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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It’s A Free Day! Score!…

My friend Gary says I’m cheap and I’ll do anything for something that’s free. He’s mostly right.

Everyone gets coupons for free stuff and/or discounts every now and again. Most of the time it’s for stuff you don’t want, can’t use or don’t need “two for the price of one” of when one will last forever.

Then again, sometimes the confluence of free stuff and this week’s lack of cash in my wallet make it worthwhile to cash in on discount loot.

Today was my “free day”.

I gathered the following collection of accumulated “instead of cash” currency and made the afternoon lunch run.

1. $5 gift certificate for In-N-Out Burger for doing an online survey for something I forget.

2. A twist off plastic cap for a free 1 Liter coke product.

3. A coupon I got in the mail for one 4 pound sample of Purina One cat food.

A cholesterol busting Double-Double burger, fries and drink lunch was followed by a trek across the parking lot to Albertson’s super market to scam my free coke and cat food.

I exit the store to find…MORE FREE STUFF! The Scott Paper Company was handing out free sample rolls of toilet paper and moist wipes!

Total “free day” cost? Fifty six cents!

Tax on the burger and recycle deposit on the coke bottle somewhat spoiled the “free day” experience but what the hey. Nothing is perfect!

…This is truly pathetic. I need a full time job.

In the mean time, how about listing your best “free day score” in the comments section?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Wife Flushed The Cat…

I was awakened from semi-dream state Thursday morning to Claudette’s excited tone that “…the cat clogged the toilet!” At least that’s what I thought I heard. “…It just jumped off the shelf when I flushed and it disappeared and now the water won’t go down!”

I'm awake at this point but still slow on the uptake wondering how one of our cats could possibility get flushed down the toilet. Even the smaller cat couldn’t even remotely fit through the toilet flusher hole. At most, all they’d get is wet and super pissed off.

Upon further clarification, it becomes apparent that a shelf next to the toilet got bumped, a little cat figurine fell into the toilet and is now the victim of apparent inanimate animal suicide.

Sure enough, repeated test flushing revealed rising water levels more than double the usual point then slowly draining indicated a blockage. So my job for today is fixing the toilet.

Now, I really hate fixing plumbing problems. I can never get it right the first time without leaks and at least two trips to the hardware store. I never have the correct sized part or the correct number and variety of parts. So I’m really going to try and not take the toilet apart to clear this cat clog.

I spend the next hour or so trying to push the cat the rest of the way through toilet channel using a combination of coat hangers, plumbers snake and the ole’ trusty ‘D’-cup toilet plunger to no avail. Several test flushes showed the cat was still not on its merry way to San Francisco bay. DAMN!

Undeterred by this lack of progress, I decided all I need is more “push” to dislodge the drowned cat. I go to the hardware store and find a “Hi-Tec Super Floosher Toilet Plunger” guaranteed to unclog any toilet. Another hour of “flooshing” back home did nothing to encourage the trapped cat to continue its water park adventure ride.

Finally resigned to the realization that I WILL have to take the toilet completely apart, I procrastinate the rest of the day while making a list of toilet parts I’ll need to re-assemble the dang thing after I extract that miserable cat. ….Tomorrow!

As a last ditch effort, I tried to convince Claudette that we could just label this bathroom “For Liquid Waste Only”. Reasoning that, “It still kinda works and we DO have two other perfectly functioning facilities in the house!” She just gave me that droopy eyed look that said “No Dice” before going off to work the next day.

So another trip to the hardware store for toilet parts and a couple more hours in the bathroom surrounded by sopping wet towels and many swear words, I finally extract the medium egg shaped ceramic cat from the bowels of white porcelain toilet.

Undamaged, thoroughly rinsed with a Cheshire grin, it mocks me while I spend another hour re-assembling its former watery prison and clean up the bathroom.

Claudette returns home to find the formally flushed feline sitting on the counter. She tells me, emphatically, that she doesn’t want it back! “It was in the toilet with all that ….stuff

Damn cat…

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What's Your Excuse?...

Found the following on the web:

Excerpts from a collection of actual excuse notes from parents (including spelling) from the Office of Educational Assessment at the University of Washington.

“Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots leak...”

“Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father's fault...”

“Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday…”

“My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines...”

“Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover…”

Full list here:

Monday, July 18, 2005

Substitute Certificate Renewal…

Finally! Something easily accomplished when dealing with the government. I was able to do an online renewal for my county Substitute Teaching Certificate. At $57, I guess I’m committed for at least one half of a class day this coming school year to break even.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

So You Think Your Neighbor-Hood is Tough?...

Nigerian pets?... Posted by Picasa

These photos of hyenas and babbons somewhere in Nigera are making the internet rounds.

How would you like these kids in your class to have a "Bring Your Pet To School Day" for show-and-tell?

"Take Your Pet To School" Day...

Tough neighborhood... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hey! I’m Sorta, Somewhat, Almost, Semi-Famous…

Discovered today that my blog has made the blogroll in the online Mercury News A&E Interactive section of the local paper! Left hand side, bottom the page, “Substitute Teacher”