The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘arizona’

Attn: Ellen (8/27/14)


Ellen DeGeneres postcard

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen DeGeneres postcard

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

I’m pretty sure this postcard is supposed to be for people who like western ladies but … what? Does the framed photo on the cactus mean this is her home? In that case is she poor or a squatter? If she’s poor is the horse stolen or does she have terrible money management?

Please chime in Ellen and/or Arizona.

Sincerely, OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

Attn: Ellen (10/23/13)


Ellen DeGeneres postcard

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

 Ellen DeGeneres postcard

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Is it just me, or would scorpions make great tap dancers? Someone needs to invent tiny tap shoes, and a top hat for their frightening tail.


Why am I doing this?

Break for Good Bears (Cabin Yard Art)

Just your average, friendly neighborhood bear.

Just your average, friendly neighborhood bear.

Oh great, bears are starting to wear armor and carry weapons? I'm OUT.

Oh great, bears are starting to wear armor and carry weapons? I’m OUT.

Looks cute until you learn the bear on the bottom is a cannibal bear - looking for lunch.

Looks cute until you learn the bear on the bottom is a cannibal bear – looking for lunch.

Reminder: Someone paid to have this done.

Reminder: Someone paid to have this done.



Arizona State Revenue Source

Ok, Arizona, your money woes are solved. What’s that pot hole doing there? Fix it with our oodles of money! What about the damage left after that last haboob? No problemo!

Side note: a haboob, yes a HABOOB, is a “violent and oppressive wind blowing in summer.”

How will you make all of this money? Oh, it’s simple.

You see, Arizona is unique in a number of ways. One of which is it’s drivers license lifespan. In Texas, your license expires six years after you get it. In Alabama, four years later. In Arizona, your license expires when you turn sixty-five!

Let’s ignore how crazy that is and move on to something even crazier. From the website, “Arizona Drivers License Renewal Guide at“:

If for some reason you didn’t make it into the DMV before you turned 65, there’s still time. As long as you go in to renew it within the year, the fee will still only be $10.

You can get a regular license at age 18, which means you would have had to have been too busy for forty-seven years. That’s pretty busy. My plan is simple:

Arizona requires that, if your license expires, you have to pay the ten dollars AND you have to give a reason for missing the deadline. Then, Arizona takes the best of the best for those reasons, and they put a simple book out once a year. It’ll be an annual must have. Look soon for “I was busy, OK? Volume 1.”


Earlier this week my paternal grandfather passed away, which is sad but not entirely unexpected. At first the plan was for some of the grandkids to tell stories at the memorial but that has been changed. Nevertheless, it set my mind thinking about stories about my grandpa and I just wanted to share the ones that came to mind.

One summer when I was in college we (my mom, dad and I) went to “the cabin.” (“The cabin” is a cabin in northern Arizona that my parents and grandparents co-owned. My parents thought it was a great thing because, being a Military family, we didn’t have a permanent home. The cabin was our permanent home.)

At some point after arriving my grandma asked my dad to cut down a branch from a tree. She asked my dad to do this because she was worried about my grandpa hurting himself if he did it (I think grandpa was ok with this in theory, but I think he wanted to be the one to get the work done). I was also sent along on this branch cutting fun. I don’t honestly remember if my dad told me to come along, or my mom – but knowing my dad, I would guess my mom asked me to go (like grandpa, I’m sure my dad was confident and would’ve been perfectly content to do this work himself). This is funny to me – the two wives, and moms, turning to the younger one and saying, “hey, how about you wield the chain saw.”

My dad propped the ladder up against the tree and began to climb. I think I was standing at the ladder, trying to keep it steady, and grandpa was a few feet off. No one was happy. My grandpa was, in his way, worried about my dad’s safety. I was right there, in my own way, doing the same. These worries came out in the form of saying, “ehhh … careful … no … you know … let me do this, huh?”

Eventually (I’m honestly not sure why) my dad decided to hand the reins over to me. It could be that a slight bit more reach was needed, and my lanky frame was fit for the job. I climbed the ladder and now experienced what my dad had just been experiencing – two people worried about my safety and saying hey wait, let me do this instead.

I don’t think I am doing a very good job of describing this moment, because I can’t convey with such a simple, silly thing – cutting a branch down in the woods – how much of each of us was shown there. It really was a very touching, caring moment.

My grandpa was an electrical engineer. My dad is a mechanical engineer. I am a software engineer. And here’s what I’ve noticed about engineers – we (very often wrongly) think we’re better than you. My logic is the most sound logic – your logic is flawed and, frankly, illogical. We’re obnoxious.

Generally, if an engineer wants to take over doing something for you it’s not because you’re doing it wrong, it’s that you’re not doing it just right. But here was a moment where each of us wanted to take over in our very engineering way, “no, no, don’t do that …” (watching and analyzing and seeing that you should have your feet more spread apart on the ladder, can’t you see that your positioning is troublesome at that height) – except instead of wanting to take over to correct the wrong it was all out of care and love.

So, that’s  that.

The other two memories that come to mind are fast. I promise.

1 – One time when I stood up (my sister says from a chair, I thought it was me getting out of a car) my grandpa said, “wow! Look at those limbs! You’re like a spider!”

My grandpa had a very quick wit and was a clever fella. Unfortunately, those jokes he had usually left my mind because they were spot on in that moment, but then you forgot about them after the situation passed. I really do wish I had written down some of the gems he’d said.

2 – One day at the cabin I headed out to the back deck to read. Not long after I headed out there, my grandpa came outside and sat down with a book as well. He looked up at me and grinned. It felt like he was a little brother who wanted to do something together. I could be all wrong there, but I like thinking that he wanted to come join me and he was enjoying it just being us two sitting outside, reading.

3 – Bonus third! One time (according to my mom), my grandpa called me handsome. So take that!

Lastly – you know what’s awkward? Co-workers saying, “ooooh where are you going? Big trip!” and you saying, “ah … no … um … it’s not a good trip,” but still they’re looking for an answer, so eventually you spit out that it’s for a funeral and you get emotional and close to tears in a cubical. Cubicals are no place for tears!! (Don’t worry Story Teller, if you’re reading this, I appreciated you asking and I found the moment funny and awkward – just my style.)

I’ll be back to blogging regular stuff next week sometime.

Beautiful Arizona Sunsets

This coming week I’ll be flying out to Arizona to see the fam! And maybe a beautiful sunset!



Also, we may catch a Diamondbacks game! Or possibly just some poisonous snakes.

Memorial Day Weekend Hyjinks

Over this past weekend I flew home because of the extended Memorial Day weekend. It was great to get to spend four nights in Arizona with the family.

We headed to northern Arizona, to spend time at a family cabin in the woods. It’s very beautiful there. While my parents, brother, and sister normally endure 100+ degree summer temperatures – the cabin has 70s and 80s. It is heavenly. Plus it just plain smells nice.

The crew at the cabin for the weekend was: myself, E$, my bro, sister-in-law, their FIVE kids, and my parents. It would be a relaxing weekend if not for the number five.

Here are a few highlights from the weekend (I will leave the infamous nephew’s name off).

Luxurious Armpit Pillow

Originally, the brotha-in-law was supposed to come up. Unfortunately, work reached out its evil paw and kept him in its clutches. The sleeping arrangements were then revised accordingly. I no longer had to sleep on the couch. Instead, my sister and I would be sleeping in a king bed together (I created a wall of pillows and said DO NOT CROSS – I’m a sweetheart). E$ and I taking this bed moved my brother and sis-in-law to another bedroom. No biggie.

That is, until about 3 am.

At 3 am the door to E$ and I’s bedroom started to open. You really have to work at the door. It creaks like a song in remix mode. Ree-ree-ree-ree *opened.* This woke me up. I heard a little noise (my sister guessed the poor little kid was crying) and then tiny hands moving along the bed. All the sudden the kid was up and crawling on me. I responded, in a loving voice, “which one are you?” The kid didn’t say a word! I would’ve thought that someone saying, “which one are you?” would be an upsetting question but the kiddo was unfazed (E$ aptly pointed out later that she could very well see our brother asking the exact same question).

My follow-up question was shock, “are you already asleep!?” That is just plain impressive. This kid had walked around, crawled up on me, stuck his head in my armpit (it apparently makes a heck of a pillow) and boom he was out.

E$ and I were wide awake. She decided to head to the bathroom. When she got back I figured I’d do the same. I tried to very gently roll the sleeping prince of unawareness off of me. It took. Phew! I got up and then a sad little voice, “daddy! … don’t go!?” Awww. Adorable right?

“All right, let’s take you back to your proper owner.”

The kid was returned to the parental units and sleep was soon restored.

He’ll be a Private Eye Someday (ya know, a dick)

Unfortunately this happened while I was outside talking to a friend on the phone – but it’s too good not to relay on.

The same prince of unawareness from the night before was in the little boys room. The door, of course, wide open.

His older brother asked about his whereabouts and the kiddo responded, “I’m in the bathroom!”

A minute or two later the kiddo yells out, with some concern, “you guys …. I can’t find my penis …”

Yep. That was said.

My mom offered to take the baby from my brother so he could go help a brotha out. He politely declined, choosing to let time heal all wounds. Thankfully it worked. Another minute or two passed and,

“Nevermind! … I found it …”

The youth of America, ladies and gentlemen.

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