Tag Archives: Dude’s

Man, A Tee Sure Would Be Nice Or See Cows

There’s something to be said for ugly.

Mostly that something sounds like, “Eeeeewwwwwww!”

manatees_mother_calf_brandon_coleHowever, there also is something that goes along the lines of so ugly it’s cute. For exhibit 1 in this category, may I present the West Indian Manatee, a resident of many places, including Florida.

Yes, these are the manatees. They are slow moving, ugly and yet graceful in a ponderous roly-poly sense.

Because of their lassitude when it comes to motion (they sometimes will float in the same place for hours, barely moving) and their camouflage that allows them to fade into the water, many manatees are covered in scars all up and down their backs.

These scars come from boat propellers. Captains who aren’t looking out for manatees or who speed through manatee slow zones can zoom right over one of the peaceful sea cows, doing little damage to the boat, but severely hurting the peaceful creature.

Because they are a threatened species, manatee sightings are a rare and precious thing along the Intercoastal Waterway south of St. Augustine, FL, where my family vacations.

Bela Mar manateeWhich makes our latest two sightings all the more exciting.

I saw and photographed a manatee and her calf floating peacefully amongst the shore reeds at a local marina. Then, the next day, my dad caught a snap of this sea cow.

Apparently it has taken up residence beneath a boat dock near where my dad lives and has been seen swimming around in the river shallows several days running.

What a wonderful animal to have nearby.

One of the most-retold stories concerning the Intercoastal Waterway in our family is the time I and my brother-in-law The Teaching Dutchman took my young dudes, Sarcasmo and Zippy the Travelin’ Boy, fishing on the river in a small john boat.

We didn’t catch anything other than a small oyster (long story full of ineptitude), but we did have an amazing manatee sighting. As we were sitting in the boat, a large manatee surfaced less than ten feet away from us. We stopped all activity and watched as the manatee floated there and watched us.

The four of us must have been especially boring because it soon blinked and then drifted below the surface. Only to continue swimming closer, going directly under the boat, its backside bumping into the bottom of the hull, and then surfacing on the other side of the boat. It turned around for one last look and I swear it was smirking at us before it dropped below the surface again and swam away.

Getting an up-close look at the manatee, I came to a rather quick conclusion. If these things really were the basis for mermaid sighting, then either the old-time sailors were appallingly nearsighted or pleasantly size-diverse in their physical appreciation spectrum.

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Digital Dads: Mobile Office Movable Torture Chamber

The future is a fascinating place and I’m so glad to live here.

Back when I was younger (when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and I had to walk five miles to school, uphill both ways, dodging alligators and suffering through huge snow drifts now get offa my lawn), we thought of the future as the place where the skies would be filled with flying cars and jetpacks and other astonishing bits of transportation magic.

Turns out, at least so far, a car still is recognizably a car and wouldn’t surprise anyone from the dawn of the Age of the Automobile. What has changed, though, has been the way we communicate.

We still talk, laugh and scream, but the handwritten, stamped and addressed letter is dying a slow, inevitable death except for wedding invitations and thank-you notes to older relatives, and the three broadcast networks and newspapers no longer have a monopsony on information dispersal.

Yeah, it’s another post on computers and the internet.20140623-110347-39827043.jpg

This bit of stand-back-and-be-agog-about-computers was brought on by where and how I’m producing this post. I’m not at home or an office, but am away for the day. I didn’t bring my laptop computer, either.

Instead, I brought a flat, thin rectangle of touch-sensitive glass squished full of circuits and electronics and I connected it invisibly through complicated communications protocols to a tiny self-powered keyboard. Yeah, I am writing this on a wonderful Luvvitt keyboard and my iPad mini.

I’m with Zippy the Travelin’ Boy. Being the diligent college student that he is, The Zipster is working hard on perfecting his hard-won lessons from Sleeping The Day Away 101.

So I’m taking advantage of the quiet to get a little work done.

This ability to communicate via vastly different channels to a disparate group of dudes and dudettes can make for a wonderfully convenient work aide at times.

However, when we allow this constant connection to become a chain around our ankles as opposed to a rope to lift us from the muck and mire, we allow ourselves to be dragged from the somewhat-gleaming future and down into the dreary past.

All of which goes to say that I’m about to finish this up, go grab the Big Poking Stick to awaken Zippy the Travelin’ Boy from safe distance, and then go enjoy the day with my son who’s growing up much too fast already.

Put down the computers and unplug. Go out and have a great weekend with the people you love.

Even in the future, nothing beats an in-person hug.

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Mmmmmm Bacon

Is there anything better in the morning than waking up to the smell of bacon?

I know you dudes think I’m going to answer that question with a resounding no (especially considering we’ve discussed the Law Of Headlines No. 17.3 which states that for any question asked in a news headline, the answer is invariably no ((or penguins, depending on the weekday asked))), but you dudes are wrong this time.

The one thing better than waking to the smell of bacon, is walking downstairs to discover that there is — in fact — bacon to be et at the origin of those delicious smells.

Yes, that’s right. For those perspicacious among you who have already realized where this is headed, please hang on a mere moment as I talk about the deadly, soul-crushing moment of pure heartbreaking defeat when you walk into the kitchen to realize that all you have are those wonderful smells.

The terror of realizing that all you’re smelling is the ghost of bacon past. . . The residue of bacon already eaten. . . Insubstantial aromatic echoes that linger on the nose, but never on the tongue.

I speak, of course, of my darling wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Eating All The Bacon.

Yes, dudes, it is true. The other day, I awoke to the lovely, tingly smell of freshly cooked bacon. Now, considering that I’m the person who cooks maybe 95% of the food in our house, smelling any kind of food aroma when I didn’t cook it means something odd is happening.

The smell of bacon hooked me through the nose and pulled me from a warm, comfy bed and stumbling into the kitchen. Through bleary eyes, with demanding bladder being roughly ignored, I scanned the kitchen looking for what surely had to be there.

But to no avail. The counter was empty. The greasy pan was empty (well, empty of food, but not the mess I would have to clean) and cold.

I felt as if someone had taken a stake made from sharpened bacon and then shoved it through my heart. Which, considering how much fat and nitrites and other horrible things are in every crunchy, delicious bite, is a pretty good metaphor for what happens to your body when you eat bacon.

Bereft. Bacon-less. Broken

I staggered around the kitchen, unsure of how I could go own, my heart breaking from the crispydeliciousbacon betrayal.

What else could I do? I got out the rest of the bacon, cooked it up and then devoured every delicious slice.

Mmmmm bacon.

At which point, Zippy the Travelin’ Boy’s twitching nose tugged him into the kitchen. He mumbled something about needing bacon.

I snatched the empty bacon wrapper, shoved it deeply into the trashcan, covered it with greasy paper towels, looked deeply into his bloodshot eyes, swallowed, breathed deeply and told him the truth.

“Your mom ate it all.”

Thus doth bacon make fiends of us all.

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