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Easter Week Trip

April 6th, 2016

We spent the week of Easter on the sailboat. Almost entirely, we were tied up at Pontchartrain Landing on the lakeshore. It’s an almost unknown RV Park and Marina, and not at all a bad place to hole up for a week. Although it was almost entirely too cold to swim, there is a pool, a safe patch of water for the kids to dinghy and paddleboard, and all of it is in view from the bar. Other than one bartender, the staff was very friendly and helpful.

All lined up for the Gay Easter Parade

And what an eventful week. On top of goofing around at the ol’ landing, we visited the zoo, aquarium, IMAX, parades, bowling, a cool lights display in city park, Preservation Hall, and went to a barbecue festival. We probably ate at least five top-notch meals and several more very good ones. We had warm sunny weather, and freezing cold rain.

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Groundhog Money Burn and Little Kid Talk

February 3rd, 2016

Sure, yesterday was fun and all, but what’s doin’ in Punxsutawney today?

Signing Day > Groundhog Day

Is tomorrow a day named for a movie too?


I got hoodwinked when I bought gas yesterday. I was sort of hurrying and not paying close attention, and I hit the button for the fuel grade on the left. Instead of the natural order of low, mid-grade, super-premium, this particular station had them arranged in the order Mid, Cheap, Super premium. Halfway through my fillup, I noticed that my price was at $1.62/gallon instead of $1.43.

I might as well have pulled four dollars out of my wallet and lit it on fire. I’m still bitter this morning.

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January 8th, 2016

Just as the ACC is sort of a low-rent version of the SEC, Clemson is the obvious low-rent equivalent to LSU.

Perhaps they were first to call their stadium “Death Valley”, but we all know where opponents dreams go to die — it’s the Tiger Stadium where it never rains.

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How to Stay Married for 20+ Years

December 4th, 2015

Last week, Mrs. theskinnyonbenny and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary. I’m not nearly old enough to have been married twenty years, just as I am not nearly old enough to have a younger sister who dotes on grandchildren, yet here we are in a weird parallel universe where both things are ture.

As I realize that it’s not exactly commonplace for someone as youthful and handsome as myself to have been married so long, I thought I would post some secrets of marital longevity.

  1. Have opposing chicken wing preferences. Perhaps no single factor leads to more marital harmony than sharing a plate of chicken wings without feeling like your partner keeps snagging the wings that you wanted to eat. If you prefer the drumette, find a partner who prefers the forearm, and vice versa.

    There really should be a word for the forearm part that we universally acknowledge. I just googled parts of a chicken wing, and there are a variety of opinions to what it should be called. Forearm works for me, but I understand the inclination to find a word that sounds more like food.

    Dammit, I’m hungry. I wish I hadn’t looked at all of those pictures of chicken wings.

  2. Just drive. If your partner hates to drive, and you would rather sleep or read than drive, just buy an energy drink and take your spot behind the wheel. Odds are that your road-hating partner thinks that four inches is plenty of following distance on the interstate when he or she is driving anyway, and if so, you’ll have trouble drifting off to sleep while your pilot stares into the road with the intensity of Mario Andretti making 210 mph ovals in heavy traffic. Easier for everyone if you just take the wheel.

    As an added bonus, most people instinctively give the driver control of the radio. I’ve personally made my family listen all sorts of sports talk idiots that they must have dreaded with every fiber of their being. Once, I made them listen to a Wimbledon final on the radio while we drove through the back country nothingness between Miami and Orlando. Have you ever listened to tennis on the radio? “Serve is in, and back. Federer hits it back, and back, to the corner, back across, over, back, AND IT CATCHES THE BASELINE FOR A POINT!!!!”

    Who’s point? It gets very hard to tell. Just keep driving.

  3. Wet your whistle. All of your partner’s grating little annoyances turn into charming little quirks when mixed with a warm, sweet, stomach coating of your favorite intoxicant. Not only that, but the kids don’t sound as loud, the money shortages don’t seem that dire, and after a drinks or two, either of you is perfectly willing to scoop up that wet cat hairball bare-handed.

    You’ve got to be a little careful here, especially if one of you is a fan of the fightin’ liquors (whiskey, tequila). Also, too many evening cocktails before homework time really, really sucks. A week or two ago, I might have signed off on a reading page that didn’t really get read, and now I get lobbied for homework cheats every couple of days.

  4. Establish a common rooting interest. You want to have at least one area where you’re rooting for the same team. It can be a mutually shared hatred of the Patriots, a common desire to elect the biggest douchebag in the city council as the next mayor, or a fanatic following of the dude your partner dated in high school who is now the 34th ranked professional bowler in the world. That way, when you sense that the conversation is going to take a turn toward, “did you ever change the upstairs light bulbs like you said you would?” you can throw it in a different direction with something like, “Did you see Donald Trump mock that reporter with the googoo face?”

    I don’t have anything else to say here, but I have some style issue where my list spacing sucks unless I have more than one paragraph in the list. No time to figure it out, q.e.d., this sentence.

  5. Lots and lots of oral sex. This might not really be applicable to my own life, but I can’t imagine that anyone in a relationship is too very unhappy when oral sex is part of the daily routine. If you are unhappily married despite lots of trips where the trolley rolls downtown, please let me know in the comments. You, my friend, are one of the most fascinating people we’ve encountered.

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Old Man Gripes

November 2nd, 2015

As I’ve mentioned in this space before, I’m an old man now. It’s time to start publishing my gripes.

Gripe #1:

These two DirectTV commercials, which attempt (poorly) to make fun of merging cable companies. I’ll post the first one. I know there’s at least one more, wherein the guy from all of those mockumentaries dumps boiled shrimp and ice all over the conference room table.

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Mandeville Sailing

October 29th, 2015

Saturday and Sunday, it rained like hell. We’ve had nothing but beautiful weather for as many days as I can remember, and I especially can’t think of when it was as wet and as ugly as it was this weekend.

But the weekend before was the last in a long line of absolutely perfect weather.

We decided to sail to Mandeville, a town that’s usually four or five hours from our home dock. It’s a nice little town, with a publicly funded wall fitted with water and power that’s absolutely free to the visiting sailor. Once there, you have a playground for the kids right there, the yacht club ( = bar for mom and dad, plus another playground), and many other places to eat or drink within an easy lakefront walk. It’s certainly worth an overnight trip.

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Summer Pattern

June 9th, 2015

This is the third week since schools let out in Baton Rouge, and the city is firmly situated into the rhythms of Summer. Traffic is better, people are out until late, and packs of camp kids broadcast noises from unexpected city blocks.

After being mostly away the past two weeks, our kids started camps this week. Vanya is doing dance, arts, and music at a camp that he seems to be enjoying quite a bit. Kolya is going to one that seems pretty similar to preschool. Let’s face it, though. Preschool is a day-long session of dicking around in fun ways that also happen to be educational for little kids. Drawing, Play-doh, songs. It’s a pretty good day compared to yours and mine.

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Gotcha 2015

May 29th, 2015

Today is Vanya’s gotcha day, so happy day to a wonderful, kind-hearted, enthusiastic kid who has an amazing ability to make people smile.

Our tradition is that the kids get to do pretty much what they choose, including a trip to the store to pick out a toy. Sometimes, this process is even hilarious.

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