nailed the pleated pants on the first try. I wasn't trying on that many pants.

I don't get the whole matching socks/slacks/belt/shoes/jacket/shirt/tie thing, I mean, come on, why do the socks and belt have to be coordinated? At least I'm wearing them, isn't that enough? What's next, color coordinating my undies?
I don't thinks so!
Anyway, I'm going to a Cousin's wedding in a few weeks, and many of these people aren't going to recognize me. For some of them, it has probably been 20 years or more, almost thirty, they haven't seen me since before I joined the Army after Reagan was elected. (yeah, it's been that long)

I have to give some props to the salesman at the clothing store, his name was Chris, like mine, and he knew his stuff. When we walked in the door they only had one other customer, so I received much needed, and appreciated, attention. I don't know if there might have been a case of "queer Eye" going on, but I really needed it, and this team that was looking after me was good.

There was this older, gray haired woman there who assisted in compiling different color coordinated shirts and ties to go with my custom jacket and slacks, and she knew her stuff, giving Mrs C several options to choose from. They laid everything out on a table along with the jacket and pants, and we could see how it all would supposedly go together. I'm comfortable saying that I liked all 6,498 possible combinations they offered, and what we, (well, Mrs C) eventually chose.

If I had gone by myself, I'd have picked the first thing offered that fit.
That's how I shop. I know I railed about the shopping habits of some women in a previous post, but at this point, I will admit that I might have been in error.
There are times when a man needs that women's perspective, and for me, this was one of them.

So how much did it cost? Oh, let's not talk about money! It's a one time purchase right? yeah, I needed it! It was worth it!

I going to have to repeat that mantra a lot for a while. maybe I will start to believe it.

Okay, I survived my terrifying trip to the men's Store to get a suit. It wasn't all that scary. Taking my wife to dinner at Dead Lobster afterwards, now that was scary. I'll tell you about that next time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

CSI: Weddings? What not to Wear?

On a list of Top Ten Things that Married Men aren't enthusiastic about doing...

Attending Weddings is in the Top 5.

Why? Why an Aversion to attending an event where we see another guy sacrifice himself on the altar of submission to the desires of a woman? Do we feel that we are being forced to revisit a crime scene? CSI: Weddings?

It's not that we don't stand there at the ceremony, grinning, and telling the guy how lucky he is, oh, yeah, we do that. It's not that we don't take the vows seriously, and understand how important making this commitment is, we know that too.

The point here is, we guys already blew one day of our lives attending our own wedding, and that's about as much as we can take. We are not into Bridezillas, or color co-ordinating the brides dresses, to match the table clothes.
Truth be known, we are guys, and we are more interested in how our baseball team is doing, and it is very likely that we had to give up box seats to a game to attend the Wedding.

For guys, we one up each other by the car we drive, because we likely restored it and did the body and engine work ourselves. We use the same logic with our shelter, pointing to the house we built with our own two hands. But Women?
They one up each other by shopping. From Purses, to dresses, to shoes, it's all about the shopping experience. Their Brains ARE WIRED different. No argument from this guy!

Let me explain. When I go to Giant/Redners/Weiss Kings or Wegmans, I'm in and out in 15 minutes. When I shop, I get what I need, and get out. For reference, I'm just as quick at lowes or Homey Depot. I have to get home and get back to painting, mowing, weed whacking, or assembling whatever the wife has recently purchased. (Yesterday the wife brought home 6' metal tubular D minor Church wind chimes, that are now hanging on our front porch. (Next Post, Trust Me!)

But Back to Weddings, and their connection to a Woman's biological drives. Weddings are the ultimate statement of a woman's means and taste. They will move heaven and earth to blow their friends away in envy. A guy will restore a 64 Mustang, a woman will throw a Wedding.

Woman aren't crying for joy at weddings, They are crying in envy. If you see a man crying at a Wedding, he is either A) Gay, or B) Weeping at the thought of all the money spent that could have paid for Eagles/Phils/Flyers season tickets for at least a decade.

Now having said all that above, I don't mind Weddings. I attend very few, and I look at them as social occasions, and an opportunity, as an old married guy, to mock the groom. I get together with other old married guys, and we cluster at the rear, drink beer, and share war stories. We give our wives the obligatory Dance or two, and if the days been good, and the ceremony a quick one, We might even have found a place at the reception to sit around a TV and watch a Penn State game. (That's why I like fall weddings over Summer ones, College Football season)

So here's the deal: I have to travel to Boston in a couple of weeks and attend a Cousin's wedding. I'll get to see a bunch of family I missed on the last visit, and I'm looking forward to that. The problem is, I have lost over 100lbs in weight, and my suit doesn't fit anymore. This means I have to buy a new one. I was planning to wear Khakis, a collared shirt, and Nike's, but Mrs C was aghast at that pronouncement. So Monday night I have consented to go to Today's man and buy appropriate clothing for an outdoor, summer wedding.
I might be back with the tale of that terrifying experience in my next post, if I survive, and my wife doesn't kill me.

That will be my post from my blog beyond the grave: CSI Trexlertown

Add on:

Kathy at the Junk Drawer has some thoughts on inappropriate women's wear that I think are pretty funny. Click here:

Further Add on: Okay, the Bell Chimes are in D Major, and we went to the Men's Wearhouse on Macarther road next to Michaels to purchase my new threads. Mrs C said I looked hot. I pick them up Friday.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The First Butterfly of the Summer at our House

We have a Butterfly Bush planted at the Corner of our garage, and as I was returning home from work today, I spotted this beauty feeding from it. it's the first I have seen this summer. We have two other bushes much closer to the swamp out back from which I believe they come, but it came to the street side of the property, attracted by the many colorful blooms. Mrs. C could probably sit on her new hammock and take pictures of them coming and going all day if the timing was right.

I'm not big on using a net to capture butterflies, then pinning them to a piece of wood and mounting them somewhere. I think that is just plain cruel. How would we humans feel if another species did that to us? now there's a future Tales of Terror, don't you think?

Something that really amazed me as I took this was that as I was standing there it was exceptionally windy, yet the beautiful little thing hung on, gathering the precious nectar with all its might.

I took this picture with my camera less than a foot away, as the wind was gusting. It flitted to another branch in the wind, and continued gathering nectar. By the time I let the dogs out, you would have thought it finished, but it was still there. It flitted away, with crazy Sally Dog in pursuit of it, the butterfly oblivious to her barking and yapping at it. It was out of the yard, over the railroad and into the Swamp before I could get another picture of it. I hope I see more of them this weekend, I will be ready with the camera if I do. Anybody know what kind of Butterfly it is? I know what a Monarch is, They are mostly Orange and I see many of those each year, but this one I am unfamiliar with. Leave a comment if you know!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What would you do for Free Chicken?

Yeah, it's blurry, I'm not the best picture taker

Okay, I took these at 5:20 AM. I pulled into the Parking area for the new Chick Fil A north of Quakertown on my way to work. When I drove by heading north at 3:30 PM yesterday, there were already several tents set up.
I drove through several powerful downpours this Morning on my way to work in New Britain, and I can't imagine why those folks would camp in those cheap tents for Free Chicken! Are you that damn hungry? Is it that damn good? I don't think so!
When I drove by at 3:30 PM on the way home, all the tents were gone, and it looked like the Chick-Fil-A on Hamilton Boulevard by my House. No more tent city!

But to each their own. I had enough of camping out in inclement weather in the Army. While we are on retail food as a subject, what the Hell is going on with Dunkin' Donuts? They closed the Coopersburg store permanently, and the one on 309 south of Trainor's Corner has been closed since April, but it looks like they are remodeling it. Maybe?
I've never hit the Starbucks, (It is closing, but has a drive thru) because I'm not paying $4 bucks for bad coffee.

There's going to be a new WaWa next to the Chick-Fil-A, and that will help, but my coffee choices are getting limited! Can't the Government do something about this?
Isn't that the government's job, making me happy, at everyone else's expense? LOL!
Okay, Time to bring the Dogs in from the yard, and head to the Gym, bye now!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Hammock from Hell

I want to start this post by making it undoubtedly clear that I Love My wife more than anything, and we will celebrate our 12th Wedding Anniversary on September 6th. That's a future story, considering we had an outdoor wedding, a guest named Hurricane Fran, and another known as the "wet Skunk." But I digress, Today I'm going to share with you how much I really really really really really love my wife.

My wife has always loved relaxing in a hammock in the yard, but since we moved to Trexlertown a few years ago, she has gone without that pleasure. She's been tempted a few times, to buy a cheap Big Box mart or Do-it yourself bargain sale item, but that always involved me putting something together.

It's not that I can't do it, or won't do it, It has always seemed that whatever item she purchased, we would get the box that inexplicably was missing a part...or two... or three... or in one case, had parts that weren't manufactured correctly.

So Yesterday, we are at a Big Box store, lets call it NOTSAM"s CLUB, and she spies that the Super Duper, LazyBoy Brand Special Hammock they have had in there for the last few months is marked down for clearance. It is now UNDER $200. Oh Joy! Now for some perspective, earlier in the day we were at a store called NOT SUPERMART, where she had me look at wicker furniture for our concrete patio porch. That stuff ranged from $249 to $300. At that time, I was able to sway her from buying anything. But AT NOTSAM"S CLUB (which happened to be in Reading, and being remodeled, another level of retail Hell for a future story) my will to resist had weakened, and like a good little Borg husband, I knew it was over and that resistance was futile. In the end, we got off cheaper, and I accepted my fate.

I said Okay. C'mon, if it makes her happy, so what if I set an Olympic record for bad words putting it together? The point is, she gets what she wants, and I make her happy. that's a win win, in most books, if maybe not the pocketbook.

So we are still in the store and I go get a flatbed cart, and try my damnedest to pick the one box that looks the least banged up, and most likely to still have all the parts. My wife hurt her shoulder last week, so Krickett dutifully kept the flatbed from rolling away while I sent one box to the floor behind the display with a "BANG", and took the one that had been under it. Oh yeah, one 7 foot long box, weighing 210 pounds. Yeah, I picked that right up with one hand!
Getting it down onto the cart was easy, but getting it in my Saturn Vue? More fun!

Yes, Krickett got her fingers smooshed, but I got her some ice cream in Topton on the way home, and let her stay in the air conditioned car while I got her a soft cone. We had to stand the box on one side and slide it up between the front seats a bit, but we resolved to persevere!

So we get it home, and I get it out of the car, stand it up on one end, and walk it into the garage, where I stand it between the doors. It is a good thing I am very strong in the upper body, and I've lost a lot of weight. Whoo! That was a lot of effort! That was Saturday at 5:30 PM. On Sunday, today, at 11:00 AM, after I had finished mowing and weeding, I decided to take on the Assembly task. I unpacked the box, and layed everything out.

Lets take inventory!

5 pieces of steel tubing, different sizes and shapes? Check! Any of them have identifying letters or anything on them giving them a part designation? NO!

Any clues or diagrams on how they are supposed to be assembled, or any particular order? NO!

8 two inch long slotted bolts with washers and lock nuts? Check!

2 4 inch long "I" bolts, with washers and lock nuts? Check!

4 6 inch long "J' hooks? er..... NO! we only have three! Hurray!

1 6 inch long wrench for tightening said lock nuts? Check!

1 Big fluffy pillow with "LAZYBOY" emblazoned on it? Check!

1 storage bag containing the Lazyboy hammock rolled up inside it? Check!

How about directions? Sort of...

This is why I think the people in China are laughing their asses off at us. The directions consisted of three pictures.

Figure one showed all the pieces laid out.

Figure two showed the assembled Frame

Figure three showed you the hammock hanging from the jayhooks.

That's not exactly a lot of freakin help, okay?

I swear to God, if the Chinese had to put truth in advertising statements on the boxes of stuff they ship here, The box containing the Lazyboy Hammock would state: "Manufactured in LeadpoisoningRiver Province by People Laughing hysterically at the mere thought of American slobs trying to Assemble it."

It was only eight screws to assemble 5 pieces of tubing, but they were bent and curved, and they only went together one way that would let you hang a hammock.
Do you know how hot it was out in my yard Sunday July 20th at noontime? The screws were supposed to fit in preformed slots, but do you think they lined up? Think the guy operating the drill press over there on the assembly line in Leadpoisoningriver Province might have been a bit hung over the day our Hammock parts were made? MAYBE!

But I'm a man. An American Man. An American Man who loves his red white and blue god fearing American wife, and I will do whatever it takes to defeat those Communist Chinese and their evil plot to make everyday American men like me go nuts!

I showed them Chinese Commies! It's together, and she loves it! Now, there was that little issue with the Hammock not reaching the ends, and needing to be stretched a bit, but Krickett, bad shoulder and all, is a tough, true, Red, White, and Blue American Woman, and with her help, we put that Hammock on those hooks. Then we sat in it a while, and that helped stretch it out further. (It has a 400lb limit, and the two of us don't come close! Boolyah! (Oh, yeah, that it had stickers for!)

Who needs directions, when you've got good old American willpower and go get'em attitude?! Or in Krickett's case, a husband like me?!

Please hold your applause, I'm not worthy!

The point is, I overcame the evil plot of those sinister Chinese and that junk we buy, and made my wife happy. The Hammock might be from Hell, but for my wife, laying in it is Heaven. Boolyah!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sorry for the delay!

I've got new material in the works, its just that I felt the Naked Blogger Novels deserved their own blog, and i created one, for them only.
The first one, "The Naked Blogger Bares All" is 51 Chapters, and one chapter will pop up each morning at 6 AM, with the last chapter popping up on August 31st.

The second Novel is "Naked Blogger in Bronze", the third novel is "Til Death we Blog" and the fourth, as many already infamously know, is "Blogger Found Dead"

If you want to read the First Installment, it can be found at

I'm working on the outline/rough draft of a "prequel" novel that tells the story of how the very bad person who commits most of the crime in my novels came to be.
I don't have a working title for it yet, but I do have a basic storyline of the origins in place.

Bares all finishes up sometime in late November
Blogger in Bronze will probably start showing up a month after that. I have tentatively decided on "til Death we Blog" sometime around Valentines Day. Hint: it involves infidelity through a blog, so that's appropriate.

Blogger found Dead, though, will start no earlier than April Fools day, 2009, and to protect myself from rabid idiots who take fiction out of context, will have several disclaimers. I refuse to rewrite it, because as it unfolds, some might see how off base they were with their assumptions and arrogance.

It's been easy posting the chapters, all I had to do was copy and paste from my Microsoft word files of the original text, and breaking it down from the lengthy, original 15 chapters into 51 10 minutes or less reads was actually pretty simple.

I wish I had a qualified Editor, but I don't. I've made minor adjustments to plot and deleted a few minor details, while adding some, and this is probably at least the 10th edition of Blogger Bares all. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing and thinking it up.