Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Musings - Wii Edition

It's Monday so you know what that means. We finally get to stop hearing about Michael Jackson? Unfortunately, no. It means it's time for another edition of Monday Musings, where you get to read about all the nonsense that rattles around in my head on a daily basis.

This week we're going to do something a little different. I'm actually going to be asking for help from my loyal readers. And I expect a reply from both of you. Yesterday was our 6-year wedding anniversary and I need help in deciding on a gift (late as usual). The 50th anniversary is for gold, the 25th for silver, but what is the 6th? Being the helpless romantic that I am, I think I'm ready to go out on a limb and proclaim the 6th year anniversary as the year of the Wii.

Normally, when it comes to gadgets, toys, and technology I'm one of the last one to get it. We finally upgraded a few months ago to HD television. I think I'm the only one in America not on Facebook. So up until recently, I've kind of been against the idea of getting a Wii. But they really are a lot of fun. I've really thought this through and have gone back and forth on this issue. Here's the three typical conversations that I have to convince myself to get one:

Point 1: It's really a great investment. For only $250, I can play unlimited Wii golf. That pays for itself in just a few days when compared to real golf.
Counterpoint: Investment? I knew there was a reason your an engineer and not a financial advisor.
Counter-Counterpoint: It has to be at least as good as my other investment accounts over the last year.

Point2: We'd get so much exercise through the Wii Fit, boxing, and tennis. We'll be so healthy.
Counterpoint: Has it really come to this? Go outside and run you lazy sack of [inaudible].
Counter-Counterpoint: It's really hot outside.

Point3: I should definitely get it. It's something the whole family will enjoy together. In fact, I'd be a terrible father and a failure of a husband if I didn't get it. That's it. It's all about quality time with the family.
Counterpoint: Yes, just what our family needs. Another reason to sit in front of the television/computer/OtherGadgetThatWastesARediculousAmountOfTime
Counter-Counterpoint: Oh be quiet. Jesus died to free us from guilt so take that somewhere else please.

You can see I'm really torn here. So here's what I'm going to do. We'll conduct the first ever Gaskill Rascals blog poll and let you decide whether we get a Wii or not. Whatever you decide, that's what I'll do.*

*unless you vote NO, in which case I will ignore the results and get one anyway.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Musings - Literally

This is Mr. GR back for more Monday Musings, where I get to write, chat, or rant about anything I want. Last week we discussed the absurdity of naming an air freshener after something that, while maybe appealing in theory, actually smells disgusting in practice. This week, I’m going to shift the focus a little bit to talk about what may be my number one pet peeve in life: the misuse of the word “literally”.

I’ll preface by saying I am certainly no master of the English language and I don’t want to be throwing stones (figuratively, not literally) here, but this is so simple I just don’t understand how people don’t get it. It’s like they go out of their way to sound stupid. Or go out of their way to make me angry. Either way, I don’t like it.

Put simply, the word “literally” is a word that tells your listener to take what you are about to say in a literal sense instead of a figurative sense. So if I were to say “The misuse of this word makes my blood boil” then you would know right away that I mean it in a figurative sense and that my blood was not actually going to begin the evaporation process any second now. If so, I would be dead of course. However, if for some unknown reason, my blood really would start to boil, then I would need to insert the word "literally" to say “The misuse of this word literally makes my blood boil.” Then you would know that I was not merely using a figure of speech, but I meant it word-for-word. Pretty simple, right? Apparently not. In fact, a recent study shows that in the course of normal conversation, you are likely to hear this word misused an average of 2.7 times per day*.

Don’t believe me? In the middle of writing this blog post, I decided to take a quick break and check the latest news headlines. One of my favorite reads every morning is Nealz Nuze, the talking points for the Neal Boortz radio show. Sure enough, you can guess what word I found just a couple paragraphs in:

“When Aunt Joyce or my grandparents would drive me over there for the afternoon I was literally beside myself with joy.” What? Did you have an out-of-body experience? Did you magically sprout an evil twin like in that movie Multiplicity (btw, I hated that movie) and have him follow you around all morning? C’mon, Neal. You talk for a living, for goodness sakes! I might as well start listening to Air America if you’re going to do that. Okay, scratch that last part.

Neal, this is what it looks like to be literally beside yourself

I came to realize my hatred for this word because my former boss was a habitual offender. Once before what was to be a particularly long and boring meeting he claimed that “This meeting is literally going to be death by a thousand cuts.” Um, can I please be dismissed then? In fact, I haven’t told anybody this until now, but that’s the real reason I had to change jobs and move 500 miles away. I didn’t want to be associated with this guy’s Tuesday morning massacres.

I’m about done here, but just one more thing to add. I think I've realized the problem is that people try to use the word for emphasis instead of thinking about what they’re actually saying. Going back to my earlier example, I can say “The misuse of this word really makes me angry.” Or I can emphasize it by using a figure of speech instead: “The misuse of this word makes my blood boil”. But some people feel that they need even more so they try do so by saying it “literally makes my blood boil.” What they mean is it “really, really, really makes me mad and I need to do something to make sure you understand how serious the situation is even if it requires adding unnecessary and useless words to my sentence that make no sense whatsoever. Please listen to me, people! We’re all going to die!”

Okay, I’m done. Feel much better. I’ll literally get off my high horse now.

*No such study was actually done, but if there were I’m positive this would be the result.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Updates I know I need to get better. I haven't even posted photos from Atlanta or Maryland trips. It has been a busy, fun summmer so far. Two big things that have definitely affected my free time(ie: blogging time) are Danny dropping his nap and officially being a potty trained boy. We are putting him to bed earlier and so the nap is not needed, except on those busy days like today when he crashed on the couch watching golf. I guess I know where he got his genes from....
And on that note.
Happy Father's Day to Daddy
Happy Father's Day to Max
Danny has wonderful male role models in his life(lounging in front of the tv aside) and I know he is going to grow up to be a outstanding young man.
I often tell him he will always be my baby. Sometimes I tell him that I don't want him to grow up too fast. So now he has gotten in the habit of telling me that he is a big boy, but that I don't want him to grow up. I clarify...just don't grow up too fast! I will post pictures soon. And I will share my story of potty training soon for those of you entering this stage of your life in the future. We are so happy to be down to one diaper boy. YEAH!!!
Hopefully Scott is coming up with a really great post right now!!! He is so funny, don't you think?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Musings (by Mr. Gaskill Rascal)

(I've been asked to start doing regular guest posting on this blog and in an effort to appease the Mrs, I’ve agreed to post about once a week about various topics. It will mostly consist of things in the world I find humorous, annoying, or just plain dumb. I am, after all, the smartest person I know.)

This past weekend we were up visiting NanaMax™ and as we were leaving, I made a quick stop into the restroom. Now, NanaMax have a lovely restroom filled with all the things you would normally find in there…hand towels, soap, TP, and of course a bottle of Febreze (for Max not Nana, I’m sure). Now, usually air fresheners have all kinds of lovely scents associated with them – I’m thinking something like “Summer Breeze”, “Mountain Fresh”, or maybe even “Vanilla Spice”. But this particular bottle of Febreeze was labeled as “Moroccan Bazaar”. Uh? Admittedly, I’ve never actually been to a Moroccan Bazaar, but couldn’t they just have easily called this scent “European Flea Market”? And why
would you possible want your bathroom to smell like that?*

The first thing that came to mind was this time in college when I used to referee basketball. There was this one team made up entirely of guys from the Greek Student Association (why they needed an association, I'm not sure, but I digress.) I’m sure these students were very nice people, but holy cow these guys smelled horrific. Like they hadn’t taken a shower in weeks. Seriously. At first, I thought it might have been part of their strategy to keep people from playing close defense on them, but the more I thought about it I was convinced this is just how these particular students lived. We used to make the freshmen referees do all their games, until we were told to stop because of the school's hazing policy. That’s what I’m pretty sure a “Moroccan Bazaar” would smell like.

In my bathroom? No thank you. (In Nana's defense, she got it because the brown bottle matched the rest of the bathroom, not for the scent. Fair enough. The impracticality of house decorating is a blog post for another day).

Anyway, as I did a little investigative research, I learned that Febreeze also has a complimentary scent called “Brazilian Carnival”. Are you telling me that the makers of Febreze have so exhausted the list of scents in the world that they best they could come up with is that of a South American fair? Really? Do they at least serve cotton candy at these carnivals? Because that would smell good, but then why not just call it “Cotton Candy”.

To commemorate this new found knowledge of the sweet aromas of the world, I’ve come up with a list of fragrances that I’d like to recommend to the smell-improvement industry. No need to send me the royalty checks. Just a simple thank you will do:

Wet Dog, by Old Spice
Diaper Genie in the Sun, from Yankee Candle
Crusty Fishing Boat, by Lysol NeutraAir
Scented Tide Laundry Detergent, now with new homeless man stench
Sunday Morning Frat House, by Ralph Lauren

*Yes, I realize that Morocco is actually in North Africa, not Europe. But it’s on the Med and was under Spanish and French control for a long time (thanks, Wikipedia!) so I’m lumping it in with the rest of Europe for the purpose of this blog.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Never too early

I have to admit that I haven't felt inspired to write lately.
Traveling this past week, giving up the paci, and dropping the naptime has drained us a little. Lately, Danny fluctuates between being a loving boy and a 2 1/2 year old(can you guess what that means?). Last night he asked for mommy(not daddy..gasp!) to put him to bed and wanted to cuddle lots this morning. I am hoping this means the early bed time and the dropping all naps is helping him with his daily grouchiness. I can't imagine where he gets his grumpy-when-I-wake-up gene from. Who am I kidding? With Scott and I both, the odds are against him in that area.

I have discovered that it is never too early to share truth with your children. I never doubted this before, but seeing it in action is so exciting. I explained sin to Danny the other day and just a few minutes ago I overheard him talking about it. He was saying "I do something bad and then I have a timeout and tell God I am sorry for yelling at people." I had explained that there has to be a punishment when people do bad things and used the timeout to explain it. I am amazed that he knows stuff like God listens to me and He is always with me and Jesus was God as a man. In one breath I am frustrated with the sin nature that is manifested through his interactions with us and his brother....but in the next breath I see the fact that our hearts do have a desire for God and worshiping our creator. We were eating in Sams(how many times do I type that in my blog?) and he breaks out in "This is the day that the Lord has made....". God has great plans for Danny and I can't wait to see how He is going to use our sweet, sensitive, smart little boy.

I can't wait to share our trip to Atlanta with you, but I first need to get on the ball and load the photos. Yeah....maybe giving up nap means I give up some other activities too! Don't worry. I will do it soon!