Saturday, October 31, 2009

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 7 Update

This week I recieved the following e-mail in the HTF mailbox:

Dear Popester McFroggy Pants:
Have you ever heard people raise questions when the organizer of a fantasy football league winds up in first place? 
Me neither.
CM – not in first place

That’s right, something super-weird is afoot, because after last week I am in FIRST PLACE (barely).  I’m gonna chalk that up to pity from the folks in the league.  After an amazing run in first place, Emmy actually lost a game and I snuck in there.  Yet again (5th week in a row) the Possumz show up on the Toyota-sponsored blowout-board, and again it’s on the right side of the board.  They have run up the most points in the league, followed closely by D&D.  :


 image image

Things are heating up – we saw our first trades in the league this week.  Lots can change in the next few weeks as we battle for those playoff seedings.  Good luck everybody!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You Put WHAT In Your Nose?!

Last Friday night we took the crew to “Culture Night” at the elementary school.  This awesome activity featured interactive booths from 27 different countries including exotic places like Iran, Thailand, Oklahoma, and Utah.  We had a blast sampling the local cuisine, seeing photos, hearing music, and reading cool facts about literacy rates. At the Japan booth the kids even got to sport some kickin’ kimonos.  (great name for a rock band)

DSC02133   DSC02138

As we approached the India area (I won’t call it a booth because somehow they got to have an entire end of the school gym, and it was a super-colorful area), Allison quickly became fascinated with the small jewels the women were wearing on their foreheads.  She was super-excited when one of the ladies knelt down and put a smallish plastic “gem” on Allison’s forehead.  She wore this with pride all the way home and to bed.

Later that night Traci and I were veggin’ on the couch watching reruns of The Office (as show she’s recently decided is good) when Allison called down from the balcony with a weird quote: “I have something in my nose.”  That didn’t sound like a big deal until she came down and we noticed a little blood on her nariz.  Then she informed us that she had decided to stuff her Indian-forehead-jewel up her unsuspecting nostril – a move that made perfect sense at the time I assume.  This was no small feat given the size of the piece of plastic.  I ran for the tweezers and Traci started digging around in there as Allison squirmed and protested.  But nothin’ doin’.  We exchanged glances and knew that an all-night visit to the swine-flu-infested ER was regrettably going to be part of our plans.

But then something happened.

While laying in Traci’s lap our little four-year-old gem hider let out a huge sneeze and the purple plastic parasite exploded from her nostril and landed safely on her upper lip.  All we could do was burst out into semi-controlled laughter.  I wrapped the thing up in a kleenex and delivered it to the trash can and we sent our wanna-be Indian to bed.  The moral of the story I guess is that you shouldn’t really put the culture in your nose, and if you do, be sure to sneeze it out before you go to bed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Don’t Make Me Do That Zombie Dance on your Face!!

Thriller was the first album I remember we had when I was a kid.  We wore the thing out.  And the video on MTV (a banned channel at my house that we sneakily caught glimpses of occasionally) was pretty much the coolest thing out there along with MacGyver.  I was genuinely sad when the MJ died.  That feeling surprised me.  Well about a week ago the Mrs HTF came home from the YMCA with a flyer for a class where they would teach us all the Thriller Dance!  There was zero hesitation – the Popes were in.  So on Friday night we walked into the small gym at the Y and learned just how difficult it is to be a dancing zombie.  (for a more informative account of the night check out Traci’s blog)

There were a lot of people, and I took some solace in that.  And they were all different shapes, sizes, ages and nationalities.  Except that about halfway through the class I made the realization that one demographic was dangerously under-represented – THE ADULT MALES.  As I looked around I suddenly realized that I was the only torch-bearer for the not-so-coordinated “guys over 18” crowd.  I’ve been in this situation before at the YMCA, but never in a dance class.  In spite of that I wasn’t about to quit – we hadn’t even gotten to the part where we struck the were-wolf poses yet.  And we all know how important that is.

We practice for an hour an half for the 3 minute dance – super efficient I’m sure.  I was reminded of high school a bit.  Back then I could play full court basketball for 3-4 hours at a time with no problem, but we did dance rehearsals (for the musicals) for 20 minutes and I could barely move the next day.  Those just aren’t muscles we use that often I guess.  And in Seattle style I was wearing HIKING SHOES, which turned out to be a pretty terrible idea – meaning that I got to feel the fun on my feet the next day.  The kids all started out doing it, but quickly bailed on us.  Braeden stuck it out though.  Still, we learned our little routine and later that night Traci and I reenacted the whole dance back at our house.  (If that image troubles you that’s perfectly reasonable.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 6 Update

Don’t look now, but after 6 weeks of play in our league I’ve crept my way into second place!!  I can only assume this is pity coming from my fellow playas.  Here’s quick rundown on the week 6 results and standings:

image   image

It was a huge week for points and a whopping SIX of our teams have the same record (3-3).  And now a few comments about the league:

  • Blue Blood came through yet again and in spite of having only the 5th highest point total still sits happily atop the standings with the best overall record.  Congrats, Emmy!!
  • D&D continues to pile on the points.  JJ has by far the highest point total, but has only won half of her games.  Not someone you’d want to play.
  • The Possumz are the bipolar team in the league (in a good way).  AGM has appeared on the Toyota Blowout box in each of the last FOUR weeks.  Two of those times she’s the one being blown out and the other 2 she’s the victor.  Second highest point total too…


  • Cooleyer had a super-hot start and looked poised to challenge, but a couple really close loses the last two weeks have dropped her to the middle of the pack.
  • The Beckinators seem to have figured some things out and have landed 2 Ws in a row.  Who knew Eli Manning would be so good?!
  • The Chrushers have been Chrushees a bit more of late, but did land a W this week on the strength of Drew Brees and his mullet.
  • The No Soup team is kinda the opposite of D&D.  Fewest points in the league, but has still won half the games.  We’ll call that luck efficiency.
  • NY Trainspotters have been dropping and adding players like crazy.  Must be a rebuilding year.  It appears management has been turned over to some mysterious guy named Mark…
  • The Cannibals are just plain getting eaten.  Looks like that Pittsburgh D and McNabb aren’t exactly what they used to be.  Still the point total isn’t too dismal, so don’t count ‘em out!
  • As for me, I’m just glad I loaded up on running backs and that Tom Brady knows how to find Wes Welker in the snow.

Hope everyone is having fun.  Good luck in week 7!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Those Glorious Days of Cleaning Toilets and Mopping Floors

I love talking to people about all the jobs they've had in their lives.  I find it a little bit interesting that as folks tick through their job descriptions the roles get a bit more "boring" as they approach the current day.  It's amazing to hear what people did for money back in the day.  For some reason tonight I got thinking about a job I had in college.  Life was simple then, I had no idea just how simple, and I was proud to be a "lead custodian" at the university library.  For the first year or so of this not-very-prestigious gig my main task was CLEANING THE BATHROOMS.  Let's be clear, the restrooms of a huge university library can be frightening places, in much the same ways that restrooms frequented by my toddlers can be.  I'll leave it at that.  For some reason though I really liked cleaning those bathrooms.  (To my wife's extreme disappointment, my desire to clean bathrooms was something I left at college)  I was the master of my porcelain, tiled, mirrored, domain.  I was shocked to learn that forimage reasons I still don't understand, the women's restroom had a huge adjoining "sitting room" complete with a raised ceiling, couches, mirrors and carpet.  I can only assume that this area was for people with serious bladder-control issues or something.  Otherwise, why in the world would you want to spend hours on a couch in a BATHROOM?  I just can't imagine why anyone would want to meet up with friends IN THE BATHROOM.  But I cleaned it all dutifully and woke more than a few girls up who were sleeping on the couch in the BATHROOM I was trying to clean.  Trust me, that was super-awkward for everyone involved.  The girl goes to sleep knowing that she's in a "secure female area" and is awakened by a funny-looking dude with earphones and a dripping toilet brush.

During my porcelain polishing days I started dating the future Mrs. HTF.  She wasn't the least bit bothered by my chosen occupation.  In fact, she would very often come visit during those late night hours while I played with chemicals and danced around a bit.  These visits were AWESOME!  Since I never knew where I'd be she'd have to hunt all over the library for me - no one had cell phones back then.  Don't tell my former boss, but sometimes we'd lock the door to that palatial women's sitting area and "hang out."  More often than not this consisted of her watching me perform manly duties like changing the toilet paper and buffing the floor with a huge rotating brush and lots of sweet smelling chemicals.  But we'd pass hours like that moving my cleaning cart from bathroom to bathroom.  Talk about a way to kick up the romance!!  I know it sounds just a bit odd, but she kept coming, which was a clear sign of her tolerance of me (this is a trait that has served her well during the last 11.5 years of image marriage).  After a while if she didn't show up some night I was devastated (you know that feeling).  Actually, I remember a few nights where we had some of those serious relationship "talks" that guys dread so much right there in some bathroom.  In all likelihood I was wearing rubber gloves when we decided to have a more serious relationship.  But it still worked somehow and in a very real way I miss those days (except for a few parts that are even too gross for a guy to blog about).  I now have a job that most folks would consider a lot better, by which I mean there’s more money and less need for plastic goggles.  But I'm glad I had those nights spraying windex and sliding around the soapy floors at the Harold B Lee Library.

PS – Just realized this is post #300.  Wow… not sure whether I should cheer or apologize to you.  Thanks for reading along though!

Friday, October 16, 2009

How we got Bison Slobber on our Mini-Van Windows and Other Reasons to Come to Seattle – The AGM Visit

I guess time is a limited resource, kinda like money, or for me, hair.  We try to take advantage of it, except when there’s something really good on TV.  This is particularly true when you make trips to places.  I learned early on that the Mrs HTF DOES NOT mess around with taking advantage of every moment to get the most out of trips, and that holds true for when folks visit us.  They’re gonna see a bunch of stuff . . . and they can sleep on the plane ride home.  This was the case last weekend with the talented AGM made a trip from Kentucky to Sea-Town to party with our troops.  Apparently she’s so big time that she owns her own company out here . . . who knew?!  (this is an actual sign in the city we live in)


I’ll spare you all of the details of the weekend, because you’ll get a WAY better synopsis, complete with photo gallery on her posts here and here.  But in just a few days we saw beaches, mountains, waterfalls, bison slobber, worm dancing, bored bears, kindergarten break-up songs, 4 episodes of The Office on The Wall, my own office which the group packed up in 4 boxes for me, flying fish, stuffy crab restaurants, ferries that literally rock, a super-confusing airport scene (detailed in AGM’s post), blinged-out horseshoe sunglasses, and of course, GUM . . . all over some old building.  (photo below was blatantly stolen from the AGM, but since it’s my kids in it I figure I have a few legal rights)

Seattle is an awesome place to visit and you can bet that all visitors to the Pope fam will have an great time here and will likely be given a personalized 2 hour dance show in our kitchen/family room.  So come visit!!  To the AGM, thanks for coming and partying with us – we all had a marvelous time!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 4 Update

While week 3 was the week of close games . . . week 4, wasn’t.  The charge was lead by the often maligned Possumz who had a SICK number of points:


Also, the D&D team brought a huge score.  Of course the big news was that I squeezed out a W against the Crushers.  Oh wait, that really wasn’t the big news.  The big news is that there is now one, lone, undefeated bunch.  Congrats to Blue Blood who sits alone atop the leader board.  6 teams are bunched up with a 2-2 record.  And the Cannibals are looking for that first meal still.  Here are the scores and standings:



Good Luck to all in Week 5, except for “Cooleyer.”  (But I suspect they don’t fear the HTF squad too much and won’t need much luck.)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Part II – The Day I Shot Bin-Laden With My Boss’s Handgun

This post is a kinda continuation of the previous post, so if you haven’t already you might wanna read that one first.

So we left the golf course and I quickly noticed that we (my boss was driving) were taking the “scenic route” back to the office.  I figured this was to grab something to eat OR to “accidentally” miss some meeting (I’ll admit I’ve used that tactic a few times).  But then we pulling into a parking lot of a non-descript little warehouse-looking building.  And then I saw the sign declaring that we were at a gun club.  I immediately thought back to my last performance review to see if perhaps my boss had brought me here to just shoot me and move on.  But then he told me what we were going to do.  Being a guy, I was immediately juiced.  I was moments away from shooting a handgun in the firing range.  My experience with “firearms” over the last decade has been limited to squirt-guns, rubber bands shooters, and those little “guns” that shoot the plastic discs where you start with 30 projectiles and in less than 30 seconds of firing can only find two ever again.  (the same thing seems to happen with yogurt and toilet paper at our house – you have it and then a few minutes later it’s all gone, no matter how much you start with)  But I digress…

I filled out a lengthy form promising to not shoot myself or anyone else while I was there.  And then I was presented with Mr Science Glasses and huge black ear muffs.  I told them my ears weren’t cold, but they insisted.  I later found out that guns are kinda loud when they’re, you know, shot.  We went to the range and my boss pulled out the first target.  It COULD NOT have been better.  It was Osama Bin-Laden holding a little AK-47.  I’m pretty sure this was the most popular target for military types too.


After some training on the 9mm handgun I started shooting in the general direction of the target.  My accuracy was questionable at best, but my boss pointed out a bunch of bullet-holes in the ceiling right in front of us, so AT LEAST I was better than that guy.  It was a total blast (no pun intended) that day.  I’ll probably never own a gun, but as manliness goes, shooting one at Osama’s turban sure feels cool.

Monday, October 05, 2009

You’re Comparing Me to Who?!

Last week I got to go out with several of my co-workers to hit golf balls at a driving range over lunch.  This wouldn’t be that big of a deal except that it’s been like 3 years since I did that . . . and it does take some degree of skill, which I totally lack.  Those balls are really, really, small and they don’t EVER go the direction I want them too . . . unless I throw them.  I’m told that method (the “pick the thing up and chuck it method”) is against the rules though, so I grabbed my clubs and off we went.  By we, I’m referring to my international posse of golf aficionados.  One guy from India, one from Italy, and another from a country called Kentucky.  (I say that delicately because the Kentucky guy is my boss)  As you might expect, they all have great accents AND better golf swings than me.  :)

We arrived at the range and found our spots.  I went for the last spot where, in theory, the fewest people would be able to see me.  I did notice that there was a guy giving lessons to a couple next to me, but they’d surely be too involved in their lesson to gawk at my golf prowess. 

I was wrong. 

The instructor had a TV and like 30 photos of different golf swings.  He was going on and on about hips and elbows and knees and such.  I had my back to him and I tried not to pay attention, but that’s pretty hard when a professional golfer is talking a few feet from you AND he has a monogrammed golf bag.  But I just kept on hacking away.  At one point I noticed that his voice got a bit softer and then I realized he was talking to his attentive students ABOUT ME!  He was comparing my swing to some video on the TV set that I couldn’t see.  And let’s just say it wasn’t a very good comparison.  As if I wasn’t already paranoid enough I glanced quickly over to see the students slowly shaking their heads while looking at me and then and here’s the kicker, I heard the instructor point to the screen and disclose that he’d been comparing my golf swing to the form of a guy named …. TIGER WOODS.  Ugh. Like that’s not setting the bar too high!

I actually did ok that day, meaning the club made contact with a few of the balls and they went in a general forward direction, without injuring anyone.  But when I go again I won’t be setting up shop next to the golf class, that’s for sure.

And just wait until you hear what I did after my golfing fun


Blog post coming soon – Just moments after leaving the course I have a run-in that involved Osama Bin-Laden and me shooting a 9mm handgun.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 3 Update

This week was the week of the close games.  I honestly thought I had my game won going into Monday night, but then . . . well . . . not so much.  I lost by 6 stupid points!!  Ugh!!  I’m down in 8th place now and tip my hat to the NY Trainspotters.  And rocketing to the top of the standings is BLUE BLOOD!!  Big congrats to Emmy for being our only undefeated team!  Here are the scores and standings:

image   image

And when I said the games this week were close, there was one that, well, wasn’t.  And Toyota wants Christy to know about it:


Good luck in Week 4 everyone!

A Poem About Someone Else Losing Their Hair

A couple weeks ago my mom forwarded something to me and I want to share it with you (with the author’s permission of course).  A dear family friend who we’ve known for a long time is battling cancer.  Her name is Barbara, and she’s a super amazing person.  She only found out about the cancer recently and the chemo therapy is doing what you might expect to her hairline.  (I have no such excuse for my cue ball)  Barbara is also a great writer/poet and she wrote this poem about her experience:

Ode to my Hair

Oh how I love my short black hair

To be losing it now just don’t seem fair

But how can I complain about mere hair

When the Lord sees fit my life to spare

But still as I watch the strands come out

I laugh, I cry, I cringe, I shout

I see more of my scalp with each passing day

And know soon my hair will be all gone away

The wig I chose is actually pretty good

It fits my head just the way that it should

And I got a few hats that make me look sassy

Plus a silky black turban that’s really quite classy

I hear that when it starts growing back

It may come in blonde instead of black

Now that would certainly be a sight to see!

Would anyone even recognize me?

All in all, I will try not to despair

Over temporary loss of my short black hair

For the loss is merely a small sacrifice

For the blessing of living a long healthy life

You rock, Barbara!

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