Bobby took the day off from work today and we took the kids to the zoo. I say, "she took the day off from work," but what that really means is she only took three or four calls about work on her cell phone and only had to go into the office for an emergency for about two hours late in the day. That's what it means to own your own business. Enjoy your day off!
This wasn't our first trip to the zoo. We took Sam there about six months ago. It didn't go very well. Sam is older now and understands animals and was excited about going. Daddy, on the other hand, not so much.
When it comes to handling large groups of people, the Lowry Park Zoo manages to screw up just about every opportunity they have at doing it well. First of all, at the front gate, instead of having the "one line system" that you see at airports and the like, they have four or five box offices open and you have to play "grocery store roulette" when deciding which line will be the one that moves and which line will have a family of six trying to cash an out-of-state check.
Once you're inside the park you'll need to buy something to drink to try to keep the Florida heat at bay. Unfortunately, they don't put lids on the drinks they sell at the zoo. That's understandable, because there are always some idiots who are going to throw the lids into the cages were the animals will eat them and that can't be good for the animals. No problem, you can always just sit the drink in the drink holder built into your stroller because everyone at the zoo has a stroller. Unfortunately, in an effort at realism, they have designed the walkways and sidewalks in the zoo to resemble the actual walkways and sidewalks you might encounter in Africa or Asia, which is to say they are the sort of sidewalks you would expect to find in any country in which a shovel is considered a luxury. So, you put your sodas in the cup holder on the stroller and start to walk, the stroller starts shaking like Andy Dick on his second day of rehab and the soda showers down into the stroller, splashing over your child like some creepy prepubescent version of "Flash Dance."
We took Sam to feed the giraffes because last time she refused to get within 10 feet of them. This time it was all she talked about. I'm proud to say that on this visit to the zoo she actually got within 10 feet of the animals... she made it to about nine. ( By the way ,can I just say that it takes balls to charge five dollars for three crackers to feed the giraffes in the African section of the zoo, when in Africa, five dollars will feed a family of 12 for 20 years?)
Oh,by the way,did I mention that trying to navigate your stroller through the giraffe exhibit is like trying to push a hot dog cart through a walk in closet? A little clearance would be nice. Did I mention that everyone has a stroller at the zoo?
(In the interest of full disclosure I should point out that Bobbi is not as fat as she looks in the picture...)
As I mentioned in an earlier post I'm currently on the World of Warcraft diet. Well, I'm not actually on the diet right now because it's the holidays and it's impossible to diet during the holidays, but soon I will be back on the World of Warcraft diet. (Yes, I know that the bag of Butterfinger bars were in your stocking. However, you made the fatal mistake of leaving them at home when you went to work. Really, what did you think was going to happen?)
Sometimes, when McKenzie is taking a nap and Samantha is watching Elmo, I'll sneak in 30 minutes of Warcraft. Inevitably, at some point, Sam will come up to look at the screen. My current character, a hunter, has a tiger that runs around with her everywhere she goes. Sam is a big fan of the tiger. She likes to see the tiger jump and she likes to see the tiger run.
Currently, my character is trying to level up her leatherworking skill. This means she is running around and killing creatures that provide leather. One of them is a stag, which to Sam, looks like a reindeer.
I often wonder how many other players in the game have to stop what they're doing so they can explain to their three-year-old daughter why the big beautiful tiger is killing the reindeer.
Long-time readers of the boolog (... and there are so many) will remember a story that I told a while back about the first fight that I was ever in. For short time readers of the boolog, (... and there are so many) the gist of the story was that a little boy named Danny used to pick on me all the time when I was about five or six years old, and one day I chased him around and around and around the street until I finally ran him down and commenced to beat the crap out of him.
While I was having lunch with my mother the other day, she mentioned that she had spoken to the lady who lived next door to us when we lived in Norfolk, Virginia and in fact, she still lives there to this day. After filling my mom in on what was going on with all the people who still lived in the neighborhood, my mom finally asked, "Whatever happened to Danny?"
"Oh Danny," she said, "he's gay."
(Let me just jump in here and say I'm sure that a lot has happened to Danny in his life besides being gay. Maybe he won the Nobel Peace Prize or works with children or learned to juggle... we just don't know.)
I'm a wimp. I've been a wimp my entire life. It's only been the vision in my mind's eye of the beat down that I put on poor little Danny when I was six years old that has kept me from taking my own life on numerous occasions. Now I discover that the only person I've legitimately beat in a fistfight in my entire life is a homosexual. Next week I'll discover that my high school sweetheart was a transvestite. That's the way these things work.
But hey, look on the bright side. If you're ever harassed by a gay guy, you know who to call.
You might be asking yourself, "Why is Booray writing in the boolog again after all this time off?"
Well, I'll tell you.
It's because I got a new toy for Christmas called Dragon naturally speaking 9. Basically, what it means is that now I only have to speak and the computer writes whatever I say. In many ways it's like being in an episode of Star Trek only without the velour.
To give you an example of how it works, the paragraph that you are reading right now was dictated into the computer and I didn't make any corrections afterwards. It takes a while to get used to it, because you have to say things like ",". But once you start to use it, it actually becomes pretty easy. I'm still not sure if it's any faster than typing for me, because I'm not a bad typist despite the fact that I hunt and pack. (Look, there's the first mistake, it should read, "hot and pack." .... "hunt and pack" ... I'll just spell it...... "peck.") Anyway, you get the idea.
The hardest part is that you can't speak in your natural speech rhythms. I was hoping I would be able to pace the floor like a nightclub comic rattling off my ideas and have the computer type them up all nice and neat. Unfortunately that's not the case because a.) It's not that fast and b.) my natural speech sucks. Still, they say the more you use the program the better the program gets at recognizing how you talk. So, we'll see...
Well, Christmas has finally come to an end and it was a juicy one for everyone involved. Especially the retailers who were visited by anyone in my family purchasing every possible thing under the sun for my two children.Seriously,there are retailers all of the country who are breathing a sigh of relief today, saying to themselves, "Thank God for the Perry children."
My parents, long considered the more sensible of my relatives, decided it was a good idea to buy my child a horse the size of, well, a horse. It's beautiful, it bounces up and down, and it's too large to fit into an average size car. Also, it's too large to fit inside an average sized house. I expect this sort of behavior from my sister,whose motto is,"It's not my problem."
"You don't have room in your yard for a llama? Well, it's not my problem."
Was the horse a success, as far as presents from the grandparents go? Well, before going to sleep last night, my daughter Samantha looked at me and said, "First take a nap, then ride horsey." So, you be the judge.
This year we started a new tradition, "The Magic Key." You see, since we don't have a chimney, there's no way for Santa Claus to get inside the house to leave presents on Christmas Eve ( not the sort of thing that's a real problem right now but could cause quite a bit of consternation in later years). Therefore, it's necessary to lead a magic key outside the door and only Santa can use. That way, there's no stress that Santa won't be able to come inside and deliver all the presents that you get for Christmas. Of course, no one took into account and that it might be raining, and that Sam would have no desire to leave a plastic key under a soaking wet doormat. Basically, it went like this:
1. Make special cookie for Santa
2. Leave special cookie on special plate for Santa
3. Leave milk out for Santa
4. Put magic key under the doormat
5. Decide it's too wet to put magic key under the doormat and instead hang on the door
6. Come back inside
7. Try to eat Santa's special cookie
Eventually, she figured out that the milk and cookies were not for her. It's funny, because Christmas morning, despite a room full of presents, the thing that she was most excited about was the fact that Santa had eaten her milk and cookies.
It's good to be a dad.
I know, I know, it's been more than two months since I've posted on the boolog. I'll get to that in just a few minutes. First, I just want to jump in and point out that as of today more American soldiers have died in Iraq than American citizens died on 9/11.