Thursday, August 30, 2007

Return Of The Flash

I just don’t seem to be posting about my favorite person anymore. Fred has turned into the coolest thing I have ever been a part of in my entire life. He doesn’t cry. He’s not whiney. He plays. That’s what the little guy does and he’s the best at it. I’ve never been the type to catch the spotlight when I walk into a room, but boy does my son know how to light up a room!! Take last Friday night for example.

The Gigi works at a retirement home (I prefer old folks home, but they don’t seem to like being called old folks Lucy calls them Littles) and part of her job is to organize different activities to keep them alive (entertain them). So last Friday night the whole place plus a few fraternity/sorority members turn out for an old fashioned sock hop. Root beer floats, moon pies, a boom box blasting the oldie goldie tunes of the 50’s 60’s, and there in the center of the room lies a dance floor.

Of course Fred spent the night running up and down and sideways around the joint. Bopping from one poodle skirted granny to the next, completely unaware that just outside the walls a major storm was taking place. Lightning, rain, the whole bit. Except none of it could be heard over all the noise the party was creating. So just to set things up Lucy and I are way across the room watching Fred dance around a couple of grannies when


The thunder clapped so loud the lights blink and 15 old men fall to the floor grasping their chests (ok nobody fell out just adding to the story). Out of nowhere Fred throws pack his arms, screams OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!!, and kicks those little legs into light speed….going nowhere in particular. He’s just running like his life depends on it and his arms are too slow to keep up. He doesn’t care where we are at he just knows he’s not going to be where he was the next time whatever that was decides to blow up again. Suddenly he trips and falls flat on his face, but his legs are moving so fast they somehow scoop him up and carry him to the end of the room straight to his GiGi!! Nobody’s run that fast in that place since the whole all you can eat prune disaster of 1995!!


Thanks To The Perfect Stranger

I have a new stepfather. I’m pretty sure I haven’t mentioned that here before. It’s not my place to blab all the juicy details about where he came from or how they met. As a soon to be 32 year- old, my days of finding a father figure are over and it’s not like she (mom) needed my approval to get married. It was no shock when they made the big announcement sometime back that they were getting married, but I was a bit thrown off that this guy I’d only seen a few times now held such a permanent spot in my family. Admittedly we are not the same family we once were. Broccoli is off traveling the country and is just as likely to be here in town as he is in Las Vegas from one day to the next. Lucy and I are all wrapped up in being parents and enjoying our small town lives.

That left mom….with what an empty apartment and a good book?

So mostly due to my own all encompassing self centeredness I know literally a few sentences about this guy. They are as follows:

  • He likes to fish
  • He has a pool
  • He used to be retired but now works
  • Whatever he does he’s the only one at the plant that can do it
  • He loves my mother more than any man has loved her ever before (at least from what I’ve seen. I can’t very well describe my mom/dad’s relationship pre-six years old)

Over the past few weeks my mom has been in and out of the hospital (nothing serious) for some minor surgery. What at first was meant to be minor surgery lead to her being rushed to the E.R a week after and passing out as she was being wheeled in. Over the past three weeks she has been back three times do to complications. What’s amazing about this whole situation is that I’m not the one who was there for her. Don’t get me wrong I was there when I could be, but somebody else had the situation in hand. Somebody who makes her laugh. Somebody who holds her hand at night. Worries about her when she’s sleeping. Somebody who though he may be a stranger to me, is exactly what my mother has been looking for all her life. The Perfect Stranger.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Myspace Is Your Space

I admit it…I broke down and created a myspace account. At first it was only to gain access to American Idol info, then Lucy up and mastered the workings of site management hence making my site look like crap. Thankfully she souped mine up for me and now I’m all cool looking. Don’t worry though this doesn’t mean I’m ditching Charlie. I’m actually using myspace as a giant billboard for this site. So go on over take a look at both sites and if you have your own site lets all just be friends.

The Twister That Is My Life

I hate to miss a week here on Charlie, especially after coming off a week when I spoke nothing about my family and everything about social issues. Then to top is all off here I am running behind again. I’m going to do my best to catch everyone up, but life is happening faster than I can keep up with at the moment.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Home Of Your Nationally Known Blogger

I did the story a few days ago containing the complete list of Mattel Toys that were recalled...well today this was being shown on CBSNEWS.Com:

That sound you hear is my ego morphing into Godzilla.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stand Up To Virginia Tech President

I don't normally touch on social issues here on Charlie, but everyone needs to know about the current issue at Virginia Tech. Dave Matthews and several other artists are getting ready to do a concert as a tribute to those students/families affected by the massacre which occured several months ago. According to the school website "The concert is being offered by these inspired musicians as a gracious gift to the Virginia Tech community. It’s about a celebration of spirit. It’s about showing the resiliency and strength of our community known throughout the world as Hokie Spirit."

The problem is that amoung those set to perform is rapper NAS. If your not aware of NAS he frequently raps about violence, drugs, and gang related issues that go against everything that the other artists will be celebrating on this day.

That being said the president of the university does not seem to care what kind of music is being played on his campus and has even gone as far as saying this is a non-issue. Therefore Bill O'Reilly is calling on us all to send an email to Mr. Charles Steger and let him know this is a very poor decision. I've sent my email, please send yours.


Dr. Charles W. Steger
President, Virginia Tech
Office of the President
210 Burruss Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-6231


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Complete Mattel Recall List

Several parents have been asking me if I knew where to see the whole list and Fred himself had a couple on it, so I thought it would be helpful to put the entire list together in one place. In case you have no clue of what I'm talking about Mattel has recalled over 10 million toys over the past two weeks due to lead based paints being used.

Below is the list along with the item numbers for each:

B2632 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Hangin' Out House

B3158 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Treetop Clubhouse

B3201 Polly Pocket! Spa Day

B7118 Polly Totally! Polly Place Totally Tiki Diner

G8605 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik Boutique

H1537 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik City Pretty Playset

H1538 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik Sporty Style Playset

H3211 Polly Pocket! Totally Zen Playset

55503 Polly Pocket! Happenin' Pet Station

B2631 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Magnetic Additions Assortment

B3203 Polly Pocket! Activity Lunchbox

B3204 Polly Pocket! Activity Locker

B3207 Polly Pocket! Collectible Lip Gloss

B3209 Polly Pocket! Collectible Make Up Powder Puff

B3210 Polly Pocket! Dip N' Dive Pool

B3396 Polly Pocket! Birthday Surprise

B7078 Polly Pocket! Dazzlin' Pet Show Divine Dogs

B7082 Polly Pocket! Rick's Magic Show

B7125 Polly Pocket! Sweet Treats

B7127 Polly Pocket! Birthday Mailbox

B7128 Polly Pocket! Stretch Polly Disco Lamp

B7129 Polly Pocket! Jewelry Box Purple

B8478 Polly Pocket! Polly Magnet Bus

B9521 Polly Pocket! Collectible Caboodle

B9522 Polly Pocket! Activity Lunch Box Pink

B9523 Polly Pocket! Activity Locker Orange

B9525 Polly Pocket! Polly Glitter Puff

B9578 Polly Pocket! Collectible Caboodle Purple

B9929 Polly Pocket! Fashion Boutique on the Go

C0504 Polly Pocket! Birthday Mailbox Pink

C0505 Polly Pocket! Jewelry Box Yellow

C1341 Polly Pocket! Disco Lamp

C1342 Polly Pocket! Disco Lamp Purple

G8602 Polly Pocket! Mermaid Stars

G8606 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Playset

G8612 Polly Pocket! Snow Cool Hotel

G8614 Polly Pocket! Quick Click House of Style Playset

G8615 Polly Pocket! Polly by Me Totally Beadiful

G8616 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Penthouse

H1553 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Movie Time Playset

J1659 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Limo-Scene Vehicle

J1661 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Dial A Style Lila

J1662 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Dial A Style Lea

J1670 Polly Pocket! Stick N' Style

J1681 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Rockin' Theme Park Playset

J1687 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Dress N' Drive Lounge Playset

J1695 Pollyworld Theme Park Party Quick Click Doll and Fashion

J4169 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Polly Doll

J4170 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Crissy Doll

J4171 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Lea Doll

J4172 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Shani Doll

J9305 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Costume Art Lea

J9306 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Gift Shop Lila

J9648 Polly Pocket! Twirl and Swirl Beauty Case

J9965 Pollyworld Dial a Song Polly Fashions

J9966 Pollyworld Dial a Song Polly Fashions

K3460 Pollyworld Rockin' Tour Bus

H1554 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Pool Party Playset

H1532 Doggie Day Care Coco

H1533 Doggie Day Care Sparley

G4461 Doggie Day Care Lula and Baby

G4462 Doggie Day Care Crockett and Baby

G4464 Doggie Day Care Taffy and Baby

G4459 Doggie Day Care Snack Time with Cookie

G4460 Doggie Day Care Diaper Change with Ginger

H1530 Doggie Day Care Ice Cream with Ranger

G9703 Doggie Day Care Puppy Park with Dixie

G4457 Doggie Day Care Dream House Nursery with Honey

G4458 Doggie Day Care Bath Time with Beau

J9472 Barbie and Tanner play set

J9560 Barbie and Tanner play set

M1253 "Sarge" toy car sold alone

K5925 "Sarge" toy car sold in a package of two

J1944 Batman Magna Battle Armor Batman figure

J1946 Batman Magna Fight Wing Batman figure

J5114 Batman Secret ID figure

J5115 Batman Flying Fox figure

J4142 One Piece Triple Slash Zolo Roronoa figure

33662 Elmo Light Up Musical Pal
33663 Ernie Light Up Musical Pal
33664 Big Bird Light Up Musical Pal
34658 Elmo Stacking Rings
39038 Elmo Tub Sub
39054 Sesame Street Shape Sorter
87946 Elmo Keyboard
90267 Ernie Splashin' Fun Trike
90609 Elmo Collectible
90611 Cookie Collectible
90612 Zoe Collectible
90613 Ernie Collectible
90614 Big Bird Collectible
90745 Construction Playset
93068 Elmo Boom Box
93107 Action Fire Engine
93307 Press N Go Elmo
93308 Rev & Go Cookie Monster
93492 Cookie Saxophone
93493 Elmo's Guitar
93615 Splash Tub Puzzle
93780 Music And Lights Phone
B7554 Count To Beat Elmo
B7888 Shake, Giggle & Roll

B7987 Elmo in the Giggle Box
B7989 Silly Parts Talking Elmo
B9620 Dora's Talking House
C6908 Dora, Backpack, Perrito Figure Pack
C6909 Diego Figure Pack
C6910 Swiper Figure Pack
C6911 Boots, Tico Figure Pack
G3825 Dora Talking Vamonos Van
G5112 Sing With Elmo's Greatest Hits
G9717 Giggle Doodler
H2943 Grow with Me Elmo Sprinkler
H3343 Cousin Daisy
H3344 Birthday Dora
H5569 Elmo & Pals (Elmo, Cookie, Ernie)
H5570 Elmo & Pals (Elmo, Zoe, Big Bird)
H4187 Dora Figures in Tube
H4628 Water Fun Tote
H8236 Dora 3 Pack Figures in Tube
H8237 Blue 3 Pack Figures in Tube
H8238 Sponge Bob 3 Pack Figures in Tube
H9124 Chef Dora
H9125 Bedtime Dora
H9186 Giggle Grabber Ernie
H9188 Giggle Grabber Oscar the Grouch

J0338 Diego Talking Field Journal
J0343 Go Diego Go Antarctic Rescue
J0344 Go Diego Go Deep Sea Rescue
J0345 Go Diego Go Mountain Rescue
J0346 Go Diego Go Talking Rescue 4 X 4
J5935 Giggle Grabber Soccer Elmo
J5936 Giggle Grabber Chef Cookie Monster
J6537 Sesame Street Giggle Toolbelt
J6762 Queen Mami
J6763 Royal Boots and Tico
J6765 Prince Diego
J7983 Sesame Street Tub Pots & Pans
J9518 Sesame Street Giggle Drill
J9692 Dora's Talking Pony Place
K0617 Twins Nursery
K3414 Diego - Talking Gadget Belt
K3571 Go Diego Go Mobile Rescue Unit
K3580 Fairytale Adventure Dora
K4139 Go Diego Go Dinosaur Rescue
K4140 Toucan Motorcycle Rescue
L0305 Dora Figure
L3194 Surprise Inside Diego Eggs
L3215 Sesame Street Elmo Jack-In-The-Box
L3488 Sesame Street Birthday Figure Pack
L3507 Sesame Street - Super Boom Box
L5202 Birthday Dora
L5813 Diego Tub Trike
L8905 Pablo & Pals
M0351 Dora Figures Dora & Kitty
M0352 Dora Figures Diego & Bear
M0524 Go Diego Go Talking Gadget
M0527 Sesame Street Giggle Doodler

M0732 Dora's Talking House
M2051 Let's Go Rescue Center
M2052 Fairytale Castle

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fred Vs Bed (Part V: The Final Chapter)

I’ve been meaning to do an update on the Fred Vs. Bed situation. It’s been a loooong time between Part IV and this is the latest/last chapter. I’m not going to link to them all since you guys are smart enough to use the handy dandy search engine on the right of your screen. Just going to jump right in there and lay it all out for the world to see….

Fred is still in our bed. I know it’s been 17 months. I know he needs to learn to sleep in his own room. I know he sleeps in a cot at daycare and he would sleep on the couch all night if we let him….so what’s the major mal-function? It’s a two part problem really.

Part 1: His allergies. Since he was a wee babe he’s always had some type of minor cough or breathing issue. So much so that we give breathing treatments a few times a week (which is better than everyday, which we did for a while in the early months). He takes a couple kinds of medicine everyday in addition to the breathing treatments, but it’s nothing serious enough to mandate an alternate lifestyle. The doctors all say Buttons the 20lb cat isn’t a factor or anything else for that matter. They all agree it’s just an allergy issue that has a lot to do with the dry weather and constantly high level of junk in the air. He still plays outside like any other kid. Still runs around like a chicken with his head cut off. Still refuses to sit still and enjoy a moments peace. The only difference is that occasionally he gets a little wheezy and may have a bad night of coughing every now/then. Hence getting him in his own bed is complicated by the fact that the coughing scares us and wakes him up.

Part 2: Lord help me I still like him there all night. Some parents will say they can’t stand their kid in their bed, but I’m not some parent. I sleep better because I don’t have to worry about what’s going on in the other room. If it’s too quiet I pray he’s not having trouble breathing. Too much cough I worry if he’s getting any rest at all. I love Lucy, but Fred + My Bed=Peace of Mind.

So again comes the question: What should a blockhead do? Take it day by day that’s what. I’m no longer going to worry about how his sleep habits compare to those other kids his age or the looks I get when the “perfect” parent finds out about our current little hang-up….because truth be told it’s not that big of a hang-up and there are no “perfect” parents.

“Did I just hear you say Fred still sleeps in your bed? My Lance has slept in his bed since night one!! How could you let him still do that?”

“Well he’s got this cough thing…say isn’t that you Lance over there kicking that old man’s cane out from under him?”

Lucy and I have a fun loving, cute as a button, never in a bad mood, laugh a minute, roller coaster of a baby boy, and everything else is just part of what makes the world go round. Sooner or later Fred will conquer the bed and when it happens I know it will be the most minor of all his coming achievements.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Jenny Jenkins Where Have You Been?

Sometimes is life weird coincidences just spring up out of no where and you get that freaky “How did that just happen?!?!” feeling. Before Saturday I had no clue who Jenny Jenkins was. Never heard the name, didn’t know she had her own song, couldn’t have told anything about her picky attitude or that she was/is most likely a nudist.

Fred/I were watching Nick Jr. when I look up to see Lisa Loeb with her classic school girl dress and horn rimmed glasses singing about Jenny Jenkins’s distaste for color. The song goes:

 Will you wear white
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear white, Jenny Jenkins?
No I won't wear white
For the color's too bright
I'll buy me a foldy-roldy, tildy-toldy
Seek-a-double, use-a-cozza roll to find me
Roll, Jenny Jenkins, roll
Will you wear green
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear green, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear green
It's a shame to be seen
Will you wear blue
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear blue, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear blue
For the color's too true
Will you wear yellow
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear yellow, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear yellow
For I'd never get a fellow
Will you wear brown
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear brown, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear brown
For I'd never get around
Will you wear beige
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear beige, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear beige
For it shows my age
Will you wear orange
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear orange, Jenny Jenkins?
No, orange I won't wear
And it rhymes so there
What will you wear?
Oh my dear, oh my dear
What will you wear, Jenny Jenkins?
Oh what do you care
If I just go bare

Except for the image of a naked girl needing a foldy-roldy, tildy-toldy, Seek-a-double, use-a-cozza (the song was written by Jerry Garcia so there you go), I never thought another thing about it….until 6 hours later when I reading a randomly selected paperback copy of Harlan Coben’s “Just One Look”. I’m reading along, the father’s giving his kid a bath, reads him a book, and suddenly the father bursts out with…you guessed it Jenny Jenkins!! I immediately threw the book across the room and would not speak of it the rest of the day.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Baby Fred Einstein

Fact: Fred and I were alone watching My Friends Tiger And Pooh

Fact: Fred got up walked down the hall and came back within minutes

Fact: Fred’s bookshelf is lined with 10’s of Golden Books none of which can be identified by simply glancing at the row of golden spines along the shelf.

Fact: Fred selects a book and brings it back to me in the living room

Fact: The book Fred had chosen…..Winnie The Pooh and Tiger Too

Fact: My 16 month old is smarter than yours.


Monday, August 06, 2007

On The EDGE Of Insanity

You remember my/our Edge right? The brand new copper colored car that only has 1800 miles on it and is less than 4 months old? The one that makes us feel young, cool, and delayed the inevitable purchase of a mini-van? Well some jerk backed into it Saturday while Lucy was working at the bank. Oh it gets better, said jerk neglected to tell anyone and took off. Now I can’t prove who did it, but I do know that I’m in love with the color of my brand new car and very seldom do people just pop into a bank, do their business, and exit never to return again. Thus I now have my own personal Moby Dick. By judging where the Edge was hit and the paint that was left on the bumper. My Moby Dick is a White Pickup Truck with a very bright shade of Orange on its front or rear right bumper.

Like the book says “All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab(Charlie Blockhead), were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick(The White Pickup). He piled upon the whale’s white hump(White Truck’s Orange Scarred Bumper) the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it”


Thursday, August 02, 2007

He's Got The Music In Him

Ever since he was first conceived Fred’s been getting his grove thang on whenever and wherever possible. While Lucy was pregnant you could literally sit there and watch her stomach shifte from right to left. I was always afraid that if I looked to hard I’d see the slightest hint of a face trying to peer through the layers of skin (see there I just went too far and now I’m going to have a nightmare about faces coming out of my stomach). The second he learned to stand on his own he started this bobbing up and down thing.

Eventually he moved on to throwing his head side to side and now that’s sorta evolved into some major head-banging that always makes me think of Wayne/Garth jamming out to Bohemian Rhapsody. Last week was the annual W.C. Handy festival celebrating the life and music of one of the all time jazz greats. There’s music being played at at least a dozen different spots around town each day and we took Fred to a couple. His most recent move is rolling his arms around and around each other (like during the “roll-em and roll-em in the pan” part of bakers man) plus he’s mastered the “If you’re happy and you know it” foot stomp. So basically at any given time no matter the source of the music (a TV commercial, the jack-in-a-box winding up, people clapping) he’s likely to bust out with any combination of head-bang, clapping hands, foot stomp, or drop it low.

There’s a concert in a near by park, half the town is there, and The Mark’s/Us decide to take the kids to the show. Fred did all right in his stroller for about half an hour, and then once he’d had enough we let him run around in our general area (with us never more than a few steps behind). Well what can I say about what happened next…the boy knows no stranger. After failing at snagging a sub sandwich which was sitting in some dudes lap, Fred wonders up to this elderly gray haired black gentleman…and busts a move right there for everyone to see!!

He was rolling them arms and getting low. He started slinging that head around and stomping those feet. It was if he had suddenly been possessed by a demon and was trying desperately to shake it out!!! There are some images that stick in your head till the day you die and for me the sight of Fred jamming out with that old black dude is firmly pasted next to the sight of Lucy on our wedding day.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007


It’s amazing how much the inside your fridge evolves during the course of your life. Back in college I had a mini-fridge and all it could hold was 2 six packs of wine coolers and a bottle of Boones Farm (turned sideways). Once I moved out on my own I never seemed to have enough food to account for the regular sized appliance. However back then I could fit an entire pizza box in it thus saving myself from having to wrap the left over pieces in foil (I’ve never been able to figure out how to use plastic wrap) or heaven forbid Tupperware (just something else to eventually have to wash).

Getting married requires that food be in the house mainly due to the fact that women are not born with the ability to eat nothing but frozen burritos and week old pizza for months at a stretch. That and romans in a cup should never be the husband’s answer to the wife’s “Honey what are we having for dinner tonight?” So the wife comes in and the shelves get filled but not over-filled mind you, just a few things on here and there. Oh and the married man has condiments. Single man just eats everything plain unless he remembers to get extra packets of mustard/ketchup from McDonalds.

Once baby comes along getting something out of the refrigerator turns into an Olympic event.




“Ok it’s never on the bottom shelf, so I’ll look top first.’

“No No that was too easy. Second from the bottom…..crap!”

“Second from top has got way too much on it. Wait!! I think I just saw the bottom of it from through the top of the second shelf!!!”

“Alright!! Now I know where it’s at…the time is ticking though!!! My commercials almost over and my sandwich is still missing jelly…I may just have to settle for a PB instead of a PB&J”

“Let’s see…what if I take the juice container and slide it to the right, put last nights leftovers on the bottom, move the two gallons of milk (whole for him and 2% for us) where the food was, oops don’t wanna smush a grape (top shelf cause baby can reach them everywhere else), tea pitcher goes to the left, cake icing fits in the door (same reason as the grapes), and maybe just maybe I can reach back between the OJ carton and two liter of Coke, grab the top of the jelly, and go over the top of the drinks…..yes TETRIS!!!!!”