Back At The Ranch

Have you taken a look-see at any of those puzzling Matthew McConaughey commercials? I’m not 100% sure what he’s selling in them, but judging by the most recent one I witnessed, I believe he’s offering tours of his Texas ranch from the back seat of his car.

‘Ceptin during said tour, it seems like you’re gonna conveniently “run into” Matthew’s childhood bull named Old Cyrus. Old Cyrus was a fun 4-H project back when Matt was 13.  He was a blue ribbon winner in the Beef Cattle Category.  But Old Cyrus got hip to the jive and took off before Matt could sell him to the highest bidder.

And now? Now he just roams the ranch waiting for payback.  So whenever Matt meets him on the road, the bull makes him all anxious and sweaty as he’s sitting in the front seat of his car giving tours to people.  In addition to being all sweaty and whatnot, somethin’s up with Matt’s hair too.  But I’m not sure that has anything to do with Old Cyrus.

Anyway, Old Cyrus stands his ground during the tour and eventually Matthew will have to take you back to the ranch. Probably for more hemp and bongo drum solos.

You should buy this tour. But then skip the tour and just stay back at the ranch.  Otherwise you might be subjected to Matt’s disturbing hangnail as he drives you around in the front seat of his nifty car. (Matt will be in the front; You’ll be in the back.  Just wanted to clarify.)

And even if YOU were in the front and HE was in the back?  He wouldn’t be able to leave his hangnail alone.  He rubs it back and forth, round and round.

The motion he makes as he scopes out his hangnail is oddly reminiscent of Captain Queeg from the Caine Mutiny* when Queeg rolls marbles in his hand as he descends into madness. But that’s not what’s happening in this commercial.  Matt’s just got an annoying hangnail.

Yep, for sure buy this tour. But then maybe skip the tour and just stay back at the ranch.

*You read the Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, right? It’s as dry as dust except for the parts where Queeg, the ship’s captain, slowly loses his marbles (heh, heh, pun intended).  It’s always fun reading about crazy ship captains.  And there are LOTS of crazy ship captains.  Let’s see…we have Captain Queeg with the marbles.  Captain Ahab from Moby Dick is pretty cray-cray too.  Hmmm.  Are there only two crazy captains?  Can’t be.  Maybe I’m also thinking of Cook?  Captain Cook was pretty nutso there at the end, wasn’t he?  I seem to recall something about walrus meat and lots of barroom brawls minus the barrooms.  And what about HOOK!?  Oh my gosh!  Let’s not forget Captain Hook!!  That’s as cracked as they come, what with his hook hand and all.  See?  Just give me enough time and I can always prove my point.  P.S.  Buy that tour Matt’s selling.  He’s not a crazy captain or anything.  He’s just a guy with a bothersome hangnail driving you in his car back to the ranch.

Bad Plan, Chuggington

When the kids were in their midget-y phase, they used to watch this animated BBC show about a train called Chuggington, and all his trainyard friends.

In the particular version of the series my kids watched, the in-charge trains would give the new trains a bunch of tasks they had to complete by the end of the show…or DIE!!! Ha, ha, ha.  The BBC would never put on a show where trains died.  That’s dumb.  But what ISN’T dumb is a show where there are trains-in-training who have to get badges for every successfully accomplished training task.  (For the record, there were some close calls. Think crumbling suspension bridges and so forth; all very thrilling for midget-y folks.)  Once the trains-in-training earned enough badges they were called ‘scouts’ and turned into real boys and girls.

No, stop. Who knows what was really going on there.  What I mostly wanted to say about the show is that at the beginning and end of each episode, all the trains would get together and shout, “BAD PLAN, CHUGGINGTON!” Yes, that did seem odd.

Eventually, we realized they were yelling “BADGE QUEST, CHUGGINGTON!!!” Oh. That makes more sense.  But that’s what happens when a bunch of creepy, rolly-eyed trains shout together in unison about their Badge Quests.  It sounds like a Bad Plan.  Chuggington. 

So in our house, from there on in, anything that was clearly a bad idea from the get-go, receives a “Bad Plan, Chuggington,” verdict.

Sissy in IKEA jumping on a bouncy toy for the 2-and-under set that she shouldn’t have been jumping on because she’s…not 2-and-under? Hits it wrong and goes flying backward, lands on her rump, then proceeds to completely open-mouth wail in pain as she’s sprawled on the ground.

Yep. Bad plan, Chuggington.

Hubby carrying a metal bedframe, upright, into a bedroom where the ceiling fan is whirling? Strikes the ceiling fan like some accidental He Man, I have the POWER and shears off a blade-and-a-half from the fan which resulted in a fun, unexpected fan repair project (in addition to the bed repair project already underway).

Uh-huh. You got it.  Bad plan, Chuggington.

And just yesterday, I dropped Hubby and Sonny off at church for a pre-mass obligation of Sonny’s. I ran a quick errand then came back to find Sonny with one leg completely bloody from knee to ankle.


Turns out he quickly finished the thing he had to do, so while they waited for me out in front of church, Hubby chatted on his phone while Sonny did parkour all over the cement steps, planters, ramps etc. One step was a “bit higher” than Sonny expected and his foot got caught as he was leaping like a gazelle.  This resulted in an unexpected slam to the ground and subsequent three-foot skid borne almost completely by his right tibia.  Right before church.  Right in front of church.  Road rash much?

And indeed, you guessed it. Bad plan, Chuggington!

Academic Decathlon

Sissy was recently invited to be on the Academic Decathlon team at her school. She’s pretty thrilled at the ask because, for the past several years, the team has placed first in regionals which then allows them to move on to the national competition in California. Actually, I’m a little vague on the “placing” details. I know they do really well and they went to Disneyland last year. But pay that no never mind. Sissy remains thrilled.  As are we, because that girlie is amazeballs.  But what really needs to be said here is: I am ROCKING my cosmic do-over!

This Friday will be the parent meeting wherein we will be reminded of how wonderful our respective mini-mes are. Also, we will be offered the opportunity to sign up to bring breakfast for one of the early morning study sessions. Parents are the cogs of this whole effort. Nothing wrong with being COGS. Cog, cog, cog. Does that word sound weird if you say it too many times? Cog. Cog. Yeah, weird, right?

Because – speaking of cogs cog, cog – while school administration and teachers are somewhat involved, a good portion of the breakfasts, effort and success of this thing rests on parents’ shoulders. Case in point, during this same Friday meeting, I believe the parents will be asked to commit to “small group instruction” in one of ten academic areas. I know, my heart just seized up at that.  Despite how well I’m doing with my cosmic do-over, you know I is afeared of certain…subjects.

Also?  Cog, cog. Cog. So weird.

But don’t worry about me! I plan to come fully prepared to the meeting and will offer to spearhead the group studying marketing or human resources since I have significant professional experience in each area and can speak from a real-world point of view.

If that’s a no-go, I will offer to teach crochet.

If the crochet idea flops, I will demonstrate my best shot-put form. Come ON! It’s a decathlon. Everyone knows success rests on the shot-put.

Epic fail on all of the above? I will break down in tears and beg them not to put me in math class with these kids.

Wait!! Look over THERE! WHAT’S THAT??! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz




The Carbonaro Effect

I bet you thought I forgot about you, but I haven’t. However, could you just remind me one more time what your name is? Ha, ha, ha. That’s funny “getting old and forgetting stuff” humor. But I’m not old, nor forgetful. Just funny. But when you get a chance, if you could tell me what your name is, that would be great. Thanks much.

It’s just that we’ve been busy on this end living our own Carbonaro Effect.

And in case you don’t know what the Carbonaro Effect is, “it’s a magic, hidden camera t.v. show” which is not only hilarious, but also totes cray-cray. People on the show suffer a total break from reality and begin to believe the impossible. Yep, that about sums up my life.

On the last episode I saw of the show, Carbonaro Effect Man is making three-foot-tall 3D vases with his 3D copying machine when his “new co-worker” [read sucker] talks him in to making a 3D copy of himself! Then, when Carbonaro Effect Man leaves to tell his boss what he did, the 3D “copy” of himself begins to move towards the “new co-worker” [read sucker] who screams and runs out of the room. I mean, because a WALKING 3D copy of a person seems totally reasonable and like it could actually HAPPEN, right?

Come on! CUT IT OUT!!!

Hey! Speaking of 3D copying machines…did you know that our local library has a 3D copying machine?!? Nope, I didn’t either. But you know who DOES know?? Sonny. Naturally.

How he found this out remains a complete and utter mystery to me. I only found out about it when I got the message from the library telling me the 3D print job we ordered was ready.

Uhhhh, what 3D print job? And who’s ‘we’ here??

When I asked around the house about 3D print job requests ordered from the library recently, Sonny claimed full responsibility.

Him: “Aww, yeah! COOL!!! I’ve been waiting for that. Can we go get it? NOW??”

Me: “I suppose. But if this is an artificial limb…or it costs money, I’m not doing this.”

Him: “No, no. It’s totally free. I talked to the library guy all about it.”

A couple of things here: “talked to the library guy” and “totally free” AND “3D print job” sound completely impossible. Carbonaro Effectish, if you will. Also, if the “totally free” thing IS actually true, then this explains why property taxes have gone up – because 6th graders across the land are making 3D robots at the library. This is not a wise use of money. Or libraries. Or library guys’ time.

But sure enough, when we got there, Sonny and the Library Guy gave eachother a complicated Homie greeting.


Then Library Guy nods and disappears into the back room. The whole time he’s gone, I’m expecting him to reappear with a bill for ten THOUSAND dollars whereupon I’ll have to yell “RUN!” and take off for the car.

When he does come back, he slips something into Sonny’s hand and they do their Homie fistbumps again.


Can you guess what it was? Can you even guess what Sonny ordered from the free (yes, it turned out to be completely FREE) 3D print job option at the library?!?

I’ll give you three guesses. Go!

Nope, it wasn’t a copy of himself…

Nope, it wasn’t an artificial limb… Did I read about this possibility in an article somewhere?

And nope to whatever your third guess was…

Ok, ok, I’ll tell you (but thanks for playing along with the three guesses in blogland, that was a good time). It was a…


*Do you know what a batarang is? Because I didn’t until the library printed a life-sized one up for Sonny, gratis (using taxpayer dollars). It’s a combo of ‘bat’ and ‘boomerang’ and is a bat-shaped boomerang that Batman, who is opposed to firearms due to the circumstances of his parents’ murder, uses to knock guns out of an assailant’s hand. HOW IS THIS HAPPENING?!?? Normally a batarang would be metal-colored. Sonny’s is bright blue because apparently that’s the only color free 3D print jobs come in at the library.  Can you see me on your t.v. screen NOW?!??