Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who Knew...I Had A Fan In Arizona?

It's not every day you find out that someone in Arizona knows about your blog. I found out about it on Facebook.

My friend J. Scott Savage, an amazing author and good guy, sent me a little message back on September 16th. Scott said that a nice woman came up to him at a writer's conference he attended there and asked if he was Scott Watty Doodle. To which he answered he wasn't.

Of course, I wanted to know just who that nice woman was. I would have loved to talk to her and see what she thought of my blog. Was she a regular reader, or did she see it once and the name stuck? I've written many times why I write my blog. It's obvious to anyone who studies these things, I'm not writing to the masses. I write it mostly for me and my family. And, if I ever made it as an author, it would also be for my fans. 

I thought at one time that I wanted a lot of readers, a lot of blog post views. But to do that, I'd have to change things. I'd probably have to give up writing daily, and produce more like a one or two posts a week. Also, the most popular blogs seem to focus on single issues, like politics or writing about a specific genre. I didn't feel like doing that, so I didn't and I haven't. Thus, my following appears to be loyal, but small. They're the chosen few.

And so I continue writing my daily little blog post, like this one. One day I might one day travel to conferences in distance lands and maybe--just maybe--someone might come up to me and ask me if I'm Scotty Watty Doodle. 

And on that day, I'll say, "Yes."

Monday, September 26, 2016

Got Dirty Rain Gutters? There's An iRobot For That...

A few weeks back I noticed an online ad. It's called an iRobot Looj Gutter Cleaning Robot.

"Hey," I said getting my wife's attention. "Check this out."

She did.

"Wow, I wonder if it really works."

So did I.

Still...the draw of its potential made us give the ad more than our usual 0.02 seconds. What if it does work? We don't have the worst rain gutter situation our there, but we do have one on the west side of our house that is almost three stories up. And our ladders don't reach that high. I've climbed out on the roof a few times and it's an unpleasant experience for me.

We discussed it and realized, if it does work, maybe we should get it. It was on sale, after all.

"It's far cheaper than a visit to the emergency room," she said.

And I agreed.

We ordered it and it came last week. When the weekend hit, so did the rain, so the iRobot Looj 330 stayed pristine and unused under our room (and dirty rain gutters...). But when I came home it was such a beautiful afternoon that I got out the step stool and fired up our little Looj.

The west-side gutter gave us no problems; the east-side one did--mostly because the battery wound down. And heaping mounds of long pine needles proved too much for the little guy. I'm sure had I started on the east side, it would have done a better job. I snapped a few pictures and I wanted to get a video of the machine in action, but being on a roof and using a video camera is sort of like texting and driving. It's unadvisable.

If you're interested in purchasing your own iRobot Looj 330, you can check out their website: HERE. After I cleaned up the iRobot and put it away, I took my phone out and took a quick video of the west-side gutter. It looks very clean. I should have taken a "before" video. Oh well, maybe next time.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Do Cats Know...They Can Climb Trees?

Do cats know they can climb trees? I've watched our outdoor cat, our "hunter," climb trees again and again. He even climbs up our back deck, a deck with no stairs. He just shimmies right up the posts.

Do they know they can do that? Do they understand that eons of evolution (or some other way...) have bestowed cats with retractable claws that are sharp enough to dig into bark and wood enabling them to cheat gravity and rise to a height where they can observe the world below. Can they comprehend that this ability gives them advantages, both defensive and offensive when it comes to survival? Do they appreciate this talent?

Personally, I don't think they think about it at all. They go about, hunting, acting aloof, resting in the sun--all the while oblivious to the fact that some humans would love to have the natural abilities possessed by our hairy pets. Maybe it's like humans and our ability to drive, or cook, or build a civilization.

Or do our taxes.

I guess there's some things all of us don't think much about.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

why Do Some Great Ideas Make It...And Others Do Not?

Before college football kicked off a few weeks ago, my wife and I were in Walmart doing a little shopping. That's when I found an amazing invention:

The Party Tray!

What you see in the above picture is The Party Tray in action. The Party Tray is resting on my left arm. My hand is wrapped around a piece of plastic between the tray and the cup holder. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I mean, the one arm holds the tray, which in turn holds loads and loads of deliciousness--and a drink of your own choosing. This leaves the person using The Party Tray to have one arm free. The right arm and hand can load up The Party Tray with the aforementioned deliciousness and a drink.

I mean, it's just a perfect invention. I was extremely impressed.

I began to wonder, after seeing the brilliance of The Party Tray, why is not this item in every house in the country? Heck, why are there not multiple The Party Trays in every house in the country? There are worse ideas out there that have infiltrated our lives and homes, The Clapper, The Pet Rock, Barney Videos...the list is endless.

So, why not give The Party Tray a shot? Did the inventor of The Party Tray not make those decisions that would lead to fame, financial success, and his own private jet? Did he not get they guy who hocks Oxyclean to hock The Party Tray? I cannot say, but I wonder about those things.

Then again, the fact that I didn't even buy one unit of The Party Tray, but left them all on a shelf at Walmart--I guess that says something about the product after all.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Frightmares...When Not Many People Are There

My son and I weren't sure if we'd even work tonight--it's been raining all day long. The show my son and I do requires a dry stage, as in "dry as a bone" or else anyone trying to dance on it could get hurt and hurt bad.

But, we got the text that they wanted us to show up and we'd see how things would shake out. And so we did. And even though there were very few patrons, it turned out to be a pretty good evening at Lagoon's Frightmares.

My son and I are House Managers at the Hackenslash show. If you're unfamiliar with the show, it's basically dancers with chainsaws. Normally we do five shows on Fridays. Today--none, but we thought it would be fun to have the chainsaw-wielding dancers be available for photo ops and to meet the people. And so we did.

Unfortunately, there were so few people on the park tonight that we cut the evening short. Too bad, because the high rolling clouds made for a really cool atmosphere at Lagoon. I took a few pictures, pictures inside the Opera House, pictures outside. Like I said, it turned out to be a pretty good night.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Twenty Four Years...Here's To Even More!

I checked Facebook while on a break at work today and I saw my wife posted a picture that was taken twenty-four years ago today. It's the both of us surrounded by friends and family. The picture's bittersweet for me--there are many wonderful people in the picture no longer with us. That's how it goes with pictures--one day everyone in the picture will be gone. But the picture conjures good thoughts, too. The baby my sister is holding just got married less than three weeks ago, and that cluster of adorable kids on the bottom left corner are almost all married with kids of their own.

It's late now--we're letting our big dinner settle. My wife and I just returned from our anniversary tradition--going out and getting foot at someplace nice.

Looks like we've kept up the tradition for another year.

The past twelve months have seen a lot of changes. Our family is back to six under our roof. My son and I are back to working together on the weekends, and I'm back to trying to find time to write.

But, there are many things that have stayed the same. We still live in our home (which is a year older...), I still am with the same employer, and--at least for my wife and me--we still have the same cars. 

Everyone looks at the big years to do something fancy for their anniversaries, 20 years, 25, 50 plus. Really, it's just a number. So, here's to 24! From where I'm sitting, 24 looks pretty good!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Shopping At Joann...With The Wife

"Oh!" my wife sprung up from her chair as we watched some TV tonight.

"What?" I asked.

"I have to go to the store, tonight!"

"Tonight?" I kind of ask dumb questions, sometimes.

"Yeah--you want to go with me?" Now she asked the question.

"Sure...to Harmons?" She shook her head. "Walmart?" Another no.

"Then where?"

"Joann--I've got a coupon and it expires tonight. And you already said you'd go."

Yes, I did, and I wasn't upset I said I'd go. With me working another part-time job until after Halloween, I don't see the family as much as I did, so when she wants to go shopping, I want to go with her. I grabbed my camera and I thought, I can take some pictures and maybe I'll get a blog post out of the trip.

And so I did.

I don't dislike Joann Fabrics and Crafts. It's a cool place--one of my co-worker's favorite stores. It's a good time of year to go to a craft store with Halloween just around the corner and Thanksgiving and Christmas close behind. So, here's a little of what I saw as I meandered through the aisles and saw all the stuff. Animal and human skeletons, silk flowers, cute scarecrows, some great Christmas ornaments, as well as a sewing machine that operated on its own. And, one framed item really classed up the place. Joann is like a wonderland, if you're crafty like that.