Sep 29, 2006

ThINK next time!

Reminder to self: Don't put a red felt tip pen in your shirt pocket ... Ya Goof!

Like you did today.

Somewhere along the way, I learned to use hair spray in a case like this. It keeps the ink from setting into the cloth.

Probably my mom taught me that.

The shirt is soaking right now in water and Oxi-Clean.

(To be continued)

Sep 27, 2006


Ethan had an away soccer game last night. It was the team's fifth straight shutout, so when the bus stopped at Burger King on the way back, the defense got to get off and order first. Ethan plays defense.

But that's not the story here.

Ethan called from the road. He does that so he can get prompt pickup service when the bus reaches the junior high.

"Where are you now?" I said.

"Where are we?" Ethan asked of the bus at large. "What, Skip?" I heard. The answer was coming by way of Ethan's friend Justin Skipper. "Huntingdon," Ethan said.

Okay, that meant about twenty-five minutes. About twenty minutes later, I drove down and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After about half an hour, still no bus. Accident? Or ...

I went home, figuring that Ethan would call again.

A few minutes later, he walked in the door.

"Skip's dad dropped me off," he said. "When I called, we were actually in Clearfield." About thirty miles farther out than Huntingdon.

The list of navigators who I trust just got shorter.

Ethan and Skip, Ya Goofs!

Image scarfed from

Sep 23, 2006

Vote 4 Emmett

If any of you readers have a vote in the student council election at Charles W. Longer Elementary in Hollidaysburg, it's only fair that you have full information about this candidate.

On the one hand, he thought of a nice way to create a campaign sign (with Dad's help)--a gigundous paper chain with writing on it.

On the other hand, he gave the impression that he needed to have this on Friday morning, making Dad late for work, and then revealed that he didn't need it until Monday.

Vote 4 Emmett! Even if he does sometimes make us say: Ya Goof!

Sep 19, 2006

Talk about a long bad spell

Today I learned that I've been spelling my niece's nickname incorrectly for all of her life.

Bethany is 23. Here she is with boyfriend Ryan.

For some reason, we've always called her "Buggany." Naturally, this shortens to "Buggs." That's how Bethany signed an email that she sent me today.

And that's when I realized that I've always handled the spelling as "Bugs." You know, like this character:

That's a small thing, I know, but I've always been a strong speller and had a taste for the fine details of words. Yet here was a matter that had escaped me for literally a lifetime.

Buggs (note correct spelling!) would roll her eyes that I'm commenting on this. She might even say: "Uncle Keith, Ya Goof!"

Sep 18, 2006

Caution: Kids at Work

These young men are huge fans of work.

They could sit back and watch it all day.

Aw, that's not fair to say. Dad, Ya Goof!

What you see is the project to refurbish the bike rack in front of the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library. It was sunken into the ground, and the paint was ragged. Not any more!

Sep 15, 2006

At least I wasn't off by a whole year

Some people—namely, women, men, and did I mention women?—get really mad when you overestimate their age. But in other matters of time, you dare not underestimate.

For instance, a mother's time of labor. Guys, even if you think you were present during every moment, you were not. Your observations of start- and end-time do not matter and do not count. Never, ever, try to do the calculation on your own. Even if the lady comes up with, say, 86 hours of labor, over a two-day period. She will not be shorted.

If you violate this rule, you deserve to hear: Ya Goof!

For having learned this the hard way, I say to myself: Ya Goof!

For even raising this topic and risking wrath from all directions, I repeat to myself: Ya Goof!

Another matter is time of service to an employer. Our company has an intranet site (an internal web site) whose home page notes company anniversaries. Yesterday, the list included a friend's name and the number of years: 18.

I was surprised that this person had served the company that long. I took special note because my own company anniversary falls three days earlier.

Being the cute and clever person I am, I sent an email comparing the person's time of service to my own: "Me 6212 days, You 6209 days. My lead: .04%." I got the count of days using this calculator.

The reply: "What does that mean?"

My answer: "It means that I started here 3 days before you did."

The reply: "Didn't you start in 1989? I started in 1988."

D'oh! I had forgotten that I had just passed 17 years, not 18. I instantly fell behind by 362 days. (How the company got along without me all that time, I have no idea ...)

Keith, Ya Goof!

Sep 10, 2006

(Almost) time to eat the donuts.

Emmett and I went to the newer Dunkin Donuts on the Boulevard.

But I forgot my wallet.

So we turned around and went home and got my wallet.

And went to the older Dunkin Donuts on Blair Street.

Dad, Ya Goof!

Sep 9, 2006

One game = one W, one L and another kind of W

Above is a picture of Ethan in his soccer uniform juggling (soccerspeak for "bouncing off his feet and knees") a golf ball.

This is in lieu of a picture of Ethan playing in his first official game for the junior high because he didn't tell us he had a game.

Ethan, Ya Goof!

This was a make-up for a rain-out on Tuesday, but did Ethan think to mention it to us? No. We're not even the type of parents who yell from the sidelines in embarrassing ways. In fact, we're the type of parents who just watch and clap or moan as appropriate.

Granted, Ethan had an athletic bag with him when I dropped him off at school this morning.

"Ha!" he pointed out after the fact. "You should have known!"

"Ha!" I replied. "I thought you just had a practice. It's the same bag."

In the end, he agreed that is was mostly his fault. It's a bummer to think that we could just have crossed town on a nice fall evening and plopped down our lawn chairs and seen Ethan run around and get himself too tired to get into trouble.

Okay, that was a weak line. Ethan never seems to tire. I remember that age fondly.

And he doesn't get into trouble. (at least, not that he's confessing to). In fact, he acted as a good Samaritan on the way home from the game. He told us that he came across a kid in front of the elementary school who was having trouble with his bike. Ethan couldn't fix the bike, but he walked the kid home, a few blocks out of the way.

"I just didn't feel right about leaving him there," Ethan said. 'That why I was so late getting to the Y and calling for a ride."

A little gesture, but huge to me. I was proud to hear that. If we'd been at the game, I suppose Ethan wouldn't have come across the boy and helped him.

So I have mixed feelings. I would have liked to have seen the game (a win for Ethan's team by the way), but I can settle for seeing him juggle a golf ball on our lawn.

Sep 6, 2006

One wrong turn recalls another

I'm just curious if word of this post will reach the driver who ended up on the wrong side of the median at about 7:40 a.m. today at the top of the hill near Wal-Mart. It's a bad feeling to find yourself driving the wrong way up a turning lane, with all the traffic coming toward you.

I know. I've done it, too. Not in that spot, but still.

Fortunately, this morning (as in my case) the road wasn't very busy, and the person quickly popped on the emergency flashers.

C'mon, fellow motorist, we deserve to hear this:

Ya Goof!

Coming home to a swinging single

Here's a voice mail left on my work phone late yesterday afternoon:

Hello, Dad, this is Emmett. Um, It's ... Um, call back if you're there, but ... well, one of the sliding doors, Er, no, not the sliding doors, but the swinging doors ... one of the swinging doors to the kitchen, just fell off somehow. I guess it was stuck or something. Okay, bye.

Followed by this voice mail a couple minutes later:

Hello, Dad, this is Emmett again. Just calling to forewarn you. Bye.

Emmett wasn't even the goof who was, shall we say, closest to the door when it "fell off." That would be Ethan.

"I just kind of shouldered it like I always do," he said, shrugging said shoulder and its mate.

One too many shoulderings, apparently. Or maybe it got snagged on the backpack carrying fifty pounds of books.

Anyway, this damage is not an easy fix, and it was a major pain to install those doors, so for a while the doorway has reverted to its old naked self.

Janet cuts me slack these days when I take things like this in stride. That will buy me (a wee bit of) time for a replacement strategy.

Still ... Ethan, Ya Goof!