Category Archives: Humor

Update On Half Baked Manor

I’ve allowed the demands of paid work to keep me from blogging.  Silly me!

The grounds of Half Baked Manor have recovered from the drought of a couple of weeks ago.  Since I wrote of my obsession with watering the lawn, the Lord Himself has watered our lawn just about every day.  We have green grass in abundance.  Now, I just need to get my son to keep it cut.

Prospects for our 25th anniversary have brigthened as well.  One of my readers passed along to my mother-in-law that my wife and I bought grass for our anniversary.  She thought that was so unromantic that she took it upon herself to get us a gift card to go to Ruth Chris Steak House.  Thanks Mom!  You’re the best!

Ruth Chris is so out of my league I’m not even sure if I spelled it right!  I do know that it will be a new experience for us.  The small amount of intelligence that I have gathered so far has led me to believe that it will be a cut or two above Ronald McDonald’s Steak House.

Back to the Gym

I woke up this morning feeling like I had a Ford F-350 truck on top of my chest.  I thought to myself, “how did that happen?”  Then I remembered, “I went back to the gym yesterday.”

As you have guessed, I haven’t been to the gym in a while.  Matter of fact, I haven’t been all summer.  I wouldn’t exactly say I’ve been sedentary.  But I’ll have to give the rundown on my “athletic pursuits” another day.

I wouldn’t call myself a natural athlete.  I don’t feel athletic at all.  My oldest son has described me as “bookish.”  I’m not sure if that’s good or not, but as the football coaches say, “it is what it is.”  Whatever that means.  But several years ago, I read a book called Younger Next Year.  One piece of advice that stuck with me was that if you are over fifty, you need to do some strength training.  So I read that book, filed that information away in the corners of my mind, and promptly went out and got a job that just about killed me.

Fast-forward to last year.  I’m starting to notice that I’m getting saggy.  It occurs to me that I probably shouldn’t take off my shirt in public.  Living in a beach community, this realization seems as though it could affect my quality of life.  I’m even beginning to think of searching Amazon to see if there is such a thing as a man-bra.  So, I had to do something.

I found this gym near my house that used to be a racquetball facility back when racquetball was cool.  They kept the racquetball layout and distributed the fitness equipment throughout the gym.  So this means that you can pretty much get your own room to work out in.  No muscleheads glaring down at you in contempt.  No hotties to make you feel like a beached whale.  And no crowds.  You just go in, get it done, and get out.  Which is about the only way I would ever go to a gym.

So, I’m still debating about whether to take the shirt off in public, but at least I’m not mortified by the thought of it anymore.

Vicissitudes of Life at Half Baked Manor

The grass at Half Baked Manor has begun to turn brown.  A predictable outcome of high temperatures in the mid-nineties with little rain.  But you must understand, this is no ordinary grass!  This is hearty, thick, St. Augustine grass created in the greenhouse to withstand the sandy soil, sea breezes, salt air, northeasters, high heat, and high humidity of North Florida.  And this is no ordinary St. Augustine grass, either!

In a couple of weeks, our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary will arrive.  For some couples, their twenty-fifth anniversary means going on a cruise, or taking an extended second honeymoon, a splurge of a night or two away, or at least a dinner out.  But what did we do?  We bought grass! (boring!)  And it’s not even the kind you smoke!  We bought grass not created by God, but made by man to withstand the inhospitable conditions of the subtropics.  And it started turning brown.

So, like any fool who wants to protect the investment in the lawn, I started watering it.  But all it did was make the unwatered part brown.  Just like when you only paint part of your house — all it does is show how much the rest needs it!

Unfortunately, this capital outlay and this “mobile brown spot” have resulted in my becoming obsessed with making sure our yard gets enough water.  Now, if I can manage to keep this from taking on the significance of being a metaphor for our marriage, I might be able to salvage what little sanity I have left.

Election Sign

Campaign sign sighted:  “Chuck Fletcher for Public Defender — We Deserve Better!”

Modern Hardware Store

A few weeks ago, the head on my weedeater broke.  The day of doom arrived today that I had set aside to install a new head on the weedeater and do the edging and trimming.  You see, I’m kind of clueless about mechanical things in general AND I’m uncoordinated.  Now, you see why I approached this day with a sense of foreboding!

I open up the new weedeater head, read the instructions (!), and attempt to follow them.  Didn’t make much progress.  Then, after about twenty minutes, I remembered that I had another weedeater shaft in the garage with an intact head.  I stuck it onto the weedeater with the good engine, and it worked!  But, it had this kind of funky thing for the string that definitely wasn’t a typical wind-up setup.  So I thought, “I’ll go down to the hardware store and see if one of those old guys that know everything about tools and home repair can help me.”

I walk into the local Ace Hardware with my weedeater head and I look around in the lawn and garden department to find some help.  A young guy walks up — probably in high school.  Looks like he’s never even had to operate a weedeater.  I’m thinking, “this is not going to go well  They get rid of the old guys that know their stuff, and they hire these young kids that don’t know nuthin.”  So, I ask him, and sure enough, he says, “I haven’t got a clue.’  He takes me up to the service desk, and there’s another young guy at the service desk who looks equally inexperienced.  He says, “sorry to strike out with you, but I haven’t got a clue either.’

So, I hightail it on down to Lowe’s, and I go into their lawn and garden department.  And the gentleman that comes up to help me looks like he has been a veteran of many a landscape crew.  He also looks like the sixties were not kind to him, but that’s another story.  Anyway, I’m thinking, “here’s the guy.”  So I approach him with my dilemma, and what does he do?  He goes down to where they sell the string for the trimmers, and tries out every one until he finds the right one!

So, I’m back in business.  Got the yard done, thanks to a little bit of good ole American ingenuity.

Family Matters

I got a call from my mother-in-law during lunchtime asking if I had any crutches in my garage.  One of her brothers hurt his ankle and she’s trying to help him out.  Mom says, “with all the broken bones we’ve had in this family, there’s got to be a few pairs of crutches in someone’s garage!”

After I got off the phone with her, I reflected on this and saw some humor there.  When people get off crutches, do they really think, “I’m probably going to fall down the stairs in the next three months so I better hang on to these”?  Or, “my other kid is going to sprain his ankle so I ought to keep these.”

Every time I’ve been on crutches, I’ve wanted to get off them as fast as possible and find the nearest dumpster to throw them into.  Just in thinking about the injuries in our immediate family in the last twenty years, we’ve had a high ankle sprain, a ruptured achilles tendon, five broken arms, a couple of concussions, and a few other injuries that required medical attention.  My guess is that this is probably a higher than average frequency of injury, and yet, not once did we think, “we better hold on to those crutches — we’re going to need them again.”  Think about it — the odds of needing them again in the next six to twelve months are darn near astronomical!

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