Monthly Archives: November 2010

Warrenizing – the beard

So it’s been 24 days since I started to make the change…from handsome clean-shaven upstanding citizen Warren to bearded, Jacob the werewolf-like (def Team Jacob in our house), Adonis Warren.  I can’t say that I really like the beard in most ways.  It itches and tickles my nose (if I were actually ticklish, but that’s soft) and catches food that I’d rather see fall to the floor.  It’s also 7 hairs grayer than it was last year.  I guess I do enjoy the fact that my morning preparation time has gone from  9 minutes to 7 though.  I am pretty sure that Emily brushes her teeth longer than it takes me to go from bed to out the door.

Some people just look better with a beard and some look better without.  I can’t decide which way I look more awesome.  I do know that when I am wrestling the kids, the beard is a great advantage though.  If the kids have me pinned down, I can always drag this beard across their skin and they leap back as if a big hairy rat brushed against them.  It’s a great weapon.  Seph is drawn to the beard too.  You may remember that Seph is the little orange kitten I found moments after being born.  I hand-nursed him back to health and now he is a regular (though not normal) cat.  But, you see, he never had a proper mom experience.  He was never properly weaned or any of that.  He still has issues with wanting to nurse on things…my beard included!  Yeah, I am not too much into that.  I’ll tell you though, it’s a sure way to make sure I wake up and get straight out of bed!

Well, regardless of how the Warrenizing of the beard goes, the most fun part comes when it is time to shave it all off…in sections.  Of course, I’ll have pictures of the event proving I have no dignity whatsoever!  Happy Thanksgiving!

The end of the world

Well, maybe it wasn’t quite the end of the world but sometime last night, my web server crashed.  The whole computer didn’t die, just the actual program that is the web server.  Did you know that’s how the web works?  Individual machines run programs that receive requests for certain web pages.  The web server program finds those pages and pushes the information back to the requester.  My web server machine resides in my office at work.  It’s pretty cool to manage my own system in a lot of ways…but not always.

Anyhow, my web server machine was fine but the program stopped for some reason.  It’s not supposed to do that.  It rarely does that.  I was bummed that hundreds of spammers could not assault my machine all night long as I slept.  I hate to let those folks down, but alas, software is fickle.

Well friends, the web server is back up and running so let’s hope the spammers can catch up to meet their quotas!

OCD eggs

About a year ago I first disclosed my wife’s CDO (that’s OCD only in alphabetic order as it should be).  She’s funny about a lot of things including the slots on the screws for switch covers.  I think I bring something to the OCD table too though.  I must have an even number of eggs in the egg carton and they must be distributed in a symmetric pattern in the carton.

Most mornings I cook eggs for Emily and Abigail.  They usually each eat 2 eggs which works in nicely with my OCD needs.  Sometimes, however, Emily will have used an odd number of eggs in something she cooks.  On those days, Emily and Abigail split 5 eggs instead of 4.  An odd number will not abide in my house!

It’s a little crazy but on odd eggs days, I will stop what I am doing and cook something to make it work.  I cannot sleep until it is made right.  Does anyone else share my egg issues?  Do you have anything even remotely similar about which you obsess?

Make whoopee pies, not war!

I got a wild hair on Sunday and decided to bake.  It’s not often when I feel a deep need to bake, but it happened this weekend.  I searched through stacks and stacks of newspaper clippings and cookbooks and websites…well, not really.  I pretty much had a hankering for whoopee pies, an old favorite my Mom used to make.  I am pretty sure Emily was taking a nap and the kids were doing…whatever it is that my kids do when their Dad is baking.

I cracked my Mom’s homemade cookbook and started adding ingredients.  About half way through adding stuff into the mixing bowl, I discovered that I was actually making a peanut butter ball-whoopee pie hybrid.  Being a food pacifist, I decided to press on man, you know, live and let live man…it’s all groovy man.

I just added a bunch more stuff to the bowl and pressed on through.  Did you know that flour and cocoa and a Kitchen-Aid mixer can rocket clear to the ceiling?  Anyhow, I got stuff all mixed up and baked and then Isaac and I shared the remains of the icing on the mixer and the bowl and the ceiling.

I was pretty so-so on them when they were warm but the next morning, yesterday morning, I ate more than one for breakfast.  Now that, my friends is when they are good…and good for you too!

In case you feel a need to journey with me on my quest for health-less-ness, here’s the recipe:


1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sour milk plus 2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour

Mix together then add 1 cup of hot water.  Daub big goopy spoonfuls onto a slightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in a 400 deg oven.


2 egg whites – whipped (and beaten…and taunted)
2 Tbsp vanilla
4 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix and add 1 more cup powdered sugar and 3/4 cup shortening.  Once the pies are cool, spread the icing between like sized pies and hide from your children!  Oh yeah, cats seem to like them too…

Electrical roulette

We are always amazed as we repair and replace stuff in our old house.  Amazed and terrified in most cases.  Take, for example, the outside lights we replaced a few weeks ago.  They were junky looking lights and one had stopped working.  They looked ancient so we figured it wasn’t worth trying to fix them up.  Up I climb on my ladder and off comes the set screw holding it all together.  My jaw dropped as I lowered the light from the box holding the light in the wall.  Both lights were connected to regular 12 gauge wire by telephone wire (24 gauge).  In case you are not familiar, 12 gauge wire is a pretty typical size wire for running electricity through a house.  On the other hand, I used to play with 24 gauge telephone wire as a kid when I wanted to mess with flashlight batteries and tiny gizmos.  Twelve gauge wire is rated for a maximum of 25 Amps in free air, or 20 Amps as part of a 3 conductor cable (i.e. typical household usage).  Telephone wire is not rated at all for household current.

Ok, I know, I am going on and on.  I just can’t imagine what would make someone decide to connect an obviously very skinny wire (diameter of 0.0201 inches) to a very not-skinny wire (diameter of 0.0808 inches…4 times the diameter of the other).  Even if you know little about electricity, I would think one would at least pause for a moment upon seeing such a difference.  Check this out for a graphic

Fortunately my house didn’t burn down.  I don’t know how previous owners didn’t have problems aside from the fact that the lights were probably rarely used because of their location.  As we work through the issues in this money-pit adventure of home ownership, I shudder to think of what else lies in wait for us.

Anyone else see crazy stuff in your house and wonder how you survive?

Secret agent man

You folks never knew I had a secret, did you?  Well sure enough, I once had hair.  Yeah, that’s the big secret.  But these pics looks like I almost ended up being a FBI agent in the 80s I think.  I would have had lots of secrets if I had gone that way I think.  And with my memory, you should all be glad that I didn’t let my 1987 career choice take hold…I couldn’t keep my lies from my truths straight.  I honestly couldn’t remember my way out of a wet paper bag!

I have no idea why we were dressed up, but I definitely remember that get-up.  I was especially proud of the knit tie with th squared off bottom…remember those?  I had a ton of them.  I can’t imagine why I was gussied up as I never wear a tie…well, that is unless it’s for a wedding or a funeral.  I figure that either case is the end of a life and worth honoring.  Anyhow, with smiles on our faces (my brother and I were quite the duo), I doubt we were going to either a wedding or a funeral…

I worked with a guy a few years ago who always wished for a return to the days when men wore hats and the world was a bit more civilized.  I am not sure that time ever really existed but wearing hats would surely make for interesting conversation!  It seems like I had a hat just like the one my bother wears in the first picture….hmmm…I think I like nowadays when men don’t wear hats just fine.  What about you?

Die mosquito scum!

I am a bit behind on posting…well, a lot behind, but there’s another story there that I will tell later.  Anyhow, I think I have mentioned that I hate winter and all things cold (except cold Mt Dew and frozen Snickers bars, and air conditioning), but I do get a special joy when we get our first frost.  Our first good solid frost came Saturday morning.  So, on Saturday morning, when I saw the sparkle of the ice on the leaves, I gave a 21 raspberry salute to all of the dang mosquitoes that died.

I am not exactly sure why, but we seem to have an extra helping of mosquitoes around our place.  We go to other places around Charleston and it doesn’t seem to bad.  I guess there must be swamp land near by…that or else my gutters are jammed up with leaves that hold extra water longer than they should even though I try to keep them clean in spite of the two gigantic trees towering overhead that shed stuff spring, summer, and fall (whew, what a sentence!)  Yeah, probably swamp land.

Anyhow, we’ve had our frost and I got to to see the pretty look of the ice on the grass.  My volunteer tomatoes and herbs are dead.  Now, let’s get back to summer, shall we?

Braces – the final act (I hope)

Well, it’s official…3/4 of my family are now in braces of some form (at least the payments tell me so).  Isaac had his braces installed 2 weeks ago and has only recently stopped complaining about how they hurt.  I didn’t figure I should approach him about taking a picture until it was safe.

The faces of Isaac - part 1
Yikes! The faces of Isaac - part 2

Anyhow, now that they are in place, he is doing well with them although having to give up Twix bars has been pretty tough.  In the car, right before he was scheduled to go into get the braces installed, he was plowing through mini-Twix bars as fast as he could!  That’s my boy!

The faces of Isaac - part 3

There are little bands of some sort that you get when the put braces on.  I think there must be 2 dozen colors from which he could choose but he decided on navy.  He claims that he will get navy every time (apparently they change them now and then).  It must be the black/rotten teeth look he is going for…or maybe he wants to be dark and mysterious.  Anyhow, they look good and we can already tell a big difference in the space between his front teeth.


When we started with Abigail’s teeth, we figured we’d have to change our vacation schedule…into taking rides about the city on public transportation.  Now that Isaac’s have started, I think my only travel will be to Walmart to my second job!

It’s Novembeard!

Have you heard? It’s Novembeard! My brother has long been a supporter of the Novembeard concept. I think he got it from my Dad. Anyhow, I am a late comer but a true believer! I laid my razor down on Halloween and will not drag a blade across my face again until after Christmas.

The beginning...

In addition to being incredibly stylish, I suspect this will save both time and money. My morning “get ready for work” time will drop from 8 minutes to 6 and my water usage will decline in similar fashion. I can keep the heat turned down a degree or two lower and my beard will provide a habitat for small woodland animals. Novembeard is green!

Without a beard...
An artist's rendition of what's to come...

Normally I wouldn’t even consider missing more than a day or two of shaving but for such a special time of year, I am prepared to do what it takes (and I am not even running for public office with that slogan…but I do approve this message) to propagate Novembeard as a national phenomenon. Ladies, gentlemen, children of all ages, please join me in skipping the morning shave and so we can take Novembeard from coast to coast!