Thursday, December 03, 2009

My life

My trip has been so fruitful.
The people I've encountered,
Places I've been and
Things I've seen
Weave a tapestry of
Wild shapes and colors
With ups and downs,
Lights and darks,
Yin and yang,
So utterly unpredictable
That it makes the works of Chagall
Seem tempered.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I can't believe it's been four months since I posted on my beloved blog... it's definitely taken a back seat lately, considering how busy we've been.

We found out we're having another baby! That's great news. I agreed to another child so long as we did it early enough that I wouldn't be attending graduation ceremonies in my 70's. But nothing makes you feel younger than raising kids.

We're moving into a new home December 1, in time to be settled and ready for the baby's arrival in May. We're keeping our villa and leasing it out as an investment property. That will add a level of complication to life, but the option of selling has been removed by a poor housing market. That's OK.

My mom is working on trying to move closer - which would be a real relief. At the current distance, it's hard to get down to visit more often than once or twice a year. If she's closer, we'll be able to hang out more often.

Emily is enjoying her work, for the most part. Grayson is 18 months old now, and his vocabulary is exploding. He repeats what we say, so it's important to be careful! The other morning, I could have sworn he said "god damn."

Down the street is a bank. Well, it used to be a bank, but they've moved to a new facility up the street, so now it's an abandoned bank, complete with a drive-thru. Every time I pass by, I consider buying an old jalopy, putting a rubber skeleton in the driver's seat with a deposit slip in its hand, arm extended out the window, and park it by the drive-up window.

More later. I hope it's not THREE MONTHS this time.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Mmmm, brinner!

On an episode of Scrubs, one of the characters mention that he loves breakfast for dinner... "brinner."

I'm not sure why it's so appealing to have pancakes for dinner, but it has long been a favorite of mine. Maybe it's because breakfast is comfort food, and at the end of a stressful day, it hits the spot. As a kid, I just remember Aunt Jemima and Johnny Carson making it all feel better.

Monday, June 15, 2009

iPhone 3g S, where the S stands for 'screw'

I just pre-purchased my new iPhone 3G S, the third generation version that drops this Friday. It's clear to me that the S stands for 'screw,' which is what they do to customers who aren't yet eligible for a discount upgrade.

But did that stop this "must-have-the-latest-gadget" geek? Uh, no. I ordered the black 32-gig version.

It has video shooting and on-board editing, a 2x faster processor, on-board compass, 4g capability, (when AT&T gets around to upgrading their system, slated for late summer in some markets) voice control, and a slew of other features which make it pretty nifty.

Worth the upgrade? Depends on your taste and needs. For me, it's an easy decision, but I'd say sales will be less-than brisk unless AT&T decides to change policies post haste.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Signing off...

Today is the day that television technology we've known since the 1939 RCA broadcast from the New York World's Fair becomes obsolete, and is completely replaced by digital television.

The huge bandwidth-hogging, fire-breathing analog transmitters will be turned off for the last time, replaced by lower-powered, more precisely and narrowly tuned ones utilizing a completely different technology and broadcast band. The old band will now be taken over by wireless mobile telephones, etc.

My first memories of television were the commercials. As a toddler, I would mentally drift through the actual shows, but when the commercials came on, I'd sit down and attentively watch. Grayson does the same thing today.

The first big television event I remember watching was the moon landing in July 1969. My grandparents had the volume turned way up and we were all staring, mesmerized. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I think we've heard so much about this day, we've become desensitized to it. But what if someday, all radios just went "dark"... and only HD and satellite radio remained? Or, if gasoline powered vehicles just disappeared and we had to replace them with electric ones.

Goodbye snowy picture, see you later interference lines. No more rabbit ears with aluminum foil. Even though I've been completely digital for probably 9 or 10 years, it's still a bittersweet day.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Bom bom bom-bom

Saturday May 30, 2009 began a new chapter for Emily and me. I love her with all my heart and can't imagine a more perfect match for my personality and life... or a better mother for my baby boy.

The Conservatory in Old Town St. Charles is a fantastic place for a wedding. It's a little on the expensive side, but they arrange everything for you and Gary makes sure everybody is in their place and knows what to do.

So now the honeymoon is over and we're back to our regular lives. I truly can't imagine anyplace I'd rather be.

Monday, May 18, 2009

RIP Regis Morris, July 1 2002 - May 18 2009

When we discovered Regis had lymphoma, we felt like we might get lucky and have him at least a year. That was three months ago, and today we said goodbye.

It's been a long mourning process, knowing there is no cure for canine lymphoma. We were able, through chemo, to get him almost back to normal during much of his sickness... so we've been fairly lucky. But we knew the day would come when he could no longer endure the battle.

Today was that day. So long my boy, you have been with me through thick and thin. Love you, pal. You were the greatest pup any guy could ever want.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One night, a long time ago...

I'm having a really cool experience and felt like I should record it here.

It's the end of a crazy day, and I'm sitting in the living room. The house is dark, except for the light of my notebook computer. Above me are huge windows which provide a fucking amazing view of gathering storm clouds. Now and then in the distance, lightning flashes across the sky. A half-minute later, a low rumble of thunder and a slight gust of breeze.

It's surreal... and it takes me back.

It was a night in 1978. The light of the computer would have been the glow of the dial on a portable AM radio. The station I was listening to, The Mighty 1090 KAAY-Little Rock, was playing "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac. I remember hearing the rain begin to hit my window and it felt like it was raining everywhere in the world. I felt this unexplainable combination of melancholy and elation.

It felt like the rain washed something away that night. Maybe my childhood, I don't know.

Tonight, my computer is providing the Fleetwood Mac... otherwise it feels eerily similar. I'm not sure what the rain is washing away this time.

What a trip.

Monday, April 27, 2009

... you live in a zoo...

So. Forty-five. Today I am halfway through the period most noted for middle-age crises, the onset of gout and a last-ditch effort to cling to your youth by having a child.

So far I am two for three.

Phrases like "young at heart" and "patriarch of the group" are starting to sting. I still look 40, I guess. But at somewhere near this age, you start aging in bursts. You'll look the same for three years, then age five all at once.

You start worrying that every little pain is a disease. That other people your age are making more money, enjoying more success and are more healthy than you. You begin realizing that your vision isn't QUITE as clear, your thought processes aren't QUITE as fast, and the idea that you will skydive or whitewater raft for a living fades a little further into the din. (Oh, don't worry, the hope is still there.)

A family member sent me an email this morning to excoriate me for forgetting to pay their satellite TV bill this month. The great news is, I can more believably attribute it to forgetfulness. The bad news is, they didn't even wish me "happy birthday." All the better I suppose. I DO hope to someday forget this date.

Here's hoping it blows through like a gentle breeze. As Lucy Larcom said, "Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come."

Yup. And I'm the luckiest son-of-a-bitch on Earth.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

525,600 minutes

In the span of what seemed like only three months, we've gone from this:

To this:

Happy First Birthday, Grayson Thomas Morris! Your dad is proud of you and loves you very much.

In a pretty rare event, Emily gave birth to Grayson on HER birthday... so both are celebrating today. Love you Emily, happy first 29th birthday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pick up, it's for you

My son has a toy phone, and when you push the various buttons, different recorded messages or sound effects play.

You'll hear things like "let's call Daddy," or "let's call Grandma." But on most of them, you just get a sound effect.

Most of the sound effects are as heard through the earpiece of a phone, like the sound of a phone ringing on the other end of the line. But the sounds that make me smile are the ones I know Grayson will never hear during the practical use of a real telephone. Things like a dial tone, or a busy signal.

I wonder why they even put those effects ON a phone these days. When he pushes those buttons, I always wax a little nostalgic.

So what is a child to make of one of THESE?

When I was a child, we were on a party line. Ever experienced one of those? You literally share your line with neighbors, so when you pick up the phone to make a call, it's possible that, instead of a dial tone, you'll hear their conversation. So you have to hang up and wait.

And wait.

Yeah, that Lela Plumlee was a talker.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

And you are... ?

It's been so long I thought about shutting the blog down permanently. It's sort of like when you haven't talked to a friend for a long time, and you think, MAN, I need to get in touch with so-and-so, but I'm pretty embarrassed I haven't made contact in such a long time. So you just decide to not call them.

But I've decided I'm keeping it going for now. We've come this far together, we might as well stick it out.

Speaking of sticking it out... Regis was nearly ready to leave us about two weeks ago, but the vet decided we should give him half a treatment of chemo as a last-ditch effort, and WOW. His lymph nodes are completely normal, he's back to his old chipper self again and it looks like we'll have him around for at least a while longer. Thanks, Regis, for pulling through!

I gave in to temptation and bought a watch today. Actually I had some old jewelry lying around so I traded it in (and the jeweler gave me an almost 50 percent discount off the price) on a new Seiko Velatura, kenetic energy watch. Self-winding, it's actually a rechargable battery-powered watch that has a little generator inside that recharges it when you move your wrist.

Great timepiece, it's my second favorite to the Breitling, and it brings my collection to 13.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Gray Sky Morning

I just dropped my buddy off at the groomer and he was really lethargic and struggling for breath. His medication doesn't seem to be helping much but I remain optimistic. It's just hard watching him deteriorate.

Over the weekend I learned of the death of one of the greats in the voice over industry, Brian James. I also learned if the passing of an old friend, Doc Camden. Both were men I admired.

Friends are struggling with job losses or at least the impending possibility.

I learned that doctors are calling the cold I have the "100 day cough." I'm only about 45 days into it.

And it's Monday. And cloudy.

I just need some good news to help me break out of the funk. Anyone? Beuller?

(on the positive side Grayson just suddenly started walking like a champ! So there's that.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Long Goodbye to My Best Friend

While petting Regis last night, I noticed a sizeable lump on his neck, and his yelp indicated it was clearly sore.

The vet confirmed my worst suspicion this morning, lymphoma. We won't be 100 percent certain until the pathology report comes back, but he's seen it a million times and there is little doubt in his mind.

I had pets as a kid, but have never bonded with them the way I have with Regis. He doesn't even seem like a dog to me, he seems like a full blown member of the family.

As usual, he's at my feet right now and those big, brown eyes are looking up at me. It's clear he's frustrated by the pain. I would do anything to take it away, but canine lymphoma never ends positively.

I expected that he and Grayson would be good buddies and do everything together. The first word Gray learned in sign language was "puppy." At dinnertime, Grayson sneaks bites of his food off the edge of the table for Regis to pick up. And to think he isn't even old enough to keep our "puppy" in his memory.

It's likely we have only three to six months left. You can bet we'll make the best of it, and be thankful for the seven great years he was here.

I miss him already.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A new favorite quote

Jonathan Winters:
"If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it."
I love this for a couple of reasons. Jonathan Winters was one of my favorites, a comedy genius and incredibly intelligent. (former radio personality too)

But mostly for the message. Opportunity must be created. People get wrapped up in the wait, an incredible waste of time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another way we're totally screwing up our kids

On Valentine's Day when you were a kid, how did you celebrate?

For me, each child brought a "Balumtimes" card for every other child in our classroom. They had those tiny envelopes, and we scribbled our classmates' names on the outside in red ink. Some were hand-made, others were pre-packaged Scooby, Barbie or pirate themed cards. But if there were thirty kids in the class, you had to bring thirty cards.

This is wrong for a number of reasons. First, and most obvious, we're using school time to perpetuate something ill-conceived and greed-motivated. I've never gotten V-D off, so it's not a real holiday. The Hallmark company, restaurants and florists make a killing! So much so, we contacted a florist Monday to set up a meeting to discuss our wedding floral needs and they told us to call back after V-D was over. They refused to even set up an appointment because love birds are clogging the system.

Needless to say, Mexico Road Florist can kiss my ass.

The second way we're failing our kids is, you're supposed to have one Valentine... not every kid in your class. One special person! We should teach our children to pick their favorite classmate and present them with a card. Sure, invariably, one or two of the kids will be left out. Good for them. No amount of book learning can equal what that kind of pain and humiliation teaches you.

So Happy Valentine's Day! Thanks Em, I love the gift you gave me. It's really very special.

And it's nice you didn't give one to every person "in the class."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Musical heaven...

Tonight, between the drive home from the restaurant and taking the babysitter home, I enjoyed an approximately 50 mile trip with my iPod. Now and then, a sequence of songs fits together so perfectly, you actually file it away in your memory.

Tonight's completely random playlist:
  • Phil Collins - If Leavin' Me Was Easy
  • The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy
  • Clint Black - Better Man
  • Matchbox Twenty - Busted
  • 10cc - I'm Not In Love
  • The Fray - Vienna
  • Melissa - Allman Brothers
  • Billy Joel - And So It Goes
  • Cross Canadian Ragweed - Sick & Tired
  • Dan Fogelberg - Same Auld Lang Syne
  • Steve Miller - The Joker
  • Eagles - Last Resort
  • The Decemberists - Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect
  • Bob Marley - Jammin'
  • Warren Zevon - Exciteable Boy
  • Waylon/Willie - Luckenbach, Texas
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer - From The Beginning
  • Korgi's - Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime
  • Billy Paul - Me And Mrs. Jones

Every time I thumb through my 4,000+ song library, I think I should start a streaming radio station.

Ten minutes of hilarious television

This proves Letterman is still the master, and Joaquin Phoenix is a total drug user.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The nine-month-old "chip off the old block"

Grayson is getting more and more handsome every day. Good thing he takes after Mommy!

These are a few shots from his 9-month photo session.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pay me to let you pay me

Hidden service fees chap my ass.

At the travel agency last week, I was exploring travel insurance options. They quoted me a figure for coverage, and below the quote, in small print, it said "plus $8 processing fee per policy."

Processing fee??? No, thanks. If you're going to charge me extra to deliver the service you're quoting, you are a thief.

The outdoor ampitheater in St. Louis used to charge for parking. To me, that's a similarly offensive practice. Raise ticket prices if you must, but stop forcing customers to pay extra to be a customer.

Most companies charge you to pay your bill by phone or online. They have a healthy profit built in to those fees, yet it costs them less than classic invoicing via US mail.

In short, those who charge service fees are engaging in douchebaggery. Let them know, next time you have an opportunity.


I'm not really a crier, but there are a few things that I just can't handle. Taps, for one. I don't have to know the person, the circumstances of their death... anything. Just hearing Taps makes me well up. I think it's probably because it was when they played Taps that I realized my Grandfather was really gone.

The 21-gun salute has a similar effect. Stories of selflessness can get to me. Watching my children sleep does it sometimes.

And the movie Field of Dreams.

What about you?

Friday, January 30, 2009

The secret to longevity? Apparently hyperbole.

The Jack LaLaine Power Juicer infomercial somehow made it on my monitor in the studio this morning, and for a nanosecond I turned up the sound.

A perfectly healthy, beautiful woman came on and said "I couldn't live without my juicer."

Couldn't. Live.

He's saving lives with juice! Could I live without one? I can't imagine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A real blogger's blogger

The guy who unwittingly swept me into blogging hysteria a few years ago* put a fine point on what it means to be a good blogger during his trip to Washington D.C. for the Obama inauguration.

He not only blogged, but Twittered as well. Check out Steve's work at

Today's 'everywhere' connectivity has inspired me to revise an age-old bathroom-stall limerick:

Here I sit upon the shitter,
Tried to blog but only Twittered.

*I have yet to do Steve proud. As the title says, he's a REAL blogger, I just flail my arms wildly hoping to hit something.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Kroc genius

In a cuisine world full of audacious, delectible and irresistible foods... there is still absolutely nothing like the taste of a fresh-from-the-fryer hot order of McDonalds french fries and a large, icy Coke.

The soda sold at McDonalds seems crisper and more carbonated. It tingles on the way down, causing an involuntary hiccup. And those fries...

Wow. Just sayin'.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Timing is everything

On the way to the NYEPBWHNLPYC, the New Year's Eve Party for Boring "We Have No Life" Parents of Young Children, (for which, ironically, everyone ended up getting a sitter) we came as near to hitting a deer as I ever have. (aside from an incident one night when I was in a bar with Blitzen and he was firing hard on this married doe.)

We were driving on a dark, two-lane country highway (MO-79 north of 70, for you locals) and were about to meet an oncoming car, when a 12-point buck lept from the right side of the road, passed within 5-10 feet of our bumper and collided with the left-front side of the oncoming car exactly at the moment we were passing. (at this point, I was braking hard and hitting the shoulder)
There was a sickening noise, a cross between a thump and a crack, and the deer flew off the side of the other car, spinning wildly through the air, missing the left-rear of our van by inches before making a landing in the center of our lane right behind the van, just in time to be run completely over by the pickup behind us. I can imagine the damage was extensive to both of the other vehicles, while ours was left untouched.

Had we left the house one second earlier, we'd have hit the deer with the front of the van. One second later and the deer would have slammed into the side of our van.

We were in a perfect one-second window of safety. I can only imagine it's because I have a tremendously keen sense of timing. Ask anyone. Dave time is different than the rest of the world.

Incidentally, the next morning we were headed to the store and a two-car accident happened about 15 feet behind our van as we were passing. What the... ?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pointless thoughts

I've recently become a functional member of Facebook and it's actually pretty cool! Some folks I would NEVER expect to be on there ARE, and they are quite active.

I've heard it said technology keeps us from being the close friends we COULD be. I say it helps us be closer friends than we WOULD be.

If that makes sense...


I've noticed that when you have a child, you stop trying to find parking spaces near the front door, and start looking for spaces near the shopping cart corrals.


It's a short one today. Life's pretty busy and Grayson has a lung infection so he's not sleeping the best. Ah, parenthood! I need a beer.