Tag Archives: trips

Tweet Your Face Off

by Richard

Just in case you’re stopping by here and you thought — to yourself — “Dude, I’d love to read more about this kind of stuff, but, really who has the time? What with all the secret trips to the moon and defending humanity from extradimensional incursions of thought beasts from beyond the stars? And stuff?”

Well, maybe not that. Maybe that’s just me.

I do, however, have a solution for you dudes.

You can check us out, not only here at your beloved repository of all things father-y and snarky, but you can also find us on the Twitter and the Facebook. You know, the stuff all the kids are talking about.

On the Twitter, you can find my feed by looking for rjones64 (Yes, I know, highly original and very descriptive. What can I say? I got on early and didn’t think I’d have to keep that moniker for all that long. I was convinced the Twitter was going down the tubes in a matter of months. So much for my fearless prognosticating.). You can tell it’s me by the picture. Yeah, that’s me doing my best impression of an Easter Island head. What? I’ve got issues.

On the Facebook, you can find our page for A Dude’s Guide just by searching us out by name. The name of the site — A Dude’s Guide — that is. Or just, you know, by clicking that link there. Go there and like us. Who knows? There might be something in it for you.*

And, as always, if you’re enjoying the writing here, but you’d like to read more from me where I’m just totally making things up, — as opposed to the strict truthiness here — you can always head over to my fiction-based website.

Finally, if you’re at all interested in giving me money (and, really, who wouldn’t want to do that? [Other than most people on the planet. But I’ve always said you were special]), you can find my business website for Web Words, an internet-based content-generation consulting service, just by clicking on the link there.

Who says we don’t offer far too many ways to waste time on the internet, just for your pleasure? No, really. Who says that?

*probably not

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The Bane Of The 21st Century

by Richard

After about a decade of service, most of the lives of our little dudes, we decided to get a new car back in 2007. My wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Out Of Her Mind, was insisting on an SUV.

Something about how, being a dude I’d be more comfortable driving one of those. However, being the person primarily responsible for driving our now-not-so-little dudes around, I knew a minivan would provide more room for them so stretch out and not be in each other’s face during long trips. I also had a lot invested in trying to live up to the minivans are cool philosophy I’d been trying to convince other people about.

It’s true. Minivans are cool. (Rinse. Repeat.)

Anyway, while I liked the idea of automatic sliding doors and better gas mileage, the little dudes were most excited about the idea that the new Jonesmobile would have a DVD player installed inside the car. They loved the thought that they could watch TV while riding in the car. For them, that was really the arrival of the future in their lives.

We all remember our own childhood car experiences. Long trips with the family. Sitting in the back seat, no seat belts of course, trying to keep down the greasy hamburger while jerking back and forth on the busted shocks and rusting springs. Trying to move your head in rhythm to the car while keeping track of the words dancing on the page in your lap. Playing car games, counting license plates from Arizona or somewhere else exotic. Good times. Good times.

I also remember getting yelled at a lot by my parents because my sister was such a jerk. What? Well, it’s the way I remember it.

Now, though, we can take long, long drives, trips to anywhere, and have almost absolute quiet as the little dudes sit, strapped into their seats, staring slack jawed at the DVD screen and listening to their headphones. An actual quiet vacation drive. It was kind of creepy for the first couple of times not to have to break up fights every seven minutes. Now we only had to worry every hour and a half or so when they had to decide on the next movie.

It’s all good, yeah? No. Not really.

Because now the little dudes expect to be watching something every time they get in the car. If I let them, they’ll have a movie or Mythbusters DVD running at all times. Take a five-minute trip to the grocery store? They’re watching a movie. Drive to the movie theater? They’re watching a DVD movie in the back seat on the way there.

This constant need to be entertained in the car is getting on my nerve a bit. I barely get to hear a word from them during any car ride. I never thought I’d start to miss the sound of them yelling during a car ride.

So, what about you? Is the advent of the in-car DVD a good thing for you?

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College Road Trip

No, it’s not a bad Martin Lawrence movie. It’s my destination over the summer. Zippy the Monkey Boy and Speed Racer are going off to sleep-away camp this summer for two weeks. While they’re gone, I’m going to be taking a college road trip with Sarcasmo, who will be a junior in high school next year. I’m hoping this trip will jump start his interest in college and help him get a little more motivated.

Sample conversation with Sarcasmo:

Me: “So, what do you want to major in?”

Sarcasmo: “I dunno.”

Me: “Do you have any colleges you’d like to attend?”

Sarcasmo: “I dunno.”

Rinse and repeat.

A couple of weeks ago, though, we sat down and I forced him to look at a number of different colleges. We looked at private colleges, public colleges, small institutions and large institutions, and everything in between. Then we threw out ones we knew he didn’t want to attend (that is, basically, only small women’s only liberal arts institutions. [Not that he didn’t want to attend a college where he was the only male, but they probably wouldn’t let him in.]) and decided on seven institutions to visit.

The fun part was deciding which day we’d like to visit which college. We’re going to have a busy week and a half. We’ll be driving all through the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. Considering the state of the economy and what it’s doing to Sarcasmo’s college fund, I’m hoping he falls in love with an in-state school. But we did want to see a variety of institutions.

Well, as large a variety of schools as we could see when only visiting two states worth. We’ve already taken Sarcasmo and Zippy to tour the University of Florida (the world’s best university), but I don’t see either of them as being interested enough to want to go through the hoops they’ll need to in order to get admitted as out-of-state students. Still, it was good to give them something to shoot for. Not that any school can ever compare to UF, but it’s nice to know what’s out there.

This is, of course, just another thing to help me feel really, really old this summer. I’ve actually got a little dude who’s getting ready to attend college in a couple of years. Next year at this time, he’ll be filling out applications and hoping for thick envelopes in return. We’ll be sweating it out and thinking good thoughts. And, in the back of my mind, I’ll be aware that the clock still is ticking as Zippy gets ready to head off to college the year after Sarcasmo. Which means two college road trips in two years.


— Richard

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