Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yes, I Grow Grass For A Living

This picture was sent to me the other day. It is me at about 5:45 in the morning. It is probably my favorite time of the day. While most people are still in bed, I’ve been up about an hour and a half.

In this picture I am going to inspect the putting green for stress or disease. As you can tell it is real tough work. It sucks when I actually have to get out of the golf cart that I drive around all day.

Getting out of the cart doesn’t really suck. I liked doing the manual labor when I was on the crew. I liked to walk mow the greens. I got a kick out of making sure that my greens had the straightest lines and cleanest edges.

I also liked to mow the fairways. Driving that big fairway mower is pretty cool. You also get to do that whole straight-line clean edge thing, just on a bigger scale.

I think you have to be a golfer to appreciate the job that I have. I love to golf, so it is safe to say that I love my job. My only regret is that I didn't get started on this career earlier. Both my father and father inlaw were big golfers, neither one of them got to play at my golf course. I would have loved to be able to share my golf course with them.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Because They Asked

A few weeks ago I asked what kinds of things did you guys like to read here at Wear Gloves And Protective Eyewear. Kristi and Elizabeth both made strange requests in the comments. I’m surprised Kristi didn’t ask me to write about afterbirth. Hasn’t Mallory popped out yet? Anyways, I’m going to do a “Wayne Brady” and try to work their requests into this post. Some of this post is true, some of it well…

I don’t know how this always happens, but I had to take Alissa to her friend’s birthday party while Sherri was at work. The party was at a place called Pump It Up. Pump It Up is a place that specializes in bouncy fun!

Your child and their guests get to enjoy a private room filled with all the best bouncy toys you can think of. They had a giant slide, an obstacle course, and the biggest moon bounce I have ever seen. These rides were so big that they even allowed the parents to jump in them. Game on, I’m all over that.

So I kick off my flip-flops and started attacking the obstacle course like Nitro from American Gladiators. I always have an American Gladiator outfit in the car just for times like this! Kids are flying, moms are screaming, other dads are cheering as I annihilate this wimpy course. Then all of a sudden I hear a loud whistle. It is the teenage boy that monitors the kids, “Dude, you can’t be in there.” “And why the hell not?” I responded, “You guys said parents could play too!” “It’s your nasty ass toenails, they are too long, they might pop the rides, and I don’t even want to talk about that toe fungus. I think you can get a prescription for that.” the pimple faced punk replied. “You really should go to the private room for dads.” “Really? Where is that?” “Follow me Nitro.” Me and all the other dads follow “Spicoli” back to a black door marked private.

The private room was actually an arena filled with cheering and screaming dads. They were cheering for the two Victoria’s Secret models wrestling in a pit of lime jello. I think one of them was Tyra Banks. She had 30 lbs on the other one and easily won.

The ring announcer then steps into the ring, “Can we have a volunteer that thinks he can handle these two ladies!” Everyone stops and turns to look at the guy wearing the red, white and blue leotard. Then the chanting begins, “Nitro, Nitro, Nitro…..” Some dreams do come true.

I’m going to describe the match as efficiently as I can. Bill Murray, John Candy, Stripes. Do I need to say more?

When all the fun was over, me and the other dads joined the birthday party, again. We were just in time for cake and ice cream. There was a different private room for present opening and cake eating. The Pump It Up crew took care of serving the cake and singing to the kids. I was impressed. I went to this girl’s party last year at Chuck E Cheese. This year’s party was much better.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bloody Finger, Bloody Finger....Got A Band Aid!

Some deals are too good to be true.

Sherri was shopping at the local grocery store late in the evening. The meat department was getting ready to close when she asked for 2lbs of hamburger meat, the 15% fat kind. The butcher made her an offer, “ It’s the end of the day, do you want some 7% for $1.99 a lbs?” She thought that was great, “Alright, give me two lbs.” He responded, “I only have about 10lbs, buy the rest of it and I’ll give it to you for $1.79 a lbs.” “Deal.”

Last night we are all enjoying the spaghetti dinner Sherri had prepared when she makes an unpleasant discovery. Sherri is chewing her mouthful of food when I notice that she pulls something that is not spaghetti out of her mouth. We examine the object closely and determine that it is part of a band-aid. No one in the house has a cut, so we can only make the assumption that it came from the butcher. NASTEY! I already had finished my plate, the kids didn’t care, but that pretty much finished dinner for Sherri. The leftover spaghetti found the trashcan. The other 8 pounds of meat are still in the freezer, but I think it is going to magically disappear someday.

On a side note:

My wife has a gift for finding “nonfood items” in her food. Glass, hair, and fingernails are all things I can remember her finding in her dinner. Claim Jumper, Red Lobster, and Outback Steakhouse were the restaurants we were at when she found these items.

I’ve watched her eat. She looks at almost every bite before she puts it in her mouth. I almost think ignorance is bliss in this case, because once she finds something she is totally grossed out and can’t eat a thing. God only knows how many body parts I’ve eaten over the years, and enjoyed them too!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Put Those Things Away!

I will start this post with the acknowledgement that I am a pig. So you don't need to point that out in your comments, but if you must, go ahead, I'm all for free speech.

Church here in the desert is pretty slow. About half of my church leaves town for the summer.

Church here in the desert is also pretty casual. It is usually at least 110, so people dress to stay cool. Especially the ladies.

Today was an exceptionally "scenic"day. The sun dresses were out in abundance. It was a great day to be a guy.

A guy can usually catch a casual glimpse of an attractive woman and its no big deal, but today, I flat out was caught staring. I wasn't even going to deny it.

The woman I was staring at was wearing a red sun dress with very thin shoulder straps and the top was barely holding in her breasts. She was very tan, but her boobs weren't! You could see that much. I think my mouth was actually open in amazement when I got an elbow in the ribs from Sherri.

So basically, I was caught checking out babes at church today, with my wife standing next to me. I'm pretty much going to hell.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Malathionman's Yard #1

It is tough being Malathion man's neighbor. I sometimes pee in the bushes and I walk around taking pictures of their yards so that I can rag on them in my blog.

This guy has a huge tree problem. His tree is way too fricking big. You can't see this in the picture, but the roots are tearing up his driveway. They will soon be messing with the foundation of the house. There is also too much shade. Nothing will grow under that tree.

If I turn around 180 degrees, you will see what his neighbor is trying to do to fix the same problem.

As you can see he had no grass from the lack of sun. He still hasn't fixed his bigger problem, the roots. Also, he has left a huge frame that will fill up again and keep the grass from getting any sun.

The real fix would be to remove the entire tree. Start over and plant something that doesn't grow so big.

Also, if you are going to trim your tree, leave some foliage. The more the better. Plants can't make food without leaves, duh. This tree will have to use up stored food to crank out some leaves. Once the leaves are out, the tree can start making food again, but it will be stressed out for quite some time because of all the energy it used to get to that point.

While I am talking about trimming, take a look at the house across the street. Does this guy want a tree or a hedge? If that empty frame across the street gets cut down to size, a dense canopy will begin to grow like they have here, but don't take the hedge clippers to it!

Tree trimming should be an "as needed" job. If the canopy is hanging too low, trim up the low hanging branches. If there is too much end weight pulling down a branch, remove the end weight. Fruit trees are a good example of this.

A rule of thumb about trimming is, do not remove more then 25% of the canopy when trimming. Don't let your tree overgrow the area that you want it in and you shouldn't have to worry about that rule.

Lastly, do your homework before you plant a tree, don't take the Home Depot guy's word for it. How big is this tree going to get? How fast does it grow? Is it evergreen or deciduous? How much water will it need? Think about these things before you invest your time and money on a tree or plant for that matter, then your nosey neighbor won't talk trash about you on the internet.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another Brick In The Wall

Both of my kids brought this home for me to read last week. WTH !!! Can’t teachers be left alone to teach reading and arithmetic’s? It looks like they have to teach students how to behave first. Shouldn’t the students come with those skills already ingrained from home? Maybe I’m too “old school”. When I went to elementary school, you behaved yourself or you saw the principle and his paddle. It kept ME out of trouble. I didn’t want that swat from Mr. Dick (yes, that really was his name). From reading this “behavioral focus plan” you would think our kids couldn’t be aloud to be kids and that they don’t know the meaning of respect. I know my kids know the meaning of respect, but they can be pretty spastic. This just seems like they want little Stepford Kids. Can’t kids be kids without losing valuable learning time? Do we need to go to this extreme? Maybe we do. Things sure have changed, but have they for the better?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Being One Of The Guys

It didn’t take long for Nelson and I to become friends. Technically he works for me, but I think I treat him more like a partner. He actually has more experience than I do in golf course maintenance, but I have more management and life experience. We make a really good team. Everyone at MVCC knows we enjoy working together and people (our crew) enjoy working for us.

I make it a point to look out for my crew. The occasional box of doughnuts in the morning or ice cream in the afternoon goes a long way towards making these guys want to work for me. My boss says, “Save the receipt!” I tell him the treats are on me and I want the crew to know it. Buying sweets for the crew doesn’t give me a free pass to act like a jerk, I still have to treat them with respect, it just reinforces to them that I appreciate their effort. When you are a white male, and your crew is entirely made up of Hispanics that speak very little English, you better be able to convey that message.

Nelson takes these kinds of lessons from me, and I sponge information about golf course maintenance from him.

Last week, the mechanic at my course was challenged by his brother who works at another course, to a little game of softball. Nelson and I were invited to play. No other managers were invited. I thought that meant something and that we should go. I did have plans to see The Bourne Ultimatum with Sherri that night, but I cancelled on her so that I could do this. I felt that it was one of those times were it was just the right thing to do. Sherri understood, but I had to take her to the movie the next night at a later time (7:30pm). This sucks because I get up a 4:00am, but it was all worth it. The movie ruled, and the game was a blast.

Nelson drove us to a park called The Armory. This was not a place a couple of white guys would normally hang out. “ Dude, I’m not getting out of the car unless I see some of our guys.” I said. Luckily we saw some familiar faces, so we parked as close to the field as we could and got out.

I don’t know why these guys picked this park to play at. The Armory should have been called The Cow Pasture. The dirt infield was overgrown with weeds and grass. There were many holes in the outfield and infield that someone could easily break an ankle in. There was also a light pole in the middle of centerfield that came into play a lot; it was like 20 steps behind second base.

This game had a large turn out. It wasn’t the amount of players; it was all of the friends and family that came along to watch. There were probably about 30 people just to watch, and party.

The game turned out to be no game at all. MVCC opened up a can of whoopass on Sun City. We scored 10 runs in our half of the 1st inning and never looked back. Things stayed friendly and both teams had a good time.

After the game, it was “Get your picture with a couple of white guys night.” All the ladies had cameras and wanted pictures with Nelson and me. We posed with the ladies, we posed with families, and we even posed with the other team. It all made us feel very welcome, and glad that we decided to go.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

This Pickle Wasn't Sweet

It was Alissa’s first day of school. She will be in the first grade. She will also be going to school with Austin. The last two years she has gone to a private preschool and kindergarten. They were nurturing and kind to my little princess. So I guess I was expecting too much from this public school, first grade bitch, oops I mean teacher. Most of the teachers here have been fine, this one just pissed me off.

Ms. Valasick sat behind her desk and waited for her new students, and their parents, to come in. She didn’t leave her desk to great us. We walked up to her throne.

“Good morning, we are Mr. and Mrs. Malathionman, this is Alissa.”

If Ben Stein had a sister, she would sound like this, “Hello, I’m Ms. Valasick. Alissa, pick a colored stick from this jar, match it to the colored spot at one of those tables and take a seat. Here is your name tag, please put it on.”

We do as instructed.

Sherri is doing her best to get Alissa excited about class, but things are getting misty in a hurry. As I watch the tears forming in both Sherri and Alissa’s eyes, I can’t help but think this woman could get off her butt and try to make my daughter feel a little more comfortable in her classroom. It didn’t happen. I felt like shit leaving, but Sherri had to go before she really started to cry and that would make things even worse for Alissa.

I made sure I was there when she got out of school. I wanted to see how Ms. Valasick was interacting with the kids, and I wanted to give my little girl a big hug.

I watched as Ms. Valasick let each child out of the classroom. Each child got this option at the door, “High five, handshake, or hug.” Alissa chose hug. It all sounds nice, but with that Ben Stein voice and the going through the motions hug she got, I still wasn’t impressed. I wish “needle in the eye” was an option.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Just Curious

Do you wear gloves and protective eyewear when you visit this site? Does my writing cause eye and skin irritation? I often wonder what brings some people here or back for return visits. The crude titles I use for a lot of my posts bring hits from all over the world, but when they don’t find pictures of “boob licking” or “butt plugs” they put the hand lotion away and try a different search.

I started this blog for my fantasy baseball friends. It was supposed to be used as place for us to talk baseball and possibly make trades in our fantasy baseball league. I think some of the guys read it every once in a while, but it has basically evolved into something I didn’t intend it to be, a place where I tell stories about what’s going on in my life. Why would I think anyone gives a rip about that?

One thing I have discovered since I started this blog is that I enjoy writing. I think my writing has improved too. I think I could go into more detail when I’m telling my stories, but I’m not sure my readers enjoy the real long post.

Sometimes I don’t have any funny stories to tell. I’ll sit in front of the computer and try to think of something, but I usually just skip posting until I have something in my head ready to go. I bring this up because I often wonder what people like to read about when they come here. I like to write about my family, but for the sake of this “writing thing” I’m asking for some other ideas.

Here are some things that I can write about without bull shitting you, BASEBALL, THE ANGELS, FOOTBALL, GOLF, GOLF COURSE MAINTENANCE, COOKING, PARENTING, ADOPTION, MOVIES, MUSIC, MANAGEMENT, LAWN CARE, GARDENING, PESTICIDES (Besides Nora, how many of you know Malathion is a pesticide?), HOME DEPOT (Worked there 8 years.), DOMINO’S PIZZA (Worked there 10 years.), AND MARRIAGE (Married 22 years.).

I am willing to write about more serious topics like politics, religion, and race/discrimination issues, but I get the impression people come here for a “light read”.

So friends, give an evil mutant a shout. Let me know if there is something you would like me to tackle. You would be doing ME the favor.